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ATAWDRY tea-pot, a-la-mode, Whereart her utmost skill bestow'd, Was much esteem'd for being old, And on its sides with red and gold
Strange beasts were drawn, in taste Chinese,
And frightful fish, and hump-back trees.
High in an elegant beaufet,
This pompous utensil was set,
And near it, on a marble slab,
Forsaken by some careless drab,
A veteran scrubbing-brush was plac'd,
And the rich furniture disgrac'd.
The tea-pot soon began to flout,
And thus its venom spouted out:
"Who from the scullery or yard,
Brought in this low, this vile blackguard,
And laid in insolent position,
Among us people of condition?
Back to the helper in the stable,
Scour the close-stool, or wash-house table;
Or cleanse some horsing block, or plank,
Nor dare approach us folks of rank.
Turn-brother coffee-pot, your spout,
Observe the nasty stinking lout,
Who seems to scorn my indignation,
Nor pays due homage to my fashion;
Take, silver sugar dish, a view,
And, cousin cream pot, pray do you."
"Pox on you all," replies old Scrub,
"Of coxcombs ye confederate club,
Full of impertinence, and prate,
Ye hate all things that are sedate.
None but such ignorant infernals,
Judge, by appearance, and externals:
Train'd up in toil and useful knowledge,
I'm fellow of the kitchen college,
And with the mop, my old associate,
The family affairs negociate.-
Am foe to filth, and things obscene,
Dirty by making others clean.—
Not shining, yet I cause to shine,
My roughness makes my neighbours fine;
You're fair without, but foul within,
With shame impregnated, and sin;
To you each impious scandal's owing,
You set each gossip's clack a going.-
How Parson Tythe in secret sins,
And how Miss Dainty brought forth twins:
How dear delicious Polly Bloom,
Owes all her sweetness to perfume;
Though grave at church, and cards can bet,
At once a prude and a coquette.-
'Twas better for each British virgin,
When on roast beef, strong beer, and sturgeon,
Joyous to breakfast they sat round,
Nor were asham'd to eat a pound.
These were the manners, these the ways,
In good queen Bess's golden days;
Each damsel ow'd her bloom and glee,
To wholesome elbow-grease, and me,
But now they centre all their joys
In empty rattle traps and noise.
Thus where the Fates send you, they send
Flagitious times, which ne'er will mend,
'Till some philosopher can find,
A scrubbing-brush to scour the mind."
WHAT'S honour, did your lordship say?
My lord, I humbly crave a day.-
'Tis difficult, and in my mind,
Like substance, cannot be defin'd.
It deals in numerous externals,
And is a legion of infernals;
Sometimes in riot and in play,
Tis breaking of the Sabbath day:
When 'tis consider'd as a passion,
I deem it lust and fornication.
We pay our debts in honour's cause,
Lost in the breaking of the laws :
'Tis for some selfish impious end,
To murder the sincerest friend;
But wou'd you alter all the clan,
Turn out an honourable man.
Why take a pistol from the shelf,
And fight a duel with yourself.-
'Twas on a time, the Lord knows when,
In Ely, or in Lincoln fen,
A frog and mouse had long disputes,
Held in the language of the brutes,
Who of a certain pool and pasture,
Shou'd be the sovereign and master.
"Sir," says the frog, and damn'd his blood,
"I hold that my pretension's good;
Nor can a brute of reason doubt it,
For all that you can squeak about it.”
The mouse, averse to be o'erpower'd,
Gave him the lie, and call'd him coward;
Too hard for any frog's digestion,
To have his froghood call'd in question!
A bargain instantly was made,
No mouse of honour could evade,
On the next morn, as soon as light,
With desperate bullrushes to fight;
The morning came-and man to man,
The grand monomachy began;
Need I recount how each bravado,
Shone in montant and in passado;
To what a height their ire they carry'd,
How oft they thrusted and they parry'd;
But as these champions kept dispensing,
Finesses in the art of fencing,
A furious vulture took upon her,
Quick to decide this point of honour,
And, lawyer like, to make an end on't,
Devour'd both plaintiff and defendant,
Thus, often in our British nation,
(I speak by way of application)
The lime tree and sweet-scented bay,
(The sole reward of many a lay)
And all the poets of the wing,
Who sweetly without salary sing,
Attract at once his observation,
Peopling thy wilds, Imagination!
"Sweet Nature, who this turf bedews,
Sweet Nature, who's the thrush's Muse!
How she each anxious thought beguiles,
And meets me with ten thousand smiles!
O infinite benignity!
She smiles, but not alone on me;
On hill, on dale, on lake, on lawn,
Like Celia when her picture's drawn ;
Assuming countless charms and airs,
'Till Hayman's matchless art despairs,
Pausing like me he dreads to fall
From the divine original."
More had he said-but in there came
A lout Squire Booby was his name.—
The bard, who at a distant view
The busy prattling blockhead knew,
Retir'd into a secret nook,
And thence his observations took.
Vex'd he cou'd find no man to tea,
The squire 'gan chattering to the bees,
And pertly with officious mien,
He thus address'd their humming queen :
"Madam, be not in any terrours;
I only come t'amend your errours;
My friendship briefly to display,
And put you in a better way.
Cease, madam, (if I may advise)
To carry honey on your thighs,
Employ ('tis better, I aver)
Old Grub, the fairies' coach-maker;
For he who has sufficient art
To make a coach, may make a cart.
To these you'll yoke some sixteen bees,`
Who will dispatch your work with ease;
And come and go, and go and come,
To bring your honey harvest home.-
Ma'am, architecture you're not skill'd in,
I don't approve your way of building;
In this there's nothing like design,
Pray learn the use of Gunter's line.
I'll serve your highness at a pinch,
I am a scholar every inch,
And know each author Ilay fist on,
From Archimedes down to Whiston.-
Though honey making be your trade,
In chemistry you want some aid.-
Pleas'd with your work, altho' you sing,
You're not quite right-'tis not the thing.
Myself wou'd gladly be an actor,
To help the honey manufacture.—
I hear for war you are preparing,
Which I should like to have a share in :
Yet though the enemy be landing,
'Tis wrong to keep an army standing.-
If you'll ensure me from the laws,
I'll write a pamphlet in your cause.-
I vow, I am concern'd to see
Your want of state-economy.
Of nothing living I pronounce ill,
But I don't like your privy-council.
There is, I know, a certain bee,
(Wou'd he was from the ministry)
Which certain bee, if rightly known,
Wou'd prove no better than a drone ;
There are (but I shall name no names,
I never love to kindle flames)
A pack of rogues with crimes grown callous,
Who greatly wou'd adorn the gallows;
That with the wasps, for paltry gold,
A secret correspondence hold,
Yet you'll be great-your subjects free,
If the whole thing be left to me.—”
Thus, like the waters of the ocean,
His tongue had run in ceaseless motion,
Had not the queen ta'en up in wrath,
This thing of folly and of froth.
"Impertinent and witless meddler,
Thou smattering, empty, noisy pedler!
By vanity, thou bladder blown,
To be the football of the town.
O happy England, land of freedom,
Replete with statesmen, if she need 'em,
Where war is wag'd by Sue or Nell,
And Jobson is a Machiavel!-
Tell Hardwick that his judgment fails,
Show Justice how to hold her scales.-
To fire the soul at once, and please,
Teach Murray and Demosthenes;
Say Vane is not by goodness grac'd,
And wants humanity and taste.-
Tho' Pelham with Mæcenas vies,
Tell Fame she's false, and Truth she lies;
And then return, thou verbal Hector,
And give the bees another lecture."
This said, the portal she unbarr'd,
Calling the bees upon their guard,
And set at once about his ears
Ten thousand of her grenadiers.—
Some on his lips and palate hung,
And the offending member stung.
"Just" (says the bard from out the grot)
"Just, though severe, is your sad lot,
Who think, and talk, and live in vain,
Of sweet society the bane.
Business misplac'd is a mere jest,
And active idleness at best."
THE CITIZEN AND THE RED LION OF BRENTFORD.
I LOVE my friend-but love my ease,
And claim a right myself to please;
To company however prone,
At times all men wou'd be alone.
Free from each interruption rude,
Or what is meant by solitude.
My villa lies within the bills,
So like a theatre it fills:
To me my kind acquaintance stray,
And Sunday proves no sabbath day;
Yet many a friend and near relation,
Make up a glorious congregation;
They crowd by dozens and by dozens,
And bring me all their country cousins.
Though cringing landlords on the road,
Who find for man and horse abode ;
Though gilded grapes to sign-post chain'd,
Invite them to be entertain'd,
And straddling cross his kilderkin,
Though jolly Bacchus calls them in ;
Nay-though my landlady wou'd trust 'em,
Pilgarlic's sure of all the custom;
And his whole house is like a fair,
Unless he only treats with air.
What? shall each pert half witted wit,
That calls me Jack, or calls me Kit,
Prey on my time, or on my table?
No-but let's hasten to the fable.
The eve advanc'd, the Sun declin'd,
Ball to the booby-hutch was join'd,
A wealthy cockney drove away,
To celebrate Saint Saturday;
Wife, daughter, pug, all crouded in,
To meet at country house their kin.
Thro' Brentford, to fair Twickenham's bow'rs,
The ungreas'd grumbling axle scow'rs,
To pass in rural sweets a day,
But there's a lion in the way :
This lion a most furious elf,
Hung up to represent himself,
Redden'd with rage, and shook his mane,
And roar'd, and roar'd, and roar'd again.
Wond'rous, tho' painted on a board,
He roar'd, and roar'd, and roar'd, and roar'd.
"Fool!" (says the majesty of beasts)
"At whose expense a legion feasts,
Foe to yourself, you those pursue,
Who're eating up your cakes and you;
Walk in, walk in, (so prudence votes)
And give poor Ball a feed of oats,
Look to yourself, and as for ma'm,
Coax her to take a little dram;
Let Miss and Pug with cakes be fed,
Then, honest man, go back to bed;
You're better, and you're cheaper there,
Where are no hangers on to fear.
Go buy friend Newbery's new Pantheon,
And con the tale of poor Acteon,
Horn'd by Diana, and o'erpower'd,
And by the dogs he fed devour'd.
What he receiv'd from charity,
Lewiness perhaps may give to thee;
And tho' your spouse my lecture scorns,
Beware his fate, beware his horns."
"Sir," says the Cit, (who made a stand,
And strok'd his forehead with his hand)
"By your grim gravity and grace,
You greatly wou'd become the mace.
This kind advice I gladly take,-
Draw'r, bring the dram, and bring a cake, `
With good brown beer that's brisk and humming."
"A coming, sir! a coming, coming!"
The Cit then took a hearty draught,
And shook his jolly sides and laugh'd,
Then to the king of beasts he bɔw'd,
And thus bis gratitude avow'd.—
"Sir, for your sapient oration,
I owe the greatest obligation.
You stand expos'd to sun, and show'r,
I know Jack Ellis of the Tow'r;
By him you soon may gain renown,
He'll show your highness to the town ;
Or, if you chuse your station here,
To call forth Britons to their beer,
As painter of distinguish'd note,
He'll send his man to clean your coat.'
Virtue's the true nobility;
Has of herself sufficient charms,
Altho' without a coat of arms.
Honestus does not know the rules,
Concerning Or and Fez, and Gules,
Yet sets the wond'ring eye to gaze on,
Such deeds no herald e'er could blaze on.
Tawdry achievements out of place,
Do but augment a fool's disgrace;
A coward is a double jest,
Who has a lion for his crest;
And things are come to such a pass,
Two horses may support an ass;
And on a gamester or buffoon,
A moral motto's a lampoon.
An honest rustic having done
His master's work 'wixt sun and sun,
Retir'd to dress a little spot,
Adjoining to his homely cot,
Where pleas'd, in miniature, he found
His landlord's culniary ground,
Some herbs that feed, and some that heal,
The winter's medicine or meal.
The sage, which in his garden seen,
No man need ever die I ween;
The marjoram comely to behold,
With thyme, and ruddiest marygold,
And mint and pennyroyal sweet,
To deck the cottage windows meet,
And baum, that yields a finer juice
Than all that China can produce;
With carrots red, and turnips white,
And leeks, Cadwallader's delight;
And all the savory crop that vie
To please the palate and the eye.
Thus, as intent, he did survey
His plot, a Herald came that way,
A man of great escutcheon'd knowledge,
And member of the motley college.
Heedless the peasant pass'd he by,
Indulging this soliloquy;
"Ye gods! what an enormous space,
'Twixt man and man does Nature place;
While some by deeds of honour rise,
To such a height, as far out-vies
The visible diurnal sphere;
While others, like this rustic here,
Grope in the groveling ground content,
Without or lineage or descent,
'Cur moriatur homo, cui salvia crescit in horto?
Hail, Heraldry! mysterious art,
Bright patroness of all desert,
Mankind would on a level lie,
And undistinguish'd live and die;
Depriv'd of thy illustrious aid,
Such! so momentous is our trade."
"Sir," says the clown, "why sure you joke," (And kept on digging as he spoke) "And prate not to extort conviction, But merrily by way of fiction. Say, do your manuscripts attest, What was old father Adam's crest; Did he a nobler coat receive In right of marrying Mrs. Eve;
Or had supporters when he kiss'd her,
On dexter side, and side sinister;
Or was his motto, prithee speak,
English, French, Latin, Welch, or Greek ;
Or was he not, without a lye,
Just such a nobleman as I?
Virtue, which great defects can stifle,
May beam distinction on a trifle ;
And honour, with her native charms,
May beautify a coat of arms;
Realities somewhat will thrive,
E'en by appearance kept alive;
But by themselves, Gules, Or, and Fez,
Are cyphers neither more or less:
Keep both thy head and hands from crimes,
Be honest in the worst of times:
Health's on my countenance impress'd,
And sweet content's my daily guest,
My fame alone I build on this,
And Garter King at Arms may kiss."—
Thou to thy doom, old boy, art fated,
To morrow-and thou shalt be baited."
The deed was done-curse on the wrong!
Bloody description, hold thy tongue.—
Victorious yet the bull return'd,
And with stern silence inly mourn'd.
A vet'ran, brave, majestic cock,
Who serv'd for hour glass, guard, and clock,
Who crow'd the mansion's first relief,
Alike from goblin and from thief;
Whose youth escap'd the Christmas skillet,
Whose vigour brav'd the Shrovetide billet,
Had just return'd in wounds and pain,
Triumphant from the barbarous train.-
By riv'let's brink, with trees o'ergrown,
He heard his fellow sufferer's moan;
And greatly scorning wounds and smart,
Gave him three cheers with all his heart.
"Rise, neighbour, from that pensive attitude,
Brave witness of vile man's ingratitude;
And let us both with spur and horn,
The cruel reasoning monster scorn.-
Methinks at every dawn of day,
When first I chant my blithsome lay,
Methinks I hear from out the sky,
All will be better by and by;
When bloody, base, degenerate man,
Who deviates from his Maker's plan;
Who Nature and her works abuses,
And thus his fellow servants uses,
Shall greatly, and yet justly want,
The mercy he refus'd to grant;
And (while his heart his conscience purges)
Shall wish to be the brute he scourges."
A STORY OF A COCK AND A BULL. FABLE XIII.
YES-we excell in arts and arms,
In learning's lore and beauty's charms.
The seas wide empire we engross,
All nations hail the British cross;
The land of liberty we tread,
And woe to his devoted head,
Who dares the contrary advance,
One Englishman's worth ten of France.
These these,are truths, what man won't write for,
Won't swear, won't bully, or won't fight for;
Yet (tho' perhaps I speak thro' vanity)
Wou'd we'd a little more humanity;
Too far, I fear, I've drove the jest,
So leave to cock and bull the rest.
A bull, who'd listen'd to the vows
Of above fifteen hundred cows;
And serv'd his master fresh and fresh,
With hecatombs of special flesh,
Like to an hermit or a dervise,
(Grown old and feeble in the service)
Now left the meadow's green parade,
And sought a solitary shade.
The cows proclaim'd in mournful-lowing,
The bull's deficiency in wooing,
And to their disappointed master,
All told the terrible disaster.
"Is this the case" (quoth Hodge) "O rare! But hold, to morrow is the fair.
THE SNAKE, THE GOOSE, AND NIGHTINGALE.
HUMBLY ADdressed to THE HISSERS AND CATCALLERS ATTENDING BOTH HOUSES.
WHEN rul'd by truth and nature's ways,
When just to blame, yet fix'd to praise,
As votary of the Delphic god,
I reverence the critic's rod;
But when inflam'd with spite alone,
I hold all critics but as one;
For though they class themselves with art,
And each man takes a different part;
Yet whatsoe'er they praise and blame;
They in their motives are the same,
Forth as she waddled in the brake,
A grey goose stumbled on a snake,
And took th' occasion to abuse her,
And of rank plagiarism accuse her.
""Twas I," quoth she, "in every vale,
First hiss'd the noisy nightingale ;
And boldly cavill'd at each note,
"That twitter'd in the woodlark's throat:
I, who sublime and more than mortal,
Must stoop to enter at the portal,
Have ever been the first to show
My hate to every thing that's lɔw;
While thou, mean mimic of my manner,
(Without inlisting to my banner)
Dar'st in thy grov'ling situation, To counterfeit my sibilation."
The snake enrag'd, reply'd, "Know, madam, I date my charter down from Adam;
Nor can I, since I bear the bell,
F'er imitate where I excell.
Had any other creature dar'd
Once to aver, what you've averr'd,
I might have been more fierce and fervent,
But you're a goose,-and so your servant."
"Truce with your folly and your pride,"
The warbling Philomela cry'd;
"Since no more animals we find
In nature of the hissing kind,
You should be friends with one another,
Nay, kind as brother is to brother.
For know, thou pattern of abuse,
Thou snake art but a crawling goose ;..
And thou dull dabbler in each lake,
Art nothing but a feather'd snake."
MRS. ABIGAIL AND THE DUMB WAITER.
WITH frowning brow, and aspect low'ring,
As Abigail one day was scow'ring,
From chair to chair she past along,
Without soliloquy or song;
Content, in humdrum mood, t'adjust
Her matters to disperse the dust.-
Thus plodded on the sullen fair,
Till a dumb-waiter claim'd her care;
She then in rage, with shrill salute,
Bespoke the inoffensive mute:-
"Thou stupid tool of vapourish asses,
With thy brown shelves for pots and glasses;
Thou foreign whirligig, for whom
Us honest folks must quit the room;
And, like young misses at a christ'ning,
Are fore'd to be content with list'ning;
Though thou'rt a fav'rite of my master's,
'll set thee gadding on thy castors."
This said with many a rough attack,
She scrubb'd him 'till she made him crack;
Insulted stronger still and stronger,
The poor dumb thing could hold no longer
"Thou drab, born mops and brooms to dandle,
Thou haberdasher of small scandal,
Factor of family abuse,
Retailer of domestic news;
My lord, as soon as I appear,
Confines thee in thy proper sphere;
Or else, at ev'ry place of call,
The chandler's shop, or cobler's stall,
Or ale-house, where (for petty tales,
Gin, beer, and ale are constant vails)
Each word at table that was spoke,
Wou'd soon become the public joke,
And cheerful innocent converse,
To scandal warp'd-or something worse.-
Whene'er my master I attend,
Freely his mind he can unbend ;-
But when such praters fill my place,
Then nothing should be said-but grace."
THE BAG-WIG AND THE TOBACCO
A BAG-WIG of a jauntee air.
Trick'd up with all a barber's care,
Loaded with powder and perfume,
Húng in a spendthrift's dressing-room:
Close by its side, by chance convey'd,
A black tobacco-pipe was laid;
And with its vapours far and near,
Outstunk the essence of Monsieur;
At which its rage, the thing of hair,
Thus, bristling up, began declare.
"Bak'd dirt! that with intrusion rude
Break'st in upon my solitude,
And whose offensive breath defiles
The air for forty thousand miles-
Avaunt-pollution's in thy touch---
O barb'rous Englishman! horrid Dutch!
I cannot bear it-Here, Sue, Nan,
Go call the maid to call the man,
And bid him come without delay,
To take this odious pipe away.
Hideous! sure some one smok'd thee, friend,
Reversely, at his t'other end.
Oh! what mix'd odours! what a throng
Of salt and sour, of stale and strong!
A most unnatural combination,
Enough to mar all perspiration-
Monstrous! again 'twou'd vex a saint!
Susan, the drops-or else I faint!”
The pipe (for 'twas a pipe of soul)
Raising himself upon his bole,
In smoke, like oracle of old,,
Did thus his sentiments unfold.
"Why, what's the matter, Goodman Swagger, Thou flaunting French, fantastic bragger? Whose whole fine speech is (with a pox) Ridiculous and heterodox.
'Twas better for the English nation
Before such scoundrels came in fashion,
When none sought hair in realms unknown,
But every blockhead bore his own.
Know, puppy, I'm an English pipe,
Deem'd worthy of each Briton's gripe,
Who, with my cloud-compelling aid,
Help our plantations and our trade,
And am, when sober and when mellow,
An upright, downright, honest fellow.
Though fools, like you, may think me rough,
And scorn me, 'cause I am in buff,
Yet your contempt I glad receive,
'Tis all the fame that you can give:
None finery or fopp'ry prize,
But they who've something to disguise;
For simple nature hates abuse,
And plainness is the dress of Use."
CARE AND GENEROSITY.
OLD Care, with industry and art,
At length so well had play'd his part;
He heap'd up such an ample store,
That av'rice could not sigh for more: