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friend, who, for my fake will supply us with places at the most reasonable rates; I will take care you shall not be impofed upon; and he will inform you of the use, of finery, rapture, fplendor, and enchantment of the whole ceremony better than I."
Follies often repeated lose their absurdity, and assume the appearance of reafon his arguments were so often and fo ftrongly enforced, that I had actually fome thoughts of becoming a spectator. We accordingly went together to befpeak a place; but guefs my furprise, when the man demanded a purfe of gold for a fingle feat: I could hardly believe him ferious upon making the demand. "Prithee, friend, cried I, after I have paid twenty pounds for fitting here an hour or two, can I bring a part of the coronation back ?" No Sir. "How long can I live it after I have come away ?" "Not upon long, Sir." "Can a coronation clothe, feed, or fatten me ?" "Sir," replied the man, " you seem to be under a mistake; all that you can bring away is the pleasure of having it to say, that you faw the coronation." "Blaft me, cries Tibbs, if that be all, there's no need of paying for that, fince I am refolved to have that pleafure whether I am there or no!"
I am conscious, my friend, that this is but a very confused description of the intended ceremony. You may object, that I neither fettle rank, precedency, nor place; that I seem ignorant whether Gules walks before or behind Garter; that I have neither mentioned the dimen. fions of a lord's cap, nor measured the length of a lady's tail. I know your delight is in minute description; and this I am unhappily disqualified from furnishing; yet, upon the whole, I fancy it will be no way comparable to the
magnificence of our late emperor Whangti's proceffion
TO THE SAME.
T was formerly the custom here, when men of diftinction died, for their surviving acquaintance to throw each a flight present into the grave. Several things of little value were made use of for that purpose; perfumes, reliques, fpices, bitter herbs, camomile, wormwood, and verfes. This custom, however, is almost discontinued ; and nothing but verses alone are now lavished on such occafions; an oblation which they suppose may be interred with the dead, without any injury to the living.
Upon the death of the great, therefore, the poets and undertakers are fure of employment. While one provides the long cloak, black staff, and mourning coach, the other produces the pastoral or elegy, the monody or apotheofis. The nobility need be under no apprehenfions, but die as faft as they think proper, the poet and undertaker are ready to supply them; these can find metaphorical tears and family efcutcheons at half an hour's warning; and when the one has foberly laid the body in the grave, the other is ready to fix it figuratively among the ftars.
There are several ways of being poetically forrowful on fuch occafions. The bard is now fome penfive youth of science, who fits deploring among the tombs; again
he is Thyrfis, complaining in a circle of harmless sheep. Now Britannia fits upon her own fhore, and gives loofe to maternal tenderness; at another time, Parnaffus, even the mountain Parnaffus, gives way to forrow, and is bathed in tears of distress.
But the most useful manner is this: Damon meets Menalcas, who has got a moft gloomy countenance. The fhepherd afks his friend, whence that look of distress; to which the other replies, that Pollio is no more. If that be the case, then, Damon, let us retire to yonder bower at fome distance off, where the cypress and the jeffamine add fragrance to the breeze; and let us weep alternately for Pollio, the friend of fhepherds, and the patron of every mufe. Ah! returns his fellow fhepherd, what think you rather of that grotto by the fountain fide? the murmuring stream will help to assist our complaints, and a nightingale on a neighbouring tree will join her voice to the concert. When the place is thus fettled, they begin: the brook ftands ftill to hear their lamentation; the cows forget to graze; and the very tygers start from the foreft with fympathetic concern. By the tombs of our ancestors, my dear Fum, I am quite unaffected in all this diftrefs; the whole is liquid laudanum to my spirits; and a tyger of common fenfibility has twenty times more tenderness than I.
But though I could never weep with the complaining fhepherd, yet I am fometimes induced to pity the poet, whofe trade is thus to make demi gods and heroes for a dinner. There is not in nature a more dismal figure than a man who fits down to premeditated flattery; every ftanza he writes tacitly reproaches the meanness of his oc
cupation, till at last his ftupidity becomes more ftupid, and his dullness more diminutive.
I am amazed, therefore, that none have yet found out the fecret of flattering the worthlefs, and yet of preferving a fafe conscience. I have often wished for fome method by which a man might do himself and his deceased patron justice, without being under the hateful reproach of felf-conviction. After long lucubration, I have hit upon fuch an expedient, and send you the specimen of a poem upon the decease of a great man, in which the flattery is perfectly fine, and yet the poet perfectly inno
On the death of the Right Honourable ***.
Ye mufes, pour the pitying tear
For Pollio, fnatch'd away:
O had he liv'd another year!
O were he born to bless mankind
Heroes themselves had fall'n behind!
How fad the groves and plains appear,
Ev'n pitying hills would drop a tear;
His bounty, in exalted strain,
Each bard might well display!
Since none implor'd relief in vain!
And, hark! I hear the tuneful throng,
He ftill fhall live, fhall live as long!
TO THE SAME.
IT is the moft ufual method in every report, firft to
examine its probability, and then act as the conjuncture may require. The English, however, exert a different fpirit in fuch circumftances; they firft act, and, when too late, begin to examine. From a knowledge of this difpofition, there are feveral here who make it their business to frame new reports at every convenient interval, all tending to denounce ruin both on their contemporaries and their pofterity. This denounciation is eagerly caught up by the public; away they fling to propagate the distress; fell out at one place, buy in at another, grumble at their governors, fhout in mobs, and when they have thus, for fometime, behaved like fools, fit down coolly to argue and talk wifdom, to puzzle each other with fyllogifm, and prepare for the next report that prevails, which is always attended with the fame fuccefs.
Thus are they ever rising above, one report only to fink into another. They resemble a dog in a well, pawing to get free. When he has raised his upper parts above water, and every spectator imagines him disengaged, his lower parts drag him down again, and fink him to the