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don ordained the graceless neophyte, and Wolcot entered upon his sacred duties. Ilis congregation consisted mostly of negroes, and Sunday being their principal holiday and market, the attendance at the church was very limited. Sometimes not a single person came, and Wolcot and his clerk—the latter being an excellent shot-used at such times, after waiting for ten minutes, to proceed to the sea-side, to enjoy the sport of shooting ring-tail pigeons !
The death of Sir William Trelawney cut off all further hopes of preferment, and every inducement to a longer residence in the island. Bidding adieu to Jamaica and the church, Wolcot accompanied Lady Trelawney to England, and established himself as a physician at Truro, in Cornwall. He inherited about £2000 by the death of his uncle. While resident at Truro, Wolcot discovered the talents of Opie
The Cornish boy in tin-mines bredwhose genius as an artist afterwards became so distinguished. He also materially assisted to form his taste and procure him patronage ; and when Opie's name was well established, the poet and his protégé, forsaking the country, repaired to London,as affording a wider field for the exertions of both. Wolcot had already acquired some distinction by his satirical efforts; and he now poured forth a series of odes and epistles, commencing with the Royal Academicians, whom he ridiculed with great success and some justice. In 1785 he produced no less than twenty-three odes. In 1786 he published • The Lousiad,' a Heroi-comic Poem,' in five cantos, which had its foundation in the fact, that an obnoxious insect-either of the garden or the body--had been discovered on the king's plate among some green peas, which produced a solemn decree that all the servants in the royal kitchen were to have their heads shaved. In the hands of an unscrupulous satirist like Wolcot, this ridiculous incident was an admirable theme. The publication of Boswell's . Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides' afforded another tempting opportunity, and he indited a humorous poetical epistle to the biographer, commencing:
O Boswell, Bozzy, Bruce, whate'er thy name,
All hail !
In addition to this effusion, Wolcot ievelled another attack on Boswell, entitled “Bozzy and Piozzi, or the British Biographers.' The personal habits of the king were ridiculed in Peeps at St. James's,
Royal Visits,' 'Lyric Odes,' &c. Sir Joseph Banks was another subject of his satire:
A president, in butterflies profound,
Of whom all insect-mongers sing the praises,
On violets, dunghills, nettle-tops, and daisies, &c. He had also ‘Instructions to a Celebrated Laureat;' Peter's Pension;' 'Peter's Prophecy;' Epistle to a Fallen Minister;' ` Epistle to James Bruce, Esq., the Abyssian Traveller;' 'Odes to Mr. Paine;' Odes to Kien Long, Emperor of China;''Ode to the Livery of London,' and brochures of a kindred description on most of the celebrated events of the day: From 1778 to 1808, above sixty of these poetical pamphlets were issued by Wolcot. So formidable was he considered, that the ministry, as he alleged, endeavoured to bribe him to silence. He also boasted that his writings had been translated into six differ ent languages. In 1795, he obtained from his booksellers an annuity of £256, payable half-yearly, for the copyright of his works. This handsome allowance he enjoyed, to the heavy loss of the other parties, for upwards of twenty years. Neither old age nor blindness could repress his witty vituperative attacks. He had recourse to an amanuensis, in whose absence, however, he continued to write limself, till within a short period of his death. • His method was to tear a sheet of paper into quarters, on each of which he wrote a stanza of four or six lines, according to the nature of the poem: the paper he placed on a book held in the left hand, and in this manner not only wrote legibly, but with great ease and celerity.'
In 1796, his poetical effusions were collected and published in four volumes 8vo, and subsequent editions have been issued; but most of the poems have sunk into oblivion. Few satirists can reckon on permanent popularity, and the poems of Wolcot were in their nature of an ephemeral description; while the recklessness of his censure and ridicule, and the want of decency, of principle, and moral feeling, that characterises nearly the whole, precipitated their downfall. Ile died at his house in Somers' Town on the 14th January, 1819, and was buried in a vault in the churchyard of St. Paul's, Coveni Garden, close to the grave of Butler. Wolcot was equal to Churchill as a satirist, as ready and versatile in his powers, and possessed of a quick sense of the ludicrous, as well as a rich vein of fancy and hu
Some of his songs and serious effusions are tender and pleasing; but he could not write long without sliding into the ludicrous and burlesque. His critical acuteness is evinced in his Odes to the Royal Academicians,' and in various passages scattered throughout his works; while his ease and felicity, both of expression and illustration, are remarkable. In the following terse and lively lines, we have a good caricature sketch of Dr. Johnson's style:
I own I like not Johnson's turgid style,
The Pilgrims and the Peas.
Were ordered to the Virgin Mary's shrine,
And in a curled white wig looked wondrous fine.
A sort of apostolic salt,
That popish parsons for its powers exalt,
But very different was their speed, I wot.
The other limped as if he had been shot.
Had, his soul whitewashed all so clever,
Made fit with saints above to live forever.
• You lazy lubber?'
Are now as soft as blubber.
Excuse me, Virgin Mary, that I swear:
• But brother sinner, do explain
What power hath worked a wonder for your toes
Whilst not a rascal comes to ease my woes ?
• How is that you can like a greyhound go,
To walk a little more at ease,
The Apple Dumplings and a King-
Whipping and spurring,
Happy in worrying
The horse and rider wet as muck-
Entered through curiosity a cot,
In this same cot, illumed by many a cranny,
In tempting row the naked dumplings lay,
When lo ! the monarch, in his usual way, Like lightning spoke: •What's this? what's this ? whaas ? Then taking up a dumpling in his hand, His eyes with admiration did expand;
And oft did majesty the dumpling grapple: he cried "'Tis monstrous, monstrous hard, indeed! What makes it, pray. so hard ?' The dame replied, : Low curtsying "Please your majesty, the apple.' Very astonishing indeed! strange thing!!Turning the dumpling round-rejoined the king
• 'Tis most extr ordinary, then, all this is It beats Pinette's conjuring all to pieces : Strange I should never of a dumpling dream! But, goody, tell me where, where, where's the seam?' "Sir, there's no seam,' quoth she; “I never knew That folks did apple dumplings sew; No!' cried the staring monarch with a grin; “How, how the devil got the apple in?' On which the dame the curious scheme revealed By which the apple lay so sly concealed,
Which made the Solomon of Britain start; Who to the palace with full speed repaired, And queen and princesses so beauteous scared
All with the wonders of the dumpling art.
There did he labour one whole week to shew
The wisdom of an apple-dumpling maker;
Whitbread's Brewery visited by their Majesties. Full of the art of brewing beer,
The monarch heard of Whitbread's fame; Quoth he unto the queen : “My dear, my dear,
Whitbread hath got a marvellous great name. Charly, we must, must, must see Whitbread brew Rich as us, Charly, richer than a Jew. Shame, shame we have not yet bis brew-house seen!' Thus sweetly said the king unto the queen. Muse, sing the stir that happy Whitbread made: Poor gentleman ! most terribly afraid
He should not charm enough his guests divine, He gave his maids new aprons, gowns, and smocks; And lo! two hundred pounds were spent in frocks,
To make the apprentices and draymen fine: Busy as horses in a field of clover, Dogs, cats, and chairs, and stools were tumbled over, Amidst the Whitbread rout of preparation, To treat the lofty ruler of the nation. Now moved king, queen, and princesses so grand, To visit the first brewer in the land; Who sometimes swills his beer and grinds his meat T In a snug corner, christened Chiswell Street; But oftener, charmed with fashionable air, Amidst the gaudy great of Portman Square. Lord Aylesbury, and Denbigh's lord also,
His Grace the Duke of Montague likewise, With Lady Harcourt, joined the raree show
And fixed all Smithfield's wond'ring eyes: For lo ! a greater show ne'er graced those quarters, Since Mary roasted, just like crabs, the martyrs. . Thus was the brew-honse filled with gabbling noise, Whilst draymen, and the brewer's•boys,
Devoured the questious that the king did ask; In different parties were they staring seen, Wond'ring to think they saw a king and queen!
Behind a tub were some, and some behind a cask. Some draymen forced themselves--a pretty luncheonInto the mouth of many a gaping puncheon :
And through the bung-hole winked with curious eye, To view and
be assured what sort of things Were princesses, and queens, and kings,
For whose most lofty station thousands sigh!
That brought up water !