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This thing of rhyme I ne'er disdained to own
Though not obtrusive, yet not quite unknown, 1020
My voice was heard again, though not so loud,
Unscared by all the din of MELBOURNE house,
By Lambe's resentment, or by HOLLAND's spouse,
From lips that now may seem imbued with gall,
Nor fools nor follies tempt me to despise
But now, so callous grown, so changed since youth,
I've learned to think, and sternly speak the truth;
Learned to deride the critic's starch decree,
And break him on the wheel he meant for me; 1040
This, let the world, which knows not how to spare,
Yet rarely blames unjustly, now declare.
I have been informed, since the present edition went to the Press, that my trusty and well beloved cousins, the Edinburgh Reviewers, are preparing a most vehement critique on my poor, gentle, unresisting Muse, whom they have already so bedeviled with their ungodly ribaldry:
“ Tantæne animis cælestibus Iræ !"
I suppose I must say of JEFFREY as Sir Andrew AGUE-CHEEK saith, “ an I had known he was so cunning of fence, I had seen him damned “ ere I had fought him.” What a pity it is that I shall be beyond the Bosphorus, before the next number has passed the Tweed. But I yet hope to light my pipe with it in Persia.
My Northern friends have accused me, with justice, of personality towards their great literary Anthropophagus, JEFFREY ; but what else was to be done with him and his dirty pack, who feed " by lying and slaudering,” and slake their thirst by “evil speaking ?” I have ad. duced facts already well known, and of JEFFREY's mind I have stated my free opinion, nor has he thence sustained any injury;—what scavenger was ever soiled by being pelted with mud? It may be said that I quit England because I have censured there “persons of honour and wit about town,” but I am coming back again, and their vengeance will keep hot till my return. Those who know me can testify that my motives for leaving England are very different from fears, literary or personal; those who do not, may one day be convinced. Since the publication of this thing, my name has not been concealed; I have been mostly in London, ready to answer 'for my transgressions, and in daily expectation of sundry cartels; but, alas ! “ the age of chivalry is over,” or, in the vulgar tongue, there is no spirit now-adays.
There is a youth ycleped Hewson Clarke (Subaudi, Esquire,) a Sizer of Emanuel College, and I believe a Denizen of Berwick upon Tweed, whom I have introduced in these pages to much better company than he has been accustomed to meet : he is, notwithstanding, a very sad dog, and for no reason that I can discover, except a personal quarrel with a bear, kept by me at Cambridge to sit for a fellowship, and whom the jealousy of his Trinity cotemporaries prevented from success, has been abusing me, and what is worse, the defenceless innocent above mentioned, in the Satirist for one year and some months. I am utterly unconscious of having given him any provocation ; indeed I am guiltless of having heard his dame, till it was coupled with the Satirist. He has therefore no reason to complain, and I dare say that, like Sir Fretful Plagiary, he is rather pleased than otherwise. I have now mentioned all who have done me the honour to notice me and mine, that is, my Bear and my Book, except the Editor of the Satirist, who, it seems, is a gentleman, God wot! I wish he could impart a little of his gentility to his subordinate scribblers. I hear that Mr. JERNINGHAM is about to take up the cudgels for his Mæcenas, Lord Carlisle ; I hope not: he was one of the few, who, in the very short intercourse I had with him, treated me with kindness when a boy, and whatever he may say or do, “pour on, I will endure.” I have nothing further to add, save a general note of thanksgiving to readers, purchasers, and publisher, and in the words of Scott, I wish