Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

If e'er his Highness meant a joke,

Threat answer'd threat ; his fury grew; They grinn'd applause before he spoke;

Headlong to meet the war he flew; But at each word what shouts of praise :

But, when the watery death he found,
Good gods : how natural he brays !

He thus lamented as he drown'd:
Elate with flattery and conceit,

“ I ne'er had been in this condition, He seeks his royal fire's retreat ;

But for my mother's prohibition.”
Forward and fond to show his parts,
His Highness brays ; the lion Itarts.

FABLE XXI.
“ Puppy! that curs'd vociferation
Betrays thy life and conversation :

Tb: Rat-catcber and Cats.
Coxcombs, an ever-noisy race,
Are çrumpets of their own difgrace."

The rats by night such mischief did, “ Why To severe ? the cub replies;

Betty was every morning chid : Our fenate always held me wise."

They undermin'd whole sides of bacon, " How weak is pride : returns the fire :

Her cheese was fapp'd, her tarts were taken ; All fools are vain when fools admire !

Her pasties, fenc'd with thickest paste, But know, what stupid affes prize,

Were all demolish'd and laid waste :
Lions and noble beasts despise.”

She curs'd the Cat, for want of duty,
Who left her foes a constant booty.

An engineer, of noted skill,
FABLE XX.

Engag'd to stop the growing ill.
Tbe Ol Hen and tbe Cock.

From room to room he now survcys

Their haunts, their works, their secret ways; RESTRAIN your child; you'll soon believe Finds where they 'scape an ambuscade, The text which says we fprung from Eve. And whence the nightly fally's made. As an old hen led forth her train,

An envious Cat from place to place,
And seem'd to peck to show the grain,

Unseen, attends his silent pace :
She rak'd the chaff, the scratch'd the ground, She saw that, if his trade went on,
And glean'd the spacious yard around.

The purring race must be undone;
A giddy chick, to try her wings,

So secretly removes his baits, On the well's narrow margin springs,

And every stratagem defeats. And prone she drops. The mother's breaft

Again he sets the poison’d toils; All day with sorrow was posseft.

And Puss again the labour foils. A cock the met; her son she knew;

“ What foe (to frustrate my designs) And in her heart affection grew.

My schemes thus nightly countermines? « My son, says she, I grant your years

Incens'd, he cries, this very hour Have reach'd beyond a mother's cares.

The wretch shall bleed beneath my power." I see you vigorous, strong, and bold;

So said, a ponderous trap he brought, I hear with joy your triumphs told.

And in the fact poor Puss was caught. 'Tis not from cocks thy fate I dread;

Smuggler, says he, thou shalt be made But let thy ever-wary tread

A victim to our loss of trade." Avoid yon well; that fatal place

The captive Cat, with pitcous mews, Is fure perdition to our race.

For pardon, life, and freedom fues. Print this my counsel on thy breast :

“ A lister of the science spare ; To the just gods I leave the rest."

One interest is our common care.” He thank'd her care ; yet day by day

" What insolence' the Man reply'd; His bosom burn'd to disobey,

Shall Cars with us the game divide ? And every time the well he law,

Were all your interloping band Scorn'd in his heart the foolish law :

Extinguish'd, or expellid the land. Near and more near each day he drew,

We Rat-catchers might raise our fces, And long'd to try the dangerous view.

Sole guardians of a nation's cheese!" “ Why was this idle charge ? he cries;

A Cat, who saw the lifted knife, Let courage female sears despise.

Thus fpoke, and sav'd her fifter's life. Or did the doubt my heart was brave,

“ In every age and clime we see, And therefore this injunction gave :

Two of a trade can ne'er agree. Or does her harvest tore the place

Each hates his neighbour for encroaching: A treasure for her younger race ?

'Squire ftigmatizes 'Squire for poaching; And would the thus my search prevent ?

Beauties with beauties are in arms, I stand resulv'd, and dare th' event."

And Icandal pelts each others charms; Thus faid, he mounts the margin's round, Kings, too, their neighbour kings dethrone, And pries into the depth profound.

In bope to make the world their own : He tretch'd his neck; and from below

But let us limit our desires, With stretching neck advanc'd a foe :

Not war like beauties, kings, and '[quires; With wrath his ruffled plumes he rears,

For though we both one prey pursue, The fợc with ruffled plumes appears.

Tbere's game enough for us and you."

[ocr errors]

FABLE XXII.

The matron, who conducts abroad
The Goat without a Beard.

A willing nymph, is thought a bawd;
'Tis certain thac the modish pallions

And, if a modest girl is seen
Descend among the crowd like fashions.

With one who cures a lover's spleen,
Excuse me, then, if pride, conceit,

We guess her, not extremely nice,
(The manners of the fair and great)

And only with to know her price.

'Tis thus that on the choice of friends
I give to monkies, afles, dogs,
Fleas, owls, goats, butterflics, and hogs,

Our good or evil name depende.
I say that these are proud : what then?

A wrinkled hag, of wicked fame,
I never said they equal men.

Beside a little smoky flame
A Goat (as vain as goat can be)

Sat hovering, pinch'd with age and frost;
Affe&ed singularity :

Her shriveli'd hands, with veins embofs',
Whene'er a chymy bank he found,

Upon her knees her weight sustains,
He rolld upon the fragrant ground,

While palsy shook her crazy brains :
And then with fond attention stood,

She mumbles forth her backward prayers,
Fix'd o'er his image in the flood.

An untam'd scold of fourscore years.
“ I hate my frowzy beard, he cries,

About her swarm'd a numerous brood
My youth is lost in this difguife.

Of cats, who, lank with hunger, mew'd,
Did not the females know my vigour,

Teaz'd with their cries, her choler grew, Well might they lothe this reverend figure.”

And thus she sputter’d. “ Hence, ye crew:
Resolv'd to smooth his shaggy face,

Fool that I was, to entertain
He fought the barber of the place.

Such imps, such fiends, a hellith train!
A flippant monkey, spruce and smart,

Had ye been never hous'd and nursid,

I for a witch had ne'er been curs'd.
Hard by, profess'd the dapper art:
His pole with pewter-balons hung,

To you I owe that crowds of boys
Black rotten teeth in order strung,

Worry me with eternal noise ;
Rang'd cups, that in the window stood,

Straws laid across my pace retard,
Lin'd with red rags to look like blood;

The horse shoe's naild (each threshold's guar):
Did well his threcfold trade explain,

The stunted broom the wenches hide,
Who shav'd, drew teeth, and breath'd a vein.

For fear that I should up and ride;
The Goat he welcomes with an air,

They stick with pins my bleeding feat,
And seats him in his wooden chair :

And bid me fhow my secret reat.
Mouth, nose, and cheek, the lather hides ;

“ To hear you prate, would sex a faint ; Light, smooth, and swift, the razor glides.

Who hath most reason of complaint ?"
“ I hope your custom, Sir, says Pug,

Replies a Cat. “Let's come to prorf.
Sure never face was half so snug!"

Had we ne'er starv'd beneath your roof,
The Goat, impatient for applause,

We had, like others of our race,

In credit liv'd as beasts of chase.
Swift to the neighbouring hill withdraws.
The shaggy people grinn d and star'd.

'Tis infamy to serve a hag;
* Heigh-day! what's here? without a beard!

Cats are thought imps, her broom a nag:
Say, Brother, whence the dire disgrace?

And boys against our lives combine,
What envious hand hath robb'd your face?"

Because 'tis said your cats have nine."
When thus the fop, with smiles of scorn,

FABLE XXIV.
“Are beards by civil nations worn?
Ev'a Muscovites have mow'd their chins.

Tbe Butterfly and the Snail.
Shall we, like formal Capuchins,

All upstarts, insolent in place,
Stubborn in pride, retain the mode,

Remind us of their vulgar race.
And bear about the hairy load?

As in the sunshine of the morn
Whene'er we through the village stray,

A butterfly (but newly born)
Are we not mock'd along the way,

Sat proudly perking on a rose,
Insulted with loud shouts of scorn,

With pert conceit his bofom glows;
By boys our beards disgrac'd and torn ?"

His wings (all glorious to behold)
“ Were you no more with goats to dwell, Bedrope with azure, jet, and gold,
Brother, I grant you reason well,"

Wide he displays; the spangled din
Replies a bearded chief. “Beside,

Reflects his eyes and various bue.
If boys can mortify thy pride,

His now-forgotten friend, a loail,
How wilt thou stand the ridicule

Beneath his house, with flimy trail,
Of our whole flock! Affected fool!"

Crawls o'er the grass; whom when he ipies,
Coxcombs, distinguish'd from the rest,

In wrath he to the gardoer cries :
To all but coxcombs are a jelt.

“ What means yon peasant's daily coil, FABLE XXIII.

From choking weeds to rid che foil ?

Why wake you to the morning's care! Tbe Old Woman and ber Cats.

Why with new arts correct the year? Who friendship with a knave hath made, Why grows the peach with crimson hue! Ravag'd a pariner in the trade.

And wby the plunb's inviting blus?

Werc they to feast his taste design'd,

She who attacks another's honour, That vermin of voracious kind!

Draws every living thing upon her. Crush then the slow, the pilfering race,

Think, madam, when you stretch your lungs, 80 purge thy garden from disgrace."

That all your neighbours too have tongues : " What arrogance! the snail reply'd;

One flander must ten thousand get : How insolent is upstart pride!

The world with interest pays the debt."
Hadit thou not thus, with insult vain,
Provok'd my patience to complain,

FABLE XXVI.
I had conceal'd thy meaner birth,
Nor crac'd thee to the scum of earth:

The Cur and the Mastiff
For scarce nine suns have wak'd the hours,
To swell the fruit, and paint the flowers,

A SNEAKİNG cur, the master's spy,

Rewarded for his daily lie,
Since I thy humbler life survey'd,

With secret jealousies and fears
In base, in sordid guise array'd ;
A hideous insect, vile, unclean,

Set all together by the ears.

Poor puss to-day was in disgrace, You dragg'd a flow and noisome train;

Another cat supply'd her place ; And from your spider bowels drew

The hound was beat, the mastiff chid, Foul film, and spun the dirty clue.

The monkey was the room forbid; lown my humble life, good friend;

Each to his dearest friend grew (hy, Snail was I born, and snail shall end.

And none could tell the reason why. And what's a butterfly? at best

A plan to rob the house was laid : He's but a caterpillar drejt;

The thief with love feduc'd the maid, And all thy race (a numerous feed)

Cajol'd the cur, and stroak'd his head, Shall prove of caterpillar breed.”

And bought his secrecy with bread;

He next the mastiff's honour try'd,
FABLE XXV.

Whose honelt jaws the bribe defy'd;

He stretch'd his hand to proffer more : The Scold and the Parrot.

The surly dog his fingers torc. The husband thus reprov'd his wife :

Swift ran the cur; with indignation " Who deals in flander, lives in strife.

The matter took his information. Art thou the herald of disgrace,

“ Hang him, the villain's curs'd,” he cries; Denouncing war to all thy race ;

And round his neck the halter cies. Can nothing quell thy thunder's rage,

The dog his humble fuit preferr'd, Which spares nor friend, nor sex, nor age?

And beg'd in justice to be heard. That vixen tongue of your's, my dear,

The master fate. On either hand Alarms our neighbours far and near.

The cited dogs confronting stand; Good gods ! 'tis like a rolling river,

The cur the bloody tale relates, That murmuring flows, and flows for ever!

And, like a lawyer, aggravates. Ne'er tir'd, perpetual discord sowing:

Judge not unheard (the mastiff cry'd), Like fame, it gathers itrength by going."

But weigh the cause of either side. “ Heigh-day!” the flippant tongue replies,

Think not that treachery can be jut; "How folemn is the fool! how wile!

Take not informers' words on trust; is nature's choicest gift debarr'd?

They ope their hand to every pay, Nay, frown not ; for I will be heard.

And you and me by turns betray.Women of late are finely ridden,

He spoke; and all the truth appear'd: A parrot's privilege forbidden!

The cur was hang'd, the mastiff clear'd. You praise his talk, his fqualling song; But wives are always in the wrong.'

FABLE XXVII.
Now reputations flew in pieces

The Sick Man and the Angel.
Of mothers, daughters, aunts, and nieces :
She ran the parrot's language o'er,

“ Is there no hope?" the sick man said. Bawd, huffy, drunkard, Pattern, whore;

The silent doctor shook his head, On all the sex she vents her fury,

And took his leave with signs of sorrow, Tries and condemns without a jury.

Despairing of his fee to-morrow. At once the corrent of her words

When thus the man, with gasping breath; Alarm’d cat, monkey, dogs, and birds :

“ I feel the chillirg wound of death. All join their forces to confound her,

Since I mu' bid the world adieu, Puls fpits, the monkey chatters round her ; Let me my former life review. The yelping cur her heels assaults;

I grant my bargains well were made, The magpie blabs out all her faults;

But all men over-reach in trade; Poll, in the uproar, from his cage,

'Tis self defence in each profeffion: With this rebuke outlcream'd her rage.

Sure self-defence is no tranfgrelion. A parrot is for talking priz'd,

The little portion in my hands, But prattling women are despis'd.

By good security on lands VoE, VIII.

Z 2

Is well increas'd. If, unawares,

With fervent zeal the Persian movd, My justice to myself and heirs

Thus the proud calumny reprov'd : Hath let my debtor rot in jail,

“ It was that god who claims my prayer For want of good sufficient bail;

Who gave thee birth, and rais'd thee chere; Jf I, by writ, or bond, or deed,

When o'er his beams the veil is thrown, Reduc'd a family to need;

Thy substance is but plainer shown: My will hath made the world amends ;

A paling gale, a puff of wind, My hope on charity depends.

Dispels thy thickest troops combin'd," When I am number'd with the dead,

The gale arole ; the vapour cost And all my pious gifts are read,

(The sport of winds) in air was loft ; By heaven and earth 'twill then be known

The glorious orb the day refines.
My charities were amply shown.”

Thus envy breaks, thus merit shines.
An angel came. " Ah, friend! (he cry'd).
No more in flattering hope confide.

FABLE XXIX.
Can thy good deeds in former times

The Fox at the point of Death. Outweigh the balance of thy crimes? What widow or what orphan prays

A Fox, in life's extreme decay, To crown thy life with length of days?

Weak, fick, and faint, expiring lay: A pious action's in thy power,

All appetite had left his maw, Embrace with joy the happy hour.

And age disarnı'd his mumbling jaw. Now, while you draw the vital air,

His numerous race around him ftand, Prove your intention is fincere :

To learn their dying fire's command : This inftant give a hundred pound:

He rais'd his head with whining moan, Your neighbours want, and you abound.”

And thus was heard the feeble tone : “ But why such hafte, the fick man whines ;

“ Ah! Sons! from evil ways depart; Who knows as yet what Ilcaven designs?

My crimes lie heavy on my heart. Perhaps I may recover till,

See, fee, the murder'd geese appear! That sum and more are in my will."

Why are those bleeding turkeys there; " Fool, lays the vision, now 'tis plain

Why all around this cackling train, Your life, your soul, your Heaven, was gain.

Who haunt my ears for chicken Pain *** From every fide, with all your might,

The hungry foxes round them ftar'd, You scrap'd, and scrap'd beyond your right;

And for the promis'd feast prepar’d. And after death would sain atone,

“ Where, Sir, is all this dainty cheer? By giving what is not your own."

Nor turkey, goose, nor ben, is here. " While there is lisc, there's hope, he cry'd;

These are the phantonis of your brain; Then why such halte?" lo groan'd and dy'd.

And your sons lick their lips in vain."

“O gluttons! says the drooping fire, FABLE XXVII.

Restrain inordinate desire.

Your liquorish taste you shall deplore,
The Persian, tbe Sun, and the Cloud.

When peace of conscience is no more. 13 there a bard whom geniue fires,

Does not the hoand betray our pace, Whofe every thought the god inspires ?

And gins and guns destroy our race? When envy reads the nervous lines,

Thieves dread the searching cye of power! She frets, the rails, she raves, the pines;

And never feel the quiet hour Her hilling snakes with venom (well;

Old age (which few of us shall know) She calls her venal train from hell:

Now puts a period to my woe. The lervile fiends her ned obey,

Would you true happiness attain, And all Curll's authors are in pay.

Let honesty your passions rein; Fame calls up calumny and spite :

So live in credit and etleem, I hus fhadow owes its birth to light.

And the good name you loft redeem." As, prostrate to the god of day,

“ The counsel's good, w fus replies, With hcart devout, a Pertian lay,

Could we perform what you advise. His invocation thus begun :

Think what our ancestors have done; “ Parent of light ! all seeing fun!

A line of thieves from fon to son. Prolific beam, whose rays dispense

To us descends the long disgrace, The various gifts of residence,

Ard infamy hath mark'd our race. Accept our prais, our diily prayer ;

Though we, like harmless sheep, should serd, Smile on our fields, and blets the year."

Honot in thought, in word, and deed,
A cloud, who meck'd his grateful tongue, Whatever hen rooft is decreas'd,
The day with sudden darkness hung;

We shall be thought to share the feat.
With pride and envy swellid, a'oud

The change shall never be believ'd. A voice thus thunder'd from the cloud.

A lof good name is ne'er retriev'd." “ Weak is this gaudy god of thine,

“ Nay, then, replies the fecble for, Whom I at will forbid to thine.

(But, hark! I hear a hen that cluck) Shall I nor vows nor incente know?

Co; but be moderate in your id; Where praise is due, the praise befow."

A chicken, coo, might do me good."

He now from all excess abstains,
FABLE XXX.

With physic purifies his veins;

And, to procure a sober life,
The
setting Dog and the Partridge.

Resolves to venture on a wife.

But now again the sprite ascends, The ranging dog the stubble tries,

Where'er he walks, his car attends, And searches every breeze that flies;

Infinuates that beauty's frail, The scent grows warm : with cautious fear

That perseverence must prevail; He creeps, and points the covey near;

With jualousies his brain infames, The men in filence, far bchiod,

And whispers all her lovers' names. Conscious of game, the net unbind.

In other hours she represents A partridge, with experience wise,

His household charge, his annual rents, The fraudful preparation spies;

Increating debes, perplexing duns, She mocks their toils, alarms her brood,

And nothing for his younger fons. The covey springs and secks the wood;

Straight all his thought to gain he turns, But ere, ber certain wings the trics :

And with the thirst of lucre burns. Thus, to the creepng spaniel cries :

But, whes poflefs'd of fortune's store, “ Thou fawning ilave to man's deceit,

The spectre haunts him more and more; Thou pimp of luxry, sneaking cheat,

Sers want and misery in view, Of thy whole species thou disgrace;

Bold thieves and all the murdering crew; Dogs should disown thee of their race !

Alarms him with eternal frights, For, if I judge their native parts,

Infest his dream, or wakes his nights. They're born with honest open hearts;

How shall be chase this hideous guest? And, ere they serv'd man's wicked ends,

Power may perhaps prote& his rell. Were generous foes, or real friends."

To power he rose. Again the sprite When thus the dog, with scornful smile : Besets him morning, noon, and night; " Secure of wing, thou dar'st revile.

Talks of ambition's tottering seat, Clowns are to polith'd manners blind;

How envy persecutes the great, How ignoraut is the rustic mind!

Os rival hate, of treacherous friends, My worth fagacious courtiers see,

And what disgrace his fall attends. And to preferment rise, like me.

The court le quits, to fly from Care, The thriving pimp who beauty sets,

And lecks the peace of rural air : How oft enhanc'd a nation's debts:

His groves, his fields, amus'd his hours; Priend fets his friend, without regard,

He prun'd his trees, he rais'd his flowers, And minifters his skill reward.

But care again his steps pursues, Thus train'd by man, I learn'd his ways;

Warns him of blasts, of blighting dews, And growing lavour feasts my days."

Of plundering insects, snails, and rains, “ I might have guess'd, the partridge said, And droughts that starv'd the labour'd plaine. The place where you were train'd and fed ; Abroad, at home, the fpectre's there; Ser vants are ape, and in a trice

In vain we seek to fly from Care. Ape to a hair their master's vice.

At length he thus the ghoft addrest : You came from court, you say. Adieu !"

“ Since thou must be my conkant guest, She said, and to the covey dew.

Be kind, and follow me no more;

For Care, by right, should go before."
FABLE XXXI.

FABLE XXXII.
The universal Apparition.

The two Orls and the Sparrow. A zake, by every passion ruld,

Two formal owls together sat, With every vice his youth had coold;

Conferring thus in folenin chat : Disease his tainted blood affails ;

“ How is the modern taste decay'd ! His fpirits droop, his vigour fails :

Where's the respect to wildom paid? With secret ills at home he pines,

Our worth the Grecian fages knew; And, like infirm old age, declines.

They gave our fires the honour due; As, twing'd with pain, he penlive fits,

They weigh’d the dignity of fowls, And raves, and prays, and swears, by fits, And pry'd into the depth of owls. A ghaftly phantom, Ican and wan,

Athens, the seat of learned fame,
Before him rose, and thus began :

With general voice rever'd our name,
My name, perhaps, hath reach'd your eas; On meric title was conferr'd,
Attend, and be advis'd by Care.

And all ador'd th' Athenian bird.”
Nor love, nor horour, wealth, nor power,

“ Brother, you reason well, replies Can give the heart a cheerful hour,

The folemn mate with half-fhut eyes. When health is loft. Be timely wise :

Right. Athens was the seat of learning, With health all taste of pleasure flies."

And truly wisdom is discerning. Thus said, the phantom disappears.

Besides, on Pallas' helm we fit, The wary counsel wak'd Lis fears,

The type and ornament of wit :

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »