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Pass the world, and what's behind Virtue's gold, by fire refin'd; From an universe deprav'd, From the wreck of nature say'd.

Like the life-supporting grain, Fruit of patience and of pain, On the swain's autumnal day, Winnow'd from the chaff away,

Little trembler, fear no more, Thou hast plenteous crops in store, Seed, by genial sorrows sown, More than all thy scorners own.

A Dirge.
Wretched mortals, doom'd to go
Through the vale of death and woe!
Let us travel sad and slow.
Care and sickness, toil and pain,

Here their restless vigils keep;
Sighs are all the winds that blow,
Tears are all the streams that flow!
Virtue hopes reward in vain
The gentlest lot she can obtain

Is but to sit and weep!
Ye dreary mansions of enduring sleep,
Where pale mortality lies dark and deep!
Thou silent, though insatiate Grave,
Gorged with the beauteous and the brave,
Close, close thy maw — thy feast is o'er.
Time and Death can give no more!

What though hostile earth despise, Heav'n beholds with gentler eyes, Heav'n thy friendless steps shall guide, Cheer thy hours, and guard thy side.



George Lyttleton ward 1709 zu Hagley in Worcestershire geboren, zeichnete sich schon früh durch glückliche Anlagen aus, studirte zu Eton und Oxford, machte dann grössere Reisen und wurde nach seiner Rückkehr 1730 Parlamentsmitglied. Im Jahre 1737 ernannte ihn der Prinz von Wales zu seinem Secretair, später wurde er Lord der Schatzkammer, dann Staatskanzler und 1757 in Folge eines Ministerwechsels, Mitglied des Oberhauses. Bald darauf zog er sich ganz von Geschäften zurück und brachte den Rest seiner Tage auf seinem Erbgute Hagley zu, er am 18. November 1773 starb.

Seine Werke erschienen gesammelt, London 1775 in 4. Als Prosaiker ist er höchst gefeiert und seine Todtengespräche, sein Werk über den Apostel Paulus und seine Geschichte Heinrichs II. haben klassischen Ruf. Minder bedeutend erscheint er dagegen als Dichter; er betrachtete die Poesie nur als einen Zeitvertreib in müssigen Stunden und seine Leistungen auf diesem Gebiete sind correct und elegant, aber sie entbehren der Kraft und Tiefe. Die vier von ihm hinterlassenen Eklogen unter dem Gesammttitel The Progress of Love ermüden durch Affectation und Künstelei, gelungener sind mehrere seiner Episteln, namentlich diejenige, aus der wir hier einige Auszüge mittheilen und einige kleinere lyrische Gedichte.

Select Passages from Lord Lyttleton's Be never cool reserve with passion join'd;
Advice to a Lady.

With caution choose, but then be fondly kind.

The selfish heart that but by halves is given The counsels of a friend, Belinda, hear,

Shall find no place in love's delightful heaven; Too roughly kind to please a lady's ear. Here sweet extremes alone can truly bless : Unlike the flatt'ries of a lover's pen,

The virtue of a lover is excess. Such truths as women seldom learn from men; A maid unask'd may own a well-plac'd flame; Nor think I praise you ill when thus I show Not loving first, but loving wrong, is shame. What female vanity might fear to know.

Contemn the little pride of giving pain, Some merit's mine to dare to be sincere, Nor think that conquest justifies disdain: But greater yours sincerity to bear.

Short is the period of insulting power ; Hard is the fortune that your sex attends; Offended Cupid finds his vengeful hour, Women, like princes, find few real friends ; Soon will resume the empire which he gave, All who approach them their own ends pursue : And soon the tyrant shall become the slave. Lovers and ministers are seldom true:

Blest is the maid and worthy to be blest,
Hence oft from reason heedless Beauty strays, Whose soul, entire by him she loves possest,
And the most trusted guide the most betrays: Feels every vanity in fondness lost,
Hence, by fond dreams of fancied power amus'd, 'And asks no power but that of pleasing most:
When most ye tyrannize you're most abus'd. Her's is the bliss in just return to prove

The honest warmth of undissembled love;
For her inconstant man might cease to range,

And gratitude forbid desire to change.
Seek to be good, but aim not to be great; But lest harsh care the lover's peace destroy,
A woman's noblest station is retreat;

And roughly blight the tender buds of joy, Her fairest virtues fly from public sight. Let reason teach what passion fain would hide, Domestic worth, that shuns too strong a light. That Hymen's bands by Prudence should be To rougher man, ambition's task resign;

tied. 'Tis ours in senates or in courts to shine, Venus in vain the wedded pair would crown, To labour for a sunk corrupted state,

If angry fortune on their union frown; Or dare the rage of envy, and be great. Soon will the flattering dream of bliss be o'er, One only care your gentle breast should move; And cloy'd imagination cheat no more: Th' important business of your life is love: Then, waking to the sense of lasting pain, To this great point direct your constant aim, With mutual tears the nuptial couch they stain This makes your happiness, and this your fame. And that fond love, which should afford relief,

Does but increase the anguish of their grief, From kind concern about his weal or wo
While both could easier their own sorrows bear Let each domestic duty seem to flow.
Than the sad knowledge of each other's care. The household sceptre if he bids you bear

Make it your pride his servant to appear:
Endearing thus the common acts of life
The mistress still shall unobsery'd come on

Before his eyes perceives one beauty gone; Ev'n in the happiest choice, where fav'ring Ev'n o'er your cold, your ever-sacred, urn,


His constant flame shall unextinguish'd burn. Has equal love and easy fortune given,

Thus I, Belinda! would your charms improve, Think not, the husband gain'd, that all is done, And form your heart to all the arts of love: The prize of happiness must still be won; The task were harder to secure my own And oft, the careless find it to their cost, Against the power of those already known, The lover in the husband may be lost:

For well you twist the secret chains that bind The Graces might alone his heart allure; With gentle force the captivated mind, They and the Virtues meeting must secure. Skill'd ev'ry soft attraction to employ, Let ev’n your prudence wear the pleasing Each flatt'ring hope and each alluring joy


I own your genius, and from you receive Of care for him and anxious tenderness. The rules of pleasing which to you I give.


Samuel Johnson, einer der berühmtesten englischen Kritiker, ward am 7. September 1709. in Litchfield, wo sein Vater als Buchhändler lebte, geboren, erhielt eine wissenschaftliche Bildung und studirte zu Oxford, das er aber wieder verlassen musste (1731) weil seine Mittel nicht ausreichten. Er wurde nun Hülfslehrer an einer Erziehungsanstalt und gründete dann selbst ein solches Institut, jedoch ohne Erfolg, so dass er es wieder aufgab und nach London ging, wo er sich in fast allen Gattungen der Literatur auf das Glänzendste auszeichnete und nicht geringen Einfluss auf die Geschmacksrichtung seiner Zeit ausübte. Er starb daselbst am 13. December 1784 und wurde in der Westminster-Abtei begraben.

Unter allen seinen bedeutenden Leistungen sind die poetischen diejenigen, welche am Wenigsten seinem Namen Glanz erwarben. Er war zu sehr Kritiker um Dichter zu sein; seine Verse sind correct und fliessend, aber kalt, und selbst sein Trauerspiel Irene ist nur ein Werk des Verstandes, zu welchem die Muse blos die Form lieh.

Prologue, spoken by Mr. Garrick, at Existence saw him spurn her bounded reign, the opening of the Theatre - Royal, 'And panting Time toil'd after him in vain. Drury-Lane, 1747.

His pow'rful strokes presiding Truth impress'd,

And unresisted Passion storm'd the breasti When Learning's triumplı o'er her barb'rous Then Jonson came, instructed from the school,

To please in method, and invent by rule; First rear'd the stage, immortal Shakspeare rose; His studious patience and laborious art, Each change of many-colour'd live he drew, By regular approach assail'd the heart: Exhausted worlds, and then imagin'd new: Cold Approbation gave the ling'ring bays,



For those who durst not censure scarce could' On the Death of Mr. Robert Levet, praise

a Practiser in Physic. A mortal born, he met the gen'ral doom, But left, like Egypt's kings, a lasting tomb.

Condemn'd to Hope's delusive mine, The wits of Charles found easier ways to

As on we toil from day to day, fame,

By sudden blasts, or slow decline, Nor wish'd for Jonson's art, or Shakspeare's

Our social comforts drop away.

flame. Themselves they studied; as they felt they writ

Well tried through many a varying year, Intrigue was plot, obscenity was wit.

See Levet to the grave descend, Vice always found a sympathetic friend;

Officious, innocent, sincere,
They pleas'd their age, and did not aim to mend.

Of ev'ry friendless name the friend.
Yet bards like these aspir'd to lasting praise,
And proudly hop'd to pimp in future days.

Yet still he fills affection's eye,
Their cause was gen'ral, their supports were

Obscurely wise, and coarsely kind;

Nor, letter'd Arrogance, deny

strong, Their slaves were willing, and their reign was

Thy praise to merit unrefin'd.

long: Till Shame regain'd the post that Sense betray'd,

When fainting nature call’d for aid, And Virtue call'd Oblivion to her aid.

And hov'ring death prepard the blow, Then, crush'd by rules, and weaken'd as re

His vig'rous remedy display'd

The pow'r of art without the show.
For years the pow'r of Tragedy declin'd;
From bard to bard the frigid caution crept,

In Misery's darkest cavern known,
Till Declamation roar'd whilst Passion slept:

His useful care was ever nigh, Yet still did Virtue deign the stage to tread,

Where hopeless Anguish pour'd his groan Philosophy remain'd, though Nature fled.

And lonely Want retir'd to die.
But forc'd, at length, her ancient reign to quit,
She saw great Faustus lay the ghost of Wit;

No summons mock'd by chill delay,
Exulting Folly hail'd the joyful day,

No petty gain disdain'd by pride, And Pantomime and Song confirm'd her sway.

The modest wants of ev'ry day
But who the coming changes can presage,

The toil of ev'ry day supplied.
And mark the future periods of the stage ?
Perhaps if skill could distant times explore,

His virtues walk'd their narrow round,
New Behns, new Durfeys, yet remain in store;

Nor made a pause, nor left a void; Perhaps where Lear has rav'd, and Hamlet died,

And sure th' Eternal Master found
On flying cars new sorcerers may ride :

The single talent well employ'd.
Perhaps (for who can guess th' effects of chance ?)
Here Hunt may box, or Mahomet may dance.

The busy day the peaceful night,
Hard is his lot that, here by Fortune plac'd,

Unfelt, uncounted, glided by; Must watch the wild vicissitudes of taste;

His frame was firm - his powers were bright, With every meteor of caprice must play,

Though now his eightieth year was nigh. And chase the new-blown bubbles of the day. Ah! let not Censure term our fate our choice,

Then with no fiery throbbing pain, The stage but echoes back the public voice;

No cold gradations of decay, The drama's laws, the drama's patrons give,

Death broke at once the vital chain,
For we that live to please, must please to live.

And freed his soul the nearest way.
Then prompt no more the follies you decry,
As tyrants doom their tools of guilt to die;
'Tis yours, this night, to bid the reign commence
Of rescued Nature and reviving Sense,
To chase the charms of sound, the pomp of show,

For useful mirth and salutary woe;
Bid scenic Virtue from the rising age;

from the Vanity of human Wishes. And Truth diffuse her radiance from the stage. “Enlarge my life with multitude of days!”

In health, in sickness, thus the suppliant prays:
Hides from himself his state, and shuns to know

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That life protracted is protracted woe.

But grant, the virtues of a temp'rate prime Time hovers o'er, impatient to destroy, Bless with an age exempt from scorn or crime; And shuts up all the passages of joy:

An age that melts with unperceiv'd decay, In vain their gifts the bounteous seasons pour, And glides in modest innocence away; The fruit autumnal, and the vernal flow'r; Whose peaceful day benevolence endears, With listless eyes the dotard views the store, Whose night congratulating conscience cheers; He views, and wonders that they please no The gen'ral fav’rite as the gen'ral friend:


Such age there is, and who shall wish its end? Now pall the tasteless meats, and joyless wines, Yet ev'n on this her load Misfortune flings, And Luxury with sighs her slave resigns. To press the weary minutes' flagging wings:

New sorrow rises as the day returns,
A sister sickens, or a daughter mourns.

Now kindred Merit fills the sable bier,
The still returning tale, and ling'ring jest, Now lacerated Friendship claims a tear;
Perplex the fawning niece, and pamper'd guest, Year chases year, decay pursues decay;
While growing hopes scarce awe the gath'ring Still drops some joy from with’ring lite away;


New forms arise, and diff'rent views engage, And scarce a legacy can bribe to hear:

Superfluous lags the vet'ran on the stage, The watchful guests still hint the last offence; Till pitying Nature signs the last release, The daughter's petulance, the son's expence,

And bids afflicted worth retire to peace. Improve his heady rage with treach'rous skill, But few there are whom hours like these And mould his passions till they make his will.

await, Unnumber'd maladies his joints invade, Who set unclouded in the gulf of Fate. Lay siege to life, and press the dire blockade; From Lydia's monarch should the search descend, But unextinguish'd av'rice still remains, By Solon caution'd to regard his end, And dreaded losses aggravate his pains; In life's last scene what prodigies surprise, He turns, with anxious heart and crippled hands, Fears of the brave, and follies of the wise! His bonds of debt, and mortgages of lands; From Marlb'rough's eyes the streams of dotage Or views his coffers with suspicious eyes,

flow, Unlocks his gold, and counts it till he dies. And Swift expires a driv'ler and a show.


John Armstrong ward 1709 zu Castleton in Roxburgshire geboren, studirte Arzneiwissenschaft in Edinburg, promovirte daselbst 1732 und liess sich dann in London als Arzt nieder, beschäftigte sich jedoch nebenbei viel mit literarischen Arbeiten. Im Jahre 1760 begleitete er die englische Armee als Militairarzt, worauf er 1763 nach London zurückkehrte, das er, kurze Ausfüge abgerechnet, nun nicht wieder verliess. Er starb daselbst 1779.

Armstrong schrieb neben Kleinerem zwei didactische Gedichte, von denen das erstere the Economy of Love ihm wegen seiner Lüsternheit gerechten Tadel zuzog, das zweite dagegen: the Art of preserving Health allgemeinen Beifall fand und sich als eins der besten englischen Lehrgedichte jener Zeit im Andenken erhalten hat. Es ist eine geistreiche poetische Diaetetik in vier

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