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Τ Η Ε

SPLENDID SHILLING,

BY MR. J. PHILIPS.

This is reckoned the best parody of Milton in our

language: it has been an hundred times imitated, without fuccess. The truth is, the first thing in this way must preclude all future attempts; for nothing is fo easy as to burlesque any man's man- : ner, when we are once shewed the way.

APPY the man, who, void of cares and strife,

In filken, or in leathern, purse, retains A Splendid Shilling: he nor hears with pain New oysters cry'd, nor fighs for chearful ale ; But, with his friends, when nightly mists arise, To Juniper's Magpye, or Town-Hall * repairs : Where, mindful of the nymph whose wanton eye Transfix'd his foul, and kindled amorous flames, Cloe, or Philips; he each circling glass Wisheth her health, and joy, and equal love. Mean while, he fiokes, and laughs at merry tale, Or Pun ambiguous, or Conundrum quaint. But I, whom griping penury surrounds,

* Two noted alehouses in Oxford, 1700.

And

And hunger, sure attendant upon want,
With scanty offals, and small acid tiff,
(Wretched repast !) my meagre corps sustain s
Then solitary walk, or doze at home
In garret vile, and with a warming puff
Regale chill'd fingers; or from tube as black
As winter chimney, or well-polish'd jet,
Exhale Mundungus, ill-perfuming scent:
Not blacker tube, nor of a shorter size
Smokes Cambro-Briton (vers'd in pedigree,
Sprung from Cadwalador and Arthur, kings
Full famous in romantic tale) when he
O'er
many a craggy

hill and barren cliff,
Upon a cargo of fam'd Ceftrian cheese,
High over-shadowing rides, with a design
To vend his wares, or at th’ Arvonian mart,
Or Maridunum, or the antient town
Yclip'd Brechinia; or where Vaga's stream
Encircles Ariconium, fruitful foil !
Whence fow nectareous wines, that well may vie
With Massic, Setin, or renown's Falern.

Thus, while my joyless minutes tedious flow,
With looks demure, and silent pace, a Dun,
Horrible monster! hated by gods and men,
To my aërial citadel ascends,
With vocal heel thrice thundering at my gate,
With hideous accent thrice he calls; I know
The voice ill-boding, and the folemn found.
What should I do? or whither turn? amaz’d,
Confounded, to the dark recefs I fly

Of

Of woodhole; strait my brifling hairs erect
Thro' sudden fear; a chilly sweat bedews
My shudd'ring limbs, and (wonderful to tell!)
My tongue forgets her faculty of speech;
So horrible he seems ! his faded brow
Entrench'd with many a frown, and conic beard,
And spreading band, admir'd by modern faints,
Disastrous acts forebode; in his right hand
Long scrolls of paper folemnly he waves,
With characters and figures dire inscrib'd,
Grievous to mortal eyes; (ye gods, avert
Such plagues from righteous men) behind him stalks
Another monster not unlike himself,
Sullen of aspect, by the vulgar call'd
A Catchpole; whose polluted hands the Gods
With force incredible, and magic charms,
First have endu'd if he his ample palm
Should, haply, on ill-fated shoulder lay
Of debtor, strait his body, to the touch
Obsequious, (as whilom knights were wont)
To some inchanted castle is convey'd,
Where gates impregnable, and coercive chains
In durance strict detain him, till, in form
Of money, Pallas sets the captive free.

Beware, ye debtors, when ye walk, beware,
Be circumspect; oft, with infiduous ken,
This caitiff eyes your steps aloof, and oft
Lies perdue in a nook or gloomy cave,
Prompt to inchant some inadvertent wretch
With his unhallow'd touch. So (poets fing)

Grimalkin

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Grimalkin, to domestic vermin fworn
An everlasting foe, with watchful eye
Lies nightly brooding o'er a chinky gap,
Protending her fell claws, to thoughtless mice
Sure ruin. So, her disembowell'd web,
Arachne, in a hall, or kitchen, spreads,
Obvious to vagrant flies : fhe fecret stands
Within her woven cell; the humming prey,
Regardless of their fate, rush on the toils
Inextricable, nor will aught avail
Their arts, or arms, or ibapes of lovely hue ;
: The wasp insiduous, and the buzzing drone,
And butterfly, proud of expanded wings
Diftinct with gold, entangled in her snares,
Useless resistance make; with eager strides,
She tow'sing flies to her expected fpoils;
Then, with envenom'd jaws, the vital blood
Drinks of reluctant foes, and to her cave
Their bulky carcases triumphant drags.

So pafs my days. But when nocturnal shades
This world invetop, and th' inclement air
Perfuades men to repel benumbing frosts
With pleafant wines, and crackling blaze of wood ;
Me, lonely fitting, nor the glimmering light
Of makeweight candle, nor the joyous talk
Of loving friend delights; distress'd, forlorn,
Amidst the horrors of the tedious night,
Darkling I úgh, and feed with dismal thoughts
My anxious mind, or, sometimes, mournful verse
Indite, and sing of groves and myrtle fhades,

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