網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

Deeds of ill sort, and mischievous emprize:
Lend me thy clarion, goddess ! let me try
To sound the praise of merit, ere it dies;

Such as I oft have chaunced to espy,
Lost in the dreary shades of dull obscurity.
In every village mark'd with little spire,

Embower'd in trees, and hardly known to fame,
There dwells, in lowly shed, and mean attire,
A matron old, whom we school-mistress name;
Who boasts unruly brats with birch to tame;
They grieven sore, in piteous durance pent,
Awed by the power of this relentless dame;

And oft-tiines, on vagaries idly bent,
For unkempt hair, or task unconn'd, are sorely shent.
And all in sight cloth rise a birchen tree,

Which learning near her little come did stow;
Whilom a twig of small regard to see,
Though now so wide its waving branches flow;
And work the simple vassals mickle woe;
For not a wind might curl the leaves that blew,
But their limbs shudder d, and their pulse beat low;

And as they look'd they found their horror grew,
And shaped it into rods, and tingled at the view.

Near to this dome is found a patch so green,

On which the tribe their gambols do display;
And at the door imprisoning board is seen,
Lest weakly wights of smaller size should stray;
Eager, perdie, to bask in sunny day!
The noises intermix d, which thence resound,
Do learning's little tenement betray;

Where sits the dame, disguised in look profound
And eyes her fairy throng, and turns her wheel around.
Her cap, far whiter than the driven snow,

Emblem right meet of decency does yield:
Her apron dyed in grain, as blue, I trowe,
As is the harebell that adorns the field:
And in her hand, for sceptre, she does wield
Tway birchen sprays; with anxious fear entwined,
With dark distrust, and sad repentance fillid;

And steadfast hate, and sharp ailiction join d,
And fury uncontroll'd, and chastisement unkind.

A russet stole was o'er her shoulders thrown;

A russet kirtle fenced the nipping air;
'Twas simple russet, but it was her own;
'Twas her own country bred the flock so fair,
'Twas her own labor did the fleece prepare:
And, sooth to say, her pupils, ranged around,
Through pious awe, did term it passing rare;

For they in gaping wonderment abound,
And think, no doubt, she been the greatest wight or ground.

Albeit ne flattery did corrupt her truth,

Ne pompous title did debauch her ear;
Goody, good-woman, gossip, n'aunt, forsooth,
Or dame, the sole additions she did hear;
Yet these she challenged, these she held right dear:
Ne would esteem him act as mought behove,
Who should not honor'd eld with these revere:

For never title yet so mean could prove,
But there was eke a mind which did that title love.
One ancient hen she took delight to feed,

The plodding pattern of the busy dame:
Which, ever and anon, impell’d by need,
Into her school, begirt with chickens, came;
Such favor did her past deportment claim;
And, if neglect had lavish'd on the ground
Fragment of bread, she would collect the same;

For well she knew, and quaintly could expound, What sin it were to waste the smallest crumb she found,

Here ost the dame, on Sabbath's decent eve,

Hymned such psalms as Sternlıold forth did mete;
If winter tw'ere, she to her hearth did cleave,
But in her garden found a summer seat;
Sweet melody! to hear her then repeat
How Israel's sons, beneath a foreign king,
While taunting soemen did a song entreat,

All, for the nonce, untuning every string,
Uphung their useless lyres—small heart had they to sing.
For she was just, and friend to virtuous lore,

And pass'd much time in truly virtuous deed;
And, in those elfins' ears, would oft deplore
The times, when truth by popish rage did bleed;
And tortious death was true devotion's meed;
And simple faith in iron chains did mourn,
That nould on wooden image place her creed;

And lawnly saints in smouldering flames did burn:
Ah! dearest Lord, foresend, thilk days should e'er retun.
In elbow-chair, like that of Scottish stem

By the sharp tooth of cankering eld defaced,
In which, when he receives his diadem,
Our sovereign prince and liefest liege is placed,
The matron sate; and some with rank she graced,
(The source of children's and of courtier's pride!)
Redress'd affronts, for vile affronts there pass'd;

And warnd them not the fretful to deride,
But love each other dear, whatever them betide,
Right well she knew each temper to descry;

To thwart the proud, and the submiss to raise;
Some with vile copper-prize exalt on high,
And some entice with pittance small of praise;
And other some with baleful sprig she 'frays:
E'en absent, she the reins of power doth hold,
While with quaint arts, the giddy crowd she sways;

Forewarnd, if little bird their pranks behold,
'Twill whisper in her ear, and all the scene unfold.

But now Dan Phæbus gains the middle sky,

And liberty unbars her prison door;
And like a rushing torrent out they fly,
And now the grassy cirque had cover'd o'er
With boisterous revel-rout and wild uproar;
A thousand ways in wanton rings they run,
Heaven shield their short-lived pastimes, I implore !

For well may freedom, erst so dearly won,
Appear to British elf more gladsome than the sun.
Enjoy, poor imps! enjoy your sportive trade,
And chase gay flies, and cull the fairest flowers,
For when my bones in grass-green sods are laid;
For never may ye taste more careless hours
In knightly castles or in ladies' bowers.
O vain to seek delight in earthly thing !
But most in courts where proud ambition towers;

Deluded wight! who weens fair peace can spring
Beneath the pompous dome of kesar or of king.

ROBERT DODSLEY. 1703—1764. This eminent bookseller and respectable author was born at Mansfield, in 1703. Being placed as an apprentice to a stocking-weaver, and not liking his situation, he ran off to London, and took the place of a footman, and in 1732 published a volume of poems under the title of “ The Muse in Livery, or the Footman's Miscellany," which attracted considerable attention. His next production was a dramatic piece called “ The Toyshop," which was acted with great success, and the profits of which enabled him to set up as a bookseller. Patronized by Pope and other authors of the day, his shop in Pall Mall soon became the resort of a large literary circle; and so rapidly did his business increase, that in his latter days Dodsley might be considered as standing at the head of the bookselling trade in London. Having acquired a competent fortune by his double occupation of author and bookseller, he retired from business, to enjoy the fruits of his exertions, but died at Durham, while on a visit to a friend, September 25, 1764.

Besides the above, Dodsley wrote and published, anonymously, that well known and ingenious little work, « The Economy of Human Lise,” which is full of the best moral maxims. He also wrote a tragedy called “Cleone," which was well received, and a farce called “ The King and the Miller of Mansfield.” But he is now more known for the works which he projected and published, than for his own productions. One of these was the “Preceptrr," a very useful book, in 2 vols., containing treatises on various subjects, and for which Dr. Johnson wrote a preface. Another was his “ Collection of Old Plays,” in 12 vols. His “Collection of Poems in Six Volumes, by Several Hands," is still a very valuable book. But he is most known as the projector of the « Annual Register," in 1758, which still goes by his name. He also has the credit of having first encouraged the talents of Dr. Johnson, by purchasing his poem of London," in 1738, for ten guineas, and of having, many years afterwards, been the projector of the English Dictionary.

[graphic]

DODSLEY.

1760-1820.] dåserre those who have been allured by her smiles, who ] listened to her temptations. Are they not meagre? are they sickly! are they not spiritless ?

Their short bours of jollity and riot are followed by tedivus d. of pain and dejection ; she hath debauched and palled their an ties, that they have now no relish for her nicest dainties: 1 rotaries are become her victims; the just and natural consequen which God hath ordained in the constitution of things, for the pu shqent of those who abuse his gifts. But who is she, that with graceful steps, and with a lively a Dips over yonder plain? The rose blusheth on her cheeks; the

EMULATION. If thy soul thirsteth for honor, if thy ear hath any pleasure in the voice of praise, raise thyself from the dust whereof thou art made, and exalt thy aim to something that is praiseworthy.

The oak, that now spreadeth its branches towards the heavens, was once but an acorn in the bowels of the earth.

Endeavor to be first in thy calling, whatever it be; neither let any one go before thee in well-doing: nevertheless, do not envy the merits of another, but improve thine own talents.

Scorn also to depress thy competitor by dishonest or unworthy methods; strive to raise thyself above him only by excelling him. 50 shall thy contest for superiority be crowned with honor, if not with success.

By a virtuous emulation the spirit of man is exalted within him; he panteth after fame, and rejoiceth as a racer to run his course.

The examples of eminent men are in his visions by night; and his delight is to follow them all the day long. He formeth great designs; he rejoiceth in the execution thereof; and his name goeth forth to the ends of the world. But the heart of the envious man is gall and bitterness; his tongue spitteth venom; the success of his neighbor breaketh his rest.

He sitteth in his cell repining; and the good that happeneth to another is to him an evil. Hatred and malice feed upon his heart; and there is no rest in him. He feeleth in his own breast no lore of goodness; and therefore believeth his neighbor is like unto himself.

He endeavors to depreciate those who excel him; and putteth an evil interpretation on all their doings.

He lieth on the watch, and meditates mischjef; but the detes. tation of man pursueth him; he is crushed as a spider in his own web.

sweetness of the morning breatheth from her lips; joy, tempere with innocence and modesty, sparkleth in her eyes; and from the Cseeriulness of her heart she singeth as she walks.

Her name is Health ; she is the daughter of Exercise and Tenperance; their sons inhabit the mountains; they are brare utive, and lively; and partake of all the beauties and virtues of

their sister.

Tigor stringeth their nerves ; strength dwelleth in their bones;
and labor is their delight all the day long. The employments of
their father excite their appetites, and the repasts of their mother
metrech them. To combat the passions, is their delight; to con-
puer eril habits, their glory. Their pleasures are moderate, and
therefore they endure; their repose is short, but sound and un-

sturbed. Their blood is pure; their minds are serene; and the
apsician knoweth not the way to their habitations.

TEMPERANCE.

The nearest approach thou canst make to happiness on this side the grave, is to enjoy from heaven health, wisdom, and peace of mind. These blessings, if thou possessest, and wouldst preserve to old age, avoid the allurements of voluptuousness, and fly from her temptations.

When she spreadeth her delicacies on the board, when her wine sparkleth in the cup, when she smileth upon thee, and persuadeth thee to be joyful and happy; then is the hour of danger, then let Reason stand firmly on her guard. For, if thou hearkenost unto the words of her adversary, thou art deceived and betrayed. The joy which she promiseth, changeth to madness; and her enjoyments lead on to diseases and death.

Lool. jound her board, cast thine eyes upon her guests, and

ANGER. As the whirlwind in its fury teareth up trees, and deformet! the face of Nature, or as an earthquake in its convulsions over bimeth cities; 80 the rage of an angry man throweth mischie atond him: danger and destruction wait on his hand.

But consider, and forget not, thine own weakness; so shalt thou pardon the failings of others. Indulge not thyself in the passion "* anger; it is whetting a sword to wound thy own breas, o murder thy friend.

If thou bearest slight provocations with patience, it shall be im puted unto thee for wisdom; and if thou wipest them from th Temembrance, thy heart shall feel rest, thy mind shall not ry

proach thee.

Donathing in thy passion. Why wilt thou put to sea in th Tijdence of a storm! If it be difficult to rule thine anger, it Fise to prevent it: avoid, therefore, all occasions of falling in tralh; or guard thyself against them whenever they occur

observe those who have been allured by her smiles, who have listened to her temptations. Are they not meagre ? are they not sickly ? are they not spiritless?

Their short hours of jollity and riot are followed by tediuus days of pain and dejection; she hath debauched and palled their appetites, that they have now no relish for her nicest dainties : her votaries are become her victims; the just and natural consequence which God hath ordained in the constitution of things, for the punishment of those who abuse his gifts.

But who is she, that with graceful steps, and with a lively air, trips over yonder plain? The rose blusheth on her cheeks; the sweetness of the morning breatheth from her lips; joy, tempered with innocence and modesty, sparkleth in her eyes; and from the cheerfulness of her heart she singeth as she walks.

Her name is Health ; she is the daughter of Exercise and Temperance; their sons inhabit the mountains; they are brave, active, and lively; and partake of all the beauties and virtues of their sister.

Vigor stringeth their nerves; strength dwelleth in their bones; and libor is their delight all the day long. The employments of their father excite their appetites, and the repasts of their mother refresh them. To combat the passions, is their delight; to conquer evil habits, their glory. Their pleasures are moderate, and therefore they endure; their repose is short, but sound and undisturbed. Their blood is pure; their minds are serene; and the physician knoweth not the way to their habitations.

ANGER.

As the whirlwind in its fury teareth up trees, and deformeth the face of Nature, or as an earthquake in its convulsions overturneth cities; so the rage of an angry man throweth mischief around him: danger and destruction wait on his hand.

But consider, and forget not, thine own weakness; so shalt thou pardon the failings of others. Indulge not thyself in the passion of anger; it is whetting a sword to wound thy own breasi, or murder thy friend.

If thou bearest slight provocations with patience, it shall be imputed unto thee for wisdom; and if thou wipest them from thy remembrance, thy heart shall feel rest, thy mind shall not re proach thee.

Do nothing in thy passion. Why wilt thou put tu sea in the violence of a storm?" If it be difficult to rule thine anger, it is wise to prevent it: avoid, therefore, all occasions of falling into wrath ; or guard thyself against them whenever they occur

« 上一頁繼續 »