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“Invention ’s seventh heaven” the bard Has written—but my case
Persuades me that the creature dwells In quite another place.
Sniffing the lamp, the ancients thought
Demosthenes must toil ;
But works of art are works indeed,
And always “smell of oil.”
Yet painting pictures some folks think
Is merely play and fun;
That what is on an easel set
Must easily be done.
Dut, zounds ! if they could sit in this
They’d very soon be glad enough
To cut the Camel's hair.
Oh! who can tell the pang it is
To sit as I this day—
With all my canvas spread, and yet
Without an inch of way.
Till, mad at last to find I am
Amongst such empty skullers,
I feel that I could strike myself
But no—I’ll “strike my colors.”
“Metaphysics were a large field in which to exercise the weapons logic had put into their hands.”—SCRIBLERUs.
SEE here two cavillers,
Of abstruse theory and questions mystical,
And deep debate,
Wrangling according to forms syllogistical.
Glowing and ruddy
The light streams in upon their deep brown study,
And settles on our bald logician's skull;
But still his meditative eye looks dull
For he is gazing inwardly, like Plato;
But to the world without
And things about,
His eye is blind as that of a potato:
In fact, logicians
See but by syllogisms—taste and smell
And never let the common dray-horse senses
How wise his brow ! how eloquent his nose'
The feature of itself is a negation
How gravely double is his chin, that shows
His scornful lip forestals the confutations
O this is he that wisely with a major
And minor proves a greengage is no gauger!—
By help of ergo,
That cheese of Sage will make no mite the sager.
And Taurus is no bull to toss up Virgo —
O this is he that logically tore his
Dog into dogmas—following Aristotle—
Cut up his cat into ten categories,
And cork'd an abstract conjuror in a bottle !
O this is he that disembodied matter,
And proved that incorporeal corporations
Put nothing in no platter,
And for mock turtle only supp'd sensations !
O this is he that palpably decided,
With grave and mathematical precision,
IIow often atoms may be subdivided
By long division;
O this is he that show'd I is not I,
And made a ghost of personal identity;
Proved “Ipse” absent by an alibi,
And frisking in some other person's entity:—
He sounded all philosophies in truth,
Whether old schemes or only supplemental;
And had, by virtue of his wisdom-tooth,
A dental knowledge of the transcendental
The other is a shrewd severer wight,
Sharp argument hath worn him nigh the bone:
For why? he never let dispute alone,
A logical knight-errant,
That wrangled ever—morning, noon, and night,
From night to morn: he had no wife apparent
But Barbara Celárent l
Woe unto him he caught in a dilemma,
For on the point of his two fingers full
He took the luckless wight, and gave with them a
Most deadly toss, like any baited bull.
Woe unto him that ever dared to breathe
A sophism in his angry ear ! for that
He took ferociously between his teeth,
And shook it like a terrier with a rat l—
In fact, old Controversy ne'er begat
One half so cruel
And dangerous as he, in verbal duel !
No one had ever so complete a fame
As a debater ;
And for art logical his name was greater
Than Dr. Watts's name l—
Look how they sit together Two bitter desperate antagonists, Licking each other with their tongues, like fists, Merely to settle whether This world of ours had ever a beginning— Whether created, Vaguely undated, Or Time had any finger in its spinning: When, lo!—for they are sitting at the basement— A hand, like that upon Belshazzar's wall, Lets fall A written paper through the open casement.
“O foolish wits 1 (thus runs the document)
To twist your brains into a double knot
On such a barren question I Be content
That there is such a fair and pleasant spot
For your enjoyment as this verdant earth.
Go eat and drink, and give your hearts to mirth,
For vainly ye contend;
Before you can decide about its birth,
The world will have an end s”
I wonDER that W , the Ami des Enfans, has never written a sonnet, or ballad, on a girl that had broken her pitcher. There are in the subject the poignant heart's anguish for sympathy and description;–and the brittleness of jars and joys, with the abrupt loss of the watery fruits— (the pumpkins as it were) of her labors, for a moral. In such childish accidents there is a world of woe;—the fall of earthenware is to babes, as, to elder contemplations, the Fall of Man.
I have often been tempted myself to indite a didactic ode to that urchin in Hogarth, with the ruined pie-dish. What a lusty agony is wringing him—so that all for pity he could die;—and then, there is the instantaneous falling-on of the Beggar Girl, to lick up the fragments—expressively hinting how universally want and hunger are abounding in this miserable world—and ready gaping at every turn, for such windfalls and stray Godsends. But, hark —what a shrill, feline cry startleth the wide Aldgate
Oh! what’s befallen Bessy Brown,
She stands so squalling in the street;
She’s let her pitcher tumble down,
And all the water's at her feet l