Note 1. Stanza vii.

Right honestly," he liked an honest hater."

"Sir, I like a good hater.”—See the Life of Dr. Johnson, &c.

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His bell-mouth'd goblet makes me feel quite Danish,

If I err not, "Your Dane" is one of Iago's Catalogue of Nations "exquisite in their drinking."

In Assyria.

Note 6. Stanza lxxviii.

Even Nimrod's self might leave the plains of Dura.

Note 7. Stanza xcvi.

"That Scriptures out of church are blasphemies."

"Mrs. Adams answered Mr. Adams, that it was blasphemous to talk of Scripture out of church." This dogma was broached to her husband-the best christian in any book. See Joseph Andrews, in the latter chapters.

Note 8. Stanza cvi.

The quaint, old, cruel coxcomb, in his gullet

Should have a hook, and a small trout to pull it.

It would have taught him humanity at least. This sentimental savage, whom it is a mode to quote (amongst the novelists) to show their sympathy for innocent sports and old songs, teaches how to sew up frogs, and break their legs by way of ex

periment, in addition to the art of angling, the cruellest, the coldest, and the stupidest of pretended sports. They may talk about the beauties of nature, but the angler merely thinks of his dish of fish; he has no leisure to take his eyes from off the streams, and a single bite is worth to him more than all the scenery around. Besides, some fish bite best on a rainy day. The whale, the shark, and the tunny fishery have somewhat of noble and perilous in them; even net-fishing, trawling, &c., are more humane and useful-but angling!-No angler can be a good man.

"One of the best men I ever knew-as humane, delicate-minded, generous, and excellent a creature as any in the world-was an angler: true, he angled with painted flies, and would have been incapable of the extravagances of I. Walton."

The above addition was made by a friend in reading over the MS.-" Audi alteram partem"-I leave it to counterbalance my own observation.



IF from great Nature's or our own abyss
Of thought we could but snatch a certainty,
Perhaps mankind might find the path they miss-
But then 't would spoil much good philosophy.
One system eats another up, and this

Much as old Saturn ate his progeny;
For when his pious consort gave him stones
In lieu of sons of these he made no bones.


But system doth reverse the Titan's breakfast,
And eats her parents, albeit the digestion
Is difficult. Pray tell me, can you make fast,
After due search, your faith to any question?
Look back o'er ages, ere unto the stake fast

You bind yourself, and call some mode the best one.
Nothing more true than not to trust your senses;
And yet, what are your other evidences?


For me, I know nought; nothing I deny,
Admit, reject, contemn; and what know you,
Except perhaps that you were born to die?
And both may after all turn out untrue.

An age may come, font of eternity,

When nothing shall be either old or new.
Death, so call'd, is a thing which makes men weep,
And yet a third of life is pass'd in sleep.


A sleep without dreams, after a rough day
Of toil, is what we covet most; and yet
How clay shrinks back from more quiescent clay!
The very suicide that pays his debt
At once without instalments (an old way
Of paying debts, which creditors regret)
Lets out impatiently his rushing breath,
Less from disgust of life than dread of death.


'T is round him, near him, here, there, every where; And there's a courage which grows out of fear, Perhaps of all most desperate, which will dare

The worst to know it :-when the mountains rear Their peaks beneath your human foot, and there You look down o'er the precipice, and drear The gulf of rock yawns,-you can't gaze a minute Without an awful wish to plunge within it.


'T is true, you don't-but, pale and struck with terror,
Retire: but look into your past impression!
And you will find, though shuddering at the mirror
Of your own thoughts, in all their self confession,
The lurking bias, be it truth or error,

To the unknown; a secret prepossession,

To plunge with all your fears—but where? You know not, And that's the reason why you do—or do not.


But what's this to the purpose? you will say.
Gent. reader, nothing; a mere speculation,
For which my sole excuse is 't is my way.
Sometimes with and sometimes without occasion,

I write what's uppermost, without delay;
This narrative is not meant for narration,

But a mere airy and fantastic basis,

To build up common things with common places.


You know, or don't know, that great Bacon saith,


Fling up a straw, 't will show the way the wind blows;" And such a straw, borne on by human breath,

Is poesy, according as the mind glows;

A paper-kite which flies 'twixt life and death,

A shadow which the onward soul behind throws And mine 's a bubble not blown up for praise, But just to play with, as an infant plays.


The world is all before me-or behina:
For I have seen a portion of that same,
And quite enough for me to keep in mind;

Of passions too, I 've proved enough to blame,
To the great pleasure of our friends, mankind,
Who like to mix some slight alloy with fame :
For I was rather famous in my time,
Until I fairly knock'd it up with rhyme.


I've brought this world about my ears, and eke
The other that 's to say, the clergy—who
Upon my head have bid their thunders break
In pious libels by no means a few.
And yet I can't help scribbling once a-week,

Tiring old readers, nor discovering new.
In youth I wrote because my mind was full,
And now because I feel it growing dull.


But "why then publish?"—There are no rewards
Of fame or profit, when the world grows weary.

I ask in turn,—why do you play at cards?

Why drink? Why read?—To make some hour less dreary.

It occupies me to turn back regards

On what I've seen or ponder'd, sad or cheery;

And what I write I cast upon the stream,

To swim or sink-I 've had at least my dream.


I think that were I certain of success,

I hardly could compose another line:

So long I've battled either more or less,

That no defeat can drive me from the Nine. This feeling 't is not easy to express,

And yet 't is not affected, I opine.

In play, there are two pleasures for your chusing-
The one is winning, and the other losing.


Besides, my Muse by no means deals in fiction :
She gathers a repertory of facts,

Of course with some reserve and slight restriction,
But mostly sings of human things and acts—
And that's one cause she meets with contradiction;
For too much truth, at first sight, ne'er attracts;
And were her object only what 's call'd glory,
With more ease too, she 'd tell a different story.


Love, war, a tempest-surely there 's variety;
Also a seasoning slight of lucubration;
A bird's-eye view too of that wild-society;

A slight glance thrown on men of every station.
If you have nought else, here's at least satiety
Both in performance and in preparation;

And though these lines should only line portmanteaus,
Trade will be all the better for these cantos.

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