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Attentive truth and nature to descry,
What murder'd Wentworth, and what exil'd Hyde And pierce each scene with philosophic eye, By kings protected, and to kings allied ? To thee were solemn toys, or empty show, What but their wish indulg'd in courts to shine, The robes of pleasure, and the veils of woe : And pow'r 100 great to keep, or to resign. All aid the farce, and all thy mirth maintain, When first the college rolls receive his name, Whose joys are causeless, or whose griefs are vain. The young enthusiast quits his ease for fame;
Such was the scorn that fill’d the sage's mind, Resistless burns the fever of renown, Renew'd at ev'ry glance on human-kind; Caught from the strong contagion of the gown: How just that scorn ere yet thy voice declare, O'er Bodley's dome his future labors spread, Search ev'ry state, and canvass ev'ry pray’r. And Bacon's mansion* trembles o'er his head.
Unnumber'd suppliants crowd Preferment's gate, Are these thy views ? Proceed, illustrious youth, Athirst for wealth, and burning to be great; And Virtue guard thee to the throne of Truth! Delusive Fortune hears th' incessant call,
Yet should thy soul indulge the gen'rous heat They mount, they shine, evaporate, and fall. Till captive Science yields her last retreat ; On ev'ry stage the foes of peace attend,
Should reason guide thee with her brightest ray, Hate dogs their flight, and insult mocks their end. And pour on misty doubt resistless day; Love ends with hope, the sinking statesman's door Should no false kindness lure w loose delight, Pours in the morning worshipper no more ; Nor praise relax, nor difficulty fright; For growing names the weekly scribbler lies, Should tempting Novelty thy cell refrain, To growing wealth the dedicator flies ;
And Sloth effuse her opiate fumes in vain; From ev'ry room descends the painted face, Should Beauty blunt on fops her fatal dart, That hung the bright palladium of the place ; Nor claim the triumph of a letter'd heart; And, smok'd in kitchens, or in auctions sold, Should no disease thy torpid veins invade, To belter features yields the frame of gold; Nor Melancholy's phantoms haunt thy shade; For now no more we trace in ev'ry line
Yet hope not life from grief or danger free, Heroic worth, benevolence divine :
Nor think the doom of man revers'd for thee : The form distorted justifies the fall,
Deign on the passing world to turn thine eyes, And detestation rids th' indignant wall.
And pause awhile from letters to be wise ; But will not Britain hear the last appeal, There mark what ills the scholar's life assail, Sign her foes' doom, or guard her fav'rites' zeal? Toil, envy, want, the patron, and the jail. Through Freedom's sons no more remonstrance See nations, slowly wise and meanly just, rings,
To buried merit raise the lardy bust. Degrading nobles and controlling kings;
If dreams yet Matter, once again attend, Our supple tribes repress their patriot throats, Hear Lydiat's life, and Galileo's end. And ask no questions but the price of votes ; Nor deem, when Learning her last prize bestows, With weekly libels and septennial ale,
The glittering eminence exempt from foes ; Their wish is full to riot and to rail.
See, when the vulgar 'scapes, despis'd or aw'd, In full-blown dignity, see Wolsey stand, Rebellion's vengeful talons seize on Laud. Law in his voice, and fortune in his hand : From meaner minds, though smaller fines content, To him the church, the realm, their pow’rs con- The plunderd palace, or sequester'd rent: sign,
Mark'd out by dang'rous parts, he meets the shock, Through him the rays of regal bounty shine ; And fatal Learning leads him to the block: Turn'd by his nod the stream of honor flows, Around his tomb let Art and Genius weep, His smile alone security bestows :
But hear his death, ye blockheads, hear and sleep. Still to new heights his restless wishes tow'r,
The festal blazes, the triumphal show, Claim leads to claim, and pow'r advances pow'r; The ravish'd standard, and the captive foe, Till conquest unresisted ceas'd to please,
The senate's thanks, the gazette's pompous tale, And rights submitted left him none to seize : With force resistless o'er the brave prevail. At length his sov'reign frowns—the train of state Such bribes the rapid Greek o'er Asia whirld, Mark the keen glance, and watch the sign to hate. For such the steady Roman shook the world ; Where'er he turns, he meets a stranger's eye,
For such in distant lands the Britons shine, His suppliants scorn him, and his followers fly; And stain with blood the Danube or the Rhine ; Now drops at once the pride of awful state, This pow'r has praise, that virtue scarce can warm The golden canopy, the glitt'ring plate,
Till same supplies the universal charm. The regal palace, the luxurious board,
Yet Reason frowns on War's unequal game, The liv'ried army, and the menial lord.
Where wasted nations raise a single name ; With age, with cares, with maladies oppressid, And mortgag'd states their grandsires' wreaths regret He seeks the refuge of monastic rest.
From age to age in everlasting debt; Grief aids disease, remember'd folly stings, Wreaths which at last the dear-bought right convey And his last sighs reproach the faith of kings. To rust on medals, or on stones decay.
Speak thou whose thoughts at humble peace repine, On what foundation stands the warrior's pride, Shall Wolsey's wealth with Wolsey's end be thine? How just his hopes, let Swedish Charles decide; Or liv'st thou now, with safer pride content, A frame of adamant, a soul of fire, The wisest justice on the banks of Trent? No dangers fright him, and no labors tire, For, why did Wolsey, near the steeps of fate, On weak foundations raise th' enormous weight?
* There is a tradition, that the study of Friar Bacon, Why but to sink beneath misfortune's blow,
built on an arch over the bridge, will fall when a man With louder ruin to the gulfs below.
greater than Bacon shall pass under it. To prevent so What gave great Villiers to th' assassin's knife, shocking an accident, it was pulled down many years And fix'd disease on Harley's closing life?
O'er love, o'er fear, extends his wide domain, In vain their gifts the bounteous seasons pour,
With listless eyes the dotard views the store, War sounds the trump, he rushes to the field; He views, and wonders that they please no more Behold surrounding kings their pow'rs combine, Now pall the tasteless meats, and joyless wines, And one capitulate, and one resign;
And Luxury with sighs her slave resigns. Peace courts his hand, but spreads her charms in vain; Approach, ye minstrels, try the soothing strain, “ Think nothing gain'd," he cries, “till nought Diffuse the tuneful lenitives of pain: remain,
No sounds, alas! would touch th' impervious ear On Moscow's walls till Gothic standards fly, Though dancing mountains witness'd Orpheus And all be mine beneath the polar sky."
near ; The march begins in military state,
Nor lute nor lyre his seeble pow'rs attend, And nations on his eye suspended wait;
Nor sweeter music of a virtuous friend; Stern Famine guards the solitary coast,
But everlasting dictates crowd his tongue, And Winter barricades the realms of Frost; Perversely grave, or positively wrong. He comes, nor want nor cold his course delay; The still returning tale, and ling'ring jest, Hide, blushing Glory, hide Pultowa's day: Perplex the fawning niece, and pamper'd guest, The vanquish'd hero leaves his broken bands, While growing hopes scarce awe the gath'ring sneer, And shows his miseries in distant lands;
And scarce a legacy can bribe to hear: Condemn'd a needy supplicant to wait,
The watchful guests still hint the last offence; While ladies interpose, and slaves debate. The daughter's petulance, the son's expense, But did not Chance at length her error mend ? Improve his heady rage with treach'rous skill, Did no subverted empire mark his end?
And mould his passions till they make his will. Did rival monarchs give the falal wound ?
Unnumber'd maladies his joints invade, Or hostile millions press him to the ground ? Lay siege to life, and press the dire blockade; His fall was destined to a barren strand,
But unextinguish'd av'rice still remains, A petty fortress, and a dubious hand;
And dreaded losses aggravate his pains; He left the name, at which the world grew pale, He turns, with anxious heart and crippled hands, To point a moral, or adorn a tale.
His bonds of debt, and mortgages of lands; All times their scenes of pompous woes afford, Or views his coffers with suspicious eyes, From Persia's lyrant to Bavaria's lord.
Unlocks his gold, and counts it till he dies. In gay hostility and barb'rous pride,
But grant, the virtues of a temp'rate prime With half mankind embatiled at his side,
Bless with an age exempt from scorn or crime ; Great Xerxes comes to seize the certain prey, An age that melts with unperceiv'd decay, And starves exhausted regions in his way; And glides in modest innocence away; Attendant Flatt'ry counts his myriads o'er, Whose peaceful day benevolence endears, Till counted myriads soothe his pride no more ; Whose night congratulating conscience cheers; Fresh praise is tried till madness fires his mind, The gen'ral sav'rite as the gen'ral friend : The waves he lashes, and enchains the wind ; Such age there is, and who shall wish its end ! New pow’rs are claim'd, new pow'rs are still be. Yet ev'n on this her load Misfortune flings, stow'd,
To press the weary minutes' flagging wings; Till rude resistance lops the spreading god; New sorrow rises as the day returns, The daring Greeks deride the martial show, A sister sickens, or a daughter mourns. And heap their valleys with the gaudy foe; Now kindred Merit fills the sable bier, Th'insulted sea with humbler thought he gains, Now lacerated Friendship claims a tear ; A single skiff to speed his fight remains; Year chases year, decay pursues decay. Th'encumber'd oar scarce leaves the dreaded coast Still drops some joy from with'ring life away ; Through purple billows and a foating host. New forms arise, and diff*rent views engage, The bold Bavarian, in a luckless hour,
Superfluous lags the vet'ran on the stage, Tries the dread summits of Cæsarean pow'r, Till pitying Nature signs the last release, With unexpected legions bursts away,
And bids afflicted worth retire to peace. And sees defenceless realms receive his sway: But few there are whom hours like these await Short sway! fair Austria spreads her mournful Who set unclouded in the gulfs of Fate. cbarms,
From Lydia's monarch should the search descend, The queen, the beauty, sets the world in arms; By Solon caution'd to regard his end, From hill to hill the beacon's rousing blaze In life's last scene what prodigies surprise, Spreads wide the hope of plunder and of praise; Fears of the brave, and follies of the wise! The fierce Croatian, and the wild Hussar, From Marlb'rough's eyes the streams of dotage flow With all the sons of ravage crowd the war; And Swift expires a driv'ler and a show. The baffled prince, in honor's flatt’ring bloom The teeming mother, anxious for her race, Of hasty greatness, finds the fatal doom ;
Begs for each birth the fortune of a face ;
“ Enlarge my life with multitude of days!" Ye nymphs of rosy lips and radiant eyes,
By day the frolic, and the dance by night;
Who frown with vanity, who smile with art, And shuts up all the passages of joy :
And ask the latest fashion of the heart;
What care, what rules, your heedless charms shall Vice always found a sympathetic friend ; save,
They pleas'd their age, and did not aim to mend. Each nymph your rival, and each youth your slave? Yet bards like these aspir'd to lasting praise, Against your fame with fondness hate combines, And proudly hop'd to pimp in future days. The rival batters, and the lover mines.
Their cause was gen'ral, their supports were strong, With distant voice neglected Virtue calls,
Their slaves were willing, and their reign was long : Less heard and less, the faint remonstrance falls; Till Shame regain'd the post that Sense betray'd, Tird with contempt, she quits the slipp'ry rein, And Virtue call'd Oblivion to her aid. And Pride and Prudence take her seat in vain. Then, crush'd by rules, and weaken'd as refin'd, In crowd at once, where none the pass defend, For years the pow'r of Tragedy declin'd; The harmless freedom, and the private friend. From bard to bard the frigid caution crept, The guardians yield, by force superior plied : Till Declamation roar'd whilst Passion slept ; To Int'rest, Prudence; and to Flatt'ry, Pride. Yet still did Virtue deign the stage to tread, Here Beauty falls betray'd, despis'd, distress'd, Philosophy remain'd, though Nature fled. And hissing Infamy proclaims the rest.
But forc'd, at length, her ancient reign to quit, Where then shall Hope and Fear their objects find? She saw great Faustus lay the ghost of Wit; Must dull Suspense corrupt the stagnant mind ? Exulting Folly haild the joyful day, Must helpless man, in ignorance sedate,
And Pantomime and Song confirm'd her sway. Roll darkling down the torrent of his fate?
But who the coming changes can presage, Must no dislike aların, no wishes rise,
And mark the future periods of the stage? No cries invoke the mercies of the skies?
Perhaps, if skill could distant times explore, Inquirer, cease ; petitions yet remain
New Behns, new Durseys, yet remain in store; Which Heav'n may hear, nor deem religion vain. Perhaps where Lear has rav'd, and Hamlet died, Still raise for good the supplicating voice,
On flying cars new sorcerers may ride: But leave to Heav'n the measure and the choice : Perhaps (for who can guess th' effects of chance ?) Safe in his pow'r, whose eyes discern afar Here Hunt may box, or Mahomet* may dance. The secret ambush of a specious pray'r;
Hard is his lot that, here by Fortune plac'd, Implore his aid, in his decisions rest,
Must watch the wild vicissitudes of taste ; Secure, whate'er he gives, he gives the best. With every meteor of caprice must play, Yet, when the sense of sacred presence fires, And chase the new-blown bubbles of the day. And strong devotion to the skies aspires,
Ah! let not Censure term our fate our choice, Pour forth thy fervors for a healthful mind, The stage but echoes back the public voice ; Obedient passions, and a will resign'd;
The drama's laws, the drama's patrons give, For love, which scarce collective man can fill ; For we that live to please, must please to live. For patience, sov'reign o'er transmuted ill;
Then prompt no more the follies you decry, For faith, that, panting for a happier seat,
As tyrants doom their tools of guilt to die ; Counts death kind Nature's signal of retreat : 'Tis yours, this night, to bid the reign commence These goods for man the laws of Heav'n ordain, Of rescued Nature and reviving Sense ; These goods he grants, who grants the pow'r to To chase the charms of sound, the pomp of show gain;
For useful mirth and salutary woe; With these celestial Wisdom calms the mind, Bid scenic Virtue form the rising age, And makes the happiness she does not find. And Truth diffuse her radiance from the stage.
DEATH OF MR. ROBERT LEVET,
A PRACTISER IN PHYSIC.
As on we toil from day to day,
Our social comforts drop away.
THEATRE-ROYAL, DRURY-LANE, 1747.
Then Jonson came, instructed from the school,
The wits of Charles found easier ways to fame, Nor wish'd for Jonson's art, or Shakspeare's flame. Themselves they studied, as they felt they writ; Intrigue was plot, obscenity was wit.
Well tried through many a varying year,
See Levet to the grave descend,
Of ev'ry friendless name the friend.
Yet still he fills affection's eye,
Obscurely wise, and coarsely kind;
Thy praise to merit unrefin'd.
+ Hunt, a fainous boxer on the stage ; Mahomet, a rope. dancer, who had exhibited at Covent Garden theatre tho winter before, said to be a Turk.
When fainting nature callid for aid,
And hov'ring death prepar'd the blow, His vig'rous remedy display'd
The pow'r of art without the show.
His virtues walk'd their narrow round,
Nor made a pause, nor left a void; And sure th’ Eternal Master found
The single talent well employ'd.
The busy day—the peaceful night,
Unselt, uncounted, glided by ; His frame was firm—his powers were bright,
Though now his eightieth was nigh.
In Misery's darkest cavern known,
His useful care was ever nigh, Where hopeless Anguish pour'd his groan,
And lonely Want retir'd to die. No summons mock'd by chill delay,
No petty gain disdain'd by pride, The modest wants of ev'ry day
The toil of ev'ry day supplied.
Then with no fiery throbbing pain,
No cold gradations of decay, Death broke at once the vital chain,
And freed his soul the nearest way.
JOHN ARMSTRONG, a physician and poet, was superior merit. Its topics are judiciously chosen born about 1709 at Castleton in Roxburghshire, from all those which can add grace or beauty to a where his father was the parish minister. He was difficult subject; and as he was naturally gifted brought up to the medical profession, which he with a musical ear, his lines are scarcely ever harsh. studied at the university of Edinburgh, where he In 1760 Dr. Armstrong had interest enough to took his degrees. He settled in London in the double obtain the appointment of physician to the army in capacity of physician and man of letters, and he Germany, which he retained till its return. He then rendered himself known by writings in each. In resumed his practice in London ; but his habits and 1744 his capital work, the didactic poem entitled manners opposed an insurmountable bar against “ The Art of preserving Health,” made its appear popular success. He possessed undoubted abilities, ance, and raised his literary reputation to a height but a morbid sensibility preyed on his temper, and which his subsequent publications scarcely sustained. his intellectual efforts were dampod by a languid It has therefore been selected for this work; and it listlessness. He died in September, 1779, leaving may be affirmed, that of the class to which it be considerable savings from a very moderate income. longs, scarcely any English performance can claim!
They fly thy pure effulgence: they and all
The secret poisons of avenging Heaven,
Of Vice and heedless Pleasure : or if aught
The comet's glare amid the burning sky,
Mournful eclipse, or planets ill combin'd,
Portend disastrous to the vital world ; Hygeia ;* whose indulgent smile sustains | Thy salutary power averts their rage, The various race luxuriant Nature pours,
Averts the general bane: and but for thee And on th' immortal essences bestows
Nature would sicken, nature soon would die. Immortal youth ; auspicious, O descend !
Without thy cheerful active energy
Come then with me, O goddess, heav'nly gay' Diffusest life and vigor through the tracts
Begin the song; and let it sweetly flow, Of air, through earth, and ocean's deep domain. And let it wisely teach thy wholesome laws : When through the blue serenity of Heaven “ How best the fickle fabric to support Thy power approaches, all the wasteful host Of mortal man ; in healthful body how Of Pain and Sickness, squalid and deform’d, A healthful mind the longest to maintain." Confounded sink into the lothesome gloom, "Tis hard, in such a strife of rules, to choose Where in deep Erebus in voly'd the Fiends The best, and those of most extensive use ; Grow more profane. Whatever shapes of death, Harder in clear and animated song Shook from the hideous chambers of the globe, Dry philosophic precepts to convey. Swarm through the shuddering air: whatever plagues Yet with thy aid the secret wilds I trace Or meagre famine breeds, or with slow wings Of Nature, and with daring steps proceed Rise from the putrid wat'ry element,
Through paths the Muses never trod before.
Which taught to check the pestilential fire,
Thou long the fav'rite of the healing powers,
Indulge, 0 Mead! a well-design'd essay, Hygeia, the goddess of health, was, according to the Ilowe'er imperfect: and permit that I genealogy of the heathen deities, the daughter of Æscu- My little knowledge with my country share, la pius; who, as well as Apollo, was distinguished by the Till you the rich Asclepian stores unlock, name of Pæon.
And with new graces dignify the theme.