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“How think you of our friend the dean ?
I wonder what some people mean;
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 arrived at court;
I'm stopp'd by all the fools I meet,
And catechised in every street.
“ You, Mr. Dean, frequent the great ;
Inform us, will the Emperor treat ?
Or do the prints and papers lie ?”
'Faith, sir, you know as much 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, though I solemnly declare
I know no more than my Lord Mayor,
They stand amazed, and think me grown
The closest mortal ever known.

Thus in a sea of folly toss'd,
My choicest 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,
Chatting and laughing all a-row :
The beans and bacon set before 'em,
The grace-cup served with all decorum :
Each willing to be pleased, and please,
And e'en 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 :

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But something much more our concern,
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 choose our friends
For their own worth, or our own ends ?
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 : 4
Name a town-life, and in a trice,
He had a story of two mice.
Once on a time (so runs the fable)
A country mouse, right hospitable,
Received a town mouse at his board,
Just as a farmer might a lord.
A frugal mouse upon the whole,
Yet loved 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),
Pudding that might have pleased 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 ate himself the rind and paring.
Our courtier scarce would touch a bit,
But show'd his breeding and his wit ;
He did his best to seem to eat,
And cried, “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:

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4 [Prior has several little apologues on mice. His first work was the City and Country Mouse, & parody on Dryden's Hind and Panther, by Prior and Montagu (afterwards Lord Halifax). Pope's silence as to Montagu's share in the satire, seems to countenance the observation of Lord Peterborough, who, being asked if Montagu did not write the Country Mouse with Prior, replied, “ Yes, just as if I was in a chaise, with Mr. Cheselden here, drawn by his fine horse, and should say, 'Lord, how finely we draw this chaise.'"]

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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.

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Behold the place, where if a poet
Shined in description, he might show it;
Tell how the moonbeam 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:

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The guests withdrawn had 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,
Que 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 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!
(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 :
Give me again my hollow tree,
A crust of bread, and liberty !"

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BOOK IV. ODE I.

TO VENUS.

AGAIN new tumults in my breast?

Ah spare me, Venus ! let me, let me rest ! I am not now, alas! the man

As in the gentle reign of my Queen Anne. Ah, sound no more thy soft alarms,

Nor circle sober fifty with thy charms.

Mother too fierce of dear desires !

Turn, turn to willing hearts your wanton fires. To Number Five direct your doves,

There spread round Murray all your blooming loves ; 5 Noble and young, who strike the heart

With every sprightly, every decent part; Equal, the injured to defend,

To charm the mistress, or to fix the friend. He, with a hundred arts refined,

Shall stretch thy conquests over half the kind : To him each rival shall submit,

Make but his riches equal to his wit. Then shall thy form the marble grace

(Thy Grecian form), and Chloe lend the face : His house, embosom'd in the grove,

Sacred to social life and social love, Shall glitter o'er the pendant green,

Where Thames reflects the visionary scene : Thither, the silver-sounding lyres

Shall call the smiling loves, and young desires ; There, every Grace and Muse shall throng,

Exalt the dance, or animate the song ; There youths and nymphs, in consort gay,

Shall hail the rising, close the parting day. With me, alas ! those joys are o'er ;

For me the vernal garlands bloom no more. Adieu ! fond hope of mutual fire,

The still-believing, still-renew'd desire ; Adieu! the heart-expanding bowl,

And all the kind deceivers of the soul ! But why? ah tell me, ah too dear!

Steals down my cheek the involuntary tear ? Why words so flowing, thoughts so free,

Stop, or turn nonsense, at one glance of thee ? Thee, dress’d in Fancy's airy beam,

Absent I follow through the extended dream; Now, now I seize, I clasp thy charms,

And now you burst (ah cruel !) from my arms,

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5 [Murray's chambers were at this time in King's Bench Walks, No. 5.]

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