Page images


Saturday, September 30, 1769.*

'Tis mystery all, in every sect
You find this palpable defect,
The axis of the dark machine
Is enigmatic and unseen.
Opinion is the only guide
By which our senses are supplied,
Mere grief's conjecture, fancy's whim,
Can make our reason side with him.
But this discourse perhaps will be
As little liked by you as me,
I'll change the subject for a better,
And leave the Doctor, and his letter.
A priest whose sanctimonious face
Became a sermon, or a grace,
Could take an orthodox repast,
And left the knighted loin the last ;
To fasting very little bent,
He'd pray indeed till breath was spent.
Shrill was his treble as a cat,
His organs being choak’d with fat ;
In college quite as graceful seen
As Camplin or the lazy Dean,

+ Copied from a Poem in Chatterton's hand-writing in the British Museum.

(Who sold the ancient cross to Hoare
For one church dinner, nothing more,
The Dean who sleeping on the book
Dreams he is swearing at his cook.)
This animated hill of oil,
Was to another dean the foil.
They seem'd two beasts of different kind,
Contra in politics and mind,
The only sympathy they knew,
They both lov'd turtle a-la-stew.
The Dean was empty, thin and long,
As Fowler's back or head or song.
He met the Rector in the street,
Sinking a canal with his feet.
“ Sir,” quoth the Dean, with solemn nod,
You are a minister of God;
And, as I apprehend, should be
About such holy works as me.
But, cry your mercy, at a feast
You only shew yourself a priest,
No sermon politic you preach,
No doctrine damnable you teach.
Did not we few maintain the fight,
Mystery might sink and all be light.
From house to house your appetite
In daily sojourn paints ye right.
Nor lies true orthodox you carry,
You hardly ever hang or marry.

Good Mr. Rector, let me tell ye
You've too much tallow in this belly.
Fast, and repent of ev'ry sin,

me, upright and thin ; Be active, and assist your mother, And then I'll own ye for a brother."

Sir," quoth the Rector in a huff,
" True, you're diminutive enough,
And let me tell ye, Mr. Dean,
You are as worthless too as lean ;
This mountain strutting to my face
Is an undoubted sign of grace.
Grace, tho' you ne'er on turtle sup,
Will like a bladder blow you up,
A tun of claret swells your case
Less than a single ounce of grace."

You're wrong," the bursting Dean replied, You're logic's on the rough-cast side, The minor's right, the major falls, Weak as his modern honour's walls. A spreading trunk, with rotten skin, Shews very little's kept within ; But when the casket's neat, not large, We guess, th' importance of the charge."

Sir," quoth the Rector, “ I've a story Quite apropos to lay before ye.

A sage philosopher to try
That pupil saw with reason's eye,
Prepar'd three boxes, gold, lead, stone,
And bid three youngsters claim each one.
The first, a Bristol merchant's heir,
Loved pelf above the charming fair ;
So 'tis not difficult to say,
Which box the dolthead took away.
The next, as sensible as me,
Desired the pebbled one, d'ye see.
The other having scratch'd his head,
Consider'd though the third was lead,
'Twas metal still surpassing stone,
So claimed the leaden box his own.
Now to unclose they all prepare,
And hope alternate laughs at fear.
The golden case does ashes hold,
The leaden shines with sparkling gold,
But in the outcast stone they see
A jewel,--such pray fancy me.”

Sir," quoth the Dean, “ I truly say You tell a tale a pretty way; But the conclusion to allow 'Fore-gad, I scarcely can tell how. A jewel! Fancy must be strong To think you keep your water long. I preach, thank gracious heaven! as clear As any pulpit stander here,

But may the devil claw my face
If e'er I pray'd for puffing grace,
To be a mountain, and to carry
Such a vile heap— I'd rather marry !
Each day to sweat three gallons full
And span a furlong on my scull.
Lost to the melting joys of love-
Not to be borne-like justice move."

And here the Dean was running on,
Through half a couplet having gone :
Quoth Rector peevish, “ I sha'nt stay
To throw my precious time away.
The gen'rous Burgum having sent
A ticket as a compliment,
I think myself in duty bound
Six pounds of turtle to confound.”

“ That man you mention," answers Dean, “ Creates in priests of sense the spleen, His soul's as open as his hand, Virtue distrest may both command ; That ragged virtue is a whore, I always beat her from my door, But Burgum gives, and giving shews His honour leads him by the nose. Ah! how unlike the church divine, Whose feeble lights on mountains shine,

« PreviousContinue »