« ZurückWeiter »
WHOEVER could expect to see a well-written effay against the progress of Jacobinism from the pen of Marat, or an Ode upon the Vice and Folly of ambition and conquest from the poetic genius of Bonaparte, would naturally hope to see the man who calls himself Peter Pindar enter the lifts; as the champion of dea cency, morality, and virtue. All the admirers of his former productions will, no doubt, be equally gratified with the present abortion of his prostituted muse; for it has the fame claims to their notice and applause; it is, in short, a child of the same family, a hideous lump of ribaldry, obscenity, and falfhood, truly worthy of its parent. Of the two former qualities we shall not pollute our page by the exhibition of specimens which abound in every sheet; but the charge of falfhood it behoves us to specify. * In the dedication, the poetafter, alluding to the laudable efforts of the Bishop of Durhani, to enforce some regard to decency at the Opera House, says ;-" This reverend Bishop and his reverend LADY saw so mucb at the Opera as astonished, confounded, and petrified;" (petrified whom or what?) “they saw on a Saturday, with their own eyes, the wanton BALLET break in on the holy Sabbath." The object of this scandalous remark is manifest, but there is not one fila lable of trutb in it. Equally false is the assertion; in a note to P. 13, where, speaking of the Bishop of London, he affirms, that, “ on a vacancy in the See of Durham, he strained every nerve to obtain the precious priże, worth nearly twenty thousand pounds a year; the Bishoprick of London, worth only poor four thousands per annum, scarcely sufficient to supply the extensive circle of his charities ! Good man, he was disappointed, not only disappointed too; his prayer was considered as a piece of meanness and ingratitude.” It is well known that the revenue of the See of London is greatly inadea quate, in these times, to support the unavoidable expençes of the situation; of the nature and extent of which such a mind as Peter Pindar's cannot be supposed to have a proper conception. “But the anecdote itself is a base fabrication of his own. Remonftrance with such a wretch is vain; but exposure of him is a duty; on this subject we shall only say to him, mentiris impudentifime. But though the falfhood be notorious it is possible that he may plead ignorance of it, and seek to avail himself of the benefit of Faernus's observation ;
"Qui mentiuntur impudenter, hi fuis
Refellere ipfi fe folent mendaciis." Aware of the notoriety which has attached to the abominable, profligacy of his conduct, Peter endeavours, il a strain, half serious, half jocular, to impress on the minds of such as know him not, an idea chat he is reformed.
" Yes, I was once a finner, I confefs ; i
But now my morals wear a fober dress.” Had this really been the case, however we might have condemned his writings, we Nould have spared the man; never will we reproach the penitent finner with his forsaken crimes; what a
man now is, not what he has been, is the true object of confideration wi b the moral censor and satyrist. But our credulity is not so eafily imposed upon ; Peter's assertions have no weight with us; and, unfortunately, we are in poffeffion of facts which compel us to place this mock-coufeffion on the long list of his falfhoods. We are unwilling to add to those circumstantial details which our duty obliged us to enter into, when we noticed the last libel of this wretched rhymster; but we will juft recall to his memory his late visit to a favourite bookseller, where his reception was such as to have disgusted any man who had one atom of feeling about him, though it did not prevent Peter from begging a dinner of bim; the scene u hich ensued we shall not minutely describe; suffice it to say; the bard got beastly drunk, chiefly with his favourite beverage brandy, which he blasphemously denominates, the liquid Mdffiab, and, when a prostitute, with whom he had made an appointment for che purpose, called to take him to the play, he was unable to accompany her, and was left to sleep off the fumes of the spirit in a corner of the warehouse, where he lay lifeless as a bale of damaged goods. Such is the fober dress which the morals of Peter Pindar are still accustomed to wear.
When we say that thele pages exhibit a mishapen mass of most miserable doggerel, our decision will no doubt be imputed to prejudice by those tea-table critics whom we have frequently heard declare that Peter Pindar's poetry is vastly clever, fo witty, and so funny, without making a single objection to his obscenity, his calunny, and his fallhood. To such we exbibit the following stanzas with an humble request, that they will favour us with a description of its beauties, or an indication of its wit, for we honestly confefs our inability to discover either. As to the confeffion which it contains, of the blackness of bis foul, we willingly record it, as perfectly corresponding with his actions.
“ I never cast off PLEASURE from me-no;
For lo! a piece of velvet was my soul !
Enjoys the radiance, and devours the whole.” We can affure our readers that we have not selected this stanza, for any pre-eminence of folly and absurdity which it can boast over its comrades; they are all of a-piece; but this first met our eye as we had occasion to refer to the page for another purpose. Let those who can amuse themselves with such nonsense, and who really think such a man as Peter Pindar worthy of encouragement, pay their half-crown for these Odes.
It now only remains for us to notice what the author modiftly calls, só a most interesting poftfcript,” which is, without exception, the most atrocious libel that ever issued from the press. Writhing in agony under the chastiiement which we inflicted on him, * Peter * In our Review for November last.
Pindar undertakes to reply, not by a denial of the strong facts which we preferred against him, but by the inost wanton and malignant abuse of some respectable gentlemen, who he is pleased to represent, as the projectors and conductors of the Anti-JACOBIN REVIEW; and, judging from his own difpofition, having no idea that our attack upon him could originate in a sense of duty, or in any other motive than revenge, he modestly imputes it to the dirrespectful manner in which he had spoken of those gentlemen and their works. Now we know sufficient of them to affirm that they entertain so just an opinion of this man's abilities and judgment, that they would treat his abuse with sovereign contempt, and think, with us, that the only thing to be dreaded is bis praise. The excellence of their characters, however, was such as to enhance the delight which Peter promised himself from the gratification of his malignity. With the enjoyment of such pleasures it is not our intention to interfere; but it becomes us to say, from a regard for truth, that not one of those gentlenien ever saw the critique which has excited fo much indignation until it was before the public; and, farther, that, in what this man has said respecting the ANTI-JACOBIN Review, all his conjectures are erroneous, and all his assertions false. "
Peter Pindar has constantly derived his information from Scullious and other authorities equally respectable whom he has contrived, by some means or other, to seduce from their duty to their employers ; of course he has collected very little, if any, fact, and an ample portion of fiction; these his fertile imagination has worked up so as to answer the purposes of his malignant mind. It is but justice, however, to observe that he is the most credulous of all human beings; in short, his credulity can only be equalled by his obscenity, his malignity, and his blasphemy: :
It is truly curious to observe the studied forbearance of Peter towards Lords, since the lesson of caution which he received froin Lord Lonsdale to whom he crouched with a servility of spirit, an abjectness of fubnislion, that strongly characterized the baseness of his mind. When he has now occafion to allude to a Lord, he takes fpecial care not to mention his name. His prudence is as remarkable in one instance, in this poitfcript, as it is deficient in another;
for while he has fo directed his abuse as to avert the danger of • personal correction, he has so lavished it as to lubject himself to
the lath of the law.
Our object, however, is attained ; we have established the true character of the man to the conviction of the public; for, throughout his reply to our observations, if his postscript may be called a reply, he has not dared to deny any one of the atrocious charges which we alledged against him. Though, by such acquiescence * in the justice of our accusations, for recrimination, (even were it as just as it is unjust, and as applicable to us as it is inapplicable) is no answer, except in a suit for a divorce, he must have forfeited all claims to the confidence, the protection, or even the countenance of the public (except, indeed, the vicious part of it); Y 3 .
yet, it marks his prudence, for he well knew that we had not ad. . vanced a single fact which we were not fully able to subftantiate, by authentic documents, and by the oaths of witnesses, of unimpeached integrity, at the bar of a court of justice. Nor will we quit him here; for he shall find, if he again provoke our ani. madversions, that the punishment which we have hitherto inflicted, severely as he has felt it, is merciful, compared to that which we still have in store for him.
We shall conclude this article by shewing the effect which our former castigation produced on this determined enemy to the good and virtuous of every description, as described by a correspondent. " That animated philippic Itung him to the quick. It drove him almost to madness, and drew from him such horrible execrations as astonished and terrified all who heard him. He had never be fore met with so powerful an adversary, and he sunk under his correcting hand. He has now indeed attempted to defend himself, but never was there fo feeble and miserable a defence. It * consists entirely in recrimination; that is, in opposing falsehood to truth ;– He does not deny a single fact that you have asserted. Every fyllable you have said of him remains uncontradicted ; and he has consequently set bis seal to the truth of every charge you have brought against him.”
Art. XIII. Epiftle to Peter Pindar.' By the Author of the Ba.
viad. 410. Pp. 40. Wright. 1800. THE preceding article was not only written but composed before this Epiftle was put into our hands; and, notwithstanding the conformity of sentiment, and even of language, which will be found be. tween our review of the Prophetic Odes and the “ Introduction" to the Epiftle, not the smalleit cortmunication whatever took place be. tween the worthy and estimable author of the Baviad and us, respect. ing-the miserable productions of Peter Pindar ; and we here repeat, what we have before declared, that neither he, nor any of the respect. able gentlemen who have been honoured with the abuse of Peter, ever faw cur review of his “ Nil Admirari," until it was published, nor will have seen the preceding article before the regular period of publication. * The author first states, in his Introduction, that he has, for a series of years, been the object of Peter Pindar's fcurrility, to whom he has 'never given the smallest ground of offence. Peter, it seems, imputed to him “the Pursuits of Literature,” in a note to which some very jost observations were made on the vile heap of obscene and treason. able trash which he had published at different times. This imputation is here stated to have been utterly false, and for the truth of this statement we do not hesitate to pledge ourselves. But Peter has been but little in the habit of consulting the truth or fallhood of his charges, as we have before had occafion to Thew. We have no scruple to de. clare ourselves highly gratified by the praises bestowed on our work, and on the coitique of <r Nil Admirari, in particular, by a gentleman
whose principles and whole talents have long secured, what they have juftly been entitled to, our respect and esteem. So long as we continue to ensure, and are conscious of deserving, from the goodness of our intentions, and the honesty of our zeal, the approbation of fuch characters, we shall deein ourselves amply rewarded for our exertions in support of the best cause, we are bold ro affirm, the success of which any body of men ever undertook to promote.
We could have wihed that the author had availed himself of the opportunity afforded him of making his wretched affailant feel the lash of those laws which he has so long been suffered to insule and violate with impunity; and we still hope that this will be the case ; for we will.“ give the devil his due," and do Peter the justice to acknowledge, that if he do not love the laws of his country he fears them. When threatened with â prosecution by Lord Lonsdale, which he . averted by the basest servility, he had actually made preparations for his departure to America, that general receptacle for all the pesti. lential dregs of Britain, and altered one ftanza of a printed poem, in which he had reviled the Americans and their constitution, thereby converting, with a pliancy of principle habitual to his prostitured muse, a censure into a compliment, in order to pave the way for his reception in the United States. As, however, the author has condescended to inflict on him the lash of a pen, chat has already proved lo fatal to literary fools and coxconibs, we cannot but congratulaie the public on the appearance of one of the most able and animated productions which we have perused for a long time. Some of the extracts which we shall make from it will serve to make our readers still better acquainted with “ the Life and Character” of Peter Pindar. First, as to his mifnomer.
" Why the fellow took the name of Pindar, it is not easy to say. Some alias, I will allow, it was proper for him to take; for the name he originally went by, had long been synonimous with every thing base and infamous, and was, therefore, to be laid aside: bút fill it remains a question why he took that of Pindar. Pindar, it is true, wrote Odes, but they have nothing in common with the draggle. tailed doggrel of Perer; nor does he differ lors in his moral and lite rary character, than in his poetical one, from this beastly profaner of his name. Pindar was a man of piety, a fincere follower of the religion of his country, and a warm and enthusiastic admirer of every great and illustrious name ; while Peter con, but I disdain to pursue the contraft. I will only add, that Pindar was loved and admired while living, and honoured and lamented when dead: while Peter has been scorned and-abhorred through a long and profligate life; and when he drops, as he soon must, into the grave, will be fol. lowed by the hate and detestation of all but Atheists and Traitors. The rest will experience at his death, some portion of that pleasure which disburthened Italy felt when Tisiphone (his fifter.fiend) after
lowing the seeds of rancour and animofitý, opened the jaws of Ache'ron, and plunged to her native hell