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FIRST PRINTED IN 1774.
After the author's death,
Dr. Goldsmith and some of his friends occasionally dined at the St. James's Coffee-house.-One day it was proposed to write epitaphs on him. His country, dialect, and person furnished subjects of witticism. He was called on for RETALIATION, and at their next meeting produced the fol lowing poem.
OF old, when Scarron his companions invited,
Each guest brought his dish, and the feast was united; If our landlord* supplies us with beef, and with fish, Let each guest bring himself, and he brings the best dish;
Our Deant shall be venison, just fresh from the plains; Our Burket shall be tongue, with the garnish of brains; Our Wills shall be wild fowl, of excellent flavor,
And Dick|| with his pepper shall heighten the savor :
The master ofthe St. James's coffee-house, where the doctor, and the friends he has characterised in this poem, occasionally dined.
Dr. Bernard, dean of Derry in Ireland.
The Right Hon. Edmund Burke.
Mr. William Burke, late secretary to General Conway, and member for Bedwin.
Mr. Richard Burke, collector of Granada.
Our Cumberland's* sweet-bread its place shall obtain,
That Ridge is anchovy, and || Reynolds is lamb;
Here lies the good Dean, ** reunited to earth, Who mix'd reason with pleasure, and wisdom with mirth:
If he had any faults, he has left us in doubt,
Mr. Richard Cumberland, author of the West Indian, Fashionable Lover, the Brothers, and various other productions. (a)
+ Doctor Douglas, canon of Windsor, (now Bishop of Salisbury) an ingenious Scotch gentleman, who has no less distinguished himself as a citizen of the world, than a sound critic, in detecting several literary mistakes (or rather forgeries) of his countrymen; particularly Lauder on Milton, and Bower's History of the Popes.
David Garrick, Esq.
Counseller John Ridge, a gentleman belonging to the
Sir Joshua Reynolds.
An eminent attorney.
** Vide page 53.
(a) Since this note was written of" Calvary, or the death of Christ."
Here lies our good Edmund,* whose genius was such, We scarcely can praise it, or blame it too much; Who, born for the universe, narrow'd his mind, And to party gave up what was meant for mankind. Though fraught with all learning, yet straining his throat,
To persuade Tommy Townsend† to lend him a vote; Who, too deep for his hearers, still went on refining, And thought of convincing, while they thought of dining;
Though equal to all things, for all things unfit,
Here lies honest William, ‡ whose heart was a mint, While the owner ne'er knew half the good that was in't ; The pupil of impulse, it forc'd him along, His conduct still right, with his argument wrong; Still aiming at honor, yet fearing to roam,
The coachman was tipsey, the chariot drove home; Would you ask for his merits? alas! he had none; What was good was spontaneous, his faults were his
Here lies honest Richard, whose fate I must sigh at; Alas! that such frolic should now be so quiet! What spirits were his! what wit and what whim! § Now breaking a jest, and now breaking a limb!
* Vide page 53.
Mr. T. Townshend, member for Whitchurch. + Vide page 53.
Mr. Richard Burke; vide page 53. This gentleman having slightly fractured one of his arms and legs, at different times, the doctor has rallied him on these accidents, as a kind of retributive justice for breaking his jests upon other people.
Now wrangling and grumbling to keep up the ball!
That we wish'd him full ten times a day at Old Nick;
Here Cumberland lies, having acted his parts,
Like a tragedy queen he has dizen'd her out,
His fools have their follies so lost in a crowd
Here Douglas retires from his toils to relax, The scourge of impostors, the terror of quacks : Come all ye quack bards, and ye quacking divines, Come, and dance on the spot where your tyrant reclines: When satire and censure encircled his throne,
I fear'd for your safety, I fear'd for my own ;
*The Rev. Dr. Dodd.
Dr. Kenrick, who read lectures at the Devil Tavern, under the title of "The School of Shakspeare."
Macpherson write bombast, and call it a style,
Here lies David Garrick, describe me who can, An abridgement of all that was pleasant in man; As an actor, confest without rival to shine : As a wit, if not first, in the very first line : Yet, with talents like these, and an excellent heart, The man had his failings, a dupe to his art. Like an ill-judging beauty, his colors he spread, And beplaster'd with rouge his own natural red. On the stage he was natural, simple, affecting ; 'Twas only that when he was off, he was acting. With no reason on earth to go out of his way, He turn'd and he varied full ten times a day : Though secure of our hearts, yet confoundedly sick, If they were not his own by finessing and trick: He cast off his friends, as a huntsman his pack, For he knew when he pleas'd he could whistle them back. Of praise a mere glutton, he swallow'd what came, And the puff of a dunce, he mistook it for fame; 'Till his relish grown callous, almost to disease, Who pepper'd the highest, was surest to please. But let us be candid, and speak out our mind, If dunces applauded, he paid them in kind.
Ye Kenricks, ye Kelly's, † and Woodfalls so grave, What a commerce was your's, while you got and you gave?
* James Macpherson, Esq. who lately, from the force of his style, wrote down the first poet of all antiquity.
Mr. Hugh Kelly, author of False Delicacy, Word to the Wise, Clementina, School for Wives, &c. &c.
Mr. William Woodfall, printer of the Morning Chronicle