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"I laugh not at another's loss,
I grudge not at another's gain;
My wealth is health-and perfect ease, My conscience clear, my chief defence: I never seek by bribes to please, Nor by desert to give offence; Thus do I live, thus will I die, Would all did so, as well as I.
"I take no joy in earthly bliss,
I fear not Fortune's fatal law.
"I wish but what I have at will,
I wander not, to seek for more; I like the plain, I climb no hill,
In greatest storms, I sit on shore. And laugh at them who toil in vain, To get what must be lost again.
"I kiss not where I wish to kill,
I feign not love where most I hate,
I scorn no poor, I fear no rich,
I feel no want, nor have too much.
"The Court nor camp I like, nor loathe, Extremes are counted worst of all,
The golden mean between them both,
This is my choice; for why? I find,
NO WEALTH IS LIKE A QUIET MIND."
Having thus far regaled my readers with the agreeable, though homely verses of a sort of Grub Street writer, I will now strive to make them merry with a very modern Anacreontic. The ensuing song is the sportive effusion of a juvenile bard, by the name of Thomas A. Geary, who adorned Ireland, his native country, with the splendour of premature genius, and, who, by a premature death, accelerated by the vengeance of Adversity, still causes the tears of Sensibility to flow. I know of no festive ode more exhilirating than this; and though the austerer moralist may doubt the soundness of our poet's philosophy, yet the gayety of the sentiment will excite a kindred emotion in the breast even of the sternest. Amid the pining sicknesses, the corrosive cares, and pensive sorrows of our mortal condition, the nepenthe of the Greeks, the poppy of Asia, the falernium of Horace, and the burgundy of France, must, sometimes, be temperately enjoyed, in happy alliance with our physical power, and our moral consolations.
THE GLASSES SPARKLE ON THE BOARD.
THE glasses sparkle on the board,
The wine is ruby bright,
The reign of pleasure is restor❜d,
Of ease and gay delight;
The day is gone, this night's our own,
Then let us feast the soul;
If any pain or care remain,
Let's drown it in the bowl.
This world they say's a world of wo,
But that I must deny,
Can sorrow from the goblet flow,
Or pain from Beauty's eye!
The wise are fools, with all their rules,
They would our joys control;
If life's a pain, I say again,
Let's drown it in the bowl.
That Time flies fast, the poets sing,
In ROSY WINE TO DIP HIS WINGS,
And seize him as he flies;
This night is ours, then strew with flowers,
The moments as they roll,
If any pain or care remain,
Why drown it in the bowl.
FOR THE PORT FOLIO.-AN IDEA IN THE NIGHT.
To night, when I started from the first dreams of the despotism of fancy, I remembered that a favourite friend had, at the noon-tide hour, impatiently demanded of me who is Horace in London? To this query I can make no satisfactory response, but the light of my fading lamp, which I have recently relumed, enables me to transcribe, for the delight of my readers, the following stanzas, which will provoke more curiosity to discover the name of that brilliant wight, whose pretensions are so commanding, and whose phrases are so fortunate. The wit of the second stanza, and the description in the fourth and fifth, of the convivial powers of the duke of Norfolk, one of the most jovial of Comus' crew; the classical antithesis, in the seventh stanza, and the Epicurean wish at the close of this festive ode, are all of the Horatian character.
HORACE IN LONDON-BOOK I. ODE XXXI.
Quid dedicatum poscit Apollinem, &c.
WHAT asks the bard, who first invades,
And lulls, with midnight serenades,
Not venison, darling of the Church,
Nor costly turtle, drest by Birch,
He spurns the fat, to sound the shell!
Fearing to trust the dubious stocks,
He ne'er invests his money there; And views with scorn the London docks, Perched on his castle in the air.
Ye sun-burnt peasantry of Gaul,
Go prune your vines for Norfolk's lord, His jovial table welcomes all,
And laughing Plenty crowns his board.
Favourite of Bacchus! see him lay
His comrades senseless on the floor; And then march soberly away,
With bottles three-aye, sometimes four!
My skill in wines is quickly said,
I drink them but to make me merry; Claret and port alike are red,
Champaign is white, and so is sherry.
When, safe in port, the sailor spurns
Grant me, ye powers, a middle state,
And when old Time upon this head,
IRONY FOR THE PORT FOLIO.
General rules of good breeding or Chesterfield burlesqued.
Notwithstanding the popularity of Junius and Gibbon, on this side of the Atlantic, and although few of our polite readers are unacquainted with the style of Swift, yet it most unaccountably happens that the figure, called Irony, is almost always unintelligible to the natives. A paper elegantly written in this style is for the most part literally interpreted by the populace, who being, for the most part,, exceedingly doltish and dull themselves, have a very blunt perception of the sparkles of Wit, the fire of Faney, and the glories of Genius in other men. In fact the taste for wit and humour in America is extremely bad, and those agreeable qualities are, as Dr. Johnson would say, of very rare emergence in the wildernesses of this same western world. Whether it arises from the solemn stupidity of most of our institutions; whether it arises from our partiality to the savage life; whether it arises from the prevalence of fanaticism and the dominion of Avarice, Meanness and Folly, certain it is, that through long epochs of a sort of Egyptian gloom, we sit looking, dismally, in each other's faces, inquiring in vain for Thalia and her laughing crew. The voice of Comedy is nothing but a dronish hum. Lampoon and satire are articles nearly as scarce as Castilian honour, and lord Falkland's patriotism; levity and irony are grossly misunderstood; the genius of Henry Fielding, of Dr. Arburthnot, of Colman, and Sheridan, shrinks away from our conventicles and our crowds; and there actually seems to be, sometimes, what Dr. Goldsmith forcibly denominates a general combination in favour of Stupidity.*
"By whose fond care, in vain decry'd and curst,
"Still dunce the second reigns like dunce the first."
If a man, with the principles of a cavalier, the simplicity of a child, and the wit of a man should chance to appear and emulate some of the great masters of song, his Muse is reviled, and his character calumniated; and the vis vivida animi, the ardour of the soul, and the enthusiasm of Fancy are pronounced to be the effects of intoxication! The madness of a wise man, says that charmer, Edmund Burke, charming ever so wisely; the madness of a wise man is better than the sobriety of fools; but for this species of insanity, not many grains of allowance are made by a people, who are themselves often distracted, and who, to adopt the admirable allusion of the orator, while they are groping in darkness, and writhing in
* Pope, who had a sufficient contempt for the owls of his time, thus indignantly describes this sort of supremacy.
Dullness 'o'er all assumes her ancient right,
Daughter of chaos and eternal Night,
Fate, in their dotage, this fair idiot gave,
Gross as her sire, and as her mother grave;