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Flew round my head; yet, in my cause secure, "Pour on," I cried," pour on, I will endure."
What shall I shrink, because the noble train, Whose judgment I impugn, whose taste arraign, Alive, and trembling for their favourite's fate, Pursue my verse with unrelenting hate?
No save me from their PRAISE, and I can sit
But do I then (abjuring every aim)
All censure slight, and all applause disclaim?
*PRATT. This gentleman lately put in practice a very notable scheme. Having scribbled himself fairly out of
Gent. Mag., ushering his great prototype's doggrel into notice, he found it expedient to retire to the continent for notice, with an importance truly worthy of it.
a few months-to provoke the inquiries of Mr. Lane's indefatigable readers.
Mark the ingratitude of the creatures! No inquiries were made, and Mr. Pratt was forgotten before he had crossed the channel. Ibi omnis effusus labor.-But what!
"To the execrable Baviad.
Through me to pierce with thy impregnate dart,
Shall ring each morn in thy accursed ear
While Capaneus drew back his head-for fear,
Unconscious of his victories-to come, Approach'd the monarch, and with sobs profound, Explain'd th' impending wrath o'er Ilium's royal
being introduced under the auspices of Dr. Parr," I merely alluded to a conversation which Mr. Morley himself was said to have had with his bookseller; -and I then suspected (what I now find, from the Doctor's letter, to be the case) that this respectable name (Dr. Parr's) was abused, i. e. introduced upon the occasion "without his consent, or even knowledge."
If my words conveyed the idea (which I now apprehend they may) that Dr. Parr himself had recommended the "Tale," it was far from my intention, and I am sorry for it. Indeed, I am sorry that his name was mentioned at all in the Mæviad. It is totally out of its place; and I can only regret, that a juster estimation both of Doctor Parr and of Mr. Morley had not changed my"suspicion" of the latter into certainty, and induced me to attribute his recommendatory story to vanity, and something else not altogether so venial.
In conclusion: though Dr. Parr gives up Mr. Morley's poetry, yet he seems to think I have undervalued his other attainments-" his Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, and his vigorous and elegant prose."-Of all these I knew nothing. When "there is no occasion for such vanity, I doubt not but Mr. Morley will take care to let them appear;" meanwhile, I must be content to judge him from what I know-his sonnets and his tale. It is bat fair to add, however, that the sound and salutary advice which Dr. Parr gave this poor addle-headed man (to say nothing of the tenderness with which he speaks of him) does no less honour to his friendship, than the reprobation of his poetry does to his taste.
1 Quere, full-bottomed.-Printer's Devil.
2 Grecian Mare.-This has been hitherto, inaccurately enough, named the Trojan horse; and, indeed, I myself had nearly fallen into the unscholarlike error, when my learned friend Greathead convinced me (from Pope's emendations of Virgil, under the fantastic name of Scriblerius) that the animal in question was a mare-She being there said to be feta armis, armed with a fartus. Let us hear no more, therefore, of the Trojan horse.
The patronymic Trojan is still more absurd. Homer expressly declares the mare to have been produced by Pallas-Palladis arte: now Pallas was a Grecian goddess, as is sufficiently manifest from her name, which is derived from aλλa, vibro.-J. Bell.
Where taste and sense approve, I feel joy
write not to the modish herd: my days,
Sure, if our fates hang on some hidden power, And take their colour from the natal hour, Then, IRELAND † the same planet on us rose, Such the strong sympathies our lives disclose!
3 Godlike; that is Oroudns from 010, God, and sons, like. Vide Hom, Translators in general (I except a late one) are too inattentive to the compound epithets of this great poet. But why does Homer call Alexander god. like, when he appears, from Curtius Quintius's tedious gazette in verse, to have had one shoulder higher than the other? My friend Vaughan thinks it was purely to pay his court to him, in hopes of getting into his will, or rather into his mistress's. It may be so; but 'tis strange the absurdity was never poticed before.-J. Bell.
"The mouse that is content with one poor hole Can never be a mouse of any soul."
Baffled in this expedient, he had recourse to another, and, while we were dreaming of nothing less, came before us in the following paragraph:
"A few days since died, at Basle in Switzerland, the ingenious Mr. Pratt. His loss will be severely felt by the literary world, as he joined to the accomplishments of the gentleman the erudition of the scholar."
This was inserted in the London papers for several days successively. The country papers, too, "yelled out like syllables of dolour." At length, while our eyes were yet wet for the irreparable loss we had sustained, came a second paragraph:
"As no event of late has caused a more general sorrow than the supposed death of the ingenious Mr. Pratt, we are happy to have it in our power to assure his numerous admirers, that he is as well as they can wish, and (what they will be delighted to hear) busied in preparing his TRAVELS for the press."
"Laud we the gods!"
+ Here, on account of its connexion with the person mentioned in the text, I shall take the liberty-extremum hunc mihi concede-of inserting the following "imitation," addressed to him several years since. It was never printed, nor, as far as I know, seen by any one but himself; and I transcribe it for the press with mingled sensations of gratitude and delight, at the favourable change of circumstances which we have both experienced since it was written.
TO THE REV. JOHN IRELAND.1
IMITATION OF HORACE. LIB. II. ODE 16. Olium Divos rogat, &c.
When howling winds, and lowering skies,
Near Orkney's boisterous seas;
For ease the Turk, ferocious, prays,
For ease the barbarous Russe-for ease,
1 Now prebendary of Westminster.
He whom no anxious thoughts annoys,
Nor seeks the next to know;
Something must ever be amiss:
We cannot all have all we want
Here breath, there fame was given;
To keep the balance even.
To thee she gave two piercing eyes,
A judgment sound and clear;
A mind with various science fraught,
A liberal soul, a threadbare coat, And forty pounds a year.
To me, one eye not over good,
Aches, stitches, all the numerous ills
A coat more bare than thine, a soul
In riper years, again together thrown, Our studies, as our sports before, were one. Together we explored the stoic page Of the Ligurian, stern though beardless sage. Or traced th' Aquinian through the Latine road, And trembled at the lashes he bestow'd. Together, too, when Greece unlock'd her stores, We roved, in ought o'er Troy's devoted shores, Or follow'd, while he sought his native soil, "That old man eloquent," from toil to toil; Lingering, with good Alcinöus, o'er the tale, Till the east redden'd, and the stars grew pale.
So pass'd our life, till fate, severely kind, Tore us apart, and land and sea disjoin'd, For many a year: Now met, to part no more, Th' ascendant power, confess'd so strong of yore, Stronger by absence, every thought controls, And knits, in perfect unity, our souls.
O, IRELAND! if the verse, which thus essays To trace our lives "e'en from our boyish days," Delight thy ear, the world besides may railI care not at th' uninteresting tale;
I only seek, in language void of art,
To ope my breast, and pour out all my heart;
Since this edition was prepared for the press, the country has been deprived of this distinguished and enlightened artist, whose hard destiny it was to struggle with many difficulties through the intermediate stages of an arduous profession, and to be snatched from the world at the moment when his "greatness was a ripening," and the full reward of his labours and his genius securely within his grasp. His art, by his untimely fate, has sustained a loss which will not easily be repaired; for he was, in all respects, a very eminent man, and, while he lived, most vigorously supported by his precept, as well as by the example of his own productions, those genuine principles of taste and nature which the genius of Reynolds first implanted among us. But though Mr. Hoppner well knew how to appreciate that extraordinary person, and entertained the highest veneration for his professional powers, he was very far from his copyist; occasionally, indeed, he imitated his manner, and formed his pictures on similar principles; but what he thus borrowed he made his own with such playful ingenuity, and adorned and concealed his plagiarism with so many winning and original graces, that his pardon was sealed ere his sentence could be pronounced. The prevailing fashion of the times, together with his own narrow cir. cumstances in early life, necessarily directed his attention, almost exclusively, to the study of portrait-painting: in a different situation, the natural bent of his genius, no less than his inclinations, would probably have led him to landscape, and the rural and familiar walks of life; for when he exercised his talents upon subjects of this nature, he did it with so much ease and pleasure to himself, and was always so eminently successful, that it furnishes matter for regret, that the severe and harassing duties of his principal occupation did not allow him more frequent opportunities of indulging his fancy in the pursuit of objects so congenial with his feelings and disposi tion. Of his exquisite taste in landscape, the backgrounds which he occasionally introduced in his portraits will alone afford sufficient evidence, without considering the beautiful sketches in chalk, with which he was accustomed to amuse his leisure hours. These are executed with a vigour and felicity peculiar to himself, and discover a knowledge and comprehension of landscape which would do honour to a Gainsboro Indeed, in several
respects, there appear to have been many points of similarity between these extraordinary men, not only in particular parts of their art, but also in their conversation, disposition, and character.
In portrait, however, Mr. Hoppner was decidedly superior, and so far outstripped Gainsborough in this department of art, that it would be the highest injustice to attempt a comparison of their powers. The distinguishing characteristic of Mr. Hoppner's style is an easy and unaffected elegance, which reigns throughout all his works: his naturally refined taste appeared to have given him almost intuitively an aversion from every thing which bordered on affectation and vulgarity; and enabled him to stamp an air of gentility and fashion on the most inveterate awkwardness and deformity. Few men ever sacrificed to the graces more liberally or with greater success: at his transforming touch, harshness and asperity dimpled into smiles, age lost its furrows and its pallid hues, and swelled on the sight in all the splendour of youthful exuberance. This power of improving what was placed before him, without annihilating resemblance, obtained him a decided preference to all the artists of his day among the fairer part of fashionable society, with whom, it is probable, even Sir Joshua himself was never so great a favourite. Reynolds was too apt to be guilty of the sin of painting all he saw, and now and then would maliciously exaggerate any little defect, if he could thereby increase the strength of the character which he was depicting. Mr. Hoppner pursued a different plan: he painted his beauties not always exactly as they appeared, but as they wished to appear; and to those whose charms were "falling into the sear, the yellow leaf," his pictures were the most agreeable, and consequently the truest of all mirrors. The same qualities which rendered him so highly successful in his portraits of women, did not, perhaps, afford him equal advantages in those of the other sex, in which strength and character ought to take the lead of almost every other consideration; his portraits of men were generally, if the expression be allowable, too civilized and genteel to be very striking and forcible; and in his constant wish to represent the gentleman, he sometimes failed to delineate the man. To this observation, however, it must be acknowledged, that many of his best works form very splendid exceptions; and those who have viewed and attentively examined his admirable portraits of the Archbishop of York, Lord Spencer, Dr. Pitcairn, Mr. Pitt, &c., may rather feel inclined to regret that the prevailing fashion of the day should, in this instance, have produced a misapplication of his powers, than to lament their natural deficiency.
In his portraits of children he was peculiarly fortunate: he entered completely into the infantine character, and arranged his compositions of this species with that unaf. fected ease and playful grace which so pleasingly mark the early periods of human life. One great charm of his pictures arises from the air of negligence and facility which pervades them; their production appears to have cost no effort, and the careless boldness of his handling, equally removed from insipidity and handicraft, stamps the hand of a master upon the most trifling of his performances. His colouring is natural, chaste, and powerful, and his tones, for the most part, mellow and deep; the texture of his flesh is uniformly excellent, and his penciling rich and full; his carnatious transparent, fresh,
ME, all too weak to gain the distant land,
Kindly upheld, when now with fear unnerved,
and distinct, yet so artfully and judiciously broken, that it requires an experienced eye to detect the delicate process by which the effect is accomplished. In the flesh of his best female portraits, in particular, there is a union of airiness with substance, of lustre with refined softness, which has rarely been surpassed, except by that great original hand, which, in the formation of its "last, best work," rendered all chance of rivalship hopeless.
The absorbing quality of his principal pursuit seldom allowed Mr. Hoppner to turn his attention practically to the more elevated departments of art, yet he had a sincere respect for the noble productions of the Italian schools, and the writer of these pages still remembers with pleasure the enthusiastic delight which he evinced upon first entering the Louvre, and viewing the wonders of that magnificent collection.-Taste in the arts and elegances of life he possessed in a very uncommon degree. It formed the distinguishing feature of his character, and shone alike conspicuously, whether his talents were exercised upon music or painting, in writing or conversation. His colloquial powers, indeed, have not often been excelled; for, in his happiest moments, there was a novelty of thought, a playful brilliancy, and a boundless fertility of invention, which affixed to all he uttered the stamp of originality and genius, and delighted every hearer.-Sometimes, indeed, he indulged in a severity of sarcasm, which, to such as are unaccustomed to make allowances for the quick perceptions and irritable feelings of genius, appeared to partake somewhat too much of bitterness and asperity; possibly, when engaged in mixed society, this notion might not be altogether void of foundation; but they who were accustomed to enjoy his company under different circumstances, amid the tranquil scenes of rural retirement, when his mind was free from the little cares and fretting incidents of the world, and his character and feelings were allowed their full scope, will ever remember, with a sensation of mingled sorrow and delight, the fancy, the enthusiasm, and the sentimental tenderness, which, on such occasions, breathed throughout his discourse. His education had been neglected: such, however, was the energy and activity of his mind, that this original defect was visible only to the few who were in habits of the closest intimacy with him. He read much, and with discrimination and judgment: the best English authors were familiar to him; and there was scarcely a topic of conversation into which he could not enter with advantage, or a subject, however remote from his ordinary pursuits, which his taste could not embellish, and his knowledge illustrate.
He died on the 23d of January, 1810, of a lingering and doubtful disease, at the age of fifty-one years. In the early progress of his complaint, he did not appear to entertain the slightest idea of its fatal termination; but a few months previously to his death, it is evident, from the following affecting incident, that he was fully sensible of his approaching dissolution. Toward the close of autumn, as he was walking on the sunny side of St. James's-square, which, from its warm and sheltered situation, he was in the habit of frequenting, he was met by a near relation of the writer, who, after accompanying him for a short distance, prepared to quit him. "No; don't go yet," said he, "my good fellow; stay and take another turn or two with me.—I like to walk in the decline of the last summer's sun which I shall ever live to enjoy."
Where saving wisdom yet had placed no screen,
While baffled malice hastes thy powers to own,
I too, whose voice no claims but truth's e'er moved, Who long have seen thy merits, long have loved, Yet loved in silence, lest the rout should say, Too partial friendship tuned th' applausive lay, Now, now that all conspire thy name to raise, May join the shout of unsuspected praise.
Go then, since the long struggle now is o'er, And envy can obstruct thy fame no more, With ardent hand thy magic toil pursue, And pour fresh wonders on the raptured view.One SUN is set, one GLORIOUS SUN, whose rays Long gladden'd Britain with no common blaze: O mayst THOU Soon (for clouds begin to rise) Assert his station in the eastern skies, Glow with his fires, and give the world to see Another REYNOLDS risen, MY FRIEND, in THEE!
But whither roves the muse? I but design'd To note the few whose praise delights my mind; But friendship's power has drawn the verse astray, Wide from its aim, a long but flowery way. Yet one remains, ONE NAME for ever dear, With whom, conversing many a happy year, 24
I mark'd with secret joy the opening bloom
Here then I rest; soothed with the hope to prove
To the kind sufferance of the good and wise.
Este, rapt in nonsense, gnaw his gray goose quill,
Merry in dithyrambics rave his wrongs,
And Weston, foaming from Pope's odious songs, "Much injured Weston," vent in odes his grief, And fly to Urban for a short relief.
Mr. Murdoch having been compelled to leave Aуr, in consequence of some inadvertent expressions directed against Dr. Dalrymple, the elder Burns himself undertook, for a time, the tuition of his family. When Robert, however, was about fourteen years of age, his father sent him and Gilbert," week about, during the summer quarter," to a parish
ROBERT BURNS, the son of William Burnes, or Burness, was born on the 25th of January, 1759, in a clay-built cottage, about two miles to the south of the town of Ayr, in Scotland. His father, who was a gardener and small farmer, appears to have been a man highly and deservedly respected, and Burns' description of him as "the saint, the father, and the husband," of the Cotter's Saturday Night, attests the affectionate reverence with which he regarded him. At the age of six years, Robert was sent to a small school at Alloway Miln, then superintended by a teacher named Campbell; but who, retiring shortly after, was succeeded by a Mr. John Murdoch. Under the tuition of this gentleman, the subject of our memoir made rapid progress in read-sonsie lass," whose charms he was anxious to cele
hool, by which means they alternately improved themselves in writing, and assisted their parents in the labours of a small farm. According to our poet's own account, he, as he says, first committed the sin of rhyme a little before he had attained his sixteenth year. The inspirer of his muse was love, the object of which he describes as a " bonnie, sweet,
ing, spelling, and writing; and though, to use his own words," it cost the schoolmaster some thrashings," he soon became an excellent English scholar. A love of reading and a thirst for general knowledge were observable at an early age; and before he had attained his seventeenth year, he had read Salmon's and Guthrie's Geographical Grammars, the Lives of Hannibal and Wallace, The Spectator, Pope's Works, some of Shakspeare's Plays, Tull and Dickson on Agriculture, Tooke's Pantheon, Locke's Essay on the Understanding, Stackhouse's History of the Bible, The British Gardener's Directory, Boyle's Lectures, Allan Ramsay's Works, Taylor's Scripture Doctrine of Original Sin, Hervey's Meditations, and a Collection of Songs. These works formed the whole of his collection, as mentioned by himself in a letter to Dr. Moore; but his brother Gilbert adds to this list Derham's Physico and Astro-Theology, and a few other works. Of this varied assortment," the Collection of Songs," says the poet himself, " was my vade-mecum. I pored over them, driving my cart, or walking to labour, song by song, verse by verse; carefully noticing the true tender and sublime, from affectation or fustian; and I am convinced I owe to this practice much of my criticcraft, such as it is."
brate in verse. "I was not so presumptuous," he says, " as to imagine that I could make verses like printed ones, composed by men who had Greek and Latin; but my girl sung a song which was said to be composed by a small country laird's son, on one of his father's maids, with whom he was in love; and I saw no reason why I might not rhyme as well as he: for, excepting that he could shear sheep, and cast peats, his father living in the moorlands, he had no more scholar-craft than myself. Thus with me began love and poetry."
The production alluded to is the little ballad commencing
O! once I loved a bonnie lass, which Burns himself characterized as " a very puerile and silly performance ;" yet, adds Mr. Lockhart, it contains, here and there, lines of which he need hardly have been ashamed at any period of his life.
In my seventeenth year," says Burns," to give my manners a brush, I went to a country dancingschool. My father had an unaccountable antipathy against these meetings, and my going was, what to this moment I repent, in opposition to his wishes." Then, referring to his views in life, he continues"The great misfortune of my life was to want an aim. I had felt early some stirrings of ambition, With Mr. Murdoch, Burns remained for about but they were the blind gropings of Homer's Cytwo years, during the last few weeks of which the clops round the walls of his cave. The only two preceptor himself took lessons in the French lan- openings by which I could enter the temple of forguage, and communicated the instructions he re- tune, were the gate of niggardly economy, or the ceived to his pupil, who, in a short time, obtained path of little chicaning bargain-making. The first a sufficient knowledge of French to enable him to is so contracted an aperture, I never could squeeze read and understand any prose author in that lan-myself into it: the last I always hated-there was guage. The facility with which he acquired the contamination in the very entrance. Thus abanFrench induced him to commence the rudiments of doned to no view or aim in life, with a strong appeLatin, but whether from want of diligence or of tite for sociability, as well from native hilarity as time, or that he found the task more irksome than from a pride of observation and remark; a constihe anticipated, he soon abandoned his design of ac- tutional melancholy, or hypocondriacism, that made quiring a knowledge of the language of the Romans. me fly from solitude; add to these incentives to