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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 witicism.
He was called on for RETALIATION, and at their next meeting produced the following poem,
Of old, when Scarron his companions invited, Each guest brought his dish, and the feast was united, If our *landlord supplies us with beef, and with fish, Let each guest bring himself, and he brings the best
Oar dean shall be venifon, jaft fresh from the plains; Our [Burke shall be tongue, with the garnish of brains; Our Will shall be wild fowl, of excellent flavour, And ||Dick with his pepper shall heighten the favour :
The master of the St. James's coffee-house, where the doctor, and the friends he has characterized in this poem, occasionally dined. + Doctor Bernard, dean of Derry in Ireland. I Mr. Edmund Burke. § 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,
Mr. Richard Cumberland, author of the West Indian, Fashionable Lover, the Brothers, and other dramatic pieces.
+ Doctor Douglas, canon of Windsor, an ingenious Scotch gentleman, who has no less distinguished himself as a citizen of the world, than a sound critic, in detecting feveral literary mistakes (or rather forgeries) of his countrymen ; particularly Lauder on Milton, and Bower's History of the Popes. I David Garrick, erd;
& Counsellor John Ridge, a gentleman belonging to the Irish bar.
Sir Joshua Reynolds, f An eminent attorney,
Here lies the good'* dean, re-united to earth, Who mixt reason with pleasure, and wisdom with
mirth : If he had any faults, he has left us in doubt, At least, in fix weeks I cou'd not find 'em out; Yet some have declar'd, and it can't be denied 'em, That fly-boots was cursedly cunning to hide 'em.
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 Townshend to lend him a vote; Who, too deep for his hearers, ftill 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, fir, To eat mutton cold, and cut blocks with a razor.
• Vide page 97•
| Mr. T. Townshend, member for Whitchurch.