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To him the Bear: “ Who better plays his part
On this wide stage, it matters not two grains,
I a buffoon by nature, you by art,
At least you will not fail for want of pains.”
Although the assembly laugh at Bruin's sally,
The barren jest procured him not a tally.

The previous sarcasm on the Bear's unfitness
Laid the foundation of eternal hate.
Though Hockley is no more, you still

may

witness
Th'effect in sore and sanguinary bait.-

The Bull was next expos’d to nomination,
With many more brute beasts of straw and lath,
Successively rejected in rotation;
And last the Mule, oh! tell it not in Gath!
Put
up

the Ass ’mid laughing, scraping, fleering,
But he was hooted off on half a hearing.

My Ass, console thyself; the time is coming,
When thou, blest beast, like Dog shalt have thy day;
When kings, thy grave and modest merits summing,
Council and court shall echo to thy bray,
And puissant peers thy proud pretensions own,

And thou be held best bulwark of the throne.' His allusions to the foibles of individuals are poignant without being ill-tempered. In complaining of the frivolousness of society, and the ennui of a town life, he makes us smile at the vacant indolence of a lounging man of letters. If the cap fits any one of our friends in particular, they must take their share without being angry at the Poet, for we may be quite sure that he has not spared himself.

• Or if foul fiends and phantoms will intrude

With reason, or upon perverse pretences,
And I must pass a melancholy mood,
Through all its vast varieties of tenses,
It is some consolation, when they work ill,
To pin my devils in their own small circle.

But this I see is clear, and glad return
To thee, gay Gundimore, thy flowers and fountain,
Statue, relief, or cinerary urn.
It seems as if thy genius took a mountain
From off my breast, I feel repriev'd from death,
I move more lightly, breathe with other breath.

Blest spot! within thy walls I never hear
That Mr.-'s, with lady

a sinner:
Nor what Sir What d'ye call him? has a year.
I never sit ten minutes after dinner.
Nor when digestion has her hands full, piece
A half concocted meal with tea and grease.

No

verse

VOL. XXI. NO. LXII.

No common jokes I heed, or friends who bring 'em,
Such as, I have not room to swing a cat ;
I recollect I never want to swing 'em,
And then the poison'd dart falls blunt and flat.
The worst I do by them, as stories say,
Is give them pepper on a rainy day.*

i shun whatever causes bile or vapours,
Upon one level runs my lazy life;
I hear not of the stocks, nor read the papers,
And vote ambition but a name for strife.
Yet rise one point above mere passive pleasure;
For there I mooncalf, mooncalf without measure.

“ But what is mooncalf?” a strange voice may cry.
I answer, mooncalf's easy contemplation,
Or vacant action: lose no time, but try;
You'll find it a delightful recreation.
But definition, though precise and ample,
Is dark without the daylight of example.

Berni illustrates it in choicest measure;
He tells you he was box'd up with a parcel
Of lords and ladies, and some fays of pleasure,
In what may be entitled Lazy Castle.
All guests an amorous fairy ran to earth,
And bagg’d, to make her prison'u gallant mirth.

While these their time in feasts and fooling fleeted,
He (for all had their will) bade make a bed,
Spacious and comfortable, and well sheeted,
A table by its side; and thus he fed,
And slept, by turns. Another was possess'd
By a congenial and well-natured guest.

Nor lack'd they matter for their waking dreams :
One pleasure was to lie upon their back,
To lie at gaze, and count the ceiling beams,
And mark in which was nail-hole, flaw, or crack;
And which worm-eaten were, and which were sound,
And if the total sum was odd or round.

Then, when they had for somewhile slept and eat,
The one perhaps would stretch himself, and say,

D'ye hear those fools above? they're needs well met;
I mean those rogues and trulls who dance the hay."
The other then would cease awhile to chew,
Yawn down his soup, and say“ 14th ...ink -so too." +

* Administered in sandwiches with a small bonus of beef, it produces a slight galvanic effect.

+ Those who desire to see what use Mr. Rose has made of the autographic portrait of Berni may consult the Orlando Innamorato (lib. 3. cant. 7. st. 35, &c.) and the Life of Leo X. (vol. iii.) where it has been quoted by Mr. Roscoe, whose observations are extremely judicious.

But

But other mooncalf's mine. By Chewton's dingle,
Or Hordle's cliff, where peevish sea-fowl screech,
I love to pace the solitary shingle,
What time tall breakers tumble on the beach,
Without a book or thought; such rolling base,
Fills all my mind, and serves me in their place.

More picturesquely rapt, I sometimes range
And see the mighty stage of ocean clear’d,
As nature were preparing for a change ;
Mark the beach'd buss and fish-boat homeward steer'd,
And listen in the distant din and bluster
To th' elements in arms, their march and muster ;

See Solent* tossing in distemper'd sleep,
Breathe hard and long, his bosom heaving slow,
Save where to shore the curling waters creep,
There work and whiten, though no tempest blow,
While hatching secret mischief, like a spy,
Th’ unsettld wind veers restless round the sky.

Last, from the south forth sallying, sweeps along
The billows, mixing seas and skies together.
I muse meantime, and mutter from old song
Such snatches, as best sort with the wild weather:
Until, self-food, I almost think my lore
“ Hath set the troubled waters in a roar."

Then seek my cell and books, and trim my hearth,
And call to Caliban, to fetch in firing,
A crack-brain'd knave, that often makes me mirth :
But when stern Winter, from our seas retiring,
“ Hath broke his leading staff,” I play no more
At Prospero, upon the sea-beat shore :

But give my fountain vent, and set it spouting,
Or scheme a freeze for some exotic's tub;
Or measure myrtles, which persist in sprouting
Without a sun; or murder obvious grub;
Or heat and hammer some reluctant rhyme ;

And so'mid nothings fleet away my time.' Mr. Rose has infused a new life into his model, but he is endowed with such a happy vein of originality, that we sincerely regret that he has chosen rather to be an imitator than an inventor, particularly as the species of composition which he has copied, however ably executed, can only be considered as marring the beauty, and destroying the utility, of the fictions of Æsop. Somewhat similar is the Hind and the Panther. Nothing can surpass the admirable versification of that poem, yet Dryden has denaturalized the character of the apologue and of the animals which appear in it; and his talents have not protected bim

* The Solent, or Solent-sea, is the channel between the Isle of Wight and mainland. II 2

against

against the criticisms which he deserves. Voltaire has justly censured La Fontaine himself, whose later fables are expanded to a greater length than bis earlier ones. Besides, the poet must write without shewing himself on the stage, and without any tincture of ridicule or sarcasm. Æsop is neither laborious, nor witty, nor impassioned: he observes the scenes which nature has presented to him, and he reports them with the impartiality of nature.

It will appear from our observations on the Animali Parlanti, that, according to the Italian classification, the satirical poem neither seeks to surprize us by varied incident, nor to move us by exalted sentiments. It is a poem in which the action and the personages are only subservient instruments employed to lead us to despise the opinions which we venerate, and to laugh at events in which we sympathise. Therefore the persons speak more than they act. On the contrary, it is the end and object of romantic poetry, that, through its medium, this rude world may appear more interesting than it actually is. The romantic poet seeks to astonish his readers by marvellous adventures, by human characters which range above mortality, by chivalrous exploits, by excessive tenderness and heroism, sometimes exaggerated even into absurdity. Poets of this class profit by any theme which presents itself : they are capable of bestowing animation upon any object, therefore they do not reject the ludicrous scenes which happen to fall in their way; but they never go a step out of it to search for them. Such are the on Charlemaine and his Peers by Pulci, Boiardo, Berni, and Ariosto. The Prospectus and Specimen of the National Work by William and Robert Whistlecraft' has undoubtedly been suggested by these poems, and most particularly by the Morgante Maggiore, of which we shall speak anon; but there is one important difference between them. The English author las filled his poem with sprightly humour, whilst the Italian romantic poets only laugh now and then. In examining the four cantos which have been published of the Specimen,' we shall discover whether this alteration has succeeded.

The poem opens, like the Morgante Maggiore, and the Orlando Innamorato, with a scene of holy-tide festivity at the court of the king of chivalry.

• The great King Arthur made a sumptuous feast,

And held his royal Christmas at Carlisle.' To those who do not understand Italian, the following stanzas will afford an accurate idea of the interest which Pulci's vivacity gives to the most trivial scenes, and of the easy grace which Berni contrives to bestow upon them.

· The noise and uproar of the scullery tribe, All pilfering and scrambling in their calling,

Was

poems

Was past all powers of language to describe
The din of manful oaths and female squalling;
The sturdy porter, huddling up his bribe,
And then at random breaking heads and bawling,
Outcries, and cries of order, and contusions,
Made a confusion beyond all confusions.

Beggars and vagabonds, blind, lame, and sturdy,
Minstrels and singers with their various airs,
The pipe, the tabor, and the hurdy-gurdy,
Jugglers, and mountebanks with apes and bears,
Continued from the first day to the third day
An uproar like ten thousand Smithfield fairs;
There were wild beasts and foreign birds and creatures,

And Jews and foreigners with foreign features.'
The portraits of the British knights and British beauties of the
court of King Arthur are painted with the bold decided pencil of
Ariosto.

• They look'd a manly, generous generation ;
Beards, shoulders, eye-brows, broad and square, and thick,
Their accents firm and loud in conversation,
Their eyes and gestures eager, sharp, and quick,
Shew'd them prepard, on proper provocation,
To give the lie, pull noses, stab and kick ;
And for that very reason it is said
They were so very courteous and well-bred.

The ladies look'd of an heroic race,-
At first a general likeness struck your eye,
Tall figures, open features, oval face,
Large eyes, with ample eyebrows arch'd and high;
Their manners had an odd peculiar grace,
Neither repulsive, affable, nor shy;
Majestical, reserv’d, and somewhat sullen,

Their dresses partly silk, and partly woollen.'
Near Carlisle was a valley inhabited by a race of giants, froin
which they sallied forth for the purpose of carrying off the ladies.
This adventure was the beginning of a furious war.

The author traces the characters of his personages with consummate art.

"Sir Tristram was prepared to sing and play,
Not like a minstrel earnest at his task,
But with a sportive, careless, easy style,
As if he seemed to mock himself the while.

From realm to realm he ran—and never staid;
Kingdoms and crowns he won--and gave away;
It seem'd as if his labours were repaid
By the mere noise and movement of the fray;
No conquests nor acquirements bad he made;
His chief delight was on some festive day

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