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A trav’ler took his folitary way ; -
It was an ancient lonely houfe, that stood
Strait he difmounts, repeats his loud commands ; Swift at the gate the ready landlord stands; With frequent cringe he bows, and begs excuse, His house was full, and ev'ry bed in ufe. What not a garret, and no straw to spare ? Why then the kitchen-fire and elbow. chair Shall ferve for once to nod away the night. The kitchen ever is the servant’s right, Replies the host ; there, all the fire around, The count's tir’d footmen fnore upon the ground.
The maid, who liften'd to this whole debate, With pity learnt the weary stranger's fate. Be brave, she cries, you ftill may be our guest, Our haunted room was ever held the best ;
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If then your valour can the fright fustain Of rattling curtains and the clinking chain, If your courageous tongue has power to talk, When round your bed the horrid ghost shall walk; If you dare ask it, why it leaves its tomb, I'll fee your sheets well air’d, and fhow the room, „“ Soon as the frighted maid her tale had told, | The stranger enter’d, for his heart was bold. The damfelled him through a spacious hall, Where ivy hung the half-demolish’d wall; She frequent look'd behind, and chang'd her hue, While fancy tipt the candle's flame with blue. And now they gain'd the winding stairs afcent, And to the lonefome room of terrors went. When all was ready fwift retir’d the maid, The watch-lights burn, tuckt warm in bed was laid The hardy stranger, and attends the sprite ’Till his accustom’d walk at dead of night. At first he hears the wind with hollow roar Shake the loose lock, and fwing the creaking door ; Nearer and nearer draws the dreadful found Of rattling chains, that dragg'd upon the ground: When lo, the fpečtre came with horrid stride, * Approach'd the bed, and drew the curtains wide; In human form the ghaftful phantom stood, Expos'd his mangled bosom dy’d with blood, Then filent pointing to his wounded breast, | Thrice wav'd his hand. Beneath his frighted guest, The bed. cords trembled, and with shudd'ring fear, y • Sweat chill'd his limbs, high rofe his bristled.hair; Then mutt'ring hasty pray'rs, he mann'd his heart, And cry'd aloud ; Say, whence and who thou art? The stalking ghost with hollow voice replies, Three years are counted, since with mortal eyes I saw the fun, and vital air respir'd. Like thee benighted, and with travel tir’d, Within these walls I slept. O thirst of gain f See still the planks the bloody marks retain ; Stretch'd on this very bed, from sleep I start, And fee the steel impending o’er my heart; The barb’rous hostess held the lifted knife, The floor ran purple with my gushing life.
My treasure now they seize, the golden spoil
C H A P. · XVI: s- of F a B L = s. HE Fable differs little from the Tale, except in this, that it is allegorical, and generally introduces animals, and things inanimate, as persons difcourfing together, and delivering Precepts for the improvement of
mankind: This fpecies of composition was invented, we may fuppofe, to convey truth in an indirect manner, and un, der feigned charaćters, in cafes where to speak plainly, and directly to the purpose, might not befo fafe or fo effec
tual. We find this ufe made of it even in the Holy Scriptures. Fotham’s parable of the trees in the ninth chapter of Judges is a kind of Fable, as is also that of Nathan's poor man and his lamb; which, as Mr. Addison obferves, conveyed instruction to the ear of a king without offence, and brought David to a proper fense of his guilt, and of his duty. Æsop, we may suppose, read his lećtures in this manner as well for the fake of safety, as | to make them more agreeable ; and we are told that in the beginning of the Roman Commonwealth, a mutiny was appeafed, and the incensed rabble reduced to reason, by a Fable of the belly and the limbs; when a man would have been torn in pieces, perhaps, who had preached the fame doćtrine to them in any other manner. It is always expećted that these compositions should inculcate fome moral, or useful lefson, for when deficient in this respect, they are of little, or no value.–Take an example from Mr. GAY.
The JUG GLER s. A FABL e. By Mr. Gay.
A Juggler long through all the town