Page images
PDF

A cook of genius, bid him roast a hare, Where Hell in Heaven's name holds her impious By all that's hot and horrible would swear,

court, Parch native dryness ! zounds, that's not the And the grape bleeds out that black poison, port; thing

Sad poison to themselves, to us still worse, But stew him, and he might half dine a king. Brew'd and rebrew'd, a double, treble, curse. His gen'rous broth I should almost prefer

Toss'd in the crowd of various rules, I find To turtle soup, though turtle travels far.

Still some material business left behind :
You think me nice perhaps : yet I could dine
On roasted rabbit; or fat turkey and chine;
Or fulsome haslet; or most drily cram

The fig, the gooseberry, beyond all grapes,
My throat with tasteless fillet and wet ham :

Mellower to eat, as rich to drink perhaps. But let me ne'er of mutton-saddle eat,

But pleasures of this kind are best enjoy'd, That solid phantom, that most specious cheat ;

Beneath the tree, or by the fountain side, Yet loin is passable, he was no fool

Ere the quick soul, and dewy bloom exbale, Who said the half is better than the whole: And vainly melt into the thankless gale.

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

Who from the full meal yield to natural rest, But I have cook'd and carv'd enough and A short repose ; 'tis strange how soon you'll more,

find We come to drinking next. 'Till dinner's o'er, A second morn rise cheerful on your mind : I would all claret, even champaigu forbear; Besides it softly, kindly, sooths away Give me fresh water-bless me with small-beer. The saddest hour to some that damps the day. But still whate'er you drink with cautious lip ! But if you're coy to sleep, before you spread Approach, survey, and e'er you swallow, sip; Some easy-trotting poet's lines- you're dead For often, o defend all honest throats!

At once : even these may hasten your repose, The reeling wasp on the drench'd borage floats. Now rapid verse, now halting nearer prose; I've known a dame, sage else as a divine, There smooth, here rough, what I suppose you'd For brandy whip off ipecacuan wine;

chuse, And I'm as sure amid your careless glee,

As men of taste hate sameness in the Muse: You'll swallow port one time for cote-rotie.

Yes, I'd adjourn all drinking lill’tis late, But you aware of that Lethean flood,

And then indulge, but at a moderate rate. Will scarce repeat the dose-forbid you should! By Heaven not * * * with all his genial wit, "Tis such a deadly foe to all that's bright, Should ever tempt me after twelve to sit 'Twould soun encumber e'en your fancy's flight :

You laugh-at noon you say: I mean at night, And if 'tis true what some wise preacher says,

I long to read your name once more again, That we our gen'rous ancestors disgrace,

But while at Cassel, all such longing's vain. The fault from this pernicious fountain flows,

Yet Cassel else no sad retreat I find, Hence half our follies, half our crimes and woes;

While good and amiable Gayot 3 is my friend, And ere our maudlin genius mounts again,

Generous and plain, the friend of human-kind; 'Twill cause a sea of claret and champaign

Who scorns the little-minded's partial view; Of this retarding glue to rinse the nation's

One you would love, one that would relish you. brain.

With him sometimes I sup, and often dine, The mud-fed carp refines amid the springs, And find his presence cordial more than wine. And time and burgundy might do great things :

There lively, genial, friendly, Goy and I But health and pleasure we for trade despise,

Touch glasses oft to one whose company For Portugal's grudg'd gold our genius dies.

Would—but what's this?- Farewell—within two O hapless race! O land to be bewail'd!

hours With murders, treasons. horrid deaths appal'd: | We march for Hoxter-ever, ever yours. Where dark-red skies with livid thunders frown.

3 Mons. de Gayot, fils, conseiller d'estat, et While Earth convulsive shakes her cities down;

intendant de l'armée Françoise en Allemagne,

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

THE

POEMS

SAMUEL JOHNSON, LL.D.

THE

LIFE OF JOHNSON,

BY MR. CHALMERS.

THE admission of Dr. Johnson's poems into the supplement to his own collec, tion, published in 1793, renders some account of his life necessary in this place. I am aware that the following is short and may not be thought satisfactory, for what can be satisfactory to those who have read Mr. Boswell's very interesting volumes, and who that has read them is unacquainted with the mind, the habits, the genius of Dr. Johnson ? Still as some account is indispensible to preserve the uniformity of our plan, an attempt has been made to compress the leading events of his life in a short narrative, which may perhaps refresh the memory, although it can add no. thing to the vast fund of information already before the public.

This highly distinguished writer was born on the 18th of September 1709, at Litchfield in Staffordshire, where his father Michael Johnson, a native of Derby, shire, of obscure extraction, was at that time a bookseller and stationer. Hig mother, Sarah Ford, was a native of Warwickshire, and sister to Dr. Ford, phy. sician, who was father to Cornelius Ford, a clergyman of loose character, whom Hogarth has satirized in one of the prints of his Modern Midnight Conversation.

Our author was the eldest of two sons. Nathaniel, the youngest, died in 1737, in his twenty-fifth year. The father was a man of robust body and active mind, yet occasionally depressed by melancholy, which Samuel inherited, and, with the aid of a stronger mind, was not always able to shake off. He was also a steady high-churchman, and an adherent of the house of Stuart, a prejudice which his son outlived in the nation at large, without entirely conquering in himself. Mrs. Johnson was a woman of good natural understanding, unimproved by education, and our author acknowledged, with gratitude, that she endeavoured to instil sen. timents of piety as soon as he was capable of any instruction. There is little else in his family history worthy of notice, nor had he much pleasure in tracing his pedigree. He venerated others, however, who could produce a recorded ancestry; and used to say, that in him this was disinterested, for he could scarcely tell who was his grandfather.

« EelmineJätka »