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mouth theatre he rebuilt about four years since ; everything is very neat; his scenes are fine, and his company a very good one. I saw them perform four pieces with a deal of pleasure, notwithstanding I had often seen the same in London. I remarked here as I had long before done at Bath, that the parts were more equally supported than they often are at Drury lane and Covent garden; for although at those places we have many first-rate actors and actresses, yet sometimes parts are given to such wretched performers as would not grace a barn, which I never saw done at Bath or Weymouth.

In our road home, within half a mile of Dorchester, we stopped and spent half an hour in looking round the famous Roman amphitheatre. It is close to the road on the right hand side, and covers about an acre of ground. It is judged that ten thousand people might without interruption have beheld such exercises as were exhibited in this school of the ancients; it is called Mambury, and is supposed to be the completest antiquity of the kind in England.

I also amused myself, as I travelled through Dorsetshire and Wiltshire, in surveying many of the numerous camps, fortifications, and barrows; which lasting monuments of antiquity are to be seen in abundance in these counties, a great number of them remaining in a perfect state.

Nor could I any longer omit the opportunity of seeing that stupendous piece of antiquity on Salisbury Plain, the famous Stonehenge, two miles from Amesbury. We spent near two hours there in astonishment, and had not night come on, we should not have been able to have parted from it so soon. We found a good inn at Amesbury, which proves very convenient to such whom curiosity may detain on this wonderful spot until it is late. It is remark. able, that although so many able antiquaries have devoted their time and attention to the investigation of Stonehenge, it remains still a matter undecided when and for what purpose this amazing pile was formed ; nor is there less cause of admiration, how stones of such magnitude were brought hither! I.shall not presume either to decide on this curious point, or offer any conjectures of my own.

I have now, sir, not only given you the most material circumstances of my life, but have also superadded a short sketch of some of my travels. And should the fine air of Merton preserve the stock of health and spirits which I have acquired in this last excursion, I intend during the summer to spend a few hours in the middle of three or four days in every week in Chiswell street, devoting the mornings and the remainder of the evenings to my rural retreat.

“ Where Cheerfulness, triumphant fair,
Dispels the painful cloud of care,
Oh sweet of language, mild of mien,
Oh, virtue's friend, and pleasure's queen!
By thee our board with flow'rs is crown'd,
By thee with songs our walks resound;
By thee the sprightly mornings shine,

And evening hours in peace decline.”
As

my house at Merton is not far from the church yard, I was a few evenings since walking in this receptacle of mortality, and recollecting the scene between sir Lucius O’Trigger and Acres, said to myself, “ Here is good snug lying in this place.

So I sat down on one of the graves, and wrote the following lines, which I hope when I am gone to heaven (1 am not in haste) my friends will have engraved on my tomb-stone.

LACKINGTON'S EPITAPH.
Good passenger, one moment stay,
And contemplate this heap of clay;
'Tis Lackington that claims a pause,
Who strove with death, but lost his cause;

A stranger genius ne'er need be,
Than many a merry year was he.
Some faults he had; some virtues too;
(The devil himself should have his due:)
And as dame Fortune's wheel turn'd round,
Whelber at top or bottom found,
He never once forgot his station,
Nor e'er disown'd a poor relation;
In poverty he found content,
Riches ne'er made him insolent.
When poor, he'd rather read than eat;
When rich, books form’d his highest treat.
His first greal wish, to act with care
The several parts assign'd him here;
And, as his heart to truth inclin'd,
He studied hard the truth to find.
Much pride he had, 'twas love of fame,
And slighted gold, to get a name;
But fame herself prov'd greatest gain,
For riches follow'd in her train.
Much had he read, and much had thought,
And yet, you see, he's come to naught;
Or out of print, as he would say,
To be revis'd some future day;
Free from errata, with addition,

A new, and a complete edition. During the winter I purpose spending most of my time in town, where I hope again to enjoy the company of you, sir, and some others of our philosophical friends; and when tired of philosophizing, we will again sing our old verses,

“ What tho' the many wholly bend,

To things beneath our state,
Some poorly to be rich contend,

And others meanly great.
There liv'd a few in ev'ry space,

Since first our kind began,
Who still maintain'd with better grace

The dignity of man."
In the meantime, I am, dear friend, yours.

P. S. I should deem myself deficient in point of justice to the ingenious artist who painted the portrait from whence the engraving affixed as a frontispiece to this volume is taken, if I did not embrace this opportunity of acknowledging the approbation it has been honoured with by all who have seen it, as a striking likeness.

The following circumstance, though to many it may appear in a ludicrous point of view, yet as it is a fact which does not depend solely on my assertion, I shall not heitate to mention it.

Before the portrait was finished, Mrs Lackington, accompanied by another lady, called on the painter to view it. Being introduced into a room filled with portraits, her little dog (the faithful Argus) being with her, immediately ran to that particular portrait, paying it the same attention as he is always accustomed to do the original ; which made it necessary to remove him from it, lest he should damage it; though this was not accomplished without expressions of dissatisfaction on the part of poor Argus.

“ He knew his lord, he knew and strove to meet,
And all he could, his tail, his ears, his eyes,
Salute his master, and confess his joys.

Pope's Odyssey. Those who are conversant in history will not doubt the fact ; several similar instances being recorded of the sagacity and nice discrimination of these animals.

A PRAYER.
"O may my work for ever live!
(Dear friend, this selfish zeal forgive :)
May no vile miscreant saucy cook
Presume to tear my learned book,
To siuge his fowl for nicer guest,
Or pin it on the turkey's breast.
Keep it from pastry bak'd or buying,
From broiling steak, and fritters frying ;

310

THE LIFE OF JAMES LACKINGTON.
From lighting pipes or wrapping spuff,
Or casing up a feather muff;
From all the several ways the grocer
(Who to the learned world's a foe, sir,)
Has found in twisting, folding, packing,
His brain and ours at once a racking :
And may it never curl the head
Of either living block or dead.
Thus when all dangers they have past,
My leaves like leaves of brass shall last.
No blast shall from a critic's breath,
By vile infection cause their death.
'Till they in flames at last expire,
And help to set the world on fire.

Amen.

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