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Like an ill-judging beauty, his colours he spread,
And beplaster'd with rouge his own natural red.
On the stage he was natural, simple, affecting;
'T was 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
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 Kellys, and Woodfalls + so grave,
What a commerce was yours, while you got and
How did Grub-street re-echo the shouts that you
While he was be-Roscius'd, and you were be-
But peace to his spirit, wherever it flies,
To act as an angel and mix with the skies:
Those poets who owe their best fame to his skill
Shall still be his flatterers, go where he will: [love,
Old Shakspeare receive him with praise and with
And Beaumonts and Bens be his Kellys above.
Here Hickey reclines, a most blunt pleasant creature,
And slander itself must allow him good-nature:
He cherish'd his friend, and he relish'd a bumper :
Yet one fault he had, and that one was a thumper.
Perhaps you may ask if the man was a miser ?
I answer, no, no, for he always was wiser:
Too courteous, perhaps, or obligingly flat?
His very worst foe can't accuse him of that:
Perhaps he confided in men as they go,
And so was too foolishly honest? Ah, no!
• Mr. Hugh Kelly, author of False Delicacy, A Word to the Wise, Clementina, School for Wives, &c. &c.
Then what was his failing? come, tell it, and burn ye,
He was, could he help it? a special attorney.
Here Reynolds is laid, and, to tell you my mind, He has not left a wiser or better behind: His pencil was striking, resistless, and grand, His manners were gentle, complying, and bland; Still born to improve us in every part, His pencil our faces, his manners our heart: To coxcombs averse, yet most civilly steering, When they judg'd without skill he was still hard of hearing; land staf When they talk'd of their Raphaels, Correggio He shifted his trumpet ‡, and only took snuff.
FROM THE VICAR OF WAKEFIELD.
WHEN lovely woman stoops to folly, And finds too late that men betray, What charm can soothe her melancholy, What art can wash her guilt away?
The only art her guilt to cover,
To hide her shame from ev'ry eye, To give repentance to her lover, And wring his bosomis, to die.
O MEMORY! thou fond deceiver,
Still importunate and vain,
To former joys recurring ever,
And turning all the past to pain;
Thou, like the world, th' opprest oppressing
Thy smiles increase the wretch's woe!
And he who wants each other blessing,
In thee must ever find a foe.
Sir Joshua Reynolds was so remarkalily un
Mr. W. Woodfall, printer of the Morning as to be under the necessity of using an ear tr Chronicle.
SAMUEL JOHNSON, a writer of great eminence, was born in 1709 at Litchfield, in which city his father was a petty bookseller. After a desultory course of school-education, it was proposed to him, by Mr. Corbet, a neighbouring gentleman, that he should accompany his own son to Oxford as his companion; accordingly, in his nineteenth year, he was elected a commoner of Pembroke college. From young Corbet's departure, he was left to struggle with penury till he had completed a residence of three years, when he quitted Oxford without taking a degree. His father died, in very narrow circumstances, soon after his return from the university; and for some time he attempted to gain a maintenance by some literary projects. At length, in 1735, he thought proper to marry a widow twice his own age, and far from attractive, either in her person or manners. By the aid of her fortune he was enabled to set up a school for instruction in Latin and Greek, but the plan did not succeed; and after a year's experiment, he resolved to try his fortune in the great metropolis. Garrick, afterwards the celebrated actor, had been one of his pupils, accompanied by whom he arrived in London; Johnson having in his pocket his unfinished tragedy of Irene. The first notice which he drew from the judges of literary merit, was by the publication of "London, a Poem," in imitation of Juvenal's third satire. The manly vigour, and strong painting of this performance, placed it high among works of its kind, though it must be allowed, that its censure is coarse and exaggerated, and that it ranks rather as a party, than as a moral poem. It was published in 1738. For some years Johnson is chiefly to be traced in the pages of the Gentleman's Magazine, then conducted by Cave; and it was for this work that he gratified the public with some extraordinary pieces of eloquence which he composed under the disguise of debates in the senate of Liliput, meaning the British parliament. He likewise wrote various biographical articles for the same miscellany, of which the principal and most admired was "The Life of Savage."
The plan of his English Dictionary was laid before the public in a letter addressed to Lord Chesterfield in 1747. In the same year he furnished Garrick with a prologue on the opening of Drurylane theatre, which in sense and poetry has not a competitor among compositions of this class, excepting Pope's prologue to Cato. Another imitation of Juvenal, entitled "The Vanity of Human Wishes," was printed in 1749, and may be said to reach the sublime of ethical poetry, and to stand at the head of classical imitations. The same year, under the auspices of Garrick, brought on the stage of Drury-lane his tragedy of " Irene." It
ran thirteen nights, but has never since appeared on the theatre: Johnson, in fact, found that he was not formed to excel on the stage, and made no further trials.
His periodical paper, entitled "The Rambler," appeared in March 1750, and was continued till March 1752. The solemnity of this paper prevented it at first from attaining an extensive circulation; but after it was collected into volumes, it continually rose in the public esteem, and the author had the satisfaction of seeing a tenth edition. The "Adventurer," conducted by Dr. Hawkesworth, succeeded the Rambler, and Johnson contributed several papers of his own writing. In 1755, the first edition of his " Dictionary" made its appearance. It was received by the public with general applause, and its author was ranked among the greatest benefactors of his native tongue. Modern accuracy, however, has given an insight into its defects; and though it still stands as the capital work of the kind in the language, its authority as a standard is somewhat depreciated. Upon the last illness of his aged mother, in 1759, for the purpose of paying her a visit, and defraying the expense of her funeral, he wrote his romance of "Rasselas, Prince of Abyssinia," one of his most splendid performances, elegant in language, rich in imagery, and weighty in sentiment. Its views of human life are, indeed, deeply tinged with the gloom that overshadowed the author's mind; nor can it be praised for moral effect.
Soon after the accession of the late king, a grant of a pension of 300l. per annum was made him by His Majesty during the ministry of Lord Bute. A short struggle of repugnance to accept a favour from the House of Hanover was overcome by a sense of the honour and substantial benefit conferred by it, and he became that character, a pensioner, on which he had bestowed a sarcastic definition in his Dictionary. Much obloquy attended this circumstance of his life, which was enhanced when he published in several of his productions, arguments which seemed directly to oppose the rising spirit of liberty.
A long-promised edition of Shakspeare appeared in 1765; but though ushered in by a preface written with all the powers of his masterly pen, the edition itself disappointed those who expected much from his ability to elucidate the obscurities of the great dramatist. A tour to the Western Islands of Scotland in 1773, in which he was attended by his enthusiastic admirer and obsequious friend, James Boswell, Esq. was a remarkable incident of his life, considering that a strong antipathy to the natives of that country had long been conspicuous in his conversation. But when, two years afterwards, he
symptoms, followed; and such was the tenacity with which he clung to life, that he expressed a grea desire to seek for amendment in the climate of Italy. Still unable to reconcile himself to the thought of dying, he said to the surgeon who was making slight scarifications in his swollen legs,
published the account of his tour, under the title of "A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland," more candour and impartiality were found in it, than had been expected. In 1775, he was gratified, through the interest of Lord North, with the degree of Doctor of Laws, from the University of Oxford. He had some years before received the same honour" Deeper! deeper! I want length of life, and you from Dublin, but did not then choose to assume the title. His last literary undertaking was the consequence of a request from the London booksellers, who had engaged in an edition of the principal English poets, and wished to prefix to each a biographical and critical preface from his hand. This he undertook; and though he will generally be thought to have laboured under strong prejudices in composing the work, its style will be found, in great measure, free from the stiffness and turgidity which marked his earlier compositions.
The concluding portion of Dr. Johnson's life was saddened by a progressive decline of health, and by the prospect of approaching death, which neither his religion nor his philosophy had taught him to bear with even decent composure. A paralytic stroke first gave the alarm; asthma, and dropsical
are afraid of giving me pain, which I do not value." The closing scene took place on Docen ber 13. 1785, in the 76th year of his age. His remains, attended by a respectable concourse of friends, were interred in Westminster Abbey; and a monumental statue has since been placed to ha memory in St. Paul's cathedral. His works were published collectively in eleven volumes, 8vo, vid a copious life of the author, by Sir John Hawkins A new edition, in twelve volumes, with a life, w given by Arthur Murphy. Of the conversatics and oral dictates of Johnson, a most copious cal lection has been published in the very entertaining volumes of Mr. Boswell. Upon the whole, it may be said, that at the time of his death, he was us doubtedly the most conspicuous literary character of his country.
IN IMITATION OF THE THIRD SATIRE OF JUVENAL.
- Quis ineptæ
Tam patiens urbis, tam ferreus ut teneat se? Juv.
THO' grief and fondness in my breast rebel,
When injur'd Thales bids the town farewell,
Yet still my calmer thoughts his choice commend,
I praise the hermit, but regret the friend,
Resolv'd at length from vice and London far
To breathe in distant fields a purer air,
And fix'd on Cambria's solitary shore,
Give to St. David one true Briton more.
For who would leave, unbrib'd, Hibernia's land,
Or change the rocks of Scotland for the Strand?
There none are swept by sudden fate away,
But all, whom hunger spares, with age decay:
Here malice, rapine, accident, conspire,
And now a rabble rages, now a fire;
Their ambush here relentless ruffians lay,
And here the fell attorney prowls for prey;
Here falling houses thunder on your head,
And here a female atheist talks you dead.
While Thales waits the wherry that contains
Of dissipated wealth the small remains,
On Thames's banks, in silent thought, we stood
Where Greenwich smiles upon the silver flood;
Struck with the seat that gave Eliza birth,
We kneel, and kiss the consecrated earth;
In pleasing dreams the blissful age renew,
And call Britannia's glories back to view;
* Queen Elizabeth, born at Greenwich.
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 honour grew a standing jest.
A transient calm the happy scenes bestow,
And for a moment luil the sense of woe.
At length awaking, with contemptuous frown,
Indignant Thales eyes the neighb'ring town
Since worth, he cries, in these degenerate days
Wants even the cheap reward of empty praise;
In those curs'd walls, devote to vice and gaia,
Since unrewarded science toils in vain;
Since hope but soothes to double my distress,
And every moment leaves my little less;
While yet my steady steps no staff sustains,
And life still vig'rous revels in my veins;
kind Heaven, to find some happier pace
Where honesty and sense are no disgrace;
Some pleasing bank where verdant osiers play.
Some peaceful vale with Nature's paintings gay.
Where once the harass'd Briton found repose,
And safe in poverty defy'd his foes;
Some secret cell, ye pow'rs, indulgent give,
Let live here, for -has learn'd to live.
Here let those reign, whom pensions can incite
To vote a patriot black, a courtier white,
Explain their country's dear-bought rights away,
And plead for pirates in the face of day;
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 silene'd stage,
And lull to servitude a thoughtless age.
Heroes, proceed! what bounds your pride
What check restrain your thirst of pow'r and gu
Behold rebellious virt
Behold our fame
lives your ava
To such, the plunder of a land is giv'n,
When public crimes inflame the wrath of Heaven :
But what, my friend, what hope remains for me,
Who start at theft, and blush at perjury?
Who scarce forbear, tho' Britain's court he sing,
To pluck a titled poet's borrow'd wing;
A statesman's logic unconvinc'd can hear,
And dare to slumber o'er the Gazetteer;
Despise a fool in half his pension dress'd,
And strive in vain, to laugh at Clodio's jest.
Others with softer smiles, and subtle art,
Can sap the principles, or taint the heart;
With more address a lover's note convey,
Or bribe a virgin's innocence away:
Well may they rise, while I, whose rustic tongue
Ne'er knew to puzzle right, or varnish wrong,
Spurn'd as a beggar, dreaded as a spy,
Live unregarded, unlamented die.
For what but social guilt the friend endears?
Who shares Orgilio's crimes, his fortune shares.
But thou, should tempting villany present
All Marlb'rough hoarded, or all Villiers spent,
Turn from the glittering bribe thy scornful eye,
Nor sell for gold, what gold could never buy,
The peaceful slumber, self-approving day,
Unsullied fame, and conscience ever gay.
The cheated nation's happy fav'rites, see!
Mark whom the great caress, who frown on me!
London! the needy villain's gen'ral home,
The common-sewer of Paris and of Rome;
With eager thirst, by folly or by fate,
Sucks in the dregs of each corrupted state.
Forgive my transports on a theme like this,
I cannot bear a French metropolis.
Illustrious Edward! from the realms of day,
The land of heroes and of saints survey;
Nor hope the British lineaments to trace,
The rustic grandeur, or the surly grace;
But, lost in thoughtless ease and empty show,
Behold the warrior dwindled to a beau;
Sense, freedom, piety, refin'd away,
Of France the mimic, and of Spain the prey.
All that at home no more can beg or steal,
Or like a gibbet better than a wheel:
Hiss'd from the stage, or hooted from the court,
Their air, their dress, their politics, import;
Obsequious, artful, voluble, and gay,
On Britain's fond credulity they prey.
No gainful trade their industry can 'scape,
They sing, they dance, clean shoes, or cure a clap:
All sciences a fasting Monsieur knows,
And, bid him go to Hell, to Hell he goes.
Ah! what avails it, that, from slav'ry far,
I drew the breath of life in English air;
Was early taught a Briton's right to prize,
And lisp the tale of Henry's victories;
If the gull'd conqueror receives the chain,
And flattery prevails when arms are vain?
Studious to please, and ready to submit;
The supple Gaul was born a parasite :
Still to his int'rest true, where'er he goes,
Wit, brav'ry, worth, his lavish tongue bestows:
In ev'ry face a thousand graces shine,
From ev'ry tongue flows harmony divine.
These arts in vain our rugged natives try,
Strain out with fault'ring diffidence a lie,
And get a kick for awkward flattery.
Besides, with justice, this discerning age
Admires their wond'rous talents for the stage:
Well may they venture on the mimic's art, Who play from morn to night a borrow'd part; Practis'd their master's notions to embrace, Repeat his maxims, and reflect his face; With ev'ry wild absurdity comply, And view each object with another's eye; To shake with laughter ere the jest they hear, To pour at will the counterfeited tear; And, as their patron hints the cold or heat, To shake in dog-days, in December sweat.
How, when competitors like these contend, Can surly virtue hope to fix a friend; Slaves that with serious impudence beguile, And lie without a blush, without a smile: Exalt each trifle, ev'ry vice adore, Your taste in snuff, your judgment in a whore; Can Balbo's eloquence applaud, and swear He gropes his breeches with a monarch's air.
For arts like these preferr'd, admir'd, caress'd,
They first invade your table, then your breast;
Explore your secrets with insidious art,
Watch the weak hour, and ransack all the heart;
Then soon your ill-plac'd confidence repay,
Commence your lords, and govern or betray.
By numbers here from shame or censure free,
All crimes are safe but hated poverty.
This, only this, the rigid law pursues,
This, only this, provokes the snarling Muse.
The sober trader at a tatter'd cloak
Wakes from his dream, and labours for a joke;
With brisker air the silken courtiers gaze,
And turn the varied taunt a thousand ways.
Of all the griefs that harass the distress'd,
Sure the most bitter is a scornful jest ;
Fate never wounds more deep the gen'rous heart,
Than when a blockhead's insult points the dart.
Has Heaven reserv'd, in pity to the poor,
No pathless waste, or undiscovered shore?
No secret island in the boundless main?
No peaceful desert yet unclaim'd by Spain?
Quick let us rise, the happy seats explore,
And bear oppression's insolence no more.
This mournful truth is every where confess'd,
Slow rises worth by poverty depress'd:
But here more slow, where all are slaves to gold,
Where looks are merchandise, and smiles are sold:
Where won by bribes, by flatteries implor'd,
The groom retails the favours of his lord.
But hark! th' affrighted crowd's tumultuous Roll through the streets, and thunder to the skies: Rais'd from some pleasing dream of wealth and
Some pompous palace or some blissful bower,
Aghast you start, and scarce with aching sight
Sustain th' approaching fire's tremendous light;
Swift from pursuing horrours take your way,
And leave your little all to flames a prey;
Then thro' the world a wretched vagrant roam,
For where can starving merit find a home?
In vain your mournful narrative disclose,
While all neglect, and most insult your woes.
Should Heaven's just bolts Orgilio's wealth
And spread his flaming palace on the ground,
Swift o'er the land the dismal rumour flies,
And public mournings pacify the skies;
The laureat tribe in venal verse relate,
How virtue wars with persecuting fate;
With well-feign'd gratitude the pension'd band
Refund the plunder of the beggar'd land.
See! while he builds, the gaudy vassals come,
And crowd with sudden wealth the rising dome;
The price of boroughs and of souls restore;
And raise his treasures higher than before :
Now bless'd with all the baubles of the great,
The polish'd marble and the shining plate,
Orgilio sees the golden pile aspire,
And hopes from angry Heav'n another fire.
Could'st thou resign the park and play content,
For the fair banks of Severn or of Trent;
There might'st thou find some elegant retreat,
Some hireling senator's deserted seat;
And stretch thy prospects o'er the smiling land,
For less than rent the dungeons of the Strand;
There prune thy walk, support thy drooping
Direct thy rivulets, and twine thy bowers;
And, while thy grounds a cheap repast afford,
Despise the dainties of a venal lord:
There ev'ry bush with Nature's music rings,
There ev'ry breeze bears health upon its wings;
On all thy hours security shall smile,
And bless thine evening walk and morning toil.
Prepare for death if here at night you roam,
And sign your will before you sup from home.
Some fiery fop, with new commission vain,
Who sleeps on brambles till he kills his man;
Some frolic drunkard, reeling from a feast,
Provokes a broil, and stabs you for a jest.
Yet ev'n these heroes, mischievously gay;
Lords of the street and terrours of the way;
Flush'd as they are with folly, youth, and wine,
Their prudent insults to the poor confine;
Afar they mark the flambeau's bright approach,
And shun the shining train, and golden coach.
In vain, these dangers past, your doors you close,
And hope the balmy blessings of repose;
Cruel with guilt, and daring with despair,
The midnight murd'rer bursts the faithless bar;
Invades the sacred hour of silent rest,
And leaves, unseen, a dagger in your breast.
Scarce can our fields, such crowds at Tyburn die,
With hemp the gallows and the fleet supply.
Propose your schemes, ye senatorian band,
Whose ways and means support the sinking land,
Lest ropes be wanting in the tempting spring,
To rig another convoy for the king.
A single jail, in ALFRED's golden reign,
Could half the nation's criminals contain;
Fair Justice, then, without constraint ador'd,
Held high the steady scale, but sheath'd the sword;
No spies were paid, no special juries known,
Blest age! but ah! how diff'rent from our own!
Much could I add,-but see the boat at hand,
The tide retiring calls me from the land: [spent,
Farewell!-When youth, and health, and fortune
Thou fly'st for refuge to the wilds of Kent;
And, tir'd like me with follies and with crimes,
In angry numbers warns't succeeding times;
Then shall thy friend, nor thou refuse his aid,
Still foe to vice, forsake his Cambrian shade;
In virtue's cause once more exert his rage,
Thy satire point, and animate thy page.
THE VANITY OF HUMAN WISHES,
IN IMITATION OF THE TENTH SATIRE OF JUVENAL
LET observation with extensive view,
Survey mankind from China to Peru;
Remark each anxious toil, each eager strife,
And watch the busy scenes of crowded life;
Then say how hope and fear, desire and hate,
O'erspread with snares the clouded maze of fate,
Where wav'ring man, betray'd by vent'rous pride
To chase the dreary paths without a guide,
As treach'rous phantoms in the mist delude,
Shuns fancied ills, or chases airy good;
How rarely reason guides the stubborn choice,
Rules the bold hand, or prompts the supplant
How nations sink by darling schemes oppress'd,
When vengeance listens to the fool's request.
Fate wings with ev'ry wish th' afflictive dart,
Each gift of nature and each grace of art;
With fatal heat impetuous courage glows,
With fatal sweetness elocution flows,
Impeachment stops the speaker's pow'rful breath,
And restless fire precipitates on death.
But, scarce observ'd, the knowing and the bold
Fall in the gen'ral massacre of gold;
Wide wasting pest! that rages unconfin'd,
And crowds with crimes the records of mankind:
For gold his sword the hireling ruffian draws,
For gold the hireling judge distorts the laws;
Wealth heap'd on wealth, nor truth nor safety buy
The dangers gather as the treasures rise.
Let hist'ry tell where rival kings command,
And dubious title shakes the madded land,
When statutes glean the refuse of the sword,
How much more safe the vassal than the lord;
Low sculks the hind beneath the rage of power,
And leaves the wealthy traitor in the Tower,
Untouch'd his cottage, and his slumbers sound,
Tho' confiscation's vultures hover round.
The needy traveller, serene and gay,
Walks the wild heath and sings his toil away.
Does envy seize thee? crush th' upbraiding joy,
Increase his riches, and his peace destroy;
Now fears in dire vicissitude invade,
The rustling brake alarms, and quiv'ring shade,
Nor light nor darkness bring his pain relief,
One shows the plunder, and one hides the thief.
Yet still one gen'ral cry the skies assails,
And gain and grandeur load the tainted gales;
Few know the toiling statesman's fear or care,
Th' insidious rival and the gaping heir.
Once more, Democritus, arise on Earth,
With cheerful wisdom and instructive mirth,
See motley life in modern trappings dress'd,
And feed with varied fools th' eternal jest:
Thou who could'st laugh, where want enchain'd
Toil crush'd conceit, and man was of a piece;
Where wealth unlov'd without a mourner dy'd;
And scarce a sycophant was fed by pride;
Where ne'er was known the form of mock debate,
Or seen a new-made mayor's unwieldy state;
Where change of fav'rites made no change of laws,
And senates heard before they judg'd a cause;
How would'st thou shake at Britain's modish tribe,
Dart the quick taunt, and edge the piercing gile?