Page images
PDF
EPUB

No. XXII.

April 9.

TO THE EDITOR

OF THE ANTI-JACOBIN.

SIR, I saw, with strong approbation, your Specimen of an

cient Sapphic measure in English, which I think far surpasses all that Abraham Fraunce, Richard Stanyhurst, or Sir Philip Sidney himself, have produced in that styleI mean, of course, your sublime and beautiful Knife-grinder, of which it is not too high an encomium to say, that it even rivals the efforts of the fine-ear'd Democratic Poet, Mr. Southey. But you seem not to be aware, that we have a genuine Sapphic Measure belonging to our own language, of which I now send you a short Specimen.

THE JACOBIN.

I am a hearty Jacobin,
Who own no God, and dread no sin,
Ready to dash through thick and thin

For Freedom :

And when the Teachers of Chalk-Farm
Gave Ministers so much alarm,
And preach'd that Kings did only harm,

I fee'd 'em.

By Bedford's cut I've trimm'd my locks,
And coal-black is my knowledge box,
Callous to all except hard knocks

Of thumpers;

My eye a noble fierceness boasts,
My voice as hollow as a ghost's,
My throat oft wash’d by Factious Toasts

In bumpers.

Whatever is in France, is right ;
Terror and blood are my delight;
Parties with us do not excite

Enough rage.

Our boasted Laws I hate and curse,
Bad from the first, by age grown worse,
I pant and sigh for universe*

al suffrage.

* This division of the word, is in the true spirit of the English as well as the ancient Sapphic.—See the Counterscuffle, Counter-rat, and other Poems in this style.

Wakefield I love-Adore Horne Tooke,
With pride on Jones and Thelwall look,
And hope that they by hook or crook,

Will prosper.

But they deserve the worst of ills,
And all the abuse of all our quills,
Who form’d of strong and gagging Bills

A cross pair.

Éxtinct since then each Speaker's fire,
And silent every daring lyre,*
Dumb-founded they who I would hire

To lecture.

Tied up, alas ! is every tongue
On which conviction nightly hung, t
And Thelwall looks, though yet but young,

A spectre.

B.O. B.

* There is a doubt, whether this word should not have been written Liar.

+ These words, of conviction and hanging, have so ominous a sound, it is rather odd they were chosen.

[ocr errors]

No. XXIII.

April 16. We cannot better explain to our Readers the design of the Poem, from which the following Extracts are taken, than by borrowing the expressions of the Author, Mr. Higgins, of St. Mary Axe, in the letter which accompanied the manuscript.

We must premise, that we had found ourselves called upon to remonstrate with Mr. H. on the freedom of some of the positions laid down in his other Didactic Poem, the PROGRESS OF MAN; and had in the course of our remonstrance, hinted something to the disad. vantage of the new principles which are now afloat in the world ; and which are, in our opinion, working to much prejudice to the happiness of mankind. To this, Mr. H. takes occasion to reply

“ What you call the new principles, are, in fact, “ nothing less than new. They are the principles of “ primeval nature, the system of original and unadul" terated man.

“ If you mean by my addiction to new principles, “ that the object which I have in view in my larger “Work (meaning the PROGRESS OF Man) and in the “ several other concomitant and subsidiary Didactic “ Poems which are necessary to complete my plan, is “ to restore this first, and pure simplicity; to rescue “ and recover the interesting nakedness of human na“ ture, by ridding her of the cumbrous establishments -" which the folly, and pride, and self-interest of the « worst part of our species have heaped upon

her ;you are right.-Such is my object. I do not disavow “ it. Nor is it mine alone. There are abundance of “ abler hands at work upon it. Encyclopedias, Treatises, Novels, Magazines, Reviews, and New Annual Registers, have, as you are well aware, done their

part with activity, and with effect. It remained to “ bring the heavy artillery of a Didactic Poem, to “ bear upon the same object.

“ If I have selected your Paper as the channel for “ conveying my labours to the Public, it was not be

cause I was unaware of the hostility of your princi

ples to mine, of the bigotry of your attachment to “ 'things as they are:'-hut because, I will fairly own, “ I found some sort of cover and disguise necessary for

securing the favourable reception of my sentiments ; “ the usual pretexts of humanity and philanthropy, “ and fine feeling, by which we have for some time ob“tained a passport to the hearts and understandings “ of men, being now worn out, or exploded. I could “not choose but smile at my success in the first instance “ in inducing you to adopt my Poem as your own.

“ But you have called for an explanation of these “ principles of ours,

and

you have a right to obtain it. “ Our first principle is, then-the reverse of the trite " and dull maxim of Pope—“ Whatever is, is right." We contend, that“ Whatever is, is wrong;"—that

« PreviousContinue »