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What, three months gone, and never send
A single letter to a Friend?
In that time, sure, we might have known
fat or lean was grown ; Whether
host was short or tall,
Had manners good, or none at all;
Whether the neighb'ring squire you found
As mere a brute as fox or hound;
Or if the parson of the place
(With all due rev'rence to his grace)
Took much more pains himself to keep,
Than to instruct and feert his sheep;
At what hour of the day you dine;
Whether you drink beer, punch, or wine;
Whether you hunt, or shoot, or ride;
Or, by some muddy ditch's side,
Which you, in visionary dream, ,
Call bubbling rill, or purling stream,
Sigh for some aukward country lass,
Who must of consequence surpass
All that is beautiful and bright,
As much as day surpasses night;
Whether the people eat and drink,
Or ever talk, or ever think;
If, to the honour of their parts,
The men have heads, the women hearts;
If the moon rises and goes down,
And changes as she does in town;
If you've returns of night and day,
And seasons varying roll away;
mind exalted wooes Th' embraces of a serious muse; Or if you write, as I do now, The L-d knows what, the L-d knows how.These, and a thousand things like these, The friendly heart are sure to please. Now will my friend turn up
And look superlatively wise ;
Wonder what all this stuff's about,
And how the plague I found him out!
When he had taken so much pains,
In order to regale his brains
With privacy and country air,
To go, no soul alive knew where!
Besides, 'tis folly to suppose
That any person breathing goes
On such a scheme, with a design
To write or read such stuff as mine,
And idly waste his precious time
In all th' impertinence of rhyme.
My good, wise, venerable sir!
Wby about nonsense all this stir!
Is it, that you would stand alone,
And read no nonsense but your own;
Tho' you're (to tell you, by the bye)
Not half so great a fool as I;
Or is it that you make pretence,
Being a fool, to have some sense?
And would you really have my muse
Employ herself in writing news,
And most unconscionably teize her
With rhyming to Warsaw and Weser;
Or toss up a poetic olio,
Merely to bring in Marshal Broglio?
Should I recite what now is doing,
Or what for future times is brewing,
Or triumph that the poor French see all
Their hopes defeated at Montreal,
Or should I
carry To Fred'rick, Ferdinand, or Harry,
Of flying Russian, dastard Swede,
And baffled Austria let you read ;
Or gravely tell with what design
The youthful Henry pass'd the Rhine ?
Or should I shake my empty head,
And tell you that the King is dead,
Observe what changes will ensue, :
What will be what, and who'll be who,
Or leaving these things to my betters,
Before you set the state of letters.?
Or should I tell domestic jars,
How author against author wars,
How both with mutual envy rankling,
Fr--k--n damns M--rp--y, M--rp--y Fr--k--n?
Or will it more your mind engage
To talk of actors and the stage,
To tell, if any words could tell,
What GARRICK acts still, and how well,
That SHERIDAN with all his care
Will always be a labour'd play'r,
And that his acting at the best
Is all but art, and art confest;
That BRIDE *, if reason may presume
To judge by things past, things to come,
* Miss Bride, formerly of Drury-lane Theatre.
In future times will tread the stage;
Equally form'd for love and rage,
Whilst Pope for comic humour fam'd,
Shall live when CLIVE no more is nam'd,
Your wisdom I suppose can't bear
About dull pantomime to hear; -.
Nor would you have a single word
Of Harlequin, and wooden sword,
Of dumb shew, fools tricks, and
And wit which lies all in grimaces,
Nor should I any thing advance.
Of new invented comic dance.
Callous, perhaps, to things like these, Would it your worship better please, That I, more loaden than the camels, Should crawl in philosophic trammels? Should I attack the stars, and stray In triumph o'er the milky way, And like the TITANS try to move From seat of empire royal Jove, Then spread my terrors all around, And his Satellites confound, Teach the war far and wide to rage, And ev'ry star by turns engage? The danger we should share between us, You fight with MARS and I with Venus.