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FROM THE VICAR OF WAKEFIELD.
Like an ill-judging beauty, his colors he spread, Then what was his failing ? come, tell it, and bum And beplaster'd with rouge his own natural red.
ye,On the stage he was natural, simple, affecting; He was, could he help it? a special attorney. 'Twas only that when he was off he was acting. Here Reynolds is laid, and, to tell you my mind, With no reason on earth to go out of his way, He has not left a wiser or better behind : He turn'd and he varied full ten times a day: His pencil was striking, resistless, and grand, Though secure of our hearts, yet confoundedly sick His manners were gentle, complying, and bland ; If they were not his own by finessing and trick: Still born to improve us in every part, He cast off his friends, as a huntsman his pack, His pencil our faces, his manners our heart : For he knew when he pleas'd he could whistle them To coxcombs arerse, yet most civilly steering, back.
When they judg'd without skill he was still hard of Of praise a mere glutton, he swallow'd what came,
hearing; And the puff of a dunce he mistook it for fame; When they talk'd of their Raphaels, Correggios, and Till his relish grown callous, almost to disease,
stuff, Who pepper'd the highest was surest to please. He shifted his trumpet,f and only took snuff. But let us be candid, and speak out our mind, If dunces applauded, he paid them in kind. Ye Kenricks, ye Kellys,* and Wood fallst so grave,
STANZAS ON WOMAN. What a commerce was yours, while you got and
you gave! How did Grub-street re-echo the shouts that you Wuen lovely woman stoops to folly, rais de
And finds too late that men betray,
What art can wash her guilt away?
The only art her guilt to cover,
To hide her shame from ev'ry eye, Old Shakspeare receive him with praise and with love,
To give repentance to her lover, And Beaumonts and Bens be his Kellys above.
And wring his bosom-is, to die. Here Hickey reclines, a most blunt pleasant
Still importunate and vain,
To former joys recurring ever,
And turning all the past to pain;
Thou, like the world, th' opprest oppressing, And so was too foolishly honest? Ah, no!
Thy smiles increase the wretch's woe! And he who wants each other blessing,
In thee must ever find a foe.
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 cir. From 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 appear. in 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 per. of 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 Loru 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 pen. of 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 this circumstance of his life, which was enhanced which the principal and most admired was “The when he published, in several of his productions, Life of Savage."
arguments which seemed directly to oppose the The plan of his English Dictionary was laid be- rising spirit of liberty. fore 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 wriiGarrick 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 bis tragedy of “Irene." It ranversation. 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, 1783, 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,
Ere masquerades debauch'd, excise oppress'd,
Or English honor grew a standing jest.
A transient calm the happy scenes bestow, IN IMITATION OF THE THIRD SATIRE OF JUVENAL. And for a moment lull the sense of woe.
At length awaking, with contemptuous frown, -Quis inepta
Indignant Thales eyes the neighb'ring town. Tam patiens urbis, tam ferreus ut teneat se?-Juv.
Since worth, he cries, in these degenerate days
Wants even the cheap reward of empty praise ; Though grief and fondness in my breast rebel,
In those curs'd walls, devote to vice and gain,
Since unrewarded science toils in vain;
And every moment leaves my little less ;
While yet my steady steps no staff sustains,
And life still vig'rous revels in my veins ; And, fix'd on Cambria's solitary shore,
Grant me, kind Heaven, to find some happier place Give to St. David one true Briton more. For who would leave, unbrib'd, Hibernia's land, Some pleasing bank where verdant osiers play,
Where honesty and sense are no disgrace; Or change the rocks of Scotland for the Strand ?
Some peaceful vale with Nature's paintings gay; There none are swept by sudden fate away,
Where once the harass'd Briton found repose, But all, whom hunger spares, with age decay:
And safe in poverty defied his foes; Here malice, rapine, accident, conspire,
Some secret cell, ye pow'rs, indulgent give, And now a rabble rages, now a fire ;
Letlive here, for has learn'd to live. Their ambush here relentless ruffians lay, And here the fell attorney prowls for prey;
Here let those reign, whom pensions can incite Here falling houses thunder on your head,
To vote a patriot black, a courtier white ; And here a female atheist talks you dead.
Explain their country's dear-bought rights away,
And plead for pirates in the face of day; While Thales waits the wherry that contains
With slavish tenets taint our poison'd youth,
And lend a lie the confidence of truth.
Let such raise palaces, and manors buy,
Collect a tax, or farm a lottery ;
With warbling eunuchs fill our silenc'd stage, We kneel, and kiss the consecrated earth;
And lull to servitude a thoughtless age. In pleasing dreams the blissful age renew,
Heroes, proceed! what bounds your pride shall hold? And call Britannia's glories back to view;
What check restrain your thirst of pow'r and gold?
Behold rebellious virtue quite o'erthrown, * Queen Elizabeth, born at Greenwich. Behold our fame, our wealth, our lives your own
To such, the plunder of a land is giv'n,
Well may they venture on the mimic's art, When public crimes inflame the wrath of Heaven: Who play from morn to night a borrow'd part ; But what, my friend, what hope remains for me, Practis'd their master's notions to embrace, Who start at theft, and blush at perjury? 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;
And view each object with another's eye; A statesman's logic unconvinc'd can hear, To shake with laughter ere the jest they hear, And dare to slumber o'er the Gazetteer;
To pour at will the counterfeited tear; Despise a fool in half his pension dréss'd,
And, as their patron hints the cold or heat, And strive in vain to laugh at Clodio's jest. To shake in dog-days, in December sweat. Others with softer smiles, and subtle art,
How, when competitors like these coniend, Can sap the principles, or taint the heart; Can surly virtue hope to fix a friend ; With more address a lover's note convey,
Slaves that with serious impudence beguile, Or bribe a virgin's innocence away:
And lie without a blush, without a smile: Well may they rise, while I, whose rustic tongue Exalt each trifle, ev'ry vice adore, Ne'er knew to puzzle right, or varnish wrong, Your taste in snuff, your judgment in a whore; Spurn'd as a beggar, dreaded as a spy,
Can Balbo's eloquence applaud, and swear Live unregarded, unlamented die.
He gropes his breeches with a monarch's air. For what but social guilt the friend endears? For arts like these preferr'd, admir'd, caress'd, Who shares Orgilio's crimes, his fortune shares. They first invade your table, then your breast; But thou, should templing villany present Explore your secrets with insidious art, All Marlb'rough hoarded, or all Villiers spent, Watch the weak hour, and ransack all the heart Turn from the glittering bribe thy scornful eye, Then soon your ill-plac'd confidence repay, Nor sell for gold, what gold could never buy, Commence your lords, and govern or betray. The peaceful slumber, self-approving day,
By numbers here from shame or censure free, Unsullied fame, and conscience ever gay.
All crimes are safe but hated poverty. The cheated nation's happy fav'rites, see! This, only this, the rigid law pursues, Mark whom the great caress, who frown on me! This, only this, provokes the snarling Muse. London! the needy villain's gen'ral home, The sober trader at a tatter'd cloak The common-sewer of Paris and of Rome; Wakes from his dream, and labors for a joke ; With eager thirst, by folly or by fate,
With brisker air the silken courtiers gaze, Sucks in the dregs of each corrupted state. And turn the varied launt a thousand ways. Forgive my transports on a theme like this, Of all the griefs that harass the distress'd, I cannot bear a French metropolis.
Sure the most bitter is a scornful jest ; Illustrious Edward! from the realms of day, Fate never wounds more deep the gen'rous heart, The land of heroes and of saints survey ;
Than when a blockhead's insult points the dart. Nor hope the British lineaments to trace,
Has Heaven reserv'd, in pity to the poor, The rustic grandeur, or the surly grace ; No pathless waste, or undiscover'd shore ? But, lost in thoughtless ease and empty show, No secret island in the boundless main ? Behold the warrior dwindled to a beau;
No peaceful desert yet unclaim'd by Spain ? Sense, freedom, piety, refin'd away,
Quick let us rise, the happy seats explore, of France the mimic, and of Spain the prey. And bear oppression's insolence no more.
All that at home no more can beg or steal, This mournful truth is everywhere confess'd, Or like a gibbet better than a wheel :
Slow rises worth by poverty depress'd : Hiss'd from the stage, or hooted from the court, But here more slow, where all are slaves to gold, Their air, their dress, their politics, import; Where looks are merchandise, and smiles are sold : Obsequious, artful, voluble, and gay,
Where won by bribes, by flatteries implor'd, On Britain's fond credulity they prey.
The groom retails the favors of his lord. No gainful trade their industry can 'scape,
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 : clap:
Rais'd from some pleasing dream of wealth and All sciences a fasting Monsieur knows,
pow'r, And, bid him go to Hell, to Hell he goes.
Some pompous palace or some blissful bower, Ah! what avails it, that, from slav'ry far, Aghast you start, and scarce with aching sight I drew the breath of life in English air;
Sustain th' approaching fire's tremendous light; Was early taught a Briton's right to prize, Swift from pursuing horrors take your way, And lisp the tale of Henry's victories ;
And leave your little all to flames a prey ; If the gulld conqueror receives the chain, Then through the world a wretched vagrant roam And flattery prevails when arms are vain ? For where can starving merit find a home ?
Studious to please, and ready to submit; In vain your mournful narrative disclose, The supple Gaul was born a parasite :
While all neglect, and most insult your woes. Still to his int'rest true, where'er he goes,
Should Heaven's just bolts Orgilio's wealth con. Wit, brav'ry, worth, his lavish tongue bestows :
found, In ev'ry face a thousand graces shine,
And spread his flaming palace on the ground, From ev'ry tongue flows harmony divine.
Swift o'er the land the dismal rumor flies, These aris in vain our rugged natives try, And public mournings pacify the skies; Strain out with falt'ring diffidence a lie,
The laureate tribe in venal verse relate, And get a kick for awkward flattery.
How virtue wars with persecuting fate; Besides, with justice, this discerning age With well-feign'd gratitude the pension’d band Admires their wondrous talents for the stage : Refund the plunder of the beggar'd land.
See! while he builds, the gaudy vassals come,
VANITY OF HUMAN WISHES.
IN IMITATION OF THE TENTU SATIRE OF JUVEXAL The polish'd marble and the shining plate, Orgilio sees the golden pile aspire,
LET observation, with extensive view, And hopes from angry Heav'n another fire.
Survey mankind from China to Peru ; Couldst thou resign the park and play content, Remark each anxious toil, each eager strife, For the fair banks of Severn or of Trent;
And watch the busy scenes of crowded life; There might'st thou find some elegant retreat,
Then say how hope and fear, desire and hate, Some hireling senator's deserted seat;
O'erspread with snares the clouded maze of fate, And stretch thy prospects o'er the smiling land,
Where wav'ring man, betray'd by vent'rous pride For less than rent the dungeons of the Strand; To chase the dreary paths without a guide, There prune thy walk, support thy drooping As treach'rous phantoms in the mist delude, flowers,
Shuns fancied ills, or chases airy good ; Direct thy rivulets, and twine thy bowers;
How rarely reason guides the stubborn choice, And, while thy grounds a cheap repast afford, Rules the bold hand, or prompts the suppliant voice; Despise the dainties of a venal lord :
How nations sink by darling schemes oppress d, There ev'ry bush with Nature's music rings,
When vengeance listens to the fool's request. There ev'ry breeze bears health upon its wings; Fate wings with ev'ry wish th' afflictive dart, On all thy hours security shall smile,
Each gift of nature and each grace of art;
Impeachment stops the speaker's pow'rful breath,
But, scarce observ'd, the knowing and the bold Some frolic drunkard, reeling from a feast, Fall in the gen'ral massacre of gold; Provokes a broil, and stabs you for a jest.
Wide-wasting pest! that rages unconfind, Yet ev'n these heroes, mischievously gay;
And crowds with crimes the records of mankind. Lords of the street and terrors of the way ; For gold his sword the hireling ruffian draws, Flush'd as they are with folly, youth, and wine, For gold the hireling judge distorts the laws; Their prudent insults to the poor confine ; Wealth heap'd on wealth, nor truth nor safety buys, Afar they mark the flambeau's bright approach, The dangers gather as the treasures rise. And shun the shining train, and golden coach. Let hist’ry tell where rival kings command,
In vain, these dangers past, your doors you close, And dubious title shakes the madded land, And hope the balmy blessings of repose ;
When statutes glean the refuse of the sword, Cruel with guilt, and daring with despair, How much more safe the vassal than the lord ; The midnight murd'rer bursts the faithless bar; Low skulks the hind beneath the rage of power, Invades the sacred hour of silent rest,
And leaves the wealthy traitor in the Tower, And leaves, unseen, a dagger in your breast. Untouch'd his collage, and his slumbers sound,
Scarce can our fields, such crowds at Tyburn die, Though confiscation's vultures hover round. With hemp the gallows and the fleet supply. The needy traveller, serene and gay, Propose your schemes, ye senatorian band, Walks the wild heath and sings his toil away. Whose ways and means support the sinking land, Does envy seize thee? crush th' upbraiding joy, Lest ropes be wanting in the tempting spring, Increase his riches, and his peace destroy ; To rig another convoy for the king.
Now fears in dire vicissitude invade, A single jail, in Alfred's golden reign, The rustling brake alarms, and quiv'ring shade, Could half the nation's criminals contain ;
Nor light nor darkness bring his pain relief, Fair Justice, then, without constraint ador'd, One shows the plunder, and one hides the thief. Held high the steady scale, but sheath'd the sword;
Yet still one gen’ral cry the skies assails, No spies were paid, no special juries known, And gain and grandeur load the tainted gales; Blest age! but ah! how diff'rent from our own! Few know the toiling statesman's fear or care, Much could I add,-but see the boat at hand,
Th’insidious rival and the gaping heir. The tide retiring calls me from the land :
Once more, Democritus, arise on Earth, Farewell!— When youth, and health, and fortune With cheerful wisdom and instructive mirih, spent,
See motley life in modern trappings dressid, Thou fly'st for refuge to the wilds of Kent;
And feed with varied fools th' eternal jest: And, tir'd like me with follies and with crimes,
Thou who couldst laugh, where want enchain'd In angry numbers warn'st succeeding times;
Where ne'er was known the form of mock debate,