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Whoever approached him he noisily greeted,
And with his shrill music each traveller treated,
If he barked himself hoarse, he would speedily rally,
And alike on his friends and his foes he would sally.
With his weakness and folly, since all were acquainted,
His violent conduct was seldom resented;
To pass him in scorn is the course they prefer,
Since nobody cared for the insolent cur.
The forbearance towards him thus daily extended,
To make him the prouder and impudent tended;
He thought the whole village beheld him with fear,
And he deemed himself master of all who came near.
It happened, however, one cold winter's day,
A noble large mastiff was passing that way;
When, to show his importance, our silly young whelp
As usual, began at his betters to yelp.
The mastiff turned round, and looked grave at the puppy,
And I thought this reproof from his face I could copy :
• You saucy young cur, had you one grain of true sense,
You'd scorn to be thus to your neighbours a nuisance.
Your pranks, let me tell you, are foolish and vicious,
And men, of our whole race will soon be suspicious ;
So, come, sir, I'll take you, and teach you the danger
To which you're exposed by insulting a stranger.'
Thus wisely resolved such ill manners to check,
He laid hold of the cur by the crag of the neck;
While the latter, half dead with confusion and terror,
Sincerely repented his puppyish error.
Then trotting along to the river in haste,
The mastiff plunged in it, but held the cur fast,
Then ducked him, and soused him, and shook him about,
Till at last he thought proper to carry him out.
By this mode of proceeding, the yelper he taught
The duty of holding his tongue when he ought ;
For he carried him back to the place of his dwelling,
Quite cured of his passion for barking and yelling.
THE NEWCASTLE APOTHECARY.
A member of the Æsculapian line
Lived at Newcastle-under-Tyne;
No man could better gild a pill,
Or make a bill ;
Or mix a draught, or bleed, or bliste. ,
Or draw a tooth out of your head,
Or chatter scandal by your bed,
Or give a clyster.
His fame full six miles round the country ran;
In short, in reputation, he was solus :
All the old women called him “a fine man ;'
His name was Bolus.
Benjamin Bolus, though in trade,
(Which oftentimes will genius fetter), Read works of fancy, it is said,
And cultivated the belles lettres.
And why should this be thought so odd,
Can't men have taste who cure a phthisic ?
Of poetry, though patron god,
Apollo patronizes physic.
Bolus loved verse, and took so much delight in't,
All his prescriptions he resolved to write in't;
No opportunity he e'er let pass
Of writing the directions on his labels
In dapper couplets, like Guy's Fables,
Or rather, like the lines in Hudibras.
He had a patient lying at death's door,
Some three miles from the town, it might be four,
To whom, one evening, Bolus sent an article
In pharmacy that's called cathartical ;
And on the label of the stuff,
He wrote this verse,
Which one would think was clear enough,
• When taken,
To be shaken.'
Next morning early Bolus rose,
And to the patient's house he goes
Upon his pad,
Who a vile trick of stumbling had;
But he arrived, and gave a tap,
Between a single and a double rap;
Knocks of this kind
Are given by gentlemen who teach to dance,
By fiddlers, and by opera-singers ;
One loud and then a little one behind,
As if the knocker fell by chance
Out of their fingers.
The servant let him in, with dismal face,
Long as a courtier's out of place-
Portending some disaster;
John's countenance as rueful look’d, and grim,
As if the apothecary had physick'd him,
And not his master.
*Well, how's the patient?' Bolus said,
John shook his head. • Indeed! hum-ha-that's very odd! He took the draught ? John gave a nod. • Well? how? what then: speak out you dunce.' Why then (says John) we shook him once.' Shook him! how ? how ? friend Bolus stammered out.
“We jolted him about.' What! shook the patient, man, Why that won't do.' * No, Sir (quoth John), and so we gave him two.'
. Two shakes? Oh, luckless verse!
'Twould make the patient worse!' It did so, Sir, and so a third we tried.' Well, and what then? Then, Sir, my master-died !
THE MISER'S WILL.
OLD Scrape-all, who had long been ailing,
Was at a trembling debtor railing :
Threat'ning, if he a mite should fail,
To whelm him in a neighbouring jail ;
When Truth, his neighbour, passed that way,
The Debtor saw, and slipped away.
Scrape-all then, thus, with sigh profound,
And wheezing cough, a churchyard sound!
Addressed, with lifted hand, his friend :
'I think my grief will never end!
The hog that wallows in his sty,
Has thrice more happiness than I!
My care is now, whilst others sleep,
Not how to gain, but how to KEEP.
Said Truth-'As usual, still I see,
Brimful of grief and misery !
Riches, the things which others bless,
To you bring nought but wretchedness!
But though your purse is deep and strong,
Good sir, you cannot hold it long ;
Your years on years have so increased,
You must be fourscore now at least.'
‘Speak louder, friend, my ears do fail,
I'm grown as deaf as a door nail.'
I say your years have so increased,
You must be fourscore years at least.'
• Hold, hold! (he cried) you're far away !
I am but seventy-nine this day,
And think, whatever others fear,
I still may reach my hundredth year!
Said Truth, Now make me your confessor!
Pray who do you keep riches for?'
“Who for! (cried Scrape-all) for myself!
And when at length I die,five score,
Or thereabouts,-say ten years more,
My wealth, I do design shall be
Placed in my coffin close by me.'
‘Nay, (answered Truth) when you are dead,
Authority you'll find is fled;
Some-one, no doubt, will still contrive,
To keep your slumbering gold alive-
Make, inake your will; howe'er it grieve,
You must your all to some one leave!'
• What! make my will! my all bestow
On some one else? No! neighbour, no!
I'll be, whilst these my hands can hold,
The only keeper of my gold;
From night to morn, from morn to night,
I'll keep it close and hold it tight!
You rightly speak, you are no more
Than keeper to your golden store;
But when you die, as die you must,
To whom will you bequeath your trust ?'
'To no one! Scrape-all stern replied ;
The whole, I'll in my coffin hide!
I who have scraped for fifty years,
With ceaseless toil and hourly fears,
Shall I give all away, at last?
No! neighbour, no! I'll hold it fast!'
"Strive how you will, your wealth to save,
You cannot hold it in the grave!
Although, old man! it rends your heart;
Your god and you at length must part.'
Said Scrape-all, sorrowful and slow,
• Well, then! come thirty years or so,
And I will think on this affair,
And if needs be appoint my heir.'
Cried Truth, 'No moment lose! why now
Your head with age and palsy bow !
I guess when Jack, your wealth has got,
He soon will spend it all! a Sot!
And ere you've closed your eyes a year,
Behind a prison grate appear!
“My spendthrift nephew, here, I swear!
Shall never be rich Serape-all's heir!'
“Then make your will! or 'twill be so !
He'll have it all, when you're laid low!'
"What! make my will just in my prime,
'Twould be to die before my time.'
'Nay, (Truth replied) be well content!
You will not die, nor Jack lament,
The sooner for this instrument.
And I would more in candour say-
Do good, friend Scrape-all, while you may !
Erect,-and you will gain renown,
A school within your native town;
Then build an hospital, that fame,
When you are dead, may bless your name, -
For you 'twill be a small bequest,
Your nephew then may spend the rest.'
Never! (cried Scrape-all) whilst I live,
Will I a mite to any give!
No, no, good neighbour, to the last
With bolt and bar I'll hold it fast !
And as I cannot give when dead,
The law shall give it in my stead.
But as for Jack, again I swear,
The rogue shall never be my heir!'
One year is past—let thirst of gold
Its object and its end behold !
Whilst none their different lots bewail-
Scrape-all is dead! and Jack's in jail !!
SPIDER GRIM AND MISS FLY.
Fresh was the breath of morn; the busy breeze,
As poets tell us, whispered through the trees,
And swept the dew-clad blooms with wings so light;
Phoebus got up, and made a blazing fire,
That gilded every country house and spire,
And, smiling, put on her best looks so bright.
On this fair morn, a spider who had set,
To catch a breakfast, his old waving net,
With curious art, upon a spangled thorn;
At length, with gravely-squinting, longing eye,
Near him beheld a pretty, plump young fly,
Humming her little orisons to morn.