« AnteriorContinuar »
Here lies David Garrick, describe me Those poets who owe their best fame to who can
his skill, An abridgment of all that was pleasant Shall still be his flatterers, go where he in man;
will; As an actor, confessed without rival to Old Shakespeare receive him with praise shine;
and with love, As a wit, if not first, in the very first And Beaumonts and Bens be his Kellys line;
above. Yet with talents like these, and an excel
lent heart, The man had his failings, a dupe to his art; Here Reynolds is laid, and to tell you Like an ill-judging beauty his colors he
my mind, spread,
He has not left a wiser or better behind. And beplastered with rouge his own nat- His pencil was striking, resistless, and ural red.
grand; On the stage he was natural, simple, His manners were gentle, complying, and affecting,
140 'Twas only that when he was off he was Still born to improve us in every part, acting.
His pencil our faces, his manners With no reason on earth to go out of his heart; way,
To coxcombs averse, yet most civilly He turned and he varied full ten times a steering, day:
When they judged without skill he was Though secure of our hearts, yet con- still hard of hearing; foundedly sick
105 When they talked of their Raphaels, If they were not his own by finessing and Correggios, and stuff,
He shifted his trumpet, and only took He cast off his friends as a huntsman his snuff.
pack, For he knew when he pleased he could whistle them back.
From THE CITIZEN OF THE Of praise a mere glutton, he swallowed
WORLD And the puff of a dunce, he mistook it for
LETTER LV fame;
BEAU TIBBS AT HOME Till his relish grown callous, almost to disease,
I am apt to fancy I have contracted a Who peppered the highest was surest to new acquaintance whom it will be no please.
easy matter to shake off. My little beau But let us be candid, and speak out our yesterday overtook me again in one of mind:
the public walks, and slapping me on If dunces applauded, he paid them in the shoulder, saluted me with an air of kind.
the most perfect familiarity. His dress Ye Kenricks, ye Kellys, and Woodfalls so was the same as usual, except that he grave,
115 had more powder in his hair, wore a dirtier What a commerce was yours, while you shirt, a pair of temple spectacles, and (10 got and you gave!
his hat under his arm. How did Grub Street re-echo the shouts As I knew him to be a harmless amusing that you raised,
little thing, I could not return his smiles When he was be-Rosciused, and you were with any degree of severity; so we walked bepraised!
forward on terms of the utmost intimacy, But peace to his spirit, wherever it flies, and in a few minutes discussed all the To act as an angel, and mix with the usual topics preliminary to particular skies!
The oddities that marked his character, Thus saying, without waiting for a however, soon began to appear; he [20 reply, he took me by the arm, and hauled bowed to several well-dressed persons, me along. We passed through many who, by their manner of returning the dark alleys and winding ways; for, from compliment, appeared perfect strangers. some motives to me unknown, he seemed At intervals he drew out a pocket-book, to have a particular aversion to every seeming to take memorandums before frequented street; at last, however, we all the company, with much importance got to the door of a dismal-looking 18 and assiduity. In this manner he led house in the outlets of the town, where me through the length of the whole walk, he informed me he chose to reside for the fretting at his absurdities, and fancying benefit of the air. myself laughed at not less than him 130 We entered the lower door, which ever by every spectator.
seemed to lie most hospitably open; and When we were got to the end of our I began to ascend an old and creaking procession, “Blast me," cries he, with staircase, when, as he mounted to show an air of vivacity, “I never saw the Park me the way, he demanded, whether I so thin in my life before! There's no delighted in prospects; to which answercompany at all to-day; not a single face ing in the affirmative, “Then," 100 to be seen.”—“No company!” inter- says he, “I shall show you one of the rupted I peevishly; "no company where most charming in the world, out of my there is such a crowd? why, man, there's window; we shall see the ships sailing, too much. What are the thousands [40 and the whole country for twenty miles that have been laughing at us but com- round, tip top, quite high. My Lord pany?”—“Lord, my dear," returned he, Swamp would give ten thousand guineas with the utmost good humor, "you
"you for such a one; but, as I sometimes pleasseem immensely chagrined; but, blast me, antly tell him, I always love to keep my when the world laughs at me, I laugh at prospects at home, that my friends may the world, and so we are even. My Lord visit me the oftener.”
100 Trip, Bill Squash the Creolian, and I, By this time we were arrived as high as sometimes make a party at being ridicu- 1 the stairs would permit us to ascend, till lous; and so we say and do a thousand we came to what he was facetiously things for the joke's sake. But I see (50 pleased to call the first floor down the you are grave, and if you are for a fine chimney; and knocking at the door, a grave sentimental companion, you shall voice from within demanded, “Who's dine with me and my wife to-day; I must there?” My conductor answered that insist on 't. I'll introduce you to Mrs. it was him. But this not satisfying the Tibbs, a lady of as elegant qualifications querist, the voice again repeated the as any in nature; she was bred (but that's demand; to which he answered louder (110 between ourselves) under the inspection than before; and now the door was opened of the Countess of All-night. A charming by an old woman with cautious reluctance. body of voice; but no more of that,-she When we were got in, he welcomed me will give us a song. You shall see my (60 to his house with great ceremony, and little girl too, Carolina Wilhelmina Amelia turning to the old woman, asked where Tibbs, a sweet pretty creature! I design was her lady? “Good troth," replied her for my Lord Drumstick's eldest son; she, in a peculiar dialect, "she's washing but that's in friendship, let it go no farther: your twa shirts at the next door, because she's but six years old, and yet she walks they have taken an oath against lending a minuet, and plays on the guitar im- out the tub any longer."-"My two (120 mensely already. Í intend she shall be shirts!” cried he in a tone that faltered as perfect as possible in every accomplish- with confusion, “what does the idiot ment. In the first place, I'll make her a mean?”—“I ken what I mean weel scholar: I'll teach her Greek myself, 170 enough,” replied the other; "she's washand learn that language purposely to ing your twa shirts at the next door, instruct her; but let that be a secret." because "Z"Fire and fury, no more
of thy stupid explanations!” cried he; hot, and dressed with a little of my own “go and inform her we have got company. sauce?" "The very thing," replies he; Were that Scotch hag,” continued he, “it will eat best with some smart bottled turning to me, “to be for ever in my (130 beer: but be sure to let us have the sauce family, she would never learn politeness, his Grace was so fond of. I hate your nor forget that absurd poisonous accent immense loads of meat; that is country of hers, or testify the smallest specimen all over; extremely disgusting to those of breeding or high life; and yet it is very who are in the least acquainted with surprising too, as I had her from a parlia- high life.” ment man, a friend of mine from the By this time my curiosity began (190 Highlands, one of the politest men in the to abate, and my appetite to increase; .world; but that's a secret.”
the company of fools may at first make We waited some time for Mrs. Tibbs' us smile, but at last never fails of renderarrival, during which interval I had (140 ing us melancholy. I therefore pretended a full opportunity of surveying the cham- to a prior engagement, and after having ber and all its furniture, which consisted shown my respect to the house, accordof four chairs with old wrought bottoms, ing to the fashion of the English, by givthat he assured me were his wife's em- ing the old servant a piece of money at broidery; a square table that had been the door, I took my leave: Mr. Tibbs once japanned; a cradle in one corner, a assuring me that dinner, if I stayed, (200 lumbering cabinet in the other; a broken would be ready at least in less than two shepherdess, and a mandarin without a hours. head, were stuck over the chimney; and round the walls several paltry un- (150
LETTER LXXVII framed pictures, which, he observed, were all his own drawing. “What do A VISIT TO A SILK-MERCHANT you think, sir, of that head in the corner, done in the manner of Grisoni? there's The shops of London are as well furthe true keeping in it; it is my own face, nished as those of Pekin. Those of and though there happens to be no like London have a picture hung at their door, ness, a Countess offered me a hundred informing the passengers what they have for its fellow: I refused her, for, hang it, to sell, as those at Pekin have a board that would be mechanical, you know." to assure the buyer that they have no
The wife at last made her appear- (160 intention to cheat him. ance, at once a slattern and a coquette; I was this morning to buy silk for a much emaciated, but still carrying the nightcap: immediately upon entering the remains of beauty. She made twenty mercer's shop, the master and his (10 apologies for being seen in such odious two men, with wigs plastered with powder, dishabille, but hoped to be excused, as appeared to ask my commands. They she had stayed out all night at the Gar- were certainly the civilest people alive; dens with the Countess, who was exces- if I but looked, they flew to the place sively fond of the horns. “And indeed, where I cast my eye; every motion of my dear," added she, turning to her mine sent them running round the whole husband, “his lordship drank your (170 shop for my satisfaction. I informed health in a bumper." “Poor Jack!” them that I wanted what was good, and cries he, “a dear good-natured creature, they showed me not less than forty pieces, I know he loves me. But I hope, my and each was better than the former, [20 dear, you have given orders for dinner; the prettiest pattern in nature, and the you need make no great preparations fittest in the world for nightcaps. “My neither, there are but three of us; some- very good friend,” said I to the mercer, thing elegant:-a little will do-a turbot, you must not pretend to instruct me an ortolan, a
“Or what do you in silks; I know these in particular to be think, my dear,” interrupts the wife, "of no better than your mere flimsy Bungees.” a nice pretty bit of ox-cheek, piping 1180 —“That may be,” cried
who, I afterwards found, had never con- I.-“I beg pardon,” cried he; "but be tradicted a man in his life; "I cannot pleased to remember, when you intend pretend to say but they may; but I (30 buying a morning gown, that you had an can assure you, my Lady Trail has had a offer from me of something worth money. sack from this piece this very morning."- Conscience, sir, conscience is my way of “But, friend," said I, “though my lady dealing; you may buy a morning gown has chosen a sack from it, I see no neces- now, or you may stay till they become sity that I should wear it for a nightcap.” | dearer and less fashionable; but it is not
-“That may be," returned he again, my business to advise.” In short, 100 "yet what becomes a pretty lady, will most reverend Fum, he persuaded me at any time look well on a handsome to buy a morning gown also, and would gentleman." This short compliment was probably have persuaded me to have thrown in so very seasonably upon (40 bought half the goods in his shop, if I my ugly face, that even though I disliked had stayed long enough, or was furnished the silk, I desired him to cut me off the with sufficient money. pattern of a nightcap.
Upon returning home, I could not help While this business was consigned to reflecting, with some astonishment, how his journeymen, the master himself took this very man, with such a confined edudown some pieces of silk still finer than cation and capacity, was yet capable (100 any I had yet seen, and spreading them of turning me as he thought proper, and before me, “There,” cries he, “there's moulding me to his inclinations! I knew beauty; my Lord Snakeskin has bespoke he was only answering his own purposes, the fellow to this for the birthnight 150 even while he attempted to appear solicithis very morning; it would look charm- tous about mine: yet, by a voluntary ingly in waistcoats.”—“But I don't want infatuation, a sort of passion, compounded a waistcoat," replied I. "Not want a of vanity and good-nature, I walked into waistcoat!” returned the mercer, “then the snare with my eyes open, and put I would advise you to buy one; when myself to future pain in order to give him waistcoats are wanted, you may depend immediate pleasure.
immediate pleasure. The wisdom (110 upon it they will come dear. Always buy of the ignorant somewhat resembles the before you want, and you are sure to instinct of animals; it is diffused in but be well used, as they say in Cheapside." a very narrow sphere, but within that There was so much justice in his ad- [60 circle it acts with vigor, uniformity, and vice, that I could not refuse taking it; besides, the silk, which was really a good one, increased the temptation; so I gave orders for that too.
SAMUEL JOHNSON (1709-1784) As I was waiting to have my bargains measured and cut, which, I know not
From THE RAMBLER how, they executed but slowly, during the interval the mercer entertained me No. 121. Tuesday, May 14, 1751. with the modern manner of some of the nobility receiving company in their (70 O imitatores, servum pecus! morning gowns; “Perhaps, sir,” adds he,
Hor. "you have a mind to see what kind of Away, ye imitators, servile herd! silk is universally worn." Without waiting
Elphinston. for my reply, he spreads a piece before me, which might be reckoned beauti- I have been informed by a letter from ful even in China. “If the nobility,” con- one of the universities, that among the tinues he, “were to know I sold this to youth from whom the next swarm of any under a Right Honorable, I should reasoners is to learn philosophy, and the certainly lose their custom; you see, my next flight of beauties to hear elegies and lord, it is at once rich, tasty, and quite (80 sonnets, there are many who, instead of the thing.”—“I am no lord,” interrupted endeavoring by books and meditation
to form their own opinions, content them- able to comprehend what others disselves with the secondary knowledge cover, and to remember what others teach. which a convenient bench in a coffee (10 | Even those to whom Providence hath house can supply; and, without any allotted greater strength of understandexamination or distinction, adopt the ing, can expect only to improve a single criticisms and remarks which happen to science. In every other part of learning, drop from those who have risen, by merit they must be content to follow opinions or fortune, to reputation and authority. which they are not able to examine; and,
These humble retailers of knowledge even in that which they claim as pe- [70 my correspondent stigmatizes with the culiarly their own, can seldom add more name of Echoes; and seems desirous that than some small particle of knowledge they should be made ashamed of lazy to the hereditary stock devolved to them submission, and animated to attempts [20 from ancient times, the collective labor of after new discoveries and original senti- a thousand intellects. ments.
In science, which, being fixed and It is very natural for young men to be limited, admits of no other variety than vehement, acrimonious, and severe. For, such as arises from new methods of disas they seldom comprehend at once all tribution, or new arts of illustration, the the consequences of a position, or perceive necessity of following the traces of (80 the difficulties by which cooler and more our predecessors is indisputably evident; experienced reasoners are restrained from but there appears no reason why imaginaconfidence, they form their opinions with tion should be subject to the same regreat precipitance. Seeing nothing (30 straint.
straint. It might be conceived, that of that can darken or embarrass the ques- those who profess to forsake the narrow tion, they expect to find their own opinion paths of truth, every one may deviate universally prevalent, and are inclined towards a different point; since, though to impute uncertainty and hesitation to rectitude is uniform and fixed, obliquity want of honesty rather than to knowledge. may be infinitely diversified. The roads I may perhaps, therefore, be reproached of science are narrow, so that they (90 by my lively correspondent, when it shall who travel them must either follow or be found that I have no inclination to meet one another; but in the boundless persecute these collectors of fortuitous regions of possibility which fiction claims knowledge with the severity re- [40 for her dominion, there are surely a quired; yet, as I am now too old to be thousand recesses unexplored, a thousand much pained by hasty censure, I shall flowers unexhausted, combinations of imnot be afraid of taking into protection agery yet unobserved, and races of ideal those whom I think condemned without inhabitants not hitherto described. a sufficient knowledge of their cause. Yet, whatever hope may persuade or
He that adopts the sentiments of an- reason evince, experience can boast (100 other, whom he has reason to believe of very few additions to ancient fable. wiser than himself, is only to be blamed The wars of Troy, and the travels of when he claims the honors that are not Ulysses, have furnished almost all sucdue but to the author, and endeavors (50 ceeding poets with incidents, characters, to deceive the world into praise and vener- and sentiments. The Romans are conation; for to learn is the proper business fessed to have attempted little more of youth; and whether we increase our than to display in their own tongue the knowledge by books or by conversation, inventions of the Greeks. There is in all we are equally indebted to foreign as- their writings such a perpetual recursistance.
rence of allusions to the tales of the (110 The greater part of students are not fabulous age, that they must be confessed born with abilities to construct systems, often to want that power of giving pleasor advance knowledge; nor can have any ure which novelty supplies; nor can we hope beyond that of becoming intelli- (60 wonder that they excelled so much in gent hearers in the schools of art, of being the graces of diction, when we consider