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! It would have taught him humanity at least. This sentimental savage, whom it is a mode to quote (amongst the novelists) to show their sympathy for innocent sports and old songs, teaches how to sew up frogs, and break their legs by way of experiment, in addition to the art of angling, — the cruelest, the coldest, and the stupidest of pretended sports. They may talk about the beautics of nature, but the angler merely thinks of his dish of fish ; he has no leisure to take his † from off the streams, and a single bite is worth to him more than all the scenery around. 13esides, some fish bite best on a rainy day. The whale, the shark, and the tunny ushery
The politicians, in a nook apart,
Discuss'd the world, and settled all the spheres : The wits watch'd every loophole for their art,
To introduce a bon-mot head and ears ; Small is the rest of those who would be smart,
A moment's good thing may have cost them years, Before they find an hour to introduce it; And then, even then, some bore may make them lose it.
But all was gentle and aristocratic
In this our party; polish'd, smooth, and cold, As Phidian forms cut out of marble Attic.
There now are no Squire Westerns as of old ; And our Sophias are not so emphatic,
But fair as then, or fairer to behold. We have no accomplished blackguards, like Tom Jones, But gentlemen in stays, as stiff as stones.
They separated at an early hour;
That is, ere midnight—which is London's noon : But in the country ladies seek their bower
A little earlier than the waning moon. Peace to the slumbers of each folded flower—
May the rose call back its true colour soon : Good hours of fair cheeks are the fairest tinters, And lower the price of rouge—at least some winters.
CAN to the FOUR teenth.
If from great nature's or our own abyss
Of thought we could but snatch a certainty, Perhaps mankind might find the path they miss—
But then 't would spoil much good philosophy. One system eats another up, and this
Much as old Saturn ate his progeny:
But System doth reverse the Titan's breakfast,
And eats her parents, albeit the digestion
After due search, your faith to any question ?
You bind yourself, and call some mode the best one. Nothing more true than not to trust your senses; And yet what are your other evidences
have somewhat of noble and perilous in them ; even net fishing, trawling, &c. are more humane and useful. But angling ! —no angler can be a good man.
“One of the best men I ever knew, -as humane, delicateminded, generous, and excellent a creature as any in the world,—was an angler: true, he angled with painted flies, and would have been incapable of the extravagancies of 1. Walton.”
The above addition was made by a friend in reading over the MS. – “Audi alterain parten.” – 1 leave it to counterbalance my own observation.
can to xiv.
X. I have brought this world about my ears, and eke The other: that's to say, the clergy — who Upon my head have bid their thunders break In pious libels by no means a few. And yet I can't help scribbling once a week, Tiring old readers, nor discovering new. In youth I wrote because my mind was full, And now because I feel it growing dull. XI. But “why then publish 7" –There are no rewards Of fame or profit when the world grows weary. I ask in turn, –Why do you play at cards 2 Why drink? Why read 7–To make some bour less dreary. It occupies me to turn back regards On what I've seen or ponder'd, sad or cheery; And what I write I cast upon the stream, To swim or sink—I have had at least my dream. XII. I think that were I certain of success, I hardly could compose another line: So long I've battled either more or less, That no defeat can drive me from the Nine. This feeling 'tis not easy to express, And yet 'tis not affected, I opine. In play, there are two pleasures for your choosing– The one is winning, and the other losing. XIII. Besides, my Muse by no means deals in fiction: She gathers a repertory of facts, Of course with some reserve and slight restriction, But mostly sings of human things and acts— And that's one cause she meets with contradiction; For too much truth, at first sight, ne'er attracts; And were her object only what's call'd glory, With more ease too she'd tell a different story. XIV. Love, war, a tempest—surely there's variety; Also a seasoning slight of lucubration; A bird's eye view, too, of that wild, Society; A slight glance thrown on men of every station. If you have nought else, here's at least satiety, Both in performance and in preparation; And though these lines should only line portmanteaus, Trade will be all the better for these Cantos. XV. The portion of this world which I at present Have taken up to fill the following sermon, Is one of which there's no description recent: The reason why, is easy to determine: Although it seems both prominent and pleasant, There is a sameness in its gems and ermine, A dull and family likeness through all ages, Of no great promise for poetic pages. XVI. With much to excite, there's little to exalt; Nothing that speaks to all men and all times; A sort of varnish over every fault; A kind of common-place, even in their crimes; Factitious passions, wit without much salt. A want of that true nature which sublinnes Whate'er it shows with truth; a smooth monotony Of character, in those at least who have got any. ' [“But why then publish *— Granville, the polite.
And knowing Walsh, would tell me I could write.” Pers-I
XXXI. Juan – in this respect, at least, like saints — Was all things unto people of all sorts, And lived contentedly, without complaints, In camps, in ships, in cottages, or courts— Born with that happy soul which seldom faints, And mingling modestly in toils or sports.
He likewise could be most things to all women,
Without the coxcombry of certain she men.
A fox-hunt to a foreigner is strange;
'T is also subject to the double danger Of tumbling first, and having in exchange
Some pleasant jesting at the awkward stranger: But Juan had been early taught to range
The wilds, as doth an Arab turn'd avenger, So that his horse, or charger, hunter, hack, Knew that he had a rider on his back.
And now in this new field, with some applause,
He clear'd hedge, ditch, and double post, and rail, And never craned 1, and made but few “faur pas,”
And only fretted when the scent 'gan fail. He broke, 'tis true, some statutes-of-the laws
Of hunting—for the sagest youth is frail; Rode o'er the hounds, it may be, now and then, And once o'er several country gentlemen.
But on the whole, to general admiration
He acquitted both himself and horse: the squires Marvell'd at merit of another nation ;
The boors cried “Dang it ! who'd have thought
The Nestors of the sporting generation,
Swore praises, and recall'd their former fires;
Such were his trophies—not of spear and shield,
But leaps, and bursts, and sometimes foxes' brushes; Yet I must own, –although in this I yield
To patriot sympathy a Briton's blushes, – He thought at heart like courtly Chesterfield,
Who, after a long chase o'er hills, dales, bushes, And what not, though he rode beyond all price, Ask'd next day, “If men ever hunted twice 2" 2
He also had a quality uncommon
To early risers after a long chase, Who wake in winter ere the cock can summon
December's drowsy day to his dull race, — A quality agreeable to woman,
When her soft, liquid words run on apace, Who likes a listener, whether saint or sinner, — He did not fall asleep just after dinner;
1 Craning. —“To crane" is, or was, an expression used to denote a gentleman's stretching out his neck over a hedge, “to look before he leaped :” – a pause in his “ vaulting ambition,” which in the field doth occasion some delay and execration in those who may be immediately behind the equestrian sceptic. “Sir, if you don't choose to take the leap, let me !” – was a phrase which generally sent the aspirant on again ; and to good purpose: for though “the horse and rider" might fall, they made a gap through which, and over him and his steed, the field might follow.