« AnteriorContinuar »
idea of the second volume of our friend's works, and he had undertaken to write a short preface, and to correct the press. I begged him likewise to announce the edition I had projected at our dear Churchill's desire. I wish you would take upon yourself the publication of the second volume, and tell the world how you loved the man, as well as honoured the poet.
The following epitaphs are preserved among the manuscripts of the Rev. William Cole at the British Museum. They appear to have been copied from the Cambridge Chronicle, and other prints about the period of the poet's death.
Churchill no more! O cruel death, 'twas hard
He's gone! great Churchill's gone! 'tis true,
Yet cease the fates to blame,
But gave eternal fame.
Prose-driving dunces, waddling fools in rhyme,
Scoundrels by every kind of vengeance led, Spit forth your venom, poison all your slime, *Churchill, who scourged you to your holes, is dead.
Wit, satire, humour, poetry, are fled,
That Churchill's dead, Apocrypha don't lie,
Great Churchill gone! ye ministers rejoice,
But then once warn'd, repent, ere 'tis too late,
Says Tom to Richard, Churchill's dead,
Šays Richard, Tom, you lie;
But genius cannot die.
EXTRACT FROM THE SCOURGE, A SATIRE.
Churchill's no more! corruption rears her head,
BY ROBERT LLOYD.
Authors, as Dryden's maxim runs,
Great Churchill's sword to vanquish'd France gave law,
EXTRACT FROM CHRYSAL,
OR THE ADVENTURES OF A GUINEA.* The company to which my new master was in such haste to go, consisted of a few persons, whom a similarity of temper had linked in the closest intimacy. With these, he spent the remainder of the evening, in a manner which few would dislike, though fewer still could approve; the spirited wit, and liveliness of their conversation gilding the grossest debaucheries ; at the same time, that the rectitude and sublimity of their sentiments, whenever their hearts could find opportunity to speak, made the vices of their practice still more horrible by the contrast.
They broke not up, as it may be imagined, till nature sunk under their excesses, when my master, as he staggered home, was accosted by a female, who had something in her air and manner so different from those outcasts of humanity who offer themselves to casual prostitution in the streets, that his curiosity was struck, and he stopped to take more particular notice of her. She appeared to be about fifteen. Her figure was elegant, and her features regular; but want had sicklied o'er their beauty: and all the horrors of despair gloomed through the languid smile she forced, when she addressed him.
The sigh of distress, which never struck his ear without affecting his heart, came with double force from such an object. He viewed her with silent compassion for some moments ; and reaching her a piece of gold, bade her go home, and shelter herself from the inclemencies of the night at so late an hour. Her surprise and joy at such unexpected charity overpowered her. She dropped upon her knees, in the wet and dirt of the street, and raising her hands and eyes toward heaven, remained in that posture for some moments, unable to give utterance to the gratitude that filled her heart.
Such a sight was more expressive than all the powers of eloquence. He raised her tenderly from the ground, and soothing her with words of comfort, offered to conduct her to some place, where she might get that refresh. ment of which she appeared to be in too great want
* See p. xxxiv.
"O! Sir,” (said she, pressing the hand that had raised her, with her cold trembling lips) “my deliverer, sent by heaven to save me from despair, let me not think of taking refreshment myself, till I have first procured it for those, whose greater wants I feel ten thousand times more se verely than my own.”
Who can they be?” (interrupted he, with anxious impatience) can humanity feel greater wants than those under which you are sinking ?”
"My father,” (exclaimed she, bursting into tears) "lan. guishing under infirmities, acquired in the service of his country; my mother, worn out with attending on him, and both perishing of want, (heaven grant they are not already dead !) together with two infant brothers, insensible of the cause of their distress, and crying to them for a morsel of bread, which it is not in their power to give."
" Where can such a scene of wretchedness be hidden from relief ? I'll go with you myself directly! But stop ! let us first procure some comfortable nourishment from some of the houses which are kept open at this late hour, for a very different purpose. Come with me! we have no time to lose.” With these words, he went directly to a tavern, and enquiring what victuals were dressed in the house, loaded her with as much as she could carry of the best, and putting a couple of bottles of wine in his own pocket, walked with her to her habitation, which was in a blind alley, happily for her not very far distant, as weakness, together with the conflict of passions struggling in her heart, made her scarce able to go.
When they came to the door, she would have gone up first for a light, but he was resolved to accompany her, that he might see the whole scene in its genuine colours. He therefore followed her up to the top of the house, where, opening the door of the garret, she discovered to him such a scene of misery, as struck him with astonishment. By the light of a lamp, that glimmered in the fireless chimney, he saw, lying on a bare bedstead, without any other covering than the relics of their own rags, a man, a woman, and two children, shuddering with cold, though huddled together to share the little warmth which exhausted nature still supplied them with.
While he stood gazing in horror at such complicated wretchedness, his conductress ran to the bedside, and falling on her knees, “O! Sir! Madam !” (exclaimed she in rapture) “ Arise! I have got relief from an angel of heaven."
“ Take care !” (answered a voice, the hollow trembling of which was sharpened by indignation)“ take care it is not from a fiend of hell, who has taken advantage of your distress to tempt you to ruin ! for with whom else could you be till this time of night? But know, wretched girl, that I will never eat the earnings of vice and infamy. A few hours will put an end to my miseries, which have received the only possible addition by this your folly.”
“ He must be such indeed,” (interrupted my master, still more struck with sentiments so uncommon in such a situation) “ who could think of tempting her in such circumstances to any folly. I will withdraw, while you arise, and then we will consult what can be soonest done tù alleviate a distress, of which you appear so undeserving." While he said this, he took the wine out of his pockets, and giving it to the daughter, went directly down stairs, without waiting for a reply, and walking backward and forward in the street for some time, enjoyed the sublimest pleasure the human heart is capable of, in consi. dering how he had relieved, and should further relieve the sufferings of objects so worthy of relief.
By the time he thought they might have learned from their daughter the circumstances of her meeting with him, and taken some nourishment, he returned to them ; when, the moment he entered the room, the whole family fell upon their knees to thank him. Such humiliation was more than he could bear. He raised them, one by one, as fast as he could, and taking the father's hand,“ Gracious God! (said he) can a sense of humanity be such an uncommon thing among creatures, who call themselves human, that so poor an exertion of it should be thought deserving of a return, proper to be made only to heaven? Oppress me not, Sir, I conjure you, with the mention of what it would have been a crime, I could never have forgiven myself, to know I had not done. It is too late to think of leaving this place before to-morrow, when I will provide a better, if there is not any to which you choose particularly to go. I am not rich; but I thank heaven that it has blessed me with ability, and inclination to afford such assistance as may be immediately necessary to you, till means may be thought of for doing more.”
“0, Sir,” (answered the mother) “well might my daughter call you an angel of heaven! You know not from what misery you have already relieved
“ Nor will I know more of it at this time,” (interrupted my master) “ than that which I too plainly see. I will