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public Criticism, or solicit Regard; why we wrote the verses may be easily explain'd, we wrote them to divert ourselves, and to say kind things of each other; we collected them that our reciprocal expressions of kindness might not be lost, and we printed them because we had no reason to be ashamed of our mutual partiality.

Portrait Painting, though unadorn'd by allegorical allusions and unsupported by recollection of events or places, will be esteem'd for ever as one of the most durable methods to keep Tenderness alive and preserve Friendship from decay: nor do I observe that the room here where Artists of many Ages have contributed their own likenesses to the Royal Gallery is less frequented than that which contains the statue of a slave and the picture of a Sibyl. Our little Book can scarcely be less important to Readers of a distant Age or Nation than we ourselves are ready to acknowledge it: the waters of a mineral spring which sparkle in the glass, and exhilarate the spirits of those who drink them on the spot, grow vapid and tasteless by carriage and keeping; and though we have perhaps transgress'd the Persian Rule of sitting silent till we could find something important or instructive to say, we shall at least be allow'd to have glisten'd innocently in Italian Sunshine, and to have imbibed from it's rays the warmth of mutual Benevolence, though we may have miss'd the hardness and polish that some coarser Metal might have obtain❜d by heat of equal force. I will not however lengthen out my Preface; if the Book is but a feather, tying a stone to it can be no good policy, though it were a precious



one; the lighter body would not make the heavy one swim, but the heavy body would inevitably make the light one sink.

During her stay in Italy (writes Sir J. Fellowes) in this delightful society, upon the banks of the Arno, which was duly enlivened by brilliant wit and classic taste, the conversation often turned upon more serious subjects, and one day it was proposed to write an impromptu upon the fatal monosyllable now, the present moment passing away even before the word is written that explains it. This pretty quatrain was produced by Della Crusca Merry, who had been asserting that all past actions are nihilitic, and that the immediate moment was the whole of human existence :

"One endless Now stands o'er th' eventful stream

Of all that may be with colossal stride;
And sees beneath life's proudest pageants gleam,
And sees beneath the wrecks of empire glide."

To this H. L. P. replied: —

'Tis yours the present moment to redeem,
And powerful snatch from Time's too rapid stream ;
While self-impell'd, the rest redundant roll,
Slumb'ring to stagnate in oblivion's pool.


Mark how the weeping willow stands,
Near the recording stone;

It seems to blame our idle hands,
And mourn the moments flown.

Thus conscience holds our fancy fast,
With care too oft' affected;
Pretending to lament the past,
The present still neglected.

Yet shall the swift improving plant
With spring her leaves resume;
Nor let the example she can grant,
Descend on winter's gloom.

Loiter no more then near the tree,
Nor on the dial gaze;

If but an hour be giv'n to thee,
Act right while yet it stays.


Is it of intellectual powers,
Which time developes, time devours,
Which twenty years perhaps are ours,
That man is vain?

Of such the infant shows no sign,
And childhood shuns the dazzling shine,
Of knowledge bright with rays divine,
As mental pain.

Still less when passion bears the sway,
Unbridled youth brooks no delay,
He drives dull reason far away,

With scorn avow'd.

For twenty years she reigns at most,
Labour and study pay the cost;
Just to be rais'd is all our boast,

Above the crowd.

Sickness then fills th' uneasy chair, Sorrow, and loss, and strife, and care; While faith just saves us from despair, Wishing to die.

Till the farce ends as it began,
Reason deserts the dying man,
And leaves to encounter as he can



When Pleasure marks each hour that flies,
And Youth rejoyces in his prime,

It may be good, it may be wise,

To watch with care the flight of time.

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But now;
To part, and ne'er return again;
Who would admit of a machine

To mark how few there yet remain ?

when friends and hours are seen

I am asked to produce some étrennes for dear Mrs. Lutwyche. Will these verses do, accompanied by a bouquet?

The charms we find Maria still possess,
Deciduous plants like these but ill express:
Your emblem in a brighter clime we see,
No season robs of flow'rs-the Orange Tree.*

* It was the fashion of her day to play at emblems. C. J. Fox presented a bunch of grapes to Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, for her emblem, with the motto Je plais jusqu'à l'ivresse.

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