« ПретходнаНастави »
A Scotchman, from pride and from prejudice free; A scholar, yet surely no pedant was he.
What pity, alas! that so liberal a mind Should so long be to newspaper essays confined ! Who perhaps to the summit of science could soar, Yet content "if the table he set in a roar;" Whose talents to fill any station were fit, Yet happy if *Woodfall confessed him a wit.
Ye newspaper witlings! ye pert scribbling folks ! Who copied his squibs, and re-echoed his jokes ; Ye tame imitators, ye servile herd, come, Still follow your master, and visit his tomb: To deck it bring with you festoons of the vine, And copious libations bestow on his shrine ; Then strew all around it (you can do no less) Cross-readings, ship-news, and mistakes of the press.
Merry Whitefoord, farewell! for thy sake I admit That a Scot may have humour, I had almost said wit: This debt to thy memory I cannot refuse, 66 Thou best humoured man with the worst humour
WAERE the Red Lion staring o'er the way,
Invites each passing stranger that can pay:
Where Calvert's butt, and Parson's black champaign,
Regale the drabs and bloods of Drury-lane :
There, in a lonely room, from bailiffs snug,
The muse found Scroggen stretched beneath a rug :
A window, patched with paper, lent a ray,
That dimly showed the state in which he lay;
The sanded floor, that grits beneath the tread;
The humid wall, with paltry pictures spread :
The royal game of goose was there in view,
And the twelve rules the royal martyr drew;
The seasons, framed with listing, found a place,
And brave prince William showed his lamp-black
The morn was cold; he views with keen desire
The rusty grate unconscious of a fire:
With beer and milk arrears the frieze was scored,
And five cracked tea-cups dressed the chimney board;
A night-cap decked his brows instead of bay;
A cap by night-a stocking all the day!
SECLUDED from domestic strise,
Jack Book-worm led a college life;
A fellowship at twenty-five
Made him the happiest man alive;
He drank his glass, and cracked his joke,
And freshmen wondered as he spoke.
Such pleasures, unallayed with care,
Could any accident impair ?
Could cupid's shaft at length transfix
Our swain, arrived at thirty-six ?
O had the archer ne'er come down
To ravage in a country town!
Or Flavia been content to stop
At triumphs in a Fleet-street shop;
O had her eyes forgot to blaze !
Or Jack had wanted eyes to gaze;
Obut let exclamation cease,
Her presence banished all his peace.
So with decorum all things carried ;
Miss frowned and blushed, and then was married.
Need we expose to vulgar sight
The raptures of the bridal night?
Need we intrude on hallowed ground,
Or draw the curtains, closed around ?
Let it suffice, that each had charms :
He clasped a goddess in his arms ;
And though she felt his usage rough,
Yet in a man 'twas well enough.
The honey-moon like lightning flew;
The second brought its transports too.
A third, a fourth, were not amiss ;
The fifth was friendship mixed with bliss :
But, when a twelvemonth passed away,
Jack found his goddess made of clay;
Found half the charms that decked her face
Arose from powder, shreds, or lace;
But still the worst remained behind;
That very face had robbed her mind.
Skilled in no other arts was she, But dressing, patching, repartee; And, just as humour rose or fell, By turns a slattern or a belle. "Tis true she dressed with modern grace, Half-naked at a ball or race; But when at home, at board or bed, Five greasy night-caps wrapped her head. Could so much beauty condescend To be a dull domestic friend ? Could any curtain lectures bring To decency so fine a thing ? In short, by night, 'twas fits or fretting; By day 'twas gadding or coquetting. Fond to be seen, she kept a bevy Of powdered coxcombs at her levee :
The 'squire and captain took their stations,
And twenty other near relations.
Jack sucked his pipe, and often broke
A sigh in suffocating smoke ;
While all their hours were passed between
Insulting repartee or spleen.
Thus as her faults each day were known,
He thinks her features coarser grown;
He fancies every vice she shows,
Or thins her lip, or points her nose:
Whenever rage or envy rise,
How wide her mouth, how wild her eyes !
He knows not how, but so it is,
Her face is grown a knowing phiz;
And though her fops are wondrous civil,
He thinks her ugly as the devil.
Now, to perplex the ravelled noose,
As each a different way pursues,
While sullen or loqacious strife
Promised to hold them on for life,
That dire disease, whose ruthless power
Withers the beauty's transient flower:
Lo! the small.pox, whose horrid glare
Levelled its terrors at the fair;
And, rifling every youthful grace,
Left but the remnant of a face.
The glass, grown hateful to her sight, Reflected now a perfect fright; Each former art she vainly tries To bring back lustre to her eyes.