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Some thoughts of pity raised by his distress,
(1) [This tale has something of the character of the Parting Hour;' but more painful and less refined. It is founded like it on the story of a betrothed youth and maiden, whose marriage is prevented by their poverty; and the youth goes to pursue his fortune at sea, while the damsel awaits his return with an old female relation at home. He is crossed with many disasters, and is not heard of for many years. In the mean time, the virgin gradually imbibes her aunt's paltry love for wealth and finery; and when she comes, after long sordid expectation, to inherit her hoard, feels that those new tastes have supplanted every warmer emotion in her bosom; and, secretly hoping never more to see her youthful lover, gives herself up to comfortable gossiping and formal ostentatious devotion. At last, when she is set in her fine parlour, with her china, and toys, and prayer-books around her, the impatient man bursts into her presence, and reclaims her vows. She answers coldly, that she has now done with the world, and only studies how to prepare to die; and exhorts him to betake himself to the same needful meditations. Nothing can be more forcible or true to nature, than the description of the effect of this cold-blooded cant on the warm and unsuspecting nature of her disappointed suitor.-JEFFREY.]
It were all one,
That I should love a bright peculiar star,
All's Well that Ends Well.
Poor wretches, that depend On greatness' favours, dream as I have done, Wake and find nothing.
Th' affliction of my mind amends, with which
I fear a madness held me.
THE PATRON. (1)
A BOROUGH-BAILIFF, who to law was train'd,
(1) [The numberless allusions to the nature of a literary dependant's existence in a great lord's house, which occur in Mr. Crabbe's writings, and especially in the tale of The Patron,' are quite enough to lead any one who knew his character and feelings to the conclusion that, notwithstanding the kindness and condescension of the Duke and Duchess of Rutland,-which were uniform, and of which he always spoke with gratitude, the situation he filled at Belvoir was attended with many painful circumstances, and productive in his mind of some of the acutest sensations of wounded pride that have ever been traced by any pen. Life, antè, Vol. I. p. 113.
"Did any of my sons show poetical talent, of which, to my great satisfaction, there are no appearances, the first thing I should do, would be to inculcate upon him the duty of cultivating some honourable profession, and qualifying himself to play a more respectable part in society than the mere poet. And as the best corollary of my doctrine, I would make him get your tale of The Patron' by heart from beginning to end."-Sir Walter Scott to Mr. Crabbe. See antè, Vol. I. p. 203.]
Save John, the younger, who, of sprightly parts,
All round whose room were doleful ballads, songs,
From village-children kept apart by pride, With such enjoyments, and without a guide, Inspired by feelings all such works infused, John snatch'd a pen, and wrote as he perused: With the like fancy he could make his knight Slay half a host, and put the rest to flight; With the like knowledge he could make him ride From isle to isle at Parthenissa's (1) side;
And with a heart yet free, no busy brain
(1) [The title of a romance written by Roger Boyle, Earl of Orrery, and published in 1665. "Budgell, in his History of the Boyles, says that 'few who can relish any romance will dislike this:' and Langbane tells us, that *it yields not, either in beauty, language, or design, to the works of the famous Scuderi or Calprenade, however famous they may be amongst the French, for pieces of this nature.""- Biog. Brit.]