Page images

A manner so studied, so vacant a face,
These features the mind of our Murphy disgrace,
A mind unaffected, soft, artless, and true,
A mind which, though ductile, has dignity too.
Where virtues ill-sorted are huddled in heaps,
Humanity triumphs, and piety sleeps;
A mind in which mirth may with merit reside,
And Learning turns Frolic, with Humor, his guide.
Whilst wit, follies, faults, its fertility prove,
Till the faults you grow fond of, the follies you love,
And corrupted at length by the sweet conversation,
You swear there's no honesty left in the nation.
An African landscape thus breaks on the sight,
Where confusion and wildness increase the delight;
Till in wanton luxuriance indulging our eye,
We faint in the forcible fragrance, and die.


From our Goldsmith's anomalous character, who
Can withhold his contempt, and his reverence too ?
From a poet so polished, so paltry a fellow!
From critic, historian, or vile Punchinello!
From a heart in which meanness had made her abode,
From a foot that each path of vulgarity trod;
From a head to invent, and a hand to adorn,
Unskilled in the schools, a philosopher born.
By disguise undefended, by jealousy smit,
This lusus naturæ, nondescript in wit,
May best be compared to those Anamorphoses,
Which for lectures to ladies th' optician proposes ;
All deformity seeming, in some points of view,
In others quite accurate, regular, true:
Till the student no more sees the figure that shocked her,
But all in his likeness, - our odd little doctor.

VII. Of Reynolds all good should be said, and no harm; Though the heart is too frigid, the pencil too warm; Yet each fault from his converse we still must disclaim, As his temper 't is peaceful, and pure as his fame.

Nothing in it o'erflows, nothing ever is wa

wanting, It nor chills like his kindness, nor glows like his painting. When Johnson by strength overpowers our mind, When Montagu dazzles, and Burke strikes us blind; To Reynolds well pleased for relief we must run, Rejoice in his shadow, and shrink from the sun.


In this luminous portrait, requiring no shade,
See Chambers’ soft character sweetly displayed ;
O, quickly return with that genuine smile,
Nor longer let India's temptations beguile,
But fly from a climate where moist relaxation
Invades with her torpor th' effeminate nation,
Where metals and marbles will melt and decay,
Fear, man, for thy virtue, - and hasten away.


Here Garrick's loved features our mem'ry may trace,
Here praise is exhausted, and blame has no place.
Many portraits like this would defeat my whole scheme,
For what new can be said on so hackneyed a theme?
'Tis thus on old Ocean whole days one may look,
Every change well recorded in some well-known book ;
Till with vain expectation fatiguing our eyes,
Nor the storm nor the calm one new image supplies.


See Thrale from intruders defending his door,
While he wishes his house would with people run o'er;
Unlike his companions, the make of his mind,
In great things expanded, in small things confined.
Yet his purse at their call and his meat to their taste,
The wits he delighted in loved him at last;
And finding no prominent follies to fleer at,
Respected his wealth and applauded his merit:
Much like that empirical chemist was he
Who thought Anima Mundi the grand panacea.
Yet when every kind element helped his collection,
Fell sick while the med’cine was yet in projection.


Baretti hangs next, by his frowns you may know him,
He has lately been reading some new-published poem;
He finds the poor author a blockhead, a beast,
A fool without sentiment, judgment, or taste.
Ever thus let our critic his insolence fling,
Like the hornet in Homer, impatient to sting.
Let him rally his friends for their frailties before 'em,
And scorn the dull praise of that dull thing, decorum :
While tenderness, temper, and truth he despises,
And only the triumph of victory prizes.
Yet let us be candid, and where shall we find
So active, so able, so ardent a mind ?
To your children more soft, more polite with your servant,
More firm in distress, or in friendship more fervent.
Thus Ætna enraged her artillery pours,
And tumbles down palaces, princes, and towers;
While the fortunate peasantry fixed at its foot,
Can make it a hot-house to ripen their fruit.


See next, happy contrast ! in Burney combine
Every power to please, every talent to shine.
In professional science a second to none,
In social if second, through shyness alone.
So sits the sweet violet close to the ground,
Whilst holy-oaks and sunflowers flaunt it around.
His character formed free, confiding, and kind,
Grown cautious by habit, by station confined:
Though born to improve and enlighten our days,
In a supple facility fixes his praise ;
And contented to soothe, unambitious to strike,
Has a faint praise from all men, from all men alike.
While thus the rich wines of Frontiniac impart
Their sweets to our palate, their warmth to our heart,
All in praise of a liquor so luscious agree,
From the monarch of France to the wild Cherokee.


See Burke's bright intelligence beams from his face,
To his language gives splendor, his action gives grace ;

Let us list to the learning that tongue can display,
Let it steal all reflection, all reason away,
Lest home to his house we the patriot pursue,
Where scenes of another sort rise to our view;
Where Av'rice usurps sage Economy's look,*
And Humor cracks jokes out of Ribaldry's book :
Till no longer in silence confession can lurk,
That from chaos and cobwebs could spring even Burke.
Thus, 'mong dirty companions, concealed in the ground,
And unnoticed by all, the proud metal was found,
Which, exalted by place and by polish refined,
Could comfort, corrupt, and confound all mankind.


Gigantic in knowledge, in virtue, in strength,
With Johnson our company closes at length :
So the Greeks from the cavern of Polypheme past,
When, wisest and greatest, Ulysses came last,
To his comrades contemptuous, we see him look down
On their wit and their worth with a general frown :
While from Science' proud tree the rich fruit he receives,
Who could shake the whole trunk while they turned a few leaves.
The inflammable temper, the positive tongue,
Too conscious of right for endurance of wrong,
We suffer from Johnson, contented to find
That some notice we gain from so noble a mind;
And pardon our hurts, since so many have found
The balm of instruction poured into the wound.
'Tis thus for its virtues the chymists extol
Pure rectified spirit, sublime alcohol :
From noxious putrescence preservative pure,
A cordial in health, and in sickness a cure;
But opposed to the sun, taking fire at his rays,
Burns bright to the bottom, and ends in a blaze.

* Till he got his pension, Burke was always poor; and the wonder is how he managed to make both ends meet at all.



ARABIAN tales, all Oriental tales indeed, are full of imagination, void of common sense. The lady who recounts can scarcely fail to amuse. She is herself so handsome and so charming, the story must please, be it what it will; but they must be listeners like Sir James Fellowes who can feel interest in an old man's narration, and hear attentively the Rabbinical story concerning A Search after Asheri.

Four young men, then, stood round their father's death-bed. “ I cannot speak what I wish you to hear,” whispered the dying parent ; “ but there is a Genius residing in the neighboring wood, who pretends to direct mortals to Asheri. Meanwhile, accept my house and lands; they are not large, but will afford an elegant sufficiency. — Farewell.”

Three of the brothers set out instantly for the wood. The fourth staid at home; and, having performed the last filial duties to a father he revered, began to cultivate his farm, and court his neighbor's daughter to share it with him. She was virtuous, kind, and amiable. We will leave them, and follow the adventurers, who soon arrived at the obscure habitation of the reputed sage, bosomed in trees, and his hut darkened with ivy. Scarce could the ambiguous mandates be heard; still less could the speaker (Imagination) be discerned through the gloom. “What is this Asheri we are to look out for?” said one brother. “O, when once seen, no eye can be mistaken,” replied a voice from within the grot. “Three beautiful forms uniting under one radiant head, compose the sighed-for object.” “ I am a passionate admirer of beauty," interrupted the youth. “ Shall I not find the lovely creature at Grand Cairo ?” “Seek your desire there,” was the reply; "the soil will be congenial to your nature.” He set off without studying for an answer.

« PreviousContinue »