Obrázky na stránke

heads of the university (unfairly it was thought) required from the bachelors of King's college. Anstey, as senior of the order of bachelors, had to deliver the first oration. He contrived to begin his speech with a rhapsody of adverbs, which, with no direct meaning, hinted a ridicule on the arbitrary injunction of the university rulers. They soon ordered him to dismount from the rostrum, and called upon him for a new declamation, which, as might be expected, only gave him an opportunity of pointing finer irony in the shape of an apology. This affront was not forgot by his superiors; and when he applied for his degree it was refused to him.

In the year 1756 he married Miss Calvert, sister to his oldest and most intimate friend John Calvert, Esq. of Albury Hall, in Hertfordshire, and sat in several successive parliaments for the borough of Hertford. Having succeeded, after his marriage, to his father's estate, he retired to the family seat in Cambridgeshire, and seems to have spent his days in that smooth happiness which gives life few remarkable eras. He was addicted to the sports of the field and the amusements of the country, undisturbed by ambition, and happy in the possession of friends and fortune. His first literary effort which was published, was his translation of Gray's Elegy in a Churchyard into Latin verse, in which he was assisted by Dr. Roberts, author of “ Judah Restored.” He was personally acquainted with Gray, and derived from him the benefit of some remarks on his translation.

His first publication in English verse was “ The New Bath Guide,” which appeared in 1766. The droll and familiar manner of the poem is original ; but its leading characters are evidently borrowed from Smollett. Anstey gave the copy price of the piece, which was £200, as a charitable donation to the hospital of Bath; and Dodsley, to whom it had been sold, with remarkable generosity restored the copyright to its author, after it had been eleven years published.

His other works hardly require the investigation of their date. In the decline of life he meditated a collection of his letters and poems; but letters recovered from the repositories of dead friends are but melancholy readings; and, probably overcome by the sensations wlrich they excited, he desisted from his collection. After a happy enjoyment of life (during fifty years of which he had never been confined to bed, except one day, by an accidental hurt upon his leg), he quietly resigned his existence, at the house of his son-in-law, Mr. Bosanquet, in his eighty-first year, surrounded by his family, and retaining his faculties to the last.



Mr. SIMKIN B-N-R-D to Lady B-N-R-D, at

Hall, North. A Public Breakfast—Motives for the same-A List of the Com

pany–A tender Scene—An unfortunate Incident. What blessings attend, my dear mother, all those Who to crowds of admirers their persons expose! Do the gods such a noble ambition inspire; Or gods do we make of each ardent desire ? O generous passion! 'tis yours to afford The splendid assembly, the plentiful board; To thee do I owe such a breakfast this morn, As I ne'er saw before since the hour I was born; 'Twas you made my Lord Ragamuffin come here, Who they say has been lately created a Peer, And to-day with extreme complaisance and respect

ask'd All the people at Bath to a general breakfast.

You've heard of my Lady Bunbutter, no doubt,
How she loves an assembly, fandango, or rout;
No lady in London is half so expert
At a snug private party her friends to divert;
But they say that, of late, she's grown sick of the

And often to Bath condescends to come down:
Her ladyship’s fav’rite house is the Bear:
Her chariot, and servants, and horses are there;

My Lady declares that retiring is good;
As all with a separate maintenance should :
For when you have put out the conjugal fire,
'Tis time for all sensible folk to retire;
If Hymen no longer his fingers will scorch,
Little Cupid for others can whip in his torch,
So pert is he grown, since the custom began
To be married and parted as quick as you can.

Now my Lord had the honour of coming down post, To pay his

respects to so famous a toast; In hopes he her Ladyship's favour might win, By playing the part of a host at an inn. I'm sure he's a person of great resolution, Though delicate nerves, and a weak constitution; For he carried us all to a place cross the river, And vow'd that the rooms were too hot for his liver: He said it would greatly our pleasure promote, If we all for Spring-Gardens set out in a boat: I never as yet could his reason explain, Why we all sallied forth in the wind and the rain ; For sure, such confusion was never yet known; Here a cap and a hat, there a cardinal blown: While his Lordship, embroider'd and powder'd all

o'er, Was bowing, and handing the ladies a-shore: How the misses did huddle and scuddle, and run: One would think to be wet must be very good fun; For by waggling their tails, they all seem'd to take

pains To moisten their pinions like ducks when it rains ;

And 'twas pretty to see how, like birds of a feather,
The people of quality flock'd all together;
All pressing, addressing, caressing, and fond,
Just the same as those animals are in a pond :
You've read all their names in the news, I suppose,
But, for fear you have not, take the list as it goes :

There was Lady Greasewrister,
And Madam Van-Twister,
Her Ladyship's sister.
Lord Cram, and Lord Vulture,
Sir Brandish O'Culter,
With Marshal Carouzer,

And old Lady Mouzer,
And the great Hanoverian Baron Pansmowzer:
Besides many others, who all in the rain went,
On purpose to honour this great entertainment:
The company made a most brilliant appearance,
And ate bread and butter with great perseverance:
All the chocolate too, that my Lord set before 'em,
The ladies despatch'd with the utmost decorum.
Soft musical numbers were heard all around,
The liorns and the clarions echoing sound:

Sweet were the strains, as od'rous gales that blow

O'er fragrant banks, where pinks and roses grow. The Peer was quite ravish'd, while close to his side Sat Lady Bunbutter, in beautiful pride! Oft turning his eyes, he with rapture survey'd All the powerful charms she so nobly display'd. As when at the feast of the great Alexander, Timotheus, the musical son of Thersander,

« PredošláPokračovať »