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Like an ill-judging beauty, his colours he spread,
Of praise a mere glutton, he swallow’d what came,
ve, What a commerce was yours, while you got and you gave' How did Grub-street re-echo the shouts that you rais'd, [prais'd While he was be-Roscius'd, and you were be
But peace to his spirit, wherever it flies,
• Mr. Hugh Kelly, author of False Delicacy, A Word to the Wise, Clementina, School for Wives, &c. &c.
+ Mr. W. Woodfall, printer of the Morning Chronicle.
Then what was his failing 2 come, tell it, and bun
He was, could he help it? a special attorney.
Here Reynolds is laid, and, to tell you my mind, He has not left a wiser or better behind: His pencil was striking, resistless, and grand, His manners were gentle, complying, and bland; Still born to improve us in every part, His pencil our faces, his manners our heart: To coxcombs averse, yet most civilly steering, When they judg’d without skill he was still hard of
hearing ; land stuff,
When they talk'd of their Raphaels, Correggio, He shifted his trumpeti, and only took snuff.
STANZAS ON WOMAN.
FROM the WiCAR of Wakrriri.p.
When lovely woman stoops to folly,
What charm can soothe her melancholy,
The only art her guilt to cover,
To give repentance to her lover,
O MEMoRY thou fond deceiver,
To former joys recurring ever,
Thou, like the world, th' opprest oppressing.
And he who wants each other blessing,
# Sir Joshua Reynolds was so remarkably deaf as to be under the necessity of using an ear-trumpet in company.
Samurt Johnson, a writer of great eminence, was born in 1709 at Litchfield, in which city his father was a petty bookseller. After a desultory course of school-education, it was proposed to him, by Mr. Corbet, a neighbouring gentleman, that he should accompany his own son to Oxford as his companion; accordingly, in his nineteenth year, he was elected a commoner of Pembroke college. From young Corbet's departure, he was left to struggle with penury till he had completed a residence of three years, when he quitted Oxford without taking a degree. His father died, in very narrow circumstances, soon after his return from the university; and for some time he attempted to gain a maintenance by some literary projects. At length, in 1735, he thought proper to marry a widow twice his own age, and far from attractive, either in her person or manners. By the aid of her fortune he was enabled to set up a school for instruction in Latin and Greek, but the plan did not succeed; and after a year's experiment, he resolved to try his fortune in the great metropolis. Garrick, afterwards the celebrated actor, had been one of his pupils, accompanied by whom he arrived in London; Johnson having in his pocket his unfinished tragedy of Irene. The first notice which he drew from the judges of literary merit, was by the publication of “London, a Poem,” in imitation of Juvenal's third satire. The manly vigour, and strong painting of this performance, placed it high among works of its kind, though it must be allowed, that its censure is coarse and exaggerated, and that it ranks rather as a party, than as a moral poem. It was published in 1738. For some years Johnson is chiefly to be traced in the pages of the Gentleman's Magazine, then conducted by Cave; and it was for this work that he gratified the public with some extraordinary pieces of eloquence which he composed under the disguise of debates in the senate of Liliput, meaning the British parliament. He likewise wrote various biographical articles for the same miscellany, of which the principal and most admired was “The Life of Savage." The plan of his English Dictionary was laid before the public in a letter addressed to Lord Chesterfield in 1747. In the same year he furnished Garrick with a prologue on the opening of Drurylane theatre, which in sense and poetry has not a competitor among compositions of this class, excepting Pope's prologue to Cato. Another imitation of Juvenal, entitled “ The Vanity of Human wishes,” was printed in 1749, and may be said to reach the sublime of ethical poetry, and to stand at the head of classical imitations. The same year, under the auspices of Garrick, brought on the stage of Drury-lane his tragedy of “Irene.” It
ran thirteen nights, but has never since appeared on the theatre: Johnson, in fact, found that he was not formed to excel on the stage, and made no further trials. His periodical paper, entitled “The Rambler,” appeared in March 1750, and was continued till March 1752. The solemnity of this paper prevented it at first from attaining an extensive circulation; but after it was collected into volumes, it continually rose in the public esteem, and the author had the satisfaction of seeing a tenth edition. The “Adventurer,” conducted by Dr. Hawkesworth, succeeded the Rambler, and Johnson contributed several papers of his own writing. In 1755, the first edition of his “Dictionary” made its appearance. It was received by the public with general applause, and its author was ranked among the greatest benefactors of his native tongue. Modern accuracy, however, has given an insight into its defects; and though it still stands as the capital work of the kind in the language, its authority as a standard is somewhat depreciated. Upon the last illness of his aged mother, in 1759, for the purpose of paying her a visit, and defraying the expense of her funeral, he wrote his romance of “Rasselas, Prince of Abyssinia,” one of his most splendid performances, elegant in language, rich in imagery, and weighty in sentiment. Its views of human life are, indeed, deeply tinged with the gloom that overshadowed the author's mind; nor can it be praised for moral effect. Soon after the accession of the late king, a grant of a pension of 300l. per annum was made him by His Majesty during the ministry of Lord Bute. A short struggle of repugnance to accept a favour from the House of Hanover was overcome by a sense of the honour and substantial benefit conferred by it, and he became that character, a pensioner, on which he had bestowed a sarcastic definition in his Dictionary. Much obloquy attended this circumstance of his life, which was enhanced when he published in several of his productions, arguments which seemed directly to oppose the rising spirit of liberty. A long-promised edition of Shakspeare appeared in 1765; but though ushered in by a preface written with all the powers of his masterly pen, the edition itself disappointed those who expected much from his ability to elucidate the obscurities of the great dramatist. A tour to the Western Islands of Scotland in 1773, in which he was attended by his enthusiastic admirer and obsequious friend, James Boswell, Esq. was a remarkable incident of his life, considering that a strong antipathy to the natives of that country had long been conspicuous in his con
versation. But when, two years afterwards, he published the account of his tour, under the title of “A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland,” more candour and impartiality were found in it, than had been expected. In 1775, he was gratified, through the interest of Lord North, with the degree of Doctor of Laws, from the University of Oxford. He had some years before received the same honour from Dublin, but did not then choose to assume the title. His last literary undertaking was the consequence of a request from the London booksellers, who had engaged in an edition of the principal English poets, and wished to prefix to each a biographical and critical preface from his hand. This he undertook; and though he will generally be thought to have laboured under strong prejudices in composing the work, its style will be found, in great measure, free from the stiffness and turgidity which marked his earlier compositions. The concluding portion of Dr. Johnson's life was saddened by a progressive decline of health, and by the prospect of approaching death, which
symptoms, followed; and such was the tenacity with which he clung to life, that he expressed a great desire to seek for amendment in the climate ci Italy. Still unable to reconcile himself to the thought of dying, he said to the surgeon who was making slight scarifications in his swollen leg, “Deeper! deeper! I want length of life, and you are afraid of giving me pain, which I do no value.” The closing scene took place on Decem. ber 13. 1785, in the 76th year of his age. His remains, attended by a respectable concourse of friends, were interred in Westminster Abbey; and, monumental statue has since been placed to his memory in St. Paul's cathedral. His works were published collectively in eleven volumes, 8vo., wit a copious life of the author, by Sir John Hawkins A new edition, in twelve volumes, with a life, we given by Arthur Murphy. Of the conversations and oral dictates of Johnson, a most copious col. lection has been published in the very entertaining volumes of Mr. Boswell. Upon the whole, it may
neither his religion nor his philosophy had taught him be said, that at the time of his death, he was un
to bear with even decent composure.
A paralytic | doubtedly the most conspicuous literary character
stroke first gave the alarm; asthma, and dropsical of his country.
— Quis ineptae
Tam patiens urbis, tam ferreus ut teneat se? Juv.
For who would leave, unbrib'd, Hibernia's land,
While Thales waits the wherry that contains
* Queen Elizabeth, born at Greenwich.
Behold her cross triumphant on the main,
To such, the plunder of a land is giv'n, When public crimes inflame the wrath of Heaven: But what, my friend, what hope remains for me, Who start at theft, and blush at perjury? Who scarce forbear, tho' Britain's court he sing, To pluck a titled poet's borrow’d wing; A statesman's logic unconvinc'd can hear, And dare to slumber o'er the Gazetteer; Despise a fool in half his pension dress'd, And strive in vain to laugh at Clodio's jest. Others with softer smiles, and subtle art, Can sap the principles, or taint the heart; With more address a lover's note convey, Or bribe a virgin's innocence away: Well may they rise, while I, whose rustic tongue Ne'er knew to puzzle right, or varnish wrong, Spurn’d as a beggar, dreaded as a spy, Live unregarded, unlamented die. For what but social guilt the friend endears? Who shares Orgilio's crimes, his fortune shares. But thou, should tempting villany present All Marlb'rough hoarded, or all Williers spent, Turn from the glittering bribe thy scornful eye, Nor sell for gold, what gold could never buy, The peaceful slumber, self-approving day, Unsullied fame, and conscience ever gay. The cheated nation's happy fav'rites, see : Mark whom the great caress, who frown on me ! London the needy villain's gen'ral home, The common-sewer of Paris and of Rome; With eager thirst, by folly or by fate, Sucks in the dregs of each corrupted state. Forgive my transports on a theme like this, I cannot bear a French metropolis. Illustrious Edwards from the realms of day, The land of heroes and of saints survey; Nor hope the British lineaments to trace, The rustic grandeur, or the surly grace; But, lost in thoughtless ease and empty show, Behold the warrior dwindled to a beau; Sense, freedom, piety, refin'd away, Of France the mimic, and of Spain the prey. All that at home no more can beg or steal, Or like a gibbet better than a wheel : Hiss'd from the stage, or hooted from the court, Their air, their dress, their politics, import; Obsequious, artful, voluble, and gay, On Britain's fond credulity they prey. No gainful trade their industry can 'scape, They * they dance, clean shoes, or cure a clap : All sciences a fasting Monsieur knows, And, bid him go to Hell, to Hell he goes. Ah! what avails it, that, from slav'ry far, I drew the breath of life in English air; was early taught a Briton's right to prize, And lisp the tale of Henry's victories; If the gull'd conqueror receives the chain, And flattery prevails when arms are vain? Studious to please, and ready to submit; The supple Gaul was born a parasite: Still to his int'rest true, where'er he goes, Wit, brav'ry, worth, his lavish tongue bestows: In ev'ry face a thousand graces shine, From ev'ry tongue flows harmony divine. These arts in vain our rugged natives try, Strain out with fault'ring diffidence a lie, And get a kick for awkward flattery. Besides, with justice, this discerning age Admires their wond’rous talents for the stage:
Well may they venture on the mimic's art, Who play from morn to night a borrow'd part; Practis'd their master's notions to embrace, Repeat his maxims, and reflect his face; With ev'ry wild absurdity comply, And view each object with another's eye; To shake with laughter ere the jest they hear, To pour at will the counterfeited tear; And, as their patron hints the cold or heat, To shake in dog-days, in December sweat. How, when competitors like these contend, Can surly virtue hope to fix a friend; Slaves that with serious impudence beguile, And lie without a blush, without a smile: Exalt each trifle, ev'ry vice adore, Your taste in snuff, your judgment in a whore; Can Balbo's eloquence applaud, and swear He gropes his breeches with a monarch's air. For arts like these preferr'd, admir'd, caress'd, They first invade your table, then your breast; Explore your secrets with insidious art, Watch the weak hour, and ransack all the heart; Then soon your ill-plac'd confidence repay, Commence your lords, and govern or betray. By numbers here from shame or censure free, All crimes are safe but hated poverty. This, only this, the rigid law pursues, This, only this, provokes the snarling Muse. The sober trader at a tatter'd cloak Wakes from his dream, and labours for a joke; With brisker air the silken courtiers gaze, And turn the varied taunt a thousand ways. Of all the griefs that harass the distress'd, Sure the most bitter is a scornful jest; Fate never wounds more deep the gen'rous heart, Than when a blockhead's insult points the dart. Has Heaven reserv'd, in pity to the poor, No pathless waste, or undiscovered shore? No secret island in the boundless main? No peaceful desert yet unclaim'd by Spain? Quick let us rise, the happy seats explore, And bear oppression's insolence no more. This mournful truth is every where confess'd, Slow rises worth by poverty depress'd : But here more slow, where all are slaves to gold, Where looks are merchandise, and smiles are sold : Where won by bribes, by flatteries implor'd, The groom retails the favours of his lord. [crics But hark' th' affrighted crowd's tumultuous Roll through the streets, and thunder to the skies: Rais'd from some pleasing dream of wealth and pow'r, Some pompous palace or some blissful bower, Aghast you start, and scarce with aching sight Sustain th' approaching fire's tremendous light; Swift from pursuing horrours take your way, And leave your little all to flames a prey; Then thro' the world a wretched vagrant roam, For where can starving merit find a home? In vain your mournful narrative disclose, While all neglect, and most insult your woes. Should Heaven's just bolts Orgilio's wealth confound, And spread his flaming palace on the ground, Swift o'er the land the dismal rumour flies, And public mournings pacify the skies; The laureat tribe in venal verse relate, How virtue wars with persecuting fate; With well-feign'd gratitude the pension'd band Refund the plunder of the beggar'd land.
See while he builds, the gaudy vassals come,
THE VANITY OF HUMAN wish ES
IN IMITATION OF THE TENTH satifie of JUVENAL
LET observation with extensive view,