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The life of Garrick is too well known, and too full of little
incidents, to require, or to allow, of its insertion here. He seems always to have written as the manager of a
theatre, and to have always kept in view the interest he possessed in it. His poetry is calculated to catch applause, but does not aspire to fame; it would be invidious therefore to try it by very rigid rules. His satire is not weak, but it is not terrible ; and his muse is always lively enough to please, though she may not attempt to astonish. The Fribbleriad will not compare with the Rosciad ; the first 90 lines are nearly upon the same subject as those of Churchill, beginning
• With that low cunning which in fools supplies' and are given in these specimens. The reader will see that in a better-natured vein he satirizes a prevailing
folly, in the prologue to Foote's comedy, “ Taste.” The Odle to Shakspeare is not in the manner of the ancient
Pindar, but of a modern Manager, and can hardly give a just idea of the lyrick poetry of our times ; as it has been much spoken of, an extract from it is subjoined.
Who is the Scribler, X, Y, Z,
Who still writes on, though little read?
Whose falshood, malice, envy, spite,
So often grin, yet seldom bite?
Say, Garrick, does he write for bread,
This friend of yours, this X, Y, Z?
For pleasure sure, not bread-'twere vain,
To write for that he ne'er could gain;
No calls of nature to excuse him,
He deals in rancour to amuse him ;
A man, it seems-'tis hard to say ..
A woman then ?-a moment pray ;-
Unknown as yet by sex or feature,
Suppose we try to guess the creature;
Whether a wit, or a pretender?
Of masculine, or female gender ?
Some things it does may pass for either,
And some it does, belong to neither:
It is so fibbing, slandering, spiteful,
In phrase so dainty, so delightful;
So fond of all it reads and writes,
So waggish when the maggot bites ;
Such spleen, such wickedness, and whim;
It must be woman, and a brim.
But then the learning and the Latin !
The ends of Horace come so pat in,
And, wanting wit, it makes such shift,
To fill up gaps with Pope and Swift,
As cunning house-wives bait their traps,
And take their game with bits and scraps;
For playhouse criticks, keen as mice,
Are ever greedy, ever nice;
And rank abuse, like toasted cheese,
Will catch as many as you please ;
In short, 'tis easily discerning,
By here and there a patch of learning,
The creature's male-say all we can,
It must be some hing like a man-
What, like a man, from day to shrink,
And seek revenge with pen and ink?
On mischief bent, his name conceal,
And like a toad in secret steal,
There swell with venom inward pent,
Till out he climbs to give it vent.
Hate, join'd with fear, will shun the light,
But hate and manhood fairly fight-
'Tis manhood's mark to face the foe,
And not in ambush give the blow;
The savage thus less man than beast,
Upon his foe will fall and feast,
From bush, or hole, his arrows send,
To wound his prey, then tear and rend;
For fear and hatred in conjunction,
Make wretches that feel no compunction.
With colours flying, beat of drum,
Unlike to this, see Churchill come.
And not like Hercules he stands,
Unmask d his face, but aim'd his hands;
Alike prepared to write or drub !
This holds a pen, and that, a club!
A club! which nerves like his can wield,
And form'd a wit like his to shield.
“ Mine is the Rosciad, mine, he cries ;
Who says 'tis not, I say, he lies.
To falsehood and to fear a stranger,
Not one shall fear my fame or danger ;
Let those who write with fear or shame,
Those Craftınen scribblers, hide their name!
My name is Churchill !”, . Thus he spoke,
And thrice he wayed his knotted oak:
That done, he paused.... prepared the blow, Impartial bard ! for friend and foe.
If such are manhoods' feats and plan,
Poor X, Y, Z, will prove no man;
Nor male? nor female ? .... then on oath
We safely may pronounce it both.
What ! of that wriggling, fribbling race,
The curse of nature, and disgrace?
That mixture base, with fiends set sorth,
To taint and villify all worth
Whose rancour knows no bounds, nor measure,
Fools every passion, tastes no pleasure ;
The want of power, all peace destroying,
For ever wishing, ne'er enjoying-
So smiling, smirking, soft in feature,
You'd swear it was the gentle creature-
But touch its pride, the lady-fellow,
From sickly pale, furns deadly yellow -
Male, female, vanish-fiends appear
And all is malice, rage, and fear !