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Hail, modest Ignorance, thou goal and prize, There Faith retires, and keeps her white sail Thou last, best knowledge of the simply wise!
furld, Hail, humble Doubt, when error's waves are past, Till call’d to spread it for a better world ; How sweet to reach thy shelter'd port' at last, While Patience, watching on the weedy shore, And, there, by changing skies nor lur'd nor And mutely waiting till the storm be o'er, awed,
Oft turns to Hope, who still directs her eye Smile at the battling winds that roar abroad. To some blue spot, just breaking in the sky! There gentle Charity, who knows how frail The bark of Virtue, even in summer's gale, Such are the mild, the blest associates given Sits by the nightly fire, whose beacon glows To him who doubts, -and trusts in nought but For all who wander, whether friends or foes.
BY THOMAS BROWN, THE YOUNGER.
Elapsæ manibus cecidere tabellæ.
the tribute which I here offer, never doubt the fiSTEPHEN WOOLRICHE, ESQ.
delity with which I am, and always shall be,
Your sincere and
attached Friend, MY DEAR WOOLRICHE, It is now about seven years since I promised (and
March 4. 1813 I grieve to think it is almost as long since we met) to dedicate to you the very first Book, of whatever size or kind, I should publish. Who could have thought that so many years would elapse, without my giving the least signs of life upon the subject
PREFACE. of this important promise? Who could have imagined that a volume of doggerel, after all, would The Bag, from which the following Letters are be the first offering that Gratitude would lay selected, was dropped by a Twopenny Postman upon the shrine of Friendship?
about two months since, and picked up by an If you continue, however, to be as much in- emissary of the Society for the Suppression of Vice, terested about me and my pursuits as formerly, who, supposing it might materially assist the priyou will be happy to hear that doggerel is not my vate researches of that Institution, immediately only occupation ; but that I am preparing to throw took it to his employers, and was rewarded handmy name to the Swans of the Temple of Immor- somely for his trouble. Such a treasury of secrets tality ?, leaving it, of course, to the said Swans to was worth a whole host of informers; and acdetermine, whether they ever will take the trouble cordingly, like the Cupids of the poet (if I may of picking it from the stream.
use so profane a simile) who “ fell at odds about In the mean time, my dear Woolriche, like an the sweet-bag of a bee 3,” those venerable Suporthodox Latheran, you must judge of me rather pressors almost fought with each other for the by my faith than my works; and however trifling honour and delight of first ransacking the Post
1 * Chère Sceptique, douce påture de mon ame, et l'unique port de salut à une esprit qui aime le repos !” – La Molhe le Vayer.
2 Ariosto, canto 35. 3 Herrick.
BY A FRIEND OF THE AUTHOR.
Bag. Unluckily, however, it turned out, upon
PREFACE examination, that the discoveries of profligacy which it enabled them to make, lay chiefly in those
TO THE FOURTEENTH EDITION, upper regions of society, which their well-bred regulations forbid them to molest or meddle with.
- In consequence, they gained but very few In the absence of Mr. Brown, who is at present victims by their prize, and, after lying for a week on a tour through
I feel myself called or two under Mr. Hatchard's counter, the Bag, upon, as his friend, to notice certain misconceptions with its violated contents, was sold for a trifle to a and misrepresentations, to which this little volume friend of mine.
of Trifles has given rise. It happened that I had been just then seized In the first place, it is not true that Mr. Brown with an ambition (having never tried the strength has had any accomplices in the work. A note, of my wing but in a Newspaper) to publish some indeed, which has hitherto accompanied his Prething or other in the shape of a Book; and it face, may very naturally have been the origin of occurred to me that, the present being such a such a supposition; but that note, which was letter-writing era, a few of these Twopenny-Post merely the coquetry of an author, I have, in the Epistles, turned into easy verse, would be as light present edition, taken upon myself to remove, and and popular a task as I could possibly select for a Mr. Brown must therefore be considered (like the commencement. I did not, however, think it pru- mother of that unique production, the Centaur, dent to give too many Letters at first, and, ac- uova kai povov 1) as alone responsible for the whole cordingly have been obliged (in order to eke out contents of the volume. a sufficient number of pages) to reprint some of In the next place it has been said, that in those trifles, which had already appeared in the consequence of this graceless little book, a certain public journals. As in the battles of ancient times, distinguished Personage prevailed upon another the shades of the departed were sometimes seen distinguished Personage to withdraw from the among the combatants, so I thought I might manage author that notice and kindness with which he to remedy the thinness of my ranks by conjuring upa had so long and so liberally honoured him. In few dead and forgotten ephemerons to fill them. this story there is not one syllable of truth. For
Such are the motives and accidents that led to the magnanimity of the former of these persons I the present publication; and as this is the first would, indeed, in no case answer too rashly: but time my Muse has ever ventured out of the go-cart of the conduct of the latter towards my friend, I of a Newspaper, though I feel all a parent's delight have a proud gratification in declaring, that it has at seeing little Miss go alone, I am also not without never ceased to be such as he must remember with a parent's anxiety, lest an unlucky fall should be indelible gratitude ;
;- a gratitude the more cheerthe consequence of the experiment; and I need fully and warmly paid, from its not being a debt not point out how many living instances might be incurred solely on his own account, but for kindfound, of Muses that have suffered very severely ness shared with those nearest and dearest to him. in their heads, from taking rather too early and To the charge of being an Irishman, poor rashly to their feet. Besides, a Book is so very Mr. Brown pleads guilty; and I believe it must different a thing from a Newspaper!— in the also be acknowledged that he comes of a Roman former, your doggerel, without either company or Catholic family: an avowal which I am aware is shelter, must stand shivering in the middle of a decisive of his utter reprobation, in the eyes
of bleak page by itself; whereas, in the latter, it is those exclusive patentees of Christianity, so worthy comfortably backed by advertisements, and has to have been the followers of a certain enlightened sometimes even a Speech of Mr. St-ph-n's, or Bishop, Donatus ?, who held" that God is in Africa something equally warm, for a chaûffe-pié-so and not elsewhere.” But from all this it does not that, in general, the very reverse of “ laudatur et necessarily follow that Mr. Brown is a Papist; and, alget” is its destiny.
indeed, I have the strongest reasons for suspecting Ambition, however, must run some risks, and I that they, who say so, are somewhat mistaken. shall be very well satisfied if the reception of these Not that I presume to have ascertained his opinions few Letters should have the effect of sending me upon such subjects. All I profess to know of his to the Post-Bag for more.
orthodoxy is, that he has a Protestant wife and
1 Pindar, Pyth. 2. - My friend certainly cannot add out'ly ανδρασι γερασφόρον. .
2 Bishop of Casæ Nigre, in the fourth century.
two or three little Protestant children, and that he Since the time of horse-consuls (now long out of has been seen at church every Sunday, for a whole date), year together, listening to the sermons of his truly No nags ever made such a stir in the state. reverend and amiable friend, Dr.
and Lord Eld—n first heard-and as instantly pray'd he behaving there as well and as orderly as most To “God and his King"—that a Popish young Lady people.
(For though you've bright eyes and twelve thousand There are yet a few other mistakes and false
a year, hoods about Mr. Brown, to which I had intended, It is still but too true you're a Papist, my dear,) with all becoming gravity, to advert; but I begin Had insidiously sent, by a tall Irish groom, to think the task is quite as useless as it is tiresome. Two priest-ridden Ponies, just landed from Rome, Misrepresentations and calumnies of this sort are, And so full, little rogues, of pontifical tricks, like the arguments and statements of Dr. Duigenan, That the dome of St. Paul's was scarce safe from - not at all the less vivacious or less serviceable their kicks. to their fabricators, for having been refuted and disproved a thousand times over. They are Off at once to Papa, in a flurry he flies brought forward again, as good as new, whenever For Papa always does what these statesmen advise, malice or stupidity may be in want of them; and On condition that they'll be, in turn, so polite are quite as useful as the old broken lantern, in As in no case whate'er to advise him too rightFielding's Amelia, which the watchman always Pretty doings are here, Sir, (he angrily cries, keeps ready by him, to produce, in proof of riotous While by dint of dark eyebrows he strives to look conduct, against his victims. I shall therefore give wise)— up the fruitless toil of vindication, and would even “ 'Tis a scheme of the Romanists, so help me God! draw my pen over what I have already written, “ To ride over your most Royal Highness roughhad I not promised to furnish my publisher with shod a Preface, and know not how else I could contrive “ Excuse, Sir, my tears — they're from loyalty's to eke it out.
I have added two or three more trifles to this “ Bad enough 'twas for Troy to be sack'd by a edition, which I found in the Morning Chronicle, Horse, and knew to be from the pen of my friend. The “ But for us to be ruin'd by Ponies still worse!" rest of the volume remains ' in its original state. Quick a Council is callid — the whole Cabinet sits
The Archbishops declare, frighten'd out of their April 20. 1814.
Will suit their proud stomachs but those at St. Paul's. INTERCEPTED LETTERS,
The Doctor 3, and he, the devout man of Leather 4, &c.
V-ns—tt—t, now laying their Saint-heads
together, Declare that these skittish young a-bominations
Are clearly foretold in Chap. vi. RevelationsLETTER I.
Nay, they verily think they could point out the one
Which the Doctor's friend Death was to canter upon. FROM THE PR-NC-88 CH-RL-E OF W-1-8 Lord H-rr-by, hoping that no one imputes TO THE LADY B-RB-A ASHL-4.2
To the Court any fancy to persecute brutes,
Protests, on the word of himself and his cronies, My dear Lady Bab, you'll be shock'd, I'm afraid, That had these said creatures been Asses, not Ponies, When you hear the sad rumpus your Ponies have The Court would have started no sort of objection, made;
As Asses were, there, always sure of protection.
1 A new reading has been suggested in the original of the thet “æstuosas." I merely throw out this emendation for Ode of Horace, freely translated by Lord Eld-n, page 166. the learned, being anable myself to decide upon its merits. In the line * Sive per Syrteis iter æstuosas," it is proposed, 2 This young Lady, who is a Roman Catholic, had lately by a very trilling alteration, to read "Surtees," instead “ Syr- made a present of some beautiful Ponies to the Pr-nc-ss. teis," which brings the Ode, it is said, more home to the noble 3 Mr. Addington, so nicknamed. translator, and gives a peculiar force and aptness to the epi- 4 Alluding to a tax lately laid upon leather.
“ If the Pr-nc-ss will keep them (says Lord In short, until the House of Guelph C-sl-1-gh),
Lays Lords and Commons on the shelf, “ To make them quite harmless, the only true way And boldly sets up for itself. “ Is (as certain Chief Justices do with their wives) “ To flog them within half an inch of their lives.
All, that can well be understood “ If they've any bad Irish blood lurking about,
In this said Book, is vastly good; “ This (he knew by experience) would soon draw And, as to what's incomprehensible, it out."
I dare be sworn 'tis full as sensible. Should this be thought cruel, his Lordship proposes “ The new Veto snaffle I to bind down their poses
But, to your work’s immortal credit, “ A pretty contrivance, made out of old chains, The Pr-1-e, good Sir, the Pr-n-e has read it " Which appears to indulge, while it doubly re- (The only Book, himself remarks, strains;
Which he has read since Mrs. Clarke's). " Which, however high-mettled, their gamesome- Last levee-morn he look'd it through, ness checks
During that awful hour or two (Adds his Lordship humanely), or else breaks Of grave tonsorial preparation, their necks!”
Which, to a fond, admiring nation,
Sends forth, announc'd by trump and drum, This proposal receiv'd pretty general applause
The best-wigg'd Pr-n-e in Christendom. From the statesmen around and the neck-breaking clause
He thinks with you, th’ imagination Had a vigour about it, which soon reconcil'd
Of partnership in legislation Even Eld- -n himself to a measure so mild.
Could only enter in the noddles So the snaffles, my dear, were agreed to, nem.con.,
Of dull and ledger-keeping twaddles, And my Lord C–stl—r-gh, having so often Whose heads on firms are running so, shone
They ev'n must have a King and Co., In the fettering line, is to buckle them on.
And hence, most eloquently show forth
On checks and balances, and so forth. I shall drive to your door in these Vetos some day,
he trusts, we're coming near a But, at present, adieu!-I must hurry away To go see my Mamma, as I'm suffer'd to meet her when England's monarch need but say,
Far more royal, loyal era;
Whip me those scoundrels, C-sl-r-gh!"
And 'twill be done - ay faith, and well done.
With view to which, I've his command
To beg, Sir, from your travell’d hand,
(Round which the foreign graces swarm)'
A Plan of radical Reform;
In Turkey or at Ispahan,
And quite upturning, branch and root,
Lords, Commons, and Burdétt to boot.
But, pray, whate'er you may impart, write Whose English is half modern Greek — Somewhat more brief than Major Certws-ght: You prove that we can ne'er intrench Else, though the Pre be long in rigging, Our happy isles against the French,
'Twould take, at least, a fortnight's wigging,
Two wigs to every paragraph —
Before he well could get through half.
| The question whether a Veto was to be allowed to the 3“ T'he truth indeed seems to be, that having lived so long Crown in the appointment of Irish Catholic Bishops was, at abroad as evidently to have lost, in a great degree, the use of this time, very generally and actively agitated.
his native language, Mr. Leckie has gradually come not only 2 For an account of this extraordinary work of Mr. Leckie, to speak, but to feel, like a foreigner." Edinburgh Review. see the “ Edinburgh Review," vol. xx.
FROM G-GE PR-CE R-GHT TO THE
You'll send it also speedily As, truth to say, 'twixt you and me, His Highness, heated by your work, Already thinks himself Grand Turk! And you'd have laugh’d, had you seen how He scar'd the Ch-nc11r just now, When (on his Lordship's entering puff’d) he Slapp'd his back and call’d him Mufti!”
E- OF Y-TH,2
The tailors too have got commands, To put directly into hands All sorts of Dulimans and Pouches, With Sashes, Turbans, and Paboutches, (While Y-rm-th's sketching out a plan Of new Moustaches à l'Ottomane) And all things fitting and expedient To turkify our gracious R-g-nt!
We miss'd you last night at the “hoary old sinner's,"
course! “While you live-(what's there under that cover?
pray, look)— “ While you live-(I'll just taste it) ne'er keep a
She-Cook. “ 'Tis a sound Salic Law -(a small bit of that
toast)“ Which ordains that a female shall ne'er rule the
roast; " For Cookery's a secret-(this turtle's uncom
mon)“ Like Masonry, never found out by a woman!”
You, therefore, have no time to waste So, send your System.
Yours, in haste.
BEFORE I send this scrawl away,
A compliment, too, to his Lordship the Judge
would grudge Turtle soup, though it came to five guineas a
bowl, To reward such a loyal and complaisant soul? We were all in high gig- Roman Punch and To
kay Travellid round, till our heads travellid just the
same way; And we car'd not for Juries or Libels — no
damme ! nor Ev'n for the threats of last Sunday's Examiner!
This rule's for fav'rites - nothing more — For, as to wives, a Grand Signor, Though not decidedly without them, Need never care one curse about them.
More good things were eaten than said — but
Tom T-rrh-t In quoting Joe Miller, you know, has some merit; And, hearing the sturdy Justiciary Chief Say - sated with turtle—“ I'll now try the beef”—
1 The learned Colonel must allude bere to a description again, “ There is nothing, believe me, more engaging than of the Mysterious Isle, in the History of Abdalla, Son of those lovely wrinkles," &c. &c. - See Tales of the East, vol. Hanif, where such inversions of the order of nature are said iii. pp. 607, 608. to have taken place." A score of old women and the same 2 This letter, as the reader will perceive, was written the number of old men played here and there in the court, some day after a dinner given by the M-rq-s of H-d-t. at chuck-farthing, others at tip-cat or at cockles." — And