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'Twas hard to hit her humour high or low,

For sometimes she would laugh and sometimes cry, Sometimes would waxen wroth; and all she knew

not why.

4 Fast by her side a listless virgin pined,

With aching head and squeamish heart-burnings: Pale, bloated, cold, she seemed to hate mankind,

But loved in secret all forbidden things.
And here the Tertian shook his chilling wings;

And here the Gout, half tiger, half a snake, Raged with an hundred teeth, an hundred stings:

These and a thousand furies more did shake Those weary realms, and kept ease-loving men awake.

A DAY:

AN EPISTLE TO JOHN WILKES, OF AYLESBURY, ESQ. ESCAPED from London, now four moons and more, I greet gay Wilkes from Fulda's wasted shore, Where clothed with wood a hundred hills ascend, Where Nature many a paradise has planned:

A land that, e'en amid contending arms,
Late smiled with culture, and luxuriant charms;
But now the hostile scythe has bared her soil,
And her sad peasants starve for all their toil.

What news to-day?-I ask you not what rogue,
What paltry imp of fortune 's now in vogue;
What forward blundering fool was last preferr’d.
By mere pretence distinguished from the herd;
With what new cheat the gaping town was smit;
What crazy scribbler reigns the present wit;

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What stuff for winter the two Booths have mix'd; 15
What bouncing mimic grows a Roscius next.
Wave all such news: I've seen too much, my friend,
To stare at any wonders of that kind.

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News, none have I: you know I never had;
I never long'd the day's dull lie to spread;
I left to gossips that sweet luxury,
More in the secrets of the great than I;
To nurses, midwives, all the slippery train,
That swallow all, and bring up all again:
Or did I e'er a brief event relate,
You found it soon at length in the gazette.

Now for the weather- This is England still,
For aught I find, as good, and quite as ill.
Even now the ponderous rain perpetual falls,
Drowns every camp, and crowds our hospitals.
This soaking deluge all unstrings my frame,
Dilutes my sense, and suffocates my flame-
'Tis that which makes these present lines so tame.
The parching east wind still pursues me too-
Is there no climate where this fiend ne'er flew?
By Heaven, it slays Japan, perhaps Peru!
It blasts all Earth with its envenomed breath,
That scatters discord, rage, diseases, death.
'Twas the first plague that burst Pandora's chest,
And with a livid smile sowed all around the rest.

40

Heaven guard my friend from every plague that

flies;

Still grant him health, whence all the pleasures rise.
But oft diseases from slow causes creep,
And in this doctrine as (thank Heaven) I'm deep,

*

45

*

Meantime excuse me that I slily snatch
The only theme in which I shine your match.

50

You study early: some indulge at night,
Their prudish Muse steals in by candle-light;
Shy as th’ Athenian bard, she shuns the day,
And finds December genial more than May.
But happier you who court the early Sun,
For morning visits no debauch draw on,
Nor so the spirits, health, or sight impair,
As those that pass in the raw midnight air.

60

The task of breakfast o'er; that peevish,

pale, That lounging, yawning, most ungenial meal; Rush out, before these fools rush in to worry ye, Whose business is to be idle in a hurry, Who kill your time as frankly as their own, And feel no civil hints e'er to be gone. These flies all fairly flung, whene'er the house, Your country's business, or your friend's, allows, Rush out, enjoy the fields and the fresh air; Ride, walk, or drive, the weather foul or fair. Yet in the torrid months I would reverse This method, leave behind both prose and verse; With the gray dawn the hills and forest roam, And wait the sultry noon embower'd at home, While every rural sound improves the breeze, The railing stream, the busy rooks, and murmur of

the bees.

70 76

*

You 'll hardly choose these cheerful jaunts aloneExcept when some deep scheme is carrying on. With you at Chelsea oft may I behold The hopeful bud of sense her bloom unfold, With you I'd walk to * To rich, insipid Hackney, if you will: With you no matter where; while we're together, I scorn no spot on earth, and curse no weather.

When dinner comes, amid the various feast, That crowns your genial board, where every guest, Or grave, or gay, is happy and at home, And none e'er sighed for the mind's elbow-room; I warn you still to make your chief repast On one plain dish, and trifle with the rest.

*

90

Beef, in a fever, if your stomach crave it,
Ox-cheek, or mawkish cod, be sure you have it.
For still the constitution, even the case,
Directs the stomach; this informs the taste;
And what the taste in her capricious fits
Coyly, or even indifferently admits,
The peevish stomach or disdains to toil,
Or indolently works to vapid chyle.
This instinct of the taste so seldom errs,
That if you love, yet smart for cucumbers,
Or plums of bad repute, you 'll likely find
'Twas for you separated what Nature joined,
The spicy kernel here, and there the rind.

100

**

'Tis strange how blindly we from Nature stray! The only creatures we that miss their way!

108

• To err is human,' man's prerogative,
Who's too much sense by Nature's laws to live:
Wiser than Nature, he must thwart her plan,
And ever will be spoiling, where he can.
'Tis well he cannot ocean change to cream,
Nor earth to a gilded cake; not e'en could tame
Niagara’s steep abyss to crawl down stairs, 1
Or dress in roses the dire Cordelliers :
But what he can he does : well can he trim
A charming spot into a childish whim;
Can every generous gift of Nature spoil,
And rates their merits by his cost and toil.
Whate'er the land, whate'er the seas produce,
Of perfect texture, and exalted juice,
He pampers, or to fulsome fat, or drains,
Refines and bleaches, till no taste remains.

120

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Enough to fatten fools, or drive the dray,
But plagues and death to those of finer clay.

130

No corner else, 'tis not to be denied, Of all our isle so rankly is supplied With gross productions, and adulterate fare, As our renowned abode, whose name I spare. They cram all poultry, that the hungry fox Would loathe to touch them; e'en their boasted ox Sometimes is glutted so with unctuous spoil, That what seems beef is rather rape-seed oil. ·D'ye know what brawn is?–0 th’ unhappy beast! He stands eternal, and is doomed to feast Till—but the nauseous process I forbear

i Vide Chatsworth, 1753.-. Cordelliers : ' Les Cordellieras des Andes aro A chain of hills which run through South America

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