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nally proved and established by my History of Music, I say, I hold it now no alien task to somewhat turn my thoughts to the late divine specimens of Lyric Minstrelsy. For although I may be deemed the legal guardian of Music alone, and consequently not in strictness bound to any farther duty than that of her immediate Wardship (see Burn's Justice, article Guardian), yet surely, in equity and liberal feeling, I cannot but think myself very forcibly incited to extend this tutelage to her next of kin; in which degree I hold every individual follower of THE LYRIC MUSE, but more especially all such part of them, as have devoted, or do devote, their strains to the celebration of those best of themes, the reigning King and the current year; or, in other words, of all Citharista Regis, Versificatores Coronæ, Court Poets, or, as we now term them, Poets Laureats.-Pausanias tells us, that it pleased the God of Poets himself, by an express oracle, to order the inhabitants of Delphi to set apart for Pindar one half of the first fruit offerings brought by the religious to his shrine, and to allow him a place in his temple, where, in an iron chair, he was

used to sit and sing his hymns in honour of that God. Would to heaven that the Bench of Bishops would, in some degree, adopt this excellent idea!—or at least that the Dean and Chapter of Westminster, and the other Managers of the Abbey Music Meetings, would in future allot the occasional vacancies of Madame Mara's seat in the Cathedral Orchestra, for the reception of the reigning Laureat, during the performance of that favourite constitutional ballad, "May the King live for ever!" It must be owned, however, that the Laureatship is already a very kingly settlement; one hundred a-year, together with a tierce of Canary, or a butt of sack, are surely most princely endowments, for the honour of literature, and the advancement of poetical genius. And hence (thank God and the King for it!) there scarcely ever has been wanting some great and good man both willing and able to supply so important a charge. At one time we find that great immortal genius Mr. Thomas Shadwell (better known by the names of Og and Mac Flecknoe) chanting the prerogative praises of that blessed æra. At a nearer period,

we observe the whole force of Colley Cibber's genius devoted to the labours of the same reputable employment.-And finally, in the example of a Whitehead's Muse, expatiating on the virtues of our gracious Sovereign, have we not beheld the best of Poets, in the best of Verses, doing ample justice to the best of Kings !-The fire of Lyric Poesy, the rapid lightning of modern Pindarics, were equally required to record the Virtues of the Stuarts, or to immortalize the Talents of a Brunswick.-On either theme there was ample subject for the boldest flights of inventive genius, the full scope for the most daring powers of poetical creation; from the free, unfettered strain of liberty in honour of Charles the First, to the kindred Genius and congenial Talents that immortalize the Wisdom and the Worth of George the Third.-But on no occasion has the ardour for prerogative panegyrics so conspicuously flamed forth, as on the late election for succeeding to Mr. Whitehead's honours. To account for this unparalleled struggle, let us recollect, that the ridiculous reforms of the late Parliament having cut off many gentlemanly offices, it was a ne

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cessary consequence that the few which were spared, became objects of rather more emulation than usual. Besides, there is a decency and regularity in producing at fixed and certain periods of the year, the same settled quantity of metre on the same unalterable subjects, which cannot fail to give a particular attraction to the Office of the Laureatship, at a crisis like the present.It is admitted, that we are now in possession of much sounder judgment, and more regulated taste, than our ancestors had any idea of; and hence, does it not immediately follow, that the occupancy of a poetical office, which, from its uniformity of subject and limitation of duty, precludes all hasty extravagance of style, as well as any plurality of efforts, is sure to be a more pleasing object than ever to gentlemen of regular habits and a becoming degree of literary indolence? Is it not evident too, that in compositions of this kind, all fermentation of thought is certain, in a very short time, to subside and settle into mild and gentle composition-till at length the possessors of this grave and orderly office prepare their stipulated return of metre, by

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as proportionate and gradual exertions, as many other classes of industrious tenants provide for the due payment of their particular rents? Surely it is not too much to say, that the business of Laureat to His Majesty is, under such provision, to the full as ingenious, reputable, and regular a trade, as that of Almanack Maker to the Stationers' Company. The contest, therefore, for so excellent an office, having been warmer in the late instance than at any preceding period, is perfectly to be accounted for; especially too at a time, when, from nobler causes, the Soul of Genius may reasonably be supposed to kindle into uncommon enthusiasm, at a train of new and unexampled prodigies. In an age of Reform; beneath the mild sway of a British Augustus; under the Ministry of a pure immaculate youth; the Temple of Janus shut; the Trade of Otaheite open; not an angry American to be heard of, except the Lottery Loyalists; the fine Arts in full glory; Sir William Chambers the Royal Architect; Lord Sydney a Cabinet Minister!-What a golden æra!--From this auspicious moment, Peers, Bishops, Baronets,

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