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Like an ill-judging beauty, his colors he spread,
Of praise a mere glutton, he swallow'd what came,
What a commerce was yours, while you got and
Then what was his failing? come, tell it, and burn ye,
He was, could he help it? a special attorney.
Here Reynolds is laid, and, to tell you my mind,
His pencil our faces, his manners our heart:
When they talk'd of their Raphaels, Correggios, and stuff,
He shifted his trumpet, and only took snuff.
STANZAS ON WOMAN.
FROM THE VICAR OF WAKEFIELD.
WHEN lovely woman stoops to folly,
And finds too late that men betray, What charm can soothe her melancholy, What art can wash her guilt away? The only art her guilt to cover,
To hide her shame from ev'ry eye,
O MEMORY! thou fond deceiver,
And turning all the past to pain;
Thou, like the world, th' opprest oppressing,
Sir Joshua Reynolds was so remarkably deaf as to be under the necessity of using an ear-trumpet in company.
SAMUEL JOHNSON, a writer of great eminence, thirteen nights, but has never since appeared on was born in 1709 at Litchfield, in which city his the theatre: Johnson, in fact, found that he was not father was a petty bookseller. After a desultory formed to excel on the stage, and made no further course of school-education, it was proposed to him, trials.
by Mr. Corbet, a neighboring gentleman, that he His periodical paper, entitled The Rambler," should accompany his own son to Oxford as his appeared in March 1750, and was continued till companion; accordingly, in his nineteenth year, he March 1752. The solemnity of this paper prewas elected a commoner of Pembroke College. vented it at first from attaining an extensive cirFrom young Corbet's departure, he was left to culation; but after it was collected into volumes, it struggle with penury till he had completed a resi- continually rose in the public esteem, and the author dence of three years, when he quitted Oxford had the satisfaction of seeing a tenth edition. The without taking a degree. His father died, in very" Adventurer," conducted by Dr. Hawkesworth, narrow circumstances, soon after his return from the succeeded the Rambler, and Johnson contributed university; and for some time he attempted to gain several papers of his own writing. In 1755, the a maintenance by some literary projects. At length, first edition of his "Dictionary" made its appearin 1735, he thought proper to marry a widow twice ance. It was received by the public with general his own age, and far from attractive, either in her applause, and its author was ranked among the person or manners. By the aid of her fortune he greatest benefactors of his native tongue. Modern was enabled to set up a school for instruction in Latin accuracy, however, has given an insight into its and Greek, but the plan did not succeed; and after defects; and though it still stands as the capital a year's experiment, he resolved to try his fortune work of the kind in the language, its authority as a in the great metropolis. Garrick, afterwards the standard is somewhat depreciated. Upon the last celebrated actor, had been one of his pupils, accom- illness of his aged mother, in 1759, for the purpose panied by whom he arrived in London; Johnson of paying her a visit, and defraying the expense of having in his pocket his unfinished tragedy of Irene. her funeral, he wrote his romance of "Rasselas, The first notice which he drew from the judges Prince of Abyssinia," one of his most splendid perof literary merit, was by the publication of "London, formances, elegant in language, rich in imagery, a Poem," in imitation of Juvenal's third satire. and weighty in sentiment. Its views of human life The manly vigor, and strong painting, of this per- are, indeed, deeply tinged with the gloom that overformance, placed it high among works of its kind, shadowed the author's mind; nor can it be praised though it must be allowed, that its censure is coarse for moral effect. and exaggerated, and that it ranks rather as a party, Soon after the accession of George III., a than as a moral poem. It was published in 1738. grant of a pension of 3001. per annum was made For some years Johnson is chiefly to be traced in him by His Majesty during the ministry of Lord the pages of the Gentleman's Magazine, then con- Bute. A short struggle of repugnance to accept a ducted by Cave; and it was for this work that he favor from the House of Hanover was overcome gratified the public with some extraordinary pieces by a sense of the honor and substantial benefit conof eloquence which he composed under the disguise ferred by it, and he became that character, a penof debates in the senate of Liliput, meaning the sioner, on which he had bestowed a sarcastic defiBritish parliament. He likewise wrote various nition in his Dictionary. Much obloquy attended biographical articles for the same miscellany, of which the principal and most admired was "The Life of Savage."
this circumstance of his life, which was enhanced when he published, in several of his productions, arguments which seemed directly to oppose the rising spirit of liberty.
The plan of his English Dictionary was laid before the public in a letter addressed to Lord Ches- A long-promised edition of Shakspeare appeared terfield in 1747. In the same year he furnished in 1765; but though ushered in by a preface writGarrick with a prologue on the opening of Drury- ten with all the powers of his masterly pen, the lane theatre, which in sense and poetry has not a edition itself disappointed those who expected much competitor among compositions of this class, except-from his ability to elucidate the obscurities of the ing Pope's prologue to Cato. Another imitation great dramatist. A tour to the Western Islands of of Juvenal, entitled "The Vanity of Human Scotland in 1773, in which he was attended by his Wishes," was printed in 1749, and may be said to enthusiastic admirer and obsequious friend, James reach the sublime of ethical poetry, and to stand at Boswell, Esq. was a remarkable incident of his life, the head of classical imitations. The same year. considering that a strong antipathy to the natives of under the auspices of Garrick, brought on the stage that country had long been conspicuous in his conof Drury-lane his tragedy of "Irene." It ran versation. But when, two years afterwards, he
published the account of his tour, under the title of symptoms, followed; and such was the tenacity with "A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland," which he clung to life, that he expressed a great more candor and impartiality were found in it, desire to seek for amendment in the climate of than had been expected. In 1775, he was gratified, Italy. Still unable to reconcile himself to the through the interest of Lord North, with the degree thought of dying, he said to the surgeon who was of Doctor of Laws, from the University of Oxford. making slight scarifications in his swollen legs, He had some years before received the same honor" Deeper! deeper! I want length of life, and you from Dublin, but did not then choose to assume the are afraid of giving me pain, which I do not title. His last literary undertaking was the con- value." The closing scene took place on Decem sequence of a request from the London booksellers, ber 13, 1785, in the 76th year of his age. His re who had engaged in an edition of the principal mains, attended by a respectable concourse of English poets, and wished to prefix to each a bio- friends, were interred in Westminster Abbey; and a graphical and critical preface from his hand. This monumental statue has since been placed to his he undertook; and though he will generally be memory in St. Paul's cathedral. His works were thought to have labored under strong prejudices published collectively in eleven volumes, 8vo., with in composing the work, its style will be found, in a copious life of the author, by Sir John Hawkins. great measure, free from the stiffness and turgidity A new edition, in twelve volumes, with a life, was which marked his earlier compositions. given by Arthur Murphy. Of the conversations. The concluding portion of Dr. Johnson's life and oral dictates of Johnson, a most copious colwas saddened by a progressive decline of health, lection has been published in the very entertaining and by the prospect of approaching death, which volumes of Mr. Boswell. Upon the whole, it may neither his religion nor his philosophy had taught him be said, that at the time of his death, he was unto bear with even decent composure. A paralytic doubtedly the most conspicuous literary character stroke first gave the alarm; asthma, and dropsical of his country.
Behold her cross triumphant on the main,
The guard of commerce, and the dread of Spain,
A transient calm the happy scenes bestow,
IN IMITATION OF THE THIRD SATIRE OF JUVENAL. And for a moment lull the sense of woe.
Tam patiens urbis, tam ferreus ut teneat se ?-Juv.
THOUGH grief and fondness in my breast rebel,
For who would leave, unbrib'd, Hibernia's land,
Or change the rocks of Scotland for the Strand?
While Thales waits the wherry that contains
Queen Elizabeth, born at Greenwich.
At length awaking, with contemptuous frown,
Since worth, he cries, in these degenerate days
Some pleasing bank where verdant osiers play,
Let such raise palaces, and manors buy,
Heroes, proceed! what bounds your pride shall hold?
To such, the plunder of a land is giv'n, When public crimes inflame the wrath of Heaven: But what, my friend, what hope remains for me, Who start at theft, and blush at perjury?
Well may they venture on the mimic's art, Who play from morn to night a borrow'd part; Practis'd their master's notions to embrace, Repeat his maxims, and reflect his face;
Who scarce forbear, though Britain's court he sing, With ev'ry wild absurdity comply,
To pluck a titled poet's borrow'd wing;
Well may they rise, while I, whose rustic tongue
For what but social guilt the friend endears?
The cheated nation's happy fav'rites, see! Mark whom the great caress, who frown on me! London! the needy villain's gen'ral home, The common-sewer of Paris and of Rome; With eager thirst, by folly or by fate, Sucks in the dregs of each corrupted state. Forgive my transports on a theme like this, I cannot bear a French metropolis.
Illustrious Edward! from the realms of day, The land of heroes and of saints survey; Nor hope the British lineaments to trace, The rustic grandeur, or the surly grace; But, lost in thoughtless ease and empty show, Behold the warrior dwindled to a beau; Sense, freedom, piety, refin'd away, Of France the mimic, and of Spain the prey. All that at home no more can beg or steal, Or like a gibbet better than a wheel: Hiss'd from the stage, or hooted from the court, Their air, their dress, their politics, import; Obsequious, artful, voluble, and gay,
On Britain's fond credulity they prey.
No gainful trade their industry can 'scape,
And view each object with another's eye;
How, when competitors like these contend,
For arts like these preferr'd, admir'd, caress'd, They first invade your table, then your breast; Explore your secrets with insidious art, Watch the weak hour, and ransack all the heart Then soon your ill-plac'd confidence repay, Commence your lords, and govern or betray.
By numbers here from shame or censure free,
But here more slow, where all are slaves to gold,
But hark! th' affrighted crowd's tumultuous cries
They sing, they dance, clean shoes, or cure a Roll through the streets, and thunder to the skies:
All sciences a fasting Monsieur knows,
Ah! what avails it, that, from slav'ry far,
Studious to please, and ready to submit;
Besides, with justice, this discerning age Admires their wondrous talents for the stage:
Rais'd from some pleasing dream of wealth and
Some pompous palace or some blissful bower,
And spread his flaming palace on the ground,
See! while he builds, the gaudy vassals come,
Couldst thou resign the park and play content,
And stretch thy prospects o'er the smiling land,
Direct thy rivulets, and twine thy bowers;
And bless thine evening walk and morning toil.
VANITY OF HUMAN WISHES.
IN IMITATION OF THE TENTH SATIRE OF JUVENAL
LET observation, with extensive view,
But, scarce observ'd, the knowing and the bold
Let hist'ry tell where rival kings command,
Scarce can our fields, such crowds at Tyburn die, Though confiscation's vultures hover round.
A single jail, in ALFRED's golden reign,
Thou fly'st for refuge to the wilds of Kent;
The needy traveller, serene and gay,
Toil crush'd conceit, and man was of a piece;