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We'll ask no long protracted treat,
Thus, hand in hand, through life we'll go;
With cautious steps we'll tread; Quit its vain scenes without a tear, Without a trouble or a fear,
And mingle with the dead:
While conscience, like a faithful friend,
Shall, when all other comforts cease,
And smooth the bed of death.
CHRISTOPHER ANSTEY (1724-1805) was author of The New Bath Guide, a light satirical and humorous poem, which appeared in 1766, and set an example in this description of composition, that has since been followed in numerous instances, and with great success. Smollett, in his Humphry Clinker, published five years later, may be almost said to have reduced the 'New Bath Guide' to prose. Many of the characters and situations are exactly the same as those of Anstey. This poem seldom rises above the tone of conversation, but is easy, sportive, and entertaining. The fashionable Fribbles of the day, the chat, scandal, and amusements of those attending the wells, and the canting hypocrisy of some sectarians, are depicted, sometimes with indelicacy, but always with force and liveliness. Mr Anstey was son of the Rev. Dr Anstey, rector of Brinkeley, in Cambridgeshire, a gentleman who possessed a considerable landed property, which the poet afterwards inherited. He was educated at Eton school, and elected to King's college, Cambridge, and in both places he distinguished himself as a classical scholar. In consequence of his refusal to deliver certain declamations, Anstey quarrelled with the heads of the university, and was denied the usual degree. In the epilogue to the New Bath Guide,'
he alludes to this circumstance
Granta, sweet Granta, where studious of ease, Seven years did I sleep, and then lost my degrees. He then went into the army, and married Miss Calvert, sister to his friend John Calvert, Esq., of Allbury Hall, in Hertfordshire, through whose influence he was returned to parliament for the borough of Hertford. He was a frequent resident in the city of Bath, and a favourite in the fashionable and literary coteries of the place. In 1766 was published his celebrated poem, which instantly became popular. He wrote various other pieces-A Poem on the Death of the Marquis of Tavistock, 1767; An Election Ball, in Poetical Letters from Mr Inkle at Bath to his Wife at Gloucester; a Paraphrase of the Thirteenth Chapter of the First Epistle to the Corinthians; a satire entitled The Priest Dissected; Speculation, or a Defence of Mankind (1780); Liberality, or Memoirs of a Decayed Macaroni (1788); The Farmer's Daughter, a Poetical Tale (1795); and various other copies of occasional verses. Anstey also translated Gray's Elegy into Latin verse, and addressed an elegant Latin Ode to Dr Jenner. While the 'New Bath Guide' was the only thing in fashion,' and relished for its novel and original kind of humour, the other productions of Anstey
were neglected by the public, and have never been revived. In the enjoyment of his paternal estate, the poet, however, was independent of the public support, and he took part in the sports of the field up to his eightieth year. While on a visit to his son-in-law, Mr Bosanquet, at Harnage, Wiltshire, he was taken ill, and died on the 3d of August 1805. The Public Breakfast.
Now my lord had the honour of coming down post,
To moisten their pinions like ducks when it rains;
And old Lady Mouzer,
And the great Hanoverian Baron Panzmowzer;
Sweet were the strains, as odorous gales that blow
O! had I a voice that was stronger than steel, With twice fifty tongues to express what I feel, And as many good mouths, yet I never could utter All the speeches my lord made to Lady Bunbutter! So polite all the time, that he ne'er touched a bit, While she ate up his rolls and applauded his wit: For they tell me that men of true taste, when they treat, Should talk a great deal, but they never should eat : And if that be the fashion, I never will give Any grand entertainment as long as I live : For I'm of opinion, 'tis proper to cheer The stomach and bowels as well as the ear. Nor me did the charming concerto of Abel Regale like the breakfast I saw on the table:
I freely will own I the muffins preferred
You may spend all your lifetime in Cateaton Street,
a volume of miscellaneous pieces, entitled The Florence Miscellany, and afforded a subject for the satire of Gifford, whose 'Baviad and Mæviad' was written to lash the Della Cruscan songsters with whom Mrs Piozzi was associated. The Anecdotes and Letters of Dr Johnson, by Mrs Piozzi, are the only valuable works which proceeded from her pen. She was a minute and clever observer of men and manners, but deficient in judgment, and not parti
You may talk what you please; you may search Lon-cular as to the accuracy of her relations. Mrs don through;
You may go to Carlisle's, and to Almanac's too;
How he welcomes at once all the world and his wife,
So when we had wasted more bread at a breakfast
Just to follow the employments and calls of the day;
MRS THRALE (afterwards Mrs Piozzi), who lived for many years in terms of intimate friendship with Dr Johnson, is authoress of an interesting little moral poem, The Three Warnings, which is so superior to her other compositions, that it has been supposed to have been partly written, or at least corrected, by Johnson. This lady was a native of Wales, being born at Bodville, in Caernarvonshire, in 1740. In 1764 she was married to Mr Henry Thrale, an eminent brewer, who had taste enough to appreciate the rich and varied conversation of Johnson, and whose hospitality and wealth afforded the great moralist an asylum in his house. After the death of this excellent man, his widow married Signior Piozzi, an Italian music-master, a step which Johnson never could forgive. The lively lady proceeded with her husband on a continental tour, and they took up their abode for some time on the banks of the Arno. She afterwards published
Piozzi died at Clifton in 1822.
The Three Warnings.
The tree of deepest root is found
That love of life increased with years
When sports went round, and all were gay,
His hour-glass trembled while he spoke-
To give you time for preparation,
And grant a kind reprieve;
Well pleased the world will leave.'
He chaffered, then he bought and sold,
Nor thought of Death as near:
He passed his hours in peace.
Brought on his eightieth year.
And now, one night, in musing mood,
The unwelcome messenger of Fate
Half-killed with anger and surprise, 'So soon returned!' old Dodson cries. 'So soon d'ye call it?' Death replies : Surely, my friend, you're but in jest! Since I was here before
'Tis six-and-thirty years at least, And you are now fourscore.'
'So much the worse,' the clown rejoined;
Else you are come on a fool's errand,
Beside, you promised me Three Warnings,
Which I have looked for nights and mornings; But for that loss of time and ease,
I can recover damages.'
'I know,' cries Death, 'that at the best, I seldom am a welcome guest; But don't be captious, friend, at least; I little thought you'd still be able To stump about your farm and stable: Your years have run to a great length; I wish you joy, though, of your strength!' 'Hold,' says the farmer, not so fast! I have been lame these four years past.' 'And no great wonder,' Death replies: 'However, you still keep your eyes; And sure to see one's loves and friends, For legs and arms would make amends.' 'Perhaps,' says Dodson, so it might, But latterly I've lost my sight.'
'This is a shocking tale, 'tis true; But still there's comfort left for you: Each strives your sadness to amuse; I warrant you hear all the news.'
"There's none,' cries he; and if there were, I'm grown so deaf, I could not hear.' 'Nay, then,' the spectre stern rejoined, These are unjustifiable yearnings; If you are lame, and deaf, and blind, You've had your Three sufficient Warnings; So come along, no more we'll part;' He said, and touched him with his dart. And now Old Dodson, turning pale, Yields to his fate-so ends my tale.
The REV. THOMAS MOSS, who died in 1808, minister of Brierly Hill, and of Trentham, in Staffordshire, published anonymously, in 1769, a collection of miscellaneous poems, forming a thin quarto, which he had printed at Wolverhampton. One piece was copied by Dodsley into his Annual Register,' and from thence has been transferred (different persons being assigned as the author) into almost every periodical and collection of fugitive verses. This poem is entitled The Beggar (sometimes called The Beggar's Petition), and contains much pathetic and natural sentiment finely expressed.
Pity the sorrows of a poor old man!
Oh! give relief, and Heaven will bless your store. An allusion to the illegal warrant used against Wilkes, which was the cause of so much contention in its day.
These tattered clothes my poverty bespeak,
These hoary locks proclaim my lengthened years; And many a furrow in my grief-worn cheek,
Has been the channel to a stream of tears.
Yon house, erected on the rising ground,
(Hard is the fate of the infirm and poor!)
Oh! take me to your hospitable dome,
Keen blows the wind, and piercing is the cold! Short is my passage to the friendly tomb,
For I am poor, and miserably old. Should I reveal the source of every grief,
If soft humanity e'er touched your breast, Your hands would not withhold the kind relief, And tears of pity could not be repressed. Heaven sends misfortunes-why should we repine? 'Tis Heaven has brought me to the state you see: And your condition may be soon like mine, The child of sorrow, and of misery.
A little farm was my paternal lot,
Then, like the lark, I sprightly hailed the morn; But ah! oppression forced me from my cot; My cattle died, and blighted was my corn. My daughter-once the comfort of my age! Lured by a villain from her native home, Is cast, abandoned, on the world's wide stage, And doomed in scanty poverty to roam. My tender wife-sweet soother of my care! Struck with sad anguish at the stern decrce, Fell-lingering fell, a victim to despair,
And left the world to wretchedness and me.
Pity the sorrows of a poor old man!
Whose trembling limbs have borne him to your door, Whose days are dwindled to the shortest span, Oh! give relief, and Heaven will bless your store.
Though most Scottish authors at this time-as Thomson, Mallet, Hamilton, and Beattie-composed in the English language, a few, stimulated by the success of Allan Ramsay, cultivated their native tongue with considerable success. The popularity of Ramsay's Tea-Table Miscellany' led to other collections and to new contributions to Scottish song. In 1751 appeared Yair's Charmer,' and in 1769 David Herd published a more complete collection of Scottish Songs and Ballads,' which he reprinted, with additions, in 1776.
ALEXANDER Ross, a schoolmaster in Lochlee, in Angus, when nearly seventy years of age, in 1768 published at Aberdeen, by the advice of Dr Beattie, a volume entitled Helenore, or the Fortunate Shepherdess, a Pastoral Tale in the Scottish Dialect, to which are added a few Songs by the Author. Ross was a good descriptive poet, and some of his songs -as Woo'd, and Married, and a', The Rock and the Wee Pickle Tow-are still popular in Scotland. Being chiefly written in the Kincardineshire dialect (which differs in many expressions, and in pronunciation, from the Lowland Scotch of Burns), Ross is less known out of his native district than he ought to bc.
Beattie took a warm interest in the 'good
humoured, social, happy old man'-who was independent on £20 a-year-and to promote the sale of his volume, he addressed a letter and a poetical epistle in praise of it to the Aberdeen Journal. The epistle is remarkable as Beattie's only attempt in Aberdeenshire Scotch; one verse of it is equal to Burns:
O bonny are our greensward hows,
Where through the birks the burnie rows,
And saft winds rustle,
And shepherd lads on sunny knowes
Ross died in 1784, at the great age of eighty-six.
Woo'd, and Married, and a'.
The bride cam' out o' the byre,
And, O, as she dighted her cheeks! Sirs, I'm to be married the night,
And have neither blankets nor sheets; Have neither blankets nor sheets,
Nor scarce a coverlet too;
The bride that has a' thing to borrow,
Woo'd, and married, and a',
Married, and woo'd, and a'!
That was woo'd, and married, and a'?
Out spake the bride's father,
As he cam' in frae the pleugh:
What deil needs a' this pride?
The moon had climbed the highest hill
Her head, to ask who there might be, And saw young Sandy shivering stand, With visage pale, and hollow ee. 'O Mary dear, cold is my clay; It lies beneath a stormy sea. Far, far from thee I sleep in death; So, Mary, weep no more for me! Three stormy nights and stormy days We tossed upon the raging main; And long we strove our bark to save, But all our striving was in vain. Even then, when horror chilled my blood, My heart was filled with love for thee: The storm is past, and I at rest; So, Mary, weep no more for me!
O maiden dear, thyself prepare;
We soon shall meet upon that shore, Where love is free from doubt and care, And thou and I shall part no more!' Loud crowed the cock, the shadow fled, No more of Sandy could she see; But soft the passing spirit said,
'Sweet Mary, weep no more for me!'
JOHN LOWE (1750-1798), a student of divinity, son of the gardener at Kenmore in Galloway, was author of the fine pathetic lyric, Mary's Dream, which he wrote on the death of a gentleman named Miller, a surgeon at sea, who was attached to a Miss M'Ghie, Airds. The poet was tutor in the family of the lady's father, and was betrothed to her sister. He emigrated to America, however, where he married another female, became dissipated, and died in great misery near Fredericksburgh. Though Lowe wrote numerous other pieces, prompted by poetical feeling and the romantic scenery of his native glen, his ballad alone is worthy of preservation.
Balcarres House, Fifeshire; where Auld Robin Gray' was composed.
About the year 1771, Lady Anne composed the ballad to an ancient air. It instantly became po
pular, but the lady kept the secret of its authorship for the long period of fifty years, when, in 1823, she acknowledged it in a letter to Sir Walter Scott, accompanying the disclosure with a full account of the circumstances under which it was written. At the same time Lady Anne sent two continuations to the ballad, which, like all other continuations (Don Quixote, perhaps, excepted), are greatly inferior to the original. Indeed, the tale of sorrow is so complete in all its parts, that no additions could be made without marring its simplicity or its pathos. Lady Anne was daughter of James Lindsay, fifth Earl of Balcarres; she was born 8th December 1750, married in 1793 to Sir Andrew Barnard, librarian to George III., and died, without issue, on the 8th of May 1825.
Auld Robin Gray.
When the sheep are in the fauld, and the kye at hame,
And a' the warld to sleep are gane;
The waes o' my heart fa' in showers frae my ee,
Young Jamie loo'd me weel, and socht me for his bride;
But saving a croun, he had naething else beside:
He hadna been awa a week but only twa,
My father brak his arm, and young Jamie at the sea, And auld Robin Gray cam' a-courtin' me.
My father couldna work, and my mother couldna spin; I toiled day and nicht, but their bread I couldna win; Auld Rob maintained them baith, and, wi' tears in
Said, Jennie, for their sakes, Oh, marry me!
My heart it said nay, for I looked for Jamie back; But the wind it blew high, and the ship it was a wreck:
The ship it was a wreck-why didna Jamie dee?
My father argued sair: my mother didna speak;
Sae they gied him my hand, though my heart was in the sea;
And auld Robin Gray was gudeman to me.
I hadna been a wife a week but only four,
I saw my Jamie's wraith, for I couldna think it he,
Oh, sair did we greet, and muckle did we say;
And why do I live to say, Wae's me?
I gang like a ghaist, and I carena to spin;
I daurna think on Jamie, for that wad be a sin;
But I'll do my best a gude wife to be,
For auld Robin Gray is kind unto me.
MISS JANE ELLIOT AND MRS COCKBURN.
guage of the heart, ladies have often excelled the lords of the creation,' and in music their triumphs are manifold. The first copy of verses, bewailing the losses sustained at Flodden, was written by Miss Jane Elliot of Minto, sister to Sir Gilbert Elliot of Minto. The second song, which appears to be on the same subject, but was in reality occasioned by the bankruptcy of a number of gentlemen in Selkirkshire, is by Alicia Rutherford of Fernilie, who was afterwards married to Mr Patrick Cockburn, advocate, and died in Edinburgh in 1794. We agree with Mr Allan Cunningham in preferring Miss Elliot's song; but both are beautiful, and in singing, the second is the most effective.
The Flowers of the Forest.
At buchts, in the morning, nae blythe lads are scorning,
In hairst, at the shearing, nae youths now are jeering,
At e'en, at the gloaming, nae swankies are roaming,
Dule and wae for the order, sent our lads to the Border!
The prime o' our land, are cauld in the clay.
We hear nae mair lilting at our yowe-milking,
I've seen the morning
With gold the hills adorning,
And loud tempest storming before the mid-day.
Grow drumly and dark as he rowed on his way.
Why this cruel sporting?
Two versions of the national ballad, The Flowers of the Forest, continue to divide the favour of all Oh, why still perplex us, poor sons of a day? lovers of song, and both are the composition of ladies. In minute observation of domestic life, traits of character and manners, and the softer lan- For the Flowers of the Forest are a' wede away.
Nae mair your smiles can cheer me, Nae mair your frowns can fear me ;