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II.

'That true virtue consists in action, and not in speculation.

THE SCHOLAR AND THE CAT.

LABOUR entitles man to eat;
The idle have no claim to meat.
This rule must every station fit,
Because 'tis drawn from sacred writ.
And yet to feed on such condition,
Almost amounts to prohibition.
Rome's priesthood would be doom’d, I fear,
To eat soup maigre all the year.
And would not Oxford's cloister'd son
By this hard statute be undone?
In truth, your poet, were he fed
No oftener than he earns his bread,
The
vengeance

of this law would feel, And often go without a meal.

It seem'd a Scholar and his Cat
Together join'd in social chat.
When thus the letter'd youth began-
• Of what vast consequence is man!
Lords of this nether globe we shine,
Our tenure's held by right divine.
Here independence waves its plea,
All creatures bow the vassal knee.
Nor earth alone can bound our reign,
Ours is the empire of the main.

• True--man's a sovereign prince-but say, What art sustains the monarch's sway.

Say from what source we fetch supplies ;
"Tis here the grand inquiry lies.
Strength is not man's for strength must suit
Best with the structure of a brute.
Nor craft nor cunning can suffice;
A fox might then dispute the prize.
To godlike Reason 'tis we owe
Our ball and sceptre here below.

Now your associate next explains
To whom precedence appertains.
And sure 'tis easy to divine
The leaders of this royal line.
Note, that all tradesmen I attest
But petty princes at the best.
Superior excellence you'll find
In those who cultivate the mind.
Hence beads of colleges, you'll own,
Transcend the assessors of a throne,
Say, Evans, have you any doubt?
You can't offend by speaking out.

With visage placid and sedate,
Puss thus address'd her learned mate-

We're told that none in Nature's plan
Disputes preeminence with man.
But this is still a dubious case
To me, and all our purring race.
We grant indeed to partial eyes
Men may appear supremely wise.
But our sagacious rabbies hold,
That “ all which glitters is not gold."
Pray, if your haughty claims be true,
Why are our manners aped by you?
Whene'er you think all cats agree,
You shut your optics, just as we.

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Pray, why like cats so wrapp'd in thought,
If you by cats were never taught?
But know, our tabby schools maintain
Worth is not centred in the brain.
Not that our sages thought despise-
No-but in action virtue lies.
We find it by experience fact,
That thought must ripen into act;
Or cat no real fame acquires,
But virtue in the bud expires.
This point your orchard can decide-
Observe its gay autumnal pride:
For trees are held in high repute,
Not for their blossoms, but their fruit.
If so, then Miller's' page

decrees
Mere scholars to be barren trees.
But if these various reasons fail,
Let my example once prevail.

• When to your chamber you repair, Your property employs my care: And while

you

sink in sweet repose,
My faithful eyelids never close.
When hunger prompts the mouse to steal,
Then I display my honest zeal;
True to my charge, these talons seize
The wretch who dares purloin your cheese :
Or should the thief assault your bread,
I strike the audacious felon dead.

· Nor say I spring at smaller game,
My prowess slaughter'd rats proclaim.
I'm told your generals often fly
When danger and when death are nigh:
Nay, when nor death nor danger’s near,
As your court-martials make appear.

Author of the Gardener's Dictionary, &c.

6

When in

your

service we engage,
We brave the pilfering villain's rage;
Ne'er take advantage of the night,
To meditate inglorious flight:
But stand resolved, when foes defy,
To conquer or to bravely die.

Hence, bookworm, learn-our duty here
Is active life in every sphere.
Know too, there's scarce a brute but can
Instruct vain supercilious man.'

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III.

That our fortitude and perseverance should be proportionate

to the degree and duration of our sufferings.

NEPTUNE AND THE MARINERS.
WHEN sore calamities we feel,
And sorrow treads on sorrow's heel;
Our

courage and our strength, we say,
Are insufficient for the day.
Thus man’s a poor dejected elf,
Who fain would run away from self.
Yet turn to Germany, you'll find
An Atlas of the human mind!
But here I deviate from my plan,
For Prussia's king is more than man.
Inferior beings suit my rhyme,
My scheme, my genius, and my time;
Men, birds, and beasts, with now and then
A pagan god, to grace my pen.

A vessel bound for India's coast,
The merchant's confidence and boast,

Puts forth to sea—the gentle deep
Bespeaks its boisterous god asleep.
Three cheerful shouts the sailors gave,
And zephyrs curl the shining wave.
A halcyon sky prevails a while,
The tritons and the nereids smile.
These omens fairest hopes impress,
And half insure the George success.

What casual ills these hopes destroy!
To change how subject every joy!
When dangers most remote appear,
Experience proves those dangers near.
Thus, boast of health whene'er you please,
Health is next neighbour to disease,
'Tis prudence to suspect a foe,
And fortitude to meet the blow.
In wisdom's rank he stands the first,
Who stands prepared to meet the worst.

For lo! unnumber'd clouds arise,
The sable legions spread the skies.
The storm around the vessel raves,
The deep displays a thousand graves,
With active hands and fearless hearts
The sailors play their various parts;
They ply the pumps, they furl the sails,
Yet nought their diligence avails.
The
tempest
thickens

every

hour,
And mocks the feats of human power,

The sailors now their fate deplore,
Estranged to every fear before.
With wild surprise their eyeballs glare,
Their honest breasts admit despair.
All further efforts they decline,
At once all future hopes resign;

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