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HIGH in the midst, surrounded by his peers,
MAGNUS his ample front sublime uprears:
Placed on his chair of state, he seems a god,
While Sophs and Freshmen tremble at his nod.
As all around sit wrapt in speechless gloom,
His voice in thunder shakes the sounding dome;
Denouncing dire reproach to luckless fools,
Unskill'd to plod in mathematic rules.

Happy the youth in Euclid's axioms tried, Though little versed in any art beside;

No reflection is here intended against the person mentioned under the name of Magnus. He is merely represented as performing an unavoidable function of his office. Indeed, such an attempt could only recoil upon myself; as that gentleman is now as much distinguished by his eloquence, and the dignified propriety with which he fills his situation, as he was in his younger days for wit and conviviality.

The above note was added in the first edition of the Hours of Idleness.-ED.



Who, scarcely skill'd an English line to pen,
Scans Attic metres with a critic's ken.

What though he knows not how his fathers bled
When civil discord piled the fields with dead,
When Edward bade his conquering bands advance,
Or Henry trampled on the crest of France;
Though marvelling at the name of Magna Charta,
Yet well he recollects the laws of Sparta;
Can tell what edicts sage Lycurgus made,
While Blackstone's on the shelf neglected laid;
Of Grecian dramas vaunts the deathless fame,
Of Avon's bard remembering scarce the name.

Such is the youth whose scientific pate
Class-honours, medals, fellowships, await;
Or even, perhaps, the declamation prize,
If to such glorious height he lifts his eyes.
But, lo! no common orator can hope
The envied silver cup within his scope.
Not that our heads much eloquence require,
Th' ATHENIAN'S glowing style, or Tully's fire.
A manner clear or warm is useless, since
We do not try by speaking to convince.
Be other orators of pleasing proud:

We speak to please ourselves, not move the crowd:
Our gravity prefers the muttering tone,

A proper mixture of the squeak and groan:
No borrow'd grace of action must be seen;
The slightest motion would displease the Dean;
Whilst every staring graduate would prate
Against what he could never imitate.

The man who hopes t' obtain the promised cup
Must in one posture stand, and ne'er look up;
Nor stop, but rattle over every word—
No matter what, so it can not be heard.
Thus let him hurry on, nor think to rest:
Who speaks the fastest's sure to speak the best;
Who utters most within the shortest space
May safely hope to win the wordy race.

The sons of science these, who, thus repaid,
Linger in ease in Granta's sluggish shade;
Where on Cam's sedgy banks supine they lie
Unknown-unhonour'd live, unwept-for die:
Dull as the pictures which adorn their halls,
They think all learning fix'd within their walls:
In manners rude, in foolish forms precise,
All modern arts affecting to despise;

Yet prizing BENTLEY'S *, BRUNCK's*, or PORSON's † note, More than the verse on which the critic wrote:

Vain as their honours, heavy as their ale,

Sad as their wit, and tedious as their tale;

To friendship dead, though not untaught to feel
When Self and Church demand a bigot zeal.

* Celebrated critics.

†The present Greek professor at Trinity College, Cambridge; a man whose powers of mind and writings may perhaps justify their preference.

The concluding clause of the foregoing note was added in the first edition of Hours of Idleness.-ED.

Vain as their honours, &c.--The four ensuing lines were inserted in the second edition of Hours of Idleness.- ED.


With eager haste they court the lord of
Whether 'tis PITT or P-TTY rules the hour*
To him with suppliant smiles they bend the head,
+While distant mitres to their eyes are spread.
But should a storm o'erwhelm him with disgrace,
They'd fly to seek the next who fill'd his place.
Such are the men who learning's treasures guard;
Such is their practice, such is their reward!
This much, at least, we may presume to say—
The premium can't exceed the price they pay.



"Tu semper amoris

Sis memor, et cari comitis ne abscedat imago."

Valerius Flaccus.


FRIEND of my youth! when young we roved,
Like striplings mutually beloved

With friendship's purest glow,

The bliss which wing'd those rosy


Was such as pleasure seldom showers

On mortals here below.

* Since this was written, Lord H. P- —y has lost his place, and subsequently (I had almost said consequently) the honour of representing the University. A fact so glaring requires no comment.

+ While distant mitres, &c. In the private volume, While mitres, prebends, to their eyes are spread.-ED.

These stanzas were first published in the second edition of Hours of Idleness.-ED.

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