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When sober Damon thus began (And Damon is a clever man): “I now grow old; but still, from youth, Have held for modesty and truth. The men, who by these sea-marks steer, In life's great voyage never err: Upon this point I dare defy The world. I pause for a reply.” “ Sir, either is a good assistant,” Said one who sat a little distant: “Truth decks our speeches and our books, And Modesty adorns our looks: But farther progress we must take: Not only born to look and speak; The man must act. The Stagyrite Says thus, and says extremely right: Strict Justice is the sovereign guide, That o'er our actions should preside: This queen of virtues is confest To regulate and bind the rest. Thrice happy, if you once can find Her equal balance poise your mind: All different graces soon will enter, Like lines concurrent to their centre.” 'Twas thus, in short, these two went on, With yea and nay, and pro and con, Through many points divinely dark, And Waterland assaulting Clarke; Till, in theology half lost, Damon took up the Evening-Post; Confounded Spain, compos'd the North, And deep in politics held forth. “ Methinks we're in the like condition, As at the treaty of Partition: That stroke, for all king William's care, Begat another tedious war. Matthew, who knew the whole intrigue, Ne'er much approv'd that mystic league: In the vile Utrecht treaty too, Poor man! he found enough to do. Sometimes to me he did apply; But down-right Dunstable was I, And told him where they were mistaken, And counsell'd him to save his bacon: But (pass his politics and prose) I never herded with his foes; Nay, in his verses, as a friend, I still found something to commend. Sir, I excus'd his Nut-brown Maid, Whate'er severer critics said; Too far, I own, the girl was try’d; The women all were on my side. For Alma I return'd him thanks; I lik'd her with her little pranks. Indeed, poor Solomon in rhyme Was much too grave to be sublime.” Pindar and Damon scorm transition, So on he ran a new division; Till, out of breath, he turn'd to spit (Chance often helps us more than wit). Tother that lucky moment took, Just nick'd the time, broke in and spoke. “Of all the gifts the gods afford, (If we may take old Tully's word) The greatest is a friend, whose love Knows how to praise, and when reprove: From such a treasure never part, But hang the jewel on your heart: And, pray, sir, (it delights me) tell, You know this author mighty well—”
Then if you are, as you pretend, the god
That rules the day, and much upon the road,
You'll find a hundred trifles in your way,
That you may bring one home from Africa;
Some little rarity, some bird, or beast,
And now and then a jewel from the East;
A lacquer'd cabinet, some chima ware;
You have them mighty cheap at Pekin fair.
Next, nota bene, you shall never rove,
Nor take example by your father Jove.
Last, for the ease and comfort of my life,
Make me your (Lord ' what startles you?) your
I'm now (they say) obsteen, or something more;
We mortals seldom live above fourscore:
Fourscore; you're good at numbers; let us see,
Seventeen, suppose, remaining sixty-three;
Aye, in that span of time, you'll bury me.
Mican time, if you have tumult, noise, and strife,
(Things not abhorrent to a marry'd life!)
They'll quickly end, you'll see; what signify
A few odd years to you that never die?
And, after all, you're half your time away;
You know your business takes you up all day;
And, coming late to bed, you need not fear,
Whatever noise I make, you'll sleep, my dear:
Or, if a winter evening should be long,
Ev’n read your physic-book, or make a song.
Your steeds, your wife, diachalon, and rhyme,
May take up any honest godhead's time.
Thus, as you like it, you may love again,
And let another Daphne have her reign.
Now love, or leave, my dear; retreat, or fol-
I Daphne (this premis'd; take thee, Apollo.
And may I split into ten thousand trees,
If I give up on other terms than these
She said; but what the amorous god reply'd,
(So Fate ordain'd) is to our search deny'd :
By rats, alas ! the manuscript is eat,
O cruel banquet' which we all regret.
Bavius, thy labours must this work restore;
May thy geod-will be equal to thy power
THE MICE. to MR. ADRIAN Drift, 1708.
Two Mice, dear boy, of genteel fashion,
And (what is more) good education,
Frolic and gay in infant years,
Equally shar'd their parent's cares.
The sire of these two babes (poor creature')
Paid his last debt to human nature;
A wealthy widow left behind,
Four babes, three males, one female kind.
The sire being under ground and bury'd,
'Twas thought his spouse would soon have
Matches propos'd, and numerous suitors,
Most tender husbands, careful tutors,
She modestly refus'd; and show'd
She'd be a mother to her brood.
“Mother! dear mother! that endearing thought Has thousand and ten thousand fancies brought.
Tell me, oh! tell me (thou art now above)
How to describe thy true maternal love,
Thy early pangs, thy growing anxious cares,
Thy flattering hopes, thy fervent pious prayers,
Thy doleful days and melancholy mights,
Cloyster'd from common joys and just delights;
How thou didst constantly in private inourn,
And wash with daily tears thy spouse's urn ;
How it employ'd your thoughts and lucid time,
That your young offspring might to honour climb;
How your first care, by numerous griefs opprest,
Under the burthen sunk, and went to rest;
How your dear darling, by consumption's waste,
Breath'd her last riety into your breast; -
How you, alas ! tir'd with your pilgrimage,
Bow’d down your head, and dy'd in good old age.
Though not inspir'd, oh! may I never be
Forgetful of my pedigree, or thee!
Ungrateful howso'er, mayn't I forget
To pay this small, yet tributary debt
And when we meet at God's tribunal throne,
Own me, I pray thee, for a pious son"
“But why all this 2 Is this your fable?
Believe me, Mat, it seems a Babel;
If you will let me know th' intent on't,
Go to your Mice, and make an end on't.”
“Well then, dear brother—
As sure as Hudi's" sword could swaddle,
Two Mice were brought up in one cradle;
Well bred, I think, of equal port,
One for the gown, one for the court:
They parted;” (“did they so, an’t please you?”
“Yes, that they did, (dear sir) to ease you.
One went to Holland, where they huff folk,
T'other to vend his wares in Suffolk.
(That Mice have travell'd in old times,
Horace and Prior tell in rhymes,
Those two great wonders of their ages,
Superior far to all the sages')
Many days past, and many a night,
Ere they could gain each other's sight;
At last, in weather cold nor sultry,
They met at the Three Cranes in Poultry.
After nuch buss, and great grimace,
(Usual, you know, in such a case)
Much chat arose, what had been done,
What might before next summer's sun;
Much said of France, of Suffolk's goodness,
The gentry's loyalty, mob's rudeness.
That ended, o'er a charming bottle
They enter'd on this tittle-tattle:
“Quoth Suffolk, by pre-eminence In years, though (God knows) not in sense; “All's gone, dear brother, only we Remain to raise posterity: Marry you, brother; I'll go down, Sell nouns and verbs, and lie alone; May you ne'er meet with feuds, or babble, May olive-branches crown your table ! Somewhat I'll save, and for this end, To prove a brother and a friend. What I propose is just, I swear it; Or may I perish, by this claret' The dice are thrown, choose this or that ('Tis all alike to honest Mat); I'll take then the contrary part, And propagate with all my heart.”
After some thought, some Portuguese’, Some wine, the younger thus replies: ‘Fair are your words, as fair your carriage, Let me be free, drudge you in marriage; Get me a boy call'd Adrian, Trust me, I'll do for’t what I can.” “Home went, well pleas'd, the Suffolk tony, Heart free from care, as purse from money; He got a lusty squaliing boy (Doubtless the dad's and mamma's joy.) In short, to make things square and even, Adrian he nam'd was by Dick Stephen. Mat's debt thus paid, he now enlarges, And sends you in a bill of charges, A cradle, brother, and a basket, * (Granted as soon as eler I ask it), . A coat not of the smallest scantling, Frocks, stockings, shoes, to grace the bantling; These too were sent, (or I’m no drubber) Nay, add to these the fine gum-rubber; Yet these won't do, send t'other coat, For, faith, the first's not worth a groat; Dismally shrunk, as herrings shotten, Suppos'd originally rotten. Pray let the next be each way longer, Of stuff more durable, and stronger; Send it next week, if you are able; By this time, sir, you know the fable. From this, and letters of the same make, You'll find what 'tis to have a name-sake. “Cold and hard times, sir, here (believe it). I've lost my curate too, and grieve it. At Easter, for what I can see, (A time of ease and vacancy) If things but alter, and not undone, • I'll kiss your hands, and visit London. Molly sends greeting; so do I, sir; Send a good coat, that's all; good by, sir.”
TWO RIDDLES. FIRST PRINTED IN the ExAMINER, 1710.
Splisz was a monster that would eat
Whatever stranger she could get,
Unless his ready wit disclos'd
The subtle riddle she propos'd.
Oedipus was resolv'd to go,
And try what strength of parts would do.
Says Sphinx, “On this depends your fate;
Tell me what animal is that,
Which has four feet at morning bright,
Has two at noon, and three at night?”
“”Tis man,” said he, “who, weak by nature,
At first creeps, like his fellow-creature,
Upon all four; as years accrue,
With sturdy steps he walks on two;
In age, at length, grows weak and sick,
For his third leg adopts a stick.
Now, in your turn, 'tis just, methinks,
You should resolve me, madam Sphinx.
What greater stranger yet is he,
Who has four legs, then two, then three;
Then loses one, then gets two more,
And ruus away at last on four?”
“True, Nell,” reply'd John; “but what yet is
the worst For us that remain, the best always go first; Remember, dear wife, that I said so last year, When you lost your white heifer, and I my brown
BIBO AND CHARON.
Whes Bibo thought fit from the world to retreat,
As full of champagne as an egg's full of meat,
He wak'd in the boat; and to Charon he said,
He would be row'd back, for he was not yet dead.
“Trim the boat, and sit quiet,” stern Charon re-
ply'd : [dy’d.” “Yon may have forgot; you was drunk when you
No secrets else, that mortals learn,
My cares deserve, or life concern :
But this will so important be,
I dread to search the dark decree ;
For, while the smallest hope remains,
Faint joys are mingled with my pains;
Vain distant views my fancy please,
And give some intermitting ease:
But, should the stars too plainly show
That you have doom'd my endless woe,
No human force, or art, could bear
The torment of my wild despair.
This secret then I dare not know,
And other truths are useless now.
What matters, if unbles, in love,
How long or short my life will prove?
To gratify what low desire,
Should I with needless haste inquire
How great, how wealthy I shall be 2
Oh! what is wealth or power to me !
If I am happy, or undone,
It must proceed from you alone.