תמונות בעמוד

Matters at worst are sure to mend, 416
The Devil's wife was but a fiend.
T. Thy tale has raised a turtle's spleen,
Uxorious inmate! bird obscene!
Dar'st thou defile these sacred groves,
These silent seats of faithful loves!
Begone, with flagging wings sit down
On some old penthouse near the town;
In brewers' stables peck thy grain,
Then wash it down with puddled rain;
And hear thy dirty offspring squall
From bottles on a suburb wall.
Where thou hast been, return again,
Wile bird! thou hast conversed with men;
Notions like these from men are given, 430
Those vilest creatures under Heaven.
To cities and to courts repair,
Flattery and falsehood flourish there;
There all thy wretched arts employ,
Where riches triumph over joy;
Where passion does with interest barter,
And Hymen holds by Mammon's charter;
Where truth by point of law is parried,
And knaves and prudes are six times married.



O DEAREST daughter, of two dearest friends,
To thee my muse this little tale commends.
Loving and loved, regard thy future mate,

Long love his person, though deplore his fate;

Seem young when old in thy dear husband's arms, * Lady Margaret Cavendish Harley.

For constant virtue has immortal charms. 6
And, when I lie low sepulchred in earth,
And the glad year returns thy day of birth,
Vouchsafe to say, ‘Ere I could write or spell,
The bard, who from my cradle wished me well,
Told me I should the prating sparrow blame,
And bade me imitate the turtle's flame.’



1 ISING not old Jason, who travelled through Greece,
To kiss the fair maids, and possess the rich Fleece;
Nor sing I Æneas, who, led by his mother,
Got rid of one wife, and went far for another:
Derry down, down, hey derry down.

2 Nor him who through Asia and Europe did roam,
Ulysses by name, who ne'er cried to go home,
But rather desired to see cities and men,
Than return to his farms, and converse with old Pen.

3 Hang Homer and Virgill their meaning to seek, A man must have poked into Latin and Greek; Those who love their own tongue, we have reason to hope, Have read them translated by Dryden and Pope.

4 But I sing of exploits that have lately been done By two British heroes, called Matthew and John:”

1 Down-hall in the county of Essex, three miles south-east from Hatfield Broad Oak Church, beautifully seated on a rising ground, above a stream which runs through Hatfield town, having a fine prospect over the adjacent country; purchased for Prior by his friend Lord Harley.— Mr Prior, and Mr John Morley, of Halstead.

And how they rid friendly from fine London town,
Fair Essex to see, and a place they call Down.

5 Now ere they went out you may rightly suppose
How much they discoursed both in prudence and
For, before this great journey was thoroughly
Full often they met, and as often they parted.

6 And thus Matthew said, Look you here, my friend John, I fairly have travelled years thirty and one; > And, though I still carried my sovereign's warrants, & I only have gone upon other folks' errands.

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& 7 And now in this journey of life I would have - A place where to bait, 'twixt the court and the grave: Where joyful to live, not unwilling to die;— Gadzooks! I have just such a place in my eye.

8 There are gardens so stately, and arbours so thick,
A portal of stone, and a fabric of brick;
The matter next week shall be all in your power;
But the money, gadzooks! must be paid in an hour.

9 For things in this world must bylaw be made certain:
We both must repair unto Oliver Martin;
For he is a lawyer of worthy renown,
I'll bring you to see, he must fix you at Down.

10 Quoth Matthew, I know, that, from Berwick to Dover,
You've sold all our premises over and over:
And now, if your buyers and sellers agree,
You may throw all our acres into the South Sea.

11 But a word to the purpose: to-morrow, dear friend, We'll see what to-night you so highly commend; And, if with a garden and house I am blessed, Let the Devil and Coningsby' go with the rest.

12 Then answered Squire Morley; Pray get a calash, That in summer may burn, and in winter may splash; I love dirt and dust; and 'tis always my pleasure, To take with me much of the soil that I measure.

13 But Matthew thought better; for Matthew thought right, And hired a chariot so trim and so tight, That extremes both of winter and summer might pass: For one window was canvass, the other was glass.

14 Draw up, quoth friend Matthew; pull down, quoth friend John, We shall be both hotter and colder anon. Thus talking and scolding, they forward did speed; And Ralpho paced by, under Newman the Swede.

15 Into an old inn did this equipage roll, At a town they call Hodson, the sign of the Bull; Near a nymph with an urn, that divides the high way, And into a puddle throws mother of tea.

16 Come here, my sweet landlady, pray how d'ye do; Where is Cicely so cleanly, and Prudence, and Sue, And where is the widow that dwelt here below, And the ostler that sung about eight years ago? 1 Lord Coningsby was one of the members of the committee of the Privy Council, who examined Mr Prior at the accession of George I. From the

account given by the poet of what passed on that occasion, he appears to have been very roughly treated by that nobleman.


17 And where is your sister, so mild and so dear? Whose voice to her maids like a trumpet was clear. By my troth! she replies, you grow younger, I think: And pray, Sir, what wine does the gentleman drink'

18 Why now let me die, Sir, or live upon trust, If I know to which question to answer you first: Why things, since I saw you, most strangely have varied, The ostler is hanged, and the widow is married.

19 And Prue left a child for the parish to nurse;
And Cicely went off with a gentleman's purse;
And as to my sister, so mild and so dear,
She has lain in the churchyard full many a year.

20 Well, peace to her ashes! what signifies grief!
She roasted red veal, and she powdered lean beef;
Full nicely she knew to cook up a fine dish;
For tough were her pullets, and tender her fish.

21 For that matter, Sir, be you squire, knight, or lord,
I'll give you whate'er a good inn can afford;
I should look on myself as unhappily sped,
Did I yield to a sister, or living, or dead.

22 Of mutton a delicate neck and a breast Shall swim in the water in which they were drest; And, because you great folks are with rarities taken, Addle-eggs shall be next course, tossed up with rank bacon.

23 Then supper was served, and the sheets they were laid; And Morley most lovingly whispered the maid.

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