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“Were all your interloping band “Extinguish'd, or expell'd the land, “We Rat-catchers might raise our sees, “Sole guardians of a nation's cheese :" A Cat, who saw the lifted knife, Thus spoke, and sav'd her sister's life: : In ev'ry age and clime we see, ‘Two of a trade can ne'er agree. ‘Each hates his neighbour for encroaching; ‘Squire stigmatises 'squire for poaching; “Beauties with beauties are in arms, “And scandal pelts each other's charms; ‘Kings too their neighbour kings dethrone, * In hope to make the world their own. “Butlet us limit our desires; * Not war like beauties, kings, and 'squires; ‘For tho' we both one prey pursue, “There's game enough for us and you.' '
$112. FABLE xxii. The Goat without a Beard.
'Tis certain that the modish passions Qescend among the crowd, H. fashions. Excuse me, then, if pride, conceit (The manners of the fair and great), I give to menkeys, asses, hogs, Pleas, owls, goats, butterflies, and dogs. ! say that these are proud: what then? Inever said they equal men. A Goat (as vain as Goat can be) Aflected singularity. Whene'era thymy bank he found, He solid upon the fragrant ground; And then with fond attention stood, Fix'd o'er his image in the flood. “I hate my frowsy beard,” he cries; “My youth is lost in this disguise. “Did not the females know my vigor, “Well might they loath this rev'rend figure." v'd to smooth his shaggy face, He sought the barber of the place. A flippant monkey, spruce and smart, Hard by profess'd the dapper art; Ilis o: with pewter basons hung; . Back rotten teeth in order strugg. ang'd cups that in the window stood, ind with red rags, to look like blood, old well his threefold trade explain: Whoshav'd, drew teeth, and breath'd a vein. The Goat he welcomes with an air, And seats him in his wooden chair: Mouth, nose, and cheek the lather hides; Light, snooth, and swift, the razor glides. ... I hope your custom, sir,’ says pug; 'Sure never face was half so smug.” The Goat, impatient for applause, Swift to the neighboring hill withdraws; The shaggy people grinn'd and star'd : 'Heighday; what's here, without a beard? - Say, brother, whence the dire disgrace? ‘What envious hand hath robb'd your face?' -When thus the fop, with smiles of scorn: “Are beards by civil nations worn ? Een Muscovites have mow'd their chins. Shall we, like formal Capuchins,
Stubborn in pride, retain the mode, And bear about the hairy load? Whene'er we through the village stray. Are we not moek'd along the way, Insulted with loud shouts of scorn, By boys our beards disgrac'd and torn ?" - §. you no more with Goats to dwell, Brother, 1 grant you reason well,' Replies a bearded chief.- Beside, If boys can mortify thy pride, How wilt thou stand the ridicule Of our whole flock Affected fool! Coxcombs distinguish'd from the rest, To all but coxcombs are a jest." FABLE xxiii. The Old Woman and her Cats. Who friendship with a knave hath made, Isjudg’d a partner in the trade. The matron who conducts abroad A willing nymph, is thought a bawd; And if a modest girl is seen With one who cures a lover's spleen, We guess her not extremely nice, And only wish to know her price. "Tis thus that on the choice of friends Our good or evil name depends. A wrinkled Hag, of wicked fame, Beside a little smo y flame Sat hov'ring, pinch'd with age and frost: Her shrivell'd hands, with veins embost, Upon her knees her weight sustains, While palsy shook her crazy brains: She o forth her backward pray'rs, An untain'd scold of fourscore years. About her swarm'd a num'rous brood Of Cats, who lank with hunger mew'd. Teas'd with their cries, her choler grew; And thus she sputter'd : “Hence, ye crew 1 Fool that I was, to entertain Such imps, such fiends, a hellish train; Had ye been never hous'd and nurs'd, I for a witch had ne'er been curs'd. To you I owe that crowds of boys Worry me with eternal noise; Straws laid across my pace retard; The horse-shoe's # (each threshold's guard, The stunted broom the wenches hide, For fear that I should up and ride; They stick with pins my bleeding seat, And bid me show my secret teat." “To hear you prate would vex a saint: Who hath most reason of complaint 2" Replies a Cat. “Let's come to proof. Had we ne'er starv'd beneath your roof, We had, like others of our race, In credit liv'd, as beasts of chace. 'Tis infamy to serve a hag; Cats are thought imps, her broom a nag : And boys against our lives combine, Because 'tis said your cats have mine."
As, in the sun-shine of the morn, A Butterfly but newly born Sat proudly perking on a rose, With pert conceit his bosom glows; His wings, all glorious to behold, Bedropt with azure, jet, and gold, Wide he displays; the spangled dew Reflects his eyes, and various hue. His now-forgotten friend, a Snail, Beneath his house, with slimy trail, Crawls o'er the grass; wilom when he spies, In wrath he to the gard'ner cries: “What means yon peasant's daily toil, From choking weeds to rid the soil : Why wake you to the morning's care? Why with new arts correct the year? Why glows the peach with crimson hue? And why the plum's inviting blue? Were they to feast his taste design'd, That vermin of voracious kind? Crush then the slow, the pilt'ring race; So purge thy garden from disgrace.” : What arrogance!' the Snail replied; * How insolent is upstart pride! Had thou not thus, with insult vain, Provok'd tuy patience to complain, I had conceal’d thy meaner birth, Nor trac'd thee to the scuin of earth. For scarce nine suns had wak'd the hours, To swell the fruit and paint the flow'rs, Since I thy humbler #. In base and sordid guise array'd; A hideous insect, vile, unclean, You dragg’d a slow and noisome train; And from your spider-bowels drew Foul film, and spun the dirty clue. I own my ho life, good friend; Snail was I born, and Snail shall end. And what's a Butterfly 2 At best He's but a caterpillar drest; And all thy race (a num'rous seed) Shall prove of caterpillar breed.’
§ 115. Fable xxv. The Scold and the Parrot.
THE husband thus reprov'd his wife; “Who deals in slander lives in strife. Art thou the herald of disgrace, Denouncing war to all thy race? Can nothing quell thy thunder's rage, Which spares no friend, nor sex, nor age? That vixen tongue of yours, my dear, Alarms our neighbours far and near. #: gods! 'tis like a rolling river, That murm'ring flows, and flows for cver ! Ne'er tird, perpetual discord sowing! Like fame, it gathers strength by going.” . Heighday!", the flippant tongue replies, • IIow solemn is the fool, how wise: Is nature's choicest gift debarr'd : Nay, frown not, for I will be heard. Women of late are finely ridden; A parrot's privilege forbidden! You praise his talk, his squalling song; But wives are always in the wrong.'
Now reputations flew in pieces; .
Of mothers, daughters, aunts, and niece";
She ran the parrot's language o'er,
Bawd, hussy, drunkard, slattern, whore;
On all the sex she vents her fury;
Tries and condemns without a jury.
At once the torrent of her words
Alarm'd cat, monkey, dogs, and birds;
All join their forces to confound her;
Puss spits, the monkey chatters round her;
The yelping cur her heels assaults;
The magpye blabs out all her faults;
Poll, in the uproar, from his cage,
With this rebuke out-scream'd her rage:
“A Parrot is for talking priz'd,
But prattling women are i.
She who attacks another's honor
Draws ev'ry living thing upon her.
Think, madam, when you stretch your lungs,
That all your neighbours too have tongues.
One slander must ten thousand get:
The world with int'rest pays the debt."
--- - § 116. FABLE xxvi. The Cur and the Muff. A sneakix & Cur, the master's spy, -Rewarded for his daily lie, - - - With secret jealousies and fears Set all together by the cars.
Poor Puss to-day was in disgrace, o Another cat supplied her place; o The Hound was beat, the Mastiff chid; -
The Monkev was the room forbid :
Each to his dearest friend grew shy,
And none could tell the reason whv.
A plan to rob the house was laids:
The thief with love seduc’d the maid;
Cajol'd the Cur, and strok'd his head,'
And bought his secrecy with bread.
He next the Mastiff's honor tried;
Whose honest jaws the bribe defied.
He stretch'd his hand to proffer more;
The surly dog his fingers tore. -
Swift ran the Cur; with indignation
The master took his information.
Hang him, the villain's curst, he cries;
And round his neck the halter ties.
The Dog his humble suit preferr'd,
And begg'd in justice to be heard.
The master sat. On either hand
The cited logs confronting stand.
The Cur the bloody tale relates,
And, like a lawyer, aggravates.
Judge not unheard, the Mastiff cried,
But weigh the cause of either side. -
Think not that treach'ry can be just;
Take not informers' words on trust.
They ope their hand to ev'ry pay,
And you and me by turns betray.
He spoke; and all the truth appear'd :
The Cur was hang'd, the S. j.
And took his leave with signs or sorrow,
Despairing of his fee to-morrow.
When thus the Man, with gasping breath;
I feel the chilling wound of death.
Since I must bid the world adieu,
let me my former Rise review.
I grant my bargains well were made,
But all men over-reach in trade;
Tis self-defence in each profession :
Sure self-defence is no transgression.
The little portiou in my hands,
By good security on lands,
Is well o Hf, unawares,
Myjustice to myself and heirs
Hathlet my debtor rot in jail,
For want of good sufficient bail;
lf I by writ, or bond or deed,
Reduc’d a family to need, -
My will hath made the world amends;
My hope on charity depends.
When I am number'd with the dead,
nd all my pious gifts are read,
B; heaven and earth 'twili then be known,
My charities were amply shown.
An Angel same. Ah friend! he cried,
No more in flatt ring hope confide.
Call thy good deeds in former times
Qutweigh the balance of thy crimes *
What widow or what orphan prays
To crown thy life with sength *Pio
A pious action's in thy pow'r,
Embrace with joy the happy hour.
Now, while you draw the vital air,
Prove your intention is sincere.
This instant give a hundred pound:
Your neighbours want, and vou abound.
But why such haste? the sick Man whines;
Who knows as yet what Heaven designs?
Perhaps I may recover still: -
That sum and more are in my will.
Fool! says the Vision, now 'tis plain,
Your life, your soul, your heaven was gain.
From ev’ry side, with all your might,
You scrapod, and scrap'd i. your right;
And after death would fain atone, .*
By giving what is not your own.
While there is life there's hope, he cricq:
Then why such haste : So groan'd and died.
§ 118. table xxviii. The Persion, the Sun, and the Cloud.
Is there a bard whom genius fires,
Whose ev'ry thought the god inspires
When envy reads the nervous lines,
She frets, she rails, she raves, she pines;
Her hissing snakes with venom swell;
She calls her venal train from hell:
The servile fiends her nod obey,
And all Curl's authors are in pay.
home calls up calumny and spite ;
Thus shadow owes its birth to light,
As prostrate to the god of day,
With heat devout, a Persian lay,
The day with sudden darkness hung;
With pride and envy swell'd aloud,
A voice thus thunder'd from the Cloud :
Weak is this gaudy god of thine,
Whom I at will forbid to shifle.
Shall I nor vows nor incense know !
Where praise is due, the praise bestow.
With ferveut zeal the Persian mov’d,
Thus the proud calumny reprov'd :
It was that god, who claims inv ray'r,
Who gave thee birth, and rais'd thee there ;
When o'er his beams the veil is thrown,
Thy substance is but plainer shown.
A passing gale, a puff of wind,
Dispels thy thickest troops combin'd.
The gale arose; the vapor, tost
(The sport of winds) in air, was lost. *
The glorious orb the day refines;
Thus envy breaks, thus merit shines.
A Fox in life's cytreme decay,
Weak, sick, and faint, expiring lay;
All appetite had left his maw,
And age disarm'd his munbling jaw.
liis num'rous race around him stand,
To learn their dying sire's conmand:
IIe rais'd his head with whining moan
And thus was beard the feeble tone :
Ah, sons: from evil ways depart;
My crimes lie heavy on my heart.
Seo, see, the murder'd geese appear !
Why are those bleeding turkeys there?
Why all around this cackling train,
Who haunt my ears for chickens slain
The hungry Foxes round them star'd,
And for the promis'd feast prepard.
Where, Sir, is all this dainty cheer
Nor turkey, goose, nor hen is here;
These are the phantoms of your brain,
And your sons lick their lips in vain.
O glutions ! says the drooping sire,
Restrain inordinate desire ;
Your liquorish taste you shall deplore,
When peace of conscience is no inore.
Does not the hound betray our pace,
And gins and guns destroy our race?
Thieves dread the searching eye of pow'r,
And never feel the quiet hour.
Old age (which few of us shall know)
Now puts a period to my woe.
Would you true happiness attain,
Let honesty your passions rein;
So live in credit and esteem,
And the good maine you lost redeem.
The counsel's good, a Fox replics,
Could we perform what you advise.
Think what our ancestors have done;
A line of thieves from son to son:
To us descends the long, disgrace,
And infamy hath mark'd our race.
Though we, like harmless sheep, should feed,
Honest in thought, in word, and deed,
Whatever hen-roost is decreas'd,
We shall be thought to share the feast.
The change shall never be believ'd ;
A lost good name is ne'er retriev'd.
Nay, then, replies the feeble Fox,
(But, hark! I hear a hen that clocks!)
Go, but be moderate in your food;
A chicken too might done good.
Fable xxx. The Setting Dog and - the Partridge. The raging Dog the stubble tries, And searches ev'ry breeze that flies; The scent grows warm; with cautious fear He creeps, and points the covey near; The men, in silence, far behind, Conscious of game, the net unbind. A Partridge, with experience wise, The fraudful preparation spies : She mocks their toils, alarms her brood; The covey springs, and seeks the wood; But ere her certain wing she tries, Thus to the creeping Spaniel cries: Thou fawning slave to man's deceit, Thou pimp of lux'ry, sneaking cheat, Qf thy whole species thou disgrace; Dogs shall disown thee of their race! For, if so their native parts, They're born with open, honest hearts; And ere they serv'd man's wicked ends, Wore gen'rous foes, or real friends. When thus the jog, with scornful smile! Secure of wing, thou dar'st revile. Qlowns are to polish'd manners blind; How ign'rant is the rustic mind! My worth sagacious courtiers see, And to preferment rise, like me. The thriving pimp, who beauty sets, Hati, oftenhanc'd a nation's debts: Friend sets his friend, without regard; And ministers his skill reward: Thus train’d by man, 1 learnt his ways, And growing favor feasts my days. I mi2ht have guess'd, the Partridge said, The place where you were train’d and fed; Servants are apt, and in a trice, Ape to a hair their master's vice. You came from court, you say? adieu ! She said, and to the covey flew.
With secret ills at home he pines,
And, like infirm old-age, declines.
As twing'd with pain he pensive sits;
And raves, and prays, and swears by fits;
A ghastly phantom, lean and wan,
Before him rose, and thus began :
My name, perhaps, hath reach'd your ear;
Attend, and be advis'd by Care.
Nor love, nor honor, wealth, nor pow'r,
Can give the heart a cheerful hour
When health is lost. Be timely wise:
With health all taste of pleasure flies.
Thus said, the phantom disappears;
The wary counsel wak'd his fears;
He now from all excess abstains;
With physic purifies his veins;
And, to procure a sober life,
Resolves to venture on a wife.
But now again the Sprite ascends:
Where'er he walks his ear attends;
Insinuates that beauty's frail;
That perseverance must prevail;
With jealousies his brain inflames,
And whispers all her lovers' names.
In other hours she represents
His household charge, his annual rents,
Increasing debts, perplexing duns,
And nothing for his youngersons.
Straight all his thought to gain he turns,
And with the thirst of lucre burns.
But, when possess'd of fortune's store,
The Spectre haunts him more and more,
Sets want and misery in view,
Bold thieves, and als the murd'ring crew;
Alarms him with eternal frights,
Infests his dream, or wakes i. nights.
How shall he chase this hideous guest?
Pow'r may perhaps protect his rest.
To pow'r he rose; again the Sprite
Besets him morning, noon, and night;
Talks of Ambition's tott'ring seat,
How envy persecutes the great;
Of rival hate, of treach'rous friends,
And what disgrace his fall attends.
The court he quits, to fly from Care,
And seeks the peace of rural air:
His groves, his fields, amus'd his hours;
He prun'd his trees, he rais'd his flow’rs.
But Care again his steps pursues;
Warus him of blasts, of blighting dews,
droughts that starv'd the labor'd plains.
Abroad, at home, the Spectre's there:
In vain we seek to fly }. Gare.
At length he thus the Ghost address'd:
Since thou Inust be my constant guest,
Be kind, and follow me no more;
For Care by right should go before.
* - - - == § 122. FABLE xxx11. The Two Owls and the
Two formal Owls together sat,
Conferring thus in solemn chat:
How is the modern taste decay'd :
Where's the respect to wisdom paid?
Our worth the Grecian sages knew;
They gave our sires the honor due;
o weigh'd the dignity of fowls,
And pried into the depth of Owls.
Athens, the seat of learned fame,
With gen'ral voice rever'd our name;
On merit title was conferr'd,
And all ador'd th' Athenian bird.
Brother, you reason well, replies
The solemn mate, with half-shut eyes:
Right-Athens was the seat of learning;
And truly wisdom is discerning.
Besides, on Pallas' helms we sit,
The type and ornament of wit';
But now, alas! we're quite neglected,
And a pert sparrow's more respected
: A sparrow, who was lodgil beside,
O'erhears them sooth each other's pride,
And thus he nimbly vents his heat:
Who meets a fool must find conceit.
I grant, you were at Athens grac'd :
And on Minerva's helm were plac'd:
But ev'ry bird that wings the sky,
Except in Owl, can tell you why.
From hence they taught their schools to know
How false we judge by outward show;
That we ol. never looks esteem,
Since fools as wise as you might seem.
Would ye contempt and scorn avoid,
lot your vainglory be destroy'd :
Humble your arrogance of †
Pursue the ways by Nature taught:
So shall your delicious fare, -
And graieful farmers praise your care;
So shall sleek mice your chace reward,
And no keen cat find more regard.
Whene'er a courtier's out of place,
The country shelters his disgrace;
Where, doom'd to exercise and health,
Hithouse and gardens own his wealth,
He builds new schemes, in hope to gain
The plunder of another reigh;
like Philip's son, would fan be doing,
And sighs for other realms to ruit).
As one of these (without his wand)
ive, along the winding strand
Employ'd the solitary hour,
in projects to regain his pow'r,
The waves in spreading circles ran,
Proteus arose, and thus began:
Came you from court? for in your mien
Aself-important air is seen.
Hefrankly own'd his friends had trick'd him,
And how he fell his party's victim.
Know, says the god, by matchless skill,
I change to ev'ry shape at will;
But yet I'm o at court you see
Those whe presume to rival me.
Thus said—a snake, with hideous trail, Proteus extends his scaly mail. Know, says the man, though proud in place, All courtiers are of reptile race. Like you; they take that dreadful form, Bask in the sun, and fly the storm; With malice hiss, with envy glote, And for convenience change their coat; With new got lustre rear their head, Though on a dunghill born and bred. §. the god a lion stands; He shakes his mane, he spurns the sands; Now a fierce lynx, with 3. glare, A wolf, an ass, a fox, a bear. Had I ne'er lived at court, he cries, Such transformation might surprise; But there, in quest of daily game, Each abler courtier acts the same. Wolves, lions, lynxes, while in place, Their friends and fellows are their chace. They play the bear's and fox's part; Now rob by force, now steal with art. They sometimes in the senate bray; Qr, chang'd again to beasts of prey, Down from the lion to the ape Practise the frauds of ev'ry shape. So said, upon the god he flies; In cords the struggling captive ties. Now, Proteus, now, (to truth compell'd) Speak, and confess thy art excell’d. Use, strength, surprise, or what you will, The courtier finds evasions still: Not to be bound by any ties, And never forc'd to leave his lies.
§ 124. FABLE xxxiv. The Mastiffs.
Those who in quarrels interpose,
Must often wipe a bloody nose.
A Mastiff, of true English blood,
Low'd fighting better than his food.
When dogs were snarling for a bone,
He long'd to make the war his own;
And often found (when two contend)
To interpose obtain'd his end:
He glory'd in his limping pace;
The o: #:H. his face;
In ev'ry limb a gash appears,
And #: fights ja his ears. .
T As on a time . heard from far .
wo Dogs en In noisy war,
Away he o lays 3. him,
Resolv'd no fray should be without him.
Forth from his yard a tanner flies,
And to the bold intruder cries:
A cudgel shall correct your manners;
Whence sprung this cursed hate to tanners?
While on my i. youthent your spite,
Sirrah! "t is me you dare not bite,
To see the battle thus perplex'd,
With equal rage a butcher vex'd,
Hoarse screaming from the circled crowd:
To the curs'd Mastiff cries aloud: