« PreviousContinue »
We'll ask no long protracted treat,
were neglected by the public, and have never been Since winter-life is seldom sweet;
revived. In the enjoyment of his paternal estate, But when our feast is o'er,
the poet, however, was independent of the public Grateful from table we'll arise,
support, and he took part in the sports of the field Nor grudge our sons with envious eyes
up to his eightieth year. While on a visit to his The relics of our store.
son-in-law, Mr Bosanquet, at Harnage, Wiltshire, Thus, hand in hand, through life we'll go;
he was taken ill, and died on the 3d of August 1805. Its chequered paths of joy and wo
The Public Breakfast.
Now my lord had the honour of coming down post, Without a trouble or a fear,
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. While conscience, like a faithful friend,
I'm sure he's a person of great resolution, Shall through the gloomy vale attend,
Though delicate nerves, and a weak constitution ; And cheer our dying breath ;
For he carried us all to a place cross the river, Shall, when all other comforts cease,
And vowed that the rooms were too hot for his liver: Like a kind angel, whisper peace,
He said it would greatly our pleasure promote,
If we all for Spring Gardens set out in a boat :
For sure such confusion was never yet known ; CHRISTOPHER ANSTEY (1724–1805) was author of Here a cap and a hat, there a cardinal blown: The New Bath Guide, a light satirical and humorous While his lordship, embroidered and powdered all o'er, poem, which appeared in 1766, and set an example Was bowing, and handing the ladies ashore : in this description of composition, that has since How the Misses did huddle, and scuddle, and run; been followed in numerous instances, and with great One would think to be wet must be very good fun;
Smollett, in his Humphry Clinker, pub- For by waggling their tails, they all secined to take lished five years later, may be almost said to have pains reduced the “New Bath Guide' to prose. Many of To moisten their pinions like ducks when it rains ; the characters and situations are exactly the same And 'twas pretty to see, how like birds of a feather, as those of Anstey. This poem seldom rises above The people of quality flocked all together ; the tone of conversation, but is easy, sportive, and All pressing, addressing, caressing, and fond, entertaining. The fashionable Fribbles of the day, Just the same as those animals are in a pond :
I the chat, scandal, and amusements of those attend- You've read all their names in the news, suppose, ing the wells, and the canting hypocrisy of some But, for fear you have not, take the list as it goes: sectarians, are depicted, sometimes with indelicacy,
There was Lady Greasewrister, but always with force and liveliness. Mr Anstey
And Madam Van-Twister, was son of the Rev. Dr Anstey, rector of Brinke
Her ladyship's sister: ley, in Cambridgeshire, a gentleman who possessed
Lord Cram, and Lord Vulture, a considerable landed property, which the poet after
Sir Brandish O'Culter, wards inherited. He was educated at Eton school,
With Marshal Carouzer, and elected to King's college, Cambridge, and in
And old Lady Mouzer, both places he distinguished himself as a classical And the great Hanoverian Baron Panzmowzer; scholar. In consequence of his refusal to deliver Besides many others who all in the rain went, certain declamations, Anstey quarrelled with the On purpose to honour this great entertainment: heads of the university, and was denied the usual The company made a most brilliant appearance, degree. In the epilogue to the New Bath Guide,' And ate bread and butter with great perseverance: be alludes to this circumstance
All the chocolate too, that my lord set before 'em,
The ladies despatched with the utmost decorum. Granta, sweet Granta, where studious of ease,
Soft musical numbers were heard all around, Seven years did I sleep, and then lost my degrees. The horns and the clarions echoing sound.
Sweet were the strains, as odorous gales that blow He then went into the army, and married Miss
O’er fragrant banks, where pinks and roses grow. Calvert, sister to his friend John Calvert, Esq., of The peer was quite ravished, while close to his side Allbury Hall, in Hertfordshire, through whose in- Sat Lady Bunbutter, in beautiful pride ! fluence he was returned to parliament for the Oft turning his eyes, he with rapture surveyed borough of Hertford. He was a frequent resident in all the powerful charms she so nobly displayed : the city of Bath, and a favourite in the fashionable As when at the feast of the great Alexander, and literary coteries of the place. In 1766 was pub- Timotheus, the musical son of Thersander, lished his celebrated poem, which instantly became Breathed heavenly measures. popular. He wrote various other pieces-A Poem on the Death of the Marquis of Tavistock, 1767 ; An 0! had I a voice that was stronger than steel, Election Ball, in Poetical Letters from Mr Inkle at With twice fifty tongues to express what I feel, Bath to his Wife at Gloucester ; a Paraphrase of the And as many good mouths, yet I never could utter Thirteenth Chapter of the First Epistle to the Corin. All the speeches my lord made to Lady Bunbutter ! thians; a satire entitled The Priest Dissected; Specu- So polite all the time, that he ne'er touched a bit, lation, or a Defence of Mankind (1780); Liberality, while she ate up his rolls and applauded his wit: of Memoirs of a Decayed Macaroni (1788); The For they tell me that men of true taste, when they treat, Farmer's Daughter, a Poetical Tale (1795); and should talk a great deal, but they never should eat: various other copies of occasional verses. Anstey And if that be the fashion, I never will give also translated Gray's Elegy into Latin verse, and Any grand entertainment as long as I live: addressed an elegant Latin Ode to Dr Jenner. For I'm of opinion, 'tis proper to cheer While the ‘New Bath Guide' was the only thing the stomach and bowels as well as the ear. in fashion,' and relished for its novel and original Nor me did the charming concerto of Abel kind of humour, the other productions of Anstey Regale like the breakfast I saw on the table :
I freely will own I the muffins preferred
a volume of miscellaneous pieces, entitled The FloTo all the genteel conversation I heard.
rence Miscellany, and afforded a subject for the Een though I'd the honour of sitting between satire of Gifford, whose ‘Baviad and Mæviad' was My Lady Stuff-damask and Peggy Moreen,
written to lash the Della Cruscan songsters with Who both flew to Bath in the nightly machine. whom Mrs Piozzi was associated. The Anecdotes Cries Pecay, “This place is enchantingly pretty; and Letters of Dr Johnson, by Mrs Piozzi, are the We never can see such a thing in the city.
only valuable works which proceeded from her pen. You may spend all your lifetime in Cateaton Street, She was a minute and clever observer of men and And never so civil a gentleman meet;
manners, but deficient in judgment, and not parti. You may talk what you please ; you may search Lon- cular as to the accuracy of her relations. Mrs don through ;
Piozzi died at Clifton in 1822.
The Three Warnings.
Least willing still to quit the ground; * These horns,' cries my lady, ‘so tickle one's ear,
'Twas therefore said by ancient sages, Lard! what would I give that Sir Simon was here !
That love of life increased with years
So much, that in our latter stages,
The greatest love of life appears. And my lord would be pleased with so cheerful a This great affection to believe, friend.'
Which all confess, but few perceive,
When sports went round, and all were gay,
With him into another room,
*Quit your sweet bride, and come with me.' And when, like Chaldeans, we all had adored
With you ! and quit my Susan's side ? This beautiful image set up by my lord,
With you!' the hapless husband cried; Some few insignificant folk went away,
'Young as I am, 'tis monstrous hard! Just to follow the employments and calls of the day;
Besides, in truth, I'm not prepared: But those who knew better their time how to spend,
My thoughts on other matters go;
This is my wedding-day, you know.'
What more he urged I have not heard,
His reasons could not well be stronger; That her daughter the morning so well could employ.
So death the poor delinquent spared, Now, why should the Muse, my dear mother, relate
And left to live a little longer. The misfortunes that fall to the lot of the great ?
Yet calling up a serious look, As homeward we came—'tis with sorrow you'll hear
His hour-glass trembled while he spoke What a dreadful disaster attended the peer;
Neighbour,' he said, “farewell! no more For whether some envious god had decreed
Shall Death disturb your mirthful hour: That a Naiad should long to ennoble her breed ;
And farther, to avoid all blame Or whether his lordship was charmed to behold
Of cruelty upon my name, His face in the stream, like Narcissus of old ;
To give you time for preparation, In handing old Lady Comefidget and daughter,
And fit you for your future station, This obsequious lord tumbled into the water;
Three several warnings you shall have, But a nymph of the flood brought him safe to the boat,
Before you're summoned to the grave; And I left all the ladies a-cleaning his coat.
Willing for once I'll quit my prey,
And grant a kind reprieve;
Well pleased the world will leave.'
How long he lived, how wise, how well, superior to her other compositions, that it has been How roundly he pursued his course, supposed to have been partly written, or at least And smoked his pipe, and stroked his horse, corrected, by Johnson. This lady was a native of
The willing muse shall tell : Wales, being born at Bodville, in Caernarvonshire, He chaffered, then he bought and sold, in 1740. In 1764 she was married to Mr Henry Nor once perceived his growing old, Thrale, an eminent brewer, who had taste enough Nor thought of Death as near : to appreciate the rich and varied conversation of His friends not false, his wife no shrew, Johnson, and whose hospitality and wealth afforded Many his gains, his children few, the great moralist an asylum in his house. After He passed his hours in peace. the death of this excellent man, his widow married But while he viewed his wealth increase, Signior Piozzi, an Italian music-master, a step While thus along life's dusty road, which Johnson never could forgive. The lively The beaten track content he trod, lady proceeded with her husband on a continental Old Time, whose haste no mortal spares, tour, and they took up their abode for some time on Uncalled, unheeded, unawares, the banks of the Arno. She afterwards publisbed Brought on his eightieth year.
And now, one night, in musing mood,
These tattered clothes my poverty bespeak, As all alone he sate,
These hoary locks proclaim my lengthened years ; The unwelcome messenger of Fate
And many a furrow in my grief-worn cheek, Once more before him stood.
Has been the channel to a stream of tears. Half-killed with anger and surprise,
Yon house, erected on the rising ground, So soon returned !' old Dodson cries.
With tempting aspect drew me from my road, So soon d'ye call it ?' Death replies :
For plenty there a residence has found, 'Surely, my friend, you're but in jest!
And grandeur a magnificent abode. Since I was here before 'Tis six-and-thirty years at least,
(Hard is the fate of the infirm and poor!).
Here craving for a morsel of their bread, And you are now fourscore.'
A pampered menial forced me from the door, "So much the worse,' the clown rejoined;
To seek a shelter in a humbler shed. "To spare the aged would be kind:
Oh! take me to your hospitable dome, However, see your search be legal;
Keen blows the wind, and piercing is the cold ! And your authority—is't regal ?
Short is my passage to the friendly tomb,
For I am poor, and miserably old.
Should I reveal the source of every grief, Which I have looked for nights and mornings ;
If soft humanity e'er touched your breast, But for that loss of time and ease,
Your hands would not withhold the kind relief, I can recover damages.'
And tears of pity could not be repressed. 'I know,' cries Death, that at the best,
Heaven sends misfortunes—why should we repine ? I seldom am a welcome guest ;
"Tis Heaven has brought me to the state you see: But don't be captious, friend, at least;
And your condition may be soon like mine, I little thought you'd still be able
The child of sorrow, and of misery. To stump about your farm and stable:
A little farm was my paternal lot, Your years have run to a great length;
Then, like the lark, I sprightly hailed the morn; I wish you joy, though, of your strength!'
But ah! oppression forced me from my cot; "Hold,' says the farmer, 'not so fast !
My cattle died, and blighted was my corn. I have been lame these four years past.'
My daughter—once the comfort of my age ! “And no great wonder,' Death replies:
Lured by a villain from her native home, “However, you still keep your eyes ;
Is cast, abandoned, on the world's wide stage, And sure to see one's loves and friends,
And doomed in scanty poverty to roam. For legs and arms would make amends.' "Perhaps,' says Dodson, so it might,
My tender wife-sweet soother of my care! But latterly I've lost my sight.'.
Struck with sad anguish at the stern decree, * This is a shocking tale, 'tis true;
Fell—lingering fell, a victim to despair, But still there's comfort left for you :
And left the world to wretchedness and me. Each strives your sadness to amuse;
Pity the sorrows of a poor old man ! I warrant you hear all the news.'
Whose trembling limbs have borne him to your door, “There's none, cries he; 'and if there were, Whose days are dwindled to the shortest span, I'm grown so deaf, I could not hear.'
Oh! give relief, and Heaven will bless your store.
Though most Scottish authors at this time—as He said, and touched him with his dart.
Thomson, Mallet, Hamilton, and Beattie-composed And now Old Dodson, turning pale,
in the English language, a few, stimulated by the Yields to his fate-50 ends my tale.
success of Allan Ramsay, cultivated their native
tongue with considerable success. The popularity THOMAS MOSS.
of Ramsay's Tea-Table Miscellany' led to other
collections and to new contributions to Scottish The Rev. THOMAS Moss, who died in 1808, minis- song. In 1751 appeared “Yair's Charmer,' and in ter of Brierly Hill, and of Trentham, in Staffordshire, 1769 David Herd published a more complete collecpublished anonymously, in 1769, a collection of mis- tion of 'Scottish Songs and Ballads, which he recellaneous poems, forming a thin quarto, which he printed, with additions, in 1776. had printed at Wolverhampton. One piece was copied by Dodsley into his . Annual Register,' and
ALEXANDER ROSS. from thence has been transferred (different persons being assigned as the author) into almost every ALEXANDER Ross, a schoolmaster in Lochlee, in periodical and collection of fugitive verses. This Angus, when nearly seventy years of age, in 1768 poem is entitled The Beggar (sometimes called The published at Aberdeen, by the advice of Dr Beattie, Beggar's Petition), and contains much pathetic and à volume entitled Ilelenore, or the Fortunate Shepnatural sentiment finely expressed.
herdess, a Pastoral Tale in the Scottish Dialect, to
which are added a few Songs by the Author. Ross The Beggar.
was a good descriptive poet, and some of his songs Pity the sorrows of a poor old man !
-as Wood, and Married, and a', The Rock and the Whose trembling limbs have borne him to your door, Wee Pickle Tow—are still popular in Scotland. Being Whose days are dwindled to the shortest span,
chiefly written in the Kincardineshire dialect (which Oh! give relief, and Heaven will bless your store.
differs in many expressions, and in pronunciation,
from the Lowland Scotch of Burns), Ross is less * An allusion to the illegal warrant used against Wilkes, known out of his native district than he ought to mbich was the cause of so much contention in its day.
be. Beattie took a warm interest in the 'good.
humoured, social, happy old man'—who was inde-
O bonny are our greensward hows,
And saft winds rustle,
Blaw the blythe whistle.
Wood, and Married, and a'. The bride cam' out o' the byre,
And, O, as she dighted her cheeks ! Sirs, I'm to be married the night,
And have neither blankets nor sheets;
Nor scarce a coverlet too;
Married, and woo'd, and a'!
That was woo'd, and married, and a'?
As he cam' in frae the pleugh: O, haud your tongue my dochter,
And ye’se get gear eneugh ; The stirk stands i' the tether,
And our braw bawsint yade, Will carry ye hame your corn
What wad ye be at, ye jade ! Out spake the bride's mither,
What deil needs a' this pride ? I had nae a plack in my pouch
That night I was a bride ;
And ne'er a sark ava ;
Mae than ane or twa.
Which rises o'er the source of Dee,
Her silver light on tower and tree;
Her thoughts on Sandy far at sea,
Saying, 'Mary, weep no more for me!'
Her head, to ask who there might be,
With visage pale, and hollow ee.
It lies beneath a stormy sea.
So, Mary, weep no more for me!
We tossed upon the raging main;
But all our striving was in vain.
My heart was filled with love for thee:
So, Mary, weep no more for me!
We soon shall meet upon that shore,
And thou and I shall part no more!
No more of Sandy could she see;
Sweet Mary, weep no more for me!'
LADY ANNE BARNARD.
LADY ANNE BARNARD was authoress of Aula Robin Gray, one of the most perfect, tender, and affecting, of all our ballads or tales of humble life.
Out spake the bride's brither,
As he cam' in wi' the kye:
Had he kent ye as weel as I;
And no for a poor man's wife; Gin I canna get a better,
l'se ne'er tak ane i' my life.
JOHN LOWE (1750-1798), a student of divinity, son of the gardener at Kenmore in Galloway, was author of the fine pathetic lyric, Mary's Dream, which he wrote on the death of a gentleman named Miller, a surgeon at sea, who was attached to a Miss M'Ghie, Airds. The poet was tutor in the family of the lady's father, and was betrothed to her sister. He emigrated to America, however,
winst where he married another female, became dissipated, and died in great misery near Fredericks
Balcarres House, Fifeshire; where 'Auld Robin Gray burgh. Though Lowe wrote numerous other pieces,
was composed. prompted by poetical feeling and the romantic scenery of his native glen, his ballad alone is worthy About the year 1771, Lady Anne composed the of preservation.
ballad to an ancient air. It instantly became popular, but the lady kept the secret of its author- guage of the heart, ladies have often excelled the ship for the long period of fifty years, when, in lords of the creation, and in music their triumphs 1823, she acknowledged it in a letter to Sir Walter are manifold. The first copy of verses, bewailing Scott, accompanying the disclosure with a full ac- the losses sustained at Flodden, was written by count of the circumstances under which it was Miss Jane Elliot of Minto, sister to Sir Gilbert written. At the same time Lady Anne sent two Elliot of Minto. The second song, which appears continuations to the ballad, which, like all other to be on the same subject, but was in reality occacontinuations (Don Quixote, perhaps, excepted), are sioned by the bankruptcy of a number of gentlemen greatly inferior to the original. Indeed, the tale of in Selkirkshire, is by Alicia Rutherford of Fernilie, sorrow is so complete in all its parts, that no addi- who was afterwards married to Mr Patrick Cocktions could be made without marring its simplicity burn, advocate, and died in Edinburgh in 1794.
or its pathos. Lady Anne was daughter of James We agree with Mr Allan Cunningham in preferring i Lindsay, fifth Earl of Balcarres; she was born 8th Miss Elliot's song; but both are beautiful, and in
December 1750, married in 1793 to Sir Andrew singing, the second is the most effective.
The Flowers of the Forest.
[By Miss Jane Elliot.] Auld Robin Gray.
I've heard the lilting at our yowe-milking, When the sheep are in the fauld, and the kye at Lasses a-lilting before the dawn of day; bame,
But now they are moaning on ilka green loaningAnd a' the warld to sleep are gane ;
The Flowers of the Forest are a' wede away.
At buchts, in the morning, nae blythe lads are scorning,
The lasses are lonely, and dowie, and wae; Young Jamie loo'd me weel, and socht me for his Nae daffin', nae gabbin', but sighing and sabbing, bride;
Ilk ane lifts her leglen and hies her away. But saving a croun, he had naething else beside :
In hairst, at the shearing, nae youths now are jeering, To mak that croun a pund, young Jamie gaed to sea ;
The bandsters are lyart, and runkled, and gray ; And the croun and the pund were baith for me.
At fair, or at preaching, nae wooing, nae fleechingHe hadna been awa a week but only twa,
The Flowers of the Forest are a' wede away. When my mother she fell sick, and the cow was
At e'en, at the gloaming, nae swankies are roaming, stown awa;
'Bout stacks wi' the lasses at bogle to play ; My father brak his arm, and young Jamie at the sea, But ilk ane sits drearie, lamenting her dearieAnd auld Robin Gray cam'a-courtin' me.
The Flowers of the Forest are a' wede away. My father couldna work, and my mother couldna spin; Dule and wae for the order, sent our lads to the Border ! I toiled day and nicht, but their bread I couldna win; The English, for ance, by guile wan the day ; Auld Rob maintained them baith, and, wi' tears in The Flowers of the Forest, that foucht aye the fore
most, Said, Jennie, for their sakes, Oh, marry me!
The prime o' our land, are cauld in the clay.
Sighing and moaning on ilka green loaning-
The Flowers of the Forest.
[By Mrs Cockburn.) break: Sae they gied him my hand, though my heart was in
I've seen the smiling
Of Fortune beguiling ; And auld Robin Gray was gudeman to me.
I've felt all its favours, and found its decay:
Sweet was its blessing, I hadna been a wife a week but only four,
Kind its caressing ; When, sitting sae mournfully at the door,
But now 'tis fied-fled far away. I saw my Jamie's wraith, for I couldna think it he,
I've seen the forest Till he said, I'm come back for to marry thee.
Adorned the foremost Oh, sair did we greet, and muckle did we say ; With flowers of the fairest most pleasant and gay; We took but ae kiss, and we tore ourselves away:
Sae bonnie was their blooming ! I wish I were dead! but I'm no like to dee;
Their scent the air perfuming ! And why do I live to say, Wae's me?
But now they are withered and weeded away. I gang like a ghaist, and I carena to spin ;
I've seen the morning I daurna think on Jamie, for that wad be a sin;
With gold the hills adorning, But I'll do my best a gude wife to be,
And loud tempest storming before the mid-day. For auld Robin Gray is kind unto me.
I've seen Tweed's silver streams,
Shining in the sunny beams,
Grow drumly and dark as he rowed on his way. MISS JANE ELLIOT AND MRS COCKBURN.
Oh, fickle Fortune, Two versions of the national ballad, The Flowers Why this cruel sporting ? 1
of the Forest, continue to divide the favour of all Oh, why still perplex us, poor sons of a day ! lovers of song, and both are the composition of Nae mair your smiles can cheer me, ladies. In minute observation of domestic life, Nae mair your frowns can fear me ; traits of character and manners, and the softer lan- | For the Flowers of the Forest are a' wede away.