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EXCUSE FOR DULNESS.
POETICAL LAW REPORTS. Swift makes the following very good excuse for a Cowper, the poet, in one of his letters has made dull man on leaving a circle of wits : “ Sir, I sup- the following humorous proposal for the publicapose, by the laughing and merriment of the company tion of poetical law-reports :we have left, there were many good things said. Now, “ Poetical reports of law-cases are not very comas I never invent-a jest myself, so I make it a rule mon; yet it appears to me desirable that they never to laugh at other people's.”
should be so ;-many advantages would accrue from
such a measure. They would in the first place be PEDANTIC CONFESSION,
more commodiously deposited in the memory, just A pedant, having received a letter from his friend, as linen, grocery, and other articles, when neatly with a request that he would buy him some books, packed, are known to occupy less room, and to lie neglected the affair, and by way of excuse said, more conveniently in any trunk, chest, or box, to when he met his friend, “ I am sorry that I never which they may be committed. In the next place, received the letter you sent me about the books." being divested of that infinite circumlocution, and
the endless embarrassment in which they are inQUALITIES OF WIT.
volved by it, they would become surprisingly inAll wit and fancy, like a diamond,
telligible in comparison with their present obscurity. The more exact and curions 'tis ground, And lastly, they would by that ineans be rendered Is forc'd for every caract to abate
susceptible of musical embellishment; and instead As much in value, as it wants in weight. of being quoted in the country with that dull
monotony, which is so wearisome to by-standers, REGENT'S PUNCH.
and frequently lulls even the judges themselves to The receipt for this “nectarious drink" is as fol- sleep, might be rehearsed in recitative, which lows:-three bottles of champagne, a bottle of hock, would have an admirable effect in keeping the attena bottle of curacoa, a quart of brandy, a pint of rum, tion fixed and lively, and would not fail to disperse two bottles of madeira, two bottles of seltzer water, that heavy atmosphere of sadness and gravity which four pounds of bloom raisins, seville oranges, lemons, hangs over the jurisprudence of our country. I white sugarcandy, and instead of water, green tea. remember many years ago being informed by a The whole to be highly iced.
relation of mine, who in his youth had applied himself to the study of the law, that one of his fellow
students, a gentleman of sprightly parts, and very The Devil was the first o'th' name,
respectable talents, of the poetical kind, did actuFrom whom the race of rebels came,
ally engage in the prosecution of such a design, for Who was the first bold undertaker
reasons I suppose somewhat similar to, if not the Of bearing arms against his maker;
same with, those I have now suggested. He began And, though miscarrying in th’ event,
with Coke's Institutes, a book so rugged in its Was never yet known to repent,
style that an attempt to polish it seemed an HerThough tumbl'd from the top of bliss
culean labour, and not less arduous and difficult Down to the bottomless abyss ;
than it would be to give the smoothness of a rabA property, which from their prince
bit's fur to the prickly back of a hedgehog. But The family owns ever since,
he succeeded to admiration, as you will perceive by And therefore ne'er repent the evil
the following specimen, which is all that my said They do, or suffer, like the Devil,
relation could recollect of the performance, BUTLER.
Tenant in fee
Tyers, impatiently. “That I may bespeak a great Simple is le,
coat to sing in; for you know we shall be sure to
There is no species of composition that seems to
stand more in need of an infusion of fresh vigour than The hint which he thus threw out, Cowper has sermons. Many of our preachers seem to think that himself acted upon in his report of the case of the intrinsic charms of the truth are so obvious as to Nose v. Eyes. (See page 328.)
supersede the necessity of any outward dis ef An ingenious author has actually versified the them; and however much, as Swift observed in his substance of Sir Edward Coke's Reports. The day, they may fall short of the apostles in working point of cach case (with the name is comiprised miracles, they greatly surpass them in the art of selin a complet, as in the following instances : ting men asleep. ARCHIER. If he for life enfeofi in fee It bars reinainders in contingency.
TILE DAY OF JUDGMENT.
With a whirl of thought opprest,
I sunk from reverie to rest.
A horrid vision seiz'd my head;
Jove, arm'd with terrors, burst the skies;
And thunder roars, and lightning flies. Burns' Justice, which runs as follows:
Amaz'd, confus’d, its fate unknown, A woman having a settlement
The world stands trembling at his throne; Married a man with none;
While each pale sinner hangs his head : The question was, he being dead,
Jove, nodding, shook the heav'ns, and said. if that she had was yone.
“ Offending race of human kind, Quoth Sir John Pratt, “the settlement
By nature, reason, learning, blind; Suspended doth remain,
You who through frailty stepp'd aside, Living the husband, but him dead,
And you who never fell—through pride, It doth revive again.”
You who in different sects have shanm'd, Chorus of the Puisne Judges.
And come to see each other damn'd, “Living the husband, but him dead,
(So some folks told you, but they knew It doth revive again !"
No more of Jove's designs than you) :-
And I resent these pranks no more;
I to such blockheads set my wit ! Vauxhall season commenced, Tom Lowe, Tyers's
I damn such fools! go, go, you're bit." principal vocal performer, accidentally meeting the proprietor, expressed an anxious desire to know when he meant to open his gardens. “Why are Dr. Franklin, wben he heard people say " they you so particular, Mr. Lowe?" said Jonathan. “I were tired of a thing," merely through a want of have a very good reason, sir, and should like to proper perseverance, he used to reply, “ Well, de as know the very day.” “Why, why?" reiterated married people do ; tire and begin again.”
BACKWARDS AND FORWARDS.
For Hodge had risen ere the early dawn, A seaman coming before the judges of the And now 'twas noon, nor yet cleau shaved the lawn. Admiralty for admittance into an ofíce of a ship Much had he done, which he was pleased to view, bound for the Indies, was by one of the judges much But curs’d the little that remained to do! slighted, as an insufficient person for that office he His arms were weary, and his aged back sought to obtain ; the judge telling bim, “ that he Seem'd, ev'ry sinew, at each berd, to crack ; believed he could not say the points of his com- At ev'ry stroke, the drops of sweat fast pace pass.” The seaman answered, " that he could say Down the rough furrows of his time-plough'd face ; thein, under favour, better than he could say bis And still he stops, though he can scarcely stand, paler-noster." The judge replied, “That he would To sweep his dewy forehead with his hand ! wager twenty shillings with him upon that.” The With frequent rubbings, whet his ling'ring blade, seaman taking him up, it came to trial : and the sea- | And sighs for ev’ning, and the fresh'ning shade. man began, and said all the points of his compass
Now, old Sir Simon was as queer a soul very exactly: the judge likewise said his pater- As flodge himself, but nothing like so droll : noster : and when he had finished it, he required lle had some wit, and thought that he had more ; the wager, according to agreement, because the As many a greater wit has done beforescainan was to say his compass better than he his And many another, we may well maintain pater noster, which he had not performed. “Nay, Has since done too, and still will do again. I pray, sir, hold,” quoth the seaman, “the wager “Hodge," says Sir Sim, “ you can't well be dry, is not finished; for I bave but half done :” and so for you are wet enough, I see, to fry : he immediately said his compass backwards very Now, had you been but dry enough to burn, exactly ; which the judge failing to do in his pater. A jug of ale had done you no ill-turn !" noster, the seaman carried away the prize.
Hodge smild at very mention of the nappy ;
But, at the sight, was wondrously more happy :
For, now, Sir Simon, having had his joke, dressing, prayers used to be read in the outward mom, where hung a naked Venus. Mrs. Selwyn, And, heav'n-ward raising both his grateful eyes,
Hodge seiz'd, with eager hand, the foaming prize ; bed-chamber woman in waiting, was one day or- Fast down his throat, the welcome liquor pours; dered to bid the chaplain, Dr. Madox, afterwards Nor heeds his master, loudly though he roars-bishop of Worcester, begin the service. He said archly, “ And a very proper altar-piece is here," Stop, Hodge! why, Hudge! zounds! Hodge, why
don't you stop ? Inadam." Queen Anne had the same custom ; I'm thirsty, too; zounds! Hodge, leave me a drop !" and once ordering the door to be shut while she
Sir Simon bawl'd, as loud as he could bawl; shifted, the chaplain stopped. The queen sent to But Hodge ne'er stopp'd, till he had swallow'd all. ' ask why he did not proceed? He replied, “ he would not whistle the word of God through the That seem'd awhile o'er-match'd by struggling death
As slowly, now, he panting gains his breath, key-hole."
Hodge,” says Sir Simon, " prithee canst not hear ? Why, zounds! I bade thee not drink all the beer!
Deuce take thy throat, mine's hoarse with so much As Hodge, one day, was swelt'ring in the sun
bawl,! A dry old dog, yei a true child of fun!
I've half a mind to ram down jug and all. Sir Simo. came, to see his man so blithe,
I told thee I was dry, as well as thee; Panting beneath the labour of his scythe ;
But not a drop, plague take thee, 's left for me!"
SIR SIMON AND HODGE ; OR, THE ADDITIONAL
Hodge, now, affected wonderful surprise. of that society, takes its origin from the seal used And like a pig's, just stuck, appear'd his eyes.
by the first Knights Templars. Hugh de Payens and “Lord, sir," says he, and seemed to be contrite, Geoffrey de St. Aldemar, had, it is said, engraved Tho' bent, by trick, to pacify the knight
upon their seal the figures of two men riding upon " Ise be main sorry thus to give offence:
one horse,--a type of their poverty. A rude reBut to a person of your worship's sense,
presentation of this seal may be seen in the Historia Ise need not say, for that would be absurd,
Minor of Matthew Paris. This emblem was core While a man drinks, he ne'er can hear one word !"- rupted by the lawyers, the successors to the “Not hear, while drinking ?” straight Sir Simon Knights Templars, into a Pegasus, and to this day cries;
remains their crest. The Society of the Middle Filld, in his turn, with a stuck pig's surprise : Temple adopted the emblem of a lamb bearing a “Why, sure—why sure, Hodge,-that can never banner ; or in heraldic language, a device of a field be
argent charged with a cross gules, and upon the Egad, I'll fetch another jug, and see.”
nombrel thereof a holy lamb with its nimbus and Away the knight, with his best speed, now went, banner. These two devices, which are scattered To find the truth, as told by Hodge, intent : very liberally over all the gateways in the Temple, And Hodge, meantime, contriv'd the means to gave rise to the following
make Sir Simon, what he said, for gospel take.
EPIGRAM. “Now, Hodge," the knight returning, cried, As by the Templars' holds you go, • we'll try
The horse and lamb, display'd If what you tell me truth be, or a lie,
In emblematic figures, show I'll drink, and you must bellow— Stop, stop, stop!
The merits of their trade. Do pray, sir, you may add, leave me a drop.
That clients may infer from thence This, when I hear, I certainly will do ;
How just is their profession, So, as I drink, remember, Hodge, bawl you.”
The lamb sets forth their innocence, Sir Simon heav'd the pitcher to his head ;
The horse their expedition. Hodge op'd bis mouth, but not a word he said : O happy Britons ! happy isle ! Yet gap'd so wide, there seem'd abundant fear
Let foreign nations say, The fellow meant to tear from ear to ear.
Where you get justice without guile, * This truth, so strange,” to Hodge Sir Simon cried,
And law without delay. "I ne'er could have believ'd, had I not tried ! Thus, Hodge, it is, though life wears fast away,
Deluded men, these holds forego, Wiser, and wiser, we grow ev'ry day!
Nor trust such cunning elves; This time thou hadst, I fairly own, most brains ;
Those artful emblems tend to show So freely take the liquor for thy pains.”
Their clients, not themselves Hodge thus got paid, for playing off his wit ; 'Tis all a trick, these are all shams And pleas'd his master was, though he was bit :
By which they mean to cheat you ; Convinc'd that he had gain'd a wrinkle more ;
But lave a care !---for you're the lambs; No matter where—than e'er he had before !
And they the wolves that eat you.
Nor let the thought of no delay,
To these their courts misguide you, The Pegasus which appears over the principal en ”Tis you're the showy horse, and they trance of the Inner Temple, and which is the crest The jockeys that will ride you!
POVERTY AND POETRY.
“The humble petition of who and WHICH, It is not poetry, that makes men poor;
“ Showeth, For few do write, that were not so before;
“That your petitioners being in a forlom and And those that have writ best, had they been rich, destitute condition, know not to whom we should Had ne'er been clapp'd with a poetic itch ; apply ourselves for relief, because there is hardly Had lov'd their ease too well, to take the pains any man alive who hath not injured us. To undergo that drudgery of brains ;
descended of ancient families, and kept up our But being for all other trades unfit,
dignity and honour many years, till the jack-sprat Only tavoid being idle, set up wit, BUTLER. THAT supplanted us. How often have we found
ourselves slighted by the clergy in their pulpits,
and the lawyers at the bar ? Nay, how often have When the Rev. John Wesley, one of the founders we heard, in one of the most polite and august of the religious society which bears his name, was assemblies in the universe, to our great mortifivainly endeavouring to convince his sister that the cation, these words, “That that that noble lord voice of the people is the voice of God. “ Yes," urged;' which if one of us had had justice done, she mildly replied, " it cried, crucify him, crucify would have sounded nobler thus, "That WHICH hm.”
that noble lord urged.' Senates themselves, the
guardians of British liberty, have degraded us, and LIQUIDATING CLAIMS.
preferred that to us ; and yet no decree was ever During a remarkably wet summer, Joe Vernor., given against us. In the very acts of parliament, whose vocal taste and humour contributed for in which the utmost right should be done to every many years to the entertainment of the frequenters body, word, and thing, we find ourselves often of Vauxhall gardens, but who was not quite so good either not used, or used one instead of another. In a timist in money matters as in music, meeting an the first and best prayer children are taught, they acquaintance who had the misfortune to hold some learn to misuse us : “ Our Father, which art in of his unhonoured paper, was asked by him, not heaven;" should be “Our Father, who art in uninterestedly, how the gardens were going on. heaven;" and even a Convocation, after long “Oh, swimmingly !" answered the jocose Joe. debates, refused to consent to an alteration of it. “Glad to hear it," retorted the creditor, “ their In our General Confession we say, “ Spare thou swimming state, 1 hope, will cause the singers to them, O God, which confess their faults,” which liquidate their notes."
ought to be “WHO confess their faults.” What WHOLESALE AND RETAIL.
hopes then have we of having justice done us, when
the makers of our very prayers and laws, and the In little trades more cheats and lying
most Icarned in all faculties, seem to be in a conAre us’d in selling, than in buying ;
federacy against us, and our enemies themselves But in the great, unjuster dealing
must be our judges. Is us'd in buying, than in selling.
“The Spanish proverb says, El sabio muda con
BUTLER. sejo, el necio no ; i. e. “A wise man changes his PHILOLOGICAL PETITIONS.
mind, a fool never will." You are well able to In this age of innovation, when the procreative settle this affair, and to you we submit our cause. genius of upstart linguists is aiming to subvert We desire you to assign the butts and bounds of common-sense phraseology, the following petitions each of us; and that for the future we may both will be receired as literary morceaux,
enjoy our own. We would desire to be heard by