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FIRST PRINTED IN 1774.
After the author's death,
Dr. Goldsmith and some of his friends occasionally dined at
the St. James's Coffee-house.One day it was proposed to write epitaphs on him. His country, dialect, and person furnished subjects of witticism. He was called on for RETALIATION, and at their next meeting produced the fole lowing poem.
UF old, when Scarron his companions invited,
dish ; Our Deant shall be venison, just fresh from the plains; Our Burket shall be tongue, with the garnish of brains ; Our Wills shall be wild fowl, of excellent flavor, And Dick || with his pepper shall heighten the savor : * The master ofthe St. James's coffee-house, where the doce tor, and the friends he has characterised in this poem, occa.. sionally dined.
Dr. Bernard, dean of Derry in Ireland. # The Right Hon. Edmund Burke. f Mr. William Burke, late secretary to General Conway, and member for Bedwin. # Mr. Richard Burke, collector of Granada
Our Cumberland's* sweet-bread its place shall obtain,
Here lies the good Dean, ** reunited to earth, Who mix'd reason with pleasure, and wisdom with
mirth: If he had any faults, he has left us in doubt; : At least, in six weeks I cou'd not find 'em out; Yet some have declar'd, and it can't be denied 'em That sly-boots was cursedly cunning to hide 'em.
*Mr. Richard Cumberland, author of the West Indian, Fashionable Lover, the Brothers, and various other productions. Cal
† Doctor Douglas, canon of Windsor, (now Bishop of Salisbury) an ingenious Scotch gentleman, who has no less distinguished himself as a citizen of the world, than a sound critic, in detecting several literary mistakes (or rather forgeries) of his countrymen ; particularly Lauder on Milton, and Bower's History of the Popes.
David Garrick, Esq.
Il Sir Joshua Reynolds.
(a) Since this note was written of “ Calvary, or the death of Christ."
Here lies our good Edmund,* whose genius was such, We scarcely can praise it, or blame it too much; Who, born for the universe, narrow'd his mind; And to party gave up what was meant for mankind. Though fraught with all learning, yet straining his
throat, To persuade Tommy Townsendt to lend him a vote ; Who, too deep for his hearers, still went on refining, And thought of convincing, while they thought of
dining; Though equal to all things, for all things unfit, Too nice for a statesman, too proud for a wit; For a patriot too cool; for a drudge, disobedient; And too fond of the right, to pursue the expedient. In short, 'twas his fate, unemploy'd, or in place, sir, To eat mutton cold, and cut blocks with a razor.
Here lies honest William, 1 whose heart was a mint, While the owner ne'er knew half the good that was in't;. The pupil of impulse, it forc'd him along, His conduct still right, with his argument wrong;. Still aiming at honor, yet fearing to roam, The coachman was tipsey, the chariot drove home ; Would you ask for his merits ? alas ! he had none; What was good was spontaneous, his faults were his
own, Here lies honest Richard, whose fate I must sigh at; Alas! that such frolic should now be so quiet! What spirits were his! what wit and what whim! | Now breaking a jest, and now breaking a limb!
* Vide page 53.
Vide page 53.
Mr. Richard Burke; vide page 53. This gentleman hav.. ing slightly fractured one of this arms and legs, at different times, the doctor has rallied him on these accidents, as a kind of retributive justice for breaking his jests upon other people.
Now wrangling and grumbling to keep up the ball !
Here Cumberland lies, having acted his parts,
Here Douglas retires from his toils to relax, The scourge of impostors, the terror of quacks : Come all ye quack bards, and ye quacking divines, Come, and dance on the spot where your tyrant reclines: When satire and censure encircled his throne, I fear’d for your safety, I fear'd for my own ; But now he is gone, and we want a detector, Our Dodds* shall be pious, our Kenrickst shall lecture;
* The Rev. Dr. Dodd.
+ Dr. Kenrick, who read lectures at the Devil Tavern, under the title of “ The School of Shakspeare.”
Macpherson* write bombast, and call it a style,
Here lies David Garrick, describe me who can, An abridgement of all that was pleasant in man; As an actor, confest without rival to shine : As a wit, if not first, in the very first line : Yet, with talents like these, and an excellent heart, The man had his failings, a dupe to his art. Like an ill-judging beauty, his colors he spread, And beplaster'd with rouge his own natural red. On the stage he was natural, simple, affecting; 'Twas only that when he was off, he was acting. With no reason on earth to go out of his way, He turn'd and he varied full ten times a day : Though secure of our hearts, yet confoundedly sick, If they were not his own by finessing and trick: He cast off his friends, as a huntsman his pack, Forhe knew when he pleas'd he could whistle them back. Of praise a mere glutton, he swallow'd what came, And the puff of a dunce, he mistook it for fame i 'Till his relish grown callous, almost to disease, Who pepper'd the highest, was surest to please. But let us be candid, and speak out our mind, If dunces applauded, he paid them in kind. . Ye Kenricks, ye Kelly's, † and Woodfalls # so grave, What a commerce was your's, while you got and you
* James Macpherson, Esq. who lately, from the force of his style, wrote down the first poet of all antiquity.
f Mr. Hugh Kelly, author of False Delicacy, Word to the Wise, Clementina, School for Wives, &c. &c.
+ Mr. William Woodfall, printer of the Morning Chronicle