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Dr. Goldfmith and fome of his friends occafionally dined at the St. James's coffee-houfe.-One day it was propofed to write epitaphs on him. His country, dialect, and perfon, furnished fubjects of witticifm. He was called on for RETALIATION, and at their next meeting, produced the following poem.
Fold, when Scarron his companions invited,
Each gueft brought his dish, and the feat was united;
If our landlord fupplies us with beef and with fish, Let each guest bring himself, and he brings the best dish: Our dean fhall be venifon, juft fresh from the plains; Our Burke fhall be tongue, with a garnish of brains;
* The master of the St. James's coffee-houfe where the doctor, and the friends he has characterized in this poem, occafionally dined.
+ Doctor Barnard, dean of Derry in Ireland.
Mr Edmund Burke, member for Wendover, and one of the greateft orators in this Kingdom.
Our Will fhall be wild fowl, of excellent flavour,
At a dinner fo various, at fuch a repast,
Who'd not be a glutton, and stick to the last?
* Mr William Burke, late fecretary to general Con, way, and member for Bedwin.
Mr Richard Burke, Collector of Granada.
Mr Richard Cumberland, author of the West Indian, Fashionable Lover, the Brothers, and other dramatic pieces.
Doctor Douglas, cannon of Windfor, an ingenious Scotch gentleman, who has no lefs diftinguifhed himfelf as a citizen of the world, than a found critic, in detecting feveral literary miftakes (or rather forgeries) of his countrymen; particularly Lauder on Milton, and Bower's Hiftory of the Popes,
§ David Garrick, Efq; joint patentee, and acting manager of the Theatre-royal, Drury-lane.
Counfellor John Ridge, a gentleman belonging to the Irish bar; the relish of whofe converfation was justly compared to an anchovy.
** Sir Joshua Reynolds, prefident of the Royal Academy.
++ An eminent attorney.
Here, waiter, more wine, let me fit while I'm able,
Here lies the good dean, re-united to earth, Who mixt reason with pleasure, and wisdom with mirth: If he had any faults, he has left us in doubt, At least in fix weeks, I could not find 'em out; Yet fome have declar'd, and it can't be deny'd 'em, That fly-boots was curfedly cunning to hide 'em.
Here lies our good † Edmund, whofe genius was fuch, We scarcely can praise it, or blame it too much h; Who, born for the univerfe narrow'd his mind, And to party gave up what was meant for mankind. Tho' fraught with all learning, yet ftraining his throat, To perfuade +Tommy Townshend to lend him a vote; Who, too deep for his hearers, ftill went on refining, And thought of convincing, while they thought of dining;
Tho' equal to all things, for all things unfit,
Too nice for a statesman, too proud for a wit:
* Vide page 199. + Vide page 199.
Mr T. Townshend, member for Whitechurch.
Here lies honeft * William, whofe heart was a mint, While the owner ne'er knew half the good that was in't; The pupil of impulfe, it forc'd him along,
His conduct ftill right, with his argument wrong;
The coachman was tipfy, the chariot drove home;
Here lies honeft Richard whofe fate I must figh at ;
That we wit'd him full ten times a day at old nick;
Here Cumberland lies, having acted his parts,
* Vide page 200.
+ Mr Richard Burke; vide page 200. tleman having flightly fractured one of his arms and legs, at different times, the doctor has rallied him on thofe accidents, as a kind of retributive juftice for breaking his jefts on other people.
Vide page 200.