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The following Jue d'Esprit, is the production of the prefent DEAN of DERRY, Dr Barnard, who advanced in conversation with Sir Joshua Reynolds and other wits, that he thought " no man could improve when he was “past the age of forty-five." Johnson (Samuel) who was in company, with his usual elegance and polished graces, immediately turned round to the facetious Dean, and told him that he was an instance to the contrary, for that there was great room for improvement in him (the Dean) and wished he'd fet about it; upon which, the Dean' the next day sent the following elegant bagatelle to Sir Joshua Reynolds and the same company.
LATELY thought no man alive,
And ventur'd to assert it ;
That none could controvert it.
" No, Sir," says Johnson, “ 'tis not so, That's your mistake, and I can shew, " An instance if
doubt it ; “ You Sir, who are near forty-eight, “ May much improve, 'tis not too late,
“ I wish you'd set about it."
Encourag'd thus to mend my faults,
' Learning and wit seem'd pait my reach, For who cap learn when none will teach ?
And wit- I could not buy it.
Then come my friends, and try your skill, You can inform me if you will,
(My books are at a distance) With
I'll live and learn, and then, Instead of books, I shall read men,
So lend me your assistance.
Dear * Knight of Plympton, teach me how To suffer with unrufied brow,
And smile serene like thine ; The jeft uncouth, or truth severe, To fuch I'll turn my
ear, And calmly drink my wine.
Thou say'ft, not only skill is gain’d,
By ftudious imitation ;
By constant application.
* Sir Joshua Reynolds.
The art of pleafing, teach me Garrick,
A second time read o'er ;
And charm us thirty more.
If I have thoughts, and can't express 'em
In terms select and terse;
And Beauclerc to converse.
Let Johnson teach me how to place,
From him I'll learn to write ;
Grow like himself-polite.
* Mr Garrick being asked to read Mr Cumberland's Odes, laughed immoderately, and affirmed, that such stuff might as well be read backwards as forwards ; and the witty Rofcius accordingly read them in that maoner, and wonderful to relate ! produced the same good sense and poetry as the sentimental author ever had genius to write.
Mr. F I T Z P A T R I C K.
N that fad season when the hapless belle
With steps reluctant bids the town farewell :