P R E S E N T S T A T E
MANNERS, ARTS, and POLITICS,
F R A N C E A N D I T A L Y ;
IN A SERIES OF POETICAL EPISTLES,
F R O M
PARIS, ROME, AND NAPLES,
In 1792 and 1793:
R O B E R T J E P H S O N, E S Q U I R E.
Quo me cunque rapit tempestas, deseror hospes.
Nunc agilis sio, et mersor civilibus undis,
Virtutis veræ custos, rigidusque satelles.
Nunc in Aristippi furtim præcepta relabor,
Et mihi res, non me rebus, submittere conor.
PRINTED FOR G. G. AND J. ROBINSON,
These verse epistles, which can hardly be called "poetical", are by John Courtenay [1738-1816] (who is perhaps best known nowadays for his "A poetical review of the literary and moral character of the late Samuel Johnson, L.L.D." (1786; quoted by Boswell, e.g., in Boswell's Life of Johnson, 1750). He wrote verse epistles on the same theme to others, most notably Edmund Burke. You might think, reading some of the contents, that he was an ancien-régimist, or, reading others, that he was a revolutionary; but the poems reveal more of an attitude of "I don't like nothing; and it's getting worse". (For all of that, his opinion is greatly reflective of the established Whiggery of the time, as that monument of corruption institutionalized and ineptitude glorified finally scrabbled its ignominious way into the grave of history; and if he can't completely support the French "Revolution", he can whole-heartedly attack those who are against it.) The attitude continues into Italy, where he lashes out at Italians ancient, modern, and in-between, including even Virgil and Raphael in his wide-spreading net of scorn; and winds up in London, where he attacks (Tories) who are pension'd and takes upon himself the hallowed role of poor (but honest) poet.
The poems are transcribed from the 1794 edition whose title-page is HTML-ically reproduced above.
Arrival at ParisRiots describedDestruction of Statues, and all Insignia of RoyaltyRepublican SongDebate and bon mot in the National AssemblyJacobin Club described.
Insolence of the PeopleLevelling of RanksPresent State of the ClergyNun's SongPoliteness lostFashionable Manners, and the former pleasures of Paris describedSentimental SongPanegyric on the LadiesRetreet of the PrussiansDuet between Frederick the Second and Third.
Arrival at RomeEffects of the Association of IdeasHorace and VirgilCiceroCæsarStatues and PaintingsVenus of Medecis, the Apollo of Belvidere, and MarsyasCorreggio and Rafaelle.
VeniceMode of carrying on Amours thereGondolier's SongThe Police of FlorenceCurious Anecdote of the present King of SpainSingular Mode of discharging Debts at PaviaReflections on the Emigration of Pug-DogsTaste for Gardening in Italy.
Climate of RomeYoung Ladies, how improved by TravellingImproviso Verses translatedSt. Peter's on Good FridayFeast of St. Agnes.
Ecclesiastical StateRegulation of the Markets Criminal LawAssassinationMiracle in favour of the JewsTrajan's Pillar and St. PeterMoral ReflectionsCharity proved by the number of BeggarsSong, and a Simile for the Ladies.
NaplesManners of the Ladies Reflections on DeathProspect of becoming ImmortalIrruptions of Mout Vesuvio describedOrigin of the Earth accounted for BuffonThis System confuted by HerschelNew System started by the late George Earl of OrfordPanegyric on Dr. Darwent.
AntiquitiesPompeia and HerculaneumKnowledge of the Antients and Moderns comparedOrpheus and his TreesLover's SongGreek MusicAgamemnon's BardDisquisition on the Principles of HarmonyWonderful Effects of Antient Music.
Mechanical Effects of Melody on the BrainCures Madness, and WhyFerdinand of Spain, and FarinelliSongs from the SpanishSingular Instance of the Power of MusicProject to destroy the FrenchA Word of Comfort to the Alarmists.
ConclusionAddress to the Author's Friends.
Congratulatory Ode to Two Young Ladies, on their return from Italy.
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