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Thou Mind unweary'd! thy long toils are o'er j
Censure and Praise can touch thy ear no more:
Still let me breathe with just regret thy name.
Lament thy foibles, and (by powers proclaim I
On the wide fe* of Letters "twas thy boast
To croud each fall, and touch at every coast:
From that rich dtep how often haft thou brought
The pure and precious pearls of splendid Thought I
How didst thou triumph on that subject-tide.
Till Vanity's wild gust, and stormy Pride,
Drove thy strong bark, in evil hour, to split
Upon the fatal rock of impious Wit!
But be thy failings cover'd by tby tomb!
And guardian laurels o'er thy allies bloom!
From the long annals of the world thy art,
With chemic process, drew the richer part j
To Hist'ry gave a philosophic air,
And made the interest of mankind her care 3
Pleas'd her grave brow with garlands to adorn,
And from the rose of Knowledge strip the thorn..
Thy lively Eloquence, in prose, in verse.
Still keenly bright, and elegantly terse,
Flames with bold spirit; yet is idly rasti:
Thy promis'd light is oft a dazzling flash:
Thy wisdom verges to sarcastic sport,'
Satire thy joy! «nd ridicule thy fort!
But the gay Genius of the Gallic foil,
Shrinking from solemn tasks of serious toil,
Thro' every scene his playful air maintains,
And in the light Memoir unrival'd reigns.
Thy Wits, O France! (as e'en thy Critics own)
Support not History's majestic tone;
Thej', like thy Soldiers, want, in seats of length,
The persevering soul of British strength.
Chmadcn of Camden, Rawlbigh, Clarendos, Buhnet, Ratib,
Hume, Lytteitok. from the fame*
HAIL to thee, Britain! hail! delightful land I
I spring with filial joy to reach thy strand;
And thou! blest nourifher of Souls, sublime
As e'er immortaliz'd their native clime,
Bich in Poetic treasures, yet excuse
The trivial offering of an humble Muse,
Who pants to add, with fears by love o'eifcorslC,
Her mite of Glory to thy countless sum I
With vary'd colours, of the richest die.
Fame's brilliant banners o'er thy Offspring fly:
In native Vigour bald, by Freedom led,
No path of honour have they fail'd to tread: .4
But while they wisely plan, and bravely dart.
Their own achievements are their ktest care.
Tho" Camdfn, rich in Learning's various store,'
Sought i» Tradition's mine Truth's genuine ore,
The waste of Hist'ry lay in lifeless sliade, *"
Tho' RaWleigh's piercing eye that world furvey'd.
Tho' mightier names there cast a casual glance,
They seem'd to sauuter round the field by chance.
Till Clarendon arose, and in the hour
"When civil Discord wak'd each mental Power,
With brave desire to reach this distant goal, •
Strain'd a]l the vigour of his manly foul.
Nor Truth, nor Freedom's injur'd Powers, allow
A wreath unspotted to his haughty brow:
Friendship's him spirit still his fame exalts,
With sweet atonement for his lesser faults.
His pomp of phrase, lib period of a mile,
And all the maze of his bewilder'd style,
Illum'd by warmth of heart, no moreoft'end:
What cannot Taste forgive, in Falkland's friend?
Nor flow his praises from this single source;
One province of his art displays bis force:
His Portraits boast, with features strongly like,
The soft precision of the clear Vandyke:
Tho', lite the Painter, his faint talents yield,
And sink embarrass'd in the Epic sield,
Yet (hall his labours long adorn our isle,
Like the proud glories of some Gothic pile t
They, tho' constructed by a Bigot's hand,
Nor nicely sinisli'd, nor correctly plan'd, • *
With solemn Majesty, and pious Gloom,
An awful influence o'er the mind assume;
And from the alien eyes of every sect
Attract observance, and command respect.
In following years, when thy great name, Nassau f
Etampt the blest deed of Liberty and Law $
Wheu clear, and guiltless of Oppreilion's rage.
There rose in Britain an Augustan age,
And cluster'd Wits, by emulation bright,
Dissus'd o'er Anna's reign their mental light;
That constellation seem'd, itoo' strong its flame,
To want the splendor of Historic fame:
Yet Burnet's page may lasting glory hope,
Howe'er insulted by the spleen of Pope.
Tho' his rough language haste and warmth denote.
With ardent Honesty of soul he wrote;
P 4 Tho
Tho' critic censo-res on his work may (hower,
Like faith, liis freedom has a saving power.
Nor (halt thou want, R \pis! tliy well-earn'd praise,
The sage Polybius thou of modern days!
Thy sword, thy pen, Jiav* both thy name endear'd;
This join d our arms, and that our story cleaf'd:'' ■•
Thy foreign-hmd diloharg'd th' Historian's trust,
Unsway'd by Party, and'to Freedom jutt.
To leiter'd Fame we own thy fair pretence.
From- patient Labour, and from candid Sense.
Yet public Favour, ever hard to six,
Flew fjrom thy page, as heavy and prolix.
For soon,.emerging from the Sophist's school,
With Spirit eager, yet with Judgment cool,
With subtle tkili to steal upon applause,
And give false vigour to the weaker cause j
To paint a specious scene with nicest art,
Retouch the whole, and varnish every partj
Graceful in Style, iti Argument acute;
Master of every trick in keen Dispute I
With these strong powers to form a winning tale,
And hide Deceit in Moderation's veil,
High on the pinnacle of Fashion plac'd,
Hume shone the idol of Historic Taste.
Already, piere'd by Freedom's searching rays,
The waxen fabric of his fame decays.—
Think not, keen Spirit! that these hands presume
To tear each leaf of laurel from thy tomb!
These hands! which, if a heart of human frame
Could stoop to harbour that ungenerous aim,
WouW shield thy grave, and give, with guardian care,
Each type of Eloquence to sionrilh there!
But public Love commands the painful task,
From the pretended Sage to strip the malk,
When his false tongue, averse to Freedom's cause,
Profanes the spirit of her ancient laws.
As Asia's soothing opiate drugs, by stealth,
Shake every slackened nerve, and lap the heahh;
Thy writings thus, with noxious charms resin'd,:
Seeming to soothe its ills, unnerve thelmind. •
While the keen cunning of thy hand pretends
To strike alone at Party's 'abject ends, i
Our hearts more free from Faction's weed's we feel
T5ut they have lost the flower of Patriot zeal.
Wild as thy feeble Metaphysic page,
Thy Hist'ry rambles into Sceptic rage;
Whose' giddy and fantastic dreams abuse
A Hamfcen's Virtue, and a Shakespeare's Muse.
With purer spirit, free from party strife,
To foodie bis evening hour of honour'd life,
See candid Lyttelton at length unfold
The deeds ot liberty in days of old!
Fond of the theme, and narrative with ag*,
He winds the lengthen'd tale thro' many a page;
But there the beams of Patriot Virtue shine;
There Truth and Freedom sanctify the line,
And laurels, due to Civil Wisdom, shield
This noble Nestor of th' Historic field.
The living names, who there display their power,
And give its glory to the present hour,
I pal's with mule regard; in fear to fail,
Weighing their worth in a-suspected scale:
Thy rijjht, Posterity! 1 sacred hold,
To six the stamp on literary gold;
West! if this lighter ore, which I prepare
For thy supreme Assay, with anxious caro,
Thy current sanction unimpeach'd enjoy,
As only tiuctur'd with a llight alloy 1
RONDEAU, Spng hy Mrs. Barthilemon, at Ranelagh.
NIGHT and day the anxious lover
Is attentive to the fair,
Till the doubtful courtship's over:
Is flie then so much his care r
Warm as Summer his addresses,
Hope and ardour's in his eyes;
Cool as Winter his caresses,
When she yields his captive prize.
Now the owner of her beauty,
Sees no more an Angel face;
JIalf is love, the rest is duty:
Pleasure sure is in the chace.
ai8 ANNUAL REGISTER, 17S0.
Account of Books for 1780*
Anecdotes of Painting in England; v.ith some Account of the principal Artists, and incidental Nates on other Arts; collected by the late Mr. George Vertue; and no-w digested and publi/hed from his original MSS. by Mr. Horace "Walpole. Vol. id. arid ^tk.
WE are indebted to our readers a long arrear on the account of the honourable editor of these memoirs. The two first volumes were published in the year 1762: and a short view of the compiler's plan, together with our opinion of the judicious and lively manner in which it was executed, were given in the Annual Register of that date. The third volume came out the following year; but the account of it was deferred till the publication of the fourth and last, which was then promised, and for which we have waited with all the impatience, that the singular merit of the preceding parts had, we believe, very generally excited.
But, how much soever we may have suffered from this delay in the gratification of our curiosity, the motives that occasioned it cannot be sufficiently commended. Mr. Walpole, whose humanity and benevolence are as much admired in private Use, as his sine genius and
lively talents are by the prabSt, was unwilling, as he himself informs us, " to utter even gentle censures, which might wound the affections, or offend the prejudices, of those related to persens, whom truth forbad him to commend
beyond their merits. As he
could not therefore resolve, like most biographists, to dispense universal panegyric, the publication of this last volume, which contain* the lives of artists in the two late reigns, though it had been long written, and even printed, vrei deferred, from motives of tenderness towards their surviving friends and relations." To risk the ride of popular curiosity would have been a dangerous experiment in an author of doubtful reputation. On the other hand, to sacrifice a long period os certain fame to the gratification os a private satisfaction, was still less to be expected from the vanity of an applauded ftvottrite. But Mr. Walpole's genius and virtues make him superior to both these considerations; and he knows that men of true talle will not less admire the beneficent exertions of the one, than the most brilliant productions of tbe other.
The first of the volumes now before us commences with thf reign of Charles the second. "Tk«