Page images
PDF
EPUB

nus

adorn the House of Peers, thereby conforming himself to modern usage, and at the same time distinguishing the victorious Rollo's prowess in subduing an adversary, who dies infinitely harder than either Turnus or Hector.

Without farther comment, we shall now proceed to favour our readers with a few extracts. The first Peer mentioned by the Dying Drummer, is the present Marquis of Buckingham : his appearance is ushered in by an elegant panegyric on his father, Mr. George Grenville, of which we shall only give the concluding lines:

George, in whose subtle brain, if Fame say true,
Full-fraught with wars, the fatal stamp-act grew;
Great financier ! stupenduous calculator!-
But, George the son is twenty-one times greater !

It would require a volume, not only to point out all the merits of the last line, but even to do justice to that Pindaric spirit, that abrupt beauty, that graceful aberration from rigid grammatical contexts, which appears in the single word but. We had however a further intention in quoting this passage, viz. to assert our author's claim to the invention of that species of MORAL ARITHMETIC, which, by the means of proper additions, subtractions, multiplications and divisions, ascertains the relative merits of two characters more correctly than any other mode of investigation hitherto invented. Lord Thurlow, when he informed the House of Peers, that, “ one Hastings is worth twenty Macartneys,” had certainly the merit of ascertaining the comparative value of the two men in whole numbers, and without a fraction. He likewise enabled his auditors, by means of the rule of three, to find out the numerical excellence of any other individual ; but to compare Lord Thurlow with our author, would be to compare the scholar with the inventor; to compare a common house-steward with Euclid or Archimedes. We now return to the poem.

After the lines already quoted, our dying drummer breaks out into the following wonderful apostrophe:

Approach, ye sophs, who, in your northern den,
Wield, with both hands, your huge didactic pen ;
Who, step by step, o'er Pindis' up-hill road,
Drag slowly on your learning's pond'rous load :

Though many a shock your perilous-march engumbers,
Ere the stiff prose can struggle into numbers ;
And you, at comets' tails, who fondly stare,
And find a mistress in the lesser bear;
And you, who, full with metaphysics fraught,
Detect sensation starting into thought,
And trace each sketch by Memory's hand design'd
On that strange magic lantern call'd the MIND;
And you, who watch each loit’ring empire's fate;
Who heap up fact on fact, and date on date ;
Who count the threads that fill the mystic loom,
Where patient vengeance wove the fate of Rome;
Who tell that wealth unnerv'd her soldier's hand,
That Folly urg'd the fate by traitor's plann'd;
Or, that she fell—because she could not stand:
Approach, and view, in this capacious mind,
Your scatter'd science in one mass combin'd:
Whate'er tradition tells, or poets sing,
Of giant-killing John, or John the King;
Whate'er

But we are apprehensive that our zeal has already hurried us too far, and that we have exceeded the just bounds of this paper. We shall therefore take some future opportunity of reverting to the character of this prodigious nobleman, who possesses, and deserves to possess, so distinguished a share in his master's confidence. Suffice it to say, that our author does full justice to every part of his character. He considers him as a walking warehouse of facts of all kinds, whether relating to history, astronomy, metaphysics, heraldry, fortifications, naval tactics, or midwifery; at the same time representing him as a kind of haberdasher of small talents, which he retails to the female part of his family, instructing them in the mystery of precedence, the whole art of scented pomatums, the doctrine of salves for broken heads, of putty for broken windows, &c. &c. &c.

NUMBER II,

WE now return to the dying drummer, whom we left in the middle of his eulogy on the Marquis of Buckingham.

It being admitted, that the powers of the human mind depend on the number and association of our ideas, it is easy to shew that the illustrious Marquis is entitled to the highest rank in the scale of human intelligence. His mind possesses an unlimited power of inglutition, and his ideas adhere to each other with such tenacity, that whenever his memory is stimulated by any powerful interrogatory, it not only discharges a full answer to that individual question, but likewise such a prodigious flood of collateral knowledge, derived from copious and repeated infusions, as no common skull would be capable of containing. For these reaa sons, his Lordship’s fitness for the department of the Admiralty, a department connected with the whole cyclopædia of science, and requiring the greatest variety of talents and exertions, seems to be pointed out by the hand of Heaven ;-it is likewise pointed out by the dying drummer, who describes in the following lines, the immediate cause of his nomination :

On the great day, when Buckingham, by pairs
Ascendled, Heaven impell’d, the K- 's back-stairs ;
And panting breathless, strain'd his lungs to show
From Fox's bill what mighty ills would How :
That soon, its source corrupt, Opinion's thread,
On India's deleterious streams wou'd sheid;
That Hastings, Munny Begum, Scott, must fall,
And Pitt, and Jenkinson, and Leadenhall;
Still, as with siammering tongue, he told his tale,
Unusual terrors Brunswick’s heart assvil;
Wide starts his white wig from his royal ear,
And each particular hair stands stiff with fear.

We flatter ourselves that few of our read

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »