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And his weak opposite to brave.
Mid-Lothian, the seat of the capital. The The breeze retreated to a cave
style is precisely that of the vulgar Scotch; To shelter, till the raging blast
and that the matter might be suitable to it, I Had spent its fury and was past.
chose for the subject a little story adapted to the ideas of peasants. It is a tale commonly
told in Scotland among the country people ; THE CROW AND THE OTHER
and may be looked upon as of the kind of those BIRDS.
aniles fabellæ, in which Horace observes bis CONTAINING AN USEFUL HINT TO THE CRITICS. country neighbours were accustomed to con Is ancient times, tradition says,
vey their rustic philosophy. When birds like men would strive for praise;
A canny man · will scarce provoke The bullfinch, nightingale, and thrush,
Ae 3 creature livin, for a joke; With all that chant from tree or bush,
For be they weak or be they strange, Wou'd often meet in song to vie;
A jibe s leaves after it a stang The kinds that sing not, sitting by.
To mak them think on't ; and a laird7 A knavish crow, it seems, had got
May find a begger sae prepard, The oack to criticise by rote ;
Wi pawks 8 and wiles, whar pith 9 is wantin, He understood each learned phrase,
As soon will mak bim rue his tauntin. As well as critics now-a-days:
Ye hae my moral, if am able Some say, he learn'd them from an owl,
All fit it nicely wi'a fable. By list’ning where he taught a school.
A hare, ae morning, chanc'd to see 'Tis strange to tell, this subtil creature,
A partan creepin on aleelo, Though nothing musical by nature,
A fishwife wha was early oot Had learn'd so well to play his part,
Had drapt ': the creature thereaboot. With nonsense couch'd in terms of art,
Mawkin 13 bumbas'd' and frighted sair 's As to be own'd by all at last
To see a thing but hide and hair's, Director of the public taste.
Which if it stur'd not might be taen 17 Then puff'd with insolence and pride,
For naething ither than a stane 18. And sure of numbers on his side,
A squunt-wise "9, wambling 20 sair beset
Wi gerse and rashes a' like a net,
• A canny man] A canny man signifies nearly For ever stript him of his pow'r.
the same thing as a prudent man: but when the Once when the birds assembled sat,
Scotch say that a person is not canny, they mean All list'ning to his formal chat;
not that they are imprudent, but mischievous By instinct nice he chanc'd to find
and dangerous. If the term not canny is applied A cloud approaching in the wind,
to persons without being explained, it charges And ravens hardly can refrain
them with sorcery and witchcraft. From croaking when they think of rain;
• Ae] One. His wonted song he sung: the blunder
* Strang] Strong. The Scotch almost always Amaz'd and scar'd them worse than thunder;
turn o in the syllable ong, into a. In place of For no one thought so harsh a note
long, they say lang; in place of tongs, tangs; as Cou'd ever sound from any throat;
here strang, for strong. They all at first with mute surprise
S A jibe] A satirical jest. Each on bis neighbour turn'd his eyes :
6 Stang] Sting. But scorn succeeding soon took place,
7 Laird] A gentleman of an estate in land. And might be read in ev'ry face.
8 Pawks] Stratagems. All this the raven saw with pain,
9 Pith] Strength. And strove his credit to regain.
10 Lee] A piece of ground let run into grass Quoth he, “ The solo which ye heard In public shou'd not have appear'd;
11 Fishwife] A woman thats sells fish. It is The trifle of an idle hour,
to be observed that the Scotch always use the To please my mistress once when sour:
word woman. My voice, that's somewhat rough and strong,
1 Drapl] Dropt. Might chance the melody to wrong,
13 Mawkin] Acant name for a hare, like that But, try'd by rules, you'll find the grounds, of Reynard for a fox, or Grimalkin for a cat, &c. Most perfect and harmonious sounds.".
14 Bumbas'd] Astonish’d. He reason'd thus; but to his trouble,
15 Sair] Sore. I shall observe, once for all At every word the laugh grew double.
that the Scotch avoid the vowels o and u; and At last o'ercome with shame and spite,
have in innumerable instances supplied their He flew away quite out of sight.
places with a and e, or dipththongs in which these letters are predominant.
16 But hide and hair] Without hide and hair. THE HARE AND THE PARTAN.
17 Taen] Taken.
18 Naething ither than a stane] Nothing other The chief design of this fable is to give a true than a stone.
specimen of the Scotch dialect, where it may 19 A squunt-wise] Obliquely or asquat. be supposed to be most perfect, namely, in · Wambling] A feeble mution like that of a
woim or serpent. (Pertan] A Crab,
• Gerse and rashes] Grass and sushes. The
TIIE AUTUOR AND A FRIEND.
First thought to rin a for't ; (for bi kind
Which beld them baith, till o'er a duke A hare's nae fechter 33, ye maun mind '^) A herd came stending" wi his tyke, But seeing, that wins aw its strength
And fill'd poor Mawkin, sairly rueen,
Whan furc'd to drink of her ain browin's,
“ Here take your papers."-"Have you look'd To rin a mile of up-bill grund
them o'er?" Before it gets a rig-braid frae 34"
“ Yes, half a dozen times, I think, or more." The place its in, though doon the brac38." “And will they pass ?"-"They'll serve but for a Mawkin withis began to frisk,
day; And thinkin 36 there was little risk,
few books can now do more: you know the way; Clapt baith her feet on Parlan's back,
A trifle's puff'd till one edition's sold, And turn'd him awald 37 in a crack.
In half a week at most a book grows old. To see the creature sprawl, her sport
The penny turn'd 's the only point in view, Grew twice as good, yet prov'd but short.
So ev'ry thing will pass if 'tis but new." For patting wi her firse, in play,
“ By what you say I easily can guess Just whar the Partan's nippers lay,
You rank me with the drudges for the press; He gript it fast, which made her squeel,
Who from their garrets show'r Pindarics down, And think she bourded 39 wi the deil.
Or plaintive elegies to Jull the town."She strave to rin, and made a fistle :
"You take me wrong: I only meant to say, The tither catch'd a tough bur thristle40 :
That ev'ry book that's new will have its day;
The best no more: for books are seldom read; rowel e which comes in place of a is by a meta
The world's grown dull, and publishing, a trade. thesis put between the consonants g and r to
Were this not so, cou'd Ossian's deathless strains, susten the sound.
Of high heroic times the sole remains, " Rin] Run.
Strains which display perfections tu our view, "3 Fechier] Fighter.
Which polish'd Greece and Italy ne'er kuew, ** Ye maun mind] You must remember. With modern epics share one coinmun lot, Ilia:v] With all.
This day applaude: and the next furgot ?" A lether length] The length of a rope used “ Enough of this; to put the question plain, to confine cattle when they pasture to a particu- Will men of sense and taste approve my strain?
Will my old-fashion'd sense and comic ease 77 Boulder] Bolder.
With better judges have a chance to please?” Feeble. Feckful and feckless “The question's plain, but hard to be resolv'd; signify strong and weak, I suppose from the verb One little less important can be solvd : to efici.
The nien of sense and taste, believe it true, .99 kons, or am mistaen] Knows, or I am in a
Will ne'er to living authors give their due, mistake.
They ’re candidates for fame in diff'rent ways; so Gang] Go.
One writes romances and another plays, So Its lane] Alone, or without assistance.
A third prescribes you rules for writing well, S. Steitters] Walks in a weak stumbliug way.
Yet bursts with enry if you shou'd excel. "! All be bund) I will be bound.
Through all fame's walks, the college and the " A rig-braid frae] The breadth of a ridge
court, from. In Scotland about four fathoms.
The field of combat and the field of sport; * Brae) An ascent or descent. It is worth the stage, the pulpit, senate-house and bar, observing, that the Scotch when they mention a
Merit with merit lives at constant war." rising ground with respect to the whole of it,
“ All who can judge affect not public fame; they call it a knau if small, and a hill if great of those that do the paths are not the saine : but if they respect only one side of either, they A grave historian hardly needs to fear call it a brae : which is probably a corruption of The rival glory of a sonnetters: the English word brow, according to the anal gy The deep philosopher, who turns mankind I mentioned before.
Quite inside outwards, and dissects the mind, 30 Thinkin] Thinking. When polysyllables Wou'd look but whimsical and strangely out, terminate in ing, the Scotch almost always ueg- Togrudge some quack his treatise on the gout.”-, lect the g, which softens the sound, , Awald] Topsy-turvy.
superfluous consonants to roughen the sound, dy Fit] Foot.
when such sounds are more agreeable to the * Bourded] To bourd with any person is to roughness of the thing represented. attack him in the way of jest.
* Stending) Leaping. ** Thristle] Thistle. The Scotch, though
4. Tyke] Dog. they commonly affect soft sounds, and throw out *Brewin] Brewing. " To drink of one's consonants and take in vowels in order to obtain own brewing," is a proverbial expression for sufthem, yet in some cases, of which this is an ex- fering the effects of one's own misconduct. The ample, they do the very reverse: and bring in English say, “ As they bake, so let them brew.”
“ Hold, bold, my friend, all this I know, and At first 2 when savage men in quest of food,
Like lions, wolres and tigers, rang'd the wood, An ancient hard · bas told us long before ; They had but just what simple nature craves, And by examples easily decided,
Their garments skins of beasts, their houses That folks of the same trades are most divided. But folks of diff'rent trades that hunt for fame
When prey aboudell, from its bleeding dam Are constant rivals, and their ends the same : Pity would spare a kidling or a lanıb, It needs no proof, you'll readily confess, Which, with their children wurs'd and fed at. That merit envies merit more or less:
home, The passion rules alike in those who share Soon grew domestic and forgot to roa Of public reputation, or despair.
Froin such beginnings flocks and herds were seen Varrus has knowledge, humour, taste, and sense, To spread and thicken on the woodland green: Cou'd purchase laurels at a small expense; With property, injustice soon began, (man. But wise and learn'd, and eloquent in vain, And they that prey'd on beasts now prey'd ou He sleeps at ease in pleasure's silken chain : Cominunities were fram'd, and laws to bind Will Varrus help you to the Muse's crown, In social intercourse the buman kind. Which, but for indolence, might be bis own? These things were new, they had not got their Timon with art and industry aspires
names, To fame; the world applauds him, and admires: And right and wrong were yet uncommon themes Timon has sense, and will not blame a line The rustic senator, untaught to draw He knows is good, from envy or design: Conclusions in morality or law, Some gen'ral praise he'll carelessly express, Of every term of art and science bare, Which just amounts to none, and sometimes less: Wanted plain words bis sentence to declare; But if his penetrating sense should spy
Much more at length to manage a dispute, Such beauties as escape a vulgar eye,
Toclear, inforce, illustrate and confute; So finely couch'd, their value to enhance, Fable was then found out, 'tis worth your heede That all are pleas'd, yet think they're pleas'd by And answer'd all the purposes of pleading. (ing, chance;
It won the head with unsuspected art, Rather than blab such secrets to the throng, Ard touch'd the secret springs that move the He'd lose a finger, or bite off his tongue.
heart : Narcissus is a beau, but not an ass,
With this premis’d, I add, that men delight He likes your works, but most his looking-glass; To have their first condition still in sight. Will he to serve you quit his favourite care, Long since the sires of Brunswick's line forsook Turn a book-pedant and offenci the fair?
The hunter's bow, and dropt the shepherd's Clelia to taste and judgment may pretend;
crook : She will not blame your verse, nor dares com- Yet, 'midst the charms of royalty, their race mend :
Still lores the forest, and frequents the chase. A modest virgin always shuns dispute;
The high-born maid, whose gay apartments shine Soft Strephon likes you not, and she is mute. With the rich produce of each Indian mine, Stern Aristarchus, who expects renown
Sighs for the open fields, the pastral hook, From ancient merit rais'd, and new knock'd | To sleep delightful near a warbling brook ; down,
And loves to read the ancient tales that tell For faults in every syllable will pry,
How queens themselves fetch'd water from the Whate'er he finds is good he'll pass it by.”
well. “ Hold, hold, enough! All act from private If this is true, and all affect the ways
Of patriarchal life in former days, Authors and wits were ever slipp'ry friends :"
Fable must please the stupid, the refin'd, “But say, will vulgar reailers like my lays? Wisdom's first dress to court the op'ning mind." When such approve a work, they always praise." “You reason well, cou'd nature hold her course,
“ To speak my sentiments, your tales I fear Where vice exerts her tyranny by force: Are but ill suited to a vulgar car.
Are natural pleasures suited to a taste, Will city readers, us'd to better sport,
Where nature's laws are alter'd and defac'd? The politics and scandals of a court, [pore, The healthful swain who treads the dewy mead, Well vouch'd from Grub-street, on your pages Enjoys the music warbled o'er his head; For what they ne'er cau know, or knew before?
Feels gladness at his heart while he inhales Many have thought, and I among the rest, The fragrance wafted in the balmy gales. That fables are but useless things at best : Not so Silenus from his night's debauch, Plain words without a metaphor may serve Fatigu'd and sick, he looks upon his watch To tell us that the poor must work or starve. With rheumy eyes and forehead aching sore, We need no stories of a cock and bull
And stagers home to bed to belch and snore; To prove that graceless scribblers must be dull. For such a wretch in vain the morning glows, Thai hope deceives; that never to excel, For him in vain the rernal zephyr blows: 'Gainst spite and envy is the only spellAll this, without an emblem, I suppose
The author speaks of those only who upon Might pass for sterling truth in verse or prose."- the dispersion of mankind fell into perfect barba
Sir, take a seat, my answer will be long ; rism, and emerged from it again in the way Yet weigh the reasons and you'll find them strong. which he describes, and not of those who bað
laws and arts froin the beginning by divine tra! Hesiod.
Gross pleasures are his taste, bis life a chain While moon-struck poets in a wild-goose chase Of feverish joys, of lassitude and pain.
Pursue contempt, and begg'ry, and disgrace.” Trust not to nature in such times as these,
“ Be't so; I claim by precedent and rule When all is off the hinge, can nature please ? A free-born Briton's right, to play the fuol : Discard all useless scruples, be not nice; My resolution's fix'd, my course I'll hold Like some folks laugh at virtue, fatter vice, In spite of all your arguments when told : Boldly attack the mitre or the crown;
Whether I'm well and up, or keep my bed, Religion shakes already, push it down :
Am warm and full, or neither cloth'd nor fed, Do every thing to please? - You shake your head: Whether my fortune's kind, or in a pet, Why then 'tis certain that you'll ne'er succeed : Am banish'd by the laws, or Aed for debt; Dismiss your Muse, and take your full repose; Whether in Newgate, Bedlam, or the Mint, What none will read 'tis useless to compose.”- I'll write as long as publishers will print." “ A good advice! to follow it is bard.
“ Unhappy lad, who will not spend your time Quote one example, name me but a bard To better purpose than in useless rhyme: Whoever hop'd- Parnassus' heights to climb, Of but one remedy your case admits, That dropt his Muse, till she deserted him. The king is gracious, and a friend to wits ; A cold is caught, this med'cine can expel, Pray write for him, nor think your labour lost, The dose is thrice repeated, and you're well. Your verse may gain a pension or a post." In man's whole frame there is no crack or flaw "May Heav'n forbid that this auspicious reigna But yields tu Bath, to Bristol, or to Spa : Shou'd furnish matter for a poet's strain : No drug poetic frenzy can restrain,
The praise of conduct steady, wise, and good, Evin bellebore itself is try'd in vain :
In prose is best express'd and understood. "Tis quite incurable by human skill;
Nor are those sov'reigns blessings to their age And though it does but little good or ill, Whose deeds are sung, whose actions grace thọ Yet still it meets the edge of reformation,
stage. Like the chief vice and nuisance of the nation. A peaceful river, whose soft current feeds The formal quack, who kills bis man each day, The constant verdure of a thousand meads, Passes uncensur'd, and receives his pay.
Whose shaded banks afford a safe retreat Old Aulus, nodding 'midst the lawyers strife, Prom winier's blasts and summer's sultry heat, Wakes to decide on property and life.
Frum whose pure wave the thirsty peasant drains Yet not a soul will blame him, and insist
Those tides of health that flow within his veins, That he should judge to purpose, or desist. Passes unnotic'd; while the torrent strong At this address how would the courtiers laugh! Which bears the shepherds and their flocks along, *My lord, you're always blundering: quit your Arın'd with the vengeance of the angry skies, staff:
Is view'd with admiration and surprise ; You've lost some reputation, and 'tis best Employs the painter's hand, the poet's quill, To shift before you grow a public jest.'
And rises to renown by doing ill. This none will think of, though 'tis more a crime Verse form'd for falshood makes ambition shine, To mangle state-affairs, than murder rhyme. Dubs it immortal, and almost divine; The quack, you'll say, has reason for his killing, But qualities which fiction ne'er can raise He cannot eat unless he earns his shilling. It always lessens when it strives to praise." The worn-out lawyer clambers to the bench “ Then take your way, 'tis folly to contend That he may live at ease, and keep his wench; With those wbo know their faults, but will not The courtier toils for something higher far,
mend." And bopos for wealth, new titles and a star;