Images de page
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

Thou answerest; ugly; and the filthiest beast
That banquets upon offal. Now I pray

thee Hear the pig's counsel.

Is he obstinate ?
We must not, Jacob, be deceived by words,
By sophist sounds. A democratic beast,
He knows that his unmerciful drivers seek
Their profit and not his. He hath not learned
That pigs were made for man, born to be brawned
And baconized. As for his ugliness—
Nay, Jacob, look at him;
Those eyes have taught the lover flattery.
Behold his tail, my friend; with curls like that
The wanton hop marries her stately spouse :
And what is beauty but the aptitude
Of parts harmonious ; give fancy scope,
And thou wilt find that no imagined change
Can beautify the beast. All would but mar
His pig perfection.

The last charge,-he lives
A dirty life. Here I could shelter him
With precedents right reverend and noble,
And show by sanction of authority
That 'tis a very honorable thing
To thrive by dirty ways. But let me rest
On better ground the unanswerable defense.
The pig is a philosopher, who knows
No prejudice. Dirt ? Jacob, what is dirt ?
If niatter, why the delicate dish that tempts
The o'ergorged epicure is nothing more.
And there, that breeze
Pleads with me, and has won thee to the smile
That speaks conviction. O'er yon blossomed field
Of beans it came, and thoughts of bacon rise.

24.

HODGE AND THE VICAR.-Anonymous.

Hodge, a poor honest country lout,

Not overstocked with learning,
Chanced, on a summer's eve, to meet
The vicar, home returning.

“Ah! master Hodge,” the vicar cried,

• What still as wise as ever ? The people in the village say

That you are wondrous clever.”

Why, master parson, as to that

I beg you'll right conceive me, I do na brag, but yet I know

A thing or two, believe me."

“We'll try your skill,” the parson cried,

“For learning what digestion : And this you'll prove, or right or wrong,

By solving me a question :

“ Noah of old three babies had, Or

grown-up children rather; Shem, Ham, and Japhet they were called :

Now, who was Japhet's father ?"

“Rat it!" cried Hodge, and scratched his head,

“ That does my wits belabor : But howsomde'er, I'll homeward run,

And ax old Giles, my neighbor."

To Giles he went, and put the case

With circumspect intention : “ Thou fool," cried Giles, "I'll make it clear,

To thy dull comprehension.

“ Three children has Tom Long, the smith,

Or cattle-doctor rather;
Tom, Dick, and Harry, they are called :

Now, who is Harry's father?"

66

“ Adzooks! I have it," Hodge replied,

Right well I know your lingo ;
Who's Harry's father ? stop-- here goes-

Why Tom Long Smith, by jingo.'

Away he ran to find the priest

With all his might and main, Who with good humor instant put

The question once again :

“ Noah of old three babies had,
Or
grown-up

children rather;
Shem, Ham, and Japhet they were called :

Now who was Japhet's father ?"
“I have it now," Hodge grinning cried,

“ I'll answer like a proctor ;
Who's Japhet's father? now I know;

Why Tom Long Smith, the doctor.”

[ocr errors]

25.

PAPER-A CONVERSATIONAL PLEASANTRY.-Franklin.

Some wit of old—such wits of old there were-
Whose hints showed meaning, whose allusions care,
-By one brave stroke to mark all human kind,
Called clear blank paper every infant mind;
Where still, as opening sense her dictates wrote,
Fair virtue put a seal, or vice a blot.

The thought was happy, pertinent, and true
Methinks a genius might the plan pursue.
1-(can you pardon my presumption ?)—I,
No wit, no genius, yet, for once, will try.

Various the papers, various wants produce ;
The wants of fashion, elegance, and use.
Men are as various; and, if right I scan,
Each sort of paper represents some man.
Pray note the fop ;-half powder, and half lace!
Nice as a bandbox were his dwelling-place.
He's the gilt paper which apart you store,
And lock from vulgar hands in the 'scrutoir.

Mechanics, servants, farmers, and so forth,
Are copy paper of inferior worth !
Less prized; more useful; for your desk decreed;
Free to all pens, and prompt at every need.
The wretch whom avarice bids to pinch and spare,
Starve, cheat, and pilfer, to enrich an heir,
Is coarse brown paper ; such as pedlers choose
To wrap up wares which better men will use.

Take next the miser's contrast ; who destroys
Health, fame, and fortune in a round of joys.
Will any paper match him? Yes, throughout:
He's a true sinking paper, past all doubt.

The retail politician's anxious thought
Deems this side always right, and that stark naught:
He foams with censure ; with applause he raves ;
A dupe to rumors, and a tool to knaves :
He'll want no type his weakness to proclaim,
While such a thing as foolscap has a name.

The hasty gentleman, whose blood runs high,
Who jacks a quarrel if you step awry;
Who can't a jest, a hint, a look endure !
What is he ?—What ?-touch paper to be sure.

What are our poets ? (take them as they fall
Good, bad, rich, poor, much read, not read at all,)
Them and their works in the same class you'll find :
They are—the mere waste paper of mankind.

Observe the maiden, innocently sweet!
She's fair white paper! an unsullied sheet;
On which the happy man whom fate ordains,
May write his name, and take her for his pains.

One instance more, and only one, I'll bring !
'Tis the great man who scorns a little thing;
Whose thought, whose deeds, whose maxims are his own;
Formed on the feelings of his heart alone.
True, genuine, royal paper is his breast:
Of all the kinds, most precious, purest, best.

[blocks in formation]

Alas! what pity 'tis that regularity,

Like Isaac Shove's is such a rarity,
But there are swilling wights in London town

Termed-jolly dogs,-choice spirits—alias swine,
Who pour in midnight revel, bumpers down,

Making their throats a thoroughfare for wine.

These spendthrifts, who life's pleasures thus run on,

Dozing with headaches till the afternoon,
Lose half men's regular estate of sun,

By borrowing too largely of the moon.
One of this kidney,-Toby Tosspot hight-
Was coming from the Bedford late at night:
And being Bacchi plenus,-full of wine,

Although he had a iolerable notion
Of aiming at progressive motion,
'Twasn't direct- 'twas serpentine.
He worked with sinuosities, along,

Like Monsieur Corkscrew, worming through a cork,
Not straight, like Corkscrew's proxy, stiff Don Prong—a fork.
At length, with near four bottles in his pate,
He saw the moon shining on Shove's brass plate,
When reading, “ Please to ring the bell,”

And being civil beyond measure,
“Ring it!" says Toby—“Very well ;

I'll ring it with a deal of pleasure.”
Toby, the kindest soul in all the town,
Gave it a jerk that almost jerked it down.
He waited full two minutes—no one came;

He waited full two minutes niore;—and then,
Says Toby, “ If he's deaf, I'm not to blame;

I'll pull it for the gentleman again." But the first peal ’woke Isaac in a fright,

Who, quick as lightning, popping up his head,

Sat on his head's antipodes, in bed, Pale as a parsnip, -bolt upright. At length, he wisely to himself doth say,-calming his fears, “ Tush! 'tis some fool has rung and run away;" When peal the second rattled in his ears! Shove jumped into the middle of the floor;

And, trembling at each breath of air that stirred, He groped down stairs, and opened the street-door,

While Toby was performing peal the third.
Isaac eyed Toby, fearfully askant,-

And saw he was a strapper stout and tall,
Then put this question ;-“ Pray, sir, what d'ye want ?"

Says Toby, "I want nothing, sir, at all."

« PrécédentContinuer »