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Their masters' manners still contract,
And footmen lords and dukes can act;
Thus at the court, both great and small
Behave alike for all ape all.
Long had I sought in vain to find
A likeness for the scribbling kind:
The modern scribbling kind, who write
In wit, and sense, and nature's spite:
Till reading (I forget what day on)
A chapter out of Tooke's Pantheon,
I think I met with something there,
To suit my purpose to a hair ;
But let us not proceed too furious ;
First please to turn to god Mercurius :
You'll find him pictur'd at full length
In book the second, page the tenth :
The stress of all my proofs on him I lay,
And now proceed we to our simile.
Imprimis, pray observe his hat,
Wings upon either side-mark that.
Well! what is it from thence we gather?
Why these denote a brain of feather.
A brain of feather ? very right,
With wit that's flighty, learning lights
Such as to modern bards decreed;
A just comparison-proceed.
In the next place, his feet peruse,
Wings grow again from both his shoes;
Design'd, no doubt, their part to bear,
And waft his godship through the air :
And here my simile unites,
For, in a modern poet's flights,
I'm sure it may be justly said,
His feet are useful as his head.
Lastly, vouchsafe to observe his hand,
Fill'd with a snake-incircled wand;
By classic authors term’d Caduceus ;
And highly fam’d for several uses :
To wit-most wondrously endu’d,
No poppy water half so good ;
For let folks only get a touch,
Its soporific virtue's such,
Though ne'er so much awake before,
That quickly they begin to snore:
Add too, what certain writers tell,
With this he drives men's souls to hell.
Now to apply, begin we then:
His wand's a modern author's pen;
The serpents round about it twin'd
Denote him of the reptile kind;
Denote the rage with which he writes,
His frothy slaver, venom'd bites;
An equal semblance still to keep,
Alike too both conduce to sleep.
This difference only, as the god
Drove souls to Tartarus with his rod,
With his goose-quill the scribbling elf,
Instead of others, damns himself.
And here my simile almost tript,
Yet grant a word by way of postscript.
Moreover, Mercury had a failing :
Well! what of that? out with it-stealing;
In which all modern bards agree,
Being each as great a thief as he :
But e'en this deity's existence
Shall lend my simile assistance.
Our modern bards! why what a pox
Are they but senseless stones and blocks?
(From the Citizen of the World.)
WHERE the Red Lion, staring o’er the way,
Invites each passing stranger that can pay ;
Where Calvert's butt, and Parson's black champaign
Regale the drabs and bloods of Drury-lane ;
There in a lonely room, from bailiffs snug,
The Muse found Scroggen stretch'd bepeath a rug ;
A window, patch'd with paper, lent a ray,
That dimly show'd the state in which he lay ;
The sanded floor that grits beneath the tread ;
The humid wall with paltry pictures spread;
The royal game of Goose was there in view,
And the twelve rules the Royal Martyr drew;
The Seasons, fram’d with listing, found a place,
And brave Prince William show'd his lamp-black
The morn was cold, he views with keen desire
The rusty grate unconscious of a fire :
With beer and milk arrears the frieze was scor'd, And five crack'd tea-cups dress'd the chimney
board; A night-cap deck'd his brows instead of bay, A cap by night stocking all the day!
JOHN TROTT was desired by two witty peers, To tell them the reason why asses had ears? • An't please you, (quoth John) I'm not given to
letters, Nor dare I pretend to know more than my betters; Howe'er, from this time, I shall ne'er see your
graces, As I hope to be sav’d! without thinking on Asses?
(From the Vicar af Wakefield).
Good people all, of every sort,
Give ear unto my song ;
And if you find it wondrous short,
It cannot hold you long.
In Isling-town there was a man,
Of whom the world might say, That still a godly race he ran
Whene'er he went to pray.
A kind and gentle heart he had,
To comfort friends and foes ; The naked every day he clad
When he put on his clothes.
And in that town a dog was found,
As many dogs there be, Both mongrel, puppy, whelp, and hound,
And curs of low degree.
This dog and man at first were friends ;
But when a pique began,
The dog, to gain his private ends,
Went mad, and bit the man.
Around from all the neighbouring streets
The wondering neighbours ran, And swore the dog had lost his avits,
To bite so good a man.
The wound it seem'd both sore and sad
To every christian eye ; And while they swore the dog was mad,
They swore the man would die.
But soon a wonder came to light,
That show'd the rogues they ly’d; The man recover'd of the bite,
The dog it was that died.