Page images

Lo! here, enveloped long in Chaos dark,
The World shoots upward— from the Sun-a spark!
Another spark begets another sphere,
(And he will tell you how it fix'd, and where!) 560
Till sparks succeeding sparks like wildfire gleam,
Anon a planetary host to beam !-
Busby, dost ever, to translate thy Sage,
Turn to our Litchfield Deist's glowing page ?
'T would save thee trouble, for atomic laws 565
Here supersede th’ Omnipotent First Cause;
And thy Lucretius might be proud to know
That moderns, to his verse, a Darwin owe!

Should no soft numbers* then the praise rehearse Of him, Translator of Lucretius' verse,



* Professus grandia turget.

Hor, de Art. Poet. 27.

Should Dr. Busby ever need a motto to his name, or bis works,

Who deigns permit his softly speaking Son,
Through social circles 'plauding high to run ;



I would, by all means, recommend this, as exemplifying both in a very eminent degree. Endued with a considerable portion of vanity, and with a very moderate share of talent, he has succeeded in drawing the attention of the town upon himself and his son. That this has not been to the advantage of either, I should think, by this time, he is perfectly sensible*; and he is now waiting with considerable impatience the appearance of his Lucretius, lo efface, in some degree, the too great eclât of his own as a public orator. Of his work, and the manner in which it has been introduced to the world, I cannot refrain from saying a few words. It was first noticed in the public papers in the following manner: “ The learned and ingenious Dr. Busby is at present employed in a translation of Lucretius.” This was the puff oblique, and was continued for some time, varying at intervals :

We are happy to inform our readers," &c. “ It is with great pleasure we announce, &c. &c. to be in great forwardness." The next was

* This was written early in 1813, before the publication of Dr. Busby'a Lucretius.

With outstretched arm, and voice serenely clear, (Not to offend an honorable ear,)


.6 Mr.

the puff relative (or the puff of the relative) as follows :George Frederick Busby had the honor of reciting to a select party, different passages of his father's elegant translation, &c. &c. which will shortly be laid before the public.” As the third and last gradation,- the climax of the puff, - prospectuses and proposals have been printed and circulated like a cheap shop's bill of wares all over London. Is this either honorable to his abilities, or flattering to his genius!

The Son has also a touch of the “ furor scribendi," and is well known by a Serenade in the Monthly or Gentleman's Magazine, (the refuge of all milk-and-water poets, such as Messrs. Taylor, Black, Gatt, Capel Lofft, &c. &c.) and a most delicious unalogue, which, bad as it was, surpassed the monologue of his father, Of bis recitation I will only say,

Triste de aquel cautivo,
Que a escucharos, señor, es condenado ;
Que esta muriendo vivo
De versos enfadado,
Y a decir que son buenos es forzado!


To spout the efforts of a Father's lyre, 575
And kindred Dulness with the sound inspire;
Then bribes some Paper of the coming day
To praise the Poet, and his flowing Lay,
Tell with what easy grace the wond'rous child
Raved thro'the Roman's classic verse, and-smiled!
Ah, hapless George! when late a British Pit
Asked from the Son a Father's sterling wit,
The happy youth along the Benches flew,
To bright Ambition's gilded honors true,
Sprang o'er the Orchestra, and then in haste

Close to the lamps his joyful figure placed;
Gazed round the house with well contented air,
Bowed low, and cleared his croaking throat with care;
In shape of “ monologue” the effort ran,
And thus, with well-known posture he began:-590

“ When energizing objects men pursue,

What are the wonders that they cannot do?"

More had he said ; but, that th' increasing noise
Of praise equivocal o’erpower'd his voice.

Thrice he essayed, with powers unknown before,
But vain th' essay, the Gods would hear no more,
Forth strode the convoyed Hero in his ire, 595
Sighed o'er his inj’ries *, and condoled his Sire.
Then, shall inflated Busby lose the meed,
That shouting throngs to Bombast have decreed;
Nor, ʼmid the Fools and Poetasters here,
For swelling nonsense find the proper sphere? 600
Full well I ken, the high exalted seat
For one like biin he proudly deems unmeet.
E'en now he shines, in mind's prophetic eye,
The Cynosure of bright Poetic Sky!
And, long as Darwin's jingling style remains 605
The glittering model of a Poet's strains,—
So long shall Busby from his verse receive
A borrowed lustre, sparkling to deceive;


* The whole of this ridiculous scene is too well known to need repetition.

« PreviousContinue »