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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 IX. Miss Jenny W---d---r, to Lady Eliz. M---d---ss, at --- Castle, North.

A Journal.

To humbler strains, ye Nine, descend,
And greet my poor sequester'd friend.
Not odes, with rapid eagle flight,
That soar above all human sight,
Not Fancy's fair and fertile field,
To all the same delight can yield.
But come, Calliope, and say
How pleasure wastes the various day:


Whether thou art wont to rove
By Parade, or Orange Grove,
Or to breathe a purer air
In the Circus or the Square;
Wheresoever be thy path,
Tell, O tell the joys of Bath.
Ev'ry morning, ev'ry night,
Gayest scenes of fresh delight;
When Aurora sheds her beams,
Wak'd from soft Elysian dreams,
Music calls me to the spring,
Which can health and spirits bring:
There Hygeia, goddess, pours
Blessings from her various stores;
Let me to her altars haste,
Tho' I ne'er the waters taste,
Near the pump to take my stand,
With a nosegay in my hand,
And to hear the Captain say,
“How d'ye do, dear Miss, to-day?”


The Captain;—Now you'll say, my dear,
Methinks I long his name to hear:—
Why then—but don't you tell my aunt,
The Captain's name is Cormorant:
But hereafter you must know,
I shall call him Romeo,
And your friend, dear lady Bet,
Jenny no more, but Juliet.
O ye guardian spirits fair,
All who make true love your care,
May I oft my Romeo meet,
Oft enjoy his converse sweet;
I alone his thoughts employ,
Through each various scene of joy!
Lo! where all the jocund throng
From the pump-room hastes along,
To the breakfast all invited
By Sir Toby lately knighted.
See with joy my Romeo comes!
He conducts me to the Rooms;


There he whispers, not unseen,
Tender tales behind the screen;
While his eyes are fix'd on mine
See each nymph with envy pine,
And, with looks of forc'd disdain,
Smile contempt, but sigh in vain!
O the charming party's made!
Some to walk the south Parade,
Some to Lincomb's shady groves,
Or to Simpson's proud alcoves;
Some for chapel trip away,
Then take places for the play;
Or we walk about in pattens,
Buying gauzes, cheap'ning sattins:
Or to Painter's we repair,
Meet Sir Peregrine Hatchet there,
Pleas'd the artist's skill to trace
In his dear Miss Gorgon's face:
Happy pair! who fix'd as fate
For the sweet connubial state,
Smile in canvass tête-à-tête.


If the weather, cold and chill,
Calls us all to Mr. Gill,
Romeo hands to me the jelly,
Or the soup of vermicelli:
If at Toyshop I step in,
He presents a diamond pin;
Sweetest token I can wear,
Which at once may grace my hair,
And in witness of my flame,
Teach the glass to bear his name:
See him turn each trinket over,
If for me he can discover
Aught his passion to reveal,
Emblematic ring or seal,
Cupid whetting pointed darts,
For a pair of tender hearts;
Hymen lighting sacred fires,
Types of chaste and fond desires.
Thus enjoy we ev'ry blessing,
Till the toilet calls to dressing;
Where's my garnet, cap, and sprig?
Send for Singe to dress my wig:


Bring my silver'd mazarine,
Sweetest gown that e'er was seen:
Tabitha, put on my ruff:
Where's my dear delightful muff?
Muff, my faithful Romeo's present!
Tippet too from tail of pheasant!
Muff from downy breast of swan!
O the dear enchanting man!
Muff that makes me think how Jove
Flew to Leda from above—
Muff that—Tabby, see who rapt then.
“Madam, Madam, 'tis the Captain!”
Sure his voice I hear below,
'Tis, it is my Romeo!
Shape and gait, and careless air,
Diamond ring, and solitaire,
Birth and fashion all declare.
How his eyes, that gently roll,
Speak the language of his soul!
See the dimple on his cheek,
See him smile and sweetly speak;


“Lovely nymph, at your command,
“I have something in my hand,
“Which I hope you'll not refuse,
“'Twill us both at night amuse:
“What tho' Lady Whisker crave it,
“And Miss Badger longs to have it,
“'Tis, by Jupiter I swear,
“'Tis for you alone, my dear:
“See this ticket, gentle maid,
“At your feet an offering laid:
“Thee the loves and graces call
“To a little private ball:
“And to play I bid adieu,
“Hazard, lansquenet, and loo,
“Fairest nymph, to dance with you.”
—I with joy accept his ticket,
And upon my bosom stick it:
Well I know how Romeo dances,
With what air he first advances,
With what grace his gloves he draws on,
Claps, and calls up Nancy Dawson;


Me thro' ev'ry dance conducting,
And the music oft instructing;
See him tap, the time to shew,
With his light fantastic toe;
Skill'd in ev'ry art to please,
From the fan to waft the breeze,
Or his bottle to produce,
Fill'd with pungent Eau de Luce.
Wonder not, my friend, I go
To the ball with Romeo.
Such delights if thou canst give,
Bath, at thee I choose to live.
J--- W---d---r.
Bath, 1766.



Inclos'd you'll find some lines, my dear,
Made by a hungry poet here,
A happy bard, who rhymes and eats,
And lives by uttering quaint conceits;
Yet thinks to him alone belong
The laurels due to modern song.



Written at Mr. Gill's, an eminent Cook at Bath.

Ου προς παντος εστιν αρτυσαι καλως.
Frag. Vet. Poet.

Ye bards who sing the hero's praise,
Or lass's of the mill,
A loftier theme invites your lays,
Come tune your lyres to Gill.
Of all the cooks the world can boast,
However great their skill,
To bake, or fry, to boil, or roast,
There's none like Master Gill.
Sweet rhyming troop, no longer stoop
To drink Castalia's rill,
Whene'er ye droop, O taste the soup
That's made by Master Gill.


O taste this soup, for which the fair,
When hungry, cold, and chill,
Forsake the Circus and the Square
To eat with Master Gill.
'Tis this that makes my Chloe's lips
Ambrosial sweets distil;
For leeks and cabbage oft she sips
In soup that's made by Gill.
Immortal bards view here your wit,
The labours of your quill,
To singe the fowl upon the spit
Condemn'd by Master Gill.
My humble verse that fate will meet,
Nor shall I take it ill;
But grant, ye gods! that I may eat
That fowl when drest by Gill.
These are your true poetic fires
That drest this sav'ry grill;
E'en while I eat the muse inspires,
And tunes my voice to Gill.


When C--- strikes the vocal lyre,
Sweet Lydian measures thrill;
But I the gridir'n more admire,
When tun'd by Master Gill.
“Come take my sage of ancient use,”
Cries learned Doctor H---ll:
“But what's the sage without the goose?”
Replies my Master Gill.
He who would fortify his mind,
His belly first should fill;
Roast beef 'gainst terrors best you'll find;
The Greeks knew this,” says Gill.
Your spirits and your blood to stir,
Old Galen gives a pill;
But I the forc'd-meat ball prefer,
Prepar'd by Master Gill.
While he so well can broil and bake,
I'll promise and fulfil,
No other physic e'er to take
Than what's prescrib'd by Gill.


Your bard has liv'd at Bath so long,
He dreads to see your bill—
Instead of cash accept this song,
My worthy Master Gill.


LETTER X. Mr. Simkin B---n---r---d to Lady B---n---r---d, at --- Hall, North.

Taste and Spirit.—Mr. B---n---r---d commences a Beau Garçon.

So lively, so gay, my dear mother, I'm grown,
I long to do something to make myself known;
For persons of taste and true spirit, I find,
Are fond of attracting the eyes of mankind:
What numbers one sees, who, for that very reason,
Come to make such a figure at Bath ev'ry season!
'Tis this that provokes Mrs. Shenkin Ap-Leek
To dine at the ord'nary twice in a week,
Tho' at home she might eat a good dinner in comfort,
Nor pay such a cursed extravagant sum for't:
But then her acquaintance would never have known
Mrs. Shenkin Ap-Leek had acquir'd the bon ton;
Ne'er shewn how in taste the Ap-Leeks can excel
The Dutchess of Truffles, and Lady Morell:


Had ne'er been ador'd by Sir Pye Macaroni,
And Count Vermicelli, his intimate crony;
Both men of such taste, their opinions are taken
From an ortolan down to a rasher of bacon.
What makes Kitty Spicer, and little Miss Sago,
To auctions and milliners shops ev'ry day go?
What makes them to vie with each other and quarrel
Which spends the most money for splendid apparel?
Why, Spirit—to shew they have much better sense
Than their fathers, who rais'd it by shillings and pence.
What sends Peter Tewksbury every night
To the play with such infinite joy and delight?
Why, Peter's a critic, with true Attic salt,
Can damn the performers, can hiss, and find fault,
And tell when we ought to express approbation,
By thumping, and clapping, and vociferation;
So he gains our attention, and all must admire
Young Tewksbury's judgment, his spirit and fire,
But Jack Dilettante despises the play'rs,
To concerts and musical parties repairs,


With benefit tickets his pockets he fills,
Like a mountebank doctor distributes his bills;
And thus his importance and interest shews,
By conferring his favours wherever he goes;
He's extremely polite both to me and my cousin,
For he often desires us to take off a dozen;
He has taste, without doubt, and a delicate ear,
No vile oratorios ever could bear;
But talks of the op'ras and his Signiora,
Cries bravo, benissimo, bravo, encora!
And oft is so kind as to thrust in a note
While old Lady Cuckow is straining her throat,
Or little Miss Wren, who's an excellent singer;
Then he points to the notes, with a ring on his finger;
And shews her the crotchet, the quaver, and bar,
All the time that she warbles and plays the guitar;
Yet, I think, though she's at it from morning 'till noon,
Her queer little thingumbob's never in tune.
Thank Heaven! of late, my dear mother, my face is
Not a little regarded at all public places;


For I ride in a chair, with my hands in a muff,
And have bought a silk coat, and embroider'd the cuff;
But the weather was cold, and the coat it was thin,
So the taylor advis'd me to line it with skin:
But what with my Nivernois' hat can compare,
Bag-wig, and lac'd ruffles, and black solitaire?
And what can a man of true fashion denote,
Like an ell of good ribbon tied under the throat?
My buckles and box are in exquisite taste,
The one is of paper, the other of paste:
And sure no Camayeu was ever yet seen
Like that which I purchas'd at Wicksted's machine:
My stockings of silk are just come from the hosier,
For to-night I'm to dance with the charming Miss Tozier:
So I'd have them to know, when I go to the ball,
I shall shew as much taste as the best of them all:
For a man of great fashion was heard to declare
He never beheld so engaging an air,
And swears all the world must my judgment confess,
My solidity, sense, understanding in dress;
My manners so form'd, and my wig so well curl'd,
I look like a man of the very first world:


But my person and figure you'll best understand
From the picture I've sent, by an eminent hand:
Shew it young Lady Betty, by way of endearance,
And to give her a spice of my mien and appearance.
Excuse any more, I'm in haste to depart,
For a dance is the thing that I love at my heart,
So now, my dear mother, &c. &c. &c.
S--- B---n---r---d.
Bath, 1766.


LETTER XI. Mr. Simkin B---n---r---d to Lady B---n---r---d, at --- Hall, North.

A Description of the Ball, with an Episode on Beau Nash.

What joy at the ball, what delight have I found,
By all the bright circle encompass'd around!
Each moment with transport my bosom felt warm,
For what, my dear mother, like beauty can charm?
The remembrance alone, while their praise I rehearse,
Gives life to my numbers, and strength to my verse:
Then allow for the rapture the Muses inspire,
Such themes call aloud for poetical fire.
I've read how the Goddesses meet all above,
And throng the immortal assemblies of Jove,
When join'd with the Graces fair Venus appears,
Ambrosial sweet odours perfume all the spheres;
But the Goddess of Love, and the Graces and all,
Must yield to the beauties I've seen at the ball;


For Jove never felt such a joy at his heart,
Such a heat as these charming sweet creatures impart:
In short—there is something in very fine women,
When they meet all together—that's quite overcoming.
Then say, O ye nymphs that inhabit the shades
Of Pindus' sweet banks, Heliconian maids,
Celestial Muses, ye powers divine,
O say, for your memory's better than mine,
What troops of fair virgins assembled around,
What squadrons of heroes for dancing renown'd,
Were rous'd by the fiddles' harmonious sound.
What goddess shall first be the theme of my song,
Whose name the clear Avon may murmur along,
And echo repeat all the vallies among!
Lady Tettaton's sister, Miss Fubby Fatarmin,
Was the first that presented her person so charming,
Than whom more engaging, more beautiful none,
A goddcss herself among goddesses shone,
Excepting the lovely Miss Towzer alone.
'Tis she that has long been the toast of the town,
Tho' all the world knows her complexion is brown:


If some people think that her mouth be too wide,
Miss Towzer has numberless beauties beside;
A countenance noble, with sweet pouting lips,
And a delicate shape from her waste to her hips;
Besides a prodigious rough black head of hair
All frizzled and curl'd o'er her neck that is bare:
I've seen the sweet creature but once, I confess,
But her air, and her manner, and pleasing address,
All made me feel something I ne'er can express.
But lo! on a sudden what multitudes pour
From Cambrian mountains, from Indian shore;
Bright maidens, bright widows, and fortunate swains,
Who cultivate Liffy's sweet borders and plains,
And they who their flocks in fair Albion feed,
Rich flocks and rich herds, (so the gods have decreed)
Since they quitted the pleasanter banks of the Tweed.
Yet here no confusion, no tumult is known,
Fair order and beauty establish their throne;
For order, and beauty, and just regulation,
Support all the works of this ample creation.


For this, in compassion to mortals below,
The gods, their peculiar favour to shew,
Sent Hermes to Bath in the shape of a Beau:
That grandson of Atlas came down from above
To bless all the regions of pleasure and love;
To lead the fair nymph thro' the various maze,
Bright beauty to marshal, his glory and praise;
To govern, improve, and adorn the gay scene,
By the Graces instructed, and Cyprian queen:
As when in a garden delightful and gay,
Where Flora is wont all her charms to display,
The sweet hyacinthus with pleasure we view
Contend with narcissus in delicate hue;
The gard'ner industrious trims out his border,
Puts each odoriferous plant in its order;
The myrtle he ranges, the rose and the lily,
With iris, and crocus, and daffa-down-dilly;
Sweet peas and sweet oranges all he disposes
At once to regale both your eyes and your noses:
Long reign'd the great Nash, this omnipotent Lord,
Respected by youth, and by parents ador'd;


For him not enough at a ball to preside,
The unwary and beautiful nymph would he guide;
Oft tell her a tale, how the credulous maid
By man, by perfidious man, is betray'd;
Taught Charity's hand to relieve the distrest,
While tears have his tender compassion exprest:
But alas! he is gone, and the city can tell
How in years and in glory lamented he fell;
Him mourn'd all the Dryads on Claverton's mount;
Him Avon deplor'd, him the nymph of the Fount,
The Crystalline streams.
Then perish his picture, his statue decay,
A tribute more lasting the Muses shall pay.
If true what philosophers all will assure us,
Who dissent from the doctrine of great Epicurus,
That the spirit's immortal: as poets allow,
If life's occupations are follow'd below:
In reward of his labours, his virtue and pains,
He is footing it now in th' Elysian plains,
Indulg'd, as a token of Proserpine's favour,
To preside at her balls in a cream-colour'd beaver:


Then peace to his ashes—our grief be supprest,
Since we find such a phœnix has sprung from his nest:
Kind Heaven has sent us another professor,
Who follows the steps of his great predecessor.
But hark! now they strike the melodious string,
The vaulted roof echoes, the mansions all ring;
At the sound of the hautboy, the bass and the fiddle,
Sir Boreas Blubber steps forth in the middle,
Like a holy-hock, noble, majestic, and tall,
Sir Boreas Blubber first opens the ball:
Sir Boreas, great in the minuet known,
Since the day that for dancing his talents were shewn,
Where the science is practised by gentlemen grown.
For in every science, in ev'ry profession,
We make the best progress at years of discretion.
How he puts on his hat, with a smile on his face,
And delivers his hand with an exquisite grace!
How genteely he offers Miss Carrot before us,
Miss Carrot Fitz-Oozer, a niece of Lord Porus!
How nimbly he paces, how active and light!
One never can judge of a man at first sight;


But as near as I guess, from the size of his calf,
He may weigh about twenty-three stone and a half.
Now why should I mention a hundred or more,
Who went the same circle as others before,
To a tune that they play'd us a hundred times o'er?
See little Bob Jerom, old Chrysostom's son,
With a chitterlin shirt, and a buckle of stone,—
What a cropt head of hair the young parson has on!
Emerg'd from his grizzle, th' unfortunate prig
Seems as if he was hunting all night for his wig;
Not perfectly pleas'd with the coat on his back,
Tho' the coat's a good coat, but alas! it is black!
With envious eyes he is doom'd to behold
The Captain's red suit that's embroider'd with gold!
How seldom mankind are content with their lot!
Bob Jerom two very good livings has got:
Yet still he accuses his parents deceas'd,
For making a man of such spirit a priest.
Not so Master Marmozet, sweet little boy,
Mrs. Danglecub's hopes, her delight and her joy:
His pigeon-wing'd head was not drest quite so soon,
For it took up a barber the whole afternoon:


His jacket's well lac'd, and the ladies protest
Master Marmozet dances as well as the best:
Yet some think the boy would be better at school;
But I hear Mrs. Danglecub's not such a fool
To send a poor thing with a spirit so meek,
To be flogg'd by a tyrant for Latin and Greek;
For why should a child of distinction and fashion
Lay a heap of such silly nonsensical trash in?
She wonders that parents to Eton should send
Five hundred great boobies their manners to mend,
When the master that left it (tho' no one objects
To his care of the boys in all other respects)
Was extremely remiss, for a sensible man,
In never contriving some elegant plan
For improving their persons, and shewing them how
To hold up their heads, and to make a good bow,
When they've got such a charming long room for a ball,
Where the scholars might practise, and masters and all:
But, what is much worse, what no parent would choose,
He burnt all their ruffles, and cut off their queues:
So he quitted the school with the utmost disgrace,
And just such another's come into his place.


She says that her son will his fortune advance,
By learning so early to fiddle and dance;
So she brings him to Bath, which I think is quite right,
For they do nothing else here from morning till night;
And this is a lesson all parents should know,
To train up a child in the way he should go:
For, as Solomon says, you may safely uphold,
He ne'er will depart from the same when he's old.
No doubt she's a woman of fine understanding,
Her air and her presence there's something so grand in;
So wise and discreet; and, to give her her due,
Dear mother, she's just such a woman as you.
But who is that bombazine lady so gay,
So profuse of her beauties in sable array?
How she rests on her heel, how she turns out her toe,
How she pulls down her stays, with her head up, to shew
Her lily-white bosom that rivals the snow!
'Tis the widow Quicklackit, whose husband last week,
Poor Stephen, went suddenly forth in a pique,
And push'd off his boat for the Stygian creek:


Poor Stephen! he never return'd from the bourn,
But left the disconsolate widow to mourn:
Three times did she faint when she heard of the news;
Six days did she weep, and all comfort refuse;
But Stephen, no sorrow, no tears can recall:
So she hallows the seventh, and comes to the ball.
For music, sweet music, has charms to controul,
And tune up each passion that ruffles the soul!
What things have I read, and what stories been told
Of feats that were done by musicians of old!
I've heard a whole city was built from the ground
By magical numbers, and musical sound;
And here it can build a good house in the Square,
Or raise up a church where the godly repair.
I saw, t'other day, in a thing call'd an ode,
As it lay in a snug little house on the road,
How Saul was restor'd, tho' his sorrow was sharp,
When David, the Bethlemite, play'd on the harp:
'Twas music that brought a man's wife from Old Nick,
And at Bath has the power to recover the sick:


Thus a lady was cur'd t'other day.—But 'tis time
To seal up my letter, and finish my rhyme.
S--- B---n---r---d.
Bath, 1766.


LETTER XII. Mr. Simkin B---n---r---d to Lady B---n---r---d, at --- Hall, North.

A Modern Head-Dress, with a little Polite Conversation.

What base and unjust accusations we find
Arise from the malice and spleen of mankind!
One would hope, my dear mother, that scandal would spare
The tender, the helpless, and delicate Fair;
But alas! the sweet creatures all find it the case
That Bath is a very censorious place.
Would you think that a person I met since I came
(I hope you'll excuse my concealing his name)
A splenetic ill-natur'd fellow, before
A room-full of very good company, swore
That, in spite of appearance, 'twas very well known,
Their hair and their faces were none of their own;
And thus without wit, or the least provocation,
Began an impertinent formal oration:


“Shall Nature thus lavish her beauties in vain
“For art and nonsensical fashion to stain?
“The fair Jezebella what art can adorn,
“Whose cheeks are like roses that blush in the morn?
“As bright were her locks as in heaven are seen
“Presented for stars by th' Egyptian queen;
“But alas! the sweet nymph they no longer must deck,
“No more shall they flow o'er her ivory neck;
“Those tresses, which Venus might take as a favour,
“Fall a victim at once to an outlandish shaver;
“Her head has he robb'd with as little remorse
“As a fox-hunter crops both his dogs and his horse:
“A wretch, that so far from repenting his theft,
“Makes a boast of tormenting the little that's left:
“And first at her porcupine head he begins
“To fumble and poke with his irons and pins,
“Then fires all his crackers with horrid grimace,
“And puffs his vile Rocambol breath in her face,
“Discharging a steam that the devil would choke,
“From paper, pomatum, from powder, and smoke.
“The patient submits, and with due resignation
“Prepares for her fate in the next operation.


“When lo! on a sudden, a monster appears,
“A horrible monster, to cover her ears;—
“What sign of the Zodiac is it he bears?
“Is it Taurus's tail, or the tête de mouton,
“Or the beard of the goat that he dares to put on?
“'Tis a wig en vergette, that from Paris was brought,
Un tête comme il faut, that the varlet has bought
“Of a beggar, whose head he has shav'd for a groat;
“Now fix'd to her head, does he frizzle and dab it;
“'Tis a foretop no more.—'Tis the skin of a rabbit.—
“'Tis a muff—'tis a thing, that by all is confest
“Is in colour and shape like a chaffinch's nest.
“O cease, ye fair virgins, such pains to employ,
“The beauties of nature with paint to destroy;
“See Venus lament, see the Loves and the Graces,
“All pine at the injury done to your faces!
“Ye have eyes, lips, and nose, but your heads are no more
“Than a doll's that is plac'd at a milliner's door.”
I'm asham'd to repeat what he said in the sequel,
Aspersions so cruel as nothing can equal!


I declare I am shock'd such a fellow should vex,
And spread all these lies of the innocent sex,
For whom, while I live, I will make protestation
I've the highest esteem and profound veneration;
I never so strange an opinion will harbour,
That they buy all the hair they have got of a barber:
Nor ever believe that such beautiful creatures
Can have any delight in abusing their features:
One thing tho' I wonder at much, I confess, is
Th' appearance they make in their different dresses,
For indeed they look very much like apparitions
When they come in the morning to hear the musicians,
And some I am apt to mistake, at first sight,
For the mothers of those I have seen over-night:
It shocks me to see them look paler than ashes,
And as dead in the eye as the busto of Nash is,
Who the evening before were so blooming and plump;
—I'm griev'd to the heart when I go to the pump:
For I take ev'ry morning a sup at the water,
Just to hear what is passing, and see what they're a'ter;
For I'm told the discourses of persons refin'd
Are better than books for improving the mind;


But a great deal of judgment's requir'd in the skimming
The polite conversation of sensible women,
For they come to the pump, as before I was saying,
And talk all at once while the music is playing!
“Your servant, Miss Fitchet.” “Good morning, Miss Stote.”
“My dear Lady Riggledum, how is your throat?
“Your ladyship knows that I sent you a scrall,
“Last night to attend at your ladyship's call,
“But I hear that your ladyship went to the ball.”
“—Oh Fitchet—don't ask me—good heavens preserve—
“I wish there was no such a thing as a nerve;
“Half dead all the night, I protest and declare;
“My dear little Fitchet, who dresses your hair?
“You'll come to the rooms, all the world will be there.
“Sir Toby Mac' Negus is going to settle
“His tea-drinking night with Sir Philip O'Kettle.
“I hear that they both have appointed the same;
“The majority think that Sir Philip's to blame;
“I hope they won't quarrel, they're both in a flame:
“Sir Toby Mac' Negus much spirit has got,
“And Sir Philip O'Kettle is apt to be hot.”—


“Have you read the Bath Guide, that ridiculous poem?
“What a scurrilous author! does nobody know him?”
“Young Billy Penwaggle, and Simius Chatter,
“Declare 'tis an ill-natur'd half-witted satire.”
“You know I'm engag'd, my dear creature, with you,
“And Mrs. Pamtickle, this morning at loo;
“Poor thing, tho' she hobbled last night to the ball,
“To-day she's so lame that she hardly can crawl;
“Major Lignum has trod on the first joint of her toe—
“That thing they play'd last was a charming concerto;
“I don't recollect I have heard it before;
“The minuet's good, but the jig I adore;
“Pray speak to Sir Toby to cry out encore.”
Dear mother, I think this is excellent fun,
But if all I must write I should never have done,
So myself I subscribe your most dutiful son,
S--- B---n---r---d.
Bath, 1766.


LETTER XIII. Mr. Simkin B---n---r---d to Lady B---n---r---d, at --- Hall, North.

A Public Breakfast.

Motives for the same.—A List of the Company.—A tender Scene.—An unfortunate Incident.

What blessings attend, my dear mother, all those
Who to crowds of admirers their persons expose!
Do the gods such a noble ambition inspire;
Or gods do we make of each ardent desire?
O generous passion! 'tis yours to afford
The splendid assembly, the plentiful board;
To thee do I owe such a breakfast this morn,
As I ne'er saw before since the hour I was born;
'Twas you made my Lord Ragamuffin come here,
Who they say has been lately created a Peer,
And to-day with extreme complaisance and respect ask'd
All the people at Bath to a general breakfast.


You've heard of my Lady Bunbutter, no doubt,
How she loves an assembly, fandango, or rout;
No lady in London is half so expert
At a snug private party her friends to divert;
But they say that, of late, she's grown sick of the town,
And often to Bath condescends to come down:
Her ladyship's fav'rite house is the Bear:
Her chariot, and servants, and horses are there:
My Lady declares that retiring is good;
As all with a separate maintenance should:
For when you have put out the conjugal fire,
'Tis time for all sensible folk to retire;
If Hymen no longer his fingers will scorch,
Little Cupid for others can whip in his torch,
So pert is he grown, since the custom began
To be married and parted as quick as you can.
Now my Lord had the honour of coming down post,
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.
I'm sure he's a person of great resolution,
Tho' delicate nerves, and a weak constitution;


For he carried us all to a place cross the river,
And vow'd that the rooms were too hot for his liver:
He said it would greatly our pleasure promote,
If we all for Spring-Gardens set out in a boat:
I never as yet could his reason explain,
Why we all sallied forth in the wind and the rain;
For sure, such confusion was never yet known;
Here a cap and a hat, there a cardinal blown:
While his Lordship, embroider'd and powder'd all o'er,
Was bowing, and handing the ladies a-shore:
How the misses did huddle and scuddle, and run:
One would think to be wet must be very good fun;
For by waggling their tails, they all seem'd to take pains
To moisten their pinions like ducks when it rains;
And 'twas pretty to see how, like birds of a feather,
The people of quality flock'd all together;
All pressing, addressing, caressing, and fond,
Just the same as those animals are in a pond:
You've read all their names in the news, I suppose,
But, for fear you have not, take the list as it goes:
There was Lady Greasewrister,
And Madam Van-Twister,
Her Ladyship's sister.


Lord Cram, and Lord Vulter,
Sir Brandish O'Culter,
With Marshal Carouzer,
And old Lady Mouzer,
And the great Hanoverian Baron Pansmowzer:
Besides many others, who all in the rain went,
On purpose to honour this great entertainment:
The company made a most brilliant appearance,
And ate bread and butter with great perseverance;
All the chocolate too, that my Lord set before 'em,
The ladies dispatch'd with the utmost decorum.
Soft musical numbers were heard all around,
The horns and the clarions echoing sound:
Sweet were the strains, as od'rous gales that blow
O'er fragrant banks, where pinks and roses grow.
The Peer was quite ravish'd, while close to his side
Sat Lady Bunbutter, in beautiful pride!
Oft turning his eyes, he with rapture survey'd
All the powerful charms she so nobly display'd.
As when at the feast of the great Alexander,
Timotheus, the musical son of Thersander,
Breath'd heavenly measures;


The prince was in pain,
And could not contain,
While Thais was sitting beside him;
But, before all his peers,
Was for shaking the spheres,
Such goods the kind gods did provide him.
Grew bolder and bolder,
And cock'd up his shoulder,
Like the son of great Jupiter Ammon,
Till at length quite opprest,
He sunk on her breast,
And lay there as dead as a salmon.
O had I a voice that was stronger than steel,
With twice fifty tongues to express what I feel,
And as many good mouths, yet I never could utter
All the speeches my Lord made to Lady Bunbutter!
So polite all the time, that he ne'er touch'd a bit,
While she ate up his rolls and applauded his wit:
For they tell me that men of true taste, when they treat,
Should talk a great deal, but they never should eat:
And if that be the fashion, I never will give
Any grand entertainment as long as I live:


For I'm of opinion 'tis proper to cheer
The stomach and bowels, as well as the ear.
Nor me did the charming concerto of Abel
Regale like the breakfast I saw on the table:
I freely will own I the muffins preferr'd
To all the genteel conversation I heard,
E'en tho' I'd the honour of sitting between
My Lady Stuff-damask and Peggy Moreen,
Who both flew to Bath in the nightly machine.
Cries Peggy, “This place is enchantingly pretty;
“We never can see such a thing in the city:
“You may spend all your life-time in Cateaton-street,
“And never so civil a gentleman meet;
“You may talk what you please; you may search London “through;
“You may go to Carlisle's, and to Almanac's too:
“And I'll give you my head if you find such a host,
“For coffee, tea, chocolate, butter, and toast:
“How he welcomes at once all the world and his wife,
“And how civil to folk he ne'er saw in his life!”—
“These horns, cries my Lady, so tickle one's ear,
“Lard! what would I give that Sir Simon was here!


“To the next public breakfast Sir Simon shall go,
“For I find here are folks one may venture to know:
“Sir Simon would gladly his Lordship attend,
“And my Lord would be pleas'd with so cheerful a friend.”
So when we had wasted more bread at a breakfast
Than the poor of our parish have ate for this week past,
I saw, all at once, a prodigious great throng
Come bustling, and rustling, and jostling along:
For his Lordship was pleas'd that the company now
To my Lady Bunbutter should curt'sey and bow:
And my Lady was pleas'd too, and seem'd vastly proud
At once to receive all the thanks of a crowd:
And when, like Chaldeans, we all had ador'd
This beautiful image set up by my Lord,
Some few insignificant folk went way,
Just to follow th' employments and calls of the day,
But those who knew better their time how to spend,
The fiddling and dancing all chose to attend.
Miss Clunch and Sir Toby perform'd a Cotillion,
Just the same as our Susan and Bob the postillion;
All the while her mamma was expressing her joy,
That her daughter the morning so well could employ.


—Now why should the Muse, my dear mother, relate
The misfortunes that fall to the lot of the great?
As homeward we came—'tis with sorrow you'll hear
What a dreadful disaster attended the Peer:
For whether some envious god had decreed
That a Naiad should long to ennoble her breed;
Or whether his Lordship was charm'd to behold
His face in the stream, like Narcissus of old;
In handing old Lady Bumfidget and daughter,
This obsequious Lord tumbled into the water;
But a nymph of the flood brought him safe to the boat,
And I left all the ladies a-cleaning his coat.
Thus the feast was concluded, as far as I hear,
To the great satisfaction of all that were there.
O may he give breakfasts as long as he stays,
For I ne'er ate a better in all born days.
In haste I conclude, &c. &c. &c.
S--- B---n---r---d.
Bath, 1766.


LETTER XIV. Miss Prudence B---n---r---d to Lady Eliz. M---d---ss, at --- Castle, North.

Miss Prudence B---n---r---d informs Lady Betty that she has been elected to Methodism by a Vision.

Hearken, Lady Betty, hearken,
To the dismal news I tell;
How your friends are all embarking
For the fiery gulph of hell.


Brother Simkin's grown a rakehell,
Cards and dances ev'ry day,
Jenny laughs at tabernacle,
Tabby Runt is gone astray.
Blessed I, tho' once rejected,
Like a little wand'ring sheep,
Who this morning was elected
By a vision in my sleep:


For I dream'd an apparition
Came, like Roger, from above;
Saying, by divine commission
I must fill you full of love.
Just with Roger's head of hair on,
Roger's mouth, and pious smile;
Sweet, methinks, as beard of Aaron
Dropping down with holy oil.


I began to fall a kicking,
Panted, struggled, strove in vain;
When the spirit whipt so quick in,
I was cur'd of all my pain.
First I thought it was the night-mare
Lay so heavy on my breast;
But I found new joy and light there,
When with heavenly love possest.


Come again, then, apparition,
Finish what thou hast begun;
Roger, stay, thou soul's physician,
I with thee my race will run.
Faith her chariot has appointed,
Now we're stretching for the goal;
All the wheels with grace anointed,
Up to heav'n to drive my soul.—


LETTER XV. Mr. Simkin B---n---r---d to Lady B---n---r---d, at --- Hall, North.

Serious Reflections of Mr. B---n---r---d.—His Bill of Expences.— The Distresses of the Family.—A Farewell to Bath.

Alas, my dear mother, our evil and good
By few is distinguish'd, by few understood!
How oft are we doom'd to repent at the end,
The events that our pleasantest prospects attend!
As Solon declar'd, in the last scene alone,
All the joys of our life, all our sorrows are known.
When first I came hither for vapours and wind,
To cure all distempers, and study mankind,
How little I dream'd of the tempest behind!
I never once thought what a furious blast,
What storms of distress would o'erwhelm me at last.
How wretched am I! what a fine declamation
Might be made on the subject of my situation!


I'm a fable!—an instance!—and serve to dispense
An example to all men of spirit and sense,
To all men of fashion, and all men of wealth,
Who come to this place to recover their health:
For my means are so small, and my bills are so large,
I ne'er can come home till you send a discharge.
Let the Muse speak the cause, if a Muse yet remain
To supply me with rhymes, and express all my pain.
Paid bells, and musicians,
Drugs, nurse, and physicians,
Balls, raffles, subscriptions, and chairs;
Wigs, gowns, skins, and trimming,
Good books for the women,
Plays, concerts, tea, negus, and prayers.
Paid the following schemes,
Of all who it seems
Make charity-bus'ness their care:
A gamester decay'd,
And a prudish old maid
By gaiety brought to despair:


A fidler of note,
Who, for lace on his coat,
To his taylor was much in arrears:
An author of merit,
Who wrote with such spirit
The pillory took off his ears.
A sum, my dear mother, far heavier yet,
Captain Cormorant won when I learn'd lansquenet;
Two hundred I paid him, and five am in debt.
For the five I had nothing to do but to write,
For the Captain was very well bred and polite,
And took, as he saw my expences were great,
My bond, to be paid on the Clodpole estate;
And asks nothing more while the money is lent,
Than interest paid him at twenty per cent.
But I'm shock'd to relate what distresses befall
Miss Jenny, my sister, and Tabby and all:
Miss Jenny, poor thing, from this Bath expedition,
Was in hopes very soon to have chang'd her condition:
But rumour has brought certain things to her ear,
Which I ne'er will believe, yet am sorry to hear


‘That the Captain, her lover, her dear Romeo,
‘Was banish'd the army a great while ago:
‘That his friends and his foes he alike can betray,
‘And picks up a scandalous living by play.’
But if e'er I could think that the Captain had cheated,
Or my dear cousin Jenny unworthily treated,
By all that is sacred I swear, for his pains
I'd cudgel him first, and then blow out his brains.
For the man I abhor like the devil, dear mother,
Who one thing conceals, and professes another.
O how shall we know the right way to pursue!—
Do the ills of mankind from religion accrue!—
Religion, design'd to relieve all our care,
Has brought my poor sister to grief and despair;
Now she talks of damnation, and screws up her face;
Then prates about Roger, and spiritual grace;
Her senses, alas! seem at once gone astray—
No pen can describe it, no letter convey.
But the man without sin, that Moravian Rabbi,
Has perfectly cur'd the Chlorosis of Tabby;


And, if right I can judge, from her shape and her face,
She soon may produce him an infant of grace.
Now they say that all people, in our situation,
Are very fine subjects for regeneration;
But I think, my dear mother, the best we can do,
Is to pack up our all, and return back to you.
Farewell then, ye streams,
Ye poetical themes!
Sweet fountains for curing the spleen!
I'm griev'd to the heart
Without cash to depart,
And quit this adorable scene!
Where gaming and grace
Each other embrace,
Dissipation and piety meet:—
May all, who've a notion
Of cards or devotion,
Make Bath their delightful retreat!
S--- B---n---r---d.
Bath, 1766.




Criticisms, and the Guide's Conversation with three Ladies of Piety, Learning, and Discretion.

There are who complain that my verse is severe,
And what is much worse—that my Book is too dear:
The Ladies protest that I keep no decorum
In setting such patterns of folly before 'em:
Some cannot conceive what the Guide is about,
With names so unmeaning to make such a rout.
Lady Dorothy Scrawl would engage to bespeak
A hundred such things to be made in a week:
Madam Shuffledumdoo, more provoking than that,
Has sold your poor Guide for two fish and a mat;
A sweet medium paper, a book of fine size,
And a print that I hop'd would have suited her eyes.


And another good lady, of delicate taste,
Cries, “Fie! Mr. Bookseller, bring me some paste;
“I'll close up this leaf, or my daughter will skim
“The cream of that vile methodistical hymn.”—
Then stuck me down fast—so unfit was my page
To meet the chaste eyes of this virtuous age.
O spare me, good Madam, it goes to my heart
With my sweet methodistical letter to part.
Away with your paste! 'tis exceedingly hard
Thus to torture and cramp an unfortunate bard:
How my Muse will be shock'd, when she's just taking flight,
To find that her pinions are fasten'd so tight!

First Lady.]
Why you know, beyond reason, and decency too,
Beyond all respect to religion that's due,
Your dirty satirical work you pursue.
I very well know whom you meant to affront
In the pictures of Prudence, and Tabitha Runt.—


Indeed my good ladies, religion and virtue
Are things that I never design'd any hurt to.
All poets and painters, as Horace agrees,
May copy from nature what figures they please;
Nor blame the poor poet, or painter, if you
In verse or on canvas your likeness should view.
I hope you don't think I would write a lampoon;
I'd be hang'd at the foot of Parnassus as soon.

Second Lady.]
Prithee don't talk to me of your Horace and Flaccus,
When you come like an impudent wretch to attack us.
What's Parnassus to you? Take away but your rhyme,
And the strains of the bell-man are full as sublime.

Third Lady.]
Dost think that such stuff as thou writ'st upon Tabby,
Will procure thee a busto in Westminster-Abbey?

'Tis true, on Parnassus I never did dream,
Nor e'er did I taste of sweet Helicon's stream;


My share of the fountain I'll freely resign
To those who are better belov'd by the Nine:
Give bustos to poets of higher renown,
I ne'er was ambitious in marble to frown:
Give laurels to those, from the god of the lyre
Who catch the bright spark of etherial fire;
Who, skill'd every passion at will to impart,
Can play round the head while they steal to the heart;
Who, taught by Apollo to guide the bold steed,
Know when to give force, when to temper his speed:
My nerves all forsake me, my voice he disdains,
When he rattles his pinions, no more hears the reins,
But thro' the bright ether sublimely he goes,
Nor earth, air, or ocean, or mountains oppose.—
For me, 'tis enough that my toil I pursue,
Like the bee drinking sweets that exhale from the dew,
Content if Melpomene joins to my lay
One tender soft strain of melodious Gray;
Thrice happy in your approbation alone,
If the following ode for my hymn can atone.



To Miss Jenny W---d---r, at Bath; from Lady Eliz. M---d---ss, her Friend in the Country;

A young Lady of neither Fashion, Taste, nor Spirit.

Oft I've invok'd th' Aönian quire,
And Phœbus oft in vain,
Like thee, my friend, to tune my lyre,
Like thee to raise my strain:
And when of late I sought their aid
The flow'ry bank beside,
Methought, along the silent glade,
I heard a voice that cry'd,
“Mistaken maid! why idly waste
“Your hours in fruitless toil?
“You ne'er the hallow'd brook can taste,
“Or tread poetic soil:


“For since your friend pursues the path
“Where wit and pleasure reigns,
“With her has fled each Muse to Bath,
“From these neglected plains:
“There many a bard's inspir'd with song,
“With epigram and ode;
“And one, the meanest of the throng,
“Takes satire's thorny road;
“For him Bath's injur'd genius now
“The hemlock juice prepares,
“And deadly nightshade o'er his brow
“For laurel wreaths he wears:
“Him, like the Thracian bard, shall curse
“Each nymph, each angry dame;
“Tho' far inferior be his verse,
“His hapless fate the same;
“Torn be the wretch, whose impious strains
“Profan'd their beauty's pride,
“No Muse to gather his remains
“That flow down Avon's tide;


“But him shall many a drone pursue
“That hums around the stream;
“Him frantic priests, an insect crew
“That cloud Light's heav'nly beam.
“Then, lest his destiny you share,
“Rash nymph, thy strains give o'er!
“Be warn'd by me, of rhyme beware!”—
The voice was heard no more.
Yet tho' I cease my artless lay,
Nor longer court the Nine,
This faithful tribute will I pay
At friendship's sacred shrine.
Here will I offer incense sweet,
Here light the hallow'd fires:
And oh! with kind acceptance meet
What true regard inspires.
Nor let my friendly verse offend
That poor deluded maid,
Whose faith I ne'er can comprehend,
Or grace in dreams convey'd.


May no such grace my thoughts employ,
Nor I with envy view
Those scenes of dissipated joy,
So well describ'd by you!
Think not a parent's harsh decrees
From me those scenes withhold;
His soft request can ne'er displease
Who ne'er my joys control'd,
But pining years opprest with grief
My tender care demand;
The bed of sickness asks relief
From my supporting hand.
Well do I know, how sorrow preys,
E'er since the hour that gave
The partner of his happier days
To seek the silent grave.
In that sad hour my lips she prest,
Bedew'd with many a tear;
And “Take,” she cry'd, “this last bequest,
“A dying mother's pray'r.


“O let the maxims I convey
“Sink deep into thy breast,
“When I no more direct thy way,
“Retir'd to endless rest.
“Look on thy aged father's woe!
“'Tis thine to sooth his pain;
“With Grace like this, Religion shew,
“And thus her cause maintain.
“Nor is't enough that Grace displays,
“Or Faith her light divine;
“In all thy works, in all thy ways,
“Let heav'nly Virtue shine:
“Q! may the Fountain of all truth
“Each Perfect Gift impart,
“With Innocence protect thy youth,
“With Hope support thy heart!
“So may'st thou learn thyself to know,
“Of all extremes beware,
“Nor find in age thy cup o'erflow
“With shame, remorse, and care:


“Then shall no madmen Light reveal,
“No visionary priest,
“With falsehood, ignorance, and zeal,
“Torment thy peaceful breast:
“Then shall no fears thy soul distress,
Religion's doubts shall cease;
“Her ways are ways of pleasantness,
“And all her paths are peace.”—
Such were the truths, ere lost in death,
Her parting voice convey'd;
Such may I keep 'till latest breath,
Thou dear lamented shade!—
What tho' no Muse will deign, my friend,
My homely joys to tell;
Tho' Fashion ne'er will condescend
To seek this humble cell;
Yet freedom, peace, and mind serene,
Which modish life disdains,
(Perpetual sweets!) enrich the scene
Where conscious virtue reigns:


Blest scenes! such unrepented joys,
Such true delights ye give,
Remote from fashion, vice, and noise,
Contented let me live.
Eliz. Modeless.

Miss Prudence B---nd---rh---d.


The Conversation continued.—The Ladies' Receipt for a Novel.—The Ghost of Mr. Quin.

Now I hope that this letter from young Lady Betty,
Will be reckon'd exceedingly decent and pretty:
That you, my good ladies, who ne'er could endure
A hymn so ineffably vile and impure,
My indelicate Muse will no longer bewail,
Since a sweet little moral is pinn'd to her tail:
If not, as so kindly I'm tutor'd by you,
Pray tell a poor poet what's proper to do.

First Lady.]
Why if thou must write, thou hadst better compose
Some novels, or elegant letters in prose.
Take a subject that's grave, with a moral that's good,
Throw in all the temptations that virtue withstood,
In epistles like Pamela's chaste and devout—
A book that my family's never without.—


Second Lady.]
O! pray let your hero be handsome and young,
Taste, wit, and fine sentiment, flow from his tongue,
His delicate feelings be sure to improve
With passion, with tender soft rapture and love.

Third Lady.]
Add some incidents too, which I like above measure,
Such as those which I've heard are esteem'd as a treasure
In a book that's intitled—The Woman of Pleasure.
Mix well, and you'll find 'twill a novel produce
Fit for modest young ladies—so keep it for use.

Damnation— (aside.)
Well, ladies, I'll do what I can,

And ye'll bind it, I hope, with your Duty of Man.
Guide mutters.]
—Take a subject that's grave, with a moral that's good!
Thus musing, I wander'd in splenetic mood
Where the languid old Cam rolls his willowy flood.


When lo! beneath the poplar's glimm'ring shade,
Along the stream where trembling oziers play'd,
What time the bat low-flitting skims the ground,
When beetles buz, when gnats are felt around,
And hoarser frogs their am'rous descant sound.
Sweet scenes! that heavenly contemplation give,
And oft in musical description live!
When now the moon's refulgent rays begin
O'er twilight groves to spread their mantle thin,
Sudden arose the awful form of Quin:
A form that bigger than the life appear'd,
And head like Patagonian hero rear'd.
Aghast I stood! when lo! with mild command
And looks of courtesy, he wav'd his hand,
Me to th' embow'ring grove's dark path convey'd,
And thus began the venerable Shade:
“Forth from Elysium's blest abodes I come,
“Regions of joy, where Fate has fix'd my doom:
“Look on my face—I well remember thine:
“Thou knew'st me too, when erst in life's decline
“At Bath I dwelt—there late repos'd mine age,
“And unrepining left this mortal stage:


“Yet do those scenes, once conscious of delight,
“Rejoice my social ghost! there oft by night
“I hold my way:
“And from the mullet, and the sav'ry jole,
“Catch fragrant fumes, that still regale my soul:
“Sweet Bath, which thou these dreary banks along
“Oft makes the subject of thy wayward song.”—

O spare me, blest spirit—

Quit thy vain fears; I come not to accuse
The motley labours of thy mirthful Muse,
For well I ween, if rightly understood,
Thy themes are pleasant, and thy moral good.
Oft have I read the laughter-moving phrase,
And splayfoot measures of thy Simkin's lays,
Nor aught indecent or obscene I find,
That virtue wounds, or taints the virgin's mind:
Beware of that—O! why should I describe
What ills await the caitiff scribbling tribe?
First see the mob who novels lewd dispense,
The bane of virtue, modesty, and sense:


Next that infernal crew, detractors base,
Who pen lampoons; true satire's foul disgrace:
Nor less the punishment in realms below
For those who praise unmerited bestow,
Those pimps in science, who, with dulness bold,
The sacred Muses prostitute for gold:
Those too whom zeal to pious wrath inclines,
Pedantic, proud, polemical divines:
Bad critics last, whom Rhadamanth severe
Chastises first, then condescends to hear:
All, all, in fiery Phlegethon must stay,
Till gall, and ink, and dirt, of scribbling day,
In purifying flames are purg'd away.—

O trust me, blest spirit, I ne'er would offend
One innocent virgin, one virtuous friend:
From nature alone are my characters drawn,
From little Bob Jerom to bishops in lawn:
Sir Boreas Blubber, and such stupid faces,
Are at London, at Bath, and at all public places;
And if to Newmarket I chance to repair,
'Tis odds but I see Captain Cormorant there:


But he who his cash on physicians bestows,
Meets a light little doctor wherever he goes.

'Tis true, such insects as thy tale has shown
Breathe not the atmosphere of Bath alone,
Tho' there, in gaiety's meridian ray,
Vain fools, like flies, their gaudy wings display;
Awhile they flutter, but, their sunshine past,
Their fate, like Simkin, they lament at last.
Worse ills succeed; oft Superstition's gloom
Shed's baneful influence o'er their youthful bloom—
Such Heav'n avert from fair Britannia's plains,
To realms where bigotry and slavery reigns!
No more of that.—But say, thou tim'rous bard,
Claim not the Wines of Bath thy just regard?
Where oft, I ween, the brewer's cauldron flows
With elder's mawkish juice and puck'ring sloes,
Cyder aud hot geneva they combine,
Then call the fatal composition Wine.
By Cerberus I swear, not those vile crews,
Who vend their pois'nous med'cines by the news,


For means of death, air, earth, and seas explore,
Have sent such numbers to the Stygian shore:
Shun thou such base potations; oft I've thought
My span was short'ned by the noxious draught.—
But soft, my friend!—is this the soil, the clime,
That teaches Granta's tuneful sons to rhime?
On me unsavoury vapours seem to fix,
Worse than Cocytus or the pools of Styx;
Inspir'd by fogs of this slow-winding Cam,
O say, does --- presume thy strains to damn?
Heed not that miscreant's tongue; pursue thy ways
Regardless of his censure or his praise.

But if any old lady, knight, priest, or physician,
Should condemn me for printing a second edition,
If good Madam Squintum my work should abuse,
May I venture to give her a smack of my Muse?

By all manner of means: if thou find'st that the case,
Tho' she cant, whine, and pray, never mind her grimace,
Take the mask from her d—mn'd hypocritical face.


Come on then, ye Muses, I'll laugh down my day,
In spite of them all will I carol my lay;
But perish my voice, and untun'd be my lyre,
If my verse one indelicate thought shall inspire:
Ye angels! who watch o'er the slumbering fair,
Protect their sweet dreams, make their virtue your care!
Bear witness, yon moon, the chaste empress of night!
Yon stars, that diffuse the pure heavenly light!
How oft have I mourn'd that such blame should accrue
From one wicked letter of pious Miss Prue!
May this lazy stream, who to Granta bestows
Philosophical slumbers, and learned repose,
To Granta, sweet Granta, (where studious of ease
Seven years did I sleep, and then lost my degrees)
May this drowsy current (as oft he is wont)
O'erflow all my hay, may my dogs never hunt,
May those ills to torment me, those curses conspire,
Which so oft plague and crush an unfortunate 'Squire,
Some may'r to cajole me, some lawyer to chowse,
For a seven months seat in the parliament-house,


There to finish my nap for the good of the nation,
'Wake—frank—and be thank'd—by the whole corporation:
Then a poor tenant come, when my cash is all spent,
With a bag-full of tax-bills to pay me his rent;
And O! may some dæmon, those plagues to complete,
Give me taste to improve an old family seat
By lawning an hundred good acres of wheat!
Such ills be my portion, and others much worse,
If slander or calumny poison my verse,
If ever my well-behav'd Muse shall appear
Indecently droll, unpolitely severe.
Good ladies, uncensur'd Bath's pleasures pursue,
May the springs of old Bladud your graces renew!
I never shall mingle with gall the pure stream,
But make your examples and virtue my theme:
Nor fear, ye sweet virgins, that aught I shall speak
To call the chaste blush o'er your innocent cheek.
O frown not, if haply your poet once more
Should seek the delightful Avonian shore,
Where oft he the winter's dull season beguiles,
Drinks health, life, and joy from your heavenly smiles.


To the Ghost.
For thee, who to visit these regions of spleen,
Deign'st to quit the sweet vales of perpetual green,
Forsake, happy Shade, this Bœotian air,
Fly hence, to Elysium's pure ether repair,
Rowe, Dryden, and Otway—thy Shakspeare is there:
There Thomson, poor Thomson, ingenuous bard,
Shall equal thy friendship, thy kindness reward,
Thy praise in mellifluous numbers prolong,
Who cherish'd his Muse and gave life to his song.
And O may thy genius, blest spirit, impart
To me the same virtues that glow'd in thy heart,
To me, with thy talents convivial, give
The art to enjoy the short time I shall live;
Give manly, give rational mirth to my soul!
O'er the social sweet joys of the full-flowing bowl!
So ne'er may vile scribblers thy memory stain,
Thy forcible wit may no blockheads profane,
Thy faults be forgotten, thy virtues remain.


Farewell! may the turf where thy cold reliques rest,
Bear herbs, odoriferous herbs o'er thy breast,
Their heads thyme, and sage, and pot-marjoram, wave,
And fat be the gander that feeds on thy grave.


Vide University Register, Proctors Books, &c.