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intend to have a particular fort of Mafquerade on that day; in which they may fhew their talte, by ridiculing all the old women's tales contained in that idle book of fables, the Bible, while the vulgar are devoutly attending to them at church.
This, indeed, is not without a parallel: we have already had an inftance of an Eve; and by borrowing the ferpent in Orpheus and Eurydice, we might have the whole ftory of the Fall of Man exhibited in Mafquerade.
It must, indeed, be acknowledged, that this project has already taken place among the lowest of the people, who
feem to have been the first contrivers of a Naked Mafquerade: and laft fummer I remember an article in the news-papers, that feveral perfons of hoth fexes were affembled Naked at Pimlico, and being carried before a magiltrate, were fent to Bridewell." This, indeed, is too refined a pleasure to be allowed the vulgar; and every body will agree with me, that the fame act, which at the Green Lamps or Pimlico appears low and criminal, may be extremely polite and commendable in the Haymarket or at Ranelagh.
N° LXVII. THURSDAY, MAY 8, 1755.
TO MR. TOWN.
AYES in the Rehearfal frequently
BAYES in the Rehearsal frequently that he treads on no man's heels, that he fcorns to follow the fteps of others; and when he is afked the reafon of in
ferting any abfurdity in his play, he anfwers, Because it is new.' The poets of the prefent time run into the contrary error: they are fo far from endeavouring to elevate and furprife by any thing original, that their whole bufinefs is Imitation; and they jingle their bells in the fame road with thole that went before them, with all the dull exact nefs of a packhorie.
The generality of our writers wait till a new.walk is pointed out to them by fome leading genius; when it immediately becomes fo hackneyed and beaten, that an author of credit is almost ashamed to appear in it among fuch bad company. No fooner does one man of parts fucceed in any particular mode of writing, but he is followed by a thousand dunces. A good elegy makes the little fcribblers direct their whole bent to fubjects of grief; and, for a whole winter, the prefs groans with melancholy. One novel of reputation fils all the garrets of Grub Street with reams of hitories and adventures, whee volume is fpun out after volume, without the leall wit, humour, or inci
dent. In a word, as Bayes obviated all obje tions to his nonfenfe by faying it was new, if a modern writer was afked why he chofe any particular manner of writing, he might reply, Because it is • the fashion.
True genius will not give into such idle extravagant flights of imagination as Bayes; it will not turn funerals into banquets, or introduce armies in difguile; but fill it will not confine itself to the narrow track of Imitation. I cannot help thinking, that it is more owing to this fervile ípirit in the authors of the prefent times, than to their want of abilities, that we cannot now boast a fet of eminent writers: and it is worthy obfervation, that, whenever any age has been diftinguished by a great number of excellent authors, they have moft of them culuvated different branches of poetry from each other. This was the cafe in the age of Auguftus. as appears from the works of Virgil, Horace, Ovid, &c. And to come down as late as poffible, this is evident from our laft famous fet of authors, who flourished in the beginning of this century. We admire Swift, Pope, Gay, Bolingbroke, Additon, &c. but we admire each for his particular beauties feparate and diftinguished from the reft.
These loofe thoughts were thrown together merely to introduce the following little poem, which I think deferves the attention
SINCE now, all fcruples caft away,
Your works are rifing into day,
-But Imitation's all the mode-
The mimic bard with pleasure fees
Others have fought the filthy ftews To find a dirty flip-fhod Mufe. Their groping genius, while it rakes The bogs, the common-few'rs, and jakes, Ordure and filth in rhyme expofes,
Difguftful to our eyes and nofes;
With many a
And much *
dash that must offend us,
Hiatus non deflendus.
O Swift! how would't thou blush to fee, Such are the bards who copy thee!
This, Milton for his plan will chufe, Wherein refembling Milton's mufe? Milton, like thunder, roils along In all the majesty of fong: While his low mimics meanly creep, Not quite awake, nor quite afleep: Or, if their thunder chance to roll, 'Tis thunder of the mustard-bowl. The stiff expreffion, phrafes ftrange, The epithet's prepofterous change, Forc'd numbers, rough and unpolite, Such as the judging car affright,
How few, fay whence can it proceed?
Others, who aim at fancy, chufe
Thinks his ftrong mufe takes wond'rous flights,
Whene'er the fings of PEERLESS
Of DENS, of PALFREYS, SPELLS and
'Till allegory (Spenfer's veil
Others, more daring, fix their hope
Their Mufe afpires, and boldly flings
Some few, the fav'rites of the Mufe,
* Ifaac Hawkins Brown, Efq. author of a piece called The Pipe of Tobacco, a most. excellent imitation of fix different authors.
N° LXVIII. THURSDAY, MAY 15, 1755.
NOW VENUS IN VAUXHALL HER ALTAR REARS,
HE various feafons of the year produce not a greater alteration in the face of nature, than in the polite manncr of paffing our time. The diversions of winter and fummer are as different as the dog-days and thofe at Christmas; nor do I know any genteel amusement, except Gaming, that prevails during the whole year. As the long days are now coming on, the theatrical gentry, who contributed to diffipate the gloom of our winter evenings, begin to divide themselves into trolling companies; and are packing up their tragedy wardrobes, together with a fufficient quantity of thunder and lightning, for the delight and amazement of the country. In the mean time, the feveral public Gardens near this metropolis are trimming their trees, levelling their walks, and burnishing their lamps, for our reception. At Vauxhall the artificial ruins are repaired; the cafcade is made to fpeut with everal additional streams of block-tin; and they have touched up all the pictures, which were damaged laft feafon by the fingering of thofe curious Connoiffeurs, who could not be fatisfied without feeling whether the figures were alive. The magazine at Cuper's, I am told, is furnished with an extraordinary fupply of gunpowder, to be thot off in fquibs and iky-rockets, or whirled away in blazing funs and Catharine-wheels: and it is not to be doubted, in cafe of a war, but that Neptune and all his Tritons will aflift the British navy; and as we before took Porto Bello and Cape Breton, we hail now gain new victories over the French fleet every night, upen that canal.
Happy are they who can mufter up fufficient, at least to hire tickets at the door, once or twice in a feafon! Not that thefe pleafores are confined to the rich and the great only: for the lower fort of people have their Ranelaghs and
their Vauxhalls, as well as the quality. Perrot's inimitable Grotto may be feen for only calling for a pot of beer; and the royal diverfion of duck-hunting may be had into the bargain, together with a decanter of Dorchefter, for your fixpence, at Jenny's Whim. Every skittlealley half a mile out of town is embellifhed with green arbours and fhady retreats; where the company is generally entertained with the melodious fcraping of a blind fidler. And who can retiit the luscious temptation of a fine juicy ham, or a delicious buttock of beef ftuffed with parfley, accompanied with a foaming decanter of sparkling homebrewed, which is fo invitingly painted at the entrance of almost every village alehoufe?
Our Northern climate will not, indeed, allow us to indulge ourselves in all thofe pleafures of a garden, which are fo feelingly described by our poets. We dare not lay ourselves on the damp ground in fhady groves, or by the purling ftream; but are obliged to fortify our infide against the cold by good fubftantial eating and drinking. For this reafon, the extreme coftlineis of the provifions at our public gardens has been grievously complained of by thofe gentry, to whom a fupper at thefe places is as neceflary a part of the entertainment, as the finging or the fire-works. Poor Mr. John fees with an heavy heart the profits of a whole week's card-money devoured in tarts and cheese cakes, by Mrs. Houfe-keeper or My Lady's Own Woman; and the fubftantial Cit, who comes from behind the counter two or three evenings in the fuminer, can never enough regret the thin wafer-hike flices of beef and ham, that taste of nothing but the knife.
I was greatly diverted laft Saturday evening at Vauxhall with the threwd remarks made on this very head by an