« EelmineJätka »
Like gentle rains, on the dry plains,
Making that green which late was gray,
With a broad light like day.
For language was in Peter's hand,
Like clay, while he was yet a potter ; And he made songs for all the land, Sweet both to feel and understand,
As pipkins late to mountain cotter.
And Mr. the bookseller,
Gave twenty pounds for some ;-then scorning A footman's yellow coat to wear, Peter, too proud of heart, I fear,
Instantly gave the Devil warning.
Whereat the Devil took offence,
And swore in his soul a great oath then, “ That for his damned impertinence, He'd bring him to a proper sense
Of what was due to gentlemen!"
PART THE SIXTH.
“ O THAT mine enemy had written
A book !"--cried Job :-a fearful curse ; If to the Arab, as the Briton, 'Twas galling to be critic-bitten :
The Devil to Peter wished no worse.
When Peter's next new book found vent,
The Devil to all the first Reviews A copy
of it slily sent, With five-pound note as compliment,
And this short notice" Pray abuse."
Then seriatim, month and quarter,
Appeared such mad tirades.—One said “ Peter seduced Mrs. Foy's daughter, Then drowned the mother in Ullswater,
The last thing as he went to bed.”
Another Let him shave his head !
Where's Dr. Willis ?-Or is he joking! What does the rascal mean or hope, No longer imitating Pope,
In that barbarian Shakspeare poking ?'
6 Is incest not enough, And must there be adultery too ? Grace after meat ? Miscreant and Liar! Thief! Blackguard! Scoundrel! Fool! Hell-fire
Is twenty times too good for you.
By that last book of yours we think
You ’ve double damned yourself to scorn ; We warned you whilst yet on the brink . You stood. From your black name will shrink
The babe that is unborn."
All these Reviews the Devil made
Up in a parcel, which he had Safely to Peter's house conveyed. For carriage, ten-pence Peter paid
Untied them-read them-went half-mad.
“What !” cried he, “ this is my reward
For nights of thought, and days of toil ?
Consume their spirits' oil ?
4 What have I done to them ?-and who
Is Mrs. Foy? 'Tis very cruel To speak of me and Emma so ! Adultery! God defend me! O
I've half a mind to fight a duel.
« Or,” cried he, a grave look collecting,
“Is it my genius, like the moon, Sets those who stand her face inspecting, That face within their brain reflecting,
Like a crazed bell-chime, out of tune ?”
For Peter did not know the town,
But thought, as country readers do,
From God's own voice * in a review.
All Peter did on this occasion
Was, writing some sad stuff in prose.
Is to delight, not pose.
The Devil then sent to Leipsic fair,
For Born's translation of Kant's book ; A world of words, tail foremost, where Right, wrong, false, true, and foul, and fair
As in a lottery-wheel are shook ;
Five thousand crammed octavo pages
Of German psychologics,-he Who his furor verborum assuages
* Vox populi vox Dei: as Mr. Godwin truly observes of a more famous saying, of some merit as a popular maxim, boste totally destitute of philosophical accuracy. VOL. III.
Thereon, deserves just seven months' wages
More than will e'er be due to me.
I looked on them nine several days,
And then I saw that they were bad; A friend, too, spoke in their dispraise, He never read them ;--with amaze.
I found Sir William Drummond had.
When the book came, the Devil sent
It to P. Verbovale,* Esquire,
And set his soul on fire,—
Fire, which ex luce præbens fumum,
Made him beyond the bottom see Of truth's clear well—when I and you
Ma'am, Go, as we shall do, subter humum,
We may know more than he.
Now Peter ran to seed in soul
Into a walking paradox ;
-Among the woods and rocks
* Quasi, Qui valet verba :-i. e. all the words which have been, are, or may be expended by, for, against, with, or on him—a sufficient proof of the utility of this history. Peter's progenitor who selected this name seems to have possessed a pure anticipated cognition of the nature and modesty of this ornament of his posterity.