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Full text of "Poetry and poets: a collection of the choicest anecdotes relative to the poets of every age and nation. With specimens of their works and sketches of their biography"

University of 

Southern J 

Library J 





THE LIBRARY 

OF 

THE UNIVERSITY 

OF CALIFORNIA 

LOS ANGELES 



POETRY AND POETS. 

^ 

BEING A COLLECTION OF THE CHOICEST 

ANECDOTES 

RELATIVE TO THE 

POETS OF EVERY AGE AND NATION. 

TOGETHER WITH 

SPECIMENS OF THEIR WORKS AND SKETCHES OF THEIR 
BIOGRAPHY. 



WRITTEN AND COMPILED BY 

RICHARD RYAN, 

AUTHOR OF " POEMS ON SACRED SUBJECTS,' '• BALLADS ON THE 
FICTIONS OK THE ANCIENT IRISH," &c. &c. &e. 



IN THREE VOLUMES. 

ILLUSTRATED BY ENGRAVINGS. 

VOL. III. 



LONDON: 
PRINTED FOR SHERWOOD, GILBERT, & PIPER, 

I-ATEHNOSTER BOW. 
1826. 



LONDON : 

Printed by D. S. Maurice, Fenchureh-street. 



v»3 



CONTENTS TO VOL. III. 



La PoDtaino 



77222r:. 



Page. 
1 



Pieter Corueiis Hooft .. ,, ^^ 7 

Hugo Grotius .. .. .. ,, 9 

WIjj are Professional Men indifferent Poets ? . . 12 

Addison's Opinion of Blank Verse .. .. 19 

Dr} den, and Dr. Lockier . . , , . . 20 

Mrs. Mary Tighe . . . . . . 2I 

Wjcljerlej's Marriage .. .. ,.23 

George Bolejn .. .. ., 24 

Moorish Ballads .. .. ., ..26 

Deatb of Lord Byron .. ,, ,. 39 

Robert Barns, .. ' .. .. ..44 

Sir Walter Scott .. ., ., 51 

Henry Teonge .. .. .. .. ib. 

Goldsmith .. .. .. .. 54 

The Rev. George Crabb, and the Hon. Edraand Burke 56 

Si. John the Bnptisl'ii Day .. ,. . , fiO 

Petrarch . . . . _ . jj2 

Ben Jonson'g Sacred Poetry . . , . . . 63 

Pastoral Poetry . . . . . . 05 

Boiloau's Villa at Autenil .. .. ..70 

VOL. III. J. 



ir CONTENTS TO VOL. III. 

Page. 

Korner .. .. .. .. 73 

Poems of Madame De Surville .. .. 77 

Last Verses of the Due de Nivernois . . 85 

Love Songs . , . . . • . . 86 

De&lb of Aliieri .. .. .• ..87 

" Paradise Lost." .. .. .. 88 

Voltaire, and Shakspeare .. .. ., ib. 

Jobo Keats .. .. .. .• 89 

Turlough Garolsn .. .. .. ..91 

Milton's Love of Music .. •• .. 99 

Tlioinas Moore .. .. .. •• 100 

Jacob Cats . . . . . . . . 102 

Poetical Genealogy .. .. .. .. 105 

TborasoD, and Mallet .. .. •• 113 

Haller .. c. .. .. 114 

George Henrj Smith .. .. .. 115 

John Heywood .. .. .. •• 120 

Dionysius, King of Sicily . . . . . • 125 

Mrs. Pilkington .. .. .. . . ih, 

George Gascoignc . ; . . • • 127 

George Fredeiick Palmer .. •• .< 133 

Joseph Atkinson . . . t • • 135 

Hindoo Poetry .. .. .. .. 137 

Fondness of Poets for Rivers . . . . 139 

Gay's" Beggars' Opera," &c. .. ..142 

Dr. Johnson, and " Doug4a?." .. •• .. 147 

Shakspeare, and Gerard Brandt .. .. 148 

Shakspeare, and D'Avenaot .. .. .. 151 

Sortes Virgilianae .. .. .. 152 

Petrarch's Laura .. •• •• •• 154 



CONTENTS TO VOL. Ill, V 

Page 

Petrarch at Vancl use .. ,. ... 155 

Gower'g Anachronisms ., .. ., 157 
Addison's Description of tlie " Iliad" and the " 2Ent\A." 160 

Petrarch's Precision ,, .. .. 1G2 

Melastasio .. .. ., .. ib. 

Drammond of Hawthoruden . . . . 1G4 

Verses written by a Maniac .. .. 16G 

Calamities of Poets .. .. .. .. 167 

Richard Edwards .. .. .. 172 

Milton's " Paradise Lost." .. .. ,, 178 

Harte, and Dr. Johnson .. .. .. 179 

Kbemnitzer .. .. .. .. I6O 

Poetry of the Hindoos and the Persians ,. 183 

The Earl of Essex ., .. ., .. 184 

Richard Tarlton .. .. ,. .. 1S5 

Voltaire, and Dr. Young .. .. .. 191 

Christmas Carols .. .. .. ib. 

Wachter ; and Frederick, King of Prussia .. .. 195 

Abbotsford, the Residence of Sir Walter Scott 196 

Queen Elizabeth, and Joseph Ritson ., .. 197 

Poetical Deaths .. .. .. 202 

Coryat's Poetry .. ., .. 209 

Georpje Peele .. , . ,. ..21 

Alonzo D'Ercilla .. .. .. 210 

Metastasio .. .. .. ,, jb, 

Winstaulcy and Milton ., .. ^, 217 

Robert Devcrenx, Earl of Essex .. .. 218 

Pope and Warbarton .. .. .. 220 

Qaaintne:is of Expression ' .. ,, .. 221 

Batler's Character of a Plav-wriler .. 222 



»i CONTENTS TO VOL. III. 

Gray .. .. .. .. .. 224 

Sadi, and Lis Wife .. .. ., 226 

Nonsense Verses . . . . . . w . 227 

Pope's Nurse ,, .. .. .. 235 

Drinking Cops . . . . . . . . 236 

Addison, and the famous Duke of Wbarton ,. 238 

Modern " Flash Poetry." . . . . . . 239 

Lord Byron's " Mazeppa." .. .. .. 243 

Dryden's " Medal." .. .. ..244 

James Montgomery ,. .. ,. 245 

Akenside .. .. ., .. 247 

Poetical Recollections connected with various parts of 

the Metropolis .. .. .. ., 250 

MS. of Pope's "Iliad." .. .. .. 262 

Pope's Remuneration for the " Iliad." ,. .. ib. 

A truly poetical Night .. .. .. 263 

An Epigram, and a Receipt ., .. .. 272 

Rouoher .. .. .. .. 273 

Wycherley's Memory ,. .. .. 274 

Phaer and Slanyhorst's " Virgil." ., ., 275 

Pope, and Lord Halifax .. .. .. 280 

Vida .. .. .. .. 282 

Dirk Coornhert .. ., .. .. 283 

The Person of Pope .. ., .. 284 

Female Favourites of Poets .. .. .. 286 

Caroline Symmons . . . . . , 288 

Addison designed for the Church .. ,, 289 

Henry Kirke White .. ,. .. 290 



POETRY AND POETS. 




//■•« JCulf-' 



LA FONTAINE. 

La Fontaine, the celebrated French fabulist, 
is recorded to have been one of the most absent 
of men ; and Furetiere relates a circumstance, 
which, if true, is one of the most singular aber- 
rations possible. Fontaine attended the l)urial 

VOL. III. B 



2 'Ipoetry and poets. 

of one of his friends, and, some time afterwards, 
he called to visit him. At first, he was shocked 
at the information of his death ; but recovering 
from his surprise, he observed, " It is true 
enough, for now I recollect I went to his 
burial." 

The generous and witty Madame de la Sabliere 
furnished him witli a commodious apartment in 
her house ; and one day, having discharged all 
her servants in a pet, declared that she had only 
retained three animals in her house, which were 
her dog, her cat, and Fontaine. In this situation 
he continued twenty years ; and a day or two 
after losing his generous patroness, met his ac- 
quaintance, M. d'Hervart : " My dear Fontaine, 
(said that worthy man to him,) I have heard of 
your misfortune, and was going to propose your 
coming to live with me."—" I was going to 
you," answered Fontaine. 

It was difficult to restrain him sometimes 
when on a particular subject. One day, dining 
with Moliere and Despreaux, he inveighed 
against the absurdity of making performers 
speak aside what is heard by the stage and the 
whole house. Heated with this idea, he would 
listen to no argument. " It cannot be denied," 



> i. 



POETRY AND POETS. 



exclaimed Despreaux, in a loud key, " it cannot 
be denied, that La Fontaine is a rogue, a great 
rogue, a villain, a rascal, &c." multiplying his 
terms of abuse, and increasing the loudness of 
his voice. P''ontaine, without paying any regard 
to his abuse, went on declaiming. At last the 
company's roar of laughter recalled him to 
himself. " What is this roar of laughter about }" 
said he. "At what!" cried Despreaux, "why, 
at you, to be sure ; you have not heard a word 
of the abuse which I have been bawling at your 
ears, yet you are surprised at the folly of sup- 
posing a performer not to hear what another 
actor whispers at the opposite side of the stage." 
When the F'ables of La Motte appeared, it 
was fashionable in France to despise them. One 
evening, at an entertainment given by the Prince 
de Vendome, several of the first critics of the 
kingdom made themselves exceedingly merry 
at the expense of the author. Voltaire happened 
to be present : " Gentlemen, (said he,) I per- 
fectly agree with you. What a difference there 
is between the style of La Motte and the style 
of La Fontaine ! Have you seen the new edition 
of the latter?" The company answered in the 



4 POETRY AND POETS. 

negative. " Then you have not read that beau- 
tiful Fable of his, which was found among the 
papers of the Duchess of Bouillon." He ac- 
cordingly repeated it to them. Every one present 
was charmed with it. " Here (said he) is 
the spirit of La Fontaine ; — here is nature in 
her simplicity. What naivete — what grace ! — 
Gentlemen, (resumed Voltaire,) you will find 
this Fable among those of La Motte." Confu- 
sion took possession of all but Voltaire, who 
was happy in exposing the folly of these pre- 
tended judges. 

It has been observed, that the best writers, 
and the deepest thinkers, have usually been but 
indifferent companions. This was the case with 
La Fontaine ; for having once been invited to 
dine at the house of a person of distinc- 
tion, for the sake of entertaining the guests, 
though he ate very heartily, yet not a word 
could be got from him ; and when, rising soon 
after from the table, on pretence of going to 
the Academy, he was told he would be too soon, 
" Oh, then," said he, " I'll take the longest way." 
Being one day with Boileau, Racine, and other 
men of eminence, among whom were Ecclesias- 



POETRY AND POETS. i> 

tics ; St. Austin was talked of for a considerable 
time, and with the highest commendations. 
Fontaine listened with his natural air, and at 
last, after a profound silence, asked one of the 
Ecclesiastics, with the most unaffected serious- 
ness, " whether he thought St. Austin had more 
wit than Rabelais." The Doctor, eyeing Fon- 
taine from head to foot, answered only by 
observing, " that he had put on one of his 
stockings the wrong side out," which happened 
to be the case. The nurse who attended Fontaine 
in his illness, observing the fervour of the priest 
in his exhortations, said to him, " Ah, good Sir, 
don't disturb him so ; he is rather stupid than 
wicked. 

In the year 1692, he was seized with a 
dangerous illness ; and when the priest came to 
converse with him about religion, concerning 
which, he had hitherto been totally unconcerned, 
though he had never been either an infidel or 
a libertine, Fontaine told him, that " he had 
lately bestowed some hours in reading the New 
Testament, which he thought a good book." 
Being brought to a clearer knowledge of reli- 
gious truths, the priest represente<l to him, tliat 



6 I'OETRY AND f GETS. 

he had received intelligence of a certain dra- 
matic piece of his, which was soon to be acted ; 
but that he could not be admitted to the sacra- 
ments of the church, unless he suppressed it. 
This appeared too rigid ; and Fontaine appealed 
to the Sorbonne, who confirming what the priest 
had said, this sincere penitent threw the piece 
into the fire, without keeping even a copy. The 
priest then laid before him the evil tendency of 
his " Tales," which are written in a very wanton 
manner: he told him, that while the French 
language subsisted, they would be a most dan- 
gerous inducement to vice ; and that he could 
not justify administering the sacraments to him, 
unless he would promise to make a public ac- 
knowledgment of his crime at the time of 
receiving, and a public acknowledgment before 
the Academy of which he was a member, in 
case he recovered ; and to exert his utmost en- 
deavours to suppress the book. La Fontaine 
thought these very severe terms, but, at length, 
yielded to them all. 

He did not die till the 13th of April, 1695, 
when, if we believe some, he was found with a 
hair shirt on. 



POETRY AND POETS. 7 

PIETER CORNELIS HOOFT. 

PiETER CoRNELis HooPT was born at Amster- 
dam on the 16th of ]\Iarch, 1581. At the age 
of 19 he was already a member of the " Amster- 
damsche Kamer in Liefde Bloeijende/' which 
was entirely distinct from, and far more celebra- 
ted than, the other literary societies of that 
period. His earliest productions were not 
distinguished by any of that sweetness of ver- 
sification and occasional force which after- 
wards lent such charms both to his prose works 
and poetry. He went to France and Italy, 
and gave the first promise of an improved 
style and more cultivated taste, in a poetical 
epistle, written at Florence, to the members 
of the " Amsterdamsche Kamer." He appears 
to have made the Greek, Latin, and Italian 
writers his peculiar study. By reading the lat- 
ter he was first taught to impart that melody to 
his own language of which it had not hitherto 
been deemed susceptible. To no man, indeed, 
is Dutch literature more indebted than to Hooft. 
He refined the versification of his age, without 
divesting it of its vigour. His mind had drunk 
deeply at the founts of knowledge, and his pro- 
ductions are always harmonious and often sub- 



8 



POETRY AND POETS. 



lime. The great Vondel, who was too truly 
noble to be jealous of his fame, calls him 

" Of Holland's poets most illustrious head." 

It is difficult to decide whether Hooft or Von- 
del was most honoured by this eulogium. 

He died on the 21st of May, in the year 1647- 
His Granida is one of the most beautiful spe- 
cimens of harmony in the Dutch language ; and 
the critics of Holland are fond of contrasting the 
flowing music of Hooft with the harsh and cum- 
brous diction of Spiegel, his forerunner. The 
original of the following lines (Sc. i. of the Gra- 
nida) deserves every eulogy for its poetical 
grace : 

Het vinnigh straalen van de son 
Ontschuil ik in't boschaudje. 

" I'll hie me to the forest now, 

The sun shines bright in glory : 
And of our courtship every bough 
> Perchance may tell the story. 

Our courtship ? No! Our Courtship .' Yes! ' 

There's folly in believing ; 
For, of a hundred youths, I guess, 
■fO shame !) they're all deceiving. 



POETRY AND POETS. 9 

A gaysome swain is wandering still , 

New pleasures seeking ever ; 
And longer than his wanton will 

His love endureth never. 

My heart beats hard against my breast. 

So hard — can I confide now ? 
No ! confidence might break my rest, 

And faith will not be tried now. 

Oft, in the crowd, we trip and fall. 

And who escape are fewest : 
I hear my own deliverer call — 

Of all the true the truest. 

But, silly maiden ! look around, 

And see thy cherish'd treasure ; 
Who rests or tarries never found 

And ne'er deserv'd a pleasure. 

Should he disclose his love to me 

Whilst in this forest straying. 
Were there a tongue in every tree, 

What might they not be saying !" 

BATAVIAN ANTHOLOGY. 
HUGO GROTIUS. 

HuiG DE Groot (commonly known by the 
name of Hugo Grotius) was born at Delft on 
the 10th of April, 1583. When he was only 



10 POETRY AND POETS. 

fifteen years old, Henry the Fourth called him 
the Wonder of Holland : at eighteen, he ob- 
tained, as a Latin poet, a distinguished reputa- 
tion. Of his classical attainments and general 
knowledge we need scarcely speak ; they are 
every where felt and allowed. His very name 
calls up all that the imagination can conceive of 
greatness and true fame. 

His most elaborate poem in the Dutch 
language, Bewijs van denwaeren Godtsdiesnt 
(Evidence of the true Religion,) was written 
during his confinement at Louvesteijn, in the 
year 1611. He laid the ground- work of that 
attention to religious duties which is so uni- 
versal in Holland. The authority of his great 
name, always associated Avith Christianity — 
with peace — with literature — with freedom and 
suffering and virtue — has ever been a bulwark 
of truth and morals. Holland is at this mo- 
ment disturbed by a renewal of the contro- 
versy in which Grotius and Barneveldt took 
the leading part j and it would seem as if the 
better cause has the weaker advocates. The 
modest epitaph which Grotius wrote for himself 
covers his remains at Delft : 

" Grotius hie Hugo est, Batavuin captivus et exul. 
Legatus regni, Suecia magna, tui." 



POETRY AND POETS. 11 

His poetical works in his native language seem 
hardly worthy of his astonishing reputation. His 
son Pieter de Groot was a more successful Dutch 
poet than his illustrious father. A single spe- 
cimen may be allowed to intrude, if it were only 
that it is the production of Hugo Grotius. It 
is the Dedication of the religious poem which 
we have mentioned. 

Neemt naet onwaerdig aen dit werkstuk mijner handen. 

" Receive not with disdain this product from my hand, 
O mart of all the world ! O dower of Netherland ! 
Fair Holland! Let this live, tho' I may not, with thee 
My bosom's queen ! I show e'en now how fervently 
I've lov'd thee through all change— thy good and evil 

days — 
And love, and still will love, till life itself decays. 
If here be aught on which thou may'st a thought bestow. 
Thank Him without whose aid no good from man can flow. 
If errors meet thy view, i-emember kindly then 
What gathering clouds obscure the feeble eyes of men ; 
And rather spare than blame this humble work of mine, 
And think 'Alas! 'twas made — 'twas made at Louves- 

teijn." 

BATAVIAN ANTHOLOGY. 



• Louvesteijn was the place of confinement whence his 
wife liberated him. 



12 POETRY AND POETS. 

WHY ARE PROFESSIONAL MEN INDIFFERENT 
POETS ? 

Professional avocations have a deadening 
influence on the finer sensibilities of the mind ; 
they destroy and annihilate our loftier aspira- 
tions, and reduce all that we perceive and feel 
to the dull standard of reality. Many of the 
great poets lived in the infancy of science, and 
the great ones who have lived as it was ap- 
proaching maturity, have endeavoured as much 
as possible to blind their eyes to its progress ; 
and to represent things as they seem, and not as 
they can be demonstrated to be. 

Professional avocations are entirely at variance 
with the phantasms of imagination. It is theore- 
tically a fine thing, (for instance,) to make the 
practice of law a profession, to devote our lives 
to the distribution of justice, to settle the diffe- 
rences of our neighbours, to come forward as 
the advocate of the oppressed, to plead the cause 
of the innocent, and to be the champion of those 
who have no earthly help. Nor is it a less fine 
thing to alleviate the corporeal sufferings of our 
fellow creatures, to smooth the pillow of sick- 
ness^ to disseminate the blessing of health, and 



POKTRY AND POETS. 



13 



to cause the languid and filmy eye of the dying 
man to look a blessing on our kind, though en- 
deavours are unavailing. Turn the picture; and 
what do we behold in the actual and breathing 
world ? The lawyer selling his eloquence to the 
support of any cause, and prostituting his talents 
for the sake of gain ; while the physician mea- 
sures out his kindnesses and attentions in the 
direct ratio of his expectations of being repaid. 

It is not to be supposed that a divine, one 
who has made the oracles of truth his chief 
study, and the promulgation of them the serious 
business of his life, could even for a moment 
throw over his lines the flush of the ancient su- 
perstitions, at once so imaginative and poetical ; 
and describe Jupiter in the conclave of Deities 
on the top of Olympus, instead of the everlast- 
ing and omnipresent " I AM," whose shadow 
Moses saw in the burning bush ; and, instead of 
the sun and moon, which he has created, deli- 
neate Apollo with the golden bow, " the lord of 
poesy and light," and Diana with her wood- 
nymphs. 

It is not to be supposed that he will coincide in 
the opinions of a Dante, or a Homer, or promul- 
gate their sublime, but often vague and absurd 



14 POETRY AND POETS. 

illustrations of religion and morality ; in making 
the princely game of war the theme of his muse, 
and accounting the savage valour of the comba- 
tants as the acme of perfection ; or distort the 
doctrine of future rewards and punishments into 
a scheme of his own formation. His poetry must 
of necessity be regulated by the principles he 
professes, and by the views which it is his duty 
to inculcate. 

Can it for a moment be supposed that a phy- 
sician, one whose business it is to be acquainted 
with the weaknesses and miserable diseases to 
which our bodies are subject ; that one whose 
daily occupation is the inspection of loathsome 
sores, and putrifying ulcers ; could, in despite of 
his own observations, preserve, in the penetralia 
of his mind, a noble and unblemished image of 
human beauty ; or that the anatomist, who has 
glutted over the debasing and repellent horrors 
of a dissecting table, where the severed limbs of 
his fellow creatures, "the secrets of the grave," 
are displayed in hideous deformity, to satisfy 
the hysena-lust of knowledge, could look upon a 
female face with the rapture which the mind 
that conceived Shakspeare's Juliet must have 
done ? or with that sense of angelic delicacy. 



POETRY AND POETS. 15 

which must have penetrated the mind of Spen- 
ser, ere he conceived the glorious idea of 

*' Heavenly Una, with her milk-white lamb ? 

Nor is it to be supposed that the lawyer, one 
whose youthful days, the days of the romance 
and chivalry of the imagination, are spent in 
poring over volumes, which can only operate in 
rendering " darkness visible," and in wrapping 
up that in mystery and clouds which nature in- 
tended to form as clear as " daylight truth's sa- 
lubrious skie^/' should unlearn what he has 
learned; and, deeming 

" where ignorance is bliss, 



'Tis folly to be wise," 

at length accord to the omnipotence of Virtue, 
and agree with JMilton in his ' Comus,' that the 
lion of the desert itself would turn away abashed 
from the face of innocent beauty. Lord JMans- 
field, ere he devoted his attention to " law's dry 
musty arts," shewed so great an aptitude for 
polite letters, that Pope himself bewails 

" How sweet an Ovid was in Murray lost." 

And Judge Blackstone, ere he thought of com- 



16 POETRY AND POETS. 

posing his Commentaries on the Laws, Avrote 
verses, which at least augured well of what he 
might have accomplished in that way. Aken- 
side brought out his ' Pleasures of Imagination/ 
when a very young man ; took to the study of 
medicine, was made physician to the Queen, and 
then published lyrics, which nobody cares about 
reading. 

As Wordsworth most truly and poetically 
observes, 

' ' The world is too much with us, early and late." 

Counting-houses and ledgers have taken the 
place of generosity, romance, and chivalry ; and 
though they have made us richer, have undoubt- 
edly added little to our intellectual character as 
a nation. Life has become a scene of every- 
day experience, of sickness, dullness, and forma- 
lity ; etiquette has succeeded to simplicity, and 
ardour of spirit has left its place to politeness. 
In a short time, it will be impossible for us to 
conceive of such men as Alfred, or Lord Surrey, 
James Crichton, or Sir Philip Sidney. 

The poetry of life is the sublimated essence of 
human existence, and not the every-day casual- 
ties that surround us and beset us ; consequent- 



POETRY AND POETS. 17 

ly an incessant intercourse with these alone, and 
the perpetual exercise of the judging and rea- 
soning faculties, obliging the imagination to lie 
unused and dormant, has a deadening, a chil- 
ling, a withering influence on the mind, and 
tends entirely to obliterate those feelings and 
aspirations, on which the production of poetry 
depends. The poetical constitution, above all 
others, is remarkable for its delicacy, as the fine- 
ness of its conceptions sufficiently indicates ; and 
it, no doubt, is as impossible to preserve this 
undestroyed, and untainted, amid the dull rou- 
tine of the world, as it would be to expect fleet- 
ness and nimbleness in the animal that has been 
accustomed to the slow step and unvarying 
paces of a loaded wain. The beauty of the fields 
and the sublimity of the mountains come to be 
considered in no other light, but tliat of their 
utility, as being barren of pasture, or rich of 
grain, what rent they bring, and what is the 
extent of their acres. The ocean, whose waters 
teach " Eternity, — Eternity, and Power," comes 
to be regarded, only in as far as it furnishes a 
communication between us and distant lands, for 
the extension of commerce. Man, " with the 
human face divine," is not considered so much 



18 POETRY AND POETS. 

as a Being of majestic attributes, and an immor- 
tal destiny, but as being of few days, and full 
of ti'ouble, a petty insignificant creature, full of 
fraud and deceit, and selfishness, and subject to 
an infinite variety of diseases and infirmities. 
Woman is not the demi-celestial object, without 
whose presence earth would be a wilderness, 
the paragon of ideal beauty, subsisting on the 
strength of the affections, which bind her to 
stronger man ; but a necessary part of society, 
increasing its comforts, and keeping up the race. 
Childhood is not the state of innocent beauty 
and simplicity, of piu-e thovights and warm feel- 
ings, but the idiocy of our minds, which re- 
quires training, and correction, and cultivation, 
to render us sober men, and useful citizens. 

These are the common opinions of society, the 
chilling and disheartening truths, which we 
hear from all lips " every day, and all day long," 
— and they are unpoetical. How is it to be 
supposed, then, that the men who are continually 
exposed to the withering influence of these cur- 
rent maxims, and who, to preserve unanimity, 
are obliged to echo them back, and to concur 
in their infallibity — ^how is it to be supposed, 
that they are to throw off the load that 



POETRY AND POETS. 19 

oppresses them — to forget what they hear every 
day — and to shut their eyes to every thing 
that is passing around them — and, in despite 
of their contracted and desolate view of human 
nature and the external world, form a bower of 
happiness for themselves, in the paradise of 
imagination ?* 

Addison's opinion of blank verse. 

" Mr. Addison was not a good-natured man, 
and very jealous of rivals. Being one evening 
in company with Philips, and the poems of 
Blenheim and The Campaign being talked of, he 
made it his whole business to run down blank 
verse. Philips never spoke till between eleven 
and twelve o'clock, nor even then could do it in 
his defence. It was at Jacob Tonson's ; and a 
gentleman in the company ended the dispute by 
asking Jacob what poem he ever got the most 
by } Jacob immediately named Milton's Para- 
dise Lost." 

spence. 



' We are indebted for this able article to " Blackwood's 
MagaziDc." 

VOL. III. C 



20 POETRY AND POETS- 

DRYDEN AND DR. LOCKIER. 

" I WAS about seven years old, when I first 
came up to town, an odd looking boy, with 
short rough hair, and that sort of awkwardness 
which one always brings up at first out of the 
country with one. However, in spite of my 
bashfulness and appearance, I used, now and 
then, to thrust myself into Wills' s, to have the 
pleasure of seeing the most celebrated wits of 
that time, who then resorted thither. The se- 
cond time that I was ever there, Mr. Dryden 
was speaking of his own things, as he frequently 
did, especially of such as had lately been pub- 
lished. ' If any thing of mine is good,' says he, 
' 'tis ' Mac Flecno ;' and I value myself the more 
upon it, because it is the first piece of ridicule 
written in heroics.' On hearing this I plucked 
up my spirit so far as to say, in a voice just loud 
enough to be heard, that 'Mac Flecno' was a very 
fine poem, but that I had not imagined it to be 
the first that was ever writ that way.' On this, 
Dryden- turned short upon me, as surprised at 
my interposing ; asked me how long I had been 
a dealer in poetry ; and added, with a smile, 
' Pray, Sir, what is it that you did imagine to 



POETRY AND POETS. 2l 

have been writ so before ?' I named Boileau's 
'Lutrin/ and Tassoni's 'Secchia Rapita;' which I 
had read, and knew Dryden had borrowed some 
strokes from each. — ' 'Tis true,' said Dryden, ' I 
had forgot them.' — A little after, Dryden went 
out ; and, in going, spoke to me again, and de- 
sired me to come and see him the next day. I 
was highly delighted with the invitation ; went 
to see him accordingly : and was well acquaint- 
ed with him after as long as he lived." 

DR. LOCKIER, from SPENCE's ' ANECDOTES.' 
MRS. MARY TIGHE. 

This very superior female, both in mind and 
acquirements, was a native of the Sister Isle. 
Her beautiful poem of " Psyche" will be remem- 
bered as long as elegance and classical taste can 
excite admiration, nor will her minor poems be 
soon forgotten. With the profits arising from 
the publication of these effusions of genius, a 
Hospital Ward has been endowed and attached 
to the House of Refuge, (a charitable institu- 
tion formed by her mother, in the county of 
Wicklow,) which is called * The Psyche Ward.' 

The following verses were the last production 
of this highly gifted and amiable being, penned 



22 POETRY AND POETS. 

only three months before her death, and under 
the pressure of an illness plainly prophetic of a 
fatal termination. 

ON RECEIVING A BRANCH OF MEZERON, WHICH FLOWERED 
AT WOODSTOCK, IN DECEMBER, 1809. 

Odours of Spring '. my sense ye charm 

With fragrance premature, 
And since these days of dark alarm. 

Almost to hope allure. 

Methinks, with purpose soft you come 

To tell of brighter hours. 
Of May's blue skies, abundant bloom. 

The sunny gales and showers. 

Alas ! for me shall May in vain 

The powers of life restore ; 
'JTiese eyes that weep and watch in pain 

Shall see her charms no more. 

, No, No, this anguish cannot last ; 
Beloved friends, adieu ! 
The bitterness of death were past 
Could I resign but you. 

But oh ! in every mortal pang 

That rends my soul from life, 
That soul, which seems on you to hang, 

Through each convulsive strife ; — 



Q 



POETRY AND POETS. 2 

Even now with agonizing grasp 

Of sorrow and regret. 
To all in life its love would clasp, 

Clings close and closer yet. 

Vet why, immortal vital spark ! 

Thus mortally opprest? 
Look up, ray soul, through prospects dark ! 

And bid thy sorrows rest. 

Forget, forego thy earthly part, 

Tliine heavenly being trust ; 
Ah ! vain attempt ; my coward heart, 

Still shuddering, clings to dust. 

Oh ye, who soothe the pangs of death 

With love's own patient care, 
Still, still, retain this fleeting breath, 

Still pour the fervent prayer. 

wycherley's marriage. 
Wycherley's nephew, on whom his estate 
was entailed (but with power to settle a widoVs 
jointure,) would not consent to his selling any 
part of it ; which he wanted much to do, to pay 
his debts, about a thousand pounds. He had, 
therefore, long resolved to marry ; in order to 
make a settlement from the estate, to pay off 
his debts with his wife's fortune : and ' to plague 
his damned nephew,' as he used to express it. 



24 POETRY AND POETS. 

This was just about the time he had intended 
for it: as he only wanted to answer those ends 
by marrying ; and dreaded the ridicule of the 
world for marrying while he was old. After 
allj the woman he did marry proved a cheat; 
and was a cast mistress of the person who re- 
commended her to him ; and was supplied by 
nim with money for her wedding clothes. 

After Wycherley's death, there were law quar- 
rels about the settlement. Theobald was the at- 
torney employed by his old friend ; and it was 
by their means that Theobald came to have 
Wycherley's papers in his hands. 

SPENCE. 

GEORGE BOLEYN. 

Olde Rochfort clombe the statilie throne 
Which Muses hold in Hellicone. 

George Boleyn, Viscount Rochford, was 
Son of Sir Thomas Boleyn, afterwards Earl of 
Wiltshire and Ormond, and at Oxford disco- 
vered an early propensity to polite letters and 
poetry. He was appointed to several dignities 
and offices by King Henry VIIT. whose second 
unfortunate queen was his sister. With her he 
was suspected of a criminal familiarity, the 



POETRY AND POETS. 25 

chief ptoof of which appears to have been, that 
he was seen to whisper with her one morning 
while she was in bed. As he had been raised 
by the exaltation, he was involved in the mis- 
fortunes, of that injured princess, who had no 
other fault but an unguarded and indiscreet 
frankness of nature ; and whose character has 
been blackened (without measure and without 
end) by the bigoted historians of the Catholic 
party, merely because she was the mother of 
Queen Elizabeth. 

To gratify the ostensible jealousy of the King, 
who had conceived a violent passion for a new 
object, this amiable nobleman was beheaded on 
the first of May, 1536. His elegance of person, 
and sprightly conversation, captivated all the 
ladies of Henry's Court. Wood says, that at the 
" royal Court he was much adored, especially by 
the female sex, for his admirable discourse, and 
symmetry of body." From these irresistible 
allurements his enemies endeavoured to give a 
plausibility to their infamous charge of an inces- 
tuous connection. After his commitment to the 
Tower, his sister, the Queen, on being sent to 
the same place, asked the lieutenant, with a de- 
gree of eagerness, " Oh ! where is my sweet bro- 



26 POETRY AND POETS. 

ther ?" Here was a specious confirmation of his 
imagined guilt ; and this stroke of natural ten- 
derness was too readily interpreted into a licen- 
tious attachment. 

Bale mentions his "Rhythmi elegantissimi," 
of which Wood speaks as consisting of " several 
Poems, Songs, and Sonnets, with other things of 
the like nature." Warton suspects that some of 
the compositions of this amiable victim to the 
tyranny of the most lustful and sanguinary mon- 
ster that ever sat upon the English throne are 
inserted among the "Uncertain Authors," in Sur- 
rey's Poems ; which, by the way, attribute ex- 
pressly to Sir Thomas Wyatt a performance of 
singular merit ; — the Author's address to his 
lute, which the Editor of the " Nugae Antiquae" 
ascribes to ' the Earl of Rochford,' a title which, 
hs Ritson observes, never existed. 

MOORISH BALLADS. 

The truest and best proof of the liberality 
of the old Spaniards, is to be found in their 
beautiful ballads. Throughout the far greater 
part of these compositions, many of which must 
be, at least, as old as the 10th century, there 
breathes a charming sentiment of charity and 



POETRY AND POETS. 27 

humanity towards those Moorish enemies with 
whom the combats of the national heroes are 
represented. 

The Spaniards and the Moors lived together 
in their villages beneath the calmest of skies, 
and sun-ounded with the most lovely of land- 
scapes. In spite of their adverse faiths — in 
spite of their adverse interests — they had much 
in common — loves, and sports, and recreations — 
nay, sometimes their haughtiest recollections 
were in common, and even their heroes were 
the same. Bernard de Carpio, Alphonso VI., 
the Cid himself — every one of the favourite 
heroes of the Spanish nation had, at some period 
or other of his life, fought beneath the standard 
of the Crescent ; and the minstrels of either na- 
tion might, therefore, in regard to sorne instances 
at least, have equal pride in the celebration of 
their prowess. The praises which the Arab 
poets granted to them in their Monwachchah, or 
girdle verses, were repeated by liberal enco- 
miums on Moorish valour and generosity, in 
Castillian and Arragonese Redondillera.s. Even 
in the ballads most exclusively devoted to the 
celebration of some feat of Spanish heroism, it 
is quite common to find some redeeming com- 



28 POETRY AND POETS. 

pliment to the Moors mixed with the strain 
of exultation. Take, for example, the famous 
ballad on Don Raymon of Butrago — translated 
in the " Edinburgh Annual Register" for 1816. 

" Your horse is faint, my king, my lord, your gallant horse 

is sick, 
His limbs are torn, his breast is gored, on his eye the 

film is thick ; 
Mount, mount on mine, oh mount apace, I pray thee 

mount and fly, 
Or in my arms I'll lift your Grace— their trampling hoofs 

are nigh. 

My King, my King, you're wounded sore, the blood runs 

from your feet. 
But only lay your hand before, and I'll lift ye to your 

seat; 
Mount, Juan, mount — the Moors are near, I hear the 

Arab cry, 
Oh mount and fly for jeopardy, I'll save ye though I die. 

Stand, noble steed, this hour of need, be gentle as a lamb, 
I'll kiss the foam from off thy mouth, thy master dear 

I am ; 
— Mount, Juan, ride, whate'er betide, away the bridle 

fling, 
And plunge the rowels in his side— Bavieca, save my 

King. 
***** 



POETRY AND POETS. 29 

Kiug Juan's horse fell lifeless— Don Raymon's horse 

stood by, 
Nor king, nor lord, would mount him, they both prepare 

to die ; 
'Gainst the same tree their backs they placed — they 

hacked the King in twain, 
Don Raymon's arms the corpse embraced, and so they 

both were slain. — 

But when tlie Moor Almazor beheld what had been done, 
He oped Lord Raymond's visor, while down his tears did 

run; 
He oped his visor, stooping then he hissed the forehead cold, 
God grant may ne'er to Christian men this Moorish shame 

be told." 

Even in the more remote and ideal chivalries 
celebrated in the Castillian ballads, the parts of 
glory and greatness were just as frequently at- 
tributed to Moors as to Christians; — Calaynos 
was a name as familiar as Guyferos. At some- 
what a later period, when the Conquest of 
Granada had mingled the Spaniards still more 
effectually with the persons and manners of the 
Moors, we find the Spanish poets still fonder of 
celebrating the heroic achievements of IMoors : 
and, without doubt, this their liberality towards 
the " Knights of Granada, Gentlemen, albeit 



30 POETRY AND POETS. 

Moors," must have been very gratifying to the 
former subjects of King Chico. It must have 
counteracted the bigotry of Confessors and 
Mollahs, and tended to inspire both nations with 
sentiments of kindness and mutual esteem. 
Bernard de Carpio, above all the rest, was the 
common property and pride of both people. 
Of his all-romantic life, the most romantic in- 
cidents belonged equally to both. It was with 
jMoors that he allied himself, when he rose up 
to demand vengeance from King Alphonso, for 
the murder of his father. It was with Moorish 
brethren in arms, that he marched to fight 
against Charlemagne, for the independence of 
the Spanish soil. It was in front of a Moorish 
host, that Bernard couched his lance, victorious 
alike over valour and magic — 

" When Roland brave and Oliver, 
And many a Paladin and Peer, 
At Roncesvalles fell.—" 

All the picturesque details, in fine, of that 
splendid, and not unfrequently, perhaps, fa- 
bulous career, were sung witli equal transport 
to the shepherd's lute on the hills of Leon, and 



POETRY AND POETS. 31 

the courtly guitars of the AlgeneralifFe, or the 
Alhamra. 

The history of the children of Lara is another 
series from which many rich illustrations of our 
proposition might be borrowed ; but we decline 
entering upon it at present^ for similar reasons : 
and as to the ballads of the Campeador himself, 
our readers may refer to the best of them, 
translated by iMr. Frere.* The dark and bloody 
annals of Pedro the Cruel are narrated in 
another long and exquisite series. As a speci- 
men of the style in which they are written, 
we present our readers with the following, con- 
taining the narrative of the Tyrant's murder of 
Blanche of Bourbon, his young and innocent 
Queen, whom he sacrificed, very shortly after 
his marriage, to the jealous hatred of his Jewish 
mistress, IMaria de Pedilla. 

'* THE DEATH OF QUEEN BLANCHE. 

Maria de Pedilla, be uot thus of dismal mood, 

For if I twice have wedded me, it all was for thy good; 

But if upon Queen Blanche ye will that I some scorn should 

show, 
For a banner to Medina my messenger shall go ; 

• At the end of Southey's History of the Cid. 



32 POETRY AND POETS. 

The work shall be of Blanche's tears, of Blanche's blood 

the ground ; 
Such pennon shall they weave for thee, such sacrifice be 

found. 

Then to the Lord of Ortis, that excellent Baron, 
He said, now hear me, Ynigo, forthwith for this begone. 
Then answer luade Don Ynigo, such gift I ne'er will bring. 
For he that harmeth Lady Blanche, doth harm my Lord 

the King. 
Then Pedro to his chamber went, his cheek was burning 

red. 
And to a bowman of his guard the dark command he said. 

The bowman to Medina pass'd, when the Queen beheld 

him near, 
Alas ! she said, my maidens, he brings my death, I fear. 
Then said the archer, bending low, the King's command- 
ment take. 
And see thy soul be order'd well with God that did it make. 
For lo ! thine hour is come, therefrom no refuge may there 

be- 
Then gently spoke the Lady Blanche, my friend, I pardon 

thee ; 
Do what thou wilt, so be the King hath his commandment 

given. 
Deny me not confession— if so, forgive ye, heaven. 
Much griev'd the bowman for her tears and for her beauty's 

sake. 
While thus Queen Blanche of Bourbon her last complaint 

did make ; — 



POETRY AND POE'fS. 33 

' Oh France ! my noble country — oh blood of high Bouibon, 
Not eighteen years have I seen out, before my life is gone. 

' The King hath never known me. A virgin true I die. 
Whate'er I've done, to proud Castille no treason e'er did f . 
The crown they put upon my head was a crown of blood 

and sighs, 
God grant me soon another crown more precious in the 

skies.' 
These words she spake, then down she knelt, and took the 

bowman's blow — 
Her tender neck was cut in twain, and out her blood did 

flow." 

After this series, in all the collections we have 
seen, the greater part of the ballads are altogether 
Moorish in their subjects ; and of these, we shall 
now proceed to give a few specimens. They 
are every way interesting ; but, above all, as 
monuments, for such we unquestionably consider 
them to be, of the manners and customs of a 
noble nation, of whose race no relics now remain 
on the soil they so long ennobled. Composed 
originally by a Moor or a Spaniard, (it is often 
very difficult to determine by which of the two,) 
they were sung in the village-greens of Anda- 
lusia in either language, but to the same tunes, 
and Listened to with equal pleasure by man. 



34 



POETRY AND POETS. 



woman, and child— IMussulman and Christian. 
In* these strains, whatever other merits or de- 
merits they may possess, we are, at least, pre- 
sented with a lively picture of the life of the 
Arabian Spaniard. We see him as he was in 
reality, " like steel among weapons, like w^ax 
among women." 

The greater part of these ballads refer to the 
period immediately preceding the downfall of 
the throne of Granada — the amours of that 
sj^lendid Court — the bull-feasts and other spec- 
tacles, in which its lords and ladies delighted ' 
no less than the Christian Courts of Spain — the 
bloody feuds of the two great Moorish families 
of the Zegris and the Abencerrages, which con- 
tributed so largely to the ruin of the Moorish 
cause — and the incidents of that last war itself, 
in which the power of the Mussulman was en- 
tirely overthrown by the arms of Ferdinand 
and Isabella. The following specimens, of the 
amatory kind, will speak for themselves. 

" ANDALLA's BRmAL. 

I. 

Rise up — rise up, Xarifa, lay the golden cushion down, 
Rise up, come to the window, and gaze with all the Town 



POETRV AND POETS. 35 

From gay guitar and violiu the silver uotes are flowing. 
And the lovely lute doth speak between the trumpet's 

lordly blowing; 
And banners bright from lattice light are wa^aug every- 
where. 
And the tall tall plume of our cousin's bridegroom floats 

proudly in the air : 
Rise up, rise up, Xarifa, lay the golden cushion down. 
Rise up, come to the window, and gaze with all the Town. 

II. 
Arise, arise, Xarifa, I see Audalla's face, 
He bends him to the people with a calm and princely grace ; 
Through all the land of Xeres and banks of Guadalquiver, 
Rode forth bridegroom so brave as he, so brave and lovely, 

never. 
Yon tall plume waving o'er his brow of azure mix'd with 

white, 
I guess 'twas wreath'd by Zara, whom he will wed to-night. 
Rise uj), rise up, Xarifa, lay the golden cusliion down. 
Rise up, come to the window, and gaze with all the Town. 

III. 

" Whataileth thee, Xarifa, what makes thine eyes look 

down ? 
Why stay ye from the window far, nor gaze with all the 

Town ? 
I've heard you say, on many a day, and sure you said the 

truth, 
Andalla rides witliout a peer, among all Granada's youth. 
roL. 111. D 



36 POETRY AND POETS. 

Witliouta peer he rideth, and yon milk-white horse doth go 
Beneath his stately master, with a stately step and slow; 
Then rise, oh rise, Xarifa- — lay the golden cushion down, 
Unseen here through the lattice, you may gaze with all the 
Town." 

IV. 

The Zegri Lady rose not, nor laid her cushion down, 
Nor came she to the window to gaze with all the Town ; — 
But tho' her eyes dwelt on her knee, in vain her fingers 

strove, 
And tho' her needle press'd the silk, no flower Xarifa wove ; 
One bonny rose-bud she had traced, before the noise drew 

nigli— - 
That bonny bud a tear effaced slow drojiping from her eye. 
" No — no," she sighs — " bid me not rise, nor lay my 

cushion down, 
To gaze upon Andalla with all the gazing Town." 

V. 

" Why rise ye not, Xarifa, nor lay your cushion down ? 
Wily gaze ye not, Xarifa, with all the gazing Town ? 
Hear, hear the trumpet how it swells, and how the people, 

cry,— 
He stops at Zara's palace-gate — why sit ye still — oh why ?" 
" At Zara's gate stops Zara's mate; in him shall I 

discover 
Tlie dark-eyed youth pledged me his truth with tears, and 

was my lover ? 
I will not rise, with weary eyes, nor lay my cushion down, 
To gaze on false Andalla with all the gazing Town." 



POETRY AND POETS. 37 

" zara's ear-rings. 

I. 

' My ear-rings! my ear-rings 1 they've dropt into the well, 
Aud what to say to INIu^a, I cannot, cannot tell ;'— 
'Twas thus Granada's fountain by, spoke Albuharez' 

daughter ; 
' The well is deep, far down they lie, beneath the cold blue 

water — 
To me did Muqa give them, when he spake his sad farewell. 
And what to say when he comes back, alas 1 I cannot tell. 

II. 
My ear-rings I my ear-rings ! they were pearls in silver set, 
'ITiat, when my Moor was far away, I ne'er should him 

forget ; 
That I ne'er to other tongue should list, nor smile on others' 

tale, 
But remember he my lips had kiss'd, pure as those ear 

rings pale — 
When he comes back, and hears that I have dropp'd them 

in the well. 
Oh what will Mu9a think of me, 1 cannot, cannot tell. 

III. 
My ear-rings ! my ear-rings 1 he'll say they should have 

been, 
Not of pearl and of silver, but of gold and glittering sheen, 
Of jasper and of onyx, and of diamond shining clear. 
Changing to the changing light, with radiance insincere — 



38 POf:TRY AND POETS. 

That changeful mind unchanging gems are not befitting 

well- 
Thus will he think — and what to say, alas ! T cannot tell. 

IV. 

He'll think when I to market went, I loiter'd by the way — 
He'll think a willing ear I lent to all the lads might say — 
He'll think some other lover's hand, among my tresses 

noos'd. 
From the ears where he had placed them, my rings of 

pearl unloos'd — 
He'll think when I was sporting so beside this marble well. 
My pearls fell in — and what to say, alas ! I cannot tell. 

V. 
He'll say 1 am a woman, and we are all the same — 
He'll say I lov'd when he was here to whisper of his flame- 
But when he went to Tunis, my virgin troth had broken. 
And thought no more of Mu9a, and cared not for his token. 
My ear-rings! my ear-rings! oh! luckless, luckless well. 
For what to say to Mu^a, alas ! I cannot tell. 

VI. 
I'll tell the truth to Mu(ja, and I hope he will believe — 
That I thought of him at morning, and thought of him at 

eve — 
That musing on my lover, when down the sun was gone. 
His ear-rings in my hand 1 held, by the fountain all alone. 
And that my mind was o'er the sea, when from my hand 

they fell. 
And that deep his love lies in my heart, as they lie in the 

well." 



POETRY AND POETS. 39 

DEATH OF LORD BYRON. 

The following very affecting letter from one 
who was intimate with^ and highly esteemed 
by. Lord Byron, cannot fail of interesting every 
reader. It is extracted from the Hon. Colonel 
Leycester Stanhope's Journal, entitled " Greece 
in 1823 and 1824;" the 2nd Edition of which, 
comprising the Colonel's reminiscences of Lord 
Byron, has just met the public eye. 

" From Capt. Trelawny to Col. Stanhope. 
" Missolonghi, April 28th, 1824. 
" My dear Colonel, 

" With all my anxiety, I could not get 
here before the third day. It was the second, 
after having crossed the first great torrent, that 
I met some soldiers from Missolonghi. I had 
let them all pass me, ere I had resolution enough 
to inquire the news from IMissolonghi. I then 
rode back, and demanded of a straggler the 
news. I heard nothing more than — ' Lord Byron 
is dead,' — and I proceeded on in gloomy silence. 
With all his faults, I loved him truly; he is 
connected with every event of the most inte- 
resting years of my wandering life : his every- 
day companion, — we lived in ships, boats, and 
in houses together, — we had no secrets — no re- 



40 POETRY AND POETS. 

serve, and, though we often differed in opinion, 
never quarrelled. If it gave me pain witnessing 
his frailties, he only wanted a little excitement 
to awaken and put forth virtues that redeemed 
them all. He was an only child, — early an 
orphan, — the world adopted him and spoilt 
him, — ^Jiis conceptions were so noble when his 
best elements were aroused, that we, his friends, 
considered it pure inspiration. He was violent 
and capricious. 

" In one of his moments of frailty, two years 
back, he could think of nothing which could 
give him so much pleasure as saving money, and 
he talked of nothing but its accvimulation, and 
the power and respect it would be the means of 
giving him; and so much did he indulge in this 
contemptible vice, that we, his friends, began to 
fear it would become his leading passion : how- 
ever, as in all his other passions, he indulged it 
to satiety, and then grew weary. I was absent 
from him in Rome when he wrote pie from 
Genoa, and said, ' Trelawny, you must have 
heard I am going to Greece ; why do you not 
come to me ? I can do nothing without you, 
and am exceedingly anxious to see you : pray 
come, for I am at last determined to go to Greece, 
it is the only place I was ever contented in. I 



POETRY AND POETS. 41 

am serious, and did not write before, as I might 
have given you a journey for nothing: they all 
say I can be of use to Greece ; I do not know 
how, nor do they ; but, at all events, let's go.' 
I who had long despaired of getting him out of 
Italy, to which he had become attached from 
habit, indolence, and strong ties; I lost no time; 
every thing was hurried on, and, from the mo- 
ment he left Genoa, though twice driven back, 
his ruling passion became ambition of a name, 
or, rather, by one great effort, to wipe out the 
memory of those deeds which his enemies had 
begun to rather freely descant on in the public 
prints, and to make his name as great in glorious 
acts, as it already was by his writings. 

" He wrote a song, the other day, on his 
birth-day, his thirty-sixth year, strongly ex- 
emplifying this. — It is the most beautiful and 
touching of all his songs, for he was not very 
happy at composing them. It is here amongst 
his papers. 

* If thou regret thy youth, why live ? 
The land of honourable death 
Is here. Up to the field and give 

Away thy breath. 
Awake ! mt Greece, hUc id awake ! 
Awake I mt) spirit.' 



42 POETRY AND POETS. 

" He died on the 19th April, at six o'clock at 
night ; the two last days he was altogether in- 
sensible, and died so, apparently without pain. 
From the first moment of his illness, he ex- 
pressed on this, as on all former occasions, his 
dread of pain and fearlessness of death. He 
talked chiefly of Ada, both in his sensible and 
insensible state. He had much to say, and 
many directions to leave, as was manifest from 
his calling Fletcher, Tita, Gamba, Parry, to his 
bed-side : his lips moved, but he could articulate 
nothing distinctly. ' Ada — my sister — wife — 
say — do you understand my directions?' said he, 
to Fletcher, after muttering thus for half an 
hour, about — ■' Say this to Ada,' — ' this to my 
sister,' — wringing his hands ; ' Not a word, my 
Lord,' said Fletcher. — ' That's a pity,' said he, 
* for 'tis now too late, — for I shall die or go 
mad.' He then raved, said — ' I will not live a 
madman, for I can destroy myself.' I know the 
reason of this fear he had of losing his senses ; 
he had lately, on his voyage from Italy, read, 
with deep interest, ' Swift's Life,' and was 
always talking to me of his horrible fate. 

" Byron's malady was a rheumatic fever ; was 
brought on by getting wet after violent per- 
spiration from hard riding, and neglecting to 



POETRY AND POETS. 43 

change his clothes. Its commencement was 
trifling. On the 10th, he was taken ill; his 
Doctors urged him to be bled, but this was one 
of his greatest prejudices, — ^he abhorred bleed- 
ing. Medicine was not efficient; the fever gained 
rapid ground, and on the third day the blood 
shewed a tendency to mount to his head: he 
then submitted to bleeding, but it proved too 
late ; it had already affected his brain, and this 
caused his death. Had he submitted to bleeding 
on its first appearance, he would have assuredly 
recovered in a few days. 

" On opening him, a great quantity of blood 
was found in the head and brain : the latter, 
his brain, the Doctor says, was a third greater 
in quantity than is usually found, weighing four 
pounds. His heart is likewise strikingly large, 
but performed its functions feebly, and was very 
exhausted ; his liver much too small, which 
was the reason of that deficiency of bile, which 
necessitated Jiim to continually stimulate his 
stomach by medicine. His body was in a perfect 
state of health and soundness. They say his 
only malady was a strong tendency of the blood 
to mount to the head, and weakness of the 
vessels there; that he could not, for this reason. 



44 



POETRY AND POETS. 



have lived more than six or seven years more. 
I do not exactly understand this ; but the Doctor 
is going to write me a medical account of his 
illness, death, and state of his body. 

" His remains are preparing to send by way 
of Zante to England, he having left no directions 
on this head. I shall ever regret I was not with 
him when he gave up his mortality. 

" Your pardon, Stanhope, that I have turned 
aside from the great cause in which I am em- 
barked ; but this is no private grief; the world 
has lost its greatest man, I my best friend, 
and that must be my excuse for having filled a 
letter with this one subject. To-morrow, (for 
Mavrocordato has delayed my courier till his 
letters are ready,) I will return to duty. 
" Yours, very sincerely, 

" Edward Trelawny." 

robert burns. 

If there could be any doubt as to the disgrace 
which attaches to the gentlemen of Scotland, 
for suffering a man of Bui-ns's talents to de- 
scend to the station of an ordinary exciseman, 
to toil for his daily bread, there can be none 
whatever as to the everlasting shame which they 



POETRY AND POETS. 45 

incurred by allowing him to remain for years 
in that degraded rank. 

When Burns at first applied for a contingent 
appointment in this service, intending to hold it 
as something in reserve against the worst that 
might befal him, he suppressed the feelings 
with which it was impossible for a man of his 
noble and aspiring soul not to regard it; but 
when necessity had at last thrust the situation 
upon him, and when he had seen years pass 
away Avithout any generous offer to raise him 
above it, he scrupled not to avow how much he 
felt it had degraded him. In a letter written 
to Mr. Grahame, of Fintry, to vindicate himself 
from some injurious representations which had 
been made to the Board of Excise, respecting 
his conduct, he has the following eloquent 
passage : 

" Often in blasting anticipation have I listened 
to some future hackney scribbler, with heavy 
malice of savage stupidity, exultingly asserting 
that Burns, notwithstanding the fanfaronade of 
independence to be found in his works, and 
after having been held up to public view, and 
to pubHc estimation, as a man of some genius, 
yet quite destitute of resources within himself 



46 



POETRY AND POETS. 



to support his borrowed dignity, dwindled into 
a iKiUry exciseman, and slunk out the rest of his 
insignificant existence 171 the meanest of jmrsuits 
and among the lowest of mankind. 

" In your illustrious hands. Sir, permit me to 
lodge my strOng disavowal and defiance of such 
slanderous falsehoods. Burns was a poor man 
from his birth, and an exciseman by necessity ; 
but I will say it, the sterling of his honest worth, 
poverty could not debase, and his independent 
British spirit, oppression might bend, but could 
not subdue." 

It has been said, and too often repeated, that 
Burns, during his latter years, nay, from the 
very moment of entering into society, gave him- 
self up to habits of intemperance, and died its 
victim. How little to be envied are the feelings 
of those who can take pleasure in drawing aside 
the veil from the social follies or weaknesses of 
such a man as Burns ! Were the fact even as 
represented, does it become that country which 
so cruelly neglected him, to speak with severity 
of any alleviation which his wounded spirit 
may have sought from the state of humiliation 
and misery to which he was ungenerously con- 
signed.^ Does it become those who imposed 



POETRY AND POETS. 47 

upon him one of " the meanest pursuits," and 
an association with the " lowest of mankind/' to 
talk of the excesses to which he may have fled, 
to lull for the moment the revolting sense of his 
deeradation ? — But the fact has been mis-stated. 
Burns was never the dissolute man that he has 
been represented : he mingled much in society, 
because it was the only sphere in which he could 
gratify that strong, and certainly not injurious, 
passion which he possessed, for observing the 
ways and manners of men; and because the 
active indulgence of this passion was the only 
chance which he had of escape from that con- 
stitutional melancholy which never ceased to 
pursue him. He was fond too, most enthusias- 
tically fond, of the social hour which was spent 
in communion Avith men of souls congenial to 
his own ; and when seated with such over the 
flowing bowl, it is not to be wondered that he 
was sometimes slow to rise : yet whatever might 
be the social pleasures of Burns, he was never 
the man to sacrifice to them either his business, 
his independence, or his self-respect. The su- 
pervisors of his conduct as as an officer, testify 
that he performed all the duties of his office 
with exemplary regularity. The state of his 



48 POETRY AND POETS. 

affairs at his death shew that^ small as his in- 
come was, he kept rigidly within it; and his 
most intimate associates allow that, however 
freely he may have partaken in company, he 
never sunk into habits of solitary indulgence. 

It is not possible, either morally or physically, 
that the man who was thus regular, thus eco- 
nomical, thus privately abstinent, could have 
been the habitual slave of intemperance, which 
some writers would have us believe: that his 
constitution, naturally delicate, may have been 
unequal to the limited indulgences which he 
permitted himself, and that his death may have 
been hastened by them, is but too likely. But 
how much does it not add to his country's shame, 
that, possessing a man of genius, whose loss they 
could never repair, who could only have lived 
long by living with exceeding temperance, that 
he was not placed in a situation of life, where 
the comforts of life, the refinements of elegant 
society, and pursuits of a literary nature, might 
have removed every temptation to live otherwise 
than the good of his health demanded. Burns, 
as he tells us, lived on " for the heart of the man 
and the fancy of the poet :" — he could not exist 
without a plenitude of emotions, and it was not 



POETRY AND POETS. 49 

his fault that he was forced to seek them where 
alone he could find them. 

The fate of Burns may excite compassion; 
but to a person who has at all mingled with that 
elevated class to whom he looked for patronage, 
it can excite no surprise. Was it at all likely 
that a man would be encouraged by his superiors 
in wealth, who had the honesty to tell them that 
he was bred to the plough, and whether they 
chose to patronize him or not, he was inde- 
pendent of them? He was too much in the 
habit of calling things by their right names, to 
bask long in the smiles of the rich and powerful. 
Burns knew the secret of winding himself into 
the favour of the great, as well as any man, but 
he both contemned and abhorred it. He knew 
that to flatter their vices, to laugh at their po- 
litical prostitutions, and, in short, to strive to 
make them think most favourably of themselves, 
was his path to temporal comfort and substantial 
patronage. Honesty and fair fame lay in quite 
a different road; and he unhesitatingly chose 
it, beset as it was with difficulties and terrors. 

It certainly is highly creditable to the Nobles 
and Sages of the "Modern Athens," that now the 
Jiard is (juietly entombed, and can ask nothing 



50 



POETRY AND POETS. 



further at their hands^ these worthies are putting 
statues up to him as if they thought his poetry 
would not be so lasting as their memorials, or 
as if they imagined this tardy recognition of 
his wondrous powers was an " amefide honorable" 
for the neglect and contempt to which he was 
consigned while living. The sculptor who gains 
by their generosity, and the menials who may 
be employed to keep them clean, may thank 
them for erecting these monuments ; but the 
majority of Burns's countrymen will not. His 
poetry lives in their hearts — will live as long as 
time itself shall last; and ages hence, Scotia 
will rejoice in the poetic glory of her honest and 
highly-gifted Ploughman, as universally as she 
does at the present moment. 




POETRY AND POETS. 51 

SIR WALTER SCOTT. 

It is related of Sir Walter Scott, that, not 
long before his " Lay of the Last jMinstrel" 
made its appearance, while crossing the Frith of 
Forth in a ferry-boat, with a friend, they pro- 
posed to beguile the time, by writing a number 
of verses on a given subject ; and at the end of 
an hour's poring and hard study, the product 
of Sir Walter's (then jMr. Scott) fertile brain, 
adding thereto the labours of his friend, was 
six lines. " It is plain," said Scott, to his fellow- 
labourer, then unconscious of his great powers, 
" that you and I need never think of getting 
our living by writing poetry." 

HENRY TEONGE. 

Ajiong our English Song-writers, we must 
not forget to notice the name of this jolly Divine, 
which, although of some antiquity, has never 
been inscribed upon the list until the com- 
mencement of the present year, when the pub- 
lication of his " Diary" first made his pretensions 
known to the world. The character of our 
worthy Chaplain may easily be collected from 
this publication — the only memorial of him 

VOL. in. E 



52 POETRY AND POETS. 

which remains, and which is well worthy of 
the attentive perusal of those who delight to 
contemplate the manners of the " olden time," 
of which, especially as relates to " life at sea," it 
presents a striking picture. 

Writing as he did, without any sort of 
disguise, he exhibits himself, not, indeed, as 
possessing any very constant sense of religious 
obligation, but, considering the laxity of the 
morals of the period in which he lived, and the 
society in which he moved, as affording a very 
respectable specimen of a sea-chaplain of that 
era. — He enjoys his punch and his claret, and 
he revels in the most luxurious description of 
the good cheer by which he was occasionally 
surrounded ; but he appears to have been con- 
stant in the observance of the offices of his 
calling. His mind appears to have been re- 
markably acute and vigorous. He diligently 
observes whatever is new and curious, and 
brings to the subject a considerable share of 
■ book-learning, sometimes, indeed, inaccurate 
and ill-digested, and frequently mixed up with 
a very singular portion of superstition, but 
altogether affording abundant evidence of his 
talents and acquirements. 



POETRY AND POETS. 



53 



His poetical compositions are often very far 
above those of " the mob of gentlemen who write 
with ease;" and some of his ballads, making 
allowance for the bad taste of his age, — the 
Chlorises and the Amyntas, the Phyllises and 
the Amaryllises, are in some respects worthy of 
taking their place amongst the standard com- 
positions of this description. 

In support of this observation, we need only 
adduce the following specimen, the beautv and 
feeling of which, our readers cannot fail justly 
to appreciate. 

" A SONNET, 

Composed October the First, over against the East Part 
of Candia. 
O ! Ginnee was a bony lasse, 

Wliich maks the world to woontler 
How ever it should com to passe 
That wee did part a sunder. 

The driven snow, the rose so rare, 
The glorious sunn above thee. 

Can not witli my Ginnee compare, 
Shee was so woonderous lovely. 

Her merry lookes, her forhead high, 

Her hayre like golden-wyer, 
Her hand and foote, her lipe or eye, 

Would set a saint on fyre. 



54 POETRY AND POETS. 

And for to give Ginnee her due, 

Thers no ill part about her ; 
The turtle-dove 's not halfe so true : 

Then whoe can live without her ? 

King Solomon, where ere he lay. 

Did nere imbrace a kinder : 
O ! why should Ginnee gang a way. 

And I be left behind her ? 

Then will I search each place and roome 

From London to Virginny, 
From Dover-peere to Scanderoone, 

But I will finde my Ginny. 

But Ginny's turned back I feare, 
Wheu that I did not mind her ; 

Then back to England will I steare, 
To see where I can find her. 

And haveing Ginnee once againe. 

If shee'l dee her indeavour, 
The world shall never make us twaine — 

Weel live and dye together." 

GOLDSMITH. 

The frequency with which Islington is men- 
tioned in Goldsmith's writings, has been consi- 
dered worthy of remark. To this village, it 
appears, he was very partial ; and there he spent 
much of his time ; and there, at one period, he 



POETRY AND POETS. 55 

occupied apartments. It was his custom occa- 
sionally to enjoy what he called a shoemaker's 
holiday, which was a day of great festivity with 
the Doctor, and was spent in the following in- 
nocent manner. 

Three or four of his intimate friends rendez- 
voused at his chambers to breakfast, at about ten 
o'clock in the morning: at eleven, they proceeded 
by the City Road, and through the fields, to 
Highbury Barn, to dinner : at about six o'clock 
in the evening, they adjourned to " White-Con- 
duit House," to drink tea; and concluded the 
evening by supping at the " Grecian," or 
" Temple," Coffee-Houses, or at " The Globe," 
in Fleet Street. 

There was a very good ordinary, of two dishes 
and pastry, kept at Highbury Barn, at this 
time, (about fifty years ago,) at ten-pence per 
head, including a penny to the waiter ; and the 
company generally consisted of literary cha- 
racters, a few Templars, and some citizens who 
had left off trade. The whole expenses of this 
day's fete never exceeded a crown, and oftener 
from 3.V. 6d. to 4s., for which the party obtained 
good air and exercise, good living, the example 
of simple manners, and good conversation. 



56 



POETRY AND POETS. 



THE REV. GEORGE CRABBE, AND THE HON. 
EDMUND BURKE. 

To Mr. Burke, Mr. Crabbe, when a young 
man, — with timidity, indeed, but with the strong 
and buoyant expectation of inexperience, — sub- 
mitted a large qviantity of miscellaneous com- 
positions, on a variety of subjects, which he 
was soon taught to appreciate at their proper 
value ; yet, such was the feeling and tenderness 
of his judge, that, in the very act of condemna- 
tion, something was found to praise. Mr. Crabbe 
had sometimes the satisfaction of hearing, when 
the verses were bad, that the thoughts deserved 
better, and that, if he had the common faults of 
inexperienced writers, he frequently had the 
merit of thinking for himself. Among the 
number of those compositions, were poems of 
somewhat a superior cast. " The Library," and 
" The Village," were selected by Mr. Burke ; 
and benefited by his judgment and penetra- 
tion, and comforted by his encouraging pre- 
dictions, Mr. Crabbe was enjoined to learn 
the duty of sitting in judgment upon his best 
efforts, and without mercy to reject the rest. 

When all was done that his abilities permitted. 



POETRY AND POETS. 57 

and when Mr. Burke had patiently waited the 
progress of improvement in the individual whom 
he conceived to be capable of it, he took " The 
Library" himself to Dodsley, the Bookseller, 
and gave to many lines the advantage of his 
own reading and comments. IMr. Dodsley 
listened with all that respect due to the highly- 
gifted reader, and all that apparent desire to 
be pleased with the poem, that would be grate- 
ful to the feelings of the writer ; and Dodsley 
was as obliging also in his reply as, in the 
true nature of things, a bookseUer can be sup- 
posed to be towards a young adventurer for 
poetical reputation. " He had declined the 
venturing upon any thing himself: — there was 
no judging of the probability of success: — the 
taste of the town was very capricious and un- 
certain : — he paid the greatest respect to JMr. 
Burke's opinion ; the verses were good, and he 
did, in part, think so himself; but he declined 
the hazard of publication : yet he would do all 
he could for IMr. Crabbe, and take care that his 
poem should have all the benefit which he could 
give it." 

The worthy Bookseller was mindful of his en- 
gagement ; he became even solicitous for the sue- 



58 POETRY AND POETS. 

ess of the work j and its speedy circulation was, no 
doubt, in some degree expedited by his exertions. 
This, and more than this, he did : although by 
no means insensible to the value of money, he 
gave to the Author his profits as a publisher 
and vendor of the pamphlet ; and Mr. Crabbe 
has taken every opportunity that has at any 
time presented itself, to make acknowledgment 
for such disinterested conduct, at a period when 
it was more particularly beneficial and ac- 
ceptable. The success which attended " The 
Library," procured for its author some share of 
notice, and which occasioned the publication of 
his second poem, " The Village;" a considerable 
portion of which was written, and the whole 
corrected, in the house of his excellent and 
faithful friend and patron, whose activity and 
energy of intellect would not permit a young 
man, under his tried guardianship and protection, 
to cease from labour, and whose correct judgment 
directed that labour to its most useful attain- 
ments. 

The exertions of Burke in favour of a young 
author, were not confined to one mode of af- 
fording assistance. IMr. Crabbe was encouraged 
to lay open his views, past and present, to dis- 



POETRY AND POETS. 



59 



play whatever reading and acquirements he 
possessed ; to explain the causes of his disap- 
pointments, and the cloudiness of his prospects : 
in short, nothing was concealed from a protector 
so able to shield inexperience from error, and 
so willing to pardon inadvertency. 

He was invited to the seat of his friend, 
at Beaconsfield, and was there placed in a 
convenient apartment, supplied with books 
for his information and amusement, and made a 
member of a family, with whom it was honour 
as well as pleasure to be associated. If ^Ir. 
Crabbe, noticed by so great a man, and received 
into such a home, should have given way to 
some emotions of vanity, and should have sup- 
posed there must have been merit on one part, 
as well as benevolence on the other, he has no 
slight plea to offer for his frailty, especially as, 
we conceive, it may be added, that his vanity 
never at any time extinguished any portion of 
his gratitude, and that it has been ever his de- 
light to think, as well as his pride to speak, of 
Mr. Burke as a father, friend, and guide; nor 
did that gentleman ever disallow the name to 
which his conduct gave sanction and propriety. 



fiO POETRY AND POETS. 

ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST'S DAY. 

The morning of this day is still regarded, in 
many parts of Europe, in something like the 
same light with our own Allhallows Eve, the 
Scottish observances and superstitions connec- 
ted with which have been so beautifully treated 
by Burns in his Halloween. 

This holiday, in olden time, was equally re- 
verenced by the Christian and the Moorish in- 
habitants of Andalusia ; and such of our readers 
as are acquainted with the ballad of the Admiral 
Guarinos, (which Cervantes has introduced Don 
Quixote as hearing sung by a peasant going to 
his work at daybreak) will recollect the mention 
that is made of it there. 

" Three days alone they bring him forth a spectacle to be 
The feast of Pasch and the great day of the Nativity ; 
And on that morn more solemn yet when the maidens strip 

the bowers, 
And gladden mosque and minaret with the first fruits of 

the flowers." 

The following is a very literal version of the 
ballad, which has been, for many centuries, sung 
by the maidens on the banks of the Guadalqui- 



POETRY AND POETS. 61 

vir, in Spain, when they go forth to gather 
flowers, on the morning of the Day of John the 
Baptist : — 

" Come forth, come forth, my maidens, 'tis the day of good 

St. John, 
It is the Baptist's morning that breaks the hills upon ; 
And let us go forth together, while the blessed day is 

new. 
To dress with flowers the snow-white wether, ere the sun 

has dried the dew. 

Come forth, come forth, &c. 

Come forth, come forth, my maidens, the hedgerows all 
are green , 

And the little birds are singing the opening leaves be- 
tween ; 

And let us all go forth together, to gather trefoil by the 
stream. 

Ere the face of Guadalquivir glows beneath the strengthen- 
ing beam. 

Come forth, come forth, &c. 

Come forth, come forth, my maidens, and slumber not 

away 
The blessed blessed morning of John the Baptist's day ; 
There's trefoil on the meadow, and lilies on the lee, 
And hawthorn blossom on the bush, which you must 

pluck with me. 

Come forth, come forth, &c. 



62 POETRY AND POETS. 

Come forth, come forth, my maidens, the air is calm aud 
cool. 

And the violet blue far down ye'll view, reflected in the 
pool ; 

And the violets and the roses, and the jasmines all toge- 
ther, 

We'll bind in garlands on the brow of the strong and 
lovely wether. 

Come forth, come forth, &c. 

Come forth, come forth, my maidens, we'll gather myrtle 

boughs, 
And we all shall learn, from the dews of the fern, if our 

lads will keep their vows : 
If the wether be still, as we dance on the hill, and the 

Baptist's blessing is ours. 

Come forth, come forth, my maidens, 'tis the day of good 

St. John, 
It is the Baptist's morning that breaks the hills upon ; 
And let us all go forth together, while the blessed day is 

new. 
To dress with flowers the snow-white wether, ere the sun 

has dried the dew." 

PETRARCH. 

Petrarch had long wished to climb the sum- 
mit of Mount Venoux, a mountain presenting a 
wider range of prospect than among the Alps or 



POETRY AND POETS. 63 

Pyrenees. With much difficulty he ascended. 
Arrived at its summit, the scene presented to 
his sight was unequalled !— After taking a long 
view of the various objects which lay stretched 
below, he took from his pocket a volume of 
" St. Augustine's Confessions ;" and opening the 
leaves at random, the first period that caught 
his eye was the following passage : — " Men tra- 
vel far to climb high mountains, to observe the 
majesty of the ocean, to trace the source of 
rivers — ^but — they neglect themselves." Admi- 
rable reasoning ! conveying as admirable a les- 
son ! Instantly applying the passage to him- 
self, Petrarch closed the book, and falling into 
profound meditation, — " If," thought he, " I 
have undergone so much labour in climbing the 
mountain, that my body might be the nearer 
to heaven, what ought I not to do, in order 
that my soul may be received in those immortal 
regions." 

BEN JONSON'S sacred POETRY. 

This admirable dramatist, amid the varied 
stores of his literary acquisitions (in which he 
was inferior to none, even in his learned age), 
did not entirely neglect the cultivation of the 



64 POETRY AND POETS. 

Sacred Muse. Three of his pieces are distin- 
guished in his works by the title of " Poems of 
Devotion;" they exhibit, however, but few 
traces of that vigorous genius which so pre- 
eminently characterizes his Plays, and of that 
ease and elegance which many of his Songs and 
Lyrical effusions display in as high a degree as 
any that are to be found in our language. Pure 
strength of thought, clothed in simple but 
powerful language, and adorned with an unam- 
bitious rhyme, form the distinguishing features 
of most of the compositions of this learned 
writer. 

The following specimen is by no means cal- 
culated to give that high opinion of his ta- 
lents and judgment with which the reader of 
his other works cannot fail to be impressed ; it 
is more in the manner of Donne (with whom he 
was on terms of the closest intimacy), and ap- 
pears not to have been intended for publication. 

AN HYMN ON THE NATIVITY OF MY SAVIOUR. 

I sing the birth was born to-night, 
' The Author both of life and light ; 
The Angels so did sound it, 
And like theravish'd Shepherds said, 
Who saw the light and were afraid. 
Yet search'd, and true they found it. 



POETRY AND POETS. 65 

The Son of God, th' Eternal King, 
That did us all salvation bring, 

And freed the soul from danger ; 
He whom the whole world could not take, 
The Word, which Heaven and Earth did make. 

Was now laid in a manger. 

The Father's wisdom will'd it so, 
Tlie Son's obedience knew no no, 

Both wills were in one stature ; 
But as that Wisdom had decreed. 
The Word was now made Flesh indeed. 

And took on him our Nature. 

What comfort by him do we win. 
Who made himself the price of sin, 

To make us heirs of glory ! 
To see this Babe, all innocence, 
A Martyr born in our defence ; 

Can iNIan forget this story ? 

PASTORAL POETRY. 
{From the " PItUosophrj of Nature") 
Theqcritus, the father of pastoral poetry, 
was born in a country abounding in every 
species of landscape, and ble.st with the most 
fortunate climate for the practice of the poet's 
precepts. This Poet was as much superior to 
Virgil in beauty, in originality of thought, as 



66 POETRY AND POETS. 

Virgil is superior to the numerous host of his 
literal imitators. The "Aminta" of Tasso is 
the most elegant pastoral drama* in any lan- 
guage, and, with Guarini's " Pastor Fido," and 
Bonarelli's " Filli de Sciro," was frequently re- 
presented by the Italian nobility in gardens and 
groves, having no other scenery than what the 
places in which they were represented naturally 
afforded. 

Among the British, pastoral has attained lit- 
tle of excellence, since the days of Spenser, 
Drayton, and Browne. Affectation has long 
been substituted for passion, and delicacy and 
elegance for that exquisite simplicity of lan- 
guage and sentiments, which constitutes the 
principal charm of this delightful species of 
poetry. Phillips is but an awkward appro- 
priator of Virgil's imagery, and an unsuccessful 



* Surely, Rapin becomes fanciful, when he .endeavours 
to trace the orif,'in of the pastoral drama to the " Cy- 
clops" of Euripides. 

When Tasso read " II Pastor Fido," he exclaimed, 
" Had Guarini never seen the ' Amynta,' he had never 
excelled it." — A noble instance of modesty and confix 
dence. 



POETRY AND POETS. C7 

imitator of Spenser's phraseology. As a pas- 
toral, Milton's " Lycidas," notwithstanding the 
applause which has been heaped upon it, is 
frigid and pedantic, while his " Epitaphium 
Damonis," boasting many agreeable passages, 
merely denotes the elegance of an accomplished 
scholar. Pope is too refined, his versification is 
too measured, and his ideas are little more than 
derivations from the more polished and courtly 
passages of his INIantuan and Sicilian masters. 
He addresses the genius of the Thames, rather 
than of the Avon, and adapts his sentiments 
more to the meridian of Hagley and Stowe, than 
to the meadows of Gloucestershire or the Vales 
of Devon. 

The " Gentle Shepherd " of Fletcher, may be 
placed in competition with its prototype Gua- 
rini ; and the pastoral songs of Burns, and other 
Scottish poets, are equal, if not superior, to those 
of any other age or nation. But of all the wri- 
ters of pastoral poetry, ancient or modern, none 
excel, or even equal, the mild, the gentle, the 
captivating Gessner ; whose simplicity and ten- 
jlemess have power to animate the bosom of 
age, and to refine the passions of the young. 

VOL III. p 



68 POETRY AND POETS. 

Superior to the rural poets of France and Spain, 
of England, Scotland, and Italy, 

** Kind Nature owii'd him for her favouiite son." 

His " Death of Abel," is worthy of the pen of 
Moses ; his " First Navigator" combines all the 
fancy of the Poet with the primeval simplicity 
of the Patriarch ; and his Idylls are captivating 
to all but the ignorant, the pedant, and the sen- 
sualist. 

" Nothing," says a celebrated traveller, 
delights me so much, as the inside of a Swiss 
cottage; all those I have visited, convey the 
liveliest images of cleanliness, ease, and sim- 
plicity, and cannot but strongly impress on the 
observer, a most pleasing conviction of the pea- 
sant's happiness." With such models constantly 
before him, it is no subject for astonishment, 
that Gessner should be capable of painting 
such exquisite companion pieces, as his " Idylls" 
and " Pastorals." — But for a man, bred in the 
school of dullness, as a country town invariably 
is, associating with players, and reading, for the 
principal part of his life, in all the dust and poi- 
son of a city, how much is our wonder and ad- 



POETRY AND POETS. 69 

miration excited, when we read the delightful 
delineations of pastoral manners, as they are 
drawn in several dramas of that grand creator 
of words, and delineator of passion, Shakspeare. 
That a master, so skilled in the minute anatomy 
of the heart, should be capable of divesting him- 
self of all those metropolitan associations, and 
sound " wood-notes wild," worthy of the reed 
of Tasso, is, of itself, a singular phenomenon. 
Who can read the following song without fan- 
cying himself surrounded by a group of pasto- 
ral innocents, Avith Perdita singing in the midst 
of them ? 

" Come, come, my good shepherds, our flocks we must 

shear ; 
In your holiday suits, with your lasses appear : 
The happiest of folks arc the guileless and free. 
And who are so guileless, aud happy, as we ? 

That giant Ambition we never can dread ; 
Our roofs are too low for so lofty a head ; 
Content and sweet cheerfulness open our door. 
They smile with the simple, and feed with the poor. 

When love has possess'd us, that love we reveal ; 
Like the flocks that we feed, or the passions we feel ; 
So harmless, so simple, we sport and we play. 
And leave to fine folks, to deceive and betray." 



70 POETRY AND POETS. 

BOILEAU'S VILLA AT AUTEUIL. 

One of the most celebrated villages in the 
environs of Paris is Auteuil, situated at the 
entrance of the Bois de Boulogne : owing to the 
pleasant situation of this place and its vicinity 
to the capital, to the Bois de Boulogne, and to 
the high road from Paris to Versailles and St. 
Cloud, many villages have, from time to time, 
been erected there. Some of these houses have 
been inhabited by celebrated persons, such as 
Boileau, Moliere, La Chapelle, Franklin, Con- 
dorcet, Helvetius, and Rousseau. 

The most remarkable of these villas is that 
where Boileau resided, which is still to be seen 
near the church in the road to St. Cloud. Here 
the legislator of the French Parnassus com- 
monly passed the summer, and took delight in 
assembling under his roof the most celebrated 
geniuses of his age — especially La Chapelle, 
Racine, Moliere, and La Fontaine. When he 
invited these writers to dine with him, litera- 
ture furnished the chief topic of conversation. 
Chapellain's " Pucelle " commonly lay upon the 
table, and whoever made a gi-ammatical error in 
speaking, was obliged, by way of punishment, 
to read a passage from that work. Racine the 



POETRY AXD POETS. jl 

younger gives the following account of a droll 
circumstance, Avhich occurred at a supper at 
Auteuil, with the above - mentioned literati : 
— " At this supper, at which my father was not 
present, the sage Boileau was no more master 
of himself than any of his guests. After the 
wine had led them into the gravest train of mo- 
ralizing, they agreed that life was but a state 
of misery ; that the greatest happiness con- 
sisted in having never been born, and the next 
greatest in an early death ; and finally, they 
formed the romantic resolution of throwing 
themselves, without loss of time, into the river. 
Accordingly, the river not being far distant, 
they actually went thither, ^foliere, however, 
remarked that ' such a noble and heroic action 
ought not to be buried in the obscurity of night ; 
but was worthy to be performed in the open 
day.' This observation produced a pause ; they 
looked on each other, and said ' he is right.' — 
' Gentlemen,' said Chapelle, ' we had better wait 
till the morning to throw ourselves into the wa- 
ter, and, meanwhile, we will return home to 
finish our wine.' This anecdote has been brought 
upon the stage, by Andrieux, in a piece entitled 
' IVIoliere and his friends at the supper at Au- 
teuil.'" 



72 POETRY AND POETS. 

One of Boileau's favourite amusements at 
Auteuil was^ playing at skittles. " This game/' 
says the younger Racine, " he plays with an 
extraordinary skill. I have repeatedly seen 
hira knock down all the nine pins at a single 
throw." " It cannot be denied," said Boileau, 
(speaking of himself,) " that I possess two dis- 
tinguished talents, both equally useful to man- 
kind — the one, that I can play well at skittles; 
the other, that I can write good verses." 

Boileau was advanced in years when he found 
himself necessitated to sell his villa at Auteuil, 
a circumstance which not a little tended to em- 
bitter the remaining part of his life. " You 
shall be as much at home as ever in your own 
villa," said Monsieur Le Verier, who purchased 
it of him; " and I beg that you will retain an 
apartment, and come very often to stay in it." 
Boileau, a few days after, really went to this 
residence, walked about the garden, and missed 
an arbour which had afforded the most pleasing 
associations. " What is become of my arbour.^" 
exclaimed the indignant bard, to Antoine, the 
gardener, whom he has celebrated in his Epistles. 
" Mons. Le Verier ordered it to be cut down," 
replied Antoine. " What have I to do here .^"— ■ 



POETRY AND POETS. 73 

continued Boileau, — " here! where I am no 
longer master ?" He mounted into his carriage, 
and quickly returned to Paris, and never after- 
wards beheld his Tivoli. 

Gendron, the celebrated physician, in the 
sequel became the proprietor of Boileau's villa. 
Voltaire, when he paid him his first visit there, 
complimented him in the following clever im- 
promptu ; 

" C'est ici le vrai Parnasse 
Des vrais enfans d'ApoUon; 
Sous le nom de Boileau ces lieux virent Horace, 
Esculape y paroit sous celui de Genuron." 

KORNER. 

Charles Theodore Korner, the celebrated 
young German Poet and Soldier, was killed in 
a skirmish with a detachment of French troops, 
on the 26th August, 1813, a few hours after the 
composition of his popular piece, " The Sword 
Song." This he composed during the halt of 
his regiment, in a forest not far from Rosenberg. 
In the glimmering dawn of the morning of the 
26th, he noted it down in his pocket-book, and 
was reading it out to a friend, when the signal 
for the onset was given. 

The engagement took place on the road which 



74 POETRY AND POETS. 

leads from Gadebusch to Schwerin : the enemy 
were more numerous than had been expected, 
but fled, after a short resistance, over a narrow 
plain into a neighbouring thicket. Among those 
who were most active in the pursuit was Korner, 
and there he met that glorious death which he 
had often anticipated in his poems with so much 
animation. The Sharp-shooters, who had formed 
an ambush in the under-wood, poured from 
thence a heavy shower of balls upon the Cavalry 
who were inpursuit. One of these, after passing 
through his horse's neck, hit Korner in the belly, 
traversed his liver and spine, and deprived him, 
at once, of speech and consciousness. He fell, 
and his companions in arms carefully raised 
him from the ground : his features remained 
unaltered, and exhibited no traces of any painful 
sensation. Nothing was omitted which could 
possibly have tended to restore him ; but all was 
in vain. 

He was buried at the village of Wobbelin, in 
Mecklenburgh, under a beautiful oak, in a recess 
of which he had frequently deposited verses, 
composed by him while campaigning in its 
vicinity. The monument, erected to his me- 
mory beneath this tree, is of cast-iron, and the 
upper part is wrought into a Sword and Lyre, a 



POETRY AND POETS. 75 

favourite emblem of Korner's, from which one 
of his works had been entitled. Near the grave 
of the Poet is that of his only sister, who died 
of grief for his loss, having only survived him 
long enough to complete his portrait, and a 
drawing of his burial-place. Over the gate ot 
the cemetery is engraved one of his own lines : 
" Versiss die treuen Todten nicht ;" — Forget not 
the faithful dead. 

THE GRAVE OF KiiRNER. {By Mrs. HemaHS.) 

" Green wave the Oak for ever o'er thy rest ! 

Thou that beneath its crowning foliage sleepest, 
And, in the stillness of thy Country's breast. 

Thy place of memory, as an altar, keepest ! 
Brightly thy spirit o'er her hills was pour'd. 

Thou of thfe Lyre and Sword ! 

Rest, Bard ! rest, Soldier I — By the father's hand. 
Here shall the child of after-years be led, 

With his wreath-offering silently to stand 
In the hiLsh'd presence of the glorious dead. 

Soldier and Bard I — For thou tliy i)iitli hast trod 
With Freedom and with God 1 * 

* The Poems of Korner, which were chiefly devoted to 
the cause of his country, are strikingly distinguished by 
religious feeling, and a confidence in the Supreme Justice, 
for the final deliverance of Germany. 



76 POETRY AND POETS. 

The Oak wav'd proudly o'er thy burial-rite ; 

On thy crown'd bier to slumber, warriors bore thee, 
And with true hearts thy brethren of the fight 

Wept as they vail'd their drooping banners o'er thee ; 
And the deep guns with rolling peals gave token. 

That Lyre and Sword were broken '. 

Thou hast a hero's tomb !— A lowlier bed 
Is hers, the gentle girl, beside thee lying. 

The gentle girl, that bow'd her fair young head, 
When thou wert gone, in silent sorrow dying. 

Brother I true friend 1 the tender and the brave '. 
She pin'd to share thy grave. 

Fame was thy gift from others— but for her 
To whom the wide earth held that only spot — 

— She lov'd thee ! lovely in your lives ye were, 
And in your early deaths divided not ! 

Thou hast thine Oak — thy trophy— what hath she ? 
Her own blest place — by thee. 

It was thy spirit. Brother ! which had made 
The bright world glorious to her thoughtful eye. 

Since first, in childhood, 'midst the vines ye play'd, 
And sent glad singing through the free blue sky ! 

Ye were but two ! — and when that spirit pass'd. 
Woe for the one, the last I 

Woe, yet not long !— She linger'd but to trace 
Thine image from the image in her breast j 



POETRY AND POETS. 77 

Once, once again to see that buried face 

But smile upon her ere she went to rest ! 

Too sad a smile ! — its living light was o'er, 

It answer'd hers no more ! 

The Earth grew silent when thy voice departed, 
Tlie Home too lonely whence thy step had fled ; 

^\Tiat then was left for her, the faithful-hearted ? 
Death, death, to still the yearning for the dead! 

Softly she perish'd — he the Flow'r deplor'd, 

Here, with the Lyre and Sword '. 

Have ye not met ere now ? — So let those trust, 
That meet for moments but to part for years, 

That weep, watch, pray, to hold back dust from dust, 
That love, where love is but a fount of tears! 

Brother 1 sweet Sister ! — peace around ye dwell ! 

Lyre, Sword, and Flower, farewell!" 

POEMS OF MADAME DE SURVILLE. 

In 1804, a small volume was published at 
Paris, with the following title : " Poesies de 
Marguerite-Eleonore Clotilde de Vallon-Chalys, 
depuis IMadame de Surville, poete Fran9ais du 
XV. siecle, publiees par Ch. Vanderbourg." In 
the preface to this little work there is some ac- 
count given of the way in which these poems 
were discovered, and also of the author of them. 

In the year 1782, a M. de Surville, a de- 



78 POETRY AND POETS. 

scendant of this poetess, in searching among the 
neglected archives of his family, discovered 
some IMS. poems, the beauty and excellence of 
which excited his astonishment and admiration. 
He applied himself diligently to the study of 
decyphering the hand-writing, and, with con- 
siderable trouble, he succeeded in transcribing 
the greater part of the MSS. M. de Surville 
was driven from France by the Revolution, and 
the originals of the poems were unfortunately 
consumed by fire. M. de Surville did not live 
to present to the public the monuments of his 
ancestor's genius^ which had been preserved in 
his transcription; but in a letter to his wife, 
written shortly before his execution in the 
revolutionary tumults of the 7th year of the 
Republic, he says, " I beseech you to commu- 
nicate these poems to some one who is capable 
of appreciating them. Do not suffer the fruit 
of my researches to be lost to posterity, espe- 
cially for the honour of my family, of which my 
brother is now the sole representative." 

Of the existence even of M. de Surville, we 
know not whether we ought to doubt, though 
an accurate memoir is given of him, and an 
anecdote related of a duel between him and the 



POETRY AND POETS. 7^ 

commander of an English vessel, of the name 
of IMiddleton, respecting the relative merits of 
the two nations. The editor of the poems in- 
forms us, that, in the year 1794, (but by what 
means he does not tell us,) he was favoured 
with a sight of M. de Surville's copy, and that 
afterwards, on his return to France from abroad, 
he succeeded, with much difficulty, in discover- 
ing it. But besides these poems, some JMSS. of 
M. de Surville fell into his hands, containing 
accounts of several poetesses in the age of the 
Troubadours, and also a memoir of the writer 
of these singular poems, of which, as it is rather 
an interesting piece of biography, we shall give 
a slight sketch. 

Marguerite- Eleonore Clotilde de Vallon- 
Chalys, afterwards iMadame de Surville, was 
bom in a beautiful chateau, on the left bank of 
the Ardeche, about the year 1405. Her mother, 
Pulcherie de Fay-Collan, passed some years in 
Paris, where she acquired a taste for literature, 
and learned to write a beautiful hand — no mean 
accomplishment at that day. She was invited by 
Agnes of Navarre, the wife of Gaston-Phebus, 
Count de Foix, to the Court of that Prince, 
which was enriched by a valuable library, not 



O" I'OETRY AND POETS. 

only of classical MSS., but also of such of the 
Italian and French writers as were then extant. 
Under the direction of Froissard, and by the 
desire of the Countess, Pulcherie copied some 
of the works of the Trouveurs, and more espe- 
cially of those poetesses who, after Heloise de 
Fulbert, had cultivated the French, or romance 
language. 

This valuable collection, both of ancient and 
modern poetry, on the death of her benefactress, 
Pulcherie was allowed by the Count to carry 
away with her. Peculiar misfortunes separated 
Madame de Vallon, for some time, from her 
husband and her sons; and on her return to 
Vallon, her great consolation was in the educa- 
tion of her daughter Clotilde. The talents of 
this child were very precocious. At eleven 
years of age, she translated into French verse 
one of the Odes of Petrarch, with considerable 
ability. Many circumstances concurred to de- 
velope the genius of Clotilde. A strict friend- 
ship existed between her and some other young 
females, which was strengthened by the ties of 
similar tastes and occupations. 

In the year 1421, not long after the death of 
her mother, Clotilde became attached to Berenger 



POETRY AND POETS. 81 

de Surville, and they were soon afterwards mar- 
ried. Immediately after that event had taken 
place, M. de Surville was called on to join the 
standard of Charles VII., then Dauphin; and it 
was on this occasion, probably, that the beautiful 
verses which we shall shortly transcribe, may 
be presumed to have been written ; and at this 
time, also, the " Heroide a son espoulx Berenger" 
was composed, which, it is said, was seen, though 
not admired, by Alain Chartier. The life of 
Berenger de Surville was not long — he perished 
the victim of his own valour, in a dangerous 
expedition which he undertook during the siege 
of Orleans, leaving only one son by his wife. 

Madame de Surville now devoted herself more 
assiduously to her poetical labours; and she 
gained considerable notice by some severe at- 
tacks on Alain Chartier, between whom and 
herself there existed much animosity. After 
the death of her daughter-in-law, Heloise de 
Vergy, who died in 1468, Madame de Surville 
found her only consolation in the society of her 
grand-daughter Camilla, upon whose death, she 
once more visited the place of her birth. In 
this retreat, she appears to have passed the re- 
mainder of her life, writing, in her extreme age. 



82 POETRY AND POETS. 

verses which would have done honour to the 
freshest mind at a much more favourable period. 
The precise time of her death is not known; but 
she lived and composed to her ninetieth year. 

The poems which are contained in this little 
volume, are principally poems of sentiment and 
satire ; but as the latter must necessarily have 
lost much of the poignancy, which is their chief 
merit, we shall confine ourselves to a single 
extract from those of the former description ; 
the beauty of which, amply compensates for its 
length. 

" VERSES TO MY FIRST-BORN. 

My cherish'd infant ! image of thy sire ! 

Sleep on the bosom which thy small lip i)resses ; 
"Sleep, little one, and close those eyes of fire, 

Those eyelets which the weight of sleep oppresses. 

Sweet friend ! dear little one ! may slumber lend thee 
Delights which I must never more enjoy! 

I watch o'er thee, to nourish and defend thee. 
And count these vigils sweet, for thee, my boy. 

Sleep, infant, sleep! my solace and my treasure! 

Sleep on my breast, the breast which gladly bore thee ! 
And though thy words can give this heart no pleasure, 
. It loves to see thy thousand smiles come o'er thee. 



POETRY AND POETS. 83 

Yes, thou wilt smile, young friend ! when thou awakest, 
Ves, thou wilt smile, to see my joyful guise ; 

Thy mother's face thou never now mistakest. 
And thou hast learn'd to look into her eyes. 

What ! do thy little fingers leave the breast. 
The fountain which thy small lip press'd at pleasure ? 

Couldst thou exhaust it, pledge of passion blest I 
Even then thou couldst not know my fond love's 
measure. 

My gentle son ! sweet friend, whom I adore '. 

My infant love ! my comfort, my delight ! 
I gaze on thee, and gazing o'er and o'er, 

1 blame the quick return of every night. 

His little arms stretch forth — sleep o'er him steals — 
His eye is clos'd — he sleeps — how still his breath 1 

But for the tints his flowery cheek reveals. 
He seems to slumber in the arms of death. 

Awake, my child !— I tremble with affright'. — 
Awaken ! — Fatal thought, thou art no more— 

My child I one moment gaze upon the light. 
And e'en with thy repose my life restore. 

Blest error ! still lie sleeps — I breathe again— 
May gentle dreams delight his calm repose '. 

But when will he, for whom I sigh — oh when 
Will he, beside me, watch thine eyes uudose ? 

VOL. III. G 



84 POETRY AND POETS. 

When shall I see him who hath giveu thee life, 
My youthful husband, noblest of his race ? 

Methinks I see, blest mother, and blest wife! 
Thy little hands thy father's neck embrace. 

How will he revel in thy first caress, 
Disputing with thee for my gentle kiss ! 

But think not to engross his tenderness, 
Clotilda too shall have her share of bliss. 

How will he joy to see his image there, 
The sweetness of his large cerulean eye ! 

His noble forehead, and his graceful air, 
Which Love himself might view with jealousy. 

For me — I am not jealous of his love. 
And gladly I divide it, sweet, with thee ; 

Thou shalt, like him, a faithful husband prove, 
But hot, like him, give this anxiety. 

I speak to thee — thou understand'st me not — 
Thou couldst not understand, though sleep were fled- 

Poor little child ! the tangles of his thought. 
His infant thought, are not unravelled. 

We have been happy infants, as thou art ; 

Sad reason will destroy the dream too soon ; 
Sleep in the calm repose that stills thy heart, 

pre long its very memory will be gone !" 



POETRY AND POETS. 85 

LAST VERSES OP THE DUC DE NIVERNOIS. 

This venerable Peer, the negociator of the 
peace of 1763, died at St. Ouen, near Paris, in 
June, 1797j at the age of eighty-two. His 
poetical talents, and his friendship for Bar- 
thelemi, the author of " Anacharsis," are well 
known. A few hours before his death, it was 
recommended to have a consultation of phy- 
sicians; but he declined the proposal, by ad- 
dressing the following note to his friend and 
physician, Lacaille, who regularly attended him: 

" Ne consultons point d'avocats ; 
Hippocrates ne viendrait pas : 
Je n'eu ai point d'autres en ma cure 
Que I'Amitiii, que la Nature, 
Qui font bonne guerre au tr^pas. 

Mais peut-etre dame Nature 
A deji decid6 mon cas ; 

Moi du moins &ans clianger d'allure 
Je veux mourir eutre vos bras." 

TRANSLATION. 

" Now advocates shall plead in vain, 
Hippocrates his aid denies ; 
None other counsel I'll retain, 
Than Nature's power, sweet Friendship's ties. 



86 POETRY AND POETS. 

Or Death will hear them and obey : 
Or Nature has pronounc'd my doom, 

In thy lov'd arms no fears dismay, 
Let Friendship lead me to the tomb." 

LOVE BONGS. 

A LITERAL translation of the love songs of 
the various races of mankind, from the mere 
savage to the enlightened European, would 
afford a curious display of similar sentiments, 
diversified with local costume. Not a few which 
have been applauded by elegant circles in both 
London and Paris, but are much inferior to the 
following effusion of a Finland peasant girl, 
which was given to Colonel Skioldebrand, as a 
literary curiosity, by one of the most esteemed 
poets of Sweden : 

" Oh ! if my beloved would come, 
If my well-known would appear ; 
How my kisses should fly to his lips. 
Though they were tinged with the blood of the wolf, 
How I would lock his hands in mine. 
Though a serpent were intervowen with them. 

Why has not the breath of the wind a voice f 

Why has it not a tongue 

To bear my thoughts to my love. 



POETRY AND POETS. 87 

And bring the looks to me ; 

To exchange the discourse of two fond hearts ? 

I would refuse the feasts of the Curate, 

I would reject the dress of his daughter, 

Rather than resign the dear object : 

He whom I have tried to enslave in the summer, 

And to subdue in the winter !" 



DEATH OP ALFIERI. 

When Alfieri was near his end, he was per- 
suaded to see a priest. When the priest came, 
he said to him with an uncommon affability, 
" Have the kindness to look in to-morrow ; I 
trust that Death will wait for four-and-twenty 
hours." The sacred monitor again appeared 
next day. Upon his entrance, Alfieri was sitting 
in his arm-chair, and said, " At present I fancy 
I have but few minutes to spare." He begged 
that the Countess of Albany, widow of Charles 
Edward Stuart, the Pretender, and who was, as 
the inscription on his tomb records, " his only 
love," might be brought in ; and at the instant 
he saw her, he exclaimed, " Clasp my hand, my 
dear friend, I die." 



88 POETRY AND POETS. 

" PARADISE LOST." 

This poem, when ready for the press, was 
nearly being suppressed through the ignorance 
or malice of the Licenser, who saw or fancied 
treason in the following noble simile : 

'* As when the sun new risen 

Looks through the horizontal misty air 
Sliorn of his beams : or from behind the moon, 
In dim eclipse, disastrous twilight sheds 
On half the nations, and with fear of change 
Perplexes monarchs." 

This obstacle overcome, Milton sold the copy- 
right for five pounds, ready-money ; to be paid 
the same sum when one thousand three hundred 
of the books should have been disposed of, and 
five more pounds when a second and third 
edition were published. By this agreement, 
Milton received but fifteen pounds ; and after- 
wards, his widow gave up every claim for eight 
pounds. 

VOLTAIRE AND SHAKSPEARE. 

An Englishman once complained to Voltaire, 
that few foreigners relished the beauties of 



POETRY AND POETS. 89 

Shakspeare. " Sir," replied he, " bad transla- 
tions torment and vex them, and prevent their 
understanding your great Dramatist. — A blind 
man, Sir, cannot conceive the beauty of a rose, 
who only pricks his fingers with the thorns." 

JOHN KEATS. 

This imaginative being died at Rome, Feb. 
23rd, 1821, whither he had gone for the benefit 
of his health. His complaint was a consumption, 
under which he had languished for some time ; 
but his death was accelerated by a cold, caught 
in his voyage to Italy. It is rather singular, 
that, in the year 1816, he expressed an ardent 
desire to visit these classic regions , — and, five 
years after, his wish was gratified. 

The Sonnet, in which he expresses a hope that 
he may at some period visit the shores of Italy, 
is one of his earliest productions, and is too 
beautiful to be omitted in this humble tribute 
to his memory. 

" Happy in England ! I could be content 

To see no other verdure than its own ; 
To feel no other breezes than are blown 
Through its tall woods with high romances blent ; 



90 POETRY AND POETS. 

Yet, do I sometimes feel a languish ment 

For skies Italian, and an inward groan 

To sit upon an Alp as on a throne, 
And half forget what world or worldling meant. 
Happy is England, sweet her artless daughters ; 

Enough their simple loveliness for me. 

Enough their whitest arms in silence clinging ; 

Yet do I often warmly burn to see 
Beauties of deeper glance, and hear their singing. 
And float with them about the summer waters." 

Keats was, in the truest sense of the word, a 
Poet. There is but a small portion of the public 
acquainted with the writings of this young man ; 
yet they are full of elevated thoughts and 
delicate fancy, and his images are beautiful 
and more entirely his own, perhaps, than those 
of any living writer whatever. He had a fine 
ear, a tender heart, and, at times, great force and 
originality of expression ; and notwithstanding 
all this, he has been suffered to rise and pass 
away, almost without a notice. The laurel has 
been awarded (for the present) to other brows ; 
bolder aspirants have been allowed to take 
their station on the slippery steps of the Temple 
of Fame, while he has been hidden among the 
crowd during his life, and died at last, solitary 
and sorrowful, in a foreign land. 



POKTRY AND POETS. 91 

TURLOUGH CAROLAV. 

This minstrel bard, sweet as impressive, will 

long claim remembrance, and float down the 

stream of time, whilst poesy and harmony have 

power to charm. He was born in the year 1670, 

in the village of Nodder, in the county of 

Westmeath, on the lands of Carolan's town, 

which were wrested from his ancestors by the 

family of the Nugents, on their arrival in this 

kingdom, with King Henry II. His father was 

a poor farmer, the humble proprietor of a few 

acres, which afforded him a scanty subsistence. 

Of his mother little is known ; — probably the 

daughter of a neighbouring peasant, in the 

choice of whom, his father was guided rather by 

nature than by prudence. 

It was in his infancy that Carolan was depri- 
ved of his sight by the small-pox. This depri- 
vation he supported with cheerfulness, and 
would merrily say, " my eyes are transplanted 
into my ears." His musical genius was soon 
discovered, and procured him many friends, 
who determined to aid its cultivation, and at 
the age of twelve, a master was engaged to in- 
struct him on the harp ; but his diligence in the 
regular modes of instruction was not great, yet 



92 POETRY AND POETS. 

his harp was rarely unstrung, for his intuitive 
genius assisted him in composition, whilst his 
fingers wandered amongst the strings, in quest 
of the sweets of melody. In a few years this 
"child of song" became enamoured of Miss 
Briget Cruise. His harp, now inspired by love, 
would only echo to the sound ; though this lady 
did not give him her hand, it is imagined she 
did not deny him her heart, but, like Apollo, 
when he caught at the nymph " he filled his 
arms with bays," and the song which bears her 
name is considered his chef-d'oeuvre ; it came 
warm from his heart, while his genius was in its 
full vigour. 

Our bard, however, after a time, solaced him- 
self for the loss of Miss Cruise, in the arms of 
Miss Mary Maguire, a young lady of good fa- 
mily in the county of Fermanagh. She was 
gifted in a small degree with both pride and ex- 
travagance, but she was the wife of his choice, 
he loved her tenderly, and lived harmoniously 
with her. On his entering into the connubial 
state, he fixed his residence on a small farm near 
Moshill, in the county of Leitrim : here he built 
a neat little house, in which he practised hospi- 
tality on a scale more suited to his mind than to 
his means: his profusion speedily consumed the 



POETRY AND POETS. 93 

produce of his little farm, and he was soon left 
to lament the want of prudence, without which 
the rich cannot taste of pleasure long, or the 
poor of happiness. 

At length Carolan commenced the profession 
of an itinerant musician. Wherever he went, 
the gates of the nobility and others were thrown 
open to him ; he was received with respect, and 
a distinguished place assigned him at the table : 
" Carolan," says Mr. Ritson, " seems, from the 
description we have of him, to be a genuine re- 
presentative of the ancient bard." 

It was during his peregrinations that Carolan 
composed all those airs which are still the de- 
light of his countrymen. He thought the tri- 
bute of a song due to every house in which he 
was entertained, and he seldom failed to pay it, 
choosing for his subject either the head of the 
family, or the loveliest of its branches. 

The period now approached at which Caro- 
lan's feelings were to receive a violent shock. 
In the year 1733, the wife of his bosom was torn 
from him by the hand of death, and as soon as 
the transport of his grief was a little subsided, 
he composed a monody teeming with harmony 
and poetic beauties. Carolan did not continue 



04 POETRY AND POETS. 

long in this " vale of sorrow " after the decease 
of his wife. While on a visit at the house of 
Mrs. M'Dermot, of Alderford, in the county of 
Roscommon, he expired in the month of March, 
1738, in the sixty-eighth year of his age, and 
was interred in theparish-church of Killronan, in 
the diocese of Avedagh, but " not a stone tells 
where he lies." 

The manner of his death has been variously 
related ; but that his excessive partiality for a 
more sparkling stream than flows at Helicon, 
was the cause of his decease, is a point that all 
his biographers have agreed on. Goldsmith 
says " his death was not more remarkable than 
his life. Homer was never more fond of a glass 
than he. He would drink whole pints of usque- 
baugh, and, as he used to think, without any ill 
consequence. His intemperance, however, in 
this respect, at length brought on an incurable 
disorder, and when just at the point of death, 
he called for a cup of his beloved liquor. Those 
who were standing round him, surprised at the 
demand, endeavoured to persuade him to the 
contrary, but he persisted ; and when the bowl 
was brought him, attempted to drink but could 
not ; wherefore, giving away the bowl, he obser- 



POETRY AND POETS. 95 

ved with a smile, that it would be hard if two 
such friends as he and the cup should part, at 
least without kissing, and then expired." 

Walker, in his account of the Irish Bards, 
inserts a letter, which states that " Carolan, at 
an early period of his life, contracted a fondness 
for spirituous liquors, which he retained even to 
:he last stage of it. His physicians assured 
^im, that, unless he corrected this vicious habit, 
I scurvy, which was the consequence of his 
ntemperance, would soon put an end to his 
nortal career. He obeyed with reluctance ; and 
eriously resolved upon never tasting that for- 
bidden, though (to him) delicious cup. The 
own of Boyle, in the county of Roscommon, 
vas at that time his 2)rincipal place of residence; 
here, while under so severe a regimen, he 
valked, or rather wandered about, like a reveur. 
lis usual gaiety forsook him ; no sallies of a 
ively imagination escaped him; every moment 
vas marked with a dejection of spirits, ap- 
•roaching to the deepest melancholy ; and his 
avourite harp lay in some obscure corner of 
lis habitation neglected and unstrung. 
Passing, one day, by a spirit-store in the town, 
ur Irish Orpheus, after a six weeks' quarantine. 



96 



POETRY AND POETS. 



was tempted to step in — undetermined whether 
he should abide by his late resolution, or whether 
he should yield to the impulse which he felt at 
the moment. ' Well, my dear friend,' cried he 
to the young man who stood behind the compter, 
' you see I am a man of constancy ; for six long 
weeks I have refrained from whiskey. Was 
there ever so great an instance of self-denial ? 
But a thought strikes me, and surely you will 
not be cruel enough to refuse one gratification 
which I shall earnestly solicit. Bring hither a 
measure of my favourite liquor, which I shall 
smell to, but, indeed, shall not taste.' The lad 
indulged him on that condition ; and no sooner 
did the fumes ascend to his brain, than every 
latent spark within him was rekindled, his 
countenance glowed with an unusual brightness, 
and the soliloquy, which he repeated over the 
cup, was the effusion of a heart newly animated, 
and the rambling of a genius great and un- 
tutored. 

"At length, to the great peril of his health, and 
(contrary to the advice of his medical friends,) 
he once more quaffed the forbidden draught, and 
renewed the brimmer, until his spirits were 
sufficiently exhilarated, and until his mjnd 



POETRY AND POETS. 97 

had fully resumed its former tone. He then 
set about composing that much-admired song 
which goes by the name of ' Carolan's (and some- 
times Stafford's) Receipt.' For sprightliness of 
sentiment, and harmony of numbers, it stands 
unrivalled in the list of our best modern drink- 
ing songs. He commenced the words, and be- 
gan to modulate the air, in the evening at Boyle ; 
and, before the following morning, he sung and 
played this noble offspring of his imagination in 
]\Ir. Stafford's parlour, at Elfin. 

" Carolan's inordinate fondness," continues 
Walker, " for Irish Wine (as Pierre le Grand 
used to call whiskey) will not admit of an excuse ; 
it was a vice of habit, and might therefore have 
been corrected. But let me say something in 
extenuation. He seldom drank to excess ; be- 
sides, he seemed to think — nay, was convinced 
from experience, that the spirit of whiskey was 
grateful to his muse, and for that reason gene- 
rally offered it when he intended to invoke her." 
" They tell me," says Dr. Campbell in his Sur- 
vey of the South of Ireland, " that in his (Caro- 
lan's) latter days, he never composed without 
the inspiration of whiskey, of which, at that cri- 
tical hour, he always took care to have a bottle 
beside him." " Nor was Carolan," continues 



98 



seiETRY AND POETS. 



Walker, " the only bard who drew inspiration/ 
from the bottle ; there have been several planets 
in the poetical hemisphere, that seldom shone, 
but when illuminated by the rays of rosy wine." 
He then proceeds to infer the advantages of a 
state of demi-drunkenness, as far as regards 
poetic composition, and instances Cunningham, 
Addison, and Homer, as three authors whose 
works bear ample testimony to the efficacy of so 
pleasing a method of procuring inspiration. That 
Carolan was not indifferent to advice of this des- 
cription, he proved most satisfactorily; and, in 
all probability, both he and Mr. Walker 
thought true talent similar to those richly pain- 
ted vases in the east, the most brilliant tints of 
which could not be discovered unless wine were 
poured into them. 




POETRY AND POETS. 99 

BflLTON's LOVE OF MUSIC. 

Milton, we suspect, is generally believed by 
the gay and thoughtless to have been an austere 
crabbed Puritan, hostile to all the elegancies and 
enjoyments of life; but this is a great mistake. 
His love of music, for instance, was glowing 
and profound. From among other testimonials 
in its praise, take the following fine passage in 
his " Tractate on Education," which, of itself, is 
music. 

" The interval of convenient rest after meat, 
may both with profit and delight be taken up in 
recreating and composing the travailed spirits, 
with the solemn and divine harmonies of music, 
heard or learnt: either while the skilful organist 
plies his grave and fancied descant in lofty 
figures, or the whole symphony, with artful and 
imimaginable touches, does adorn and grace the 
well-studied chords of some choice composer; 
sometimes the lute, or soft organ-stop, waiting 
on elegant voices, either to religious, martial, 
or civil ditties, wliich have power over disposi- 
tions and manners, to smooth and make them 
gentle, from rustic harshness and distempered 
passions." 

VOL. III. H 



100 POETRY AND POETS. 

THOMAS MOORE. 

This Poet, whose lyrical effusions have so 
eminently distinguished him above his contem- 
porai'ies, is a native of Dublin, but has long been 
a resident in England. His Cottage (a view of 
which we present the reader with) is beautifull 
situated about five miles west of Devizes, in 
Wiltshire. It was selected, we understand, by 
Mr. Moore, on account of its vicinity to Bowood, 
the seat of the Marquess of Lansdown, whose 
friendship our Poet is honoured Avith. 

Mr. Moore's songs are exquisite as productions 
of splendour, fancy, or imagery ; but the reader 
who shall expect to find in them those touches 
of feeling and nature which brings Poetry home 
to every man's bosom, will be disappointed : 
they are admirably suited to the Banquet-Hall 
or the Palace, where every thing that is artificial 
shines pre-eminent. 

As a Satirist, among those productions which 
may be attributed to his pen, are to be found 
strokes of wit at once classic, keen, and bril- 
liant. Many of his repartees and Jeux d' esprits 
are on record, partaking, also, of the same 
qualities. The following, we understand, Mr. 



POETRY AND POETS. 101 

Moore wrote at a house in the country, where 
he had arrived just in time to dress for dinner, 
and where some distinguished personages were 
assembled; but he was obliged to go away 
again, upon finding that his servant had forgot 
to put a pair of breeches in his portmanteau : 

" Between Adam and me the great difference is. 

Though a Paradise each has been forc'd to resign, 
That he never wore breeches till turn'd out of his. 
While for want of my breeches I'm banish'd from 
mine." 

Mr. jMoore, it is well known, is the author 
of a volume published under the title of " Lit- 
tle's Poems ;" which name, it is supposed, he 
adopted in allusion to his shortness of stature, 
and which furnished his friends with subjects 
for repartees and epigrams in abundance. At 
this period, our bard was in the habit of paying 
frequent visits to Carlton House, when a 
Great Personage, after the perusal of the 
volume in question, is reported to have ad- 
dressed him thus wittily and briefly : — " More, 
Little ; — Little Moure." 

The following eight lines made their appear- 



102 POETRY AND POETS. 

ance when he published his " Translation of 
Anacreon/' and certainly boast mvich point. 

" When Moore in amorous strains first sigh'd, 
And felt the fond poetic glow ; 
The enraptiu'd world, enamour'd, cried, 
' Man wants hut Little here below.' 

But, bursting from concealment's span. 
He gave each heart Anacreon's store ; 

Tho' Little was the wish of man. 
He found that yet he wanted Moore." 

JACOB CATS. 

Jacob Cats, less the poet of imagination than 
of truth ; less the inciter to deeds of heroism 
and sublimity, than the gentle adviser to acts of 
virtue and enjoyments of innocence; less capable 
of awaking the impulses of the fancy than of 
calling into exertion the dormant energies of 
reason and morality, was born at Brouwershaven, 
a small town in Zealand, in the year 1577- He 
was well versed in the ancient and modern lan- 
guages, and as celebrated for the purity of his 
life as remarkable for the sound sense and vir- 
tuous tendency of his writings. He possessed 
an admirable knowledge of men and manners. 



POETRY AND POETS. 103 

a correct judgment, and a striking simplicity of 
language : indeed, it is a question whether he 
did not indulge too freely in his love for un- 
varnished matters of fact. The " foreign aid 
of ornament/' skilfully employed, might have 
set off to advantage that earnest and interesting 
zeal in favour of truth and piety, which is so 
prominent in his works. But there is, not- 
withstanding, something so hearty in his un- 
sophisticated style, something so touching in 
his simplicity, and something so frank and 
noble in his precepts, — that we can scarcely 
regret his having given them to us unchanged 
by refinement and unadorned by art. 

Cats had all Vondel's devotion, kindled at a 
purer and a simpler altar. His wisdom was 
vast, and all attuned to religious principle ; his 
habits were those of sublime and aspiring con- 
templation ; and his poetry is such as a prophet 
would give utterance to. He was the poet of 
the people. In his verses, they found their du- 
ties recorded, and seeming to derive additional 
authority from the solemn and emphatic dress 
they wore. He is every where original, and 
often sublime. 

From Mr. Bowring's elegant little volume we 



104 POETRY AND POETS. 

select the following metaphorical illustration of 
one of the most necessary rules for the conduct 
of life. 



" When ivy twines around a tree, 
And o'er tlie boughs hangs verdantly, 
Or on the bark, however rough. 
It seems indeed polite enough; 
And (judging from external things) 
We deem it there in friendship clings ; 
But where our weak and mortal eyes 
Attain not — hidden treach'ry lies : 
'Tis there it brings decay unseen. 
While all without seems bright and green ; 
So that the tree which flourish 'd fair, 
Before its time grows old and bare ; 
Then, like a barren log of wood. 
It stands in lifeless solitude. 
For treach'ry drags it to its doom, 
Which gives but blight — yet promis'd bloom. 

Thou, whom the pow'rful Fates have hurl'd 
'INIidst this huge forest call'd the world. 
Know, that not all are friends whose faces 
Are habited in courteous graces ; 
But think, that 'neath the sweetest smile 
Oft lurk self-int'rest, hate, and guile ; 
Or, that some gay and playful joke 
Is Spite's dark sheath, or Envy's cloak. 



POKTRY AND POETS. 105 

Then love not each who offers thee, " 

In seeming truth, his amitj-; 

But first take heed, and weigh with care, 

Ere he thy love and favour share ; 

For those who friends too lightly choose. 

Soon friends and all besides may lose." 

BATAVIAN ANTHOLOGY. 
POETICAL GENEALOGY. 

" It is a curious and pleasant thing to con- 
sider, that a link of personal acquaintance can 
be traced up from the authors of our own times 
to those of Shakspeare's era, and to Shakspeare 
himself Ovid, in recording, with fondness, 
his intimacy with Propertius and Horace, re- 
grets that he had only seen Virgil. (' Trist.' 
book 4, V. 51.) But still he thinks the sight 
of him worth remembering. And Pope, when 
a child, prevailed on some friends to take him 
to a coffee-house which Dry den frequented, 
merely to look at him ; which he did, to his 
great satisfaction. Now, such of us as have 
shaken hands with a living poet, might be able, 
perhaps, to reckon up a series of connecting 
shakes to the very hand that wrote of Hamlet, 
and of FalstafF, and of Desdemona. 



106 POETRY AND POETS. 

" With some living poets, it is certain. There 
is Thomas IMoore, for instance, who knew 
Sheridan. Sheridan knew Johnson, who was 
the friend of Savage, who knew Steele, who 
knew Pope. Pope was intimate with Con- 
greve, and Congreve with Dryden. Dryden is 
said to have visited Milton. INIilton is said to 
have known Davenant, and to have been saved 
by him from the revenge of the restored Court, 
in return for having saved Davenant from the 
revenge of the CommonAvealth. But if the 
link between Dryden and Milton, and INIilton 
and Davenant, is somewhat apocryphal, or, 
rather, dependent on tradition, (for Richardson, 
the painter, tells us the latter from Pope, who 
had it from Betterton, the actor, one of 
Davenant's company,) it may be carried, at 
once, from Dryden to Davenant, with whom he 
was unquestionably intimate. Davenant then 
knew Hobbes, who knew Bacon, who knew 
Ben Jonson, who was intimate with Beaumont 
and Fletcher, Chapman, Donne, Drayton, Cam- 
den, Selden, Clarendon, Sydney, Raleigh, and, 
perhaps, all the great men of Elizabeth's and 
James's time, the greatest of them all un- 



POETRY AND POETS. 107 

doubtedly. Thus Ave have a link of 'beamy 
hands' fi-om our own times up to Shakspeare.* 

" In this friendly genealogy we have omitted 
the numerous side-branches, or common friend- 
ships ; but of those we shall give an account 
by and by. It may be mentioned, however, 
in order not to omit Spenser, that Davenant 
resided some time in the family of Sir Fulke 
Greville, Lord Brooke, the friend of Sir Philip 
Sydney. Spenser's intimacy with Sydney is 
mentioned by himself, in a letter, still extant, 
to Gabriel Harvey. 

" We will now give the authorities for our 
intellectual pedigree. Sheridan is mentioned 
in Boswell as being admitted to the celebrated 
club, of which Johnson, Goldsmith, and others, 
were members. He had then, if we remember, 
just written his ' School for Scandal,' which 
made him the more welcome. Of Johnson's 
friendship with Savage, (we cannot help begin- 



• Were it not for the pleasure of noticing the inter- 
mediate links, and the delightful recollections which they 
awaken in our bosoms, the connection might, at once, be 
made between D'Avenant and Shakspeare, who was his 
god-father. — Editor. 



108 POETRY AND POETS. 

ning the sentence with his favourite leading 
preposition,) the well-known " Life" is an in- 
tei'esting and honourable, but melancholy, re- 
cord. It is said, that, in the commencement of 
their friendship, they have sometimes wandered 
together about London for want of a lodging ; 
— more likely for Savage's want of it, and 
Johnson's fear of offending him, by offering a 
share of his own. But we do not remember 
how this circumstance is related by Boswell. 

" Savage's intimacy with Steele is recorded in 
a pleasant anecdote, which he told Johnson. 
Sir Richard once desired him, ' with an air of 
the utmost importance,' says his biographer, 
' to come very early to his house the next 
morning. Mr. Savage came as he had promised, 
found the chariot at the door, and Sir Richard 
waiting for him, and ready to go out. What 
was intended, and whither they where to go. 
Savage could not conjecture, and was not wil- 
ling to enquire ; but immediately seated himself 
with Sir Richard. The coachman was ordered 
to drive, and they hurried, with the utmost ex- 
pedition, to Hyde-park Corner, where they 
stopped at a petty tavern, and retired to a pri- 
vate i-oom. Sir Richard then informed him 



POETRY AND POETS. 109 

that he intended to publish a pamphlet, and 
that he had desired him to come thither that he 
might write for him. They soon sat down to 
the work. Sir Richard dictated, and Savage 
wrote, till the dinner that had been ordered was 
put upon the table. Savage was surprised at 
the meanness of the entertainment, and, after 
some hesitation, ventured to ask for wine; 
which Sir Richard, not without reluctance, or- 
dered to be brought. They then finished their 
dinner, and proceeded in their pamphlet, which 
they concluded in the afternoon. 

" ']\Ir. Savage then imagined that his task 
was over, and expected that Sir Richard would 
call for the reckoning, and return home ; but 
his expectations deceived him, for Sir Richard 
told him, that he was without money, and that 
the pamphlet must be sold before the dinner 
could be paid for ; and Savage was, therefore, 
obliged to go and offer their new production for 
sale for two guineas, which, with some diffi- 
culty, he obtained. Sir Richard then returned 
home, having retired that day only to avoid his 
creditors, and composed the pamphlet only to 
discharge his reckoning.' 

" Steele's acquaintance with Pope, who wrote 



110 POETRY AND POETS. 

some papers for his ' Guardian, ' appears in 
the letters, and other works, of the wits of that 
time. Johnson supposes, that it was his friendly 
interference which attempted to bring Pope and 
Addison together, after a jealous separation. 
Pope's friendship with CongreA^e appears, also, 
in his letters. He also dedicated the ' Iliad' 
to him, over the heads of peers and patrons. 
Congreve, whose conversation, most likely, par- 
took of the elegance and wit of his writings, 
and whose manners appear to have rendered 
him an universal favourite, had the honour, in 
his youth, of attracting singular respect and 
regard from Dryden. He was publicly hailed 
by him as his successor, and affectionately 
bequeathed the care of his laurels. Dryden 
did not know who had been looking at him in 
the coffee-house. 

' Already I am woiii with cares and age, 
And just abandoning th' ungrateful stage ; 
Unprofitablj' kept at Heaven's expense, 
I live a rent- charge on his providence. 
But you, whom every Muse and Grace adorn, 
Whom I foresee to better fortune born. 
Be kind to my remains ; and O defend, 
Against your judgment, your departed friend ; 



POETRY AND POETS. Ill 

Let not th' insulting foe my fame pursue, 
But shade those laurels which descend to you.' 

Congreve did so, with great tenderness. 

" Dryden is reported to have asked Milton's 
permission to turn his " Paradise Lost" into a 
rhyming tragedy, -which he called, " The State 
of Innocence, or the Fall of Man;" a work, 
such as might be expected from such a mode of 
alteration. The A'enerable Poet is said to have 
answered, — ' Ay, young man, you may tag my 
verses, if you will.' Be the connection, how- 
ever, of Dryden with JNIilton, or of IMilton 
with Davenant, as it may, Dryden wrote the 
alteration of Shakspeare's ' Tempest,' as it is 
now perpetrated, in conjunction with Daven- 
ant. They were great hands, but they should 
not have touched the pure grandeur of Shak- 
speare. The intimacy of Davenant with Hobbes 
is to be seen by their correspondence prefixed 
to ' Gondibert.' Hobbes was, at one time, 
secretary to Lord Bacon ; a singularly illus- 
trious instance of servant and master. Bacon 
is, also, supposed to have had Ben Jonson for 
a retainer in some capacity ; but it is certain 
that Jonson had his acquaintance, for he records 



112 POETRY AND POETS. 

it in his ' Discoveries.' * And had it been 
otherwise, his link with the preceding writers 
could be easily supplied through the medium of 
Greville and Sydney, and, indeed, of many 
others of his contemporaries. Here, then, we 
arrive at Shakspeare, and feel the electric virtue 
of his hand. Their intimacy, dashed a little, 
perhaps, with jealousy on the part of Jonson, 
but maintained to the last by dint of the nobler 
part of him, and of Shakspeare's irresistible 
fineness of nature, is a thing as notorious as 
their fame. Fuller says, ' Many were the wit- 
combates betwixt (Shakspeare) and Ben Jon- 
son, which two I behold like a Spanish great 
galleon, and an English man-of-war : IMaster 
Jonson (like the former) was built far higher 
in learning : solid, but slow in his perfor- 
mances. Shakspeare, with the English man- 
of-war, lesser in bulk, but lighter in sailing, 
could turn with all tides, tack about, and take 



* Published after Lord Bacon's degradation, and when 
he was almost universally deserted : an honourable me- 
morial of the fallen greatness of the one, and of the inde- 
pendence of the other.— Editor. 



POETRY AND POETS. 113 

advantage of all winds, by the quickness of 
his wit and invention.' This is a happy simile, 
with the exception of what is insinuated about 
Jonson's great solidity. But let Jonson shew 
for himself the affection with which he re- 
garded one who did not irritate or trample 
down rivalry, but rose above it, like the quiet 
and all-gladdening sun, and turned emulation 
to worship. 

' Soul of the age ! 

Th' applause ! delight ! the wonder of our Stage ! 

My Shakspeare, rise! I will not lodge thee by 

Chaucer, or Spenser, or hid Beaumont lie 

A little further, to make thee a room : 

Thou art a monument without a tomb ; 

And art alive still, while thy book doth live. 

And we have wits to read, and praise to give. 

• » « » 

He was not of an age, but for all time.' " 

LEIGH HUNT. 
THOMSON, AND MALLET. 

" Thomson and IMallet were both educated 
at the University of Edinburgh. Thomson 
came up to town without any certain view : 
.Mallet got him into a Nobleman's family as 
tutor. lie did not like that affair; left it in 
about three quarters of a year, and came down 



114 POETRY AND POETS. 

to Mallet, at Twiford. There he wrote single 
Winter Pieces. They, at last, thought il 
might make a Poem. It was, at first, refusec 
by the Printer ; but received by another 
Mallet wrote the Dedication to the Speaker 
Dodington sent his services to Thomson by Dr 
Young, and desired to see him : that was 
thought hint enough for another dedication t< 
him ; and this was the first introduction to tha 
acquaintance. ' They make him promises, bu 
he has nothing substantial as yet.' Thomson'; 
father was a Presbyterian parson." 

SPENCE. 
HALLER. 

Poets change their opinions of their owi 
productions wonderfully, at different periods c 
life. 

Baron Haller was, in his youth, warmly at 
tached to poetic composition. His house wa 
on fire ; and, to rescue his poems, he rushe( 
through the flames. He was so fortunate as t 
escape with his beloved manuscripts in hi 
hands. Ten years afterwards, he conducte 
to the flames those very poems which he ha 
ventured his life to preserve. 



POETRY AND POETS. 115 

GEORGE HENRY SMITH. 

Garrick, Henderson, and about half-a-dozen 
actors of celebrity, wrote (when the fit was on 
them) poetry, or what they intended the world 
should deem such ; but these offsprings of their 
i\Iuse are, for the most part, gone quietly to sleep 
in the lap of oblivion. 

The individual before us, whose " Attempts 
in Verse" (as he calls them) have excited our at- 
tention, was a performer in that city of elegance 
and fashion, yclept Bath, and is a brother of Mrs. 
Bartley, our justly-celebrated tragic actress. — 
His book, which wears the unassuming air of 
true talent, is replete with poetic beauties, and 
sentiments the most pure and elevating. 

The subjects of the poems are very much at 
variance with each other, and display a more 
than ordinary versatility of talent. The volume, 
we perceive, was published by subscription; 
and truly happy should we feel, if this slight 
notice should increase its sale; as it is but seldom 
that the press presents us with a book of poesy 
so talented and so unassuming, and whose every 
page affords abundant proofs of correctness of 
taste and amiability of disposition. 

yoL. III. I 



110 POETRY AND POETS. 

We have little doubt our readers will agree 
with us in thinking that the following lines de- 
serve to exist as long as the verses of the sweet 
Poet whose decease called them forth. 

" TRIBUTE TO THE MEMORY OF ROBERT BLOOMFIELD. 

I. 

When to cold earth the Great return, 

Wakes the slav'd Harp its venal strain — 
Nay, int'rest lureth men to mourn. 

With courtly woe, in polish'd plain. 
The worthless heirs of others' fame, 

The Titled refuse of the earth, 
Whose only glory was their shame, 

Their pride and blur an honour'd birth. 

II. 
Peals the loud Lyre its proudest praise, 

When Conqu'rors — conquer'd are by Death, 
And prostitutes its choicestlays. 

To honour crime, with angels' breath. 
Still does the Bard his verse bequeath. 

To grace the dust a crown hath worn. 
And weaves too oft a laurell'd wreath, 

By bloodshed 'filed, injustice torn. 

III. 

And shall unsung, unhonour'd, lie 

The lowly, innocent, and meek ? 
Shall talent, worth, unnotic'd die. 

And none to pay due homage seek? 



POETRY AND POETS. 117 

Not one their praises love to speak, 

Nor to their memory drop tlie tear ? 
Unpractis'd though my voice, and wealv — 

May not such theme its words endear ? 

IV. 
Ah ! ye, who love the simple verse, 

WTiich tells of rural joys and pains, 
To hear an artless mind rehearse 

'llie peaceful lives of artless swains. 
Who love the page where Natui*e reigns. 

And holiest feelings point the tale — 
View not with scorn these untaught strains. 

But sweetest Bloomfield's death bewail ! 

V. 

Vet humble measures well may suit 

The Minstrel of the " Farmer's Boy ;" 
Unmeet the passion- breathing Lute 

Or regal Psaltery to employ. 
His name to laud— whose chiefest joy 

Was still the shepherd's Doric reed. 
And who, in notes which cannot cloy, 

Trill'd the chaste music of the mead. 

VI. 

Sweet as the lark her carol pours, 

When blithe she springs to greet the morn, 

And pleasing as the hedge-row flow'rs. 
Or the white blossoms of the thorn, 



118 POETRY AND POETS. 

The rhymes his guileless tales adorn. 
The modest thoughts those tales illume. 

These still are ours— but Fate has borne 
Their gentle Author to the tomb. 

VII. 
Still waveth wood, and smileth dale. 

Still streamlets lave the rushy soil. 
And vvelcometh the morning gale. 

The ploughman to his early toil ; 
Still careful housewives busy coil 

The snowy flax, and ply the wheel- 
But He has left this vj'orldly moil. 

Who taught the world such scenes to feel ! 

VIII. 
Though homely was his rustic style. 

Nor blaz'd with gems from classic lore. 
It stole unto the heart the while 

And Virtue's fascination wore ; 
Nor ever foul pollution bore 

To taint the wholesome springs of youth. 
Nor, like the tempter Fiend of yore. 

Gave haggard Vice the mien of Truth. 

IX. 

Aye reverenc'd he the Poet then. 
Who never sought the vain acclaim 

Of luring o'er his fellow men. 
With worse than murder's deadly aim ; 



POETRY AND POETS. 119 

To worship at the Bestial Fane, 

Where scoffing Sceptics worship pay, 

And glorying in their mortal stain. 
Reject the Soul— to cling to Clay ! 

X. 

Alas ! that Genius lends its grace, ' 

By false ambition madly driven. 
Its own bright splendour to efface. 

And sinks to Earth — the powers of Heaven. 
Not always is the chaplet given 

To deck the swift, or crown the strong, 
And lays which have to virtue risen, 

Alone to dateless time belong. 

XI. 
Then, Bloomfield, shall thy verse remain, 

When prouder Baids shall be forgot. 
For Darkness must resign her reign, 

The Light of Nature dieth not ! 
And happier far thy anxious lot, 

Uncheer'd by Fortune's fav'ring sun, 
Tliati who for gold their manhood blot. 

Or follow fame to be undone. 

XII. 
Ye Rich, ye Noble, bow your head. 

Writhe to the dust in conscious shame, 
For Bloomfield sunk among the dead, 

In sicknesa, poverty, and pain ; 



120 POETRY AND POETS. 

His honest breast knew not to feign, 
Disdaiu'd the Laureate's varnish'd style. 

Nor dar'd the sacred Muse profaue, 
To win by lies your patron smile. 

XIII. 
Blush, Wealth and Power ! if blush ye can. 

That Merit should unsuccour'd die ; 
That sharp Neglect's unworthy ban 

Should cloud the brow, and force the sigh. 
Of Him whose Spirit now, on high. 

Pleads meekly for our sinful race, 
And still retains that sympathy 

Your heartlessness could ne'er efface. 

XIV. 

Ah ! ye, who love the simple verse. 

Which tells of rural joys and pains. 
To hear an artless mind rehearse 

The peaceful lives of artless swains. 
Who love the page where Nature reigns 

And holiest feelings point the tale. 
View not with scorn these untaught strains. 

But sweetest Bloomfield's death bewail !" 

JOHN HEYWOOD. 

John Heywood, commonly called " The 
Epigrammatist," was beloved and rewarded by 
Henry the Eighth for his buffooneries. On 



POETRY AND POETS. 121 

leaving the University, he commenced author, 
and was countenanced by Sir Thomas IMore, 
for his facetious disposition. To his talents of 
jocularity in conversation, he joined a skill in 
music, both vocal and instrumental. His mer- 
riments were so irresistible, that they moved 
even the rigid muscles of Queen IMary; and her 
sullen solemnity was not proof against his songs, 
his rhymes, and his jests. One of these is preser- 
ved in the Cotton MS. Jul. F. x. " When Queene 
Mary tolde HeyAvoode that the priestes must 
forego their wives, he merrily answered, ' Then 
your Grace must allow them lemmans (mis- 
tresses), for the clergie cannot live without 
sauce.' " 

Another is recorded by Puttenham, in his 
" Arte of English Poesie, 1589."—" At the 
Duke of Northumberland's bourd, merry John 
Heywood was allowed to sit at the table's end. 
The Duke had a very noble and honorable 
mynde always to pay his debts well, and when 
he lacked money, would not stick to sell the 
greatest part of his plate ; so had he done a few 
dayes before. Heywood being loth to call for 
his drinke so oft as he was dry, turned his eye 
toward the cupbord, and sayd, ' I finde great 



122 POETRY AND POETS. 

itiisse of your Grace's standing cups.' The 
Duke, thinking he had spoken it of some know- 
ledge that his plate was lately sold, said, some- 
what sharply, ' Why, Sir, will not these cups 
serve as good a man as yourselfe ? ' Hey wood 
readily replied, ' Yes, if it please your Grace ; 
but I would have one of them stand still at 
myne elbow full of drinke, that I might not be 
driven to trouble your men so often to call for 
it.' This pleasaunt and speedy turn of the former 
words, holpe all the matter againe ; whereupon 
the Duke became very pleasaunt, and dranke a 
bolle of wine to Heywood, and bid a cuppe 
should always be standing by him." 

One of Heywood's works is a Poem in long 
verse, with the following curious title : " A 
Dialogue, containing in Effect the Number of al 
the Proverbes in the English Tongue, compact 
in a INIatter concerning Two Marriages." All 
the proverbs of the English language are here 
interwoven into a very silly comic tale: — the 
idea is ingenious, and the repertory, though ill- 
executed, is at least curious. 

The following anecdote relating to this work, 
has been transmitted among some " witty aun- 
sweres and saiengs of Englishmen," in the Cotton 



POETRY AND POETS. 123 

MS. before referred to. " William PaM-lett, 
JMarques of Wynchester and Highe Treasurer of 
Engelande, being presented by John Heywood 
with a booke, asked him what it conteyned? 
And when Heywoode told him 'All the Pro- 
verbes in English/ — ' WhaX., all }' quoth my 
Lorde; ' No; Bate me an ace, quoth Bolton; is 
that in your booke?' — 'No, by my faith, my 
Lorde, I thinke not/ aunswered Heywoode." 

But the neatest replication of this professed 
court-wit, seems to be recorded in " Camden's 
Remains, 1605," p. 234. Heywood being asked 
by Queen ]\Iary/' What wind blew him to the 
Court?" — he answered, " Two specially; the 
one to see your Majesty." " We thank you for 
that," said the Queen ; " but, I pray you, what 
is the other?" — " That your Grace," said he, 
" might see me." 

IMost of his sallies, however, are contemptible 
enough; and the same may be said of his 
" Epigrams," which are six hundred in number, 
and, perhaps, were often extemporaneous jests, 
made and repeated to the company. The mi- 
serable drolleries and pitiful quibbles with which 
they are pointed, indicate great want of refine- 
ment. From this heap of rubbish, it may be 



124 POETRY AND POETS. 

worth while to extract the following specimen, 
which is in Heywood's very best manner. 

" AN OLD wife's BOON. 

In old world, when old wives bitterly prayed, 

One, devoutly, as by way of a boon, 
Ask'd vengeance on her husband ; and to him said, 
' Thou wouldst wed a young wife ere this week were 

done, 
(Were I dead,) but thou shalt wed the devil as soon.' 
' I cannot wed the devil,' quoth he — ' Why?' quoth she, 
* For I have wedded his dam before,' quoth he." 

The following lines, however, afford the most 
favourable instance of his versification. 

" ON MEASURE. 

' Measure is a merry meane. 

Which filde with noppy drinke, 
When merry drinkers drinke off cleane, 
Then merrily they winke. 

Measure is a merry meane. 

But I meane measures gret ; 
Where lippes to litele pitchers leane, 

Those lippes they scantly wet. 

Measure is a merry meane, 

And measure is this mate ; 
To be a deacon or a deane, 

Thou wouldst not change the state. 



POETRY AND POETS. 125 

Measure is a merry meane. 

In volevvmes full or flat. 
There is no chapter nor no sceane 

That thou appliest like that." 

DIONYSIUS, KING OF SICILY. 

DiONYSius THE Elder, King of Sicily, pos- 
sessed a passion for poetry. He contended for 
the prize at Athens, and, when he gained it, 
shewed more satisfaction than when victory 
crowned his arms in the field. On that occasion, 
he entertained the whole city with extraordinary 
magnificence, and spent an immense treasure in 
public feasts and banquets, which continued 
several days. In the midst of this rejoicing, he 
was seized with a disease, which terminated his 
life. 

MRS. PILKINGTON. 

Mrs. Pilkington, whose poetical talents and 
frailties were, at one time of day, the alternate 
theme of praise and commiseration, tells us, in 
her IVIemoirs, that " from her earliest infancy 
she had a strong disposition to letters ;" but, her 
eyes being weak, lier mother would not permit 
her to look at a book, lest it should affect them. 
As she did not place so high a value, however. 



126 POETRY AND POETS. 

on those lucid orbs as her mother, and as restraint 
only served to quicken her natural thirst for 
knowledge, she availed herself of every oppor- 
tunity that could gratify it; so that, at five 
years old, she could read, and even taste, the 
beauties of some of the best English Poets. She 
continued in this manner to improve her mind 
by -Stealth, till she had accomplished her twelfth 
year, when her brother, a little playful boy, 
brought her a slip of paper one day, and desired 
her to write something on it that would please 
him; on which she wrote the following lines: 

Oh, spotless paper, fair, and white ! 
On thee by force constrain'd to write. 
Is it not hard I should destroy 
Thy purity to please a boy ? 
Ungrateful I, thus to abuse 
The fairest servant of the Muse. 
Dear friend, to whom I oft impart 
The choicest secrets of my heart, 
Ah ! what atonement can be made 
For spotless innocence betray'd ? 
How fair, how lovely, didst thou shew 
Like lilied banks, or falling snow : 
But now, alas ! become my prey, 
Not tears can wash thy stains away : 
Yet, this small comfort I can give, 
That what destroy'd shall make thee live. 



POETRY AND POETS. 127 



GEORGE GASCOIGNE. 

" Chaucer by writing purchas'd fame, 
And Gower got a worthy name ; 
Sweet Surrj' sucked Parnassus' springs, 
And Wyatt wrote of wondrous things ; 
Old Rochford clambe the stately throne 
Which Muses hold in Helicoue ; 
Then thither let good Gascoigne go. 
For sure his verse deserveth so." 

There are several reasons for which Gas- 
coigne claims a particular notice in a work ilhis- 
trative of English Poetry and Poets. His 
" Steele Glas " is one of the earliest specimens 
of blank verse, as well as of legitimate satire, in 
our language; his "Jocasta" is the second 
theatrical piece written in that measure; and 
his " Supposes," (a translation from the Italian 
of Ariosto,) the first comedy ever written in 
prose. Shakspeare's obligations to the latter 
piece, in his " Comedy of Errors," have been 
accurately stated by Warton and Farmer ; they 
are not, however, very extensive. 

George Gascoigne was born of an ancient fa- 
mily in Essex, but, for some unknown reason, 



128 POETRY AND POETS. 

disinherited by his father. "Having," says 
Anthony Wood, "a rambling and unfixed head, 
he left Gray's Inn, went to various cities in Hol- 
land, and became a soldier of note, which he 
afterwards professed as mvich, or more, as learn- 
ing, and therefore made him take the motto. 
Tarn Marti quam Mercurio. From thence he 
went to France and fell in love with a Scottish 
dame." The latter part of this account rests 
on very slight foundation ; it is doubtful whe- 
ther or no he went to France, and the story of 
the " Scottish Dame" relies only on some lines 
in his " Herbes," written, probably, in an assu- 
med character. 

What is more certain is, that he took service 
in Holland, under the gallant William, Prince of 
Orange, who was then (in 1572) engaged in the 
glorious struggle which emancipated his coimtry 
from the iron yoke of Spain. He there acqui- 
red considerable military reputation ; but quar- 
relling with his Colonel, he repaired to Delf, 
where he resigned his commission into the 
hands of the Prince, who in vain endeavoured 
to reconcile his officers. 

About this period, a circumstance occurred 
which had nearly cost our poet his life. A 



POETRY AND POETS. 129 

lady at the Hague (then in possession of the 
enemy) with whom Gascoigne had been on in- 
timate terms, had his portrait, (or his " counter- 
fay t," as he calls it,) in her hands, and resolving 
to part with it to him alone, wrote a letter on 
the subject, which fell into the hands of his 
enemies in the camp, and from which they 
meant to have raised a report unfavourable to 
his fidelity. On its reaching his hands, how- 
ever, Gascoigne immediately laid it before the 
Prince, who saw through their design, and gave 
him passports to visit the lady. The Burghers, 
however, watched his motions with malicious 
caution, and he was called in derision " the Green 
Knight." At the siege of IMiddleburg, he re- 
ceived from the prince a sum of 300 guilders in 
addition to his regular pay, with a promise of 
future promotion, for the zeal and fidelity which 
he displayed there. He was, however, soon 
after surprised by 3000 Spaniards, when com- 
manding, under Captain Sheffield, 500 English- 
men lately landed, and retired in good ordei*, 
at night, under the walls of Leyden ; but the 
jealousy of the Dutch was then openly displayed 
by their refusing to open the gates, in conse- 
quence of which our military bard and his little 



130 



POETRY AND POETS. 



band were made captives. Of this. Whetstone 
speaks in his " Remembrance of the well-em- 
ployed life and godly end of George Gascoigne, 
Esquire/' from his own information, in the fol- 
lowing terms. 

Well placed at length among the drunken Dutch, 
(Though rumours lewd impaired my desert,) 

I boldly vaunt the blast of fame is such. 
As proves 1 had a froward sours heart. 

My slender gain a further witness is, 

For worthiest men the spoils of war do miss. 

Even there the man , that went to fight for pence, 
Caught by sly hap, in prison vile was popt; 

Yea, had not words fought for my life's defence. 
For all my hands, my bi-eath had there been stopt ; 

But I, in fine, did so persuade my foe. 

As (set free) I was homewards set to go. 

On his return to England he gave himself up 
to the Muses, and in the summer of 1575, ac- 
companied Queen Elizabeth in one of her stately 
progresses, during which he composed a sort of 
mask, entitled, " The Princely Pleasures of 
Kenilworth Castle," reprinted in Nichols's Pro- 
gresses, and also, very lately, in a separate form. 
He afterwards settled at Walthamstow, where 
he wrote his " Steele-Glas of Government," and 



POETRY AND POETS. 131 

Other principal works, and died, according to 
Whetstone, at Stamford, in Lincolnshire, Oct. 7? 
1577- His works went through two editions in 
his life -time, and a third a few years after his 
death. These are all very scarce : of the first, 
indeed, only two perfect copies are known ; it 
contains only his earlier productions, and was 
printed in 1572. The second is, also, by no 
means complete. 

Mr. Alexander Chalmers has reprinted part 
of Gascoigne in his " Collection of the English 
Poets," from which we copy, both as a specimen 
of his style and of English blank verse prior to 
Shakspeare, the following severe satire on the 
Vices of the Clergy, which forms a part of his 
" Steele Glas." This was a favourite subject 
with our early satirists, for the vast power then 
engrossed by the priesthood naturally engen- 
dered all manner of corruptions. 

" Lo ! these, ray Lord, be my good praying priests. 
Descended from Melchizedic by line, 
Cousins to Paul, to Peter, James, and John ; 
ITiese be my priests, the seasoning of the Earth, 
Which will not lose their savouriness, I trow. 
Not one of these, for twenty hundred groats, 
Will teach the text which bids him take a wife, 

VOL. III. K 



132 POETRY AND POETS- 

Ahd yet he cambered with a concubine : 

Not one of these will read the holy writ 

Wliich doth forbid all greedy usury. 

And yet receive a shilling for a pound : 

Not one of these will preach of patience, 

And yet be found as angry as a wasp : 

Not one of these can be content to sit 

In Taverns, Inns, or Alehouses, all day. 

But spends his time devoutly at a book : 

Not one of these will rail at rulers' wrongs. 

And yet be bloated with extortion : 

Not one of these will point out worldly pride, 

And he himself as gallant as he dare : 

Not one of these rebuketh avarice, 

And yet procureth proud pluralities : 

Not one of these reproveth vanity, 

While he himself, his hawk upon his fist 

And hounds at heel, doth quite forget his text : 

Not one of these corrects contentions 

For trifling things, and yet will sue for tithes r 

Not one of these, not one of these, my Lord, 

Will be ashamed to do e'en as he teacheth. 

My priests have learned to pray unto the Lord, 

And yet they trust not in their lip-labour : 

My priests can fast and use all abstinence 

From vice and sin, and yet refuse no meats : 

My priests can give, in charitable wise. 

And love also to do good almes-deeds, 

Although they trust not in their own deserts : 

My priests can place all penance in the heart. 



POETRY AND POETS. 133 

Without regard of outward ceremonies • 

My priests can keep their temples undefiled. 

And yet defy all superstition. 

Lo ! now, my Lord, what think you of my priests ? 

GEORGE FREDERICK PALMER. 

This young man, who was a favorite of the 
Muses, entered into the naval service when very 
young, in 1807; and had scarcely made two 
voyages during the late war, when the vessel 
(Flora frigate) was wrecked off the Texel, on the 
coast of Holland. The crew were all made pri- 
soners, with the exception of nine, who met a 
watery grave. Owing to the difficulties that 
then prevailed with the two governments in set- 
tling the exchange of prisoners. Palmer was de- 
tained a considerable period ere he was released. 

It was during his confinement that he culti- 
vated a taste for poetry. The pieces he wrote 
were generally of a transient nature, and were 
destroyed almost immediately after they were 
written. The walls of the different prisons in 
which he was confined (the French government 
seldom permitting the English prisoners to re- 
main long in one place) contained many of his 
verses. The only poem of any note which 
reached his friends in England, is " The 



134 POETRY AND POETS. 

Evening's Contemplation in a French Prison," 
(Valenciennes,) in imitation of Gray's "Elegy:" 
and it is but truth to state that its composition 
would have been no discredit to some of our 
more able poets. 

Palmer had contracted a disease during his 
long confinement, which never forsook him. 
At the invasion of France by the Allies, the En- 
glish prisoners were removed from depot to 
depot, lest they should fall into the hands of the 
conquering Powers, and be released. The re- 
peated harassing marches Palmer underwent 
on these occasions, added to his already weak 
state of body, considerably hastened his decease. 
His severe illness prevented his removal to Eng- 
land for some time after the conclusion of the 
Peace. He died shortly after arriving in his 
native country, in the Naval Hospital at Deal, 
June 9th, 1814, after an absence of seven years. 

For the gratification of our readers, we sub- 
join a few verses from the " Elegy" in ques- 
tion ; the reader must bear in mind, that the 
scene is a French prison, and that the Poet is a 
British Sailor. 

" Perhaps iu ' durance vile' here may be plac'd 
Some heart susceptive of poetic fire ; 



POETBY AND POETS. 135 

Hands which the svrord of Duncan might have grac'd. 
Or tun'd,like Falconer, the living lyre. 

But science on their birth refus'd to smile, 
Nor gave th' instructive volume to their sight ; 

Their lives were destin'd to perpetual toil, 
Unseen the rays of intellectual light. 

Full many a song the tuneful bird of night 
Warbles unheard amid some lonely place ; 

Full many a sun, of dazzling lustre bright, 
Is lost in distance in the boundless space. 

Some generous Howard, who, with godlike zeal, 
Rov'd o'er the world to set the pris'ner free, 

May here the hoiTors of confinement feel. 
Nor e'er again his home or country see. 

Some gallant Nelson here unknown may rest 

In cells ungenial, lost his soul of fire. 
His mind of vigour, and that dauntless breast. 

Danger could ne'er appal, nor labour tire." 

m * * * * 

JOSEPH ATKINSON 

was a native of Ireland, and was Treasurer of 
the Ordnance, under the administration of the 
Earl of j\Ioira. He was the intimate of Moore, 
Curran, and the rest of the galaxy of Irish ge- 
nius; and was, himself, a poet of more than 



136 POETRY AND POETS. 

ordinary ability, as the following jeu d'esprit, 
addressed to his friend Moore, on the birth of 
his third daughter, will evince : 

" I'm sorry, dear Moore, there 's a damp to your joy, 
Nor think my old strain of mythology stupid. 
When 1 say, that your wife had a right to a hoy. 
For Venus is nothing without a young Cupid. 

But since Fate, the boon that you wish'd for, refuses, 
By granting three girls to your happy embraces. 

She but meant, while you wander'd abroad with the 
Muses, 
Your wife should be circled at home by the Graces J" 

He died in Dublin, at the age of seventy-five, 
in October, 1818, and was sincerely regretted 
by all who knew him ; being admired by the 
young for his conviviality, and respected by 
the aged for his benevolence and numerous good 
qualities. 

The following beautiful lines, from the pen 
of his intimate, Moore, are intended to be en- 
graved on his sepulchre : 

" If ever lot was prosperously cast. 

If ever life was like the lengthen'd flow 
Of some sweet music, sweetness to the last, 
'Twas his, who, mourn'd by many, sleeps below. 



», POETRY AND POETS. 137 

The sunny temper, bright where all is strife. 
The simple heart that mocks at worldly wiles, 

Light wit, that plays along the calm of life. 
And stirs its languid surface into smiles. 

Pure Charity, that comes not in a shower, 
Sudden and loud, oppressing what it feeds ; 

But, like the dew, with gradual silent power. 
Felt in the bloom it leaves along the meads. 

The happy grateful spirit that improves. 
And brightens ev'rj' gift by Fortune given ; 

That, wander where it will, with those it loves, 
Makes ev'ry place a home, and home a heaven ! 

All these were his — Oh ! thou, who read'st this stone, 
When for thyself, thy children, to the sky 

Thou humbly prayest, ask this boon alone, 
That ye like him may live, like him may die." 

HINDOO POETRY. 

The subjects of many slight popular poems, 
among the Hindoos, are highly curious. Major 
Broughton, in his slight but pleasing volume on 
that subject, has preserved the two following, 
which we deem well worthy of being presented 
to our readers. 

" The daughter of a certain Raja, young and 
beautiful, fell suddenly into a deep melancholy. 



138 



POETRY AND POETS. 



No art was left untried to effect a cure ; plays 
and pantomimes were acted before her; the 
most ridiculous mimics and buffoons were sent 
for, and exhibited in her presence : but all in 
vain ; the young Ranee could by no means be 
induced to smile. At length, a facetious Brahmun 
undertook to cure her ; and, in the character of 
a jeweller, offered some fine pearls for sale. The 
following lines contain the Brahmun's speech, 
with its effect ; the first hyperbole failed ; but 
in the next attempt he was more successful. 

* O say, within that coral cell 
What mighty magic power can dwell ; 
That cheats my hope?, my sight misleads. 
And makes my pearls seem coral beads! 
In those black eyes now fury burns ; — 
To crabs'-eyes all my coral turns ! 
But see, she smiles ; — my fears were vaiu ; 
My worthless beads are pearls again.'" 

" A young gu-1, just blooming into youth, 
laments, in the following lines, the loss of the 
liberty and ease she enjoyed, while regarded 
only as a child, in her father's house ; and com- 
plains of the restraint imposed upon her in that 
of her husband, to which she has now been 
removed. When she goes to draw water at the 



POETRY AND POETS. 139 

well, (the general resort of all the females in a 
Hindoo village,) her jet black hair and beautiful 
features excite the admiration and despair of the 
men, and the eny.y and spite of her female com- 
panions ; -while at home, she is tormented by the 
watchful jealousy of all her new relations— who 
are to be understood by the terms mother, sister, 
and brother. 

' Though hair as black as glossy raveu. 
On me's bestow'd by bounteous Heaven, 
The gift I find a source of pain ; 
Vet who of Heaven may dare complain ? 
They sneer, and scoff, and taunting swear 
I'm proud, because my face is fair : 
And how should such a child as I 
Restrain tlieir cruel raillery ? 
My mother, if I stir, will chide ; 
My sister watches by my side ; 
And then my brother scolds me so. 
My cheeks with constant blushes glow : 
Ah then, kind Heaven ! restore to me 
The happy days of infancy ; 
And take this boasted youth again. 
Productive but of care and pain !*" 

FONDNESS OP POETS FOR RIVERS. 

Rivers have, in all ages, been themes for the 
Poet ; and in what esteem they were held by 



140 



POETRY AND POETS. 



ancient writers, may be inferred from the num- 
ber of authors who wrote of them, previous to 
the time of Plutarch. The Aufidus, the Tiber, 
and the Po, have been celebrated by Horace, 
Virgil, and Ovid ; Callimachus immortalized the 
beautiful waters of the Inachus ; and while the 
Arno, the Mincio, and the Tagus, boast their 
Petrarch, Boccacio, and Camoens ; the Severn, 
the Ouse, and the Trent, the Avon, the Derwent, 
and the Dee, have been distinguished by the 
praises of many an elegant and accomplished 
poet. Who is not charmed with Spenser's 
" Marriage of the Thames and the Medway ?" 
And what personifications in Ovid or Hesiod 
are more beautiful than the " Sabrina" of Milton 
and the " Ladona" of Pope ? 

On the banks of Ilyssus, Plato taught his 
system of Philosophy ; and on the shores of the 
Rocnabad, a river flowing near the Chapel of 
Mosella, the poets and philosophers of Shiraz 
composed their most celebrated works. Ossian 
is never weary of comparing rivers to heroes ; 
and so enamoured were Du Bartas and Drayton 
of river scenery, that the one wrote a poetical 
catalogue of those which were the most cele- 
brated, and the other composed a voluminous 



POETRY AND POETS. 



141 



work upon their history, topography, and land- 
scapes. On the borders of the Cam, Milton 
enjoyed the happiest moments of his life. — 
This Poet enumerates all the principal rivers in 
England, and gives to them their appropriate 
epithets, in a poem, which has been imitated by 
Drummond of Hawthornden. 

" Rivers, arise ! whether thou be the son 
Of utmost Tweed, or Ouse, or gulphy Dun; 
Of Trent, who, like some earth-born giant, spreads 
His thirsty arms along th' indented meads ; 
Or sullen Afole, that runneth underneath. 
Or Severn swift, guilty of maiden's death ; 
Of rocky Avon, or of sedgy Lee, 
Or coaly Tyne, or ancient hallowed Dee; 
Or Humber loud, that keeps the Scj-thian's name. 
Or Medway smooth, or royal-tower'd Thame." 

Not only rivers, but fountains, have been held 
sacred by almost every nation, and equally are 
they beloved by the Poets. Who has not pe- 
rused with pleasure Sannazaro's " Ode to the 
Fountain of Mergillini;" Petrarch's Address to 
that of Vaucluse ; and Horace's " Ode to the 
Fountain of Blandusium," situated among rocks, 
and surrounded with woods } 



142 poetry and poets. 

gay's " beggars' opera," &C. 

Gay got, altogether, about sixteen hundred 
pounds by the " Beggars' Opera." This play 
caused considerable bustle. In the year 1773, 
Sir John Fielding told the bench of Justices, 
that he had written to Mr. Garrick, concerning 
the impropriety of performing the " Beggars' 
Opera," which never was represented on the 
stage, without creating an additional number of 
thieves; and they particularly requested that he 
would desist from performing that opera on a 
Saturday evening. 

Such, also, were the fears of the Church, as 
to the effect of this play, that Dr. Herring, then 
Archbishop of Canterbury, preached a sermon 
against it: — ^but Dean Swift wrote (as might 
be guessed) in favour of it in the " Intelli- 
gencer !" We learn, from Boswell's " Life of 
Johnson," that Mr. Courtney, in his lively way, 
called Gay (the author of it) " The Orpheus 
of Highwaymen." That ingenious Critic, Mr. 
Hazlitt, thinks " it is a vulgar error to call this 
a vulgar play; so far from it, that we (Mr. 
Hazlitt) do not scruple to declare our opinion, 



POETRY AND POETS. 143 

that it is one of the most refined productions in 
the language." — (Round Table, vol. i., p. 209.) 
The quarrel-scene between Peachum and Lockit 
was a burlesque imitation of that between Brutus 
and Cassius. 

While on the subject of the " Beggars' Opera/' 
perhaps the reader will excuse our presenting a 
real Macheath. 

On the 23d of March, 1761, was executed, at 
Oxford, Isaac Dark, alias Dumas, for a robbery 
near Nettlebed, in Oxfordshire. He was re- 
spectably bred, but unfortunately turned out a 
good fellow, a spirited dog, nobody's enemy but 
his own. He sung his song well, told a good 
story, was apt at a sentiment, drank freely, so 
that, at the clubs of the day — who but he } The 
ladies, of course, occupied his attention ; and he 
became so great a favourite, that he soon took 
to the road, to consolidate his ascendancy— for 
he was very generous. In 1758, however, he 
was cast for death, at Chelmsford Assizes ; but, 
on account of his youth, the sentence was com- 
muted to fourteen years' transportation. 

While he lay in gaol, a scheme was formed 
by the prisoners to escape, by murdering the 



144 POETRY AND POETS. 

keeper ; but he divulged the plot, and received 
a pardon, provided he went to Antigua. There 
he found soldiering so disagreeable, that, by 
bribery and address, he escaped, and, arriving 
in England, begun his new campaigns on the 
Bath road. Having replenished his purse, he 
entered as a midshipman on board the Royal 
George ; and now and then, upon leave of ab- 
sence, levied contributions as usual; one of 
which was upon Lord Perceval, for which he 
was taken up, but acquitted. While confined 
in Salisbury Gaol, he was frequently visited by 
ladies of the highest character and respectability, 
on whom he made such a sensible impression, by 
his genteel address and captivating manners, as 
to become the tea-table chat of that town. Im- 
mediately after his acquittal at the Assizes, he 
received the following : 

" CERTAIN BELLES TO DUMAS. 

Joy to thee, lovely thief ! that thou 

Hast 'scap'd the fatal string ; 
Let gallows groan with ugly rogues, 

Dumas must never swing. 

Dost thou seek money ? to thy wants 
Our purses we'll resign ; 



POETRY AND POETS. 145 

Could we our hearts to guineas coin. 
Those guineas all were thine. 

To Bath in safety let my Lord 

His loaded pockets carry ; 
Thou ne'er again shalt tempt the road. 

Sweet youth ! if thou wilt marry. 

No more shall niggard travellers 

Avoid thee ; we'll ensure 'em : 
To us thou shalt consign thy balls 

And pistol : — we'll secure 'em. 

Yet think not, when the chains are off, 

Which now thy legs bedeck. 
To fly ; — in fetters, softer far. 

We'll chain thee by the neck." 

He never failed to captivate the fair sex, 
Avherever he came, on which he valued himself; 
and he was discovered by means of some letters 
directed to them. His character seems to have 
been a medley of levity, composed of virtues 
and vices: he had a large share of understanding, 
with a tolerable scholastic education. When in 
necessity, he was daring beyond credibility; and 
his courage was frequently restrained, by his 
high notion of honour, which he defined, — de- 
testing a mean appearance, and an abhorrence 



146 



POETRY AND POETS. 



of cruelty. He possessed a soul, which, in 
every hazardous enterprise, overlooked all dan- 
gers and difficulties ; and which was so firmly 
attached to his paramours, that his shameful 
end must be imputed to their extravagances : he 
was fond of elegance in dress, and of being 
thought handsome. 

He suffered before he arrived at the age of 
twenty-one; and behaved with great intrepidity 
at the gallows, preparing his neck for the rope, 
putting it on, and then throwing himself off" the 
ladder, without giving the executioner the signal 
agreed on to turn him off". 

The character of Macheath was his delight, 
and with it he diverted himself while in Ox- 
ford Gaol. 




POETRY AND POETS. 147 

DR. JOHNSON AND " DOUGLAS." 

Whilst Johnson was sitting in one of the 
coffee houses at Oxford, about the time when he 
had a Doctor's degree conferred on him by the 
University, some young men approached him 
with a view to entertainment. They knew the 
subject of Scotch poetry and Scotch literature 
would call him forth. They talked of " Ossian" 
and Home's tragedy of " Douglas ;" and one of 
them repeated, from th latter, 

"Ere a sword was drawn. 
An arrow from my bow had pierc'd their chief, 
Who wore that day the arms which now I wear. 
Returning home in triumph, I disdain'd 
The shepherd's slotliful life, and having heard 
That our good king had summon'd his bold peers 
To lead their warriors to the Carron side, 
I left my father's house, and took with me 
A chosen servant to conduct my steps." 

After which he called out, " there's imagery 
for you. Dr. Johnson ! there's description ! did 
you ever know any man write like that ?" John- 
son replied, with that tone of voice for which he 
was so remarkable, and which it is said Garrick 
used to mimic most inimitably, " Yes, Sir, many 
a man, many a woman, and m;:ny a child !" 

VOL. MI. I, 



J 48 POETRY AND POETS. 

Cooke, the translator of" Hesiod," used to say 
that Johnson was " half a madman, half a scho- 
lar, three parts a Roman Catholic^ and a complete 
Jacobite." 

SHAKSPEARE, AND GERARD BRANDT. 

Gerard Brandt, a Dutch Poet of some 
eminence, was born at Amsterdam iij 1626, and 
intended to pursue the business of his father, 
who was a watchmaker ; but the love of song 
had taken possession of his mind, and caused 
him to turn his thoughts to that difficult, but, in 
those days, much-esteemed branch of literature 
— the Tragic Drama. At the age of seventeen, 
he produced a piece entitled " The Dissembling 
Torquatus;" the scene of which is laid at Rome, 
without, however, any other adherence to his- 
tory, or even to the original names. We copy 
from Mr. Bowring's delightful work, the " Ba- 
tavian Anthology," the following observations 
of a Dutch Critic, Van Kampen, on this singular 
production. 

" There is in this piece a remarkable resem- 
blance to Hamlet : Shakspeare has drawn from 
an old Northern tradition preserved by Saxo 
Grammaticus : Brandt's idea seems to be entirely 



POETRY AND POETS. 149 

original. Torquatus is at Athens (just as Ham- 
let at Wittenberg) pursuing his studies, while 
his father (^IManlius) is murdered at Rome by 
his own brother (Noron), who espouses the 
widow (Plaucina). Who does not here imme- 
diately recognize Claudius, Gertrude, and the 
murdered King, of Shakspeare.? Torquatus 
says, too, at the commencement, 

* Hast thou, O Heaven ! e'er seen a wretch like me ? 
Perfidious, joyless uncle, traitorous slave ! 
How dar'dst thou thus my wailike father slay, 
And stain ray mother's fame ?' 

" Yet again. The Ghost of Manlius appears 
to his son, and incites him to avenge his death. 
Torquatus feigns madness, like Hamlet. The 
object of his affections (Juliana) is also intro- 
duced. But the most striking point of resem- 
blance is in the scene where the heroes of both 
tragedies reproach their guilty mothers. 

" ' Noron, being sore afraid of his nephew, 
cunningly introduces his wife (Plaucina) in a 
chamber where Torquatus is, after having con- 
cealed one of his counsellors under a couch, for 
the purpose of hearing whether he would openly 
avow his suspicions to his mother. Torquatus, 



150 POETRY AND POETS. 

aware of this, suddenly despatches him, and 
reproaches his mother for her immodesty, who, 
having vindicated herself, promises to be faith- 
ful/ 

" Here is, in fact, a repetition of the scene 
where Polonius, behind the arras, falls by Ham- 
let's sword, and the Queen suffers the taunts 
and upbraidings of her son. Parts of the lan- 
guage have a striking coincidence : 

TORQUATUS. 

' Approach me not with thine adulterous lips ; 
For very shame benrl down the eyes that fir'd 
The accursed Noron's lust. 

Lascivious Queen ! 
Go — go — caress thy tyrant.' 

HAMLET. 

' O shame! where is thy blush ? Rebellious hell. 
If thou canst mutine in a matron's bones, 
To flaming youth let virtue be as wax. 
And melt in her own fire.' 

PLAUCINA. 

' For Heaven's sake, cease ! Ah ! what must I not hear ? 
I start at mine own shadow.' 

GERTRUDE. 

' O Hamlet ! speak no more, 
Tliou turn'st mine eyes into my very soul,. 



POETRY AND POETS. 151 

" The catastrophe is certainly quite different. 
Torquatus triumphs by means of Juliana ; who, 
however, being dishonoured by Noron, like 
Lucretia, destroys herself. The disastrous end 
of Hamlet is well known. Still the resemblance 
is sufficiently forcible to justify the question, 
whether Brandt was acquainted with Shak- 
speare, and, consequently, whether the know- 
ledge of English literature, about the middle of 
the 17th century, was more universal than is 
generally supposed ? We (adds Van Kampen) 
believe this not to have been the case, at least 
not when Brandt wrote this tragedy. We might 
more easily imagine this of Huijgens, although 
even he, who understood and translated some 
English poets of mediocrity, does not once 
mention the incomparable poet of Hamlet and 
Macbeth." 

SHAKSPEARE, AND d'aVENANT. 

Shakspeare, in his frequent journeys between 
London and his native place, Stratford-upon- 
Avon, used to lie at D'Avenant's, " The Crown," 
in Oxford. He was very well acquainted with 
Mrs. D'Avenant; and her son (afterwards Sir 
William) was supposed to be more nearly re- 
lated to him than as a godson only. One day. 



152 



POETRY AND POETS. 



when Shakspeare was just arrived^ and the boy 
sent from school to him, a head of one of the 
Colleges (who was pretty well acquainted with 
the affairs of the family) met the child running 
home, and asked him whither he was going in 
so much haste ? The boy said, " To my God- 
father Shakspeare." — " The child ! (says the 
old gentleman,) why are you so superfluous? 
have you not learned yet that you should not 
use the name of God in vain ?" 

Pope, in Spence's Anecdotes. 

SORTES VIRGILIANiE. 

In the time of the late civil wars. King 
Charles I. was at leisure for a little diversion. A 
motion was made to go to the Sortes Virgilianoe; 
that is, take a Virgil, and either with the finger, 
or sticking a pin, or the like, upon any verses, 
at a venture, and the verses touched shall 
declare his destiny that toucheth, which some- 
times makes sport, and at other times is signi- 
ficant, or not, as the gamesters choose to apply. 
The King laid his finger on the place towards 
the latter end of the fourth ^Eneid, which con- 
tains Dido's curse to Mneas : 

" At bello audacis populi vexatus et armis, 
Fiaibus extonis, coniplexu avulsus liili. 



POETRY AND POETS. 155 

Auxiliuin imploict, videatque indigna suorum 
Funera ; iiec quiiui .^e sub leges pacis iuiquse 
Tradiderit, regno aut optata luce fruatur, 
Sed cadat ante diem, inediaque inlauuatus arena !" 

This made the sport end in vexation, as much 
as it began in merriment : the King read the fate 
which followed him in too many particulars, as 
time discovered. He was then, and afterwards, 
ccxed with the conquering arms of his subjects j 
he would have been glad to have escaped with 
banishment ; he was torn from his son, the Prince; 
he saw the deaths of most of his friends ; he 
would gladly have made peace (at the Isle of 
Wight) upon hard terms; he neither enjoyed his 
crotvn nor life long, but was beheaded on a scaj- 
fold before his own dour, and God knotvs where 
buried ! jMr. Cowley was desired to translate the 
above lines into English (without being in- 
formed that the King had drawn them), which 
he did, as follows : 

By a bold people's stubborn arms oppress'd, 
Forc'd to forsake the land which he posses^d ; 
Torn from his dearest son, let him in vain 
Be.' help, and see his friends unjustly slain : 
Let him to base unequal terms submit, 
In hopes to save his crown, yetlo.se both it 
And life at once : untimely let him die, 
And on an open stage unburied lie 1" 



154 POETRY AND POETS. 

Lord Falkland and some others were with the 
King at the time. 

This anecdote is taken from the first leaf of 
Bishop Wilkins's Virgil^ where it is written in 
his own hand- writing. 

Petrarch's laura. 

The arguments of Lord Woodhouslee, prov- 
ing that Laura lived and died unmarried^ are 
strictly conclusive ; — the memoirs of Petrarch^, 
written by De Sade, being little more than a 
romance. " Petrarch," his Lordship observes, 
" composed 318 sonnets, 59 canzoni, or songs, 
and 6 trionfi; a large volume of poetry, entirely 
on the subject of his passion for Laura ; not to 
include a variety of passages in prose works, 
where the favourite topic is occasionally treated, 
and even discussed at very great length. In the 
whole of these Avorks, there is not a single pas- 
sage which intimates that Laura was a married 
woman. ^ Is it to be conceived, that the Poet, 
who ha'S exhausted language itself, in saying 
every thing possible of his mistress ; who men- 
tions not only her looks, her dress, her gestures, 
her conversations, but her companions, her fa- 
vourite walks, and her domestic occupations. 




SHAKSPEARE. 

From the Dust in Stratford-on-Avon Church. 



POETRY AND POETS. 155 

would have omitted such capital facts, as being 
married, and the mother of many children ; 
married, too, as the author asserts, to a man who 
was jealous of her, and who used her with harsh- 
ness and unkindness, on Petrarch's account?" 
Laura died in 1348, and was buried at Avignon. 
Her grave was opened by J'rancis the First, 
King of France; wherein was found a small 
box, containing a medal and a few verses, 
written by Petrarch. — On one side of the medal 
was impressed the figure of a woman ; on the 
reverse the characters of M. L. M. J., signifying 
Madona Laura viorte jacet. 

The gallant and enthusiastic Monarch re- 
turned every thing into the tomb, and wrote an 
epitaph in honour of her memory. 

PETRARCH AT VAUCLUSE. 

It is impossible to describe the pleasure which 
Petrarch enjoyed in his hermitage at Vaucluse. 
He was never truly happy when away from it ; 
he was never weary of celebrating its beauties, 
and never fatigued with describing them to his 
friends. There, as he informs us in a letter to 
the Bishop of Cavoillon, he went when a child ; 
thither he returned when a youth ; in manhood. 



156 



POETRY AND POETS. 



he passed there some of the choicest years of his 
life; and had he been capable of reflection, at 
so awfully sudden a period, he would have la- 
mented, that there he was not permitted to close 
his mortal existence.* The manner in which 
he passed his time in that elegant retirement, 
he thus describes in a letter to one of his inti- 
mate friends. — " Nothing pleases me so much as 
my personal freedom. I rise at midnight ; I 
go out at break of day ; I study in the fields as 
in my closet; I think, read, and even write 
*here. I combat idleness ; I chase away sleep, 
indulgence, and pleasures. In the day, I run 
over the craggy mountains, the humid vallies, 
and shelter myself in the profoundest caves ; . 
sometimes I walk, attended only by my reflec- 
tions, along the banks of the Sorgia, meeting 
with no person to distract my mind. I become 
every day more calm, and send my cares some- 
times before ; sometimes, I leave them behind 
me. Fond of the place I am in, every situation 



was 



* Petrarch died of an apoplexy, at Argua— He 
found dead iu his library, July the 18th, 1374 ; with one 
arm leaning on a book. 



POETRY AND POETS. 157 

becomeSj in turn, agreeable to me except Avig- 
non ; I find Athens, Rome, and Florence as my 
imagination desires : here I enjoy my friends, 
not only those with whom I have lived, but 
those who have long been dead, and whom I 
only know in their works." 

gower's anachronisms. 

It is pleasant to observe the strange mistakes 
which Gower, a man of great learning, and the 
most general scholar of his age, has committed 
in his " Confessio Amantis," concerning books 
which he never saw, his violent anachronisms, 
and misrepresentations of the most common 
poets and characters: he mentions the Greek 
Poet ^lenander as one of the first historians, or, 
to quote his own expression, " the first enditours 
of the olde cronike," together with Esdras, So- 
linus, Josephus, Claudius Salpicius, Termegis, 
Pandulfe, Frigidilles, Ephiloquorus, and Pan- 
das. In this singular list, the omissions of which 
are as curious as the insertions, we are equally 
at a loss to account for the station assigned to 
some of the names as to the existence of others, 
which it would require an Q'^dipus to unriddle. 

In the next paragraph, it is true, he mentions 



158 POETRY AND POETS. 

Herodotus ; yet not in his character of an early 
Historian, but as the first writer of a system of 
the metrical art, " of metre, of ryme, and of ca- 
dence." We smile when Hector, in Shakspeare, 
quotes Aristotle; but Gower gravely informs 
his reader that Ulysses was a clerke, accom- 
plished with a knowledge of all the sciences, a 
great rhetorician and magician ; that he learned 
Rhetoric of Tully, Magic of Zoroaster, As- 
tronomy of Ptolomy, Philosophy of Plato, Divi- 
nation of the Prophet Daniel, Proverbial In- 
struction of Solomon, Botany of Macer, and 
Medicine of Hippocrates. And in the seventh 
book of the Poem, Aristotle, or the philosopkre, 
is introduced reciting to his scholar, Alexander 
the Great, a disputation between a Jew and 
a Pagan, who meet between Cairo and Babylon, 
concerning their respective religions : the end of 
this story is to shew the cunning, cruelty, and 
ingratitude of the Jew, which are, at last, deser- 
vedly punished. But I believe Gower's apo- 
logy must be, that he took this narrative from 
some Christian Legend, which was feigned for a 
religious purpose, at the expense of all probabi- 
lity and propriety. 

Among the Astrological writers he reckons 



POETRY AND POKTS. ]59 

Noah, Abraham, and Moses ; but he is not sure 
that Abraham was an author, having never 
seen any of that Patriarch's Works ; and he pre- 
fers Trismegistus to Moses. Cabalistical tracts 
were, however, extant, not only under the names 
of Abraham, Noah, and Moses, but of Adam, 
Abel, and Enoch. He mentions with particular 
regard Ptolomy's Almagest, the grand source of 
all the superstitious notions propagated by the 
Arabian Philosophers concerning the science of 
divination by the Stars. These infatuations 
seem to have completed their triumph over hu- 
man credulity in Gower's age, who, probably, 
was an ingenious adept in these false and frivo- 
lous speculations of this admired species of study. 
His account of the progress of the Latin lan- 
guage is exceedingly curious. He supposes that 
it was invented by the old Tuscan Prophetess, 
Carmens ; that it was reduced to method by the 
grammarians Aristarchus, Donatus, and Didy- 
mus ; adorned with the flowers of eloquence and 
rhetoric by Tully ; then enriched by translations 
from the Chalda?an, Arabic, and Greek langua- 
ges, more especially by the version of the He- 
brew Bible into Latin, by Saint Jerome (in the 
fourth century) ; and that at length, after the 



160 POETRY AND POETS. 

labours of many celebrated writers, it received 
its final consummation in Ovid, the Poet of 
lovers. At the mention of Ovid's name, the 
Poet, with the dexterity and address of a true 
master of transition, seizes the critical moment 
of bringing back the dialogue to its proper 
argument — Love. 

WARTON. 

Addison's description of the " iliad " and 

THE " ^NEID." 

Addison contrasts the " Iliad" and " Mneid" 
by the different aspects of grand and of beauti- 
ful scenery. — " The reading of the ' Iliad,' " says 
he, " is like travelling through a country uninha- 
bited, where the fancy is entertained Avith a 
thousand savage prospects of the deserts, wide 
and uncultivated marshes, huge forests, mis- 
shapen rocks and precipices. On the contrary, 
the ' JEneid" is like a well-ordered garden, 
where it is impossible to find any part un- 
adorned, or to cast our eyes upon a single spot, 
that does not produce some beautiful plant or 
flower." 

In another place, when comparing those 
poets, who are indebted, principally, to their own 



POETRY AND POETS. 161 

resources and genius, with those who have been 
formed by rules, and whose natural parts are 
chastened by critical precepts, Addison ele- 
gantly says, "the genius in both authors may 
be equally great, but shews itself after a dif- 
ferent manner. In the first, it is like a rich soil, 
in a happy climate, that produces a whole wil- 
derness of plants, rising in a thousand beautiful 
landscapes, without any certain order and regu- 
larity. In the other, it is the same rich soil, un- 
der the same happy climate, that has been laid 
out in walks and parterres, and cut into shape 
and beauty, by the skill of the gardener. 

It is not out of place here to add, that Father 
Brumio, speaking of the three great dramatic 
writers of Greece, — iEschylus, Sophocles, and 
Euripides, says — the first, as the inventor and 
father of Tragedy, is like a torrent rolling impe- 
tuously over rocks, forests, and precipices ; the 
second resembles a canal, which flows gently 
througli delicious gardens; and the third may 
be compared to a river that does not follow its 
course in a continual line, but loves to turn and 
wind its silver wave through flowery meads and 
rural scenes." 



162 



POETRY AND POETS. 



PETRARCH S PRECISION. 



This celebrated Italian Poet is wonderfully 
accurate and precise about his Laura. These 
are his own words : — " Laura, illustrious by the 
virtues she possessed, and celebrated, during 
many years, by my verses, appeared to my eyes, 
for the first time, on the 6th day of April, in the 
year 1327, at Avignon, in the Church of Saint 
Clare, at six o'clock in the morning. I was then 
in my early youth. In the same town, on the 
same day, and at the same hour, in the year 
1348, this light, this sun, withdrew from the 
world." 

METASTASIO. 

Metastasio was a successful author, for he 
lived to see the seventieth edition of his works. 

Being a character so singular, we cannot 
avoid extracting a notice of him from Mrs. 
Piozzi, who seems to have had it from the best 
authorities, viz. from the family in which he 
lived, theMesdemoiselles de Martinas, at Vienna, 
at least sixty-five years. 

** Metastasio's peculiarities were these : that 



POETRY AND POETS. 163 

he had constantly lived half a century at Vienna, 
without ever wishing to learn its language ; that 
he had never given more than five guineas, in 
all that time, to the poor; that he always sat 
in the same seat at church, but never paid for 
it, and that nobody dared ask him for the trifling 
sum ; that he was grateful and beneficent to the 
friends who began by being his protectors, 
leaving them every thing. He never changed 
the fashion of his wig, the cut or colour of his 
coat : his life was arranged with such methodical 
exactness, that he rose, studied, chatted, slept, 
and dined at the same hours, for fifty years 
together, enjoying health and good spirits, which 
were never ruffled, excepting when the word 
death was mentioned before him ; no one was 
ever permitted to mention that ; and even if any 
one named the sraall-pox before him, he would 
see that person no more. No solicitation had 
ever prevailed on him to dine from home, nor 
had liis nearest intimates ever seen him eat more 
than a biscuit with his lemonade ; every meal 
being performed with mysterious privacy to 
the last. He took great delight in hearing the 
lady he lived with sing his songs : this was 
visible to every one. An Italian Abbot once 

VOL. III. M 



164 POETRY AND POETS. 

said, comically enough, ' Oh, he looked like a 
man in the state of beatification always, when 
Mademoiselle de Martinas accompanied his 
verses with her fine voice and brilliant finger.' 

" The father of Metastasio was a goldsmith, 
at Rome, but his son had so devoted himself to 
the family he lived with, that he refused to hear, 
and took pains not to know, whether he had, in 
his latter days, any one relation left in the world." 

Poor Metastasio should have been corporeally 
immortal, in the way Mr. Godwin prophesies 
we shall be some day, as well as poetically so ; — 
such was his hatred of the grim all-subduing 
tyrant — Death. 

DRUJIMOND OF HAWTHORNDEN. 

The influence of scenery over the mind and 
heart of Drumraond of Hawthornden, consti- 
tuted one of the principal charms of liis life, 
after the death of the accomplished Miss Cun-, 
ningham. His retirement to Hawthomden was 
the renewal of happiness. There, in the me- 
ridian of life, Drummond tasted the hours of 
enjoyment, which had been denied to his youth. 
Thither Johnson travelled, to enjoy the pleasures 
of his conversation; and there, with attention. 



POKTRY AND POETS. 165 

he perused the best of the Greek, Roman, and 
Italian authors ; charming the peaceful hours 
in playing upon his lute favourite Scottish and 
Italian airs ; and many an hour was by him dei- 
voted to the fascinating movements of chess. 

The loss of Miss Cunningham, in his youth, 
increased that habitual melancholy to which he 
was constitutionally disposed, and gave rise to 
many of those sonnets, the sweetness and ten- 
derness of which — possessing all the Doric 
elegancies of " Comus" — for mellowness of 
feeling and tender elevation of sentiment, may 
vie with some of the best Grecian models. 

How beautiful is the " Sonnet to his Lute" — 
and the one so well imitated from a passage in 
Guarini's "II Pastor Fido!" 

" Sweet Spring ! thou com'st with all thy goodly train, 
Thy head in flames, thy mantle bright with flowers. 
The zephjTS curl the green locks of the plain. 
The clouds for joy in pearls weep down the showers. 

Sweet Spring ! — thou com'st — but ah ! my pleasant 

hours, 

And happy days, with thee come not again ; 

The sad memorials only of my pain, 
Do with thee come, which turn my sweets to sours ; 



166 POETRY AND POETS. 

Thou art the same, which still thou wert before, 

Delicious, lusty, amiable, fair ; 

But she, whose breath embalm'd the wholesome air. 
Is gone ; nor gold, nor gems, cau her restore : — 
Neglected virtue, seasons go and come. 
When thine, forgot, lie closed in a tomb ! — " 

VEKSHS WRITTEN BY A MANIAC. 

A GARDENER, much afflicted with melancholy 
and hypochondriacal symptoms, was, at his own 
request, some years ago, admitted into that ex- 
cellent asylum, " The Retreat" — an institution 
near York for insane persons of the Society of 
Friends; and gave the following account of him- 
self, almost verbatim : — 

" I have no soul; I have neither heart, liver, 
nor lungs ; nor any thing at all in my body, nor 
a drop of blood in my veins. My bones are all 
burnt to a cinder ; I have no brain ; and my 
head is sometimes as hard as iron, and sometimes 
as soft as a pudding." 

A fellow-patient, also an hypochondriac, 
amused himself in turning into verse this af- 
fectingly ludicrous description, in the following 
lines: 



POETRY AND POETS. 167 

•* A miracle, my friends, come view, 
A man, (admit his own words true,) 

Who lives without a soul : 
Nor liver, lungs, nor heart, has he, 
Yet sometimes can as cheerful be 

As if he had the whole. 

His head, (take his own words along,) • 
Now, hard as iron, yet ere long 

Is soft as any jelly ; 
All burnt his sinews, and his lungs ; — 
Of his complaints, not fifty tongues 

Could fiud enough to tell ye. 

— Yet he who paints his likeness here 
Has just as much himself to fear ; 

He's wrong from top to toe : 
Ah, friends ! pray help us, if you ean. 
And make us each again a man. 

That we from hence may go." 

CALAMITIES OP POETS. 

Butler was fortunate, for a time, in having 
Charles II. to admire his " Iludibras." That 
Monarch carried one in his pocket: hence his 
success, though the work has great merit. Yet, 
does merit sell a work in one case out of twenty .-' 
Butler, after all, was left to starve; for, according 
to Dennis, the author of " Hudibras" died in a 
garret. 



168 POETRY AND POETS. 

Samuel Boyse, author of " The Deity," a 
poem, was a fag author, and, at one time, em- 
ployed by Mr. Ogle to translate some of 
Chaucer's Tales into modern English, which he 
did, with great spirit, at the rate of tljiree-pence 
per line for his trouble. Poor Boyse wore a 
blanket, because he was destitute of breeches ; 
and was, at last, found famished to death with a 
pen in his hand. 

Collins, that elegant poet, moaned and raved 
amidst the cloisters of Chichester Cathedral, and 
died insane, in consequence of literary disap- 
pointment : however, there was a pretty monu- 
ment raised to his memory ! 

Poor Chatterton, one of the greatest ge- 
niuses of any age, who destroyed himself through 
want, (though insanity would be the better 
term, since it was in the family,) still left 
v/herewithal, by the aid of friends, to preserve 
his sister from want and poverty in her latter 
years, and enabled her also to leave her only 
child sufficiently provided for, according to her 
rank in life. This act of justice came late, as it 
usually does. 



POETRY AND POETS. 169 

Henry Carey^ author and composer of " God 
Save the King," was reduced to such abject 
poverty, that, in a fit of desperation, October 4, 
1743, he laid violent hands upon himself. 

CoRNEiLLE suffered all the horrors of poverty. 
This great Poet used to say, his poetry went 
away with his teeth. Some will think that they 
ought to disappear at the same time, as one 
would not give employment to the other. 

There is no doing without a patron. Of 
Churchill's " Rosciad," which had so great a 
run afterwards, ten copies were sold in the first 
five days: in four days more, six copies were 
sold : but, when Garrick found himself praised 
in it, he set it afloat, and Churchill then reaped 
a large harvest. 

Dante had not the good fortune to please 
his patron at Verona. The great Candella 
Scala gave him to understand that he was weary 
of him, and told him one day, it is a wonderful 
thing that such a one, who is a fool, should 
please us all, and make himself beloved by every 
body, which you, who are accounted a wise 



170 POETRY AND POETS. 

man, cannot do. " This is not to be wonder'ed 
at/' answered Dante ; " you would not admire 
such a thing, if you knew how much the con- 
formity of characters knits men together." 

Falconer's deaf and dumb sister, notwith- 
standing the success of the " Shipwreck," was, 
not many years since, and, perhaps, still is, the 
tenant of an hospital, says some modern writer ; 
we believe, D'Israeli. 

Savage was in continual distress, independent 
of an .unnatural mother's persecution : he sold 
his " Wanderer" for ten pounds. 

Spenser lived in misery and depression. It 
is thought Lord Burleigh withheld the bounty 
Queen Elizabeth intended for Spenser. But he 
is more clearly stigmatized in these remarkable 
lines, where the misery of dependence on court- 
favour is painted in fine colours : 

" Full little knowest thou, that hast not tried. 
What hell it is, in suing long to bide ; 
To lose good days, that might be better spent ; 
To waste long nights in pensive discontent ; 
To speed to-day, to be put back to-morrow. 
To feed on hope, to pine with fear and sorrow ; 



POETRY AND POETS. 171 

To have thy princess' grace, yet want her peers' ; 
To have thy asking, yet wait many years ; 
To fret thy soul with crosses and with cares ; 
To eat thy heart thro" comfortless despairs ; 
To fawn, to crouch, to wait, to ride, to run ; 
To spend, to give, to want, to be undone-" 

MOTHER Hubbard's tale. 

These lines exasperated still more the in- 
elegant, the illiberal, Burleigh. So true is the 
observation of i\Ir. Hughes, that, e\en the sighs 
of a miserable man are sometimes resented as an 
affront by him that is the occasion of them. 

Christopher Smart, the translator of " Ho- 
race,** and no mean poet, died in the rules of the 
King's Bench. Poor Smart, when at Pembroke 
College, wore a path upon one of the paved 
walks. 

Thomson's first part of his " Seasons,"— 
Winter, lay like waste paper at the bookseller's, 
till a gentleman of taste, INIr. Blichell, pro- 
mulgated its merits in the best circles, and then 
all was right. Thomson got from Andrew 
Millar, in 1729, one hundred and thirty-seven 



172 POETRY AND POETS. 

pounds ten shillings for " Sophonisba," a tra- 
gedy, and " Spring," a poem. For the rest of 
the " Seasons," and some other pieces, one 
hundred and five pounds of John Millar; Avhich 
were again sold to Millar, nine years afterwards, 
for one hundred and five pounds. When Millar 
died, his executors sold the whole copy-right to 
the trade for five hundred and five pounds. 

Gray, the Poet, speaks thus of Thomson : — 
" He has lately published a poem, called the 
' Castle of Indolence,' in which there are some 
good stanzas." " In an ordinary critic, pos- 
sessed of one-hundredth part of his sensibility 
and taste, such total indifference to the beauties 
of this exquisite performance would be utterly 
impossible." — (Stewart's Philos. Essays.) 

RICHARD EDWARDS. 

This Poet, who enjoyed considerable emi- 
nence in the early part of Queen Elizabeth's 
reign, was born about 1523. He early became 
a courtier, and, in the year 1561, was constituted 
a Gentleman of the Chapel Royal, and Master 
of the singing boys. 

When Queen Elizabeth visited Oxford in 



POETRY AND POETS. 173 

1566, she was attended by Edwards, who was 
on this occasion employed to compose a play 
called " Palamon and Arcite," which was acted 
before her INIajesty in Christ Church Hall. 
Another of his plays is entitled " The Tragical 
Comedy of Damon and Pythias:" it was acted 
at Court, and is reprinted in Dodsley's Col- 
lection. This is a very curious specimen of 
the early English Drama, when it was ap- 
proaching to something of a regular form; 
and there is much humour in the dialogue 
of some of the inferior characters: but the scenes 
intended to be serious are many of them full of 
low and ludicrous expressions. 

The following may serve to give some idea of 
the style of this heterogenous composition. 

" CARISOPUUS. 

The sturdy kuave is gone, the devil him take! 

He hath made my head, shoulders, arras, sides, and all to 

ake. 
Thou whoreson villain boy, why didst thou wait no better ? 
As he paid me, so will I not die thy debtor. 

JACK. 

.Master, why do you fight with me ? I am not your matrh, 

you see ; 
You durst not fight with him that's gone, and will you 

wreak your anger on me ? 



174 POETRY AND POETS. 

CARISOPHUS. 

Thou villain, by thee I have lost mine honour, 

Beaten with a cudgel like a slave, a vagabond, or a lazy 

lubber. 
And not given one blow again : hast thou handled me well ? 

JACK. 

Master, I handled you not ; but who did handle you very 
handsomely, you can tell. 

CARISOPHUS. 

Handsomely! thou crack-rope. 

JACK. 

Ye», Sir, very handsomely : I hold you a groat, 
He handled you so handsomely, that he left not one mote 
in your coat. 

CARISOPHUS. 

Oh! I had firk'd him trimly, thou villain, if thou hadst 
given me my sword. 

JACK. 

It is better as it is. Master, believe me at a word." 

The first edition of this Play was printed in 
1570, only twenty years before Shakspeare pro- 
duced the earliest of his inimitable Dramas ; and 
yet so little progress had dramatic poetry at that 
time made in this country, that Puttenham, in 
his " Arte of English Poetry, 1589," gives the 



POETRY AND POETS. 17^ 

prize to Edwards for comedy and interlude; 
and Meres, in his " Palladis Tamia, 1598," re- 
cites " Maister Edwards of her IMajesty's Chapel 
as one of the best for comedy." 

In the " Paradise of Dainty Devices," a col- 
lection of miscellany Poems, published in 1576, 
the " pithy precepts, learned counsels, and ex- 
cellent inventions," in which are said, in the title, 
to be " devised and written for the most part by 
Master Edwards," are numerous songs and other 
pieces from his pen. Of these, there is one on 
Terence's well-known apophthegm of " Aman- 
tium irce amoris inlegratio est," which Sir Egerton 
Brydges, who has reprinted this Miscellany, 
considers, even without reference to the age 
which produced it, among the most beautiful 
morgeaux of our language. As we fully coincide 
in this opinion, we cannot refrain from inserting 
this exquisite little piece, in order to give the 
reader an opportunity of judging for himself 

" [» going to my naked bed, as one that would have slept, 
I heard a wife sing to her child that long before had 

wept ; 
She sighed sore, and sang full sweet, to bring the babe 

to rest, 
That would not cease, but cried still, in lucking at her 

breaat. 



176 POETRY AND 'POETS. 

She was full weaiy of her watch, and grieved with her 

child, 
She rocked it and rated it till that on her it smiled ; 
Then did she say, ' Now have I found this proverb true 

to prove. 
The falling out of faithful friends renewing is of love.' 

Then took I paper, pen, and ink, this proverb for to write. 
In register for to remain of such a worihy wight. 
As she proceeded thus in song unto her little brat. 
Much matter utter'd she<of weight, in place whereat she 

sat, 
And proved plain there was no beast, nor creature bearing 

life. 
Could well be known to live in love, without discord and 

strife ; 
Then kissed she her little babe, and sware by God above, 
' The falling out of faithful friends renewing is of love.' 

She said that neither King nor Prince, nor Lord, could 
live aright, 

Until their puissance they could prove, their manhood 
and their might. 

When manhood shall be matched so that fear can take 
no place. 

Then weary works make warriors each other to embrace. 

And leave their force that failed them, which did con- 
sume the rout. 

That might before have liv'd their time and their full 
nature out. 



POETRY AND POETS. 177 

Then did she sing as one that thought no man could her 

leprove, 
' The falling out of faithful friends renewing is of love.' 

She said she saw no fish nor fowl, nor beast within her 
haunt, 

That met a stranger in their kind, but could give it a 
taunt ; 

Since flesh might not endure, but rest must wrath suc- 
ceed, 

And force who fight to fall to play, in pasture where they 
feed; 

So noble Nature can well end the works she hath begun. 

And bridle well that will not cease her tragedy in some. 

Thus in her song she oft rehearst, as did her well behove, 

' The falling out of faithful friends renewing is of love.' 

' 1 marvel much, pardie,' quoth she, ' for to behold the 

rout, 
To see man, woman, boy, and beast, to toss the world 

about ; 
Some kneel, some crouch, some beck, some check, and 

some can smoothly smile, 
And some embrace others in arm, and there think many 

a wile ; 
Some stand aloof at cap and knee, some humble and 

some stout. 
Yet they are never friend indeed, until they once fall out.' 
Thus ended she her song, and said, before she did 

remove, 
' The falling out of faithful friends renewing is of love.' " 



1 78 poetry and poets. 

Milton's " paradise lost." 

Milton, who did not begin writing his 
" Paradise Lost" until he was forty-seven, sold 
it for five pounds to Samuel Simmons, April 27, 
1667- In two years more, he had five pounds 
for the second edition. In 1680, Mrs. Milton 
sold all her right for eight pounds. Simmons 
then sold the copyright for twenty-five pounds. 
This was the book, too, that Milton had great 
difficulty in getting licensed; whereas, after- 
wards, the editors of that great poet, Dr. Bentley, 
got one hundred guineas for his edition; and 
Dr. Newton no less than six hundred and thirty 
pounds for the " Paradise Lost," and one hun- 
dred and five pounds for the " Regained." 

It was an extraordinary misjudgment of the 
celebrated Waller, who speaks thus of the first 
appearance of " Paradise Lost :" — " The old 
blind schoolmaster, John Milton, hath published 
a tedious poem on the Fall of Man: if its length 
be not considered as merit, it has no other." — 
Poor Milton was obliged to keep school for his 
livelihood. 

Dr. Johnson, in his " Life of Milton," de- 
scribing the school once kept by this author. 



POETRY AND POETS. 179 

has the following paragraph : " Of institutions 
we may judge by their effects. From this 
wonder-working academy, I do not know that 
there ever proceeded any man very eminent for 
knowledge : its only genuine product, I believe, 
is a small History of Poetry, written in Latin 
by his nephew, of which, perhaps, none of my 
readers have ever heard." 

We may be sure that Dr. Johnson had never 
seen the book he speaks of; for it is entirely com- 
posed in English, though its title begins with 
two Latin words, viz. " Theatrum Poetarum; 
or, a Complete Collection of the Poets, &c." 
a circumstance that probably misled the bio- 
grapher of Milton. 

HARTE, AND DR. JOHNSON. 

Walter Harte, the Poet and Historian, 
was one of Dr. Johnson's earliest admirers. — 
Johnson's " Life of Savage" was published in 
1744: soon after which, Harte, dining with 
Mr. Cave, the projector of " The Gentleman's 
Magazine," at St. John's Gate, took occasion to 
speak very handsomely of the work, which was 
anonymous. Cave, the next time they met, told 
Harte that he made a man very happy the other 

VOL. III. N 



180 POETRY AND POETS. 

day at his house, by the encomiums he bestowed 
on the author of Savage's " Life." " How could 
that be ?" said Harte ; " none were present but 
you and I." Cave replied, " You might have 
observed, I sent a plate of victuals behind the 
screen : there skulked the biographer, one John- 
son, whose dress was so shabby, that he durst 
not make his appearance. He overheard our 
conversation ; and your applauding his per- 
formance delighted him exceedingly." 

KHEMNITZER. 

Ivan Ivanovich Khemnitzer, a celebrated 
Russian Fabulist, may be compared, in many 
respects, to La Fontaine, his pattern and fore- 
runner. The same goodness of heart, the same 
blind confidence in his friends, the same care- 
lessness and inoffensiveness, and the same ab- 
sence of mind, which formed the prominent 
features of La Fontaine's character, were de- 
veloped with singular fidelity in that of Khem- 
nitzer. Of the last trait we will give an example 
or two. When in Paris, he once went to see 
the representation of " Tancred." On Le Kain's 
appearance, he was so struck with the noble and 
majestic presence of that renowned actor, that 



POETRY AND POETS. 181 

he rose from his seat and bowed with lowly 
reverence. An universal roar of laughter brought 
him back to himself One morning, a friend, 
for whom he had the highest regard, related to 
him an interesting piece of news. Khemnitzer 
dined with him afterwards, and, as a piece of 
remarkable intelligence, narrated to his host that 
which his host had before communicated to 
him. His friend reminded him of his forget- 
fulness. Khemnitzer was greatly distressed, 
and in his perplexity, instead of his handker- 
chief, he put his host's napkin into his pocket. 
On rising from table, Khemnitzer endeavoured 
to slip away unobserved ; his friend saw him, 
followed him, and tried to detain him. Khem- 
nitzer reproached him for unveiling his weak- 
nesses, and would not listen to any entreaties. 
" Leave my napkin, then, at least, which you 
pocketed at table," said the other. Khemnitzer 
drew it forth, and stood like a statue. The loud 
laugh of the company recovered him from his 
trance, and with the utmo.st good nature he 
joined in the general mirth. 

The following elegant version of one of his 
Fables is extracted from Mr. Bowring's de- 



182 POETRY AND POETS. 

lightful selections, under the title of " Russian 
Anthology." The reader will, probably, feel 
some surprise to see the Councils of Kings 
treated with such manly freedom by a Russian 
Poet of the last century. 

" THE lion's council OF STATE. 

A Lion held a court for State affairs : 

Why ? That is not your business, Sir, 'twas theirs ! 

He call'd the Elephants for counsellors — still 

The council-board was incomplete ; 

And the King deem'd it fit 

With Asses all the vacancies to fill. 

Heaven help the State — for lo ! the bench of Asses 

Tlie bench of Elephants by far surpasses. 

He was a fool — the 'foresaid King — you'll say; , 

Better have kept those places vacant, surely, 

Than fill them up so poorly. 

O no ! that's not the Royal way ; 

Things have been done for ages thus — and we 

Have a deep reverence for antiquity -. 

Nought worse. Sir, than to be, or to appear 

Wiser and better than our fathers were. 

The list must be complete, even though you make it 

Complete with Asses ; for the Lion saw 

Such had for ages been the law — 

He was no radical — to break it ! 



POETRY AND POETS. 183 

' Besides,' he said, ' my Elephants' good sense 
Will soon my Asses' ignorance diminish, 
For wisdom has a mighty influence.* 

They made a pretty finish ! 
The Asses' folly soon obtain'd the sway; 
The Elephants became as dull as they!" 

POETRY OF THE HINDOOS AND THE PERSIANS. 

" In their descriptions of female charms, the 
images of the Hindoo poets are invariably taken 
from nature ; consequently, are seldom extrava- 
gant, and they are always calculated to raise in 
the mind the sweet ideas of tenderness and de- 
licacy. The Hindoo nymph is lovely, but her 
charms are never heightened by that kind of 
bacchanalian tint which glows in the attractions 
of the Persian beauty. With the one, we sigh 
to repose among shady bowers, or wander by 
the side of cooling streams ; to weave chaplets 
of the lotus, or the jessamine, for her hair; and 
even fancy ourselves enamoured of one of the 
legitimate shepherdesses of our pastoral poetry. 
With the other, we burn to share the luxurious 
pleasures of the banquet ; to celebrate her eyes 
in anacreontic measures; or toast her jetty 
ringlets in bowls of liquid ruby. Our heated 



184 POETRY AND POETS. 

imagination pourtrays a Phryne or a Lais, and 
we picture to ourselves the wanton attractions 
of a Grecian or Roman courtezan. Love is 
equally the ruling passion of both, but it is of 
different kinds : that of the Hindoo is evident, 
yet tender ; that of the Persian, voluptuous and 
intoxicating. 

" Nor is the character of their lovers less 
distinctly marked : the passion of the Hindoo 
youth is breathed for his mistress only ; while 
that of the Persian is equally excited bv wine 
and music, by roses and nightingales, as by all 
the blandishments of his ' sugar'd' charmer." 

Broughton, 07i the Poetry of the Hindoos. 

THE EARL OF ESSEX. 

The elegant courtier, but unfortunate Earl of 
Essex, was a lover of nature in all her wild 
varieties ; and when ordered to take the com- 
mand of the army in Ireland, a commission 
which most willingly he would have foregone, 
he wrote a letter to his Mistress, Queen Eliza- 
beth, in which he complained of the appointment 
as a species of banishment, and closed his letter 
with the following lines : 



POETRY AND POETS. 185 

*' Happy he could furnish forth his fate. 

In some unhaunted desert, most obscure 
From all society, from love and hate 

Of worldly folk ; then should he sleep secure. 
Then 'wake again, and yield God ev'ry praise, 

Content with hips and haws and brambleberry ; 
In contemplation passing out his days. 

And change of holy thoughts to make him merry. 
Who, when he dies, his tomb may be a bush. 
Where harmless robin dwells with gentle thrush." 

RICHARD TARLTON. 

This ancient Comedian, more celebrated as a 
clown and a jester than as a poet, like too many 
of his fraternity, joined some humour to a great 
deal of profligacy. He was brought to London 
by Queen Elizabeth's Earl of Leicester, who 
found him in a field keeping his father's swine, 
and " being," says Fuller, " highly pleased 
with his happy unhappy answers," took him 
into his service. He afterwards became an 
actor at the Bull, in Bishopsgate Street; and, 
according to the veracious Chronicler, Sir Ri- 
chard Baker, " for the Clown's part he never 
had his equal, nor ever will." 

" He was, perhaps," says GifFord, " the most 



180 POETRY AND POETS. 

popular comic performer that ever trod the 
stage ; and his memory was cherished with fond 
delight by the vulgar, to the period of the 
Revolution. It is afflicting to add, that this 
extraordinary man lived and died a profligate ; 
for I give no credit to the ' songs and sonnets* 
which tell of his recantation and repentance. 
These were hawked about as commonly as 
' dying-speeches,* and were, probably, of no 
better authority." 

Not to mention the repentant verses thus 
doubtfully ascribed to Tarlton, he wrote " Tra- 
gical Treatises, containing sundry discourses 
and pretty conceits, both in prose and verse ;" 
and, also, " Toys," in verse. 

A Collection of old stories newly polished, 
and of some new ones, was published in 1611, 
under the title of " Tarlton's Jests ;" and se- 
veral of his witticisms are also to be found in 
Chettle's " Kind-heart's Dream." Some of these 
stories are ridiculous enough : for instance, 
during the time that he kept the Tabor, a 
tavern, in Gracechurch Street, he was chosen 
Scavenger, but was often complained of by the 
Ward, for neglect: he laid the blame on the 



POETRY AND POETS. 187 

Raker^ and he again on his horse, which, being 
blooded and drenched the preceding day, could 
not be worked. " Then," says Tarlton, " the 
horse must - suffer ;" so he sent him to the 
Compter, and when the Raker had done his 
work, sent him there also, to pay the prison fees 
and redeem his horse. 

Another story is told of him, that, having run 
up a large score at an ale-house in Sandwich, 
he made his boy accuse him for a seminary 
priest- The officers came and seized him in his 
chamber, on his knees, crossing himself; so they 
paid his reckoning, with the charges of his 
journey, and he got clear to London. When 
they brought him before the Recorder, Fleet- 
wood, he ■ knew him, and not only discharged 
him, but entertained him very courteously. 
This tale, however, is altogether too like that 
which is told of Rabelais and others, to be 
genuine. 

Tarlton was married to a wife, named Kate, 
who is eaid to have cuckolded him ; for which 
reason, a waterman, who was bringing him from 
Greenwich, landed him at Cuckold's Point. He 
does not seem to have been particularly fond of 



188 



POETRY AND POETS. 



his helpmate ; for it is related, that, being once 
in a great storm, as they were sailing from 
Southampton, and every man being directed to 
throw overboard the baggage that he could best 
spare, he offered to throw his wife over, but the 
company rescued her. This, again, is but an 
old joke foisted upon him, for the purpose of 
filling up the pamphlet. 

" Much of his merriment," says honest Fuller, 
" lay in his very looks and actions. Indeed, 
the self-same words spoken by another, would 
hardly move a merry man to smile, which, 
uttered by him, would force a sad soul to 
laughter." In fact, he was the "Liston" of his 
age. 

" When Queen Elizabeth was serious," con- 
tinues Fuller, " (I dare not say sullen) and out 
of good-humour, he could undumpish her at his 
pleasure. Her highest favourites would, in 
some cases, go to Tarlton before they would go 
to the Queen ; and he was their usher, to pre- 
pare their advantageous access unto her. In a 
word, he told the Queen more of her faults than 
most of her chaplains, and cured her melancholy 
better than all her physicians." 



POETRT AND POETS. 189 

He was the author of a dramatic performance, 
never published, called " The Seven Deadly 
Sins," the plot of which was formerly in the 
possession of Mr. Malone. In one of Gabriel 
Harvey's controversial pamphlets, mention is 
made of a work written by Nash, — " right 
formally conveyed according to the style and 
tenour of Tarlton's precedent, his famous play 
of ' The Seven Deadly Sins,' which most deadly, 
but most lively, play, I might have seen in 
London, and was very gently invited thereunto 
at Oxford by Tarlton himself; of whom I mer- 
rily demanding which of the seven was his own 
deadly sin, he bluntly answered after this 

manner : ' By , the sin of other gentlemen, 

letchery.' ' Oh, but that, Mr. Tarlton, is not 
your part upon the stage ; you are to blame that 
dissemble with the world, and have one part 
for your friends' pleasure, another for your own.' 
' I am somewhat of Doctor Feme's religion,' 
quoth he, and abruptly took his leave." 

In an elegant book of large ornamented ca- 
pital letters and specimens of fine writing, by 
John Scottowe, in the time of Queen Elizabeth, 
preserved among the Ilarleian MSS. in the 
British Museum, is a portrait of" Mr. Tharlton," 



190 POETRY AND POETS. 

playing on his pipe and tabor, and in the margin 
these verses. 

" The picture here set down. 
Within this letter T, 
.Aright doth shew the form and shape 
Of Tarltou unto thee. 

When he in pleasant wise 

The counterfeit exprest 
Of Clown with coat of russet hue. 

And startups, with the rest. 

Who merry many made. 

When he appear'd in sight ; 
The grave and wise, as well as rude. 

In him did take delight. 

The party now is gone. 

And closely clad in clay ; 
Of all the jesters in the land. 

He bare tKe praise away. 

Now hath he play'd his part. 

And sure he is of this, 
If he in Christ did die, to live 

With him in lasting bliss." 

He is represented with a flat cap on his head, 
a flat nose on his face, a budget at his girdle, a 
short jacket, trousers, and shoes buckled at the 
side of the ancle. 



POETRY AND POETS. 191 

VOLTAIRE, AND DR. YOUNG. 

" Voltaire, like the French in general, 
shewed the greatest complaisance outwardly, 
and had the greatest contempt for us inwardly. 
He consulted Dr. Young about his Essay in 
English, and begged him to correct any gross 
faults he might find in it. The Doctor set very 
honestly to work, marked the passages most 
liable to censure ; and when he went to explain 
himself about them, Voltaire could not help 
bursting out a laughing in his face. 

" It was on the occasion of Voltaire's cri- 
ticism on the Episode of ' Death and Sin,' that 
Dr. Young spoke that couplet to him — 

' TTion art so witty, profligate, and thin, 
Tliat thou thyself art Milton's ' Death and Sin.' 

" Voltaire's objection to that fine Episode was, 
that Death and Sin were non-existents." spence. 

CHRISTMAS CAROLS. 

Bourne deduces the word carol from cantare, 
to sing, and rola, an interjection of joy. It is 
an imitation of the Gloria in Excelsis by the 
angels, sung in the Church itself, and by the 
bishops in their houses among the clergy. 



192 POETRY AND POETS. 

Fosbroke, in his " Encyclopaedia of Antiqui- 
tiesj" says, " it was usual in ancient feasts to 
single out a person, and place him in the midst 
to sing a song to God ;" and Mr. Davies Gilbert 
states, that, till lately, in the West of England, 
on Christmas eve, about seven or eight o'clock 
in the evening, " cakes were drawn hot from 
the oven ; cyder or beer exhilarated the spirits 
in every house ; and the singing of carols was 
continued late into the night. On Christmas- 
day, these carols took the place of psalms in all 
the Churches, especially at afternoon service, 
the whole congregation joining ; and at the end, 
it was usual for the parish-clerk to declare, in a 
loud voice, his wishes for a merry Christmas and 
a happy new year to all the parishioners." 

Hone, in his curious work, the " Ancient 
Mysteries," says, " The custom of singing carols 
at Christmas, prevails in Ireland to the present 
time. In Scotland, where no Church feasts have 
been kept since the days of John Knox, the 
custom is unknown. In Wales, it is still pre- 
served to a greater extent, perhaps, than in 
England: at a former period, the Welsh had 
carols adapted to most of the ecclesiastical fes- 
tivals, and the four seasons of the year, but at 



POETRY AND POETS. 



193 



this time they are limited to that of Christmas. 
After the turn of midnight, at Christmas eve, 
service is performed in the Churches, followed 
by singing of carols to the harp. Whilst the 
Christmas holydays continue, they are sung in 
like manner in the houses ; and there are carols 
especially adapted to be sung at the doors of 
the houses by visitors before they enter. I-ffy"' 
Carolan, or the Book of Carols, contains sixty- 
six for Christmas, and five summer carols; 
Blodeugerdd Cymrii, or the Anthology of Wales, 
contains forty-eight Christmas carols, nine sum- 
mer carols, three May carols, one winter carol, 
one nightingale carol, and a carol to Cupid." 

The following Christmas Carol was written 
expressly for " Time's Telescope," by the Editor 
of these volumes : 

" IT IS THE DAY ! THE HOLY DAY '. . 
I. 

It is the Day! the Holy Day! on which Our Lord was born. 
And sweetly doth the 9un-b<iani gild the dew-besprinkled 

tJiorn ; 
'Hic birds sing thro' the heavens, aud the breezes gently 

play, 
And song and sunshine lovelily begin this Holy Day. 



194 



POETRY AND POETS. 



IF. 
"IVas in a humble manger, a little lowly shed, 
With cattle at his infant feet, and shepherds at his head, 
The Saviour of this sinful world in innocence first lay, 
While wise men made their off 'rings to him this Holy Day. 

III. 

He came to save the perishing — to waft the sighs to heav'n 
Of guilty men, who truly sought to weep and be forgiv'n : 
An Intercessor still he shines, and Man to him should 

pray 
At his Altar's feet for meekness upon this Holy Day. 

IV. 

As flowers still bloom fair again, though all their life seems 

shed, 
Thus we shall rise with life once more, tho' number'd with 

the dead : 
Then may our stations be near Him to whom we worship 

pay. 

And praise, with heartfelt gratitude, upon this Holy Day!" 




POETRY AND POETS. 195 

WACHTEH, AND FREDERIC, KING OF PRUSSIA. 

Amongst the anti-poetical, may be placed 
the father of the great monarch of Prvissia. 
Frederic would not suffer the Prince to read 
verses; and when he was desirous of study, 
or of the conversation of literary men, he was 
obliged to do it secretly. Every Poet was 
odious to his Majesty. 

One day, having observed some lines written 
on one of the doors of the palace, he asked 
a courtier their signification. They were ex- 
plained to him. They Avere Latin verses, com- 
posed by Wachter, a man of letters, then 
resident in Berlin. The King immediately 
sent for the Bard, who came warm with the 
hope of receiving a reward for his ingenuity. 
He was astonished, however, to hear the King 
accost him, — "I order you immediately to 
quit this city, and my kingdom." Wachter ac- 
cordingly took refuge in Hanover. 

This want of taste in the father was amply 
compensated by the distinguished patronage 
extended, by the son, to Poets, and men of ge- 
nius, of all countries. 

VOL. III. o 



196 



POETRY AND POETS. 



ABBOTSFORD, THE RESIDENCE OF SIR WALTER 

SCOTT. 

The following description of the dwelling of 
this celebrated northern Bard elicits our admi- 
ration so strongly, that, without further pre- 
face, we introduce it to the notice of our readers. 
It is to that talented work, " Peter's Letters to 
his Kinfolks," that we are indebted for it. 

Speaking of " the Tweed," the writer of the 
Epistle says, — " I saw this far-famed river for 
the first time, with the turrets of its Poet's man- 
sion immediately beyond it, and the bright fo- 
liage of his young larches reflected half way 
over in its mirror. 

" You cannot imagine a more lovely river ; 
it is as clear as the purest brook you ever saw, 
for I could count the white pebbles as I passed, 
and yet it is broad and deep, and, above all, 
extremely rapid; and although it rises some- 
times to a much greater height, it seems to fill 
the whole of its bed magnificently. The Ford 
(of which I made use) is the same from which 
the House takes its name, and a few minutes 
brought me to its gates. 

" Ere I came to it, however, I had time to 



1>0ETRY AND POETS. 197 

see that it is a strange fantastic structure, built 
in total defiance of all those rules of uniformity, 
to which the modern architects of Scotland are 
so much attached. It consists of one large 
tower, with several smaller ones clustering 
around it, all built of fine grey granite, their 
roofs diversified abundantly with all manner of 
antique chimney-tops, battlements, and turrets, 
the windows placed, here and there, with appro- 
priate irregularity, both of dimension and posi- 
tion, and the spaces between or above them 
not unfrequently occupied with saintly niches, 
and chivalrous coats of arms. Altogether it 
bears a close resemblance to some of our true 
old English manor-houses, in which the forms 
of religious and warlike architecture are blended 
together, with no ungraceful mixture." 

QUEEN ELIZABETH, AND JOSEPH RITSON. 

Few of our readers can be ignorant that 
" good Queen Bess," as she has been whimsi- 
cally nick-named, was a woman of great learn- 
ing, and wrote Poetry ; most of them must, 
also, have heard of Joseph Ritson, the Poetical 
Antiquarian, whose unhappy temper and unso- 
cial peculiarities kept him involved in constant 



198 POETRY AND POETS. 

hostility with all who happened to cross his 
path. The following extract from his " Bi- 
bliographia Poetica," (a work of consummate 
research^ containing the most ample catalogue 
extant of the Poets of Great Britain, and their 
productions, down to the close of the sixteenth 
century,) will illustrate his remarkable style of 
writing, and oddities of spelling, as well as the 
rancorous spirit with which he was imbued. 

" Elizabeth Tudor, Queen of England, wrote, 
in 1555, while prisoner at Woodstock, with a 
charcoal on a shuter, some certain versees, 
printed in ' Hentzner's Travels ;' and a couplet, 
with her diamond, in a glass window, printed 
in Foxes ' Actes and Monumentes ;' also, a 
Poem, touching the practicees of the Queen of 
Scots and her adherents, preserve'd in Putten- 
ham's 'Arte of English Poesie,' 1589; and, 
apparently, other things ; since, according to 
that flattering courtier, her 'learned, delicate, 
noble Muse,' easeyly surmounted all the rest 
that had writen before her time, or since, ' for 
sence, sweatnesse, and subtillitie,' were it in 
' ode, elegie, epigram, or any other kinde of 
Poeme, heroicke or lyricke,' wherein it should 
please her Majesty to employ her pen, ' even by 



POETRY AND POETS. 199 

as much oddes as her owne gallant estate and 
dearree ' exceeded ' all the rest of her most 
humble vassalls.' The following ' Epitaph, 
made by the Queene's Majestic, at the death of 
the Princesse of Espinoye/' inserted among 
the Poems of one Soothern, printed in her time, 
is here given merely as a curiosity ; since there 
cannot wel be a more abominable composition, 
the 3Iusees haveing favour'd her just as much 
as Venus or Diana.* 

' \\Tien the warrier Phoebus goth to make his round. 
With a paiuefull course, to toother hemisphere : 
A darke shadowe, a great horror, and a feare. 

In I knoe not what cloudes inveron the ground. 

And eren so for Pinoy, that fayre vertues lady, 
(Although Jupiter liave in this orizon, 
Made a starre of her, by the Ariaduan crowne) 

RIorns, dolour, aud griefe, accompany our body. 
O Atropos, thou hast doone a worke perverst. 
Aud as a byrdc that hath lost both young and nest, 

About the place where it was makes many a tourne. 
Even so dooth Cupid, that infaunt, god of amore. 



• " Bolton, however, is of a different opinion. * Q. 
Elizabeth's verses,' says he, ' those which I have seen and 
read, are princely, as her prose.' " 



200 POETRY AND POETS. 

Flie about the tombe, where she lies all in dolore. 
Weeping for her eyes, wherein he made soiourne.'* 

" Bolton after citeing a fulsome and parasiti- 
cal dedication to this Queen, (or, rather, quean, 
as one who would not onely scold, and swear 
By God ! at her nobles, and maids of honour, 
but, occasionally, box their ears,) by Sir Henry 
Savil, before his abominable perversion of ' Ta- 
citus,' (principally, he says, to incite her, as 
by a foil, to communicate to the world, if not 
those admirable compositions of her own, yet, 
at the least, ' those most rare and excellent 
translations of histories,' if he ' may call them 
translations, which have so infinitely exceeded 
the originals,' ! ! !) proceeds as follows : — ' Some- 
what it may detract from the credit of this 
seeming hyperbolical praise, both because it was 
written in her life-time, and, also, to herself |^a 
censure which may apply, with no less justice 



* " ' Two little authemes, or thinges in meeter of her 
Majestie,' were license'd to Mr. Barker, her Majesties 
printer, the 15th of November, 1578. She is generally 
represented as beautiful, chaste, and an accomplish'd 
poetess 5 and was all, no doubt, with equal truth." 



POETRY AND POETS. 201 

or propriety, to Puttenham, and the rest of her 
servile flatterers] : but I can believe they were 
excellent. For, ' perhaps,' the world never saw 
a lady, in whose person more greatness of parts 
met ' than' in hers ; unless it were in that most 
noble princess and heroine, Mary, Queen of 
Scots, inferior to her only in her outward for- 
tunes; in all other respects and abilities, at least 
her equal.' This panegyric, though eloquently 
deliver'd, is, at any rate, a poor compliment to 
Queen Mary, to put her on an equal footing 
with a ' green-eye'd monster,' (the illegitimate 
spawn of a bloody and lustful tyrant) who, not 
onely, imprison'd that most beautyful and ac- 
complish'd Princess (to whom she had hypo- 
critically and seductively offer'd a refuge) for 
the eighteen best years of her life and reign ; 
but, upon the falseest suggestions, and the gros- 
sest forgerys, with a savage and malignant cru- 
elty, unparallel'd even in the Furies or Gorgons of 
antiquity, deprive'd of crown and kingdom, and 
deliberately shed the sacred and precious blood 
of her nearest relation, and, even, the presump- 
tive heir to her own realm, to which, in fact, 
she had a better title than herself 



202 POETRY AND POETS. 

* O, tigress' heart, wrapp'd in a woman's hide.' "* 

Such are the terms in which this morbidly 
irritable Antiqviarian speaks of the "Virgin 
Queen," whose praises have been the never- 
failing theme of Poets without number, and 
whom some historians even have not scrupled 
to represent as the " glory of her sex and na- 
tion," while others have pictured her in the 
darkest colours which imagination could de- 
vise. The truth, as usual, is to be found be- 
tween the two extremes ; but, were she even all 
that her enemies, and Ritson among the rest, 
have represented her, nothing can excuse the 
grossness of the language, and the vulgarity of 
the terms, in which his censure is conveyed. 

POETICAL DEATHS. 

There must be some attraction existing in 
Poetry, which is not merely fictitious ; for often 
have its genuine votaries felt all its power on 
the most trying occasions. They have dis- 
played the energy of their mind by composing 

* Ritson, " Bib. Poet." p. 363. 



POETRY AND POETS. 203 

or reciting verses^, even witli death on their lips. 
The Emperor Adrian, dying, made that cele- 
brated address to his soul which is so happily 
translated by Pope. Lucan, when he had his 
veins opened, by order of Nero, expired reciting 
a passage from his " Pharsalia," in a\ hich he 
had described the wound of a dying soldier. 
Petronius did the same thing, on the same occa- 
sion. Patris, a Poet of Caen, perceiving him- 
self expiring, composed some verses which are 
justly admired. In this little Poem he relates a 
dream, in which he appeared to be placed next 
to a beggar ; when, having addressed him in the 
haughty strain he would, probably, have em- 
ployed on this side of the grave, he receives 
tjie following reprimand : 

" Ici tous sout ^gaux, je ne te dois plus rieu, 
Je suis sur mon fumier, comme toi sur le tien." 

" Here all are equal ! now thy lot is mine ; 
I on my duugliill, as thou artou thiue." 

Des Barreaux, it is said, wrote on his death- 
bed that well-known sonnet which is translated 
in " The Spectator." 

IMargaret of Austria, when she was nearly 
perishing in a storm at sea, composed her epi- 



204 POETRY AND POETS. 

taph in verse. Had she perished, what would 
have become of the epitaph ? and if she escaped, 
of what use was it ? She should rather have 
said her prayers. The verses, however, have 
all the naivete of the times. 

" Cy gist Margot, la gente demoiselle 

Qu' eut deiix maris, et si mourut pucelle." 

" Beneath this tomh is high-born Margaret laid. 
Who had two husbands, and yet died a maid.' 

She was betrothed to Charles VIII. of France, 
who forsook her ; and being next intended for 
the Spanish Infant, in her voyage to Spain she 
wrote these lines in a storm. 

Mademoiselle de Serment was surnamed 
" The Philosopher." She was celebrated for 
her knowledge and taste in polite literature. 
She died of a cancer in her breast, and suffered 
with exemplary patience. She expired on finish- 
ing these verses, which she addressed to Death : 

" Nectare clausa sue 
Dignum tantorum pretium tulit ilia laborum." 

It was after Cervantes had received extreme 
vmction, that he wrote the dedication of his 
" Persiles." 



POETRY AND POETS. 205 

Wentworth Dillon, Earl of Roscommon, at 
the moment he expired, with an energy of voice 
that expressed the most fervent devotion, ut- 
tered these two lines of his version of " Dies 
Irs:"' 

" My God, my father, and my friend. 
Do not forsake me in my end." 

Waller, in his last moments, repeated some 
lines from Virgil ; and Chaucer seems to have 
taken his farewell of all human vanities by a 
moral ode, entitled, " A Balade made by Gef- 
frey Chaucyer upon his dethe-bedde, lying in his 
grete anguysse." 

Cornelius de Wit fell an innocent victim to 
popular prejudice. His death is thus noticed 
by Hume : — " This man, who had bravely 
served his country in war, and who had been 
invested with the highest dignities, was deli- 
vered into the hands of the executioner, and 
torn in pieces by the most inhuman torments. 
Amidst the severe agonies which he endured, 
he frequently repeated an ode of Horace, which 
contained sentiments suited to his deplorable 
condition." It was the third ode of the third 



206 POETRY AND POETS. 

book, which this martyred philosopher and 
statesman then repeated. 

We add another instance, in the death of that 
delightful Poet, Metastasio. After having re- 
ceived the sacrament a very short time before 
his last moments, he broke out, with all the en- 
thusiasm of poetry and religion, into the follow- 
ing stanzas : 

" T' offro il tuo proprio Figlio 
Che gia d'amore in pegno 
Racchiuso in picciol segno 
Si voile a noi donar. 

A lui rivolgi il ciglio 
Guarda chi t' offio, e poi 
Lasci, Signer, se vuoi 
Lascia di perdonar." 

(translated.) 

" I offer to thee, O Lord! thy own Son, who already 
has given the pledge of love, enclosed in this thin emblem. 
Turn on him thine eyes : ah ! behold whom I offer to 
thee, and then desist, O Lord 1 if thou can'st desist from 
mercy." 

" The Muse that has attended my course 
(says the dying Gleim, in a letter to Klopstock) 



POETRY AND POETS. 



207 



Still hovers round my steps to the very verge of 
the grave." A collection of lyrical Poems, en- 
titled, "Last Hours," composed by Gleim on 
his death-bed, was intended to be published. 

The death of Klopstock was one of the most 
poetical. In this Poet's " INIessiah," he had 
made the death of iMary, the sister of IMartha 
and Lazarus, a picture of the death of the just; 
and on his own death-bed he was heard repeat- 
ing, with an expiring voice, his own verses on 
Mary. He was exhorting himself to die, by the 
accents of his own harp, — the sublimities of his 
own Bluse. The same Song of ]\Iary (observes 
JMadame de Stael) was read at the public funeral 
of Klopstock. 

Chatellar, a French gentleman, beheaded in 
Scotland, for having loved the Queen, and even 
for having attempted her honour, Brantome 
says, would not have any other viaticum than 
a Poem of Ronsard's. When he ascended the 
scaffold, he took the hymns of this Poet, and, 
for his consolation, read that on death, which, 
he says, is well adapted to conquer its fears. 

The Marquis of Montrose, when he Avas con- 
demned by his judges to have his limbs nailed 
to the gates of four cities, the brave soldier said. 



208 POETRY AND POETS. 

that " he was sorry he had not limbs sufficient 
to be nailed to all the gates of the cities in Eu- 
rope, as monuments of his loyalty." As he 
proceeded to his execution, he put this thought 
into beautiful verse. 

Philip Strozzi, when imprisoned by Cosmo, 
the first Great Duke of Tuscany, was appre- 
hensive of the danger to which he might expose 
his friends, who had joined in his conspiracy 
against the Duke, from the confessions which 
the rack might extort from him. Having at- 
tempted every exertion for the liberty of his 
country, he considered it as no crime to die. 
He resolved on suicide. With the point of the 
sword with which he killed himself, he cut out 
on the mantle-piece of the chimney, this line of 
Virgil : 

" Exoriare aliquis nostris ex ossibus ultor." 
" Rise some avenger from our blood !" 

The following stanzas were begun by Andre 
Chenier in the dreadful period of the French 
Revolution. He was waiting for his turn to be 
dragged to the guillotine, when he commenced 
this Poem. 



POETHY AND POETS. 209 

" Comnie un dernier rayon, comme un dernier Zephyre 
Anime la fin d'un beau jour, 
Au pied de I'echafaud j'essaie encore ma lyre ; 
Peut-etre est-ce bieutot mou tour. 

Peut-etre avant que 1' heure en cercle promen^e 

Ait pos^ sur r email brillant 
Dans les soixante pas ou sa route est bornee 

Son pied sonore et vigilant, 
Le sommeil du tombeau pressera ma paupiere." 

At this pathetic line was Andre Chenier sum- 
moned to the guillotine ! Never was a more 
beautiful effusion of grief interrupted by a 
more affecting incident. 

coryat's poetry. 

CoRYAT, so celebrated by his " Crudities,' 
does not appear to have been much of a versi- 
fier, though he is said to have written a song, 
in the Somersetshire dialect, upon the excel- 
lency of the Bath waters. According to his 
own account, however, he had a rare extempore 
talent, which he employed on a very ludicrous 
occasion. 

He journeyed with a friend to the Ruins of 
Troy, and was there, by that friend, (as Coryat 
very seriously relates, in a letter inserted in 



210 POETRY AND POETS. 

Purchas's "Pilgrims") dubbed the first "Knight 
of Troy." Our traveller received the honour 
with these words^ M^ith which his Muse favored 
him for occasion. 

" Lo, here, with prostrate knee, I do embrace 
The gallant title of a Trojan Knight, 
In Priam's Court, which time shall ne'er deface, 
A grace unknown to any British wight. 

This noble knighthood shall fame's trump resound. 
In Odcombe's * honour, maugre envie fell. 

O'er famous Albion throughout that island round, 
Till that my mournful friends shall ring my knell." 

SCHILLER. 

This celebrated German Poet had a patent of 
nobility conferred upon him by the Emperor of 
Germany, which he never used. Turning over 
a mass of papers one day, in the presence of a 
friend, he came to his patent, and shewed it 
carelessly to his friend, with this observation : — 
" I suppose, you did not know I was a Noble ;" 
and then hastily and contemptuously buried it 
again in the mass of miscellaneous papers, 
amidst which it had long lain undisturbed. 



• His residence. 



POETRY AND POETS. 211 

GEORGE PEELE. 

George Peele, " the veriest knave that ever 
escaped transportation/' was a Poet of no mean 
rank in the Elizabethan galaxy. He was a 
native of Devonshire, and took his degree of 
M. A. in Christ Church College, Oxford : he 
after \v'ards came to London, where he was ap- 
pointed Poet-Laureate to the Corporation, in 
which capacity he had the ordering of the City 
pageants. He was a good pastoral writer ; and 
Wood informs us that his plays " were not only 
often acted with great applause in his life-time, 
but did also endure reading, with due com- 
mendation, many years after his death." 

Peele was almost as famous for his tricks and 
merry pranks, as Scogan or Tarlton; and as 
there are books of theirs in print, so there are 
also of his, particularly one, which has lately 
been reprinted, entitled " IMerrie conceited 
Jests of Geo. Peele, Gentleman, sometime 
Student of Oxford : wherein is shewed the 
course of his life how he lived. A Man very 
well known in the City of London and else- 
where." The Editor might have added, " better 
known than trusted ;" for these " jests," as they 

vol-. III. p 



212 POETRY AND POETS. 

are called, might with more propriety be termed 
the tricks of a sharper : one of them, for instance, 
representing him as inviting a gentleman of 
property to sleep at his house, and absconding 
the next morning with his guest's clothes and 
money. 

Steevens has suggested that the character of 
Pieboard (evidently a pun upon the name), in 
the comedy of " The Puritan," one of the seven 
plays falsely attributed to Shakspeare, was in- 
tended for Peele ; and the coincidence between 
several of the incidents in that play, and those 
related in the " Jests," proves this conjecture to 
be well-founded. Take the " Jest of George 
and the Barber," as an example : George Peele 
had stolen a lute from a Brentford barber, (for 
barbers, in those days, were in the habit of 
keeping musical instruments in their shops, for 
the amusement of their customers,) who fol- 
lowed him to London, and demanded it. George 
vows that he was just about to send for it from 
a gentleman in the City, (to whose daughter he 
had lent it,) that he might return it. In fact, 
Peele had made away with it, to gratify some 
of his extravagancies, being in want of money, 
and being also, as the " Jests" say, " of the 



POETRY AND POETS. 213 

poetical disposition — never to write so long as his 
money lasted ;" but he promised to take the 
barber to the gentleman's house, to whom he 
had to read a Mask, or Pageant, which he had 
written. The barber accompanies him to the 
dwelling of an Alderman, whose porter Peele 
knew ; and while the barber and porter are con- 
versing at some distance, Peele, making action 
as if he were reading poetry, in fact applies 
to the Alderman to let him escape at the back 
door. He pretends that he only wishes to avoid 
bailiffs, who are pursuing him ; and " the kinde 
gentleman, little dreaming of George Peele's 
deceit, tooke him into the parlor, gave him a 
brace of angels, and caused one of his servants 
to let George out at the garden doore." 

In the play, the Story of the Barber is ju- 
diciously omitted, and Pieboard is represented 
as really hunted into cover by Puttock and 
Ravenshaw, a bailiff and his follower, or, 
they were then called, " two Serjeants." He 
makes them believe that a gentleman of fortune 
is about to purchase the device of a Mask of 
him for five pounds, and that he is on his way 
to him to receive the money. They agree to 



214 POETRY AND POETS. 

accompany him, and he resorts to the same 
trick of poetical action, while making his sup- 
plication. After a most pitiful speech, by which 
he works on the easy nature of the gentleman, 
he discloses his scheme of escape, on which the 
latter exclaims, " By my troth, an excellent 
device !" One of the bailiffs whispers the other, 
" An excellent device, he says ; he likes it won- 
derfully :" and his fellow replies, " Oh, there's 
no talk on it; he's an excellent scholar, and 
specially at a Mask." Thus the Serjeants fall 
into the trap, and Pieboard escapes out of it. 

Peele " was living," says Wood, " in his middle 
age, in the latter end of Queen Elizabeth, but 
when or where he died I cannot tell ; for so it 
is, and always -hath been, that most poets die 
poor, and consequently obscurely, and a hard 
matter it is to trace them to their graves." 

/It is lamentable to think that such should have 
been the life and such the death of a Poet who 
could write verses like the following, which 
form the Prologue to his " Love of King David 
and Fair Bethsabe ; with the Tragedy of Ab- 
salom ;" a piece of which Hawkins justly says, 
that it " abounds with the most masterly strokes 



POETRY AND POETS. 215 

of a fine genius, and a genuine spirit of poetry 
runs through the whole." 

" Of Israel's sweetest singer now I sing. 
His holy style and happy victories ; 
Whose Muse was dipt in that inspiring dew, 
Archangels 'stilled* from the breath of Jove, 
Decking her temples with the glorious flow'rs 
Heav'ns rain'd on tops of Sion and Mount Sinai. 
Upon the bosom of his ivory lute 
The cherubims and angels laid their breasts ; 
And when his consecrated fingers struck 
The golden wires of his ravishing harp. 
He gave alarum to the host of heaven, 
That, wing'd with lightning, brake the clouds, and 

cast 
Their crystal armour at his conqu'ring feet. 
Of this sweet Poet, Jove's Musician, 
And of his beauteous son, I press to sing. — 
Then help, divine Adonai, to conduct. 
Upon the wings of my well-temper'd verse. 
The hearers' minds above the tow'rs of heaven, 
And guide them so in this tlirice haughty flight, 
Their mounting feathers scorch not with the fire 
That none can temper but thy holy hand : 
To thee for succour flies my feeble Muse, 
And at thy feet her iron pen doth use." 



Which archangels distilled. 



216 



POETRY AND POETS. 



ALONZO D ERCILLA. 

This celebrated warrior was an enthusiastic 
admirer of fine landscapes. During the time 
when he was, with a small force under his 
command, in Chi i, he was engaged in a war 
with the inhabitants of Auracauna, a ferocious 
tribe of America. Amid the toils and dangers 
which he encountered in this dreadful warfare, 
he composed a poem, which has been considered 
as honourable to the literature of his country. 
On the midnight watch, stretched on a rock, 
or reclining near an impetuous torrent, he con- 
ceived ideas which astonished his countrymen, 
and for himself established an immortal fame 
in the annals of Spanish literature. 

METASTASIO. 

Although the biographer of the Abate Me- 
tastasio has neglected to notice the circumstance, 
it is not to be questioned but that the magnificent 
works of nature and art in the neighbourhood 
of Naples, contributed, in no small degree, to 
overcome the resolution of that elegant man, 
when he had bade, as he thought, an eternal 



POETRV AND POETS. 217 

farewell to poetry. He had wasted his fortune 
in unprofitable yet uncriminal dissipation, and 
had put himself under the care of the celebrated 
Advocate Palietti of Naples, with the firm re- 
solution of resuming a profession he had long 
neglected. 

For some time, he exercised the greatest 
tyranny over his own inclinations, till, by the 
earnest entreaties of the Countess of Althan, he 
was persuaded to write an Epithalamium on the 
marriage of the Marquess Pignatelli; to this 
succeeded the drama of " Endymion," " The 
Gardens of the Hesperides," and " Angelica ;" 
until, captivated by this irresistible recall to 
poetry, and animated by the lovely scenes by 
which the Bay of Naples is embellished, he 
again forsook the law, and gave himself up to 
his favourite amusement. 

WINSTANLEY AND MILTON. 

WiNSTANLEV, author of " The British Wor- 
thies," and " The Lives of the English Poets," 
was contemporary with INIilton, and in one of 
his works, gives an account of that great Poet. 
It should appear that Winstanley was attached 
to the Royal party ; and this circumstance will 



218 POETRY AND POETS. 

account for the malevolence displayed in the 
following passage. After allowing some little 
merit to that greatest of all poems, " Paradise 
Lost," he proceeds, and says of the Author : 

" But his fame is got out like the snufF of a 
candle, and will continue to stink to all posterity, 
for having so infamously belied that glorious 
martyr and king, Charles I." 

ROBERT DEVEREUX, EARI. OF ESSEX. 

CoxETER says, in his MSS., according to 
Warton, that he had seen one of Ovid's Epistles 
translated by this celebrated and unfortunate 
Nobleman. This piece, however, like many 
others which Coxeter has noticed, is not now 
known to exist. Some of his Sonnets, and 
other trifling productions, are to be found among 
the Ashmolean and Sloanean MSS., but they 
are said by Warton to have no marks of poetic 
genius. 

The following stanzas are quoted by Mr. 
Collier, in his " Poetical Decameron," from a 
beautiful Song attributed to him, in Dowland's 
" Musical Banquet, 1610." 

" Change thy mind since she doth change, 
Let not fancy still abuse thee ; 



219 



POETRY AND POETS. 

Thy untruth cannot seem strange 

When her falsehood doth excuse thee. 
Jove is dead and thou art free, 
She doth live, but dead to thee. 



Die 1 but yet, before thou die, 
Make her Isnovv what she has gotten ; 

She in whom my hopes did lie. 
Now is chang'd, I quite forgotten . 

She is chang'd, but changed base. 

Baser in so vile a place. 

" But if Essex was no great poet himself," 
says Warton, " few noblemen of his age were 
more courted by poets. From Spenser to the 
lowest rhymer, he was the subject of numerous 
sonnets or popular ballads. I could pi-oduce 
evidence to prove, that he scarce ever went out 
of England, or even left London, on the most 
frivolous enterprize, without a pastoral in his 
praise, or a panegyric in metre, which were 
sold and sung in the streets. This is a light in 
which Lord Essex is seldom viewed. I know 
not if the Queen's fatal partiality, or his own 
inherent attractions, his love of literature, his 
heroism, integrity, and generosity, qualities 



220 



POETRY AND POETS. 



which abundantly overbalance his presumption, 
vanity, and impetuosity, had the greater share 
in dictating these praises. If adulation were 
any where justifiable, it must be when paid to 
the man wlio endeavoured to save Spenser from 
starving in the streets of Dublin, and who bu- 
ried him in Westminster Abbey with becoming 
solemnity. 

" Spenser was persecuted by Burleigh, be- 
cause he was patronized by Essex." 

POPE AND AVARBURTON. 

Among other instances of adroitness, may be 
mentioned the management of Dr. Warburton, 
as defender of Pope's " Essay on Man" against 
the objections of Crousaz. 

The censures of this learned foreigner, many 
of them well-founded and unanswerable, were 
directed against thejrst edition of that pleasing 
poem ; but in his defence of the Poet, the Ec- 
clesiastic quoted succeeding impressions, in 
which Pope had seen and corrected many of his 
errors. 

The whole passed off undetected ; the anxieties 
of Pope, irritable and alive all over, were gra- 
dually soothed ; the clergy were pacified ; and 



POETRY AND POETS. 



221 



Warburton, by favour of the man of verse, was 
introduced to Mr. Allen, married his niece, and 
inherited his wealth. 

QUAINTNESS OF EXPRESSION. 

In the Poem of " Psyche, or Love's jMystery," 
by Dr. J. Beaumont, we have an example of 
(juaintness of poetical expression, in the de- 
scription which Aphrodisius gives of the court 
paid to him, and the pretty messages sent him 
by the ladies. 

'* How many a pretty embassy have I 

Receiv'd from them, which put me to my wit 
How not to understand — but by-aud-bye 
Some comment would come smiling after it ; 
But I had other thoughts to fill my head, 
Books caU'd me up — and hooks put me to bed." 

The following ludicrous title of a collection 
of old poems, by George Gascoigne, has the 
appearance of being too intentionally absurd to 
be called quaint : 

" A hundred sundrie flowers bound up in one 
small posie, gathered, partly by translation, in 
the fine and outlandisli gardens of Euripides, 
Ovid, Petrarch, Ariosto, and others, and partly 
by invention, out of our own fruitful gardens 



222 



POETRY AND POETS. 



of England — yielding sundrie sweet savours of 
tragicall, comically and moral discourses, both 
pleasant and profitable to the well- smelling 
noses of learned readers," 

butler's character of a play-avriter. 

"A PLAY- WRITER of our times is like a fanatic, 
that has no wit in ordinary easy things, and yet 
attempts the hardest task of brains in the whole 
world, only because, whether his play or work 
please or displease, he is certain to come off bet- 
ter than he deserves, and find some of his own 
latitude to applaud him, which he could never 
expect any other way ; and is as sure to lose no 
reputation, because he has none to venture. 

" Like gaming rooks, that never stick 
To play for hundreds upon tick ; 
'Cause, if they chance to lose at play, 
Th'ave not one half-penny to pay ; 
And, if they win a hundred pound, 
Gain, if for sixpence they compound." 

"Nothing encourages him more in his under- 
taking than his ignorance, for he has not wit 
enough to understand so much as the difficulty 
of what he attempts; therefore he runs on 
boldly like a fool-hardy wit ; and fortune, that 



POETRY AND POETS. 



223 



favours fools and the bold, sometimes takes no- 
tice of him for his double capacity, and receives 
him into her good graces. He has one motive 
more, and that is the concurrent ignorant judg- 
ment of the present age, in which his sottish 
fopperies pass with applause, like Oliver Crom- 
well's oratory among fanatics of his own canting 
inclination. He finds it easier to write in rhyme 
than prose ; for the world being overcharged 
with romances, he finds his plots, passions, and 
repartees, ready-made to his hand ; and if he 
can but turn them into rhyme, the thievery is 
disguised, and they pass for his own wit and 
invention without question ; like a stolen cloak 
made into a coat, or dyed into another colour. 
Besides this, he makes no conscience of stealing 
any thing that lights in his way, and borrows 
the advice of so many to correct, enlarge, and 
amend, what he has ill-favouredly patched to- 
gether, that it becomes like a thing drawn by 
council, and none of his own performance, or 
the son that has no certain father. 

" He has very great reason to prefer verse 
before prose in his compositions ; for rhyme is 
like lace, that serves excellently well to hide thn 



224 



POETRY AND POETS. 



piecing and coarseness of a bad stuff, contributes 
mightily to the bulk, and makes the less serve 
by the many impertinencies it commonly re- 
quires to make Avay for it; for very few are 
endowed with abilities to bring it in on its own 
account. This he finds to be good husbandry, 
and a kind of necessary thrift; for they that 
have but a little, ought to make as much of it 
as they can. His prologue, which is commonly 
none of his own, is always better than his play ; 
like a piece of cloth that's fine in the beginning, 
and coarse afterwards; though it has but one 
topic, and that's the same that is used by ma- 
lefactors when they are to be tried, to except 
against as many of the jury as they can." 



GRAY. 



The mother of Gray the Poet, to whom he 
was entirely indebted for the excellent education 
he received, appears to have been a woman of 
most amiable character, and one whose energy 
supplied to her child that deficiency, which the 
improvidence of his other parent would have 
occasioned. The following extract from a Case 
submitted by Mrs. Gray to her Lawyer, de- 



POETRY AND POETS. 225 

velops the disposition and habits of her husband 
in a hght not the most favourable, while it 
awakens no common sympathy for herself. 

" That she hath been no charge to the said 
Philip Gray; and, during all the said time, hath 
not only found herself in all manner of apparel, 
but also for her children to the number of twelve, 
and most of the furniture of his house, and 
paying forty pounds a-year for his shop, almost 
providing every thing for her son at Eton 
School ; and now he is at Peter-House, Cam- 
bridge. 

" Notwithstanding which, almost ever since 
he hath been married, the said Philip hath used 
her in the most inhuman manner, by beating, 
kicking, pinching, and with the vilest and most 
abusive language ; that she hath been in the 
utmost fear of her life, and hath been obliged 
this last year to quit his bed and lie with her 
sister. This she was resolved to bear if possible, 
not to leave her shop of trade, for the sake of 
her son, to be able to assist him in the main- 
tenance of him at the University, since his father 
won't." 

To the love and courage of this mother. Gray 



22n POETRY AND POETS. 

owed his life when a child : she ventured to do 
what few women are capable of doing, to open 
a vein with her own hand, and thus removed 
the paroxysm arising from a fulness of blood, 
to which, it is said, all her other children had 
fallen victims. — We need not wonder that Gray 
mentioned such a mother with a sigh.. 

SADI, AND HIS WIFE. 

This celebrated Persian Poet and Moralist 
was taken prisoner by the Turks, and con- 
demned to work at the fortifications at Tripoli. 
While in this deplorable state, he was redeemed 
by a merchant of Aleppo, who had so much 
regard for him as to give him his daughter in 
marriage, with a dowry of one hundred sequins. 
This lady, however, being an intolerable scold, 
proved the plague of his life, and gave him that 
unfavourable opinion of the sex, which appears 
occasionally in his works. During one of their 
altercations, she reproached him with the favours 
her family had conferred on him — " Are not you 
the man," said she, " my father bought for ten 
pieces of gold ?" " Yes," answered Sadi, " and 
he sold me again for a hundred sequins." 



POETRY AND POETS. 227 



NONSENSE VERSES. 



Amphigourie is a word composed of a Greek 
adverb, signifying about, and of a substantive, 
signifying a circle ; it must, therefore, convey 
an idea somewhat similar to what plain Eng- 
lishmen familiarly express by the term circum- 
bendibus. It is a word much employed by 
the French, to distinguish certain little lyrical 
parodies of a burlesque nature, and which, 
turning on words and ideas, without order, or 
any particular meaning, appear, in spite of this 
incoherence, to cai-ry some sense. 

Here is one, imitated from the French. It is 
as unmeaning a piece of verse as ever posed an 
admirer of the Cruscan school, but it sounds 
well, and is what the French call richly 
rh3-med. 

" How happy to defend our heart, 
When Love has never thrown a dart! 
But all ! unhappy when it hends, 
While pleasure her soft bliss suspends. 
Sweet in a wild disordered strain, 
A lost and wandering heart to gain. 
Oft, in mistaken language wooed, 
The skilful lover's understood." 
vol.. III. o 



228 POETRY AND POETS. 

This song has such a resemblance to mean- 
ing, that the celebrated Fontenelle, hearing it 
sung, imagined he discovered in it a glimpse of 
sense, and desired to have it repeated. " Don't 
you see," said Madame de Tencin, " they are 
nonsense verses ? " " It resembles so much," 
replied the malignant wit, " the fine verses I 
have heard here, that it is not surprising I 
should, for once, be mistaken." 

There is a certain kind of pleasure which we 
receive from absvu-d poetry ; but ordinary non- 
sense verses are not sufficiently nonsensical. 
Taylor, the water-poet, has described the plea- 
surable sensation which exquisite nonsense can 
give. In addressing himself to Coriat, who 
had a very happy turn for the nonsensical, he 
says, — " Your plenteous want of wit is won- 
drous witty." 

One of the finest specimens of this sort of 
verses, is to be found in No. 59 of " Black- 
wood's Magazine;" and this has an additional 
zest from the circumstance of its having been 
frequently copied as an example of beautiful 
writing. " I wrote it," says its witty author, 
" merely to prove I could write fine, if I liked ; 
but it cost me a lot ef trouble. I actually had 



POETRY AND POETS. 229 

to go to the Commercial Buildings, and swal- 
low seven cups of the most sloppish Bohea I 
could get, and eat a quartern loaf cut into thin 
slices, before I was in a fit mood to write such 
stuff. If I were to continue that diet, I should 
be the first of your pretty song writers in the 
empire ; but it would be the death of me in a 
week. I am not quite recovered from that 
breakfast yet ; and I do not wonder at the un- 
fortunate figure the poor Cockneys cut, who are 
everlastingly suffering the deleterious effects of 
tea-drinking." 

" 'Tis sweet upon th' irapassion'd wave 

To hear the voice of nnisic stealing, 
And while the dark winds wildly rave, 

To catch the genuine soul of feeling ! 
While all around, the ether blue 

Its dim majestic beam is shedding, 
And roseate tints of heavenly hue 

Are through the midnight darkness spreading I 

.So is it, when the thrill of love 
Through every burning pulse is flowing ; 

And, like the foliage of the grove, 
A holy light on all bestowing I 

O ! never from this fever'd heart 

Shall dreams on wings of gold be flying; 



230 POETRY AND POETS. 

But even when life itself shall part, 

I'll think on thee, sweet maid, though dying! 

'Twas thus, upon the mountain's height, 

Young Dermod sung his plaint of sorrow, 
Regardless of the evening light. 

That ushers in the gay to-morrow ! 
For love had of his cheek bereft 

ITiat smile — that glow — of joyous gladness, 
And sympathy's cold sting had left 

Nought there — but pale and gloomy sadness ! " 

But clever as this is, it is hardly equal to 
Swift's " Love Song in the modern taste, 
1733," which it would be almost impossible to 
excel in its way. 

" P'luttering spread thy purple pinions, 
Gentle Cupid, o'er my heart ; 
I a slave in thy dominions : 
Nature must give way to art. 

Mild Arcadians, ever blooming. 
Nightly nodding o'er your flocks. 

See my weary days consuming. 
All beneath yon flowery rocks. 

Thus the Cyprian goddess weeping, 
Mourn'd Adonis, darling youth ! 



POETRY AND POETS. 223 

Him the boar, in silence creeping, 
Gor'd witli unrelenting tooth. 

Cynthia, tune harmonious numbers ; 

Fair Discretion, string the lyre ; 
Sooth my ever-waking slumbers ; 

Bright Apollo, lend thy choir. 

Gloomy Pluto, King of Terrors, 

Arm'd in adamantine chains. 
Lead me to the crystal mirrors, 

Watering soft Elysian plains. 

Mournful cypress, verdant willow, 

Gilding my Aurelia's brows ; 
Morpheus, hovering o'er my pillow. 

Hear me pay my dying vows. 

Melancholy, smooth Mseander, 

Swiftly {)urling in a round, 
On thy margin lovers wander. 

With thy flowery chaplets crown'd. 

Thus when Philomela drooping. 

Softly seeks her silent mate. 
See the bird of Juno stooping. 

Melody resigns to fate." 

There is, also, anotlier sort of nonsense verses, 
in which our older poets appear to have taken 



232 POETRY AND POETS. 

great delight, if we may judge from the nu- 
merous examples which they have left behind 
them. Of these, the following, taken from the 
merry Bishop Corbet, and the " humorous " 
Ben Jonson, may serve as specimens. The 
first, by Corbet, is from " Wit Restored," 8vo. 
1658. 

" Mark how the lanterns cloud mine eyes, 
See where a moon-drake 'gins to rise ; 
Saturn crawls like an iron-cat. 
To see the naked moon in a slipshod hat. 

Tliunder-thumping toadstools crock the pots, 

To see the mermaids tumble ; 
Leather cat-a-mountains shake their heels. 
To hear the goss-hawk grumble. 
The rustic thread 
Begins to bleed, 
And cobwebs elbows itches j 
The putrid skies 
Eat mull-sack pies 
Bak'd up in logic breeches. 

Monday trenchers made good hay, 

The lobster wears no dagger ; 
Meal-mouth'd she-peacocks powl the stars, 
And made the low-bell stagger ; 
Blue crocodiles foam in the toe, 
Blind meal-bags do follow the doe : 



POETRY AND POETS. 233 

A rib of apple brain spice 

Will follow the Lancashire dice. 

Hark ". how the chime of Pluto's pot cracks. 

To see the rainbow's wheel-gan made of flax." 

The folloAving is, also, from the pen of the 
jolly divine : it is from the Ashmolean Museum, 
A. 37. 

" Like to the thundering tone of unspoke speeches, 
Or like a lobster clad in logic-breeches. 
Or like the grey fur of a crimson cat. 
Or like the mooncalf in a slipshod hat ; 
E'en such is he who never was begotten 
Until his children were both dead and rotten. 

Like to the fiery tombstone of a cabbage. 
Or like a crab-iouse with its bag and baggage. 
Or like the four-square circle of a ring. 
Or like to hey-ding, diug-a, ding-a, ding ; 
E'en such is hevvho spake, and yet, no doubt, 
.Spake to small purpose, when his tongue was out. 

Like to a fair, fresh, fading, wither'd rose. 
Or like to rhyming vcr.se that runs in prose. 
Or like the stumbles of a tinder-box, 
Or like a man that's sound, yet hath the ; 



E'en such is he who died, and yet did laugh, 
To see these lines writ for his epitaph." 

The specimen from Ben Jonson is taken from 



234 POETRY AND POETS. 

one of his " Masques," entitled the " Vision of 
Delight/' where it is put into the mouth of 
Phantasie, to intimate the inconsistencies of 
dreams. It might have been shorter ; but if it 
amvised the audience, we need not quarrel with 
it. The whole would be too much for the 
patience of a modern reader ; we must, there- 
fore, be content with extracts. 

" The politic pudding has still his two ends. 
Though the bellows and bagpipe were ne'er so good 

friends ; 
And who can report what oifence it would be 
For a squirrel to see a dog climb up a tree ? 
If a dream should come in now to make you afeard, 
With a windmill on his head, and bells at his beard. 
Would you straight wear your spectacles heie at your 

toes, 
And your boots on your brows, and your spurs on your 

nose .' 

♦ « * * 

I say, let the wine make ne'er so good jelly, 

The conscience of the bottle is much in the belly. 

For why ? do but take common council in your way, 

And tell me who'll then set a bottle of hay 

Before the old usurer, and to his horse 

A slice of salt butter, perverting the course 

Of civil society ? open that gap. 

And out-skip your fleas, four-and-twenty at a clap. 



POETRY AND POETS. 235 

With a chain and a trundle bed following at th' heels, 
And will they not cry, then, the world runs a-wlieels?" 

» * « * 

Vet would I take the stars to be cruel. 
If the crab and the rope-maker ever fight duel, 
On any dei)endence, be it right, be it wrong ; 
But, mum I a thread may be drawn out too long." 

So we say, and so, no doubt, say our rea- 
ders ; but as " nonsense " has so much to do 
with Poetry in almost every shape, we should 
liave been guilty of an unpardonable omission, 
had we neglected to give them a taste (although, 
perhaps, it may have been a surfeit) of what 
are, professedly, " Nonsense Verses." 

pope's nurse. 

There is in Twickenham Church-yard an 
inscription to the memory of the woman who 
nursed Pope, of which the following is a copy : 

" To the Memory of Mary Beach, who died November 
5, 1725, aged 78. 

" Alexander Pope, whom she nursed in his infancy, 
and whom she affectionately attended for twenty-eight 
years, in gratitude for such a faithful old servant, erected 
this stone." 

It is to this epitaph that Lady IMary Wort- 



236 POETRY AND POETS. 

ley Montague alludes in the following sarcastic 
lines, written on her quarrel with Pope. 

" No wonder our poet's so stout and so strong, 
Since lie lugg'd and he tugg'd at the bubby so long." 

DRINKING CUPS. 

Every reader of poetry has heard of Lord 
Byron's celebrated goblet, at Newstead Abbey, 
formed of a human skull, on which the fine 
verses beginning, " Start not, nor deem my 
spirit fled," are inscribed. It is mounted in 
silver, somewhat after the fashion of the w ine- 
cups formed of the shell of the ostrich-egg, and in 
depth and capaciousness would, probably, rival 
the great and blessed Bear of the Baron Brad- 
wardine, should that memento of ancient Scot- 
tish hospitality be yet upon the face of the 
earth. A superabundance of gratuitous horror 
has been expended on the circumstance of Lord 
Byron's having converted the head-piece of one 
of his ancestors into a stoup to hold his wine. 
But this fancy of the noble Bard is, by no 
means, an original one. 

Mandeville tells us of the old Guebres, who 
exposed the dead bodies of their parents to the 
fowls of the air, reserving only the skulls, of 



POETRY AND POETS. 237 

which, says he, "the son maketh a cuppe, and 
therefrom drynkethe he with gret devocion." 
The Italian Poet, ]Marino, to whom our own 
:\Iilton owes many of the splendid situations in 
" Paradise Lost," makes the conclave of devils, 
in his "Pandemonium," quaff wine from the 
cranium of IVIinerva ; and we have, also, a si- 
milar allusion in a Runic Ode, preserved by 
Wormius, where Lodbrog, disdaining life, and 
thinking of the joys of immortality, which he 
was about to share in the hall of Odin, exclaims, 

" Bibainus cerevisiaiu 
Ex concavis craniorum crateribus." 

In :\Iiddleton's "Witch," the Duke takes 
out a bowl of a similar description, when the 
Lord-Governor ejaculates, "A skull, my Lord !" 
and his Grace replies, — 

" Call it a soldier's cup. 



• • » 



Our Duchess, I know, will pleddje us, though the cup 

IVas mice her father's head, which, as a trophy, 

We'll keep till death." 

The same singular appropriation of dead men's 
sconces is referred to, on one or two occasions, 
by ^lassinger ; and from the following quota- 
tion from a speech of Torrenti, in Dekker's 
" Wonder of a Kingdom," we may presume. 



238 



POETRY AND POETS. 



that Lord Byron was not the first person who 

mounted human skulls in silver. 

ft 
" Would I had here ten thousand soldiers' heads. 
Their skulls set all in silver to drink healths 
To his confusion who first invented war." 

ADDISON, AND THE FAMOUS DUKE OF WHARTON. 

" It was the Marquis of Wharton who first 
got Addison a seat in the House of Commons; 
and soon after carried him with him to Win- 
chelsea. Addison was charmed with his son, 
(afterwards Duke of Wharton,) not only as his 
patron's son, but for the uncommon degree of 
genius that appeared in him. He used to con- 
verse, and walk often with him. One day, the 
little Lord led him to see some of their fine run- 
ning-horses. There were very high gates to 
the fields ; and, at the first of them, his young 
friend fumbled in his pockets, and seemed vastly 
concerned that he could not find the key. Ad- 
dison said it was no matter; he could easily 
climb over it. As he said this, he began mount- 
ing the bars, and when he was on the very top 
of the gate, the little Lord whips out his key, 
and sets the gate a-swinging, and so, for some 
time, kept the great man in that ridiculous situ- 
ation." SPRNCE. 



POETRY AND POETS. 239 

MODERN " FLASH POETRY." 

A FEW years hence, prior to the heroes of the 
Prize-ring attaining that great degree of popu- 
larity which it has latterly been their good for- 
tune to enjoy, no Bard arose to celebrate their 
achievements, to exult in their triumphs, or to 
console the beaten unfortunate on the withei*- 
ing of his laurels. Pugilistic Pindars have, at 
length, sprung up, and the Flash Poetry that 
has emanated from their pens will, decidedly, 
(in many instances, at least,) descend to pos- 
terity, and be read by new aspirants to the 
honours of a four-and-twenty foot ring, when 
the great characters who have called it forth 
shall be (as Shakspeare hath it) " sleeping with 
their ancestors." 

In a book of this description, whose avowed 
object is to treasure up as many gems con- 
nected with Poets and Poetry, of every class, 
sex, and age, as can be conveniently contained 
in three volumes, it would be an omission of 
the most conspicuous and glaring description, 
if we did not notice "the Flash Poetry" of the 
moderns. 

Thomas Moore, a name imperishable in lyric 
verse and Jlash poetics, struck, we believe, the 



240 POETRY AND POETS. 

first note on what may not be improperly cal- 
led, — The St. Giles's Lyre, — and gave to the 
world that piquant morceau, entitled, " Tom 
Crib's Memorial to Congress." This, though 
avowedly a political squib, as the phrase is, ex- 
hibited a happy admixture of wit, flash, learn- 
ing, imagery, and political bitterness, spiced 
up with all the varieties of jargon used by 
bruisers and pickpockets. The force of exam- 
ple was too strong to be resisted ; and we have 
no doubt, that many jeux d'esprits of a like 
tendency, that appeared soon afterwards, sprung 
from the desire of treading in steps so tempting, 
and following the track of a comet in the 
poetical world so inconceivably captivating. 

To " Tom Crib's Memorial," succeeded "Jack 
Randall's Diary," and then "Jack Randall's 
Scrap-Book," uniting fun and flash, and paro- 
dying many of Mr. Moore's best songs. Then 
came " The Fancy," alleged to be from the 
pen of Peter Corcoran, but, in reality, ema- 
nating from the pen of one of the witty authors 
of " The Rejected Addresses." All these had 
a success equal to their merits, and were much 
noticed in the magazines, and other ephemeral 
publications of their day, though now they 



POETRY AND POETS. 241 

are gone quietly to sleep in the lap of oblivion. 
The reader, after this detail, will, doubtless, 
imagine we are about to present to his notice 
some specimen of verses of the school in ques- 
tion. We are so; but we are puzzled where 
to make a selection. The following, however, 
seems more free from that peculiar slong in 
which it appears absolutely necessary every 
thing connected with pugilism should be de- 
tailed, and we do not hesitate in presenting it to 
our readers. We must, in justice to the author, 
confess, that, throughout, there is both ingenuity 
and harmony of versification ; and sincerely do 
we regret that his talents were not applied to 
better purposes. The effusion is extracted from 
" Jack Randall's Scrap-Book." 

" FANCY LYRICS. 

By Crib, I'm sick of sickly songs, 

L')ve I no more delight in ; 
Come, Randall, leave the boxing throngs, 
And sing the charm that still belongs 

To sparring and to fighting. 

Oh '. sing those days of triumph, when 

Great Johnson stood his legs on, 
With Ryan fam'd, and giant Hen, 
And chaunt in glowing numbers then 

Of Gulley and of Gregson. 



242 



POETRY AND POETS. 



Laud high the god-like Belcher race, 

Mendoza, also, stick in, 
Dick Humphries, — he who fought with grace, 
And every tnlll correctly trace 

Of Harry Pearce, The Chicken. 

Sing Crib, who fought the giaut black, 

Who Champion is distinguish'd ; 
Then Richmond and the negro pack. 
And he who, scarce a fortnight back, 
The hardy Gas extinguish'd. 

Come, Nonpareil, now gaily sing, 

But first tvet well your whistle : — 
Here's health to those who grace the Ring, 
Whether for them a Bose may spring, 
Or Shamroch, Leek, or Thistle." 




POETRY AND POETS. 243 

LORD BYRON's " MAZEPPA." 

The dreadful punishment inflicted upon the 
hero of Lord BjTon's poem, has an example in. 
a newspaper, called " Mercurius Politicus," 
printed in the year 1655. The narrative is 
dated from Hamburgh. 

" This last week, several waggoners coming 
from Breslaw to Silesia, upon their way into the 
J3uke of Saxonie's country, perceived a stag, 
with a man upon his back, running with all his 
might : coming near the waggons, he suddenly 
fell down: the poor man, sitting on his back, 
made a pitiful complaint, how that he was, the 
(lay before, by the Duke of Saxonie, for killing 
a deer, condemned to be bound with chains upon 
that stag, his feet bound fast under the stag's 
belly with an iron chain soldered, and his hands 
chained to the horns. The miserable man 
begged earnestly that they would shoot him, to 
put him out of pain ; but they durst not, fearing 
the Duke. Whilst they were talking with him, 
the stag got up, and ran away with all his might. 
The waggoners computed that he had run, in 
16 hours, 25 Dutch miles in the least; whicli 

VOL.. III. B 



244 POETRY AND POETS. 

makes near 100 of our English miles, in a direct 
line. The miseries which that poor creature did 
and must undergo, especially if the stag killed 
him not in running, cannot be expressed, hardly 
imaffined." 



"&' 



DRYDEN's " MEDAL." 

" It was King Charles II. who gave Dryden 
the hint for writing his poem, called ' The 
Medal.' 

" One day, as the King walked in the Mall, 
and was talking with Dryden, he said, ' If I 
was a poet, and I think I am poor enough to be 
one, I would write a poem on such a subject, in 
the following manner ;' and then gave him the 
plan of it. Dryden took the hint, carried the 
poem, as soon as it was finished, to the King, and 
had a present of a hundred broad pieces for it. 
This was said by a Priest that I often met at 
Mr. Pope's; and he seemed to confirm it, adding, 
that King Charles obliged Dryden to put his 
Oxford Speech into verse, and to insert it to- 
wards the close of his ' Absalom and Achito- 
phel.' " 

SPENCE. 



POETRY AND POETS. 245 

JAMES MONTGOMERY. 

This amiable man, whose poetry is so justly 
esteemed by the public, has lately given to the 
world a volume both curious and talented, en- 
titled " The Chimney-Sweeper's Friend and 
Climbing Boy's Album," which contains much 
beautiful poetry from various poets on this 
heart-rending subject. The profits are laudably 
given to " The Society for bettering the Condi- 
tion of the Climbing Boys of Sheffield." 

The poems of which the greater part of the 
book is composed (for at least one third of it is 
prose), are unequal. None, however, it must 
be confessed, make a very near approach to 
mediocrity. Those from the pens of Messrs. 
Bowring and ^fontgomery " stick fiery off 
indeed." Our space precludes the possibility of 
our giving both : we therefore present the reader 
with the one written by the Editor of this in- 
teresting volume. The being who can read it 
unmoved, must be heartless indeed. 

" A WORD WITH MYSELF. 

I know they scorn the Climbing Boy, 
The gay, the selfish, and the proud ; 

I know his villainous employ 

Is mockery with the thoughtless crowd. 



24(i POETRY AND POETS. 

So be it — brand with ev'ry name 
Of burning infamy his heart ; 

But let his country bear the shame, 
And feel the iron at her heart. 

I cannot coldly pass him by, 

Stript, wounded, left by thieves half dead ; 
Nor see an infant Lazarus lie 

At rich men's gates, imploring bread. 

A frame as sensitive as mine; 

Limbs moulded in a kindred form ; 
A soul degraded, yet divine, 

Endear to me my brother worm. 

He was my equal at his birth, 
A naked, helpless, weeping child ; 

And such are born to thrones on earth. 
On such hath ev'ry mother smil'd. 

My equal he will be again, 

Down in that cold oblivious gloom. 

Where all the prostrate ranks of men 
Crowd without fellowship the tomb. 

My equal in the Judgment Day, 

He shall stand up before the throne, 

When ev'ry veil is rent away, 
And good and evil only known. 

And is he not mine equal now — 

Am I less fall'ii from God and truth — 



POETRY AND POETS. 247 

Though " Wretch" be written on his brow, 
And leprosy consume his youth ? 

If holy Nature yet have laws, 

Binding on man, of woman born, 

In her own Court I'll plead his cause. 
Arrest the doom and share the scorn. 

Yes, let the scorn that haunts his course. 
Turn on me like a trodden snake. 

And hiss and sting me with remorse. 
If I the fatherless forsake." 

AKENSIDE. 

" The Pleasures of Imagination/' a production 
that would do honour to the poetical genius of 
any age or nation, was published in 1744, when 
Akenside was in his twenty-third year. The 
poem was received with great applause, and 
advanced its author to poetical fame. It is said, 
that when it was shewn to Pope in manuscript, 
by Dodsley, to whom it had been offered for a 
greater sum than he was inclined to give, he 
advised the bookseller not to make a niggardly 
offer, for the author of it was no every-day 
writer. 

It also has been surmised, that this poem, and 
some others, were written prior to his going to 



248 POETRY AND POETS. 

Edinburgh in 1739, in his eighteenth year. 
Mr. (afterwards Bishop) Warburton severely 
attacked this poem, not on account of its poetry, 
but for some remarks which the author had 
introduced on the nature and objects of ridicule; 
and it was vindicated by an anonymous friend, 
since known to be Mr. Jeremiah Dyson. 

On his return from Leyden, (where he studied 
physic, and had obtained the degree of Doctor 
in that faculty, in 1744,) Akenside settled as 
physician at Northampton ; thence he removed 
to Hampstead, where he continued about two 
years and a half; and finally settled in London, 
where his friend, Mr. Dyson, allowed the Poet 
£300 per annum, to maintain his rank as a 
physician. His medical reputation and practice 
gradually increased; he was chosen Fellow of 
the Royal Society, appointed Physician to St. 
Thomas's Hospital, admitted, by mandamus, to 
the degree of Doctor in Physic in the University 
of Cambridge, elected a Fellow of the Royal 
College of Physicians in London ; and, upon 
the establishment of the Queen's Household, he 
was advanced to the rank of one of her Majesty's 
Physicians. 

Notwithstanding the acknowledged abilities 



POETRY AND POETS. 249 

of Akcnside, and the singular patronage by 
which he was distinguished, he never arrived at 
any very considerable popularity in his pro- 
fession. It has been said, that he had a kind of 
haughtiness or ostentation in his manners, little 
calculated to ingratiate him with his brethren 
of the faculty, or to render him generally ac- 
ceptable. 

In Dr. Akenside's poems, and in the notes 

annexed thereto, we may discover his extensive 

acquaintance with ancient literature, and his 

attachment to the cause of civil and religious 

liberty. His politics were thought to incline to 

Republicanism, but no evidence to this effect is 

to be deduced from his poems; and his theology 

has been stated to have verged towards Deism : 

and yet, in his Ode to Hoadly, Bishop of Bangor, 

and to the Author of the " Memoirs of the 

House of Brandenburgh," he has testified his 

regard for pure Christianity, and his dislike to 

the attempts of freeing men from the salutary 

restraints of religion. 

The following extract from the first of these 
Odes, may gratify the reader. 

" To Him, tlic Teaclier bless'd. 

Who sent religion from the palmy field 



250 POETRY AND POETS. 

By Jordan, like the morn to cheer — the west, 

And lifted up the veil which heav'n from earth conceal'd. 

To Hoadly, thus his mandate he address'd : 

* Go, then, and rescue my dishonour'd law 

From hands rapacious and from tongues impure : 

Let not my peaceful name he made a lure, 

Fell Persecution's mortal snares to aid : 

Let not my words be impious chains, to draw 

The free-born soul, in more than brutal awe. 

To faith without assent, allegiance unrepaid.'" 

POETICAL RECOLLECTIONS CONNECTED WITH 
VARIOUS PARTS OF THE METROPOLIS. 

" One of the best secrets of enjoyment, is the 
art of cultivating pleasant associations. It is an 
art that of necessity increases with the stock of 
our knowledge : and though, in acquiring our 
knowledge, we must encounter disagreeable 
associations also, yet, if we secure a reasonable 
quantity of health by the way, these will be far 
less in number than the agreeable ones ; for, 
unless the circumstances which gave rise to the 
associations press upon us, it is onlj' from want 
of health that the power of thi'owing off these 
burdensome images becomes suspended. 

" And the beauty of this art is, that it does 
not insist upon pleasant materials to work on : 



POETRY AND POETS. 



251 



nor, indeed, does health. Health will give us 
a vague sense of delight, in the midst of objects 
that M'ould teaze and oppress us during sickness. 
But healthy association peoples this vague sense 
with agreeable images. It will relieve us, even 
when a painful sympathy with the distresses of 
others becomes a part of the very health of our 
minds. For instance, we can never go through 
St. Giles's, but the sense of the extravagant 
inequalities in human condition presses more 
forcibly upon us : but some pleasant images are 
at hand, even there, to refresh it. They do not 
displace the others, so as to injure the sense of 
public duty which they excite ; they only serve 
to keep our spirits fresh for their task, and 
hinder them from running into desperation or 
hopelessness. In St. Giles's Church lie Chap- 
man, the earliest and best translator of '^ Homer;' 
and Andrew IMarvell, the wit, poet, and patriot, 
whose poverty Charles the Second could not 
bribe. We are as sure to think of these two 
men, and of all the good and j)leasure they have 
done to the world, as of the less happy objects 
about us. So much for St. Giles's, whose very 
name is a nuisance with some. 

" It is dangerous to speak disrespectfully of 



252 POETRY AND POETS. 

old districts. Who would suppose that the Bo- 
rough was the most classical ground in the 
metropolis? And yet it is undoubtedly so. The 
Globe Theatre was there, of which Shakspeare 
himself was a proprietor, and for which he wrote 
his plays. Globe Lane, in which it stood, is still 
extant, we believe, under that name. It is pro- 
bable that he lived near it : it is certain that he 
must have been much there. It is also certain 
that, on the Borough side of the river, then and 
still called the Bank side, in the same lodging, 
having the same wardrobe, and some say, with 
other participations more remarkable, lived 
Beaumont and Fletcher. In the Borough also, 
at St. Saviour's, lie Fletcher and Massinger in 
one grave. In the same Church, under a mo- 
nument and effigy, lies Chaucer's contemporary, 
Gower ; and from an inn in the Borough, the 
existence of which is still boasted, and the site 
pointed out by a picture and inscription, 
Chaucer sets out his pilgrims and himself on 
their famous road to Canterbury. 

" To return over the water, who would expect 
any thing poetical from East Smithfield.^ Yet 
there was born the most poetical even of poets, 
Spenser. Pope was born within the sound of 



POETRY AND POETS. 253 

Bow bell, in a street no less anti-poetical than 
Lombard Street. So was Gray, in Cornhill. So 
was ]\Iilton, in Bread Street, Cheapside. The 
presence of the same great poet and patriot has 
given happy memories to many parts of the 
metropolis. He lived in St. Bride's Church- 
yard, Fleet Street; in Aldersgate Street, in 
Jewin Street, in Barbican, in Bartholomew 
Close; in Holborn, looking back to Lincoln's- 
Inn- Fields; in Holborn, near Red Lion Square; 
in Scotland Yard; in a house looking to St. 
James's Park, now belonging to an eminent 
writer on legislation, and lately occupied by a 
celebrated critic and metaphysician ; and he 
died in the Artillery Walk, Bunhill Fields; 
and was buried in St. Giles's, Cripplegate. 

" Ben Jonson, who was born ' in Hartshorn 
Lane, near Charing Cross,' was at one time 
' master' of a theatre in Barbican.* He appears 
also to have visited a tavern called the Sun and 
Moon, in Aldersgate Street ; and is known to 
have frequented, with Beaumont and others, the 
famous one called the Mermaid, which was in 

♦ 'ITiis \i at least questionable. Ed. 



254 POETRY AND POETS. 

Cornhill. Beaumont, writing to him from the 
country, in an epistle full of jovial wit, says, 

' The sun, which doth the greatest comfoct hriiig, 
To absent friends, because the self-same thing 
They know they see, however absent, is 
Here our best haymaker : forgive me this : 
It is our country style : — In this warm shine 
I lie, and dream of your full Mermaid wine. 
* * * 

Methinks the little wit 1 had, is lost, 

Since I saw you ; for wit is like a rest 

Held up at tennis, which men do the best 

With the best gamesters. What things have we seen 

Done at the Mermaid ? Hard words that have been 

So nimble, and so full of subtle flame. 

As if that every one from wliom they came 

Had meant to put his whole wit in a jest, 

And had resolv'd to live a fool the rest 

Of his dull life. Then, where there hath been thrown 

Wit, able enough to justify the town 

For three days past, — wit, that might warrant be 

For the whole city to talk foolishly 

Till that were cancell'd, and when that was gone, 

We left an air behind us, which alone 

Was able to make the two next companies 

Right witty ; — though but downright fools, mere wise.' 

" The other celebrated resort of the great wits 



POETRY AND POETS. 255 

of that time, was the Devil Tavern, in Fleet 
Street, close to Temple Bar. Ben Jonson lived 
also in Bartliolomew Close, where Milton after- 
wards lived. It is in the passage from the 
Cloisters of Christ's Hospital into St. Bartholo- 
mew's. Aubrey gives it as a common opinion, 
that, at the time when Jonson's father-in-law 
made him help him in his business of bricklayer, 
he worked with his own hands upon the Lin- 
coln's-Inn garden wall, which looks upon Chan- 
cery Lane, and which seems old enough to have 
some of his illustrious brick and mortar still 
remaining. 

'•' At the corner of Brook Street, in Holborn, 
was the residence of the celebrated Sir Fulke 
Greville, Lord Brook, the ' friend of Sir Philip 
Sydney.' In the same street, died, by a volun- 
tary death, of poison, that extraordinary person, 
Thomas Chatterton — 

* The sleepless boy, who perish'd in his pride.' 

WollDSWORTH. 

" He was buried in the Workhouse in Shoe 
Lane — a circumstance, at which one can hardly 
help feeling a movement of indignation. Yet 
what could beadles and parish-officers know 



256 



POETRY AND POETS. 



about such a being? — No more than Horace 
Walpole. In Southampton Row, Holborn, 
Cowper was a fellow-clerk to an attorney with 
the future Lord Chancellor Thurlow. At the 
Fleet-street corner of Chancery Lane, Cowley, 
we believe, was born. In Salisbury Court, 
Fleet Street, was the house of Thomas Sack- 
ville, first Earl of Dorset, the precursor of 
Spenser, and one of the authors of the first 
regular English tragedy. On the demolition of 
this house, part of the ground was occupied by 
the celebrated theatre built after the Restora- 
tion ; at which Betterton performed, and of 
which Sir William Davenant Avas manager. 
Lastly, here was the house and printing-office 
of Richardson. In Bolt Court, not far distant, 
lived Dr. Johnson, Avho resided also some time 
in the Temple. A list of his numerous other 
residences is to be found in Boswell.* Congreve 

* " The Temple must have had many emiuent inmates. 
Among them, it is believed, was Chaucer; who is also 
said, upon the strength of an old record, to have been 
fined two shillings for beating a Franciscan friar in Fleet 
Street." 

[This, says Ritsou, in his polite way, is " a hum of 



POETRY AND POETS. 257 

died in Surrey Street, in the Strand, at his own 
house. In IMaiden Lane, Covent Garden, Vol- 
taire lodged while in London, at the sign of the 
White Peruke. Tavistock Street was then, we 
believe, the Bond Street of the fashionable 
world, as Bow Street was before. The change 
of Bow Street from fashion to the police, with 
the theatre still in attendance, reminds one of 
the spirit of the ' Beggars' Opera.' Button's 
Coffee House, the resort of the wits of Queen 
Anne's time, was in Russell Street, — we believe, 
near where the Hummums now stand. We 
think we recollect reading also, that in the same 
street, at one of tlie corners of Bow Street, was 
the tavern where Dryden held regal possession 
of the arm-chair. The whole of Covent Garden 
is classic ground, from its association with tlie 
dramatic and other wits of the times of Dryden 
and Pope. Butler lived, perhaps died, in Rose 
Street, and was buried in Covent Garden Church- 
yard; where Peter Pindar, the other day, fol- 



Thomas Chattcrtou. See his Miscellanies, p. 1.J7." I'.ut 
the story is to be found in ;i much earlier wiitcr, Fulhi , 
the " worthy" Historian of the Church. Ed.] 



258 POETRY AND POETS. 

lowed him. In Leidester Square, on the site 
of Miss Linwood's Exhibition and other houses, 
was the town mansion of the Sydneys, Earls of 
Leicester, the family of Sir Philip and Algernon 
Sydney. Dryden lived and died in Gerrard 
Street, in a house which looked backwards into 
the garden of Leicester House. ■ 

" We have mentioned the birth of Ben Jonson 
near Charing Cross. Spenser died at an inn, 
where he put up on his arrival from Ireland, 
in King Street, Westminster, — the same which 
runs at the back of Parliament Street to the 
Abbey. Sir Thomas More lived at Chelsea. 
Addison lived and died in Holland House, 
Kensington, now the residence of the accom- 
plished nobleman who takes his title from it. 

" We have omitted to mention, that on the 
site of the present Southampton Buildings, 
Chancery Lane, stood the mansion of the 
Wriothesleys, Earls of Southampton, one of 
whom was the celebrated friend of Shakspeare. 
But what have we not omitted also ? No less an 
illustrious head than the Boar's, in Eastcheap, — 
the Boar's Head Tavern, the scene of FalstafF's 
revels. We believe the place is still marked 



POETRY AND POETS. 259 

out by a similar sign. But who knows not 
Eastcheap and the Boar's Head ? Have we not 
all been there time out of mind? And is it 
not a more real as well as notorious thing to us 
than the London Tavern, or the Crown and 
Anchor, or the Hummums, or White's, or 
What's-his-name's, or any other of your con- 
temporary and fleeting taps ? 

" But a line or two, a single sentence in an 
author of former times, will often give a value 
to the commonest object. It not only gives us 
a sense of its duration, but we seem to be 
looking at it in company with its old observer ; 
and we are reminded, at the same time, of all 
that was agreeable in him. We never saw, for 
instance, even the gilt ball at the top of the 
College of Physicians, without thinking of that 
pleasant mention of it in ' Garth's Dispensary ;' 
and of all the wit and generosity of that amiable 
man: — 

' Not far from that most celebrated place, • 
Where angry Justice shews her awfiil face, 
Where little villains must submit to fate, 
'ITiat great ones may enjoy the world in state; 

• " The Old IJailey." 
VOL. III. S 



260 POETRY AND POETS. 

There stands a dome, majestic to the sight, 
And sumptuous arches bear its oval height ; 
A golden globe, plac'd high with artful skill. 
Seems, to the distant sight, a gilded pill.' 

" Gay, in describing the inconvenience of the 
late narrow part of the Strand, by St. Clement's, 
took away a portion of its unpleasantness to the 
next generation, by associating his memory with 
the objects in it. We did not miss without re- 
gret even the ' combs' that hung ' dangling in 
your face' at a shop which he describes, and 
which was standing till the improvements took 
place. The rest of the picture is still alive. 
(Trivia, b. 3.) 

' Where the fair columns of St. Clement stand, 
Whose straiten'd bounds encroach upon the Strand ) 
Where the low pent-house bows the wallier's head, 
And the rough pavement wounds the yielding tread ; 
Where not a post protects the narrow space. 
And, strung in twines, combs dangle in thy face ; 
Summon at once thy courage, rouse thy care. 
Stand firm, look back, be resolute, beware. 
Forth issuing from steep lanes, the colliers' steeds 
Drag the black load ; another cart succeeds ; 
Team follows team, crowds heap'd on crowds appear, 
And wait impatient till the road grow clear.' 



POETRY AND POETS. 261 

" There is a touch in the Winter Picture in 
the same poem^ which every body will re- 
cognize : 

' At White's the haniess'd chairman idly stands, 
And swings around his waist his tingling hands.' 

" The bewildered passenger in the Seven 
Dials is compared to Theseus in the Cretan 
Labyrinth. And tlius we come round to the 
point at which we began. 

" Before we rest our wings, however, we 
must take another dart over the City, as far as 
Stratford at Bow, where, with all due tender- 
ness for boarding-school French, a joke of 
Chaucer's has existed as a piece of local humour 
for nearly four hundred and fifty years. Speak- 
ing of the Prioress, who makes such a delicate 
figure among his Canterbury Pilgrims, he tells 
us, among her other accomplishments, that — 

' French she spake full faire and featously ;* 

adding, with great gravity, 

' After the school of Stratforde atte Bowe ; 
For French of Paris was to her uuknowc' " 

LEIGH HUNT. 



262 POETRY AND POETS. 

MS. OP pope's " ILIAD." 

The MS. of the " Iliad" descended from 
Lord Bolingbroke to Mallet, and is now to be 
found in the British Museum, where it was de- 
posited at the pressing instance of Dr. Maty. 
Mr. Disraeli, in the first edition of his " Cu- 
riosities of Literature," has exhibited a fac-simile 
of one of the pages. It is written upon the 
backs and covers of letters and other fragments 
of papers, evincing that it was not without 
reason he was called " Paper-sparing Pope." 

pope's remuneration for the " ILIAD." 

" Pope's contract with Lintot was, that he 
should receive for each volume of the ' Iliad,' 
besides all the copies for his subscribers, and 
for presents, two hundred pounds. The sub- 
scribers were five hundred and seventy-five : 
many subscribed for more than one copy, so 
that Pope must have received upwards of six 
thousand pounds. He was at first apprehensive 
that the contract might ruin Lintot, and en- 
deavoured to dissuade him from thinking any 
more of it. The event, however, proved quite 



POETRY AND POETS. 263 

the reverse ; the success of the work was un- 
paralleled, as at once to enrich the bookseller, 
and to prove a productive estate to the family." 

SPENCE. 
A TRULY POETICAL NIGHT. 

PiRON, the celebrated Satirist, and Gallet and 
CoUe, two congenial spirits, after spending an 
evening of great hilarity at the house of a lady, 
celebrated for her hel esprit, took their departure 
together, and on foot. On reaching the corner , 
of La Rue du Harlay, Piron proposed to take 
leave of his companions, as his way lay by 
the Fauxbourg St. Germain, while theirs lay 
in the opposite directions of the Quartier St. 
Eustache. The two friends, however, would 
not hear of parting ; they pressed to be allowed 
to escort Piron to his own door ; expatiated on 
the danger which a solitary individual, at such 
an hour of the night, was in, of being way-laid 
by robbers ; and enforced their representations, 
by a thousand stories of unfortunate persons, 
pillaged and murdered. Piron was not to be 
frightened ; he persisted in going alone ; and, 
&& an excuse for his obstinacy, pretended that 
he had a piece of verse in his head, which he 



264 POETRY AND POETS. 

wished to compose by the way. " But you 
forget/' observed his friends, " that poets don't 
go in such noble suits of velvet as that you have 
on ; the first rogue you meet, deceived by ap- 
pearances, will take you for a financier at least, 
and will attack and kill you for the sake of your 
clothes and money. How melancholy to hear 
to-morrow that——" "Ah! gentlemen," in- 
terrupted Piron, briskly, " it is my clothes, 
then, that you wish to escort, and not me. Why 
did not you say so sooner ?" In the twinkling 
of an eye, off went coat and doublet, and throw- 
ing them to Gallet and Colle, he bolted from 
them with the rapidity of lightning. 

After a moment lost in surprise at this fan- 
tastic proceeding, the two friends ran after him, 
calling out to him, " for God's sake to stop,' 
that " he would catch his death of cold." Piron, 
however, paid no regard to their entreaties, and 
being a good runner, was soon so much a-head, 
that they began to think of giving up the pur- 
suit ; when, to their astonishment, they beheld 
Piron returning, accompanied by a party of 
police. " Ah I" exclaimed the sergeant of the 
party, to whom Piron had told a wonderful 
story of his being stripped and robbed, " there 



POETRY AND POETS. 265 

are the villains : see, they have the clothes in 
their hands." " Yes, yes," said Piron, " the 
very men." The guard instantly laid hold of 
them, restored to Piron his clothes, and told the 
astonished friends, that they must go before the 
Commissary, to answer for the robbery. Gallet 
wished to explain, very seriously, how the matter 
stood, but the sergeant would not listen to him. 
CoUe, who entered more into the humour of the 
scene, being ordered to deliver up a sword which 
he wore, thus parodied the words of the Earl of 
Essex, in the tragedy of that name, as he sur- 
rendered his weapon into their hands : 

" Prenez, 
Vous avez dans vos mains ce que toute la terre 
A vu plus d'une fois terrible i I'Angleterre. 
Marclions ; quelque douleur que j'cn puisse seutir, 
Vous voulez votre perte, ii faut y couscntir." 

The whole party now proceeded towards the 
house of the Commissary of the district. Piron 
who was at full liberty, walked by the side of 
the sergeant, whom he questioned very comi- 
cally by the way, as to what would be done 
with the two robbers ? The sergeant, with 
unaffected gravity, replied, that, at the very 



266 POETRY AND POETS. 

least, they would be hung, though worse might 
happen to them. After amusing himself in this 
strain for some time, Piron, afraid of pushing 
the adventure too far, changed his tone, repre- 
sented the whole affair as a mere frolic, and 
claimed the two prisoners as two of his best 
friends. " Ah ! ah !" exclaimed the sergeant, 
" you are a fine fellow, truly ; now that you 
have got your clothes back, the robbers are 
honest people, and your best friends. No, Sir, 
you must not think to dupe us in this way." 

The party had now reached the house of the 
Commissary, who was in bed, but had left his 
clerk to officiate for him. The sergeant began 
to make his report of the affair to this Com- 
missary-substitute, but was so often interrupted 
by the pleasantries of Piron, that he could not 
get through with it. Piron, then addressing 
the clerk, described, in its true colours, the 
midnight adventure of himself and friends ; but 
the clerk proved as slow of belief as the sergeant, 
treated the whole story as a fiction, and the 
narrator as an impostor. Taking up his pen, 
he prepared to go into an examination of the 
matter, with all the formality required in the 
gravest proceedings, and ordered Piron to an- 



POETRY AND POETS. 267 

swer distinctly the questions he would put to 
him. 

Piroti. " As you please, IMonsieur, only make 
despatch ; I will assist, if you like, to put the 
process- verbal into verse." 

Clerk. " Come, Sir, none of your nonsense, 
let us proceed. What is your name ?" 

P. " Piron, at your service." 

C. " What is your occupation }" 

P. " I make verses." 

C. "Verses! What are verses ? Ah! you are 
making game of me." 

P. " No, Sir ; I do make verses ; and to prove 
it to you, I will instantly make some on yourself, 
either for or against you, as you please." 

C " I have already told you. Sir, that I will 
have none of this verbiage : if you persist, you 
shall have cause to repent it." 

The clerk now turned to Gallet, and having 
obtained his name, thus proceeded to interrogate 
him : 

C. " What in your profession ? Wliat do ifoii 
do?" 

G. " I make songs. Sir." 

C. " Ah ! I see how it is, you are all in a 
plot ; I must call up the Commissary. He will 



268 



POETRY AND POETS. 



shew you what it is to make a mockery of 
justice." 

G. " O, pray, Sir, do not disturb the repose 
of M. Commissary ; allow him to sleep on ; you 
are so much awake, that, without flattery, you 
are worth a dozen commissaries. I mock not 
justice, believe me; I am, indeed, a maker of 
songs ; and you, a man of taste, must yourself 
have by heart the last which I wrote, and which 
has been, for a month past, the admiration of all 
Paris. Ah, Sir, need I repeat, 

* Daphnis m'amait, 
Le disait, 
Si joliiuent, 
Qu'il me plaisait 
Infiniment!' 

" You see. Sir, that I do not impose upon 
you. I am really a sonneteer; and, what is 
more. Sir, (making a profound reverence to the 
clerk,) a dealer in spiceries, at your service, in 
the Rue de la Truanderie." 

Scarcely had Gallet finished, when CoUe 
began: 

" I wish," said he, " to save you the trouble 
of asking questions. My name is Charles CoUe, 



POETRY AND POETS. 269 

I live in the Rue du Jour, parish of St. Eustache; 
my business is to do nothing ; but when the 
couplets of my friend here (pointing to Gallet) 
are good, I sing them." 

Colle then sung, by way of example, the fol- 
lowing smart anacreontic : 

" Avoir dans sa cave profonde 
Vin excellent, en quautite ; 
Faire I'amour, boire a la roude. 
Est la seule fClicit^ : 
II n'est point de vrais biens au monde, 
Sans vin, sans amour, sans gaiet^." 

" And," continued Colle, " when my other 
friend here (pointing to Piron) makes good 
verses, I declaim them;" to illustrate which, he 
with equal felicity, repeated the following ap- 
propriate couplet from Piron's Calisthenes : 

" J'ai tout dit, tout, seigneur ; cela doit vous suflire ; 
Qu'on me mene a la mort, je n'ai plus rien ;\ dire." 

As he finished these words, Colle, with all the 
air of a genuine tragedy hero, strutted towards 
the guard, bidding them " lead on." So bur- 
lesque a conclusion to the examination, called 
forth a general burst of laughter. The clerk 
alone, far from laughing, grew pale with rage, 



270 POETRY AND POET?. 

and denouncing vengeance, ran to awake the 
Commissary. " Ah, Sir/' exclaimed Piron, in 
a tone of raillery, " do not ruin us ; we are per- 
sons of family." 

The Commissary was in so profound a sleep, 
that some time passed before he made his ap- 
pearance. Piron and his friends, however, did 
not suffer the action to cool; but kept the 
guard in a constant roar of laughter with their 
drolleries. At length M. Commissary was an- 
nounced. " What is all this noise about?" de- 
manded he, gruffly. " Who are you. Sir.-*" 
addressing himself to Piron ; " your name ?" 
" Piron." — " What are you }" " A poet." — " A 
poet }" " Yes, Sir, a poet, the most noble and 
sublime of all professions. Alas ! where can 
you have lived all your days, that you have not 
heard of the poet Piron ? I think nothing of 
your clerk being ignorant of my name and 
quality ; but what a scandal for a great public 
officer, like you, M. Commissary, not to know 
the great Piron, author of Fils Ingrats, so justly 
applauded by all Paris ; and of Calisthenes, 
so unjustly damne as I have shewn to the 
public by some verses^ which prove it to a de- 
monstration." 



POETRY AND POETS. 



271 



Piron would have gone on farther in this 
gasconading strain, but the Commissary inter- 
rupted him, by observing, pleasantly, 

"You speak of plays, M. Piron; don't you 
know that Lafosse is my brother; that he writes 
excellent ones, and that he is the author of 
Manlius? Ah, Sir, there is a man of great 
genius." " I believe it. Sir," replied Piron, 
" for I too have a brother who is a great fool, 
although he is a priest, and although I write 
tragedies." 

The Commissary either felt not the piquancy of 
this repartee, or had the good sense to conceal 
it. After a few more inquiries, he saw into the 
real character of the affair, invited Piron to 
relate it at length, and (to the satisfaction of all 
present but his sagacious clerk) not only be- 
lieved, but laughed most heartily at it. He 
then dismissed the three friends, not with a 
rebuke, but with a polite invitation to dine with 
him at his house on the day following. " Ah ! 
my friends," exclaimed Piron, as he left the 
office, " nothing more is wanting to my glory; 
I have made even the Alguazils laugh." 



272 POETRY AND POETS. 

AN EPIGRAM,, AND A RECEIPT. 

" King, author, philosopher, poet, musician. 
Free-mason, economist, bard, politician, — 
How had Europe rejoic'd if a Christian he'd been ! 
If a man, how he then had enraptur'd his^Queen !" 

The above was many years ago handed 
about Berlin, and shewn to the King, (Frederic 
the Third,) who, deemed it a libel, because 
it was true; but instead of filing an informa- 
tion, and using the tedious methods practised 
in this country, he took a summary way of 
punishing the author, who he knew, from in- 
ternal evidence, must be Voltaire, at that time 
a resident in Berlin. 

He sent his serjeant at arms (one of the tall 
regiment), not with a mace and scrap of parch- 
ment, but with such an instrument as the Eng- 
lish drummers use for the reformation of such 
foot-soldiers as commit any offence against the 
law military. 

The Prussian soldier went to the Poet, and 
told him he came, by his JMajesty's special 
command, to rewardhim for an Epigram on his 
royal master, by administering thirty lashes on 
his naked back. The poor versifier knew 



POETRY AND POETS. 273 

that remonstrance was vain ; and after submit- 
ting with the best grace he could, opened the 
door, and made the farewell bow to his unwel- 
come visitor ; who did not offer to depart, but 
told him, with the utmost gravity, that the 
ceremony was not yet concluded : for that 
the monarch he had the honour of serving must 
be convinced that his commission was punctually 
fulfilled, on which account he must have a re- 
ceipt. This was also submitted to, and given 
in manner and form following : 

" Received from the right-hand of Conrad 
Bachoffner, thirty lashes on my naked back, 
being in full for an Epigram on Frederic the 
Third, King of Prussia ; I say, received by me, 
VoLTAiHE. Five le Roi." 

ROUGHER. 

This Poet, author of that beautiful production 
" Les Mois," was one of the victims of Ro- 
bespierre's black dictatorship. Of the many 
prisoners in St. Lazare, none excited a higher 
interest. During his imprisonment, he was 
occupied in the instruction of his son Emilius, 
and thus banished the worst trouble of confine- 
ment — its irksoraeness. 



274 



POETRY AND POETS. 



As soon as he saw the act of accusation, he 
was convinced of the certain destiny which 
awaited him, and sent his son home with a 
portrait which Suvet had taken when in the 
jail, and a paper, Avith these words addressed to 
his wife and family : 

" Ne vouz etonnez pas, objets charmans et doux ! 
Si quelqu'air de tristesse obscurcit mon visage ; 
Lorsqu'un savant crayon on dessinait cet ouvrage, 
On dressait I'echafaud et je pensais i vous." 

" Wonder not, — O ye dear and delightful 
objects ! — Wonder not, if you observe a tinge 
of melancholy o'ershadowing my countenance : 
while the pencil of art was thus tracing its 
lineaments, my persecutors were preparing my 
scaffold, and my thoughts were dwelling upon 
you." 

avycherley's memory. 

"Wycherley used to read himself asleep 
o'nights, either in Montaigne, Rochefoucault, 
Seneca, or Gracian ; for these were his favourite 
authors. He would read one or other of them 
in the evening, and the next morning, perhaps, 
write a copy of verses on some subject similar 



POETRY AND POETS. 2'J5 

to what he had been reading, and have all the 
thoughts of his author, only expressed in a 
different mode, and that without knowing that 
he was obliged to any one for a single thought 
in the whole poem. ' 1,' says Pope, ' have 
experienced this in him several times (for I 
visited him, for a whole winter, almost every 
evening and morning) ; and look upon it as 
one of the strangest phenomena that I ever 
observed in the human mind.' " 

SPENCE. 
PHAER AND STANYHURST's " VIRGIL." 

The earliest poetical translation of tlie entire 
" -■Eneid" into English, was the joint production 
of Thomas Phaer and Thomas Twyne, both 
Doctors of Physic, and was published in 1584. 
The former of these had originally published 
the first seven books, in 1558. Phaer under- 
took this translation for the defence, to use his 
own phrase, of the English language, which 
had been, by many, deemed incapable of ele- 
gance and propriety, and for the " honest 
recreation of you, the nobilitie, gentlemen, and 
ladies, who studie in Latine." He has omitted, 
misrepresented, and jjaraphrased, many pas- 

VOL. III. T 



276 POETRY AND POETS. 

sages of his original ; but his performance is, 
in every respect, superior to Twyne's continua- 
tion, which commences in the middle of the 
tenth book. The measure is the fourteen- 
footed Alexandrine of Sternhold and Hopkins, 
whose couplets are now more commonly printed 
in stanzas of four lines. As an example of the 
style of this early predecessor of Dryden and 
Pitt, we extract the commencement of the first 
book. 

" I that my slender oaten pipe 

In verse was wont to sound. 
Of woods, and next to that I taught 

For husbandmen the ground. 
How fruit unto their greedy lust 

They might constrain to bring 
A work of thanks : lo, now of Mars, 

And dreadful wars, I sing; 
Of arms, and of the Man of Troy, 

That first, by fatal flight, 
Did thence arrive to Lavine Land, 

That now Italia hight." 

The reader has, probably, had enough of this 
specimen, to the measure of which the popular 
ear of the time was, however, tuned. It was 
then used in most works of length and gravity. 



POETRY AND POETS. 277 

and seems to have been particularly consecrated 
to translation, of which Golding's " Ovid," and 
Chapman's " Homer/' (of which latter it forms, 
indeed, the chief defect,) are striking examples. 
But, as though this sort of metre were not 
sufficiently ridiculous, in the year 1583, Rich- 
ard Stanyhurst, animated by a desire to try his 
strength against Phaer, put forth a wild version 
of the first four books of the "^Eneid" into 
what he was pleased to call " English heroical 
verse," that is to say, hexameter. Of this silly 
affair, the four first lines of the second book 
will, probably, be deemed a sufficient specimen. 

" With 'tentivc ILst'iiing, each wight was settl'd in 
harking ; 
Then Father ^Eneas chronicled from loftie bed hautic; 
Vou bid me, O Princcs-s ! to scarifie a festered old sore, 
How that the Trojans were prest by the Grecian 
armie." 

Some of his epithets are particularly amusing; 
for instance, he calls Chorebus, one of the 
Trojan chiefs, a bedlamite ; says that Okl Priam 
girded on his sword morghnj, the name of a 
sword in the Gotliic romances ; that Dido would 
have been glad to have been brought to bed, even 



278 POETRY AND POETS. 

of a cockney, a daiidiprat hop-thuvih ; and that 
Jupiter, in kissing his daughter, Venus, bust 
his pretty-prating parrot ; and that ^neas was 
fain to trudge out of Troy. We must, also, 
introduce a specimen of his rhyme, taken from 
"An Epitaph against Rhyme, entituled, 'Com- 
mune Defunctorum,' such as our unlearned 
Rithmours accustomably make upon the death 
of every Tom Tyler ; as if it were a last for 
every one his foot, in which the quantities of 
syllables are not to be heeded." 

" A Sara for goodness ; a great Bellona for buclgeness ; 
For mildness, Anna ; for chastity, godly Susanna ; 
Hester, in a good shift ; a Judith, stout at a dead lift ; 
Also, Julietta, with Dido, rich Cleopatra; 
With sundry nameless, and women, many more blame- 
less." 

And yet the man who wrote these uncouth 
fooleries was, certainly, no mean scholar, and 
his* translation was highly prized by some, at 
least, among his contemporaries. That such, 
however, was far from being the universal 
opinion, the following satirical quotation from 
Nash will be sufficient to prove. " But fortune, 
respecting IMaster Stanihurst's praise, would 



POETRY AND POETS, 2/0 

that Phaer should fall, that he might rise, whose 
heroical poetry, infired (I should say inspired,) 
■with an hexameter fury, recalled to life what- 
ever hissed barbarism hath been buried this 
hundred year, and revived, by his ragged quill, 
such cartei-ly variety, as no hedge-ploughman in 
a country but would have held as the extremity 
of clownery." And Bishop Hall thus alludes 
to him in one of his excellent Satires : 

" Another scorns the home-spun thread of rliymes, 
Match'd with the lofty feet of elder times : 
Give me the nun)ber'd verse that Virpil sung, 
And Virgil's self shall speak the English tongue. 
' Manhood and garboilos' chaunt with changed feet, 
And headstrong dactyls making music meet; 
The nimble dactyl striving to outgo 
The drawling spondees paring it below, 
The ling'ring spondees, labouring to delay 
The breathless dactyls with a sudden stay. 
Whoever saw a colt, wanton and wild, 
Vok'd with a slow-foot ox on fallow field, 
Can right arced how liand^omely besets 
Dull spondees witli the English dactylets. 
If Jove speak English in a thund'ring cluud, 
Thirifh-thwack and riff'rujf roars lie out aloud. 
Fie on the forged mint that did create 
New coin of words never articulate." 



i280 POETRY AND POKTS. 

Milton, likewise, or his nephew, Phillips, in 
the " Theatrum Poetarum," censures this affec- 
tation of hexameter and pentameter, in the 
instances of Fraunce and Sidney ; " since," he 
says, " they neither become the English, nor 
any other modern language." And Southey, in 
his " Omniana," says, " As Chaucer has been 
called the well of English undefiled, so might 
Stanyhurst be denominated the common sewer 
of the language. It seems impossible that a 
man could have written in such a style without 
intending to burlesque what he was about ; and 
yet it is certain, that Stanyhurst intended to 
write heroic poetry. His version is exceedingly 
rare, and deserves to be reprinted for its in- 
comparable oddity." 

We have already noticed Vicars's burlesque 
bombast, so that it is only necessary here to 
refer to him as the climax of this positive, com- 
parative, and superlative trio of translators. 

POPE, AND LORD HALIFAX. 

" The famous Lord Halifax was rather a 
pretender to taste, than really possessed of it. 
When I had finished the two or three first 



POETRY AND POETS. 281 

books of my translation of the ' Iliad,' that 
Lord desired to have the pleasure of hearing 
them read at his house. Addison, Congreve, 
and Garth, were there at the reading. In four 
or five places. Lord Halifax stopped me very 
civilly, and, with a speech each time of much 
the same kind, — ' I beg your pardon, 3Ir. Pope, 
but there is something in that passage that does 
not quite please me. Be so good as to mark 
the place, and consider it a little more at your 
leisure : I am sure you can give it a better 
turn.' I returned from Lord Halifax's with Dr. 
Garth, in his chariot ; and as we were going 
along, was saying to the Doctor, that my Lord 
had laid me under a good deal of difficulty, by 
such loose and general observations ; that I had 
been thinking over the passages ever since, and 
could not guess at what it was that offended his 
Lordship in either of them. Garth laughed 
heartily at my embarrasment ; said I had not 
been long enough acquainted with Lord Hali- 
fax, to know liis way yet ; that I need not 
puzzle myself in looking those places over and 
over again when I got home. ' All you need 
do,' said he, ' is to leave them just as they are ; 
call on Lord Halifax two or three months hence; 



282 



POETRY AND POETS. 



thank him for his kind observations on those 
passages ; and then read them to him as if 
altered. I have known him much longer than 
you have, and vrill be answerable for the event.' 
I followed his advice ; waited on Lord Halifax 
some time after ; said I hoped he would find 
his objections to those passages removed; read 
them to him exactly as they Avere at first. His 
Lordship was extremely pleased with them, and 
cried out, ' Ay, now, Mr. Pope, they are per- 
fectly right ; nothing can be better.' " 

SPENCE. 
VIDA. 

Jerome Vida, after having long served two 
Popes, at length attained to the Episcopacy. 
Arrayed in the robes of his nev/ dignity, he pre- 
pared to visit his aged parents, and felicitated 
himself with the raptures which the old couple 
would feel in embracing their son as their 
Bishop. When he arrived at their village, he 
learnt, that it was but a few days since they 
were no more. His sensibilities were awakened, 
and his Muse dictated some elegiac verse, and, 
in the sweetest pathos, deplored the death and 
the disappointment of his aged parents. 



POETRY AND POETS. 



2&3 



DIRK COORNHERT, 

an early Dutch Poet^ was born at Amsterdam, 
in the year 1522. In 1562, he was Secretary 
to the town of Haarlem, and two years af- 
terwards, to the Burgomasters of that place. 
In 1572, he was Private Secretary to the States 
of Holland. His general style was pure, but 
the subjoined extract proves that it was not 
always so. The thought, however, though not 
well expressed, is too pleasing to be lost. 

" Maiden ! sweet maiden ! when thou art near, 
Though the stars on the face of the sky appear, 
It is light around as the day can be. 
But, maiden! sweet maiden ! when thou 'rt away. 
Though the Sun be emitting his loveliest ray, 
All is darkness, and gloom, and night to me. 
Then of what avail is the Sun, or the shade, 
Since my day and my night by thee are made ?" 

He greatly distinguished himself by his up- 
right and intrepid conduct ; and from among the 
verses written by him, whilst persecuted and 
imprisoned, these are, perhaps, worth quoting: 

" What 's the world's liberty to him whosL- soul is firmly 
bound 
With nmnberless and deadly sins that fetttr it around ? 



284 POETRY AND POETS. 

What 's the worhl's thraldom to the soul which in itself 
is free ? — 

Nought ! with his master's bonds he stands more privi- 
leged, — more great, 

Than many a goldeu-fetter'd fool, with outward pomp 
elate ; 

For chains grace virtue, while they bring deep shame on 
tyranny." 

THE PERSON OF POPE. 

" The following particulars, concerning the 
person of this celebrated Poet, were," says a 
correspondent to the ' Gentlemen's Magazine,' 
in 1775, " taken down, without arrangement, 
from the mouth of an ancient and respectable 
domestic, who lived many years in the family 
of Lord Oxford. ' Mr. Pope was unable to 
dress or to undress himself, or to get into bed 
without help ; nor could he stand upright until 
a kind of stays, made of stiff linen, were laced 
on him — one of his sides being contracted almost 
to the back-bone. He needed much waiting 
on, but was very liberal to the maid-servants 
about him, so that he had never reason to com- 
plain of being neglected. Those females at- 
tended him at night, and, in the morning, 
brought him his writing desk to bed, lighted 



POETRY AND POETS. 285 

his fire, drew on his stockings, &c., Avhich 
offices he often summoned them to perform at 
very early hours, so that, when any part of their 
other business was left undone, their common 
excuse was, that they had been employed with 
Mr. Pope, and then no further reprehension 
was to be dreaded. 

" ' He ordered coffee to be made several times 
in a day, that he might hold his head over its 
steam, as a temporary relief from the violent 
head-ache from which he usually suffered. His 
hair having almost entirely fallen-off, he some- 
times dined at Lord Oxford's table in a velvet 
cap ; but, when he went to Court, he put on a 
tie-wig and black clothes, and had a little 
sword peeping out by his pocket-hole. It was 
difficult to persuade him to drink a single glass 
of wine. He and Lady INIary Wortley IMon- 
tague had frequent quarrels, which usually 
ended in their alternate desertion of the house. 
When Mr. Pope wanted to go any where, he 
always sent for ^Nlr. Blount to accompany him 
in a hackney-coach. 

" ' He often resided at Lord Oxford's while 
the family was absent in the country, and what- 
ever he ordered was got ready for his dinner. 



286 POETRY AND POETS. 

He would sometimes, without any provocation, 
leave his noble landlord for many months ; nor 
would he return, till courted back by a greater 
number of notes, messages, and letters, than 
the servants were willing to carry. He would, 
occasionally, joke with my Lord's domestic, as 
well as in higher company ; but was never seen 
to laugh himself, even when he had set the 
table in a roar at Tom Hearne, Humphrey Wan- 
ley, or any other persons whose manners were 
strongly tinctured with singularity.' " 

FEMALE FAVOURITES OF POETS. 

Poets have sometimes displayed an obliquity 
of taste in their female favourites. As if con- 
scious of the power of ennobling others, some 
have selected from the lowest classes, whom, 
having elevated into divinities, they have ad- 
dressed in the language of poetic devotion. 

The " Chloe " of Prior, after all his raptures, 
was a plump bar-maid. Ronsard addressed 
many of his verses to " Miss Cassandra," who 
followed the same elegant occupation. In one of 
his Sonnets to her, he fills it with a crowd of 
personages taken from the " Iliad," which, to 
the girl, must have been extremely mysterious. 



POETRY AND POETS. 287 

Colletet, another French Bard, married three 
of his servants. His last lady was called 
"La Belle Chiudine." Ashamed of such me- 
nial alliances, he attempted to persuade the 
world that he had married " The Tenth 
Muse ;" and, for this purpose, published verses 
in her name. When he died, the vein of 
" Claudine" became suddenly dry. She, in- 
deed, published her " Adieux to the Muses ; " 
but it was soon discovered, that all the verses 
of this lady, including her " Adieux," were 
the composition of her husband. 

Sometimes, indeed, the ostensible mistresses 
of poets have no existence, and a slight circum- 
stance is sufficient to give birth to one. Racan 
and Malherbe were one day conversing on 
the propriety of selecting a lady who should be 
the object of their verses. Racan named one, 
and ^Malherbe another. It happening that both 
had the same name, — " Catharine," — they passed 
the whole afternoon in forming it into anagrams. 
They found three; — " Arthenice," " Eracinthe," 
and " Charinte." The first was preferred, and 
many a fine otle was written in praise of the 
beautiful " Arthenice." 



288 



POETRY AND POETS. 



CAROLINE 8YMMONS. 

Caroline Symmons, — the beautiful^, accom- 
plished, and truly pious daughter of the Rev. 
Charles Symmons, D. D., and Elizabeth, his 
wife, sister of Rear-Admiral Foley, who so 
highly distinguished himself, under Lord Nel- 
son, in the Battle of the Nile, and in that 
before Copenhagen, — was born Api-il 12th, 1789; 
and the date of her first Poem, ' Zelida,' is No- 
vember 24th, 1800. To our astonishment of 
the mind and talents of a child of eleven years 
of age, may be superadded our surprise at the 
selection of one of her subjects — so sweetly 
characteristic of herself — so mournfully pro- 
phetic of her premature decay — "A faded rose- 
bush." 

She wrote several other Poems, which abound 
in beauty, all before she had completed her 
twelfth year. That she should delight in 
Poetry, may be easily imagined ; but that her 
favourites, at so early an age, should be IMilton 
and Spenser, is wonderful. As a proof of her 
devotion to Milton, it must not be omitted, 
that it was found necessary, in consequence of 
a defect in the sight of one eye, that Ware, the 



POETRY AND POETS. 



289 



celebrated oculist, should be consulted, ^^■ho 
declared it necessary she should submit to 
an operation. With patience and resignation 
she acquiesced ; and afterwards, when her suf- 
ferings became the subject of conversation, 
and a tender apprehension expressed for the 
possible danger to which the sight of the 
afflicted organ was exposed, she said, with a 
smile, that, ' to be a IMilton, she Avould cheer- 
fully consent to lose both her eyes. 
She died on the first of June, 1803. 

Works of the Rev. Francis Wrangham. 

ADDISON DESIGNED FOR THE CHURCH. 

" i\Ir. Addison originally designed to have 
taken orders, * and was diverted from that 
design, by being sent abroad in so encouraging 
a manner. It was from thence that he began 
to think of public posts ; as being made Secre- 
tary of State, at last, and sinking in his 

* He liiinself speaks of this design in the clo>e of liis 
ver.ses t^) .Saciieverel, written in IG'Jl. 

" I leave the arts of poetry and verse 
To them that practise them with rao.st success : 
Of greater truths I'll now prepare to tell." 



2i)() POETRY AND POETS. 

character by it, turned him back again to his 
first thought. He had latterly an eye toward 
the Launi ; and it was then that he began his 
' Evidences of Christianity/ and had a design 
of translating all the Psalms, for the use of 
churches. Five or six of them that he did 
translate, were published in the ' Spectator.' 

" Old Jacob Tonson did not like Mr. Addison. 
He had a quarrel with him ; and, after his quit- 
ting the Secretaryship, used frequently to say 
of him, — ' One day or other, you will see that 
man a Bishop : I am sure he looks that way ; 
and, indeed, I ever thought him a Priest in his 
heart.' " 

SPENCE. 
HENRY KIRKE WHITE. 

Henry Kirke White is a name that will be 
imperishable in the records of precocious talent. 
Pious, amiable, and learned, yet struggling 
against numerous evils which his limited means 
could not fail to entail on him, his fate awakens 
our regret, while the variety and the solidity of 
his acquirements excites exhaustless admiration 
for his genius, and the profoundest respect for 
his unwearied application and moral virtues. 



POETRY AND POETS. 291 

His effusions breathe the pure spirit of 
Poetry. Many of his Poems are sacred, and 
eminently distinguished by fervent piety. He 
contemplated, and, indeed, commenced, a long 
" Divine Poem," entitled, " The Christiad," in 
the Spenserian stanza ; and, from the specimen 
before us, we regret he did not live to conclude 
what he so well began. 

If we may judge from the few productions 
which he left behind him, his genius was of 
the highest order, and he promised to be one of 
the brightest ornaments of British literature. 
The following short Poem possesses great 
beauty and simplicity. 

" It is not that my lot is low. 
That bids the silent tear to flow ; 
It is not this that makes me moan, — 
It is that I am all alone. 

In woods and glens I love to roam 
When the tired hedger hies him home ; 
Ur by the woodland pool to rest, 
When pale the star looks on its breast. 

Yet, when the silent ev'ning sighs, 
With hallowed airs and symphonies, 
My spirit takes another tone, 
And sighs that it is all alone. 
VOL. III. U 



292 POETRY AND POETS. 

The autumn leaf is sear and dead : 
It floats upon the water's bed. 
I would not be a leaf to die 
Without recording sorrow's sigh. 

The woods and winds, with sullen wail, ■ 
Tell all the same unvaried tale. 
I've none to smile when I am free. 
And, when I sigh, to sigh with me. 

Yet, in my dreams, a form I view, 
niat thinks on me, and loves me, too ; 
I start, and when the vision's flown, 
I weep that I am all alone." 




LONDON : 

Printed by D. S. Maurice, Fenchurch-street. 



INDEX. 



Addison, Joseph, bis interview witb Gay, i. 188 

, Specimen of bis Criticism, ii. 239. 

■ , wben at College, ii. 243. 

, his opinion of Blank Verse, iii. 19. 

-, description of " the Iliad" and the " ^neiJ," 

-, and tbe famous Doke of Wharton, iii, 238. 
-, Lis destiiiatiiin for tbe Church, iii. 289. 



iii. 160. 



Akenside, Mark, sketch of, iii. 217. 

Alfieri, death of, iii. 87. 

Ambree, Mary, carious ballad ctincerning, ii. 39. 

Anagrams and Acrostics, several curious, ii. .59. 

Andreini, Isabella, poetess and actress, i. 107. 

Ariosto, and tbe Duke of Ferrara, i. 170. 

— Potter, i. 172. 

Atkinson, Joseph, his bio;'rapby, iii. 135. 

— — Poetry by, iii. 130. 

Avery, alias Bridgman, the pirate, his adventures, ii. 07. 

, bis poetry, ii.70, 

Ballad singers, English, some account of, ii. 89. 
Ballads, German, account of, ii. 119. 

of the Spaniards and Moors, iii. 26. 

, gang in Spain on " The Day of John tbe Baptist," 

iii. 01. . . ^„ 

Baraballo, Abate di Gaeta, his mock coronatiou, i. 69. 
Bards, ancient Irish, some account of, ii. 92. 

in the time of Queen Elizabeth, i. 4. 

. . , self-devotion of, i. 170. 

Barton, Bernard, bis autograph, as sent by liirasclf, ii. 5. 

VOL. III. ^ 



294 INDE3i. 

Baxter, Richard, bis jndgment of bis poetical contempo- 
raries, i. 233. 

— , poetry by, i. 236. 

Benlowes, Edward, account of, i. 225. 

Benserade, the French Satirist, i. 119. 

Berners, Lady Juliana, her biography, i. 199. 

, poetry by, i. 202. 

Bilderdyck, his anonymous verses, i. 224. 

Blackstone,Sir Wm., poetry by, ii. 45. 

BlooniGeld, Robert, biography of, i. 173. 

Boccacio's heroic poem, " La Teseide," i, 112, 

Bogdauovicb, Hippolitus, the Russian Anacreon, i. 60. 

, specimen of his poetry, i. 61. 

Boileau, his judicious revision, ii. 190. 

villa at Auteuil, description of, iii. 70. 

Boleyn, George, ^'iscount Rocbford, slight account of, iii. 
24. 

Brandt, Gerard, remarkable reserablanoe of sorac of his pas- 
sages to Shakspeare, iii. 148. 

Bralhwajte's description of the poverty of poets, ii. 230. 

Brederode, Gerbrand, slight account of, ii. 263. 

• — — , poetry by, ii. 265. 

Buckhnrst, Ijord, his tragedy of " Gondibert,"ii. 10. 

Burns, Robert, his " Lines on a bank note," i. 116. 

" Tam O'Shanter," the original of, i. 159. 

" Epitaph on Barton," ii. 7. 

Butler, Samuel, his " Character of an Epigrammatist," i. 21. 

, and the Earl of Dorset, ii. 219. 

, his " Character of a play writer,'' iii. 222. 

Byron, Lord, his " Manfred," Goethe's opinion of, i. S8. 

Dog, i. 153. 

swimming across the Hellespont, i. 154. 

' , sums received by, for bis poems, ii. 6, 

' , his generosity, ii. 170. 

death, as related by Captain Trelawny, in a 



letter to the Hon. Col. Stanhope, iii. 39. 

" Mazeppa," similar story to, iii. 243. 



Cabestan, William De, a Troubadour, singular ad\ enture of, 

i. 147. 
Cftllanan, J. J. slight account of, ii. 136, 

, poetry by, ii. 137. 

Camoiins, Lis biography, ii. 186. 



INDEX. 



295 



Campbell, Kenuelb, slight accoant of, ii. 169. 
Campion, bis " Memorable Mask," i.218. 
Carolan, the Irish Bard, his biography, ii. 190. 
Cats, Jacob, some account of, iii. 102. 

, poetry by, iii. 104. 

Chaucer, Geoffrey, brief iiistory of, i. 156. 

. • , his poetry, i. 158. 

' , bis Inn, "the TabarH,"!. 166. 

Christmas Carols, accounts of several, iii. 191. 

, by Richard Ryan, iii. 193. 

Chodleigh, Lady, sliglil account of, i. 170. 
Churchill, the satirist, tributes to, ii. 66. 
Clare, Robert, " the Northamptoushire Bard," his biography, 
ii. 273. 

, poetry by, ii. 275. 
Cleland, William, accoiiut of, i. 248. 

— , poetry by, i. 252. 

Cleveland, John, his petition to Oliver Cromwell, ii. 54. 

Collins, anecdotes of, ii. 249. 

Congreve, opinions on, by Voltaire and Denuis, ii. 97-98. 

Coombe, Mr. George, his poetical reply, ii. 153. 

Coornbert, Dirk, specimens of his poetry, iii. 283. 

Coryate, Thomas, his poetrv, iii. 209. 

" Courts of Love," at the time of the Trouhadoars, accooot 

of, ii. 20. 
Cowper, William, his account of his own physiognomy, 

i. 178. 
Crabbe, Rev. George, patronage of, by Edmund Burke, 

iii. 56. 
Crcbilloii, and the Ral.i. 19, 
Croker, Thomas Crofton, his accoant of the political poetry 

of the Irish, ii. 2. 
Croly, R'V. George, his " Catiline," a tragedy, ii. 282. 
Carran, J. P., his poetry, ii. 50. 
Daniel Arnaud, a Troubadour, acuounl of, i. 11. 
Dante's " Divina Comedia," i. 211. 

and the Prince of Verona, ii. 218. 

Daviei, Sir John and his Wife, their writingn, ii. 14. 

De Beranger, his biography, ii. 277. 

Dennis, John, the critic and poet, anecdote of, related oy 

Cibber, i. 210. 
Derzhavin, the Russian poet, accoant of, ii. 131. 



296 INDEX. 

Derzhavin, the Russian poet, poetry by, ii. 133. 

Desmarets, his poem ot "Clovis," ii. 190. 

Dionjsius, King of Sicily, his contention for the poetical prize 

at Athens, iii. 125. 
Drummond, his retiretncnt at Hawthornden, iii. 164. 

, sonnet by, iii. 1C5. 

Dryden, John, sums received by, i. 33. 

— , his fondness for judicial astrology, i. 99. 

character of Elkanab Settle, i. 206. 

opinion of the Duke of Dorset's poetry, 



94. 



-, and Tonsoo, the bookseller, ii. 159. 
Charles II., ii. 171. 



• — ■ , his funeral, ii. 172. 

, and Dr. Lockier, iii. 20. 

, his poem of " The Medal," iii. 244. 

Dumas, a highwayman, singular verses addressed to, iii. 144. 
Edwards, Richard, slight account of, iii. 172. 

, poetry by, iii. 173, 175, 176, 177. 

" Edwin and Emma," the originals of, i. 17. 

Effendi, Nabi, a Turkish poet, his rules for becoming a 

poet, ii. 52. 
Elizabeth, Queen, Puttenham's poetical portrait of, i. 18. 

■ — , poetical tributes to her memory, ii. 51. 

compliment to, ii. 163. 

character of, by Joseph Ritson, 

iii. 197. 
Epigram Club, the account of, ii. 109. 
Ercilla, Alonzo D', his " Auracanna." 
Erskine, Lord, his poetry, ii. 48. 
Essex, Earl of, sonnet by, addressed to Queen Elizabeth, iii. 

184. 

— — , his poetry, and patronage of poets, iii. 218. 

Euripides, veneration of the Sicilians for ibe verses of, ii. 

147. 
Fabyan, Robert, his poetry, &c. account of, by Warton , 

i. 15. 
Page, Mary, her book of anagrams and acrostics, account 

of, ii. 59. 
Fleck noe, Richard, Southey's account of, i. 120. 
Fontaine, La, anecdotes of, iii. 1. 
Garcilaso do la Vega, slight sketch of, i. 180. 



INDEX. 297 

Garcilaso ilc la Vega, poetrj by, i, 181. 
Gartli, Dr. liis last illness, i. 76. 

— — , benevolence of, ii. 232. 

Gascoigne, George, Lis biograplij, iii. 127. 

■ "Steele Glas," extract from, iii. 131 

Gay, John, and tbe Soutb Sea Babble, i. 39. 
Gay's "Beggar's Opera, anecdotes of, iii. 142. 
Goetbe, his opinion of Lird Byron's " Manfred," i. 88. 

" Fisher." a ballad, ii. 120. 

Goldsmith, Dr. his account of " the Author's Club," i. 90. 

lodging iu Green Arbour Court described, 



i. 198. 



-, and Mr. Bunbary, ii. 11. 

the amanuensis, ii. 1.54. 

Fiddler, ii. 162. 

Jack PilkingtOM, ii. 222. 



, his partiality fur Isliegton, iii. 54. 



Go war, his anachronisms in his "Confcssio A mantis," iii. 1.57, 
Gray, Thomas, bis Satire on a new made Clergyman, ii. 228. 

quarrels of his parents, iii. 224. 

Greene, Robert, bis " Orpharion," extract from, ii. 22.5. 
Grotius, Hugo, account of, iii. 9. 

, poetry by, iii. 1 1. 

Guilict, Pernette, Dr. slight account of, ii. 40. 
Haller, Baron, bis poetic compositions, iii. 114. 
Harrington, Dr. his lines to Dr. Wolcot, ii. 202. 

, Sir John, bis pleasantry, ii. 234. 

Hayley, his interview with Garrick regarding his tragedy, 

ii. 210. 
Henault, tbe French Poet, bii atheism, i. 270. 
Herrick, Robert, gome account of, ii. 148. 

, poetry by, ii. 151. 

, his " Fairy sounding names," ii. 153. 

Heywood, Thomas, his description of tbe poverty of poeti, 

ii.231. 

- , John, anecdotcg of, iii. 120. 

. , poetry by, iii. 121. 

Hcadly, Bishop, bis prologue, ii. 1H3. 

Hogg, JanicH, his poetry, slight account of, and specimen, 

i. 210. 
Home, John, tributes paid to, on the appearance of 

"Douglas," ii. 164. 



298 



INDEX. 



Homer, the biography of, i. 125. 

, Hobbes's translation of, ii. 215. 

Hooft, P. C. account of, iii. 7. 

— , poetry by, iii. 8, 

Howard, Edward, Earl of Suffolk, the subject of his poems, 

i. 278. 
Hughes, the poet, account of, from Spence/ii, 226. 
Hunt, Leigh, his opinion of translations of the poets, 

i. 131. 
Iraprovisatori, account of, extracted from Spence, ii. 166. 
Irish, account of the political poetry of the IrisL, ii. 2. 
James, Captain Thomas, of Bristol, his poetry, i. 102. 

■ the first, his contempt of personal satire, i. 1&7. 

Jegon, Dr. John, his extempore verse, ii. 8. 
Jenyns, Soame, anecdotes of, ii. 61. 

, poetry by, ii. 65. 

Johnson, Dr. Samuel, Dr. Barnard's retort upon, i. 137. 

, his opinion of " Douglas," iii. 147. 

• , and Cave, the projector of the Geiits. 

Mag. iii. 179. 
Jones, Sir William, his account of Milton's Cottage, i. 133. 

" poetry, ii. 47. 

JonsoD, Benjamin, his sacred poetry, iii. 63. 

Jordan, Thomas, " the City Poet," account of, i. 220. 

'■, poetry by, i. 222. 

Keats, John, Sonnet by, iii. 89. 

Kheranitzer, the Russian fabulist, anecdotes of, iii. 180. 

, fable by, translated by 

Bowring, iii. 182. 
Korner, the German poet and soldier, his death, iii. 73. 

, " the Grave of," a poem, by Mrs. Hemans, 

iii. 75. 
Labe, Louise, account of, ii. 38. 
Laharpe, and the Academy at Rouen, i.67. 
Lake, the, of the dismal swamp, described, i. 108. 

' ' — , poetry on, by T. Moore, 

i. 110. 
L. E. L., slight account of, ii. 99. 

, poetry by, ii. 100. 

Leon, Louis De, his lines on " Transubstantiation," ii. 158, 
Leyden, Dr. John, biography of, ii, 72, 
' ■ , poetry, ii. 74. 



INDEX. 299 

Lindsay, Sir David, acconnt of, i. 279. 

, poetry by, i. 281. 

Lodge, Tbomas, bis poetry, i. 184. 
Lnnglande, Robert, slight accouDt of, ii. lOS. 
Lovelace, Captain Richard, Lis biography, ii. 192. 
Lover, Samuel, slight sketch of, i. 191. 

, poetry by, i. 192. 

Love-song of a Finland peasant, iii. 86. 

Lytllcton, Lord, recollections of, ii. 286. 

" Macpherson's Lament," ii. 122. 

Malcolm, Sir John, poetry by, ii. 77. 

Malherbe, bis opinion of the usefulness of poels, i. 120. 

Mallet, David, his infidelity, i. 270. 

Tragedy of " Elvira," i. 276. 

recollections of, ii. 286. 

Maniac, verses written by a, iii. 160. 

Mapes, Walter, " the Anacreon of the lltb Century," 

ii. 102. 
Marloe, or Marlow, Christopher, his death, i. 97. 
Matoriu, Rev. R. C, his eccentricities, i. 03. 
Menage, his remarkable mcmurr, i. 272. 
Metastasio, his peculiarities, as related by Mrs. Piozzi, 

iii. 162. 
return to the Bar and resumption of poetry, 

iii. 216. 
Meun, John of, the continualor of " the Romaunt of the 

Rose," his legacy, i. 181. 
Middleton, Thomas, his whimsical petition to King James L, 

ii. 128. 
Milton, John, his singular adventure when at Cambridge, 

i. 113. 
cottage, account of, by Sir William Jones, 

i. 131. 

» rconnciloment to his Wif<-, i. 203. 

" Conius," and Campion's " Memorable 



Ma«k," i. 218. 

— interview with James, Diiko of York, 



287. 

, curious proclamation agiin?*!, ii. 3.j. 

, MarnhaH'ii portrait of, ii. HH. 

, Dr. Jrihnsoii's defence of, ii. 178. 

-, hit " Paradise IjOAt," anecdotes concerning. 



iii. 88, 178. 



300 INDEX. 

Milton, John, li!s lore of music, iii. 99. 

, Winstanlej's abase of, iii. 217. 

Montgomery, James, liis " Climbing Boy's Album," iii. 245. 
■ ■ — ^ — , poetry 

in, iii. 246. 
Moore, TLoiiias, comparison of his Poetry with that of Burns, 

ii. 258. 

, account of his cottage at Devizes, iii. 100. 

, epigram by, iii. 101. 

on, iii. 102. 

addressed to, on the birth of his 

daughter, iii. 136. 

, his lines on Joseph Atlcinson, iii. 136. 

" Flash," Poetics, iii. 239. 



More, Hannah, her lines to Dr. Langhornc, ii. 234. 

, Sir Thomas, poetry by, ii. 42. 

Nivernois, Duo De, his last verses, iii. 85. 

Nonsense verses, curious specimens of, iii. 227. 

Noith, Loid, his distich on Mr. Mellagen, i. 141. 

O'Driscolln, the song of the, i. 189, 

O'Leary, J., poetry b^', ii. 142. 

" Ordinarv of Christian Men," the, poetic extract from, 

ii. 162.' 
O'Shea, I. A., poetry by, ii. 139. 

Olway, Thomas, his death, the various accounts of, i. 1. 
Palindromes, or recurrent verses, ii. 27. 
Palmer, G. F., a sailor, poetry by, iii. 133. 
Pananti, his epigrams, ii. 134. 
Parini, biographical and critical sketch of, ii. 195. 
Parnell, Thomas, his intemperance, the alleged cause of, i. 67. 
Peele, George, his life and merry jests, iii. 211. 

, poetry by, iii. 215. 

Petrarch, his cloak, curious accouet of, i. 118. 

books, i. 186. 

reflections on the summit of Mount Venonx, 



iii. 62. 



iii. 154. 



" Laura," Lord Woodhouslee's account of. 



hermitage at Vauclnse, iii. 155. 

precision, iii. 162. 

Pilkington, Mrs., poetry by, iii. 126. 

Piron, and other French poets, ludicrous adventures of, 
iii. 263. 



INDEX. 301 

Poems, mioDtely written, accoant of various, i. 08. 

singolar dedications of, ii. 79. 

Hindoo, subjects of two, iii. 137. 

Poet Laureate, account of tbis office in Tarions couutries, 

ii. 172. 
Poetic highwayman, the, ii. 83. 
Poetical present to King James I., i. 140. 

associations connected with garrets, i. 253. 

— — — garland of Julia, ii. 115. 

flallerj, various choice specimens of, ii. 157. 

. court of John II., ii. 209. 

genealogy (by Leigh Hunt,) iii. 105. 

recollections connected with various parts of the 

nietropoli.B, (by Leigh Hunt,) iii. 250. 

Poetry and preaching united in former days, i. 215. 

, Pastoral English, some account of, iii. 06. 

, specimen of, iii. 69. 

. — of the Hindoos and the Persians described by 

Broughton, iii, 183. 

last moments of celebrated persons, iii. 202. 



-, moderu_/fas/i, account of, iii. 239. 

-, specimen of, iii. 241. 



Poets, peculiar habits of, i. 263. 

, vanity of French, i. 274. 

, dramatic, readers of their own works, ii. 84. 

, patronage of, by Stratonice and Madame Geoffriu, 

ii. 158. 

, religious confos«ioDS of, ii. 189. 

, their impositionx upon antiquaries, ii. 217. 

poverty as described by Brathwayte and Uey- 



wood, ii. 230. 

, royal, some account of, ii. 252. 

, why professional men are indiffercnl, iii. 12. 

, fondness of, for rivers, iii. 139. 

, calamities of, iii. 107. 

-, female favourites of, iii. 280. 



Pope, Alexander, his various hair-breadth escapes, 1. 8. 

" Rape of the Lock," the origin of, 

i. 73. 

Villa, i. 94. 

paintingM, i. 1S7. 

■ |>a(ronag«', i. 20.'j. 
mother, liimscif, and Voltaire, ii, 8. 



302 INDEX. 

Pope, Alexander, Sir Godfrey Kneller, and lie Guinea 

Trader, ii. 14. 
, his criticism on " Pliilips's Pastorals," 

ii. 147. 



on, ii. 236. 



of, ii. 271. 



" Essay on Man," Morris's criticism 

" Man of Ross," John Kyrle's account 

-, recollections of, ii. 286. 

- and Warburton, iii. 220. 

-, monument to his nurse, iii. 235. 

-, bis MSS. of " the Iliad," iii. 262. 

remuneration for the same, iii. 262. 

-, Lord Halifax's style of criticism on. 



iii. 280. 

, bis person and peculiarities, iii. 284. 

Puttenbani, his poetical portrait of Queen Elizabeth, i. 18. 
Quaintness of Expression, by John Beaumont and George 

Gascoiijne, iii. 221. 
Querno Camillo, a Buffoon Poet in the Court of Leo X., 

his gormandizlnj^ and verses, i. 57. 
Racine, Madame De Mainteuon and Louis XIV., i. 37. 
-, his poetry, Voltaire's opinion of, ii. 168. 



Raleigh, Sir Walter, his poetry, i. 40. 

.— — . execution, i. 44. 

Rapin, the provost-marshal and poet, i. 74. 

" Rhyming," being an extract from Miss Hawkins's Memoirs. 

i. 213. 
Ritson, Joseph, his peculiarities of stjle and thinking, 

iii. 197. 
Ronsard, called, par eminence, " The French Poet," i. 74. 
Roucher, bis last stanzas, iii. 273. 
Rowe, Nicholas, account of, from Spence, i. 141. 
Ruddy, Thaddeus, his practical description of Bridget 

Brady, i. 108. 
Rndeki, the Persian Poet, i. 124. 

Ryan, Edmund, or " Ned of the Hills," account of, i. 35. 
■ — — , his elegy to his 

mistress, i. 36. 

, Richard, his song of " Whiskey Punch," ii. 144. 

Christmas Carol, iii. 193. 



Sadi, the Persian poet, and his wife, iii. 226, 



INDEX. 303 

Sanazarins, bis lines on Ibe City of Venice, i. 217. 
Santieul, and tlie French porter, ii. 12G. 
Scbiller, his childhood, i. 78. 

contempt of nobility, iii. 210. 

Scott, Sir "Walter, bis lines in the Album of Bell-rock Lighf- 

Loase, i. 115. 

, French accoauts of, ii. 204. 

, his " Helvellyu," also the circumstances 

on which it is founded, ii. 240. 

— — — ■ incapability of writinf; verse, iii. 51. 

residence at Abbotsfird described. 



iii. 196. 

Settle, Elkanah, Dryden's character of, i. 207. 
Seward, Miss, her poetical enigma, ii. 57. 
Sbakspeare, his birth-day, how this anniversary should be 

spent, i. 52. 

Jubilee, account of, i. 243. 

resemblance of some passages in " Gerard 



Brandt" to, iii. 148. 
Shenstone, bis kindness and generosity, ii. 180. 
Sidney, Sir Philip, character of bis poetry, i. 143. 

, bis death, i. 14G. 

, poetry by, ii. 203. 

Simonides, his uvarice, ii.224. 

Skulls, as drinkinf; cups, poetical notices of, iii. 23fi. 

Smith, George Henrv, his "Tribute to the IMcniory of 

Bloorafield."iii. 110. 
" Sorles Virgilianae," singular adventure of Charles I. at 

the, iii. 152. 
Soalhern, Thomas, his ludicrous stanzas addressed to the 

Duke of Argyle, i. 18. 
Southwell, Rev. R., slight account of, ii. 267. 

, poetry by, ii. 20'J. 

Spenser, Edmund, his account of the Irish Bards in the 

time of Queen Elizabeth, i. 4. 

, and the EnrI of .Soutliamplon, i. 20<>. 
Suckling, Sir John, account of I be death of, ii. 117. 
Survillc, Madame I)c, account of her poeniH, iii. 77. 

, her biography, iii. 7'.>. 

^-^— — , poetry by, iii. 82. 

Swift, Jonathan, and Ambrose Phillips, their opinion of 

Julias Ctrsar, i. 117. 
, his list lines, i, 204. 



304 



INDEX. 



Swift, Jonathan, and the beadle of St. Patrick's Cathedral, 
ii. 13. 

, curious trick played upon, ii. 121. 

Symmons, Caroline, slia;bt sketch of, iii. 288. 
Tannahill, Robert, liis biography, ii. 244. 

, poetry by, ii. 248. 

Tarlton, Richard, the jester, anecdotes of, iii. 185. 

, poetry concerning', iii. 190. 

" Tasso," translation of, by Hoole, i. 81. 
~ Fairfax, i. 85, 



, anecdotes of, i. 195, 208, 237. 

, poetry by, i. 196. 

, and the robber's captain, i. 282, 

-, Lis death, i. 283. 

, and his friend Manso, ii. 237. 

Teonge, Heurj', slight account of, iii. 51. 

— — — , poetry by, iii. 53. 

Thomas, the Rhymer, history of, ii. 30, 
Thomson, his "Winter," Mitchell's couplet on, and Thom- 
son's reply, i. 204. 

. , and Sir Gilbert Elliot, ii. 235. 

, recollections of, ii. 286. 

Tighe, Mrs., her poetry, iii. 21. 
Troubadours, account of the Satires of the, ii. 18. 
Tnrberville, his singular stanzas, i. 151. 
Tusser, Thomas, his biography, i. 24. 

— ; , specimetis of his poetry, i. 27. 

Vida, l)is elegy on the death of his parents, iii. 282. 
Vidal Pierre, a Troubadour, singular adventures of, i. 149. 
Virgil, account of the supernatural powers ascribed to,i. 12, 

— ■ , Vicar's translation of, ii. 215. 

, Phaer and Slanyhurst's translations of, iii. 275. 

Voltaire, his transaction with the Earl of Peterborough, i. 22. 

Pope's mother, ii. 8. 

and the King of Prussia, ii. 129. 

■ , his opinion of Racine's poetry, ii. 168, 
.—^—~— residence at Ferney, ii. 184. 

■opinions of the translations of Shakspeare, iii, 88. 



-, punishment received by, for an epigram on the 



King of Prussia, iii. 272. 
Vondel, Joost Van Den, biography of, ii. 103. 
, poetry by, ii, 106. 



INDEX. 305 

Wacbler, and Kinjj Frederick II., iii. 195. 

Waller, Edmund, Lis deatb-bed, i. 272. 

conversalion wi!b King James II., ii, 127. 

reply to King: Charles II., ii. 179. 

Warton, Dr., bis interview with Pope's cousin, i. 33. 

White, Henry Kirke, poetry by, iii. 291. 

Wolcol, Dr., his Irickerj played off on the booksellers, 
i. 238. 

" Ode to my Barn," i. 290. 

death, i. 209. 

poetical correspondence with Dr. Harring- 
ton, ii. 202. 

and the Stock Broker, ii. 228. 



Wolfe, General, epitaph on, ii. 88. 

" World," the, a club so called, account of, ii. 116. 

Wycberley, William, account of his marriage, iii. 23. 

, bis singular memory, iii. 274. 

Wynne, I. H., his facility of poetic composition, ii. 229. 
Young, Dr., Tonson, and Lintot, ii. 7. 

his "Night Thoughts," some account of the 

translator of, into French, ii. 129. 

and the Duke of Wharton, ii. 160. 

, elegant imprunipiu of, ii. 182. 

, bis couplet addressed to Voltaire, iii. 191. 



THE END. 



LIST OF EMBELLISHMENTS. 



VOL. 1. 

l»ortrait of Otway Page 1 

' Lord Byrou •• •■ .. '. .. .. 152 

Chaucer ■ • . . . . . . . . . . 156 

Lady Bemers •• •• .. .. .. 199 

The House where Shakspeare was bom • • • • . • 243 

Portrait of Dr. Wolcot .- •• .. .. .-292 

VOL. n. 

Portrait of Racine • . . . . . . . . = 1 

L. E. L. . . . . . ." . . .99 

Herrick .. .. .. .. .. 143 

Sir Walter Scott • • • • • . . • 204 

— Tannahill . . . . 244 

• • Thomson . . . . . . . . . . 292 

VOL. in. 

Portrait of La Fontaine • . • . . . • . . . 1 
T. Moore's Cottage, at Devizes •• •■ •• •• 100 
Portrait of Shakspeare . . ■ • • • . • 148 
Sir W. Scott's residence at Abbotsford •• ■• •■ 196 
Portrait of Montgomery .. .. -. . ■. •.• 246 
H. K. White . . . . . . . ■ 292 




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OTitf) t{)c Original \Drologu£S ant) CPpilogucs, 

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Complete in Twelve Volumes, price £2 : 14». in boards. 



This is the most elegant, and, with reference to its execution, tlie 
cheapest Edition of the British Theatre extant ; comprising, exclu- 
sively of Shakespeare's Plays, which are printed in an uniform size, 
and sold separately, all the best pieces now in possession of the 
stage. Originally published at a Shilling each Play, but now selling 
collectively at the reduced price above stated, or any of the pieces 
separately at Six-pence. Each Play enriched with Six beautiful 
Illustrative Engravings on Wood. 

For a list of the pieces contdined in this collection; see the next 
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With two hundred and thitty Illustrations. Elegantly printe<l in 7 

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©iljtrm^s; ^eb Eoiilron Clbeatre* 



TB,AGEDXES. 



Alexander the Great by Lee 

All for Love Dryden 

(^ato Addison 

Count of Narbonne Jephson 

Distrest Mother Phillips 

Douglas Home 

Duke of Milan Massinger 

Earl of Essex Jones 

Earl of Warwick Franklin 

Edward the Black Prince. .Shirley 

Fair Penitent Rowe 

(iamester Moore 

George Barnwell Lillo 

Grecian Daughter Murphy 

Isabella Southern 



Jane Shore > Rowe 

Lady Jane Grey Ditto 

Mahomet Miller 

Mourning Bride Congreve 

Oroonoko Southern 

Orphan Otway 

Orphan of China Murphy 

Revenge Young 

Roman Father Whitehead 

Siege of Damascus Hughes 

Tamerlane Rowe 

Tancred and Sigismunda.. Thomson 

Venice Preserved Otway 

Zara Hill 



COnZZSDIES. 



All in the Wrong Murphy 

Beaux' Stratagem Farquhar 

Beggar's Opera Gay 

Belle's Stratagem Mrs. Cowley 

Bold Stroke for a Wife . .Mrs. Centlivre 

Brothers Cumberland 

Busy Body Mrs. Centlivre 

Chapter of Accidents.. ..Miss Lee 
Clandestine Marriage.. ..Colman&Gar. 

Confederacy Vanbrugh 

Conscious Lovers Steele 

Constant Couple Farqnhar 

Country Girl Wychcrley 

Double Dealer Congreve 

Double Gallant Cibber 

Every Man in his Humour . . Ben Jonson 

Farmer's Wife C. Dibdin 

Fashionable Lover Cumberland 

Good-natured Man Goldsmith 

Hypocrite Bickerstafi' 

Inconstant Farquhar 

.Tealous Wife Colman 

Lionel and Clarissa Bickerstaff 



Lord of the Manor C. Dibdin 

Love for Love Congreve 

Love in a Village Bickerstatl 

Maid of the Mill Ditto 

Merchant of Bruges ....Beau. & Flet. 
New Way to pay Old Debts.. Massinger 

Provoked Husband Van. & Gibber 

Recruiting Officer Farquhar 

Refusal Cibber 

Ri vals Sheridan 

Rule a Wife and have a 

Wife Beau. & Flet. 

She Stoops to Conquer ,, Goldsmith 
She would and she would not . . Cibber 
Suspicious Husband ....Hoadley 

Tender Husband Steele 

Trip to Scarborough ....Sheridan 

Way of the World Congreve 

Way to keep Him Murphy 

Which is the Man ? ....Mrs. Cowley 

West Indian Cumberland 

Wonder Mrs. Centlivre 



OPERAS 

Apprentice Murphy 

Citizen Ditto 

Comus Milton 

Critic Sheridan 

Cymon Garrick 

Devil to Pay Coffey 

Fortune's FroUc AUingham 

ijuardian Garrick 

High I^ite below Stairs ..Townley 

Hit or Miss Pocock 

Irish Widow Garrick 

Lying Valet Ditto 

Maid of the Oaks Burgoyne 

Mayor of Garratt Foote 

Midas O' Kara 

Miser Fielding 



AliTD TA'R.CES. 

Miss in her Teens Garrick 

Mock Doctor Fielding 

i\Iv Spouse and I C. Dibdin 

Padlock Bickerstaff 

Polly Honeycombe Colman 

Quaker Dibdin 

Recruiting Sergeant ....Bickerstaff 
Richard Cosur de Lion ..Burgoyne 

Rosina Brooke 

Sultan Bickerstafl' 

Three Weeks after Marriage. .Murphy 

Tobacconist Ben Jonson 

Twenty per Cent C. Dibdin 

Two Misers O'Hara 

V it gin Unmasked Fielding 

■What Next? C. Dibdin 



Several of the above Pieces are to be found only in this Collection j the Copyright being 
the exclusive Property of the Publishers, 



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PATERNOSTER ROW. 



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