[Works of John Stowell + note by R.J.Moore]
YOUNG LADIES OF DOUGLAS,
the following pages
are respectfully inscribed,
Take thy reward, thou snarling sneaking fool,
Scorn of the fair, of man the ridicule;
Vain, tho despised, tho guilty, without shame;
And without genius, panting after fame.
Nay, do not sculk; thou canst not get away:
Thy folly must thy footsteps still betray.
Poor empty thing ! Nor shalt thou want a name;
Dullness with dullness marks thee still the same.
Children will hail thee on their way to school,
And pointing, holla "there goes Tom the Fool".
And needless were thy pains and great expense,
To publish to the world thy lack of sense.
Why would'st thou some poor worried muse implore
To tell the town what the town knew before ?
Nor is it strange to find a silly goat,
Would sell his reputation for a groat.
Perhaps you thouight on ruins you might rise,
And build your fame to a prodigious size.
Art thou a man with so deform'd a mind ?
If so, thou art the meanest of mankind.
But think not 'tis the way to honest fame,
T'abandon truth, and ev'ry sense of shame ;
To show the note that's in thy brother's eye
To scan thy neighbour's failings passing by ;
To search for weeds where none are to be found
And root the Flowers from out their native ground.
Mean thy employment is, but meaner still,
To execute the task so very ill.
If weeds offend thee, common sense might spare
The flow'rs which always claim the Gard'ner's care;
E'en those which blooming and unhurt remain,
Thou dost neglect, or else thy skill is vain.
Caust thou, regardless, pass such beauties by,
And, on a nettle hang thy poison'd eye ?
Whom, but thyself. could not MATILDA move,
And sweetly bind with silken cords of love ?
The mild AMELIA might a Cynic please,
Whom old and young and all but thee could praise.
Young EMILY by nature seems design'd,
To compliment the race of human kind.
Of beauteous form, and disposition good,
Her virtues in her eyes are understood;
Beaming the sweetness of a Gardener's even,
We gaze on her as Angels gaze on Heaven.
And thou LUCINDA, hear the song of praise;
No flatt'ry (thy contempt) e'er swells my lays:
But with the purest Candour, like thy own,
The gentle Muses do my verses Crown.
For say, thou Charmer, how can I admire
Thy worth and burn not with poetic fire ?
Blest with a person always sure to please,
Blest with a mind unruffled and at ease;
Regardless of the world's fantastic toys,
Thy bosom harbours none but gen'rous joys
With feelings of humanity adorn
Nor is thy heart with rebel passions torn.
Altho' to women scarce completely grown,
Approving Reason claims thee for her own.
If some few failings in thy breast we find,
They are the failings of a gen'rous mind.
Untaught by Policys' cold formal rules,
Yet fools and puppies learn to be polite,
And glow with new-born blushes at thy sight.
So great is Virtue, such LUCINDA'S fame;
For Virtue and LUCINDA are the same.
With caution CHLOE, I behold thy smiles
Tho' artless, yet how full of am'rous wiles;
Unconscious thou enslv'st th' unwary heart, -
The art of love's to conquer without art.
Thy matchless mien, thy ev'ry winning grace,
The engaging features of thy lovely face:
Thy sprightly mind, unskill'd to give offence
Attemper'd with good-nature and good sense;
Such lovliness a Stoic's breast might warm,
And all but TOM the GARDENER could charm.
Say, thou, unmindful of such scenes as these,
Whom nothing but deformity can please,
What pleasure hast thou grinning o'er thy spoils ?
What compensation for thy ardent toils ?
What thy enjoyment of the horrid feast,
Where thou art both the landlord and the guest,
Who will partake the nauseous banquet ? None :
Who has so gross a palate as thy own ?
[Intended to precede poem]
The following is in the nature of a reply to "The Sallad".
The writer, with a view probably of diverting suspicion from himself as the author of that satire, and assuming a different name - that of "Candidus", - attacks and rather severely castigates or applies the Switch to "Tom the Gardener" - in other words, to himself.
It reminds one of the opening lines of Bernard Barton the Quaker's "Colloquy with myself" - "As I walked by myself, I talked to myself and myself replied to me"
So our author writes and satirises a number of people as Tom the Gardener", and then turns round and abuses himself under the name of "Candius"!
Although no date is affixed to the piece, it is well ascertained that it came out very shortly after the publication of "the Sallad".
It never however enjoyed the fame awarded either to his predecessor - or to its successor - "The Retrospect".....