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“ My Lord and he are grown so great,
“Always together, tête à tête.'
" What, they admire him for his jokes--
“ See but the fortune of some folks!"
There flies about a strange report
Of some express arriv'd at court ; I
I'm stopp'd by all the fools I meet,
And catechis?d in ev'ry street.
“ You, Mr. Dean, frequent the great ;
“ Inform us, will the Emp'ror treat?
" Or do the prints and papers lie?”
Faith, Sir, you know as much as I.
“ Ah Doctor, how you love to jest?
« 'Tis now no secret”_ I protest
'Tis one to me" Then tell us, pray,
“ When are the troops to have their pay?"
And, tho' I solemnly declare
I know no more than my Lord Mayor,
They stand amaz'd, and think me grown
The closest mortal ever known.
Thus in a sea of folly toss'd,
My choicesť hours of life are lost;
Yet always wishing to retreat,
Oh, could I see my country seat !
There leaning near a gentle brook,
Sleep, or peruse some ancient book,
And there in sweet oblivion drown'
Those cares that haunt the court and town.
O charming noons! and nights divine ? ;
Or when I sup, or when I dine,
My friends above, my folks below, . 135
Chatting and laughing all-a-row,
The beans and bacon set before 'em,
The grace-cup serv'd with all decorum :
Each willing to be pleas’d, and please, .
And ev'n the very dogs at ease !
Here no man prates of idle things,
How this or that Italian sings,
A neighbour's madness, or his spouse's,
Or what's in either of the houses :
But something much more our concern, . : 145
And quite a scandal not to learn :
Which is the happier, or the wiser,
A man of merit, or a miser ?
Whether we ought to chuse our friends,
For their own worth, or our own ends? 150
What good, or better, we may call,
And what, the very best of all ?
Our friend Dan Prior told (you know), :
A tale extremely à propos ::
Name a town life, and in a triçe,
155 He had a story of two micé...
Once on a time (so runs the fable) · A country mouse, right hospitable,
Receiv'd a town mouse at his board,
Just as a farmer might a lord.
тбо A frugal mouse, upon the whole, Yet lov’d his friend, and had a soul, Knew what was handsome, and would do't, On just occasion, coute qui coute. He brought him bacon (nothing lean) . 165 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, tho' 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 ! 175 “ 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 learnt at court.)” 18a
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 shew 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 had left the treat,
And down the mice sate, 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,
“ Que ça est bon! Ah gouter 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 ashamed-'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 !
215 (It was by Providence they think, For your damn'd stucco has no chink.) “ An't please your Honour," quoth the peasant, “ This same dessert is not so pleasant : 6 Give me again my hollow tree, 6 A crust of bread and liberty!"