« EdellinenJatka »
Did you say nothing of a crow at all?" "Crow-crow-perhaps I might, now I recall The matter over." "And pray, sir, what was't?" "Why, I was horrid sick, and, at the last, I did throw up, and told my neighbor so, Something that was as black, sir, as a crow."
12. THE GOUTY MERCHANT AND THE STRANGER.Anonymous.
In Broad-street buildings, (on a winter night,)
Snug by his parlor fire, a gouty wight
Sat all alone, with one hand rubbing
His feet, rolled up in fleecy hose,
With t'other he'd beneath his nose
The Public Ledger, in whose columns grubbing
He noted all the sales of hops,
Ships, shops, and slops,
Gum, galls, and groceries, ginger, gin,
Tar, tallow, tumeric, turpentine, and tin;
When, lo! a decent personage in black,
Entered and most politely said
"Your footman, sir, has gone his nightly track To the King's Head,
And left your door ajar, which I
Observed in passing by;
And thought it neighborly to give you notice."
Ten thousand thanks-how very few get
Such kind attentions from a stranger!
Assuredly that fellow's throat is
Doomed to a final drop at Newgate:
He knows, too, (the unconscious elf,)
That there's no soul at home except myself.
Indeed! replied the stranger, (looking grave,)
Then he's a double knave:
He knows that rogues and thieves by scores
Nightly beset unguarded doors:
And see, how easily might one
Of these domestic foes,
Even beneath your very nose,
Perform his knavish tricks;
Enter your room, as I have done,
Blow out your candles-thus-and thus, Pocket your silver candlesticks,
And walk off-thus
So said so done-he made no more remark, Nor waited for replies,
But marched off with his prize, Leaving the gouty merchant in the dark.
Ere night her sable curtains spread;
Ere Phoebus had retired to bed
In Thetis's lap;
Ere drowsy watchmen yet had ta'en
Their early nap,
A wight, by hungry fiend made bold,
To farmer Fitz Maurice's fold,
Did slyly creep,
Where numerous flocks were quiet laid
In the arms of sleep.
With fear o'erwhelmed, the victim stands,
Anticipates the dread commands
From the elbow chair,
Where justice sits in solemn state,
Rogue! what excuse hast thou for this? For to old Gilbert Fitz Maurice,
Thou knew'st full well,
The sheep within that fold belonged-
Come, quickly tell.
Confess thy crime; 'twill naught avail
To say, the mark above the tail
Thou didst not heed;
For G. F. M., in letters large,
Thou plain mightst read."
""Tis true, I did," the thief replies,
"But man is not at all times wise;
As I'm a glutton,
I really thought that G. F. M.
Meant-Good, Fat, Mutton!"
14. THE WIND IN A FROLIC.-Howit.
The wind one morning sprung up from sleep,
Saying "Now for a frolic! now for a leap!
Now for a mad-cap galloping chase!
I'll make a commotion in every place!"
So it swept with a bustle right through a great town,
Creaking the signs, and scattering down
Shutters; and whisking with merciless squalls,
Old women's bonnets and gingerbread stalls;
There never was heard a much lustier shout,
As the apples and oranges tumbled about;
And the urchins, that stand with their thievish eyes
For ever on watch, ran off each with a prize.
Then away to the field it went blustering and humming,
And the cattle all wondered whatever was coming;
It plucked by their tails the grave matronly cows,
And tossed the colts' manes all about their brows,
Till, offended at such a familiar salute,
They all turned their backs and stood silently mute.
So on it went, capering and playing its pranks,
Whistling with reeds on the broad river's banks;
Puffing the birds as they sat on the spray,
Or the traveler grave on the king's highway.
It was not too nice to bustle the bags
Of the beggar, and flutter his dirty rags:
"Twas so bold, that it feared not to play its joke
With the doctor's wig, and the gentleman's cloak.
Through the forest it roared, and cried gaily, "Now,
You sturdy old oaks, I'll make you bow!"
And it made them bow without more ado,
And cracked their great branches through and through. Then it rushed like a monster on cottage and farm, Striking their dwellers with sudden alarm,
And they ran out like bees in a midsummer swarm.
There were dames with their kerchiefs tied over their caps,
To see if their poultry were free from mishaps.
The turkies they gobbled, the geese screamed aloud,
And the hens crept to roost in a terrified crowd:
There was rearing of ladders, and logs laying on,
Where the thatch from the roof threatened soon to be gone.
But the wind had passed on, and had met in a lane
With a schoolboy who panted and struggled in vain :
For it tossed him, and twirled him, then passed, and he stood
With his hat in a pool, and his shoe in the mud.
A modern philosopher, full of inflation,
Had strolled to the valley below;
And thus to himself he began an oration:
"I'll humble the priest and enlighten the nation,
I'll cover the blockheads with scorn and confusion,
And prove that religion is only delusion,
The world shall the hypocrites know."
So strong and emphatic had been his conclusion,
That echo returned it with-" Oh!"
Then he turned himself round at the strange interjection,
His wit and his courage to show :
"Who are you," said he, "that dare make a reflection,
Or treat with contempt such a noble conception ?
Come forth to the champion of nature and reason;
Your folly I'll prove, and fanatical treason,
Or crush you at once with a blow!"
Then echo said nothing but-" Boh!"
you think I'm a fool," said the man, in a passion,
"Or goose, to be scared by a crow?
Are the writings of deists of learning and fashion,
All made on a sudden but rubbish and trash on;
Shall Voltaire the witty, and Gibbon the mighty,
With deep David Hume, and Tom Paine the sprightly,
All fall by religion, their foe?"
Then echo made answer with-" So!"
"Impertinent babbler! who values the notion,
But those who are artful or low?
The parson who makes a good trade of devotion,
And flatters the great for the sake of promotion,
Or the poor simple soul on the eve of distraction,
Who yields up his mind to be swayed by a faction,
And sinks into folly and wo?"
But echo directly said—" No!"
""Tis enough to provoke one to cross the equator,
My knowledge far off to bestow;
Where savages dwell in a state of pure nature,
Nor trouble their heads about soul or Creator;
Where, free from the dogmas of old superstition,
Philosophy, reason, and right have admission,
And truth shall with liberty grow."
Then echo said nothing but-" Go!"
LODGINGS FOR SINGLE GENTLEMEN.- -Colman.
Who has e'er been in London, that overgrown place,
Has seen, "lodgings to let," stare him full in the face.
Some are good and let dearly; while some 'tis well known,
Are so dear, and so bad, they are best let alone.—
Will Waddle, whose temper was studious and lonely,
Hired lodgings that took single gentlemen only;
But Will was so fat, he appeared like a tun,-
Or like two single gentlemen rolled into one.
He entered his rooms, and to bed he retreated;
But, all the night long, he felt fevered and heated;
And, though heavy to weigh, as a score of fat sheep,
He was not, by any means, heavy to sleep.
Next night 'twas the same!—and the next! and the next!
He perspired like an ox; he was nervous, and vexed;