Obrazy na stronie

My father lived beside the Tyne,
A wealthy lord was he:

And all his wealth was marked as mine;
He had but only me.

To win me from his tender arms,
Unnumbered suitors came ;

Who praised me for imputed charms,
And felt, or feigned, a flame.

Each hour a mercenary crowd
With richest proffers strove ;

Amongst the rest young Edwin bowed,
But never talked of love.

In humblest, simplest, habit clad,
No wealth nor power had he ;

Wisdom and worth were all he had ;
But these were all to me.

The blossom opening to the day, The dews of heaven refined,

Could nought of purity display, To emulate his mind.

The dew, the blossoms of the tree,
With charms inconstant shine;

Their charms were his ; but, wo to me,
Their constancy was mine.

For still I tried each fickle art,
Importunate and vain ;
And while his passion touched my heart,
I triumphed in his pain.
Till quite dejected with my scorn,
He left me to my pride ;
And sought a solitude forlorn,
In secret, where he died

But mine the sorrow, mine the fault,
And well my life shall pay :

I’ll seek the solitude he sought,
And stretch me where he lay.

And there, forlorn, despairing, hid,
I'll lay me down and die:

'Twas so for me that Edwin did,
And so for him will I.”

“Forbid it, Heaven!’ the hermit cried, And clasped her to his breast :

The wondering fair one turned to chide : "Twas Edwin's self that prest!

“Turn, Angelina, ever dear,
My charmer, turn to see
Thy own, thy long-lost Edwin here,
Restored to love and thee.
Thus let me hold thee to my heart,
And every care resign ;
And shall we never, never part,
My life—my all that's mine !

No, never from this hour to part,
We'll live and love so true;

The sigh that rends thy constant heart,
Shall break thy Edwin’s too.”

[Ectracts from Retaliation.]

[Goldsmith and some of his friends occasionally dined together at the St James's coffee-house. One day it was proposed to write epitaphs upon him. His country, dialect, and wisdom, furnished subjects for witticism. He was called on for retaliation, and, at the next meeting, produced his poem bearing that name, in which we find much of the shrewd observation, wit, and liveliness which distinguish his prose writings.]

* x: *

Here lies our good Edmund," whose genius was such,
We scarcely can praise it or blame it too much ;
Who, born for the universe, narrowed his mind,
And to party gave up what was meant for mankind.

* Burke,

Though fraught with all learning, yet straining his
To persuade Tommy Townsend to lend him a vote;
Who, too deep for his hearers, still went on refining,
And thought of convincing, while they thought of
Though equal to all things, for all things unfit;
Too nice for a statesman, too proud for a wit:
For a patriot too cool ; for a drudge disobedient,
And too fond of the right to pursue the expedient.
In short, 'twas his fate, unemployed, or in place, sir,
To eat mutton cold, and cut blocks with a razor.
- + + *
Here lies David Garrick, describe him who can,
An abridgment of all that was pleasant in man;
As an actor, confessed without rival to shine;
As a wit, if not first, in the very first line;
Yet with talents like these, and an excellent heart,
The man had his failings—a dupe to his art;
Like an ill-judging beauty, his colours he spread,
And beplastered with rouge his own natural red.
On the stage he was natural, simple, affecting;
‘Twas only that when he was off he was acting:
With no reason on earth to go out of his way,
He turned and he varied full ten times a day;
Though secure of our hearts, yet confoundedly sick
If they were not his own by finessing and trick:
He cast off his friends as a huntsman his pack,
For o knew, when he pleased, he could whistle them
Of praise a mere glutton, he swallowed what came ;
And the puff of a dunce he mistook it for fame;
Till his relish grown callous almost to disease,
Who peppered the highest was surest to please. |
But let us be candid, and speak out our mind;
If dunces applauded, he paid them in kind.
Ye Kenricks, ye Kellys, and Woodfalls so grave,
What a commerce was yours, while you got and you
How did Grub Street re-echo the shouts that you raised,
While he was be-Rosciused, and you were be-praised 1
But peace to his spirit, wherever it flies,
To act as an angel, and mix with the skies:
Those poets who owe their best fame to his skill,

Shall still be his flatterers, go where he will ;
Old Shakspeare, receive him with praise and with love,
And Beaumonts and Bens be his Kellys above.
+ + +

Here Reynolds* is laid ; and, to tell you my mind,
He has not left a wiser or better behind.
His pencil was striking, resistless, and grand;
His manners were gentle, complying, and bland;
Still born to improve us in every part, |
His pencil our faces, his manners our heart.
To coxcombs averse, yet most civilly steering;
When they judged without skill, he was still hard of

hearing : When o talked of their Raphaels, Correggios, and


He shifted his trumpet,f and only took snuff.

TOBIA's GEORGE syloli, Ett.

Many who are familiar with Smollett as a novelist, scarcely recollect him as a poet, though he has scattered some fine verses amidst his prose fictions, and has written an Ode to Independence, which possesses, the masculine strength of Dryden, with an elevation of moral feeling and sentiment rarely attempted or felt by that great poet. TobiAs GEORGE SMoLLETT was born in Dalquhurn-house, near the village of Renton, Dumbartonshire, in

* Sir Joshua Reynolds. f Sir Joshua was so remarkably deaf, as to be under the necessity of using an ear-trumpet in company. a

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|course of instruction in the grammar school of | Dumbarton, and at the university of Glasgow, Tobias was placed apprentice to a medical practitioner, Mr Gordon, Glasgow. He was nineteen when his term of apprenticeship expired, and, at this early age, his grandfather having died without making any provision for him, the young and sanguine adventurer proceeded to London, his chief dependence being a tragedy, called the Regicide, which he attempted to bring out at the theatres. Foiled in this effort of juvenile ambition, Smollett became surgeon's mate on board an eighty-gun ship, and was present at the ill-planned and disastrous expedition against Carthagena, which he has described with much force in his Roderick Random. He returned to England in 1746, published two satires, Advice and Reproof, and in 1748 gave to the world his novel of “Roderick Random.” Peregrine Pickle appeared three years afterwards. , Smollett next attempted to practise as a physician, but failed, and, taking a house at Chelsea, devoted himself to | literature as a profession. Notwithstanding his facility of composition, his general information and talents, his life was one continual struggle for existence, embittered by personal quarrels, brought on partly by irritability of .."; In 1753, his romance of Ferdinand Count Fathom was published, and in 1755 his translation of Don Quixote. The version of Motteux is now generally preferred to that of our author, though the latter is marked by his characteristic humour and versatility of talent. After he had finished this task, Smollett paid a visit to his native country. His fame had gone before him, and his reception by the literati of Scotland was cordial and flattering. His filial tenderness and affection was also gratified by meeting with his surviving parent. ‘ On Smollett's arrival, says Dr Moore, “he was introduced to his mother, with the connivance of Mrs Telfer (his sister) as a gentleman

with her son. character, he endeavoured to preserve a serious

mother's eyes were rivetted on his countenance, he

from the West Indies, who was intimately acquainted o

The better to support his assumed | countenance approaching to a frown; but, while his

could not refrain from smiling. She immediately sprung from her chair, and throwing her arms around his neck, exclaimed, “Ah, my son! my son 1 I have found you at last.” She afterwards told him that if he had kept his austere looks, and continued to gloom, he might have escaped detection some time longer; “but your old roguish smile,” added she, “betrayed you at once.” On this occasion Smollett visited his relations and native scenes in Dumbartonshire, and spent two days in Glasgow, amidst his boyish companions. Returning to England, he resumed his literary occupations. He unfortunately became editor of the Critical Review, and an attack in that journal on Admiral Knowles, one of the commanders at Carthagena (which Smollett acknowledged to be his composition), led to a trial for libel; and the author was sentenced to pay a fine of £100, and suffered three months imprisonment. He consoled himself by writing, in prison, his novel of Launcelot Greaves. Another proof of his fertility and industry as an author was afforded by his History of England, written, it is said, in fourteen months. He engaged in political discussion, for which he was ill qualified by temper, and, taking the unpopular side, he was completely vanquished by the truculent satire and abuse of Wilkes. His health was also shattered by close application to his studies, and by private misfortune. In his early days Smollett had married a young West Indian lady, Miss Lascelles, by whom he had a daughter. This only child died at the age of fifteen, and the disconsolate father tried to fly from his grief by a tour through France and Italy. He was absent two years, and published an account of his travels, which, amidst gleams of humour and genius, is disfigured by the coarsest prejudices. Sterne has successfully ridiculed this work in his Sentimental Journey. Some of the critical dicta of Smollett are mere ebullitions of spleen. In the famous statue of the Venus de Medici, ‘which enchants the world,” he could see no beauty of feature, and the attitude he considered awkward and out of character: The Pantheon at Rome—that “glorious combination of beauty and magnificence’—he said looked like a huge cock-pit, open at the top. Sterne said justly, that such declarations should have been reserved for his physician; they could only have sprung from bodily distemper. “Yet, be it said,” remarks Sir Walter Scott, “without offence to the memory of the witty and elegant Sterne, it is more easy to assume, in composition, an air of alternate gaiety and sensibility, than to practise the virtues of generosity and benevolence, which Smollett exercised during his whole life, though often, like his own Matthew Bramble, under the disguise of peevishness and irritability. Sterne's writings show much flourish concerning virtues of which his life is understood to have produced little fruit; the temper of Smollett was

like a lusty winter, Frosty, but kindly.” |

The native air of the great novelist was more cheering and exhilarating than the genial gales of the south. On his return from Italy he repaired to Scotland, saw once more his affectionate mother, and sojourned a short time with his cousin, Mr Smollett of Bonhill, on the banks of the Leven. “The water of Leven,' he observes in his Humphry Clinker, “though nothing near so considerable as the Clyde, is much more transparent, pastoral, 65

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and delightful. This charming stream is the outlet of Loch Lomond, and through a track of four miles pursues its winding course over a bed of pebbles, till it joins the Firth of Clyde at Dumbarton. On this spot stands the castle formerly called Alcluyd, and washed by these two rivers on all sides except a narrow isthmus, which at every spring-tide is overflowed; the whole is a great curiosity, from the quality and form of the rock, as from the nature of its situation. A very little above the source of the Leven, on the lake, stands the house of Cameron, belonging to Mr Smollett (the late commissary), so embosomed in oak wood, that we did not perceive it till we were within fifty yards of the door. The lake approaches on one side to within six or seven yards of the windows. It might have been placed on a higher site, which would have afforded a more extensive prospect, and a drier atmosphere; but this imperfection is not chargeable on the present proprietor, who purchased it ready built, rather than be at the trouble of repairing his own family house of Bonhill, which stands two miles hence, on the Leven, so surrounded with plantations, that it used to be known by the name of the Mavis (or Thrush) Nest. Above the house is a romantic glen, or cleft of a mountain, covered with hanging woods, having at the bottom a stream of fine water, that forms a number of cascades in its descent to join the Leven, so that the scene is quite enchanting. I have seen the Lago di Gardi, Albano di Vico, Bolsena and Geneva, and I prefer Loch Lomond to them all—a preference which is certainly owing to the verdant islands that seem to float upon its surface, affording the most enchanting objects of repose to the excursive view. Nor are the banks destitute of beauties which can partake of the sublime. On this side they display a sweet variety of woodland, corn field, and pasture, with several agreeable villas, emerging as it were out of the lake, till at some distance the prospect terminates in huge mountains, covered with heath, which, being in the bloom, affords a very rich covering of purple. Everything here is romantic beyond imagination. This country is justly styled the Arcadia of Scotland; I do not doubt but it may vie with Arcadia in everything but climate. I am sure it excels it in verdure, wood, and water.’ All who have traversed the banks of the Leven, or sailed along the shores of Loch Lomond, in a calm clear summer day, when the rocks and islands are reflected with magical brightness and fidelity in its waters, will acknowledge the truth of this description, and can readily account for Smollett's preference, independently of the early recollections which must have endeared the whole to his feelings and imagination. The extension of manufactures in Scotland has destroyed some of the pastoral charms and seclusion of the Leven, but the course of the river is still eminently rich and beautiful in sylvan scenery. Smollett's health was now completely gone. His pen, however, was his only resource, and on his return to England he published a political satire, The Adventures of an Atom, in which he attacks his former patron, Lord Bute, and also the Earl of Chatham. As a politician, Smollett was far from consistent. His conduct in this respect was guided more by personal feelings than public principles, and any seeming neglect or ingratitude at once roused his constitutional irritability and indignation. He was no longer able, however, to contend with the “sea of troubles' that encompassed him. In 1770, he again went abroad in quest of health. His friends endeavoured, but in vain, to procure him an appointment as consul in some port in the Mediterranean; and he took up his residence

in a cottage which Dr Armstrong, then abroad, engaged for him in the neighbourhood of Leghorn. The warm and genial climate seems to have awakened his fancy, and breathed a temporary animation into his debilitated frame. He here wrote his Humphry Clinker, the most rich, varied, and agreeable of all his novels. Like Fielding, Smollett was destined to die in a foreign country. He had just committed his novel to the public, when he expired, on the 21st of October 1771, aged 51. Had he lived a few years longer, he would have inherited, as heir of entail, the estate of Bonhill, worth about £1000 a-year. His widow erected a plain monument over his remains at Leghorn, and his relations, who had neglected him in his days of suffering and distress, raised a cenotaph to his memory on the banks of the Leven. The prose works of Smollett will hereafter be noticed. He wrote no poem of any length; but it is evident he could have excelled in verse had he cultivated his talents, and enjoyed a life of greater ease and competence. Sir Walter Scott has praised the fine mythological commencement of his Ode; and few readers of taste or

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Thy spirit, Independence, let me share,
Lord of the lion-heart and eagle-eye;
Thy steps I follow, with my bosom bare,
Nor heed the storm that howls along the sky.
Deep in the frozen regions of the north,
A goddess violated brought thee forth,
Immortal Liberty, whose look sublime
Hath bleached the tyrant's cheek in every varying clime.
What time the iron-hearted Gaul,
With frantic superstition for his guide,
Armed with the dagger and the pall,
The sons of Woden to the field defied
The ruthless hag, by Weser's flood,
In Heaven's name urged the infernal blow ;
And red the stream began to flow :
The vanquished were baptised with blood
The Saxon prince in horror fled,
From altars stained with human gore,
And Liberty his routed legions led
In safety to the bleak Norwegian shore.
There in a cave asleep she lay,
Lulled by the hoarse-resounding main,
When a bold savage passed that way,
Impelled by destiny, his name Disdain.
Of ample front the portly chief appeared:
The hunted bear supplied a shaggy vest;
The drifted snow hung on his yellow beard,
And his broad shoulders braved the furious blast.
He stopt, he gazed, his bosom glowed,
And deeply felt the impression of her charms:
He seized the advantage Fate allowed,
And straight compressed her in his vigorous arms.
The curlew screamed, the tritons blew
Their shells to celebrate the ravished rite;
Old Time exulted as he flew ;
And Independence saw the light.

The light he saw in Albion's happy plains,
Where under cover of a flowering thorn,
While Philomel renewed her warbled strains,
The auspicious fruit of stolen embrace was born—
The mountain Dryads seized with joy,
The smiling infant to their charge consigned;
The Doric muse caressed the favourite boy;
The hermit Wisdom stored his opening mind.
*. rolling years matured his age,
He flourished bold and sinewy as his sire;
While the mild passions in his breast assuage
The fiercer flames of his maternal fire.

Antistrophe. Accomplished thus, he winged his way, | And zealous roved from pole to pole, The rolls of right eternal to display, And warm with patriot thought the aspiring soul. | On desert isles 'twas he that raised Those spires that gild the Adriatic wave, Where Tyranny beheld amazed

He steeled the blunt Batavian's arms
To burst the Iberian's double chain ;
And cities reared, and planted farms,
Won from the skirts of Neptune's wide domain.
He, with the generous rustics, sat
On Uri's rocks in close divan;
And winged that arrow sure as fate,
Which ascertained the sacred rights of man.


Arabia's scorching sands he crossed,
Where blasted nature pants supine,
Conductor of her tribes adust,
To Freedom's adamantine shrine;
And many a Tartar horde forlorn, aghast!
He snatched from under fell Oppression's wing,
And taught amidst the dreary waste,
| The all-cheering hymns of liberty to sing.
He virtue finds, like precious ore,
| Diffused through every baser mould ;
Even now he stands on Calvi's rocky shore,
And turns the dross of Corsica to gold:
He, guardian genius, taught my youth
Pomp's tinsel livery to despise:
My lips by him chastised to truth,
Ne'er paid that homage which my heart denies.

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| Fair Freedom's temple, where he marked her grave.


Nature I'll court in her sequestered haunts,
By mountain, meadow, streamlet, grove, or cell;
Where the poised lark his evening ditty chaunts,
And health, and peace, and contemplation dwell.
There, study shall with solitude recline,
And friendship pledge me to his fellow-swains,
And toil and temperance sedately twine
The slender cord that fluttering life sustains:
And fearless poverty shall guard the door,
And taste unspoiled the frugal table spread,
And industry supply the humble store,
And sleep unbribed his dews refreshing shed ;
White-mantled Innocence, ethereal sprite,
Shall chase far off the goblins of the night;
And Independence o'er the day preside,
Propitious power my patron and my pride.

Ode to Leven-Water.

On Leven's banks, while free to rove,
And tune the rural pipe to love,
I envied not the happiest swain
That ever trod the Arcadian plain.
Pure stream, in whose transparent wave
My youthful limbs I wont to lave ;
No torrents stain thy limpid source,
No rocks impede thy dimpling course,
That sweetly warbles o'er its bed, .
With white, round, polished pebbles spread;
While, lightly poised, the o brood
In myriads cleave thy crystal flood;
The springing trout in speckled pride,
The salmon, monarch of the tide;
The ruthless pike, intent on war,
The silver eel, and mottled par.
Devolving from thy parent lake,
A charming maze thy waters make,
By bowers of birch, and groves of pine,
And edges flowered with eglantine.
Still on thy banks so gaily green,
May numerous herds and flocks be seen:
And lasses chanting o'er the pail,
And shepherds piping in the dale ;
And ancient faith that knows no guile,
And industry embrowned with toil ;
And hearts resolved, and hands prepared,
The blessings they enjoy to guard

The Tears of Scotland.

[Written on the barbarities committed in the Highlands by order of the Duke of Cumberland, after the battle of Culloden, 1746. Sinollett was then a surgeon's mate, newly returned from service abroad. It is said that he originally finished the poem in six stanzas; when, some one representing that such a diatribe against government might injure his prospects, he sat down and added the still more pointed invective of the seventh


Mourn, hapless Caledonia, mourn
Thy banished peace, thy laurels torn
Thy sons, for valour long renowned,
Lie slaughtered on their native ground ;
Thy hospitable roofs no more
Invite the stranger to the door;
In smoky ruins sunk they lie,
The monuments of cruelty.

The wretched owner sees afar
His all become the prey of war;
Bethinks him of his babes and wife,
Then smites his breast, and curses life.
Thy swains are famished on the rocks,
Where once they fed their wanton flocks;
Thy ravished virgins shriek in vain ;
Thy infants perish on the plain. 67

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| Love, gave promise of poetical powers, but marred his practice as a physician. In 1744 appeared his “Art of Preserving Health,’ which was followed by two other poems, Benevolence and Taste, and a volume of prose essays, the latter indifferent enough. In 1760 he was appointed physician to the forces in Germany; and on the peace in 1763, he returned to London, where he practised, but with little success, till his death, September 7, 1779, in the 70th year of his age. Armstrong seems to have been an indolent and splenetic, but kind-hearted man— shrewd, caustic, and careful (he left £3000, saved out of a small income), yet warmly attached to his friends. His portrait in the ‘Castle of Indolence' is in Thomson's happiest manner:—

With him was sometimes joined in silent walk
(Profoundly silent, for they never spoke)
One shyer still, who quite detested talk;
Oft stung by spleen, at once away he broke

With tenfold rage.

essays. A very objectionable poem, the Economy of

To groves of pine and broad o'ershadowing oak;

There, inly thrilled, he wandered all alone,

And on himself his pensive fury wroke,

Nor ever uttered word, save when first shone

The glittering star of eve—“Thank Heaven, the day is done !”

Warton has praised the “Art of Preserving Health' for its classical correctness and closeness of style, and its numberless poetical images. In general, however, it is stiff and laboured, with occasional passages of tumid extravagance; and the images are not unfrequently echoes of those of Thomson and other poets. The subject required the aid of ornament, for scientific rules are in general bad themes for poetry, and few men are ignorant of the true philosophy of life, however they may deviate from it in practice. That health is to be preserved by temperance, exercise, and cheerful recreation, is a truth familiar to all from infancy. Armstrong, however, was no ascetic philosopher. His motto is, “take the good the gods provide you,' but take it in moderation.

When you smooth The brows of care, indulge your festive vein In cups by well-informed experience found The least your bane, and only with your friends. The effects of over-indulgence in wine he has finely described:— But most too passive, when the blood runs low, Too weakly indolent to strive with pain,

And bravely by resisting conquer fate,
Try Circe's arts; and in the tempting bowl
Of poisoned nectar sweet oblivion swill.
Struck by the powerful charm, the gloom dissolves
In empty air; Elysium opens round,
A pleasing phrenzy buoys the lightened soul,
And sanguine hopes dispel your fleeting care;
And what was difficult, and what was dire,
Yields to your prowess and superior stars:
The happiest you of all that e'er were mad,
Or are, or shall be, could this folly last.
But soon your heaven is gone: a io, gloom
Shuts o'er your head; and, as the thundering stream,
Swollen o'er its banks with sudden mountain rain,
Sinks from its tumult to a silent brook,
So, when the frantic raptures in your breast
Subside, you languish into mortal man ;
You sleep, and waking find yourself undone. |
For, prodigal of life, in one rash night
You lavished more than might support three days.
A heavy morning comes; your cares return
An anxious stomach well |
May be endured; so may the throbbing head;
But such a dim delirium, such a dream,
Involves you; such a dastardly despair
Unmans your soul, as maddening Pentheus felt,
When, baited round Cithaeron's cruel sides,
He saw two suns, and double Thebes ascend.

In prescribing as a healthy situation for residence
a house on an elevated part of the sea-coast, he
indulges in a vein of poetical luxury worthy the en-
chanted grounds of the ‘Castle of Indolence:
Oh! when the growling winds contend, and all
The sounding forest fluctuates in the storm;
To sink in warm repose, and hear the din
Howl o'er the steady battlements, delights
Above the luxury of vulgar sleep.
The murmuring rivulet, and the hoarser strain
Of waters rushing o'er the slippery rocks,
Will nightly lull you to ambrosial rest.
To please the fancy is no trifling good,
Where health is studied; for whatever moves
The mind with calm delight, promotes the just
And natural movements of the harmonious frame.


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