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such trifles from every pretty gentleman that I could spare them. I would set up the largest cutler's shop in the kingdom.
Bid. I'on afraid the town will be ill-natured enough to think I have been a little coquettish in my behaviour; but, I hope, as I have been constant to the Captain, I shall be excused diperting myself with pretenders.
Ladies ! to fops and braggarts ne'er be kind; No charms can warm them, and no virtues
bind: Each lover's merit by his conduct prove; Who fails in honour, will be false in love.
| so, like a mere mortal, he must now fatter frer
vanity and sacrifice his power, to atöne for deWith a view of the River Lethe. ficiencies But what has our royal mistress
proposed in behalf of her favourite mortals ? CHARON and Æsop discovered.
Às. As mankind, you know, are ever comCha. Pr’ythee, philosopher, what grand affair plaining of their cares, and dissatistied with their is transacting upon earth? There is something conditions, the generous Proserpine hay becomi of importance going forward, I am sure; for of Pluto, that they may have free access to the Mercury flew over the Styx this morning, with waters of Lethe, as a sovereign remedy for out paying me the usual compliments,
their complaints. Notice has been already onen As I'll tell thee, Charon; this is the anniver- above, and proclamation made; Mercury is to sary of the rape of Proserpine; on which day, conduct them to the Styx, you are to ferry then for the future, Pluto has permitted her to de- over to Elysium, and I am placed here to dismand from himn something fortbe benefit of man- tribute the waters. kind.
Cha. A very pretty employment I shall have Cha. I understand you- his majesty's passion, of it, truly ! if her majesty has often these by a long possession of the lady, is abated; and whims, I must petition the court either to build
a bridge over the river, or let me resign my Whose lives hardly know, what it is to be employment. Do their majesties know the
blest, difference of weight between souls and bo Who rise without joy, and lie down without dies? However, I'll obey their commands to
rest; the best of my power; I'll row my crazy boat Obey the glad summons, to Lethe repair, over and meet them, but many of them will Drink deep of the stream, and forget all be relieved from their cares before they reach
your cure. Lethe. Æs. How so, Charon?
Old maids shall forget what they wish for in Cha. Why, I shall leave half of them in the Styx; and any water is a specific against care,
And young ones the lover they cannot regain ; provided it be taken in quantity.
The rake shall forget how last night he was
And Chloe again be with passion enjoy'd;
Obey then the summons, to Let he repair, Mer. Away to your boat Charon; there are
And drink an oblivion to trouble and care. some mortals Arrived ; and the feinales among The wife at one draught may forget all her them will be very clamorous, if you make them
Or drench her fond fool, to forget her galCha. I'll make what haste I can, rather than
lants; give those fair creatures a topic for conversa The troubled in mind shall go cheerful away. tion, (Noise within, Bout, boat, boat!
And yesterday's wretch, be quite happy to Coming !-coming !- Zounds! you are in
day; a plaguy burry, sure ! no wonder these mortal
Obey then the summons, to Lethe repair, folks have so many complaints, when there's Drink deep of the stream, and forget all bo patience among them; if they were dead
your care. now, and to be settled here for ever, they'd be damned before they'd make such a rout to Æs. Mercury, Charon has brought over one come over but care, I suppose, is thirsty, mortal already, conduct bim hither. [Erit MERand till they have drenched themselves with CURY.]-Now for a large catalogue of comLerbe, there will be no quiet among them; plaints without the acknowledgment of one therefore, I'll e'en go to work—and so, friend single vice-here he comes if one may guess at .Esop, and brother Mercury, good bye to ye. This cares by his appearance, he really wants the
(Erit Charon. assistance of Lethe. Æs. Now to my office of judge and examiner, in which, to the best of my knowledge, I will
Enter Poet. act with impartiality; for I will immediately re-1 lieve real objects, and only divert myself with
Poet. Sir, your humble servant your pretenders.
humble servant-your name is Æsop— I know Mer. Act as your wisdom directs, and confor- your person intimately, though I never sa Inable to your cartbly character, and we shall / you before; and am well acquainted with you, have few murin urs.
though I never had the honour of your converÆs. I still retain my former sentiments, ne
sation. ver to refuse advice or charity to those that
Æs, Yon are a dealer in paradoxes, friend. want either ; fattery and rudeness should be
| Poet. I am a dealer in all parts of speech, and equally avoided; folly and vice should never
in all the figures of rhetoric-I am a poet, sir be spared; and though by acting thus, you
-and to be a poet, and not acquainted with may offend many, yet you will please the bet- the great Esop, is a greater paradox than-I ter few; and the approbation of one virtuous
honour you extremely, sir: you certainly, of all mind, is inore valuable than all the noisy ap
the writers of antiquity, had the greatest, the plause, and uncertain favours, of the great and sublimest genius, the-guilty.
Æs. Hold, friend, I hate flattery. Mer. Incomparable sop! both men and gods admire thee! we must now prepare to re- no inan loves flattery less than myself. ceive these mortals; and lest the solemnity of Æs. So it appears, sir, by your being so ready the place should strike them with too much to give it away. dread, I'll raise music shall dispel their fears,
Poet. You have hit it, Mr. Æsop, you have and embolden them to approach.
receive one farthing for my last dedication, and SONG.
yet, would you believe it ! I absolutely gave
all the virtues in Heaven, to one of the lowest Ye mortals whom fancies and troubles per reptiles upon earth. pler,
'As. 'Tis hard, indeed, to do dirty work for Wkom jolly misguides, and infirmities ver ; nothing.
are you the famous Esop? and are you so kind, 1 Old Man. What! What! will his drink get so very good, to give people the waters of forget-me money, does he say? fulness for nothing?
T âs. No, sir, the waters are of a wholesomer Es. I ain that person, sir; but you seem to nature for they'll teach you to forget your mohave no need of my waters; for you must have ney. already out-lived your memory.
Old Man. Will they so? Come, come, John, Old Van. My memory is indeed impaired, we are got to the wrong place the poor old it is not so good as it was; but still it is better fool here does not know what he says-let us go tlan I wish it, at least in regard to one cir- back again, John--l'll drink none of your wacumstance; there is one thing which sits very ters: not I-forget my money!--Come along, heavy at my heart, and which I would willingly John.
Æs. Was there ever such a wretch ! If these Es. Wbat is it, pray?
are the cares of mortals, the waters of oblivion Old Man. Oh, la b-ol! I am horribly fa- cannot cure them. tigued I am an old man, sir, turned of ninety-We are all mortal, you know, so I would Re-enter Old Man and Servant. faia forget, if you please--that I am to die.
Old Man. Look'e, sir, I am come a great way, Es. My good friend, you have mistaken the and ai loth to refusc favours that cost nothing, nirtue of the waters: they can cause you to for- so I don't care if I drink a little of your waters. get only what is past; but if this was in their
Let me see, aye, I'll drink to forget how I got power, you would surely be your own enemy, in my money; and my servant there, he shall desiring to forget what ought to be the only com
I drink a little, to forget that I have any money fort of one so poor and wretched as you seem.
at all--and, d'ye hear, John! take a hearty What! I suppose now, you have left some dear,
draught. If my money must be forgot, why e'en loving wife behind, that you can't bear to think
to think let him forget it. of parting with.
As. Well, friend, it shall be as you would Old Man. No, no, no; I have buried my wife,
have it ; you'll find a seat in that grove yonder, and forgot her long ago.
where you may rest yourself till the waters are £s. What, you have children then, whom you
distributed. are anwilling to leave behind you !
Old Mun. I hope it won't be long, sir, for Old Man. No, no, no; I have no children
thicves are husy now; and I have an iron chest at present--hugh-I don't know what I may
| in the other worid, that I should be sorry any
one peeped into but myself; so pray be quick, Es. Is there any relation or friend, the loss
[Ereunt. of whom
Æs. Patience, patience, old gentleman. But Old Man. No, no; I have out-lived all my here comes sonething tripping this way, that relations; and as for my friends I have none
seems to be neither man nor woman, and yet an to lose.
odd nixture of both. Æs. What can be the reason, then, that in all
Enter a Fine Gentleman. this apparent misery, you are so afraid of death, whuch would be your only cure?
Fine Gent. Hark'e, old friend, do you stand Old Man. Ob, lord ! I have one friend. I drawer here? and a true friend indeed, the only friend in Æs. Drawer, young fop! do you know where whom a wise man places any confidence- I you are, and who you talk to? bave- Get a little farther off, Joha---Ser Fine Gent. Not I, dem me! But 'tis a rule iant retires. I have, to say the truth, a little with me, wherever I am, or whosoever I am moder-it is that, indeed, which causes all my with, to be always easy and familiar, oncasiness,
Æs. Then let me advise you, young gentleEs. Thou never spokesl a truer word in thy man, to drink the waters, and forget that ease life, old gentleman-[Aside. But I can cure and familiarity. you of your uneasiness immediately.
1. Fine Gent. Why so, daddy? would you noc Old Man. Shall I forget then that I am to die, have me well bred? and leave my money behind me?
| Æs. Yes ; but you may not always meet with Es. No--but you shall forget that you have people so polite as yoursell, or so passive as I it-which will do altogether as well-One large am; and if what you call breeding, should be draught of Lethe, to the forgetfulness ot your construed impertinence, you may have a return money, will restore you to perfect case of mind; of familiarity, may make you repent your eduand as for your bodily pains, no water can re-cation as long as you live. lieve them,
Fine Gent. Well said, old dry-beard; egad, Old Man. Wliat does he say, John, eh? I am you have a smattering of an odd kind of a sort hard of hearing.
of a humour; but come, come, pr'ythee, give Joha. He advises your worship to drink to me a glass of your waters, and keep your advice forget your money.