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Now games and mirth the tedious night beguile,
What cannot porter's mighty power dispose,
Obsequious to your wish, my willing care Shall smooth your napkin, and shall dust your chair,
And lay your knife and fork and luncheon snug,
spare his errors, as they feel their own; Who wish you every joy to mortals given, Content, health, peace, and, long hereafter, heaven.
Haste then ; leave your attorney in the lurch, And slink in triumph through the postern porch.
HORACE, EPIST. I. 18.
« SI BENE TE NOVI," &c.
Your liberal spirit ne'er will condescend
Virtue's firm steps to neither side incline ;
The slave, whose very soul is not his own, Who shrinks and shudders at a great man's frown; Fawns for his food ; and sooths and apes My Lord, Repeats his phrases, licks up each fallen wordLike schoolboy, watchful of the teacher's glance, Who speaks in fear, and eyes the rod askance;
Or like an actor bungling in his part
Not so gruff Honesty: the stubborn fool
“ That's kind, forsooth! “ A pretty story, Sir, to doubt my truth! “ Even life I value not ; 'tis a disease, “ Unless I bark what, and at whom, I please." And wherefore all this waste of angry breath? What the great points to wrangle on till death? -Which
way from Grubstreet best to Bethle'm brings;* And whether Quarles or Donne more sweetly sings.
Them, plunged and foundering in a sea of vice,
* Bethlehem hospital is not far froin Grubstreet,
At least he warns them; and, like pious mothers, Would wish more wisdom than his own to others ; And says, “ My wealth" (and what he says is true) “ Allows me follies not allowed to you. • Friend, you are poor; poor folks should not be fine: “ Go, go, contend not with a purse like mine. “ You must or may have heard, how sly Sir Bruin " Gave scarlet suits to those he meant to ruin.” And what could be his purpose ? “ Can't you guess? “ Why, the fools grew luxurious like their dress; “ Would run in debt and slumber till mid-day, “ And leave all business to attend the play ; “ Haunt cockpits, boxing, billiards, races, stews, “ At length, sell cardmatches, or black your shoes."
If then both opposites alike offend, How may one get, and how secure, a friend? Thus-Be not rude, or mean, a droll or sad, But take the good in each, and shun the bad. Search not your neighbour's undisclosed design; His secret keep though plied with threats and wine. Nor with pedantic pride and sneering tone, Deride a friend's pursuit, or praise your own : Nor, if he hunt, and kindly bid you come, Reject the offer, to scrawl verse at home.