Imágenes de páginas

Around the ring loud peals of thunder rise,
And shouts exultant echo to the skies.

Thus then the victor-" O celestial pow'r !
Who gave this arm to boast one triumph more;
Now grey in glory, let my labours cease,
My blood-stain'd laurel wed the branch of peace;
Lur'd by the lustre of the golden prize,

Uplifted now inanimate he seems,
Forth from his nostrils gush the purple streams;
Gasping for breath, and impotent of hand, 51
The youth beheld his rival stagg'ring stand:
But he, alas had felt th' unnerving blow,
And gaz'd, unable to assault the foe.
As when two monarchs of the brindled breed
Dispute the proud dominion of the mead,
They fight, they foam, then weary'd in the fray,
Aloof retreat, and low'ring stand at bay;
So stood the heroes, and indignant glar'd,
While grim with blood their rueful fronts were High soar'd applause on acclamation's wing.

No more in combat this proud crest shall rise;
To future heroes future deeds belong,

Be mine the theme of some immortal song." 90
This said he seiz'd the prize, while round
the ring,



Till with returning strength new rage returns, Again their arms are steel'd, again each bosom burns.

Incessant now their hollow sides they pound, Loud on each breast the bounding bangs resound;

Their flying fists around the temples glow,
And the jaws crackle with the massy blow.
The raging combat ev'ry eye appals, [falls.
Strokes following strokes, and falls succeeding
Now droop'd the youth, yet, urging all his might,
With feeble arm still vindicates the fight, 70
Till on the part where heav'd the panting breath,
A fatal blow impress'd the seal of death.
Down dropt the hero, welt'ring in his gore,
And his stretch'd limbs lay quiv'ring on the floor.
So, when a falcon skims the airy way,
Stoops from the clouds, and pounces on his prey;
Dash'd on the earth the feather'd victim lies,
Expands its feeble wings, and, flutt'ring, dies.
His faithful friends their dying hero rear'd,
O'er his broad shoulders dangling hung his

his arm over his head, and by that means received
the fall he intended the enemy.-I thought it
incumbent on me as a commentator to say thus
much, to illustrate the meaning of our author,
which might seem a little obscure to those who
are unacquainted with conflicts of this kind.
V. 48. echo to the skies, &c.] Virgil.

It clamor cœlo

The learned reader will perceive our author's frequent allusions to Virgil; and whether he intended them as translations or imitations of the Roman poet, must give us pause: but as, in our modern productions, we find imitations are generally nothing more than bad translations, and translations nothing more than bad imitations it would equally, I suppose, satisfy the gall of the critic, should these unluckily fall within either description.


V. 63. Incessant now, &c.] Virgil.
Multa viri nequicquam inter se vulnera jactant:
Multa cavo lateri ingeminant, & pectore vastos
Dant sonitus, erratque aures & tempora circum
Crebra manus: duro crepitant sub vulnere

V. 79. His faithful friends] Virgil.

At illum fidi æquales, genua ægra trahentem,
Jactantemque utroque caput, crassumque cruo-

Dragging its limbs, they bear the body forth,
Mash'd teeth and clotted blood came issuing
from his mouth.


Ore rejectantem, mistosque in sanguine dentes,
Ducunt ad naves.

V. 88. No more in combat, &c.] Virgil.
hic victor cæstus, artem que repono,

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

Strike but the deer, however slight the wound,
It serves at least to drive him from the sound.
Shall reptile sinners frowning justice fear,
And pageant titles privilege the peer?
So falls the humbler game in common fields,
While the branch'd beast the royal forest shields.
On, Satire, then! pursue thy gen'rous plan,
And wind the vice, regardless of the man.
Rouse, rouse!' th' ennobled herd for public sport,
And hunt them through the covert of a court.

Just as the play'r the mimic portrait draws, All claim a right of censure or applause: What guards the place-man from an equal fate, Who mounts but actor on the stage of state? Subject alike to each man's praise and blame, Each critic voice the fiat of his fame ; Though to the private some respect we pay, All public characters are public prey: Pelham and Garrick, let the verse forbear What sanctifies the treasurer or play'r.

Great in her laurel'd sages Athens see, Free flow'd her satire while her sons were free: Then purpled guilt was dragg'd to public shame, And each offence stood fragrant with a name; Polluted ermine no respect could win, No hallow'd lawn could sanctify a sin; 'Till tyrant pow'r usurp'd a lawless rule: Then sacred grew the titled knave and fool; Then penal statutes aw'd the poignant song, And slaves were taught, that kings could do no


Guilt still is guilt, to me, in slave or king, Fetter'd in cells, or garter'd in the ring: And yet behold how various the reward, Wild falls a felon, Walpole3 mounts a lord! The little knave the law's last tribute pays, While crowns around the great one's chariot blaze. Blaze meteors, blaze! to me is still the same The cart of justice, or the coach of shame. Say, what's nobility, ye gilded train! Does nature give it, or can guilt sustain ? Blooms the form fairer, if the birth be high? Or takes the vital stream a richer dye; What! though a long patrician line ye claim, Are noble souls entail'd upon a name? Anstis may ermine out the lordly earth, Virtue's the herald that proclaims its worth.

Hence mark the radiance of a Stanhope's star, And glow-worm glitter of thine, D***r: Ignoble splendour! that but shines to all, The humble badge of a court hospital. Let lofty L**r wave his nodding plume, Boast all the blushing honours of the loom, Resplendent bondage no regard can bring, 'Tis Methuen's heart must dignify the string.

Vice levels all, however high or low; And all the diff'rence but consists in show. Who asks an alms, or supplicates a place, Alike is beggar, though in rags or lace: Alike his country's scandal and its curse, Who vends a vote, or who purloins a purse; Thy gamblers, Bridewell, and St James's bites, The rooks of Mordington's, and sharks at White's.

3 Though the person here meant has indeed paid the debt of nature, yet, as he has left that of justice unsatisfied, the author apprehends that the public are indisputably entitled to the assets of his reputation.

"Why will you urge," Eugenio cries, "your fate?

Affords the town no sins but sins of state?
Perches vice only on the court's high hill?"
Or yields life's vale no quarry for the quill?"
Manners, like fashions,still from courts descend,
And what the great begin, the vulgar end.
If vicious then the mode, correct it here;
He saves the peasant, who reforms the peer.
What Hounslow knight would stray from ho❤
nour's path,

If guided by a brother of the Bath?

Honour's a mistress all mankind pursue; Yet most mistake the false one for the true: Lur'd by the trappings, dazzled by the paint, We worship oft the idol for the saint. Courted by all, by few the fair is won; Those lose who seek her, and those gain who shun; Naked she flies to merit in distress,

And leaves to courts the garnish of her dress.

The million'd merchant seeks her in his gold; In schools the pedant, and in camps the bold : The courtier views her, with admiring eyes, Flutter in ribbons, or in titles rise: Sir Epicene enjoys her in his plume; Mead, in the learned wainscot of a room: By various ways all woo the modest maid; Yet lose the substance, grasping at the shade. Who, smiling, sees not with what various strife

Man blindly runs the giddy maze of life?
To the same end still diff'rent means employs;
This builds a church, a temple that destroys;
Both anxious to obtain a deathless name,
Yet, erring, both mistake report for fame.

Report, though vulture-like the name it bear,
Drags but the carrion carcass through the air;
While fame, Jove's nobler bird, superior flies,
And, soaring, mounts the mortal to the skies.
So Richard's name to distant ages borne,
Unhappy Richard still is Britain's scorn:
Be Edward's wafted on fame's eagle wing,
Each patriot mourns the long-departed king;
Yet thine, O Edward! shall to George'ss yield,
And Dettingen eclipse a Cressy's field.

Through life's wild ocean, who would safely

And bring the golden fleece of glory home,
Must, heedful, shun the barking Scylla's roar,
And fell Charybdis' all-devouring shore;
With steady helm an equal course support,
'Twixt faction's rocks, and quicksands of a court;
By virtue's beacon still direct his aim,
Through honour's channel, to the port of fame.

Yet, on this sea, how all mankind are tost! For one that's sav'd, what multitudes are lost! Misguided by ambition's treach'rous light, Through want of skill, few make the harbour right.

Hence mark what wrecks of virtue, friendship, fame,

For four dead letters added to a name !
Whence dwells such Syren music in a word,
Or sounds not Brutus noble as my lord?
Though crownets, Pult'ney, blazon on thy plate,
Adds the base mark one scruple to its weight?
Though sounds patrician swell thy name,
Stretches one acre thy plebeian lands? [Sandys!
George the Second.

Richard the Second.

Say, the proud title meant to plume the son, Why gain by guilt, what virtue might have won? Vain shall the son his herald honours trace, Whose parent peer 's but patriot in disgrace.

Vain, on the solemn head of hoary age, Totters the mitre, if ambition's rage To mammon pow'r the hallow'd heart incline, And titles only mark the priest divine. Blest race! to whom the golden age remains, Ease without care, and plenty without pains: For you the earth unlabour'd treasure yields, And the rich sheaves spontaneous crown the fields;

No toilsome dews pollute the rev'rend brow,
Each holy hand unharden'd by the plough;
Still burst the sacred garners with their store,
And flails, unceasing, thunder on the floor.

O bounteous Heav'n! yet Heav'n how seldom


The titheful tribute of the prelate's pray'rs!
Lost to the stall, in senates still they nod,
And all the monarch steals them from the God:
Thy praises, Brunswick, every breast inspire,
The throne their altar, and the court their choir;
Here earliest incense they devoutly bring,
Here everlasting hallelujah's sing:
Thou! only thou! almighty to-translate,
Thou their great golden deity of state.

Who seeks on merit's stock to graft success,
In vain invokes the ray of pow'r to bless ;
The stem, too stubborn for the courtly soil,
With barren branches mocks the virtuous toil.
More pliant plants the royal regions suit,
Where knowledge still is held forbidden fruit;
'Tis these alone the kindly nurture share,
And all Hesperia's golden treasures bear.

Let folly still be fortune's fondling heir, And science meet a step-dame in the fair. Let courts, like fortune, disinherit sense, And take the idiot charge from Providence. The idiot head the cap and bells may fit, But how disguise a Lyttelton and Pitt !

O! once-lov'd youths! Britannia's blooming hope,

Fair freedom's twins, and once the theme of Pope;
What wond'ring senates on your accents hung,
Ere flatt'ry's poison chill'd the patriot tongue!
Rome's sacred thunder awes no more the ear;
But Pelham smiles, who trembled once to hear.
Say, whence this change? less galling is the

Though Walpole, Carteret, or a Pelham reign?
If senates still the pois'nous bane imbibe,
And every palm grows callous with the bribe;
If sev'n long years inature the venal voice,
While freedom mourns her long-defrauded

While fading laurels shade her drooping head And mark her Burleighs, Blakes, and Marlbro's dead!

Such were thy sons, O happy isle! of old,
In counsel prudent, and in action bold:
Now view a Pelham puzzling o'er thy fate,
Lost in the maze of a perplex'd debate;
And sage Newcastle, with fraternal skill,
Guard the nice conduct of a nation's quill:
See truncheons trembling in the coward hand,
Though bold rebellion half subdue the land;
While ocean's god, indignant, wrests again
The long-deputed trident of the main".

If justice waves o'er fraud a lenient hand,
And the red locust rages through the land.

Sunk in these bonds, to Britain what avails,
Who wields her sword, or balances her scales?
Veer round the compass, change to change suc-
By every son the mother now must bleed [ceed,
Vain all her hosts, on foreign shores array'd,
Though lost by Wentworth, or preserv'd by Wade.
Fleets, once which spread through distant worlds
her name!
Now ride inglorious trophies of her shame;

Alluding to the ever-memorable no-fight in

Sleep our last heroes in the silent tomb? Why springs no future worthies from the womb? Not nature sure, since nature's still the same, But education bars the road to fame. Who hopes for wisdom's crop, must till the soul, And virtue's early lesson should control: To the young breast who valour would impart, Must plant it by example in the heart.

Ere Britain fell to mimic modes a prey, And took the foreign polish of our day, Train'd to the martial labours of the field, Our youth were taught the massy spear to wield; In halcyon peace, beneath whose downy wings The merchant smiles, and lab'ring peasant sings, With civil arts to guard their country's cause, Direct her counsels, and defend her laws : Hence a long race of ancient worthies rose, Adorn'd the land, and triumph'd o'er our foes. Ye sacred shades! who through th' Elysian grove,

With Rome's fam'd chiefs, and Grecian sages rove,
Blush to behold what arts your offspring grace!
Each fopling heir now marks his sire's disgrace;
An embrio breed! of such a doubtful frame,
You scarce could know the sex but by the name:
Fraught with the native follies of his home,
Torn from the nurse, the babe of mirth must


Through foreign climes exotic vice explore,
And cull each weed, regardless of the flow'r,
Proud of thy spoils, O Italy and France!
The soft enervate strain, and cap'ring dance :
From Sequan's streams, and winding banks of Po,
He comes, ye gods' an all-accomplish'd beau!
Unhumaniz'd in dress, with cheeks so wan!
He mocks God's image in the mimic man;
Great judge of arts! o'er toilettes now presides,
Corrects our fashions, or an opera guides;
From tyrant Handel rends th' imperial bay,
And guards the Magna Charta of—Sol-fa.

Sick of a land where virtue dwells no more, See Liberty prepar'd to quit our shore! Pruning her, pinions, on yon beacon'd height The goddess stands, and meditates her flight; Now spreads her wings, unwilling yet to fly, Again o'er Britain casts a pitying eye;

the Mediterranean: as the nation was unluckily the only victim on that occasion, the lenity of our aquarian judicature has, I think, evidently proved, that a court-martial and a martial-court are by no means synonymous terms.

7 The reader will readily conclude these lines were written before our worthy admirals Anson and Warren had so eminently distinguished themselves in the service of their country.

Loath to depart, methinks I hear her say,
"Why urge me thus, ungrateful isle, away!
For you, I left Achaia's happy plains,
For you resign'd my Romans to their chains;
Here fondly fix'd my last lov'd favourite seat,
And 'midst the mighty nations made thee great:
Why urge me then, ungrateful isle, away!"
Again she, sighing, says, or seems to say.

O Stanhope! skill'd in ev'ry moving art,
That charms the ear, or captivates the heart!
Be your's the task, the goddess to retain,
And call her parent virtue back again;
Improve your pow'r a sinking land to save,
And vindicate the servant from the slave:
O! teach the vassal courtier how to share
The royal favour with the public pray'r:
Like Latium's genius 9 stem thy country's doom,
And, though a Cæsar smile, remember Rome;
With all the patriot dignify the place,
And prove at least one statesman may have


Earl of Chesterfield.



• Brutus.



Sed quia mente minus validus, quam corpore Nil audire velim, nil discere, quod levet ægrum, Fidis offendar medicis.


Smokes not from Lincoln meads the stately loin,
Or rosy gammon of Hantonian swine?
From Darkin's roosts the feather'd victims bleed,
And Thames still wafts ine ocean's scaly breed.
Though Gallia's vines their costly juice deny,
Still Tajo's 2 banks the jocund glass supply;
Still distant worlds nectareous treasures roll,
And either India sparkles in my bowl;
Or Devon's boughs, or Dorset's bearded fields,
To Britain's arms a British beverage yields.
Rich in these gifts, why should I wish for


THE reader will perceive, from two or three passages in the following epistle, that was written some time since; nor indeed would the whole of it have now been thought interesting enough to the public, to have passed the press, had not the physical persecution, carried on against the gentleman' to whom it it is addressed, provoked the publication. When a body of men, too proud to own their errours, and too prudent to part with their fees, shall (with their legions of understrappers) enter into a conspiracy against a brother practitioner, only for honestly endeavouring to moderate the one, and rectify the other; such a body, our author apprehends, becomes a justifiable object of satire; and only wishes his pen had, on this occasion, a like killing efficacy with theirs.


WHY do you ask, "that in this courtly dance,
Of in and out, it ne'er was yet my chance,
To bask beneath a statesman's fost'ring smile,
And share the plunder of the public spoil?"

E'er wants my table the health-chearing meal, With Banstead mutton crown'd, or Essex veal?

1 Dr. Thompson was one of the physicians to Frederick, prince of Wales, in that disorder which ended his life. Upon that occasion, the doctor differed from all the physicians that attended his highness, which brought upon him their most virulent rage and indignation; for the

Why barter conscience for superfluous store?
Or haunt the levee of a purse-proud peer,
To rob poor Fielding of the curule chair3?
Let the lean bard, whose belly, void of bread,
Puffs up pierian vapours to his head,
In birth-day odes his flimsy fustian vent,
And torture truth into a compliment;
Wear out the knocker of a great man's door,
Be pimp and poet, furnish rhyme or whore;
Or fetch and carry for some foolish lord,
To sneak a sitting footman at his board.
If such the arts that captivate the great,
Be yours, ye bards! the sun-shine of a state;
For place or pension prostitute each line;
Make gods of kings, and ministers divine;
Swear St. John's self could neither read not

And Cumberland out-bravoes Mars in fight; Call Dorset patriot, Willes a legal tool, Horace a wit, and Dodington a fool.

prince dying, the world was inclined to favour doctor Thompson's recommendations. He was an intimate friend of Mr. P. Whitehead, and a favourite with him at the prince's-court. He was a man of a peculiar character; but learned, singular, and ingenious.

2 The Tagus-a principal river of Portugal, famous for golden sands.

Qua Tagus auriferis pallet turbatus arenis. Sil. xvi. 559.

3 It is reported, that during the time Mr. Addison was secretary of state, when his old friend and ally Ambrose Phillips applied to him for some preferment, the great man very coolly answered, that "he thought he had already provided for him, by making him justice for Westminster." To which the bard, with some indignation, replied, "though poetry was a trade he could not live by, yet he scorned to owe his subsistence to another, which he ought not to live by."-However great men, in our days, may practise the secretary's prudence, certain it is, the person here pointed at was very far from making a precedent of his brother poet's principles.

It is apprehended, our modern campaigns cannot fail of furnishing the reader with a proper supply for this passage.

5 Lord high admiral Willes-a title, by which this excellent chief magistrate is often distinguished among our marine, for his spirited vindication of the supremacy of the civil flag, and rectifying the martial mistakes of some late naval tribunals.

• A certain modern of that name, whose sole pretension to this character (except a little arch

[ocr errors]

Such be your venal task; whilst, blest with ease, 'Tis mine, to scribble when, and what I please. "Hold! what you please?" (sir Dudley cries) my friend,


Say, must my labours never, never end?
Still doom'd 'gainst wicked wit my pen to draw,
Correct each bard by critic rules of law;
"Twixt guilt and shame the legal buckler place,
And guard each courtly culprit from disgrace?
Hard task! should future jurymen inherit
The city-twelve's self-judging British spirit.7"
While you, my Thompson! spite of med'cine


Mark how the college peoples every grave!
See Mead transfer estates from sire to son,
And bar succession to a throne 8!
See Shaw scarce leave the passing-bell a fee,
And N**'s set the captive husband free!
Though widow'd Julia giggles in her weed,
Yet who arraigns the doctor for the deed?
O'er life and death all absolute his will,
Right the prescription, whether cure or kill.
Not so,-whose practice is the mind's dis-


His potion must not only cure, but please :
Apply the caustic to the callous heart,
Undone's the doctor, the patient smart ;
Superior pow'rs his mental bill control,
And law corrects the physic of the soul.

Led by the meteor of a mitre's ray,

If Sion's sons through paths unhallow'd stray,
For courtly rites neglect each rubric rule,
Quit all the saint, and truckle all the tool;
Their maker only in the monarch see,
Nor e'er omit, at Brunswick's name, the knee;
To cure this loyal lethargy of grace,
And rouse to Heav'n again its recreant race,
Say! should the Muse, with one irrev'rend line,
Probe but the mortal part of the divine;
'Tis blasphemy, by ev'ry priest decreed!
No benefit of clergy may I plead;
With every canon pointed at my head,
Alive I'm censur'd, ard I'm damn'd when dead.
Lawyer and priest, like doctors, still agree;
"Tis theirs to give advice; 'tis ours, the fee:
negli-To them alone all earthly rule is giv'n,
Diploma'd from, St. James's, and from Heav'n.

Yet ills there are, nor bench, nor pulpit reach;
In vain may Ryder charge, or Sherlock preach;
For law too mighty, and too proud for grace,
Lurk in the star, or lord it in a place;
Brood in the sacred circle of a crown,
While fashion wafts their poison through the
Hence o'er each village the contagion wings,
And peasants catch the maladies of kings.


buffoonery) consists in a truly poetical gence of his person.

7 Alluding to the constitutional verdict given on the trial of William Owen, for publishing "The Case of the honourable Alexander Murray, esq."-a pamphlet written by P. Whitehead.

8 This line furnishes a melancholy memento of the most fatal catastrophe that perhaps ever befel this nation. Among the various tributary

verses which flowed on that occasion, our author wrote the following; and which he here takes the liberty to insert, being willing to seize every opportunity, to perpetuate his sense of our public loss, in the death of that truly patriot prince,


When Jove, late revolving the state of mankind' 'Mong Britons no traces of virtue could find, O'er the island, indignant, he stretch'd forth his

Shall Galen's sons with privilege destroy,
And I not one sound alt'rative employ,
To drive the rank distemper from within?
Or is man's life less precious than his sin?
With palsied hand should justice hold the


When purpled vice shall humble justice awe, And fashion make it current, spite of law; What sovereign med'cine can its course reclaim? What, but the poet's panacea--shame! Thus wit's great Esculapius once prevail'd, And satire triumph'd, where the fasces fail'd: No consul's wreath could lurking folly hide, No vestal looks secure the guilty bride: [guise, The poignant verse pierc'd through each fair disEarth trembled, and Ocean acknowledg'd the And made Rome's matrons modest, statesmen



Still provok'd by our crimes, Heav'n's vengeance to show, [blow: Ammon, grasping his bolts, aim'd at Britain the But pausing-more dreadful, his wrath to evince, Threw the thunder aside, and sent fate for the prince.

And o'er a judge court-complaisance prevail,
Satire's strong dose the malady requires :
I write-when, lo! the bench indignant fires;
Each hoary head erects its load of hair;
Their furs all bristle, and their eye-balls glare ;
In rage they roar, "With rev'rend ermine sport!
Seize! seize him, tipstaff!-Tis contempt of

• A like correction, with regard to the physic of the body, might prove no bad security for the life and property of the patient, as the faculty are at present accountable to no other power but that of Heaven, for the rectitude of their conduct. And perhaps no civilized nation can afford such an instance of physical anarchy as ours, where the surgeon is permitted to usurp * Alluding to the preceding earthquakes, in 1750.


Search all your statutes, sergeant! where's the

Can cure the itching of a courtier's palm?
Where the chaste canon, say, thou hallow'd sage,
The virgin's glowing wishes can assuage?
Let but the star his longing lordship see,
What pow'r can set the captive conscience free?
Hang but the sparkling pendant at her ears,
What trembling maid the gen'rous lover fears?

the province of the physician, and the apothe-
cary plumes himself in the perriwig and plunder
of both professions.In a public spirited endea-
vour to cure this anarchy, and restore a proper
discipline in practice, consists a Thompson's em→
piricism.-Hinc ille lachrymæ.→→
10 Horatius Flaccus.

« AnteriorContinuar »