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SIR, A s there is nothing I dislike so much as newspaper controversy, particularly upon trifles, permit me to be as concise as possible in informing a cor. respondent of yours, that I recommended Blainville's Travels, because I thought the book was a good one; and I think so still. I said, I was told by the bookseller that it was then first published; but in that, it seems, I was mis-informed, and my reading was not extensive enough to set me right.

Another correspondent of yours accuses me of having taken a ballad, I published some time ago, VOL. 1.


from one * by the ingenious Mr. Percy. I do not think there is any great resemblance between the two pieces in question. If there be any, his ballad is taken from mine. I read it to Mr. Percy, fome years ago ; and he (as we both confidered these things as trifes at beft) told me with his usual good humour, the next time I saw him, that he had taken my plan to form the fragments of Shakespeare into a ballad of his own. He then read me his little Cento, if I may so call it, and I highly approved it. Such petty anecdotes as these are scarce worth printing: and, were it not for the busy difpofition of some of your correspondents, the public hould never have known that he owes me the hint of his ballad, or that I am obliged to his friendship and learning for communications of a much more important nature.

I am, Sir,

Yours, &c.


* The Friar of Orders Gray. “Relig. of Anc. Poetry,” vol. 1. p. 243.


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TURN, gentle Hermit of the dale, " And guide my lonely way, To where yon taper chears the vale

“ With hospitable ray.

“ For here forlorn and loft I tread,

“ With fainting steps and flow; " Where wilds, immeasurably spread,

“ Seem length’ning as I go.”

• Forbear, my fon,” the Hermit cries,

“ To tempt the dangerous gloom ; “ For yonder faithless phantom Aies “ To lure thee to thy doom.

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" Here

“ Here to the houseless child of want . “ My door is open ftill ; “ And though my portion is but scant,

" I give it with good will.

" Then turn to-night, and freely share

“ Whate'er my cell bestows; My rushy couch and frugal fare,

“ My blessing and repose.

“ No flocks that range the valley free,

“ To Naughter I condemn: “ Taught by that power that pities me,

I learn to pity them :

“ But from the mountain's graffy side

“ A guiltless feast I bring; A scrip with herbs and fruits supply'd,

“ And water from the spring.

“ Then, pilgrim, turn, thy cares forego ;

“ All earth-born cares are wrong: " Man wants but little here below,

“ Nor wants that little long.”

Soft as the dew from heaven descends,

His gentle accents fell :
The modeft stranger lowly bends,

And follows to the cell.


Far in a wilderness obfcure : The lonely mansion lay; A refuge to the neighb'ring poor,

And strangers led astray.

No stores beneath its humble thatch

Requir'd a master's care ;
The wicket op’ning with a latch,

Receiv'd the harmless pair.

And now, when busy crowds retire

To take their evening rest,
The Hermit trimm'd his little fire,

And chear'd his pensive guest :

And spread his vegetable store,

And gayly prest, and smil'd; And, skill'd in legendary lore,

The lingering hours beguild.

Around in sympathetic mirth

Its tricks the kitten tries ;
The cricket chirrups in the hearth ;

The crackling faggot flies.

But nothing could a charm impart

To soothe a stranger's woe; For grief was heavy at his heart, And tears began to flow.

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