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And who, while memory loves to dwell
How pleasant, from that dome-crowned hill,
To view the varied scene below,
Woods, ships, and spires, and, 'lovelier still,
The circling Thames' majestic flow !
How sweet, as indolently laid,
We overhung that long-drawn dale,
To watch the checkered light and shade
That glanced upon the shifting sail !
And when the shadow's rapid growth
Proclaimed the noontide hour expired,
And, though unwearied, ' nothing loath,
We to our simple meal retired ;
The sportive wile, the blameless jest,
The careless mind's spontaneous flow,
Gave to that simple meal a zest
Which richer tables may not know.
The babe that on the mother's breast
Has toyed and wantoned for a while,
And sinking in unconscious rest,
Looks up to catch a parting smile;
Feels less assured than thou, dear maid,
When, ere thy ruby lips could part-
As close to mine thy cheek was laid-
Thine eyes had opened all thy heart.
Then, then I marked the chastened joy
That lightly o'er thy features stole, The above affecting elegiac stanzas were written From vows repaid—my sweet employby Gifford on a faithful attendant who died in his
From truth, from innocence of soul : service. He erected a tombstone to her memory
While every word dropt on my ear in the burying-ground of Grosvenor Chapel, South
So soft-and yet it seemed to thrillAudley Street, with the following inscription and
So sweet that 'twas a heaven to hear, epitaph :
And e'en thy pause had music still. Here lies the body of Ann Davies, (for more than And oh ! how like a fairy dream twenty years) servant to William Gifford. She died To gaze in silence on the tide, February 6th, 1815, in the forty-third year of her age, of
While soft and warm the sunny gleam a tedious and painful malady, which she bore with ex
Slept on the glassy surface wide ! emplary patience and resignation. Her deeply afflicted
And many a thought of fancy bred, master erected this stone to her memory, as a painful
Wild, soothing, tender, undefined, testimony of her uncommon worth and of his perpetual
Played lightly round the heart, and shed gratitude, respect, and affection for her long and meri
Delicious languor o'er the mind. torious services.
So hours like moments winged their flight, Though here unknown, dear Ann, thy ashes rest,
Till now the boatmen on the shore, Still lives thy memory in one grateful breast,
Impatient of the waning light,
Recalled us by the dashing oar.
I cannot, must not hope to share ;
For I have found an hour of bliss Who beamed on thine, illume my parting hour!
Still followed by an age of care.
Yet oft when memory intervenes-
But you, dear maid, be happy still,
Nor e'er regret, midst fairer scenes, And those are paid whom earth could never pay.
The day we passed on Greenwich Hill.
FIRST OF MAY.
And keen and eager blew the blast,
As, doubtful, to the skiff we passed :
Gave promise of a brighter day;
The blasts in zephyrs died away.
On which we both-and yet, who knows !--
And dread no thorn beneath the rose.
THE ANTI-JACOBIN POETRY. We have alluded to the Anti-acobin weekly paper, of which Mr Gifford was editor. In this publication, various copies of verses were inserted, chiefly of a satirical nature. The poetry, like the prose, of the Anti-Jacobin was designed to ridicule and discountenance the doctrines of the French Revolution; and as party-spirit ran high, those effusions were marked occasionally by fierce personality and declamatory violence. Others, however, written in travesty, or contempt of the bad taste and affectation of some of the works of the day, contained well-directed and witty satire, aimed by no common hand, and pointed with
irresistible keenness. Among those who mixed concentrates the power to be put forth on an adequate in this loyal warfare was Mr J. H. FRERE (noticed occasion. But God forbid that that occasion should in a subsequent section), and GEORGE CANNING arise. After a war sustained for nearly a quarter of a (1770-1827), whose fame as an orator and states-century-sometimes single-handed, and with all Europe man fills so large a space in the modern history arranged at times against her or at her side, England of Britain. Canning was then young and ardent, needs a period of tranquillity, and may enjoy it without full of hope and ambition. Without family dis
fear of misconstruction. tinction or influence, he relied on his talents for future advancement; and from interest, no less The Friend of Humanity and the Knife-grinder, than feeling and principle, he exerted them in
In this piece, Canning ridicules the youthful Jacobin effusions support of the existing administration. Previous of Southey, in which, he says, it was sedulously inculcated that to this, he had distinguished himself at Eton there was a natural and eternal warfare between the poor and the School for his classical acquirements and literary for ludicrous parody, and Canning quotes the following stanza, lest talents. To a periodical work, the
Microcosm, he he should be suspected of painting from fancy, and not from life: contributed several clever essays. Entering parlia 'Cold was the night-wind : drifting fast the snows fell; ment in 1793, he was, in 1796, appointed under Wide were the downs, and shelterless and naked; secretary of state, and it was at the close of the
When a poor wanderer struggled on her journey,
Weary and way-sore.' following year that the Anti-Jacobin was commenced, Gifford being editor. The contributions
FRIEND OF HUMANITY. of Mr Canning consist of parodies on Southey
Needy Knife-grinder! whither are you going? and Darwin, the greater part of The Rovers-a
Rough is your road, your wheel is out of order; burlesque on the sentimental German drama
Bleak blows the blast-your hat has got a hole in 't, and New Morality, a spirited and caustic satire,
So have your breeches! directed against French principles, and their sup Weary Knife-grinder ! little think the proud ones, porters in England. In this poem of New Mor Who in their coaches roll along the turnpikeality occur four lines often quoted :
Road, what hard work 'tis crying all day, ' Knives and
Scissors to grind O!' Give me the avowed, the erect, the manly foe; Bold I can meet-perhaps may turn his blow;
Tell me, Knife-grinder, how came you to grind knives? But of all plagues, good Heaven, thy wrath can send,
Did some rich man tyrannically use you? Save, save, oh! save me from the candid friend!
Was it the squire, or parson of the parish,
Or the attorney ? As party effusions, these pieces were highly popu
Was it the squire, for killing of his game? or lar and effective ; and that they are still read Covetous parson, for his tithes distraining ? with pleasure on account of their wit and humour,
Or roguish lawyer, made you lose your little and also perhaps on account of their slashing and
All in a lawsuit? ferocious style, is instanced by the fact, that the Poetry of the Anti-Jacobin, collected and pub
(Have you not read the Rights of Man, by Tom lished in a separate form, has attained to a sixth
Paine ?) edition. The genius of Canning found after
Drops of compassion tremble on my eyelids,
Ready to fall, as soon as you have told your wards a more appropriate field in parliament.
Pitiful story. As a statesman, 'just alike to freedom and the throne, though somewhat prone to intrigue, and
KNIFE-GRINDER. as an orator, eloquent, witty, and of consum
Story! God bless you ! I have none to tell, sir ; mate taste, his reputation is established. He had,
Only last night a-drinking at the Chequers, however, a strong bias in favour of elegant litera
This poor old hat and breeches, as you see, were
Torn in a scuffle. ture, and would have become no mean poet and author, had he not embarked so early on public Constables came up for to take me into life, and been so incessantly occupied with its Custody; they took me before the justice ; cares and duties. From a speech delivered at Justice Oldmixon put me in the parishPlymouth in 1823, we extract a short passage con
Stocks for a vagrant. taining a fine simile :
I should be glad to drink your honour's health in
A pot of beer, if you will give me sixpence ;
But for my part, I never love to meddle
With politics, sir. In cherishing those resources, we but accumulate those
FRIEND OF HUMANITY. means. Our present repose is no more a proof of
I give thee sixpence! I will see thee d—d firstinability to act, than the state of inertness and inactivity in which I have seen those mighty masses that float in
Wretch, whom no sense of wrongs can rouse to the waters above your town, is a proof they are devoid
vengeanceof strength, and incapable of being fitted out for action.
Sordid, unfeeling, reprobate, degraded, You well know, gentlemen, how soon one of those
Spiritless outcast ! stupendous masses, now reposing on their shadows in (Kicks the Knife-grinder, overturns his wheel, and exit in a perfect stillness-how soon upon any call of patriotism,
transport of republican enthusiasm and universal philanor of necessity, it would assume the likeness of an
thropy.] animated thing, instinct with life and motion-how soon it would ruffle, as it were, its swelling plumage
Song by Rogero in · The Rovers.' how quickly it would put forth all its beauty and its Whene'er with haggard eyes I view bravery, collect its scattered elements of strength, and
This dungeon that I'm rotting in, awaken its dormant thunder. Such as is one of these I think of those companions true magnificent machines when springing from inaction
Who studied with me at the U. into a display of its might-such is England herself :
niversity of Gottingen, while apparently passive and motionless, she silently
niversity of Gottingen.
[Weeps and pulls out a blue kerchief, with which he wipes kis the Pursuits of Literature, in four parts, the first of eyes; gasing tenderly at it, he proceeds.)
which appeared in 1794. Though published anonSweet kerchief, checked with heavenly blue, ymously, this work was written by Mr THOMAS Which once my love sat knotting in
JAMES MATHIAS, a distinguished scholar, who Alas, Matilda then was true !
died at Naples in 1835. Mr Mathias was someAt least I thought so at the U.
time treasurer of the household to her majesty niversity of Gottingen,
Queen Charlotte. He took his degree of B.A. in niversity of Gottingen.
Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1774. Besides the [At the repetition of this line, Rogero clanks his chains in Pursuits of Literature, Mr Mathias was author of cadence.)
some Runic Odes, imitated from the Norse Tongue; Barbs! barbs! alas ! how swift you flew The Imperial Epistle from Kien Long to George Her neat post-wagon trotting in !
III. (1794), The Shade of Alexander Pope, a Ye bore Matilda from my view;
satirical poem (1798); and various other light Forlorn I languished at the U
evanescent pieces on the topics of the day. Mr niversity of Gottingen,
Mathias also wrote some Latin odes, and translated niversity of Gottingen,
into Italian several English poems. He wrote This faded form ! this pallid hue !
Italian with elegance and purity, and it has been This blood my veins is clotting in,
said that no Englishman, since the days of Milton, My years are many—they were few
has cultivated that language with so much success. When first I entered at the U.
The Pursuits of Literature contains some pointed niversity of Gottingen, satire on the author's poetical contemporaries, and
niversity of Gottingen. is enriched with a vast variety of notes, in which There first for thee my passion grew,
there is a great display of learning George Sweet, sweet Matilda Pottingen!
Steevens said the poem was merely a peg, to Thou wast the daughter of my Tu
hang the notes on. The want of true poetical tor, law professor at the U
genius to vivify this mass of erudition has been niversity of Gottingen,
fatal to Mr Mathias. His works appear to be niversity of Gottingen.
DR JOHN WOLCOT.
DR JOHN WOLCOT (1738-1819) was a coarse
but lively satirist, who, under the name of Peter niversity of Gottingen.*
Pindar,' published a variety of effusions on the
topics and public men of his times, which were (During the last stanza, Rogero dashes his head repeatedly against eagerly read and widely circulated. Many of them
visible contusion. He then throws himself on the floor in an were in ridicule of the reigning sovereign, George agony. The curtain drops, the music still continuing to play III., who was a good subject for the poet; though till it is wholly fallen.)
the latter, as he himself acknowledged, was a bad The following epitaph on his son who died in subject to the king. Wolcot was born at Dod1820, shews that Canning could write in a brooke, a village in Devonshire, in the year 1738. tender and elegiac as well as satirical strain. His uncle, a respectable surgeon and apothecary
at Fowey, took the charge of his education, intendMr Canning's Epitaph on his Son.
ing that he should become his own assistant and
successor in business. Wolcot was instructed in Though short thy span, God's unimpeached decrees, medicine, and 'walked the hospitals' in London, Which made that shortened span one long disease,
after which he proceeded to Jamaica with Sir Yet, merciful in chastening, gave thee scope
William Trelawney, governor of that island, who For mild redeeming virtues, faith and hope, Meek resignation, pious charity;
had engaged him as his medical attendant. The And, since this world was not the world for thee,
social habits of the doctor rendered him a favourFar from thy path removed, with partial care,
ite in Jamaica ; but his time being only partly Strife, glory, gain, and pleasure's flowery snare ;
employed by his professional avocations, he solicBade earth's temptations pass thee harmless by,
ited and obtained from his patron the gift of a And fixed on Heaven thine unreverted eye!
living in the church, which happened to be then Oh! marked from birth, and nurtured for the skies! vacant. The bishop of London ordained the In youth, with more than learning's wisdom wise ! graceless neophyte, and Wolcot entered upon his As sainted martyrs, patient to endure !
sacred duties. His congregation consisted mostly Simple as unweaned infancy, and pure !
of negroes, and Sunday being their principal Pure from all stain---save that of human clay,
holiday and market, the attendance at the church Which Christ's atoning blood hath washed away!
was very limited. Sometimes not a single person By mortal sufferings now no more oppressed, Mount, sinless spirit, to thy destined rest!
came, and Wolcot and his clerk, the latter being While I-reversed our nature's kindlier doom
an excellent shot-used at such times, after waitPour forth a father's sorrows on thy tomb.
ing for ten minutes, to proceed to the sea-side, to
enjoy the sport of shooting ring-tailed pigeons ! A satirical poem, which attracted much attention The death of Sir William Trelawney cut off all in literary circles at the time of its publication, was
further hopes of preferment, and every induce
ment to a longer residence in the island. Bidd* It is stated by Mr C. Edmonds, editor of Poetry of the Anti- ing adieu to Jamaica and the church, Wolcot seen, previous to its publication, by Mr Pitt, he was so amused with established himself as a physician at Truro, in Jacobin (1854), that the above song, having been accidentally accompanied Lady Trelawney to England, and it that he took a pen, and composed the last stanza on the Cornwall
. He inherited about £2000 by the death spot.
of his uncle. While resident at Truro, Wolcot payable half-yearly, for the copyright of his works. discovered the talents of Opie
This handsome allowance he enjoyed, to the heavy The Cornish boy in tin-mines bred
loss of the other parties, for upwards of twenty
years. Neither old age nor blindness could repress whose genius as an artist afterwards became so his witty vituperative attacks. He had recourse distinguished. He also materially assisted to form to an amanuensis, in whose absence, however, his taste and procure him patronage ; and when he continued to write himself, till within a short Opie's name was well established, the poet and period of his death. ‘His method was to tear a his protégé, forsaking the country, repaired to sheet of paper into quarters, on each of which he London, as affording a wider field for the exertions wrote a stanza of four or six lines, according to of both. Wolcot had already acquired some distinc- the nature of the poem : the paper he placed on a tion by his satirical efforts; and he now poured book held in the left hand, and in this manner forth a series of odes and epistles, commencing not only wrote legibly, but with great ease and with the Royal Academicians, whom he ridiculed celerity. In 1796, his poetical effusions were with great success and some justice. In 1785 he collected and published in four volumes 8vo, and produced no less than twenty-three odes. In 1786 subsequent editions have been issued; but most he published The Lousiad, a Heroi-comic Poem, in of the poems have sunk into oblivion. Few five cantos, which had its foundation in the fact, satirists can reckon on permanent popularity, and that an obnoxious insect-either of the garden or the poems of Wolcot were in their nature of an the body-had been discovered on the king's plate ephemeral description ; while the recklessness of among some green peas, which produced a solemn his censure and ridicule, and the want of decency, decree that all the servants in the royal kitchen of principle, and moral feeling, that characterises were to have their heads shaved. In the hands nearly the whole, precipitated their downfall. He of an unscrupulous satirist like Wolcot, this died at his house in Somers' Town on the 14th ridiculous incident was an admirable theme. The January 1819, and was buried in a vault in the publication of Boswell's Journal of a Tour to the churchyard of St Paul's, Covent Garden, close Hebrides afforded another tempting opportunity, to the grave of Butler.' Wolcot was equal to and he indited a humorous poetical epistle to the Churchill as a satirist, as ready and versatile in biographer, commencing :
his powers, and possessed of a quick sense of the O Boswell, Bozzy, Bruce, whate'er thy name,
ludicrous, as well as a rich vein of fancy and Thou mighty shark for anecdote and fame;
humour. Some of his songs and serious effusions Thou jackal, leading lion Johnson forth
are tender and pleasing ; but he could not write To eat Macpherson 'midst his native north ; long without sliding into the ludicrous and burTo frighten grave professors with his roar,
lesque. His critical acuteness is evinced in his And shake the Hebrides from shore to shore, Odes to the Royal Academicians, and in various All hail! ...
passages scattered throughout his works; while Triumphant thou through Time's vast gulf shalt sail, his ease and felicity, both of expression and illusThe pilot of our literary whale ;
tration, are remarkable. In the following terse Close to the classic Rambler shalt thou cling,
and lively lines, we have a good caricature sketch Close as a supple courtier to a king;
of Dr Johnson's style :
I own I like not Johnson's turgid style,
Casts of manure a wagon-load around,
Uplifts the club of Hercules—for what? In addition to this effusion, Wolcot levelled
To crush a butterfly or brain a gnat?
Creates a whirlwind from the earth, to draw another attack on Boswell, entitled Bozzy and
A goose's feather or exalt a straw; Piozzi, or the British Biographers. The personal Sets wheels on wheels in motion such a clatterhabits of the king were ridiculed in Peeps at St
To force up one poor nipperkin of water; James's, Royal Visits, Lyric Odes, &c. Sir Joseph Bids ocean labour with tremendous roar, Banks was another subject of his satire :
To heave a cockle-shell upon the shore ;
Alike in every theme his pompous art,
Heaven's awful thunder or a rumbling cart !
The Pilgrims and the Peas.
Were ordered to the Virgin Mary's shrine, Fallen Minister; Epistle to James Bruce, Esq.,
Who at Loretto dwelt in wax, stone, wood, the Abyssinian Traveller; Odes to Mr Paine; Odes
And in a curled white wig looked wondrous fine. to Kien Long, Emperor of China ; Ode to the Fisty long miles had these sad rogues to travel, Livery of London, and brochures of a kindred de With something in their shoes much worse than gravel; scription on most of the celebrated events of the In short, their toes so gentle to amuse, day. From 1778 to 1808, above sixty of these poeti The priest had ordered peas into their shoes. cal pamphlets were issued by Wolcot. So for
A nostrum famous in old popish times midable was he considered, that the ministry, as For purifying souls that stunk with crimes, he alleged, endeavoured to bribe him to silence.
A sort of apostolic salt, He also boasted that his writings had been trans That popish parsons for its powers exalt, lated into six different languages. In 1795, he For keeping souls of sinners sweet, obtained from his booksellers an annuity of £250, Just as our kitchen salt keeps meat.
The knaves set off on the same day,
'Sir, there's no seam,' quoth she ; 'I never knew Peas in their shoes, to go and pray;
That folks did apple dumplings sew;. But very different was their speed, I wot :
"No !' cried the staring monarch with a grin; One of the sinners galloped on,
How, how the devil got the apple in?'
On which the dame the curious scheme revealed
By which the apple lay so sly concealed, One saw the Virgin, soon peccavi cried ;
Which made the Solomon of Britain start ; Had his soul whitewashed all so clever,
Who to the palace with full speed repaired, When home again he nimbly hied,
And queen and princesses so beauteous scared Made fit with saints above to live for ever.
All with the wonders of the dumpling art. In coming back, however, let me say,
There did he labour one whole week to shew He met his brother rogue about half-way,
The wisdom of an apple-dumpling maker ; Hobbling with outstretched hams and bending knees,
And, lo ! so deep was majesty in dough,
The palace seemed the lodging of a baker!
Whitbread's Brewery visited by their Majesties. "How now!' the light-toed whitewashed pilgrim
Full of the art of brewing beer, broke,
The monarch heard of Whitbread's fame; 'You lazy lubber!' *Confound it ! cried the t' other, “'tis no joke ;
Quoth he unto the queen : My dear, my dear,
Whitbread hath got a marvellous great name. My feet, once hard as any rock, Are now as soft as blubber.
Charly, we must, must, must see Whitbread brew
Rich as us, Charly, richer than a Jew. Excuse me, Virgin Mary, that I swear :
Shame, shame we have not yet his brew-house seen!' As for Loretto, I shall not get there ;
Thus sweetly said the king unto the queen. ..
Muse, sing the stir that happy Whitbread made :
Poor gentleman ! most terribly afraid * But, brother sinner, do explain
He should not charm enough his guests divine, How 'tis that you are not in pain
He gave his maids new aprons, gowns, and smocks ; What power hath worked a wonder for your toes And lo! two hundred pounds were spent in frocks, Whilst I, just like a snail, am crawling,
To make the apprentices and draymen fine :
Dogs, cats, and chairs, and stools were tumbled over,
Amidst the Whitbread rout of preparation, “How is 't that you can like a greyhound go,
To treat the lofty ruler of the nation.
Now moved king, queen, and princesses so grand, To walk a little more at ease,
To visit the first brewer in the land ;
Who sometimes swills his beer and grinds his meat
But oftener, charmed with fashionable air,
Amidst the gaudy great of Portman Square.
His Grace the Duke of Montague likewise, Happy in worrying
With Lady Harcourt, joined the raree show A poor defenceless harmless buck
And fixed all Smithfield's wond'ring eyes : The horse and rider wet as muck
For lo! a greater show ne'er graced those quarters, From his high consequence and wisdom stooping, Since Mary roasted, just like crabs, the martyrs. ...
Entered through curiosity a cot,
Thus was the brew-house filled with gabbling noise,
Whilst draymen, and the brewer's boys, The wrinkled, blear-eyed good old granny,
Devoured the questions that the king did ask ; In this same cot, illumed by many a cranny,
In different parties were they staring seen, Had finished apple dumplings for her pot :
Wond’ring to think they saw a king and queen! In tempting row the naked dumplings lay,
Behind a tub were some, and some behind a cask. When lo ! the monarch, in his usual way, Like lightning spoke : What's this? what's this?
Some draymen forced themselves—a pretty luncheonwhat, what ?'
Into the mouth of many a gaping puncheon : Then taking up a dumpling in his hand,
And through the bung-hole winked with curious eye, His eyes with admiration did expand ;
To view and be assured what sort of things And oft did majesty the dumpling grapple: he
Were princesses, and queens, and kings, cried :
For whose most lofty station thousands sigh ! "'Tis monstrous, monstrous hard, indeed !
And lo! of all the gaping puncheon clan,
Few were the mouths that had not got a man !
Now majesty into a pump so deep
Did with an opera-glass so curious peep :
That brought up water !
Thus have I seen a magpie in the street,