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Mine are the gallant schemes of politesse,
For books and buildings, politics and dress.
This is true taste, and whoso likes it not,
Is blockhead, coxcomb, puppy, fool, and sot.


BORN 1688.-DIED 1745.


WILLIAM Meston was born in the parish of Midmar, in Aberdeenshire. He received a liberal education at the Marischal College of Aberdeen, and was for some time one of the teachers in the High School of that city. He removed from that situation to be preceptor to the young Earl of Marshal, and to his brother, who was afterwards the celebrated Marshal Keith, and by the interest of the family was appointed professor of philosophy in the Marischal College. On the breaking out of the rebellion of 1715, he followed the fortunes of his misguided patrons, who made him governor of Dunotter Castlé. After the battle of Sherrif-Muir, till the act of indemnity was passed, he lurked with a few fugitive associates, for whose amusement he wrote several of the burlesque poenis to which he gave the title of Mother Grim's Tales. Not being restored to his professorship, he lived for some time on the hospitality of the Countess of Marshal, and after her death established an academy successively at Elgin, Turiff, Montrose, and Perth, in all of which

places he failed, apparently from habits of careless expense and conviviality. The Countess of Elgin supported him during the decline of his latter days, till he removed to Aberdeen, where he died of a languishing distemper. He is said to have been a man of wit and pleasantry in conversation, and of considerable attainments in classical and mathe. matical knowledge.



From Mother Grim's Tales,
Sages and moralists can show
Many misfortunes here below;
A truth which no one ever miss'd,
Though neither sage nor moralist,
Yet all the troubles notwithstanding,
Which fate or fortune has a hand in,
Fools to themselves will more create,
In spite of fortune and of fate.
Thus oft are dreaming wretches seen,
Tortur'd with vapours and with spleen,
Transform’d, at least in their own eyes,
To China, glass, or mutton pies;
Others will to themselves appear
Stone dead as Will the Conqueror.

There liv'd a gentleman, possess'd
Of all that mortals reckon best;

as e'er

A seat well chosen, wholesome air,
With gardens and with prospect fair;
His land from debt and jointure free,

money never in South Sea;
His health of body firm and good,
Though past the hey-day of his blood;
His consort fair, and good, and kind,
His children rising to his mind;
His friends ingenuous and sincere,
His honour, nay, his conscience, clear:
He wanted nought of human bliss
But power to taste his happiness.
Too near, alas! this great man's hal},
A merry Cobbler had a stall ;
An arch old

wag you knew,
With breeches red and jerkin blue;
Cheerful at working as at play,
He sung and whistled life away.
When rising morning glads the sky,
Clear as the merry

lark on high;
When evening shades the landscape veil,
Late warbling as the nightingale.
Though pence came slow, and trade was ill,
Yet still he sung, and whistled still ;
Though patch'd his garb, and coarse his fare,
He laugh'd and cast away old care.
The rich man view'd with discontent
His tatter'd neighbour's merriment;
With envy grudg’d, and pin’d to see
A beggar pleasanter than he;

And by degrees to hate began
Th' intolerable happy man,
Who haunted him like any sprite,
From morn to eve, by day and night.

It chanc'd as once in bed he lay, When dreams are true, at break of day, He heard the Cobbler at his sport, And on a sudden to cut short. Whether his morning draught he took, Or warming whiff of morning smoke, The squire suspected, being shrewd, This silence boded him no good; And 'cause he nothing saw or heard, A Machiavelian plot he fear'd. Straight circumstances crowded plain, To vex and plague his jealous brain; Trembling, in panic dread he lies, With gaping mouth and staring eyes ; And straining, lustful, both his ears, He soon persuades himself he hears One skip and caper up the stairs ; Sees the door open quick, and knew His dreaded foe in red and blue; Who, with a running jump, he thought, Leapt plumb directly down his throat, Laden with tackle of his stall, Last, ends and hammer, strap and awl. No sooner down, than, with a jerk,

He fell to music and to work. VOL. IV.


If much he griev'd our Don before,
When but o' th' outside of the door,
How sorely must he now molest,
When got the inside of his breast ?
The waking dreamer groans and swells,
And pangs imaginary feels :
Catches and scraps of tunes he hears
For ever ringing in his ears ;
Ill savour'd smells his nose displease,
Mundungus strong, and rotten cheese:
He feels him when he draws his breath,
Or tugs the leather with his teeth,
Or beats the sole, or else extends
His arm to th' utmost of his ends,
Enough to crack, when stretch'd so wide,
The ribs of any mortal side.
Is there no method then, to fly
This vile intestine enemy?
What can be done in this condition,
But sending instant for physician?
The doctor, having heard the case,
Burst into laughter in his face,
Told him he need no more than rise,
Open his windows and his eyes,
Whistling and stitching, there to see
The Cobbler as he used to be.
“ Sir," quoth the patient, “ your pretences
Shall ne'er persuade me from my senses.
How should I rise? the heavy brute
Will hardly let me wag a foot.

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