페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

prefer to see the victims immolated at once, and put out of pain by a knife dexterously thrust into the spinal marrow, as is practised in Portugal, to the more barbarous English method of making it stagger and suffer under repeated blows of an axe, and die by inches. To avoid giving pain to such delicate and feeling minds, a skilful dissector must soften rice into folly, and folly into youthful frailties. He must tickle the great for his own interest, as the great condescend to tickle the little, whenever it suits theirs. Instead of the following virulent declamation of Lansdowne:

Vice, like some monster, sufforing none to 'scape, Has seiz'd the town, and varies still her shape : Here, like a gen'ral, she struts in state, While crowds in red and blue her orders wait: There, like some pensive statesman, walks demure, And smiles, and hugs, to make destruction sure : Now, under high commodes, with looks erect, Barefac'd devours in gaudy colours deck’d: Then, in a vizard, to avoid grimace, Allows all freedom but to see the face: In pulpits, and at bar, she wears a gown, In camps a sword, in palaces a crown." -He should endeavour to soften down matters,

and mean

more than he expresses, of which mode of writing, we submit the following lines to the judgment of the reader:

"In these, our moral days, Vice hides its face,
Folly, more fashionable, holds its place;
On both sides Temple-Bar, its hideous mien
And lurking gait are no more to be seen.
Gay, laughing, smirking Folly is the ton,-
A coat of arms which no one will disown;
Since 'tis the fashion, and costs nothing wearing,
Not being rank'd as an armorial bearing.
Could foolish heads, like powder'd ones, be tax'd,
No more would ministers be so perplex’d,
To raise the year's supplies, for ways and means ;
They'd find an ample source in lack of brains.
In former days, kings kept one fool for sport;
But now there are few else about a court :
To be a fool's accounted no rare thing,
Since all dance hand in hand in one round ring.
Jack-Pudding's arms no one does scorn to quarter,
With Thistle, Bath, or e'en my lady's Garter;
Alike on rev’rend lawn, or legal coif,
They hang together just like man and wife;
Whoever grins is laugh'd at for his labour,
For such a one as Jack, such is his neighbour.
My Lord with folly should he charge his spouse,
She will retort by smiling at his brows,

As if she'd say:.“Like your's, so is my head,
Save those male honours which do yours o'erspread.
E'en John, behind the chair, will take the joke,
And stifled laughter with his windpipe choke;
He skips into the hall, the servants scoff
Their masters, but assume their clothes cast off;
So that the badge of folly, which all scorn,
Is, ne'ertheless, in ev'ry station worn :
One day i' th' year, fools formerly had sway,
But ev'ry day is now an—“ All Fools* Day."

Both roads, it must be confessed, bring us exactly to the same spot; but the smoother one will always be preferredl, especially by the feet of the great, which seldom tread on any thing but carpets. .We hope, on account of our smoothness, to have some of them travel our way.

If it be true, as - a certain poet (Oldham) says: For seldom that ill-jatur'd planet rules,

That plagues a poet with a dearth of fools.”
-And as another (Farquhar) writes :---

A fool's the fav’rite plant of Nature,
A weed that has to twenty summers ran,

Shoots up to salk, and vegetates to man.' -If this be true, folly has never been confined to any age or country, and there is the less room

to wonder at the fecundity of the present crop in this country. The vice and folly of human nature are the game of the satirist, who fuels an honest indignation at profligacy and depravity. Greece had its Aristophanes; Rome, its Horace, Juvenal, Persius, and Martial; France, its Boileau, Moliere, and Le Sage; Spain, its Cervantes, and Guevara ; and England, its Oldham, Dorset, Swift, and Churchill. The latter now enjoys, as we have before said, its Peter Pindar, and Colonel Hanger, both great men in their line; and we burn with the same generous desire to reform the depreciated manners of our countrymen, great as well as little, for we are not above giving advice to the former, although we know they are above taking it.

The strength of satire consists in this most essential point, that it reaches where neither the fear of the laws of God or man can take effect. To preach religion to the Atheist, who hopes for po future rewards, and dreads no future punishments, would be like baranguing a post; human laws are found of very little avail against the corruption of private debauchees, drunkards, and gamesters, espesially of high life, al

. It is ex

though in an action tried to recover the amount of a note obtained by gaming, a late learned Judge (Lord Kenyon) denounced the full severity of the law against all offenders in a similar way,

of whatever rank or sex. tremely to be lamented,' said his Lordship, " that this vice has descended to the very lowest order of the people. It is to be regretted, that it is so prevalent among the highest ranks of society, who have set the example to their inferiors, and who, it seems, are too great for the law. I wish they could be punished. If any prosecutions are fairly brought before me, and the parties are justly convicted, whatever may be their rank or station in the country; though they should be the first ladiés in the land, they should certainly exbibit themselves in the PilLORY!'-As we have never witnessed such an exhibition, although gaming is as frequent and public as ever, we must conclude that those who countenance it are too great for the law; but Nature has implanted in all mankind a love of public estimation, and a dread of its opposite, infamy. Therefore to rouse to virtue by that love, and to deter from vice by this dread, is

« 이전계속 »