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A dog proficient in the trade!
He the chief flatt'rer nature made!
Go, Man, the ways of courts discern,
You'll find a spaniel still might learn.
How can the Fox's theft and plunder
Provoke his censure or his wonder?
From courtier tricks, and lawyer's arts,
The fox might well improve his parts.
The lion, wolf, and tiger's brood,
He curses for their thirst of blood:
But is not man to man a prey?
Beasts kill for hunger, men for pay.
The Bookseller, who heard him speak,
And saw him turn a page of Greek,
Thought, what a genius have I found?
Then thus address'd with bow profound :-
Learn'd Sir, if you'd employ your pen
Against the senseless sons of men,
Or write the history of Siam,
No man is better pay than I am;
Or, since your learn'd in Greek, let's see
Something against the Trinity.
When, wrinkling with a sneer his trunk,
Friend, quoth the Elephant, you're drunk;
E'en keep your money, and be wise;
Leave man on man to criticise:
For that you ne'er can want a pen
Among the senseless sons of men.
They unprovok'd will court the fray;
Envy's a sharper spur than pay.
No author ever spar'd a brother;
Wits are game-cocks to one another.
True-those are faults, the Peacock cries;
My scream, my shanks, you may despise :
But such blind critics rail in vain :
What! overlook my radiant train !
Know, did my legs (your scorn and sport)
The Turkey or the Goose support,
And did ye scream with harsher sound,
Those faults in you had ne'er been found!
To all apparent beauties blind,
Each blemish strikes an envious mind.
Thus in assemblies have I seen
A nymph of brightest charms and mien,
Wake envy in each ugly face;
And buzzing scandal fills the place.
$89. FABLE XII. Cupid, Hymen, and Plutus.
As Cupid in Cythera's grove
Employ'd the lesser pow'rs of love;
Some shape the bow, or fit the string;
Some give the taper shaft its wing,
Or turn the polish'd quiver's mould,
Or head the darts with temper'd gold.
Amidst their toil and various care,
Thus Hymen, with assuming air,
Address'd the god :-Thou purblind chit,
Of awkward and ill-judging wit,
If matches are not better made,
At once I must forswear my trade.
You send me such ill-coupled folks,
That 'tis a shame to sell them yokes;
They squabble for a pin, a feather,
And wonder how they came together.
The husband's sullen, dogged, shy;
The wife grows flippant in reply;
§ 88. FABLE xi. The Peacock, the Turkey, He loves command and due restriction,
IN beauty faults conspicuous grow;
The smallest speck is seen on snow.
As near à barn, by hunger led,
A Peacock with the poultry fed;
All view'd him with an envious eye,
And mock'd his gaudy pageantry.
He, conscious of superior merit,
Contemns their base reviling spirit;
His state and dignity assumes,
And to the sun displays his plumes;
Which, like the heav'ns o'er-arching skies,
Are spangled with a thousand eyes:
The circling rays, and varied light,
At once confound their dazzled sight:
On ev'ry tongue detraction burns,
And malice prompts their spleen by turns.
Mark with what insolence and pride
The creature takes his haughty stride,
The Turkey cries. Can spleen contain?
Sure never bird was half so vain!
But, were intrinsic merit seen,
We Turkeys have the whiter skin.
From tongue to tongue they caught abuse;
And next was heard the hissing Goose :-
What hideous legs! what filthy claws!
I scorn to censure little flaws.
Then what a horrid squalling throat!
Ev'n owls are frighted at the note.
And she as well likes contradiction:
She never slavishly submits;
She'll have her will, or have her fits:
He this way tugs, she t'other draws;
The man grows jealous, and with cause :
Nothing can save him but divorce:
And here the wife complies of course.
When, says the boy, had I to do
With either your affairs or you?
I never idly spent my darts;
You trade in mercenary hearts.
For settlements the lawyer's fee'd;
Is my hand witness to the deed?
If they like cat and dog agree,
Go rail at Plutus, not at me.
Plutus appear'd, and said-Tis true,
In marriage gold is all their view;
They seek no beauty, wit, or sense;
And love is seldom the pretence.
All offer incense at my shrine,
And I alone the bargain sign.
How can Belinda blame her fate?
She only ask'd a great estate.
Doris was rich enough, 'tis true;
Her lord must give her title too :
And ev'ry man, or rich or poor,
A fortune asks, and asks no more.
Av'rice, whatever shape it bears,
Must still be coupled with its cares..
$ 90. FABLE XIII. The Tame Stag.
As a young Stag the thicket pass'd,
The branches held his antlers fast;
A clown, who saw the captive hung,
Across the horns his halter flung.
Now safely hamper'd in the cord,
He bore the present to his lord.
His lord was pleas'd; as was the clown,
When he was tipp'd with half-a-crown.
The stag was brought before his wife!
The tender lady begg'd his life.
How sleek the skin! how speck'd like ermine!
Sure never creature was so charming!
At first, within the yard confin'd,
He flies, and hides from all mankind;
Now, bolder grown, with fix'd amaze,
And distant awe, presumes to gaze:
Munches the linen on the lines,
And on a hood or apron dines;
He steals my little master's bread,
Follows the servants to be fed :
Nearer and nearer now he stands,
To feel the praise of patting hands;
Examines ev'ry fist for meat,
And, though repuls'd, disdains retreat;
Attacks again with levell'd horns,
And man, that was his terror, scorns.
Such is the country maiden's fright,
When first a red-coat is in sight;
Behind the door she hides her face;
Next time at distance eyes the lace;
She now can all his terrors stand,
Nor from his squeeze withdraws her hand.
She plays familiar in his arms,
And ev'ry soldier hath his charms,
From tent to tent she spreads her flame;
For custom conquers fear and shame.
$91. FABLE XIV.
The hairy sylvan's round him press,
Astonish'd at his strut and dress.
Some praise his sleeve; and others glote
Upon his rich embroider'd coat;
His dapper perriwig commending,
With the black tail behind depending:
His powder'd back, above, below,
Like hoary frost or fleecy snow;
But all with envy and desire
His flutt'ring shoulder-knot admire.
Hear and improve he pertly cries;
I come to make a nation wise.
Weigh your own worth, support your place,
The next in rank to human race.
In cities long I pass'd my days,
Convers'd with men, and learn'd their ways.
Their dress, their courtly manners see;
Reform your state, and copy me.
Seek ye to thrive in flatt'ry deal;
Your scorn, your hate, with that conceal.
Seem only to regard your friends,
But use them for your private ends.
Stint not to truth the flow of wit;
Be prompt to lie whene'er 'tis fit.
Bend all your force to spatter merit;
Scandal is conversation's spirit.
Boldly to ev'ry thing attend,
And men your talents shall commend.
I knew the great. Observe me right;
So shall you grow like man polite.
He spoke, and bow'd. With mutt'ring jaws
The wond'ring circle grinn'd applause.
Now, warm with malice, envy, spite,
Their most obliging friends they bite;
And, fond to copy human ways,
Practice new mischiefs all their days.
Thus the dull Lad, too tall for school,
With travel finishes the fool;
The Monkey who had Studious of ev'ry coxcomb's airs,
A MONKEY, to reform the times,
Resolved to visit foreign climes :
For men in distant regions roam
To bring politer manners home.
So forth he fares, all toil defies;
Misfortune serves to make us wise.
At length the treach'rous snare was laid;
Poor Pug was caught, to town convey'd,
There sold. How envied was his doom,
Made captive in a lady's room!
Proud as a lover of his chains,
He day by day her favor gains.
Whene'er the duty of the day
The toilet calls, with mimic play
He twirls her knots, he cracks her fan,
Like any other gentleman.
In visits too his parts and wit,
When jests grew dull, were sure to hit.
Proud with applause, he thought his mind
In ev'ry courtly art refin'd;
Like Orpheus burnt with public zeal,
To civilize the Monkey weal:
So watch'd occasion, broke his chain,
And sought his native woods again.
He drinks, games, dresses, whores, and swears;
O'erlooks with scorn all virtuous arts;
For vice is fitted to his parts.
§ 92. FABLE XV. The Philosopher and
THE Sage, awak'd at early day,
Through the deep forest took his way;
Drawn by the music of the groves,
Along the winding gloom he roves :
From tree to tree the warbling throats
Prolong the sweet alternate notes.
But where he pass'd he terror threw ;
The song broke short, the warblers flew ;
The thrushes chatter'd with affright,
And nightingales abhorr'd his sight;
All animals before him ran,
To shun the hateful sight of man.
Whence is this dread of ev'ry creature?
Fly they our figure, or our nature?
As thus he walk'd in musing thought,
His ear imperfect accents taught;
With cautious steps he nearer drew:
By the thick shade conceal'd from view,
High on the branch a Pheasant stood;
Around her all her list'ning brood;
Proud of the blessings of her nest,
She thus a mother's care express'd :
No dangers here shall circumvent;
Within the woods enjoy content.
Sooner the hawk or vulture trust
Than Man, of animals the worst;
In him ingratitude you find;
A vice peculiar to the kind.
The sheep, whose annual fleece is dyed
To guard his health, and serve his pride,
Forc'd from his fold and native plain,
Is in the cruel shambles slain.
The swarms who, with industrious skill,
His hives with wax and honey fill;
In vain whole summer days employ'd,
Their stores are sold, their race destroy'd.
What tribute from the goose is paid!
Does not her wing all science aid?
Does it not lovers' hearts explain,
And drudge to raise the merchant's gain?
What now rewards this gen'ral use?
He takes the quills, and eats the goose.
Man then avoid, detest his ways;
So safety shali prolong your days.
When services are thus acquitted,
Be sure we Pheasants must be spitted.
§ 93. FABLE XVI. The Pin and the Needle.
A PIN, who long had serv'd a beauty,
Proficient in the toilet's duty,
Had form'd her sleeve, confin'd her hair,
Or given her knot a smarter air,
Now nearest to her heart was plac'd,
Now in her mantua's tail disgrac'd;
But could she partial fortune blame,
Who saw her lover serv'd the same.
At length from all her honors cast,
Through various turns of life she pass'd;
Now glitter'd on a tailor's arm,
Now kept a beggar's infant warm;
Now, rang'd within a miser's coat,
Contributes to his yearly groat:
Now rais'd again from low approach,
She visits in the doctor's coach!
Here, there, by various fortune tost,
At last in Gresham-hall was lost.
Charm'd with the wonders of the show,
On ev'ry side, above, below,
She now of this or that inquires;
What least was understood admires.
Tis plain, each thing so struck her mind,
Her head's of virtuoso kind.
And pray what's this, and this, dear Sir?
A Needle, says the interpreter.
She knew the name: and thus the fool
Address'd her as a tailor's tool:-
A needle with that filthy stone,
Quite idle, all with rust o'ergrown!
You better might employ your parts,
And aid the sempstress in her arts.
But tell me how the friendship grew,
Between that paltry flint and you.
Friend, says the Needle, cease to blame; I follow real worth and fame.
Know'st thou the loadstone's pow'r and art,
That virtue virtues can impart ?
Of all his talents I partake;
How can I such a friend forsake!
"Tis I direct the pilot's hand
To shun the rocks and treach'rous sand;
By me the distant world is known,
And either India is our own.
Had I with milliners been bred,
What had I been? the guide of thread,
And drudg'd as vulgar needles do,
Of no more consequence than you.
§ 94. FABLE XVII. The Shepherd's Dog and the Wolf.
A WOLF, with hunger fierce and bold,
Ravag'd the plains, and thinn'd the fold;
Deep in the wood secure he lay;
The thefts of night regal'd the day.
In vain the shepherd's wakeful care
Had spread the toils, and watch'd the snare;
In vain the Dog pursued his pace,
The fleeter robber mock'd the chace.
As Lightfoot rang'd the forest round,
By chance his foe's retreat he found
A truce, replies the Wolf. "Tis done.
The Dog the parley thus begun :
How can that strong intrepid mind
Attack a weak defenceless kind?
Those jaws should prey on nobler food,
And drink the boar's and lion's blood;
Great souls with gen'rous pity melt,
Which coward tyrants never felt.
How harmless is our fleecy care!
Be brave, and let thy mercy spare.
Friend, says the Wolf, the matter weigh;
Nature design'd us beasts of prey;
As such, when hunger finds a treat,
"Tis necessary Wolves should eat.
If, mindful of the bleating weal,
Thy bosom burn with real zeal,
Hence, and thy tyrant lord beseech;
To him repeat the moving speech:
A Wolf eats sheep but now and then;
Ten thousands are devour'd by men.
An open foe
may prove a curse;
But a pretended friend is worse.
§ 95. FABLE XVIII. The Painter who pleased nobody and every body.
LEST men suspect your tale untrue,
Keep probability in view.
The trav'ller leaping o'er those bounds,
The credit of his book confounds.
Who with his tongue hath armies routed,
Makes ev'n his real courage doubted:
But flatt'ry never seems absurd,
The flatter'd always take your word:
Impossibilities seem just;
They take the strongest praise on trust.
Hyberboles, though ne'er so great,
Will still come short of self-conceit.
So very like, a Painter drew,
That ev'ry eye the picture knew ;
He hit complexion, feature, air,
So just, the life itself was there.
No flatt'ry with his colors laid,
To bloom restor'd the faded maid;
He e gave each muscle all its strength;
The mouth, the chin, the nose's length,
His honest pencil touch'd with truth,
And mark'd the date of age and youth.
He lost his friends, his practice fail'd;
Truth should not always be reveal'd;
In dusty piles his pictures lay,
For no one sent the second pay.
Two bustos, fraught with ev'ry grace,
A Venus and Apollo's face,
He plac'd in view; resolv'd to please
Whoever sat, he drew from these;
From these corrected ev'ry feature,
And spirited each awkward creature.
All things were set; the hour was come,
His pallet ready o'er his thumb,
My Lord appear'd; and, seated right
In proper attitude and light,
The Painter look'd, he sketch'd the piece,
Then dipp'd his pencil, talk'd of Greece.
Of Titian's tints, of Guido's air;
Those eyes, my Lord, the spirit there
Might well a Raphael's hand require,
To give them all the native fire;
The features fraught with sense and wit,
You'll grant, are very hard to hit;
But yet with patience you shall view
As much as paint and art can do.
Observe the work. My Lord replied,
Till now I thought my mouth was wide;
Besides, my nose is somewhat long;
Dear Sir, for me 'tis far too young.
Oh pardon me! the artist cried,
In this the painters must decide.
The piece ev'n common eyes must strike;
I warrant it extremely like.
My Lord examin'd it anew;
No looking-glass seem'd half so true.
A Lady came, with borrow'd grace,
He from his Venus form'd her face.
Her lover prais'd the Painter's art;
So like the picture in his heart!
To ev'ry age some charm he lent;
Ev'n beauties were alınost content.
Through all the town his art they prais'd;
His custom grew, his price was rais'd.
Had he the real likeness shown,
Would any man the picture own?
But when thus happily he wrought,
Each found the likeness in his thought.
§ 96. FABLE XIX. The Lion and the Cub.
How fond are men of rule and place,
Who court it from the mean and base!
These cannot bear an equal nigh,
But from superior merit fly.
They love the cellar's vulgar joke,
And lose their hours in ale and smoke,
There o'er some petty club preside;
So poor, so paltry is their pride!
Nay, ev'n with fools whole nights will sit,
In hopes to be supreme in wit.
If these can read, to these I write,
To set their worth in truest light.
A Lion-cub, of sordid mind,
Avoided all the lion-kind;
Fond of applause, he sought the feasts
Of vulgar and ignoble beasts;
With asses all his time he spent ;
Their club's perpetual president:
He caught their manners, looks, and airs;
An ass in ev'ry thing but ears!
If e'er his highness meant a joke,
They grinn'd applause before he spoke;
But at each word what shouts of praise!
Good gods! how natural he brays!
Elate with flatt'ry and conceit,
He seeks his royal sire's retreat;
Forward, and fond to show his parts,
His highness brays; the lion starts:-
Puppy! that curs'd vociferation
Betrays thy life and conversation :
Coxcombs, an ever-noisy race,
Are trumpets of their own disgrace.
Why so severe ? the Cub replies;
Our senate always held me wise.
How weak is pride! returns the sire;
All fools are vain when fools admire!
But know, what stupid asses prize,
Lions and noble beasts despise.
$97. FABLE XX. The old Hen and the Cock.
RESTRAIN your child; you'll soon believe
The text which says, "We sprung from Eve."
As an old Hen led forth her train,
And seem'd to peck to show the grain;
She rak'd the chaff, she scratch'd the ground,
And glean'd the spacious yard around.
A giddy Chick, to try her wings,
On the well's narrow margin springs,
And prone she drops. The mother's breast
All day with sorrow was possest.
A Cock she met; her son she knew,
And in her heart affection grew.
My son, says she, I grant your years
Have reach'd beyond a mother's cares.
I see you vig'rous, strong, and bold;
I hear with joy your triumphs told.
"Tis not from Cocks thy fate I dread;
But let thy ever-wary tread
Avoid yon well; the fatal place
Is sure perdition to our race.
Print this my counsel on thy breast:
To the just gods I leave the rest.
He thanked her care; yet day by day
His bosom burn'd to disobey;
And ev'ry time the well he saw,
Scorn'd in his heart the foolish law:
Near and more near each day he drew,
And long'd to try the dang'rous view.
Why was this idle charge? he cries;
Let courage female fears despise.
Or did she doubt my heart was brave,
And therefore this injunction gave?
Or does her harvest store the place,
A treasure for her younger race?
And would she thus my search prevent?
I stand resolv'd, and dare th' event.
Thus said, he mounts the margin's round,
And pries into the depth profound.
He stretch'd his neck; and from below
With stretching neck advanc'd a foe:
With wrath his ruffled plumes he rears,
The foe with ruffled plumes appears:
Threat answer'd threat; his fury grew ;
Headlong to meet the war he flew ;
But when the wat'ry death he found,
He thus lamented as he drown'd :—
I ne'er had been in this condition,
But for my mother's prohibition.
$99. FABLE XXII. The Goat without a Beard. "Tis certain that the modish passions Descends among the crowd, like fashions. Excuse me, then, if pride, conceit, (The manners of the fair and great,)
I give to monkeys, asses, hogs,
Fleas, owls, goats, butterflies, and dogs. say that these are proud: what then?
$98. FABLE XXI. The Rat-Catcher and Cats. I never said they equal men.
THE rats by night such mischief did,
Betty was ev'ry morning chid:
They undermin'd whole sides of bacon;
Her cheese was sapp'd, her tarts were taken;
Her pasties, fenc'd with thickest paste,
Were all demolish'd and laid waste.
She curs'd the Cat for want of duty,
Who left her foes a constant booty.
An engineer of noted skill
Engaged to stop the growing ill.
From room to room he now surveys
Their haunts, their works, their secret ways,
Finds where they 'scape an ambuscade,
And whence the nightly sally's made.
An envious Cat, from place to place,
Unseen attends his silent pace.
She saw that, if his trade went on,
The purring race must be undone;
So secretly removes his baits,
And ev'ry stratagem defeats.
Again he sets the poison'd toils,
And Puss again the labour foils.
"What foe (to frustrate my designs) "My schemes thus nightly countermines?" Incens'd, he cries: "this very hour "The wretch shall bleed beneath my pow'r." So said a pond'rous trap he brought, And in the fact poor Puss was caught. "Smuggler," says he," thou shalt be made "A victim to our loss of trade."
The captive Cat, with piteous mews, For pardon, life, and freedom sues. "A sister of the science spare; "One int'rest is our common care." "What insolence!" the man replied; "Shall Cats with us the game divide? "Were all your interloping band
Extinguish'd, or expell'd the land, "We Rat-catchers might raise our fees, "Sole guardians of a nation's cheese!," A Cat, who saw the lifted knife, Thus spoke, and sav'd her sister's life: "In ev'ry age and clime we see, "Two of a trade can ne'er agree.
A Goat (as vain as Goat can be)
Whene'er a thymy bank he found,
He roll'd upon the fragrant ground;
And then with fond attention stood,
Fix'd o'er his image in the flood.
"I hate my frowsy beard," he cries ;
"My youth is lost in this disguise.
"Did not the females know my vigor,
"Well might they loath this rev'rend figure."
Resolv'd to smooth his shaggy face,
He sought the barber of the place.
A flippant monkey, spruce and smart,
Hard-by profess'd the dapper art;
His pole with pewter basons hung;
Black rotten teeth in order strung;
Rang'd cups that in the window stood,
Lin'd with red rags, to look like blood,
Did well his threefold trade explain:
Who shav'd, drew teeth, and breath'd a vein.
The Goat he welcomes with an air,
And seats him in his wooden chair:
Mouth, nose, and cheek the lather hides;
Light, smooth, and swift the razor glides.
I hope your custom, sir," says Pug;
"Sure never face was half so smug."
The Goat, impatient for applause, Swift to the neigh'ring hill withdraws; The shaggy people grinn'd and star'd: "Heighday! what's here without a beard?
Say, brother, whence the dire disgrace? "What envious hand hath robb'd your face?" -When thus the fop, with smiles of scorn: "Are beards by civil nations worn?
"E'en Muscovites have mow'd their chins : "Shall we, like formal Capuchins, "Stubborn in pride, retain the mode, "And bear about the hairy load? "Whene'er we through the village stray, "Are we not mock'd along the way, "Insulted with loud shouts of scorn, By boys our beards disgrac'd and torn?" Were you no more with Goats to dwell, "Brother, I grant you reason well,”