Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

Nor stops, for one bad cork, his butler's pay,
Swears like Albutius, a good cook away,
Nor lets, like Nævius, every error pass,
The musty wine, foul cloth, and greasy glass.
Now hear what blessings temperance can bring;
(Thus said our friend, and what he said I sing)
First, Health: the stomach cramm'd, from every dish,
A tomb of boil'd and roast, and flesh and fish,
Where bile, and wind, and phlegm, and acid jar,
And all the man is one intestine war,
Remembers oft the schoolboy's simple fare,
The temperate sleeps, and spirits light as air.
How pale, each worshipful and reverend guest
Rise from a clergy or a city feast!
What life in all that ample body, say?
What heavenly particle inspires the clay?
The soul subsides, and wickedly inclines
To seem but mortal, ev'n in sound divines.
On morning wings how active springs the mind
That leaves the load of yesterday behind!
How easy every labour it pursues!

How coming to the poet every muse !

Not but we may exceed, some holy time,

Or tired in search of truth, or search of rhyme;
Ill health some just indulgence may engage;
And more the sickness of long life, old age;
For fainting age what cordial drop remains,
If our intemperate youth the vessel drains?

Our fathers prais'd rank ven'son. You suppose,
Perhaps, young men! our fathers had no nose.
Not so a buck was then a week's repast,

And 't was their point, I ween, to make it last;
More pleased to keep it till their friends could come,
Than eat the sweetest by themselves at home.

Why had not I in those good times my birth,
Ere coxcomb pies or coxcombs were on earth?
Unworthy he the voice of fame to hear,

That sweetest music to an honest ear;

(For faith, Lord Fanny! you are in the wrong,
The world's good word is better than a song)
Who has not learn'd, fresh sturgeon and ham pie
Are no rewards for want and infamy!

When luxury has lick'd up all thy pelf,

Cursed by thy neighbours, thy trustees, thyself:
To friends, to fortune, to mankind a shame,
Think how posterity will treat thy name;
And buy a rope, that future times may tell
Thou hast at least bestow'd one penny well.

66

Right," cries his lordship, "for a rogue in need To have a taste, is insolence indeed :

In me 'tis noble, suits my birth and state,
My wealth unwieldly, and my heap too great."
Then, like the sun, let bounty spread her ray,
And shine that superfluity away.

Oh, impudence of wealth! with all thy store,
How dar'st thou let one worthy man be poor?
Shall half the new-built churches round thee fall?
Make quays, build bridges, or repair Whitehall :
Or to thy country let that heap be lent,

As Mo's was, but not at five per cent.

Who thinks that fortune cannot change her mind, Prepares a dreadful jest for all mankind. And who stands safest? tell me, is it he That spreads and swells in puff'd prosperity? Or blest with little, whose preventing care

In peace provides fit arms against a war?

Thus Bethel spoke, who always speaks his thought, And always thinks the very thing he ought: His equal mind I copy what I can,

And, as I love, would imitate the man.

In South-Sea days not happier, when surmised
The lord of thousands, than if now excised;
In forests planted by a father's hand,
Than in five acres now of rented land.
Content with little, I can piddle here
On broccoli and mutton, round the year;

VOL. I.

But ancient friends (though poor, or out of play)
That touch my bell, I cannot turn away.

"Tis true, no turbots dignify my boards,

But gudgeons, flounders, what my Thames affords :
To Hounslow Heath I point, and Banstead Down,
Thence comes your mutton, and these chicks my own:
From yon old walnut-tree a shower shall fall;
And grapes, long lingering on my only wall;
And figs from standard and espalier join;
The devil is in you if you cannot dine :

Then cheerful healths (your mistress shall have place);
And, what's more rare, a poet shall say grace.
Fortune not much of humbling me can boast:
Though double tax'd, how little have I lost!
My life's amusements have been just the same,
Before and after standing armies came.

My lands are sold, my father's house is gone;
I'll hire another's; is not that my own,

And yours, my friends? through whose free opening gate
None comes too early, none departs too late;

(For I, who hold sage Homer's rule the best,

66

Welcome the coming, speed the going guest.)
Pray Heaven it last! (cries Swift) as you go on;
I wish to God this house had been your own:

Pity! to build, without a son or wife;

Why, you'll enjoy it only all your life."

Well, if the use be mine, can it concern one,
Whether the name belong to Pope or Vernon?
What's property'? dear Swift! you see it alter
From you to me, from me to Peter Walter;
Or, in a mortgage, prove a lawyer's share;
Or, in a jointure, vanish from the heir;
Or, in pure equity (the case not clear),
The Chancery takes your rent for twenty year:
At best, it falls to some ungracious son,
Who cries, "My father's damn'd, and all 's
Shades, that to Bacon could retreat afford,
Become the portion of a booby lord;

my own."

E E

And Hemsley, once proud Buckingham's delight,
Slides to a scrivener or a city knight.

Let lands and houses have what lords they will,
Let us be fix'd, and our own masters still.

COLUMBUS.

WASHINGTON IRVING.

[WE give an extract from Washington Irving's picturesque description of the first sight of the shores of the New World by Columbus and his crew. This is not the place to detail the wonderful events of the life of the navigator. What his character was, and what were his injuries, may be judged from the following translation of part of his celebrated letter to the King and Queen of Spain :

66

-

It was Thou, oh great God, who inspired me, and conducted me there! Compassionate me, deign to pardon this unhappy enterprise: may the whole earth, and all in this world who love justice and humanity, weep over me; and you, holy angels of heaven, who know my innocence, pardon this generation, which is too envious and too hard-hearted to pity me! Surely those yet to be born will one day weep when they are told that Columbus, at his own expense, with little or no help from the crown, at the risk of his own life and that of his brother, during twenty years and four voyages rendered greater services to Spain than ever prince or kingdom received from any man; that, in spite of this, without accusing him of a single crime, they have left him to perish poor and miserable, after depriving him of every thing, save his chains; so that he who has given a new world to Spain, could not find, either in the new world, or the old, a cabin for his miserable family and himself.

66

But if Heaven must persecute me still, and seem displeased with what I have done, as if the discovery of this new world must be fatal to the old; if Heaven must, to punish me, put a term, in this place of misery, to my unhappy life, you holy angels, who succour the innocent and oppressed, let this paper reach my illustrious mistress: she knows how I have suffered for her glory and her service, she will have enough justice and piety not to allow the brother and the children of a man who has given immense riches to Spain, and who has added vast empires and unknown kingdoms to her dominions, to be reduced to the want of bread, or to live on alms. She will see, if she live, that ingratitude and cruelty provoke the divine wrath. The riches that I

have discovered will invite the human race to pillage, and will raise up avengers for me; and the nation will one day perhaps suffer for the crimes that wickedness, ingratitude, and envy, are now committing."]

And when on the evening of the third day they beheld the sun go down upon a shoreless horizon, they broke forth into clamorous turbulence. Fortunately, however, the manifestations of neighbouring land were such on the following day as no longer to admit a doubt. Besides a quantity of fresh weeds, such as grow in rivers, they saw a green fish of a kind which keeps about rocks; then a branch of thorn with berries on it, and recently separated from the tree, floated by them; then they picked up a reed, a small board, and, above all, a staff artificially carved. All gloom and mutiny now gave way to sanguine expectation; and throughout the day each one was eagerly on the watch, in hopes of being the first to discover the long-sought-for land.

He

In the evening, when, according to invariable custom on board of the admiral's ship, the mariners had sung the Salve Regina, or vesper hymn to the Virgin, he made an impressive address to his crew. pointed out the goodness of God in thus conducting them by such soft and favouring breezes across a tranquil ocean, cheering their hopes continually with fresh signs, increasing as their fears augmented, and thus leading and guiding them to a promised land.

The breeze had been fresh all day, with more sea than usual, and they had made great progress. At sunset they had stood again to the west, and were ploughing the waves at a rapid rate, the Pinta keeping the lead, from her superior sailing. The greatest animation prevailed throughout the ships; not an eye was closed that night. As the evening darkened, Columbus took his station on the top of the castle or cabin on the high poop of his vessel. However he might carry a cheerful and confident countenance during the day, it was to him a time of the most painful anxiety; and now, when he was wrapped from observation by the shades of night, he maintained an intense and unremitting watch, ranging his eye along the dusky horizon, in search of the most. vague indications of land. Suddenly, about ten o'clock, he thought he beheld a light glimmering at a distance! Fearing that his eager hopes might deceive him, he called to Pedro Gutierrery, gentleman of the ·

E E 2

« VorigeDoorgaan »