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And what in a mean man I should call folly,
Poems and Fancies. 1653. Is in your majesty remarkable wisdom.”
“WIPE off my tears with handkerchiefs of Dedication to Emperor of the East. 1631.
praise.” “ – it being so rare in this age to meet Epistle Dedicatory. with one noble name, that, in fear to be
“ Spin a garment of memory to lap up censured of levity and weakness, dare ex
my name.” press itself a friend or patron to contemned
Vanity is so natural to our sex, as it poetry."
were unnatural not to be so."
Poetry which is built upon fancy, woPrologue-at Court.
men may claim as a work belonging most “She durst not, Sir, at such a solemn feast, properly to themselves: for I have observed Lard his grave matter with one scurrilous
that their brains work usually in a fantastijest :
cal motion ; as in their several and various But laboured that no pássage might appear dresses; in their many and singular choices But what the Queen without a blush might of cloths and ribbons, and the like; in their hear."
curious shadowing and mixing of colours in 264. Tax-projectors.
their wrought works,—and divers sorts of
stitches they employ their needle; and Vol. 4.
many curious things they make, as flowers, City Madam. Dedication. Reputation boxes, baskets with beads, shells, silk, straw, of Massinger during his life, and when this or any thing else; besides all manner of play was published in 1659.
meats to eat; and thus their thoughts are P. 35. Gifford did not know how heirs employed perpetually with fancies; for could be pronounced as a dissyllable. fancy goeth not so much by rule and me
86. Most of our old writers abridged the thod as by choice.” word Master, and pronounced only the She understood no language but her own, initial letter, e.g.
“ not French, although I was in France five " At M. Luke's suit. The action twenty years. Neither do I understand my own thousand."
native language very well, for there are many words I know not what they signify."
The passions are like musical instru
ments : when they play concords, the mind DUCHESS OF NEWCASTLE.
dances in measure the saraband of tranquilDR. Aikin says she was one of the most
lity.” P. 51. fertile and voluminous writers—at least of
123. “I must intreat my Noble Readers her sex, upon record. Her works at length
to read this part of my Book very slow, and amounting to thirteen folios, ten of them in
to observe very strictly every word they print. This enormous mass of her writings read, because in most of these Poems, every is now so completely consigned to oblivion, word is a Fancy. Wherefore if they lose that probably scarcely any English scholar by not marking, or skip by too hasty readliving has read more of them than a few ing, they will intangle the sense of the whole lines descriptive of melancholy quoted in Copy." the “ Connoisseur,” (No. 69,) and praised
128. Nature's Oven. beyond their desert.
The Brain is like an Oven, hot and dry, Dr. Aikin himself has written much more Which bakes all sorts of Fancies, low and in quantity; and his daughter, Miss Lucy,
high, quite as much,--and nothing so good. The Thoughts are wood, which Motion sets
The Tongue a Peele which draws forth the Which fly about, and carry 'em every
And then some down into Oblivion fall." And burns it up; if cold, the Thoughts are 190. “ When he was mounted, fast away Dough.
they went 128.“ Life scumms the Cream of Beauty In the full gallop of a good intent." with Time's spoon,
Her atomical poems are comical enough. And draws the Claret wine of Blushes soon." What is most remarkable is the strange 135. In Nature's Grange,
looseness of language, as to any thing like
syntax or rhyme. “ Cows of Content, which gave the Milk of 19. " Motion is the life of all things.” Ease,
31. The fancy of her atoms explained. Curds prest with Love which made a Friend- 38. Shadow and Echo. Never was fancy ship-Cheese,
more poetically conceived, or unpoetically Cream of Delight was put in Pleasure's
expressed. It may have suggested Sir Churn,
Egerton's fine sonnet. Where in short time the Butter of Joys come."
Perys says in his Diary, May 30th, 139-40. Nature's City.
" To see the silly play of my Lady New
castle's, called the ‘Humorous Lovers,' the “ The Citizens are worms, which seldom stir,
most silly thing that ever came upon a stage. But sit within their shops and sell their
I was sick to see it; but yet would not but
have seen it, that I might better understand The Moles are Magistrates who undermine
her." Each one's estate, that they their wealth
Sir T. Brown. “ The lazy Dormouse Gentry doth keep Much in their houses, eat, and drink, and
Hannah MORE once read through a shelf sleep."
of books at Hampton. In her list of them
she enumerates Sir Thomas Brown's “very “ The Peasant Ants industrious are to get learned miscellanies, and eke very obProvisions store, hard labours make them
scure),"— and this is all her comment! sweat."
Mem. vol. 2, p. 198.
“ Our party (at the Bishop's, Fulham,) 154. Fairies
consists of Dr. Beattie, and Mrs. Kennicott;
the former gentle and amiable, but in a low, Making the father rich whose child they
broken-spirited state. We have formed keep."
quite a friendship. He has taken much to 155. Hodmandod shells.
me, I believe, chiefly because I cordially 138. She seems to believe in fairies. sympathize with him on the death of his
148. The centre of the earth their king. son, the Edwin of his “Minstrel.”—Mem. dom.
vol. 2, p. 341.--Hannah MORE. 146.“ Then on her wings doth Fame
Sir Thomas Browne, as is well known, was those actions bear,
one of Southey’s favourite authors.-- J. W.W.
Monthly Review, v. 44, p. 286. When But he wanted dates before him when he the first book was published, the Reviewer coupled Donne and Cowley as contemposaid —“ We would not by any means have raries, who introduced the irregular meahim stop here. The Minstrel's progress to sures and “ childish witticisms,” about the his profession cannot possibly be so enter- middle of the last century. And also when taining as his practice in it. To represent he says, that at the time when Cowley had him in his itinerant life; to invent amusing infected the whole nation with witticism, incidents expressive of the might of his Milton arose. - · Discussions, Moral and minstrelsy over the natural and moral evils Critical.”—Monthly Review, vol. 69, p. 38. that may disturb the peace of families where he is entertained, and over all The strewed ills that watch his way'
“ Blotting and correction was so much would certainly be a glorious field for fancy and variety. What, for instance, could be his abhorrence, that I have heard from his more striking than the Minstrel's soliciting publisher,” says D'ISRAELI,“ he once enerentertainment at the door of Spleen or Ava- getically expressed himself, “it was like rice, elevating the heart of one, and opening cutting away one's own flesh.'' that of the other ? The description of so
“ I have heard, that, after a successful many different objects would greatly ani- work, he usually precipitated the publicamate and diversify the poem."
tion of another, relying on its crudeness BEATTIE says, “For
being passed over by the public curiosity of words, vi
energy vacity of description, and apposite variety excited by its better brother. He called of numbers, Dryden's · Feast of Alex
this getting double pay. But Churchill was ander' is superior to any Ode of Horace or
spendthrift of fame, and enjoyed all his rePindar now extant."— Monthly Review, vol.
venue while he lived. Posterity owes him 57, p. 31.
little, and pays him nothing.”—Curiosities
of Literature, vol. 3, p. 129. the pathos of Homer is frequently improved by Pope, and that of Virgil very
Pinkerton says, (Lett. of Lit., p. 369), frequently debased by Dryden." Ibid.
“ Churchill's works have passed through more editions, and are more read in Scot
land than in England, which shews that the Andrew Erskine says to Boswell (1761) love of that country for liberty is superior of the country about Aberdeen.
even to the most inveterate national prejucountry around is dismal ; long gloomy dices." moors, and the extended ocean, are the only prospects that present themselves. The whole region seems as if made in di
SHENSTONE. rect opposition to descriptive poetry. You meet here with none of the lengthened tion into that taste for landscape gardening
D'ISRAELI says that he educated the nameads, sunny vales, and dashing streams
which has become the model of all Europe." that brighten in the raptured poet's eye."
-Curiosities of Literature, p. 5. --Letters, p. 145.
See the whole article. Beattie says truly enough, that “among
HULL's Select Letters. contemporary poets we may sometimes observe a similarity of genius, which is pro- P. 2. SHENSTONE, 1736, to Mr. D. bably occasioned by their imitating one “I am at present in a very refined state another."
of indolence and inactivity. Indeed I make
little more use of a country life than to live | but field-flowers, and considering how I over again the pleasures of Oxford and your spend my time, they can scarce do othercompany."
wise." " – I aim at rendering my letters as odd 156. The Gamester. and fantastical as possible, but when I write Shenstone says——“ I never yet had any to a person of your elegant character, my opinion of the genius of Mr. Moore, and I compliments degenerate into downright hardly think I shall alter my sentiments on truths."
account of this performance."
175. Oct. 25, 1753. Miss F-R to Shenstone. 1745.
" I am now in some sort of doubt conP. 13. “Mrs. A. says, though you cut off cerning my snuff-box, whether to have it your hair, she believes your ears will re
repaired in the cheapest way, with a figured main, and wishes nothing so much as an
tortoise-shell on the top, and a plain toropportunity to pinch 'em.”
toise-shell on the bottom ; or to exchange 17. “ Tell Mrs. A. my ears make great
the gold of it, and have a figured tortoiseshoots, and such as may tempt her hand
shell box with a gold rim, like yours with a egregiously: but if I am metamorphosed gilt one, only in the shape of an oblong into an Ass entirely, I will come and sere
square, a little rounded at the corners. I nade her in a morning, when she has been
should have no thoughts of this, but that my up late the night before.”
own seems too little and unmanly." during the winter season he de
191. “ I am, as the phrase is, deeply pescribes himself, as being, -without any af
netrated by the civility of your neighfectation—the dullest of the sons of men,'
bour." altogether in what I think they call Swiss
227. March 21, 1755, to Graves. Meditation, that is, thinking upon no
“ There is nothing that I can less forgive thing.""
the world than your want of leisure. Do
not misinterpret me, or take amiss what I 110. Duchess of SOMERSET. “Mr. Lind- say. I know you to be infinitely more sey, my Lord's chaplain, (who, by the way happy than myself, who am cloyed with it; is a very good judge, and a pretty sort of but it would add something to my happiman,) prefers his (Shenstone's) Ode on ness, if not to your own, that you had more Autumn to almost every modern perform- vacant spaces, or intervals of time, to emance."
ploy in those refined amusements for which
you are so exquisitely qualified." 115. SHENSTONE to Lady Luxborough.
228. “ As to sun-dials, I never much af“ Notwithstanding the supposed quali- | fected the things themselves, nor indeed fications of the Glums and the Gawries any mottos with which I have seen them excite one's curiosity, the book does not,
inscribed.' Perhaps this indifference may I think, deserve a place in your Ladyship's arise from no very commendable sources; library, and I would not have you purchase a reflection upon my own want of proficiency it. It makes two vols. in 12mo, price 6s. in mathematics, and an habitual consciousIt came into my way, so I read it, giving it
ness of my own waste of time. However, I just attention enough to let it amuse me
have often had thoughts of placing a slight with the imaginary scenes it describes." one somewhere upon my premises, for the
117. His Ode on Rural Elegance.
Had Shenstone been a member of All-Souls, could; but I am fearful you will discover
instead of Pembroke, he would have remem.
bered the beautiful motto on the Dial there:nothing but common-place thoughts. I
PEREUNT ET IMPUTANTUR! I could never pass think most of my verses smell of nothing l it without turning back!-J. W.W.
sake of inscribing it with a couple of lines swer a smaller voice than that of a musket. from Virgil
With a culverin I suppose it would hold a *Sed fugit interea, fugit irreparabile tempus,
93. 1749. Singula dum capti circumvectamur amore.'
“I lead the unhappy life of seeing noAll the lines in Virgil afford me that sort thing in the creation so idle as myself. I of pleasure which one receives from melan- am continually piddling in little matters choly music; and I believe I am often about my
farm." struck with the turn and harmony of his expressions, where a person less attached
Vol. 2. to them can discover no great beauty." Nov. 20, 1762. SHENSTONE to Anon. 234. 1755.
“ My dearest friend, — It is a very surthough I first embellished my farm, prizing and a cruel thing, that you will not with an eye to the satisfaction I should re- suppose me to have been out of order, after ceive from its beauty, I am now grown de- such a neglect of writing as can hardly be pendent upon the friends it brings me, for excused on any other score. I cannot, inthe principal enjoyment it affords; I am deed, lay claim to what the doctors call an pleased to find them pleased, and enjoy its acute disease, but dizziness of head, and beauties by reflection. And thus the dur- depression of spirits are at best no trivial able part of my pleasure appears to be, at maladies, and great discouragements to the last, of the social kind."
writing. There is a lethargic state of mind
that deserves your pity, not your anger : 238. SPENCE to Shenstone. 1758. though it may require the hellebore of sharp - your works often gave me the great this pungent remedy before the disease was
reproof. Why, then, did you not employ est pleasure, not only from their spirit and elegance, but from the good heart that shines gone so far? But, seriously, I pass too
much of that sort of time, wherein I am forth throughout them. Whatever excellencies a writer possesses, and to whatever
neither well nor ill, and being unable to degree, this is the true sun, that gives the express myself at large, am averse to do so noblest gilding of all to his compositions ;
P. 4. “ Mr. Percy and his wife spent a and you must give me leave to say, that you are the most sunshiny writer of this good part of the week here, and he also kind that ever warmed me.”
would needs write a description of the Lea
sowes. I am more and more convinced that 255 1759. One of his employments was "perplexing
no description of this place can make any the Birmingham artists with sketches for figure in print, unless some strictures upon improvements in their manufactures, which gardening, and other embellishments, be
superadded." they will not understand."
15. To Whistler. 264. Percy was translating Ovid,
“ I used to think this a kind of distinc
tion between Mr. Graves and you, that the 266. DODSLEY to Shenstone.
one had the knack of making his virtues 66 Persfield. A gun fired from the top unenvied, and the other of rendering (what of this cliff, creates, by the reverberation I perhaps unjustly termed) his weaknesses of the report amongst other rocks, a loud amiable. I am almost afraid of inserting clap of thunder, two or three times repeat- this, lest it should seem to injure the supered, before it dies away ; but even this echo, lative esteem I have of you : but I must conformably to the pride and grandeur of add, that I consider a mixture of weaknesses, the rest of the place, will not deign to an- and an ingenuous confession of them, as