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Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 1.djvu/71

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31
THOUGHTS SUGGESTED BY A COLLEGE EXAMINATION.

More than the verse on which the critic wrote:
Vain as their honours, heavy as their Ale,[1]
Sad as their wit, and tedious as their tale;60
To friendship dead, though not untaught to feel,
When Self and Church demand a Bigot zeal.
With eager haste they court the lord of power,[2]
(Whether 'tis Pitt or Petty[3] rules the hour;)
To him, with suppliant smiles, they bend the head,
While distant mitres to their eyes are spread;[4]
But should a storm o'erwhelm him with disgrace,
They'd fly to seek the next, who fill'd his place.
Such are the men who learning's treasures guard!
Such is their practice, such is their reward!70
This much, at least, we may presume to say—
The premium can't exceed the price they pay.[5]

1806.

    Porson's Devil's Walk. This was a common misapprehension at the time. The Devil's Thoughts was the joint composition of Coleridge and Southey, but it was generally attributed to Porson, who took no trouble to disclaim it. It was originally published in the Morning Post, Sept. 6, 1799, and Stuart, the editor, said that it raised the circulation of the paper for several days after. (See Coleridge's Poems (1893), pp. 147, 621.)]

  1. [Lines 59-62 are not in the Quarto. They first appeared in Poems Original and Translated.]
  2. They court the tool of power.—[4to. P. on V. Occasions.]
  3. Since this was written, Lord Henry Petty has lost his place, and subsequently (I had almost said consequently) the honour of representing the University. A fact so glaring requires no comment. [Lord Henry Petty, M.P. for the University of Cambridge, was Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1805; but in 1807 he lost his seat. In 1809 he succeeded his brother as Marquis of Lansdowne. He died in 1863.]
  4. White mitres, prebends.—[4to. P. on V. Occasions.]
  5. The reward's scarce eqtiat to the price they pay.—[4to]