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OF PRODIGAL FOOLS.
Gold, thou says’t is free to spend,
And free to fool away. *
Yet gold makes idiots gay.
* In all ages hath this propensity been the characteristic of human nature: for instance, in Egypt the fascinating Cleopatra swallowed her pearl; at Rome, gold dust served as powder for the heads of the great, and was scattered for sand upon the spacious arena, to be trampled on by gladiators, or prize fighters, and their kindred friends, bulls and wild beasts; and in our own country a courtezan, Kitty Fisher, to display her contempt for money, and turn the fool into ridicule who thought her favours were to be so cheaply purchased, swallowed, between two slices of bread and butter, the donation of a fifty pounds bank bill, which had been so presented to her: nay, all ranks have their ideas
Gold procures rich viands, drink:
And learn him all its worth:
That want exists on earth.,' ;
Wines, and meats, and gay attire;
Gold may compass with a youth.
For fools then learn this truth.
Having all their substance spent,
And freely giv'n away:
on this head! and sailors, when returned from a prosper. ous cruize, having exhausted every natural art that could be pursued to gratify their doxies, have even been known to fry twenty watches in a pan, that they might placeran extravagant dish upon the table. But this tallies with the old saying,
“ Gotten like horses, and spent like asses.
Viands, drink, and wantons fly:
'; L'ENVOY OF THE POET. Why will the fool all common sense disdain,
And in his breast want's barbed arrow plant? Why hug false joys, forerunners of his bane,
When he may reap instruction from the ant?
THE POET'S CHORUS TO FOOLS.
* Who can possibly contemplate the life of the great and philosophical Lord Bacon, and not feel enhorrored at this most pernicious folly, which not only contaminates the base and illiterate mind, but when indulged in, as in the instance of this enlightened character, is capable of subverting every noble effusion, and trampling under foot the combined attributes of reason, study, and the most consummate science.
L'argento arde le genti.
OF CURIOUS AND PRYING FOOLS.
Tractant fabrilia fabri.
O say, thou silly, curious elf,
When thou woulds't publish others' shame? Say, when thou pick'st the hole in other's coat, Art sure thou row'st not in the self same boat? *
* This itch for discovering the faults of others, and acting the part of censor with respect to those very vices we are ourselves addicted to, is, by no means, confined to any particular class of society, nor to either sex; as men and women are equally subject, to the contagion : of whom we may say with Cicero,
Est proprium stultitiæ aliorum cernere vitia: oblivisci suorum,
Thou cunning, finds’t out John to be
Curiosity does not only brand its votary with the stigma of meanness; but is very frequently productive of more dangerous consequences. In sacred writ, even the command of Heaven was not sufficient to allay this desire: as the wife of Lot, for her folly and punishment, testifies. And, according to the fable of the ancients, Orpheus, the renowned son of Apollo and Calliope, for disobedience to the ordinance of Pluto, lost his beloved wife Eurydice.
* The poet, certainly, could not have hit upon a discovery more easily to be made, at the present period; and the disgrace of which is more likely to be attachable to the discoverer; for the wives of his age afford an ample field for the scrutiny of prying fools; of whom it may be said with justice, that “ Listeners hear ņo good of themselves;” as it is ten to one but the story applies to them, equally with the person of whom it is relatcd. Thus every man hides his own antlers under the hood of his neighbour.
In the fairy tales of the countess d'Aulnoi, is an excellent story, well calculated as a lesson on his head, which runs as follows:
“ Fouribon, (the hump-backed prince) followed the queen, without saying a word: but stopped at the door, and laid his ear to the key-hole, putting his hair aside, that he might the better hear what was said. At the same