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Would Noble Lords lose in your Lordship’s orations.
speeches Fame herself, that most famous reporter, ne'er
reaches. Lo ! Patience beholds you contemn her brief reign, And Time, that all-panting toil'd after in vain, (Like the Beldam who raced for a smock with her
grandchild) Drops and cries: ‘Were such lungs e'er assign'd to
a man-child ?'
really or figuratively ; and we cannot guess what species Lord Grenville's eloquence may be supposed to resemble, unless, indeed, it be Cowslip wine. A slashing critic to whom we read the manuscript, proposed to read, “What a plenty of flowers—what initiations!” and supposes it
allude indiscriminately to poppy flowers, or flour of brimstone. The most modest emendation, perhaps, would be this—for Vintage read Ventage.
* We cannot sufficiently admire the accuracy of this simile. For as Lord Grenville, though short, is certainly not the shortest man in the House, even so is it with the days in November.
Your strokes at her vitals pale Truth has confess'd, And Zeal unresisted entempests your
breast ! Though some noble Lords may be wishing to sup, Your merit self-conscious, my Lord, keeps you up, Unextinguish'd and swoln, as a balloon of Keeps aloft by the smoke of its own farthing taper. Ye SIXTEENS † of Scotland, your snuffs ye must
Your Geminies, fix'd stars of England ! grow dim,
* An evident plagiarism of the ex-Bishop's from Dr. John
“Existence saw him spurn her bounded reign,
And panting Time toild after him in vain :
+ This line and the following are involved in an almost Lycophrontic tenebricosity. On repeating them, however, to an Illuminant, whose confidence I possess, he informed me (and he ought to know, for he is a Tallow-chandler by trade) that certain candles go by the name of sixteens. This explains the whole, the Scotch Peers are destined to burn out-and so are candles ! The English are perpetual," and are therefore styled Fixed Stars! The word Geminies is, we confess, still obscure to us; though we venture to suggest that it may perhaps be a metaphor (daringly sublime) for the two eyes which noble Lords do in general possess. It is certainly used by the poet Fletcher in this sense, in the 31st stanza of his Purple Island :“ What! shall I then need seek a patron out,
Or beg a favour from a mistress' eyes,
And shine upon me with her geminies ? "
And but for a form long establishd, no doubt
Apropos, my dear Lord ! a ridiculous blunder
coat is On observing a star that appear’d in Bootes ! When the whole truth was this (O those ignorant
brutes :) Your Lordship had made his appearance in boots. You, my Lord, with your star, sat in boots, and
the Spanish Ambassador thereupon thought fit to vanish. But perhaps, dear my Lord, among other worse
The whole was no more than a lie of The Times. It is monstrous, my Lord ! in a civilized state That such Newspaper rogues should have license
to prate. Indeed printing in general—but for the taxes, Is in theory false and pernicious in praxis ! You and I, and your Cousin, and Abbé Sieyes, And all the great Statesmen that live in these days, Are agreed that no nation secure is from violence Unless all who must think are maintain'd all in
silence. This printing, my Lord—but 'tis useless to mention What we both of us think—'twas a cursed invention,
And Germany might have been honestly prouder
corous ; Yet their presses and types I could shiver in splinters, Those Printers' black devils ! those devils of
master, Has found out a new sort of basilicon plaister. But your time, my dear Lord! is your nation's best
treasure, I've intruded already too long on your leisure; If so, I entreat you with penitent sorrow To pause, and resume the remainder to-morrow.
A STRANGER MINSTREL.*
(WRITTEN TO MRS. ROBINSON, A FEW WEEKS
BEFORE HER DEATH.] AS
S late on Skiddaw's f mount I lay supine,
Midway th' ascent, in that repose divine When the soul centred in the heart's recess Hath quaff'd its fill of Nature's loveliness, Yet still beside the fountain's marge will stay
And fain'would thirst again, again to quaff; Then when the tear, slow travelling on its way,
Fills up the wrinkles [ of a silent laughIn that sweet mood of sad and humorous thought A form within me rose, within me wrought With such strong magic, that I cried aloud, “ Thou ancient Skiddaw by thy helm of cloud, And by thy many-colour'd chasms deep, And by their shadows that for ever sleep, By yon small flaky mists that love to creep Along the edges of those spots of light, Those sunny|| islands on thy smooth green height,
And by yon shepherds with their sheep,
* Memoirs of the late Mrs. Robinson, written by herself. With some posthumous pieces. Lond. 1801, vol. iv. pp. 141-144; Poetical Works of the late Mrs. Mary Robinson, Lond. 1806; vol. 1., xlviii-li. [Now first included in any collection of Coleridge's Poems.]
+ Skiddaw—1801. I wrinkle—ib. § chasms so deep-ib.