Hannah More.

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To laugh at Sci?io*t hicky hit,

PoiiPKT*s bon-mot, or OitSAa^s wit I

Intemperance, list'ning tt> the tale,

Forgot the moUet growing* stale ;

And Admiration balane*d, hni^

Twizt Pkaoocks* brains, and Tollt^s tongue.

I shall not stop te dwell on these.

Bat be aa epic as I please.

And plange at once in medias re9

To prove the pririlege I plead,

ni quote from Greek I cannot read;

Stann*d by Authority, you yield.

And I, net Reason, keep the fidd.

Long was Society d*er.run
By Wkist, that desDlatmg Hun ;
Long did QuadriUe despotic sit.
That vandal of cotkiquial Wit:
And cooversatioo's setting light
Lay hai/Iobscar'd in GKithic night ;
At length the mental shades decline,
O^loquial Wit begins to shine;
Genius prevails, and Conversation
Emerges into Refirmation.
The vanqaish*d biple crown to you,
BoacAWBf sage, bright Muiitaov,
Divided, fell ; — your cares in haste
Rescued the ravag'd realms of Taste ;
And LTTTLrro!f*9 accomplished name.
And witty Pultiikt ahar*d the fame ;
The men, not bound by pedant rules,
Nor ladtest Precte«ses ridietiU$ ;
For polisVd Walfolb showM the way,
How wits may be both Ieam*d and gay ;
And Carter taught the female train.
The deeply wise are never vain ;
And she whom Sh aksfeare's wrongs redrest,
Prov*d that the brightest are the best
This just deduction still they drew.
And well they practisM what they knew ;
Nor taste, nor wit, deserves applause.
Unless still true to critic laws ;
Good §ente, of facultiea the best.
Inspire and rerulate the rest,

O! how unlike the wit that fell,
Ramiouillet !t at thy quaint hotel ;

• Seaeea uiys, that ia lite time the Romani wero ar-
rived at mch a oitck of lozury, that the mallet was ree-
kOMd itale which did not die in the bands of the guett.

t See Moliere^t comedy.

tTbe eociety at the hotel de Rambouilkt, thooffh
^ompond of the moct ooUte and incenions peraons in
nance, was moeh tainted with allecuUon and Iklae
taste. Beeroitmr$,Matage,itc,

Where point, and turn, and equivoque
Distorted every word they spoke !
All so intolerably bright.
Plain Common Sense was put to flight »
Each speaker, so ingenious ever,
*Twas tiresome to be quite so clever ;
There twisted Wit forgot to please.
And Mood and Figure banished ease ;
No votive altar smok'd to thee.
Chaste queen, divine Simplicity !
But forc'd Conceit, which ever fails.
And stiff Antithesis prevails *
Uneasy Rivalry destroys
Society's unlaboured joys :
Nature, of stilts and fetters tir*d.
Impatient from the wits retired.
Long time the exile, houseless stray*d
'Till Sevione received the maid.

Though here she comes to bless our isle.
Not imiversal is her smile.
Muse I snatch the Ijrre which CAiORinaE strung
When he the emp^y baU-room sung ;
'Tis tun»d above thy pitch, I doubt.
And thou no music would'st draw out i
Yet, in a lower note, presume
To sing the full dull drawing room.t

Where the dire circle keeps its station.
Each oonmion phrase is an oration ;
And crackinpr fans, and whisp'ring misses,
Compose their conversation blisees.
The matron marks the goodly show,
While the tall daughter eyes the beau-
The frigid beau ! th I luckless fair,
*Ti8 not for you that studied air ;
Ah ! not for you that sidelong glance.
And all that charming nonchaluice ;
Ah ; not for you the three long hours
He worshipM the » oosmetio powers ;'
That finished head which breathea oerfbme.
And kills the nerves of half the room ;
And all the murders meant to lie
In that large, languishing, gray eye ;
Desist ;— less wild th* attempt would be.
To warm the snows of Rhodope :
Too cold to feel, too proud to feign.
For him you're wise and fair in vain ;
In vain to charm him you intend.
Self is his objqpt, aim, and end.

Chill shade of that afiected peer.
Who dretded mirth, come safely here *
FbT here no vulgar joy eflhcea
Thy rage for p<Misb, ton, and graces.
Cold Ceremony's leaden hand,
Waves o'er the room her poppy wand ,
Arrives the stranger ; every guest
Conspires to torture the distrest :
At once they rise^ — so have I seen —
You guess the similie I mean.
Take what comparison you please.
The crowded streets, the swarming bees,
The pebbles on the shore that lie.

The late eari of MmMd told the author that when
be was ambassador at Paris, he was assured that it had
not been unosual for those persons of a purer taste who
frequented these assemblies, to come out fVom their so*
detv so weary of wit and laboured ingenuity, that they
used to express the comfort they felt in their emfrncip^*
tion, by saying, *' Attonatfaistnu dcs so iteismes r

* These grave and formal parties now scarcely exist,
having been swallowed up m tte reigning multitudi
nous assemblies.

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The stars which form the galaxy ;
These serve t* embellish what is said,
And show, besides, that one has read ;^
At once they rise— th' astonish'd guest
Back in a corner slinks, distrest;
Scar'd at the many bowing round,
And shocked at her own voice^s sound,
Forgot the thing she meant to say.
Her words, hal buttered die away ;
In sweet oblivion down she sinks.
And of her next appointment thinks.
While her loud neighbour on the right.
Boasts what she has to do to-night.
So very much,- you'd swear her pride is
To match the ubours of Alcides ;
Tis true, in hyperbolic measure.
She nobly calls her labours Pleasure
In this un4ike Aix;ukna*s son.
She never means they should be done
Her fancy of no limits dreams.
No ne plus ultra stops her schemes;
Twelve ! she'd have scorn*d the paltry round,
No pillars would have mark*d her bound ;
Calpe and Abtla, in vain
Had nodded cross th* opposing main ;
A circumnavigator she
On Ton's illimitable sea.
We pass the pleasures vast and various.
Of routs, not social, but ffrecarioup x
Where high heroic self-denial
Sustains her self-inflicted trial.
Day Iab*rers ! what an easy life.
To feed tdn children and a wife !
No — I may juster pity spare
To the night laborer's keener care ;
And, picas'd, to gentler scenes retreat.
Where Conversation holds her seat

Small were that art which would ensure
' The circle's boasted quadrature !
See Vesey's* plastic genius make
A circle every figure take;
Nay, shapes and forms, which would defy
All science of Geometry;
Isosceles, and parallel.
Names, hard to speak, and hard to spell !
The enchantress wav'd her hand, and spoke !
Her potent wand the circle broke ;
The social spirits hover round.
And bless the liberated ground.
Here, rigid Cato, awful sage !
Bold censor of a thoughtless age.
Once dealt his pointed moral round.
And, not unheeided, fell the sound ;
The Muse his honour'd memory weeps,
For Cato now with Roscius sleeps !
Here once HoRTENsiust lov'd to sit.
Apostate now from social wit :
Ah ! why in wrangling senates waste
The noblest parts, the happiest taste 7
Why democratic thunders wield,
And quit the Muses* calmer field 7
A.8k you what charms this gift dispense 7
Tis the strong spell of Common Sense.
A. way dull Ceremony flew,
Knd with her bore Detraction too.

* This amiaUe ladjr was remarkable for her Ulent in
breaking the formality of a circle, by inviting her par-
ties tn form themselves into little separate groups.

t This was written in the year 1787, when Mr. Ed-
murd Rurke had Joined the then opiK)&itioa-

Nor only geometric ait,
Does this presiding power impart ;
But chy mists too, who want the esM
Which makes or mars all coalescence.
Of her the secret rare might get.
How diflferent> kinds amalgamate :
And he, who wilder studies chose.
Finds here a new metempsychose ;
How forms can other forms assume
Within her Py thagoric room ;
Or be, and stranger is th' event.
The very things which Nature meant »
Nor strive by art and afiectation.
To cross their genuine destination.
Here sober duchesses are seen.
Chaste wits, and critics void of spleen.
Physicians, fraught with real science
And whigs and tories in alliance ;
Poets, fuhUling Christian duties.
Just lawyers, reasonable beauties ;
Bishops who preach, and peers who pay ;
And countesses who seldom play ;
Learn'd antiquaries, who from College,
Reject the rust, and bring the knowledge *
And, hear it, Age^ believe it. Youths —
Polemics, really seeking truth ;
And travellers of that rare tribe,
Who've seen the countries they describe ;
Who study'd there, so strange their plan.
Not plants, nor herbs alone, but man ;
While travellers, of other notions.
Scale mountam tops, and traverse ooeano t
As if so much these themes engross.
The study of mankind, was moss.
Ladies who point, nor think me partial,
An epigram as well as Marshall;
Yet in all female worth succeed.
As well as those who cannot read.

Right pleasant were the task, I ween.
To name the groups which fill the scene ;
But rhymes of such fastidious nature.
She proudly scorns all nomenclature.
Nor grace our northern names her lips,
Like Homer's catalogue of ships.

Once — faithful Memory ! heave a tigb
Here Roscius gUiddened every ey«.
Why comes not Maro 7 Far from town.
He rears the urn to TaJste, and Brown,
Plants cypress round the tomb of Gray,
Or decks his English garden gaj ;
Whose mingled sweets exhale perfume,
And promise a perennial bloom.
Taste thou the gentler joys they give.
With Horace and with Leuds live.

Hail, Conversation, soothing power.
Sweet goddess of the social hour !
Not with more heartfelt warmth, at leajst.
Does Lelkjs bend, thy true high priest ;
Than I the lowest of thy train.
These field.flowers bring to deck thy fiwe:
Who to thy shrine like him can haste.
With warmer zeal, or purer taste 7
O may thy worshif) long prevail,
And thy true votaries never fail !
Long may thy polish'd altars blaze'
With wax-lights' undirainish'd rays !
Still be thy nightly offering paid,
Libations large of lemonade !
On silver vases, loaded, rise
The biscuits' ample sacrifice !

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Nor be the milk white streams forgot

Of thirst-assai^ing, cool orgeat;

Rise, incense pare from fragrant tea^

Delicious incense, worthy thee !
Hail, ConTeraation, hea^'nly fidr,

Thon bliss of life, and balm of care !

StiU may thy gentle reign extend.

And Taste wiUi Wit and Science Uend.

Soft polisher of rouged man !

Refiner of the sociu plan !

For thee, best solace of his toll !

The sage consumes his midnight oil !

And keeps late vigils, to produce

Materials for thv future use.

Calls forth the else neglected knowledge,'

Of school, of travel, and of college.

If none behold, ah ! where^re fair 7

Ah wherefore wise, if none must hear ?

Oar intellectual ore must shine,

Not slumber, idly, in the mine.

Let Education's moral mint

The noblest images imprint ;

Let Taste her curioiu touchstone hdd.

To try if standard be the gold ;

Bat *Us thy commerce Conversation,

Mast give it use by circuktion ;

That noblest commerce of mankind,

Wboae precious merchandise is hind I
What stoic traveller would try

A sterile soil, and parching sky,

Or bear th* intemperate northern zone.

If what he saw must ne'er be known 7

For thu he bids his home &reweU ;

The joy of seeing is to tell.

Trust me, he never would have stirr'd.

Were he forbid to speak a word ;

And Curiosity would sleep.

If her own secrets she must keep

The btiss of tcUiug what is past

Becomes her rich reward at last

Who mock'd at death, and danger smile.

To steal one peep at father Nile ;

Who, at Palmyra risk his neck.

Or search the ruins of Balbeck;

If these must hide old Nilus* fount.

Nor Lybian tales at home recount;

If those must sink their learned labour.

Nor with their ruins treat a neighbour 7

Ranjlfe— study — think — do all we can,

Colloquial pleasures are for man.

Tet ii9t from low desire to shine
Does Genius toil in Learning's mine ;
Not to Indulge in idle vision.
But strike new light by strong collision.
Of Co!fTZRSATiON, Wisdom's mend,
This is the object and the end.
Of moral truth man's proper science.
With sense and learning in alliance.
To search the depths, and thence produce
What tends to practice and to use.
And next in value we shall find
What mends the taste and forms the mind ;
If high those truths in estimation,
W hose search is crown'd with demonstration ;
To these assign no scanty praise.
Our taste which dears, our views which raise.
For grant the mathematic truth
Best balances the mind of youth ;
Yet scarce the truth of Taste is found
To grow frcm principles less sound.

O'er books the mind inactive lies,
Books, the mind's food, not exercise !
Her vigorous wings she scarcely feels,
*Till use the latent strength reveals ;
Her slumbering energies call'd forth.
She rises, conscious of her worth ;
And, at her new-found powers elated.
Thinks them not rous'd, but new created.

Enlighten'd spirits ! you, who know
What charms from polish'd converse flow,
Speak, for you can, the pure delight
When kindling svmpatMes unite ;
When correspondent tastes impart
Communion sweet from heart to heart
You ne'er the cold gradations need
Which vulgar souls to union lead ;
No dry discussion to unfold
The meaning caught ere well 'tis told .
In taste, in learning, wit, or science.
Still kindled souls aeroand alliance :
Each in the other joys to find
The imafo answering to his mind.
But sparks electric only strike
On souls electrical alike ; ,

The flash of intellect expires.
Unless it meet congenial fires :
The language to th' elect alone
Is, like me mason's mystery known
In vain th' unerring sign is made
To him who is not of the trade.
What lively pleasure to divine.
The thoufiht implied, the hinted line.
To feel Elusion's artfiil force,
And trace the image to it's source !
Quick Memory blends her scatter'd rays,
'Till Fancy kindles at the blaze ;
The works of a^es start to view.
And ancient Wit elicits new.

But wit and parts if thus we praise.
What noble altars should we raise,
Those sacrifices could we see
Which Wit, O Virtue ! makes to thee
At once the rising thought to dash.
To quench at once the bursting flash !
The shining Mischief to subdue,
And lose the praise, and pleasure too !
Tho' Venus' sel^ could ipu detect her,
Imbuing with her richest nectar.
The thought unchaste — to check that thought.
To spurn a fame so dearly bought ;
This is high Principle's controul !
This is true continence of soul I
Blush, heroes, at your cheap re Awn,
A vanquish'd realm, a plunder'd town !
Your oonquests vrere to gain a name,
This conquest triumphs over fame ;
So pure its essence, 'twere destroy'd
If known, and if commended, void.
Amidst the brightest truths believ'd
Amidst the fidrest deeds achiev'd,
Shall stand recorded and admir'd.
That Virtue sunk what Wit inspir'd !

But let the letter'd and the fair.
And, chiefly, let the wit beware ;
You, whose warm spirits never fkil.
Forgive the hint which ends my tale.
O shun the perils which attend
On wit, on warmth, and heed your friends ;
Tho* Science nurs'd you in her bowers,
Tho' Fancy crown your brow with flowers

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Each thought, tho* bright Invention fill,

Tho' Attic bees each word distil ;

Yet, if one gracioas power refuse

Her gentle influence to infuse ;

If she withhold her magic spell.

Nor in the social circle dwell ;

In vain shall listening crowds approve,

They'll praise you, but they will not love.

What is this power, you're loth to mention,

This charm, this witchcrafl? His Attention :

Mute angel, jres ; thy look dispense

The silence of intelligence ;

Thy graceful form I well discern,

In act to listen and to learn,

*Tis thou for talents shalt obtain

That pardon Wit would hope in vain;

Thy wondVous power, thy secret charm.
Shall Envy of her sting disarm ; «
Thy silent flattery soothes our spirit.
And we forgive edrpsing merit;
Our jealous souls no longer bum.
Nor hate thee, tho* thou shine in turn ,
The sweet atonement screens the fault.
And love and praise are cheaply bought.

With mild complacency to hear,
Tho' somewhat long the tale appear,—
The i^ull relation to attend.
Which mars the story you could mend ;
'TIS more than wit, *tia moral bdauty,
'Tis pleasure rising out of duty.
Nor vainly thinjc, the time you waste.
When temper triumphs over taste.


This little poem was never before published. A few copies were printed by the late earl of
Orfbrd at his press at Strawberry-hill, and given to a few particular uiends.


In the gardens of the palace of Fulham is a dark recess; at the end of this stands a chair,
which once belonged to bishop Bonner. — A certain bishop of London, more than two hundred
years after the death of the aforesaid Bonner, one morning just as the clock of the Gothic chapel
had struck six, undertook to cut with his own hand a narrow walk through this thicket, which
IB since called the Monk's-walk, He had no sooner begun to clear the way, than lo! suddenly
up-started from the chair the ghost of bishop Bonner, who, in a tone of just and bitter indignd*
tioQ, uttered the following verses.

Reformer, hold ! ah, spare my shade,

Respect the hallowM dead !
Tain prayer ! I see the opening glade,

See utter darkness fled.
Just so your innovating hand

Let in the mpral light ;
So, chasM from this bewilderM land.

Fled intellectual night.
Where now that holy gloom which hid

Fair Truth from vulgar ken 1
Where now that wisdom which forbid

To think that monks were men 7
The tangled mazes of the schools,

Which spread so thick before ;
Which knaves entwined to puzzle fools,

Shall catch mankind no more.
Those charming Intricacies where?

Those venerable lies 1
Those legends, once the church's care ?

Those sweet perplexities 7
Ah ! fatal age, whose sons combin*d

Of credit to exhaust us :
Ah ! fatal age, which gave mankind

A LoTHER and a Faustos !»
Had only Jack and MartinI" liv'd,

Our pow'r hod slowly fled ;
Our influence longer had survivM

Had layman never read.

* Tbfl same age which broaght heresy into theehurcb,
unhappily introduced printing among the arts, 1^ which
means the Scriptures wure unluckily disseminated
among the vulgar.

t How bishop Banner came to have read SwifCs Ta!e
of a Pub it may now be in vain to inquire.

For knowledge flew, like magic spell.

By typographic art ;
Oh, shame ! a peasant now can toll

If priests the truth impart
Ye councils, pilgrimages, creeds

Synods, decrees, and rules I
Ye warrants of unholy deeds.

Indulgences and bulls !
Where are ye now 7 and where, alas T

The pardons we dispense !
And penances, the sponge of sins ;

And Peter's holy pence 7 »

Where now the beads that used to swell

Lean Virtue's spare amount 7
Here only faith and goodness fill

A heretic's account
But soil — what gracious form appears

Is this a convent's life !
Atrocious sight ! by all my fears,

A prelate with a wife !
Ah ! sainted Mart,* not for this

Our pious labour's join'd ;
The witcheries of domestic bliss

Had shook ev'n Gardner's mind.
Hence all the sinful, human ties.

Which mar the doister's plan ;
Hence all the weak fond charities.

Which makes man feel for man.
But tortur'd Memory vainly speaks

The projects we design'd ;

♦ An orthodox queen of the sixteenth century, wh*
laboured with might and main, conjointly with these
two venerable bishops to extinguish a dangerous beresv
ycleped the Reformation.

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Whilo this apoftate bishop seeks

The freedom of mankind.
Oh, born in ev*ry thing* to shake

The systems plaonM by me !
So heterodox, that be would make

Both sool and body free.
Nor dime nor ebloar stay his hand ;

With charity dsprav*d.
He wookl from Thames to Gambia's strand,

Hare all be free and saT*d.
And who shall change hb wayward heart

His wiHbl spirit torn 7

For those his labours can't convert,
His weakness will not burn.

Ann. Dom. 1900.

%* By tbe lapse of time the three last stanzas are be*
come unintelligible. Old chronicles say, that towarito
the latter end of the 18th century, a bill was brought in*
to the British parliament, by an active Toung reformer,
for the abolition of a pretended traffic of the human spo*
cies. But this only shows how little (kith is to be given
to the examrntions of history : for as no vestige of
this incredible trade now remains, we ktok upon ttas
whole story to have been one of those fictions, not un-
conunon among authors, to blacken the memoiy of fbr




Mt Dcak Sut,*^— It would be very flattering to me, if I might hope that the little tale, which
I now take the liberty of presenting to you, could amuse a few moments of your tedious indispo-
Mtion. It is, I confess, but a paltry return for the many hours of agreeable information and
elegant amusement which I have received from your spirited and very entertaining writings i
yet I am persuaded, that you will receive it with favour, as a small offering of esteem and grati-
tude ; as an offering of which the intention alone makes all the little value.

The slight verses, sir, which I place under your protection, will not, I fear, impress the world
with a very favourable idea of my poetical powers ; But I shall, at least, be suspected of having
aome taste, and of keeping good oompany, when I confess that some of the pleasantest hours of
my lif^ have been passed in your conversation. I should be unjust to your very enjg^ing and
wefl-bred turn of wit, if I did not declare that, among all the lively and brilliant thmgs I have
beard from you, I do not remember ever to have heard an cm kind or an ungenerous one. Let me
be allowed to bear my feeble testimony to your temperate use of this charming faculty, so de>
firhtfuJ in itself, but which can only m sarely trusted in such hands as yours, where it is guard*
ed by politeness, and directed by humanity.

I have the honour to be, sir, your much obliged,

and most obedient, himible servant,

JoiMary, 27, 1786. THE AtJTHOR

AATwards Earl of Orford.


Funtio, a youth of gay renown,
Who figur*d much about the town.
Had pass*d, with general approbation,
The modish forms of education;
Knew what was proper to be known,
Th* establbh*d jargon of bon-ton ;
Had learnt, witn very moderate reading,
The whole new system of good breeding :
He studied to be bold and rude.
Tbo* native feeling would intrude :
Unlucky sense and sympathy,
Spoilt the vain thing he strove to be.
For Floeio was not meant by nature,
A silly or a worthless creature :
He had a heart disposM to feel,
Had life and spirit taste and zeal ;
Was handsome, generous ; but by fate,
Predestin'd to a fiirge estate !
Hence, all that grac'd his opening days,
Was marr'd by pkasare, spoilt "Sj praise

The Destiny, who wove the thread
Of FLoaio*8 being, sigh'd, and said,
*■ Poor youth ! this cumbrous twist of gold,
Moro than my shuttle well can hold,
For which thy anxiour father toiPd,
Thy white and even th/ead has spoiPd :
*Tis this shall warp thy pliant youth
From sense, simplicity and truth,
Thy erring fire, by wealth mislead,
Shall scatter pleasures round thy head.
When wholesome discipline's controol.
Should brace the sinews of thy soul ;
Coldly thou'lt toil for Learning's prize.
For why should he that's rich be wise T

The gracious Master of mankind.
Who knew us vain, corrupt and bKnd,
In mercy, tho' in anger said,
Tliat man should earn his daily bread
Hb lot, inaction renders worse.
While labour mitigates the curse.

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The idle, life*d worst bartbens bear.
And meet, what toil escapes, despair !

Forgive, nor lay the fault on me.
This mixture of mythology ;
The muse of Paracfise has deiffn*d
With truth to mingle fables feign*d ;
And tho* the bard, who would attain
The glories, Milton, of thy strain,
Will never reach thy style or thoughts.
He may be like thee in thy &ults !

Exhausted Florio, at the a^e.
When ^outh should rush on glory's stage ;
When ufe should open fresh and knew.
And ardent Hope her schemes pursue ;
Of youthful gaiety bereft.
Had scarce an unbroachM pleasure left ;
He found already to his cost.
The shining gloss of life was lost ;
And Pleasure was so coy a prude.
She fled the more, the more pursuM;
Or i^ o'ertaken and car^ss'd.
He loathM and left her when possess'd.
But Florio knew the world that science
Sets sense and learning at defiance ;

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