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Here Reynolds is laid, and, to tell you my mind, He has not left a wiser or better behind: His pencil was striking, resistless, and grand; His manners were gentle, complying, and bland; Still born to improve us in every part, His pencil our faces, his manners our heart: To coxcombs averse, yet most civilly steering, When they judged without skill he was still hard of hearing; When they talked of their Raphaels, Corregios, and stuff, He shifted his trumpet,' and only took snuff.
[After the fourth edition of this poem was printed, the
Publisher received the following Epitaph on Mr. Whitefoord,2 from a friend of the late Dr. Goldsmith.]
HERE Whitefoord reclines, and, deny it who can,
Though he merrily lived, he is now a grave; man;
Rare compound of oddity, frolic, and fun!
Who relished a joke, and rejoiced in a pun;
Whose temper was generous, open, sincere--
A stranger to flattery, a stranger to fear;
1 Sir Joshua Reynolds was so remarkably deaf as to be under the necessity of using an ear-trumpet in company.
2 Mr. Caleb Whitefoord, author of many humourous essays.
3 Mr. W. was 'so notorious a punster, that Dr. Goldsmith used to say it was impossible to keep him company githout being infected with the itch of punning.
Who scattered around wit and humour at will
Whose daily bon mots half a column might fill;
A Scotchman, from pride and from prejudice free
A scholar, yet surely no pedant was he.
What pity, alas! that so liberal a mind
Should so long be to newspaper essays confined!
Who, perhaps, to the summit of science could soar,
Yet content "if the table he set in a roar;"
Whose talents to fill any station were fit,
Yet happy if Woodfall! confessed him a wit.
Ye newspaper witlings! ye pert scribbling folks!
Who copied his squibs, and re-echoed his jokes;
Ye tame imitators, ye servile herd, come,
Still follow your master, and visit his tomb:
To deck it, bring with you festoons of the vine,
And copious libations bestow on his shrine;
Then strew all around it (you can do no less,)
Cross-readings, ship news, and mistakes of the press.2
Merry Whitefoord, farewell! for thy sake I admit
That a Scot may have humour, I had almost said wit:
This debt to thy memory I cannot refuse,
“Thou best humoured man with the worst humoured muse."
1 Mr. H. S. Woodfall, printer of the Public Advertiser.
2 Mr. Whitefoord has frequently indulged the town with humorous pieces under those titles, in the Public Advertiser.
SECLUDED from domestic strife,
Jack Bookworm led a college life;
A fellowship at twenty-five
Made him the happiest man alive;
He drank his glass, and cracked joke,
And freshmen wondered as he spoke:
Such pleasures, unalloyed with care,
Could any accident impair?
Could Cupid's shaft at length transfix
Our swain, arrived at thirty-six?
O! had the archer ne'er come down
To ravage in a country town;
Or Flavia been content to stop
At triumphs in a Fleet-street shop!
O! had her eyes forgot to blaze,
Or Jack had wanted eyes to gaze!
0!--but let exclamation cease
Her presence banished all his peace;
So with decorum all things carried,
Miss frowned, and blushed, and then was marrie l.
Need we expose to vulgar sight
The raptures of the bridal night?
Need we intrude on hallowed ground,
Or draw the curtains closed around?
Let it suffice that each had charms
He clasped a goddess in his arms;
And though she felt his usage rough,
Yet, in a man, 'twas well enough.
The honey-moon like lightning flew
The second brought its transports too;
A third, a fourth, were not amiss-
The fifth was friendship mixed with bliss:
But when a twelvemonth passed away,
Jack found his goddess made of clay;
Found half the charms that decked her face
Arose from powder, shreds, or lace;
But still the wont remained behind,
That very face had robbed her mind.
Skilled in no other arts was she
But dressing, patching, repartee;
And, just as humour rose or fell,
By turns a slattern or a belle:
'Tis true she dressed with modern grace,
Half naked at a ball or race;
But when at home, at board or bed,
Five greasy night-caps wrapt her head.
Could so much beauty condescend
To be a dull domestic friend?
Could any curtain lectures bring
To decency so fine a thing?
In short, by night 'twas fits or fretting,
By day 'twas gadding or coquetting.
Fond to be seen, she kept a bevy
Of powdered coxcombs at her levee:
The 'squire and captain took their stations,
And twenty other near relations.
Jack sucked his pipe, and often broke
A sigh in suffocating smoke;
While all their hours were passed between Insulting repartee, or spleen.
Thus, as her faults each day were known,
He thinks her features coarser grown;
He fancies every vice she shows
Or thins ber lip, or points her nose;
Whenever rage or envy rise,
How wide her mouth, how wild her eyes;
He knows not how, but so it is,
Her face is grown a knowing phiz;
And though her fops are wondrous civil,
He thinks her ugly as the devil.
Now, to perplex the raveled noose,
As each a different way pursues,
While sullen or loquacious strife
Promised to hold them on for life,
Tbat dire disease, whose ruthless power
Withers the beauty's transient flower
Lo! the small-pox, whose horrid glare
Leveled its terrors at the fair;
And, rifling every youthful grace,
Left but the remnant of a face,
The glass grown hateful to her sight,
Reflected now a perfect fright:
Each former art she vainly tries
To bring back lustre to her eyes.
In vain she tries her pastes and creams
To smooth her skin, or hide its seams;
Her country beaux and city cousins,
Lovers no more, flew off by dozens:
The 'squire himself was seen to yield,
And e'en the captain quit the field.