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A learned friend he could confide on,
Who lived full thirty years at Sidon,
Once show'd him, midst the seals and rings
Of more than thirty Syrian kings,
A copper piece, in shape and size
Exactly that þefore their eyes,
On which, in high relief, was seen
The image of a Tyrian queen;
Which made him think this other dame
A true Phænician, and the same.
The next, a critic, grave and big,
Hid in a most enormous wig,
Who in his manner, mien, and shape was
A genuine son of Esculapius,
Wonder'd that men of such discerning
In all the abstruser parts of learning,
Could err, through want of wit or grace,
So strangely in so plain a case.
'It came (says he), or I will be whipp'd, From Memphis in the Lower Egypt. Soon as the Nile's prolific flood Has fill’d the plains with slime and mud, All Egypt in a moment swarms With myriads of abortive worms, Whose appetites would soon devour Each cabbage, artichoke, and flower, Did not some birds with active zeal Eat up whole millions at a meal, And check the pest, while yet the year Is ripening into stalk and ear. This blessing, visibly divine, Is finely portray'd on the coin ; For here this line, so faint and weak, Is certainly a bill or beak;
Which bill or beak, upon my word,
In hieroglyphics means a bird,
The very bird whose numerous tribe is
Distinguish'd by the name of Ibis.
Besides, the figure with the wand,
Mark'd by a sistrum in her hand,
Appears, the moment she is seen,
An Isis, Egypt's boasted queen.
Sir, I'm as sure as if my eye
Had seen the artist cut the die,
That these two curves, which wave and float thus,
Are but the tendrils of the lotus,
Which, as Herodotus has said,
The' Egyptians always eat for bread.'
He spoke, and heard, without a pause,
The rising murmur of applause ;
The voice of admiration rung
On every ear from every tongue :
Astonish'd at the lucky hit,
They stared, they deified his wit.
But ah! what arts by fate are tried,
To vex and humble human pride!
To pull down poets from Parnassus,
And turn grave doctors into asses!
For whilst the band their voices raise
To celebrate the sage's praise,
And echo through the house convey'd
Their pæans loud to man and maid ;
Tom, a pert waiter, smart and clever,
Adroit pretence who wanted never,
Curious to see what caused this rout,
And what the doctors were about,
Slily stepp'd in to snuff the candles,
And ask whate'er they pleased to want else.
Soon as the synod he came near,
Loud dissonance assail'd his ear;
Strange mingled sounds, in pompous style,
Of Isis, Ibis, Lotus, Nile :
And soon in Romans' hand he spies
The coin, the cause of all their noise.
Quick to his side he flies amain,
And peeps, and snuffs, and peeps again :
And though antiques he had no skill in,
He knew a sixpence from a shilling;
And, spite of rust or rub, could trace
On humble brass Britannia's face.
Soon her fair image he descries,
And, big with laughter and surprise,
He burst — And is this group of learning
So short of sense and plain discerning,
That a mere halfpenny can be
To them a curiosity ?
If this is your best proof of science,
With wisdom Tom claims no alliance;
Content with nature's artless knowledge,
He scorns alike both school and college.'
More had he said—but, lo! around
A storm in every face he found :
On Romans' brow black thunders hung,
And whirlwinds rush'd from Swinton's tongue;
Thynne lightning flash'd from every pore,
And reason's voice was heard no more.
The tempest eyed, Tom speeds his flight,
And, sneering, bids them all good night;
Convinced that pedantry's allies
May be too learned to be wise.
HORACE'S FIRST SATIRE MODERNIZED,
AND ADDRESSED TO JACOB HENRIQUEZ.
It is hardly necessary to apprise the attentive reader that the
honest Hebrew is by no means introduced in this satire as
a real miser, but merely as an actor, extremely well quali-
fied by his comic powers to personate the character.
Pray, gentlefolks, cease your scoffing.
PRAY tell me, friend Jacob, how comes it to pass
That, say what we will, every man is an ass?
Against his own lot everlastingly braying,
And for change of condition still whining and
The soldier worn out with fatigues and with scars,
As he hobbles to Chelsea, cries, ‘Curse on the
wars!' He envies the merchant the ease of his gain, As acquired without toil and secured without pain.
The merchant, at mercy of winds and of waves, When he thinks upon war, all its dangers he braves; • What's in it? he cries, 'why, you hear the bombs thunder,
[plunder.' Death relieves you at once or you're loaded with
The lawyer indulging his afternoon nap, [rap, When he starts from his chair at his client's loud To burn all his briefs, in a rage makes a vow, And swears by St. Edward-he'll follow the plough.
[to the city, While the poor country clown, dragg’d by writ As he gapes at the signs, cries, ‘Ola!’tis so pretty!'
His eyes full of wonder he greedily feasts,
With St. Paul's, and the giants, the bridge, and
the beasts ;
On return to his cot, 'tis his glory to tell, [bell.
How all pleasure's confined to the sound of Bow
Butenough of examples—no more can be wanted; That all men are grumblers, we'll now take for granted :
[spirit lodges For to ransack each breast where this cursed Would wear out the windpipe of Orator Hodges. So, not to fatigue you with vain declamation, I'll unfold the design of this motley relation, Suppose then Old Jove should proclaim by his cryer,
[desire, 'Twas his pleasure to grant all these knaves their Make the merchant a soldier, the lawyer a ploughman;
[now, man? Pass--presto—'tis done. "Ha! what ails you What the devil, not stir ?-Give a shake to that fellow;
[lowThe dog has been drinking, and got himself mel. 'Twould be cruel to force, and what signifies arguing ?
[their bargain. Now their prayers have been heard they repent of Why such shuffling as this would provoke a Divinity!
[I'd ha' gi'n it ye? Ye damn'd rogues! What ye ask'd-don't ye see Now—mind what I say-Should you tease me hereafter,
[laughter.' Your prayers will be only received with horse
But, joking apart, for you'll say 'tis beguilingYet I know not that truth ever suffer'd by smiling; Nay, a laugh gilds a pill, makes it sweeter to swallow;
[Apollo; Your dry stuff won't be read were it writ by