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sadly deficient in fun, and have no longer the humour they used to have. This change may be for the better, we hope so, considering it was ourselves who had the chief hand in producing it. We have out-witted the whole world, and there is no use in attempting humour, if it be not equal to Blackwood, which is "a moral impossible." Therefore we are not surprised at the clerics having degenerated in this quality from their predecessors, and we fear there is no hope of seeing a humorous account of the coronation feast issue from the bench of Bishops. It was otherwise of old, as thou shalt know, my public, when you come to it.
We trust, that we have thus far satisfactorily illustrated the genius and writings of Bishop Corbet,-proved
the anachronisms of his biographers, the negligence of his editors, and the malice of his enemies; and thrown that light upon his real character, of which he has been so long and so unjustly deprived. Mr Octavius Gilchrist, who last edited this reverend poet-but we must not weigh down our buoyant publication with squabbles about editors and editions. To make a long story short, Dr Corbet, afterwards Bishop of Norwich, was present in Windsor, not at a coronation feast, but something very like it, seemingly an installation of the Garter, about two hundred years ago, and has left a humorous account of it in a poetic epistle to the Lord Mordaunt. Our readers may judge for themselves, what little alteration two centuries have made in royal feasts and beef-eaters.
"To this good sport rode I, as being allow'd
To see the King, and cry him in the crowd,
And at all solemn meetings have the grace
To thrust, and to be trode on by my place."
The Bishop proceeds: he must have made a slight mistake of Windsor for Westminster, and of the 17th for the 19th century.
"Imagine now the scene lies in the Hall,
(For at high noon we are recusants all,)
The church is empty as the bellies were
Of the spectators that had languished there;
And now the favourites of the Clerk o' the Check,
Who oft had groan'd, and stretch'd out many a neck,
'Twixt morn and evening, the dull feeders on
Patience and the Raysins of the Sun;
They who lived in the Hall five hours at least,
As if 'twere an arraignment, not a feast;
And look so like the hangings they stand near,
None could discern which the true pictures were;
These now shall be refreshed; whiles the bold drum
Strikes up his frolic, through the Hall they come," &c.
"So to the Hall made I, with little care
To praise the dishes, or to taste the fare;
Much less t'endanger the least tart or pye
By any waiter there stolen and set by;
But to compute the value of the meat,
Which was for glory, not for hunger eat;
Nor did I fear Stand back! who pass'd before
The Presence, or the Privy-chamber door;
But woe is me, the guard, (those men of war,
But two weapons do use, beef and the bar,)
Began to gripe me, knowing not in truth
That I had sung John Dory in my youth,
Or that I knew the day that I could chaunt
Chivie, and Arthur, or the Siege of Gaunt;
And though these be the virtues which must try.
Who is most worthy of their courtesy,
They profited me nothing, or no notes
Will move them, now they're deaf in their new coats;
Wherefore on run I, afresh they fall, and show
Themselves more active than before, as though
They had some wager laid, and did contend
Who should abuse me furthest at arms-end:
One I remember with a grizled beard,
And better grown than any of the herd," &c.
"This Ironsides takes hold, and suddenly
Hurls me, by judgment of the standers by,
Some twelve foot by the square; takes me again,
Out-throws half a bar; and thus we twain
At this hot exercise an hour had spent,
He the fierce agent, I the instrument:
My man began to rage, but I cry'd,' Peace,
When he is dry or hungry, he will cease;
Peace for the Lord's sake, Nicholas, lest they take us,
And use as worse than Hercules did Cacus.'
And now I breathe, my lord, and have the time
To tell the causes, and confess the crime;
I was in black-a scholar straight they guess'd:
Indeed I colour'd for it; at the least,
I spake them fair, desired to see the Hall,
And gave 'em reasons for it, this was all:
By which I learn, it is a main offence,
So near the Clerk o' the Check to utter sense," &c.
"Much more good service was committed yet,
Which I in such a tumult must forget;
But shall I smother that prodigious fit,
Which past in clear invention and pure wit?
As thus, a nimble knave, though somewhat fat,
Strikes on my head, and fairly steals my hat.
Another breaks a jest, yet 'twas not much,
Although the clamour and applause were such,
As when Sir Archy, or Garrat, doth provoke 'em.
And with wide laughter and a cheat-loaf choak 'em,
What was the jest, d'ye ask? I dare repeat it,
And put it home before ye shall entreat it;
He call'd me Bloxford-man; confess I must,
'Twas bitter; and it grieved me in a thrust,
That most ingrateful word Bloxford to hear
From him whose breath yet stunk of Oxford beer.
But let it pass, for I have now pass'd through
Their halberds, (and worse weapons,) their teeth, too,
And of a worthy officer was invited
To dine, who all their rudness hath requited," &c.
"But as it stands, the persons and the cause
Consider'd all, my manners and their laws,
'Tis no affliction to me, for even thus
St Paul hath fought with beasts at Ephesus,
And I at Windsor; let this comfort then
Rest with all able and deserving men:
He that will please the guard, and not provoke
Court-wits, must sell his learning, buy a cloak:
'For at all feasts and masques the doom hath been,
A man thrust forth, and a gay cloak let in.""
The author of "The Specimens of British Poets," has summarily given the merits of this author, saying merely, "that he has left some good strokes of humour against the Puritans." In our opinion, the only bad things he has left, are those little ballads against the Puritans; the wittiest of his poems, his Journey to France, quoted by that author of the Specimen, is a satire on the
Roman Catholics, which, as it has appeared there, we need not give. The" Iter Boreale" abounds in humour. Inns, hosts, and hostess, have always been fruitful sources of merriment to travelling wits.
"To the inn we came, where our best cheer
Was that his Grace of York had lodged there.
He was objected to us when we call,
Or dislike aught, my lord's grace answers all ;
He was contented with this bed, this diet,
This keeps our discontented stomachs quiet," &c.
"The shot was easy, and what concerns us more,
The way was so, mine host did ride before;
Mine host was full of ale and history;
And on the morrow, when he brought us nigh
Where the two* Roses join'd, you would suppose,
Chaucer ne'er writ the Romant of the Rose.
Hear him- See ye yond' woods? there Richard lay
With his whole army; look the other way,
And lo, where Richmond, in a bed of gorse,
Incamp'd himself o'er night with all his force-
Upon this hill they met." Why, he could tell
The inch where Richmond stood, where Richard fell;
Besides, what of his knowledge he could say,
He had authentic notice from the play;
Which I might guess by's mustering up the ghosts,
And policies, not incident to hosts;
But chiefly by that one perspicuous thing
When he mistook a player for a king ;
For when he would have said, King Richard died,
And call'd a horse, a horse, he Burbage cried.
Howe'er, his talk, his company pleas'd well,
His mare went truer than his chronicle;
And even for conscience-sake, unspurr'd, unbeaten,
Brought us six miles, and turn'd tail to Nun-Eaton."
He proceeds to Warwick, apropos to which reverend place, we may mak mention of sundry complaints received by us from thence, of some cockneys who visited it about two months ago in a one-horse chay, and spoiled the tree in the greenery, by engraving on them Arry and Mariar, and plucking laurels for what end we dare not conjecture. But to our Bishop.
"No other hindrance now, but we may pass
Clear to our Inn;-Oh! there an hostess was,
To whom the castle and the dun cow are
Sights after dinner, she is morning ware;
Her whole behavionr borrow'd was and mixt,
Half-fool, half-puppet, and her
Measure and jigge; her court'sie was an honour,
Her gait as if her neighbours had out-gone her.
She was barr'd up in whalebone, that did leese
None of the whales' length, for they reach'd her knees
Off with her head, and then she hath a middle,
As her waste stands just like the new-found fiddle,
The favourite Theorbo, truth to tell ye,
Whose neck and throat are deeper than the belly.
Have you seen monkeys chain'd about the loins,
Or pottle-pots with rings? just so she joins
Herself together; a dressing she doth love,
In a small print below, and text above." &c.
We shall quote but one more poem of the witty Bishop's; and this we recommend to the serious attention of that learned body, The Provost and Fellows of Trinity College, Dublin, cock-a-hoop, as they must be, from the Royal visit. Indeed we know how much the slightest hint promulgated in these pages would influence them; and we feel particularly flattered by Dr Kyle's following our advice in discountenancing The Historical Society. The important piece we recommend, is entitled "A certain Poem, as it was presented in Latin by divines and others, before his Majesty in Cambridge, by way of interlude, styled Liber Novus de Adventu Regis ad Cantabrigiam, faithfully done into English, with some liberal additions.”
"It is not yet a fortnight since
Lutetia entertain'd our prince,
And vented hath a studied toy,
As long as was the siege of Troy,
And spent herself for full five days,
In speeches, exercise, and plays.
To trim the town, great care before
Was ta'en by the Lord Vice-Chancellour;
Both morn and even he clean'd the way;
The streets he gravell'd thrice a-day:
One strike of March dust for to see,
No proverb would give more than he.
Their colleges were new be-painted,—
Their founders eke were new be-sainted;
Nothing escaped, nor post, nor door,
Nor gate, nor rail, nor bawd, nor ------
You could not know (O strange mis-
Whether you saw the town or map.
But the pure House of Emanuel
Would not be like proud Jesabel,
Nor shew herself before the King
An hypocrite or painted thing;
But that the ways might all prove fair,
Conceived a tedious mile of prayer.
Upon the look'd-for seventh of March,
Out went the townsmen all in starch,
Both band and beard, into the field,
Where one a speech could hardly wield;
For needs he would begin his style,
The King being from him half a mile.
They gave the King a piece of plate,
Which they hoped never came too late;
But cry'd, Oh! look not in, Great King,
For there is in it just nothing;
And so preferr'd with tune and gait,
A speech as empty as their plate.
Now as the King came near the town,
Each one ran crying up and down,
Alas, poor Oxford! thou'rt undone,
For now the King's past Trompington,
And rides upon his braw gray dapple,
Seeing the top of King's College
Next rode his lordship on a nag,
Whose coat was blue, whose ruff was shag,
And then began his reverence
To speak most eloquent nonsense:
See how, (quoth he,) most mighty
For very joy my horse doth wince.
What cries the town? what we? (said he,)
What cries the University?
What cry the boys? what, every thing?
Behold, behold, yond' comes the King!
And every period he bedecks
With Een et Ecce venit Rex.
Oft have I warn'd (quoth he) our dirt,
That no silk stockings should be hurt;
But we in vain strive to be fine,
Unless your Grace's sun doth shine,
And with the beams of your bright eye,
You will be pleased our streets to dry.
Now come we to the wonderment
Of Christendom, and eke of Kent,
The Trinity, which to surpass,
Doth deck her spokesman by a glass,
Who, clad in gay and silken weeds,
Thus opes his mouth, hark, how he
I wonder what your Grace doth here,
Who have expected been twelve year,
And this your son, fair Carolus,
Who is so Jacobissimus:
Here's none, of all, your Grace refuses,
You are most welcome to the Muses.
Although we have no bells to jangle,
Yet we can show a fair quadrangle,
Which, though it ne'er was graced with
Yet sure it was a goodly thing;
My warning's short, no more I'll say,
Soon you shall see a gallant play.
But nothing was so much admired
As were their plays so well attired;
Nothing did win more praise of mine,
Than did their acting most divine;
So did they drink their healths di-
So did they dance and skip so finely.
Their plays had sundry grave wise factors,
A perfect diocess of actors
Upon the stage; for I am sure that
There were both bishop, pastor, curate;
Nor was their labour light or small,
The charge of some was pastoral.
Our plays were certainly much worse,
For they had a brave hobby-horse,
Which did present unto his grace,
A wond'rous witty ambling pace.
But we were chiefly spoil'd by that
Which was six hours of, God knows
To this Cantab felicitation we subjoin two effusions from Limerick and Cork, the harbingers of a joyous series, expressive of the loyal commotion which agitates the Green Isle.
The poet flab- As I was sitting on the Shannon side,
Lull'd by the sound of that majestic flood,
A horseman on a sudden I espied,
bergasted by ane strange apparition.
Galloping by as quickly as he could;
I hail'd him, but he slacken'd not his pace,
Still urging on his steed, a gallant grey,
Until he past me, then he turn'd his face
Back towards his horse's tail, and thus did say,
"I ride express with news to strike you dumb,
"Our monarch has arrived at last--King George the Fourth