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Who hunt, if they e'er hunt at all, with the lion,
(Though they hunt lions also, whenever they spy one,)
Who contrive to make every good fortune a wry one,
And at last choose the hard bed of honor to die on,
Whose pedigree, traced to earth's earliest years,
Is longer than anything else but their ears;—
In short, he was sent into life with the wrong key,
He unlocked the door, and stept forth a poor donkey.

Though kicked and abused by his bipedal betters,
Yet he filled no mean place in the kingdom of letters;

Far happier than many a literary hack,

He bore only paper-mill rags on his back;

(For it makes a vast difference which side the mill
One expends on the paper his labor and skill ;)
So, when his soul waited a new transmigration,
And Destiny balanced 'twixt this and that station,
Not having much time to expend upon bothers,
Remembering he'd had some connexion with authors,
And considering his four legs had grown paralytic,—
She set him on two, and he came forth a critic.

Through his babyhood no kind of pleasure he took

In any amusement but tearing a book;

For him there was no intermediate stage,

From babyhood up to straight-laced middle age;

There were years when he didn't wear coat-tails behind,

But a boy he could never be rightly defined;
Like the Irish Good Folk, though in length scarce a span,
From the womb he came gravely, a little old man;
While other boys' trowsers demanded the toil

Of the motherly fingers on all kinds of soil,
Red, yellow, brown, black, clayey, gravelly, loamy,

He sat in a corner and read Viri Romæ.

He never was known to unbend or to revel once
In base, marbles, hockey, or kick up the devil once;
He was just one of those who excite the benevolence
Of old prigs who sound the soul's depths with a ledger,
And are on the look-out for some young men to “ edger-
-cate," as they call it, who won't be too costly,
And who'll afterward take to the ministry mostly;
Who always wear spectacles, always look bilious,
Always keep on good terms with each mater-familias
Throughout the whole parish, and manage to rear
Ten boys like themselves, on four hundred a year;
Who, fulfilling in turn the same fearful conditions,
Either preach through their noses, or go upon missions.

In this way our hero got safely to College, Where he bolted alike both his commons and knowledge; A reading-machine, always wound up and going, He mastered whatever was not worth the knowing, Appeared in a gown, and a vest of black satin,

To spout such a Gothic oration in Latin,

That Tully could never have made out a word in it,
(Though himself was the model the author preferred in it,)
And grasping the parchment which gave him in fee,
All the mystic and-so-forths contained in A. B.,
He was launched (life is always compared to a sea,)
With just enough learning, and skill for the using it,
To prove he'd a brain, by forever confusing it.
So worthy Saint Benedict, piously burning
With the holiest zeal against secular learning,
Nesciensque scienter, as writers express it,
Indoctusque sapienter à Româ recessit.

'Twould be endless to tell you the things that he knew,

All separate facts, undeniably true,

But with him or each other they'd nothing to do;

No power of combining, arranging, discerning,
Digested the masses he learned into learning;

There was one thing in life he had practical knowledge for, (And this, you will think, he need scarce go to college for,) Not a deed would he do, nor a word would he utter,

Till he'd weighed its relations to plain bread and butter. When he left Alma Mater, he practised his wits

In compiling the journals' historical bits,

Of shops broken open, men falling in fits,

Great fortunes in England bequeathed to poor printers,

And cold spells, the coldest for many past winters,—
Then, rising by industry, knack, and address,
Got notices up for an unbiassed press,

With a mind so well poised, it seemed equally made for
Applause or abuse, just which chanced to be paid for;
From this point his progress was rapid and sure,
To the post of a regular heavy reviewer.

And here I must say, he wrote excellent articles
On the Hebraic points, or the force of Greek particles,
They filled up the space nothing else was prepared for,
And nobody read that which nobody cared for;


any old book reached a fiftieth edition,

He could fill forty pages with safe erudition;

He could gauge the old books by the old set of rules,
And his very old nothings pleased very old fools;
But give him a new book, fresh out of the heart,
And you put him at sea without compass or chart,—
His blunders aspired to the rank of an art;

For his lore was engraft, something foreign that grew in him,
Exhausting the sap of the native and true in him,

So that when a man came with a soul that was new in him,
Carving new forms of truth out of Nature's old granite,
New and old at their birth, like Le Verrier's planet,
Which, to get a true judgment, themselves must create
In the soul of their critic the measure and weight,

Being rather themselves a fresh standard of grace,

To compute their own judge, and assign him his place,
Our reviewer would crawl all about it and round it,
And, reporting each circumstance just as he found it,
Without the least malice,—his record would be

Profoundly æsthetic as that of a flea,

Which, supping on Wordsworth, should print, for our sakes,
Recollections of nights with the Bard of the Lakes,
Or, borne by an Arab guide, ventured to render a
General view of the ruins at Denderah.

As I said, he was never precisely unkind,
The defect in his brain was mere absence of mind;
If he boasted, 'twas simply that he was self-made,
A position which I, for one, never gainsaid,

My respect for my Maker supposing a skill
In his works which our hero would answer but ill;
And I trust that the mould which he used may be cracked, or he,
Made bold by success, may make broad his phylactery,
And set up a kind of a man-manufactory,

An event which I shudder to think about, seeing
That Man is a moral, accountable being.

He meant well enough, but was still in the way, As a dunce always is, let him be where he may; Indeed, they appear to come into existence

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