Imágenes de páginas
[ocr errors]

Could e'er suppose the slabberer had an art
At times to cling so closely round the heart;
Could think he play'd Horatio with a fire,
That forc'd e'en slander loudly to admire;
Or dream his actual excellence in Lear

Could dim each eye-ball with the tenderest tear? This Philippic was scarcely finished, when Ross, who sat in a niche by the fire-place, totally unobserved by the publisher, came forward, and looking round at the company, who were rather silently aukward upon this occasion, thus exclaimed:

Why sits this sadness on your brows, my friends?
I should have bluth'd if Cato's house had stood

Secure, and Acurish'd in a civil war.The calm propriety of this quotation, the dignified and feeling manner with which Ross spoke it, shot like electric fire around the rooin, and he had in an instant the applauses of the whole company--the publisher was the only person that remained embarrassed; but Ross, knowing his integrity and general good-manners, soon relieved him, by laughing it off as a joke, and begging him to think no more about it.

Whatever merits or defects these poems intrinsically may have, they raised the author to the notice of the public, and it was not among

Kelly's weaknesses to shrink from the public eye. He was vain of the charactor of an author by profession, or, to use his cwn words, “ of sitting in the chair of criticism.” He was likewise fond of dress, and though his person, which was low and corpulent, did not aid this propensity, his vanity prevailed, and he was constantly distinguished in all public places by a flaming broad silver-laced waistcoat, bag-wig, sword, &c.

It was likewise the publication of these poems that first introduced him to Garrick, or rather, introduced Garrick to him ; .for the latter seeing himself so “be-praised and be-Roscius’d” in the first part of Thespis, thought he could do no less than return him his personal thanks. It was at this interview Garrick suggested to him to write for the Stage; and as this was the secret wish of our author's heart, he readily took the hint, happy to be brought out under such very powerful and distinguished patronage.

Kelly, as he himself used to relate, sat down to write his first comedy, which he afterwards christened by the name of “ False Delicacy, on Easter Monday 1768, and finished it so as to be fit for Garrick's perusal about the beginning of September. We mention this circumstance to shew with what facility he wrote, and at the same time, it must be confessed, how well, considering that he had little or no rea sources, either from literature, or what is generally called good company, and that his whole dependence was on his own observation, and the scanty materials drawn from fugitive pieces, and the meagre conversa, tion of coffee-houses and club-rooms.

He felt his own resources, however, equal to the task, and he sat down to his comedy with attention and confidence. He was at this wine much acquainted with Goldsmith and Bickerstaffe, but availed

[ocr errors]

himself so little of their advice, that except their barely hearing he was engaged that way, he scarcely ever mentioned the subject. Towards the close of the comedy, however, he ventured to communicate it to Bickerstaffe, who praised it before his face in the highest strains of panegyric; but no sooner turned down the author's stair-case, than he abused it to a common friend in the grossest terms, and “ talked of his arrogance in thinking of comedy, when his highest feather was that of paragraph or Newspaper Essay writing.”

Godsmith kept back and was silent, but, as it afterwards appeared, from the same principle of envy. When asked about Kelly's writing a comedy, he said, “ He knew nothing at all about it he had heard there was a man of that name about town who wrote in Newspapers, but of his talents for comedy, or even the work he was engaged in, he could not judge.”

This would be a great drawback on the character of Goldsmith, if itarose from a general principle ; but nothing could be further from the truth-he was kind, beneficent, and good-natured in the extreme, to áll but those whom he thought his competitors in literary fame; but this was so deeply rooted in his nature, that nothing could cure it.

Poverty had no terrors for him—but the applauses paid a brother poet made him poor indeed.”

During this rising storm Kelly went on with his work, till he finished it about the beginning of September 1768, and immediately carried it to Garrick. Garrick was so much pleased with it on the perusal, that he sent him á note, expressive of his highest approbation, and among other words, we remember, used this expression: “ There are thougnts in it worthy of an angel.” He, however, suggested some sligiit alterations, mostly relative to stage effect, and this was all the part Garrick had in his comedy. We mention this circumstance so minutely, as it was said at the time, that Garrick principally assisted him in the writing ; but this was entirely the voice of envy-a voice, we are sorry to say, that is not unusually heard on the first capital works of Authors or Artists, as it is then most likely to be fatal to their rising reputation.

[To be continued.]



HEN the Mareschal was but ten years old, and his governor mis

sing him, had sought up and down every where for him, he at length found him asleep on a cannon, which he seemed to embrace with his little arms as far as they could reach. And when he asked him, why he chose such a couch to lie on? He made answer, “ that he designed to have slept there all night, to convince his father that he was hardy enough to undergo the fatigues of war; though the old Duke had oftca persuaded him to the contrary."


[ocr errors]

TO THE EDITOR. SIR, T'is undeniable, that the Fair Sex have lately given very convina culine, and that some of them may be ranked among the mos distinguished authors of the present day. With all this I have no dispo2 sition to find fault-I love female excellence ; and at proper times, f think a book and a pen as graceful ornaments to a female hand as a padding-dish or a needle.

But, Sir, I am sorry to add, that I see a propensity in some very amiable ladies to go farther--and imitate the gentlemen in certain' things which are not quite so delectable. A few nights ago, in a company, an apology came from a lady who could not be present, because she had that morning been seized with a fit of the gout. “ Bless me!" exclaimed I, “ are the ladies to take from us our diseases also, and rival our sex in those distinguished aches and pains, of which we have so long enjoyed the monopoly !” But, Sir, what happened next. morning, is inore in point yet-Calling on a very charming lady, late in the forenoon, I found her at breakfast, and expressing my surprize at an irregularity which I knew to be very uncommon in her house, she confessed her fault, but added, " When I awoke, my head ached so, that I resolved to indulge; late hours will not do for me!"

This is very alarming, for who knows where it may stop! Already we have known female parties at taverns, and it may be dreaded that the character of a social soul and jolly dog will soon be transferred from

One lady writer is for having her sex educated in the same manner with boys--and if so, who knows but in a few years, a sober citi. zen may be called out of his bed to give bail for his wife, who has þeat the watch? I hope this hint will suffice. It is not a subject I choose to enlarge upon.



[ocr errors]


Original Letter of Dean Swift, in the possession of Dr. MIDFORD, Of



London, April 30, 1713. AM ashamed to tell you how ill a philosopher I am, that a very ill

situation of my owu affairs for these three weeks past, made me utterly uncapable of answering your obliging letter, or thanking you for your most agreable copy of verses. The prints will tell you, that


I am condemned to live again in Ireland, and that all the Court or Mi. histry did for me, was to let me chuse my station in the country where I am banished. I could not forbear shewing both your letter and ver-, ses to our great men, as well as to the men of wit of my acquaintance; and they were highly approved by all. I am altogether a stranger to your friend Oppian, and am a little angry when those who have a genius lay it out in translations. I question whether res angusta domi be not one of your motives. Perhaps you want such a bridle as a translation, for young genius is too fruitful as appears by the frequency of your similes, and this employment may teach you to write more like a mortal man, as Shakespear expresseth it.

I have been minding my Lord Bolinbroke, Mr. Harcourt, and Sir William Windham, to solicit my Lord Chancellor to give you a living as a business which belongs to our society, who assume the title of Rewarders of Merit. They are all very well disposed, and, I shall not fail to negociate for you while I stay in England, which will not be above six weeks, but I hope to return in October, and if you are not then provided for, I will move heaven and earth that something may be done for you. Our society hath not met of late, else I would have moved to have two of us sent in form to request a living for you from my Lord Chancellor; and if you have any way to enploy my service, I desire you will let me know it; and believe me to be very sincerely, Sir, Your most faithful humble servant,

J. SWIFT To the Rev. Mr. WILLIAM DIAPER, at Dean,

near Basingstoke, Hanipshire.





[ocr errors]

FEW days since a French emigrant went into a jeweller's shop,

in St. James's-street, for the purpose of buying a sword; he saw one which, from its apparent goodness, pleased him; but, alas; his means were not equal to the purchase: he offered what money he had, and requested the jeweller to accepta ring which he wore on his finger in payment of the remainder; the man hesitated, and the unfortunate stranger endeavoured to strengthen his request by stating the motive which induced it:-he was going to join the standard of the Earl of Moira. They were interrupted by the entrance of a third person ; who, having for a few minutes noticed the conversation, and suspected the cause of it, called the jeweller aside, and directed him to let the foreigner have the sword for what he had to offer, and that he would reimburse him the difference; he then left the shop. The foreigner hid the sword, and immediately felt to whom he was indebted, who proved to be no other than the Prince of Wales. Vol. II.





marked, that in disputes between married people, let what will be the contest, the victory belongs to the party which first quits the field.

Were we to consider, that the quarrel most frequently arises from some trifle, about which both are equally indifferent; and that it is only pertinacity of opinion, and blind self-willed nature which expects too much and gives too little, that protracts the dispute : Surely, we should blush from very shame, and cease to wound each other's feelings, upon points as unimportant, as a dispute between two of our own infants about a top, or some other toy, found by one of them, and claimed by the other.

. It is a favourite maxim among the ladies, that where married couples disagree, the man has every advantage; as he can, if his home be rendered disagreeable, leave it, and by company and amusements, make

up for the loss he exepriences at his own fire-side. This I solemnly deny ; nay, am certain that the reverse is the truth. The husband may, indeed, keep himself from home, and share in what will soon cease to prove amusements, unless his mind be callous to every domestic sensation ; and thus he may for a while wander from the tavern to the brothel : but whenever he quits home, in search of happiness, he may be assured, that he will be as often disappointed.

Let those who really possess the inestimable blessing of domestic peace, value it as a jewel above all price.

Let not the drunkard, the libertine, or the gambler, ever laugh them (particularly the husband) out of their real bliss, to introduce them to want, disease, and misery.

Too often have the envenomed shafts of ridicule, conveyed perhaps, in the epithet, of Milksop, Jerry Sneak, Coward, and such expressions as these, drawn away the truly happy man from a smiling, and, if I may use the expression, paradiscical fire-side, never more to return, till the dart, tipt with the deadly poison of guilt, has been infixed in his bosom ; and which, perhaps, every effort of his amiable partner could never afterward extract. And you,' ye fair married dames,' ever listen to this one piece of advice, so well enforced by the Dramatic Poet" Let your every nerve be strained to make home comfortable and engaging to your husbands. Remember, he comes to you to unbend from the weightier cares of life, which furrow his brow, with a prospect of providing for you and his children. There are little peculiarities, perhaps, in which he places some of his pleasures ; anticipate that indulgence; nay, make it a point of the first consequence,

« AnteriorContinuar »