Imágenes de página

All, however, is not satire. He freely praises as well as freely censures: but we cannot give the list either of those who are pilloried or of those who are chaired.

We were sorry occasionally to meet with some inadmissible rhymes in this otherwise finished performance, such as applaud, Lord; morn, yawn: but the high tone, noble spirit, and true satiric energy of the whole compensate for such little defects. The author lashes also some of our modern novelists and play-wrights; and, like a true Briton, he reprobates that misguided taste, which induces our gentry to prefer the unnatural exhibitions of the Opera to a good play in the English style:

You blame my taste, if careless midst the roar,
When noble critics hiccup out "Encore!"
As Catalani*, charming queen of sounds,
Sings a bravura for a hundred pounds;
Or blythe Deshayes all life and spirit swims
Through the gay dance, and twirls his pliant limbs,
I sit unmov'd, a cold phlegmatic guest,

Nor cry "Encore!" and "Bravo!" like the rest.
Form'd in a coarser mould, untaught by art,
I love the plainer language of the heart;
No far-fetch'd song that strains the labʼring throat,
No squeaking eunuch's soft Italian note;
No attitude obscene 'gainst nature's plan,

Which more bespeaks the monkey than the man.'

We are throughout reminded of the undaunted muse of Twick. enham. The following couplet, the first line of which belongs to the Friend and the second to the Poet, is truly Popean;

F. Why truth, that arms the stoic, ne'er can fail
P. Then fear for once give way, and truth prevail.'

Truth, indeed, does prevail: but truth is called a libel by those whom it wounds.

Art. 14. The Cross-Bath Guide; being the Correspondence of a respectable Family upon the Subject of a late unexpected Dispensation of Honours. Collected by Sir Joseph Cheakill, K. F. K. S. &c. &c. &c. Crown 8vo. 3s. 6d. Boards. Underwood. 1815.

The author of this humorous jeu d'esprit knows the world, and knows how to laugh with effect at its vanity and folly. Honours, when they are conferred by wholesale, afford food for satire; and the corre

• * Monsieur Vallabrique lately made the modest demand of five hundred guineas per night for Madame Catalani to sing at a concert! The presumption of this illiterate Frenchman is past all belief. Our nobility would do well not to encourage these foreign vagabonds; who, if admitted to the smallest share of familiarity, forget they are mere buffoons, and never fail to return it with the most disgusting impertinence.'

REV. APRIL, 1815.



spondence here imagined places the matter in a ludicrous point of view. Vulgar citizens, on whom honours have been showered down, may not relish this laugh at their expence; yet citizens in general will feel the force of the ridicule. We need not say of what it is a copy, because this is indicated by the title: but, for a specimen of the execution, we shall extract Miss Capper's account of a meeting. of the new Knights at a dinner given in Crutched Friars.

Dear Dinah, I know much too much of our sex,
Your fancy, high-wrought, with advice to perplex.
When reason returns, or your gay Colonel flies you,
Write me fully again, and I'll frankly advise you.
In London, we're leading the gayest of lives;
By Thomas's fame Uncle fancies he thrives.
To honour the hero, a dinner he gave

To friends of high rank and some knights new and brave;
'Twas quite a grand thing, the best seen in our days,
Crutch'd Friars was yesterday quite in a blaze..
The Lord Mayor himself was engaged for the treat,
And he served the whole up, very stylish, yet neat.
I peep'd in the soups, and examined the paste,
And can say that no cook ever shew'd better taste.
I wrote all the cards, and can fully explain
Who and who were the folks that composed the grand train;
Though cousin invited some brother-stars too,
But with him and his set I had nothing to do.
Each name on the list I'm about now to send,
Is that of some great and particular friend.
Sir Audrey Fitztrollop, whose shield has a bar,
But cover'd, he hopes, by a red hand, and star;
The Rev. Sir Luke Chaplyn, for lawn rather wild,
Promoted for christening Lord Faddleville's child;
Sir John Jukes, Sir Mark Hicks, Sir Job Snipe, Sir James

All four, in succession, of London Lord Mayor;
Sir Christopher Congo, the India Director,
Of a trade to the Terra Stultorum projector;
Sir Benjamin Billings, who brought his own dish,
Of the company chairman for catching fresh fish:
The great farrier-surgeon, Sir Parkynson Proctor,
Sir Timothy Clearwell, our family doctor;
Five stars of the navy, and three of the army-
A party like this is enough to alarm ye!
In truth uncle Hitchins was caught in a scrape
By the party assembled, but made an escape
Through native good-humour. When dinner was served,
As rights of precedence are strictly observed
On solemn occasions, no creature would stir,
For no one there present was less than a Sir.
Off hobbled my uncle, as bowing they stood,
And left Tom to drill them as well as he cou'd,

(Which cannot be done, now, in due etiquette,
Without a Court Guide, or a London Gazette:)
When dinner began, what a fuss and a pother!
The guests soon perceiving each Sir had his brother;
Their host himself simper'd, with honour elated,
And never perceived what in looks they debated.
All trades and professions, of dignity jealous,
Are piqued to be elbow'd in rank by their fellows:
Though Peers precede Knights without any demurs,
A Sir, of one calling, hates all other Sirs.
My uncle presided with wonderful grace -
"Sir Benjamin, fish? Aye, you like a good plaice;
Sir Giles, you were young when you enter'd the navy ;
Sir Job, let me give you a little more gravy;



Sir Parkynson, used to the same sort of work, he
Sir Philip, will help you to cut up the turkey;
Sir Harry, how long have you had your dragoons?
Sir John, wait a moment, there's plenty of spoons;
Sir Christopher, try this receipt for your curry;
Sir James, let me beg - help yourself— there's no hurry;
Sir Timothy, jelly? 'tis wholesome you know;
Sir Mark, things look ill, omnium's shockingly low-
Mr. Hitchins, I think half the city will break."
Mr. Hitchins began, at this word, to awake
He look'd round the circle, and yet was unable
One Mister to find, save himself at the table;
Then touching, as still all his guests he be-sir'd,
On the pride of that day, on the honour conferr'd,
The party, whatever in secret they felt,
To their host, and each other, due compliments dealt;
Their rank they with outward humility bore,
'Twas merely a feather, they said, and no more.
Uncle, set quite at ease, when he found all agree,
Thus took up the turn, with astonishing glee,
"Well met are my friends then, for birds of a feather,
Have flock'd, as we know, in all ages, together.

29 2

[ocr errors]

Art. 15. A Second Ode to Napoleon Buonaparte, partly a Parody on that of Lord Byron. 8vo. pp. 15. Gale and Co. 1815. The poetic fate of Napoleon in this country is certainly rather hard. Do what he will, he cannot be right. Last year, when he abdicated his throne, Lord Byron satirized him very keenly for living to endure his reverses; and now, when he has made a desperate and wonderful leap to recover his lost fortunes, the present poet accuses him of insatiable ambition and thirst for blood. He is said, also, to have no blood of his own, (if we comprehend the line who calls no drop his own,') and each recreant limb' is termed a calx of hate,' while his heart is a central stone.' No doubt, if the person of Bonaparte could be secured, according to a late placard in our streets, and shewn in London, it would attract the curiosity of crowds; and even the anatomist would inspect with wonder such a Ff2


lusus nature as this poet has delineated. The ode is avowedly hasty, and open to correction; of which the reader may judge from a few


[blocks in formation]

• For rise she shall—the faith that waits
For sight her name belies;
Whate'er the gloom, the morning-gates
Break-burst her sacred skies!
No victim 'neath a fabled chain,
Groaning despairs eternal pain,

There mocks our sympathies!
Avert thy view, sweet maid of song!
The child of fiction all too long.'

We do not understand some of the lines in these and other passages.

Art. 16. An Ode. 8vo. Is. Martin. 1815.

On what? The title indeed, from its unprecedented brevity, offers not the faintest intimation of the nature of the subject: but we do not read far without finding that Napoleon is the poet's theme and the poet's scorn. This bard, however, has shewn that he does not belong to "the school of the prophets," when he speaks of the Emperor's ' wither'd frame,' since report states him to have grown fat at Elba; or when he depicts him as marked by Despair, and for ever forsaken, though he seems to have been full of hope, and to be recalled to the



[ocr errors]

throne by devoted millions. In this irregular ode, the name of the person, whose character and fate are meant to be delineated, never occurs. The style of versification will be indicated by the following


[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

With savage joy and restless ecstasy:

"Hail to thee-dreadful shade!-all hail-
Let glory fade, and conquest fail,-
To thee I now resign my heart,
And with Ambition's visions part.
Farewell the sparkling diadem,
So bright with many a glorious gem;
No more I wrestle with the foes,
That darkly round my palace close.
Hail, deadly Hate! for ever frown
Full on these foes and on the crown;
And quit them, Hate! oh never, never—
Frown darkly-and for ever››

Those who are down will experience a kick: yet sometimes they get up again and take their revenge.

Art. 17. The Amatory Works of Tom Shuffleton, of the Middle Temple. Crown. 8vo. pp. 184. Boards. Jennings. 1814. We have some suspicions as to the real personage who here Shuffles his effusions into light: but, as they are only suspicions, we perhaps must not express them. He calls himself of the Middle Temple,' but his flattering dedication to Lord Byron is dated from Dublin. If, however, we may not speak plainly as to his real name, we will speak plainly as to the real nature of his writings: since they themselves but too decidedly convey a meaning which we cannot fail to reprobate. The author calls them amatory: but their language is not that of love, of pure, rational, and laudable love for some one amiable being, but of lust, of unholy, insatiate, and unwarrantable lust for every woman who can boast of sparkling eyes, ruby lips, and snowy neck. Nothing can exceed the grossness of his descriptions, except in diction; and, as the poems are often addressed not to an imaginary Celia or Sappho, but apparently to a real Mrs. a Miss Louisa G &c., the disgraceful inference is that all these respectable ladies have been the writer's mistresses. In truth, the author sadly misapplies both the talents for versification and the capabilities for real delight with which he seems to have been gifted; and we would place our interdict on his volume, as a punishment for him and a preservative for our readers.




« AnteriorContinuar »