1787 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Joseph Warton

Charlotte Warton, "Mrs. War—n's Extempore" St. James's Chronicle (20 October 1787).



SIR,
In full Assurance that you are a Man of too much Gallantry to refuse a Lady's Composition a Place in the Poet's Corner, I send you the following Extempore of Mrs. War—n's, of Winchest-r, whose little Impromptues have been much admired. The Occasion was this: The Ward-n had dreamt the Night before, that he was entertaining the School, accompanied by the Masters and Fellows, when as Mr. God—d passed through the School-Door, the Statue of the Founder over the Entrance descended, and closed the Procession, attended by Dr. Gol—g, the late Ward-n and Dr. Bur—n, the late Head-Master; the latter bore a most tremendous Instrument, larger, the Ward-n declared, than he ever remembered formerly to have seen in Dr. Bur—n's Hand. The School rang with the thundering Voice of the Founder, who called the Ward-n to him, signifying, at the same Time, an intention of paying his Compliments to all in Succession, and Dr. B. delivered the Instrument of Vengeance. Drs. G. and B. without commiserating the Ward-n's Situation, seized him with Violence, and were attempting to pull him down, when the Ward-n wak'd, dealing out his Blows very liberally on his pillow, which he designed for Drs. G. and B. particularly the latter. Mrs. L. the Ward-n's Lady, related the next Day the Ward'n's Dream to Mrs. War—n, who, without the smallest Hesitation, repeated the following Lines. Allow me, Mr. Baldwin, to anticipate my Success, and to subscribe myself, as in Duty bound,
SIR,
Your much obliged and very constant Servant,
A CONSTANT READER,
and Occasional Correspondent.

Mrs. WAR—N'S EXTEMPORE.
My good Mr. Founder stand still if you please,
Your Day has been spent, let us live at our Ease.
Your *Stations observe, and from those never stir,
You've the Fane, if at Ease to recline you prefer.
The Departed in quiet may surely repose
Where the Living, our Dean and our Prebends can dose.
Some Years hence, Hand in Hand, by your Side for to lie.
O how 'twould delight Dr. Joseph and I;
But if you dislike a recumbent Position,
Then away to the School, for your Station's the Nich in,
O'er the Entrance stand fix'd, and embellish the Centre,
Nor again at the Door presume, Sir, to enter.

* The Stations alluded to are at the Entrance of the School, over the Door, and in the Cathedral at Winch—r, where there is a recumbent Figure of William, of Wykeham on a Monument.