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his abilities are overrated, his faults overlooked, and his metrical canons received without scruple and without consideration. But the unquestionable possession of considérable genius by several of the writers here censured, renders their mental prostitution more to be regretted. Imbecility may be pitied, or, at worst, laughed at and forgotten ; perverted powers demand the most decided reprehension. No one can wish more than the Author, that some known and able writer had undertaken their exposure, but Mr. GIFFORD has devoted himself to Massinger, and in the absence of the regular physician, a country practitioner may, in cases of absolute necessity, be allowed to prescribe his nostrum to prevent the extension of so deplorable an epidemic, provided there be no qu'ackery in his treatment of the malady. A caustic is here offered, as it is to be feared nothing short of actual cautery can recover the numerous patients afflitted with the present prevalent and distressing rabies for rhyming.
- As to the Edinburgh Reviewers, it would,
indeed, require a Hercules to crush the Hydra; but if the Author succeeds in merely « bruising one of the he ads of the serpent, » though his own hand should suffer in the encounter, he will be amply satisfied.
Still must I hear ?-shall hoarse (1) Fitzgerald bawl
Oh! Nature's noblest gift-my grey goose-quill!
n! foredoomed to aid the mental throes
(1) IMITATION. « Semper ego auditor tantum ? nunquamne reponam « Vexatus toties rauci Theseide Codri? »
Juvenal, Sat. I. Mr. FITZGERALD, facetiously termed by COBBETT the « Small Beer Poet, » inflicts his annual tribute of verse on the « Literary Fund ; » not content with writing, he spouts in person, after the company
have imbibed a reasonable quantily of bad port, to enable them to sustain the operation.
What Wits! what Poets dost thou daily raise !
When Vice triumphant holds her sov'reign sway, And men through life her willing slaves obey ; When Folly, frequent harbinger of crime, Unfolds her motley store to suit the time; When Knaves and Fools combined o'er all prevail, When Justice halts, and Right begins to fail, E'en then the boldest start from public sncers, Afraid of Shame, unknown to other fears, More darkly sin, by Satire kept in awe, And shrink from Ridicule though not from Law.
Such is the force of Wit! but not belong
(1) Cid HAMET BENENGELI promises repose to his pen in the last chapter of Don Quixote. Oh! that our voluminous gentry would follow the example of Cup HAMET BINENGELI!
Laugh when I laugh, I seek no other fame,
and Scribblers are my game :
A man must serve his time to every trade,
(1) This ingenious youth is mentioned more particularly, with his production, in another place.
(2) In the EDINBURGH REVIEW.