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The passe-partout through every vein
Of dissipation's hydra reign. + +
Suffice it, that by just degrees
They reached all heights, and rose with ease;
(For beauty wins its way uncalled,
And ready dupes are ne'er black-balled.)
Each gambling dame she knew, and he
Knew every shark of quality;
From the grave cautious few who live
On thoughtless youth, and living thrive,
To the light train who mimic France,
And the soft sons of nonchalance.
While Jenny, now no more of use,
Excuse succeeding to excuse,
Grew piqued, and prudently withdrew
To shilling whist, and chicken loo.
Advanced to fashion's wavering head,
They now, where once they followed, led;
Devised new systems of delight,
A-bed all day, and up all night,
In different circles reigned supreme;
Wives eopied her, and husbands him;
Till so divinely life ran on,
So separate, so quite bon-ton,
That, meeting in a public place,
They scarcely knew each other's face.
At last they met, by his desire,
A tete-à-téte across the fire;
Looked in each other's face awhile,
With half a tear, and half a smile.
The ruddy health, which wont to grace
With manly glow his rural face,
Now scarce retained its faintest streak,
So sallow was his leathern cheek.
She, lank and pale, and hollow-eyed,
With rouge had striven in vain to hide
What once was beauty, and repair
The rapine of the midnight air.
Silence is eloquence, ’tis said.
Both wished to speak, both hung the head.
At length it burst. ‘’Tis time,’ he cries,
“When tired of folly, to be wise.
Are you too tired P-then checked a groan.
She wept consent, and he went on :
“How delicate the married life
You love your husband, I my wife;
Not even satiety could tame,
Nor dissipation quench the flame.
True to the bias of our kind,
'Tis happiness we wish to find.
In rural scenes retired we sought
In vain the dear, delicious draught,
Though blest with love's indulgent store,
We found we wanted something more.
'Twas company, 'twas friends to share
The bliss we languished to declare;
'Twas social converse, change of scene,
To soothe the sullen hour of spleen ;
Short absences to wake desire,
And sweet regrets to fan the fire.
We left the lonesome place, and found,
In dissipation's giddy round,
A thousand novelties to wake
The springs of life, and not to break.
As, from the nest not wandering far,
In light excursions through the arr,
The ão. tenants of the grove
Around in mazy circles move,
Sip the cool springs that murmuring flow,
Or taste the blossom on the bough ;
We sported freely with the rest;
And still, returning to the nest,
In easy mirth we chatted o'er
The trifles of the day before.
Behold us now, dissolving quite
In the full ocean of delight;
In pleasures every hour employ,
Immersed in all the world calls joy;
Our affluence easing the expense
Of splendour and magnificence;
Our company, the exalted set
Of all that's gay, and all that's great:
Nor happy yet! and where's the wonder!
We live, my dear, too much asunders’
The moral of my tale is this:
Variety's the soul of bliss;
But such variety alone
As makes our home the more our own.
As from the heart's impelling power
The life-blood pours its genial store;
Though taking each a various way,
The active streams meandering play
Through every artery, every vein,
All to the heart return again;
From thence resume their new career,
But still return and centre there;
So real happiness below
Must from the heart sincerely flow;
Nor, listening to the syren's song,
Must stray too far, or rest too long.
All human pleasures thither tend;
Must there begin, and there must end;
Must there recruit their languid force,
And gain fresh vigour from their source.
DR JAMEs GRAINGER (1721–1766) was, according to his own statement, seen by Mr Prior, the biographer of Goldsmith, ‘of a gentleman's faumily in Cumberland.’ He studied medicine in Edinburgh, was in the army, and, on the peace, established himself as a medical practitioner in London. His poem of Solitude appeared in 1755, and was praised by Johnson, who considered the opening ‘very noble.” Grainger wrote several other pieces, translated Tibullus, and was a critic in the Monthly Review. In 1759 he went to St Christophers, in the West Indies, commenced practising as a physician, and married a lady of fortune. During his residence there, he wrote his poem of the Sugar-Cane, which Shenstone thought capable of being rendered a good poem; and the arguments in which, Southey says, are “ludicrously flat and formal.” One point is certainly ridiculous enough; “he very poetically,’ says Campbell, “dignifies the poor negroes with the name of “swains.”’ Grainger died in the West Indies.
O Solitude, romantic maid!
Whether by nodding towers you tread,
Or haunt the desert's trackless gloom,
Or hover o'er the yawning tomb,
Or climb the Andes' clifted side,
Or by the Nile's coy source abide,
Or starting from your half-year's sleep,
From Hecla view the thawing deep,
Or, at the purple dawn of day,
Tadmor's marble wastes survey,
You, recluse, again, I woo,
And again your steps pursue.
Plumed Conceit himself surveying, Folly with her shadow playing, Purse-proud, elbowing Insolence, Bloated empiric, puffed Pretence, Noise that through a trumpet speaks, Laughter in loud peals that breaks, Intrusion with a fopling's face, (Ignorant of time and place),
, Sparks of fire Dissension blowing,
Ductile, court-bred Flattery, bowing,
Restraint's stiff neck, Grimace's leer,
Squint-eyed Censure's artful sneer,
Ambition’s buskins, steeped in blood,
Fly thy presence, Solitude.
Sage Reflection, bent with years,
Conscious Virtue void of fears,
Muffled Silence, wood-nymph shy,
Meditation's piercing eye,
Halcyon Peace on moss reclined,
Retrospect that scans the mind,
Wrapt earth-gazing Reverie,
Blushing artless Modesty,
Health that snuffs the morning air,
Full-eyed Truth with bosom bare,
Inspiration, Nature's child,
Seek the solitary wild.
You, with the tragic muse retired,
The wise Euripides inspired;
You taught the sadly-pleasing air
That Athens saved from ruins bare.
You gave the Cean's tears to flow,
And unlocked the springs of wo;
You penned what exiled Naso thought,
And poured the melancholy note.
With Petrarch o'er Vaucluse you strayed,
When death snatched his long-loved maid;
You taught the rocks her loss to mourn,
Ye strewed with flowers her virgin urn.
And late in Hagley you were seen,
With bloodshot eyes, and sombre mien;
Hymen his yellow vestment tore,
And Dirge a wreath of cypress wore.
But chief your own the solemn lay
That wept Narcissa young and gay;
Darkness clapped her sable wing,
While you touched the mournful string;
X. left the pathless wild,
Grim-faced Melancholy smiled,
Drowsy Midnight ceased to yawn,
The starry host put back the dawn;
Aside their harps even seraphs flung
To hearthy sweet Complaint, O Young !
When all nature's hushed asleep,
Nor Love nor Guilt their vigils keep,
Soft you leave your caverned den,
And wander o'er the works of men;
But when Phosphor brings the dawn
By her dappled coursers drawn,
Again you to the wild retreat
And the early huntsman meet,
Where, as you pensive pace along,
You catch the distant shepherd's song,
Or brush from herbs the pearly dew,
Or the rising primrose view.
Devotion lends her heaven-plumed wings,
You mount, and nature with you sings.
But when mid-day fervours glow,
To upland airy shades you go,
Where never sunburnt woodman came,
Nor sportsman chased the timid game;
And there beneath an oak reclined,
With drowsy waterfalls behind,
You sink to rest.
Till the tuneful bird of night
From the neighbouring poplar's height,
Wake you with her solemn strain,
And teach pleased Echo to complain.
With you roses brighter bloom,
Sweeter every sweet perfume;
Purer every fountain flows,
Stronger every wildling grows.
Let those toil for gold who please,
Or for fame renounce their ease.
What is fame? an empty bubble.
Gold a transient shining trouble.
Let them for their country bleed,
What was Sidney's, Raleigh's meed?
Man's not worth a moment's pain,
Base, ungrateful, fickle, vain.
Then let me, sequestered fair,
To your sibyl grot repair;
On yon hanging cliff it stands,
Scooped by nature's salvage hands,
Bosomed in the gloomy shade
Of cypress not with age decayed.
Where the owl still-hooting sits,
Where the bat incessant flits,
There in loftier strains I’ll sing
Whence the changing seasons spring;
Tell how storms deform the skies,
Whence the waves subside and rise,
Trace the comet's blazing tail,
Weigh the planets in a scale;
Bend, great God, before thy shrine,
The bournless macrocosm's thine. * *
Two travellers of such a cast, As o'er Arabia's wilds they passed, And on their way, in friendly chat, Now talked of this, and then of that ; Discoursed awhile, 'mongst other matter, Of the Chameleon's form and nature. “A stranger animal,’ cries one, ‘Sure never lived beneath the sun : A lizard's body lean and long, A fish's head, a serpent's tongue, Its foot with triple claw disjoined ; And what a length of tail behind 1 How slow its pace 1 and then its hue— Who ever saw so fine a blue **
‘Hold there, the other quick replies, ‘'Tis green, I saw it with these eyes, As late with open mouth it lay, And warmed it in the sunny ray; Stretched at its ease the beast I viewed, And saw it eat the air for food.”
“I’ve seen it, sir, as well as you, And must again affirm it blue ; At leisure I the beast surveyed Extended in the cooling shade.”
‘'Tis green, 'tis green, sir, I assure ye.” “Green o' crics the other in a fury:
“Why, sir, d'ye think I’ve lost my eyes?’
| ‘’Twere no great loss,’ the friend replies;
“For if they always serve you thus,
You’ll find them but of little use.”
So high at last the contest rose,
From words they almost came to blows:
When luckily came by a third ;
To him the question they referred:
And begged he'd tell them, if he knew,
Whether the thing was green or blue.
‘Sirs, cries the umpire, ‘cease your pother;
The creature's neither one nor toother.
I caught the animal last night,
And viewed it o'er by candle-light:
I marked it well, 'twas black as jet—
You stare—but sirs, I’ve got it yet,
And can produce it.”—“Pray, sir, do;
I’ll lay my life the thing is blue.”
“And I'll be sworn, that when you've seen
The reptile, you’ll pronounce him green.’
“Well, then, at once to ease the doubt,”
Replies the man, “I’ll turn him out :
And when before your eyes I’ve set him,
If you don't find him black, I’ll eat him.”
He said; and full before their sight
Produced the beast, and lo!—'twas white.
Both stared, the man looked wondrous wise—
‘My children, the Chameleon cries,
(Then first the creature found a tongue)
‘You all are right, and all are wrong:
When next you talk of what you view,
Think others see as well as you:
Nor wonder if you find that none
Prefers your eye-sight to his own.”
ous collections. ous interesting particulars of literary history. The following exquisite little Anacreontic was from the pen of Oldys, who occasionally indulged in deep potations of ale, for which he was caricatured by his friend and brother antiquary, Grose:—
Song, made Ertempore by a Gentleman, occasioned by a Fly Drinking out of his Cup of Ale.
Busy, curious, thirsty fly,
Drink with me, and drink as I;
Freely welcome to my cup,
Could'st thou sip and sip it up.
Make the most of life you may,
Life is short, and wears away.
Both alike are mine and thine, Hastening quick to their decline: Thine's a summer, mine no more, Though repeated to threescore; Threescore summers, when they're gone, Will appear as short as one.”
His obscure diligence amassed vari
We'll ask no long protracted treat,
Since winter-life is seldom sweet;
But when our feast is o'er,
Grateful from table we'll arise,
Nor grudge our sons with envious eyes
The relics of our store.
Thus, hand in hand, through life we'll go;
Its chequered paths of joy and wo
With cautious steps we'll tread;
Quit its vain scenes without a tear,
| Without a trouble or a fear,
And mingle with the dead:
While conscience, like a faithful friend,
- Shall through the gloomy vale attend,
And cheer our dying breath;
Shall, when all other comforts cease,
Like a kind angel, whisper peace,
And smooth the bed of death.
The New Bath Guide, a light satirical and humorous poem, which appeared in 1766, and set an example in this description of composition, that has since been followed in numerous instances, and with great success. Smollett, in his Humphry Clinker, published five years later, may be almost said to have | reduced the ‘New Bath Guide' to prose. Many of |the characters and situations are exactly the same as those of Anstey. This poem seldom rises above the tone of conversation, but is easy, sportive, and | entertaining. The fashionable Fribbles of the day, the chat, scandal, and amusements of those attend|ing the wells, and the canting hypocrisy of some sectarians, are depicted, sometimes with indelicacy, |but always with force and liveliness. Mr Anstey was son of the Rev. Dr Anstey, rector of Brinkeley, in Cambridgeshire, a gentleman who possessed a considerablelanded property, which the poet afterwards inherited. He was educated at Eton school, and elected to King's college, Cambridge, and in both places he distinguished himself as a classical | scholar. In consequence of his refusal to deliver | certain declamations, Anstey quarrelled with the | heads of the university, and was denied the usual degree. In the epilogue to the ‘New Bath Guide,” he alludes to this circumstance—
CHRIsroPHER ANSTEY (1724–1805) was author of
Granta, sweet Granta, where studious of ease,
Seven years did I sleep, and then lost my degrees. | He then went into the army, and married Miss | Calvert, sister to his friend John Calvert, Esq., of Allbury Hall, in Hertfordshire, through whose in|fluence he was returned to parliament for the | borough of Hertford. He was a frequent resident in the city of Bath, and a favourite in the fashionable |and literary coteries of the place. In 1766 was published his celebrated poem, which instantly became popular. He wrote various other pieces—A Poem |; the Death of the Marquis of Tavistock, 1767; An Election Ball, in Poetical Letters from Mr Inkle at |Bath to his Wife at Gloucester; a Paraphrase of the Thirteenth Chapter of the First Epistle to the Corinthians; a satire entitled The Priest Dissected; Specu|lation, or a Defence of Mankind (1780); Liberality, or Memoirs of a Decayed Macaroni (1788); The |Farmer's Daughter, a Poetical Tale (1795); and | various other copies of occasional yerses. Anstey also translated Gray's Elegy into Latin verse, and addressed an elegant Latin Ode to Dr Jenner. While the ‘New Bath Guide' was “the only thing in fashion,' and relished for its novel and original kind of humour, the other productions of Anstey
were neglected by the public, and have never been revived. In the enjoyment of his paternal estate, the poet, however, was independent of the public support, and he took part in the sports of the field up to his eightieth year. While on a visit to his son-in-law, Mr Bosanquet, at Harnage, Wiltshire, he was taken ill, and died on the 3d of August 1805.
Now my lord had the honour of coming down post,
To pay his respects to so famous a toast;
In hopes he her ladyship's favour might win,
By playing the part of a host at an inn.
I’m sure he's a person of great resolution,
Though delicate nerves, and a weak constitution;
For he carried us all to a place cross the river,
And vowed that the rooms were too hot for his liver:
He said it would greatly our pleasure promote,
If we all for Spring Gardens set out in a boat:
I never as yet could his reason explain,
Why we all sallied forth in the wind and the rain ;
For sure such confusion was never yet known ;
Here a cap and a hat, there a cardinal blown :
While his lordship, embroidered and powdered all o'er,
Was bowing, and handing the ladies ashore:
How the Misses did huddle, and scuddle, and run;
One would think to be wet must be very good fun;
For by waggling their tails, they all seemed to take
To on their pinions like ducks when it rains;
And 'twas pretty to see, how like birds of a feather,
The people of quality flocked all together;
All pressing, addressing, caressing, and fond, |
Just the same as those animals are in a pond:
You've read all their names in the news, I suppose,
But, for fear you have not, take the list as it goes:
There was Lady Greasewrister,
And Madam Van-Twister,
Her ladyship's sister:
Lord Cram, and Lord Vulture,
Sir Brandish O’Culter,
With Marshal Carouzer,
And old Lady Mouzer,
And the great Hanoverian Baron Panzmowzer;
Besides many others who all in the rain went,
On purpose to honour this great entertainment:
The company made a most brilliant appearance,
And ate bread and butter with great perseverance:
All the chocolate too, that my lord set before 'em,
The ladies despatched with the utmost decorum.
Soft musical numbers were heard all around,
The horns and the clarions echoing sound.
Sweet were the strains, as odorous gales that blow
O'er fragrant banks, where pinks and roses grow.
The peer was quite ravished, while close to his side
Sat Lady Bunbutter, in beautiful pride!
Oft turning his eyes, he with rapture surveyed
All the powerful charms she so nobly displayed :
As when at the feast of the great Alexander,
Timotheus, the musical son of Thersander,
Breathed heavenly measures.
O! had I a voice that was stronger than steel, With twice fifty tongues to express what I feel, And as many good mouths, yet H never could utter All the speeches my lord made to Lady Bunbutter! So polite all the time, that he ne'er touched a bit, While she ate up his rolls and applauded his wit: For they tell me that men of true taste, when they treat, Should talk a great deal, but they never should eat: And if that be the fashion, I never will give Any grand entertainment as long as I live: For I’m of opinion, 'tis proper to cheer The stomach and bowels as well as the ear. Nor me did the charming concerto of Abel Regale like the breakfast I saw on the table: