Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, REMARKS ON DR. BROWN'S 'ESTIMATE OF THE MANNERS OF THE TIMES', by JOHN BYROM



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REMARKS ON DR. BROWN'S 'ESTIMATE OF THE MANNERS OF THE TIMES', by             Poet's Biography
First Line: The book appears to my perusing sight
Last Line: All-bearing meekness, and all-conq'ring love.
Subject(s): Authors & Authorship; Books; England; Writing & Writers; Reading; English


THE book appears to my perusing sight
So rambling, scambling, florid, and polite,
That, tho' a manly skill may trace the clue,
A simple female knows not what to do,
Where to begin remark, or where to close,
Lost in a thousand—beauties, I suppose.

One specious proof of such a coalition
Of num'rous beauties is—a fifth edition,
As I have, reading authors, just now found
In the Whitehall—"Price three and sixpence, bound."
Many a good book, but less of print concise,
Less clean of margin, sells for half the price.

So that the nation grows in books, 'tis plain,
"Luxurious, effeminate, and vain,"
That is, the purchasers;—or, if I durst,
I would have said the writers of them first;
And the luxuriant framer of this plan
First of the first, should be the leading man.

Somewhere before the middle of the book,
It seems, the author (whom I really took
But for a POLITICIAN) was, in fine,
To my surprise, a PROTESTANT DIVINE;
A Protestant Divine, in whose high flight
The question capital is, "who shall fight?"

Not "who shall pay?"—as some Divines have plann'd,
From what we hear, the capital demand:
Both needless questions when Divines arose
Who neither sued their friends, nor fought their foes.
Now, what more "vain, effeminate, luxurious"
Than parson's talk, so "capitally" furious?

Truly, the works of distaff and of needle
Are worth whole volumes of courageous tweedle,
With the sum total—"Britons! all be free;
"Take the BROWN musket up and follow me;
"Let us be strong, be hardy, sturdy, rough,
"Till we are all beatify'd in BUFF."

With manners just the same, as we are told,
Men are effeminate and women bold.§
If aught like satire, or like ridicule,
Should seem to rise, we must apply this rule
To solve the case,—and so, I think, we may,—
"It comes from folly's natural display."

Person and dress are left us to apply,
And little else, to know the sexes by.
Characteristics formerly made out,
Are now confounded by a present rout;
All would be lost, if, as the cassock warm,
With rage as just the petticoat should arm.

But while men fight, both clergify'd and lay,
Who left but women to cry,—"let us pray?"
While men are marshalling in prose Pindaric
"Religion, Virtue, Warburton, and Garrick,"
Women must pray that heav'n would yet annex
Some little grace to the talk-valiant sex.

"Love of our country," is the manly sound
That clads in armour all the virtues round.
Where is this lovely country to be sought?
Why, 'tis GREAT Britain in their LITTLE thought;
And the two states,—which these Divines advance,—
The Heav'n of England and the Hell of France.

Women must pray, and (if Divines can reach
No higher a theology) must preach.
This world—this sea-bound spot of it—may seem
The central paradise in men's esteem,
Who have great souls:—but women. who have none,
Have other realms to fix their hearts upon:

If such there be, the only certain scheme
To guard against each possible extreme
Is to put on, amidst the world's alarms,
With a good heart our real country's arms,
FAITH, HOPE, AND PATIENCE, from the tow'rs above,
ALL-BEARING MEEKNESS, AND ALL-CONQ'RING LOVE.





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