Sidor som bilder
PDF
ePub

To Lady Mary B

Edinburgh, August 18, 1775: ~ When we returned to Edinburgh, my dear Lady Mary, we made a party to dive at Rolline Castle, a place which hath given its name to one of their pretty plaintive tunes, cf which you are such an admirer, We are apt to consider such places as the classic ground of Scotland; which hath certainly produced some pathetic poets, as well as illultri. ous historians; and we have as much pleasure in sitting under the bulbes of Traquair, the birks of Insermay, or on the banks of the Tweed, liftening to the songs of the poets, as in reading the profounder paye's of Philosophy, or tracing the biographical annals of the historic Muse.

“ Rolline Castle is situated on a little hillock on the banks of the river Erk. It appears by the thickness of the walls, and the extent of the foundation, to have been a strong place; and was the seat of a prince of Orkney, who, an old woman--the Cicerone of the place, aflured us, was the second man in the kingdom, and ahat his wife was dressed in velvet ; this was all the information he could give us, and therefore, all I can give you.—The chapel, which lies about 200 yards from the castle, is more modern ; and, though our old woman del: canted on its antiquity, by the fiddles and other orgaments on the roof, cannot be above 400 years old. The pillars that support it are all dil ferent in form, and one of them, which is thought the handsomelt, though I cannot tell why, is called the Prince's pillar, or the 'pren. tice's our conductress told us a legend of the master's having killed big 'prentice through envy, because he had excelled him in the construction of it. I own I saw nothing to envy in the beauty of any pillar there ; but then it must be considered, that perhaps I understand as lilo tle of the beauties of architecture, as those by whom these pillars were planned. There is a vaulted chapel underneath the other, which has a holy-water font, and other remains of the popith decorations which makes me wonder how it escaped the rage of reformation with 10 little damage.-Near this place is a pretty little inn, where we had most excellent trout and eels just taken from the river below us :-) poultry too was superior to what we generally ineet with, and the ci lity of the people rendered it one of the most agreeable jaunts I have yet had.-Betore I conclude my letter, (tho' i ain afraid you are alrea. dy yawning over it) I must present you with an elegy; or a song, or. tomething, which a gentleman has lately wrote on this delightful ipot: it conveys a very gond idea both of the ruinous and flourishing beauties of the place. You will, perhaps, not value very highly the produce tion of a northern Mufe, nor would you scarcely imagine at times there was heat enough in the climate to kindle the enthusiasm of." bard : But I doubt not you will be (as I was) of a contrary opinion, when you have perused the following stanzas ; and that I may bo longer derain you from them, I conclude myself,

Yours, fincerely.

ROS,

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[ocr errors]

What now avails, how great, how gay ,

How fair, how fine, their matchleis dames!
There, sleeps their undiftinguish'd clay,

And even the ftones have lost their names.
And yon gay crowds inust soon expire !

Unknown, unprais'd, their Fair-one's name:
Not so the charms that verle inspire,

Encreasing years encrease her fame.

Ob Mira! what is state or wealth ?

The Great can never love like me;
Wealth adds not days, nor quickens health ;

Then wiser thou, come, happy be ;
Come, and be mine in this tweet spot,

Where Elk rolls clear his little wave,
We'll live and Elk Mall, in a cor,

See joys that Ros LINE never gavę."

The The Gamblers, a Pocm; with Notes Critical and Explanatory, 410. 39. Hooper.

A severe, but we fear an ineffectual, satire on the fashionable phrenzy of gaming. The poet, after describing the principal icenes and characters devoted to it, proceeds to the latt act of the finished gamester, whose ill-luck at hazard reduces him to detpair, and puts an end to his iniserable being.

Amid the Club *, adventurous stood the King, (* Jockey-Club.]
And loudly dai'd the boldest to the Ring.
The chiefs advance, and Harpax burns to try,
With mighty Kings, the fortune of the dye.
But who with Kings contends, his forfeit lite
The fine shall pay, and curfe th'unequal ftrile.

The work of Dice beyins, and “ Seven the Main;"
16 Eleven the Nick”-dear labyrinths of Gain!
'Tis Hedging, Fleecing, Loading, Cogging, Betting,
Long-Odds, Long-Gallery, Cheating, Swearing, Setting
But loon lad Harpax mourns the luckless Main,
And Nicks advance their conquering aid in vain.
The Doctors faii.-And now, in mad despair,
The furious man, blaspheming, rends his hair:
Now moodtul grow!, a gloomy calm fucceeds,
The lips of blasphemy reprcft by deeds :
To cheat his God, Omnipotence to flee,
Impious, he meditates the Grande Sortie;

,

735
That welcome, dreadful, cordial of the Sad !
The Fooi's reiort, the refuge of the Mad!
The Lover's cure,' the Tyrant's surest frierid,
The Coward's triumph, and the Gamester's end!

And now the moon-itruck man for death prepares,
Ard, launching, vainly hopes to end his cares.
The seli-fame God, all-powerful, and all-wise,
That chasten'd here, hereafter can chaitile. .
His palm the universe luttains: - shall Man
Conrine Infinitude, or God trepan?

745 “ Away, vain Doubt!" the desperate Hero cry'd,.. Then grasp'd the welcome Death, with dreadtul pride! The Flint he fix’d, and well the Cock survey'd, With trembling joy the Trigger vext eslay'd; V.719. - The Ring.] Not the Ring in Hyde-Park, wher boldefi are often dared; but the Ring at Hazarit, where adventurers their money.

V.235.--- Grande Sortie.] The Grand Lead, or Suicide's de?

V. -48. The Flint be fix'd, &c.] In allusion to Homer's beaut fcription of the Bow of Pundurus, Il. 4.

Ehze auf Yvệ %; 1: AaBay, xat vitex Ba 2"

Neuşmu jeev malw ws720ev, Tow de coonzore
- Aula iade x:x2011ga; peyo Tožov Elsby.

Λιγξε βιος" νευρη δε μέγ' ιακεν, αλλο δ' ούσιος
cącCarvning 23 vfo-b2.69 ETovilsomt forbuisws.

The

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

The Barrel itrait unserew'd, and lodg’d with care
'I he Leaden Death, and Nitrous Vengeance, there.
Then, to his car the thundering Tube applies.
Fate sign'd; and Death's impatient Warrant fies.

Thus, when Ambition on some distant shore
Lets flip the dogs of blood, and thirsts for more,
The Die of War for dear dominion throun,

Wow,
Relentless Anmon bids the Nations grcan;
And now to fleece, and now to load, he tries, ;'
And for the Tyrant's crimes the Subject dies.

But loving Souls in virtuous leagues allied,
Nor force can rend, nor conquering Death divide.
How oft, dear Youth! observant didit thou blend
Th’experienc'd Groom, th’unmercenary Friend!
And oft thine Heel provok'd th' equestrian strife,
And oft thou'lt brav'd the precipice of life,
In Friendship's cause oft taught the generous Steed
Well-manay'd fury, and mechanic fpeed:
For, Jockey-faine, and Knowledge were thine own,
And foremost in the roll of Grooms you shone.
Yet mark! fequacious of thy much-lov'd Ghoit,
Bellario feeks the dark Cimmerian coast;
And mindful of thine end, and friendship's rites,
In Death partakes, and shade with shade unites.
One hour divides, one sacred urn contains
His honour'd ashes, and thy lov'd remains :
For, near that walk, where thousands every day,
Pimps, Courtiers, Coxcombs, faunter life away;
Where mix the Bankrupt and the broken Wit,
The forward Bully, and the sneaking Cir;

Where

V. 752. Then to his ear the thundering Tube applies.] Why thundering? Could Harpax hear the report? I am credibly informed he could not : for that the application of a loaded tube to the auditory nerves, effectually destroy's all sense of bearing. I would therefore reduce the Line to the level of common sense.

Then to his ear the leveli'd tube at plies. All tubes must be levell'd in a certain direction, before their contents can be lodged with due execution. WARB.

7. 756. The die of War.) "Falla el Alea ; if we don't kill them, they will kill us.”— The noble language of a noble Lord. V.759. And for the Tyrant's crimes the Subject dies.]

osnovno do 20o,
Ουνεκα τον χρυση, ητιμησαρητηρα
Argaofns. Il. i. .,. m . mer .

Quicquid delirant reges, pleEtuntur Achivi.. Hor. V. 765. And oft thou'brav'd the precipice of life,

In Friendship's canje.] Risquing his neck bv riding matches for“. his friend Bellario, when the fidelity of Grooms and Jockeys could not be depended on.

V.771. - Cimmerian coast.] Cimmeria was a country near Brice and the Lake Avernus, she fabulous dclient into Hell.

Cimmerian

Where Demi-reps and Demi-heroes throng,

780
And einpty Poets warble empty foug;
Where Cheapfide Cuckolds, in their Best, repair
On fabbaths, with their Diars, to take the air ;
Where elms o’ershade; and, grateful to the skies,
In fragrant seamns Augéan odours rise

785
A pallage leads to Cleveland's courtly Row,
And well that passage Kings, and Chairmen know. -
There, to the right, a goodly structure ilands,
Whose southern aspect Mall and Park commands.
Here Beauty's chaste Vice-gerent holds her drum,

190
And Peers of easy conscience, nightly, come:
Here Princes knock, Ambassadors refort,
And Maids of Honour drive the Sunday Sport;
Cards all their joy, and Pleasure all their aim,
And these a Foriune lose, and those a Name.

795
With different vie is a different game they spring;
One fteals an Alfignation, one a Ring.
Dear scene, at once, of Sharping and Delight!
Where Love, and Plunder, rule by turns the Night.
Her Virtue here, when Fortune turns the scale,

800
My Lady, nothing backward, fets to fale:
A Debt of Honour is a sacred thing;
This Centries know, nor Centries fables sing.

'Twas here, what tiine adventurous Harpax fell,
And left the Shadoiv for the Substance, HELL,
As by some powerful sympathy pofleit,
Deaib's secret hand Bellario's breath supprest.

Cimmerion etiam obscuras accessit ad arces,
Queis nunquam candente dies apparuit ortu,

Sive fupra terras Phæbus, seu curreret infra. TIBUL.
V. 785. Augéan odours.] The fragrance of a Stable-yard.

V. 803. This Centries know, &c.] Fame reports, that once upon a time, about the folemn hour of midnight, when all was wrapt in 1cp, fare the ever-wakeful Eyes of Sentinels, watchful over the actions of iborial men and women-a fleepless guardian of the night, Itationed within the atinorphere of Augean odours, darting his unslumbering eyes around, witheiter, through the brown shades of night, a Debt of Honour discharged in the fash. ionable mode. The gallant creditor (a miglity Colonel, it is faid) with uncommon generosity of Soul, presenting the honest Sentinel with a while Shilling, the story had the misfortune, by ten o'clock the next morning, to be bruited through the whole three regiments of Foot-guards.

V. 8o5. And left the fadow for the subjiance, Hell.] Hell, the Gehenna of the Dainn'd, adumbrated in the earthly Type, described above, pafim

V. 806. As by fome powerful lympathy polleft. It was an antient opinion, that there sublffed a certain Sympathy between near and tender relations, fond lovers and their miftresles, true and Gincere friends, &c. &c. either party feeling itself touched and affected with whatcrer concerned the other, howfoever distant and separated they might be. Were it neceflary, many undoubted instances of these sympathies might be aoduced. Agreeable to the above doctrine, Bellario feels the mortal Sympathy of Miffening frosis, and unnerving damps, which the Death of his friend Harpax is supposed to communicate,

Those

805

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]
« FöregåendeFortsätt »