Page images


Of old, when Scarron his companions invited,
Each guest brought his dish, and the feast was united;
If our landlord* supplies us with beef, and with fish,
Let each guest bring himself, and he brings the best dish;
Our Deant shall be venison, just fresh from the plains;
Our Burket shall be tongue, with the garnish of brains;
Our Willy shall be wild fowl, of excellent flavor,
And Dick | with his pepper shall heighten the savour,
Our Cumberland's sweet-bread its place shall obtain,
And Douglas** is pudding, substantial and plain;

The master of the St. James's coffee-house, where the Poet, and the friends he has characterized in this poem, occasionally dined.

† Dr. Barnard, Dean of Derry in Ireland. (Afterwards Bishop of Killaloe, and in 1749 translated to the see of Limerick. He died at Wimbledon, in Surrey, June, 7, 1806, in his eightieth year.) † The Right Hon. Edmund Burke.

Mr. William Burke, late secretary to General Conway, member for Bedwin, and afterwards holding office in India.

|| Mr. Richard Burke, collector of Granada ; afterwards Recorder of Bristol

Richard Cumberland, Esq., author of the West-Indian, Fashionable Lover, the Brothers, Calvary, &c. &c.

** Dr. Douglas, canon of Windsor (now Bishop of Salisbury), an ingenious Scotch gentleman, who has no less distinguished himself as a citizen of the world, than a sound critic, in detecting several literary mistakes (or rather forgeries) of his countrymen ; particularly Lauder on Milton, and Bower's History of the Popes. He died in 1807.]

Our Garrick's* a sallad ; for in him we see
Oil, vinegar, sugar, and saltness agree:
To make out the dinner, full certain I am,
That Ridget is anchovy, and Reynoldsf is lamb;
That Hickey'sg a capon, and, by the same rule,
Magnanimous Goldsmith a gooseberry fool.
At a dinner so various, at such a repast,
Who'd not be a glutton, and stick to the last ?
Here, waiter, more wine! let me sit while I'm able,
Till all my companions sink under the table;
Then, with chaos and blunders encircling my head,
Let me ponder, and tell what I think of the dead.

Ilere lies the good Dean. reunited to carth, 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-hoots was cursedly emning to liide 'em.

Here lies our good Edmund, I 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.*

# David Garrick, Esq.
† Counsellor John Ridge, a gentleman belonging to the Irish bar.
| Sir Joshua Reynolds.

$ An eminent attorney. || Vide page 111.

5 Viile page 111. ** [In this thought Goldsmith had probably in remembrance a passage in one of Pope's letters to Swift, in which, speaking of Bolingbroke, he complains of his being so much taken up with particular men as to negleet mankind; still rather a creature of this world than of the universe. ]

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,f whose heart was a mint, While the owner never 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 honor, yet fearing to roam, The coachman was tipsy, the chariot drove home: Would


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;

* Mr. Thomas Townshend, member for Whitchurch. (Afterwards Lord Sydney.)

+ Vide page 111.

1 Mr. Richard Burke. This gentleman having slightly fractured one of his arms and legs, at different times, the Doctor has rallied him on these accidents, as a kind of retributive justice for breaking his jests upon other people.

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 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 pleas'd 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 mon'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 encircled 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 Doddst shall be pious, our Kenricks shall lecture;

* Vide page 111.

+ The Rev. Dr. William Dodd. + Dr. Kenrick, who read lectures at the Devil Tavern, under the title of " The School of Shakspeare." (For an account of whom, see Life, ch. viii)

Macpherson* write bombast, and call it a style,
Our Townshend make speeches, and I shall compile;
New Lauders and Bowers the Twced shall cross cver,
No countryman living their tricks to discover;
Detection her taper shall quench to a spark,
And Scotchman meet Scotchman, 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, confess'd 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 dape to his art.
Like an ill-judging beauty, his colors 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 swallow'd what came,
And the puff of a dunce, he mistook it for fame;
'Till bis 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.

* James Macpherson, Esq , who lately from the mere force of his style, wrote down the first poet of all antiquity. [This alludes to his prose translation of Homer, which has hapn wholly and deservedly neglected.]

« PreviousContinue »