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disposal of the king and his officers, and your souls to your chaplain. After having made these trifling sacrifices, your way will be perfectly smooth and pleasant. If you survive, as you have a chance at least of one in twenty, you will come back laden with laurels to your native country, and there enjoy in full perfection all the blessings of civil government, which is the next best thing to military. If you die upon the spot, you fall a martyr to the glorious cause of God, of Christianity, of liberty, of property, of subordinate orderliness, and of orderly subordination. Nor need you be afraid of death, for I can assure you in verbo sacerdotis, i. e. on the word of a priest, that whoever dies in this contest shall instantly depart to Paradise, if ever thief from the gallows went thither.
And now for a few hints touching your general behaviour.
1. Be fluent in your oaths and curses upon all occasions. It will show a confidence in the goodness of your cause, and make people believe that you must be hand and glove with the person for whom you fight, when you use his name so familiarly, and appeal to him as an old acquaintance upon the most trivial occasions.
2. The Defenders of Religion must show that it never has any influence upon their practice. It is your duty, therefore, to be, what the canting methodistical people call, a profligate. What made the Christians victorious when they went to wrest the sepulchre of our Saviour from the idolatrous Turks, but a proper allowance of oaths and licentiousness? It is no sin in a holy warfare, or, if it were, it is the least of the seven deadly.
3. Keep up your spirits now and then with a cordial sup of liquor. You cannot imagine how this prescription will clear up your thoughts, and dissolve all scruples, if you ever had any, concerning the justice of the war. The liberal allowance which you receive, and the exactness with which it is paid, will amply furnish you with the means of procuring these cordials; and they will produce another good effect: they will recall your courage when it begins to ebb, and ooze, as it were, through the palms of your hands.
A CENTURY OF EPIGRAMS IN A NIGHT.
For valour the stronger grows,
The stronger the liquor we're drinking;
When we've lost the power of thinking?
4. As you are men of nice honour, and it is a proverb that nothing is more delicate than a soldier's honour, I propose it as a case of conscience whether you should not tilt, as well as your officers, when an affront is offered you. For instance, if another soldier should call you a gaol-bird, and the truth of the fact be notorious, it appears to me that you ought to convince him of his mistake by running him through the body, or lodging a ball in his carcase. But perhaps your worthy superiors may deem this an infringement of their prerogatives. I speak therefore under correction.
5. Notwithstanding what I have said concerning the lawfulness, nay the duty, of drinking a drop of liquor now and then, I do not mean you should guzzle away all that large stock of money which is granted you by the bounty of the king and his Parliament. I would wish you to lay by a shilling or so of each day's pay; you who have wives and children, for the support of your wives and children; you who have poor relations, for the maintenance of your relations; and you who have neither, that, in your old age, if you should outlive the war, and return to your native country, you may purchase a snug annuity, and live in comfort upon the property you have acquired by valour.
I am, Soldiers, Gentlemen, and Heroes,
A JOHNIAN PRIEST.
It was in the "Morning Chronicle," too, that the hundred and one epigrams appeared, which Porson is said to have written in one night, about Pitt and Dundas going drunk to the House of Commons, on the evening when a message was to be delivered from his Majesty relative to war with France. The story is to be found in the effusion of frothy narrative called Warner's
"Literary Recollections," where it is said to have been told by Perry to John Pearson, Esq., afterwards advocate-general of Bengal. When the Minister and his friend appeared before the House, Pitt tried to speak, but, showing himself unable, was kindly pulled down into his seat by those about him; Dundas, who was equally unfitted for eloquence, had sense enough left to sit silent. Perry witnessed the scene, and, on his return from the House, gave a description of it to Porson, who, being vastly amused, called for pen and ink, and, musing over his pipe and tankard, produced the one hundred and one pieces of verse before the day dawned. There is, alas! not one that can be called good among them; sunt quædam mediocria, sunt mala plura. The point of most of them lies in puns, and of course in bad puns, for who could excogitate a hundred good puns, supposing that there ever were such things, in one night? The first epigram is,
That Ça Ira in England will prevail,
All sober men deny with heart and hand;
To talk of going's sure a pretty tale,
When e'en our rulers can't so much as stand.
The following perhaps deserve preference over their fellows :
Your gentle brains with full libations drench;
Your foe in war to overrate,
A maxim is of ancient date:
Then sure 'twas right, in time of trouble,
* Vol. ii. p. 6.
The mob are beasts, exclaims the Knight of Daggers:
When Billy found he scarce could stand,
Help, help!" he cried, and stretched his hand,
Quoth Hal, "My friend, I'm sorry for't;
"Who's up?" inquired Burke of a friend at the door:
THE PHOENISSE. — OBSERVATIONS ON THE NOTES TO
RHYMES ON PYBUS AND OTHERS.
GREEK TRANSLATION PORSON RECEIVES A LETTER AND SOME BOOKS FROM GAIL.-A SECOND LETTER INTIMATING THAT THE FIRST HAS NOT BEEN ACKNOWLEDGED.
IN 1799 came out the Phoenissæ. In the notes to this play Porson abstains from any allusions to Wakefield or Hermann, with the exception of one slight touch on Wakefield, and two animadversions on the lovers of anapasts. The censure of Wakefield, whom he does not name, is given on ver. 1521, for having unadvisedly altered τόνδε λόγον to τούσδε λόγους, in the 548th verse of the Alcestis, on the faith of an unsound passage in Hesychius.
On ver. 1354, which, in Aldus's edition, commences with Στείχοντος, ὃς ἡμίν, but in all the manuscripts ZTEίXOVTOS OS Tav, he exclaims, "How savagely would the patrons of anapasts have exulted over their enemies, if all the manuscripts had agreed with the edition of Aldus, or if the edition of Aldus had been the only surviving copy of the Phonissa!" On ver. 1371, which ends with τέρμον Ιοκάστη, βίου, but which Grotius had edited τέρμ ̓ Ἰοκάστη, τοῦ βίου, he observes, “ If any one prefer Grotius's reading, I shall utter no heavier imprecation on him than that he may read in Orest. 590, ̓Επεὶ γὰρ ἐξέπνευσ ̓ ̓Αγαμέμνων τὸν βίον.”