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Tom Banks by native industry was taught
The various arts how fishes might be caught.
Sometimes with trembling reed and single hair,
And bait conceal'd, he'd for their death prepare,
With melancholy thoughts and downcast eyes,
Expecting till deceit had gain’d its prize.
Sometimes in rivolet quick, and water clear,
They'd meet a fate more generous from his spear.
To basket oft he'd pliant oziers turn,
Where they might entrance tind, but no return.
His net well pois’d with lead he'd sometimes throw,
Encircling thus his captives all below :
But, when he would a quick destruction make,
And from afar much larger booty take,
He'd through the stream, where most descending,
From side to side his strong capacious net;
And then his rustic crew with mighty poles
Would drive his prey out from their oozy holes,
And so pursue them down the rolling flood,
Gasping for breath, and almost chok'd with mnd,
Till they, of further passage quite bereft,
Were in the mash, with gills entangled, left.
Trot, who liv'd down the stream, ne'er thought
his beer Was good, unless he had bis water clear. He goes to Banks, and thus begins his tale: 'Lord! if you knew but how the people rail! They cannot boil, nor wash, nor rinse, they say, With water sometimes ink, and sometimes whey, According as you meet with mud or clay.
Besides, my wife these six months could not brew,
And now the blame of this all's laid on you:
For it will be a dismal thing to think
How we old Trot must live, and have no drink.
Therefore, I pray, some other method take
Of fishing, were it only for our sake.'
Says Banks, ' I'm sorry it should be my lot
Ever to disoblige my gossip Trot:
Yet 't'en’t my fault! but so 'tis fortune tries one,
To make his meat become his neighbour's poison;
And so we pray for winds upon this coast,
By which on t'other pavies may be lost.
Therefore in patience rest, though I proceed:
There's no ill nature in the case but need.
Though for your use this water will not serve,
I'd rather you should choke, than I should starve.
Sly Merry Andrew, the last Southwark fair ; (At Barthol'mew he did not much appear, So peevish was the edict of the may’r) At Southwark, therefore, as his tricks he show'd, To please our masters, and his friends the crowd, A huge neat's tongue he in bis right hand held, His left was with a good black-pudding fillid. With a grave look, in this odd equipage, The clownish mimic traverses the stage: • Why, how now, Andrew ! cries his brother droll, * To-day's conceit, methinks, is something dull.
Come on, sir, to our worthy friends explain
What does your emblematic worship mean?'
Quoth Andrew, 'Honest English let us speak;
Your emble-(what d'ye call't?) is heathen Greek.
To tongue or pudding thou hast no pretence;
Learning thy talent is, but mine is sense.
That busy fool I was which thou art now,
Desirous to correct, not knowing how;
With very good design, but little wit,
Blaming or praising things, as I thought fit:
I for this conduct had what I deserv'd,
And, dealing honestly, was almost starv'd..
But thanks to my indulgent stars, I eat,
Since I have found the secret to be great.'
O dearest Andrew,' says the humble droll,
Henceforth may I obey, and thou control;
Provided thou impart thy useful skill.'-
'Bow then,' says Andrew, 'and, for once, I will. ---
Be of your patron's mind, whate'er he says ;
Sleep very much; think little, and talk less :
Mind neither good nor bad, nor right nor wrong,
Buteat your pudding, slave; and hold your tongue.'
A reverend prelate stop'd his coach-and-six,
To laugh a little at our Andrew's tricks;
But when he heard him give this golden rule,
• Drive on,' he cried, this fellow is no fool.'
THE TOWN AND COUNTRY MICE.
Once on a time, so runs the fable,
A country mouse, rig hospitable,
Receiv'd a town mouse at his board,
Just as a farmer might a lord,
A frugal mouse upon the whole,
Yet lov’d his friend, and had a soul,
Knew wbat was handsome, and would do't,
On just occasion, coute qui coute,
He brought him bacon, nothing lean,
Pudding, that might have pleas'd a dean;
Cheese, such as men in Suffolk make,
But wish'd it Stilton for his sake;
Yet, to his guest, though no way sparing,
He eat himself the rind and paring.
Our courtier scarce could touch a bit,
But show'd his breeding and his wit;
He did his best to seem to eat,
And cry'd, 'I vow you're mighty neat.
But, Lord, my friend, this savage scene!
For God's sake, come, and live with men:
Consider, mice, like men must die,
Both small and great, both you and I:
Then spend your life in joy and sport;
This doctrine, friend, I learn’d at court.'
The veriest hermit in the nation
May yield, God knows, to strong temptation.
Away they come, through thick and thin,
To a tall house near Lincoln's Inn;
'Twas on the night of a debate,
When all their lordships had sat late.
Behold the place, where if a poet
Shin'd in description, he might show it;
Tell how the moon-beam trembling falls,
And tips with silver all the walls ;
Palladian walls, Venetian doors,
Grotesco roofs, and stucco floors :
But let it, in a word, be said,
The moon was up, and men a-bed,
The napkins white, the carpet red:
The guests withdrawn bad left the treat,
And down the mice sat, tête à tête.
Our courtier walks from dish to dish,
Tastes for his friend of fowl and fish;
Tells all their names, lays down the law,
ça est bon! Ah goutez ça!
That jelly's rich, this malmsey healing,
Pray, dip your whiskers and your tail in.'
Was ever such a happy swain ?
He stuffs and swills, and stuffs again.
'I'm quite asham'd'tis mighty rude
To eat so much, but all's so good.
I have a thousand thanks to give-
My lord alone knows how to live.'
No sooner said, but from the hall
Rush chaplain, butler, dogs and all :
A rat, a rat! clap to the door-
The cat comes bouncing on the floor.
O for the heart of Homer's mice,
Or gods to save them in a trice! -
'An't please your honour,' quoth the peasant,
“This same desert is not so pleasant :
Give me again my hollow tree,
A crust of bread and liberty.'
WHERE gentle Thames through stately channels
glides, And England's proud metropolis divides; A lofty fabric does the sight invade, And stretches o'er the waves a pompous shade ;