Слике страница

Pursue the wand'rer through each secret maze,
And on her labours dart a noontide blaze?
When to the chair Banks forc'd his bold ascent,
He crawled a bug upon the monument.
His words like stones for pavements, make us start;
Rude, roughly rumbling, tumbling from the cart;
Who for importance all his lungs employs,
And think that words, like drums, were made for noise.'
You see the world, Sir Joseph, scorns to flatter-

Sir J. In truth, I think it hath not minc'd the matter.
Yet, by all that's strange, good Peter, know,
I'm honour'd, star'd at wheresoe'r 1 go!
Soon as a room I enter, lo, all ranks,
Get up to compliment Sir Joseph Banks!

Pet. And then sit down again, I do suppose; And then around the room a whisper goes, Lord, that's Sir Joseph Banks !-how grand his look, Who sail'd all round the world with Captain Cook !'

Sir J. Zounds ! what the devil's fame if this be not?

Pet. Sir Joseph, prithee, don't be such a sot-
Those wonderful admirers, man, were dozens
Of fresh imported, staring country cousins;
To London come, the waxwork to devour,
And see their brother beasts within the Tow'r:
True fame is praise by men of wisdom giv'n,
Whose souls display some workmanship of Heav'n;
Not by the wooden million-Nature's chips,
Whose twilight souls are ever in eclipse;
Puppies! who though on idiotism's dark brink,
Because they've heads, dare fancy they can think !

Sir J. What though unlettered, I can lead the herd,
And laugh at half the members to their beard.
Frequent to court I go, and ’midst the ring,
I catch most gracious whispers from the king-

Pet. And well, I think, I hear each precious speech,
In sentiment sublime, and language rich;
What's new, Sir Joseph ? what, what's new found out ?
What's the society, what, what about?
Any more monsters, lizard, monkey, rat,
Egg, weed, mouse, butterfly, pig, what, what, what?'

Such is the language of the first of kings,
That many a sighing heart with envy stings;
And much I'm pleas'd to fancy that I hear
Such wise and gracious whispers greet your ear:

Yet if the greater part of members growl,
Though owls themselves, and curse you for an owl;
And bent the great Sir Joseph Banks to humble,
Behold the Giant President must tumble.

Pet. Zounds! sir, the great ones to my whistle come ; I have 'em ev'ry one beneath my

thumb. These shall arise, and with a single frown, Beat the bold front of opposition down.

Pet. To hunt for days a lizard or a gnat,
And run a dozen miles to catch a bat ;
Are matters of proud triumph, to be sure,
And such as fame's fair volume should secure :
Yet to my mind, it is not such a feat
As gives a man a claim to Newton's seat.

Sir J. Yet are there men of genius who support me, Proud of my friendship, see Sir William court me!

Pet. Sir William, hand and glove with Naples' king! Who made with rare antiques the nation ring ; Who when Vesuvius foamed with melted matter, March'd

up and clapp'd his nose into the crater, Just with the same sang froid that Joan, the cook, Casts on her dumplings, in the pot, a look.

Sir J. Lo, at my call the noble Marlb'rough's vote, Whose observations much our fame promote.

Pray, then, what think ye of our famous Daines?

Pet. Think of a man deny'd by nature brains ! Who ever from old urns to crotchets leaps, Delights in music, and at concerts sleeps.

Sir J. Zounds! 'tis in vain, I see to utter praise !-
Pet. Then mention some one who deserves my lays.

Sir J. Know then, I've sent to distant parts to find
Beings the most uncommon of their kind:
The greatest monsters of the land and water-

Pet. The beautiful deformities of nature !
Birds without heads, and tails, and wings, and legs,
Tremendous Cyclop pigs, and speckless eggs,
Snails from Japan, and wasps, and Indian jays,
Command attention, and excite our praise.
Rare are the buttons of a Roman's breeches,
In antiquarian eyes surpassing riches :
Rare is each crack’d, black, rotten, earthen dish,
That held of ancient Rome the flesh and fish:
Yet these to gain, and give to public view,
Lo! Parkinson knows full as well as you ;


As did Sir Ashton fam'd, whose mental pow'r
Just reach'd to tell us by the clock the hour.

Sir J. Poh! poh! don't laugh-such things are rich and Be something sacred—let not all be farce.

Pet. Sir Joseph, I must laugh when things like these Beyond sublimities have pow'r to please : To crowd with such-like littleness your walls, Is putting Master Punch into St. Paul's. Yet to the point—the place on which you dote Hath been for ever carried by the voteKnow then, your parasites begin to bellow : And call you openly a shallow fellow ; In vain to fav'ring majesty you fly, 'Tis on the many that you must rely: E'en block heads blush, so much are they asham'd

Sir J. They and their modest blushes may be hang’d. Ungrateful scoundrels ! eat my rolls and butter, And daring thus their insolences mutter ! Swallow my turtle and my beef by pounds, And tear my venison like pack of hounds; Yet have the impudence, the brazen face, To say I am not fitted for the place! Yet, let me hold by any means the chair! To keep that honour, every thing I dare.

Pet. In short, your gormandizers and your drinkers Quit their old faith and turn out rank freethinkers. Dead is the novelty of fine fat haunches, And truth no longer sacrificed to paunches : No charms surround the knocker of your door, That beam'd with honour, but now beams no more !

Sir J. Betray'd by those on whom my all depends !

Pet. Betray'd, like Cæsar, by his bosom friends!
With solemn, sentimental step, so slow,
I see you through the streets of London go,
With poring, studious, staring, earth-nail'd
As heedless of the mob that bustles by;
This was a scheme of wisdom let me say,
But lo, this trap for fame hath had its day;
And let me tell you, what I've urged before,
The restless members look for something more.

Sir J. Tell, then, each pretty president creator,
Confound him, that I'll eat an alligator !

Pet. Sir Joseph, pray don't eat an alligatorGo swallow something of a softer nature;

Feast on the arts and sciences, and learn
Sublimity from trifle to discern ;
With shells, and flies, and daises covered o'er,
Let pert Queen Fiddlefaddle rule no more:
Thus shall philosophy her suffrage yield,
Sir Joseph wear his hat, and hammer wield;
No more shall Wisdom on the Journals stare,
Nor Newton's image blush behind the chair.


DR. JOHNSON—MR. GIBBON..... Sir Joshua Reynolds. Johnson. No, Sir; Garrick's fame was prodigious, not only in England, but all over Europe; even in Russia, I have been told, he was a proverb. When any one had repeated well, he was called a second Garrick.

Gibbon. I think he had full as much reputation as he deserved.

J. I do not pretend to know, Sir, what your meaning may be, by saying he had as much reputation as he deserved. He deserved much, and he had much.

G. Why surely, Dr. Johnson, his merit was in small things only. He had none of those qualities that make a real great man.

J. Sir, I as little understand what your meaning may be, when you speak of the qualities that make a great man. It is a vague term. Garrick was no common man. A man above the common size may surely, without any great impropriety, be called a great man. No, Sir; it is undoubtedly true, that the same qualities united with virtue or vice, make a hero or a rogue; a great general or a highwayman. Now Garrick, we are sure, was never hanged, and in regard to his being a great man, you must take the whole man together. It must be considered in how many things Garrick excelled, in which every man desires to excel. Setting aside his excellence as an actor, in which he is acknowledged to be unrivalled, as a man, as a poet, as a convivial companion, you will find but few his equals, none his superior. As a man he was kind, friendly, benevolent, and generous.

G. Of Garrick's generosity I never heard. I understood his character to be totally the reverse, and that he was reckoned to have loved money.

J. That he loved money nobody will dispute ;-who does not? But if you mean by loving money, that he was parsimonious to a fault, Sir, you have been misinformed. To Foote, and such scoundrels, who circulated those reports—to such profligate spendthrifts, prudence is meanness, and economy is avarice. That Garrick in early youth was brought up in strict habits of economy, I believe; and that they were necessary, I have heard from himself. In regard to his generosity, which you seem to question, I shall only say, there is no man to whom I would apply, with more confidence of success, for a loan of two hundred pounds to assist a common friend, than to David; and this too with very little, if any, probability of its being repaid.

G. You were going to say something of him as a writer. You don't rate him very high as a poet.

J. Sir, a man may be a respectable poet, without being a Homer; as a man may be a good player without being a Garrick. In the lighter kinds of poetry, in the appendages of the drama, he was, if not the first, in the very first class. He had a readiness and facility, a dexterity of mind, that appeared extraordinary even to men of experience, and who are not apt to wonder from ignorance.

G. Garrick had some flippancy of parts, to be sure, and was brisk and lively in company; and by help of mimickry and story-telling, made himself a pleasant companion : but here the whole world gave the superiority to Foote, and Garrick himself appears to have felt as if his genius was rebuked by the

superior powers of Foote. It has often been observed, that Garrick never dared to enter into competition with him, but was content to act an underpart to bring Foote out.

J. That this conduct of Garrick might be interpreted by the gross minds of Foote, and his friends, as if he was afraid to encounter him, I cannot easily imagine. Of the natural superiority of Garrick over Foote, this conduct is an instance: he disdained entering into competition with such a fellow, and made him the buffoon of the company; or, as you say, brought him out. No man, however high in rank, or literature, but was proud to know Garrick, and was glad to have him at his table; no man ever considered or treated Garrick as a player; he may be said to have stepped out of his own rank into an higher, and by raising himself, he raised the rank of his profession. At a convivial table his exhilarating powers were unrivalled. He was


« ПретходнаНастави »