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Call dunces fools and sons of whores,
Lay Grub-street at each other's doors ;
Extol the Greek and Roman masters,
And curse our modern poetasters ;
Complain, as many an ancient bard did,
How genius is no more rewarded ;
How wrong a taste prevails among us ;
How much our ancestors outsung us ;
Can personate an awkward scorn
For those who are not poets born ;
And all their brother-dunces lash,
Who crowd the press with hourly trash.

O Grub-street ! how do I bemoan thee,
Whose graceless children scorn to own thee !
Their filial piety forgot,
Deny their country, like a Scot;
Though, by their idiom and grimace,
They soon betray their native place :
Yet thou hast greater cause to be
Ashamed of them, than they of thee,
Degenerate from their ancient brood,
Since first the court allow'd them food.

Remains a difficulty still,
To purchase fame by writing ill.
From Flecknoe down to Howard's time,
How few have reach'd the low sublime !
For when our high-born Howard died,
Blackmore alone his place supplied :
And, lest a chasm should intervene,
When Death had finish'd Blackmore's reign,
The leaden crown devolved to thee,
Great poet of the Hollow Tree*.
But ah ! hor, unsecure thy throne !
A thousand bards thy right disown:
They pl ** tu, a, in factious zeal,
Dunc a common weal ;
And will Anlious arms pretend
An equa

mege to descend.
In bu there are not more degrees,
From elephanis to mites in cheese,
Than what a curious eye may trace
In creatures of the rhyming race.
From bad to worse, and worse, they fall ;
But who can reach the worst of all ?
For though, in nature, depth and height
Are equally held infinite;
In poetry, the height we know;
'Tis only infinite below.
For instance, when you rashly think
No rhymer can like Welsted sink,
His merits balanced, you shall find
The Laureatet leaves him far behind.
Concanen, more aspiring bard,
Soars downwards deeper by a yard.
Smart Jemmy Moore with vigour drops ;
The rest pursue as thick as hops.

(* Lord Grimston was the author of this celebrated performance, of which he was afterwards so much ashamed as to buy up all the copies. The malignity of the Duchess of Marlborough disconcerted his purpose, by reprinting it-Sir WALTER SCOTT.)

[t Colley Cibber-originally “ That Fielding." &c., meaning the novelist.)

With heads to points the gulf they enter,
Link'd perpendicular to the centre;
And, as their heels elated rise,
Their heads attempt the nether skies.

Oh, what indignity and shame,
To prostitute the Muse's name !
By flattering kings, whom Heaven design'd
The plagues and scourges of mankind ;
Bred up in ignorance and sloth,
And every vice that nurses both.

Fair Britain, in thy monarch blest, Whose virtues bear the strictest test; Whom never faction could bespatter, Nor minister nor poet flatter; What justice in rewarding merit ! What magnanimity of spirit ! What lineaments divine we trace Through all his figure, mien, and face ! Though peace with olive bind his hands, Confess'd the conquering hero stands. Hydaspes, Indus, and the Ganges, Dread from his hand impending changes. From him the Tartar and Chinese, Short by the knees, entreat for peace. The consort of his throne and bed, A perfect goddess born and bred, Appointed sovereign judge to sit On learning, eloquence, and wit. Our eldest hope, divine Iülus, (Late, very late, oh may he rule us !) What early manhood has he shown, Before his downy beard was grown! Then think, what wonders will be done, By going on as he begun, An heir for Britain to secure As long as sun and moon endure.

The remnant of the royal blood Comes pouring on me like a flood : Bright goddesses, in number five ; Duke William, sweetest prince alive. Now sing the minister of state, Who shines alone without a mate. Observe with what majestic port This Atlas stands to prop the court ; Intent the public debts to pay, Like prudent Fabius, by delay. Thou great vicegerent of the king, Thy praises every Muse shall sing ; In all affairs thou sole director, Of wit and learning chief protector ; Though small the time thou hast to spare, The church is thy peculiar care. Of pious prelates what a stock You choose, to rule the sable flock ! You raise the honour of your peerage, Proud to attend you at the steerage. You dignify the noble race, Content yourself with humbler place. Now, learning, valour, virtue, sense, To titles give the sole pretence. St. George beheld thee with delight Vouchsafe to be an azure knight,

When on thy breasts and sides Herculean Exactly true! invidious poet!
He fix'd the star and string cerulean.

'Tis fifty thousand times below it. Say, poet, in what other nation

Translate me now some lines, if you can, Shone ever such a constellation !

From Virgil, Martial, Ovid, Lucan.
Attend, ye Popes, and Youngs, and Gays,

They could all power in heaven divide,
And tune your harps, and strow your bays : And do no wrong on either side ;
Your panegyrics here provide ;

They teach you how to split a hair,
You cannot err on flattery's side.

Give George and Jove an equal share. Above the stars exalt your style,

Yet why should we be laced so strait ? You still are low ten thousand mile.

I'll give my monarch better weight. On Lewis all his bards bestow'd

And reason good ; for many a year Of incense many a thousand load ;

Jove never intermeddled here: But Europe mortified his pride,

Nor, though his priests be duly paid, And swore the fawning rascals lied.

Did ever we desire his aid : Yet what the world refused to Lewis,

We now can better do without him, Applied to George, exactly true is.

Since Woolston gave us arms to rout him. Cætera desiderantur.


[Died, 1744.) I have applied to many individuals for infor took his degree of A. M.; and was awally vicar mation respecting the personal history of this of Starting, in Sussex. Besides The Man of writer, but have not been able to obtain it, even Taste, he wrote a political satire entitled The Art from the quarters where it was most likely to be of Politics, and The Crooked Sixpence, in imitafound. He was born, probably, about the year tion of Philips' Splendid Shilling. 1700; was of Christ Church, Oxford, where he


Whoe'ER he be that to a taste aspires,
Let him read this, and be what he desires.
In men and manners versed, from life I write,
Not what was once, but what is now polite.
Those who of courtly France have made the tour
Can scarce our English awkwardness endure.
But honest men who never were abroad,
Like England only, and its taste applaud.
Strife still subsists, which yields the better goût ;
Books or the world, the many or the few.

True taste to me is by this touchstone known,
That's always best that's nearest to my own.
To show that my pretensions are not vain,
My father was a play'r in Drury-lane.
Pears and pistachio-nuts my mother sold;
He a dramatic poet, she a scold.
Her tragic Muse could countesses affright,
His wit in boxes was my lord's delight.
No mercenary priest e'er join'd their hands,
Uncramp'd by wedlock’s unpoetic bands.
Laws my Pindaric parents matter'd not,
So I was tragi-comically got.
My infant tears a sort of measure kept,
I squallid in distichs, and in triplets wept.
No youth did I in education waste,
Happy in an hereditary taste.

Writing ne'er cramp'd the sinews of my thumb,
Nor barbarous birch e'er brush'd my tender bum.
My guts ne'er suffer'd from a college cook,
My name ne’er enter'd in a buttery-book.
Grammar in vain the sons of Priscian teach,
Good parts are better than eight parts of speech :
Since these declined, those undeclined they call,
I thank my stars that I declined them all.
To Greek or Latin tongues without pretence,
I trust to mother wit and father sense.
Nature's my guide, all sciences I scorn,
Pains I abhor ; I was a poet born.

Yet is my goût for criticism such,
I've got some French, and know a little Dutch.
Huge commentators grace my learned shelves,
Notes upon books out-do the books themselves."
Critics indeed are valuable men,
But hyper-critics are as good again. [fill,
Though Blackmore's works my soul with rapture
With notes by Bentley they'd be better still.
The Boghouse- Miscellany's well design’d
To ease the body, and improve the mind.
Swift's whims and jokes for my resentment call,
For he displeases me that pleases all.
Verse without rhyme I never could endure,
Uncouth in numbers, and in sense obscure.

To him as nature, when lie ceased to see,

Substantial walls and heavy roofs I like, Milton's an universal blank to me.

'Tis Vanbrugh's structures that my fancy strike : Confirm'd and settled by the nation's voice, Such noble ruins every pile would make, Rhyme is the poet's pride, and people's choice. I wish they'd tumble for the prospect's sake. Always upheld by national support,

To lofty Chelsea, or to Greenwich dome, Of market, university, and court :

Soldiers and sailors all are welcomed home. Thomson, write blank! but know that for that reason Her poor to palaces Britannia brings, These lines shall live when thine are out of season. St. James's hospital may serve for kings. Rhyme binds and beautifies the poet's lays, Buildings so happily I understand, As London ladies owe their shape to stays. That for one house I'd mortgage all my land.

Had Cibber's self The Careless Husband wrote, | Doric, Ionic, shall not there be found, Ile for the laurel ne'er had had my vote;

But it shall cost me threescore thousand pound. But for his epilogues and other plays,

From out my honest workmen I'll select He thoroughly deserves the modern bays. A bricklayer, and proclaim him architect; It pleases me, that Pope unlaurelld goes,

First bid him build me a stupendous dome, While Cibber wears the bays for play-house prose; Which having finish'd, we set out for Rome; So Britain's monarch once uncover'd sat,

Take a week's view of Venice and the Brent ; While Bradshaw bullied in a broad-brimm'd hat. Stare round, see nothing, and come home content.

Long live old Curll ! he ne'er to publish fears I'll have my villa too, a sweet abode, The speeches, verses, and last wills of peers. Its situation shall be London road : How oft has he a public spirit shown,

Pots o'er the door I'll place like cit's balconies,
And pleased our ears, regardless of his own ? Which Bentley calls the gardens of Adonis.
But to give merit due, though Curll's the fame, I'll have my gardens in the fashion too,
Are not his brother booksellers the same?

For what is beautiful that is not new ?
Can statutes keep the British press in awe, Fair four-legg'd temples, theatres that vie
While that sells best that's most against the law ? With all the angles of a Christmas-pie.

Lives of dead play’rs my leisure hours beguile, Does it not merit the beholder's praise,
And sessions-papers tragedize my style.

What's high to sink, and what is low to raise ? 'Tis charming reading in Ophelia's life*,

Slopes shall ascend where once a green-house stood, So oft a mother, and not once a wife :

And in my horse-pond I will plant a wood. She could with just propriety behave,

Let misers dread the hoarded gold to waste, Alive with peers, with monarchs in her grave : Expense and alteration shows a taste. Her lot how oft have envious harlots wept,

In curious paintings I'm exceeding nice, By prebends buried, and by generals kept. And know their several beauties by their price. T'improve in morals Mandevil I read,

Auctions and sales I constantly attend, And Tyndal's scruples are my settled creed. But choose my pictures by a skilful friend. I travell’d early, and I soon saw through

Originals and copies much the same, Religion all, ere I was twenty-two.

The picture's value is the painter's name. Shame, pain, or poverty shall I endure,

My taste in sculpture from my choice is seen, When ropes or opium can my ease procure ? I buy no statues that are not obscene. When money 's gone, and I no debts can pay, In spite of Addison and ancient Rome, Self-murder is an honourable way.

Sir Cloudesley Shovel's is my favourite tornb. As Pasaran directs, I'd end my life,

How oft have I with admiration stood, And kill myself, my daughter, and my wife. To view some city-magistrate in wood ! Burn but that Bible which the parson quotes, I gaze with pleasure on a lord-mayor's head, And men of spirit all shall cut their throats. Cast with propriety in gilded lead. But not to writings I confine my pen,

Oh could I view, through London as I pass, I have a taste for buildings, music, men.

Some broad Sir Baalam in Corinthian brass : Young travell’d coxcombs mighty knowledge boast, | High on a pedestal, ye freemen, place With superficial smattering at most.

His magisterial paunch and griping face ; Not so my mind, unsatisfied with hints,

Letter'd and gilt, let him adorn Cheapside, Knows more than Budgell writes, or Roberts prints. And grant the tradesman what a king's denied. I know the town, all houses I have seen,

Old coins and medals I collect, 'tis true; From Hyde-Park corner down to Bednal-Green. Sir Andrew has 'em, and I'll have 'em too. Sure wretched Wren was taught by bungling Jones, But among friends, if I the truth might speak, To murder mortar, and distigure stones !

I like the modern, and despise th' antique. Who in Whitehall can symmetry discern? Though in the drawers of my japan bureau, I reckon Covent-Garden church a barn.

To lady Gripeall I the Cæsars show, Nor hate I less thy vile cathedral, Paul !

'Tis equal to her ladyship or me, The choir 's too big, the cupola's too small : A copper Otho, or a Scotch bawbee. [* Mrs. Oldfield the actress. The sting of severity is

Without Italian, or without an ear, in its truth, and here satire is in its strength.]

To Bononcini's music I adhere ;

Music has charms to soothe a savage breast, As for my head, it should ambiguous wear
And therefore proper at a sheriff's feast.

At once a periwig and its own hair.
My soul has oft a secret pleasure found

My hair I'd powder in the women's way, In the harmonious bagpipe's lofty sound.

And dress and talk of dressing more than they. Bagpipes for men, shrill German-flutes for boys, I'll please the maids of honour if I can ; I'm English born, and love a grumbling noise. Without black velvet breeches, what is man? The stage should yield the solemn organ's note, I will my skill in button-holes display, And Scripture tremble in the eunuch's throat. And brag how oft I shift me every day. Let Senesino sing what David writ,

Shall I wear clothes in awkward England made ? And hallelujahs charm the pious pit.

And sweat in cloth to help the woollen trade? Eager in throngs the town to Esther came, In French embroid'ry and in Flanders lace, And oratorio was a lucky name.

I'll spend the income of a treasurer's place. Thou, Heidegger ! the English taste hast found, Deard's bill for baubles shall to thousands mount, And rulest the mob of quality with sound.

And I'd out-di'mond even the di'mond count. In Lent, if masquerades displease the town, I would convince the world by tawdry clothes, Call 'em ridottos, and they still go down.

That belles are less effeminate than beaux, Go on, prince Phiz! to please the British nation, And doctor Lamb should pare my lordship's toes. Call thy next masquerade a convocation.

To boon companions I my time would give; Bears, lions, wolves, and elephants I breed, With players, pimps, and parasites, I'd live. And Philosophical Transactions read.

I would with jockeys from Newmarket dine,
| Next lodge I'll be Free-mason, nothing less, And to rough-riders give my choicest wine ;
Unless I happen to be F. R. S.

I would caress some stableman of note,
I have a palate, and (as yet) two ears,

And imitate his language and his coat.
Fit company for porters or for peers.

My evenings all I would with sharpers spend, Of every useful knowledge I've a share,

And make the thief-catcher my bosom friend; But my top talent is a bill of fare.

In Fig the prize-fighter by day delight,
Sirloins and rumps of beef offend my eyes, And sup with Colley Cibber every night.
Pleased with frogs fricasseed, and coxcomb-pies ; Should I perchance be fashionably ill,
Dishes I choose, though little, yet genteel, I'd send for Misaubin, and take his pill.
Snails the first course, and peepers crown the I should abhor, though in the utmost need,

Arbuthnot, Hollins, Wigan, Lee, or Mead ;
Pigs' heads, with hair on, much my fancy please ; | But if I found that I grew worse and worse,
I love young cauliflow’rs if stew'd in cheese, I'd turn off Misaubin and take a nurse.
And give ten guineas for a pint of peas.

How oft when eminent physicians fail,
No tattling servants to my table come,

Do good old women's remedies prevail ! My grace is silence, and my waiter dumb. When beauty's gone, and Chloe's struck with years, Queer country-puts extol queen Bess's reign, Eyes she can couch, or she can syringe ears. And of lost hospitality complain.

Of graduates I dislike the learned rout, Say, thou that dost thy father's table praise, And choose a female doctor for the gout. Was there mahogany in former days?

Thus would I live, with no dull pedants cursed; Oh, could a British barony be sold!

Sure, of all blockheads, scholars are the worst. I would bright honour buy with dazzling gold.

Back to your universities, ye fools! Could I the privilege of peer procure,

And dangle arguments on strings in schools : The rich I'd bully, and oppress the poor.

Those schools which universities they call, To give is wrong, but it is wronger still

'Twere well for England were there none at all. On any terms to pay a tradesman's bill.

With ease that loss the nation might sustain, l'd make the insolent mechanics stay,

Supplied by Goodman’s-fields and Drury-lane. And keep my ready money all for play.

Oxford and Cambridge are not worth one farthing, I'd try if any pleasure could be found

Compared to Haymarket and Covent-garden :
In tossing up for twenty thousand pound:
Had I whole counties, I to White's would go,

Quit those, ye British youth, and follow these,

Turn players all, and take your ’squire's degrees. And set land, woods, and rivers, at a throw. But should I meet with an unlucky run,

Boast not your incomes now, as heretofore,

Ye book-learn'd seats ! the theatres have more : And at a throw be gloriously undone ;

Ye stiff-rump'd heads of colleges, be dumb;
My debts of honour I'd discharge the first ; A single eunuch gets a larger sum.
Let all my lawful creditors be cursed :

Have some of you three hundred by the year?
My title would preserve me from arrest,
And seizing hired horses is a jest.

Booth, Rich, and Cibber, twice three thousand

clear. I'd walk the morning with an oaken stick,

Should Oxford to her sister Cambridge join
With gloves and hat, like my own footman Dick ; A year's rack-rent and arbitrary fine,
A footman I would be in outward show,
In sense and education truly so.

Thence not one winter's charge would be defray'd,
For play-house, opera, ball, and masquerade.

Glad I congratulate the judging age,
The players are the world, the world the stage.

I am a politician too, and hate,
Of any party, ministers of state :
I'm for an act, that he, who sev’n whole years
Has served his king and country, lose his ears.

Thus from my birth I'm qualified, you find,
To give the laws of taste to human kind.
Mine are the gallant schemes of politesse,
For books and buildings, politics and dress.
This is true taste, and whoso likes it not,
Is blockhead, coxcomb, puppy, fool, and sot.


(Born, 1688. Died, 1745.)

William MESTON was born in the parish of wrote several of the burlesque poems to which Midmar, in Aberdeenshire. He received a he gave the title of Mother Grim's Tales. Not liberal education at the Marischal College of being restored to his professorship, he lived for Aberdeen, and was for some time one of the some time on the hospitality of the countess of teachers in the High School of that city. He re Marshal, and after her death established an moved from that situation to be preceptor to the academy successively at Elgin, Turifi, Montrose, young earl of Marshal, and to his brother, who and Perth, in all of which places he failed, appawas afterwards the celebrated Marshal Keith, rently from habits of careless expense and conand by the interest of the family was appointed viviality. The countess of Elgin supported him professor of philosophy in the Marischal College. during the decline of his latter days, till he On the breaking out of the rebellion of 1715, he removed to Aberdeen, where he died of a lanfollowed the fortunes of his misguided patrons, guishing distemper. He is said to have been a who made him governor of Dunotter Castle. man of wit and pleasantry in conversation, and After the battle of Sherrif- Muir, till the act of of considerable attainments in classical and indemnity was passed, he lurked with a few mathematical knowledge. fugitive associates, for whose amusement he



Sages and moralists can show
Many misfortunes here below ;
A truth which no one ever miss'd,
Though neither sage nor moralist.
Yet all the troubles notwithstanding,
Which fate or fortune has a hand in,
Fools to themselves will more create,
In spite of fortune and of fate.
Thus oft are dreaming wretches seen,
Tortured with vapours and with spleen,
Transform’d, at least in their own eyes,
To China, glass, or mutton pies;
Others will to themselves appear
Stone dead as Will the Conqueror.

His consort fair, and good, and kind,
His children rising to his mind ;
His friends ingenuous and sincere,
His honour, nay, his conscience, clear :
He wanted nought of human bliss
But power to taste his happiness.
Too near, alas ! this great man's hall,
A merry Cobbler had a stall;
An arch old wag as e'er you knew,
With breeches red and jerkin blue ;
Cheerful at working as at play,
He sung and whistled life away.
When rising morning glads the sky,
Clear as the merry lark on high ;
When evening shades the landscape veil,
Late warbling as the nightingale.
Though pence came slow, and trade was ill,
Yet still he sung, and whistled still ;
Though patch'd his garb, and coarse his fare,
He laugh'd and cast away old care.
The rich man view'd with discontent
His tatter'd neighbour's merriment;
With envy grudged, and pined to see
A beggar pleasanter than he ;

There lived a gentleman, possess'd
Of all that mortals reckon best ;
A seat well chosen, wholesome air,
With gardens and with prospect fair ;
His land from debt and jointure free,
His money never in South Sea ;
His health of body firm and good,
Though past the hey-day of his blood ;

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