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Pow'r I'll resign, and pomp, and glee,
Thy best-lov'd sweets-Society.


We were speaking the other day of the famous.

epigram in Ausonius:

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"Infelix Dido, nulli bene nupta marito,

Hoc moriente fugis, hoc fugiente peris."

Two lords, in vain, unlucky Dido tries,
One dead, she flies the land; one fled, she dies.*

"Pauvre Didon! ou t'a réduite

De tes maris la triste sort;
L'un en mourant cause ta fuite,

L'autre en fuyant cause ta mort.”

is reckoned a beautiful version of this epigram.

There is, however, a very old passage in Davison, alluding to the same story:

"Oh, most unhappy Dido!

Unlucky wife, and eke unhappy widow:

*To the same class of jeux d'esprit as this epitaph on Dido, belongs one made on Thynne, "Tom of Ten Thousand," after his assassination by Konigsmark, who wished to marry the widow, the heiress of the Percys. Thynne's marriage had not been consummated, and he was said to have promised marriage to a maid of honour whom he had seduced.

"Here lies Tom Thynne of Longleat Hall,

Who never would so have miscarried,
Had he married the woman he lay withal,
Or lay with the woman he married."

Unhappy in thy honest mate,
And in thy love unfortunate."

When Lady Bolingbroke led off the Crim. Con. Dance, about thirty-five years ago, the town made a famous bustle concerning her ladyship's name — Diana. - Diana. She married Topham Beauclerc, and when her first husband died, some wag made these verses:

"Ah! lovely, luckless Lady Di,

So oddly link'd to either spouse:
Who can your Gordian knot untie?

Or who dissolve your double vows?
"And where will our amazement lead to,
When we survey your various life?
Whose living lord made you a widow,
Whose dead one leaves you still a wife."

Will it amuse you to read some of the unmerited praises I picked up in this charming society? When we all stood round the pianoeforte, and I felt encouraged to reply to Bertola's complimentary verses, which were certainly improvised: when he sung:

"Esser mi saran fatali

Cento rivali e cento;
Ma più che i miei rivali
La tua virtú pavento.

"Non in sen d'angliche mura

I tuoi be' lumi al dì si schiuse ;
Tu nascesti, da un dio me lo giura,
Ove nacquero le Muse."

To which I replied:

Delicati al par di forti

Son li versi di Bertola ;
Dolce suon che mi consola

Mentre lui cantando và;

Ma tentando d'imitarli

S'io m' ingegno,-oh, Dio! invano;

Dall' inusitata mano,

Il plettrino cascherà.

We were in a large company last night, where a beautiful woman of quality came in dressed according to the present taste, with a gauze head-dress, adjusted turbanwise, and a heron's feather; the neck wholly bare. Abate Bertola bade me look at her, and, recollecting himself a moment, made this epigram improviso:

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of which I can give no better imitation than the following:

While turban'd head and plumage high
A Sultaness proclaims my Cloe;

Thus tempted, tho' no Turk, I'll try
The handkerchief you scorn- to throw ye.


WHILE we were daily receiving some tender adieux from our Milanese friends, the famous Buffon died, and changed the conversation. He was blind a few days before his death, and occasioned this epigram:

"Ah! s'il est vrai que Buffon perd les yeux,

Que le jour se refuse au foyer des lumières : La nature à la fin punit les curieux,

Qui pénétroient tous ses mystères."

The Abate Bossi translated it thus:

"Ah! s'è ver che Buffon cieco diventa,

Se alle pupille sue il di s' asconde;
Natura alla fin gelosa confonde
Chi entro gl' arcani suoi penetrar tenta.”
Buffon's bright eyes at length grow dim,
Dame Nature now no more will yield;
Or longer lend her light to him.
Who all her mysteries reveal'd.

This last of course was done by your own little friend; who was careful to preserve a power over her own language, although beginning almost to think in Italian by such constant use.


Dedication (writer not specified).

WHAT a whimsical task, my dear friends, you impose
To contribute a fine Dedication in prose!

Our Piozzi, methinks, is much fitter for this,
For she writes the Preface, and can't write amiss.
But my thoughts neither beautiful are nor sublime,
So I wrap them in metre, and tag them with rhime,
Like theatrical dresses, if tinsel'd enough,

The tinsel one stares at, nor thinks of the stuff.
We mean not our book for the public inspection,
Then why should we court e'en a Monarch's protection?
For too oft the good Prince such a critic of lays is,
He scarcely knows how to peruse his own praises.
Ourselves and our friends we for Patrons will chuse,
No others will read us, and these will excuse.

Preface, by Mrs. Piozzi.*

PREFACES to Books, like Prologues to Plays, will seldom be found to invite Readers, and still less often to convey importance. Excuses for mean Performances add only the baseness of submission to poverty of sentiment, and take from insipidity the praise of being inoffensive. We do not however by this little address mean to deprecate

* The Preface praised by Walpole. See Vol. I. p. 271.

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