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Yet never robs the fhining bloom
Or of its beauty or perfume.
Thus the difcharg'd in ev'ry way
The various duties of the day.
It chanc'd a frugal Ant was near,
Whose brow was wrinkl'd o'er by care;
A great œconomist was fhe,
Nor lefs laborious than the Bee;
By penfive parents often taught
What ills arife from want of thought;
That poverty on floth depends;
On poverty the lofs of friends.
Hence ev'ry day the Ant is found
With anxious fteps to tread the ground;
With curious fearch to trace the grain,
And drag the heavy load with pain.
The active Bee, with pleasure, faw
The Ant fulfil her parent's law.
Ah! fifter-labourer, fays fhe,
How very fortunate are we!
Who, taught in infancy to know
The comforts which from labour flow,
Are independent of the great,
Nor know the wants of pride and state.
Why is our food fo very fweet?
Because we earn before we eat.
Why are our wants fo very few ?
Because we nature's calls pursue.
Whence our complacency of mind?
Because we act our parts affign'd.
Have we inceffant tasks to do?
Is not all nature busy too?
Doth not the fun, with conftant pace,
Perfift to run his annual race?
Do not the stars, which shine fo bright,
Renew their courses ev'ry night ?
Doth not the ox, obedient, bow
His patient neck, and draw the plough?
Or when did e'er the gracious fteed
Withhold his labour or his fpeed?
If you all nature's fyftem fcan,
The only idle thing is man.
A wanton Sparrow long'd to hear
Their fage difcourfe, and straight drew near.
The bird was talkative and loud,
And very pert and very proud;
As worthlefs and as vain a thing,
Perhaps, as ever wore a wing.
She found, as on a spray the fat,
The little friends were deep in chat;
That virtue was their fav'rite theme,
And toil and probity their scheme :
Such talk was hateful to her breaft;
She thought them arrant prudes at best.
When, to difplay her naughty mind,
Hunger with cruelty combin'd,
She view'd the Ant with favage eyes,
And hopt and hopt to snatch the prize.
The Bee, who watch'd her op'ning bill,
And guefs'd her fell defign to kill,
Afk'd her, from what her anger rose,
And why the treated Ants as foes?
The Sparrow her reply began;
And thus the converfation ran:
Whenever I'm difpos'd to dine, I think the whole creation mine; That I'm a bird of high degree, And ev'ry infect made for me. Hence oft I fearch the emmet-brood (For emmets are delicious food) And oft, in wantonness and play, I flay ten thousand in a day. For truth it is, without disguise, That I love mifchief as my eyes.
Oh fie! the honest Bee reply'd,
I fear you make base man your guide;
Of ev'ry creature fure the worst,
Tho' in creation's scale the first !
Ungrateful man! 'tis strange he thrives,
Who burns the Bees to rob their hives!
I hate his vile administration,
And fo do all the emmet nation.
What fatal foes to birds are men,
Quite to the Eagle from the Wren!
O! do not mens example take,
Who mischief do for mischief's fake;
But fpare the Ant-her worth demands
Efteem and friendship at your hands.
A mind with ev'ry virtue bleft,
Muft raise compaffion in your breaft.
Virtue! rejoin'd the fneering bird,
Where did you learn that Gothic word?
Since I was hatch'd, I never heard
That virtue was at all rever'd.
But fay it was the ancients claim,
Yet moderns difavow the name;
Unless, my dear, you read romances,
I cannot reconcile your fancies.
Virtue in fairy tales is feen
To play the goddess or the queen;
But what's a queen without the pow'r 2
Or beauty, child, without a dow'r?
Yet this is all that virtue brags,
At beft 'tis only worth in rags.
Such whims my very heart derides:
Indeed you make me burft my fides.
Truft me, Mifs Bee-to speak the truth,
I've copy'd men from earliest youth;
The fame our tafte, the fame our school,
Paffion and appetite our rule;
And call me bird, or call me finner,
I'll ne'er forego my fport or dinner.
A prowling cat the miscreant spics,
And wide expands her amber eyes:
Near and more near Grimalkin daws;
She wags her tail, protends her paws;
Then, fpringing on her thoughtless prey,
She bore the vicious bird away.
Thus, in her cruelty and pride,
The wicked wanton Sparrow dy'd. b
O'erjoy'd, they feiz'd with eager hafte
Luxurious on the rich repaft.
Alarm'd at this, the little crew
About their ears vindictive flew.
The beafts, unable to sustain
Th'unequal combat, quit the plain;
Half blind with rage, and mad with pain,
Their native fhelter they regain;
There fit, and now, difcreeter grown,
Too late their rafhnefs they bemoan;
And this by dear experience gain,
That pleafure's ever bought with pain.
So, when the gilded baits of vice
Are plac'd before our longing eyes,
With greedy hafte we fnatch our fill,
And fwallow down the latent ill;
But when experience opes our eyes,
Away the fancy'd pleafure flies:
It flies; but oh! too late we find
It leaves a real fting behind.
§ 208. The Cameleon. MERRICK. OFT has it been my lot to mark
A proud conceited talking park, With eyes that hardly ferv'd at most To guard their mafter 'gainst a post; Yet round the world the blade has been, To fee whatever could be feen : Returning from his finifh'd tour, Grown ten times perter than before; Whatever word you chance to drop, The travell'd fool your mouth will flop: "Sir, if my judgment you'll allow"I've feen-and fure I ought to know." So begs you'd pay a due fubmiffion, And acquiefce in his decifion.
Two travellers of fuch a caft, As o'er Arabia's wilds they paft, And on their way, in friendly chat, Now talk'd of this, and then of that, Difcours'd a while, 'mongst other matter, Of the Cameleon's form and nature. A ftranger animal,' cries one, Sure never liv'd beneath the fun : A lizard's body, lean and long, A fifh's head, a ferpent's tongue; "Its tooth with triple claw disjoin'd; ' And what a length of tail behind! How flow its pace! and then its hueWho ever faw fo fine a blue?'
"Hold there," the other quick replies, "Tis green,-I faw it with thefe eyes, "As late with open mouth it lay, "And warm'd it in the funny ray; "Stretch'd at its cafe the beaft I 'view'd, "And faw it eat the air for food."
I've feen it, Sir, as well as you,
• And must again affirm it blue. At leifure I the beaft furvey'd, Extended in the cooling fhade.'
"Tis green, 'tis green, Sir, I affure ye."Green! cries the other in a fury
Thus, half transform'd, and half the fame,
Jove bade them take their place
(Reftoring them their ancient claim)
Among the human race.
Man with contempt the brute furvey'd,
Nor would a name beftow;
But woman lik'd the motley breed,
And call'd the thing a Beau.
210. The Fire-Side. COTTON.
EAR Chloe, while the bufy crowd,
The vain, the wealthy, and the proud,
In Folly's maze advance;
Tho' fingularity and pride
Be call'd our choice, we'll ftep afide,
Nor join the giddy dance.
From the gay world we'll oft retire
To our own family and fire,
Where love our hours employs;
No noily neighbour enters here;
No intermeddling ftranger near,
To fpoil our heartfelt joys.
If folid happinefs we prize,
Within our breaft this jewel lies;
And they are fools who roam :
The world has nothing to beftow;
From our own felves our joys muft flow,
And that dear hut, our home.
Of reft was Noah's dove bereft,
When with impatient wing the left
That fafe retreat, the ark;
Giving her vain excurfion o'er,
The difappointed bird once more
Explor'd the facred bark.
Tho' fools fpurn Hymen's gentle pow'rs,
We, who improve his golden hours,
By fweet experience know,
That marriage, rightly understood,
Gives to the tender and the good
A paradife below.
Our babes fhall richest comforts bring;
If tutor'd right, they'll prove a fpring
Whence pleasures ever rife:
We'll form their minds, with ftudious care,
To all that's manly, good, and fair,
And train them for the fkies.
While they our wifeft hours engage,
They'll joy our youth, fupport our age,
And crown our hoary hairs:
They'll grow in virtue ev'ry day;
And thus our fondeft loves repay,
And recompenfe our cares.
No borrow'd joys, they're all our own,
While to the world we live unknown,
Or by the world forgot:
Monarchs! we envy not your state;
We look with pity on the great,
And blefs our humbler lot.
Our portion is not large, indeed;
But then how little do we need!
For nature's calls are few :
In this the art of living lies,
To want no more than may fuffice,
And make that little do.
We'll therefore relish with content
Whate'er kind Providence has fent,
Nor aim beyond our pow'r;
For, if our stock be very finall,
'Tis prudence to enjoy it all,
Nor lose the prefent hour.
To be refign'd when ills betide,
Patient when favours are deny'd,
And pleas'd with favours giv'n;" Dear Chloe, this is wifdom's part; This is that incenfe of the heart,
Whofe fragrance fmells to heav'n. We'll afk no long protracted treat, Since winter life is feldom fweet;
But, when our feaft is o'er, Grateful from table we'll arife, Nor grudge our fons with envious eyes The relics of our store.
Thus, hand in hand, thro' life we'll go; Its chequer'd paths of joy and woe
With cautious fteps we'll tread; Quit its vain fcenes without a tear, Without a trouble or a fear,
And mingle with the dead.
While Confcience, like a faithful friend, Shall thro' the gloomy vale attend,
And cheer our dying breath; Shall, when all other comforts cease, Like a kind angel, whisper peace,
And fmooth the bed of death.
§ 211. Vifions for the Entertainment and Infruction of younger Minds. COTTON. Virginibus puerisque canto. HOR.
AUTHORS, you know, of greatest fame,
Thro' modefty, fupprefs their name *;
And would you with me to reveal
What thefe fuperior wits conceal,
Forego the fearch, my curious friend,
And husband time to better end.
All my ambition is, I own,
To profit and to please unknown;
Like ftreams fupply'd from fprings below,
Which featter blettings as they flow.
Were you difeas'd, or prefs'd with pain,
Straight you'd apply to Warwick Lane:
The thoughtful Doctor fecis your pulfe
(No matter whether Mead or Hulfe)
Writes-Arabic to you and me-
Then figns his hand, and takes his fee.
Though Dr. COTTON is well known to have been the author of thefe Vifions, they have hitherto been publihed without prefixing his nanie.
Now, should the fage omit his name,
Would not the cure remain the fame ?
Not but phyficians fign their bill,
Or when they cure, or when they kill,
'Tis often known, the mental race
Their fond ambitious fires difgrace.
Dar'd I avow a parent's claim,
Critics might fneer, and friends might blame.
This dang'rous fecret let me hide,
I'll tell you ev'ry thing befide:
Not that it boots the world a tittle,
Whether the author's big or little;
Or whether fair, or black, or brown;
No writer's hue concerns the town.
I pafs the filent rural hour,
No flave to wealth, no tool to pow'r :
My manfion's warm, and very neat;
You'd fay, A pretty fnug retreat!'
My rooms no coftly paintings grace;
The humbler print fupplies their place.
Behind the house my garden lies,
And opens to the fouthern fkies:
The diftant hills gay profpects yield,
And plenty fmiles in ev'ry field.
The faithful mastiff is my guard;
The feather'd tribes adorn my yard;
Alive my joy, my treat when dead,
And their foft plumes improve, my bed.
My cow rewards me all the can
(Brutes leave ingratitude to man);
She daily, thankful to her lord,
Crowns with nectareous fweets my board:
Am I difeas'd-the cure is known;
Her fweeter juices mend my own.
I love my house, and feldom roam ;
Few vifits pleafe me more than home:
I pity that unhappy elf
Who loves all company but felf;
By idle paffions borne away
To opera, mafquerade, or play;
Fond of thofe hives where folly reigns,
And Britain's peers receive her chains;
Where the pert virgin flights a name,
And fcorns to redden into flame.
But know, my fair, to whom belong
The poet and his artlefs fong,
When female cheeks refufe to glow,
Farewell to virtue here below!
Our fex is loft to ev'ry rule;
Our fole diftinction, knave or fool.
'Tis to your innocence we run;
Save us, ye fair, or we're undone :
Maintain your modefty and ftation,
So women fhall preferve the nation.
Mothers, 'tis faid, in days of old,
Efteem'd their girls more choice than gold;
Too well a daughter's worth they knew,
To make her cheap by public view:
(Few, who their diamonds value weigh,
Expofe thofe diamonds ev'ry day.)
Then, if Sir Plume drew near, and fimil'd,
The parent trembl'd for her child:
The first advance alarm'd her breast;
And fancy pictur'd all the reft:
But now no mother fears a foe;
No daughter fhudders at a beau;
Pleafure is all the reigning theme;
Our noon-day thought, our midnight dream.
In folly's chace our youths engage,
And thameless crowds of tott'ring age.
The die, the dance, th'intemp'rate bowl,
With various charms ingrofs the foul.
Are gold, fame, health, the terms of vice
The frantic tribes fhall pay the price.
But tho' to ruin poft they run,
They'll think it hard to be undone.
Do not arraign my want of tafte
Or fight, to ken where joys are plac'd.
They widely err who think me blind;
And I difclaim a ftoic's mind.
Like yours are my fenfations quite;
I only strive to feel aright.
My joys, like ftreams, glide gently by;
Tho' fmall their channel, never dry;
Keep a ftill, even, fruitful wave,
And blefs the neighb'ring meads they lave.
My fortune (for I'll mention all,
And more than you dare tell) is fmall
Yet ev'ry friend partakes my ftore,,
And want goes finiling from my door.
Will forty fhillings warm the breast
Of worth or induftry diftreft ?
This fum I cheerfully impart,
'Tis fourfcore pleasures to my heart!
And you may make, by means like thefe,
Five talents ten, whenc'er you please.
'Tis true, my little purfe grows light;
But then I fleep fo fweet at night!
This grand fpecific will prevail
When all the doctor's opiates fail.
You afk what party I purfue?
Perhaps you mean, Whofe fool are you
The names of party I deteft;
Badges of flavery at beft:
I've too much grace to play the knave,
And too much pride to turn a flave.
I love my country from my foul,
And grieve when knaves or fools controul:
I'm pleas'd when vice and folly smart,
Or at the gibbet or the cart:
Yet always pity where I can;
Abhor the guilt, but mourn the man.
Now the religion of your poet-
Does not this little preface fhow it?
My Vifions if you scan with care,
'Tis ten to one you'll find it there.
And if my actions fuit my fong,
You can't in confcience think me wrong.
§ 212. Vifion I. Slander. Infcribed to Mifs MY lovely girl, I write for you,
And pray believe my Visions true; They'll form your mind to ev'ry grace; They'll add new beauties to your face; And when old age impairs your prime, You'll triumph o'er the spoils of time. Childhood and youth engage my pen; Tis labour loft to talk to men.:
Youth may, perhaps, reform when wrong :
Age will not liften to my fong.
He who at fifty is a fool,
Is far too stubborn grown for school.
What is that vice which ftill prevails,
When almost ev'ry patfion fails;
Which with our very dawn begun,
Nor ends but with our fetting fun;
Which, like a noxious weed, can spoil
The faireft flow'rs, and choak the foil?
'Tis Slander-and, with fhaine I own,
The vice of human-kind alone.
Be Slander, then, my leading dream,
Tho' you're a stranger to the theme;
Thy fofter breaft and honeft heart,
Scorn the defamatory art;
Thy foul afferts her native fkies,
Nor afks Detraction's wings to rife;
In foreign fpoils let others thine,
Intrinsic excellence is thine.
The bird in peacock's plumes who shone
Could plead no merit of her own:
The filly theft betray'd her pride;
And spoke her poverty befide.
Th’insidious flandering thief is worse
Than the poor rogue who fteals your purfe.
Say, he purloins your glitt'ring ftore:
Who takes your gold, takes trafh—no more;
Perhaps he pilfers-to be fed-
Ah! guiltlefs wretch, who steals for bread!
But the dark villain, who fhall aim
To blaft, my fair, thy fpotlefs name,
He'd fteal a precious gem away,
Steal what both Indies can't repay!
Here the ftrong pleas of want are vain,
Or the more impious pleas of gain.
No finking family to fave!
No gold to glut th'infatiate knave!
Improve the hint of Shakespeare's tongue;
'Twas thus immortal Shakespeare fung
And trust the bard's unerring rule;
For nature was that Poet's school.
As I was nodding in my chair,
I faw a rueful wild appear :
No verdure met my aching fight,
But hemlock and cold aconite;
Two very pois'nous plants, 'tis true,
But not fo bad as vice to you.
The dreary profpect spread around!
Deep fnow had whiten'd all the ground,
A black and barren mountain nigh,
Expos'd to ev'ry friendless sky!
The rifing fun and western ray
Were witness to her diftant fway.
The tyrant claim'd a mightier hoft
Than the proud Perfian e'er could boast.
No conqueft grac'd Darius' fon ‡,
By his own numbers half undone :
Succefs attended Slander's pow'r;
She reap'd fresh laurels ev'ry hour.
Her troops a deeper fcarlet wore
Than ever armies knew before.
No plea diverts the fury's rage,
The fury fpares nor fex nor age.
E'en Merit, with deftructive charms,
Provokes the vengeance of her arms.
Whene'er the tyrant founds to war,
Her canker'd trump is heard afar.
Pride, with a heart unknown to yield,
Commands in chief, and guides the field;
He stalks with vaft gigantic ftride,
And scatters fear and ruin wide:
So the impetuous torrent sweep
At once whole nations to the deep.
Revenge, that base Hefperian ||, known
A chief fupport of Slander's throne,
Amidft the bloody crowd is feen,
And treach'ry brooding in his mien;
The monfter often chang'd his gait,
But march'd refolv'd, and fix'd as fate:
Thus the fell kite, whom hunger ftings,
Now flowly moves his out-ftretch'd wings;
Now fwift as lightning bears away,
And darts apon his trembling prey.
Envy commands a facred band,
With fword and poifon in her hand.
Around her haggard eye-balls roll;
A thousand fiends poffefs her foul.
The artful unfufpected fprite,
With fatal aim attacks by night.
Her troops advance with filent tread,
And ftab the hero in his bed;
Or fhoot the wing'd malignant lye,
And female honours pine and die.
So prowling wolves, when darkness reigns,
Intent on murder, fcour the plains;
Approach the folds where lambs repofe,
Whofe guileless breafts fufpect no foes;
The favage gluts his fierce defires,
And bleating innocence expires.
Slander fmil'd horribly, to view
How wide her conquests daily grew :
Around the crowded levees wait,
Like oriental flaves of state;
Of either fex whole armies preft,
But chiefly of the fair and best.
Is it a breach of friendship's law,
To fay what female friends I faw ?
Slander affume's the idol's part,
And claims the tribute of the heart;
Xerxes, King of Perfia, and fon of Darius. He invaded Greece with an army confifting of more than a million of men (fome fay more than two millions); who, together with their cattle, perished in a great meafure through the inability of the countries to fupply fuch a vaft hoft with provifion.
Hefperia includes Italy as well as Spain; and the inhabitants of both are remarkable for their reveng ful difpoticons.