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[Dr. Goldsmith, and the Gentlemen characterised in this
Poem, occasionally dined at the St. James's Coffeehouse-One day it was proposed to write Epitaphs on him. His country, dialect, and person, furnished subjects of witticism. He was called on for RetaLIATION, and at their next meeting produced this Poem. It was first printed in the year 1774, after the Author's death.]
Op old, when Scarron his companions invited,
(a) The master of the St. James's Coffeehouse.
1) Mr. Richard Cumberland, author of the West Indian, and other dramatic pieces.
(8) Dr. Douglas, canon of Windsor, an ingenious Scotch gentleman, who has no less distinguished himself as a citi
Our Garrick's(b) a sallad-for in him we see
head, Let me ponder, and tell what I think of the dead.
Here lies the good dean(m), re-united to earth,
HereliesourgoodEdmund(n), whosegenius was such,
(1) David Garrick, esq.
(1) Counsellor John Ridge, a gentleman belonging to the Irish bar.
(k) Sir Joshua Reynolds. (1) An eminent attorney. (m) Vide page 63.
(n) Vide page 63. (0) Mr. T. Townshend, member for Whitchurch
Who, too deep for his hearers, still went on refining,
Herelies honest William(p),whose heart was a mint,
ask for his merits ? alas! he had none; What was good was spontaneous, his faults were his own.
Here lies honest Richard, whose fate I must sigh atAlas, that such frolic should now be so quiet! What spirits were his! what wit and what whim! Now breaking a jest, and now breaking a limb!(9) Now wrangling and grumbling to keep up the ball! Now teazing and vexing, yet laughing at all! In short, so provoking a devil was Dick, That we wilh'd him full ten times a-day at Old Nick; But, missing his mirth and agreeable vein, As often we wilh’d to have Dick back again.
() Vide page 63.
(9) Mr. Richard Burke. This gentleman having slightly fractured one of his arms and legs, at different times, the doctor has rallied him on those accidents, as a kind of retributive justice for breaking his jests upon other people.
Here Cumberland (r) lies, having acted his partsThe Terence of England, the mender of hearts; A flattering painter, who made it his care To draw men as they ought to be-not as they are : His gallants are all faultless, his women divine, And comedy wonders at being so fine Like a tragedy-queen he has dizen'd her out, Or rather like tragedy giving a rout: His fools have their follies so lost in a crowd Of virtues and failings, that folly grows proud; And coxcombs, alike in their failings alone, Adopting his portraits, are pleas'd with their own. Say, where has our poet this malady caught? Or wherefore his characters thus without fault? Say, was it that, vainly directing his view To find out men's virtues, and finding them few, Quite fick of pursuing each troublesome elf, He grew lazy at last, and drew froin himself?
Here Douglas(s) retires from his toils to relax, The scourge of impostors, the terror of quacks: Come, all ye quack-bards, and ye quacking divines, Come, and danceon the spot where your tyrant reclines: When satire and censure encircled his throne, I fear'd for your safety—I fear’d for my own; But now he is gone, and we want a detector, Our Dodds(t)shall be pious,our Kenricks(w)shall lecture;
(1) Vide page 63.
(6) Dr. Kenrick, who read lectures at the Devil Tavern, under the title of " The School of Shakespeare."
Macpherson(x) write bombast, and call it a style;
Here lies David Garrick, describe me who can,
(x) James Macpherson, esq. who, from the mere force of his style, wrote down the first poet of all antiquity. (y) Vide page 64.
(2) Vide page 63.