Imatges de pÓgina

I see you sailing both in Buchan's pot Now storming an old woman and her cot, Who, terrified at each tremendous shape, Deem'd you two demons, ready for a rape: I see all marvelling at M'Leod's together, On Sam's remarks on whey, and tanning leather: At Corrichatachin's the Lord knows how,

I see thee, Bozzy, drunk as David's sow,

And begging, with raised eyes and lengthen'd chin,
Heaven not to damn thee for the deadly sin :
I see, too, the stern moralist regale,

And pen a Latin ode to Mrs. Thrale.

I see, without a night-cap on his head,

Rare sight! bald Sam, in the Pretender's bed:
I hear (what's wonderful!) unsought by studying,
His classic dissertation upon pudding:

Of provost Jopp I mark the marvelling face,
Who gave the Rambler's freedom with a grace:
I see, too, travelling from the Isle of Egg,
The humble servant of a horse's leg;
And Snip, the tailor, from the Isle of Muck,
Who stitch'd in Sky with tolerable luck :
I see the horn, that drunkards must adore;
The horn, the mighty horn of Rorie More;
And bloody shields, that guarded hearts in quarrels,
Now guard from rats the milk and butter barrels.
Methinks, the Caledonian dame I see,
Familiar sitting on the Rambler's knee,
Charming, with kisses sweet, the chuckling sage;
Melting, with sweetest smiles, the frost of age;
Like Sol, who darts, at times, a cheerful ray,

O'er the wan visage of a winter's day.

"Do it again, my dear," I hear Sam cry,


See, who first tires, (my charmer!) you or I."

I see thee stuffing, with a hand uncouth,

An old dried whiting in thy Johnson's mouth;

And lo! I see withall his might and main,
Thy Johnson spit the whiting out again.
Rare anecdotes! 'tis anecdotes like these,
That bring thee glory, and the million please!
On these, shall future times delighted stare,
Thou charming haberdasher of small ware!
Stewart and Robertson from thee shall learn
The simple charms of history to discern :
To thee, fair history's palm shall Livy yield,
And Tacitus, to Bozzy leave the field!

Joe Miller's self, whose page such fun provokes,
Shall quit his shroud, to grin at Bozzy's jokes!
How are we all with rapture touch'd, to see
Where, when, and at what hour, you swallowed tea ;
How, once, to grace this Asiatic treat,

Came haddocks, which the Rambler could not eat!

Pleased, on thy book thy sovereign's eye-balls roll,
Who loves a gossip's story from his soul;

Blessed with the memory of the Persian king (1),
He every body knows, and every thing;

Who's dead, who's married, what poor girl, beguiled,
Hath lost a paramour and found a child;

Which gardener hath most cabbages and peas,
And which old woman hath most hives of bees;
Which farmer boasts the most prolific sows,

Cocks, hens, geese, turkeys, goats, sheep, bulls, and cows;
Which barber best the ladies' locks can curl;
Which house in Windsor sells the finest purl;
Which chimney-sweep best beats in gold array,
His brush and shovel, on the first of May!
Whose dancing dogs in rigadoons excel;
And whose the puppet show, that bears the bell:
Which clever smith, the prettiest man-trap (2) makes
To save from thieves the royal ducks and drakes,

(1) Cyrus.

(2) His Majesty hath planted a number of those trusty guardians around his park at Windsor, for the benefit of the public.

The Guinea hens and peacocks with their eggs,
And catch his loving subjects by the legs.
O! since the prince of gossips reads thy book,
To what high honours may not Bozzy look!
The sunshine of his smile may soon be thine.
Perchance, in converse thou may'st hear him shine.
Perchance, to stamp thy merit through the nation,
He begs of Johnson's Life, thy dedication;
Asks questions (1) of thee, O thou lucky elf,
And kindly answers every one himself.
Blessed with the classic learning of a college,
Our king is not a miser in his knowledge :
Nought in the storehouse of his brains turns musty:
No razor-wit, for want of use, grows rusty;
Whate'er his head suggests, whate'er he knows,
Free as election beer from tubs it flows!
Yet, ah! superior far! - it boasts the merit
Of never fuddling people with the spirit!
Say, Bozzy, when, to bless our anxious sight,
When shall thy volume (2) burst the gates of light
O! clothed in calf, ambitious brat, be born.
Our kitchens, parlours, libraries adorn!
My fancy's keen anticipating eye

A thousand charming anecdotes can spy:

I read, I read of George (3) the learned display
On Lowth's and Warburton's immortal fray:
Of George, whose brain, if right the mark I hit,
Forms one huge cyclopædia of wit:

(1) Just after Dr. Johnson had been honoured with an interview with a certain great personage, in the Queen's library at Buckingham House, he was interrogated by a friend, concerning his reception, and his opinion of the royal intellect." His Majesty seems to be possessed of much goodnature, and much curiosity," replied the Doctor;" as for his yous, it is far from contemptible. His Majesty, indeed, was multifarious in his questions; but, thank God, he answered them all himself.”

(2) The Life of Dr. Johnson.

(3) His Majesty's commentary on that quarrel, in which the Bishop and the Doctor pelted one the other with dirt so gracefully, will be a treasure to the lovers of literature! Mr. B. hath as good as promised it to the public, and, we hope, means to keep his word.

That holds the wisdom of a thousand ages,
And frightens all his workmen, and his pages!
O Bozzy, still thy tell-tale plan pursue :
The world is wondrous fond of something new:
And, let but Scandal's breath embalm the page,
It lives a welcome guest from age to age.
Not only say who breathes an arrant knave,
But who hath sneaked a rascal to his grave:
Make o'er his turf (in Virtue's cause) a rout,
And, like a damned good Christian, pull him out.
Without a fear on families harangue,

Say who shall lose their ears, and who shall hang;
Thy brilliant brain conjecture can supply,
To charm through every leaf the eager eye.
The blue-stocking (1) society describe,

And give thy comment on each joke and gibe:

Tell what the women are, their wit, their quality,
And dip them in thy streams of immortality!

Let Lord Mac Donald threat thy breech to kick (2),
And o'er thy shrinking shoulders shake his stick ;
Treat with contempt the menace of this lord,
'Tis History's province, Bozzy, to record.
Though Wilkes abuse thy brain, that airy mill,
And swear poor Johnson murdered by thy quill;
What's that to thee? Why, let the victim bleed -
Thy end is answer'd, if the nation read.

The fiddling knight (3), and tuneful Mrs. Thrale,
Who frequent hobbed or nobbed with Sam, in ale,

(1) A club, mostly composed of learned ladies, to which Mr. B. was admitted.

(2) A letter of severe remonstrance was sent to Mr. B., who in consequence omitted, in the second edition of his Journal, what is so generally pleasing to the public, viz. the scandalous passages relative to this nobleman.

(3) Sir John Hawkins, who (as well as Mrs. Thrale, now Madame Piozzi) threatens us with the Life of the late lexicographer.

Snatch up the pen (as thirst of fame inspires!)
To write his jokes and stories by their fires;
Then why not thou each joke and tale enrol,
Who, like a watchful cat before a hole,
Full twenty years (inflamed with letter'd pride)
Didst mousing sit before Sam's mouth so wide,
To catch as many scraps as thou wert able—
A very Lazarus at the rich man's table?

What though against thee porters bounce the door (1),
And bid thee hunt for secrets there no more;
With pen and ink so ready at thy coat,
Exciseman-like, each syllable to note,

That given to printer's devils (a precious load!)
On wings of print comes flying all abroad!
Watch then the venal valets-smack the maids,
And try with gold to make them rogues and jades:
Yet should their honesty thy bribes resent,

Fly to thy fertile genius and invent:

Like old Voltaire, who placed his greatest glory,
In cooking up an entertaining story;

Who laugh'd at Truth, whene'er her simple tongue
Would snatch amusement from a tale or song.

O! whilst amid the anecdotic mine,

Thou labour'st hard to bid thy hero shine,
Run to Bolt Court (2), exert thy Curl-like soul,

And fish for golden leaves from hole to hole :

Find when he eat, and drank, and cough'd, and sneezed – Let all his motions in thy book be squeezed:

On tales, however strange, impose thy claw;

Yes, let thy amber lick up every straw;

(1) This is literally true- Nobody is at home. Our great people want the taste to relish Mr. Boswell's vehicles to immortality. Though in Lon. don, poor Bozzy is in a desert.

(2) In Fleet Street, where the Doctor lived and died.

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