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, Or else, with humble thoughts, my eyes I'll bend,
The shipwreck'd wanderer oft does listless stray,
Now from his eyes remov'd far, far away ;
Fondly imagines forms of succour nigh,
So I, sad pilgrim, in life's dreary scene,
Goaded by Disappointment's keenest stings, 1. Still trust in the flatterer, Hope ;- still trust, nor ween,
She but her gaudiest tints and colours brings
Some picture rich in sunshine prospects fair,
And leaves, ah, me! her dupe--a victim still to care.
Anecdote relative to Tom Jones.— When Fielding had finished his novel, being much distressed he sold it to an obscure bookseller, for 251. on condition of being paid on a certain given day. In the mean time, he shewed the
MS. to Thomson, the poet, who was immediately struck with its great merit, and advised Fielding by all means to get free from the bargain, which he did without much difficulty, as the bookseller was not capable of estimating the value of his purchase. Thomson recommended the work to Andrew Millar, and the parties met at a tavern over a beef-steak and a bottle. Millar began by saying, “ Mr. Fielding, I always determine on affairs of this sort at once, and never change my offer. I will not give one farthing more than two hundred pounds.” “ Two hundred pounds!” cries Fielding. “ Yes,” says the other, “ and not one farthing more.” Fielding, whose surprise arose from joy, and not disappointment, shook him by the hand, sealed the bargain, and ordered in two bottles of wine. !
Millar got a very large sum by the sale of the book. He at different times during his life, assisted Fielding with 25001. which debt he cancelled in his will.
Extemporaneous Effusion, on seeing the Birth-place of
Robert Burns, the Ayreshire Poet. A painted monitor* now meets the eye,
Where Ayrshire's gifted bard his breath first drew; The sight, like magic, caught me passing by,
And caus'd sensations exquisite as new. “ Blest be the spot, where Scotia's choicest flow'r
« Its charms unfolded to the light of day!” My soul exclaim’d—“upon whose natal hour
“ The sun of genius shed its brightest ray!"
I paus’d—and then, with reverential awe,
Enter'd the cot where once the wonder dwelt; And while his pictur’d semblance there I saw,
My heart successive strong emotions felt. Enchantment's chain awhile my senses hound:
Aerial forms around me seem'd to float; Methought I heard his pastral pipe resound,
Sweet as the warbling woodland's vernal note. Coila, adorn’d in beauty's green attire,
Attended by her nymphs and Naiads fair ; Lugar's weird sisters, Cassillis' fairy choir,
And those that haunt the banks of Doon and Ayr;. Kirk-Alloway's witches, Tam O'Shanter's bale,
In fleet succession rise before my view; And as Illusion's plastic powers prevail,
Death, Hornbook, and Auld Nick were present too.
* In the little village of Alloway stands the cottage in , which Burns was born. It is pointed out to the notice of
travellers, by an inscription painted on a board, which is affixed to the wall. The cottage itself is now converted into an ale-house; and there is a painted likeness of the poet in the parlour.
Fay’rite of genius! soul of fun and fire!
Whose strains in spells of rapture mem’ry bindWhat bard like thee could strike mirth's social lyre,
And rouse the tuneful energies of mind!
From Nature's fount thy Muse her knowledge drew;
Wit's glowing rays thy rapid sketches warm ; At thy command mild pity shed her dew,
Or kindling passion burst into a storm. ..
Well could’st thou trace the secret springs that move
Deceit's dark aim, hypocrisy's deep art; Suspicion, grief, fear, hatred, friendship, love,
And all the inmates of the human heart!
Ah! son of fancy! soon, too soon, that flame,
Which round thee, like a halo, beam’d so bright, Consum'd, by its intensity, thy frame
And earth resign'd thee to the realms of light!
Cromwell and Bonaparte.--The signal revenge taken by Bonaparte on the towns of Erfurth, Weimar, and Halle, on account of a musket being fired at him by an unknown hand, recals to mind the behaviour of our English usurper, Cromwell, in a circumstance something similar :
Lucretia Grenville was betrothed to Francis Duke of Buckingham, at the time that he fell in battle by the hand of Cromwell himself, and upon receiving intelligence of the melancholy, event, she swore to revenge his death on the murderer. During the three succeeding years she exercised herself with pistols in firing at a portrait of Cromwell, which she had selected as a mark, that she might not be awed by the sight of the original ; and, as soon as she thought herself perfect, she found an opportunity of gratifying her revenge But Croinwell seldom appeared in public, and when he did, it was with such precaution, that few could approach his person.
An occasion at length occurred: the city of London resolved to give a magnificent banquet in honour of the protector, who, either from vanity, or with a political view, determined to make his entrance into London in all the splendour of royalty. Upon this being made public, the curiosity of all ranks was excited; and Lucretia Grenville resolved not to neglect so favourable an opportunity. Fortune herself seemed to second her purpose : for it so happened, that the procession was appointed to pass through the very street in which she resided, and a balcony before the first story of her house, yielded her full scope for putting her long premeditated design into effect.
On the day appointed she seated herself, with several other female companions, in the balcony, having on this occasion, for the first time since her lover's death, cast off her mourning, and attired herself in the most sumptuous apparel. It was not without the greatest exertions that she concealed the violent emotion under which she laboured; and when the increasing pressure of the crowd indicated the approach of Cromwell, it bocame so strong, that she nearly fainted, but,