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THE DINNER PARTY ANTICIPATED.
A PARAPHRASE OF HORACE'S NINETEENTH ODE, BOOK THE THIRD.
"Quantum distet ab Inacho."
THE poet rallies his young friend Telephus upon his fondness for talking of genealogy and antiquities, and complains that he does not fix a day for having a dinner-party. The thought of such a meeting fires his imagination, and he supposes them all in the midst of their enjoyments, drinking their toasts, and discussing their mistresses. His proposal to torment the old fellow next door, who envies them their good humour, is very pleasant.
Commentators differ, as usual, upon passages of this Ode. The translator has given himself up to the spirit of the occasion, as the most likely, if not the most learned guide.
Good gods! I feel it done already;
More wine, my boy:-there-steady, steady:
"Whose health?" Whose health! Why,-here's the Moon;
Our reverend friend the new-made priest.
The roses too-heap, heap one's hair!
Ah, Telephus! Those locks of thine,
"And you, dear Horace, what fair she
ON THE GRACES AND ANXIETIES OF PIG-DRIVING.
FROM the perusal of this article we beg leave to warn off, not any of our Companions (who are doubtless too far-sighted not to see into the merits of it) but vulgar readers of all denominations, whether of the “ great vulgar or the small." Warn-did we say? We drive them off; for Horace tells us, that they, as well as pigs, are to be so treated. Odi profanum vulgus, says he, et arceo. But do thou lend thine ear, gentle shade of Goldsmith, who didst make thy bear-leader denounce "everything as is low;" and thou, Bickerstaff, who didst humanize upon public-houses and puppetshows; and Fielding thou, whom the great Richardson, less in that matter (and some others) than thyself, did accuse of vulgarity, because thou didst discern natural gentility in a footman, and yet wast not to be taken in by the airs of Pamela and my Lady G.
The title is a little startling; but "style and sentiment," as a lady said, "can do anything." Remember then, gentle reader, that talents are not to be despised in the humblest walks of life. We will add, nor in the muddiest. The other day we were among a set of spectators, who could not help stopping to admire the patience and address with which a pig-driver huddled and cherished onward his drove of unaccommodating éleves down a street in the suburbs. He was a born genius for a manœuvre. Had he
originated in a higher sphere, he would have been a general, or a stage-manager, or at least the head of a set of monks. Conflicting interests were his forte; pig-headed wills, and proceedings hopeless. To see the hand with which he did it! How hovering, yet firm; how encouraging, yet compelling; how indicative of the space on each side of him, and yet of the line before him; how general, how particular, how perfect! No barber's could quiver about a head with more lightness of apprehension; no cook's pat up and proportion the side of a pasty with a more final eye. The whales, quoth old Chapman, speaking of Neptune,
The whales exulted under him, and knew their mighty king.
The pigs did not exult, but they knew their king. Unwilling was their subjection, but "more in sorrow than in anger." They were too far gone for rage. Their case was hopeless. They did not see why they should proceed, but they felt themselves bound to do so; forced, conglomerated, crowded onwards, irresistibly impelled by fate and Jenkins. Often would they have bolted under any other master. They squeaked and grunted as in ordinary; they sidled, they shuffled, they half stopped; they turned an eye to all the little outlets of escape; but in vain. There they stuck (for their very progress was a sort of sticking), charmed into the centre of the sphere of his action, laying their heads together, but to no purpose; looking all as if they were shrugging their shoulders, and eschewing the tip-end of the whip of office. Much eye had they to their left leg; shrewd backward glances; not a little anticipative squeak, and sudden rush of avoidance. It was a superfluous clutter, and they felt it; but a pig finds it more difficult than any other animal to accommodate himself to circumstances. Being out of his pale, he is in the highest state of wonderment and inaptitude. He is sluggish, obstinate, opinionate, not very social; has no desire of seeing foreign parts. Think of him in a multitude, furced to travel, and wondering what the devil it is that drives him. Judge by this of the talents of his driver.
We beheld a man once, an inferior genius, inducting a pig into the other end of Long lane, Smithfield. He had got him thus far towards the market. It was much. His air announced success
in nine parts out of ten, and hope for the remainder. It had been a happy morning's work: he had only to look for the termination of it; and he looked (as a critic of an exalted turn of mind would say) in brightness and in joy. Then would he go to the publichouse, and indulge in porter and a pleasing security. Perhaps he would not not say much at first, being oppressed with the greatness of his success; but by degrees, especially if interrogated, he would open, like Æneas, into all the circumstances of his journey and the perils that beset him. Profound would be his set out; full of tremor his middle course; high and skilful his progress; glorious, though with a quickened pulse, his triumphant entry. Delicate had been his situation in Ducking-pond row: masterly his turn at Bell alley. We saw him with the radiance of some such thought on his countenance. He was just entering Long lane. A gravity came upon him, as he steered his touchy convoy into this his last thoroughfare. A dog moved him into a little agitation, darting along; but he resumed his course, not without a happy trepidation, hovering as he was on the borders of triumph. The pig still required care. It was evidently a pig with all the peculiar turn of mind of his species; a fellow that would not move faster than he could help; irritable; retrospective; picking objections, and prone to boggle; a chap with a tendency to take every path but the proper one, and with a sidelong tact for the allies.
He's off!-Evasit, erupit.
"Oh, Ch-st!" exclaimed the man, dashing his hand against his head, lifting his knee in an agony, and screaming with all the weight of a prophecy which the spectators felt to be too true,— "he'll go up all manner of streets!"
Poor fellow! we think of him now sometimes, driving up Duke street, and not to be comforted in Barbican.
Published by HUNT and CLARKE, York street, Covent garden: and sold by all Booksellers and Newsvenders in town and country.-Price 4d.
PRINTED BY C. H. REYNELL, BROAD STREET, GOLDEN SQUARE.
No. XIII. WEDNESDAY, APRIL 2, 1828.
"Something alone yet not alone, to be wished, and only to be found, in a friend."-SIR WILLIAM TEMPLE.
AN EARTH UPON HEAVEN.
SOMEBODY, a little while ago, wrote an excellent article in the New Monthly Magazine on "Persons one would wish to have known." He should write another on "Persons one could wish to have dined with." There is Rabelais, and Horace, and the Mermaid roysters, and Charles Cotton, and Andrew Marvell, and Sir Richard Steele, cum multis aliis: and for the colloquial, if not the festive part, Swift and Pope, and Dr Johnson, and Burke, and Horne Tooke. What a pity one cannot dine with them all round! People are accused of having earthly notions of heaven. As it is difficult to have any other, we may be pardoned for thinking that we could spend a very pretty thousand years in dining and getting acquainted with all the good fellows on record; and having got. used to them, we think we could go very well on, and be content to wait some other thousands for a higher beatitude. Oh, to wear out one of the celestial lives of a triple century's duration, and exquisitely to grow old, in reciprocating dinners and teas with the immortals of old books! Will Fielding "leave his card" in the next world? Will Berkeley (an angel in a wig and lawn sleeves!) come to ask how Utopia gets on? Will Shakspeare (for the greater the man, the more the good-nature might be expected). know by