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INO

“ My Lord and he are grown so great,
“Always together, tête à tête.
« What, they admire him for his jokes-
66 See but the fortune of some folks!”
There flies about a strange report
Of some express arriv'd at court ;
I'm stopp'd by all the fools I meet,
And catechis?d in ev'ry street.
You, Mr. Dean, frequent the great ;
“ Inform us, will the Emp'ror treat ?
« Or do the prints and papers lie ?"
Faith, Sir, you know as much as I.
« Ah Doctor, how you love to jest?
66 'Tis now no secret”- I protest
'Tis one to me" Then tell us, pray,
“ When are the troops to have their pay?"
And, tho' I solemnly declare
I know no more than my Lord Mayor,
They stand amaz’d, and think me grown
The closest mortal ever known.

115

I 20

125

Thus in a sea of folly toss'd,
My choicesť hours of life are lost;
Yet always wishing to retreat,
Oh, could I see my country seat !
There leaning near a gentle brook,
Sleep, or peruse some ancient book,

GG

130 And

VOL. III.

And there in sweet oblivion drown!
Those cares that haunt the court and town.
O charming noons! and nights divine ?
Or when I sup, or when I dine,
My friends above, my folks below,

135
Chatting and laughing all-a-row,
The beans and bacon set before 'em,
The grace-cup serv'd with all decorum :
Each willing to be pleas'd, and please,
And ev'n the very dogs at ease !

140 Here no man prates of idle things, How this or that Italian sings, A neighbour's madness, or his spouse's, Or what's in either of the houses : But something much more our concern,

145 And quite a scandal not to learn : Which is the happier, or the wiser, A man of merit, or a miser ? Whether we ought to chuse our friends, For their own worth, or our own ends?

150 What good, or better, we may call, And what, the very

best of all ? -
Our friend Dan Prior told (you know)
A tale extremely à propos :
Name a town life, and in a trice,

155
He had a story of two mice.
Once on a time (so runs the fable)
A country mouse, right hospitable,

Receiv'd

Receiv'd a town mouse at his board,
Just as a farmer might a lord.

160
A frugal mouse, upon the whole,
Yet lov'd his friend, and had a soul,
Knew what was handsome, and would do't,
On just occasion, coute qui coute.
He brought him bacon (nothing lean)

165 Pudding, that might have pleas'd a Dean ; Cheese, such as men in Suffolk make, But wish'd it Stilton for his sake; Yet, to his guest, tho' no way sparing, He eat himself the rind and paring.

170 Our courtier scarce could touch a bit, But show'd his breeding and his wit : He did his best to seem to eat, And cry'd, “ I vow you're mighty neat. “ But Lord, my friend, this savage scene ! 175 “ For God's sake, come, and live with men : 6 Consider, mice, like men, must die, “ Both small and great, both you and I: “ Then spend your life in joy and sport, “ (This doctrine, friend, I learnt at court.)” 18a

The veriest hermit in the nation
May yield, God knows, to strong temptation.
Away they come, through thick and thin,
To a tall house near Lincoln's Inn;
('Twas on the night of a debate,

185 When all their Lordships had sat late.)

Behold

GG 2

Behold the place, where if a poet Shin'd in description, he might shew it; Tell how the moon-beam trembling falls, And tips with silver all the walls ;

190 Palladian walls, Venetian doors, Grotesco roofs, and stucco floors : But let it (in a word) be said, The moon was up, and men a-bed, The napkins white, the carpet red;

195 The guests withdrawn had left the treat, And down the mice sate, tête à tête.

Our courtier walks from dish to dish, Tastes for his friend of fowl and fish; Tells all their names, lays down the law, " Que ça est bon! Ah gouter ça! “ That jelly's rich, this malmsey healing, « Pray, dip your whiskers and your tail in.” Was ever such a happy swain ?.. He stuffs and swills, and stuffs again.

205 “ I'm quite ashamed 'tis mighty rude To eat so much--but all's so good. * I have a thousand thanks to give-My Lord alone knows how to live." No sooner said, but from the hall Rush chaplain, butler, dogs and all : “ A rat! a rat! clap to the door". The cat comes bouncing on the floor.

O for

200

210

O for the heart of Homer's mice,
Or gods to save them in a trice!

215 (It was by Providence they think, For your

damn'd stucco has no chink.) “ An't please your Honour," quoth the peasant, 66 This same dessert is not so pleasant : 66 Give me again my hollow tree, 6 A crust of bread and liberty !”

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