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" Here, Hermes, says Jove, who with nectar was mellow,
Go fetch me some clay,I will make an odd fellow!
Right and wrong shall be jumbled,-much gold and some dross ;
Without cause be he pleas'd, without cause be he cross;
Be sure, as I work, to throw in contradictions,
A great love of truth, yet a mind turn'd to fictions ;
Now mix these ingredients, which, warm'd in the baking,
Turn'd to learning and gaming, religion and raking.
With the love of a wench, let his writings be chaste ;
Tip his tongue with strange matter, his pen with fine taste ;
That the rake and the poet o'er all may prevail,
Set fire to the head, and set fire to the tail;
For the joy of each sex, on the world I'll bestow it,
This scholar, rake, Christian, dupe, gamester, and poet;
Though a mixture so odd, he shall merit great fame,
And among brother mortals—be Goldsmith his name ;
When on earth this strange meteor no more shall appear,
You, Hermes, shall fetch him—to make us sport here."
Cumberland, having no resentments to gratify, ventured to imitate his original, by applying to wines the characters appropriated by Goldsmith to dishes. The idea was good; and in the following piece, which was first printed about 1777, is cleverly executed, though infinitely inferior to the humour, discrimination, and talent that pervades ‘ Retaliation.' “ Poetical Epistle to Dr. Goldsmith, OR SUPPLEMENT to his
“ Doctor, according to our wishes.
You've character'd us all in dishes;
Served up a sentimental treat,
of various einblematic meat ;
And now it's time, I trust, you'll think
Your company should have some drink;
Else, take my word for it, at least
Your Irish friends won't like your seast.
Ring, then, and see that there is placed
To each according to his taste.
" To Douglas, fraught with learned stock
of critic lore, give ancient Hock;
Let it be genuine, bright, and fine,
Pure, unadulterated wine ;
For if there's fault in taste or odour,
He'll search it, as he search'd out Lauder.
“ To Johnson, philosophic sage,
The moral Mentor of the age ;
Religion's friend, with soul sincerc,
With melting heart, but look austere ;
Givc liquor of an honest sort,
And crown his cup with priestly Port.
“Now fill the glass with gay Champagne,
And frisk it in a livelier strain :
Quick ! quick! the sparkling nectar quaff;
Drink it, dear Garrick ! drink and laugh.
“Pour forth to Reynolds, without stint,
Rich Burgundy of ruby tint ;
If e'er his colours chance to fade,
This brilliant hue cha come in aid ;
With ruddy light refresh the faces,
And warm the bosom of the Graces.
" To Burke a pure libation bring,
Fresh drawn from the Castalian spring;
With civic oak the goblet bind,
Fit emblem of his patriot mind;
Let Clio at his table sip,
And Hermes hand it to his lip.
" Fill out my friend, the Dean of Derry,
A bumper of conventual Sherry.
"Give Ridge and Hickey, generous souls !
of Whisky punch convivial bowls;
But let the kindred Burkes regale,
With potent draughts of Wicklow ale !
“ To Cradock (1) next in order turn ye,
And grace him with the wines of Ferney.
“Now, Doctor, you're an honest sticker,
So take your glass, and choose your liquor.
Wil't have it steep'd in Alpine snows,
Or damask'd at Silenus' nose ?
With Wakefield's Vicar sip your tea,
Or to Thalia drink with me?
And, Doctor, I would have ye know it,
An honest I, though humble, poet ;
I scorn the sneaker like a toad,
Who drives his cart the Dover Road;
There, traitor to his country's trade,
Smuggles vile scraps of French brocade.
Hence with all such ! for you and
By English wares will live and die.
Come, draw your chair, and stir the fire ;
And, boy !-a pot of Thrale's entire !"
Dean Barnard, who wrote verses with facility, printed the following lines after perusing those of Goldsmith and Cumberland :
“Dear Noll and dear Dick, since you've made us so merry,
Accept the best thanks of the poor Dean of Derry !
Though I here must confess that your meat and your wine
Are not to my taste, though they're both very fine;
For Sherry's a liquor monastic, you own-
Now there's nothing I hate so as drinking alone:
It may do for your Monks, or your Curates and Vicars,
But for my part, l'ın fond of more sociable liquors.
Your Ven’son's delicious, though too sweet your sauce is-
Sed non ego maculis offendar paucis.
So soon as you please you may serve me your dish up,
But it.stead of your Sherry, pray make me a-Bishop.")
() ) [Joseph Cradock, Esq. The allusion is to his having altered and adapted Voltaire's • Zubeide' to the English stage.]
John Trott was desir’d by two witty peers,
To tell them the reason why asses had ears;
“ An't please you," quoth John, “ I'm not given to letters,
Nor dare I pretend to know more than my betters ;
Howe'er from this time I shall ne'er see your graces,
As I hope to be sav'd! without thinking on asses."
Edinburgh, 1753. (1)
WRITTEN AND SPOKEN BY THE POET LABERIUS, A ROMAN KNIGHT, WHOM CESAR FORCED UPON THE STAGE.
Preserved by Macrobius. (2)
What! no way left to shun th' inglorious stage,
And save from infamy my sinking age !
Scarce half alive, oppress'd with many a year,
What, in the name of dotage, drives me here?
(1) (This is the only effusion preserved, of several which Goldsmith is said to have written while a student at Edinburgh. ]
(2) [This translation was first printed in “ The Present State of Polite Learning," in 1759; but was omitted in the second edition, which appeared in 1774. Decimus Laberius was made a Roman knight by Julius Cæsar. For a long period he maintained the first character as a farce writer ; but Publius Syrus at last became his rival, and carried off the applause of the theatre. See Aulus Gellius, I. ii., c. 7; and Hor. Sat. Jib. i. sat. x.]