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From whence 'twas thy fortune the bright bays to
claim, That rank'd thee a Poet deserving some fame;
addicted to the eulogizing of particular personages : this strain, however, cannot rank in competition with the subjoined specimens, which, by way of a commentary upon the bombast, may not prove displeasing to the reader.
Honorie Riouffe, president and orator of the French Tribunate, who complimented Bonaparte in a strain of flattery that might have disgusted a Nero or a Domitian, seemed to have been regularly trained in this school of adulation. In 1786, he made a Sully of Calonne, and a Richelieu of his successor, Cardinal De Brienne. He next proceeded to compliment Neckar as the modern Colbert : and, in 1789, compared La Fayette to the great Washington, and ranged Mirabeau on a par with Dr. Franklin. In 1790 Abbé Maury was the French Demosthenes. In 1791 Brissot was the Gallic Cato, and Roland the French Aristides. In Marat the world beheld a Brutus: in Danton a Tullius : while Santerre, in his estimation, was equal to Marlborough. This sycophant, in 1793, flattered the monster Robespierre by the designation of Gracchus; and Henriot was not inferior to the great Eugene. In 1795 Talleyrand
Nor wou'd I for kingdoms that verdant sprig
blight, Wherewith fancy's hand had thy temples bedight: Ne'ertheless, as before, I repeat—thy worn quill Too often hath needed Apollo's sharp drill ; But he that for booksellers e'er hath been drudge, For one flash of talent a twelvemonth must trudge: Such truth I proclaim, to poor wretches that feed'em, Wou'd those that have bled were in turn doom'd to
bleed 'em !
was held out as the Republican Christ! O blasphemy! where is thy blush? La Revelliere, in 1796, was the Republican Moses: Rewbell shone forth a Solon: and Carnot blazed the living Vauban! To this vile flattery, by way of finale, I shall subscribe the lines once addressed to the facetious but inoffensive Tom D'Urfey, making only a slight alteration.
“In the next world expect thy blows,
For none shall wipe thy stains out;
A Eugene beat thy brains out.”
Utque alios industria, ita hunc ignavia ad famam protulerat.
Other writers have acquired the meed of fame by persevering industry; but this individual owes his success to indolence.
UNHEARD of before, as from clouds straight
descended, A Scot appears, teeming with verse strangely
blended; Whose maxim is that of all common scribes trite,
Whether' sterling or not, still the Muse needs must
For whether it prove of a Minstrel last Lay,
Or the Lady bewitching of Lake crystal clear,
And lastly of Rokeby, the quick lash'd-up lore, Replete with the faults of those themes trac'd
Now although viva voce, the public en masse
Of wearing the bays must belong to a Scot;
My bulwark is sense, on that fort I rely,
(x) So numerous and in such quick succession have appeared the flights of Mr. Scott, that to enter into a separate review of each poem would swell
my notes into so many chapters : a step not only incompatible with the limits of this production, but rendered of little utility, after the concise strictures as delivered above by Sir Scribblecumdash. If the Greek adage was correct, which goes to state that
θελω τυχης σαλαγμον, η φρενων πιδον,
then, indeed, had our poet long ago found a watery graye: but when we call to mind that the love of money begetteth more, it may not appear wonderful if he
Declinat cursus aurumque volubile tollit,
-Greedy of the shining fruit, steps back
An occupation, by the by, in which poets of the present æra are but very seldom engaged. Throughout Mr. Scott's produc