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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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[Some Account of the Life and Writings of the Author]

[From wealth, from honours, and from courts remov'd]

From wealth, from honours, and from courts remov'd,
I've kept the silent path my genius lov'd,
And pitied those whom fortune oft beguiles
With flatt'ring hopes from false ambition's smiles;
Hence far from me the prostituted hour
Of adulation base on pride or pow'r,
Hence (thanks to Heav'n!) I ne'er was doom'd to know


What bitter streams from disappointment flow,
Oh! bane of life's sweet cup!


[With every plague that can conspire]

With every plague that can conspire
To curse a wretched country squire,
Six hundred sheep on fields at Kneeton
Starv'd as their owner was at Eton,
Twelve hide-bound nags, in empty stable,
Like hungry guests at ---'s table;
Calves, cows, and hogs reduced to bone,
Some wanting legs like B*l*k*n,
And all as lean as L---t---n.
Twice twenty hounds, five squalling brats,
One sickly wife, ten thousand rats;
My hay all swimming down the river!
Tell me, ye Gods, what friend would ever


O! say what enemy would choose
To send me four lean Luton hoo's?
Happy, too happy sure is spent
A rural life in sweet content!
This Maro taught me long ago,
But clowns will ne'er their blessings know;
This, on the banks of willowy Cam,
Melodious swan of Bottisham
Assures us we shall find the case,
Though he, too wise to quit his place,
Sings, all reclin'd on Board of Trade,
Of purling streams and sylvan shade,
“And thus, my Lord, he, free from strife,
“Spends an inglorious country life,”
While I, too happy (as I'm told
By Lord of Trade, and Bard of old),
With rustic muse, go plodding on,
In shady grove of Trumpington.
Unskill'd in flattery's softer arts,
Unfit for satire's pointed darts,
Else would my faithful muse reveal
What wights bestride the common-weal:
I'd sing of statesmen's strange invention
To gain for hungry ---s a pension;
I'd paint sweet peace from Heav'n descending,
And Granta's tuneful sons attending,
How to Parnassian hill they jog
Like hide-bound hacks to Gogmagog,
Blund'ring, and stumbling as they mount,
And flound'ring in the Aonian fount,


But such exalted themes belong
To Churchill's bold immortal song,
'Tis he alone can sweep the lyre,
And kindle Britain's languid fire;
Ye Muses bring his just reward,
At Freedom's temple crown the Bard.
Enough for me fresh flowers to bring
From hallow'd banks of Pindus' spring,
With careless hand for thee to twine
Th' unfading wreath at Friendship's shrine.

Horses so called, which his friend had been commissioned to purchase for him at Luton in Bedfordshire.



With a copy of the Patriot, and a present of Cottenham Cheeses.

Donarem pateras, &c. Hor. Lib. iv. Ode 8.

Freely I'd give ye cups of gold,
Rich with the curious works of old;
With coins and medals I'd present ye,
And send ye rings and seals in plenty;
Reward ye like the valiant Greeks,
If I, like Deard, could make antiques.
But gifts like these, my generous Friend,
Nor you expect, nor I can send.
Something to eat, I'd have you know it,
Is no small present from a Poet;
And tho' I took some little pains
In weaving my Pindaric strains,
You're welcome, if my verse displeases,
To d—n my book, and eat my cheeses;
Still will I venture to acquaint ye,
Tho' I, like Gainsborough, cou'd paint ye;
Tho' I with Wilton's art, could give
The animated stone to live;


Yet not the picture, or the busto,
Are things that heroes ought to trust to.
Good generals and statesmen too,
From verse alone, must claim their due;
And oft the friendly Muse supplies
What an ungrateful world denies:
Not the swift flight of threat'ning Lally,
Not every bold successful sally,
Under your banners from Madras,
Tho' told on marble, or on brass:
Not India's distant spoils brought home,
To grace our Henry's lofty dome;
Without the Muses just regard,
Can give the Conqueror his reward.—
—Spite of the law's unjust delay,
Your guerdon still the Muse shall pa y
With faithful steps your fame attend,
And speed the wishes of your friend.
Trumpington, Dec. 24, 1767. C.A.

The Spanish colours which were surrendered to the British arms at the conquest of Manilla, were hung up in the chapel of King's College, Cambridge.


With a Collar of Brawn, Nov. 1768.

Albi, sermonum nostrorum candide Judex. Hor.Lib.1.Ep.4.

Draper, my dear and worthy Friend,
Who read'st with candour all I send;
Say, what employment pleases best,
Since from the north you've travell'd west;
Are you to house of Melmoth flown,
There write what Pliny's self might own?


Or wand'ring near Sabrina's stream,
Explore some wise and virtuous theme:
Where'er thou art, thy active mind
To trifles never is consign'd;
Yet, 'mid the busy cares of life,
Vain scenes of anger, noise, and strife,
Reflect how short our time must last,
Nor think on disappointments past.
The Gods, my friend, your wishes crown,
Make health, success, and fame your own;
Besides, to this indulgent Heaven
A handsome competence has given,
And what is still a greater blessing,
The art of gen'rously possessing
So neat, so plentiful a board,
Not half our modern knights afford,
And much I fear, I scarce am able
To add one dainty to your table;
Yet take the collar I have sent ye,
And draw St. Kennet's corks in plenty.
But that my wife will never cease
Her num'rous offspring to increase,
(And well you know I'm not inclin'd
To leave my better half behind,)
I'd promise soon to come to your house
And play the part of Epicurus.




Non semper imbres nubibus hispidos
Manant in agros.
Hor. Lib. II. Od. 9.

Not always o'er the meads and hills,
From low'ring clouds, the rain distils,


Nor storms with endless uproar sweep
The billows of the Caspian deep.
The sluggish frost in icy chains
Not always binds th' Armenian plains,
Or northern blasts incessant lash
The bending oak, or leafless ash.
But you, my Friend, in pensive strain,
For ever of your loss complain:
With many a tear, and heart-felt groan,
Thy much-lov'd Berney's fate bemoan.
Nor, when the ev'ning shades descend,
Or morning dawns, thy sorrows end:
Yet not through all his lengthen'd age,
With sighs and tears the Pylian sage,
His dear Antilochus bewail'd,
By death's remorseless shaft assail'd;
Nor, of their youthful sons bereav'd,
Have kings and chiefs for ever griev'd:
The English Monarch dropt his tear
O'er Frederick's untimely bier,
But hope, with fortitude combin'd,
Spoke comfort to his wounded mind,
When in his offspring he survey'd
Fresh glories o'er his throne display'd,
And when his hour of grief was oe'r,
The Monarch was himself once more.
The noble Bedford scorn'd to mourn
For ever o'er his Russel's urn,
Nor did the aged Rutland pine,
And all his social joys resign,
Or make his son his endless theme,
Though much his heart was pang'd, I deem,


And many a briny tear he shed,
When Granby's gallant spirit fled.
Then cease, my Friend, thy fond complaint;
Resume thy mirth and humour quaint,
Let us awhile divert our spleen,
Recall the gay, the cheerful scene;
Awhile in Fancy's mirror trace
The social night, the joyous chase;
Let us of ---'s trophies sing,
How he the fox was wont to sting,
While you, when all the hounds were gone,
With boots too short, no stocking on,
Sick, and with midnight supper cramm'd,
All huntsmen, dogs, and foxes d-m-'d;
Yet still unwilling to submit,
Kept spurring on your jaded tit:
Thy image still provokes my smiles,
And many a serious thought beguiles,
No time, my Berney, can efface
The record of thy queer grimace.
Yet, though these joyous hours be past,
Let's catch the present while they last,
And ever through each varying scene
Calm be the soul, the mind serene;
Let not lost friends augment thy pain,
But think on those who still remain:
And of that number be the bard,
Who sends this tribute of regard,
And trims once more his withering bays,
To cheer thee with his faithful lays.




Thro' ev'ry part, of grief or mirth,
To which the mimic stage gives birth,
I ne'er, as yet, with truth could tell,
Where most your various pow'rs excel,
Sometimes, amidst the laughing scene,
Blithe Comedy with jocund mien,
By you in livelier colours drest,
With transport clasp'd you to her breast:
As oft the buskin'd Muse appear'd,
With awful brow her sceptre rear'd;
Recounted all your laurels won,
And claim'd you for her darling son.
Thus each contending Goddess strove,
And each the fairest garland wove.
But which fair nymph could justly boast
Her beauties had engag'd you most,
I doubted much, till t'other day,
Kind fortune threw me in your way;
Where, 'midst the friendly joys that wait
Philander's hospitable gate,
Freedom and genuine mirth I found,
Sporting the jovial board around.
'Twas there with keen, tho' polish'd, jest,
You sat, a pleas'd and pleasing guest;
With social ease a part sustain'd,
More humorous far than e'er you feign'd.


“Take him,” I cried, “bright Comic Maid,
“In all your native charms array'd;
“No longer shall my doubts appear;”
When Clio whisper'd in my ear,
“Go, bid it be no more disputed,
“For what his talents best are suited:
“In mimic characters alone
“Let others shine—but Garrick in his own.”


[I ne'er (tho' fame applaud me to my wrong)]

I ne'er (tho' fame applaud me to my wrong)
Stood forth the champion of Heroic Song;
Or once have felt (so Heav'n direct my ways)
The conscious pang of self-condemning praise;
Tho' but with ivy deck'd, without a frown
I can behold another's laurel crown:


Unfit for me; who from the secret shade
Ne'er to the throne my humble Muse convey'd,
Ne'er dar'd at Majesty my jest to aim
Or sport familiar with his sacred name.
O no !—could I the fragrant garland twine
Of sweetest flow'rs that bloom round Virtue's shrine,
To deck the Husband, Father, and the Man,
Who lives and governs on the Christian plan,
Pleas'd with mild arts his empire to improve,
Blest in his dear and virtuous Consort's love,
Who 'mid the toils of state his hours employs
On ten sweet pledges of connubial joys,
And gives to me (who equal numbers share)
A bright example of paternal care;
Then would I raise my feeble voice to sing
My good, my honour'd, and my gracious King.


[O! pause a while, whoe'er thou art]

O! pause a while, whoe'er thou art,
That drink'st this healing Stream;
If e'er Compassion o'er thy Heart
Diffus'd its heav'nly Beam,
Think on the Wretch, whose distant Lot
This friendly Aid denies;
Think how, in some poor, lonely Cot,
He unregarded lies!
Hither the helpless Stranger bring,
Relieve his heart-felt Woe,
And let thy Bounty, like this Spring,
In genial Currents flow:
So may thy Years from Grief, and Pain,
And pining Want be free,
And thou from Heav'n that Mercy gain,
The Poor receive from thee.




Nullus in orbe locus Baiis prælucet amœnis. Hor.


I. [PART I.]

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

A View from the Parades at Bath, with some Account of the Dramatis Personæ.

Sweet are yon' hills that crown this fertile vale!
Ye genial springs! Pierian waters, hail!
Hail, woods and lawns! Yes—oft I'll tread
Yon' pine-clad mountain's side,
Oft trace the gay enamell'd mead,
Where Avon rolls his pride.


Sure, next to fair Castalia's streams,
And Pindus' flow'ry path,
Apollo most the springs esteems,
And verdant meads of Bath.
The Muses haunt these hallow'd groves,
And here their vigils keep,
Here teach fond swains their hapless loves
In gentle strains to weep.
From water sprung, like flow'rs from dew,
What troops of bards appear!
The god of verse and physic too,
Inspires them twice a year.
Take then, my friend, the sprightly rhyme,
While you inglorious waste your prime,
At home in cruel durance pent,
On dull domestic cares intent,
Forbid, by parent's harsh decree,
To share the joys of Bath with me.


Ill-judging parent! blind to merit,
Thus to confine a nymph of spirit!
With all thy talents doom'd to fade
And wither in th' unconscious shade!
I vow, my dear, it moves my spleen,
Such frequent instances I've seen
Of fathers, cruel and unkind,
To all paternal duty blind.
What wretches do we meet with often,
Whose hearts no tenderness can soften!
Sure all good authors should expose
Such parents, both in verse and prose,
And nymphs inspire with resolution
Ne'er to submit to persecution.
This wholesome satire much enhances
The merit of our best romances.
And modern plays that I could mention,
With judgment fraught, and rare invention,
Are written with the same intention.
But, thank my stars! that worthy pair,
Who undertook a guardian's care,


My spirit never have confin'd!
(An instance of their gen'rous mind)
For Lady B---n---r---d, my aunt,
Herself propos'd this charming jaunt,
All from redundancy of care
For Sim, her fav'rite son and heir;
To him the joyous hours I owe
That Bath's enchanting scenes bestow;
Thanks to her book of choice receipts,
That pamper'd him with sav'ry meats;
Nor less that day deserves a blessing
She cramm'd his sister to excess in:
For now she sends both son and daughter
For crudities to drink the water.
And here they are, all bile and spleen,
The strangest fish that e'er were seen;
With Tabby Runt, their maid, poor creature,
The queerest animal in nature.
I'm certain none of Hogarth's sketches
E'er form'd a set of stranger wretches.
I own, my dear, it hurts my pride,
To see them blundering by my side;


My spirits flag, my life and fire
Is mortify'd au desespoir,
When Sim, unfashionable ninny,
In public calls me cousin Jenny;
And yet, to give the wight his due,
He has some share of humour too,
A comic vein of pedant learning
His conversation you'll discern in,
The oddest compound you can see
Of shrewdness and simplicity,
With natural strokes of aukward wit,
That oft, like Parthian arrows, hit;
For when he seems to dread the foe,
He always strikes the hardest blow;
And when you'd think he means to flatter,
His panegyrics turn to satire;
But then no creature you can find
Knows half so little of mankind,
Seems always blundering in the dark,
And always making some remark;
Remarks that so provoke one's laughter,
One can't imagine what he's after:


And sure you'll thank me for exciting
In Sim a wonderous itch for writing:
With all his serious grimace
To give descriptions of the place.
No doubt his mother will produce
His poetry for general use,
And if his bluntness does not fright you,
His observations must delight you;
For truly the good creature's mind
Is honest, generous, and kind:
If unprovok'd, will ne'er displease ye,
Or ever make one soul uneasy.—
I'll try to make his sister Prue
Take a small trip to Pindus too.
And Me the Nine shall all inspire
To tune for thee the warbling lyre:
For thee the Muse shall every day
Speed, by the post, her rapid way.
For thee, my friend, I'll oft explore
Deep treasures of romantic lore:


No wonder if I gods create,
As all good bards have done of late;
'Twill make my verse run smooth and even,
To call new deities from heaven:
Come then, thou goddess I adore!
But soft—my chairman's at the door,
The ball's begun—my friend, no more.
J--- W---d---r.
Bath, 1766.


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

Mr. B---n---r---d's Reflections on his Arrival at Bath.—The Case of Himself and Company.—The Acquaintance he commences, &c. &c.

We all are a wonderful distance from home!
Two hundred and sixty long miles are we come!
And sure you'll rejoice, my dear mother, to hear
We are safely arriv'd at the sign of the Bear.
'Tis a plaguy long way!—but I ne'er can repine,
As my stomach is weak, and my spirits decline:
For the people say here,—be whatever your case,
You are sure to get well if you come to this place.—
Miss Jenny made fun, as she always is wont,
Of Prudence my sister, and Tabitha Runt;
And every moment she heard me complain,
Declar'd I was vapour'd, and laugh'd at my pain.


What tho' at Devizes I fed pretty hearty,
And made a good meal, like the rest of the party,
When I came here to Bath, not a bit could I eat,
Tho' the man at the Bear had provided a treat:
And so I went quite out of spirits to bed,
With wind in my stomach, and noise in my head.
As we all came for health (as a body may say)
I sent for the doctor the very next day,
And the doctor was pleas'd, tho' so short was the warning,
To come to our lodging betimes in the morning;
He look'd very thoughtful and grave, to be sure,
And I said to myself,—There's no hopes of a cure!
But I thought I should faint, when I saw him, dear mother,
Feel my pulse with one hand, with a watch in the other;
No token of death that is heard in the night
Could ever have put me so much in a fright;
Thinks I—'tis all over—my sentence is past,
And now he is counting how long I may last.—
Then he look'd at —, and his face grew so long,
I'm sure he thought something within me was wrong.—
He determin'd our cases, at length, (G—d preserve us!)
I'm bilious, I find, and the women are nervous;


Their systems relax'd, and all turn'd topsy-turvy,
With hypochondriacs, obstructions, and scurvy;
And these are distempers he must know the whole on,
For he talk'd of the peritoneum and colon,
Of phlegmatic humours oppressing the women,
From fœculent matter that swells the abdomen;
But the noise I have heard in my bowels like thunder,
Is a flatus, I find, in my left hypochonder.
So plenty of med'cines each day does he send
Post singulas liquidas sedes sumend'
Ad crepitus vesper & man' promovend'
In English to say, we must swallow a potion
For driving out wind after every motion;
The same to continue for three weeks at least,
Before we may venture the waters to taste.
Five times have I purg'd, yet I'm sorry to tell ye
I find the same gnawing and wind in my belly;
But, without any doubt, I shall find myself stronger,
When I've took the same physic a week or two longer
He gives little Tabby a great many doses,
For he says the poor creature has got a Chlorosis,


Or a ravenous Pica, so brought on the vapours
By swallowing stuff she had read in the papers;
And often I've marvell'd she spent so much money
In Water-dock Essence, and Balsam of Honey;
Such tinctures, elixirs, such pills have I seen,
I never could wonder her face was so green.
Yet he thinks he can very soon set her to right
With Testic' Equin' that she takes every night;
And when to her spirits and strength he has brought her,
He thinks she may venture to bathe in the water.
But Prudence is forc'd ev'ry day to ride out,
For he says she wants thoroughly jumbling about.
Now it happens in this very house is a lodger,
Whose name's Nicodemus, but some call him Roger,
And Roger's so kind as my sister to bump
On a pillion, as soon as she comes from the pump;
He's a pious good man, and an excellent scholar,
And I think it is certain no harm can befall her;
For Roger is constantly saying his prayers,
Or singing some spiritual hymn on the stairs.
But my cousin Miss Jenny's as fresh as a rose,
And the Captain attends her wherever she goes:


The Captain's a worthy good sort of a man,
For he calls in upon us whenever he can,
And often a dinner or supper he takes here,
And Jenny and he talk of Milton and Shakspeare:
For the life of me now I can't think of his name,
But we all got acquainted as soon as we came.
Don't wonder, dear mother, in verse I have writ,
For Jenny declares I've a good pretty wit;
She says that she frequently sends a few verses
To friends and acquaintance, and often rehearses:
Declares 'tis the fashion; and all the world knows
There's nothing so filthy, so vulgar as prose.
And I hope, as I write without any connection,
I shall make a great figure in Dodsley's Collection;
At least, when he chooses his book to increase,
I may take a small flight as a fugitive piece.—
But now, my dear mother, I'm quite at a stand,
So I rest your most dutiful son to command.
S--- B---n---r---d.
Bath, 1766.


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

The Birth of Fashion, a Specimen of a modern Ode.

Sure there are charms by Heaven assign'd
To modish life alone;
A grace, an air, a taste refin'd,
To vulgar souls unknown.
Nature, my friend, profuse in vain,
May every gift impart;
If unimprov'd, they ne'er can gain
An empire o'er the heart.
Dress be our care in this gay scene
Of Pleasure's best abode:
Enchanting Dress! if well I ween,
Meet subject for an Ode.


Come then, nymph of various mien,
Votary true of Beauty's queen,
Whom the young and ag'd adore,
And thy different arts explore,
Fashion, come:—On me a-while
Deign, fantastic nymph, to smile.
Moria thee, in times of yore,
To the motley Proteus bore;
He, in bishop's robes array'd,
Went one night to masquerade,
Where thy simple mother stray'd:
She was clad like harmless quaker,
And was pleas'd my Lord should take her
By the waist, and kindly shake her;
And, with look demure, said she,
“Pray, my Lord,—do you know me?
He, with soothing, flattering arts,
Such as win all female hearts,
Much extoll'd her wit and beauty,
And declar'd it was his duty,


As she was a maid of honour,
To confer his blessing on her.
There, 'mid dress of various hue,
Crimson, yellow, green and blue,
All on furbelows and laces,
Slipt into her chaste embraces;
Then, like sainted rogue, cry'd he,
“Little quaker—you know me.”
Fill'd with thee she went to France,
Land renown'd for complaisance,
Vers'd in science debonair,
Bowing, dancing, dressing hair;
There she chose her habitation,
Fix'd thy place of education.
Nymph, at thy auspicious birth,
Hebe strew'd with flow'rs the earth;
Thee to welcome, all the Graces
Deck'd in ruffles, deck'd in laces,
With the God of Love attended,
And the Cyprian queen descended.


Now you trip it o'er the globe,
Clad in party-colour'd robe,
And, with all thy mother's sense,
Virtues of your sire dispense.
Goddess, if from hand like mine,
Aught be worthy of thy shrine,
Take the flow'ry wreath I twine.
Lead, oh! lead me by the hand,
Guide me with thy magic wand,
Whether deck'd in lace and ribbons,
Thou appear'st like Mrs. Gibbons,
Or the nymph of smiling look,
At Bath yclept Janetta Cook.
Bring, O bring thy essence-pot,
Amber, musk, and bergamot,
Eau de chipre, eau de luce,
Sans pareil and citron juice,
Nor thy band-box leave behind,
Fill'd with stores of every kind;
All th' enraptur'd bard supposes,
Who to Fancy odes composes;


All that Fancy's self has feign'd,
In a band-box is contain'd:
Painted lawns, and chequer'd shades,
Crape, that's worn by love-lorn maids,
Water'd tabbies, flower'd brocades;
Vi'lets, pinks, Italian posies,
Myrtles, jessamins, and roses,
Aprons, caps, and 'kerchiefs clean,
Straw-built hats, and bonnets green,
Catguts, gauzes, tippets, ruffs,
Fans, and hoods, and feather'd muffs,
Stomachers, and paris-nets,
Ear-rings, necklaces, aigrets,
Fringes, blonds, and mignionets;
Fine vermilion for the cheek,
Velvet patches à la grecque.
Come, but don't forget the gloves,
Which, with all the smiling loves,
Venus caught young Cupid picking
From the tender breast of chicken;
Little chicken, worthier far,
Than the birds of Juno's car,


Soft as Cytherea's dove,
Let thy skin my skin improve;
Thou by night shalt grace my arm,
And by day shalt teach to charm.
Then, O sweet goddess, bring with thee
Thy boon attendant Gaiety,
Laughter, Freedom, Mirth, and Ease,
And all the smiling deities;
Fancy, spreading painted sails,
Loves that fan with gentle gales.—
But hark!—methinks I hear a voice,
My organs all at once rejoice;
A voice that says, or seems to say,
“Sister, hasten, sister gay,
“Come to the pump-room—come away.”
J--- W---d---r.
Bath, 1766.

The Goddess of Folly.


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

A Consultation of Physicians.

Dear mother, my time has been wretchedly spent,
With a gripe or a hickup wherever I went,
My stomach all swell'd, till I thought it would burst,
Sure never poor mortal with wind was so curst!
If ever I ate a good supper at night,
I dream'd of the devil, and wak'd in a fright:
And so, as I grew ev'ry day worse and worse,
The doctor advis'd me to send for a nurse,
And the nurse was so willing my health to restore,
She begg'd me to send for a few doctors more;
For when any difficult work's to be done,
Many heads can dispatch it much sooner than one;
And I find there are doctors enough at this place,
If you want to consult in a dangerous case!


So they all met together, and thus began talking:
“Good doctor, I'm your's—'tis a fine day for walking—
“Sad news in the papers—G-d knows who's to blame!
“The colonies seem to be all in a flame—
“This stamp act, no doubt, might be good for the crown,
“But I fear 'tis a pill that will never go down—
“What can Portugal mean?—Is she going to stir up
“Convulsions and heats in the bowels of Europe?
“'Twill be fatal if England relapses again,
“From the ill blood and humours of Bourbon and Spain.”
Says I, ‘My good doctors, I can't understand
‘Why the deuce ye take so many patients in hand;
‘Ye've a great deal of practice, as far as I find,
‘But since ye're come hither, do pray be so kind
‘To write me down something that's good for the wind.
‘No doubt ye are all of ye great politicians,
‘But at present my bowels have need of physicians:
‘Consider my case in the light it deserves,
‘And pity the state of my stomach and nerves.”—
But a tight little doctor began a dispute
About administrations, Newcastle and Bute,


Talk'd much of œconomy, much of profuseness.—
Says another—“This case, which at first was a loosness,
“Is become a Tenesmus, and all we can do
“Is to give him a gentle cathartic or two;
“First get off the phlegm that adheres to the Plicæ,
“Then throw in a med'cine that's pretty and spicy;—
“A peppermint draught,—or a—Come, let's be gone,
“We've another bad case to consider at one.”
So thus they brush'd off, each his cane at his nose,
When Jenny came in, who had heard all their prose;
“I'll teach them,” says she, “at their next consultation,
“To come and take fees for the good of the nation.”
I could not conceive what a devil she meant,
But she seiz'd all the stuff that the doctor had sent,
And out of the window she flung it down souse,
As the first politician went out of the house.
Decoctions and syrups around him all flew,
The pill, bolus, julep, and apozem too;
His wig had the luck a cathartic to meet,
And squash went the gallipot under his feet.


She said, 'twas a shame I should swallow such stuff,
When my bowels were weak, and the physic so rough;
Declar'd she was shock'd that so many should come
To be doctor'd to death such a distance from home,
At a place where they tell you that water alone
Can cure all distempers that ever were known.
But, what is the pleasantest part of the story,
She has order'd for dinner a piper and dory;
For to-day Captain Cormorant's coming to dine,
That worthy acquaintance of Jenny's and mine.
'Tis a shame to the army, that men of such spirit
Should never obtain the reward of their merit;
For the Captain's as gallant a man I'll be sworn,
And as honest a fellow as ever was born:
After so many hardships, and dangers incurr'd,
He himself thinks he ought to be better preferr'd,
And Roger, or what is his name? Nicodemus,
Appears full as kind, and as much to esteem us;
Our Prudence declares he's an excellent preacher,
And by night and by day he's so good as to teach her;
His doctrine so sound with such spirit he gives,
She ne'er can forget it as long as she lives.


I told you before, that he's often so kind
To go out a riding with Prudence behind,
So frequently dines here without any pressing,
And now to the fish he is giving his blessing;
And as that is the case, though I've taken a griper,
I'll venture to peck at the dory and piper.
And now my dear mother, &c. &c. &c.
S--- B---n---r---d.
Bath, 1766.


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

Salutatiohs of Bath, and an Adventure of Mr. B---n---r---d's in consequence thereof.

No city, dear mother, this city excels,
In charming sweet sounds both of fiddles and bells;
I thought, like a fool, that they only would ring
For a wedding, or judge, or the birth of a king;
But I found 'twas for me, that the good-natur'd people
Rung so hard that I thought they would pull down the steeple;
So I took out my purse, as I hate to be shabby,
And paid all the men when they came from the abbey;
Yet some think it strange they should make such a riot
In a place where sick folk would be glad to be quiet;
But I hear 'tis the bus'ness of this corporation
To welcome in all the great men of the nation;


For you know there is nothing diverts or employs
The minds of great people like making a noise:
So with bells they contrive all as much as they can
To tell the arrival of any such man.
If a broker, or statesman, a gamester, or peer,
A nat'raliz'd Jew, or a bishop comes here,
Or an eminent trader in cheese should retire,
Just to think of the bus'ness the state may require,
With horns and with trumpets, with fiddles and drums,
They'll strive to divert him as soon as he comes;
'Tis amazing they find such a number of ways
Of employing his thoughts all the time that he stays!
If by chance the great man at his lodging alone is,
He may view from his window the colliers' ponies
On both the parades, where they tumble and kick,
To the great entertainment of those that are sick:
What a number of turnspits and builders he'll find
For relaxing his cares and unbending his mind,
While notes of sweet music contend with the cries
Of fine potted laver, fresh oysters, and pies!
And music's a thing I shall truly revere,
Since the city-musicians so tickled my ear:


For when we arriv'd here at Bath t'other day,
They came to our lodgings on purpose to play;
And I thought it was right as the music was come,
To foot it a little in Tabitha's room;
For practice makes perfect, as often I've read,
And to heels is of service as well as the head:
But the lodgers were shock'd such a noise we should make,
And the ladies declar'd that we kept them awake;
Lord Ringbone, who lay in the parlour below,
On account of the gout he had got in his toe,
Began on a sudden to curse and to swear:
I protest, my dear mother, 'twas shocking to hear
The oaths of that reprobate gouty old peer:
“All the devils in hell sure at once have concurr'd
“To make such a noise here as never was heard;
“Some blundering blockhead, while I am in bed,
“Treads as hard as a coach-horse just over my head;
“I cannot conceive what a plague he's about:
“Are the fiddlers come hither to make all this rout
“With their d---'d squeaking catgut, that's worse than the “gout?


“If the aldermen bad 'em come hither, I swear,
“I wish they were broiling in hell with the May'r;
“May flames be my portion if ever I give
“Those rascals one farthing as long as I live!”
So while they were playing their musical airs,
And I was just dancing the hay round the chairs,
He roar'd to his Frenchman to kick them down stairs.
The Frenchman came forth, with his outlandish lingo,
Just the same as a monkey, and made all the men go;
I could not make out what he said, not a word,
And his lordship declar'd I was very absurd.
Says I, ‘Master Ringbone, I've nothing to fear,
‘Tho’ you be a Lord, and your man a Mounseer,
‘For the May'r and the aldermen bad them come here:
‘— As absurd as I am,
‘I don't care a damn
‘For you, nor your valee de sham:
‘For a Lord, do you see,
‘Is nothing to me,
‘Any more than a flea;
‘And your Frenchman so eager,
‘With all his soup meagre,


‘Is no more than a mouse,
‘Or a bug, or a louse,
‘And I'll do as I please while I stay in the house:
‘For the B---n---r---d family all can afford
‘To part with their money as free as a Lord.’
So I thank'd the musicians, and gave them a guinea,
Tho' the ladies and gentlemen call'd me a ninny;
And I'll give them another the next time they play,
For men of good fortune encourage, they say,
All arts and all sciences too in their way;
So the men were so kind as to halloo and bawl,
“God bless you, Sir, thank you, good fortune befall
“Yourself, and the B---n---r---d family all.”
Excuse any more—for I very well know,
Both my subject and verse—is exceedingly low;
But if any great critic finds fault with my letter,
He has nothing to do but to send you a better.
And now, my dear mother, &c. &c. &c.
Bath, 1766. S--- B---n---r---d.


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

Mr. B---n---r---d gives a Description of the Bathing.

This morning, dear mother, as soon as 'twas light,
I was wak'd by a noise that astonish'd me quite;
For in Tabitha's chamber I heard such a clatter,
I could not conceive what the deuce was the matter;
And, wou'd you believe it, I went up and found her
In a blanket with two lusty fellows around her,
Who both seem'd a going to carry her off in
A little black box just the size of a coffin:
‘Pray tell me,’ says I, ‘what ye're doing of there?’
“Why, master, 'tis hard to be bilk'd of our fare,
“And so we were thrusting her into a chair;
“We don't see no reason for using us so,
“For she bad us come hither, and now she won't go:


“We've earn'd all the fare, for we both came and knock'd her
“Up as soon as 'twas light, by advice of the doctor;
“And this is a job that we often go a'ter,
“For ladies that choose to go into the water.”
‘But pray,’ says I, Tabitha, what is your drift
‘To be cover'd in flannel instead of a shift?
‘'Tis all by the doctor's advice, I suppose,
‘That nothing is left to be seen but your nose:
‘I think if you really intend to go in,
‘'Twould do you more good if you stript to the skin;
‘And if you've a mind for a frolick, i'fa'th,
‘I'll just step and see you jump into the bath.’
So they hoisted her down just as safe and as well
And as snug as a hodmandod rides in his shell:
I fain wou'd have gone to see Tabitha dip,
But they turn'd at a corner and gave me the slip,
Yet in searching about I had better success,
For I got to a place where the ladies undress:
Thinks I to myself, they are after some fun,
And I'll see what they're doing, as sure as a gun.
So I peep'd at the door, and I saw a great mat,
That cover'd the table, and got under that,


And laid myself down there as snug and as still,
(As a body may say) like a thief in a mill;
And of all the fine sights I have seen, my dear mother,
I never expect to behold such another:
How the ladies did giggle and set up their clacks,
All the while an old woman was rubbing their backs!
Oh 'twas pretty to see them all put on their flannels,
And then take the water, like so many spaniels;
And tho' all the while it grew hotter and hotter,
They swam, just as if they were hunting an otter.
'Twas a glorious sight to behold the fair sex
All wading with gentlemen up to their necks,
And view them so prettily tumble and sprawl
In a great smoking kettle as big as our hall:
And to-day, many persons of rank and condition
Were boil'd by command of an able physician:
Dean Spavin, Dean Mangey, and Doctor De'squirt,
Were all sent from Cambridge to rub off their dirt;
Judge Bane, and the worthy old Counsellor Pest,
Join'd issue at once, and went in with the rest;
And this they all said was exceedingly good
For strength'ning the spirits and mending the blood.


It pleas'd me to see how they all were inclin'd
To lengthen their lives for the good of mankind;
For I ne'er would believe that a bishop or judge
Can fancy old Satan may owe him a grudge;
Tho' some think the lawyer may choose to demur,
And the priest till another occasion defer;
And both to be better prepar'd for herea'ter,
Take a smack of the brimstone contain'd in the water.
But, what is surprizing, no mortal e'er view'd
Any one of the physical gentlemen stew'd;
Since the day that King Bladud first found out these bogs,
And thought them so good for himself and his hogs,
Not one of the faculty ever has try'd
These excellent waters to cure his own hide;
Tho' many a skilful and learned physician,
With candour, good sense, and profound erudition,
Obliges the world with the fruits of his brain,
Their nature and hidden effects to explain.
Thus Chiron advis'd Madam Thetis to take
And dip her poor child in the Stygian lake,


But the worthy old doctor was not such an elf
As ever to venture his carcase himself.
So Jason's good wife us'd to set on a pot,
And put in at once all the patients she got,
But thought it sufficient to give her direction,
Without being coddled to mend her complexion:
And I never have heard that she wrote any treatise
To tell what the virtue of water and heat is.
You cannot conceive what a number of ladies
Were wash'd in the water the same as our maid is:
Old Baron Vanteazer, a man of great wealth,
Brought his lady the Baroness here for her health;
The Baroness bathes, and she says that her case
Has been hit to a hair, and is mending apace:
And this is a point all the learned agree on,
The Baron has met with the fate of Acteon;
Who, while he peep'd into the bath, had the luck
To find himself suddenly chang'd to a buck.
Miss Scratchit went in, and the Countess of Scales,
Both ladies of very great fashion in Wales;
Then all on a sudden two persons of worth,
My Lady Pandora Macscurvy came forth,
With General Sulphur arriv'd from the North.


So Tabby, you see, had the honour of washing
With folks of distinction, and very high fashion;
But in spite of good company, poor little soul,
She shook both her ears like a mouse in a bowl.
Ods-bobs! how delighted I was unawares
With the fiddles I heard in the room above stairs;
For music is wholesome, the doctors all think,
For ladies that bathe, and for ladies that drink;
And that's the opinion of Robin our driver,
Who whistles his nags while they stand at the river:
They say it is right that for every glass
A tune you should take, that the water may pass,
So while little Tabby was washing her rump,
The ladies kept drinking it out of a pump.
I've a deal more to say, but am loth to intrude
On your time, my dear mother, so now I'll conclude.
S--- B---n---r---d.
Bath, 1766.

Vide Old Bath Guide.


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.


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

Mr. B---n---r---d goes to the Rooms. His Opinion of Gaming.

From the earliest ages, dear mother, till now,
All statesmen and great politicians allow
That nothing advances the good of a nation,
Like giving all money a free circulation:
This question from members of parliament draws
Many speeches that meet universal applause;
And if ever, dear mother, I live to be one,
I'll speak on this subject as sure as a gun:
For Bath will I speak, and I'll make an oration
Shall obtain me the freedom of this corporation;
I have no kind of doubt but the Speaker will beg
All the members to hear when I set out my leg.
“Circulation of cash—circulation decay'd—
“Is at once the destruction and ruin of trade;


“Circulation—I say—circulation it is,
“Gives life to commercial countries like this:”
What thanks to the city of Bath then are due
From all who this patriot maxim pursue!
For in no place whatever that national good
Is practis'd so well, and so well understood.
What infinite merit and praise does she claim in
Her ways and her means for promoting of gaming!
And gaming, no doubt, is of infinite use
That same circulation of cash to produce.
What true public-spirited people are here,
Who for that very purpose come every year!
All eminent men, who no trade ever knew
But gaming, the only good trade to pursue:
All other professions are subject to fail,
But gaming's a bus'ness will ever prevail;
Besides, 'tis the only good way to commence
An acquaintance with all men of spirit and sense;
We may grub on without it thro' life, I suppose,
But then 'tis with people—that nobody knows.
We ne'er can expect to be rich, wise, or great,
Or look'd upon fit for employments of state:


'Tis your men of fine heads, and of nice calculations,
That afford so much service to administrations,
Who by frequent experience know how to devise
The speediest methods of raising supplies:
'Tis such men as these, men of honour and worth,
That challenge respect from all persons of birth;
And is it not right they should all be carest,
When they're all so polite, and so very well drest,
When they circulate freely the money they've won,
And wear a lac'd coat, tho' their fathers wore none?
Our trade is encourag'd as much, if not more,
By the tender soft sex I shall ever adore;
But their husbands, those brutes, have been known to complain,
And swear they will never set foot here again.—
Ye wretches ingrate! to find fault with your wives,
The comfort, the solace, and joy of your lives;
Oh! that women, whose price is so far above rubies,
Should fall to the lot of such ignorant boobies!
Does n't Solomon speak of such women with rapture,
In verse his eleventh and thirty-first chapter?


And surely that wise king of Israel knew
What belong'd to a woman much better than you!
He says, “if you find out a virtuous wife,
“She will do a man good all the days of her life;
“She deals like a merchant, she sitteth up late.”
And you'll find it is written in verse twenty-eight,
“Her husband is sure to be known at the gate.
“He never hath need or occasion for spoil,
“When his wife is much better employ'd all the while;
“She seeketh fine wool, and fine linen she buys,
“And is clothed in purple and scarlet likewise.”
Now pray don't your wives do the very same thing,
And follow th' advice of that worthy old king?
Do they spare for expences themselves in adorning?
Don't they go about buying fine things all the morning?
And at cards all the night take the trouble to play,
To get back the money they spent in the day?
And sure there's no sort of occasion to shew
Ye are known at the gate, or wherever ye go.
Pray are not your ladies at Bath better plac'd
Than the wife of a king, who herself so disgrac'd,
And at Ithaca liv'd in such very bad taste?


Poor soul! while her husband thought proper to leave her,
She slav'd all the day like a Spitalfields weaver,
And then like a fool, when her web was half spun,
Pull'd to pieces at night all the work she had done:
But these to their husbands more profit can yield,
And are much like a lily that grows in the field;
They toil not indeed, nor indeed do they spin,
Yet they never are idle when once they begin,
But are very intent on increasing their store,
And always keep shuffling and cutting for more:
Industrious creatures! that make it a rule
To secure half the fish, while they manage the pool;
So they win, to be sure; but I very much wonder
Why they put so much money the candlestick under;
For up comes a man on a sudden, slap-dash,
Snuffs the candles and carries away all the cash:
And as nobody troubles their heads any more,
I'm in very great hopes that it goes to the poor.—
Methinks I should like to excel in a trade
By which such a number their fortunes have made.
I've heard of a wise, philosophical Jew,
That shuffles the cards in a manner that's new;


One Jonas, I think:—And could wish for the future
To have that illustrious sage for my tutor;
And the Captain, whose kindness I ne'er can forget,
Will teach me a game that he calls Lansquenet,
So I soon shall acquaint you what money I've won;
In the mean time I rest your most dutiful son,
S--- B---n---r---d.
Bath, 1766.




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.



Sunt lacrymæ rerum, et mentem mortalia tangunt. Virg.


Virtuous youth!
Thank Heav'n, I knew thee not—I ne'er shall feel
The keen regret thy drooping friends sustain;
Yet will I drop the sympathizing tear,
And this due tribute to thy memory bring;
Not that thy noble birth provokes my song,
Or claims such offering from the Muses shrine;
But that thy spotless undissembling heart,
Thy unaffected manners, all-unstain'd


With pride of pow'r, and insolence of wealth;
Thy probity, benevolence, and truth,
(Best inmates of man's soul) for ever lost,
Cropt, like fair flow'rs, in life's meridian bloom,
Fade undistinguish'd in the silent grave.
O Bedford!—pardon, if a Muse unknown,
Smit with thy heart-felt grief, directs her way
To sorrow's dark abode, where thee she views,
Thee, wretched sire, and pitying hears thee mourn
Thy Russel's fate—“Why was he thus belov'd?
“Why did he bless my life?”—Fond parent, cease;
Count not his virtues o'er—Hard task!—Call forth
Thy firm hereditary strength of mind.
Lo! where the shade of thy great ancestor,
Fam'd Russel, stands, and chides thy vain complaint;


His philosophic soul, with patience arm'd,
And Christian virtue, brav'd the pangs of death;
Admir'd, belov'd, he dy'd; (if right I deem)
Not more lamented than thy virtuous son:
Yet calm thy mind; so may the lenient hand
Of Time, all-soothing Time, thy pangs asswage,
Heal thy sad wound, and close thy days in peace.
See where the object of his filial love,
His mother, lost in tears, laments his doom:
Speak comfort to her soul:—
O! from the sacred fount, where flow the streams
Of heav'nly consolation, O! one drop,
To sooth his hapless wife; sharp sorrow preys
Upon her tender frame—Alas, she faints,—
She falls! still grasping in her hand
The picture of her Lord—All-gracious Heav'n!
Just are thy ways, and righteous thy decrees,
But dark and intricate; else why this meed
For tender faithful love; this sad return
For innocence and truth? Was it for this
By Virtue and the smiling Graces led,


(Fair types of long succeeding years of joy),
She twin'd the votive wreath at Hymen's shrine,
So soon to fade and die?—Yet O! reflect,
Chaste partner of his life! you ne'er deplor'd
His alienated heart: (disasterous state!
Condition worse than death!) the sacred torch
Burnt to the last its unremitted fires!
No painful self-reproach hast thou to feel;
The conscious thought of every duty paid,
This sweet reflection shall support thy mind,
Be this thy comfort:—Turn thine eyes a-while,
Nor with that lifeless picture feed thy woe;
Turn yet thine eyes, see how they court thy smiles,
Those infant pledges of connubial joy!
Dwell on their looks,—and trace his image there:
And O! since Heav'n, in pity to thy loss,
For thee one future blessing has in store,
Cherish that tender hope—Hear Reason's voice;
Hush'd be the storms that vex thy troubled breast,
And angels guard thee in the hour of pain.
Accept this ardent pray'r; a Muse forgive,
Who for thy sorrow draws the pensive sigh,


Who feels thy grief, tho' erst in frolic hour
She tun'd her comic rhymes to mirth and joy,
Unskill'd (I ween) in lofty verse, unus'd
To plaintive strains, yet by soft pity led,
Trembling revisits the Pierian vale;
There culls each fragrant flow'r, to deck the tomb
Where generous Russel lies.—




While you, my Lord, great Drury's weal sustain,
Light ev'ry walk, and open all the lane,
With strength of arm plead Black-boy Alley's cause,
Adorn with manners, and improve with laws;


Much would the public suffer from the song
That dar'd, O Buckhorse, to detain thee long.
When Alba's warlike sons of yore,
Held sage debate on Tyber's shore,
A patriot captain of banditti
Was made their chairman of committee,
And plann'd great Rome's imperial city:
Where now, inshrin'd among the gods,
With joy he views, from Heav'n's abodes,
Meek cardinals and holy friars,
For learning fam'd, and chaste desires,
Season the tender minds of youth
With virtue, liberty, and truth:
Like him consign'd to glorious rest
Amid the regions of the blest,
No less, in these degen'rate days,
A pious knight demands our praise,
Who, from an ardent love of knowledge,
Bequeath'd his wealth to found a college.
And much we wish, my Lord, that you
Such bright examples would pursue,


Build here some noble rich foundation,
And form a plan of education
To mend the morals of the nation;
Visit yourself your own asylum,
Statutes and wholsome laws, compile 'em,
Nor suffer bishops to embroil 'em;
Correct their manners, not so gently
As Fame reports of Doctor B*ntl*y,
But at th' election of their stewards,
Accept, my Lord, my thoughts in few words:
If some important dull logician,
Smit by the dæmon of ambition,
In pedant politics officious
For Machiavel quits Burgersdicius;
Or like the great men's nomenclator,
Tom Turbulent, that meddling prater,
With pertness, pride, and meanness join'd
To vacant head, and restless mind,
O'er these calm relams, whence science springs,
Bids Discord wave her baleful wings,
These blest abodes in ferment puts—
— Give him a driver in the guts,


And make such factious, ill-bred chuckles,
Revere the influence of your knuckles;
Thus all their feuds and tumults quell,
And peace restore to Israel:
So may the swans of Camus raise
Their tuneful throats to chaunt thy praise,
Granta her list of worthies crowning
With names of Buckhorse and of Downing.
Bacchus, when India was o'ercome,
And war compos'd by wine and rum,
(Which, you'll confess yourself, my Lord,
Is better far than fire and sword)


To Egypt went, as rich as those
Who've seiz'd a Nabob by the nose;
And there, as ancient bards relate,
Purchas'd a ruin'd 'Squire's estate;
Rubb'd up the family château,
Whose front three window-lights could shew—
—The rest were dark'ned long ago:
There soon, by jollity and bounty,
Gain'd int'rest both in town and county;
Cur'd an old May'r of drinking water,
Sung catches with his wife and daughter,
Sent ven'son, which was kindly taken,
And woodcocks, which they boil'd with bacon;
Created honorary freemen,
Gave toasts, and swallow'd more than three men,
Granted, from fatherly affection,
To ev'ry voter his protection,
Got drunk, and carry'd his election;
A work, my Lord, which all the world, next year,
Expect from you, and many a patriot peer.


Pollux, my Lord, and Castor too,
Were bruisers both renown'd like you,
Were known at cockpits, fairs, and races,
And bore their links at public places;
Now turn'd to heav'nly constellations,
Pursue their ancient occupations:
Yet all these heroes grew dejected,
When favours they in life expected,
Due to their merits, were neglected.
For as our eyes from far survey,
Well-pleas'd the glorious lamp of day,
Whose near approaching lines of light
O'erpower and wound our aching sight;
So virtue, which offends when near,
Plac'd at a distance we revere,
And patriots never, 'till remov'd,
Or quite extinct, are prais'd and lov'd.
E'en he who cover'd with the hide is
Of lion slain, the great Alcides,
Who crush'd the hydra, and, what's more,
Subdu'd a dragon and a boar,


(Worse than the beast who ravag'd long
The peaceful vales of Gevaúdan)
Who clear'd the mews of King Augeas,
Stupendous work! and made so free as
To kick such jockeys from his stable,
As now, by gambling tricks, are able
To treat whole boroughs at their table;
Who, when a child in cradle laid,
On necks of snakes his strength display'd,
Roast beef, instead of pap, would cram,
Like giant boy of Willingham;
From which such vigour was created,
He cuff'd the maid that on him waited;
And after that, to prove his might,
Got fifty children in a night;
E'en he, for all his virtuous labours,
Was damn'd and hated by his neighbours,


And every monster overthrown,
Found Envy tam'd by Death alone.
On thee, while yet alive, great Sir,
Maturer honours we confer:
My Muse is ready to make oath,
And swear by gods and altars both,
We ne'er have seen, or e'er shall see,
A patriot so renown'd as thee.—
Oh! on the swan's broad pennons could I soar,
As erst the Latian bard, new tracks explore
O'er Afric's plains, o'er Hyperborean shore,
And Asia's wide domain! Ye sacred Nine,
Daughters of Jove, forsake the throne divine,
Bear me, O bear me on your airy wings
To Twit'nam's laurel groves, and silver springs,
Where erst the sage, 'mid Thames's list'ning swains,
Attun'd th' Horatian lyre to Brilish strains;
Give me, like him, to sound my patron's praise,
And pluck one garland of unfading bays,


So to the world great Buckhorse I'll proclaim,
Enroll with heroes and with kings his name,
And twine the wreath immortal as his fame.
I'll sing, my Lord, thy trophies won
On bloody plains of Kennington,
Sing how thy early worth was prov'd,
'Mid scenes of death thy soul unmov'd,
What time the hangman's murd'rous crew
The rebels' mangled entrails drew;
Confusion reign'd, and dire dismay—
Struck with remorse, the god of day
Turn'd his affrighted beams away.
But you, my Lord, well skill'd to cater,
Resolv'd in mind, compos'd in feature,
Seiz'd on the bowels of the traitor;
And, vulture-like, eat piping hot
The liver of rebellious Scot.


Tell me no more of turtle-eaters,
Hogs barbecu'd, and monstrous creatures,
Devour'd by aldermen and prætors:
What member of a calves-head party
E'er din'd so loyal and so hearty?
'Tis true, some men of taste and breeding
Copy your Lordship's mode of feeding,
And comme il faut their fingers grease
With rotten cabbage, Limburgh cheese,
Italian paste, and dainties more
Than grac'd th' Apician board of yore;
Transported when they meet with dishes,
That answer to their ardent wishes;
In raptures they'll the cook embrace,
Saluting him with French grimace,
On both sides of his greasy face;
So have they learnt, in foreign parts,
T'adore the culinary arts,
And soon, in eating's noble science,
May hope to bid the world defiance.
A roasted bear did no small credit
To those who ate and those who fed it;


But in these dreadful days of famine,
While one half of the world is cramming,
And t'other rioting and damning,
K---g, Lords, and Commons, all must own,
A nation's thanks are your's alone;
Your men of art, and science too,
Their premium shall assign to you,
To you the palm, who first such food
Invented for the public good,
And shew'd at once to all mankind
Your country's love, your taste refin'd.
Thus, when from Heav'n the pow'rs divine
Came down with Tantalus to dine,
The Lydian king, his banquet to improve,
On human flesh regal'd, and taught great Jove
To add one dainty to his feasts above.
Sweet patron of the Muse's lyre,
Phœbus, if e'er thou didst inspire
One modern bard with Theban fire,


Taught him aloft, from garret winder,
To sound the deep ton'd shell of Pindar,
And catch his heav'nly flame like tinder,
Fly through the liquid air,
Be Broughton's games thy care,
And all thy golden shafts be there.
Bid Clio quit her blest abode,
And speed her flight to Oxford-Road,
Adore the theatre of Broughton,
And kiss the stage his Lordship fought on;
Let all his battles be recounted,
By-battles, till the masters mounted,
Ere yet the tender down began
To shade his chin, and promise man:
Tell, to what deeds of bold emprize
We saw his manly strength arise;
Superior to the mean events
Of little warlike accidents,
Which still might greatly discompose
The features of our modern beaux,
And from their macaroni faces
Send packing all the loves and graces;


Two batter'd jaws, a flatten'd snout,
Depending like a broken spout,
And wisdom at one eye shut out.
Nathless the hero, undismay'd,
Pursues the bold Olympic trade,
Snuffs up a battle from afar,
And trains the hardy youth to war;
Ne'er mourns one minister of light,
Condemn'd in ever-during night
To roll and find no dawn, while t'other
Does double duty for its brother;
And when two chiefs of like renown
Grappling contest the Pythian crown,
The gods, delighted, oft survey
His single orb, with piercing ray,
Twinkling direct the doubtful fray.
Such, though from heaven it so far be,
Well-pleas'd, of late they view'd at Derby,
When discord rag'd and wrath grew higher,
Betwixt the Nailor and the Dyer:
Stern was the fight; one Pallas fir'd,
And t'other Mars himself inspir'd,


'Till Jove, who knew their stubborn spirits,
Call'd for his scales, to weigh their merits;
And all the deities allow,
Such sport was ne'er beheld till now.
O! may some bard resound the theme,
From Derwent's banks to Thames's stream!
Immortalize such deeds divine
In far sublimer strains than mine!
Nor let their praises be omitted,
Who two such gallant heroes pitted,
Forsook their cards, dice, cocks, and stud,
For deeper bets on human blood:
Yet not the Dyer, or the Nailor,
Can equal half his passive valour;
No bruiser fam'd in ancient story,
Transcend his persevering glory.
E'en the stern master of the sev'n-fold shield,
Who forc'd the doughty Trojan from the field;
E'en the Dictator, who by yielding won
His tardy triumphs o'er Amilcar's son,


The Lybian chiefs from fair Tarentum drove,
And bore their spoils to Capitolian Jove,
Submit to Buckhorse in the same degree
As water yields to gin, or Scotch baubee
To Cæsar's golden face.—Permit, my Lord,
The Muse who tunes her throat
To Victory's gladsome note,
The black-ey'd nymph Thalia to record
What erst these eyes beheld.—
'Twas at Westminster election,
When factious chiefs brew'd insurrection,
A boist'rous independant wight,
Confiding in his giant might,
Provok'd thee to th' athletic fight;
Arraign'd thy free, thy British spirit,
And set at nought thy patriot merit;
With look malign, and taunt severe,
Swore that your Lordship's fate was near,
And whisper'd Tyburn in thine ear.
I heard the wretch thy mother curse,
With language vile, invective worse


Than reigns at Billinsgate, or even
At the fam'd chapel of St. St*ph*n;
While you serene, with conscious virtue,
Pull'd off your waistcoat, and your shirt too,
And many a bang, and many a cuff,
Undauntedly sustain'd in buff.
But what I deem your Lordship's fort, is,
You lay collected like a tortoise,
Suffer'd the caitiff to bestride
And bruise thy unrelenting hide,
'Till, prodigal of strength, the foe
Such toil no more could undergo,
And, quite exhausted, sat him down,
Thinking the laurels all his own:
But you, who found you'd got no harm yet,
First peep'd from underneath your armpit,
Then, to the joy of all beholders,
Rais'd up your head above your shoulders,
Pull'd up your breeches, scratch'd your head,
Spit in your hands, and roll'd your quid;
And then, like some great rhetorician,
Of Greek and Roman erudition,


In senates us'd to wield with ease
The thunder of Demosthenes,
Open'd your budget to harangue him,
Before you undertook to bang him,
Thinking the hero well might bear
One short philippic in his ear.
“Dost thou traduce the Buckhorse name,
“And taint my virtuous mother's fame;
“Thou miscreant base! dost thou presume
“At Tyburn to announce my doom?
“Think'st thou, by devils hatch'd, to quell
“My patriotic principle?
“Famine, dismay, and foul disgrace,
“And pillory seize thy ruthless face,
“Ugly as Newgate steps.—
“Witness ye pure, ye virtuous tribes,
“Unmov'd by pensions and by bribes,
“If e'er I pouch'd one single farthing,
“Since by G---d's grace I've known the Garden;
“E'er taken one unbritish measure,
“To stain my hands with public treasure:


“Say, have I tamper'd with the stocks?
“(Behold this brass tobacco-box,
“Fair Freedom's boon) have I play'd booty?—
“At Tott'nham-Court I've done my duty.—
“Ask of yon stage, where late I fought,
“Ask Broughton's self, if e'er I sought
“One dirty job—ambition'd aught
“But Giles's welfare!—
“Yet still if gentlemen concur
“My post of honour to transfer,
“In abler hands my office fix,
“I'm ready to resign my sticks.
“Still shall I live to hear you peach,
“And chaunt your own last dying speech;
“But come, thou sneaking varlet, now is
“The time to shew thy strength and prowess:
“Gird well thy loins, for I this day
“With interest thy blows will pay.”
You spoke—and put a look sedate on,
Bold as when Michael frown'd on Satan.


Then, with the rapid lightning's speed,
Drove, like a batt'ring ram, thine head,
Plump in his paunch; the chief astounded,
Back like a culverin rebounded.
As when some man of taste thinks proper
To cover o'er his house with copper,
If chance descends nocturnal Jove
In storms of hailstones from above,
The garreteer, with wild affright,
Starts from the balmy blessings of the night,
Through all the live-long hours condemn'd to hear
The echoing dome re-bellow to his ear;
Thus was the valiant wight confounded,
His clatt'ring cheeks and temples sounded;
While you with frequent fist assail'd him,
With chuckers in the mazzard nail'd him,
And clicks upon the muns regal'd him;
Nor didst thou not amuse with leggers,
Cross buttocks, flying mares, and peggers,


Fall with your elbows in the bellows,
Scatter the grinders, close the smellers,
Darken the day-lights!—Muse, be brief—
You saw the store-room of the chief
Surrender its election beef,
Reluctant dumpling, beer, and gravy,
And heard each groaning bowel cry—peccavi.
Think not, my Lord, I join the crew
Who flattery's courtly arts pursue,
Unenvy'd let the servile throng
Their patrons lull with venal song,
Ne'er was I vers'd in dedication,
Or trod the paths of adulation:
May I be doom'd all day to wait
The issue of some dull debate,
In Robin Hood's well crowded senate,
(Which, thanks to heav'n, but once I've been at,
And then the baker's man made free
To take me into custody.)
But what is worse, may you refuse
The labours of my faithful Muse,


If aught in flattery I mention,
In hopes of bishoprick or pension;
I know your modesty is such,
You hate to be admir'd too much;
But if your Lordship had commanded
The troops that day Prince Ferdinand did,
On Minden's plains the Gallic foe
Had met their final overthrow;
To you the senate had decreed
A statue, for thy glorious meed,
Returning, like Germanic Cæsar,
Triumphant from the banks of Wezer.
Perhaps your Lordship may declare,
You hate a continental war,
That you from childhood was afraid
Of powder, balls, and cannonade;
Why didst thou then, with patriot zeal,
Illume the rocket-loaded wheel,
Big with combustion, when such praise
Redounded from the peace of Aix?
And this triumphant frugal nation,
To list'ning Europe's admiration,


Made all her cannon echo louder
Than thund'ring Jove; and spent her powder,
As freely as our warlike swains
Assembled on their peaceful plains,
To scorch their fingers, wigs, and noses,
Firing—pro aris et pro focis.
Say why, my Lord?—but lo! the Muse
No more these arduous themes pursues;
Unable thy exploits to sing,
Trembling she checks her tow'ring wing,
Speeds to domestic scenes of life,
Sighs to salute thy virtuous wife.
O! may ye long unparted prove
The blessings of connubial love,
Live to exhibit in this queer age,
A bright example to the peerage;
Grace Marybone, your ancient seat,
And Hockley-Hole's secure retreat,
Where you as quiet and serene as
Great Africanus, or Mæcenas,
From toils of state, from noise and care,
To calm retirement's joys repair:


While Lady Buckhorse tunes her throat
To many a soft love-labour'd note,
Culls each burletta strain she heard in
The comic op'ras of the Garden,
And teaches Trivia to repeat
Italian airs, in English ditties sweet.
Much would your Lordship's erudition
Improve such sprightly composition;
And should some bard, in future years,
Collect the works of modern peers,
(If right I augur) 'twill be thine
First in the noble list to shine.
O! may your candour, taste, and ease,
Instruct my artless Muse to please;
May ev'ry bolder stroke be heighten'd,
And by your abler pencil brighten'd;
So shall I raise my future song
High above all the tuneful throng,
Boasting, as once the comic bard did,
That Lælius all my toils rewarded:


So may the gods attend my pray'r,
And make thy hopeful son and heir,
Young Buckhorse, their peculiar care;
Whose virtues, like fair flow'rs, expand,
Rais'd by your Lordship's fost'ring hand;
Transplanted from Newmarket races
To Alma Mater's chaste embraces,
Where late he came, with resolution
T'observe each pious institution,
With filial duty to regard her;
(Example rare!) and with such ardour
Pursu'd his academic studies,
As worthy of his noble blood is:
Here did he woo the modest Nine,
And tune their instruments divine;
So much improve his nat'ral parts,
That in three weeks he won our hearts,
And gain'd a Mastership of Arts.
Now travels far the Alps beyond,
Of more polite amusements fond,
In which, I hope, and must suppose so,
He'll soon become a virtuoso.


Kind Heav'n protect him! Safe from harms
Restore him to his country's arms,
In Britain's public posts to join
The heroes of the patriot line:
Then may we hope once more to see
The smiling days of liberty,
When son and sire at once espouses
Her sacred cause in both their houses,
And each his influence extends
To virtue only and her friends.
Pleas'd that such patriotic souls
Will condescend to drain his bowls,
Wildman once more his lights resuming,
In transports shall his house relumine.—
And when (may Heav'n ordain it late)
Your Lordship shall submit to Fate,
When, after many a well-fought field,
Yourself to conq'ring Death shall yield,
(As yield you must, and that bright eye
Add glory to its kindred sky)


You shall for ever be The Noted,
And I to distant ages quoted,
My Lord,
Your Lordship's
Most devoted,
Cambridge, Dec. 1, 1767.


My Lord, it grieves me to relate
The worthy Dr. Bolter's fate;
He found his appetite decreas'd
E'er since the Visitation Feast,
Sent for advice, but sent in vain,
For all the Æsculapian train
Were met that week in Warwick-Lane;


Where certain peaceful learned leeches,
With hammers, iron-crows, and speeches,
And blacksmiths arm'd, were making entries
By ways unknown to Coke and Ventris,
While other harmless sons of Galen,
These barb'rous civil feuds bewailing,
Prepar'd their engines for assailing:
So while, his dignity asserting,
Old Dr. Squills behind the curtain,
Eager, as safely as he cou'd,
To vent his choler, and ill-blood;
Pointed his leathern tube to play on
His friend Sir Oxymel Mac'haon,


Seiz'd with an hiccup, flux, and phthisic,
—Th' Archdeacon dy'd for want of physic;—
By which your Toadland living's vacant,
—I beg your Lordship not to speak on't;—
(For previous to a man's interment,
G*d knows I seek not his preferment:)
But, as I've taken my degree,
And grow impatient to be free,
—I wish, my Lord, you'd think on me.
And if, my Lord, your Lordship chuses
A man of all work for your Muses,
(Such as, for great men's private uses,
This seat of learning oft produces)
To clean a buskin, or a sandal,—
To hear you spout, and hold the candle,—
To fire your crackers in the papers—
To cure unpension'd friends of vapours—
Do dirty jobs about the house too—
I am the man that you may trust to;
And humbly beg that you'll incline
To make that pleasing office mine.


Indulge me still one more request, Sir,
T'oblige my worthy friend Sylvester,
Who, from your Lordship's grace and bounty,
Hopes to be Sheriff for the county;
Fir'd with a gen'rous emulation
T'excel in that important station,
His beeves, his sheep, the 'Squire devotes
To lace, to liv'ries, hats, and coats;
And gives us to expect next year all
A grand assembly in the Shire-hall:
E'en now his venerable coach is
New gilding ere th' Assize approaches;
No longer at the tax repining,
Transported he reviews the lining,
Which he remembers, when a boy,
Was fashionable brown cafoy;
Now, like your Lordship's face, appears
Well-worn, but not subdu'd, by years:
Oft dreams he of election journies,
Writs, jailors, hangmen, and attornies,
Of trumpets echoing in his ears,
Full-bottom'd perriwigs, and spears;


Hears voices at a distance humming,
“Make way, make way—The Shrieve's a-coming.”
Then in his balmy sleep he trudges,
With milk-white wand, before the Judges;
Or thinks, in velvet coat array'd, he
Meets at the ball his frizzled lady,
Who looks half pleas'd, and half affrighted,
E'er since her husband has been knighted.
Yet still, my Lord, with due submission,
Before you realize his vision,
The 'Squire entreats you'd [OMITTED]
[OMITTED] Desunt multa. [OMITTED]
Then, to requite your Lordship's favour,
I hope he'll use his best endeavour,
As one good turn demands another,
To make returns to serve your brother.

This burlesque Poem was written at the close of the Duke of New-castle's Administration, and first published in the year 1767.

Vide Hor. Epist. I. Lib. 2. Cum tot sustineas, &c.

Vide Commem. Benefact.

Quæq; ipse miserrima vidi. Virg.

Vid. Pausan. in Eliacis, Plin. Lucian, &c.

Vid. Theocrit. Idyll. 23.

Vid. Philos. Transact.

Εκ δ' αρ' ατλατον Βελος
πλαξε Γυναικας,

intolerabile vero jaculum percussit Mulieres.

Pind. Od. Nem. 1. lin. 71. Oxon. Edit.
Αυδασομαι ενορκιον
Pind. Olymp. 2. 1. 166.

Pind. Olymp. 1. lin. 56.

Και τοτε δη κρυσεια πατηρ ετιταινε ταλαντα

, &c.

Hom. Il. 22. lin. 209.
------ Quam multá grandine nimbi
Culminibus crepitant, &c.
Virg. Æneid, 5. lin. 458.

Vide Middleton.



SCENE—London, a Bookseller's Shop.
Enter Author, smiling and rubbing his Hands.
Well, Slider!—and how d'ye go on with my book?
I knew it would answer the trouble I took.
I hope that you like my collection of rhymes;—
Don't you think 'tis a neat little touch on the times?

Run, boy—can't you see that Miss Barbara Slop,
And my Lady Bonton, are come into the shop?


The copies I sent were but eighty-five score,
And I took it for granted you wanted some more:
So I call'd, Mr. Slider, on that supposition,
Before I came out with my second edition.

And another great wit is arriv'd, I declare,
Mr. Tightboot is just stepping out of his chair.

Enter Lady Bonton, Miss Barbara Slop, and the Hon. Mr. Tightboot.
Mr. Slider, you've nothing that's clever, I doubt;
No book that's engaging and pretty come out.
What an age of barbarians! there's nothing, G*d knows,
That's worth one's attention, in verse or in prose.


to himself.
Now I wonder that blockheadly fellow won't mention
My book, which, I'm sure, would engage her attention.
How happy, how snug, should I sit here alone,
And feel such delight as few authors have known!
To be read and admir'd by the wits of the age,
And view 'em with raptures turn over my page!

I'm quite cast away, my dear Lady Bonton,
I'm afraid I must pass all this ev'ning alone:
I wish on some pretty short thing I could light,
I'd give it a thorough perusal to-night.

Well! I own there is nothing I meet with too long,
That's manly and spirited, nervous and strong;
Yet tender and delicate joys can impart,
And with sweet sensibility touches my heart.


Then, Madam, here's something will please the peruser,
“A Pindaric Epistle address'd to a Bruiser.”

O for shame, Mr. Slider! you'll make us quite sick;
Mr. Tightboot condemn'd all that trash to Old Nick.
What a vulgar performance! what Bear-garden writing!
—I protest it has set all my children a-fighting.

Why, egad, if to wit there be any pretension,
I swear it is far above my comprehension.
What damn'd unaccountable lies has he told,
Of dragons, and lions, and jockies of old!
I'm sure that he rode but a bitter bad horse,
For he flogg'd him most d-mn-bly over the course.
Pray where is his moral? or what was his object,
In chusing that horrible wretch for his subject?


A scoundrel like that is a scandal to ink—

The subject's as good as the verse, Sir, I think:
Besides, he don't give us the least intimations,
What he means by his impudent insinuations.

No—I wish that I knew who the person implied is,
In a certain account that he gives of Alcides:
I've try'd—but I can't make the least application
To any one man that I know in the nation.

Ma'am, the thing of all others he gives me the spleen in,
Is, the bringing in Pollux,—without any meaning.

Racks! tortures! damnation! death! hell! and confusion!
They have no kind of taste for a classic allusion!



Come—pray, Mr. Tightboot, find out something, do—
And give us your thoughts on a work of virtù.

No—my time is too precious this morning, I swear,
I've not the tenth part of a moment to spare:
My Lord Whistlejacket so deep in my debt is,
And Jemmy Blackancle so apt to forget is,
I must seek them at Almack's, at Arthur's, or Betty's.

Oh! pray, Mr. Tightboot, first give us a sight
Of the sweet pretty thing, that you shew'd me last night.

No—I beg you'd excuse me; you know very well
What I shew'd you last night was a mere bagatelle
A small jeu d'esprit


Nay, you promis'd you'd give it;
Tho' I put my hand into your pocket, I'll have it.

Ah do, my dear creature—do put your hand in, do—
Never mind that impertinent man at the window.

Well! I vow I have found it! I've got it at length!—
Look here, my dear Madam!—here's spirit and strength!
What tender, what delicate thoughts it conveys!
What manly, what sensible taste it displays!
Oh heavens!—such measure!— (Reads.)



Cupid, god of gentle training,
Venus, queen of rapid fires,
Time, old Time, new wings obtaining,
Spurs my keen and strong desires.



Oh! then, if you're in the dark yet
Why the verdant turf I shun;
Why no more I court Newmarket,
Where such glorious palms I won;


Ask not me, but ask the Graces,
Which with fair Cornelia dwell;
Ask her free, her fond embraces,
They alone the cause can tell.


Fly then, fly, suspicious Hymen,
Loose your vain, connubial ties;
What your envious laws deny men,
Love, unbridled Love supplies.


Oh! that now we were together
On the boist'rous waves at rest!
I should fear nor wind nor weather,
In her snowy arms embrac'd.



Sporting Cupids round us hovering,
Am'rous Nereids round us play;
All with azure mantles covering,
To the Cyprian shore convey.


Neptune will rejoice in joining
Two congenial souls in one;
Ev'ry tender thought combining,
Who without her is undone.

Now by all that's poetical, tender, and witty,
'Tis charmingly moving, pathetic, and pretty!
The subject's so pleasing!

My dear, very true!
And of excellent sense, and morality too!
Take a copy, dear Bab—as for you, Mr. Slider,
I am sorry to say, you're a wretched provider,


Quite a pauvre genie!—now I take it for granted,
You never have sent me the books that I wanted!

Yes, indeed, my good Madam!—indeed, you must know,
I sent all your Ladyship's books long ago.
(Whispers his Journeyman.
Mr. Brusher, pray pack up The Lives of the Actors,
With the Birth and Exploits of the nine Malefactors,
The Punch-Bowl, the Love-Match, the Lucky Escape,
An Appeal to the Public from Miss Kitty Trape,
And the last Sessions-Paper, containing a rape.
Don't forget all the Trials, and Pleas for Divorces;
And send Mr. Tightboot, Pond's book upon horses.
Be sure you dispatch 'em before they get there,
Directed to Lady Bonton, in the Square.

[Exeunt Wits, Critics, and Brusher. Manent Author and Slider.
I'm sorry to find you've no more complaisance, Sir,
Do you make all your authors thus wait for an answer?


Can't you speak? Don't you see I'm impatient to go?
Will you have any copies of Buckhorse, or no?

Why, how can you ask if I'd have any copies,
When you see that your book a disgrace to my shop is?
Only look at that corner! egad, it is fact,
There they stand, ev'ry one, in a bundle unpack'd!
[Author turns pale.
Why, Sir, I perceive you're a little dejected—

biting his lips.
Not at all—not at all—I'm surpriz'd you suspect it!
Not the least disappointed my book won't go down—
I'm only concern'd for the taste of the town.
Yet still let me perish by critical laws,
If I suffer damnation, do, tell me the cause.

Why, then, to be plain, if you must know the reason,
You've writ neither blasphemy, bawdy, nor treason:


We hop'd you had something that's vendible for us,
But we find it is nothing but Pindar and Horace!
A mere compilation!—

Ye Gods! grant me patience,
Sufficient to answer such pressing occasions!
Sure the law would not hang me for taking the pains
To knock out an ill-judging bookseller's brains!

Besides, to explain the whole truth of the matter,
You've not the least notion of personal satire.
Why, how do you think that I go thro' the year,
And keep such a table, when things are so dear?
One day a good joint, and the next day a hash?
Not by Greek and by Latin, and such kind of trash.
No—I safely can swear, that I've got by one libel
More than ever I lost by the notes on the bible!
Would you write a sarcastical thing that is pleasing?
A good deal of acid 'tis proper to squeeze in.


You should scribble away without fear or control,
And feel no remorse, or compunction of soul.
'Tis your daggering stuff, my good friend, you will find,
That hits the malevolent taste of mankind.
Go boldly to work, and with freedom assail,
Not give us a wild allegorical tale,
For which by both parties you stand reprehended,
For political meanings to neither intended:
The ladies, you see, very justly remark,
That a reader should never be left in the dark;
And for that very reason some critics have said,
“You must be forgotten as soon as you're read.”

Mr. Slider, I'm under a thorough conviction,
Most authors fulfil that unhappy prediction;
And am glad the republic of letters think fit
To choose such respectable judges of wit,
Who, no doubt, have a licence to hang, draw and quarter,
But never should put a poor bard to the torture:
For many an author, no doubt, they will find,
Who'll hear his dead warrant, compos'd and resign'd


Yet still may with justice and reason complain,
If his sense and his meaning they torture and strain:
And others may think it as hard to atone
For meaning and sense, when perhaps they have none.
Now, to me 'tis a matter of very great wonder,
That learned society made such a blunder,
As to tell all the world that my poor dedication
Had to party or politics any relation:
No, no—put my Pegasus into the pound,
If ever he treads on political ground;
And take up my Muse to beat hemp in the Fleet,
If you once catch her walking in Parliament-street.
Lord Buckhorse, 'tis true, in these patriot days,
Seem'd to me no contemptible topic of praise:
Besides, he's the only great man in the nation
To whom I acknowledge the least obligation;
He's my friend and my patron, and is it not hard,
When the Muses have paid him the justest regard,
That any great person should claim for his own,
The praise that is due to his Lordship alone?
I'm surpris'd men of sense such a meaning invent
For a thing, which a mere dedication was meant
To a much better work, and of larger extent:


But since I have met with such cursed success,
The flames shall receive it instead of the press.

Come, come—you should think of explaining your hints,
Or adding a few little humorous prints;
If you top it and tail it by Grignion and Wale,
You may still have a chance of promoting the sale.
Gad! I'll venture to give you five pound for the copy!

What mortal e'er saw such an impudent puppy?

Come—I'll go something further, and stand to all hazards
Of selling your leggers and clicks on the mazzards
I'll make it six pieces; and, as I'm a sinner,
Can give nothing more but a family dinner:
If you're quite disengaged, you are welcome to stay,
I've some very good company dine here to day;
There's a pastoral poet from Leadenhall-street,
And a liberty-writer just come from the Fleet;


With a clever young fellow, that's making an index,
Who, perhaps, may assist you to write an Appendix;
And a taylor, up three pair of stairs in the Mews,
Who does the political jobs for the news,
And works now and then for the critic reviews.

(in a passion.)
O ye Gods! if to punish some damnable sin,
Ye had steep'd me in poverty up to the chin;
Condemn'd me to wander, distress'd and forlorn,
'Mid penury, nakedness, hunger, and scorn;
If to purchase a dinner one sixpence was able,
Where the knives and the forks are chain'd down to the table;
With joy to the garret aloft would I go,
Or dive down as deep to the cellar below,
But with pride, with due pride, I'd your offer disdain,
And ne'er on such terms, would a dinner obtain!
Mr. Slider, farewell!—other authors employ,
And long may you live better taste to enjoy!
As for me, I shall full as good company meet
At the Bull, or the Dragon, in Bishopgate-street;


And as soon as Aurora first gladdens the sky,
To Granta's embraces once more will I fly.

SCENE changes to the Black Bull, in Bishopgate-street.
solus, in a thoughtful posture.
—Mr. Tightboot's reflection was poignant and hurting—
Tho' he look'd like a damnable fool, that is certain!—
I am laugh'd at by women, and vile poetasters—
But that is the smallest of all my disasters.
Alas! what a change, since my pamphlet has flown!
Ah! there is the rub!—all my hopes are undone!—
All chance of the Toadland preferment is gone!
[Starting up.
The paths of ambition no more I'll pursue—
Ye flattering dreams, gay illusions, adieu!
Other cares, other pleasures, my thoughts shall employ,
Intellectual pleasures, that never can cloy.
Hail, heavenly Science! I kneel at thy shrine,
Thou source of all treasures! thou goddess divine!


You cherish in youth, you delight in old age,
In ev'ry condition thy beauties engage:
'Tis you that to riches true splendor bestow,
Our comfort in want, and our refuge in woe;
Abroad if we wander, at home if we stay,
In town and in country, by night and by day,
'Tis thine, sacred Science! new charms to display.
How much I rejoice thou hast chosen thy seat
In Granta's delightful and quiet retreat!
Where men of such piety, learning, and sense,
Distribute thy gifts at so small an expence,
And season the minds of well-disciplin'd youth,
With patriot maxims of freedom and truth;
Regardless of changes in church or in state,
They ne'er court the favours and smiles of the great,
But with eyes unretorted preferment can view,
Thro' the calm walk of virtue life's journey pursue;
For candour, for softness of manners, renown'd,
Shed the blessings of peace and contentment around;
And, far from malignity, faction, and noise,
With dignity seek philosophical joys;


Yes—there, with example and precept supply'd,
To Wisdom's bright altar my steps will I guide;
O genius of Athens! with thee will I rove
In the shade of your charming Pierian grove:
Where the learned old Cam, on his echoing shore,
Remurmurs sweet sounds of Socratical lore,
Replete with deep knowledge, his slow way pursues,
And pays his rich tribute to murmuring Ouze,
As clear as Ilyssus, who lav'd the green wood
Of fair Academus, great Plato's abode,
And told his wise tale to Callirrhoe's flood:
There take me, in all thy chaste beauties array'd,
O blest Independence! adorable maid!
Fair virtue, fair science, acknowledge thy reign,
Health, ease, and tranquillity, sport in thy train!
Where'er with mild lustre, you gild the calm scene,
Stern pedantry, churlishness, envy, and spleen,
All fly, gentle nymph! at thy presence serene;
All wing their foul way from the peaceable cell,
Where thou condescendest, bright virgin! to dwell:
For thee, of fresh flowrets a chaplet I'll weave,
So grant me thy blessings once more to receive,


So teach me, in peace to my fortune resign'd
No longer to flatter or censure mankind,
In error's vain mazes bewilder'd and blind.




Miller, whom fair Ierne bore
To grace Britannia's happier shore,
Whose Genius guides, whose counsel guards
The labours of Bathonian bards,


Survey mankind, and each you'll view
His various path of joy pursue.
There are in Phaetons who smoke ye,
Collecting dust enough to choke ye,
With elbows square and nodding heads,
And long-tail'd scrambling quadrupeds
Whip round the post—turn sharp—cut neat—
Despise—and frighten all they meet:
Or studious of the Olympic races,
Keep half a running horse at Scrace's,
Hedging, and odds, and bets their theme—
By which some knowing ones, I deem,
With zones about their necks have vaulted
Tow'rds heaven above their peers exalted.
The alderman who pants to grace
The golden chain, the sword, and mace;
The griping hunks, whose barns contain
Full many a year's well-hoarded grain,


Yet anxious to increase his store,
Grubs his paternal fields for more,
Would ne'er the boist'rous waves be tost on,
In search of dear-bought palms at Boston,
Though all the treasures were consign'd them,
Her hapless exiles leave behind them,
In stoutest bark would near sustain,
The horrors of th' Atlantic main.
Secure from wars, and dangerous seas,
Colonel Jaghire enjoys his ease,
Buys lands, and beeves, with Indian gold,
Which some poor English 'squire has sold;
King, Lords, and Commons he defies,
“The town is all my own,” he cries,
“That cursed climate I've been hurt in,
“And Nabob-making grows uncertain—
“This snug retreat I'm safe from harm in,—
“How sweet that wood! that lawn how charming!”
But ah! his passion soon returns,
With restless flames his bosom burns;


His bark he rigs, resolv'd once more,
The distant Ganges to explore,
Rather than on his native ground
To starve—on fourscore thousand pound.
Oft will you meet old General Drone:
A character at Bath well known;
The Rooms and Coffee-house he haunts,
Drinks sometimes tea, and sometimes Nantz:
Complaining of the gripes and vapours,
He'll ask “what news there's in the papers;”
Then cry, “such measures we're pursuing,
This nation's on the brink of ruin:”—
But urge him to explain her wrongs,—
Down fall the poker and the tongs;
He hums, and haws, and recommends—a—
—Prescription for the—Influenze;—
In summer, lounging at Spring-garden,
In winter, every door bombarding,
With morning visits duly paid
Down from the Crescent to Parade,


His head he'll in the Pump-room poke
To catch some stale, unmeaning joke,
With news and nonsense for the day,
To drive his irksome hours away.
Pierc'd with the fife's, and trumpet's voice,
Britannia's warlike youth rejoice;
The blended sounds transport their ear,
While trembling, anxious mothers fear—
These heroes should desert their quarters,
To Scotland to entice their daughters.
The northern blast, and driving rains,
Sir Hardy Thickset well sustains;
Whether the hind, or wily fox
His fleet hounds urge o'er vales and rocks,
He drives the chase with perseverance,
Nor heeds his tender wife's endearance,
At night returning to console her—
With feats of Bowman and of Jowler.


For me—the verdant ivy guerdon
(Which you, Sir, have my brows confer'd on)
With many an artless rhyme I jingle,
Gives me with loftier bards to mingle:
Me, to enjoy thy cool cascade,
Thy nodding grove, and checker'd shade,
And view the smiling nymphs advance,
To join with thee the festive dance,
Content if sweet Euterpe deign
To hear my humble pipe complain;
Or when beside the winter fire,
With careless hand I sweep the lyre,
The gay fantastic Polyhymny
Visit the corner of my chimney,
Inspiring notes of joy and mirth,
That please, and perish in their birth:
But if thy fair, thy matchless dame
Approve my verse, and stamp my fame,
In concert with well-judging ---,
Assign to me her myrtle sprigs,
And lead me through th' Aonian path
To join the vocal swans of Bath,


Not Madge in all her glory drest,
Shall rear so high her tow'ring crest,
I'll soar above all vulgar eyes,
And bear my plumage to the skies.

The Riding-School at Bath.





LETTER I. Mr. Inkle to his Wife Mrs. Dinah Inkle, at Glocester


Mr. Inkle's Motives for writing Verse—His Panegyric upon Discipline— female Accomplishments—Preparations for the Ball—Absurdity of former Ages in Point of Dress and Manners.

And so, as I told thee before, my dear wife,
I'll go to the ball tho' it cost me my life—
—Must I be shut up, till, like poor neighbour Snarler,
I be smok'd like a joss in mine own little parlour?
No—I'd have thee to know I can walk pretty stout,
Since I've found an infallible cure for the gout,


For the doctor I've tried has, with wedges and pegs,
So stretch'd out my sinews, and hammer'd my legs,
So suppled the joint, by tormenting the tendon,
My heel I can raise, and my toe I can bend down,
And, by Jove, I'm resolv'd to get out of the bilboes,
And shake at the ball both my legs and my elbows.—
Moreover, dear wife, when I'm absent from you,
I'd fain with the Muses my friendship renew,
And send you a pretty poetic narration,
The result of my deep and profound penetration;
And since such a number of poets, it seems,
Must daily be quaffing of Helicon's streams,
(While Phœbus looks on with so placid an eye,)
I'd fain take a drop, ere her channels be dry;
I too would relume my poetical fire,
And take down my worm-eaten rusty old lyre,
Suspended, ere since the fond rapturous days,
Yourself first inspir'd, and approv'd of my lays;
Then tell me no more of your great cousin Sim;
You may find me no less entertaining than him,
My numbers perhaps may be full as sublime,
And I think I've as easy a knack at a rhyme;


Like him to enliven my musical vein
A few Latin fragments I still may retain,
Which Dr. Orbilius, (whose form to this day
If chance indigestion my spirits dismay,
In ill-boding wig, rusty cassock array'd
Still is wont in dire visions my rest to invade)
Such pains to inculcate, such fondness did shew
To imprint in my childhood—The world shall all know
These learned posteriors still boast of the scars,
So early they bore in my classical wars;
Oh Goddess! who rul'st with omnipotent sway,
Whose empire the realms of fair learning obey,
Whate'er be thy name who with awful command
Bear'st ferules and rods in thy merciless hand,
How well thy true kindness, thy judgment appears
In guiding our tender and innocent years!
With frowns on thy visage, with wrath in thy breast,
With taunts, loud reproaches, and heart-galling jest,
Compelling meek childhood's first dawn to explore
The regions of gloomy grammatical lore,
Thou driv'st all thy pupils to Pindus at once,
Ne'er casting one pitying look at a dunce;


To thee do we owe, to thy fostering aid
Such numbers that woo the poetical trade,
Who, tho' very oft' they be left in the lurch
With respect to preferment in state, or in church,
By vast application at length have been able
To procure some employment in Phœbus's stable,
To curry his nag, and whenever it suits
May polish his stirrups, and liquor his boots,
Or under the Muses get pretty good places,
By cleaning their slippers, and vamping their bases,
And turn out at last very musical fellows
By blowing their organ, and mending the bellows,
An honour, most critics, I'm sure, will agree
May be justly confer'd both on Simkin and me,
Tho' none of your Blunderhead cousins you'll find,
Who like me knows the world, and have studied mankind:
How in judgment, experience, and taste, I excel
The following letter, dear Dinah, may tell.
You may talk what you will of your old-fashioned feast
That would last for a month, or a fortnight at least,


Where aldermen's wives, and their daughters would guttle,
And the husbands get drunk oer a pipe and a bottle,
You may boast, if you please, that your county of Glo'ster
Will be drunk for a twelvemonth, whatever it cost her,
I think our good member is far more polite
To give us an elegant dance for the night,
And invite at the Low Rooms the nobles to supper,
While folks of no fashion drink tea at the Upper;
And since I am held in such vast estimation
To be courted by all the great men of the nation,
I think it the best entertainment of all,
To taste the sweet cream of a quality ball,
And thither I'll go, tho' I stump upon crutches,
To hear the bon mots of a duke or a dutchess.
Our Margery too, who's a girl of discretion,
And known to most persons of rank and condition,
Is out of all patience, if chance you admire
Th' indelicate feast of an old country 'Squire,
She says, there is something so vulgar and nasty,
In greasing your mouth with a hot venison pasty,


Which the freemen of Bath all expected to feast on
With their generous friend the good 'Squire at Batheaston:
In pudding there's something so clumsy and clunch,
And something so filthy, so stinking in punch;
Nay she vows 'twould be strange, and exceed all belief,
Should a freeman of Bath love a surloin of beef;
And as far as I judge from our eating and drinking—
Our Members are much of the same way of thinking.
And now I must tell thee, dear Wife, how thy daughter
Makes a progress in all the fine things thou hast taught her:
Not like thy old grandmother Dorothy Distoff,
Who'd spin half a day without taking her fist off;
She'll dance a cotilion—make verses—draw faces—
Read novels—sing catches—and study the Graces;
She has many a pretty French word at command,
That sounds vastly sweet, yet I can't understand,
For French is a language so very genteel,
That a few little words will imply a great deal,
So very concise, and so given to vary,
'Tis in vain to apply to your vocabulary—


Savoir vivre—bon ton—that's as much as to say
We grow more polite, and improve ev'ry day,
That for eating and drinking we know the best rules,
And our fathers and mothers were blockheads and fools,
That dress, cards, and dancing, alone should engage
This far more enlighten'd and delicate age.
You must know too, that Madge has a wonderful passion
To appear like a lady of very high fashion,
So I'll tell thee, dear Dinah, how well she contriv'd
The very first moment her ticket arriv'd;
She was pleas'd to be sure—but (as often I've bid her
In weighty concerns) she took time to consider,
Then with presence of mind flying up to the garret,
Brought down my old wig, that's as red as a carrot,
And to it she went, dear, ingenious sweet soul,
Drawing up the old caul till it fitted her pole,
Then with dripping and flour did so baste it and frizzle,
The hairs all became of a beautiful grizzle;
Those curls which a barber would view with despair,
She did coax, twist, and twine, with such skill, and such care,


With combs, pins, and paste, make such frequent attacks on,
She triumph'd at length—and subdu'd the old caxon;
Which done, she the front in a cushion did wrap,
Till the foretop stood up like a grenadier's cap,
On which all her jewels at once she display'd
Bought of Solomon Smouchwho was leaving off trade;
What a bargain was there for so trifling a sum!
Not a diamond or pearl that was less than my thumb!
Then deck'd with fair fruits, and gay flow'rets, all twin'd
In a posie as thick as a besom behind,
The merry old bob gave his ringlets to flow,
And dangle like sausages all in a row.
What now would'st thou think could remain to be done,
To make out dear Madge more completely the ton?
Fast asleep on my couch, and of thee, my dear, dreaming,
On a sudden I heard a most horrible screaming,
Thought I, “sure these barbarous strains in the attic
“Are the voice of one yelling in ditty chromatic,
“I'll listen awhile,—very likely they may—
“For I know Madge's master is coming to day,


“If so, my dear child, I'll be with thee anon,
“And hear how your musical lecture goes on.”
But good lack-a-day! when aloft I did clamber,
What a wonderful sight did I see in her chamber!
As sure as I live there was Madge in her smock,
Laying hard at the tail of our old dunghill cock!
She pluck'd it—and pull'd it—and tore from the stump
All the feathers that cloth'd his unfortunate rump,
And away to her toilet, her image to view,
On the wings of impatience and rapture she flew,
While Susan behind, with a simper and leer,
Unmov'd heard the clamours of poor chanticleer,
One hand o'er his drum-stick held lawless dominion,
T'other mutton fist tyranniz'd under his pinion,
While envious grimalkin her whiskers display'd,
In death-boding murmurs the hero dismay'd,
And with fire-darting eye ball expanding her claws,
Wreath'd her tail with fell transport, and cruel applause:
He knowing 'twas vain to contend with the foe,
Would fain have march'd off like the great Broglio;
And deeming a tame and an abject submission
Unworthy a cock of his rank and condition,


Kept struggling with many stout efforts and twitches
To compound for his life—with the loss of his breeches;
But Madge with more pride her atchievement survey'd,
His piping-hot plumage more gladly display'd
Than fam'd Africanus from Carthage of yore
His trophies to Jove Capitolian bore,
Or he, (whom as gentle, as gallant we view'd
Triumphant return from Manilla subdu'd,)
In Henry's proud temple suspending his spoils
Gave Learning's fair mansion to boast of his toils—
But alas! to his fortune, his interest blind,
How blam'd by the sensible part of mankind!
In a land so remote, in that barbarous ground,
When Victory spread her glad ensigns around,
To sheath the fell sword; in a ransom engage!
So unlike many other great chiefs of the age,—
To feel for the helpless!—to hear the fond pray'r
Of widows and orphans,—to conquer, and spare!—
From foolish compassion to hazard that gain,
Which others by fair, lawful plunder obtain!


As for those happy spoils, which as lawful and fair,
Madge had plunder'd, and left the poor garrison bare,
Thou ne'er can'st conceive, thou dear wife of my bosom,
How cunning, how feat, she did cut and dispose 'em;
But to fit a description to folk at a distance,
Requires supernatural aid and assistance,
I never can make it quite handsome and clever,
Unless the kind Muses will grant me a favour,
Which freemen and poets should claim at their pleasure,
Whenever they choose it—to alter their measure:
To a cap like a bat
(Which was once my cravat)
Part gracefully platted and pinn'd is,
Part stuck upon gauze
Resembles mackaws
And all the fine birds of the Indies.
But above all the rest
A bold Amazon's crest
Waves nodding from shoulder to shoulder,


At once to surprise
And to ravish all eyes,
To frighten and charm the beholder:
In short, head and feather
And wig altogether
With wonder and joy would delight ye,
Like the picture I've seen
Of th' adorable queen
Of beautiful, blest Otaheitee,
Who gave such a ball,
To our merry men all,
And there did so frisk it and dance it,
Some thought her as fine,—
And some did opine,
'Twas Venus herself in her Transit:
While the black maids of honour
That waited upon her,
(The sight so uncommon and odd is)


Brought philosopher's eyes,
From the orbs in the skies,
To gaze at their heavenly bodies.
But Madge at the Rooms,
Must beware of her plumes,
For if Vulcan her feather embraces,
Like poor Lady Laycock,
She'll burn like a haycock,
And roast all the Loves and the Graces.
Oh! I wish you could see, my dear spouse, all this while
How she copies your sweet irresistible smile!
How she simpers, and prinks, while the glass is before her,
And calls all the Cupids around to adore her;
With a grace and an air, so genteel and becoming,
Signiora Squallina's new minuet humming,
Now backwards she moves, now her steps doth advance,
With the same winning ogle, the same killing glance,
Which beam'd from your eyes, with such lustre divine,
They thaw'd all my ice, in the year thirty-nine,


And made me at once so my senses forget,
I fear I have hardly recover'd them yet,
For why ye must stucco, and whitewash your faces,
(A fashion which Madge with such rapture embraces)
Then ruddle them over like sheep for the market,
I must own, my dear wife, I am quite in the dark yet;
But I've no kind of doubt, she is quite in the right
As the world all allows—'tis extremely polite,
As your fine travel'd ladies, old madam Van-Crone,
And Lady Rouge-Dragon declare 'tis the Ton;
A Ton, which I needs must approve in the main,—
As I never shall see an old woman again;
For every perfumer I find will engage,
To remove the most desperate symptom of age,
For lotions cosmetic consults the opinions
Of Turks, Jews, Circassians, Chinese, and Armenians,
Boast drugs which lost features at once will renew,
And restore an old face to its juvenile hue;
Will teach the fair Hebe in washes to lurk,
And Cupid his head from a gallipot perk,
E'en pimples and freckles to beauties improve,
And make ev'ry wrinkle the outline of love:—


“Oh land of refinement! Oh nation how blest!”
Are things then so dear? are the people distrest?
No, no! my dear Dinah, I'll prove to the state,
Youth and Beauty are sold at so easy a rate,
I can buy you for six-pence, as much as you please,
At Jolly's, at Dawson's, or Mrs. Purdie's.
Lack-a-day! how her throat doth our Margery raise,
How shove up her bosom, and shove down her stays?
For to make a young lady a true polite figure
You must cramp up her sides that her breast may look bigger,
And her's tho' a chicken as yet, my dear Dinah,
Stand forth full as plump, and as jolly as thine are;
And why should ye leave any charm for conjecture.
Like the figure you see in your grandmother's picture,
With her neck in a ruff, and her waist in a girdle,
And her throat like a ram's that is caught in a hurdle,
Her head like the Baptist's when plac'd in a charger—
I'm sure, my dear wife, you have long'd to enlarge her,
You never as yet did those beauties conceal,
Which Nature intended your sex to reveal;


And I'm happy that Madge has acquir'd such a spice
Of your excellent manners, and wholesome advice,
Has the spirit, the taste, the good nature, and sense,
To treat all mankind at so small an expence;
And whilst I instruct her that path to pursue,
So well pointed out, so well trodden by you,
I'm sure, my dear Dinah, you never can think ill,
Of your ever sincere, and affectionate INKLE.
Bath, Dec. 4, 1775.

King's College Chapel, at Cambridge.

Perfumers at Bath.


LETTER II. Mr. Inkle to Mrs. Dinah Inkle, at Glocester


Similes—Easy Postures of modern fine Ladies—Well-bred Speeches—High Life at the Ball—Sudden Arrival of an old Acquaintance.

Once more, O! ye Muses, from Pindus descend,
And bid all the Graces your footsteps attend,
Who oft at elections are wont to prolong
The keen-pointed epigram, ballad, or song,
With your own odoriferous water to sprinkle
The posie I twine for my dear Mrs. Inkle.
Not launch'd with more glory, more splendour and pride,
The new-tackled bark skims adown the brisk tide,
Her streamers display'd, and the wind in her poop,
Than Madge sallied forth in her feather and hoop;
But how great her surprize, when the men in despair
First look'd at her topsail, and then at their chair,


Half grumbling, half sneering, did seem quite unwilling,
Till the Goddess of Wisdom in shape of a shilling,
While Madge was attempting her rigging to push in,
With fingers invisible whipt out the cushion;
And then, like a pistol too big for the holster,
Half in and half out; or an obstinate bolster,
(Which I think I have seen you attempting, my dear,
In vain to cram into a small pillowbeer,)
Thrice did she endeavour her head in to pop,
And thrice did her feather catch hold of the top;
At length, poor dear soul, very ill at her ease,
She sat with her head almost jamm'd to her knees;
I never did yet any vessel discern
So high in her bowsprit, and low in her stern;
To conceive how she look'd, you must call to your mind
The lady you've seen in a lobster confin'd,
Or a pagod in some little corner inshrin'd,
Where with knees both erected, and squat on his breech,
Unhappy divinity sticks in a nitch;
But ne'er did I see such a comical motion,
Nor ever, dear Wife, canst thou form any notion,


How crampt in this posture
They wriggl'd and tost her,
While every step that they trod,
Her foretop and nose
Beat time to their toes,
And her feather went—niddity—nod.
Meanwhile pretty brisk, and uncommonly strong,
I tott'ring on two sticks went hobbling along;
Tho' I very much fear that she thought me a fogram,
All stuck out in satins, and I in my grogram;
Yet I'd have her to know, in my Sunday surtout,
Silk hose—new peruke—frill—and ruffles to boot,
I claim'd such respect, did such favours receive,
I ne'er shall forget them as long as I live;
For thou know'st, my dear wife, I esteem it delicious
To appear in high life, and am vastly ambitious
To be squeez'd, as I was, by my Lord Perrywinkle,
With—“your servant, good sir,—“how d'y'do, Mr. Inkle,
“What joy, my dear friend, all the world are you giving,
“To see you once more in the land of the living!


“So chearful and brisk, too, I'd venture a million
“If you laid down your cane, you could dance a cotillion—
“Your Lady looks charming, I burn to accost her,
My dear Lord, says I,—“Mrs. Inkle's at Glocester—
“Lack-a-day,” he replies, “then 'twas Lady Killwrinkle,
“Who, I think, is exceedingly like Mrs. Inkle;—
“Mrs. Inkle not here! this is no ball without her—
“She has carried away all the Graces about her—
“Your Lady at Glocester!—and pray do you hear,
“Mr. Inkle, how matters are jogging on there?
“I've a friend, my dear sir, at th' ensuing Election,
“Who pants to receive your advice and protection—
“I wish you'd”—says I, “my dear Lord, say no more,
“Your wish is enough, your commands I adore,
“And I'm sure Mrs. Inkle will think it an honour
“If your Lordship will lay your kind orders upon her,
“'Tis true I've no vote—but I'll use my endeavour,
“I've interest much at your service, however,
“For I'm promis'd, my Lord—but (I beg and desire,
“I beseech as an alms, you won't let it transpire)
“Give me leave just to whisper a word in your ear,—
“Let us step to the card-room—there's nobody there,—


—“I am promis'd, my Lord, by old Humphry Potwobbler
“The votes of three taylors—two smiths—and a cobler,—
“At this quite transported, one hand did he put on
“My shoulder, with t'other caught hold of my button,
“Mr. Inkle, says he, (and he shook it a little)
“I profess you have hit this affair to a tittle,
“And since with such kindness, such friendship you meant it,
“Depend upon't, Sir, you shall never repent it.”—
I thought this account, my dear Dinah, would please ye,
(And the Irish Establishment now is so easy)
The least I expect if things properly fadge,
Is a pension for me—and a husband for Madge;—
Thus with nods, winks, and simpers each other delighting,
And poking our heads out, like game-cocks a fighting,
We stuck out our rumps with respect most profound,
And parted like cart-whips bent down to the ground.
Lady D'Oily Palavre, at very first sight
Was indeed above all kind of measure polite,
Mr. Inkle, says she, “you do well to come out,
“A ball is an excellent cure for the gout,
“Miss Madge is so happy, and you are so hearty,
“Come, come, you shall both drink your tea in our party;


“Here are some queerish figures, it must be confest,
“But your daughter, Miss Inkle, I vow, and protest,
“Is what I call—prettily—modestly—drest;
“Young ladies are often so awkward and raw
“At their first coming out, but I never yet saw
“Before so polite an assembly as this is,
“An easier, better-bred creature than Miss is,
“Quite a woman of fashion—now don't you think so,
“Pray speak the plain truth, my dear Gorge De Crapau?
Madam Gorge De Crapau cries,—Wee, Ma'am, oh! qu'wee
Van sharmangest paerson, I aever vas see—
But Madge I'm afraid at the end of the chapter
Will find little cause for such transport and rapture,
And tho' my good lady's politeness is such,
I fear I have sweated my carcase too much;
And who at the ball on that night did appear,
Who danc'd in the van, and who limp'd in the rear,
What dukes, and what drapers, what barbers, and peers,
What marquises, earls, and what knights of the shears,
What cook, and what countess, what nymphs of the brooms,
What mop-scepter'd queens, came that night to the Rooms,


What dashers of ink, pettifoggers, musicians,
With a new and correct list of all the physicians,
I ne'er can in suitable numbers explain,
Nor learned Batheaston's more musical train,
Tho' whilst the fair virgin at CLIO'S command,
Is dipping for rhymes with her lilly-white hand,
E'en PHŒBUS himself in support of the cause,
Should pop out his head from the Tusculan vase.
Alas! my dear wife, I can never describe
Bath's beautiful nymphs, that adorable tribe,
Who like Mexican queens in the picture which you may
Have seen of the court of the great Montezuma,
Sat in solemn array, and diversified plume,
That shed o'er their charms its delectable gloom;
But at what time they heard the horns echoing bellow,
The hautboy's shrill twang, the brisk fiddle, the mellow
Bassoon, and the sweet-grumbling violoncello,


At what time they heard the men puff and belabour
With mouth, stick, and fist, the gay pipe and the tabor,
At once they did scuddle, did flutter, and run,
And take wing like wild-geese alarm'd with a gun,
In a moment came bustling and rustling between one,
Some coupl'd like rabbits, a fat and a lean one,
Some pranc'd up before, some did backward rebound,
While some more in earnest, with looks more profound,
And sweat-bedew'd foretops, did lard the lean ground;
But others more neat, on the pastern arose,
Like the figure of Pan, whom you've seen, I suppose,
Just saluting the turf with the tips of his toes:
And as nothing, I think, can more please and engage
Than a contrast of stature, complexion, and age,
Miss Curd with a partner as black as Omiah,
Kitty Tit shook her heels with old Doctor Goliah,
And little John Crop, like a poney just nickt,
With long Dolly Loaderhead scamper'd and kickt,—
Ah! sweet Dolly Loaderhead—who can believe
Who for truth such reports of bright beauty receive?
Yet I hear—tho' perfum'd you such odours display,
And breathe in December the fragrance of May,


If your head were well open'd by louse-piercing Dunn
We should all be convinc'd, by more senses than one,
Tho' so powder'd and plumag'd it came to the feast,
It had ne'er tasted small-comb this twelvemonth at least.
As for Madge, tho' young Squirt had been promis'd the honour
Billy Dasher stept forth, and at once seiz'd upon her;
His air was so pleasing, so soft were his speeches,
Not to mention his new sattin flesh-colour'd breeches,
With a shoe like a sauce-boat, and steeple-clock'd hose,
And a silken soubise, that bob'd up to his nose,
With a watch in each pocket, one lent by his mother,
To prove that one leg should keep time with the other,
With a club like a coach-horse's tail in a strap,
And his coat like his beaver curtail'd of its flap,
With a sleeve you'd have sworn had been sew'd to his arm,—
No wonder, dear Wife, Billy Dasher should charm;
While with flames that keen jealousy's rage did improve,
Poor Squirt felt the heart-rending passion of love,—
—But soft—my dear Wife, I'm oblig'd to give o'er,—
What means that astonishing rap at the door?


It must be some person of Figure, no doubt,
And very high breeding, that makes such a rout,
Whoever it be, the true thanks he deserves
Of all who have tender, and delicate nerves—
Sure mine eyes must deceive me, or else I could swear
'Twas your own nephew Sim, getting out of the chair—
Quite a new-fashioned, flea-colour'd coat!—'tis—I'm sure
'Tis Sir Simkin himself, just arriv'd from his tour,
Pretty tender, I find, from a climate so warm,
As he takes at a breeze such a sudden alarm;
One hand, I perceive, tho' the wind's in the south,
Keeps thrusting his handkerchief up to his mouth,
While t'other, on which his camayeus appear,
Holds a thing call'd a chapeau de bras at his ear,—
Well—he comes in good time to improve and refine us—
Tam valdè ridiculus, et peregrinus,—
The meaning of that is in English, my dear,
I'm rejoic'd above measure, and wish you were here,
As his dress, and his manners you needs must applaud,
So much he's improv'd by his travels abroad:—


But I hasten to pay the respect that is due
To a friend so esteem'd, and connected with you:
With the truest reluctance I lay down my pen,
And am yours till I've time to resume it agen,
--- INKLE.

Mr. Inkle alludes to an elegant antique Vase, which is supposed to have formerly belonged to M.T. Cicero, having been dug up at his celebrated Tusculan Villa near Rome; it is now in the possession of Mrs. Miller, and is appropriated to the reception of the several Poetical Pieces which are contributed by the fashionable company frequenting her Coterie at Batheaston. The Vase is fancifully decorated with festoons of laurel, and the compositions are taken out of it by some young lady to be read by one of the company.

Fragment: vet: Poet:


LETTER III. Mr. Inkle to Mrs. Dinah Inkle, at Glocester


A slight Sketch of a travel'd Man—Continuation of the Ball—An Affair of Honour —and a doleful Disaster.

A thousand times hug'd with outlandish grimace,
Saluted as oft' on both sides of my face,
Distress'd with fine speeches, some Italiano,
And some en Frangois, with a smack of Germano,
Perform'd by Sir Simkin, who'd fain have it known,
He has studied all tongues, and forgotten his own,
In his sweet vis à vis almost poison'd to day
While he gap'd, and complain'd he was tout ennuyè,
(A disease, which, if chance a young man it befal,
Will make him, I find—good for nothing at all)
Now admiring a picture he call'd a Madònna,
Then kissing a lap-dog he brought from Bologna—


(Tho' I ne'er till this moment knew what it did mean,)
I think I have felt a small touch of the Spleen,
And with you, my dear Wife, I'll my spirits regale,
And catch one sweet breeze from the Aonian vale—
Ah! fain I Sir Simkin's exploits would relate
From the time that he came to his rank and estate,
Tell the sights he hath seen, to what courts he is known,
What treasures brought home—in exchange for his own—
But the Muse bids me now the transactions recall
Of that famous night which I spent at the Ball,
On which, I profess, both your husband and daughter,
Met a deal of respect, entertainment, and laughter,
For wherever we went, you've no reason to doubt us,
We carried a pow'r of good humour about us:
But alas! my dear Dinah, I fain would conceal
What truth and sincerity bid me reveal,
What with hair all dishevell'd, and tear-blubber'd cheek,
Melpomene trembling commands me to speak,
Commands me to tell thee, the dismalest story,
That ever befel a poor nymph in her glory,


The dance was just o'er, and I burnt to employ
My time on more solid, more rational joy,
Life's truest delights were prepar'd to begin,—
For the supper, my dearest, was just carried in,
And the worthy good Dr. Abdomen and I
Had just found a crow in a perigord pie,
And (what I accounted exceedingly pleasant)
Cut up an old fowl stuck with tail of a pheasant,
When Squirt, who had long been attempting in vain
The pangs of resentment and love to restrain,
At length lost all patience; his heart fell a throbbing,
When he saw Billy Dasher with Madge hob-a-nobbing,
And thought he might better give vent to his pain,
Than add to his heat by the soupe à la reine,
So to please his revenge, he pretended to stoop,
And on poor Billy Dasher dispos'd of his soup,
And soupe à la reine so exceedingly rich is,
It fasten'd like glue to his flesh-colour'd breeches;
At once he did roar, kick, and scamper, and swear,
In vain like old Hercules striving to tear
The gift so tenacious, which Squirt with a grin
Protested and vow'd was ne'er meant for his skin;


Billy tug'd at his sattins till all in a fright,
The Misses scream'd out at so shocking a sight,
And the dæmon of Discord with menaces loud,
And revenge at his heels had assembl'd a crowd:
Alas! how my soul was prophetic of evil!
(Oh! I wish that old Barnaby Buzz at the devil)
He, forsooth, of all others, must needs interpose,
As in quarrels for ever he's thrusting his nose;
And like some great quacks, who instead of assuaging
The gout in one toe, set the other a raging,
Or what is more dreadful, oft banish the pain
By a nostrum that drives the disease to the brain,
Two words he repeated an hundred times o'er,
Which inflam'd both the heroes' resentment the more,
Satisfaction and honour—which terms I would fain
Beg the favour of some wiser head to explain—
But Barnaby Buzz such an ignorant dolt is
He clapt on a caustic, instead of a poultice,
And talk'd with such infinite vociferation,
And us'd such immoderate gesticulation,
As sure as you live, that conceited old prig
The candle knock'd down on poor Margery's wig;


At once the fierce deity seiz'd on her plume,
Made all her combustible noddle to fume,
And whilst my old carroty caxon was singeing,
Some call'd out for Gulliver—some for the engine—
But, what I esteem much politer and kinder,
A well-behav'd gentleman stepping behind her,
To prevent all misfortunes proceeding from fire,
As his wife and his sister were sitting just by her,
(Like an honest, good man, who employs all his labours,
To save his own house—by destroying his neighbour's)
In spite of old Vulcan caught hold of the cawl,
And away flew wig, feathers, and posy and all;
Then as if all the devils in hell meant to plague us,
(Ah! pies take that filthy, vile punch and the negus)
Spite of all that I said in my former epistle—
Madge had taken a drop, just to moisten her whistle,
Prescrib'd her, she tells me, by young Mr. Squirt,
Who vow'd—and protested—'twould do her no hurt,
(Tho' punch, you well know, if it chance to oppress us,
In the very best company's apt to distress us)
Alas! she who lately Bath's beauties among,
Shone foremost and fairest of all the gay throng,


Now wigless, unfeather'd, with eyes of despair,
That star'd like a jack-daw's when caught in a snare,
With locks standing up in the front like a teasel,
Behind, sticking out like the tail of a weasel,
With sack, hoop, and stay, pinch'd, and sweated to death,
Stood and gasp'd like a turtle that's panting for breath:
So for fear I should hear some d—n'd rhymer remarking
The fate of my wig and the tail of the Darking,
Tho' at dinner I'd made but a slender repast,
(As before a great feast one may venture to fast,)
I e'en hobbled off, and without any supper,
Was forc'd to go home to unlace and unhoop her.
But if ever again at these balls I appear,
(Tho' a ball without thee, will be no ball, my dear,)
Do, pray, let us banish these new-fangled ways,
And give Madge a little more room in her stays;
For as to the modes of your folk in high life,
I fear we are all in the wrong, my dear wife;
As to eating—I swear in the very first instance,
I'll fall aboard something that makes a resistance,
I think it a sin and a scandal to waste
My time and my teeth upon outlandish paste,


Fill'd with truffles, morelles, and such d—n'd nasty stuff,
That agrees with our modern fine youth well enough,
And no doubt our good member pays full enough for it,
But the world shall all know I detest and abhor it;
And tho' Mrs. Madge it exceeds your belief,
I'll take a good slice of old English roast beef;
Let me, my dear, quaff my beer, smouze and carouze,
And you'll find me your ever affectionate spouse
Bath, Dec. 6, 1775,



Ιδμεν Ψευδεα πολλα λεγειν ετυμοισοιν ομοια.
Ιδμεν δ' ευτ' εθελωμεν αληθεα μυθησασθαι.


Oh! hideous fiend, of form uncouth,
With jaundic'd eye, and canker'd tooth,
Fell Envy, why dost thou profane
The labours of the tuneful train?
Why deem sweet poesie the child
Of airy dreams, and visions wild,
Or why, her votaries the growth
Of wanton ease, and pamper'd sloth?
Why say, that virtue dwells no more
On lost Britannia's hapless shore?
Say, that her youth disdain to wield,
The falchion in the dusty field,


Or guard an injur'd nation's cause,
Her rights, her liberties, and laws?
But turn'd to flat, unmeaning bards,
In sonnets, riddles, and charards,
When discord reigns, and danger calls,
Are piping songs and madrigals?
E'en while the proud, perfidious foe
Spreads terror from the Ohio
Far as the Ganges, and the Indus,—
They're capering in the vales of Pindus?
Or, wrapt in soft Arcadian dreams
Of lovelorn nymphs, and purling streams,
While fortune, fame, and friends expire,
Like Nero tune their wanton lyre?
Why say, that oft with spleen opprest,
And vanity that ne'er can rest,
To Bath's gay scenes for refuge fly,
These vocal sons of luxury?
Not weeting, what an ample field
Their own dear selves for laughter yield,


Employ their all-discerning eyes
In search of Curiosities;
Then as their wayward passions move
Their fickle souls to hate or love,
These enterprising rhime-dispensers
Determine all our praise and censures.
What painter can the likeness draw
Of things he never heard or saw?
Yet, strange! as if by magic fancy,
Or potent charms of necromancy,
Your second sighted Bath-inspectors
Can conjure up a group of pictures,
Where names and characters are painted,
With which they're not the least acquainted;
And each his sufferings, each his share
Of censure or applause must bear;
All destin'd, all condemn'd to chime
In penal strains, and unrelenting rhime.


What though without one grain or symptom
Of taste to guide, or wit to tempt 'em;
And, what exceeds all parts and reading,
Politeness, candour, and good breeding,
Though many a line for satire meant
Perversely runs to compliment,
As often when 'tis meant to flatter,
Turns rebel, and becomes a satire,
Still must these unfledg'd songsters try
On Fame's immortal wings to fly,
By making every soul they meet,
A victim to some pert conceit;
Not e'en historians, and their patrons,
Not decent, unassuming matrons,
Or well-bred nymphs escape a stigma,
In vile acrostic or enigma;
Not e'en— [OMITTED]
[OMITTED] desunt multa [OMITTED]
[OMITTED] — O cease, thou impious hag!
Thou bane of every humorous wag!


Thou scourge of genius! cease to pour
Thy venom on the Muse's lore!
Life, fame, and energy divine
Breathe from their pure, their sacred shrine;
The paths of industry, which you
Would make the British youth pursue,
Or toils that hardy soldiers bear
Are far beneath the poet's care;
Ignoble all, and unrefin'd,
For mean plebeian souls design'd;
The Nine alone, the sacred Nine
Their votaries to Fame consign,
Bear them beyond this mortal date,
And triumph o'er the shafts of Fate.
While Avon laves the sweet retreats,
Where Bladud held his ancient seats,
While Charity's soft bounty flings
New blessings on his healing springs,
Fame shall exalt the poet's lyres,
And Miller, who their notes inspires.


While Dreams, soft echos of the day,
In slumbers hold their airy sway,
While parting friends shall pity move,
Or poets paint the pangs of love,
Such as the sad Eliza knew,
When Yorick took his last adieu,
Her fairest wreath the Muse shall twine,
And, Jerningham, that wreath be thine.
Nor less thro' Fancy's flow'ry way
Ingenious Graves delights to stray;
To him, in verse and friendship join'd,
Shenston his orphan Muse consign'd;
And when, sweet bard, his last he breath'd,
To him his tuneful pipe bequeath'd;
And, right I ween, he knows full well
With tuneful notes that pipe to swell;


Right well he cheers the list'ning swains
That haunt the upland groves or plains;
Avon delights to hear his voice,
And Claverton's high mounts rejoice.
His pleasing, chaste, and classic lines,
Bragge to the laurel'd urn consigns;
Nor let him fear the critic rod,
While Helicon's inspiring God
Gives with the youthful bard to dwell
That Genius he describes so well.
Beauty, in fairest garb array'd,
And every winning smile display'd,
Long shall her favourite nymphs rehearse
In Palmerston's melodious verse.
Grevill in sweet Pierian lore
Gives to the Nine one sister more,


While grateful, as the month she sings,
Wafting soft gales from Zephyr's wings,
She breathes her gently-warbling lays
To beautiful Georgina's praise;
Not with more art, more taste, I ween,
The Graces deck the Cyprian Queen;
Nor less the Muse's wreath shall bloom,
And time encrease its rich perfume;
Ye angels say, who guard the shrine
Of Beauty, and of verse divine,
Can Envy blast, or age impair
A Muse so sweet, a theme so fair?
The learning, wit, and taste of ages,
And spirits of departed sages
All center in the well-ton'd shell
And varied notes of Lutterel;
Not e'en a Guido or a Titian
Could draw his lines with more precision,


Or Fresnoy sing on human phyzzes,
So long so sweet a strain as his is.
What though the keen Arthritis racks
The joints of Sedley and of Drax?
In easy numbers that give birth
To friendly smiles, and social mirth,
The Muse, in pity to their woe,
Hath taught her tuneful sons to flow;
O! Phœbus, if thy healing art
No balmy medicine can impart,
That health, those spirits to repair,
Which each so well deserves to share;
Still shall thy sweet poetic vein
Smile in their verse, and sooth their pain;
And o'er their shining scalps be laid
The ivy crown, that ne'er shall fade.
If fancy, elegance, and ease
In sweetly-flowing verse can please,


The Muse shall keep fresh palms in store
For Digby, Burgess, Hunt, and More;
Harmonious More, who well sustains
The dignity of ancient strains,
In numbers such as Orpheus sung,
Or dwelt on sweet Amphion's tongue.
Nor less to him whose tow'ring Muse
The same exalted theme pursues,
And wrapt in majesty sublime,
Disdains the servile bonds of rhyme,
Shall future bards in grateful song
Their tributary notes prolong,
And many a lisping babe proclaim
The sweet Hardcastle's liquid name.
Anstey, whom mirthful critics give
In farcical conceits to live,
Carols, I ween, his careless lays,
As humour calls, or fancy sways,


Regardless whether swans or geese
Record him as a curious piece.
Fain would the Muse her tribute bring
To all who sip th' Aonian spring,
From those industrious sons of Phoebus,
Who twine the riddle and the rebus,
Acrostics weave, and roundelays,
And make new legs for bouts-rimez,
Up to th'aspiring bards who soar
Aloft in proud Miltonic lore;
I'd sing of grave ecclesiastics
Who neatly frisk in Hudibrastics,
Stern patriots, and modern Catos,
Who, turn'd to soft inamoratos,
In woful elegy complain
Of slighted vows, and cold disdain;
But Phoebus whispers in my ear,
And bids me check the bold career;
Bids me with cautious flight proceed,
And curb the fierce Parnassian steed;


Give him his courage to regain,
And bear him on the foaming rein,
Then with redoubled strength once more
The vast unbounded tract explore,
And make each tuneful nymph and swain
The subject of Pindaric strain;
But neither nymph or swain may dread
Aught rudely, or unkindly said;
No, on the pennons could I soar
That erst the Theban Eagle bore,
I'd waft them from the foul terrene
Of rancour, jealousy, and spleen,
Each spiteful, each invidious lay
Drive to the howling winds away,
Safe in my talons through the air
Fam'd Tully's laurel'd Vase I'd bear,
I'd bear it to the realms above,
Meet present for the throne of Jove;
Take every poet in my flight
Triumphant to the fields of light,
And make his well-gilt page supply
New glories to the radiant sky.


So, when these seats of joy and love,
The hermit Cell, the whispering Grove
Shall hear our mirthful sounds no more,
And this sweet Villa's charms be o'er,
Her sun declin'd, her glories past,—
—The Bard's immortal fame shall last.
Time shall devour the brazen bust,
And marbles crumble into dust;
E'en Bath's high palaces o'erthrow,
Lay Wood's proud architecture low;
Each Doric, each Ionian pillar—
—But guard the sacred Urn of Miller.
To Verse the triumphs of the field,
Heroes and kings to Verse must yield,
To deathless Verse, that far outshines
The silver of Potosi's mines;
That precious bane, that pois'nous ore,
Let misers hoard, and fools adore;
Such shining dross the Poet spurns,
Leaves all such grov'ling base concerns


To pettifoggers, Jews, and factors,
Pimps, gamblers, brokers, and contractors;
He never battens on the stealth
Of public, or of private wealth,
Such as the frugal parent's care
Oft gathers for his spendthrift heir,
Or England tax'd, disgrac'd, forlorn,
Feels from her inmost bowels torn;
Enough for him, that Phoebus fills
His cup from pure Castalian rills,
That when he strikes the trembling strings,
Virtue her fairest guerdon brings,
Folly restrains her thoughtless round
And vice shrinks backward at the sound.—
Go then, ye base, plebeian throngs,
Go, triumph in the Muse's wrongs:
Envy, that preys on living bards,
Gives them in death their just rewards.
E'en me, the meanest of the train,
Who tune this wild advent'rous strain,


If aught of spleen or envious joke
My artless numbers can provoke,
When death shall close my falt'ring tongue,
Cold be my hand, my lyre unstrung,
Me too Detraction may release,
And bid my ashes rest in peace.
And, O! ye chaste, ye beauteous Maids,
Who grace Batheaston's vocal shades!
If, when the friendly Muse beguiles
Life's heavier hours, I steal your smiles,
Smiles, such as genuine joy bespeak,
And mantle in your dimpling cheek,
Haply one myrtle-sprig may bloom,
And join the cypress o'er my tomb;
Time may its fragrant life prolong,
And some kind bard in faithful song
Record the spot where first it grew,
Give the well meaning Muse her due,
And one short sigh escape from you.

The preceding subject at Mrs. Miller's.

See Poetical Amusements, Vol. III. p. 1, subject Dreams.

The Reverend Mr. Graves, of Claverton, near Bath, author of Euphrosyne, and many other ingenious pieces.

Et dixit moriens te nunc habet illa secundum.—Virg. Ecl.

Poetical Amusements, Vol. III. p. 88, subject Genius.

Ibid. Vol. I. p. 53, subject Beauty.

Ibid. Vol. I. p. 105, subject The First of May.

Lady Georgina Spencer, now Duchess of Devonshire.

Poetical Amusements, Vol. III. p. 120, subject Physiognomy.

Τον περι Μουσ' εφιλησε, διδου δ' αγαθοντε κακοντε.
------διδου δ' ηδειαν αοιδην.
—Homer. Odyss.

Poetical Amusements, Vol. III. p. 15, subject Ancient and Modern Music compared.

Ibid. p. 38 same subject.

See Verses entitled Curiosity, (the subject of the preceding week,) written by Joseph Jekyll, Esg.



Read at Lady Miller's Assembly, DECEMBER 3, 1778.

Ye beauteous nymphs, and jovial swains,
Who deck'd with youthful bloom,
In gay assemblage meet to grace
Philander's cheerful dome:
Mark how the wint'ry clouds hang o'er
Yon frowning mountain's brow!
Mark how the rude winds warp the stream,
And rock the leafless bough!


The painted meads and flow'ry lawns
Their wonted pride give o'er;
The feather'd flocks in silence mourn,
Their notes are heard no more,
Save where beneath the lonely shed,
Or desolated thorn,
The Red-breast heaves his ruffled plumes,
And tunes his pipe forlorn:
Yet shall the sun's reviving ray
Recall the genial spring:
The painted meads resume their pride,
The feather'd flocks shall sing;
But not to you shall e'er return
The pride of gaudy years:
When pining Age, with icy hand,
His hoary mantle rears:
When once, alas! his churlish blast
Shall your bright spring subdue,
I know not what reviving sun
Can e'er that spring renew:


Then seize the glorious golden days,
That fill your cups with joy,
Bid every gay and social scene
Your blissful hours employ:
Oft where the crowded stage invites,
The laughing Muses join;
Or woo them while they sport around
Eugenia's laurel'd shrine:
Oft seek the haunts where Health and Joy
To sportive numbers move;
Or plaintive strains breathe soft desire,
And wake the soul to love:
Yet ah! where'er you bend your way,
Let fair Discretion steer
From Folly's vain delusive charms,
And Passion's wild career.
So when the wint'ry hours shall come,
When youth and pleasure fly,
Safe shall you ward th' impending storm,
And Time's rude blast defy;


Perpetual charms, unfading spring,
In sweet reflection find;
While Innocence and Virtue bring
A sunshine o'er the mind.



Repeated by the Author, on being asked to read the preceding Ode a second Time.

Must I read it again, Sir?—So—here do I stand,
Like the priest that holds forth with a scull in his hand.
Repeat such a dreadful memento as this is,
To spleen the young fellows and frighten the misses?
When beauties assemble to laugh and be gay,
How cruel to preach upon beauty's decay?
How hard that the fairest of all the creation,
Shou'd suffer one wrinkle by anticipation!
What delicate nymph but must shrink when she hears
Her charms will all fade in the winter of years?
What languishing widow wou'd e'er wish to know
Her charms were all faded a long while ago?
Unless one could bring some receipt to supply
Fresh Cupids to bask in the beam of her eye;


Recall the lost rose, or the lilly replace,
That have shed their dead leaves o'er her ever-green face;
And this (thank the gods) I can promise to do,
By a sweet pretty nostrum quite pleasant and new,
Which learned Historians and Doctors I find,
Have lately reveal'd for the good of mankind,
A nostrum like which, no elixir yet known,
E'er brac'd a lax'd fibre, and strengthen'd its tone;
Nor e'er was so grand a restorative seen,
For bringing back sixty,—to lovely sixteen!
To you then, ye fair, if old Time should appear,
And whisper a few little hints in your ear,
That Cupid his triumphs begins to resign,
Your nerves are unstrung, and your spirits decline,
You have no other physical course to pursue,
Than to take—a young husband, your spring to renew;
You may take him—I think—at—about twenty-two!


For when both the spirits and nerves are in fault,
Platonic affection is not worth a groat:
The conjugal blessing alone is decreed
The truest specific for Widows indeed;
And I trust they will find it, as long as they live,
The best of amusements that Winter can give!

Mrs. M---l---y the Historian, had recently married the celebrated Dr. Graham, then at Bath.



Quære peregrinum Vicinia rauca reclamat. horat. ep.



I am a decay'd macaroni,
My lodging's up three pair of stairs;
My cheeks are grown wondrously bony,
And grey, very grey, are my hairs:



My landlady eyes me severely,
And frowns when she opens the door:
My tailor behaves cavalierly—
And my coat will bear scouring no more:


Alas! what misfortunes attend
The man of a liberal mind!
How poor are his thanks at the end,
From base and ungrateful mankind!


My father, a stingy old rum,
His fortune by industry made,
And dying bequeath'd me a plum,
Which he meant I should double in trade:


Oh! how could he destine to trade
A man, of my figure and sense!
A man who so early display'd
Such a liberal taste for expence!



When I first came to years of discretion,
I took a round sum from the stocks,
Just to keep up a decent succession
Of race-horses, women, and cocks:


Good company always my aim,
Comme il faut were my cellars and table:
And freely I ask'd to the same
Ev'ry jockey that came to my stable;


No stripling of fortune I noted
With a passion for carding and dice,
But to him I my friendship devoted,
And gave him the best of advice:


“To look upon money as trash,
Not play like a pitiful elf,
But turn all his acres to cash,
And sport it as free as myself.”



And as faro was always my joy,
I set up a bank of my own,
Just to enter a hobbydehoy
And give him a smack of the ton:


In the morning I took him a hunting,
At dinner well-plied with champain,
At tea gave a lecture on punting;
At midnight, on throwing a main:


His friends too with bumpers I cheer'd,
And in truth should have deem'd it a sin
To have made, when a stranger appear'd,
Any scruple of taking him in.


As I always was kind, and soft-hearted,
I took a rich maiden to wife;
And though in a week we were parted,
I gave her a pension for life;



My free and humane disposition
(Thank heaven) I ever have shewn
To all in a helpless condition,
Whose fortunes I'd first made my own:


To --- with whom long ago,
My friendship in childhood begun,
I presented a handsome rouleau,
When his all I had luckily won:


My friends were much pleas'd with the action,
But charm'd when I open'd my door
To his wife, whom he lov'd to distraction,
But could not support any more.


The love of my country at last,
In a soul so exalted as mine,
All other fond passions surpast,
I long'd in the senate to shine:



With a liberal zeal I was fir'd
The good of the state to promote,
And nothing more truly desir'd
Than to make the best use of my vote:


I panted th' abuses to quash
That cast such a slur on the nation,
And resolv'd to dispose of my cash,
In buying a whole corporation:


I soon heard of one to be sold,
Such a bargain, I could not forego it,
With the freemen so cheap were enroll'd
A lawyer, a priest, and a poet.


I touch'd all the aldermen round,
And paid double price for the mayor;
But at length to my sorrow I found
They'd been sold long before I came there;



In vain for sarcastical song
Did my poet his talents display,
My lawyer th' election prolong,
And the parson get drunk ev'ry day:


To my very last farthing I treated,
And set the whole town in a flame:
And since I've so basely been cheated,
I'll publish the truth to their shame:


My rival aloft in his chair
Like a hero triumphantly rode,
My lawyer and priest at his ear,
My poet presenting an ode:


While unable to pay for their prog,
Their wine, their tobacco, and ale,
I was forc'd to sneak off like a dog
With a cannister tied to his tail:



Yet how can I patiently yield
Those palms I so justly might claim,
When I view such a plentiful field
For fair oratorical fame?


'Tis true, I'm a little decay'd,
My lungs rather husky of late,
Yet still could I throw in my aid,
To manage a party debate:


My legs (you observe it no doubt)
Partake of the general shock;
Yet I trust they might fairly hold out
Seven hours by Westminster clock,


But in vain have I studied the art
With abuse to bespatter the foe,
And shoot it like mud from a cart,
With the true Ciceronian flow:



My genius and spirit I feel
Depress'd by adversity's cup;
My merit, alas! and my zeal
For my country, hath eaten me up:


Yet spite of so fair a pretension,
Th' unfeeling, ill-judging Premier
Hath meanly denied me a pension—
Though I ask'd but a thousand a year.


Where then shall I fly from oppression,
Or where shall I seek an abode,
Unskill'd in a trade or profession—
Too feeble for taking the road!


I'll hasten, O! Bath, to thy springs,
Thy seats of the wealthy and gay,
Where the hungry are fed with good things,
And the rich are sent empty away:



With you, ye sweet streams of compassion,
My fortune I'll strive to repair,
Where so many people of fashion
Have money enough, and to spare:


And trust, as they give it so freely,
By private subscription to raise,
Enough to maintain me genteely,
And sport with, the rest of my days.



Gratias tibi ago, Fortuna, quæ me sinis ridere, et speculari. INC. AUCT.


Ah me! what spleen, revenge, and hate
Those reprobated bards await,
Who seek by laughter to disgrace
The follies of the human race!
Howe'er by nature they're inclin'd
To pity and to love mankind,
And fain by every gentle art,
Which ridicule and mirth impart,
Their minds to virtue would entice,
And shame the harden'd front of vice,


How cautiously soe'er they aim,
Make manners, and not men, their game,
The only meed the world bestows,
Are civil friends, and latent foes.
And wilt thou then, dear Muse, once more
Adventure near that dangerous shore,
Once more, alas! be doom'd to hear
The scribbler's jest, and coxcomb's sneer?
It must be so, for be it known
Thou art a harden'd sinner grown,
Nor all the criticising race,
Can move one muscle of thy face.
But if some man for taste renown'd,
Of knowledge deep, and judgment sound,
One whom the monarchy of wit,
Has deem'd for every science fit,
And letters patent has assign'd
To stamp th' opinions of mankind,
One, who if chance he find thee trip,
Will seize at once his critic whip,


As pleas'd as Scaliger or Bentley,
And flog thee pretty near as gently,
If such a man for once should smile,
(And long to damn thee all the while)
And ask thee why, “'mid every flower
That blooms around th' Aonian bower,
And every painted bud that blows
To deck th' enraptur'd Poet's brows,
Some devious path thou should'st explore,
For garlands never worn before,
And descant on a theme so long
Ill suited to melodious song?”
Do thou rejoin—“'twas injur'd worth
That call'd thine indignation forth;
A phrase, which all mankind degrade.
Sought refuge in thy friendly aid;
For injur'd words, like injur'd men,
Claim succour from an author's pen,
And all as justly may command
The poet's lyre, as critic's wand;
Say, that of all th' ill-fated words
Great Johnson's Dictionary affords,


Or ever from the fruitful store
Of Roman and Athenian lore
Were gather'd by that grand importer,
And pounded in an English mortar,
Of all th' unfortunate expressions
Abus'd by wights of all professions,
Hack'd at the bar, in pulpit tortur'd,
Or chapel of St. Stephen slaughter'd,
Not one was e'er so basely treated,
Of spirit, sense, and meaning cheated,
Or e'er deserv'd commiseration,
Like this poor word, call'd—Speculation.
If right I ween, in times of yore,
This abstract term express'd no more
Than ocular, or mental view,
Or thoughts that from the same accrue:
He thus was held in great esteem,
And meets with much respect, I deem,
Where'er we find him in the pages
Of learned and exalted sages,


Such as have studied Nature's laws,
And taught us to adore their cause,
Or those whose precepts have refin'd,
Enlighten'd, and adorn'd mankind;
But since our wiser system teaches
New modes of actions, thoughts, and speeches,
Since language every day submits
To some new phrase from modern wits,
And like its speaker, or its writer,
Grows richer, chaster, and politer,
Whatever wild fantastic dreams
Give birth to man's outrageous schemes,
Pursued without the least pretence
To virtue, honesty, or sense,
Whate'er the wretched basely dare
From pride, ambition, or despair,
Fraud, luxury or dissipation,
Assumes the name of—Speculation.
By life's tempestuous billows torn,
At once luxurious, and forlorn,


The swindling Jew, the gambling peer,
The ruin'd 'squire turn'd auctioneer,
The pimp, the quack, the broken banker,
Unknowing where to cast their anchor,
Their fortune's shatter'd fragments rally,
And fix their stations in the Alley;
There at the Pandemonium meet
Of J*hn*th*n's infernal seat,
Where Fortune oft with specious show
Of fair advantages that flow
From industry, with flattering hopes
Beguiles her votaries, and opes
A fouler and more dangerous field,
Than all her gambling arts can yield.
Lo! where around the pois'nous dung,
Or carrion on the shambles hung,
The flies their quivering pennons cast,
And batten o'er their foul repast!
E'en so, on some new loan intent,
With interest at seven per cent.


Mid dirt, and noise, and odious fume
The crowds assemble, and assume
As many shapes as Proteus wore,
As many wily arts explore:
Ne'er did the Samian Sage of old
Such wondrous mysteries unfold
Of men relinquishing their nature,
To animate some monstrous creature,
Nor all the sweet poetic tribe
Such metamorphoses describe,
(Though oft they sing, how mighty Jove
Was brutaliz'd by wanton Love,
And how by Circe's goblet warm'd
The Grecian heroes were transform'd)
As now the Muse, from vulgar eyes,
High tow'ring to her native skies,
Aloft on Pegasean wing
Advent'rous would attempt to sing,
But that the theme to sordid gain
Confin'd (that mars the lofty strain,)


And incompatible retards
The flight of speculative bards)
Arrests her in th'ethereal way,
And pins her to this earthly clay—
Yet will I tell in humble lays
Of men transform'd in modern days
To shapes as strange as Cupid's bow
Or Circe's cup could e'er bestow,
Such as the God of Riches lends
To many of his chosen friends,
Who conscience, faith, and fame resign,
To worship at his filthy shrine.
Oh! how Pythagoras would wonder!
And Jupiter prepare his thunder!
Think with what fury he would rush
The brokers and the Bank to crush,
Could he behold, what oft the case is,
A man who sells old clothes and laces,
Such as the reader may conceive I
Have seen among the tribe of Levi,


For goodness now and worth renown'd,
Contract for fifty thousand pound,
Buy scrip, bank, omnium, or long ann.
Or lottery tick.—If such a man
The hasty spouse of Juno saw
With beard prolix, and famish'd jaw,
Dare to transmigrate, and become
A bull, for that enormous sum,
Would not the jealous God appal
The wretch in some new shape, or call
The herald Mercury at once
To serve him like that Phrygian dunce,
That jobber in the stocks of old
Whose touch'd turn'd every thing to gold?
And would not Mercury himself
Look sharp, and tremble for his pelf,
Soon as the Israelite he found
With solemn pace go lowing round,
Contriving every base device
To raise the stocks, and mend their price,
Could hear how oft the monster tries
To furnish us with new allies,


With peace how often to regale us—
And victories can never fail us—
How oft a sinking state he saves,
By friendly aid of winds and waves?
Oh! treacherous Bull, from hell deriv'd,
Worse than e'er Phalaris contriv'd,
Thou, that for cursed gold canst find
Such methods to distress mankind,
And feed a nation's hopes in vain,
To sell thy bargain out again!
A form more horrid still remains,
As yet unsung by mortal strains;
Reverse the glass—that shape explore—
Behold the Israelite once more!—
But why, O! why (good heav'ns defend us)
That shaggy coat, those paws tremendous?
Why in that horrid guise appear?
Methinks I see the grisly bear!—
'Tis true—his scrip. this morning sold,
He with that figure now makes bold,


And every artifice is trying
To pave the way some more to buy in;
But ere the purchase he commences,
Must first impose upon your senses;
By every method in his power
Must strive to make the markets lower;
Will growl and grumble, and confound
With terror every soul around,
Oft forge a letter from the Hague,
Paul Jones, a shipwreck, or a plague;
Oft will th' unconscionable brute
Reverse the Litany to boot,
His avaricious schemes to further,
And pray for sudden death and murther;
All that a nation can disgrace,
Her credit and her fame debase,
Foul calumnies, and pois'nous hints
He gathers from the public prints:
If that won't answer his intention,
He harasses his own invention
Some new calamity to bring
From Falsehood's never failing spring:


Yet surely, if the wretch could view
Our melancholy state, and knew
This bleeding country's heart-felt dole,
'Twould save him some expence of soul,
And much fatigue of brains in trying
To heighten her distress by lying;
But men sometimes, as I have seen it,
Will speak the truth, who never mean it,
Of whom, as casuists agree,
In foro conscientiæ,
If lies and falshood be their aim,
Though truth they speak, the crime's the same;
Such is in part the case with Bruin,
Who now is every trick pursuing
With every terrour to compel
Th'affrighted Bulls their stock to sell,
Which haply by his dreadful warning,
He'll make them do to morrow morning,
And buying it himself, endeavour
To gain the balance in his favour;
See where he stands with looks dejected,
Like her who Troy's sad fate predicted,


Or prophet Jeremy foretelling
The downfall of the Jewish dwelling!
See while amid' th' encircling crowd
He thus harangues in accents loud,
The list'ning Bulls forget to low,
The punch and negus cease to flow:
“Oh what disgrace, what evils wait
“This shatter'd, this distracted state?
“Ah! where are truth and virtue fled!
“All mutual confidence is dead:
“Our credit and our fame is gone,
“Our merchants and our trade undone,
“Despair and desolation urge
“Their flight across th' Atlantic surge,
“The islands feel the dire commotion,
“E'en now they tremble on the ocean;
“How late the foe with wrathful pride
“Your navy on your coasts defied?
“E'en now they threaten an invasion,
“And only wait a fair occasion;


“And what so soon can make them come
“As your damn'd quarrelling at home?
“Not one good friend across the water
“That cares one farthing what you're a'ter;
“The Dane, the Russian, and the Swede,
“Won't help you much in time of need,
“The Dutch, who hate such castle-builders,
“Won't budge an inch without the gilders:
“And great the folly and expence is
“Of hiring aid from foreign princes;
“The Irish too are discontented;—
“G---d send that England may'nt repent it;
“No soul to give the least assistance,
“Not one to keep up your existence;
“Not the least prospect of recovering,
“E'en though Morocco's swarthy sovereign
“From Mauritania's coast descends
“With Mahomet and all his friends—
“Curs'd be the hour that made me dip
“So deep into that fatal Scrip!”
The last disgraceful scene that closes
This horrible Metempsychosis


The Muse in pity would conceal,
And gladly draw the friendly veil;
But when at length both Bull and Bear
Their contracts and their faith forswear,
And sooner far the dev'l could raise
Than payment on th'appointed days;
To shape of cursed Duck transmuted,
By Jews blasphem'd, by Christians hooted,
Crippled they make one desp'rate sally,
And out they waddle from the Alley,
By J*hn*th n's detested door
Run quacking, and are seen no more.
Such means to pray upon your fortune
These worthy gentlemen call sporting,
And give each base negotiation
The well-bred term of—Speculation.
Could I, ye gods, in equal strain
Their various fallacies explain,
And all their fiend-like arts rehearse
In faithful and immortal verse,


No more the Bull and Bear should glow
Resplendent in the solar bow,
But banish'd to th'infernal shore
Give Pluto's realms two demons more:
The Duck debarr'd from Lethe's spring,
Whose waters sweet oblivion bring,
In Phlegethon her seat should fix,
And speculate the pools of Styx.
Nor less among th'unletter'd swains
This fashionable word obtains;
(For fashion now alike pervades
The gorgeous roof, and sylvan shades)
Ask the rich clown, whose iron sway
The humble villagers obey,
While penury and hunger wait
Beside the lowly cottage gate,
Why the hard wretch with-holds his grain,
And hears unmov'd the poor complain;
Ask why he cumbers up his ground
With stacks of unthresh'd corn around,


Till wet and mould have spoil'd one half,
Or vermin ground it into chaff;
He'll try to modify his diction,
And tell you, 'twas his own election,
He felt a certain instigation
To keep it all on—Speculation.
Mark where the money-lending crew
Their base usurious trade pursue,
With wily phrase, and treacherous smile
The poor unwary youth beguile,
Oft to his thoughtless wish supply
The means of want and infamy?
All that the anxious father's cares
Have gather'd in his brighter years,
All that the younger offspring craves,
And oft the tender mother saves
From comforts, which her age requires,
In mortgages and bonds expires.
And must his fair paternal lands
All centre in such miscreant hands?
Just heav'n forbid!—


Oh! may the pillory or rope
Prevent them in each distant hope,
And all their golden expectations
Be airy dreams and—Speculations.
But turn, my gentle Muse, nor deign
To dwell with that unhallow'd train;
Thy kindred bards demand thy song,
To them thy grateful notes prolong,
Who quitting Bath's ador'd retreat,
Her frolic sports, and pastimes sweet,
And purer joys which verse inspires,
Suspend their soft harmonious lyres,
To-day all hast'ning to attend
The groaning of their much-lov'd friend,
A lady whose exalted station
Demands their utmost veneration,
For me, I must acknowledge fairly,
I visit at her house but rarely,


She always has so large a crowd
Of well-bred men, who talk so loud,
Yet do I feel most truly for her,
And look upon her case with horror,
'Tis now, as she herself has reckon'd,
Five months, and upwards since she quicken'd,
And every moment, as 'tis said,
Is waiting to be brought to bed;
Poor soul! what sorrow and vexation
She suffer'd through the whole gestation!
And now but very ill sustains
The thoughts of her approaching pains;
So many children she has had,
And most of them turn'd out so bad,
Have quarrel'd with her dearest neighbours,
And marr'd her honest tenants labours,
Their darken'd dwellings fill'd with strife,
And grudg'd them every joy of life,
Kept such a prodigal retinue,
Their wages eat up her revenue,
And all at such a shameful rate
Encreas'd the debt on her estate,


The thoughts of adding to the number
Deprive her of her balmy slumber;
The same man-midwife who, I hear,
Attended at her couche last year,
Speaks like a sensible physician,
And shakes his head at her condition;
A stubborn acrimonious humour,
Which daily hastens to consume her,
Corrupts her pancreatic juices,
And choler without end produces,
And when upon her brain 'tis pitch'd,
'Twill make her talk like one bewitch'd,—
What ever good you mean to do her,
To ev'ry Question you put to her,
The only answer she'll bestow
Is—aye, aye, aye, or no, no, no;
Such symptoms make her friends begin
To think there's something wrong within,
That needs must take before the summer
The use of all her members from her,


Which in a broken constitution
Must soon bring on her dissolution.
Then say, Oh! say, ye learned leeches,
Whose fashionable doctrine teaches
That infants bear no mark nor sign
Of things for which their mothers pine,
And evils which afflict the parent,
Are never in the child inherent,
Say, from this lady so affected
What progeny can be expected?
For me, (although 'tis rarely found
That poets are for truth renown'd)
I'll boldly venture to suppose
She'll bring with strong convulsive throes
Some ill-shap'd brat, of mien most horrid,
With marks of blood upon its forehead,
An odious imp, whose bleared sight
Abhors the windows chearful light,
Will squint at every human soul
And long to sconce him on the poll;


Will pine for every thing it sees,
E'en for a bit of dirt will teaze,
And rather than that bit refuse,
Will eat it from a ploughman's shoes;
Long of his half-pence to unload
The meanest traveller on the road;
A horse, a carriage, or a servant
Will tear and shatter every nerve on't,
And sight of every little tit
Will give it a convulsion fit.
Meanwhile some gossips that attend it
Outrageous to the devil would send it,
Will reprobate the odious creature,
And militate 'gainst every feature,
While others eager to partake
The sack, the caudle, and the cake,
Soon as the nurse has cloth'd and fed it,
With pap she borrows on the credit,
Of Doctor Loan, whose famous tickets
Kill gnawing worms, and cure the rickets,


Will take the baby in their arms,
And hit upon some secret charms,
Some latent Je ne sçay quoi, or grace,
Which hitherto they ne'er could trace,
Will kiss it, dandle and caress it,
And try in some new mode to dress it,
Declaring that it looks so smugly
'Twas strange they ever thought it ugly,
Then smile with joy and admiration,
And call the monster—Spequlation.
But though they change its dress and name,
Its nature will remain the same,
Will still defy their best endeavour,
And squint as horribly as ever.
But soft—methinks, my wond'ring eyes
Behold a motley phantom rise,
Of shape grotesque and wild, its hand
Upholds a variegated wand;
It frowns—it smiles—and who can tell
Whether it comes from heav'n or hell,


Whether from country or from court,
Of evil or of good import,
A serio-comic face it wears,
And rudely thus assaults mine ears!
“What are these wild mysterious strains,
“These figments of thy wayward brains,
“That seem to cast some latent stigma
“In parable, and dark enigma?
“But that I never yet could find
“That thou to banter wert inclin'd,
“This uncouth fable would appear
“Some satire in disguise to bear,
“And learned critics might conjecture,
“That thou in this good lady's picture,
“Wouldst ridicule by implication
“The great assembly of the nation,
“And in her hapless child exhibit
“The portrait of its annual tribute;
“But well I know, th'esteem profound
“Thou bearest for that sacred ground,


“Would ne'er permit thee to complain
“Of aught its wise decrees ordain;
“And sure, whatever comic scene
“Might move thy laughter, or thy spleen,
“Thou ne'er couldst deem that virtuous Senate
“A theme to jest, or draw thy pen at;
“That awful dome, where Candor sweet,
“And Modesty have fix'd their seat,
“Where, like the Conscript Sires, we're told,
“Or Areopagites of old,
“Grave senators in council deep
“Their amicable vigils keep;
“Ne'er suffer envy, rage, or hate,
“To trespass on their calm debate,
“But free from faction, noise, and broil,
“Through every doubtful question toil;
“Where youthful orators in diction
“Replete with reason and conviction,
“In Ciceronian style and air
“Such potent truities declare
“E'en at the moment of their entrance,
“They'll pledge themselves in every sentence:


“All with such decency profound
“Their well-digested thoughts propound,
“All with such wise reserve conceal
“The secrets of the public weal,
“That never yet or friend or foe
“Presum'd their sage resolves to know,
“Or dar'd to fathom, or to scan
“The purpose of the deep divan;
“Who to that pinnacle of fame
“Have rais'd a Briton's glorious name,
“With such success their schemes have plann'd,
“Triumphantly they dare command
“Our armies and our fleets to roll
“Their thunder to each distant pole,
“And boldly bid the world defiance—
“Without one friendly power's alliance.
“See then, what prudent ways are tried,
“And means how faithfully applied,
“See with what rapid steps you tend
“To glory, and to wealth ascend!
“And if thou deem'st one tax too hard,
“Thou art the most ungenerous bard


“That ever in audacious strain
“Presum'd his betters to arraign,
“Or e'er consum'd the midnight taper,
“To set his worthless hand to paper.
“And must thou call th' Aonian maids
“From Helicon's enchanting shades,
“Must all to the Exchange descend,
“And Phœbus at the Bank attend,
“In jingling rhyme, and groveling strain
“Those virtuous gentry to arraign,
“Who for no mean, no sordid ends,
“But merely to oblige their friends,
“To purchase stock at their request,
“And pay for't when it suits them best,
“Their interest and good procure,
“Their properties and lives insure,
“All excercise their Speculation,
“All labour in their just vocation,
“In that great seat of useful knowledge,
“Fam'd Johnathan's illustrious college?


“Where from the servitor that stands
“Prepar'd, to run at their commands,
“And pupils who attend their lectures
“Up to the doctors and directors,
“All labour for their country's sake,
“All shew their readiness to make
“By paper currency alone
“Her credit and her glory known;
“What though some vulgar souls may blame
“Such generous ways to wealth and fame,
“And think that Gaming is a science
“On which there is but small reliance,
“Let such impartially look round
“And see how men for sense renown'd,
“Of birth, of character, and fame,
“Its vast utility proclaim,
“And from that fount what blessings flow
“By precept and example shew!
“See those who o'er the state preside,
“And all its secret motions guide,
“With what philanthropy and zeal
“They twirl it round the lottery wheel,


“And give by frequent revolution
“New vigour to your constitution!
“Nor fewer thanks are due to those
“Their tickets who in shares dispose,
“Who every wholesome art explore,
“And from compassion to the poor
“Their generosity display,
“And lend their horses for the day!
“Such useful policies moreover
“By fair arithmetic discover,
“Five shillings, luckily turn'd round,
“Present you with an hundred pound;
“Nor less their faithful cares extend
“To many an enterprising friend,
“By whom some blanks may be foreboded,
“And who with tickets overloaded
“Might chance, without their kind insurance,
“To suffer everlasting durance,
“And like the rash Ixion feel
“The torments of the rolling wheel.
“What though some bankruptcies be made
“From generous contempt of trade,


“Such ills, if rightly understood,
“Are all intended for your good;
“A limb recover'd from a fracture,
“Becomes the firmer and compacter,
“And oft' the world a tradesman sees,
“Like him who fought with Hercules,
“By bankruptcy the richer grown,
“And strength obtain, by tumbling down.
“Who then behind the counter's gloom
“The tedious moments would consume,
“His paltry merchandise retailing,
“And scarcity of cash bewailing,
“When in an instant he might make
“His fortune by one single stake;
“With such facility explore
“The Alley's unexhausted store,
“And to such friends the task assign
“To dig in that Peruvian mine?
“Such are the men thy muse compares
“To Bulls, to crippled Ducks, and Bears,


“By Rhadamanth's infernal laws,
“Chastises first, then hears their cause.
“But ah! what envy hast thou shewn,
“(For envy prompted thee alone)
“Who thus wouldst blacken with thy pen
“Those courteous, those obliging men,
“Who in pecuniary affairs
“For all mankind exert their cares,
“Shew such integrity and zeal,
“Yet modestly their names conceal,
“From pity's generous source alone
“Make every human want their own,
“The poor by scripture rules befriend,
“Are kind, are merciful, and lend,
Good men; whose tender care supplies,
“What oft' the churlish sire denies,
“Who teach th'aspiring youth to try
“The joys of independency,
“No longer to endure the chain
“Of harsh restraint, no more complain


“How tardily each rising sun
“Brings liberty, and twenty one:
“Give him to shew his taste and sense
“By careless and polite expence,
“His puerile delights dismiss,
“And antedate each manly bliss,
“The drudgeries of life despise,
“And all the serious thoughts that rise
“From toilsome business to annoy
“The transports of each circling joy!
“What though the demon of Contrition,
“Remorse, and Shame, and Admonition,
“And Retrospect with frown severe
“Oft check him in his bold career;
“Theirs is the friendly task to screen
“The horrors of their ghastly mien,
“And gild with smiles, and prospects gay
“The morning of his youthful day;
“Oh! friends sincere: whose counsels blast
“The bitter thoughts of errors past,
“Such means for present bliss bestow,
“Such disregard for future woe!


“Fool as thou art, thou ne'er didst read
“That wise, that speculative creed,
“Which some great theorist, no doubt,
“Of nice morality found out,
“And many an able politician
“Has practis'd with exact precision,
“That private vices are the source
Of public benefits; of course
“Fraud, luxury, and pride conspire
“To raise a nation's glory higher;
“And men of parts and educations,
“Your mayors of towns and corporations,
“This creed so well have understood,
“So us'd it for their country's good,
“That seldom they've a member sent
“To speak their sense in parliament,
“But such as claims the best pretence
“From dissipation and expence;
“Talents which all the world confess
“So justly warrant his success,
“That when th'election day comes on,
“He's fairly chosen,—and undone:


“A circumstance which shews no blindness,
“In those to whom he owes the kindness,
“But much of public virtue savours
“And wisdom in conferring favours,
“It whets his wit, his fears removes,
“The firmness of his mind improves,
“And makes him wade through thick and thin
“The very instant he gets in,
“Observe the most exact attendance,
“And crack his jokes on independence,
“Till industry at length procure
“Some pretty little snug douceur,
“Which makes him quietly intrench,
“And squat behind the Treasury Bench,
“As well it may; and who can grudge it
“When, at the opening of the Budget,
“This generous persevering creature
“Is straining every nerve and feature,
“And holds the candle to unlock it—
“Without one farthing in his pocket.
“See how necessity calls forth
“The latent seeds of parts and worth,


“What useful members of a state
“Extravagance and vice create,
“And what to luxury we owe,
“From whence such public blessings flow!
“Dost think unless by Heav'n's decrees
“Such great such generous souls as these
“Had sold the profits of their income,
“Or nobly dar'd in bonds to sink 'em,
“They'd ever with such care and pain
“Their senatorial rights maintain,
“Or worthily have fill'd a station
“Of such importance to the nation?
“No—from depravity and need
“Fame, freedom, wealth, and strength proceed,
“'Tis penury gives resolution,
“And pride supports a constitution,
“And all by just unerring laws
“Conspire to serve the public cause.
“Sure then some gratitude attends
“All who promote such glorious ends,


“And tell me who more justly claim
“The honours due to civic fame,
“Than that disinterested band,
“Whose aid, whose friendship you command,
“Whose gold like ambergrease is us'd,
“And o'er mankind its sweets diffus'd:
“Great philosophic souls! whom you
“With ignominious rhymes pursue,
“And in thy dogg'rel verse exhibit
“As subjects to adorn a gibbet.
“Ye deities who guard the plains
“Where innocence and virtue reigns,
“And make the artless farmer know
“What blessings from contentment flow,
“Far be the rude unhallow'd bard
“That views him with profane regard!
“Far be that infamous report,
“That vices which adorn a court,
“And render modish life complete,
“Invade the peasant's homely seat,


“And if some man of taste brings down
“The reigning fashions of the town,
“Full many a country coxcomb tries
“To prove as wicked, and as wise,
“Will drink, and cheat, and wh-re, and play,
“And when he comes his rent to pay,
“Will shake his head, and scratch his ear,
“And tell you that your farm's too dear,
“And hopes, as corn's so cheap of late,
“Your honour will his rent abate;
“Curs'd be the envious breath of fame,
“Whose babbling trumpet would proclaim
“That since the country's richer grown,
“And landlords from their seats are flown,
“Proud tenants with rapacious hand
“Engross the produce of their land,
“Usurp the empire of the plains,
“And lord it o'er the humble swains;
“Oh vile report, oh base surmise!
“When prudent men those means devise
“Such plenteous succour to provide,
“'Gainst scarcity and want betide,


“Like Egypt's king their corn withold,
“When sev'n year's famine was foretold.
“I grant 'twere better to cut short
“Monopolies of every sort,
“And much, no doubt, your country boasts
“That those who fill your highest posts,
“Th'Exchequer, Navy, Trade, and War,
“Such mean, such selfish ways abhor,
“And do their best as by the act is
“Prescrib'd, to stop so vile a practice;
“Your Clergy too, their zeal is such,
“Deserve your gratitude as much,
“Who 'mid the toils and cares they find
“In bishoprics to dean'ries join'd,
“Besides the troubles which attend 'em
“In holding livings in commendam,
“Find time for preaching and enforcing
“Their arguments against engrossing;
“Yet sure the men whose faithful toil
“Oft cultivates the barren soil,
“That's wisely taken from the poor,
“And never felt the plough before,


“Make plenty spread her bounteous horn,
“And vallies stand so thick with corn,
“That when their tythes they homeward bring,
“The joyful parsons laugh and sing,
“Surely such men who slave and sweat,
“For all th'advantages they get,
“May keep their grain, their only treasure,
“Without one Christian soul's displeasure;
“Ah! well they know, that if the poor
“Were cloth'd and fed, they'd work no more,
“That nothing makes mankind so good,
“So tractable, as want of food,
“And like those frugal politicians,
“Who take their maxims from physicians,
“Think starving is the best foundation
“Of popular subordination.—
“But on this point you more shall hear,
“And those, you have abus'd, revere,
“When next with terror and dismay
“My awful image you survey;


“Meanwhile no more thy spleen be shewn—
“Hast thou no failings of thine own,
“No ruling passion in thy breast,
“That robs thee of thy balmy rest?”
Yes, yes, I cry—to all mankind
Their frailties are by fate assign'd,
And he's the happiest and the best,
Who with the fewest is opprest;
In me, I must confess my failing,
An itch for scribbling is prevailing,
A vice which many a rhyming elf
Partakes in common with myself,
And since administration tries
Such various means to raise supplies,
I wonder much they ne'er determine
To raise a tax on all such vermin,
And claim a shilling in the pound
Of all who tread poetic ground;
No bard to Helicon should ride,
Unless he first were qualified,
For Pegasus his money pay,
And shew his ticket for the day;


Since ministers find such resources
In men's absurd and vicious courses,
And vanity and ostentation
Are deem'd fit subjects for taxation,
Sure they might fine the brains of those
Who sin no less in filthy prose,
And gold by chymick art distil
From essence of the gray goose quill:
Which though 'twould savour of extorting
From men of very slender fortune,
Such as all meaner arts disown,
And live upon their wits alone,
Must at a moderate computation,
Raise half a million to the nation.
But if the truth I must impart,
And say what passion rules my heart,
No thirst for honours wealth or pow'r
E'er robb'd me of one quiet hour,
No party-zeal, no factious aim
Torment me with their raging flame,


But anxious thoughts for England's sake
Will oft' the slumbring muse awake,
And hopes to please in faithful strain
The wise, the virtuous, and humane,
My soul with strong ambition fir'd,
And these incondite rhymes inspir'd,
Taught me to think no toil severe
Awhile to catch their list'ning ear,
And make their smiles and approbation
The object of my Speculation.

The twenty-fifth of November 1779, at which time this poem was written.




CHRISTOPHER ANSTEY. Bath, Jan. 1st, 1779.




Verse 1.—Though I speak with the tongues of men, and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

Had it pleas'd him, from whom all wisdom flows,
Him, who each good, each perfect gift bestows,
With knowledge to exalt my feeble mind,
Bright as e'er shed its lustre on mankind;
Though on my lips persuasive accents hung,
Soft as the music of an angel's tongue,
Still should I languish, still my soul despair,
Wert thou, sweet Charity, a stranger there;


Vain were my voice, as sounding brass that rings
To deeds of heroes, or the pomp of kings,
Vain as the tinkling cymbal, that displays
Man's gaudy pride—but not th'Almighty's praise.—



Verse 2.—And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

Could I in various languages expound
All subtile texts, all mysteries profound,
Could I by faith the solid rocks displace,
And make the mountains tremble from their base,
Still, in my breast shouldst thou refuse to reign,
My faith were fruitless, and my knowledge vain.



Verse 3.—And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

Though the rich produce of my worldly store
In alms profuse, I lavish on the poor,
Yet all unmov'd their mournful tales can hear,
Nor for their sufferings drop one silent tear;
If ne'er from god-like pity's sacred source
My bounty flow, nor heav'n direct its course,


If vanity provoke the generous deed—
Mean is the gift, and small will be its meed;
Though to a martyr's glory I aspire,
And seek my triumphs in the torturing fire,
Firm and undaunted to my latest breath
Brave the slow flame, and court the ling'ring death;
If thy sweet virtues from my soul depart,
Thy Christian love be foreign from my heart,
He best can tell, who all our thoughts surveys,
How vain the boast, the profit, and the praise.



Verse 4.—Charity suffereth long, and is kind; Charity envieth not; Charity vaunteth not itself; is not puffed up.

Tis thine the raging passions to control,
To calm, to strengthen, and confirm the soul,
Teach slighted worth with patience to sustain
The pow'rful man's neglect, the fool's disdain,
Th'ungrateful friend's revolt; or keener pang
(Keen as the bearded steel, or serpent's fang,)
That waits (too oft, alas!) the perjur'd vow,
And lost affectionc's cold and scornful brow:


The silent eloquence of kindness meek
Beams from thine eyes, and mantles in thy cheek;
From envy free and pride's o'erbearing sway
Thou tak'st thy mild and inoffensive way;



Verse 5.—Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil.

Grace in thy gestures and thy looks is seen;
Gentle thy words, and courteous is thy mien,
Thou scorn'st to cast the proud indignant frown
On other's merits, or to boast thine own,
Oe'r anger, hatred, or revenge to brood,
Record the evil, and forget the good;



Verse 6.—Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth:

Or aught, that can thy neighbour's peace destroy,
Make the base subject of thy barbarous joy;
If just the censure that affects his fame,
'Tis thine to pity, not increase his shame;
If false the charge, thy soul can know no rest,
Till truth appear, and heal his wounded breast:




Verse 7.—Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

Forbearing all, and trusting still to find
Some virtues 'mid the failings of mankind,
Thou o'er their faults canst draw the friendly veil,
The better part believe, the worse conceal,
Still hope that time their frailties may remove,
And wait the hour with patience and with love.



Verse 8.—Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

Doctrines shall cease, and inspiration fail,
The gift of languages no more prevail,
Knowledge shall fade away; but thou shalt bloom,
Thy graces flourish in the life to come.



Verse 9.—For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.

Ah! what are all the boasted pow'rs of man
But emblems of his own contracted span?
In part alone he knows, in part is given
Wisdom to teach, and lead the way to heaven,




Verse 10.—But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

To heav'n's blest regions, where perfection reigns,
And knowledge absolute her throne maintains;
There when the soul, in search of purer day,
Loos'd from mortality's impris'ning clay
Shall swifter than the forked lightning dart,
His vain attainments shall like shades depart,
And vision infinite of truths divine
That far beyond his weak conception shine,
Drown the faint glimmerings of his mental rays
In one all-pow'rful and immortal blaze.
So when the Night around th'etherial fields
In clouded state her ebon sceptre wields,
Millions of orbs amid the starry zone
With glittering gems adorn her sable throne;
But when, the world's bright lamp, the golden sun
Bursts from the East his glorious course to run
Lost in th'effulgence of his radiant fire
Those feeble ministers of Light expire.




Verse 11.—When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

In life's first spring, in childhood's playful age,
What trifles charm, what idle cares engage!
How narrow, how confus'd the sense appears,
Till reason dawn, and light our riper years!
Tis then with judgment and discretion fraught
We slight the objects of our infant thought;
Chang'd is each passion, each desire, and aim,
No more our actions, or our words the same;



Verse 12.—For now we see through a glass darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

Yet greater still the change, that shall translate
Man from his earthly to his heavenly state,
From partial Knowledge shall his soul redeem,
And clear from doubts his intellectual beam,
Cast the dark glass away that dims his sight,
And gild his prospect with celestial Light,
Bear him beyond the follies, and the strife,
And painful pleasures of this sinful life.—


—Oh glorious change! that shall such light display,
And ope one perfect and eternal day!
Where in th'Almighty's presence we shall shine,
See, and adore his attributes divine,
His pow'r, his wisdom, and his mercy own,
And Him shall know—as we ourselves are known!

For with thee is the Well of Life, and in thy Light shall we see Light. Psalm xxxvi v.9.



Verse 13.—And now abideth Faith, Hope, Charity, these three; but the greatest of these is Charity.

Whilst in these gloomy vales of life we stray,
Hope cheers our souls, and Faith directs our way;
But when to yon bright realms of joy we soar,
Faith shall expire, and Hope be known no more:
Faith shall be lost in Certainty's abyss,
And Hope absorb'd in everlasting Bliss;
But Thee, Thou fairest Grace, nor death, nor doom,
Nor ever-rolling ages shall consume,


Thou with congenial spirits mix'd above
Shall fill all Heaven with Harmony and Love,
In splendor seen, and full perfection known
Thy station fix by God's eternal throne;
There with compassion all our errors scan,
And plead the cause of frail and sinful Man.




Keen was the blast, and bleak the morn,
When Lucy took her way,
To seek the wretch, whose perjur'd vows
Had led her youth astray:
A warrior he, though little fam'd
For warlike trophies won,
Who well might boast of triumphs gain'd
O'er many a maid undone:
Of honour nice, his gaming debts
Full punctually he paid,
His valour he in duels oft
And midnight broils display'd:


In British arms, but not, I deem,
With heart of British mould,
For British hearts are firm and true,
And tender as they're bold:
If such, he ne'er, in social guise,
Poor Lucy to decoy,
Had shar'd her parents' friendly board,
And stol'n their only joy:
Had scorn'd to pledge the marriage vow,
And basely steal away,
While all compos'd in slumbers sweet
The injur'd damsel lay:
Alas! she ne'er suspected ill,
Who never ill design'd,
And void of art, ne'er knew the guile
Of man's degenerate mind:
As spotless as the blooming flower,
Which long unheeded grew,
She little reck'd her beauty's power,
Or e'er its dangers knew:


With ev'ry Christian virtue grac'd,
She serv'd in early youth
Her God, her parents, and her friends,
With duty, love, and truth:
Blest in the harmless, homely joys
The rural plains afford,
She liv'd by ev'ry maid belov'd,
By ev'ry swain ador'd,
Who, when at each revolving May
They cull'd the vernal grove,
Were proud to raise the garland gay
Her taper fingers wove:
To her in winter's hour, oppress'd
With cold and hunger sore,
The aged peasants would repair,
And bless her friendly door.
At her request, the dairy oft
And farmer's stack supplied
That aid, the guardians of the poor
Their pressing wants denied:


And when the stack or dairy fail'd,
She'd bring her little store,
And give her mite, and heave a sigh,
And wish that little more.
O! days of innocence and peace!
O! nights of sweet repose,
From you those balmy blessings flow
Which virtue only knows!
Such were the days that Lucy knew,
Such harmless nights as these
Calm'd ev'ry scene, made labour light,
And ev'ry object please:
But ah! farewell those blissful scenes
Which midst its native plains
Fond childhood views with partial eyes,
And age itself retains;
Scenes which in sweet remembrance give
That sadly pleasing joy,
Not all the busy cares of life,
Or rolling years destroy;


The spot where erst her parents glad
Her infant sports survey'd,
And where so late with pride they view'd
Their sweet unblemish'd maid;
Farewell her youthful joys; the dance,
The roundelay, and glee,
By self-taught lads and lasses sung
Beneath her favourite tree:
The Sunday walk, the village bells
That charm'd the silent glen,
The warbling birds—poor Lucy ne'er
Shall taste those joys again!
By passions torn, which ne'er till now
Her gentle nature knew,
With many a home-felt pang she bad
Her native plains adieu;
That city gay the fair one sought
With heart oppress'd with woe,
To which the fair with woful hearts
Are seldom wont to go,


To London bent her hasty steps
In evil hour, to prove
Her base deceiver's plighted vows,
And claim his lawful love:
Ne'er thought her image from his soul
So quickly could depart,
But tears and soft persuasive sighs
Might still recall his heart:
Vain hope! his love, his plighted vows
Exchang'd for oaths profane,
He to his gambling haunts had flown,
And cast the desp'rate main,
Unmindful of a tender wife,
Who erst like Lucy fair
To him her ample portion gave,
And snatch'd him from despair,
But now neglected and forlorn
Her lonely vigils kept,
While round her knees her pensive babes
Stood wond'ring why she wept.


Mean time her eager anxious way
From morning's dawning light,
Poor Lucy held, till length'ning shades
Announc'd th'approaching night:
When lo! her devious steps she took,
The beaten road unknown,
Where frozen show'rs had o'er the ground
Their fleecy mantle thrown:
She who so late at close of day,
Beside the cheerful blaze,
Was wont to ply the needle's toil,
And chant her blithsome lays,
At that chill hour, bewilder'd stood,
Nor aught survey'd around
But snow-clad hills, and lonely streams
In icy fetters bound:
“Oh heaven! she cry'd, is this a dream,
“Or vision of despair,
“Or do I live, my virtue fled,
“A living death to bear?


“Shameless I left my parents' house,
“And shame forbad return,
“Though sure they oft on Lucy call'd,
“For Lucy still they mourn;
“For me they sigh'd the live-long day,
“'Till moaning in their bed,
“For me, ungrateful wretch, for me
“Their mingled tears they shed:
“How could I dare to them unknown
“His letters to receive,
“These letters base, that made me first
“His artful tale believe?
“These tokens of his broken faith
“Which in my breast I wore
“So near my heart, have kiss'd so oft,
“Shall ne'er upbraid me more:
“Be all remembrance of my wrongs
“Each distant trace remov'd,
“That I so wicked and disgrac'd,
“And he so faithless prov'd:


“This bonnet gay, his treach'rous gift,
“Shall like my hair be torn,
“This kerchief, once so nice and fine,
“Now frozen and forlorn
“I work'd with so much cost and care
“To dight my wedding day,
“This love-knot too, for him design'd,
“Shall to the winds away—
“Oh! could my wounded spirit bring
“The perjur'd traitor here,
“I'd rend the heart, and flatt'ring tongue
“Of him I held so dear—
“Kind Heav'n forbid—if thou ordain'st
“We must for ever part,
“Oh! may I ne'er such malice bear,
“Such hatred in my heart—
“No—let my kind forgiveness plead
“His cause at Mercy's seat
“And may he still, where'er he goes
“With ev'ry blessing meet!—


“'Tis cold—'tis very cold—methinks
“In pity to my grief,
“Sweet slumbers o'er my senses steal,
“I'll seek their kind relief.”—
Alas! she dropp'd, life's genial warmth
Congeal'd at ev'ry pore—
Death's iron hand her eyelids clos'd—
She slept to wake no more.




INSCRIPTION On a Cenotaph erected by Sir William Draper, K. B. in his Garden at Clifton near Bristol.

This Cenotaph is sacred
to the Memory
Of those departed Warriors,
of the seventy-ninth regiment,
by whose deliberate Valour,
steady discipline, and perseverance,
The formidable and impetuous efforts
of the French Land forces in Asia
were first withstood, and repulsed;
Our Commerce preserved;
Our Settlements rescued from impending destruction.
The ever memorable defence of Madrass,
The decisive Battle of Wandewash,
Twelve strong and important Fortresses,
Three Capitals
Arcot, Pondicherry, Manilla,


The Philippine Islands,
are witnesses of their Victories,
that would have done honor
even to the Greek and Roman Name
in the most illustrious times of Antiquity,
and well deserve to be transmitted down
to latest Posterity,
that future Generations may hear
and imitate (for they cannot exceed)
Their Glorious Exploits.


EPITAPH On a Lady who died after a lingering Illness, and had earnestly prayed that her only Child might not survive her: The Child died a short time after its Mother.


N. B. An Angel is represented in basso-relievo, holding up a Child to its Mother, and is supposed to speak the following lines.

Sweet Saint! on thee when pining sickness prey'd,
Thy beauty canker'd, and thy youth decay'd,
'Twas thine with patience meek, to Heav'n resign'd,
With Faith that arm'd, and Hope that cheer'd thy mind,
Death's ling'ring stroke undaunted to sustain
And spare thy pitying friend's and husband's pain,
Studious thy heartfelt anguish to disguise
From sympathizing Love's enquiring eyes!


'Tis mine to crown thy wish, reward thy worth,
To wean each fond, each yearning thought from earth;
And bring this much lov'd object of thy care,
Thy joys to perfect, and thy Heaven to share.—

TO A FRIEND, On the Loss of an amiable Daughter.

True, she was sweet, and lovely in thine eyes,
Like some fair flower that blooms awhile, and dies:
Yet O forbear thy heart-felt pangs to shew
In outward pageantry, and pomp of woe:
Say, shouldst thou bid the Parian marble rise,
To tell where innocence and beauty lies,
Aught could it sooth His grief, ill-fated youth!
To whose fond vows she pledg'd her virgin truth?
Thy generous boon to him best serves to prove
Thy manly sorrow, and paternal love,


Firmer than polish'd brass, or sculptur'd stone
Shall long preserve her Memory, and thine own

A genteel and handsome fortune intended for the young lady on her marriage, which her father immediately on her decease presented to the gentleman to whom she was betrothed.

On the Occasion of the Duke of Northumberland's being detained at Bath by a return of his Disorder.

Worn with the raging gout's consuming fires,
The good Northumberland to Bath retires:
There Health awhile her flattering respite brings
From healing medicines, and salubrious springs;
But soon as homeward he directs his way
Th'imperious foe returns, and bids him stay.
How hard, alas! that those who truly know
What social pleasures from his converse flow,
Who feel his virtues, and so rarely find
Candour and truth with courtly manners join'd,
On terms like these his presence must obtain,
And owe their pleasure to his grief and pain!


LINES Inscribed to the memory of Dr. Samuel Johnson, occasioned by reading Mrs. Piozzi's Anecdotes, Mr. Boswell's Tour to the Hebrides, &c. &c.

O! Johnson, learned, venerable shade,
What havock of thy fame hath friendship made,
What childish trophies round thy manly bust,
What noisome weeds are planted in thy dust!
Yet sleep in peace—and though to me unknown
(Save from the musick of thy learn'd renown)
Accept this verse, if aught my verse can boast
To sooth the anguish of thy injured Ghost.
What though thy friends, thy dearest friends, have tried,
To blaze those faults, which e'en thy foes would hide,
Though like a gem by some rude artist set,
We mark thy flaws, thy brilliancy forget,
Yet rest assured, when all their triumph's o'er,
Thy friends and enemies are known no more,


When time shall mould the sprightly works of Thrale,
And turn to vinegar her choicest ale,
When Boswell, of his birth and friendships proud,
Mac Lean, Mac Sweyn, Mac Cromheil, and Mac Cloud,
Indignant round the savoury steak shall fry,
Or light Mundungus in the Isle of Sky,
When Pindar too, Soame Jennyngs, and myself,
Shall lie, meet victims, on a grocer's shelf:
Still shalt thou last, and o'er thy hallow'd tomb,
Fair Science weep, and bays perennial bloom.

Peter Pindar. Vide Town Eclogues; Bossy, Piozzi, &c. &c. &c.

Vide Epitaph on Dr. Johnson, written by this celebrated Author.


DEO OPT. MAX. VOTUM. C. P. Auctore.


The Same, translated at the Request of the Widow of the Deceased.

Parent supreme! whose all discerning mind
Appoints the various portions of mankind,
On me, my country, and on all, bestow
Such needful gifts as from thy wisdom flow:
Fix'd in thy love, to me the joys impart
Which virtuous Friendship gives the feeling heart:
Such talents as to me thy grace conveys
Be all repaid in gratitude and praise:
O may my much lov'd wife survive to share
Her children's love, and they her fost'ring care:
One mind be theirs, with mutual wishes blest,
Till in the bosom of their God they rest,
And wake with me in yon bright realms above,
To purer joys, and more than earthly love.
Enough to ask—thy wise paternal care
Knows when to grant and when deny the prayer,
By thee our life is given, our death decreed,
From thee the just shall reap their promis'd meed.
Yet give me to prefer the good man's praise
To fading honours, or to length of days,
At death's dread summons be prepar'd to go,
With patience wait, nor fear th' impending blow.


On the Recovery of a young Lady by the use of the Cheltenham Waters.

With pining sickness worn, her beauty fled,
Hither my Charlotte's trembling steps I led;
Meek and resign'd, from this salubrious well
She drank, and on the cup a blessing fell!

From Macrobius, Saturn. 11. 7.


Translation of the above, A. D. 1794.

As circling ivy works the tree's decay,
Time's cold embraces steal my strength away,
Till like an empty tomb, my aged frame
Tells only what I was, and bears my name.


In Promptu, to a Lady enquiring the reason why Beards were not worn as in former times.

Sapientem pascere barbam. Hor.

To brush the cheeks of Ladies fair,
With genuine charms o'erspread,
Their sapient beards with mickle care
Our wise forefathers fed.
But since our modern Ladies take
Such pains to paint their faces,
What havock would such brushes make
Amidst the loves and graces!

In Promptu, written in 1779.

You say, my Friend, that every day
Your company forsaking,
In quest of news I haste away,
The Morning Post to take in:
But if nor news nor sense it boast,
Which all the world agree in,
I don't take in the Morning Post,
The Morning Post takes me in.



Occasioned by the late scarcity of Grain, and inscribed to the Author's three Periwigs, Malus, Pejor, and Pessimus.

Aliquisque Malo fuit usus in illo.

Ah me! full sorely doth it rend my heart,
O! Pessimus, my veteran friend, to view
Thy time-worn front, and curls of yellow hue,
And think, how soon unpowder'd we must part!
And much it grieves me that thy brothers twain,
Malus and Pejor (both the offspring fair
Of Orchard's plastic hand) thy fate must share,
Nor graceful wave their mealy locks again!
Yet doth my soul a secret solace find,
(Such solace as the wise and patient know,
Who taste the blessings which from evils flow;)
That thou to Priapean head consign'd
Shalt scare voracious crows—and all un-flour'd
Protect the grain thy hungry caul devour'd.

Mr. Orchard, peruke-maker in Bath.


From Martial.

Tu Setina quidem nobis, &c.

You press me to drink your Champayn, and Tokay
By which you have poison'd four wives, as they say:
I ne'er can believe such a scandalous tale,
—So here's your good health, in a glass of your—ale.

On the Execution of Mr. Coyghley for High Treason.

Some wept, you say, when Coyghley was no more!
I wept, because he was not hang'd before.


Ad Gentem Gallicam Germani apud Anglos commorantis Deprecatio.



Translation of the same.

To the Citizens of France.
Ye doubtful race! whom apes and foxes bred,
And, drench'd with human gore, a tigress fed!
Mid your sad triumphs o'er your murder'd King,
While waste and death to Belgia's realms you bring;
Whether for love of Liberty, or frogs,
Ye wage foul combat in Hollandia's bogs,
Or grudge her sons their galligaskins wide,
Rich trophies! to your ragged chiefs denied;
Still naked, hungry still, awhile forbear
Your arms, and England's happy kingdom spare:—
If Liberty alone such rage inspires,
Here unremitting blaze her hallow'd fires:
Nor deem that empire harsh, those laws severe,
Where, in both senates, unrestrain'd by fear,
Her patriots dare, in these rebellious times,
To boast your friendships and applaud your crimes.




“Come and listen to my ditty.”

On that fam'd and ancient station
Where to Thames the Medway runs,
When in lawless combination
Neptune saw his favourite sons,
Straight he bad the waves their motion
And the winds their rage compose,
While from forth her native ocean
Britain's guardian Genius rose;
Not as when, with joy enraptur'd,
Her triumphant Howe she view'd,
Gallia's warlike vessels captur'd,
And her vaunting chiefs subdued;


Not as when her tribute glorious
She to British valour paid,
And for Vincent's Earl victorious
Twin'd a wreath that ne'er shall fade,
But with heart-felt sorrow wounded,
All aghast and pale she stood:
Thames her piercing cries resounded
Back to Medway's trembling flood:
“Tell me, ye, on whom relying
“I the Sea's dominion hold,
“Why these hostile flags are flying,
“Tell me true, my Sailor's bold:
“Is it that your warlike thunder
“On the faithless Dutch may fall,
“Is it wealthy Spain to plunder,
“Or to curb th'ambitious Gaul?
“No!—to seek your own undoing,—
“'Tis that France our shame may view,
“'Tis to work your Country's ruin,
“Which herself alone can do!


“Shall we then, with Discord raging,
“'Gainst ourselves the poniard bare,
“And a war internal waging,
“Britain her own bowels tear?
“Think on Gallia's dread commotion!—
“Ah! what shrine, what sacred flood
“Hath she not defil'd! what ocean
“Left unstain'd with kindred blood!
“List, oh, list! if, mid confusion,
“Reason's voice your ear can gain,
“Waken'd from your curs'd delusion,
“Hear me speak, nor hear in vain.
“Know that party-rage and faction
“Mar themselves with scorpion-wounds,
“And Rebellion's dire distraction
“On its author's head rebounds.
“To Old England firm and hearty,
“And obedient to her laws,
“Sailors own no other party,
“Than their King's, and Country's cause:


“Sure I am, my ancient charter
“You with glory will maintain,
“And for gold would scorn to barter
“Britain's empire o'er the main:
“On that miscreant crew, whose slanders
“Ting'd your generous hearts with gall,
“Not upon your brave commanders
“Let your headlong vengeance fall;
“They in early youth forsaking
“All that they on earth held dear,
“To the paths of honour taking
“Lives of labour learn'd to bear;
“Oft with you they've sail'd together,
“Oft alike with you have far'd,
“Brav'd the boisterous waves and weather,
“And the raging battle shar'd:
“Still, my friends, 'tis not expedient
“Each should hold a ruling hand;
“All should learn to be obedient,
“Few are fitted for command.—


“And will you while Commerce failing
“Daily mourns her captur'd fleet,
“While the noble Bridport's sailing
“In their ports the foe to meet;
“While your friends off Lisbon drinking
“To their gallant leader's health,
“And the Spanish dollars chinking
“Now are counting out their wealth,
“Say, will you, like lazy lubbards,
“Still keep loitering at the Nore,
“Pillaging your pursers' cupboards,
“And consume the naval store,
“Thoughtless in distress and anguish
“How your wives your absence mourn,
“How your helpless children languish
“Hungry, naked, and forlorn?
“If to France your course you're bending
“To invite your country's foe,
“Or for liberty contending
“To some happier clime would go,


“Turn your eyes—see nature show'ring
“Blessings o'er your native plains,
“Health, and wealth, and plenty pouring;
“See how Joy and Freedom reigns!
“Shall some barbarous Gallic ruffian
“Claim such rich domains as these,
“Some half-naked ragamuffin
“On your wives and daughters seize.”
Here she paus'd—with transport spying
(To the traitors sore dismay)
Three brave ships from Parker flying
To the Fort direct their way;
“Now,” she cried, “my friends assemble,
“Now the joyful Union spread,
“See th' affrighted tyrants tremble,
“See th' Arch-rebel hangs his head!


“All aloft, and quick and steady
“Now your canvass wings unbind;
“See, the Dromedary's ready,
“Off she flies before the wind.
“See, another slips her cable,
“All into the port shall sail;
“Loyal crews, and leaders able,
“Must in Britain's cause prevail:
“And in harbour safe arriving
“When our valiant troops you meet,
“In your cause so nobly striving,
“Them with cordial friendship greet:
“Give one curse to Delegation,
“Send her back to France again,
“She's an imp of Usurpation;
“Order here and Peace shall reign.”—

The Repulse, the Ardent, and the Leopard. The first of these ships unfortunately ran ashore in its way to the Fort, and was exposed for near an hour to a very severe fire fom the Monmouth and Director; but by the consummate bravery and perseverance of the officers and crew, was safely brought into the harbour at Sheerness, though in a very shattered condition.