And make new legs for bouts-rimez,
Up to th'aspiring bards who soar
Aloft in proud Miltonic lore ;
I'd sing of grave ecclesiastics
Who neatly frisk in Hudibrastics,
Stern patriots, and modern Catos,
Who, turn'd to soft inamoratos,
In woful elegy complain
Of slighted vows, and cold disdain ;
But Phoebus whispers in my ear,
And bids me check the bold career ;
Bids me with cautious flight proceed,
And curb the fierce Parnassian steed ;
* See Verses entitled Curiosity, (the subject of the preceding week,^
written by Joseph Jekyll, Esq.
Give him his courage to regain,
And bear him on the foaming rein,
Then with redoubled strength once more
The vast unbounded tract explore,
And make each tuneful nymph and swain
The subject of Pindaric strain ;
But neither nymph or swain may dread
Aught rudely, or unkindly said ;
No, on the pennons could I soar
That erst the Theban Eagle bore,
I'd waft them from the foul terrene
Of rancour, jealousy, and spleen,
Each spiteful, each invidious lay
Drive to the howling winds away,
Safe in my talons through the air
Fam'd Tully's laiireVd Vase I'd bear,
I'd bear it to the realms above,
Meet present for the throne of Jove ;
Take every poet in my flight
Triumphant to the fields of light.
And make his well-gilt page supply
New glories to the radiant sky.
So, when these seats of joy and love,
The hermit Cell, the whispering Grove
Shall hear our mirthful sounds no more,
And this sweet Villa's charms be o'er,
Her sun declin'd, her glories past,
The Bard's immortal fame shall last.
Time shall devour the brazen bust,
And marbles crumble into dust ;
E'en Bath's high palaces o'erthrow.
Lay Wood's proud architecture low ;
Each Doric, each Ionian pillar •
But guard the sacred Urn of Miller.
To Verse the triumphs of the field.
Heroes and kings to Verse must yield.
To deathless Verse, that far outshines
The silver of Potosi*s mines ;
That precious bane, that pois'nous ore,
Let misers hoard, and fools adore ;
Such shining dross the Poet spurns,
Leaves all such grov'ling base concerns
250 E N V Y.
To pettifoggers, Jews, and factors.
Pimps, gamblers, brokers, and contractors ;
He never battens on the stealth
Of public, or of private wealth,
Such as the frugal parent's care
Oft gathers for his spendthrift heir,
Or England tax'd, disgraced, forlorn,
Feels from her inmost bowels torn ;
Enough for him, that Phoebus fills
His cup from pure Castalian rills,
That when he strikes the trembling strings,
Virtue her fairest guerdon brings.
Folly restrains her thoughtless round
And vice shrinks backward at the sound. —
Go then, ye base, plebeian throngs,
Go, triumph in the Muse's wrongs :
Envy, that preys on living bards.
Gives them in^^eath their just rewards.
E'en me, the meanest of the train,
Who tune this wild advent'rous strain,
If aught of spleen or envious joke
My artless numbers can provoke,
When death shall close my falt'ring tongue,
Cold be my hand, my lyre unstrung,
Me too Detraction may release,
And bid my ashes rest in peace.
And, O ! ye chaste, ye beauteous Maids,
Who grace Batheaston's vocal shades !
If, when the friendly Muse beguiles
Life's heavier hours, I steal your smiles,
Smiles, such as genuine joy bespeak.
And mantle in your dimpling cheek.
Haply one myrtle-sprig may bloom.
And join the cypress o'er my tomb ;
Time may its fragrant life prolong,
And some kind bard in faithful song
Record the spot where first it grew.
Give the well-meaning Muse her due,
And one short sigh escape from you.
Read at Lady Miller'^ Assembly^
DECEMBER 3, 1778.
Y E beauteous nymphs, and jovial swains,
Who deck'd with youthful bloom.
In gay assemblage meet to grace
Philanders cheerful dome :
Mark how the wint'ry clouds hang o'er
Yon frowning mountain's brow !
Mark how the rude winds warp the stream,
And rock the leafless bough !
260 WINTER AMUSEMENTS.
The painted meads and flow'ry lawns
Their wonted pride give o'er;
The feather'd flocks in silence mourn,
Their notes are heard no more,
Save where beneath the lonely shed,
Or desolated thorn.
The Red-breast heaves his ruffled plumes,
And tunes his pipe forlorn :
Yet shall the sun's reviving ray
Recall the genial spring :
The painted meads resume their pride.
The feather'd flocks shall sing ;
But not to you shall e'er return
The pride of gaudy years :
When pining Age, with icy hand,
His hoary mantle rears :
When once, alas ! his churlish blast
Shall your bright spring subdue,
I know not what reviving sun
Can e'er that spring renew :
WINTER AMUSEMENTS. 3,61
Then seize the glorious golden days,
That fill your cups with joy,
Bid every gay and social scene
Your blissful hours employ :
Oft where the crowded stage invites,
The laughing Muses join ;
"Or woo them while they sport around
Eugenia s laurei'd shrine :
Oft seek the haunts where Health and Joy
To sportive numbers move ;
Or plaintive strains breathe soft desire,
And wake the soul to love :
Yet ah ! where'er you bend your way.
Let fair Discretion steer
From Folly's vain delusive charms,
And Passion's wild career.
So when the wint'ry hours shall come,
When youth and pleasure fly,
Safe shall you ward th' impending storm,
And Time's rude blast defy ;
262 WINTER AMUSEMENTS.
Perpetual charms, unfading spring,
In sweet reflection find ;
While Innocence and Virtue bring
A sunshine o'er the mind.
Repeated by the Author^ on being asked to read the preceding
Ode a second Time.
JVl u s T I read it again, Sir? — So — here do I stand.
Like the priest that holds forth with a scull in his hand.
Repeat such a dreadful memento as this is,
To spleen the young fellows and frighten the misses ?
When beauties assemble to laugh and be gay,
How cruel to preach upon beauty's decay ?
How hard that the fairest of all the creation,
Shou'd suffer one wrinkle by anticipation !
What delicate nymph but must shrink when she hears
Her charms will all fade in the winter of years ?
What languishing widow wou'd e'er wish to know
Her charms were all faded a long while ago ?
Unless one could bring some receipt to supply
Fresh Cupids to bask in the beam of her eye ;
Recall the lost rose, or the lilly replace,
That have shed their dead leaves o'er her ever-green face
And this (thank the gods) I can promise to do,
By a sweet pretty nostrum quite pleasant and new,
Which learned Historians and Doctors * I find,
Have lately reveal'd for the good of mankind,
A nostrum like which, no elixir yet known,
E'er brac'd a lax'd fibre, and strengthen'd its tone ;
Nor e'er was so grand a restorative seen,
For bringing back sixty, — to lovely sixteen !
To you then, ye fair, if old Time should appear,
And whisper a few little hints in your ear.
That Cupid his triumphs begins to resign.
Your nerves are unstrung, and your spirits decline.
You have no other physical course to pursue.
Than to take — a young husband, your spring to renew
You may take him — I think — at — about twenty-two .'
* Mrs. M — L — Y the Historian^ had recently married the celebrated
Dr. Graham, then at Bath,
For when both the spirits and nerves are in fault,
Plalonic affection is not worth a groat:
The conjugal blessing alone is decreed
The truest specific for Widows indeed ;
And I trust they will find it, as long as they live,
The best of amusements that Winter can give i
THE DECAYED MACARONI
Qiicere peregrinum Vicinia rauca redamat. h o r a x . e p .
1 HE following Stanzas were written with a view of put-
ting many humane but incautious persons upon their guard
against the frequent artifices of very unworthy petitioners
for pecuniary assistance : amongst a variety of characters
of that description, the Author could not but observe with
concern many fashionable mendicants laying claim to the
generosity of the public, some from the merit of having
lived very genteely above their incomes, and some from
having lived still more genteely without any incomes at
all; while so many real objects of compassion were lan-
guishing in secret indigence and neglect.
In hopes of becoming the humble means of directing the
current of charity and benevolence, so prevalent at this
juncture, to their proper channel, the Author begs leave to
recommend to the attention of the public the hero of this
little piece, who deemed himself a proper candidate for
their bounty, as well from the injustice shewn him by an
ungrateful world, as from the liberal sentiments, and nice
morality which he has recorded of himself in the ensuing
THE DECAYED MACARONI
Fiib.MirAy.lSaJ'Inr Otda kDmurSbaU.
1 A M a decay'd macaroni,
* My lodging's up three pair of stairs ;
My cheeks are grown wondrous ly bony,
And grey, very grey, are my hairs :
My landlady eyes me severely,
And frowns when she opens the door :
My tailor behaves cavalierly —
And my coat will bear scouring no more :
Alas ! what misfortunes attend
The man of a liberal mind !
How poor are his thanks at the end,
From base and ungrateful mankind !
My father, a stingy old runiy
His fortune by industry made,
And dying bequeath'd me a plum,
Which he meant I should double in trade s
Oh ! how could he destine to trade
A man, of my figure and sense !
A man who so early display 'd
Such a liberal taste for expence !
When I first came to years of discretion^
I took a round sum from the stocks,
Just to keep up a decent succession
Of race-horses, women, and cocks :
Good company always my aim,
Comme it faut were my cellars and table
And freely I ask'd to the same
Ev*ry jockey that came to my stable ;
No stripling of fortune I noted
With a passion for carding and dice,
But to him I my friendship devoted,
And gave him the best of advice :
" To look upon money as trash,
Not play like a pitiful elf.
But turn all his acres to cash,^ ,
And sport it as free as myself."
And as faro was always my joy,
I set up a bank of my own,
Just to enter a hobbydchoy
And give him a smack of the ton :
In the morning I took him a hunting,
At dinner well-plied with champain,
At tea gave a lecture on punting ;
At midnight, on throwing a main ;
His friends too with bumpers I cheer'd,
And in truth should have deem'd it a sin
To have made, when a stranger appeared,
Any scruple of taking him in.
As I always was kind, and soft-hearted,
I took a rich maiden to wife ;
And though in a week we were parted,
I gave her a pension for life ;
My free and humane disposition
(Thank heaven) I ever have shewn
To all in a helpless condition,
Whose fortunes I'd first made my own :
To ****** with whom long ago,
My friendship in childhood begun,
I presented a handsome rouleau.
When his ALL I had luckily won:
My friends were much pleas'd with the action,
But charm d when I open'd my door
To his wife, whom he lov'd to distraction.
But could not support any more.
The love of my country at last,
In a soul so exalted as mine.
All other fond passions surpast,
I long d in the senate to shine :
With a liberal zeal I was fir'd
The good of the state to promote,
And nothing more truly desir'd
Than to make the best use of my vote :
I panted th' abuses to quash
That cast such a slur on the nation,
And resolv'd to dispose of my cash,
In buying a whole corporation :
I soon heard of one to be sold.
Such a bargain^ I could not forego it,
With the freemen so cheap were enroll'd
A lawyer, a priest, and a poet.
I touch'd all the aldermen round.
And paid double price for the mayor ;
But at length to my sorrow I found
They'd been sold long before I came there ;
In vain for sarcastical song
Did my poet his talents display,
My lawyer th' election prolong,
And the parson get drunk ev'ry day :
To my very last farthing I treated.
And set the whole town in a flame :
And since I've so basely been cheated,
I'll publish the truth to their shame :
My rival aloft in his chair
Like a hero triumphantly rode,
My lawyer and priest at his ear,
My poet presenting an ode :
While unable to pay for their prog,
Their wine, their tobacco, and ale,
I was forc'd to sneak off like a dog
With a cannister tied to his tail ;
Yet how can I patiently yield
Those palms I so justly might claim,
.When I view such a plentiful field
For fair oratorical fame ?
'Tis true, I'm a little decay'd.
My lungs rather husky of late,
Yet still could I throw in my aid,
To manage a party debate :
My legs (you observe it no doubt)
Partake of the general shock ;
Yet I trust they might fairly hold out
Seven hours by Westminster clocks
But in vain have I studied the art
With abuse to bespatter the foe,
And shoot it like mud from a cart,
With the true Ciceronian flow:
My genius and spirit I feel
Depress'cl by adversity's cup ;
My merit, alas ! and my zeal
For my country, hath eaten me up :
Yet spite of so fair a pretension,
Th' unfeeling, ill-judging Premier
Hath meanly denied me a pension —
Though I ask'd but a thousand a year.
Where then shall I fly from oppression,
Or where shall I seek an abode,
Unskill'd in a trade or profession —
Too feeble for taking the road !
I'll hasten, O ! Bath, to thy springs,
Thy seats of the wealthy and gay,
Where the hungry are fed with good things,
And the rich are sent empty away :
With you, ye sweet streams of compassion,
My fortune I'll strive to repair,
Where so many people of fashion
Have money enough, and to spare :
And trust, as they give it so freely,
By private subscription to raise.
Enough to maintain me genteely,
And sport with, the rest of my days.
A DEFENCE OF MANKIND
Gratias tibi ago^ Fortuna, quce me sinis riderf, et speculaui.
DEFENCE OF MANKIND.
Ah me ! what spleen, revenge, and hate
Those reprobated bards await,
Who seek by laughter to disgrace
The follies of the human race .'
Howe'er by nature they're inclin'd
To pity and to love mankind,
And fain by every gentle art,
Which ridicule and mirth impart.
Their minds to virtue would entice,
And shame the hardened front of vice,
How cautiously soe'er they aim,
Make manners, and not men, their game.
The only meed the world bestows,.
Are civil friends, and latent foes.
And wilt thou then, dear Muse, once more
Adventure near that dangerous shore,
Once more, alas ! be doom'd to hear
The scribbler's jest, and coxcomb's sneer?
It must be so, for be it known
Thou art a hardened sinner grown.
Nor all the criticising race.
Can move one muscle of thy face.
But if some man for taste renown'd,
Of knowledge deep, and judgment sound,
One whom the monarchy of wit,
Has deem'd for every science fit,
And letters patent has assign'd
To stamp th' opinions of mankind,
One, who if chance he find thee trip^
Will seize at once his critic whip.
As pleas'd as Scaliger or Bentley,
And flog thee pretty near as gently,
If such a man for once should smile,
(And long to damn thee all the while)
And ask thee why, " mid every flower
That blooms around th' Aonian bower.
And every painted bud that blows
To deck th' enraptur'd Poet's brows,
Some devious path thou should st explore.
For garlands never worn before.
And descant on a theme so long
111 suited to melodious song?"
Do thou rejoin — " 'twas injur'd worth
That call'd thine indignation forth ;
A PHRASE, which all mankind degrade.
Sought refuge in thy friendly aid ;
For injur'd words, like injur'd men,
Claim succour from an author's pen.
And all as justly may command
The poet's lyre, as critic's wand ;
Say, that of all th' ill-fated words
Great Johnson's Dictionary afibrds,
Or ever from the fruitful store
Of Roman and Athenian lore
Were gaiher'd by that grand importer,
And pounded in an English mortar,
Of all th' unfortunate expressions
Abus'd by wights of all professions,
Hack'd at the bar, in pulpit tortur d^
Or chapel of St. Stephen slaughter'd.
Not one was e'er so basely treated,
Of spirit, sense, and meaning cheated,
Or e'er deserv'd commiseration.
Like this poor word, call'd — Speculation.
If right I ween, in times of yore,
This abstract term express'd no more
Than ocular, or mental view.
Or thoughts that from the same accrue :
He thus was held in great esteem.
And meets with much respect, 1 deem,
Where'er we find him in the pages
Of learned and exalted sages,
Such as have studied Nature^s laws,
And taught us to adore their cause,
Or those whose precepts have refin'd,
Enlighten'd, and adorn'd mankind ;
But since our wiser system teaches
New modes of actions, thoughts, and speeches,
Since language every day submits
To some new phrase from modern wits.
And like its speaker, or its writer,
Grows richer, chaster, and politer,
Whatever wild fantastic dreams
Give birth to man's outrageous schemes.
Pursued without the least pretence
To virtue, honesty, or sense,
Whate'er the wretched basely dare
From pride, ambition, or despair,
Fraud, luxury or dissipation,
Assumes the name of— Speculation.
By life's tempestuous billows torn,
At once luxurious, and forlorn,
The swindling Jew, the gambling peer,
The ruin'd 'squire turn'd auctioneer,
The pimp, the quack, the broken banker,
Unknowing where to cast their anchor.
Their fortune's shatter'd hagments rally,
And fix their stations in the Alley ;
There at the Pandemonium meet
Of J-hn-th-n's infernal seat,
Where Fortune oft with specious show
Of fair advantages that flow
From industry, with flattering hopes
Beguiles her votaries, and opes
A fouler and more dangerous field,
Than all her gambling arts can yield.
Lo ! where around the pois'nous dung,
Or carrion on the shambles hung.
The flies their quivering pennons cast,
And batten o'er their foul repast !
E'en so, on some new lean intent,
With interest at seven per cent.
Mid dirt, and noise, and odious fume
The crowds assemble, and assume
As many shapes as Proteus wore,
As many wily arts explore :
Ne'er did the Samian Sage of old
Such wondrous mysteries unfold
Of men relinquishing their nature,
To animate some monstrous creature.
Nor all the sweet poetic tribe
Such metamorphoses describe,
(Though oft they sing, how mighty Jove
Was brutaliz'd by wanton Love,
And how by Circe's goblet warm'd
The Grecian heroes were trans form'd)
As now the Muse, from vulgar eyes,
High tow'ring to her native skies,
Aloft on Pegasean wing
Advent'rous would attempt to sing,
But that the theme to sordid gain
Confin'd (that mars the lofty strain,)
288 . SPECULATION.
And incompatible retards
The Jligkt of SPECULATIVE bards)
Arrests her in th'ethereal way,
And pins her to this earthly clay
Yet will 1 tell in humble lays
Of men transform'd in modern days
To shapes as strange as Cupid's bow
Or Circe's cup could e'er bestow,
Such as the God of Riches lends
To many of his chosen friends,
Who conscience, failh, and fame resign.
To worship at his filthy shrine.
Oh ! how Pythagoras would wonder I
And Jupiter prepare his thunder!
Think with what fury he would rush
The brokers and the Bank to crush.
Could he behold, what oft the case is,
A man who sells old clothes and laces,
Such as the reader may conceive I
Have seen among the tribe of Levi,
For goodness now and worth renown' d,
Contract for fifty thousand pound,
Buy scrip^ bank^ omnium^ or long ann.
Or lottery tick, — If such a man
The hasty spouse of Juno saw
With beard proHx, and famish'd jaw,
Dare to transmigrate, and become
A BULL, for that enormous sum.
Would not the jealous God appal
The wretch in some new shape, or call
The herald Mercury at once
To serve him like that Phrygian dunce,
That jobber in the stocks of old
Whose touch'd turn'd every thing to gold ?
And would not Mercury himself
Look sharp, and tremble for his pelf.
Soon as the Israelite he found
With solemn pace go lowing round,
Contriving every base device
To raise the stocks, and mend their price,
Could hear how oft the monster tries
To furnish us with new allies,
With peace how often to regale us —
And victories can never fail us —
How oft a sinking state he saves,
By friendly aid of winds and waves ?
Oh ! treacherous Bull, from hell deriv'd,
Worse than e'er Phalaris contriv'd,
Thou, that for cursed gold canst find
Such methods to distress mankind,
And feed a nation's hopes in vain,
To sell thyl)argain out again!
A form niore horrid still remains.
As yet unsung by mortal strains ;
Reverse the glass — that shape explore —
Behold the Israelite once more ! —
But why, O I why (good heav'ns defend us)
That shaggy coat, those paws tremendous?
Why in that horrid guise appear?
Methinks I see the grisly bear !- —
*Tis true — his scrip, this morning sold,
He with that figure now makes bold,
And every artifice is trying
To pave the way some more to buy in ;
But ere the purchase he commences,
Must first impose upon your senses ;
By every method in his power
Must strive to make the markets lower ;
Will growl and grumble, and confound
With terror every soul around,
Oft forge a letter from the Hague,
Paul Jones, a shipwreck, or a plague;
Oft will tli' unconscionable brute
Reverse the Litany to boot,
His avaricious schemes to further,
And pray for sudden death and murther ;
All that a nation can disgrace,
Her credit and her fame debase.
Foul calumnies, and pois'nous hints
He gathers from the public prints :
If that won't answer his intention.
He harasses his own invention
Some new calamity to bring
From Falsehood's never- failing spring:
Yet surely, if the wretch could view
Our melancholy state, and knew
This bleeding country's heart-felt dole,
'Twould save him some expence of soul,
And much fatigue of brains in trying
To heighten her distress by lying;
But men sometimes, as I have seen it.
Will speak the truth, who never mean it,
Of whom, as casuists agree.
In foro conscienti^.
If lies and falshood be their aim,
Though truth they speak, the crime's the same ;
Such is in part the case with Bruin,
Who now is every trick pursuing
With every terrour to compel
Th' affrighted Bulls their stock to sell,
Which haply by his dreadful warning,
He'll make them do to morrow morning,
And buying it himself, endeavour
To gain the balance in his favour ;
See where he stands with looks dejected.
Like her who Troys sad fate predicted,
Or prophet Jeremy foretelling
The downfall of the Jewish dwelling !
See while amid* th* encircling crowd
He thus harangues in accents loud,
The list'ning Bulls forget to low,
The punch and negus cease to flow :
*' Oh what disgrace, what evils wait
*' This shatter'd, this distracted state?
" Ah ! where are truth and virtue fled !
" All mutual confidence is dead :
" Our credit and our fame is gone,
"Our merchants and our trade undone,
*' Despair and desolation urge
*' Their flight across th' Atlantic surge,
** The islands feel the dire commotion,
" E'en now they tremble on the ocean ;
" How late the foe with wrathful pride
" Your navy on your coasts defied ?
*' E'en now they threaten an invasion,
*' And only wait a fair occasion ;
" And what so soon can make them come
" As your damn'd quarrelling at home?
" Not one good friend across the water
" That cares one farthing what you're a'ter;
*' The Dane, the Russian, and the Swede,
" Won't help you much in time of need,
*' The Dutch, who hate such castle-builders,
" Won't budge an inch without the gilders :
*' And great the folly and expence is
'' Of hiring aid from foreign princes ;
" The Irish too are discontented ;—
" G-d send that England may'nt repent it ;
" No soul to give the least assistance,