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"Who can read this description, without recognising in it the portraits (flattering portraits, perhaps) of two military characters well known in society?"

The reader will find a copious criticism on Whistlecraft, from the pen of Ugo Foscolo, in the Quarterly Review, vol. xxi.




'Tis known, at least it should be, that throughout
All countries of the Catholic persuasion,
Some weeks before Shrove Tuesday comes about,
The people take their fill of recreation,
And buy repentance, ere they grow devout,

However high their rank, or low their station, With fiddling, feasting, dancing, drinking, masquing, And other things which may be had for asking.


The moment night with dusky mantle covers
The skies (and the more duskily the better),
The time less liked by husbands than by lovers
Begins, and prudery flings aside her fetter;
And gaiety on restless tiptoe hovers,

Giggling with all the gallants who beset her; And there are songs and quavers, roaring, humming, Guitars, and every other sort of strumming.


And there are dresses splendid, but fantastical,

Masks of all times and nations, Turks and Jews, And harlequins and clowns, with feats gymnastical, Greeks, Romans, Yankee-doodles, and Hindoos; All kinds of dress, except the ecclesiastical,

All people, as their fancies hit, may choose, But no one in these parts may quiz the clergy,Therefore take heed, ye Freethinkers! I charge ye.


You'd better walk about begirt with briars,
Instead of coat and smallclothes, than put on
A single stitch reflecting upon friars,


Although you swore it only was in fun; They'd haul you o'er the coals, and stir the fires Of Phlegethon with every mother's son, Nor say one mass to cool the caldron's bubble That boil'd your bones, unless you paid them double.


But saving this, you may put on whate'er
You like by way of doublet, cape, or cloak,
Such as in Monmouth-street, or in Rag Fair,
Would rig you out in seriousness or joke;
And even in Italy such places are,

With prettier name in softer accents spoke,
For, bating Covent Garden, I can hit on

No place that's call'd " Piazza" in Great Britain. (1)

(1) [MS." For, bating Covent Garden, I can't hit on

A place," &c.]


This feast is named the Carnival, (1) which being
Interpreted, implies " farewell to flesh:"
So call'd, because the name and thing agreeing,
Through Lent they live on fish both salt and fresh.
But why they usher Lent with so much glee in,
Is more than I can tell, although I guess

'Tis as we take a glass with friends at parting,
In the stage-coach or packet, just at starting.


And thus they bid farewell to carnal dishes,
And solid meats, and highly spiced ragouts,
To live for forty days on ill-dress'd fishes,

Because they have no sauces to their stews,

(1) ["The Carnival," says Mr. Rose, "though it is gayer or duller, according to the genius of the nations which celebrate it, is, in its general character, nearly the same all over the peninsula. The beginning is like any other season; towards the middle you begin to meet masques and mummers in sunshine: in the last fifteen days the plot thickens; and during the three last all is hurly-burly. But to paint these, which may be almost considered as a separate festival, I must avail myself of the words of Messrs. William and Thomas Whistlecraft, in whose Prospectus and Specimen of an intended National Work' I find the description ready made to my hand, observing that, besides the ordinary dramatis personæ,

'Beggars and vagabonds, blind, lame, and sturdy,

Minstrels and singers, with their various airs,
The pipe, the tabor, and the hurdy-gurdy,

Jugglers and mountebanks, with apes and bears,
Continue, from the first day to the third day,

An uproar like ten thousand Smithfield fairs.'

The shops are shut, all business is at a stand, and the drunken cries heard at night afford a clear proof of the pleasures to which these days of leisure are dedicated. These holidays may surely be reckoned amongst the secondary causes which contribute to the indolence of the Italian, since they reconcile this to his conscience, as being of religious institution. Now there is, perhaps, no offence which is so unproportionably punished by conscience as that of indolence. With the wicked man, it is an intermittent disease; with the idle man, it is a chronic one."-Letters from the North of Italy

A thing which causes many" poohs" and "pishes," And several oaths (which would not suit the Muse),

From travellers accustom'd from a boy

To eat their salmon, at the least, with soy;


And therefore humbly I would recommend
"The curious in fish-sauce," before they cross
The sea, to bid their cook, or wife, or friend,
Walk or ride to the Strand, and buy in gross
(Or if set out beforehand, these may send
By any means least liable to loss),
Ketchup, Soy, Chili-vinegar, and Harvey,
Or, by the Lord! a Lent will well nigh starve ye;


That is to say, if your religion's Roman,
And you at Rome would do as Romans do,
According to the proverb, although no man,

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If foreign, is obliged to fast; and you, If Protestant, or sickly, or a woman,

Would rather dine in sin on a ragout·

Dine and be d-d! I dont mean to be coarse,
But that's the penalty, to say no worse.


Of all the places where the Carnival

Was most facetious in the days of yore, For dance, and song, and serenade, and ball,

And masque, and mime, and mystery, and more

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