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EPISTLE TO THE COUNT DE GRAMMONT,
BY ANTHONY HAMILTON,
In his own and his Brother's Name.*
0! Thou, the glory of the shore,
Where Corisanda † saw the day,
Thou, whom the fates have doom'd to stray
Far from that pleasant shore away,
Ere, gliding o'er the Pyrenees,
Spain's tawny visages he sees,
So long hast shone unerring star,
In love, in frolic, and in war! To you, Sir, this invocation must needs be addressed; for whom else could it suit? But you may be puzzled even to guess who invokes you, since you have heard nothing of us for an age, and since so long an absence may have utterly banished us from your recollection. Yet we venture to flatter ourselves it may be otherwise.
* It is dated from Grammont's villa of Semeac, upon the banks of the Garonne, where it would seem Philibert and Anthony Hamilton were then residing.
+ Corisande and Menadaure were both ancestresses of the Count de Grammont, and celebrated for beauty.
EPISTLE TO THE COUNT DE GRAMMONT.
For who was e'er forgot by thee ?
Witness, at Lérida, Don Brice,*
And Barcelona's lady nice,
And Catalonia and Gasconne,
From Bourdeaux walls to far Bayonne,
And we your friends of fair Garonne.
· Even in these distant and peaceful regions, we hear, by daily report, that you are more agreeable, more unequalled, and more marvellous than ever. Our country neighbours, great news-mongers, apprized by their correspondents of the lively sallies with which you surprise the court, often ask us if you are not the grandson of that famous Chevalier de Grammont, of whom such wonders are recorded in the History of the Civil Wars? Indignant that your identity should be disputed in a country where your name is so well known, we bad formed a plan of giving some faint sketch of your merits and history. But who were we, that we should attempt the task? With talents naturally but indifferent, and now rusted by long interruption of all intercourse with the court, how were it possible for us to display taste and politeness, excelling all that is to be found elsewhere, and which yet must be attributes of those fit to make you their theme?
Can mediocrity avail,
To follow forth such high emprize ?
In vain our zeal to please you tries,
And own 'twere rash to dare,
Be silent in despair. * Don Brice is celebrated in the Memoirs, but Donna Ragueza does not appear there,
We therefore limited our task to registering all the remarkable particulars of your life which our memory could supply, in order to communicate those materials to the most skilful writers of the metropolis. But the choice embarrassed us. Sometimes we thought of addressing our Memoirs to the Academy, persuaded that as you had formerly sustained a logical thesis,* you must know enough of the art to qualify you for being received a member of that illustrious body, and praised from head to foot upon the day of admission. Sometimes, again, we thought, that, as, to all appearance, no one will survive to pronounce your eulogium when you are no more, it ought to be delivered in the way of anticipation, by the reverend Father Massillon or De la Rue. But we considered that the first of these expedients did not suit your rank, and that, as to the second, it would be against all form to swathe you up while alive in the tropes of a funeral sermon. The celebrated Boileau next occurred to us, and we believed at first he was the very person we wanted ; but a moment's reflection satisfied us that he would not answer our purpose.
Sovereign of wit, he sits alone,
Yet, vixen still, his muse would mix
Which friendship scarce might smother.
And scratches you with t'other.
* I presume, when he was educated for the church.
The next expedient which occurred to us was, to have your portrait displayed at full length in that miscellany which lately gave us such an excellent letter of the illustrious chief of your house. Here is the direction we obtained for that purpose :
Not far from that superb abode
Where Paris bids her monarchs dwell,
The office opes its fruitful cell,
When by rare chance on such they hit.
Flit sonneteers in tuneful sallies,
Some scream, on mistuned pipes and whistles,
Pastorals and amorous epistles ;
On bards and warriors of their own,
In camp and chronicle unknown.
Presents, in his mysterious masque,
A useless, yet laborious task,
'Tis here, too, that, in transports old,
New elegies are monthly moaning ;
Telling what sums were left to glad them,
And all their arms, and whence they had them.
propriety, into so miscellaneous a miscellany; and these various difficulties at length reconciled us to our original intention of attempting the adventure ourselves, despite of our insufficiency, and of calling to our assistance two persons whom we have not the honour to know, but some of whose compositions have reached us. In order to propitiate them by some civilities, one of us (he who wears at his ear that pearl, which, you used to say, his mother had hung there out of devotion), began to invoke them, as you shall hear.
O! Thou, of whom the easy strain
Enchanted by its happy sway,
Whether the light and classic lay
Or if, La Fare, thou rather chuse
The mood of the theatric muse,
The invocation was scarce fairly written out, when we found the theatric muse a little misplaced, as neither of the gentlemen invoked appeared to have written any thing falling under her department. This reflection embarrassed us; and we were meditating what turn should be given to the passage, when behold! there appeared at once, in the midst of the room, a form that surprised without alarming us :-it was