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VERY SHORT, BOT VERY CURIOL'S EPIC POEM [T is an old saying, that necessity is the mo-
#ITH THE PROLEGOMENA OF SCRIBLERUS TERTIUS, ther of invention: it should seem then that poe-

try, which is a species of invention, must natuNos hæc norimus esse nihil. Mart. rally derive its being from the same origin: hence

it will be easy to account for the many flinusy

ghost-like apparitions, that every day make their TO THE MOST PUISSANT AND INVINCIBLE appearance among us; for if it be true, as natuMR. JOHN BROUGHTON.

ralists observe, that the health and vigour of the

mother is necessary to produce the like qualities I so this dedication been addressed to some in the child, what issue can be expected from the reverend prelate, or female court-favourite, womb of so meagre a parent? to some blundering statesman, or apostate pa- But there is another species of poetry, which, triot, I should doubtless have lanched into the instead of owing its birth to the beily, like Mibighest encomiums on public spirit, policy, vir- nerva springs at once from the head: of this kind tve, piety, &c. and, like the rest of my brother are those productions of wit, sense, and spirit, dedicators, had most successfully imposed on which once born, like the goddess herself, imtheir vanity, by ascribing to them qualities they mediately become immortal. It is true, these were utterly unacquainted with; Ly which means are a sort of miraculous births, and therefore it I had prudently reaped the reward of a panegyrist is no wonder they should be found so rare among from my patron, and, at the same time, secured us.--As glory is the noble inspirer of the latter, the reputation of a satirist with the public. so hunger is the natural incentive of the former:

But scoruing these base arts, I present the ful- thus fame and food are the spurs with which every lowing poem to you, unswayed by either flattery poet mounts his Pegasus ; but, as the impetus of or interest; since your modesty would defend the belly is apt to be more cogent than that of the you against the poison of the one, and your head, so you will ever see the one pricking and known economy prevent an author's expectations goading a tired jade to a hobbling trot, while the of the other. I shall therefore only tell you, other only incites the foaming steed to a majestic what you really are, and leave'those (whose pa- capriol. trons are of the higher class) to tell them what The gentle reader, it is apprehended, will not they really are not. But such is the depravity long be at a loss to determine, which species the of human nature, that every compliment we be following production ought to be ranked under: stow on another is too apt to be deemed a satire but as the parent most unnaturally cast it out as on ourselves; yet surely, while I am praising the spurious issue of his brain, and even cruelly the strength of your arm, no politician can think denies it the common privilege of his name; it meant as a reflection on the weakness of his struck with the delectable beauty of its features, head; or, while I am justifying your title to the I could not avoid adopting the little poetic orphan, character of a man, will any modern petit-maître and by dressing it up with a few notes, &c. prethink it an impeachment of his affinity to that of sent it to the public as perfect as possible. its mimic counterfeit, a monkey?

Had I, in imitation of other great authors, Were I to attempt a description of your qua- only consulted my interest in the publication of lifications, I might justly have recourse to the this inimitable piece, (which doubtless will unmajesty of Agamemnon, the courage of Achilles, dergo numerous impressious) I might first have the strength of Ajax, and the wisdom of Ulysses; sent it into the world naked, then, by the addi. but, as your own heroic actions afford us the best i tion of a commentary, notes variorum, prolemirror of your merits, I shall leave the reader gomena, and all that, levied a new tax upon the to view in that the amazing lustre of a character, public; and after all, by a sort of moderu pocta few traits of which only, the following poem ical legerdemain, changing the name of the prinwas intended to display; and in which, had the cipal hero, and inserting a few hypercritics of a ability of the poet equalled the magnanimity of Aattering friend's, have rendered the former edi. his hero, I doubt not but the Gymnasiad had, tions incorrect, and cozened the curious reader like the inmortal Iliad, been handed down to the out of a treble consideration for the same work; admiration of all posterity.

but however this may suit the tricking arts of a As your superior merits contributed towards bookseller, it is certainly much below the sublime raising you to the diguities you now enjoy, and genius of an author. - I know it will be said, placed you even as the safe-guard of royalty it. that a man bas an equal right to mahe as much self, so I cannot belp thinking it bappy for the as he can of his wit, as well as of his money : prince, that he is now able to boast one real but then it ought to be considered, whether chanıpion in his service: and what Frenchman there may not be such a thing as usury in would not tremble more at the puissant arm of a buth ; and the law having only provided against Broughton, than at the ceremonious gauntlet of it in one instance, is, I apprehend, no very a Dimmack?

moral plea for the practice of it in the
I am,

with the most profound respect
to your heroic virtues,

1 As this may be thought to be particularly
your most devoted,

aimed at an author who was lately reported to be aud most humble servant, dead, and whose loss all lovers of the muses


The judicious reader will casily perreive, that besides, the poignance of the sword is too pres the following poem in all its properties partakes calent for that of the pen; and who, when there of the epic; such as fighting, speeching, bully- are at present so many thousand unanswerable ing, ranting, &c. (to say nothing of the moral) standing arguments ready to defend, would ever and, as many thousand verses are thought neces- be Quixote enough to attack, either the omnipc. sary to the construction of this kind of poem, it tence of a prince, or the oniniscience of his mimay be objected, that this is too short to be rank- nisters? ed under that class : to which I will only an- Were I to attempt an analysis of this poem, I swer, that as conciseness is the last fault a wri- could demonstrate that it contains (as much as ter is apt to commit, so it is generally the first a a piece of so sublime a nature will admit of) all reader is willing to forgive ; and though it may those true standards of wit, humour, raillery, not be altogether so long, yet. I dare say, it satire, and ridicule, which a late writer has so will not be found less replete with the true vis marvellously discovered ; and might, on the part poetica, than (not to mention the Iliad, Æneid, of our author, say with that profound critic,&c.) even Leonidas itself.

Jucla est Alea: but as the obscurity of a beauty It may farther be objected, that the charac- too strongly argues the want of one, so an enters of our principal heroes are too humble for deavour to elucidate the merits of the following the grandeur of the epic fable; but the candid performance, might be apt to give the reader a reader will be pleased to observe, that they are disadvantageous impression against it, as it

not here celebrated in their mechanic, but in might tacitly imply they were too mysterious to their heroic capacities, as boxers, who, ty the come within the compass of his conprehension. ancients themselves, have ever been esteemed | I shall therefore leave thein to his inore curious worthy to be immortalized in the noblest works of observation, and bid him heartily farewell this nature; of which the Epëus and Euryalus of Lege & delectare. Homer, and the Entellus and Dares of Virgil,

SCRIBLERUS TERTIUS. are incontestable authorities. And as those authors were ever careful, that their principal personages (however mean in themselves) should

THE GYMN ASLAD. derive their pedigree from some deity, or illus

BOOK I. trious hero, so our author has with equal propriety made his spring from Phaëton and Neptune ; under which characters he beautifully al. The invocation, the proposition, the night belegorises their different occupations of watermen fore the battle described ; the morning opens, and coachmen.--But for my own part, I cannot

and discovers the multitude hasting to the conceive, that the dignity of the hero's profes

place of action; their various professions, digsion is any ways essential to that of the action; nities, &c. illustrated; the spectators being for, if the greatest persons are guilty of the seated, the youthful combatants are first inmeanest actions, why may not the greatest ac- troduced; their manner of fighting displayed ; tions be ascribed to the meanest persons ?

to these succeed the champions of a higher de As the main action of this poem is entirely sup

gree; their superior abilities marked, some of ported by the principal heroes themselves, it has

the most eminent particularly celebrated; been maliciously insinuated to be designed, as an

mean while, the principal heroes are repreunmannerly reflection on a late glorious victory,

sented sitting, and ruminating on the apwhere, it is pretended, the whole action was a

proaching combat, when the herald summuns chieved without the interposition of the principal

them to the lists. heroes at all.-- But as the most innocent meanings may by ill minds be wrested to the most Sing, sing, O Muse, the dire contested fray, wicked purposes, if any such construction And bloody honours of that dreadful day, should be made, I will venture to affirin, that when Phaeton's bold son (tremendous name) it must proceed from the factious venoin of the Dard Neptune's offspring to the lists of fame. reader, and not from any disloyal malignity in | What fury fraught thee with ambition's fire, our author, who is too well acquainted with the Ambition, equal foe to son and sire? power, ever to arraign the purity,of governinent : v. 3, 4. When Thaëton's bold son. It is usual would have the greatest reason to lament; it call the sons after the names of their fathers; as

Dar'd Neptune's offspring S for poets to may not be improper to assure the reader, that

Agamemnon the son of Atreus, and Achilles the it was written, and intended to have been pub

son of Peleus, are frequently termed Pelides and lished, before that report, and was only meant

Atrides. Our author world doubtless hare folas an attack upon the general abuse of this kind. I lowed this laudable example, but he found

-As to our author himself, he has frequently Broughtonides and Stephensonides, or their cougiven public testimonies of his veneration for tractions, too unmusical for metre, and therefore that great man's genius; nor may it be unenter

with wonderful art adopts two poetical parents ; taining to the reader, to acquaint him with one

which obviates the difficulty, and at the same private instance : Immediately on hearing the

time heightens the dignity of his heroes. report of Mr. Pope's death, he was heard to

BENTLEIDES. break forth in the following exclamation :

V. 6. Ambition, equal foe to son and sire?) Pope dead !-Hush, hush, Report, the slan- It has been maintained by some philosophers, d'rous lie;

that the passions of the mind are in some mea. Fame says he lives-immortals never die. sure hereditary, as well as the features of the



One, hapless fell by Jove's æthereal arins, Bailiffs, in crowds, neglect the dormant writ, And one, the Triton's mighty pow'r disarms. And give another Sunday to the wit:

Now all lay bush'd within the folds of night, He tou would hie, but ah! his fortunes frown, And saw in painted dreams th' important fight; 10 Alas! the fatal passport's half-a-crown. While hopes and fears alternate turn the scales, Shoals press on shoals, from palace and froin And now this hero, and now that prevails ; Blors and imaginary blood survey,

Lords yield the court, and butchers Clerkenwell. Then waking, watch the slow approach of day; St Giles's natives, never known to fail, When, lo ! Aurora in her saffron vest

All who have haply'scap'd th' obdurate jail ; Darts a glad ray, and gilds the ruddy east. There many a martial son of Tott'nham lies, Forth issuing now all ardent seek the place

Bound in Deveilian bands, a sacrifice Sacred to fame, and the athletic race.

To angry justice, nor must view the prize. As from their bive the clust'ring squadrons pour

Asseinbled myriads crowd the circling seats,40 O'er fragrant meads, to sip the rernal fow'r; 20 High for the combat every bosoin beats, So from each inn the legal swarms impel,

Each bosom partial for its hero bold, Of banded seers, and pupils of the quill.

Partial through friendship—or depending gold. Senates and shambles pour forth all their store,

But first, the infant progeny of Mars Mindful of mutton, and of laws no more;

Join in the lists, and wage their pigmy wars; E'en money-bills, uncourtly, now must wait, Train'd to the manual fight, and bruiseful toil, And the fat lamb has one moi'c day to bleat. The stop defensive, and gymnastic foil, The highway knight now draws his pistol's load,

With nimble fists their early prowess show, Rests his faint steed, and this day franks the road. And mark the future hero in each blow.

To these, the hardy iron race succeed, 50 body. According to this doctrine, our author All sons of Hockley and fierce Brick-street breed: very beautifully represents the frailty of ambi- Mature in valour, and inur'd to blood, tion descending from father to son ;-and as ori- Dauntless each foe in form terrific stood; ginal sin may in some sort be accounted for on Their callous bodies, frequent in the fray, this system, it is very probable our author had a Mock'd the fell stroke, nor to its force gave theological, as well as physical, and moral mean

way. ing in this verse.

'Mongst these Gloverius, not the last in fame, For the latter part of this note we are obliged | And he whose clog delights the beauteous dame; to an eminent divine.

Nor least thy praise, whose artificial light, V. 21. legal swarms impel,) An ingenions cri- In Dian's absence, gilds the clouds of night. tic of my acquaintance objected to this simile, and would by po means admit the comparison

V. 37. There many a martial son, &c.] The between bees and lawyers to be just; one, he unwary reader may from this passage be apt to said, was an industrious, harmless, and useful conclude, that an amphitheatre is little better species, none of which properties could be affirm than a nursery for the gallows, and that there is ed of the other; and therefore he thought the a sort of physical connection between boxing and drone, that lives on the plunder of the hive, a thieving; but although boxing may be a useful more proper archetype. I must confess myself ingredient in a thief, yet it does not necessarily in some measure inclined to subscribe my friend's make him one. Boxing is the effect, not the opinion; but then we must consider, that our cause; and men are not thieves because they antbor did not intend to describe their qualities, are boxers, but boxers because they are thieves. but their number; and in this respect no one, Thus tricking, lying, erasion, with several other I think, can have any objection to the propriety

such-like cardinal virtues, are a sort of properties of the comparison.

pertaining to the practice of the law, as well as V. 24. and of laws no more;] The original to the mercurial profession. But would any one MS. has it bribes; but, as this might seem to

therefore infer, that every lawyer must be a cast au invidious aspersion on a certain assembly, tbief?

SCHOLIAST. remarkable for their abhorrence of venality ; V. 44. infant progeny of Mars] Our author and, at the same time, might subject our pub- in this description alludes to the Lusus Troja bisher to soine little inconveniences; I thought of virgil, it prudent to soften the expression ; besides, I Incedunt puerithink this reading renılers our author's thought

-Trojæ juventus more natural; for, though we see the most tri

-Pugnæque ciunt simulachra sub armis. fling avocations are able to draw off their attention from the public utility, yet nothing is suf

V. 51. Hockley und fierce Brick-streel breed] ficient to divert a steady pursuit of their private Two famons athletic seminaries.

V. 57. And he whose clog, &c.] Here we are einolument.

V. 28. this day franks the road.] Our poet here presented with a laudable imitation of the an. artfully insinuates the dignity of the combat he is cient simplicity of manners; for, as Cincinnatus about to celebrate, by its being able to prevail on

Jisdained not the bomely employment of a a highwayman to lay aside bis business, to be

ploughman, so we see our hero condescending to

the bumble occupation of a clog-maker; and come a spectator of it ;--and as, on this occasion, he makes him forsake his daily bread, while this is the more to be adınired, as it is one cha

racteristic of modern heroism, to be either above the senator only neglects the business of the nation, it may be observed, how satirically he gives

or below any occupation at all. the preference, in poiut of disinterestedness, to

V. 58. whose artificial light, ] Various and

violent have been the controversics, whether out the highwayman.

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While these the combat's direfularts display, 60 Now Neptune's offspring dreadfully serene, And share the bloody fortunes of the day,

Of size gigantic, and tremendous mien, Each hero sat, revolving in his soul

Steps forth, and ’ntidst the fated lists appears ;
The various means that might his foe controul; Rev'rend his form, but yet not worn with years.
Conquest and glory each proud bosom warms, To him none equal, in his youthful day,
When, lo! the herald summons them to arms. With feather'd oar to skim the liquid way;

Or through those straits whose waters stun the
The loaded lighter's bulky weight to steer. (ear,

Soon as the ring their ancient warrior view'd,

Joy fill'd their hearts, and thund'ring shouts BOOK IL

ensu'd ;

Loud as when o'er Thamesis' gentle flood,

Superior with the Triton youths he row'd;

While far a-head his winged wherry flew, Stephenson enters the lists; a description of his Touch'd the glad shore, and claim'd the badge figure; an encomium on his abilities, with

its due. respect to the character of a coachman.

Then thus indignant he accosts the foe, Broughton advances; his reverend form des

(While high disdain sat prideful on his brow :) cribed; bis superior skill in the management

“ Long has the laurel-wreath victorious spread of the lighter and wherry displayed; lis tri- Its sacred honours round this hoary head; umph of the badge celebrated ; his speech; The prize of conquest in each doubtful fray, bis former victories recounted; the prepara- And dear reward of many a dire-fought day. 43 tions for the combat, and the horrour of the

Now youth's cold wane the vigʻrous pulse has spectators.'

chas'd, to the fight, advanc'd the charioteer:

Froze all my blood, and ev'ry nerve unbrac'd; High hopes of glory on his brow appear;

Now, from these teinples shall the spoils be torn, Terrour vindictive flashes from his eye,

In scornful triumph by my foe he worn ? ('To one the fates the visual ray deny ;)

What then avail my various deeds in arms, Fierce glow'd his looks, which spoke his inward If this proud crest thy feeble forcedisarms ? rage ;

Lost be my glories to recording fame, (name! He leaps the bar, and bounds upon the stage.

When, foild by thee, the coward blasts my The roofs re-eccho with exulting cries,

1, who e'er manhood my young joints had knit, And all behold him with admiring eyes.

First taught the fierce Grettonius to subinit ; 50 Ill-fated youth! what rash desires could warm

While, drench'd in blood, he prostrate press'd

the floor, Thy manly heart, to dare the Triton's arm ? 10 Ah! too unequal to these martial deeds,

And inly groan'd the fatal words—no more.' Though none more skill’d to rule the foaming Allenius tou, who ev'ry heart disinay'd, The coursers, still obedient to thy rein, (steeds. Now urge their fight, or now their flight restraintbor inculcates a fine moral, by showing how Had mighty Diomed provok'd the race,

apt men are to mistake their talents; but were Thou far had'st left the Grecian in disgrace. men only to act in tbeir proper spberes, how ofWhere-e'er you drove, each ipn confess'd your ten should we see the parson in the pew of the sway,

[hay. peasant, the author in the character of his Maids brought the dram, and ostlers flew with hawker, or a beau in the livery of his footBut know, though skill'd to guide the rapid car, man! &c. None wages like thy foe the manual war. 20 V. 34. the badge its due.] A prize given by

Mr. Dogget, to be annually contested on the author here intended to celebrate a lamp-lighter first of August. As among the ancients, games or a link-boy; but as there are heroes of both and spurts were celebrated on mournful as well capacities at present in the school of honour, it as joyful events, there has been some contro, is difficult to determine, whether the poet al- versy, whether our loyal comedian meant the Juces to a Wells, or a Buckhorse.

compliment to the setiing or rising monarch of 1 Argument.] It was doubtless in obedience that day; but, as the plate has a horse for its to custom, and the example of other great poets, device, I am induced to impute it to the latter; that our author has thought proper to prefix an and, doubtless, he prudently considered, that, argument 10 each book, being minded that no

as a living dog is better than a dead lion, the thing should be wanting in the usual parapher- living horse had, at least, an equal title to the nalia of works of this kind --For my own part, I same preference. am at a loss to account for the use of them, un- v. 42. Froze all my blood, ] See Virgil. less it be to swell a volume, or, like bills of fare, -Sed enim gelidus tardante senecta to advertise the reader what he is to expect; Sanguis hebet, frigentque effætæ in corpore that, if it contains nothing likely to sust his taste,

vires. he may preserve his appetite for the next course. V. 50. Fierce Grettonius to submil ;) Gretton, V. 6, 7. He leaps the bar, &c.

See the des

the most famous Athleta in bis days, over whoin The roofs re-echo

our hero obtained his maiden prize. riptions of Dares in Virgil.

V. 53. Allenius too, &c.] Vulgarly known by Nec mora, continuo vastis cum viribus effert

the plebeian name of Pipes, which a learned critic Ora Dares, magnoque virum se murmure tollit. will have to be derived from the art and mystery

V. 19. But know, though skilld) Here our au- of pipe-making, in which it is affirmed this b;<1



Whose blows, like hail, flew rattling round the head | And whizzing, spent its idle force in air. 10
Him oft the ring beheld with weeping eyes, Then quick advancing on th' unguarded head,
Stretch'd on the ground, reluctant yield the prize. A dreadful show'r of thunderbolts he shed :
Then fe'l theswain, with whom none e'er could vie As when a whirlwind, from some cavern bruke,
Where Harrow's steeple darts into the sky. With furious blasts assaults the inonarch oak,
Next the bold youth a bleeding victim lay, This way and that its lofty top it bends.
Whose waving curls the barber's art display. 60 And the fierce storm the crackling branches
You too this arm's tremendous prowess know;

rends; Rash man, to make this arm again thy foe!" So wav'd the head, and now to left and right

This said-the herves for the fight prepare, Rebounding tlies, and crash'd beneath the weight, Brace their big limbs, and brawny bodies bare. Like the young lion wounded by a dart, The sturdy sinews all aghast behold,

Whose fury kindles at the galling smart; 20 And ample shoulders of Atlean mould;

The hero rouses wiih redoubled rage, Like Titan's offspring, who'gainst Heavens trove, Flies on the foe, and foams upon the stage. So each, though mortal, seem'd a match for Jove. Now grappling, both in close contention join, Now round the ring a silent horrour reigns, Legs lock in legs, and arms in arins entwine: Speechless each tongue, and bloodless all their Thiey sweat, they heave, each tugging nerve they veins;


strain; When, lo! the champions give the dreadful sign, Both, fix'd as oaks, their sturdy trunks sustain. And hand in hand in friendly token join;

At length the chief his wily art display'd, Those iron hands, which soon upon the foe

l'oisid on his hip the hapless youth be laid ; With giant-force must deal the dreadful blow. Aloft in air bis quiv’sing limbs he throw'd, [load.

Tuen on the ground down dash'd the pond'ıous

So some vast ruin on a mountain's bror, 31 THE GYMNASIAD,

Which tott'ring hangs, and dreadful nods below,

When the fierce tempest the foundation rends, BOOK III.

Whirl'd though the air with horrid crush des

cends. A description of the battle ; Stephenson is van

Bold and undaunted up the hero rose, quished; the manner of his body being car

Fiercer his bosom for the combat glows; ried off by his friends; Broughton claims the Shame stung his manly heart, and fiery rage prize, and takes his final leave of the stage.

New steel'd each nerve, redoubled war to wage, Full in the centre now they fix in form,

Swift to revenge the dire disgrace he flies,
Again suspended on the hip he lies ;

40 Eye meeting eye, and arm oppos'd to arm; With wily feints each other now provoke,

Dash'd on the ground, again had fatal fell,

Haply the barrier caught bis flying heel ; And cautious meditate th' impending stroke.

Toere fast it hung, th’ imprison'd bead gave way, Th’impatient youth, inspir'd by hopes of fame,

And the strong arm defrauded of its prey. First sped bis arm, unfaithful to its aim;

Vain strove the chief to whirl the mountain o'er ; The wary warrior, watchful of his foe,

It slipt--he headlong rattles on the floor.
Bends back, and 'scapes the death-designing blow;
With erring glance it sounded by his ear,

V. 10. its idle force in air.] Virgil was an adept.-As he was the delicium pugnacis

-vires in ventum effudit.generis, our author, with marvellous judgment, V. 19. Like the young lion] It may be ob represents the ring weeping at his defeat.

servedl, that our author has treated the reader V. 54. Whose blows, like hail, &c.] Virgil. but with one siinile throughout the two foregoing

-quam multa grandine nimbi books; but, in order to make him ample amends, Culminibus crepitant. —

has given him no less than six in this. DoubtV. 57. Then fell the swain,] Jeoffrey Birch, intended to heighten the dignity of the main

less this was in imitation of Homer, and artfully wbo, in several encounters, served only to aug- action, as well as our admiration, towards the ment the nomber of our hero's triumphs.

conclusion of his work.--Finis coronat opus. V. 59. Next the bold youth] As this champion

V. 24. Arms in arms entwine ;] Virgil. is still living, and eren disputes the palm of manhood with our hero himself, I shall leave him to

Immiscentque manus manibus, pugnamque be the subject of immortality in some future

lacessunt. Gymnasiad, should the superiority of his prowess

V. 35. Bold and undaunted, &c.] Virgil. ever justify his title to the corona pugnea.

At non tardatus casu, neque territus heros, V. 63. This suid, &c,] Virgil.

Acrior ad pugnam redit, & vim suscitat ira. Hæc fatus, duplicem ex humeris rejecit amic- Tum pudor incendit vires


V. 42. Haply the barrier, &c.] Our author, Et magnos membrorum artus, magna ossa lacer-like Homer himself, is no less to be admired in Exuit,

the character of an historian than in that of a V. 7, 8. -watchful of his foe

poet: we see him here faithfully reciting the Bends back and 'scapes the death- Virgil. most minute incidents of the battle, and informing designing blow ;

us, that the youthful hero, being on the lock, Lille ictum venientem a vertice velox must again inevitably have come to the ground, Prævidit, celerique elapsus corpore cessit.

had not us heel catched the bar; and that his antagonist, by the violence of his straining, slipt

tum :

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