Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

Or a fit expression find,
Or a language to my mind
(Still the phrase is wide an acre)
To take leave of thee, Tobacco,
Or in any terms relate
Half my love, or half my hate :
For I hate yet love thee so,
That, whichever thing I shew,
The plain truth will seem to be
A constrain'd hyperbole,
And the passion to proceed
More from à Mistress than a weed.

Sooty retainer to the vine,
Bacchus' black servant, Negro fine;
Sorcerer that mak'st us doat upon
Thy begrim'd complexion,
And for thy pernicious sake
More and greater oaths to break,
Than reclaimed lovers take
'Gainst women: thou thy siege dost lay
Much too in the female way,
While thou suck'st the lab'ring breath
Faster than kisses, or than death.

Thou in such à cloud dost bind us,
That our worst foes cannot find us,
And Ill-fortune, that would thwart us,
Shoots at rovers, shooting at us;
While each man, through thy height'ning steam,
Does like a smoking Ætna seem,
And all about us does express
Fancy and Wit, in richest dress,
A Sicilian fruitfulness.

Thou through such a mist dost shew us,
That our best friends do not know us,
And, for those allowed features,
Due to reasonable creatures,
Liken'st us to fell chimeras,
Monsters, that who see us, fear us;
Worse than Cerberus, or Geryon,
Or, who first lov'd a cloud, Ixion.

Bacchus we know, and we allow Ilis tipsy rites. But what art Thouy

That

[blocks in formation]

Irony all, and feigu'd abuse,
Such as perplext lovers use,
At a need, when in despair
To paint forth their fairest fair,
Or in part but to express
That exceeding comeliness
Which their fancies doth so strike,
They borrow language of Dislike;
And instead of Dearest Miss,
Jewel, Honey, Sweetheart, Bliss,
And those forms of old admiring,
Call her Cockatriee and Siren,
Basilisk, and all that's evil,
Witch, Hyæna, Mermaid, Devil,
Ethiop wench, and Blackamoor,
Monkey, Ape, and twenty more,
Friendly Traitress, loving Foe,-
Not that she is truly so,
But no other way they know
A contentment to express,
Borders so upon excess,
That they do not rightly wot
Whether it be pain or not.

Or as men constrain’d to part
With what's nearest to their heart,
While their sorrow's at the height,
Lose discrimination quite,
And their hasty wrath let fall,
To appease their frantic gall, ..
On the Darling Thing whatever,
Whence they feel it death to sever,
Though it be, as they, perforce,
Guiltless of the sad divorce.

For I must (nor let it grieve thee,
Friendliest of plants, that I must) leave thee.
For thy sake, Tobacco, I
Would do any thing but die,
And but see to extend my days
Long enough to sing thy praise.
But as She, who once hath been
A King's consort, is a Queen
Ever after, nor will bate
Any tittle of her state,

Though

Though a widow, or divorced,
So I, from thy converse forced,
The old name and style retain,
A right Katherine of Spain,
And a seat too ’mongst the joys
Of the blest Tobacco Boys,
Where though I by sour physician
Am debarr'd the full fruition
Of thy favours, I may catch
Some collateral sweets, and snatch
Sidelong odours, that give life,
Like glances from a neighbour's wife,
And still dwell in the by-places
And the suburbs of thy graces,
And in thy borders take delight,
An unconquer'd Canaanite,

Art. XIX.-Enax on Appetite,

MR. REFLECTOR, I am going to lay before you a case of the most iniquitous persex cution that ever poor deyil suffered.

You must know, then, that I have been visited with a calamity ever since my birth. How shall I mention it without offending delicacy? Yet out it must. My sufferings, then, have all arisen from a most inordinate appetite

Not for wealth, not for vast possessions, then might I have hoped to find a cure in some of those precepts of philosophers of poets,-those verba et voces which Horace speaks of;

" quibus hunc lenire dolorem Possis, et magnam morbi deponere partem :"

not for glory, not for fame, not for applause--for against this disease, too, he tells us there are certain piacula, or, as Pope has chosen to render it,

“ rhymes, which fresh and fresh applied,

Wiļl cure the arrant’st puppy of his pride ;" nor yet for pleasure, properly so called : the strict and virtuous lessons which I received in early life from the best of parents, a pious clergyman of the Church of England, now no more.--I trust have rendered me sufficiently secure on that side :OP 3

No

No, Sir, for none of these things; but an appetite, in its coarsest and least metaphorical sense,-an appetite for food.

The exorbitances of my arrow-root and pap-dish days I cannot go back far enough to remember, only I have been told, that my mother's constitution pot admitting of my being nursed at home, the women who had the care of me for that purpose used to make most extravagant demands for my pretended excesses in that kind; which my parents, rather than believe any thing unpleasant of me, chose to impute to the known covetousness and mercenary disposition of that sort of people. This blindness continued on their part after I was sent for home, up to the period when it was thought proper, on account of my advanced age, that I should mix with other boys more unreservedly than I had hitherto done. I was accordingly sent to boarding-school.

Here the melancholy truth became too apparent to be disguised, The prying republic of which a great school consists, soon found me out: there was no shifting the blame any longer upon other people's shoulders,-no good-natured maid to take upon herself the enormities of which I stood accused in the article of bread and butter, besides the crying sin of stolen ends of puddings, and cold pies strangely missing. The truth was but too manifest in my looks,-in the evident signs of inanition which I exhibited after the fullest meals, in spite of the double allowance which my master was privately instructed by my kind parents to give me, The sense of the ridiculous, which is but too much alive in grown persons, is tenfold more active and alert in boys. Once detected, I was the constant butt of their arrows, the mark against which every puny leveller directed his little shaft of scorn. Graduses and Thesauruses were raked for phrases to pelt me with by the tiny pedants. Ventri natus,--Ventri deditus,--Vesana gulay-Escarum gurges --Dapibus indulgens,—Non dans fræna gulæ,-- Sectans lautæ fercula mensæ, resounded wheresoever I past. I led a weary life, suffering the penalties of guilt for that which was no crime, but only following the blameless dictates of nature, The remembrance of those childish reproaches haunts me yet oftentimes in my dreams. My school-days come again, and the horror I used to feel, when in some silent corner retired from the notice of my unfeeling playfellows, I have sat to mumble the solitary slice of gingerbread allotted me by the bounty of consi, derate friends, and have ached at heart because I could not spare a portion of it, as I saw other boys do, to some favourite boy; for if I know my own heart, I was never selfish, - ever possessed a luxury which I did not hasten to communicate to others; but my food, alas ! was none; it was an indispensable necessary; I could as soon have spared the blood in my veins, as have parted that with my companions,

Well,

The very

« ForrigeFortsett »