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That power is music: far beyond the stretch Unhappy still our poets will rehearse
With you, whom nought that's moral can Good Heaven! we praise them : we, with loud. With you I venture, in plain home-spun sense, est peals
What I imagine of Benevolence.
What strikes you most is the low selfish inind. Of ideot notes iinpertinently long.
You wonder how, without one liberal joy, But be the Muse's laurel justly shares,
The steady miser can his years employ; A poet he, and touch'd with Heaven's own fire, Without one friend, howe'er his fortunes thrive, Who, with bold rage or solemn pomp of sound, Despis'd and bated, how he bears to live. Inflames, exalts, and ravishes the soul;
With honest warmth of heart, with some degree Now tender, plaintive, sweet almost to pain, Of pity that such wretched things should be, In love dissolves you; now in sprightly strains You scorn the sordid knave-He grins at you, Breathes a gay rapture thro' your thrilling And deems himself the wiser of the two.-breasts;
'Tis all but taste, howe'er we sift the case ; Or melts the hearts with airs divinely sad ; He has his joy, as every creature has. Or wakes to horrvur the tremendous strings. "Tis true, he cannot boast an angel's share, Such was the bard, whose heavenly strains of old Yet has what happiness bis organs bear. Appeas'd the fiend of melancholy Saul.
Thou likewise mad'st the high seraphic soul,
Than the dull monarch of a continent.
Can Fortune make one favourite happy ?-Xo.
Without fine nerves, and bosom justly warmd,
Blank as pale stucco Rubens lines the room :
Lost are the raptures of bold Handel's strain ;
Great Tully storms, sweet Virgil sings, in vain, AN EPISTLE TO EUMENES. 1
The beauteous forms of Nature are effac'd;
Tempe's soft charms, the raging wat'ry waste; 1751.
Each greatly-wild, each sweet romantic scene, Kind to my frailties still, Eumenes, hear;
Unbeeded rises, and almost unseen.
Yet these are joys, with some of better clay,
To sooth the toils of life's embarrass'd way.
These the fine frame with charming horrours chill,
And give the nerves delightfully to thrill.
But of all taste the noblest and the best,
The first enjoyment of the generous breast,
Is to behold in man's obnoxious state
Scenes of content, and happy turns of fate. "You cannot say I did it,” if you're sick.
Fair views of Nature, shining works of art, 'Twas ne'er my pride to shine by fashy fits
Amuse the fancy : but those touch the heart.
Chiefly for this proud epic song delights,
For this some riot on th' Arabian Nights.
Each case is ours : avd for the human mind
'Tis monstrous not to feel for all mankind.
Were all mankind unhappy, who could taste
Elysium? or be solitarily blest?
All that or sense or fancy could bestow,
You would reject with sick and coy disdain,
And pant to see one cheerful face again. This little piece was addressed to a worthy But if life's better prospects to behold gentleman, as an expression of gratitude for bis So much delight the man of generous moald; kind endeavours to do the author a great piece How happy they, the great, the godlike few, of service.
Who daily cultivate this pleasing view!
This is a joy possess'd by few indeed!
TASTE. Dame Portune has so many fools to feed,
AN EPISTLE TO A YOCA GOCRITIC. 1753. She cannot oft afford, with all her store, To yield her smiles where Nature smil'd before.
Proferre quæ sentiat cur quisquam l ber dubi. To sipking worth a cordial hand to lend;
tet ? -- Malim, me hercule, solus insanire, quam With better fortune to surprize a friend ;
sobrius aut plebis aut patrum delirationibus iso To cheer the modest stranger's lonely state ;
naviter asseutari.. Or snatch au orphan family from fate ;
Autor anonym. Fragın. To do, possess'd with virtue's noblest fire,
RANGE from Tower-hill all London to the Fleet, Such generous deeds as we with tears admire ; Thence round the Temple l'utmost GrosvenorDeeds that, above ambition's valgar aim,
street: Secure an amiable, a solid fame : (seize; Take in your route both Gray's and Lincoln's lon; These are such joys as Heaven's first farourites Miss not, be sure, my lords and gentlemen ; These please you now, and will for ever please.
You'll hardly raise, as I with Petty 'guess, 'Too seldom we great moral deeds admire ;
Above twelve thousand men of taste ; unless The will, the power, th' occasion must conspire.
In desperate times a connoisseur may pass. Yet few there are so impotent and low,
" A connoisseur! what's that?'" 'Tis hard But can some small good offices bestow.
But you must oft amidst the fair and gay (to say: Small as they are, however cheap they come,
Have seen a wou'd-be rake, a fultering fool, They add still something to the general sum:
Who swears he loves the sex with all bis soul. And him who gives the little in his power,
Alas, vain youth! dost thou admire sweet Jones? The world acquits; and Heaven demands no more.
Thou be gallant without er blood ur bones! I'mhappy he! who feels each neighbour's woe,
You'd split to hear th’insipid coccombery Yet no relief, no comfort can bestow.
“Ah, charming Nancy! 'tis tuo much! I die!" Inhappy too, who feels each kind essay,
“Die and bed---n'd," says one; “ but let me tell ye And for great favours has but words to pay;
I'll pay the loss if ever rapture kill ye." Who, scornful of the patterer's fawning art,
'Tis easy learnt the art to talk by rote: Dreads even to ponr his gratitude of heart ;
At Nando's 'twill but cost you half a groat; (sir; And with a distant lover's silent pain
The Bedford school at three pence is not dear, Must the best inavernents of his soul restrain.
At White's--the stars instruct you for a tester, But men sagacious to explore mankind
But he, wbom Nature never meant to share Trace even the cuyest passions of the inind.
One spark of taste, will never catch it there :Not only to the good we owe rood-will;
Nor no where else ; howe'er tbe booby beau In good and bad distress demands it still. Grows great with Pope, and Horace, and Boileau. This with the generous lays distinction low, Good native taste, though rude, is selulum Endears a friend, and recommends a foe.
Be it in music, painting, or in song. [wrong, Not that resentment ever ought to rise ;
But this, as well as other faculties,
I koow, my dear, 'tis needless to denyih,
What now delights will hardly be endur'd. In vain the gibbet or the pillory claim
The boy may live to taste Racine's finé charms, The wretch who blasts a helpless virgin's fame.
Whom Lee's bald orb or Rowe's dry rapture Where laws are dup'd, 'tis nor unjust nor mean
warms. To seize the proper time for hopest spleen.
But he, enfranchis'd from his tutor's care, An open candid foe I could not hate,
Who places Butler near Cervantes' chair ; Nor even insult the base in humbled state ;
Or with Erasmus can adınit to vie But thriving malice tamely to forgive
Brown of Squalı-hall of merry memory; "Tis somewhat late to be so primitive.
Will die a Goth: and nod at Woden's feast? But I detain you with these tedious lays,
Th' eternal winter long, on Gregory's breast i. Which few perhaps would read, but fewer praise.
Long may he swill, this patriarch of the dull, No matter : could I please the polish'd few
The drowsy mum-But touch not Maro's skull! Whu taste the serious or the gay like yon,
His holy barbarous dotage sought to doom, The squeamish mob may find my verses bare
Good Heaven! th' immortal classics to the Of every grace—but curse me if I care.
tomb !-Besides, 1 little court Parnassian fame ;
Those sacred lights shall bid new genios rise There's yet a better than a poet's name.
When a' Rome's saints bave rotted from the skies. 'Twould more indulge my pride to hear it said, Sir William Petty, author of the Political That I with you the paths of nonour tread, Arithinetic. Than that amongst the proud poetic train 2 Alluding to the Gothic Hearen, Woden's hall; No mudern boasted a more classic vein ;
where the bappy are for ever employed in drinke Or that in numbers I let loose my song,
ing beer, mum, and other comfortable liquors out Smooth as the 'Tweed, and as the Severn strong of the skulls of those whom they had slain in battle.
3 Pope Gregory the VIth, distinguished by the name of St. Gregory; whose pious zeal in the cause of barbarous ignorance and priestly tyranny, exerted itself in demolishing, to the otmost of his power, all the remains of beathea genius.
Be these your guides, if at the ivy crown
Read boldly, and unprejudic'd peruse You aim; each country's classics, and your own. Each fav'rite modern, ev'n each ancient muse. But chiefly with the ancients pass your prime, With all his comic salt and tragic rage, And drink Castalia at the fountain's brim. The great stupendous genius of our stage, 'The man to geuuine Burgundy bred up,
Boast of our island, pride of human-kind, Soon starts, che dash of Methuen in his cup. Had faults to which the boxes are not blind,
Those sovereign masters of the Muses skill His frailties are to ev'ry gossip known : Are the true patterns of good writing still. Yet Milton's pedantries not shock the town. Their ore was rich and seven times purg'd of lead. Ne'er be the dape of names, however high ; Their art seem'd nature, 'twas so finely hid. For some outlive good parts, soine misapply. Though born with all the powers of writing well, Each elegant Spectator you admire; What pains it cost they did not blush to tell. But must you therefore swear by Cato's fire ? Their ease (my lords !) ne'er loung'd for want of Masques for the court, and oft a clumsey jest, Nor did their rage through affectation tire, (fire, Disgrac'd the Muse that wrought the Alchemist. Free from all iawdry and imposing glare “ But to the ancients.”—Faith! I am not clear, They trusted to their native grace of air. For all the smooth round type of Elzevir, Rapt'rous and wild the trembling soul they seize, That every work which lasts in prose or song Or sly coy beauties steal it by degrees; Two thousand years, deserves to last so long. The more you view them still the more they for not to mention some eternal blades please.
Known only now in th’ academic shades, Yet there are thousands of scholastic merit (Those sacred groves where raptur'd spirits stray, Who worm their sense out but ne'er taste their And in word-hunting waste the live-long day) spirit.
Ancients whom none but curious critics scan, Witness each pedant under Bentely bred ; Do read Messalas' * praises if you can. Each commentator that e'er commented.
Ah! who but feels the sweet contagious smart (You scarce can seize a spot of classic ground, While soft Tibullus pours his tender heart? With leagues of Dutch morass so floated round.) With him the Loves and Muses melt in tears ; Witness—but sir, I hold a cautions pen,
But not a word of some hexameters. Lest I should wrong some“ honourable men." “You grow so squeamish and so dev’lish dry, They growenthusiasts too—“'Tistrue! 'tis pity!" You'll call Lucretius vapid next.” Not I. But 'ris not every lunatic that's witty.
Some find him tedious, others think him laine :: Some have run Maro—and some Milton-mad, But if he lags, his subject is to blame. (tried, Ashley once turn'd a solid barber's head:
Rough weary roads through barren wilds he Hear all that's said or printed if you can, Yet still be marches with true Roman pride : Ashley has turn'd more solid heads than one, Sometimes a meteor, gorgeous, rapid, bright,
Let such admire each great or specious name; He streams ath wart the philosophic night. For right or wrong the joy to them's the same.
Find you in Horace no insipid odes? -“ Right !" Yes, a thousand times.-Each fool He dard to tell us Homer sometimes nods; has heard
And but for such a critic's hardy skill That Homer was a wonder of a bard.
Homer might slumber unsuspected still. Despise them civilly with all my heart
Tasteless, implicit, indolent, and tame, But to coaviace them is a desperate part. At second-hand we chiefly praise or blame. Why should you tease one for what secret cause Hence'tis, for else one knows not why or how, One doats on Horace, or on Hudibras ?
Some authors flourish for a year or two: 'T'is cruel, sir, 'tis needless, to endeavour
for many some, more wondrous still to tell ; To teach a sot of taste he knows no flavonr.
Farquhar yet lingers on the brink of Hell. To disunite I neither wish nor hope
Of solid merit others pine unknown ; A stubborn block bead from his fav'rite fop. At first, though Carlos S swimmingly went down, Yes-fop I say, were Maro's self before 'em: Poor Belvidera fail'd to melt the town. For Maro's self grows dull as they pure o'er bim. Suok in dead night the giant Milton lay, But hear their raptures o’er soine specious 'Till Sommer's hand produc'd him to the day. rhyme
But, thanks to Heav'n and Addison's good grace, Dubb'd by the musk'd and greasy mob subiime. Now ev'ry fop is charm'd with Chevy Chace. For spleen's dear sake hear how a coxcomb prates Specious and sage, the sovereign of the flock As clam'rous o'er his joys as fifty cats ;
Led to the downs, or from the wave-worn rock “ Music has charms to sooth a savage breast, Reluctant hurl'd, the tame implicit train To soften rocks, and oaks,”—and all the rest :
the downs, or headlong seek the main. “I've heard”-Bless these long ears :— "Heav'ns As blindly we our solemo leaders follow, what a strain !
And good, and bad, and execrable swallow.
* A poem of Tibullus's in hexameter verse; Then that inimitable Splendid Shilling ! as yawning and insipid as his elegies are tender Rowe breathes all Shakespeare here !—That ode and natural, of Prior
5 Don Carlos, a tragedy of Otway's, now long Is Spenser quite! egad his very fire! - and justly forgotten, went off with great applause; As like”-Yes faith! as gum-flowers to the rose, while his Orphan, a somewhat better performance, Or as to claret flat Minorca's dose;
and what is yet inore strange, bis Venice PreAs like as (if I am not grossly wrong)
served, according to the theatrical anecdotes of Erle Robert's Mice to augbt e'er Chaucer sung. those times, met with a very cold reception,
Pray, on the first throng'd evening of a play And theu to flatter where there's no reward That wears the facies bippocratica ,
Better be any patron-hunting bard, Strong lines of death, sigus dire of reprobation ; Who half our lords with filthy praise besmears, Have you not seen the angel of salvation And sing an authem to all ministers: Appear sublime; with wise and solemn rap Taste th’ Attic salt in ev'ry peer's poor rebus, To teach the doubtful rabble where to clap?- And crown each Gothic idol for a Phoebus. The rabble knows not where our dramas shine; Alas! so far from free, so far from brave, But where the can goes pat-"By G- that's We dare not show the little taste we have,
With us you'll see ev'n vanity control Judge for yourself; nor wait with timid The most refio'd sensations of the soul. phlegm
Sad Olway's scenes, great Shakespeare's we defy: 'Till some illustrious pedant hum or hem. “ Lard, madam ! 'uis so unpolite to cry!The lords who starv'd old Ben were learn’dly fond For shame, my dear! d’ye credit all this stuff?-Of Chaucer, whom with bungling toil they conn'd. I vow-well, this is innocent enough.” Their sons, whose ears bold Milton could not seize, At Athens long ago, the ladies-(married) Would laugh o'er Ben like mad, and snuff and Dreamt not they misbehav'd though they missneeze,
carried, And swear, and seem as tickled as you please. When a wild poet with licentious rage Their spawn, the pride of this sublimer age, Turu'd fifty furies loose upon the stage. Feel to the toes and horns grave Milton's rage. They were so tender and so easy morld, Though liv'd he now he might appeal with scorn Heav'ns! bow the Grecian ladies must have To lords, knights, 'squires, and doctors, yet un
lov'd! Or justly mad, to Moloch's burning fana (born; Por all the fine sensations still have dwelt, Devote the choicest children of his brain.
Perhaps, where one was exquisitely felt. Judge for yourself; and, as you tine, report Thus he who heavenly Maro truly feels, Of wit, as freely as of beef or port.
Stands fix'd on Raphael, and at Haudel thrills. Zounds! shall a pert or bluff important wight, The grosser senses too, the taste, the smell, Whose brain is fanciless, whose blood is white; Are likely truest where the fine prevail : A mumbling ape of taste; prescribe us law's Who doubts that Horace must have cater'd well! To try the poets, for no better cause
Friend, I'm a shrewd observer, and will guess Than that he boasts per ann. ten thousand clear, What books you doat on from your fav'rite mess. Yelps in the house, or barely sits a peer? Brown and L'Estrange will surely charın whomFor shame! for shame! the liberal British soul
e'er To stoop to any stale dictator's rule!
The frothy pertness strikes of weak small-beer. I may be wrong, and often am no doubt, Who steeps the calf's fat loin in greasy sauce But right or wrong with friends, with foes 'twill | Will bardly loathe the praise that bastes an ass. Thus 'tis perhaps my fault if I complain (out. Who riots on scotcht collops scorns not any Of trite invention and a flimsy vein,
Insipid, fulsome, trasby miscellany; Tame characters, uninteresting, jejune, And who devours whate'er the cook can dish up, And passions drily copied from Le Brun 7. Will for a classic consecrate each bishops. For I would rather never judge than wrong
But I am sick of pen and ink; and you
Will find this letter long enough. Adieu !
IMITATIONS OF SHAKESPEARE 6 The appearance of the face in the last stage
AND SPENSER. of a consumption, as it is described by Hippocrates.
7 First painter to Lewis XIV. who, to speak in the following imitation of Shakespeare was one fashionable French English, called himself Lewis
of our author's first attempts in poetry, made the Great. Our sovereign lords the passions,
when he was very young. It helped to amuse Love, Rage, Despair, &c. were graciously pleas- thu solitude of a winter passed in a wild roed to sit to him in their turns for their portraits;
mantic country; and, what is rather particowhich he was generous enough to communicate
lar, was just finished when Mr. Thomson's to the public; to the great improvement, no celebrated poem upon the same subject apdoubt, of bistory-painting. It was he who they
peared. Mr. Thomson, soon hearing of it, say poisoned Le Sueur; who, without balf his had the curiosity to procure a copy by the advantages in many other respects, was so un
means of a common acquaintance. He showed reasonable and provoking as to display a genius
it to his poetical friends, Mr. Mallet, Mr. with which his own could stand no comparison. Aaron Hill, and Dr. Young, who, it seems, la was he and his Gothic disciples, who, with sly
did great honour to it; and the first-mentionseratches, defaced the most masterly of this Le
ed gentleman wrote to one of his friends at Sueur's performances, as often as their barbarous
Edinburgh, desiring the author's leave to envy could snugly reach them. Yet after all
publish it; a request too flattering to youthful these achievements he died in his bed ! A catas.
vanity to be resisted. But Mr. Mallet altered trophe which could not have happened to him in
his mind; and this little piece has hitherto a country like this, where the fine arts are as
remained unpublished. zealously and judiciously patronised as they are Avell understood.
$ See Felton's Classics.
ADVERTISEMENT PROM THE PUBLISHER.
The other imitations of Shakespeare happen to The deep impervious vales that yawn as low
have been saved out of the ruins of an unfi- As to the centre, Nature's vasty breaches. nished tragedy on the story of Terens and while all the pride of men and mortal things Philomela; attempted upon an irregular and Lies whelm'd in Heaven's while ruins. extravagant plan, at an age much too early The shivering clowu digs his obstructed way for such achievements. However, they are Through the snow-barricadoed cottage door; here exhibited for the sake of such guests as
And mufted in his home-spun plaid encounters may like a little repast of scraps.
With livid cheeks and rheum-distilling nose
The morning's sharp and scourging breath; to Now Summer with her wanton court is gone
count To revel on the south-side of the world,
His starving tlock whose number's all too short And Aaunt and frolic out the live-long day.
To make the goodly sum of yester-night: While Winter rising pale from northern seas
Part deep ingurgitated, part yet struggling Shakes from his boary locks the drizzling rheum. With their last pantings melt themselves a grave A blast so shrewd makes the tall-bodled pines
In Winter's bosom; which yields not to the Unsinew'd bend, and heavy-paced bears Of the pale languid crescet of this world, (touch Sends growling to their savage tenements. That now with lean and churlish husbandry Now blows the surly north, and chills through- Yields heartlessly the remoants of his prime; out
And, like most spendthrifts, starves his latter days The stiffening regions; while, by stronger charms For former rankness. He with bleary eye Than Circe e'er or fell Medea brew'd,
Blazons his own disgrace; the harness'd Each brook that wont to prattle to its banks, Rebellious to his blunt defeated shafts; Lies all bestill’d and wedg'd betwixt its banks,
And idly strikes the chalky mountains' tops Nor moves the wither'd reeds: and the rash flood That rise to kiss the welkin's ruddy lips; That from the mountains held its headstrong where all the rash young bullies of the air Buried in lisid sheets of vaulting ice, [course, Momt their quick slender penetrating wings, Seen through the shameful breaches, idly creeps Whipping the frost-burnt villagers to the bones ; To pay a scanty tribute to the ocean.
And growing with their motion mad and furious, What wonder? when the floating wilderness
'Till swoli to tempests they out-rage the thunder; That scorns our miles, and calls geography Winnow the chaffy snow, and mock the skies A shallow pryer; from whose unsteady mirror Even with their own artillery retortel; The high-bung pole surveys his dancing locks;
Tear up and throw th'accumulated hills When this still-raving deep lies mute and dead,
Into the vallies. And as rude hurricanes, Nor heaves its swelling bosom to the wiods.
Discharg'd from the wind-swolo cheeks of HeaThe surges, baited by the fierce north-east,
Buoy up the swilling skirts of Araby's (ren, Tossing with fretful spleen their angry heads
Inhospitable wilds, To roar and rush together,
Anil roll the dusty desert through the skies, Even in the foam of all their madness struck
Choaking the liberal air, and smothering To inonumentalice, stand all astride
Whole caravans at once; such havoc spreads The rocks they washed so late. Such execution, | This war of Heaven and Earth, such sudden ruin So stern, so sudden, wrought the grisly aspect Visits their houseless citizens, that shrink Of terrible Medusa, ere young Perseus
lo the false shelter of the hills together, With his keen sabre cropt her horrid head,
And hear the tempest howling o'er their heads And laid her serpents rowling on the dust; (stone That by and by o'erwhelms them. The very When wandering thro' the woods she frown'd to
birds, Their savage tenants : just as the foaming lion Those few that troop'd not with the chiming tribe Sprung furious on his prey, her speedier power Of amorous Summer, quit their rufhan element; Outrun his haste; no time to languish in, And with domestic tameness hop and flutter But fix'd in that fierce attitude he stands
Within the roofs of persecuting man, Like Rage in marble.-Now portly Argoses (Grown hospitable by like sense of sufferance ;) Lie wedg’d 'twixt Neptune's ribs. The bridg’d | Whither the hinds, the debt o' the day discharg'il, abysm
From kiln or barn repairing, shut the door Has chang'd our ships to horses; the swift bark
On surly Winter; crowd the clean-swept hearth Yields to the heavy waggon and the cart,
And cheerful shining fire; and doff the time, That now from isle to isle maintain the trade; The whilst the maids their twirling spindles ply, And where the surface-haunting dolphin led With musty legends, and ear-patbing tales, Her sportive young, is now an area fit
Of giants, and black necromantic bards, For the wild school-boy's pastiine.
Of air-built castles, feats of madeap knights, Meantime the evening skies, crusted with ice, And every hollow fiction of romance, Shifting from red to black their weighty skirts, And, as their rambling-humour leads them, talk Hang mournful o'er the bills; and stealing night Of prodigies, and things of dreadful utterance, Rides the bleak puffing winds, that seem to spit That set them all agape, rouse up their hair, Their foam sparse thro' the welkin, wbich is no- And make the ideot dmps start from their eyes; thing
Of church-yards belching flames at dead of niglil, If not bebeld. Anon the burden'd Heaven Of walking statues, ghosts unaffable, Shakes from its ample sieve the boulted snow; Haunting the dark waste tower orairless dungeon; That fluttering down besprinkles the sad trees Then of the elves that deftly trip the green, In mockery of leaves; piles up the hills
Drinking the summer's inoonlight from the To monstrous altitude, and chokes to the lips