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THE BIRTH AND EDUCATION OF GENIUS.
Till Education's eye explores The sleeping intellectual pow'rs, Awakes the dawn of wit and sense,
Aad lights them into excellence. On this depends the patriot-flame, The fine ingenuous feel of fame, The manly spirit, brave and bold, Superior to the taint of gold, The dread of infamy, the zeal Of honour, and the public weal,
and all those virtues which presage The glories of a rising age. But, leaving all these graver things To statesmen, moralists, and kings, Whose business 'tis such points to settle—
Rid;—and bid Robin bring the kettle. Mean while the Muse, whose sportive strain Flows like her voluntary vein, And impudently dares aspire To share the wreath with Swift and Prior, Shall tell an allegoric tale, Where truth lies hid beneath the veil."One April morn as Phcebus play'd
His carols in the Delphic shade, A nymph, call'd Fancy, blithe and free, The fav'rite child of Liberty, Heard, as she rov'd about the plain, The bold enthusiastic strain;She heard, and led by warm desire, To know the artist of the lyre,
Crept softly to a sweet alcove,
Hid in the umbrage of the grove, And, peeping through the myrtle, saw
A handsome, young, celestial beau,
On Nature's sopha streteb'd along,
.Waking harmony, and song.
"Struck with his fine majestic mien,
As certain to be lov'd as seen, Long ere the melting air was o'er,
She cry'd, in ecstasy,' Encore;'
And, what a prude will think but odd,
Popp'd out, and curtsey'd to the god.
Phcebus, gallant, polite, and keen as
Eich earth-born votary of Venus,
Rose up, and with a graceful air,
Address'd the visionary fair;
Excus'd his morning dishabille,
Complain'd of late he had been ill.
In short, he gaz'd, he bow'd, he sigh'd,
He sung, he flatter'd, press'd, and ly'd,
With such a witchery of art,
That Fancy gave him all her heart,
Her catechism quite forgot,
And waited on him to his grot.
"In length of time she bore a son,
As brilliant as his sire the Sun.
Pure ether was the vital ray
That lighted up his finer clay;
The Nymphs, the rosy-finger'd Hours,
The Dryads of the woods and bow'rs,
The Graces with their loosen'd zones.
The Muses with their harps and crowns,
Young Zephyrs of the softest wing,
The Loves that wait upon the spring,
Wit with his gay associate Mirth,
Attended at the infant's birth,
And said, ' Let Genius be his name,
And his the fairest wreath of fame.'
"The gossips gone, the christ'ning o'er, And Genius now 'twixt three and four,
Phcebus, according to the rule,
Resolv'd to send his son to school:And, knowing well the tricks of youth,
Resign'd him to the matron Truth,
Whose hut, unknown to Pride and Pelf, wa»
Near his own oracle at Delphos.
The rev'rend dame, who found the child
A little mischievous, and wild,
Taught him at first to spell and read,
To say his prayers, and get his creed—
Wou'd often tell him of the sky,
And what a crime it is to lie.
She chid him when he did amiss,
When well, she bless'd him with a kiss.
Her sister Temp'rance, sage, and quiet,
Presided at his meals and diet:She watch'd him with religious care,
And fed him with the simplest fare;
Wou'd never let the urchin eat
Of pickled pork, or butcher's meat.
But what of aliment earth yields
In gardens, orchards, woods, and fields;
Whate'er of vegetable wealth
Was cultur'd by the hand of Health,
She cropp'd and dress'd it, as she knew well,
In many a mess of soup and gruel;And now and then, to cheer his heart,
Indulg'd him with a Sunday's tart.
"A lusty peasant chaue'd to dwell
Hard by the solitary cell:
His name was Labour.—Ere the dawn
Had broke upon the upland-lawn,
He hied him to his daily toil,
To turn the glebe, or mend the soil. With him young Genius oft would go O'er dreary wastes of ice and snow, With rapture climb the cloud-topt bill,
Or wade across the shallow rill;Or through th' entangled wood pursue The footsteps of a straggling ewe. By these fatigues he got at length Robustness, and athletic strength, Spirits as light as flies the gale Along the lily-silver'd vale. The cherub Health, of dimple sleek, Sat radiant on his rosy cheek, And gave each nerve's elastic spring The vigour of an eaglet's wing.
"Time now had roll'd, with smooth career, Our hero through his seventh year. Though in a rustic cottage bred, The busy imp had thought and read:He knew th' adventures, one by one, Of Robin Hood and Little John;
Cou'd sing with spirit, warmth, and grace, The woful hunt of Chevy Chace;And how St. George, his fiery nag on, Destroy'd the vast Egyptian dragon. Chief he admir'd that learned piece Wrote by the fabulist of Greece, Where Wisdom speaks in crows and cocks, And Cunning sneaks into a fox. In short, as now his op'ning parts, Ripe for the culture of the arts, Became in ev'ry hour acuter, Apollo look'd out for a tutor;But had a world of pains to find This artist of the human mind. For, in good truth, full many an ass was Among the doctors of Parnassus,
Who scarce had skill enough to teach
Old Lilly's elements of speech;
And knew as much of men and morals
As doctor Rock of ores and corals.
At length, with much of thought and care,
He found a master for his heir;
A learned man, adroit to speak
Pure Latin, and your attic Greek;
Well known in all the courts of fame,
And Criticism was his name.
"Beneath a tutor keen and fine as
Or Aristotle, or Longinus,
Beneath a lynx's eye that saw
The slightest literary flaw,
Young Genius trod the path of knowledge,
And grew the wonder of the college.
Old authors were his bosom friends—
He had them at his fingers' ends—
Became an ace'rate imitator
Of truth, propriety, and nature;
Display'd in every just remark
The strong sagacity of Clark;
And pointed out the false and true
With all the sun-beams of Bossu.
"But though this critic-sage' refin'd
His pupil's intellectual mind,
And gave him all that keen discerning
Which marks the character of learning;
Yet, as he read with much of glee
The trifles of antiquity,
And Bentley like would write epistles
About the origin of whistles;
The scholar took his master's trim,
And grew identically him;
Employ'd a world of pains to teach us
What nation first invented breeches;
Asserted that the Roman socks
Were broider'd with a pair of clocks;
That Capua serv'd up with her victuals
An olio of Venafran pickles;
That Sisygambis dress'd in blue,
And wore her tresses in a queue.
In short, he knew what Paulus Jovius,
Salmasius, Gravius, and Gronovius,
Have said in fifty folio volumes,
Printed by Elzevir in columns.
"Apollo saw, with pride and joy,
The vast improvement of his boy;
But yet had more than slight suspicion,
That all this load of erudition
Might overlay his parts at once,
And turn him out a letter'd dunce.
He saw the lad had till'd his sense
With things of little consequence;
That though he read, with application,
The wits of every age and nation,
And could, with nice precision, reach
The boldest metaphors of speech;
Yet warp'd too much, in truth's defiance,
From real to fictitious science,
He was, with all his pride and parts,
A mere mechanic in the arts,
That measures with a rule and line
What Nature meant for great and fine.
"Phoebus, who saw it right and wise was
To counteract this fatal bias,
Took home his son with mighty haste,
And sent him to the school of Taste.
This school was built by Wealth and Peace,
Some ages since, in elder Greece,
Just when the Stagyrite had writ
His lectures on the pow'rs of wit.
Here, flush'd in all the bloom of youth,
Sat Beauty in the shrine of Truth.
Here, all the finer arts were seen
Assembled round their virgin queen.
Here, Sculpture on a bolder plan
Ennobled marble into man.
Here, Music, with a soul on fire,
Impassion'd, breath'd along the lyre;
And here, the Painter-Muse display'd
Diviner forms of light and shade.
"But, such the fate, as Hesiod sings,
Of all our sublunary things,
When now the Turk, with sword and halters,
Had drove Religion from her altars,
And delug'd with a sea of blood
The academic dome and wood;
Affrighted Taste, with wings unfurl'd,
Took refuge in the western world;
And settled on the Tuscan main,
With all the Muses in his train.
"In this calm scene, where Taste withdrew,
And Science trimm'd her lamp anew;
Young Genius rang'd in every part
The visionary worlds of art,
And from their finish'd forms refin'd
His own congenial warmth of mind,
And learn'd with happy skill to trace
The magic powers of ease and grace:
His style grew delicately fine,
His numbers flow'd along his line,
His periods manly, full, and strong,
Had all the harmony of song.
Whene'er his images betray'd
Too strong a light, too weak a shade,
Or in the graceful and the grand
Confess'd inelegance of hand,
His noble master, who cou'd spy
The slightest fault with half an eye,
Set right by one ethereal touch,
What seem'd too little or too much;
Till every attitude and air
Arose supremely full and fair.
"Genius was now among his betters
Distinguished as a man of letters.
There wanted still, to make him please,
The splendour of address and ease,
The soul-enchanting mien and air,
Such as we see in Grosvenor-square,
When lady Charlotte speaks and moves,
Attended by a swarm of Loves.
"Genius had got, to say the truth,
A manner aukward and uncouth;
Sure fate of all who love to dwell
In Wisdom's solitary cell:
So much a clown in gait, and laugh,
He wanted but a scrip and staff;
And such a beard as hung in candles
Down to Diogenes's sandals,
And planted over all his chin thick,
To be like him a dirty cynic.
"Apollo, who, to do him right,
Was always perfectly polite,
Chagrin'd to see his son and heir
Dishonour'd by his gape and stare,
Resolv'd to send him to Versailles,
To learn a minuet of Marseilles:
But Venus, who had deeper reading
In all the mysteries of breeding,
A LETTER TO A CLERGYMAN.
nVfrr'd to Phoebus, that the name
Of fi>p anil Frenchman was the same.
"French manners were," she said, "a thing which
Those grave misguided fools, the English,
Had, in despite of common sense,
Mistook for manly excellence;
By which their nation strangely sunk is,
And half their nobles turn'd to monkies.
She thought it better, as the case was,
To send young Genius to the Graces:
Those sweet divinities," she said,
"Wou'd form him in the myrtle shade;
And teach him more, in half an hour,
Than Lewis or his Pompadour."
Phoebus agreed—the Graces took
Their noble pupil from his book,
Aliow'd him at their side to rove
Along their own domestic grove,
Amidst the sound of melting lyres,
Sjtt-wreathing smiles, and young desires:
And when confin'd by winds or show'rs,
Within their amaranthine bow'rs,
They taught him with address and skill
To shine at ombre and quadrille;
Or let him read an ode or play,
To wing the gloomy hour away.
Genius was charm'd—divinely plac'd
Midst beauty, wit, politeness, taste;
And, having every hour before him
The finest models of decorum,
His manners took a fairer ply,
Expression kindled in his eye;
His gesture disengag'd, and clean, Set off a fine majestic mien;
And gave his happy pow'r to please
The noblest elegance of ease.
Thus, by the discipline of Art,
Genius shone out in head and heart.
Form'd from his first fair bloom of youth,
Br Temp'rance and her sister Truth,
He knew the scientific page
Of every clime and every age;
Had learnt with critic-skill to rein
The wildness of his native vein;
That critic-skill, though cool and chaste,
Rffin'd beneath the eye of Taste;
His unforbidding mien and air,
His awkward gait, his haughty stare,
And every stain that wit debases,
Were melted off among the graces;
And Genius rose, in form and mind,
The first, the greatest of mankind.
A LETTER TO A CLERGYMAN',
•CC«UO«EO BY A REPORT OF HIS PATRON'S BEING MADE 0>E OF THE LOKDS COMMISSIONERS OF THE CBEAT
Ir fame, dear Mun! the truth reveals,
Your friend, the baron, has the seals,
With two compeers, his reverend brothers,—
Willes and sir Eardly are the others.
Justice, who long had seen imprest
Her fairest image on his breast,
• Rev. Edmund Latter of St John's College, Cambridge. His patron was sir Sidney Stafford Smvthe. C.
Plae'd him her substitute, to awe
The nation on her bench of law!
And now, to make her work complete,
Has thron'd him on her mercy-seat.
I'll hold you, Mun! an honest guinea,
That pest ambition's busy in you;
You mind no more your little crops,
Nor ever ask the price of hops;
Nor grieve about such idle things
As half the trumps, and all the kings:
But, blest each night with objects brighter,
Behold a visionary mitre;
And see the verger near you stand
Majestic with his silver wand.
Well—if, as matters now foretel it,
It is your fate to be a prelate;
Though, loth to lose the comic strain,
The song, and ev'ry mirthful vein,
Which oft have made me full of glee,
And kept my spirits up till three;
Yet, fond to see, when prav'rs begin,
E—■—d, thy heteroclite chin,
With all that venerable bush on,
Reposing on a velvet cushion;
I would the man of humour quit,
And think the bishop worth the wit.
But, hark you, L r! as you mean
To be a bishop, or a dean,
And must, of course, look grave, and big,
I'd have you get a better wig:
You know full well when, cheek by jole,
We waited on his grace at Kuowlj
Though that trim artist, barber Jackson,
Spent a whole hour about your caxon,
With irons hot, and fingers plastic,
To make it look ecclesiastic;
With all his pains, and combs, and care,
He scarce cou'd curl a single hair.
It wou'd be right too, let me tell you,
To buy a gown of new prunella;
And bid your maid, the art who knows,
Repair your cassoc at the elbows.
Lord! what a sudden alteration
Will wait on your exalted station!
Cawthorn, too proud a prince to flatter, Who calls thee nought but Mun and L r, Will now put on a softer mien,
And learn to lisp out Mr. Dean;
Or, if you're made a mitred peer,
Humbly entreat your grace's ear.
Poor Adams, too, will funk and stare,
And trembling steal behind your chair;
Or else, with holy zeal addressing,
Drop on his knees, and ask your blessing.
And now, my worthy friend! ere yet
We read it in the next Gazette,
That Tuesday last a royal writ
Was sent by secretary Pitt
To all and singular the stalls
Prebendal in the church of Paul's,
Commanding them to choose and name
A bishop of unspotted fame;
And warmly recommending thee
As prelate of the vacant see;
It will not be amiss to know
Beforehand what you have to do.
First, as yoo'll want a grave divine
To wait upon you when you dine,
To guard your kitchen from disorders,
And school the youths who come for order.;
Take not an academic saplin,
But, for your life, make S n chaplain.
He's tall and solemn, soft and sleek,
Well read in Latin, and in Greek;
A proper man to tell the clerum
About Eusebius and St Jerom;
And wou'd as soon a fiend embrace as
Give up a jot of Athanasius. Then, as to what a bishop fleeces,
In procurations, fines, and leases,
And hoarding up a world of pelf,
You'll want no steward but yourself:
For, faith! your lordship has great skill in
The virtues of a splendid shilling j
And know, as well as Child and Hoare',
That two and two will make up four.
THE REGULATION OF THE PASSIONS
THE SOUBCE OF
A MORAL ESSAY.
IPOCEN AT THE ANN1VEKSAHY VISITATION OF THE
TUNBRIDCE SCHOOL, 1755.
Dunque ne 1' Uso per cui fur concesse
L' impieghi il soggio Duce, e le governi:
Et a suo Senno or tepide, or ardenti,
Le faccia: et or le affrctti, et or Ic allenti.
Yes, yes, dear stoic! hide it as you can,
The sphere of pleasure is the sphere of man:
This warms our wishes, animates our toil,
And forms alike a Newton, or an Hoy le;
Gives all the soul to all the soul regards,
Whether she deal in planets, or in cards.
In every human breast there lives enshrin'd
Some atom pregnant with th' ethereal mind;
Some plastic pow'r, some intellectual ray,
Some genial sunbeam from the source of day;
Something that, warm and restless to aspire,
Works the young heart, and sets the soul on fire,
And bids us all our inborn pow'rs employ
To catch the phantom of ideal joy.
Were it not so, the soul, all dead and lost,
Like the tall cliff beneath th' impassive frost,
Form'd for no end, and impotent to please,
Wou'd lie inactive on the couch of Ease;
And, heedless of proud Fame's immortal lay,
Sleep all her dull divinity away.
And yet, let but a zephyr's breath begin To stir the latent excellence within— Wak'd in that moment's elemental strife, Impassion'd genius feels the breath of life; Th' expanding heart delights to leap and glow, The pulse to kindle, and the tear to flow: Strong and more strong the light celestial shines, Each thought ennobles, and each sense refines, Till all the soul, full op'ning to the flame, Exalts to virtue what she felt for fame. Hence, just as Nature points the kindred fire, One plies the pencil, one awakes the lyre; This, with an Halley's luxury of soul, Calls the wild needle back upon the pole,
• Two Bankers.
Maps half the winds, and gives the sail to fly
In ev'ry ocean of the arctic sky;
While he whose vast capacious mind explores
All Nature's scenes, and Nature's God adores,
Skill'd in each drug the varying world provides,
All earth embosoms, and all ocean hides;
Expels, like Heberdcn, the young disease,
And softens anguish to the smile of ease.
The passions then all human virtue give,
Fill up the soul, and lend her strength to live.
To them we owe fair Truth's unspotted page,
The gen'rous patriot, and the moral sage;
The hand that forms the geometric line,
The eye that pierces through th' unbowell'd mine,
The tongue that thunders eloquence along,
And the fine ear that melts it into song.
And yet these passions which, on Nature's plan, Call out the hero while they form the man, Warp'd from the sacred line that Nature gave, As meanly ruin as they nobly save. Th' ethereal soul that Heav'n itself inspires With all its virtues, and with all its fires. Led by these syrens to some wild extreme, Sets in a vapour when it ought to beam; Like a Dutch Sun that in the autumnal sky Looks through a fog, and rises but to die. But he whose active, unencumber'd mind Leaves this low Earth, and all its mists behind, Fond in a pure unclouded sky to glow, Like the bright orb that rises on the Po, O'er half the globe with steady splendour shines, And ripens virtues as it ripens mines.
Whoever thinks, must see that man was made To face the storm, not languish in the shade: Action's his sphere, and, for that sphere design'd, Eternal pleasures open on his mind. For this, fair Hope leads on th' impassion'd soul Through life's wild labyrinths to her distant goal; Paints in each dream, to fan the genial flame. The pomp of riches, and the pride of fame; Or fondly gives reflection's cooler eye A glance, an image of a future sky. [road, Yet, though kind Heav'n points out th' unerring That leads through Nature up to bliss and God; Spite of that God, and all his voice divine, Speaks in the heart, or teaches from the shriue, Man, feebly vain, and impotently wise, Disdains the manna sent him from the skies; Tasteless of all that virtue gives to please, For thought too active, and too mad for ease, From wish to wish in life's mad vortex tost, For ever struggling, and for ever lost; He scorns Religion, though her seraphs call, And lives in rapture, or not lives at all.
And now, let loose to all our hopes and fears, As Pride inspirits, or Ambition tears, From ev'ry tie, from ev'ry duty freed, Without a balance, and without a creed, Dead ev'ry sense, each particle divine, And all the man embruted in the swine; These drench in Luxury's ambrosial bowl Reason's last spark, and drain off all the soul. Those for vain wealth fly on from pole to pole. Where winds can waft them, and where seas can roll. While others, wearied with the farce of pow'r, Or mad with riot in the midnight hour. With Spain's proud monarch to a cell retire, Or, Nero like, set half the globe on fire.
SI ivteh'd on high-tow'ring Dover's sandy bed. Wit bout a coffin, and without a head;
A dirty sail-cloth o'er his body thrown,
By marks of misery almost unknown,
Without a friend to pity, or to save,
Without a dirge to consecrate the grave, Great Suffolk lies he who for years had shone,
Eni'-nnd's sixth Henry! nearest to thy throne. What boots it now, that list'ning senates hung
All ear, all rapture on his angel-tongue?Ah! what avails th' enormous blaze between
H s dawn of glory, and his closing scene!When haughty France his heav'n-bom pow'rs ador'd,
Ami Anjou's prioress sheath'd Britannia's sword!Ask ye what bold conspiracy opprest A chief so honour'd, and a chief so blest? Why, lust of power, that wreck'd his rising fame On courts' vain shallows, and the gulf of shame:A Glo'stcr's murder, and a nation's wrongs,
Call'd loud for vengeance with ten thou* and tongues;
And hasten'd death, on Albion's chalky strand, To end the exile by a pirate's hand.
Pleasure, my friend! on this side folly lies; It may be visr'rous, but it must be wise: And when our organs once that end attain, Lach step beyond it is a step to pain. For ask the man whose appetites pursue Each loose Roxana of the stew; Who cannot eat till Luxury refine His taste, and teach him how to dine; Who cannot drink till Spain's rich vintage flow, Mix'd with the coolness of December's snow: Ask him, if all those ecstasies that move The pulse of rapture, and the rage of love, When wine, wit, woman, all their pow'rs employ, And ev'ry sense is lost in ev'ry joy, E'er flll'd his heart, and beam'd upon his breast Content's full sunshine, with the calm of rest?
No Virtue only gives fair Peace to shine,
And health, O sacred Temperance! is thine.
Hence the poor peasant, whose laborious spade
Rids the rough crag of half its heath and shade,
Feels in the quiet of his genial nights
A bliss more genuine than the club at White's:
And has in full exchange for fame and wealth,
Herculean vigour, and eternal health.
Of blooming genius, judgment, wit, possess'd,
By poets envied, and by peers caress'd;
E? royal mercy sav'd from legal doom,
With royal favour crown'd for years to come,
O hadst tbon, Savage! known thy lot to prize,
Ami sacred held fair Friendship's gen'rous ties;
Hnl« thou, sincere to Wisdom, Virtue, Truth,
Cnrb'd the wild sallies of impetuous youth;
Had but thy life been equal to thy lays,
In vain had Envy strove to blast thy bays;
In vain thy mother's unrelenting pride
Had strove to push thee helpless from her side;
Fair Competence had lent her genial dow'r,
And smiling Peace adom'd thy evening-hour;
True Pleasure would have led thee to her shrine,
And every friend to merit had been thine.
Bless'd with the choicest boon that Heav'n can give,
Thou then hadst learnt with dignity to live;
The scorn of wealth, the threats of want to brave,
Nor sought from prison a refuge in the grave.
Th' immortal Rrmbrant all his pictures made
Soft as their union into light and shade:
Whene'er his colours wore too bright an air,
A kindred shadow took off all the glare;
Whene'er that shadow, carelessly embrown'd,
Stole on the tints, and breath'd a gloom around,
Th' attentive artist threw a warmer dye,
Or call'd a glory from a pictur'd sky;
Till both th' opposing powers mix'd in one,
Cool as the night, and brilliant as the Sun.
Passions, like colours, have their strength and ease,
Those too insipid, and too gaudy these:
Some on the heart, like Spagnoletti's, throw
Fictitious horrours, and a weight of woe;
Some, like Albano's, catch from ev'ry ray
Too strong a sunsh;ne, and too rich a day;
Others, with Carlo's Magdalens, require
A quicker spirit, and a touch of fire;
Or want, perhaps, though of celestial race,
Corregio's softness, and a Guido's grace, [knew,
Wou'dst thou then reach what Rembrant's genius And live the model that his pencil drew, Form all thy life with all his warmth divine, Great as his plan, and faultless as his line; Let all thy passions, like his colours, play, Strong without harshness, without glaring gay: Contrast them, curb them, spread them, or confine, Ennoble these, and those forbid to shine; With cooler shades Ambition's fire allay, And mildly melt the pomp of Pride away; Her rainbow-robe from Vanity remove, And soften malice with the smile of love; Bid o'er revenge the charities prevail, Nor let a grace be seen without a vail: So shalt thou live as Heav'n itself design'd, Each pulse congenial with th' informing mind, Each action statlon'd in its proper place, Each virtue blooming with its native grace, Each passion vig'rous to its just degree, And the fair whole a perfect symmetry.
INSCRIBED TO MISS 11 .
Cawthorn had once a mind to fix
His carcass in a coach and six,
And live, if his estate would bear it,
On turtle, ortolans, and claret:
For this he went, at Fortune's call,
To wait upon her at Guildhall;
That is, like many other thick wits,
He bought a score of lottery tickets,
And saw them rise in dreadful ranks
Converted to a score of blanks.
Amaz'd, and vex'd to find his scheme
Delusive as a midnight dream,
He curs'd the goddess o'er and o'er,
Call'd her a mercenary whore;
Swore that her dull capricious sense
Was always dup'd by impudence,
That men of wit were but her tools,
And all her favours were for fools.
He said, and with an angry gripe
Snatch'd up his speculative pipe;
And, that he might his grief allay,
Read half a page in Seneca.
When, lo! a phantom, tall and thin, Knoek'd at the door, and enter'd in: She wore a party-colour'd robe, And seem'd to tread upon a globe— Whisk'd round the room with haughty air, And toss'd into an elbow chair. Then with a bold terrific look, Which made the doctor drop his book,