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Weary Knife-grinder! little think the proud ones, This faded form! this pallid hue!
This blood my veins is clotting in,
When first I entered at the U
niversity of Gottingen, Tell me, Knife-grinder, how came you to grind knives?
niversity of Gottingen.
There first for thee my passion grew,
Sweet, sweet Matilda Pottingen!
Thou wast the daughter of my TuWas it the squire, for killing of his game? or
tor, law professor at the U. Covetous parson, for his tithes distraining ?
niversity of Gottingen, Or roguish lawyer, made you lose your little
niversity of Gottingen. All in a lawsuit?
Sun, moon, and thon vain world, adieu,
That kings and priests are plotting in: (Have you not read the Rights of Man, by Tom
Here doomed to starve on water gruPaine ?)
el, never shall I see the U. Drops of compassion tremble on my eyelids, Ready to fall, as soon as you have told your
niversity of Gottingen, Pitiful story.
niversity of Gottingen.
[During the last stanza Rogero dashes his head repeatedly agains! KNIPE-GRINDER.
the walls of his prison ; and finally so hard as to produce a Story! God bless you! I have none to tell, sir ;
visible contusion. He then throws himself on the floor in an Only last night a-drinking at the Chequers,
agony. The curtain drops, the music still continuing to play This poor old hat and breeches, as you see, were
till it is wholly fallen.]
Torn in a scuffle. Constables came up for to take me into
Lines on the Death of his Eldest Son. Custody ; they took me before the justice ;
[By the Right Hon. George Canning.) Justice Oldmixon put me in the parish
Stocks for a vagrant. Though short thy span, God's unimpeached decrees,
Which made that shortened span one long disease; I should be glad to drink your honour's health in Yet, merciful in chastening, gave thee scope A pot of beer, if you will give me sixpence ;
For mild redeeming virtues, faith and hope,
Meek resignation, pious charity;
Far from thy path removed, with partial care,
Strife, glory, gain, and pleasure's flowery snare;
Bade earth's temptations pass thee harmless by, I give thee sixpence! I will see thee d -d first
And fixed on Heaven thine unreverted eye! Wretch whom no sense of wrongs can rouse to ven- Oh! marked from birth, and nurtured for the skies! geance
In youth, with more than learning's wisdom wise ! Sordid, unfeeling, reprobate, degraded
As sainted martyrs, patient to endure !
Simple as unweaned infancy, and pure !
Pure from all stain (save that of human clay, (Kicks the Knife-Grinder, overturns his wheel, and exit in a
Which Christ's atoning blood hath washed away!) transport of republican enthusiasm and universal an
By mortal sufferings now no more oppressed, thropy.]
Mount, sinless spirit, to thy destined rest!
While I-reversed our nature's kindlier doom[Song by Rogero in 'The Rovers.')
Pour forth a father's sorrows on thy tomb. Whene'er with haggard eyes I view
Another satirical poem, which attracted much This dungeon that I'm rotting in,
attention in literary circles at the time of its publiI think of those companions true
cation, was The Pursuits of Literature, in four parts, Who studied with me at the U.
the first of which appeared in 1794. Though pubpiversity of Gottingen, lished anonymously, this work was written by Mr niversity of Gottingen. THOMAS JAMES MATHIAS, a distinguished scholar,
who died at Naples in 1835. Mr Mathias was some(Weeps and pulls out a blue kerchief, with which he wipes his
time treasurer of the household to her majesty eycs; gazing lenderly at it, he proceeds-]
Queen Charlotte. He took his degree of B. A. in
Trinity college, Cambridge, in 1774. Besides the Sweet kerchief, checked with heavenly blue, • Pursuits of Literature,' Mr Mathias was author of Which once my love sat knotting in
some Runic Odes, imitated from the Norse Tongue, Alas, Matilda then was true!
The Imperial Epistle from Kien Long to George III. At least I thought so at the U
(1794), The Shade of Alexander Pope, a satirical niversity of Gottingen,
poem (1798), and various other light evanescent niversity of Gottingen.
pieces on the topics of the day. Mr Mathias also [At the repetition of this line Rogero clanks his chains in cadence.] wrote some Latin odes, and translated into Italian
several English poems. He wrote Italian with eleBarbs! barbs! alas ! how swift you flew
gance and purity, and it has been said that no Eng. Her neat post-wagon trotting in!
lishman, since the days of Milton, has cultivated Ye bore Matilda from my view;
that language with so much success. The Pursuits Forlorn I languished at the U
of Literature' contains some pointed satire on the niversity of Gottingen, author's poetical contemporaries, and is enriched niversity of Gottingen. with a vast variety of notes, in which there is a
DR JOHN WOLCOT.
great display of learning. George Steevens said O Boswell, Bozzy, Bruce, whate'er thy name,
To frighten grave professors with his roar,
Triumphant thou through Time's vast gulf shalt sail, DR JOHN W
cor was a coarse but lively satirist, The pilot of our literary whale ; who, under th ame of 'Peter Pindar,' published a Close to the classic Rambler shalt thou cling, variety of effusions on the topics and public men of close as a supple courtier to a king; his times, which were eagerly read and widely cir- Fate shall not shake thee off with all its power ; culated. Many of them were in ridicule of the Stuck like a bat to some old ivied tower. reigning sovereign, George III., who was a good Nay, though thy Johnson ne'er had blessed thy eyes, subject for the poet; though the latter, as he him. Paoli's deeds had raised thee to the skies : self acknowledged, was a bad subject to the king. Yes, his broad wing had raised thee (no bad hack), Wolcot was born at Dodbrooke, a village in Devon A Tom-tit twittering on an eagle's back. shire, in the year 1738. His uncle, a respectable In addition to this effusion, Wolcot levelled another surgeon and apothecary at Fowey, took the charge attack on Boswell
, entitled Bozzy and Piozzi, or the of his education, intending that he should become British Biographers. The personal habits of the his own assistant and successor in business. Wolcot king were ridiculed in Peeps at St James's, Royal was instructed in medicine, and walked the hos- Visits, Lyric Odes, &c. Sir Joseph Banks was anpitals' in London, after which he proceeded to other subject of his satireJamaica with Sir William Trelawney, governor of that island, who had engaged him as his medical A president, on butterflies profound, attendant. The social habits of the doctor rendered Of whom all insect-mongers sing the praises, him a favourite in Jamaica ; but his time being only went on a day to catch the game profound partly employed by his professional avocations, he On violets, dunghills, violet-tops, and daisies, &c. solicited and obtained from his patron the gift of a living in the church, which happened to be then He had also Instructions to a Celebrated Laureate ; vacant. The bishop of London ordained the grace- Peter's Pension; Peter's Prophecy ; Epistle to a Fallen less neophyte, and Wolcot entered upon his sacred Minister ; Epistle to James
Bruce, Esq., the Abyssinian duties. His congregation consisted mostly of negroes, Traveller ; Odes to Mr Paine ; Odes to Kien Long, and Sunday being their principal holiday and mar. Emperor of China ; Ode to the Livery of London, and ket, the attendance at the church was very limited. brochures of a kindred description on most of the Sometimes not a single person came, and Wolcot celebrated events of the day. From 1778 to 1808 and his clerk (the latter being an excellent shot) used above sixty of these poetical pamphlets were issued at such times, after waiting for ten minutes, to pro- by Wolcot. So formidable was he considered, that ceed to the sea-side, to enjoy the sport of shooting the ministry, as he alleged, endeavoured to bribe ring-tailed pigeons! The death of Sir William him to silence. He also boasted that his writings Trelawney cut off all further hopes of preferment, had been translated into six different languages. In and every inducement to a longer residence in the 1795 he obtained from his booksellers an annuity of island. Bidding adieu to Jamaica and the church, £250, payable half-yearly, for the copyright of his Wolcot accompanied Lady Trelawney to England, works. This handsome allowance he enjoyed, to and established himself as a physician at Truro, in the heavy loss of the other parties, for upwards of Cornwall. He inherited about £2000 by the death twenty years. Neither old age nor blindness could of his uncle. While resident at Truro, Wolcot dis- repress his witty vituperative attacks. He had recovered the talents of Opie
course to an amanuensis, in whose absence, however,
he continued to write himself, till within a short The Cornish boy in tin mines bred
period of his death. His method was to tear a
sheet of paper into quarters, on each of which he whose genius as an artist afterwards became so dis- wrote a stanza of four or six lines, according to the tinguished. He also materially assisted to form his nature of the poem : the paper he placed on a book taste and procure him patronage; and when Opie's held in the left hand, and in this manner not only name was well established, the poet and his pro- wrote legibly, but with great ease and celerity.' In tegé, forsaking the country, repaired to London, as 1796 his poetical effusions were collected and pubaffording a wider field for the exertions of both. lished in four volumes 8vo., and subsequent editions Wolcot had already acquired some distinction by have been issued; but most of the poems have sunk his satirical efforts ; and he now poured forth a into oblivion. Few satirists can reckon on permaseries of odes and epistles, commencing with the nent popularity, and the poems of Wolcot were in royal academicians, whom he ridiculed with great their nature of an ephemeral description; while the success and some justice. In 1785 he produced no recklessness of his censure and ridicule, and the less than twenty-three odes. In 1786 he published want of decency, of principle, and moral feeling, that The Lousiad, a Heroi-comic Poem, in five cantos, characterises nearly the whole, precipitated their which had its foundation in the fact, that an ob- downfall. He died at his house in Somers' Town on noxious insect (either of the garden or the body) the 14th January 1819, and was buried in a vault in had been discovered on the king's plate among some the churchyard of St Paul's, Covent Garden, close to green peas, which produced a solemn decree that the grave of Butler. Wolcot was equal to Churchill all the servants in the royal kitchen were to have as a satirist, as ready and versatile in his powers, their heads shaved. In the hands of an unscrupulous and possessed of a quick sense of the ludicrous, as satirist like Wolcot, this ridiculous incident was an well as a rich vein of fancy and humour. Some of admirable theme. The publication of Boswell's his songs and serious effusions are tender and pleasJournal of a Tour to the Hebrides afforded another ing; but he could not write long without sliding tempting opportunity, and he indited a humorous into the ludicrous and burlesque. His critical acutepoetical epistle to the biographer, commencing ness is evinced in his Odes to the Royal Acade
micians, and in various passages scattered through- A nostrum famous in old popish times
For keeping souls of sinners sweet,
Just as our kitchen salt keeps meat.
Peas in their shoes, to go and pray;
But very different was their speed, I wot: Uplifts the club of Hercules--for what?
One of the sinners galloped on, To crush a butterfly or brain a gnat;
Light as a bullet from a gun;
The other limped as if he had been shot.
Had his soul whitewashed all so clever,
When home again he nimbly bied,
Made fit with saints above to live for ever,
In coming back, however, let me say,
Hobbling with outstretched hams and bending knees, [Advice to Landscape Painters.]
Cursing the souls and bodies of the peas;
His eyes in tears, his cheeks and brow in sweat,
Deep sympathising with his groaning feet.
How now!' the light-toed whitewashed pilgriin There's very little landscape in a garret,
broke, Whate'er the flocks of fleas you keep,
*You lazy lubber! 'Tis badly copying them for goats and sheep; * Confound it! cried the t'other, ''tis no joke; And if you'll take the poet's honest word, My feet, once hard as any rock, A bug must make a miserable bird.
Are now as soft as blubber. A rushlight in a bottle's neck, or stick,
Excuse me, Virgin Mary, that I swear: Ill represents the glorious orb of morn;
As for Loretto, I shall not get there; Nay, though it were a candle with a wick,
No! to the devil my sinful soul must go, 'Twould be a representative forlorn.
For bang me if I ha'n't lost every toe ! I think, too, that a man would be a fool,
But, brother sinner, do explain For trees, to copy legs of a joint stool ;
How 'tis that you are not in painOr even by them to represent a stump:
What power hath worked a wonder for your toes Also by broomsticks--which, though well he rig Whilst I, just like a snail, am crawling, Each with an old fox-coloured wig,
Now swearing, now on saints devoutly bawling, Must make a very poor autumnal clump.
Whilst not a rascal comes to ease my woes? You'll
" Yet such ones oft a person sces How is't that you can like a greyhound go, In many an artist's trees;
Merry as if nought had happened, burn ye?' And in some paintings we have all beheld
Why,' cried the other, grinning, ‘you inust know, Green baize hath surely sat for a green field :
That just before I ventured on my journey,
The Apple Dumplings and a King.
Once on a time, a monarch, tired with whooping,
Whipping and spurring, Claude painted in the open air!
Happy in worrying Therefore to Wales at once repair,
A poor defenceless harmless buck Where scenes of true magnificence you'll find ; (The horse and rider wet as muck), Besides this great advantage-if in debt,
From his high consequence and wisdom stooping, You'll have with creditors no tête-à-tête;
Entered through curiosity & cot,
Where sat a poor old woman and her pot.
The wrinkled, blear-eyed, good old granny,
In this same cot, illumed by many a cranny,
Had finished apple dumplings for her pot:
In tempting row the naked dumplings lay,
When lo! the monarch, in his usual way, A brace of sinners, for no good,
Like lightning spoke, What's this? what's this! Were ordered to the Virgin Mary's shrine,
what, what? Who at Loretto dwelt in wax, stone, wood, And in a curled white wig looked wondrous fine. Then taking up a dumpling in his hand,
His eyes with admiration did expand; Fifty long miles had these sad rogues to travel,
And oft did majesty the dumpling grapple: he cried, With something in their shoes much worse than gravel : ''Tis monstrous, monstrous hard, indeed ! In short, their toes so gentle to amuse,
What makes it, pray, so hard! The dame replied, The priest had ordered peas into their shoes.
Low curtsying, Please your majesty, the apple.'
* Very astonishing indeed! strange thing !
Now moved king, queen, and princesses so grand, (Turning the dumpling round) rejoined the king. To visit the first brewer in the land ;
• Tis most extraordinary, then, all this is Who sometimes swills his beer and grinds his meat It beats Pinette's conjuring all to pieces :
In a snug corner, christened Chiswell Street; Strange I should never of a dumpling dream! But oftener, charmed with fashionable air, But, goody, tell me where, where, where's the seam ?? Amidst the gaudy great of Portman Square. “Sir, there's no seam,'quoth she ; 'I never knew
Lord Aylesbury, and Denbigh's lord also, That folks did apple dumplings seus;'
His Grace the Duke of Montague likewise, No! cried the staring monarch with a grin; With Lady Harcourt joined the raree show, How, how the devil got the apple in ?'
And fixed all Smithfield's wond'ring eyes : On which the dame the curious scheme revealed For lo! a greater show ne'er graced those quarters, By which the apple lay so sly concealed,
Since Mary roasted, just like crabs, the martyrs. Which made the Solomon of Britain start;
Thus was the brewhouse filled with gabbling noise, Who to the palace with full speed repaired,
Whilst draymen, and the brewer's boys, And queen and princesses so beauteous scared
Devoured the questions that the king did ask; All with the wonders of the dumpling art.
In different parties were they staring seen, There did he labour one whole week to show
Wond'ring to think they saw a king and queen ! The wisdom of an apple-dumpling maker ;
Behind a tub were some, and some behind a cask. And, lo! so deep was majesty in dough, The palace seemed the lodging of a baker!
Some draymen forced themselves (a pretty luncheon)
Into the mouth of many a gaping puncheon : Whitbread's Brewery visited by their Majestics.
And through the bung-hole winked with curious eye,
To view and be assured what sort of things Full of the art of brewing beer,
Were princesses, and queens, and kings, The monarch heard of Whitbread's fame;
For whose most lofty station thousands sigla! Quoth he unto the queen, 'My dear, my dear, And lo! of all the gaping puncheon clan,
Whitbread hath got a marvellous great name. Few were the mouths that had not got a man;
Now majesty into a pump so deep
Did with an opera-glass so curious peep: Thus sweetly said the king unto the queen!
Examining with care each wond'rous matter
That brought up water !
Thus have I seen a magpie in the street,
A chattering bird we often meet, With thirst of wondrous knowledge deep inflamed,
A bird for curiosity well known, His vats, and tubs, and hops, and hogsheads famed,
With head awry, And learn the noble secret how to brew.
And cunning eye,
Peep knowingly into a marrow-bone.
And now his curious majesty did stoop
To count the nails on every hoop; He touched e'en terra firma with his nose;
And lo! no single thing came in his way,
That, full of deep research, he did not say, Then said unto the page, hight Billy Ramus,
• What's this? hae hae? What's that? What's this? Happy are we that our great king should name us
What's that?' As worthy unto majesty to show
So quick the words too, when he deigned to speak, How we poor Chiswell people brew.'
As if each syllable would break its neck. Away sprung Billy Ramus quick as thought :
Thus, to the world of great whilst others crawl, To majesty the welcome tidings brought,
Our sov'reign peeps into the world of small: How Whitbread, staring stood like any stake,
Thus microscopic geniuses explore And trembled ; then the civil things he said ;
Things that too oft the public scorn ; On which the king did smile and nod his head;
Yet swell of useful knowledges the store,
By finding systems in a peppercorn.
Now boasting Whitbread serious did declare,
To make the majesty of England stare, High thoughts, too, all these shaking fits declare,
That he had butts enough, he knew, Of kingly grandeur and great capability!
Placed side by side, to reach to Kew; People of worship, wealth, and birth,
On which the king with wonder swiftly cried, Look on the humbler sons of earth,
• What, if they reach to Kew, then, side by side, Indeed in a most humble light, God knows!
What would they do, what, what, placed end to end ?'
The man of beer most solemnly did vow,
On which the king, with wondering mien,
Repeated it unto the wondering queen;
On which, quick turning round his haltered head,
The brewer's horse, with face astonished, neighed; He gave his maids new aprons, gowns, and smocks; And lo! two hundred pounds were spent in frocks,
The brewer's dog, too, poured a note of thunder,
Rattled his chain, and wagged his tail for wonder. To make the apprentices and draymen fine: Busy as horses in a field of clover,
Now did the king for other beers inquire, Dogs, cats, and chairs, and stools, were tumbled over, For Calvert's, Jordan's, Thrale's entire; Amidst the Whitbread rout of preparation,
And after talking of these different beers, To treat the lofty ruler of the nation.
Asked Whitbread if his porter equalled theirs.
This was a puzzling disagreeing question,
Mem. 'Tis hops that give a bitterness to beer, Hops grow in Kent, says Whitbread, and elsewhere.
The brewer offered me, away.
Sharp as the point indeed of a new pin,
And then put up his asses’-skin.
Whitbread, are all your horses fond of hay?' 'Yes, please your majesty,' in humble notes The brewer answered— Also, sire, of oats; Another thing my horses, too, maintains, And that, an't please your majesty, are grains.' “Grains, grains !' said majesty, 'to fill their crops ? Grains, grains!—that comes from hops-yes, hops,
hops, hops ? Here was the king, like hounds sometimes, at faultSire,' cried the humble brewer, 'give me leave Your sacred majesty to undeceive; Grains, sire, are never made from hops, but malt.' * True,' said the cautious monarch with a smile, From malt, malt, malt-I meant malt all the while.' Yes,' with the sweetest bow, rejoined the brewer, An't please your majesty, you did, I'm sure.' Yes,' answered majesty, with quick reply, *I did, I did, I did, I, I, I, I.' Now did the king admire the bell so fine, That daily asks the draymen all to dine; On which the bell rung out (how very proper!) To show it was a bell, and had a clapper. And now before their sovereign's curious eye
Parents and children, fine fat hopeful sprigs,
Appeared the brewer's tribe of handsome pigs;
Exclaimed, 'O heavens! and can my swine
Be deemed by majesty so fine? Heavens ! can my pigs compare, sire, with pigs royal ?' To which the king assented with a nod; On which the brewer bowed, and said, 'Good God!' Then winked significant on Miss, Significant of wonder and of bliss,
Who, bridling in her chin divine,
For such high honour done her father's swine.
Whitbread, d'ye nick the excisemen now and then? Hae ? what? Miss Whitbread's still a maid, a maid!
What, what's the matter with the men ?
You'll be lord-mayor-lord-mayor one day ;
Don't, don't the fine for sheriff pay; I'll prick you every year, man, I declare; Yes, Whitbread, yes, yes, you shall be lord-mayor. Whitbread, d'ye keep a coach, or job one, pray? Job, job, that's cheapest; yes, that's best, that's
best. You put your liveries on the draymen-hae!
Hae, Whitbreadl you have feathered well your Dest.
Then searched his brains with ruminating eye;
Lord Gregory. (Burns admired this ballad of Wolcot's, and wrote another op
the same subject.]
A midnight wanderer sighs;
And lightnings cleave the skies.'
A pilgrim of the gloom ?
My cot shall yield her room.'
That once was prized by thee :
Thou gav'st to love and me.
I'll turn my feet and part;
Far kinder than thy heart.'
May Day. The daisies peep from every field, And violets sweet their odour yield; The purple blossom paints the thorn, And streams reflect the blush of morn.
Then lads and lasses all, be gay,
For this is nature's holiday. Let lusty Labour drop his flail, Nor woodman's hook a tree assail; The ox shall cease his neck to bow, And Clodden yield to rest the plough.
Then lads, &c. Behold the lark in ether float, While rapture swells the liquid note! What warbles he, with merry cheer! "Let Love and Pleasure rule the year!'
Then lads, &c. Lo! Sol looks down with radiant eye, And throws a smile around his sky; Embracing hill, and vale, and stream, And warming nature with his beam. Then lads, &c.