Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

RETALIATION.

A Poem.

FIRST PRINTED IN MDCCLXXIV., AFTER THE

AUTHOR'S DEATH.

Dr. Goldsmith and some of his friends occasion. ally dined at the St. James's coffee-house. One day it was proposed to write epitaphs on him. His country, dialect, and person, furnished subjects of witticism. He was called on for retaliation, and at their next meeting produced the following poem.

RETALIATION.

Of old, when Scarron his companions invited, Each guest brought his dish, and the feast was

united : If our landlord * supplies us with teef and with

fish, Let each guest bring himself, and he brings the

best dish. Our dean t shall be venison, just fresh from the

plains, Our Burke I shall be tongue, with a garnish of

brains, Our Will § shall be wild-fowl, of excellent

flavour, And Dick || with his pepper shall heighten the

savour:

* The master of St. James's coffee-house, where the doctor, and the friends he has characterised in this poem, occasionally dined. † Doctor Bernard, dean of Derry in Ireland.

Mr. Edmund Burke. § Mr. William Burke, late secretary to general Conway, and member for Bedwin.

! Mr. Richard Burke, collector of Granada.

Our Cumberland's * sweet-bread its place shall

obtain, And Douglas f is pudding, substantial and plain : Our Garrick's I a salad ; for in him we see Oil, vinegar, sugar, and saltness agree : To make out the dinner, full certain I am, That Ridge § is anchovy, and Reynolds || is

lamb;

That Hickey's | a capon, and by the same rule,
Magnanimous Goldsmith a gooseberry-fool.
At a dinner so various, at such a repast,
Who'd not be a glutton, and stick to the last ?
Here, waiter, more wine, let me sit while I'm

able,
Till all my companions sink under the table;
Then, with chaos and blunders encircling my head,
Let me ponder, and tell what I think of the dead.

* Mr. Richard Cumberland, author of the West Indian, Fashionable Lover, the Brothers, and other dramatic pieces.

+ Doctor Douglas, canon of Windsor, an ingenious Scotch gentleman, who has no less distinguished himself as a citizen of the world, than a sound critic, in detecting several literary mistakes (or rather forgeries) of his countrymen ; particularly Lauder on Milton, and Bower's History of the Popes.

| David Garrick, Esq.

§ Counsellor John Ridge, a gentleman belonging to the Irish bar. || Sir Joshua Reynolds.

An eminent attorney.

Here lies the good dean *, re-united to earth, Who mix'd reason with pleasure, and wisdom

with mirth : If he had any faults, he has left us in doubt; At least, in six weeks I could not find 'em out; Yet some have declar'd, and it can't be denied

'em, That sly-boots was cursedly cunning to hide 'em. Here lies our good Edmund t, whose genius

was such, We scarcely can praise it, or blame it, too much; Who, born for the universe, narrow'd his mind, And to party gave up what was meant for mau

kind; Though fraught with all learning, yet straining

his throat To persuade Tommy Townshend I to lend him

a vote; Who, too deep for his hearers, still went on rem

fining, And thought of convincing while they thought

of dining : Though equal to all things, for all things unfit, Too nice for a statesman, too proud for a wit; For a patriot, too cool; for a drudge, disobeAnd too fond of the right to pursue the expe

dient.

dient;

Vide page 59.

+ Ibid. Mr. T. Townshend, Member for Whitchurch.

« AnteriorContinuar »