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"What makes thy looks so fair and bright,

Divine Aurora, say?

'Because from slumber short and light,

I rise to 'wake the day!'

O hide for shame, thy blushing face,

'Tis all poetic fiction!

To tales like these see Devon's face

A blooming contradiction!"

The Old Watchman of Piccadilly.

Nor did he keep these tributes for effect, or for fashionable friends. They were part of the homage paid for so many years and so steadily, to the wife he loved and honoured. As her birth-day, or some little festival of hers, came round, the copy of verses, as tender and devoted, found their way to her table, accompanied by a more substantial souvenir. A little scrap which has been preserved, helps us to know one of their little quarrels. It is called "David and Mary, or the Old Cart," and describes rather comically, the falling-out and reconciliation which took place on David's purchase of this vehicle:

"But one luckless day, in his folly of heart,
Poor David was prompted to buy an old cart.
At a thing so uncommon, soft Mary took fire,
Untied David's tongue, and he wagged it in ire."*

Some of his little versicles to ladies were very neat, and went beyond the mere homage of poor compliment. His complaint to Mrs. Bouverie-written, too, only a short time before his death, is very lively. He threatens "the Bankrupt Beauty" with legal process for her neglect of him:


"Four smiles a year, fair Bouverie

Agreed to pay me quarterly.

* Hill MSS.

And though one smile would make me blest,
She will not pay-though warmly prest-
Nor principal, nor interest.


I'll file my bill in Chancery.

Her eyes, her cheeks, her lips, her nose,
Mortgaged to me,-I will foreclose."*

There is one "riddle" of the more formal pattern, which, though printed, is scarcely known, and certainly deserves the foremost rank among such productions. For besides being good, and difficult to guess, according to the ordinary principles of such puzzles, it has also a wittiness of its own, in misleading the reader or guesser, by artfully suggesting the more "nambypamby" associations of hearts and "flames,' and so causing him to stray away in a wrong direction. There is no ponderous elaboration, but the whole trips lightly and airily on.

"Kitty, a fair, but frozen maid,

Kindled a flame I still deplore.
The hood-winked boy I called in aid,
Much of his near approach afraid,
So fatal to my suit before.
At length propitious to my prayer,
The little urchin came.

At once he sought the midway air,
And soon he clear'd with dexterous care

The bitter relics of my flame.
To Kitty, Fanny now succeeds,

She kindles slow, but lasting fires;
With care my appetite she feeds;
Each day some willing victim bleeds,

To satisfy my strange desires.
Say by what title or what name,
Must I this youth address?
Cupid and he are not the same-
Tho' both can raise or quench a flame
I'll kiss you if you guess.'

The answer is "A Chimney Sweep."

* Hill MSS.

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THIS year was seen that rather absurd extravaganza-the Shakspeare jubilee at Stratford-a show wholly foreign to English tastes and manners, and certainly not to be carried out with success on English ground. As it was off the stage only, that Garrick was ever acting, in a celebration like this, he seemed to see the "flies" and the "lamps" of Drury Lane, with the little town of Stratford, like a set scene at the back, and Roscius declaiming in front, on "the God of his idolatry." The whole was based on a false principle-a piece of dreary acting by daylight, and certainly furnished Foote with fair material for his satire. In truth, the public itself was more or less accountable for this little bit of folly. Roscius was told again and again, that he was Priest of the divine Shakspeare-the "Bard" was made for him, he for the Bard. He was privileged to sit on the tripod, and specially receive the rare afflatus. And the man who, at a great expense, had literally built a solid temple to the divinity, might at least claim the bare honours of an official intercommunion. But there were many who disputed this high privilege, saying, that merely acting Shakspeare, and in a mauled and garbled

shape, did not constitute a claim to such exclusive inspiration.

The romantic and classic little town, on the banks of the Avon, was not enjoying the veneration with which Shakspearean pilgrims have since regarded it. The house in which the poet was born was spoken of as "a little, small, old house;" there were no funds, and no public subscriptions to purchase the ground, on which it stood, or reverently restore it. Visitors were then shown the famous bust, not yet robbed of all character by the stupid profanation of Malone, and could see the colour of the hair and eyes, as faithfully preserved by tradition; and only a few years before the great sacrilege had been committed, and a Mr. Gastrell had cut down the cherished "mulberry-tree,” because it shut out the light from his windows. When Mr. Garrick came to town from Bath, a gentleman waited on him with a very flattering letter from the Mayor and corporation, proposing to make him one of their body; offering, also, the present of a box made out of the sacrificed mulberry-tree. No one, they said, had excelled him in paying honour to Shakspeare, and it was added, a little oddly, "that, though this borough does not now send members to Parliament, perhaps the inhabitants may not be less virtuous." In return, he was invited to present them with a bust or picture of Shakspeare, together with a portrait of himself, both to be placed in their new town-hall. The actor could not but be flattered by a compliment which-even at a heavy cost-placed him in such company; and the opening of this new town-hall seems to have suggested to his mind the festival, that was presently to be the talk of the kingdom.

London soon heard of the mulberry box, and of the fashion in which it was proposed to return these compliments, and some lively verses were going round; for everything that "turned up," there were verses always ready."

Garrick took up the scheme with ardour. The last night of his season he announced it from the stage, in one of those numerous epilogues with which he used to illustrate and "point" the humours of the day:

"My eyes till then no sight will see

Unless we meet at Shakspere's jubilee.

On Avon's banks, where flowers eternal blow,
Like its full stream its gratitude shall flow;

There let us revel, show our fond regard

On that lov'd spot first breathed our matchless BARD."†

* "The wise men of Avon, by shrewd deputation,
Presented to Garrick their wooden donation,

And wish'd, as I'm told,

It had all been of gold,

Like those his great actorship had, some time since,
Of Denmark's young king, and the Parmesan prince.

'My good friends,' said he,

'It is all one to me

Tho' the box be cut out of a mulberry-tree.

For 'tis just the same thing

Tho' itself be not gold, if but gold it will bring.
Hence so long as the world's full of nixeys and ninneys,
My mulberry box will be full of good guineas.'
The Mayor of old Stratford, in strange agitation,
T' have missed being 'prenticed to such a vocation,
Replied,Would your actorship teach us the way—

We are apt, and don't doubt that our parts we could play.

This present of wood

Shows our hearts to be good;

But if once we are told

How to turn it to gold,

The trunk of the tree we would bring on our backs,

Lop the boughs, stack the roots, and you still should go snacks.`

Enough, friends,' says he,

Bring the mulberry-tree,

And I will ensure you a fine jubilee.''

† A gentleman down at Cambridge, dining with Gray, repeated these lines, and occasioned the poet's "speaking handsomely" of the actor's happy knack at epilogues. But he had no faith in the scheme, and christened it Vanity Fair.

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