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Here lies the good Dean, re-united to earth, Who mix'd reason with pleasure, and wisdom with mirth : If he had any faults, he has left us in doubt, At least, in six weeks, I could not find 'em out; Yet some have declar'd, and it can't be denied 'em, That sly-boots was cursedly cunning to hide 'em.
Here lies our good Edmund, whose genius was such, We scarcely can praise it, or blame it too much; Who, born for the universe, narrow'd his mind, And to party gave up what was meant for mankind. Though fraught with all learning, yet straining his throat To persuade Tommy Townshend to lend him a vote; Who, too deep for his hearers, still went on refining, And thought of convincing, while they thought of dining; Though equal to all things, for all things unfit, Too nice for a statesman, too proud for a wit: For a patriot, too cool ; for a drudge, disobedient; And too fond of the right to pursue the expedient. In short, 'twas his fate, unemploy'd, or in place, sir, To eat mutton cold, and cut blocks with a razor.
Here lies honest William, whose heart was a mint,
While the owner ne'er knew half the good that was in't;
The pupil of impulse, it forc'd him along,
His conduct still right, with his argument wrong ;
Still aiming at honour, yet fearing to roam,
The coachman was tipsy, the chariot drove home;
ask for his merits ? alas ! he had none; What was good was spontaneous, his faults were his own.
Here lies honest Richard, whose fate I must sigh at;
Alas, that such frolic should now be so quiet;
What spirits were his ! what wit and what whim !
Now breaking a jest, and now breaking a limb;
Now wrangling and grumbling to keep up the ball,
Now teasing and vexing, yet laughing at all!
In short, so provoking a devil was Dick,
That we wish'd him full ten times a day at Old Nick ;
But, missing his mirth and agreeable vein,
As often we wish'd to have Dick back again.
Here Cumberland lies, having acted his parts,
The Terence of England, the mender of hearts;
A flattering painter, who made it his care
To draw men as they ought to be, not as they are.
His gallants are all faultless, his women divine,
And comedy wonders at being so fine ;
Like a tragedy queen he has dizen'd her out,
Or rather like tragedy giving a rout.
His fools have their follies so lost in a crowd
Of virtues and feelings, that folly grows proud ;
And coxcombs, alike in their failings alone,
Adopting his portraits, are pleased with their own.
Say, where has our poet this malady caught?
Or, wherefore his characters thus without fault?
Say, was it that vainly directing his view
To find out men's virtues, and finding them few,
Quite sick of pursuing each troublesome elf,
He grew lazy at last, and drew from himself?
Here Douglas retires, from his toils to relax,
The scourge of impostors, the terror of quacks:
Come, all ye quack bards, and ye quacking divines,
Come, and dance on the spot where your tyrant reclines:
When Satire and Censure encircl'd his throne,
I fear'd for your safety, I fear’d for my own;
But now he is gone, and we want a detector,
Our Dodds shall be pious, our Kenricks shall lecture ;
Macpherson write bombast, and call it a style,
Our Townshend make speeches, and I shall compile;
New Lauders and Bowers the Tweed shall cross over,
No countryman living their tricks to discover;
Detection her taper shall quench to a spark,
And Scotchmen meet Scotchmen, and cheat in the dark.
Here lies David Garrick, describe me who can,
An abridgment of all that was pleasant in man;
As an actor, confessed without rival to shine:
As a wit, if not first, in the very first line:
Yet, with talents like these, and an excellent heart,
The man had his failings, a dupe to his art.
Like an ill-judging beauty, his colours he spread,
And beplaster'd with rouge his own natural red.
On the stage he was natural, simple, affecting;
'Twas only that when he was off he was acting.
With no reason on earth to go out of his way,
He turn'd and he varied full ten times a day.
Though secure of our hearts, yet confoundedly sick
If they were not his own by finessing and trick:
He cast off his friends, as a huntsman his pack,
For he knew when he pleas’d he could whistle them back.
Of praise a mere glutton, he swallowed what came,
And the puff of a dunce he mistook it for fame;
Till his relish grown callous, almost to disease,
Who pepper'd the highest was surest to please.
But let us be candid, and speak out our mind,
If dunces applauded, he paid them in kind.
Ye Kenricks, ye Kellys, and Woodfalls so grave,
What a commerce was yours, while you got and you gave !
How did Grub-street re-echo the shouts that you rais'd,
While he was be-Roscius'd, and you were be-prais'd !
But peace to his spirit, wherever it flies,
To act as an angel, and mix with the skies:
Those poets, who owe their best fame to his skill,
Shall still be his flatterers, go where he will.
Old Shakespeare, receive him, with praise and with love,
And Beaumonts and Bens be his Kellys above.
Here Hickey reclines, a most blunt, pleasant creature,
And slander itself must allow him good nature:
He cherish'd his friend, and he relish'd a bumper;
Yet one fault he had, and that one was a thumper.
Perhaps you may ask if the man was a miser?
answer, no, no, for he always was wiser:
Too courteous, perhaps, or obligingly flat ?
His very worst foe can't accuse him of that:
Perhaps he confided in men as they go,
And so was too foolishly honest? Ah no!
Then what was his failing ? come tell it, and burn ye !
He was, could he help it ?-a special attorney.
Here Reynolds is laid, and to tell you my mind,
He has not left a wiser or better behind,
His pencil was striking, resistless, and grand;
His manners were gentle, complying, and bland ;
Still born to improve us in every part,
His pencil our faces, his manners our heart :
To coxcombs averse, yet most civilly steering,
When they judg'd without skill he was still hard of hearing :
When they talk'd of their Raphaels, Correggios, and stuff,
He shifted his trumpet, and only took snuff.
A POETICAL EPISTLE TO LORD CLARE
'HANKS, my lord, for your venison, for finer or fatter
Never rang'd in a forest, or smok'd in a platter;
The haunch was a picture for painters to study,
The fat was so white, and the lean was so ruddy.
Though my stomach was sharp, I could scarce help regretting
To spoil such a delicate picture by eating;
I had thoughts, in my chambers, to place it in view,
To be shown to my friends as a piece of virtù ;
As in some Irish houses, where things are so so,
of bacon hangs up
for a show:
But for eating a rasher of what they take pride in,
They'd as soon think of eating the pan it is fried in.
But hold—let me pause-Don't I hear you pronounce
This tale of the bacon a damnable bounce?
Well, suppose it a bounce—sure a poet may try,
By a bounce now and then, to get courage to fly.
But, my lord, it's no bounce: I protest in my turn,
It's a truth-and your lordship may ask Mr. Byrne.
To go on with my tale—as I gaz’d on the haunch,
I thought of a friend that was trusty and staunch;
So I cut it, and sent it to Reynolds undress’d,
To paint it, or eat it, just as he lik'd best.
Of the neck and the breast I had next to dispose ;
'Twas a neck and a breast—that might rival M—'s:
But in parting with these I was puzzled again,
With the how, and the who, and the where, and the when.
There's H-d, and C—y, and H-rth, and H-ff,
I think they love venison—I know they love beef;
There's my countryman H-gg-ns-Oh! let him alone,
For making a blunder, or picking a bone.
30 But hang it—to poets who seldom can eat, Your very good mutton's a very good treat; Such dainties to them, their health it might hurt, It's like sending them ruffles, when wanting a shirt. While thus I debated, in reverie centred, An acquaintance, a friend as he call'd himself, enter'd; An under-bred, fine-spoken fellow was he, And he smil'd as he look'd at the venison and me. •What have we got here?Why this is good eating ! Your own,
suppose—or is it in waiting?? •Why, whose should it be?' cried I with a flounce, • I get these things often;'—but that was a bounce : Some lords, my acquaintance, that settle the nation, Are pleas'd to be kind—but I hate ostentation.'
If that be the case, then, cried he, very gay, • I'm glad I have taken this house in my way. To-morrow you take a poor dinner with me; No words—I insist on’t-precisely at three: We'll have Johnson, and Burke ; all the wits will be there; My acquaintance is slight, or I'd ask my Lord Clare. 50
And now that I think on't, as I am a sinner!
We wanted this venison to make out the dinner.
What say you—a pasty? it shall, and it must,
And my wife, little Kitty, is famous for crust.
Here, porter !—this venison with me to Mile-end;
No stirring-I beg-my dear friend-my dear friend !"
Thus snatching his hat, he brush'd off like the wind,
And the porter and eatables follow'd behind.
Left alone to reflect, having emptied my shelf,
· And nobody with me at sea but myself;'
Though I could not help thinking my gentleman hasty,
Yet Johnson, and Burke, and a good venison pasty,
Were things. that I never dislik’d in my life,
Though clogg'd with a coxcomb, and Kitty his wife.
So next day, in due splendour to make my approach,
I drove to his door in my own hackney-coach.
When come to the place where we all were to dine,
(A chair-lumber'd closet just twelve feet by nine :)
My friend bade me welcome, but struck me quite dumb,
With tidings that Johnson and Burke would not come;
· For I knew it,' he cried, 'both eternally fail,
The one with his speeches, and tother with Thrale;
But no matter, I'll warrant we'll make
With two full as clever, and ten times as hearty.
The one is a Scotchman, the other a Jew,
They both of them merry and authors like you;
The one writes the Snarler, the other the Scourge ;
Some think he writes Cinna—he owns to Panurge.'
While thus he describ’d them by trade and by name,
They enter'd, and dinner was serv'd as they came.
At the top a fried liver and bacon were seen; At the bottom was tripe in a swingeing tureen ; At the sides there was spinach and pudding made hot; In the middle a place where the pasty-was not. Now, my lord, as for tripe, it's my utter aversion, And your bacon I hate like a Turk or a Persian; So there I sat stuck, like a horse in a pound, While the bacon and liver went merrily round. But what vex'd me most was that d-'d Scottish rogue, With his long-winded speeches, his smiles, and his brogue; 90 And, 'Madam,' quoth he, 'may this bit be my poison, A prettier dinner I never set eyes on; Pray a slice of your liver, though may I be curs’d, But I've eat of your tripe till I'm ready to burst.'