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I have long heard each boastful profession;
But were I to probe,
I fear that your robe,
Neglectful of fame,
And that boasted name,
Ye think less of state,
Than setting up late,
* This is certainly a pretty pointed stroke at our present race of nobles, who merit the sarcasm, I am sorry to add, but too justly; as therefore it would be impossible to cleanse the existing Augean stable, we offer the following lines to the youthful fry, who will at some future period, inherit the titles and estates of their fathers; Heaven grant that their follies may not equally bear them company!
Peace, master Marquis—you are mallapert;
+ The destructive vice of gambling is most particularly cultivated by our fools of rank and title, not only males,
Ye now can't afford
For tenants a board, *
To raise a large sum,
For bill comes a bumet
but females; and in too many instances, I fear, has the dame, after losing every shilling of cash, staked her reputation on the cast of the die, and thereby entailed the title of her lord upon a bastard progeny.
A donna cattiva poco giova la guardia.
* This is alas, too true, for although the feudal system had its vices, it was not destitute of hospitality; for then the hall of every chieftain's castle rung with the strains of joy, while the thick oaken board groaned beneath the weight of viands and nappy brown ale; (vid. by way of proof, numerous items in the Northumberland household book, and many MSS. of a similar kind, preserved in other ancient families;) whereas, in the present day, those sums, which might alike procure the blessings of the multitude, by being so dispensed, are, on the contrary, squandered in the metropolis, on every species of wanton extravagance, and, too frequently, low and disgraceful debaucheries.
La nobilta non s'acquista nascendo, ma virtuosamente vivendo.
† This is a fact which repetition has rendered so notorious, that it would be folly to offer any apology for the poet, who well knew, that though the persons of our peers are Or if less profuse,
You still have a use,
All sense you degrade,
With rout, masquerade, * And with sensual appetites tamper.
Since thus ye debase
The name of your race, 'Mid the tribe of great fools I enthrone ye;
For if your sires brave,
Could rise from the grave,
not tangible, their goods are no ways secured from the clutches of the hungry law.
* As to dancing Peers and great folks, they are of ancient standing; witness Sir. Christopher Hatton, who was the favoured of Elizabeth, from being quite au fait at turning out his toes. But of later date, who does not know, that Lord Lainsborough, in Queen Anne's reign, was so fond of this amusement, as to advise his sovereign to jig away her grief for the loss of George of Denmark-nay, even the solemn station of a Lord Chancellor has not withheld him from dancing reels, to the no small wonder of his brethren, the sapient periwigged judges.
- L'ENVOY OF THE POET. Refinement ne'er is look”d for in the hind,
But when the great in birth and title fail; They ne'er can hope respect and love to find;
For lowly fools 'gainst-noble fools will rail.
THE POET'S CHORUS TO FOOLS. Come, trim the boat, row on each Rara Avis, Crowds flock to man my Stultifera Navis.
OF THE DISEASED FOOL, THAT WILL NOT ATTEND
TO HIS PHYSICIAN.
Crudelem medicum intemperans æger facit.
" What ails thee fool?” some friend doth cry, “ I'm passing sick, and like to die;" « What's thy disorder?”—“ Bile and rheum,” “ Thou hast a doctor I presume?” “ A doctor, yes; who sends me oceans, “ But I ne'er take his filthy potions.”*
* This folly is the more unaccountable, as it is certain to terminate finally in that event which is the most dreaded by every class of fools; so that it may certainly be said, the foolery brings with it the reward of its folly; but, speak. ing of sickness, who can call to mind these beautiful lines of Shakspeare, and not allow their sterling merit.
Infirmity doth still neglect all office,