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Here Reynolds * is laid, and, to tell you my
mind, He has not left a wiser or better behind ; His pencil was striking, resistless, and grand; His manners were gentle, complying, and bland; Still born to improve us in every part, His pencil our faces, his manners our heart : To coxcombs averse, yet most civilly steering ; When they judg’d without skill, he was still
hard of hearing : When they talked of their Raphaels, Corregios,
and stuff, He shifted his trumpet t, and only took snuff.
* Vide page 60.
† Sir Joshua Reynolds was so remarkably deaf as to be under the necessity of using an ear-trumpet in company.
After the fourth edition of this poem was printed, the
publisher received the following epitaph on Mr. Whitefoord *, from a friend of the late doctor Goldsmith.
HERE Whitefoord reclines ; and deny it who can, Though he merrily liv'd, he is now a grave +
Rare compound of oddity, frolic and fun!
A scholar, yet surely no pedant was he.
What pity, alas ! that so lib'ral a mind Should so long be to newspaper-essays confin'd!
* Mr. Caleb Whitefoord, author of many humourous essays.
+ Mr. W. was so notorious a punster, that doctor Goldsmith used to say it was impossible to keep him company without being infected with the itch of punning.
Who perhaps to the summit of science could
soar, Yet content if the table he set in a roar;' Whose talents to fill any station were fit, Yet happy if Woodfall * confess'd him a wit. Ye newspaper-witlings ! ye pert scribbling
folks! Who copied his squibs and re-echoed his jokes ; Ye tame imitators, ye servile herd, come, Still follow your master, and visit his tomb; To deck it, bring with you festoons of the vine, And copious libations bestow on his shrine; Then strew all around it (you can do no less) Cross-readings, ship-news, and mistakes of the
press f. Merry Whitefoord, farewell! for thy sake I
admit That a Scot may have humour, I had almost
said wit; This debt to thy mem’ry I cannot refuse, • Thou best-humour'd man with the worst
* Mr. H. S. Woodfall, printer of the Public Advertiser.
† Mr Whitefoord has frequently indulged the town with humourous pieces under those titles in the Public Advertiser.