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A contract made before the nuptial tie, A blessing riches never can supply,
A spot that adds new charms to pretty faces,
PAUCIS, friend Aphanus, abhinc diebus,
At his request I sought for ancient city
Tho' pleas'd with pleasing, when he can do so, His ingenuity he loves to show; If such a thing falls out to be his lot; He is as free to own when it does not: Here he had none, nor any succedaneum, That could discover this same Herculaneum.
Altho' it seem'd to ask when it appear'd, No great Herculean labour to be clear'd; So many different wits at work, no doubt The city's name would quickly be found out; But, notwithstanding variorum lecture, The name lay snug without the least detecture.
You stand entitl'd hereupon to laugh At hapless genius in your friend Diaph. But in excuse for what he must confess, Nor men, nor even ladies here could guess; To variorum seen, or variarum, No more of ancient city than old Sarum.
One thing however rose from this occasion, It put an end to fears of French invasion; And wits, quite frighten'd out of dames and men, When rebus came, came into 'em again: Tho' little skill'd to judge of either matter, Yet the more pleasing puzzle was the latter.
You'll think I'm thinking, upon second thought, That tho' we mist of city that was sought, We might have told you somewhat of the guesses Of luckless neighbours and of neighbouresses; So let us try to give you just an item: For it would take a volume to recite 'em.
"I can't divine," said Chloe, "for my part, What the man means by noblest work of art,'From clock to temple, pyramid, and ship, And twenty diff'rent handyworks you skip; Now, I dare say, when all your votes are past, City or work-'tis Dresden at the last."
"Nor I," said Phillis, "what the man can mean By his next hint of Nature's brightest sceneAmongst so many of her scenes so bright, Who can devise which of 'em is the right? To name a word where brightest scene must lie, And speak my own opinion, sirs,-'tis eye."
"Peace," said a third, of I forget what sex, "Has well known signal that may well perplex; It should be olive-branch, to be well known, But rebus, unconfin'd to that alone, May mean abundance, plenty, riches, trade, Who knows the signal that is here display'd?"
Thus they went on-but, tho' I stir its embers, It is not much that memory remembers: Two ladies had a long disputing match, Whether charm-adding spot was mole or patch; While none would venture to decide the voleOne had a patch and t'other had a mole.
So wife's ambition' made a parted school; Some said to please her husband-some to rule.-On this moot point too rebus would create, As you may guess, a pretty smart debate; Till one propos'd to end it thus, with ease; "The only way to rule him-is to please."
Hold! I forgot-One said, a parson's dues Was the same thing with rhyming badge of Jews,' And tithe was it--but corn, or pig, or goose; What earth or animals of earth produce, From calf and lamb, to turnip and potatoe, Might be the word--which he had nought to say to.
Made for excuse, you see, upon the whole The too great number of the words that poll For correspondency to ev'ry line;
And make the meant one tedious to divine: But we suspect that other points ambiguous, And eke unfair, contribute to fatigue us,
For first, with due submission to my betters, What ancient city could have eighteen letters?
If not, the possessor of tunable skill
St. Tell me what brings you, gentle youth, to
ST. PHILIP NERI AND THE YOUTH.
ST. Philip Neri, as old readings say,
Will do the bus'ness? not a bit-
Y. To make myself a scholar, sir, I come.
St. And, when you are one, what do you intend?
St. Well; and how then?
may be made a bishop.
Y. Why, cardinal's a high degree-
St. Suppose it was what then?
St. Be it so
Y. Why then, for aught I
And thus the preacher often gains
For how indeed can one expect
But you may be, as you are pleas'd to hope,
ADVICE TO THE REV. MESSRS. H
Many a good sermon gives distaste,
Some care and pains to set it forth?
What is a sermon, good or bad,
To hear some people, when they preach,
Y. Why, who can say A just remark, a proper phrase;
For such a one to run along,
Y. Nay, there is nothing further, to be sure,
As long as God shall please, then-I must die.
St. What! must you die? fond youth! and at
But wish and hope, and may be all the rest!
So perfect is the Christian scheme,
But for a man that has a head,
In point of sermons, 't is confest,
Would they but speak as well as write,
TO THE SAME,
ON PREACHING EXTEMPORE.
THE hint I gave, some time ago,
Be not alarm'd, as if regard
Do but consider how the case
Long after preaching first began,
However well prepar'd before,
Moderns, of late, give proofs enoo
To tell an audience what they think,
How apt to think too, is the throng,
Try it; and if you can't succeed,
But when they tease us with it from the pulpit,
TO RL, ESQ.
INDEED, Sir Peter, I could wish, I own,
If on their rules a justice should intrench,
In ancient times, when preachers preach'd indeed
Their sermons, ere the learned learnt to read,
Shut the church doors against all party strife:
'Tis wrong, sir Peter, I insist upon 't; To common sense 't is plainly an affront: The parson leaves the Christian in the lurch, Whene'er he brings his politics to church; His cant, on either side, if he calls preaching, The man's wrong-headed, and his brains want bleaching.
God spake (the Hebrew phrase is) face to face,
During the colloquy divine, say they,
ON CLERGYMEN PREACHING POLITICS. Soon after him, a poor, infirm old man,
Recall the time from conquering William's reign,
Were I a king (God bless me) I should hate
With age, and travel, weary quite, and wan,
And then sat down, to rest him, on the bank:
Light off his horse, began to swear, and curse,
Moses, with horrour and amazement seiz'd, Fell on his face-the voice divine was pleas'd To give the prophet's anxious mind relief, And thus prevent expostulating grief"Be not surpris'd; nor ask how such a deed The world's just Judge could suffer to succeed: The child has caus'd the passion, it is true, That made the soldier run the old man thro'; But know one fact, tho' never yet found out, And judge how that would banish ev'ry doubtThis same old man, thro' passion once as wild, Murder'd the father of that very child."
ON THE AUTHOR'S COAT OF ARMS. THE hedge-hog for his arms, I would suppose, Some sire of ours, beloved kinsfolk, chose, With aim to hint instruction wise, and good, To us descendants of his Byrom blood; I would infer, if you be of this mind, The very lesson, that our sire design'd.
He had observ'd that Nature gave a sense, To ev'ry creature, of its own defence; Down from the lion, with his tearing jaws, To the poor cat, that scratches with her paws; All show'd their force, when put upon the proof, Wherein it lay, teeth, talons, horn, or hoof.
Pleas'd with the porcupine, whose native art Is said to distance danger by his dart; To rout his foes, before they come too near, From ev'ry hurt of close encounter clearThis, had not one thing bated of its price, Had been our worthy ancestor's device.
A foe to none; but ev'ry body's friend; And loath, although offended, to offend; He sought to find an instance, if it could, By any creature's art, be understood, That might betoken safety, when attack'd; Yet where all hurt should be a foe's own act.
At last the hedge-hog came into his thought, And gave the perfect emblem that he sought: This little creature, all offence aside, Rolls up itself in its own prickly hide, When danger comes; and they that will abuse Do it themselves, if their own hurt ensues.
Methinks I hear the venerable sage"Children! descendants all thro' ev'ry age! Learn, from the prudent urchin in your arms, How to secure yourselves from worldly harms: Give no offence;-to you if others will, Firmly wrapt up within yourselves, be still.
"This animal is giv'n for outward sign Of inward, true security divine: Sharp, on your minds, let pointed virtues grow, That, without injuring, resist a foe;
Surround with these an honest, harmless heart, And he, that dwells in it, will take your part.
"Whatever ills your christian peace molest, Turn to, the source of grace, within your breast: There lies your safety-O that all my kin May ever seek it-where 't is found-within! That soul no ills can ever long annoy, Which makes its God the centre of its joy.”
INTENDED TO HAVE BEEN SPOKEN AT THE BREAKING UP OF THE FREE GRAMMAR-SCHOOL IN MANCHESTER, IN THE YEAR 1748, WHEN LAUDER'S CHARGE OF PLAGIARISM UPON MILTON ENGAGED THE PUBLIC ATTENTION.
THE MASTER'S SPEECH.
OUR worthy founder, gentlemen, this day,
Now, since our Milton, a renowned name, Had been attack'd for stealing into fame; I told 'em-" Lads, now be upon your guard; Exert yourselves, and save your famous bard: He's call'd a plagiary-'t is your's to show The vain reproach, and silence Milton's foe.
"The point," said I, "at which ye now take. aim,
Remember, as ye rhyme, is Milton's fame;
For plund'ring verses-ne'er contest the fact;
Then lend a fav'ring ear, whilst they rehearse Short, and almost extemporary verse:
A thought work'd up, that came into the mind, With rhymes the first, and fittest, they could find. Such was their task-the boys have done their best; Take what you like, sirs,-and excuse the rest..
FIRST LAD. MILTON pursu'd, in numbers more sublime, Things unattempted yet in prose, or rhyme: "T is said, the bard did but pretend to soar, For such, and such-attempted them before.
'Tis now an age ago since Milton writ; The rest-are sunk into Oblivion's pit: A critic diving to their wrecks, perhaps, Has, now and then, bro't up some loosen'd scraps
We'll not dispute the value of them nowBut, say one thing which critics must allow; Which all the nations round us will confessMilton alone-attempted with success.
WHEN Milton's ghost into Elysium came, To mix with claimants for poetic fame, Some rose, the celebrated bard to meet; Welcom'd, and laid their laurels at his feet.