Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub
[ocr errors]

“Health to the chieftain from his clans. And I think, my Lord Duke, your Grace man true;

hardly would wish From her true minstrel health to fair To cumber your house such a kettle of * BuccleughHealth from the isles where dewy Morning

&c. &c. weaves Her chaplet with the tints that Twilight verse in such easy hands is a leaves" —

very useful instrument for turning

a disagreeable incident into a joke, is a very happy experiment in the poet can be imperious in it them ; but his account of the sea- without giving offence, apologetic serpent in dancing anapæsts better without meanness or servility. suits our purpose, as bearing also Thus in Lockhart's unlucky false upon the late reappearance of that quantity which made such a stir tanialising fable. He writes from over Maida's grave. James BallanKirkwall

tyne had run off post-haste with

the epitaph thinking it Scott's, and “We have now got to Kirkwall, and

printed it with an additional needs I must stare When I think that in verse I have once

blunder of his own. All the newscalled it fair.”

papers twitted the supposed author,

and Lockhart properly desired that He dates August the 13th, 1814. the blame should lie on the right

shoulders. Scott, however, cared “In respect that your Grace has commis

much more for the reputation of his sioned a Kraken, You will please be informed that they son-in-law, the author of Valerius.' seldom are taken ;

than his own, and rattled off an It is January two years, the Zetland folks epistle to Lockhart with many

reasons for letting the matter rest, Since they saw the last Kraken in Scal. loway Bay.

of which the third is— He lay in the offing a fortnight or more, “Don't you perceive that I don't care a But the devil a Zetlander put from the boddle, shore,

Although fifty false metres were flung at Though bold in the seas of the North to my noddle ; assail

For my back is as broad and as hard as The morse and the sea-horse, the grampus Benlomon's, and whale.

And I treat as I please both the Greeks If your Grace thinks I'm writing the and the Romans ; thing that is not,

And fourthly and lastly, it is my good You may ask at a namesake of ours

pleasure Mr Scott

To remain the sole source of that murder(He's not from our clan, though his merits ous measure. deserve it;

So stet pro ratione voluntas—be tractile, He springs, I'm informed, from the Scotts Invade not, I say, my own dear little of Scotstarvit);

dactyl; He questioned the folks who beheld it If you do, you'll occasion a break in our with eyes,

intercourse. Bat they differed confoundedly as to its To-morrow will see me in town for the size.

winter course, For instance, the modest and diffident But not at your door at the usual hour, swore

sir, That it seemed like the keel of a ship, My own pye-house daughter's good prog and no more;

to devour, sir ; Those of eyesight more clear, or of fancy Ergo-peace, on your duty, your squeammore high,

ishness throttle, Said it rose like an island 'twixt ocean And we'll soothe Priscian's spleen with a and sky

canny third bottle ; But all of the hulk had a steady opinion, A fig for all dactyls, a fig for all spondecs, That 'twas sure a live subject of Nep. Afig for all dunces and Dominie Grundys." tune's dominion;

&c. &c.

[ocr errors]

We do not often catch him taking We were cheered by your lantern at night, the high line about himself that And regaled with your rhymes the next really lies hidden under this dispar

morning." agement of his scholarship. Tom We must go back to an earlier Moore has recourse to the epistolary date to find dinners a cheerful subMuse under a very different morti- ject for the poet's muse. When a fication; though there may be many couple of dishes furnished a table tingling sensations after giving a bad to which it was not unbecoming to dinner near akin to the discovery of invite a lord, Matthew Prior could being even party to a false quantity. gaily extemporise an invitation to The man in both cases feels lowered, Harley ; with no fears of a contreand has to give himself a fillip to temps when a joint of mutton and a reinstate himself in his own good ham supplied the board :opinion. The dinner in question "AN EXTEMPORE INVITATION TO THE seems to have been an utter break- EARL OF OXFORD, HIGH TREASUEER, down; and where Luttrell and 1712. brother epicureans were the guests. · "My Lord, all can sympathise in the mishap : Our weekly friends to-morrow meet while it is only given

1 At Matthew's palace in Duke Street,

to poets To try, for once, if they can dine to express in becoming terms a On bacon-ham and mutton-chine. consciousness of disaster. Prose If, wearied with the great affairs apologies in such cases are heavy. .

Which Britain trusts to Harley's cares,

y. Thou, humble statesman, may'st descend aggravations of the original ill-usage. Thy mind one moment to unbend. Moore sitting down after seeing his To see thy servant from his soul guests off, aided by his lantern, and Crown with thy health the sprightly bowl; soothing his spirits by an imitation

Among the guests which e'er my house

Received, it never can produce of Horace, might be glad he was a

Of honour a more glorions proof

0 poet; for what trouble does not in Though Dorset used to bless the roof." à degree dissipate itself under neat definition ?

And when Gay versified the receipt “ That bard had brow of brass, I own,

for stewed veal, we may take for Who first presumed, the hardened granted that the dish so glorified sinner,

would not be lost in a crowd of To ask fine gentlemen from town

rival candidates for favour, but was, To come and eat a wretched dinner; Who feared not leveret, black as soot,

no doubt, a crowning attraction of Like roasted Afric at the head set,

the occasion. “As we cannot enAnd making towards the duck at foot, joy anything good without your

The veteran duck, a sort of dead set; partaking of it,” he writes to Swift, Whose nose could stand such ancient fish

sh " accept of the following receipt for

accent of them
As that we at Devizes purvey
Than which, I know no likelier dish stewed veal :-
To turn one's stomach topsy-turvy."

“The receipt of the veal of Mon&c. &c.

sieur Davaux, Mr Pulteny's cook, and it Luttrell himself could turn a verse. hath been approved of at one of our and was no doubt recompensed in

Twickenham entertainments. The some degree by the opportunity

difficulty of the saucepan I believe

you will find is owing to a negligence afforded for airing his talent, owning

in perusing the manuscript. If I reindeed that your cook was no dab member right, it is there called a stewat her duty," but making the pan. Your earthen vessel, provided answering line “end with poetry, it is close-topped, I allow to be a good friendship, and beauty."

succedaneum :“And then to increase our delight

"Take a knuckle of veal To a fulness all boundaries scorning,

You may buy it, or steal ;

In a few pieces cut it,

In this church he has put
In the stewing-pan put it.

A stone of two foot;
Salt, pepper, and mace

With a cup and a can, sir,
Must season this knuckle ;

In respect to his grandsire.
Then what's joined to a place *

So Ireland change thy tone,
With other herbs muckle,

And cry O hone, o hone!
That which killed King Will, +

For England hath its own."
And what never I stands still;
Some sprigs of that bed

Swift is rarely spoken of in these
Where children are bred ;-

days but as a misanthrope, abhor. Which much you will mend if

ring as well as despising his fellowBoth spinnage and endive, And lettuce and beet,

creatures. Misanthrope as he might With marygold meet,

be towards parties and people he did Put no water at all,

not like or did not know, he could For it maketh things small;

not live without friends, who were Which, lest it should happen,

more necessary to him A close cover cap on.

than they Put this pot of Wood's metal

are to many philanthropists, and In a hot boiling kettle,

more constantly in his mind for their And there let it be

amusement and his own; and trust(Mark the doctrine I teach)

ing,' no doubt, to their immense About- let me seeThrice as long as you preach.||

opinion of his genius, he delighted, So, skimming the fat off,

among other uses of the “Little Say grace, with your hat off.

language,” in stringing together, in Oh, then with what rapture

a sort of horse-play, jingling rhymes Will it fill dean and chapter !”

and interminable lines, in bold deThe mention of Twickenham, fiance of metrical rule, like the folwhere Swift was so keenly missed, lowing, certainly never designed reminds us of Pope's lines suggested for the public eye, though they by the vexed question of his descent. found their way to it:Swift in Ireland was contented to be called an Irishman; but the

“SWIFT'S AND HIS THREE FRIENDS' monument he put up to his grand

INVITATION TO DR SHERIDAN. father in Goodrich (or Gotheridge)

“Dear Tom, this verse, which, however "

the beginning may appear, yet in the Church, to which he also presented

end's good metre, a cup, implies, as Pope also took it, Is sent to desire that, when your august a desire to assert his English origin. vacation comes, your friends you'd He had sent a pencilled elevation

meet here;

For why should stay you in that filthy of the tablet to Mrs Howard, who re

hole--I mean the city 80 smoakyturned it with these lines on it scrib- When you have not one friend left in bled by Pope. The paper was found town, or at least no one that's witty to endorsed in Swift's hand, “ Model joke wi' ye?" of a monument to my grandfather, How he served his friends is shown, with Mr Pope's roguery":

in one instance, by Gay's acknow“Jonathan Swift

ledgments, who attributes to his Had the gift

good offices his appointment to atBy fatheridge, motheridge, tend Lord Clarendon to the House And by brotheridge,

in capacity of secretary. “I To come from Gotheridge, But now is spoil'd clean

am every day," he writes, « attendAnd an Irish dean.

ing my Lord Treasurer for his

* Vulgo salary.
+ Supposed sorrel.

I Thyme or time. § Copper. The allusion is to Wood, the coiner of Irish halfpence, who furnished the text of the Drapier Letters. | “Which we suppose to be near four hours." VOL. CXV.NO. DCCIV.

2 z

[ocr errors]

bounty to help me out, which he “The atrocious, pernicious hath promised me upon the follow- Scoundrel that emptied the till at Mauri

tius.” ing petition, which I have sent him by Dr Arbuthnot:

But we are digressing, and must not "THE EPIGRAMMATICAL PETITION OF

leave the elder generation without JOHN GAY.

one specimen, gathered from his "I'm no more to converse with the letters, of Swift's graver epistolary swains,

style, addressed to the honoured But go where fine people resort.

friend who was emphatically the One can live without money on plains,

poet of the brilliant circle. It is But never without it at court. If, when with the swains I did gambol,

an example of his delightfully easy I arrayed me in silver and blue,

versification, so peculiarly adapted When abroad and in courts I shall ramble, for familiar uses : Pray, my lord, how much money will

“DR SWIFT TO MR POPE, Instead of the terrors of a com While he was writing the Dunciad.' petitive examination, his wardrobe “Pope has the talent well to speak, was obviously Gay's first care on .But not to reach the ear ;

His loudest voice is low and weak, entering the public service : for sub

The Dean too deaf to hear. division of labour is a modern idea.

A while they on each other look, A genius or a clever fellow used to

Then different studies chuse ; be considered fit, and to hold him. The Dean sits plodding on a bookself fit, at a moment's warning, for Pope walks and courts the muse. any employment that would bring Now backs of letters, though design'd him an income. A place or an ap- For those who more will need 'em, pointment, whatever the duties, was Are filled with hints, and interlined, an appropriate recognition of any Himself can hardly read 'em. form of merit or success. Scarcely Each atom by some other struck, more than half a century ago, Theo- All turns and motions tries ;

Till in a lump together stuck, dore Hook was made accountant

Behold a poem rise ! general to the Mauritius, and treasurer to the colony, for rattling off

Yet to the Dean his share allot;

He claims it hy a canon; such verses as these in raicule of That without which a thing is not, the tag-rag deputations to Queen Is causa sine qua non. Caroline :

Thus, Pope, in vain you boast your wit; “A rout of sham sailors

For, had our deaf divine
Escaped from their jailors,

Been for your conversation fit,
As sea-bred as tailors

You had not writ a line.
In Shropshire or Wilts,
And Mark Oldi's smile and her's. Of prelate thus for preaching fam'd
Greeting as Highlanders,

The sexton reason'd well;
Half a score Mile-enders

And justly half the merit claim'd
Shivering in kilts.”

Because he rang the bell." It was a fit sequel to such a choice Amongst epistolary effusions, that the luckless treasurer, having got Gray's lines to Mason must find a the money affairs of the island into place. Whether Mason had any inextricable confusion, was brought idea of editing Shakespeare we canback in disgrace, entertaining his not now remember, but doubtless custodians, and amusing the tedium Gray had been irritated by a good of the voyage by extemporising deal of the criticism laboriously songs, of which himself and his own bestowed on the poet by his numerpredicament was the theme, and ous commentators, and thus exdenouncing

pressed his opinion of their value:

gall

“TO THE REV. WILLIAM Mason. put in my marriage settlement, as a

July 16, 1765.

. provision for my younger daughters."

prov “WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE to MRS ANNE, Editors have been often provocaregular servant to the Rev. Mr Precentor tives of verse. Tom Moore has his of York.

thoughts on editors, though on dif“A moment's patience, gentle Mistress ferent grounds, but mingled in Anne :

his case also with good cheer. (But stint your clack for sweet St Cha. The following querulous effusion

ritie): 'Tis Willey begs, once a right proper man,

fails to distinguish between the Though now a book, and interleav'd, private, the social, and the pubyou see.

lic duties of the critic. “I see my Much have I borne from canker'd critic's Lord Edward,” he writes, “an

spite, From fumbling baronets, and poets

its nounced as one of the articles in the small,

Quarterly,' to be abused of course; Pert barristers, and parsons nothing and this so immediately after my bright;

dinings and junketings with both But what awaits me now is worst of all. 'Tis true our Master's temper natural

Ho editor and publisher." Having Was fashion'd fair in meek, dove-like occasion to write to Murray, he sent guise ;

him the following squib :But may not honey's self be turned to

" THOUGHTS ON EDITORS. By residence, by marriage, and sore

Editur et edit.
eyes?
If then he wreak on me his wicked will. “No, editors don't care a button
Steal to his closet at the hour of prayer;

What false and faithless things they do; And (then thou hear'st the organ piping

They'll let you come and cut their mutton, shrill),

And then they'll have a cut at you. Grease his best pen, and all he scribbles With Barnes I oft my dinner took.

Nay, met er'n Horace Twiss to please Better to bottom tarts and cheesecakes

him; nice,

Yet Mister Barnes traduced my book, Better the roast meat from the fire to For which may his own devils seize save,

him! Better be twisted into caps for spice Than thus be patched and cobbled in With Doctor Bowring I drank tea, one's grave.

Nor of his cakes consumed a particle ; So York shall taste what Clouet never And yet th' ungrateful LL.D. knew,

Let fly at me next week an article. So from our works sublimer fumes shall John Wilson gave me suppers hot, rise ;

With bards of fame like Hogg and While Nancy earns the praise to Shake. Packwood; speare due,

A dose of black strap then I got, For glorious puddings and immortal And after a still worse of Blackwood !'

Alas! and must I close the list

With thee, my Lockhart, of the Quar. “Tell me, if you do not like this," terly!' writes Gray, “and I will send you So kind, with bumper in thy fista worse.". We think them good With pen, so very gruff and tarterly. lines to find their home only in Now in thy parlour feasting me, alattor. and Gray had no ave he. Now scribbling at me from thy garret,

Till 'twixt the two in doubt I be yond his correspondent: and so

so

'Which som

Which sourest is, thy wit or claret." thought Mason, who writes answer, As bad as your verses were, they Byron never made verse his playare yours, and therefore, when I thing. Even where it affected to get back to York, I will paste them be, it was a weapon which would carefully in the first page of my have altogether failed of its purpose Shakespeare, for I intend it to be if it did not find its way and hit far

tear.

[ocr errors]
« ПредишнаНапред »