Page images


CRITICISM. The Age of Frivolity: a Poem, on its favourite pursuit, recurs to what addressed to the Fashionable, thé it had relinquished, owing to the Busy, and the Religious World. casual intervention of circumstances, By TIMOTHY Touch'em. 2d Edic with additional ardour ;- the untortion.

gotten project is resumed, persisted We have sim, we have witnessed E have investigated the 'Age in, and ultimately effected.

Timothy Touch’Em, however, the Age of Intidelity', and we are who, with all his apparent facetiousnow favoured with the Age of Fri- ness, disdains to volity', which to us is not the less ac- “ Trife in a triling Age,” ceptable because, unlike its memor- has afforded us much amusement, able precursors in the walks of litera- and real satisfaction. He, indeed, by ture, it comes recommended by the decorations of poetry:

no means requires the apologetical In the preface to this poem we are

reasons stated in his preface, in exculinformed that it took its rise (the will be considered as the defects of

pation of what he is apprehensive first part) from the circumstance of his production. There is an ostenta. some very wet and winterly weather tious humility, and of a species that constraining the author to seek enter- we would not willingly impute to our tainment for himself within doors; friend Timothy; we inean, the pracand that the two other parts have tice of pleading guilty to charges from been composed at intervals, some of which the individual knows himself the fragments whilst walking the to stand perfectly exempted, in order streets of London, and some while finally to insure a greater portion of rambling in the country." Thus far applause than would otherwise have the author has thought proper to ap. been awarded.“ prise us of the origin and conduct of his

poem, in order “ to account for the want of connection in the sub

Revolutionary France. jects, and deficiency of artful arrange. Sce France, long held in hoodwink'd bondment of the whole." p. iii.

age fast, We do not discredit the above Rouse from her lethargy of ages past. statement; nor do we perceive the Now Vengeance undistinguishing takes Recessity why a poem so written place,

grace, should be destitute of genuine inerit. Alike on ancient follies, forms, and'

King, Priests, and Nobles, sweeps to geneSavage, in a predicament siinilar to that of the present author, and under like worn-out lumber from a filthy room.

ral doom, circumstances intinitely more discou. Ten dreadful years she heates convulsive raging, contrived to plan and com.

throes! plete those effusions which have ob. The tev'rish crisis of a nation's woes. tained for him an established rank How many from their homes in terror Red! among the distinguished votaries of How many on the crowded scaffold bled! thie Muse. Boyse also, in an obscure What crews ingulph'd beneath the bring attic, without adequate sustenance,

main ! and seated on a mattress, with no What slaughter'd hosts best rew'd th’em

battled plain! other clothing than a ragged comfortless blanket, projected and accom. Wha: sudden change-what desp’rate fits

she had! plished his most celebrated poem! Goldsmith wrote many of his popular

Half Europe trembled, while all France ran

mad. works in seclusion and indigence; and what mighty cause, or dernon most proeven Dr. Johnson, when in want of

fane, a lodging for the night, occupied with vile enchantments, turn'd the nation's himself, whilst [thusj walking the brain? streets of London," in settling the af. fairs of the state.

* The English and Republican fleets kan That which diverts attention from an engigemeor in 1794, in which four eta given object, does not necessarily the French ships were sent to the botten interrupt it. The mind, still intent with all their crews.

2 U2


Two hellish monsters in the work combin'd; Some, in equestrian pomp, bestride t One held the body chain'd, and one the backs mind.

Of broken-knee'd or broken-winded hacks; First hard Oppression ruld with iron rod: While through each turnpike a long train Then Superstition worshipp'd man for departs God:

Of coaches, gigs, and curricles, and carts ; So long they reignd, and so intrench'd their Where closely wedgʻd and justling side by pow'r,

side, They never Ureamt of Retribution's hour. The swelt'ring gentry take their Sunday Grown bold and fearless, insolent in pride, ride, The veil of Decency was cast aside. Impatient longing for the cheap regale The laughing world saw thro' the forms Of village beef and pudding, punch and

they wore, And scorn'd the idols they ador'd before. Where, round the common table, strangers Tous near the ocean's side some tall cliff join, stands,

Once in a week, like gentlefulks to dine. Frowns o'er the sea, and shades the hum- Thither, a few short miles, impellid alorg bler lands;

By many a fretful stamp and lashing Wave after wave each other restless chase, thong, To kiss its feet, and undermine its base; With feeble steps the jaded cattle creep, At length the hollow mass falls down the And their sad day of rest in labour keep. steep,

Some poor pedestrians, whose means reAnd rude waves triumph o'er the prostrate fuse hear.

All ways of riding, but upon their shoes; All r-verence banislı'd, all restraint o'er- Still on the public roads in thronys repair, thrown,

To see the world, and breathe the country They boast a poction, yet to them un- air. known;

Through clouds of dust, with weary steps These crimes, O Liberty! were done for

and slow, thee;

They pant to Hackney, Islington, or Bow; Thy name their passport; and thy cause And all around, where but a nook is seen their plea.

That poplars Aourish in, or grass looks Alas! they knew thee not, but blindly green, chose

There thirsty crowds the bustling alehouse Licentiousness instead, thy worst of foes; fill, And thou hast left them, frivolous and vain, Quaff porter vile, or spirits viler still; To forge themselves a new and heavier Then staggering home to sleep, they stupid chain;

wake To rear an higher throne, wliere frowns To keep Saint Monday, for Saint Sunday's and roles

sake. An alien man of blood! to scourge the fools. Thus swarms of flies on tubs of treacle Rome's mitred Priest, before the sacred

meet, shrine

Stick to the cask, and perish in the sweet. Theunction pours, conferring Right Divine. On Sunday, Worldly thinks it wrong to Lord of the Church an Infidel proclaims

roam, A bold usurper, God's Vicegerent names.

Şo casts his books, and treats his friends at The list’ning rabble at the mummery stare,

home. And blush to think what slaves and dupes Makes out his bills, and all his reck’ujings they are.

squares, This Death and Ilorror, Famine, War, Devoutly winding up his week's affairs. and Woe,

Thus flies the morn, till anxious dame reAll end at las' in rageantry and show.

quests Our bard, while he thus depicts llis diecent dressing to receive his guests. the atrocities and follies of France, At length, when ihe church-bell forbears asks,

to chime, Shall Britain's sons disgrace their fathers' And good folks meeţ to pray the second fame?


His cloth is laid-his visitants appear, Alas! the times display the fearful signs And the full table smokes with tempting That mark a nation when her worth de- cheer: clines.

The lengthen'd meal consumes near half An English Sunday.

the day, Forth from their haunts, array'd in Sunday While idle gossip steals the hours away. dress,

Nobus'ness now requires dispatchful haste, Through ev'ry avenue the thousands press; For Sunday people can afford to waste.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


Let Jews or Methodists, with zeal severe, Thence sprawling on the ground, they manTheir Sabbaths keep with superstitious gled lic, fear;

Or dashi'd to pieces, in an instant die. Worldly disdains the shackles of a Priest, Gallid by his bonds, and worried out at And keeps his day to reckon-rest--and length feast.

The fruitless toil exhausts his mighty Modern Melody.

strength; Hush !--Brayman sings a most delicious Beset with numbers, friendless and forlorn,. howl,

His nostrils pinion'd, and his dewlap torn; Then shriek; a cadence like a screaming He sinks, confounded, groaning deep and owl.

loud, Signora squalls, and thrills like frightend While shouts of hellish joy inspire the geese,

crowd. Or creaking wheels, that cry for want of Then the stout butcher smites the killing grease.

blow, Oh mercy on our ears ! 'tis finer far The last sad scene of this degrading show : Than e'en the Indians' piercing whoop of Unless more cruel yet, a season short

They spare him, for another day of sport. The tortur'd crowds, surpriz’d with fright. These are exploits design’d to keep alive ful sound,

Our rustic mirti, and make the country Much wonder where such melody was thrive. + found;

Sanction’d by law, these dastard scenes Admire and praise the agonizing strain, shall breed But never wish to feel the like again. An harden'd race, prepar'd for daring deed. Influenre of Fashior.

'Tis granted such amusements may impart O Fashion ! to thy wiles thy vot'ries owe A love of cruelty, a flinty heart; Unnumber'd pangs of sharp domestic woe. May make men hate their work, and join What broken tradesmen and abandon'd the roar wives

Of drunken squabblers at the alehouse door, Curse thy delusions through their wretched The army and the navy hence may draw lives!

Large levies of tough boobies, rough and What pale-fac'd spinsters vent on thee

raw 5

These may stand shooting at, though fitter And youths decrepit, ere they come ofage! far What parents moum a spendthrift's endless For mutiny and plunder, than for war; cost!

They may be marshalld, but with whip What orphans grieve a father's portion and goad,

As stubborn asses trudge a sandy road. These are your mimics, O) ye fallen great ; There is much quaint humour in Thuś your example poisons all the state!

the conclusion of the following pasBull-Baiting What mighty project centring in the place, sage on Excessive Drinking:

Oh! strange ambition, infamous renown! Attracts the village rabble, vile and base, Drains from the plough, the flail, the shop,

Whose thruat capacious most can guzzle

down; The idle and the drunken, one and all ?

Who last can sit, and keep the drunken

roar, What, but the pleasure crucily to treat

When all his comrades wallow on the floor! A noble beast, the sire of milk and meat ! Bound by the treach'rous cowards to the Such was thy fame great Bibo, many a


Till thou wast poor, and old red port was His goaded sides with indignation shake: The strong-mouth'd dogs let louse (of Then, at the parish workhouse, something


loih, Traia’d by their masters to the barb'rous

Thy drink was gruel and thin mutton broth; sport,) Around the trammeld bull they teasing ply, A week thv carcase the poor beverage tried, Provoke his rage, and watch his vengetul But liked it noi-and, sadly sober, died ! eye.

Poor Bibo! thy fate has reminded Yet oft his sinewy neck and pointed horn us of that of the Frenchman's horse, Throw high his puny enemies in scorn:

+ It would be a pity should the friends * This is not intended to depreciate the of morality ever forget a very brilliant natural or acquired talents of any indivic speech, designed to vindicate this amusedual; but as a general ridicule of affecta- ment, and prevent a stop being put to it by tion and extravagance.


their rage,


the stall,


fiercest sort,




who died on the very day after his sa- These may make fops, but never can imgacious master imagined he had train- part,

The soldier's hardy frame, or daring heart; ed him to live without food!

May, in Hyde Park, present a splendid Card Playing.

train, See yonder sober set; they only mean But are not weapons for a dread campaign: To keep themselves awake, and chase the May please the fair, who like a tawdry

spleen; These reckon gambling an atrocious crime, But are not fit to check an active foe : And play for trifes just to kill the tiine;

Such heroes may acquire sufficient skill 'Time, that with others flies so swift away, To march erect, and labour through a drill; With them must fag, and creep with dull In some sham-fight may manfully hold out, delay.

But must not hope an enemy to rout. Poor wither'd Age, to second childhood Tine may at length these litue foibles brought,

mend, That cannot read, and is averse to thought: And make them vet'rans ere the contest Amus’d with baubles, may forget the goul, end; And dribble life's last dregs thus foully out, May realize these soldier-playing scenes, Still Pity views the scene with tearful eye, And prove that courage their prompt ar. Lamenting thus men live, and thus they

dour means : die !

Yet Britain hopes her sons may never need But blooming youth, or vig'rous years em. In her defence on their own shores to bleed, ployd

Is it possible to peruse the poet's At silly cards, is time indeed destroy'd. Hour after hour condemn’d to such a fate, playful enumeration of Ilodern ImIs so much blotted from life's scanty date,' provements, without participating in Which busy memory reckons up at last, the laugh that he has excited? Shrinks at their ghosts, and mourns the Orare lovention! to thy skill we owe murder'd past!

Refinemen's our rough fathers did not

know. Bonk. Making.

Contrivance lumbers up our rooms with Of old, book-making was a mighty charge;

incans They aim'd at folios, weighty, thick, and

To sare all work, but working its machines. large;

Engines to cut our cucumbers with ease, Firm as the pyramids of ages past,

And scoops to hollow out a Stilton cheese; And destin'd, ages yet to come, to last, Ours are produc ions of a lighter sort,

A screw and lever, that shall gently work Spruce pocket-volumes, littie, thin, and To draw the mighty matter of a cork;

Grates, that shall all the cook’ry arts pershort, With here and there a fragment of old wit With scarcely fire enough to keep us warm;

form, Remodell’d, varnislı'd, cut, and squard to And Runford stuves, so costly and so nest,

fit. So shepherds build their huts on Egypt's

To stew us well, in sulphur, dust, and heat, plains

A Critic. With clay, and sculptur'd scraps of Behold sage Plod.pate, hid in snug retreat, mould'ning fanes.

The most exalted garret in the street;, Yet we can boast of arts they never knew, Where festoon'd cobwebs dangle o'er his Fine woven paper ting'd with cream-like head, hue;

And firm stump bed-posts elevate his bed; Broad margins rich engravingscanty His bed, that doubly serves his weight 10 Jines,

bear: With handsome portraits, vignettes, and By night his pallet, and by day his chair. designs;

With spectacles on nose, and cap on crown, Thus is the eye amus'd-attention caught, That still is velvet, and that once was brown; And, what is best of all, not plagu'd with With tatter'd night-gowo round his shoulthought.

ders Alung, The satirist, for satirical, though And slip-shod shoes by stockings over. devoid of acrimony, our poet certainly. There, like a cat, in dirty hole he sits,

is, seems on the whole favourable to to scare young willings, and snap op poo? British Volunteers; but,

wits. gaudy dress and decorations gay, About him books are spread of ev'ış sort, The tinsel trappings of a vain array, From pond'sous folios, down to pamphlets The spruce trimmd jacket, and the waving short: plume,

On these he patient pores with all his might, The powder'd head emitting soft perfume; At early morn, and oft till middle night.


He seeks not beauties, but with prying nate with the author's portraiture of eves

a Village Curate. Detects a blemish, as a precious prize; Mark yonder Curate, of the good old stock, He knows an hundred parallels to quote The humble teacher of a village flock. Where different men on the same subject In youth hefurnish'd well his studios head, wrote,

With all the Greek and Latin Fathers said; And

proves the wond'rous fact, the rogues Made all the hoinilies he real, his own, to shame,

And felt a wish to make them better known; That, on the same things they wrote things Thought all the articles were strictly true, the same.

Lamenting they were thought so by se He shews the world, kind soul! their great few;t mistake

But chiefly drew from Scripture channels In prizing authors for their merits' sake:

pure, lle finds detective what the gen'ral taste Ilis clearest knowledge, his best furniture. Had felt instructive, beautiful, and chaste; Hence he had always some good things to Can learned skill on litile specks display, say, And comment half an author meant away. To teach his hearers twice on Sabbath-day. Modern Tourists,

Nor did his labours with the Sabbath end, our tourists, rainbling wide to For he would cheer the sick, the dying tend ! trace

With mild rebukes the vicious seek to gain, Near home discov'ries-pest'ring every Or soothe with gentle words the suff'rer's place:

pain. Equipp'd with knapsacks, trudging here His Wife, fit partner for a grave divine, and there,

Was fam'd for nostrums, and good currantLike pedlars posting in a country tair; wine : Or perch'd on couch-roof, they admire the She furnish'd salves, and physick for the scene,

poor, How uplands rise, and vallies lie between; Which were not costly if they did not cure; Or down some river's stream mcand'ring Would caudles rich for groaning mothers glule,

brew, And find that there is land on either side:

And teach their girls with skill to knit and Who see old castles where they long have stood,

Hiin, they would friend and father, justly And feast on ruins-antiquarian food :

call, Perceive that Seotland to the northward For he was friend and father to them all. lies,

Their ancient sires, he piously had laid And that in Wales huge barren mountains Beneath the Church-yard yew-trees' 90rise:

lemn shade :That Ireland is an island, where abound Their sons and daughters he in wedlock Bogs, hogy, and dogs, and fogs, the whole tied, year round.

And biess'd each youthful bridegroom and That poor folk there, for want of bread and

his bride; meat,

Their children nain' at the baptismal pool, With buttermilk their boild potatoes eat. Ant gave them learning at the parish These things marle out, a pompous book school. must show,

Considered solely as an object for What much it must concern the world to literary criticism, we might point out know,


inaccuracies in the poem now How far they walk dowhere halted, din'd, before us. But as we admíre real ta

lent, wherever found, we honestly What ins good meat,-good wine-good lodging, kept;

commend the Age of Frivolity' to Whai dangers, what fatigues they under the patronage of the public. We feel

contident that we shall not be discre. went, And wore their shoes out-and their money dited by this recommendation. shent.

To the · Age of Frivolity' are apWe could with pleasure lengthen pended two or three minor poems, our extracts from the present produc- which shew the author to be an tion, which, however, must terini- adept in the various kinds of poetical

composition. * See the curious collection of parallel thoughts and expressions in passages col- † Some of the Clergy contend that the lected from various authors, which have ap- Articles are not Calvinistic, or that they peared in the works of critics and in the are mere articles of peace, and inatters Dagazines; in some of which searcely & of form, which each inay subscribe in what ditant resemblance can be traced.

seuse le pleases.


and slept;

« PreviousContinue »