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Here tears shall flow from a more generous cause,
Such tears as patriots shed for dying laws:
He bids your breasts with ancient ardour rise,
And calls forth Roman drops from British eyes.
Virtue confess'd in human shape he draws,
What Plato thought, and godlike Cato was :
No common object to your sight displays,
But what with pleasure Heaven itself surveys,
A brave man struggling in the storms of fate,
And greatly falling with a falling state.
While Cato gives his little senate laws,
What bosom beats not in his country's cause?
Who sees him act, but envies every deed ?
Who hears him groan, and does not wish to bleed ?
Ev’n when proud Cæsar 'midst triumphal cars,
The spoils of nations, and the pomp of wars,
Ignobly vain, and impotently great,
Show'd Rome her Cato's figure drawn in state;
As her dead father's reverend image past,
The pomp was darken'd and the day o'ercast;
The triumph ceas’d, tears gush'd from ev'ry eye;
The world's great victor pass'd unheeded by;
Her last good man dejected Rome ador'd,
And honour'd Cæsar's less than Cato's sword.

Britons, attend: be worth like this approv'd,
And show you have the virtue to be mov'd.
With honest scorn the first fam'd Cato view'd
Rome learning arts from Greece, whom she subdued ;
Your scene precariously subsists too long
On French translation, and Italian song.
Dare to have sense yourselves; assert the stage,
Be justly warm’d with your own native rage;
Such plays alone should win a British ear,
As Cato's self had not disdain'd to hear.

Joux GAY, descended from an old but decayed family, was born in Devonshire, in 1688. He was educated at the Free-school in Barnstaple, and afterwards placed apprentice with a silk-mercer in London ; from whom he soon procured, for a small consideration, a surrender of his indentures, that he might undertake the more pleasant duties of Secretary to the Duchess of Monmouth. In the leisure of this office he found time to cultivate his literary tastes; and, in 1713, published a poem on “Rural Sports," which he dedicated to Alexander Pope. His friendship was immediately sought by that great writer and his party, and Gay was enrolled among the brilliant societies of the day as a wit and a party man. His life took its colour accordingly. He continued to publish verses-he wrote for the stage-he was caressed by Bolingbroke and Swift-taken into the service of the Tories as Secretary to Lord Clarendon's Embassy-and when their fortunes declined with the life of Anne, he fell into disfavour also. Soon after this, however, one of his dramatic pieces won so much Court popularity, that it was hoped its author might be admitted to share it; and Gay, alive to the easy excitement and the quick depression of a fond and playful temper, suffered bitter disappointment in finding this expectation false :

** Places he found were daily given away,

And yet no friendly Gazette mentioned Gay!" From this time to the year 1727, no permanent change occurred in his fortunes, though they witnessed all the extremes of plenty and want. But now, on a hint from Swift, he commenced the Beggar's Opera. On its completion neither Pope nor Swift thought it would succeed. * We were all at the first night of it," says Pope, “ in very great uncertainty of the event; till we were very much encouraged, by overhearing the Duke of Argyle, who sat in the next box to us, say, 'It will do-it must do-I see it in the eyes of them! This was a good while before the first act was over." Its success was extraordinary indeed. The manager made his fortune-the actress of Polly won the favour of the town and the hand of the Duke of BoltonItalian Opera was driven out of England-and Gay himself never complained more of pecuniary want, Other complaints, nevertheless, remained. His sound and masterly satire had given mortal offence to the Court; and from this period to the time of his death he was subjected to continual annoyances. These had their alleviation in the love of Pope, and in the affectionate services of the Duke and Duchess of Queensbury, who resented the indignities put upon him, resigned their respective employments at Court, and took him into their family. Here, on the 4th of December, 1732, Gay died. He was buried in Westminster Abbey. The Duke and Duchess of Queensbury raised a monument to his memory, and Pope wrote his epitaph.

* of all thy blameless life the sole return,

My versc, and Queensb'ry weeping o'er thy urn !" Gay's poetry has several high characteristics. Habitual gaiety and good sense distinguished it-the structure of his verse was always admirable for its elegance and facility--his fables prove the richness of his invention as well as the strength of his moral perceptions—while in his ballads, and more especially in the songs of his Beggar's Opera, are to be found a happy negligence, yet exquisite harmony of rythm; a luxurious richness with a fond simplicity and romantic cast of sentiment; a voluptuous yet most tender delicacy; and, above all, an ever-running under-current of grave and excellent purpose. Gay was a first-rate wit, and a man of real genius. When Swift praised the Beggar's Opera for the excellence of its morality, as a piece, that " by a turn of humour, entirely new, placed all kinds of vice in the strongest and most odious light," he appreciated truly the meaning and the force of that immortal satire. As a view of human life in a certain subtle and abstracted sense, under cover of which the most fatal sophistries are exploded, nothing has ever been produced superior to this master-piece of Gay, by ancient or modern satirists.

In conclusion, it is to be remarked of this fine writer, that where his works are sullied by passages of grossness, an excuse suggests itself which Prior has no claim to,-for Gay's admirers are glad to acknowledge that his inferiority to Prior on this score, is a proof of the superior purity of his mind.

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'Tis not that rural sports alone invite,
But all the grateful country breathes delight;
Here blooming Health exerts her gentle reign,
And strings the sinews of th' industrious swain.
Soon as the morning lark salutes the day,
Through dewy fields I take my frequent way,
Where I behold the farmer's early care
In the revolving labours of the year.

When the fresh Spring in all her state is crown’d,
And high luxuriant grass o'erspreads the ground,
The labourer with a bending scythe is seen,
Shaving the surface of the waving green;
Of all her native pride disrobes the land,
And meads lays waste before his sweeping hand;

While with the mounting sun the meadow glows,
The fading herbage round he loosely throws:
But, if some sign portend a lasting shower,
Th' experienc'd swain foresees the coming hour;
His sun-burnt hands the scattering fork forsake,
And ruddy damsels ply the saving rake;
In rising hills the fragrant harvest grows,
And spreads along the field in equal rows.

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Or when the ploughman leaves the task of day, And trudging homeward, whistles the

way; When the big-udder'd cows with patience stand, Waiting the strokings of the damsel's hand; No warbling cheers the woods ; the feather'd choir, To court kind slumbers, to the sprays

retire: When no rude gale disturbs the sleeping trees, Nor aspen leaves confess the gentlest breeze; Engag'd in thought, to Neptune's bounds I stray, To take my farewell of the parting day; For in the deep the Sun his glory hides, A streak of gold the sea and sky divides : The purple clouds their amber linings show, And, edg'd with flame, rolls every wave below: Here pensive I behold the fading light, And o'er the distant billow lose my sight.


Now let the fisherman his toils prepare,
And arm himself with every watery snare ;
His hooks, his lines, peruse with careful eye,
Increase his tackle, and his rod re-tye.

When floating clouds their spongy fleeces drain,
Troubling the streams with swift descending rain ;
And waters tumbling down the mountain's side,
Bear the loose soil into the swelling tide;
Then soon as vernal gales begin to rise,
And drive the liquid burthen through the skies,
The fisher to the neighbouring current speeds,
Whose rapid surface purls unknown to weeds:
Upon a rising border of the brook
He sits him down, and ties the treacherous hook ;
Now expectation cheers his eager thought,
His bosom glows with treasures yet uncaught;
Before his eyes a banquet seems to stand,
Where every guest applauds his skilful hand.

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Far up the stream the twisted hair he throws, Which down the murmuring current gently flows; When, if or chance or hunger's powerful sway Directs the roving trout this fatal way, He greedily sucks in the twining bait, And tugs and nibbles the fallacious meat: Now, happy fisherman, now twitch the line ! How thy rod bends! behold, the prize is thine !

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When a brisk gale against the current blows,
And all the watery plain in wrinkles flows,
Then let the fisherman his art repeat,
Where bubbling eddies favour the deceit.
If an enormous salmon chance to spy
The wanton errors of the floating fly,
He lifts his silver gills above the flood,
And greedily sucks in th' unfaithful food;
Then downward plunges with the fraudful prey,
And bears with joy the little spoil away:
Soon in smart pain he feels the dire mistake,
Lashes the wave, and beats the foamy lake ;
With sudden rage

now aloft

And in his eye convulsive anguish bears ;
And now again, impatient of the wound,
He rolls and wreathes his shining body round;
Then headlong shoots beneath the dashing tide,
The trembling fins the boiling wave divide.
Now hope exults the fisher's beating heart,
Now he turns pale, and fears his dubious art;
He views the tumbling fish with longing eyes,
While the line stretches with th' unwieldy prize;
Each motion humours with his steady hands,
And one slight hair the mighty bulk commands ;
Till, tir'd at last, despoil'd of all his strength,
The game athwart the stream unfolds his length.
He now, with pleasure, views the gasping prize
Gnash his sharp teeth, and roll his blood-shot eyes;
Then draws him to the shore, with artful care,
And lifts his nostrils in the sickening air:
Upon the burthen'd stream he floating lies,
Stretches his quivering fins, and gasping dies.


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