« AnteriorContinuar »
ON THE UNIVERSITY CARRIER,
WHO SICKENED IN THE TIME OF HIS VACANCY, BEING FORBID TO
GO TO LONDON, BY REASON OF THE PLAGUE.
HERE lies old Hobson ;' Death hath broke his girt
And here, alas! hath laid him in the dirt;
Or else the ways being foul, twenty to one,
He's here stuck in a slough, and overthrown.
'Twas such a shifter, that if truth were known,
Death was half glad when he had got him down;
For he had, any time this ten years full,
Dodged with him betwixt Cambridge and the Bull
And surely Death could never have prevailed,
Had not his weekly course of carriage failed;
But lately finding him so long at home,
And thinking now his journey's end was come,
And that he had ta’en up his latest inn,
In the kind office of a chamberlin
Showed him his room where he must lodge that night,
Pulled off his boots, and took away the light:
If any ask for him, it shall be said,
Hobson has supped, and 's newly gone to bed.
HERE lieth one, who did most truly prove
That he could never die while he could move;
So hung his destiny, never to rot
While he might still jog on and keep his trot;
1 Mr. Thomas Hobson was a carrier, and the first man in this island who let out hackney horses. He lived in Cambridge, and, observing that the scholars rid hard, his manner was to keep a large stable of horses, with boots, bridles, and whips, to furnish the gentle. men at once, without going from college to college to borrow, as they have done since the death of this worthy man. I say, Mr. Hobson kept a stable of forty good cattle, always ready and fit for travel.
Made of sphere-metal, never to decay
Until his revolution was at stay.
Time numbers motion, yet (without a crime
Gainst old truth) motion numbered out his time
And like an engine moved with wheel and weight,
His principles being ceased, he ended straight.
Rest that gives all men life, gave him his death,
And too much breathing put him out of breath ;
Nor were it contradiction to affirm
Too long vacation hastened on his term.
Merely to drive the time away he sickened,
Fainted, and died, nor would with ale be quickened,
Nay,” quoth he, on his swooning bed out-stretched;
If I mayn't carry, sure I'll ne'er be fetched,
But vow, though the cross doctors all stood hearers,
For one carrier put down to make six bearers."
Ease was his chief disease, and to judge right,
He died for heaviness that his cart went light:
His leisure told him that his time was come,
And lack of load made his life burdensome,
That even to his last breath (there be that say't)
As he were pressed to death, he cried “ More weight;"
But had his doings lasted as they were,
He had been an immortal carrier.
Obedient to the moon he spent his date
In course reciprocal, and had his fate
Linked to the mutual flowing of the seas,
Yet (strange to think) his wain was his increase :
His letters are delivered all and gone,
Only remains this superscription.
ling; but when a man came for a horse, he was led into the stable, where there was great choice, but he obliged him to take the horse which stood next to the stable-door; so that every customer was alike well served, according to his chance, and every horse ridden with the same justice; from whence it became a proverb, when what ought to be your choice was forced upon you, to say " Hobson's choice." This memorable man stands drawn in fresco at an inn (which he used) in Bishopsgate-street, with an hundred pound bag under his arm, with this inscription upon the said bag, "" The fruitful mother of a hundred more."--Spectator, No. 509
HENCE loathéd Melancholy,
Of Cerberus’ and blackest Midnight born, In Stygian cave forlorn,
'Mongst horrid shapes, and shrieks, and sights unholy, Find out some uncouth cell,
Where brooding darkness spreads his jealous wings, And the night raven sings;
There under ebon shades, and low-browed rocks,
As ragged as thy locks,
In dark Cimmerian3 desert ever dwell.
But come thou goddess fair and free,
In Heaven yeleped Euphrosyne,
And by men, heart-easing Mirth,
Whom lovely Venus at a birth *
With two sister graces more
To ivy-crowned Bacchus boz
Or whether (as some sages sing)
The frolic wind that breathes the spring,
Zephyr with Aurora playing,
1 This and the following poem are exquisitely beautiful in them. selves, but appear much more beautiful when they are considered as they were written, in contrast with each other. There is a great variety of pleasing images in each of them; and it is remarkable that the poet represents several of the same objects as exciting both mirth and melancholy, and affecting us differently according to the different dispositions and affections of the soul. This is nature and experience. He derives the title of both poems from the Italian, which language was then principally in vogue. L'Allegro is the cheerful, merry man; and, in this poem, he describes the course of mirth, in the country and in the city, from morning till noon, and from noon till night: and possibly he might have this in his thoughts, when he said afterwards
Areopagitica," "There be delights, there be recreations and jolly pastimes that will fetch the day about from sun to sun, and rock the tedious year as in a delightful dream.” Vol. i. p. 154.-Newton.
2 Erebus, the conjecture of Upton and Newton, is more agreeable to mythology. 3 The Cimmerians lived in caves, and never saw the light of the
See Homer, Od. xi. 14; Tibull. iv. i. 65. 4 The more ancient opinion makes the graces spring from Jupiter and Eurynome.
5 This is merely Milton's fiction, as no such account is given elsewhere.
As he met her once a maying,
There on beds of violets blue,
And fresh-blown roses washed in dew,
Filled her with thee a daughter fair,
So buxom, blithe, and debonair.
Haste thee, nymph, and bring with thes
Jest and youthful jollity,
Quips, and cranks, and wanton wiles,
Nods, and becks, and wreathéd smiles,
Such as hang on Hebe's cheek,
And love to live in dimple sleek;
Sport that wrinkled care derides,
And laughter holding both his sides.
Come, and trip it as you go
On the light fantastic toe,
And in thy right hand lead with thec,
The mountain nymph,' sweet Liberty ;
And if I give thee honour due,
Mirth, admit me of thy crew,
To live with her, and live with thee,
In unreproved pleasures free;
To hear the lark begin his flight,
And singing startle the dull night,
From his watch-tower in the skies,
Till the dappled dawn doth rise;
Then to come in spite of sorrow,
And at my window bid good-morrow,
Through the sweet-briar, or the vine,
Or the twisted eglantine :
While the cock with lively din
Scatters the rear of darkness thin,
And to the stack, or the barn-door,
Stoutly struts his dames before:
Oft listening how the hounds and horn
Cheerly rouse the slumbering morn,
From the side of some hoar hill,
Through the high wood echoing shrill:
Some time walking not unseen
By hedge-row elms, on hillocks green,
Right against the eastern gate,
Where the great sun begins his state, 1 So called, probably because those nations which dwell on mountains have preserved their liberty longest and most perse veringly,
Robed in flames and amber light,
The clouds in thousand liveries dight,"
While the ploughman near at hand
Whistles o'er the furrowed land,
And the milkmaid singeth blithe,
And the mower whets his scythe,
And every shepherd tells his tale
Under the hawthorn in the dale.
Straight mine eye hath caught new pleasures
Whilst the landskip round it measures,
Russet lawns, and fallows gray,
Where the nibbling flocks do stray,
Mountains on whose barren breast
The labouring clouds do often rest,
Meadows trim with daisies pied,
Shallow brooks, and rivers wide.
Towers and battlements it sees
Bosomed high in tufted trees,
Where perhaps some beauty lies,
The Cynosure 3 of neighbouring eyes.
Hard by, a cottage chimney smokes,
From betwixt two aged oaks,
Where Corydon and Thyrsis met,
Are at their savoury dinner set
Of herbs, and other country messes,
Which the neat-handed Phillis dresses;
And then in haste her bower she leaves,
With Thestylis to bind the sheaves;
Or if the earlier season lead
To the tanned haycock in the mead.
Sometimes with secure delight
The upland hamlets will invite,
When the merry bells ring round,
And the jocund rebecks* sound
To many a youth, and many a maid,
Dancing in the chequered shade;
And young and old come forth to play
On a sunshine holy-day,
Till the livelong daylight fail;
Then to the spicy nut-brown ale,
1 Dressed, adorned.
2 Feed at large.
3 The constellation of Ursa Minor, or the Little Bear.
4 A three-stringed fiddle.