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The Poetical Works of the late Christopher Anstey

With Some Account of the Life and Writings of the Author, By his son, John Anstey

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LETTER VII. Mr. Simkin B---n---r---d to Lady B---n---r---d, at --- Castle, North.
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LETTER VII. Mr. Simkin B---n---r---d to Lady B---n---r---d, at --- Castle, North.

A Panegyric on Bath, and a Moravian Hymn.

Of all the gay places the world can afford,
By gentle and simple for pastime ador'd,
Fine balls, and fine concerts, fine buildings, and springs,
Fine walks, and fine views, and a thousand fine things,
(Not to mention the sweet situation and air)
What place, my dear mother, with Bath can compare?
Let Bristol for commerce and dirt be renown'd,
At Sals'bury pen-knives and scissars be ground;
The towns of Devizes, of Bradford and Frome,
May boast that they better can manage the loom;
I believe that they may;—but the world to refine,
In manners, in dress, in politeness to shine,
O Bath! let the art, let the glory be thine.


I'm sure that I've travell'd our country all o'er,
And ne'er was so civilly treated before;
Would you think, my dear mother, (without the least hint
That we all should be glad of appearing in print)
The news-writers here were so kind as to give all
The world an account of our happy arrival?—
You scarce can imagine what numbers I've met,
(Tho' to me they are perfectly strangers as yet)
Who all with address and civility came,
And seem'd vastly proud of subscribing our name.
Young Timothy Canvass is charm'd with the place,
Who, I hear, is come hither, his fibres to brace;
Poor man! at th' election he threw, t'other day,
All his victuals, and liquor, and money away;
And some people think with such haste he began,
That soon he the constable greatly outran,
And is qualify'd now for a parliament-man:
Goes every day to the coffee-house, where
The wits and the great politicians repair;
Harangues on the funds and the state of the nation,
And plans a good speech for an administration,


In hopes of a place which he thinks he deserves,
As the love of his country has ruined his nerves.—
Our neighbour, Sir Easterlin Widgeon, has swore
He ne'er will return to his bogs any more;
The Thicksculls are settled; we've had invitations
With a great many more on the score of relations:
The Loungers are come too.—Old Stucco has just sent
His plan for a house to be built in the Crescent;
'Twill soon be complete, and they say all their work
Is as strong as St. Paul's, or the minster at York.
Don't you think 'twould be better to lease our estate,
And buy a good house here before 'tis too late?
You never can go, my dear mother, where you
So much have to see, and so little to do.
I write this in haste, for the Captain is come,
And so kind as to go with us all to the Room;
But be sure by the very next post you shall hear
Of all I've the pleasure of meeting with there:
For I scribble my verse with a great deal of ease,
And can send you a letter whenever I please:


And while at this place I've the honour to stay,
I think I can never want something to say.
But now, my dear mother, &c. &c. &c.
S--- B---n---r---d.
Bath, 1766.


I'm sorry to find at the city of Bath,
Many folks are uneasy concerning their faith:
Nicodemus, the preacher, strives all he can do
To quiet the conscience of good sister Prue;
But Tabby from scruples of mind is releas'd
Since she met with a learned Moravian priest,
Who says, There is neither transgression nor sin;
A doctrine that brings many customers in.
She thinks this the prettiest ode upon earth,
Which he made on his infant that dy'd in the birth.



Chicken blessed
And caressed,
Little bee on Jesu's breast!
From the hurry
And the flurry
Of the earth thou'rt now at rest.

The learned Moravian has pirated this Ode from Count Zinzendorf's Book of Hymns. Vid. H. 33.