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Must I praise her melody?
DRY BE THAT TEAR.
Be hush'd that struggling sigh,
More fix'd, more true than I.
Dry be that tear.
When all that's new is past ?-
How long my life will last ?
Hush'd be that sigh.
The thought of Sylvio's death,
Must yield that faithful breath?
Dry be that tear.
one of the madrigals of Montreuil, a French poet, to whom Sir John Moore was indebted for the point of his well-known verses, “ If in that breast, so good so pure. Mr. Sheridan, however, knew nothing of French, and neglected every opportunity of learning it, till, by a very natural process, his ignorance of the language grew into hatred of it. Besides, we have the immediate source from which he derived the thought of this stanza, in one of the Essays of Hume, who, being a reader of foreign literature, most probably found it in Montreuil.
TO THE RECORDING ANGEL. CHERUB of heaven, that from thy secret stand
Dost note the follies of each mortal here,
Blot the sad legend with a mortal tear.
Mark then her course, nor heed each trifling wrong ;
Note down the transports of her erring tongue.
EXTRACTS FROM “CLIO'S REQUEST.” PUBLISHED IN 1771, DESCRIBING SEVERAL OF THE BEAUTIES
The love-born name of M-rg-r-t?—$
That rends my heart and checks my tongue,
And feel it will not last me long."
“ C'est un mal que j'aurai tout le tems de ma vie ;
Mais je ne l'aurai pas long-tems. + Or in an Italian song of Menage, from which Montreuil, who was accustomed to such thefts, most probably stole it. The point in the Italian is, as far as I can remember it, expressed thus :
“ In van, o Filli, tu chiedi
Se lungamente durera l'ardore
Chi lo potrebbe dire ?
Incerta, o Filli, e l'ora del morire." 1 Lady Margaret Fordyce.
Attention seizes every ear;
her cheek of rosy hue? Mark'd you her eye of sparkling blue ? That eye, in liquid circles moving ; That cheek abash'd at Man's approving; The one, Love's arrows darting round; The other, blushing at the wound: Did she not speak, did she not move, Now Pallas—now the Queen of Love !
We see the Dame, in rustic pride,
- Then pans and pickling skillets rise,
While salves and caudle-cups between,
O ! should your genius ever rise,
SHERIDAN'S VERS DE SOCIETE. In what are called Vers de Société, or drawing-room verses, he took great delight; and there remain among his papers several sketches of these trifles. Mr. Moore once heard him repeat, in a ball-room, some verses which he had written on Waltzing, and of which he has given us the following : " With tranquil step, and timid downcast glance,
Behold the well-pair'd couple now advance.
For so the Law's laid down by Baron Trip.” He had a sort of hereditary fancy for difficult trifling in poetry ;-particularly for that sort which consists in rhyming to the same word through a long string of couplets, till every rhyme that the language supplies for it is exhausted. The following are specimens from a poem of this kind, which he wrote on the loss of a lady's trunk :
* This gentleman, whose name suits so aptly as a legal authority on the subject of Waltzing, was, at the time these verses were written, well known in the dancing circles.
(To Anne.) Have you heard, my dear Anne, how my spirits are sunk? Have you heard of the cause ? Oh, the loss of my Trunk! For exertion or firmness I've never yet slunk ; But my fortitude's gone with the loss of my Trunk ! Stout Lucy, my maid, is a damsel of spunk; Yet she weeps night and day for the loss of my Trunk ! I'd better turn nun, and coquet with a monk; For with whom can I flirt without aid from my Trunk :
Accurs'd be the thief, the old rascally hunks,
There's a phrase amongst lawyers, when nunc's put for tunc;
From another of these trifles, (which, no doubt, produced much gaiety at the breakfast-table,) the following extracts will be sufficient :
Muse, assist me to complain,
Lord Petre's house was built by Payne-
At breakfast I could scarce refrain
* He had a particular horror of this word.