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"For I knew it," he cried: "both eternally fail,
The one with his speeches, and t 'other with Thrale.«
But no matter, I'll warrant we'll make up the party
With two full as clever and ten times as hearty. The one is a Scotchman, the other a Jew; They're both of them merry, and authors like you;
The one writes the 'Snarler,' the other the 'Scourge;'
Some think he writes 'Cinna'—he owns to
'Panurge.' '»• While thus he described them by trade and by
They entered, ami dinner was served as they came. 80 At the top a fried liver and bacon were seen;
At the bottom was tripe, in a swingeing7 tureen;
At the sides there was spinach and pudding made hot;
In the middle a place where the pasty—was not.
Now my lord, as for tripe, it's my utter aversion,
And your bacon I hate like a Turk or a Persian;
So there I sat stuck, like a horse in a pound, While the bacon and liver went merrily round: But what vexed me most was that d—d Scottish rogue,
With his long-winded speeches, his smiles, and his brogue, 90
And, "Madam," quoth he, "may this bit be my poison,
A prettier dinner I never set eyes on;
Pray a slice of your liver, though may I be curst,
But I've eat of your tripe till I'm ready to burst."
"The tripe!" quoth the Jew, with his chocolate cheek;
"I could dine on this tripe seven days in a week:
I like these here dinners so pretty and small; But your friend there, the doctor, eats nothing at all."
"Oho!" quoth my friend, "he'll come on in a trice;
He's keeping a corner for something that's nice: 100
«Mrs. Thralp, Dr. Johnson's friend. '• immense
• These w<>re signatures tn contemporary letters addressed to the Public Adrertiner in support of the government.!
There's a pasty."—"A pasty!" repeated the Jew;
"I don't care if I keep a corner for't too." "What the de'il, mon, a pasty! " re-echoed the Scot;
"Though splitting, I'll still keep a corner for that."
'' We '11 all keep a corner,'' the lady cried out; '' We '11 all keep a corner,'' was echoed about. While thus we resolved, and the pasty delayed, With looks that quite petrified, entered the maid:
A visage so sad, and so pale with affright, Waked Priam in drawing his curtains by night." "0 But we quickly found out—for who could mistake her i—
That she came with some terrible news from the baker:
And so it fell out, for that negligent sloven
To send such good verses to one of your taste; You've got an odd something—a kind of discerning,
A relish, a taste—sickened over by learning;8 At least, it's your temper, as very well known, That you think very slightly of all that's your
own. 122 So, perhaps, in your habits of thinking amiss, You may make a mistake, and think slightly
Of old, when Scarron' his companions invited,
Each guest brought his dish, and the feast was united;
8 See 2 Henry IV., I, o See Hamlet, III., 1. 1. 72. 85.
i A French burlesque poet.
* Goldsmith, because of his vanity and frequently empty talk, was the occasion of much diversion among his friends, nud sometimes a butt of ridicule. At a gathering at St. James's coffee-house, he desired to try with David Garrlek, the actor, his skill at epigram, and each was to write the other's epitaph. Garrlrk Immediately composed the well-known couplet:
"Here lies Nolly Goldsmith, for shortness
Who wrote like an angel, but talked like poor
Goldsmith took his time to reply, and the
If our landlord supplies us with beef and with fish,
Let each guest bring himself—and he brings
the best dish. Our Dean shall be venison, just fresh from
Our Burke shall be tongue, with the garnish of brains;
Our Will shall be wild-fowl of excellent flavour, And Dick with his pepper shall heighten the savour;
Our Cumberland's sweet-bread its plnce shall obtain,
And Douglas is pudding, substantial and plain;
Till all my companions sink under the table: 20 Then, with chaos and blunders encircling my head,
Let me ponder, and tell what I think of the dead.
Here lies the good Dean, reunited to earth, Who mixed reason with pleasure, and wisdom with mirth:
If he had any faults, he has left us in doubt— At least, in six weeks I could not find 'em out; Yet some have declared, and it can't be denied 'em,
That sly-boots was cursedly cunning to hide 'em.
Here lies our good Edmund, whose genius was such,
We scarcely can praise it, or blame it too much; 30
Who, born for the universe, narrowed his mind.
And to party gave up what was meant for mankind.
Though fraught with all learning, yet straining his throat
result was RetaliaHoii, a poem which he left unfinished, and which was published after his death. The characters whom he imagines gathered about the table are Thomas Barnard. Dean of Derry: Kdmund Hurke, with William Burke, u kinsman, and Richard, a younger brother; Richard CumlKTland. the dramatist: John Douglas, a Scotch canon: David Oarrick: John Ridge and Tom Illckey two Irish lawyers: Sir Joshua Reynolds, the painter: and himself. A kindlier satire—If satire It may be called- has scarcely been written. 2 A dish of crushed gooseberries.
To persuade Tommy Townshend^ to lend hira a vote;
Who, too deep for his hearers, still went on refining,
And thought of convincing while they thought of dining:
Though equal to all things, for all things unfit, Too nice for a statesman, too proud for a wit; For a patriot too cool; for a drudge, disobedient,
And too fond of the right to pursue the expedient. 40
In short, 'twas his fate, unemployed or in place, sir,
To eat mutton cold, and cut blocks with a razor.
Here Cumberland lies, having acted his parts. The Terence* of England, the mender of hearts;
A flattering painter, who made it his care
His gallants are all faultless, his women divine,
Say, where has our poet this malady caught,
(Juite siek of pursuing each troublesome elf,
Here lies David Garrick, describe me who ean
An abridgment of all that was pleasant in man;
As an actor, confessed without rival to shine; As a wit, if not first, in the very first line: Vet, with talents like these, and an excellent heart,
The man had his failings, a dupe to his art. Like an ill-judging beauty, his colours he spread.
And beplastered with rouge his own natural red. lftn On the stage he was natural, simple, affecting;
3 An M. P.. afterwards * A Roman comic writer. Lord Sydney. ." gay party
'Twas only that when he was off he was actiug. With no reason on earth to go out of his way, He turned and he varied full ten times a day: Though secure of our hearts, yet confoundedly sick,
If they were not his own by finessing and trick:
He cast off his friends, as a huntsman his pack. For he knew when he pleased he could whistle them back.
Of praise a mere glutton, he swallowed what came,
And the puff of a dunce, he mistook it for fame; 110 'Till his relish grown callous, almost to disease,
Who peppered the highest was surest to please.
What a commerce was yours, while you got and you gave!
How did Grub Street' re-echo the shouts that you raised,
While he was bc-Hosciuseds and you were bep raised!
But peace to his spirit, wherever it flios,
Shall still be his flatterers, go where he will, Old Shakespeare receive him with praise and with love,
And Beaumonts and Bens" be his Kellys above.
Here Reynolds is laid, and, to tell you my mind,
He has not left a wiser or better behind;
hard of hearing; When they talked of their Raphaels, Correg
gios, and stuff, He shifted his trumpet, and only took snuff. By flattery unspoiled—*
e Dramatists and critics 8 Rosclns was the crcntof the time. est Roman comic
* llackwrlterdom. actor.
« "Rare Ben" Jonson.
• Here Death took the pen from the poet's hand
before he could write his own epitaph.
EDWARD GIBBON (1737-1794)
THE FALL OK CONSTANTlXOl'LKt
After a siege of forty days, the fate of Constantinople could no longer be averted. The diminutive garrison was exhausted by a double attack; the fortifications, which had stood for ages against hostile violence, were dismantled on all sides by the Ottoman cannon; mauy breaches were opened; and near the gate of St. Romanus four towers had been leveled with the ground. For the payment of his feeble and mutinous troops, Constantine was compelled to despoil the churches, with the promise of a fourfold restitution; and his sacrilege offered a new reproach to the enemies of the union. A spirit of discord impaired the remnant of the Christian strength; the Genoese and Venetian auxiliaries asserted the preeminence of their respective service; and Justiniani and the great Duke, whose ambition was not extinguished by the common danger, accused each other of treachery and cowardice.
During the siege of Constantinople, the words of peace anil capitulation had been sometimes pronounced; and several embassies had passed between the camp and the city. The Greek emperor was humbled by adversity, and would have yielded to any terms compatible with religion and royalty. The Turkish sultan was desirous of sparing the blood of his soldiers; still more desirous of securing for his own use the Byzantine treasures; and he accomplished a sacred duty in presenting to the Gabourgi the choice of circumcision, of tribute, or of death. The avarice of Mahomet might have been satisfied with an annual sum of one hundred thousand ducats; but his ambition grasped the capital of the East; to the prince he offered a rich equivalent, to the people a free toleration or a safe departure; but, after some fruitless treaty, he declared his resolu
i Giaours. "Infidels"
t From The Decline and fall of the Roman Empire, chapter I.XVIII. Long niter Rome had fallen before the Incursions of the barbarians. Constantinople, the capital of the Eastern Empire, "the decrepit daughter ot ancient Rome, alone remained standing, and for ten centuries, like a rocky Island, detted the fury of the waves." (Victor Duruy.) The lust Christian emperor was a Greek. Constantlne I'alieol'ogus; nnd when the city was finally besieged. In 14">S. by the Ottoman Turks under Mahomet II.. the defence was conducted by an alliance of Greeks. Venetians, and Genoese, sadly divided by their own religious differences. Their foremost general was Justinian), a Genoese nobleman. On the significance of this event lo western llternture. see Enfi. Lit., p. 7", and on Gibbon, see the same. p. 213,
tion of finding either a throne or a grave under the walls of Constantinople. A sense of honour and the fear of universal reproach forbade Pala-ologus to resign the city into the hands of the Ottomans; and he determined to abide the last extremities of war. Several days were employed by the sultan in the preparations of the assault; and a respite was granted by his favourite science of astrology, which had fixed on the twenty-ninth of May as the fortunate and fatal hour. On the evening of the twenty-seventh, he issued his final orders; assembled in his presence the military chiefs; and dispersed his heralds through the camp to proclaim the duty and the motives of the perilous enterprise. Fear is the first principle of a despotic government; and his menaces were expressed in the Oriental style, that the fugitives and deserters, had they the wings of a bird, should not escape from his inexorable justice. The greatest part of his bashaws^ and Janizaries3 were the offspring of Christian parents; but the glories of the Turkish name were perpetuated by successive adoption; and, in the gradual change of individuals, the spirit of a legion, a regiment, or an oda* is kept alive by imitation and discipline. In this holy warfare, the Moslems were exhorted to purify their minds with prayer, their bodies with seven ablutions; and to abstain from food till the close of the ensuing day. A crowd of dervishes visited the tents, to instil the desire of martyrdom, and the assurance of spending an immortal youth amidst the rivers and gardens of paradise and in the embraces of the black-eyed virgins/' Yet Mahomet principally trusted to the efficacy of temporal and visible rewards. A double pay was promised to the victorious troops: '' The city and the buildings," said Mahomet, "are mine; but I resign to your valour the captives and the spoil, the treasures of gold and beauty; be rich and be happy. Many are the provinces of my empire: the intrepid soldier who first ascends the walls of Constantinople shall be rewarded with the government of the fairest and most wealthy; and my gratitude shall accumulate his honours and fortunes above the measure of his own hopes." Such various and potent motives diffused among the Turks a general ardour, regardless of life and impatient for action; the camp re-echoed with the Moslem shouts of "God is God, there is but one God, and Mahomet is the apostle of
2 ministers and ftenerals
s Ottoman Infantry, especially the Sultan's bodyguard.
4 harem hour Is
God;" and the sea and land, from Galata0 to the seven towers,? were illuminated by the blaze of their nocturnal fires.
Far different was the state of the Christians; who, with loud anil impotent complaints, deplored the guilt, or the punishment, of their sins. The celestial image of the Virgin had been exposed in solemn procession; but their divine patroness was deaf to their entreaties; they accused the obstinacy of the emperor for refusing a timely surrender; anticipated the horrors of their fate; and sighed for the repose and security of Turkish servitude. The noblest of the Greeks, and the bravest of the allies, were summoned to the palace, to prepare them, on the evening of the twenty-eighth, for the duties and clangers of the general assault. The last speech of Paheologus was the funeral oration of the Roman Empire: he promised, he conjured, and he vainly attempted to infuse the hope which was extinguished in his own mind. In this world all was comfortless and gloomy; and neither the gospel nor the church hare proposed any conspicuous recompense to the heroes who fall in the service of their country. But the example of their prince and the confinement of a siege had armed these warriors with the courage of despair; and the pathetic scene is described by the feelings of the historian Phranza,s who was himself present at this mournful assembly. They wept, they embraced; regardless of their families and fortunes, they devoted their lives; and each commander, departing to his station, maintained all night a vigilant and anxious watch on the rampart. The emperor, and some faithful companions, entered the dome of St. Sophia, which in a few hours was to bo converted into a mosque; and devoutly received, with tears and prayers, the sacrament of the holy communion. He reposed some moments in the palace, which resounded with cries and lamentations; solicited the pardon of all whom he might have injured; and mounted on horseback to visit the guards ami explore the motions of the enemy. The distress and fall of the last Constantine are more glorious than the long prosperity of the Ryzantine Ca\sars.9
In the confusion of darkness an assailant may sometimes succeed; hut in this great ami general attack, the military judgment and astrological knowledge of Mahomet advised
OA northern suburb of s Chamberlain of I'ala-
Constantlnople. Oiorus. T The southern Rate. • I. c. the Emperor* of
him to expect the morning, the memorable twenty-ninth of May, in the fourteen hundred and fifty-third year of the Christian era. The preceding night had been strenuously employed: the troops, the cannon, and the fascines'0 were advanced to the edge of the ditch, which, in many parts, presented a smooth and level passage to the breach; and his fourscore galleys almost touched, with the prows and their scaling-ladders, the less defensible walls of the harbour. Under pain of death, silence was enjoined; but the physical laws of motion and sound are not obedient to discipline or fear; each individual might suppress his voice and measure his footsteps; but the march and labour of thousands must inevitably produce a strange confusion of dissonant clamours, which reached the ears of the watchmen of the toners. At daybreak, without the customary signal of the morning gun, the Turks assaulted the city by sea and land; and the similitude of a twined or twisted thread has been applied to the closeness and continuity of their line of attack. The foremost ranks consisted of the refuse of the host, a voluntary crowd, who fought without order or command; of the feebleness of age or childhood, of peasants and vagrants, and of all who had joined the camp in the blind hope of plunder and martyrdom. The common impulse drove them onward to the wall; the most audacious to climb were instantly precipitated; and not. a dart, not a bullet, of the Christians was idly wasted on the accumulated throng. But their strength and ammunition were exhausted in this laborious defense; the ditch was filled with the bodies of the slain; they supported the footsteps of their companions; and of this devoted vanguard the death was more serviceable than the life. Under their respective bashaws and sanjaks," the troops of Anatolia and Romania were successively led to the charge: their progress was various and doubtful; but, after a conflict of two hours, the Greeks still maintained and improved their advantage; and the voice of the emperor was heard, encouraging his soldiers to achieve, by a last effort, the deliverance of their country. In th t fatal moment the Janizaries arose, fresh, vigorous and invincible. The sultan himself on horseback, with an iron mace in liis hand, was the spectator and judge of their valour; he was surrounded by ten thousand of his domestic troops, whom he reserved for the decisive occasion; and the tide of battle
lohnndles of sticks for filling ditches 11 provincial governors
was directed and impelled by his voice and eye. His numerous ministers of justice were posted behind the line, to urge, to restrain, and to punish; and, if danger was in the front, shame and inevitable death were in the rear of the fugitives. The cries of fear and of pain were drowned in the martial music of drums, trumpets, and attaballs;"-' and experience has proved that the mechanical operation of sounds, by quickening the circulation of the blood and spirits, will act on the human machine more forcibly than the eloquence of reason and honour. From the lines, the galleys, and the bridge, the Ottoman artillery thundered on all sides; and the camp and city, the Greeks and the Turks, were involved in a cloud of smoke, which could only be dispelled by the final deliverance or destruction of the Roman empire. The single combats of the heroes of history or fable amuse our fancy and engage our affections; the skillful evolutions of war may inform the mind, and improve a necessary though'pernicious, science. But, in the uniform and odious pictures of a general assault, all is blood, and horror, and confusion; nor shall I strive, at the distance of three centuries and a thousand miles, to delineate a scene of which there could be no spectators, and of which the actors themselves were incapable of forming any just or adequate idea.
The immediate loss of Constantinople may be ascribed to the bullet, or arrow, which pierced the gauntlet of John Justiniani. The sight of his blood, and the exquisite pain, appalled the courage of the chief, whose arms and counsels were the firmest rampart of the city. As he withdrew from his station in quest of a surgeon, his flight was perceived and stopped by the indefatigable emperor. "Your wound," exclaimed Pahyologus, "is slight; the danger is pressing; your presence is necessary; and whither will you retire?" "I will retire," said the trembling Genoese, "by the same road which God has opened to the Turks;" and at these words he hastily passed through one of the breaches of the inner wall. By this pusillanimous act he stained the honours of a military life; and the few days which he survived in Galata, or the isle of Chios, were embittered by his own and the public reproach. His example was imitated by the greatest part of the Latin auxiliaries, and the defence began to slacken when the attack was pressed with redoubled vigour. The number of the Ottomans was fifty, perhaps a hundred, times superior to