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ISAAC HAWKINS BROWNE.
(Born, 1705. Died, 1760.)
Isaac Hawkins BROWNE was born at Burton- but his fortune enabled him to decline the purupon-Trent, educated at Westminster and Cam suit of business long before his death. He sat in bridge, and studied the law at Lincoln's Inn ; two parliaments for Wenlocke, in Shropshire*.
When summer suns grow red with heat,
Tobacco tempers Phoebus' ire ;
Yellow autumn, youthful spring,
Like Neptune, Cæsar guards Virginian fleets,
Happy mortal ! he who knows
Little tube of mighty power,
Happiest he of happy men. (* Browne was an entertaining companion when he had drunk his bottle, but not before; this proved a snare to him, and he would sometimes drink too much ; but I know not that he was chargeable with any other irregularities. He had those among his intimates, who would not have been such had he been otherwise viciously inclined ;-the Duncombes, in particular, father and son, who were of unblemished morals.-Cowper, Letter to Rose, 20 May, 1789.)
[+ Mr. Hawkins Browne, the author of these, had no good original manner of his own, yet we see how well he succeeds when he turns an imitator; for the following are rather imitations, than ridiculous parodies.GOLDSMITH.)
Smiling years that gaily run
IMITATION III*.-JAMES THOMSON.
Oh be thou still my yreut inspirer, thou
- Prorumpit ad æthera nubem Turbine, fumantem piceo.
O thou, matured by glad Hesperian suns,
IMITATION IV.DR. YOUNG.
Bullatis mihi nugis
Pagina turgescat-dare pondus idonea fumo.-Pers. Flash on thy bard, and with exalting fires Touch the mysterious lip that chaunts thy praise Critics avaunt ! Tobacco is my theme; In strains to mortal sons of earth unknown. Tremble like hornets at the blasting steam. Behold an engine, wrought from tawny mines And you, court-insects, flutter not too near Of ductile clay, with plastic virtue form’d, Its light, nor buzz within the scorching sphere. And glazed magnific o’er, I grasp, I fill.
Pollio, with flame like thine my verse inspire, From Pætotheke with pungent powers perfumed, So shall the Muse from smoke elicit fire. Itself one tortoise all, where shines imbibed Coxcombs prefer the tickling sting of snuff; Each parent ray ; then rudely ramm'd illume, Yet all their claim to wisdom is--a puff : With the red touch of zeal.enkindling sheet,
Lord Foplin smokes not-for his teeth afraid : Mark'd with Gibsonian lore ; forth issue clouds, Sir Tawdry smokes not—for he wears brocade. Thought-thrilling, thirst-inciting clouds around, Ladies, when pipes are brought, affect to swoon ; And many-mining fires ; I all the while,
They love no smoke, except the smoke of town ; Lolling at ease, inhale the breezy balm.
But courtiers hate the puffing tribe,—no matter, But chief, when Bacchus wont with thee to join, Strange if they love the breath that cannot flatter! In genial strife and orthodoxal ale,
Its foes but show their ignorance ; can he Stream life and joy into the Muse's boul.
Who scorns the leaf of knowledge, love the tree !
The tainted Templar (more prodigious yet) [* “Browne," said Pope to Spence, “is an excellent
Rails at Tobacco, though it makes him— spit. copyist, and those who take it ill of him are very mucli in the wrong." This appears to have been said with an
Citronia vows it has an odious stink; eye to Thomson, who, soon after the “* Pipe" appeared, pub She will not smoke (ye gods !)—but she will drink: lished in the papers of the day what Armstrong has called And chaste Prudella (blame her if you can) “ a warm copy of verses" by way of reply? These
Says, pipes are used by that vile creature Man: we have the good luck to recover; they are altogether unnoticed and unknown, and as such, not from their merit.
Yet crowds remain, who still its worth proclaim, may find a place here.
While some for pleasure smoke, and some for fane: THE SMOK ER SMOKED T.
Fame, of our actions universal spring, Still from thy pipe, as from dull Tophet, say,
For which we drink, eat, sleep, smoke-everything.
IMITATION V.-MR. POPE.
Solis ad ortus
Blest leaf! whose aromatic gales dispense
To Templars modesty, to parsons sense :
So raptured priests, at famed Dodona's shrine, Were to the dusky tribe Parnassus free,
Drank inspiration from the steam divine.
Poison that cures, a vapour that affords Good lord! what parsons would come bustling in? Content, more solid than the smile of lords : What foggy politicians, templars, cits!
Rest to the weary, to the hungry food,
The last kind refuge of the wise and good.
Inspired by thee, dull cits adjust the scale Be cautious, mortal! whom you imitate,
Of Europe's peace, when other statesmen fail. And wise, remember vain Salmoneus' fate;
By thee protected, and thy sister, beer,
Poets rejoice, nor think the bailiff' near.
Nor less the critic owns thy genial aid, His chariot rattling v'er a bridge of brass.
While supperless he plies the piddling trade. Wrathful at this, from deep surrounding gloom,
What though to love and soft delights a foe, Th'almighty father seized the forky doom; (No firebrand that, emitting smoky light,
By ladies hated, hated by the beau, But with impatient vengeance fiercely bright ;)
Yet social freedom, long to courts unknown, He seized, and hurl'd it on the thundering elf,
Fair health, fair truth, and virtue are thy own. Who straight vile ashes fell, his thunders and himself.
Come to thy poet, come with healing wings, (t Gent's Mag. for 1736, p. 743.]
And let me taste thee unexcised by kings.
IMITATION VIDEAN SWIFT.
Ex fumo dare lucem.-Hor.
Boy! bring an ounce of Freeman's best,
Doze o'er a pipe, whose vapour bland
Come, jovial pipe, and bring along
Britons, if undone, can go
This village, unmolested yet
(Born, 1691. Died, 1763.)
Joan Byrom was the son of a linen-draper at to vacate, as he declined to go into the church. Manchester. He was born at Kersal, and was He afterwards supported himself by teaching educated at Merchant Tailors' school, and at short-hand writing in London, till, by the death Cambridge. Dr. Bentley, the father of the Phæbe of an elder brother, he inherited the family of his pastoral poem, procured him a fellowship estate, and spent the close of his life in easy at the University, which he was obliged, however, | circumstances*.
A PASTORAL. My time, O ye Muses, was happily spent,
Must you be so cheerful, while I go in pain ? When Phæbe went with me wherever I went ; Peace there with your bubbling, and hear me Ten thousand sweet pleasures I felt in my
complain. breast : Sure never fond shepherd like Colin was blest !
My lambkins around me would oftentimes play,
And Phæbe and I were as joyful as they ;
How pleasant their sporting, how happy their time, When things were as fine as could possibly be,
When Spring, Love, and Beauty, were all in their I thought 'twas the Spring ; but alas ! it was she.
But now, in their frolics when by me they pass, With such a companion to tend a few sheep,
I Aling at their fleeces an handful of grass ; To rise up and play, or to lie down and sleep : Be still then, I cry, for it makes me quite mad, I was so good-humour'd, so cheerful and gay, To see you so merry while I am so sad. My heart was as light as a feather all day, But now I so cross and so peevish am grown,
My dog I was ever well pleased to see So strangely uneasy, as never was known. Come wagging his tail to my fair one and me; My fair one is gone, and my joys are all drown'd, And Phæbe was pleased too, and to my dog said, And my heart—1 am sure it weighs more than “ Come hither, poor fellow ;" and patted his head. a pound.
But now, when he's fawning, I with a sour look
Cry “Sirrah;" and give him a blow with my crook: The fountain, that wont to run sweetly along, / And I'll give him another; for why should not Tray And dance to soft murmurs the pebbles among ; i Be as dull as his master, when Phæbe's away! Thou know’st, little Cupid, if Phæbe was there, 'Twas pleasure to look at, 'twas music to hear :
(* The poems of this ingenious and singular good man
are properly included in Chalmers's General Collection ; But now she is absent, I walk by its side,
properly, because they have the great and rare merit of And still, as it murmurs, do nothing but chide ; i originality.-SOUTHEY. Couper, vol. vii. p. 304.]
When walking with Phæbe, what sights have I Ah! rivals, I see what it was that you drest,
And made yourselves fine for--a place in her breast:
I could breathe on his wings, and 'twould melt
down the lead.
And rest so much longer for't when she is here.
But what swain is so silly to live without love!
No, deity, bid the dear nymph to return, Rose, what is become of thy delicate hue ? For ne'er was poor shepherd so sadly forlorn. And where is the violet's beautiful blue?
Ah ! what shall I do? I shall die with despair ; Does ought of its sweetness the blossom beguile? Take heed,all ye swains,how ye part with your faire. That meadow, those daisies, why do they not [* This Goldsmith justly preferred to any of Shenstone's smile?
William SHENSTONE was born at the Leasowes, | beauty. In these improvements his affectionate in Hales Owen. He was bred at Pembroke Col- apologist, Mr. Greaves, acknowledges that he lege, Oxford, where he applied himself to poetry, spent the whole of his income, but denies the and published a small miscellany in 1737, with. alleged poverty of his latter days, as well as the out his name. He had entertained thoughts, at rumour that his landscapes were haunted by duns one period, of studying medicine ; but on coming and bailiffs. He states, on the contrary, that be of age he retired to a property at Harborough, left considerable legacies to his servants. left him by his mother, where, in an old romantic The Frenchman who dedicated a stone in his habitation, haunted by rooks, and shaded by oaks garden to the memory of Shenstone, was not and elms, he gave himself up to indolence and wholly wrong in ascribing to him a “ taste natural," the Muses. He came to London for the first for there is a freshness and distinctness in his time in 1740, and published his “ Judgment of rural images, like those of a man who had enjoyed Hercules.” A year after appeared his “School- the country with his own senses, and very unlike mistress.” For several years he led a wander the descriptions of ing life of amusement, and was occasionally at Bath, London, and Cheltenhamn ; at the last of
“ A pastoral poet from Leadenhall-street," which places he met with the Phyllis of his pas
who may have never heard a lamb bleat but on toral ballad. The first sketch of that ballad had its way to the slaughter-house. At the same been written under a former attachment to a lady time there is a certain air of masquerade in bis of the name of Graves ; but it was resumed and pastoral character as applied to the man himself; finished in compliment to his new flame. Dr. Johnson informs us that he might have obtained
* Mons. Girardin, at hisestate of Ermenonville, formed
a garden in some degree on the English model, with inPhyllis, whoever the lady was, if he had chosen
scriptions after the manner of Shenstone, one of whicb, to ask her.
dedicated to Shenstone himself, ran thus: In the year 1745 the death of his indulgent
This plain stone uncle, Mr. Dolman, who had hitherto managed
To William Shenstone. his affairs, threw the care of them upon himself;
In his writings he display'd
A mind natural ; and he fixed his residence at the Leasowes, which
At Leasowes he laid he brought, by improvements, to its far-famed
Arcadian greens rural.
and he is most natural in those pieces where he those characters had been kept distinct, like two is least Arcadian. It may seem invidious, per- impressions on the opposite sides of a medal. haps, to object to Shenstone making his appear But he has another pastoral name, that of Damon, ance in poetry with his pipe and his crook, while in which the swain and the gentleman are rather custom has so much inured us to the idea of incongruously blended together. Damon has Spenser feigning himself to be Colin Clout, and also his festive garlands and dances at wakes and to his styling Sir Walter Raleigh the “ Shepherd may-poles, but he is moreover a disciple of vertů: of the Ocean”-an expression, by the way, which
« his bosom burns is not remarkably intelligible, and which, perhaps,
With statues, paintings, coins, and urns." might not unfairly be placed under Miss Edgeworth's description of English bulls. Gabriel “ He sighs to call one Titian stroke his own;" Harvey used also to designate himself Hobbinol expends his fortune on building domes and obein his poetry ; and Browne, Lodge, Drayton, lisks, is occasionally delighted to share his vintage Milton, and many others, describe themselves as with an old college acquaintance, and dreams of insurrounded by their flocks, though none of them viting Delia to a mansion with Venetian windows. probably ever possessed a live sheep in the course Apart from those ambiguities, Shenstone is a of their lives. But with respect to the poets of pleasing writer, both in his lighter and graver Elizabeth's reign, their distance from us appears vein. His genius is not forcible, but it settles in to soften the romantic licence of the fiction, and mediocrity without meanness. His pieces of we regard them as beings in some degree cha- levity correspond not disagreeably with their title. racterised by their vicinity to the ages of romance. His “ Ode to Memory” is worthy of protection Milton, though coming later, invests his pastoral from the power which it invokes. Some of the disguise (in Lycidas) with such enchanting pic- stanzas of his “ Ode to Rural Elegance" seem to turesqueness as wholly to divert our attention recal to us the country-loving spirit of Cowley from the unreal shepherd to the real poet. But subdued in wit, but harmonised in expression. from the end of the seventeenth century pastoral From the commencement of the stanza in that poetry became gradually more and more unpro- ode, “ O sweet disposer of the rural hour,” he fitable in South Britain, and the figure of the sustains an agreeable and peculiarly refined genuine shepherd swain began to be chiefly con strain of poetical feeling. The ballad of “ Jemmy fined to pictures on china, and to opera ballets. Dawson,” and the elegy on “ Jessy,” are written Shenstone was one of the last of our respectable with genuine feeling. With all the beauties of poets who affected this Arcadianism, but he was the Leasowes in our minds, it may be still retoo modern to sustain it in perfect keeping. His gretted, that instead of devoting his whole soul entire poetry, therefore, presents us with a dou to clumping beeches, and projecting mottos for ble image of his character ; one impression which summer-houses, he had not gone more into living it leaves is that of an agreeable, indolent gentle nature for subjects, and described her interesting man, of cultivated taste and refined sentiments ; realities with the same fond and naïve touches the other that of Corydon, a purely amatory and which give so much delightfulness to his portrait ideal swain. It would have been so far well, if of the “ School-mistress."
THE SCHOOL-MISTRESS ..
IN IMITATION OF SPENSER.
And all in sight doth rise a birchen tree,
Ah me! full sorely is my heart forlorn,
And as they look'd they found their horror
grew, And shaped it into rods, and tingled at the view.
(* This poem is one of those happinesses in which a poet excels himself, as there is nothing in all Shenstone which any way approaches it in merit; and though I dislike the imitations of our English poets in general, yet, on this minute subject, the antiquity of the style produces a very ludicrous absurdity.-GOLDSMITH.
The Schoolmistress is excellent of its kind and masterly. -GRAY to Walpole.)