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Poll, in the uproar, from his cage,
With this rebuke outscream'd her rage.

A Parrot is for talking priz'd,
But prattling women are despis'd.
She who attacks another's honour,
Draws ev'ry living thing upon her.
Think, Madam, when you stretch your lungs,
That all your neighbours too have tongues;
One slander must ten thousand get,
The world with int’rest pays the debt.

FABLE XXVI.

THE CUR AND THE MASTIFF.

A SNEAKING Cur; the master's spy,
Rewarded for his daily, lie,
With secret jealousies and fears
Set all together by the ears.
Poor puss to-day was in disgrace,
Another cat supply'd her place ;
The hound was beat, the mastiff chid;
The monkey was the room forbid;
Each to his dearest friend grew shy,
And none could tell the reason why.

A plan to rob the house was laid:
The thief with love seduc'd the maid,
Cajol'd the Cur, and strok'd his head,
And bought his secresy with bread:

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He next the Mastiff's honour try'd,
Whose honest jaws the bribe defy'd:
He stretch'd his hand to proffer more;
The surly dog his fingers tore.

Swift ran the Cur; with indignation
The master took his information.
Hang him, the villain's curs’d, he cries;
And round his neck the halter ties.

The Dog his humble suit preferr’d,
And begg'd in justice to be heard.
The master sat. On either hand
The cited Dogs confronting stand;
The Cur the bloody tale relates,
And, like a lawyer, aggravates.

Judge not unheard, the Mastiff cry'd,
But weigh the cause of either side.
Think not that treach’ry can be just;
Take not informers' words on trust;
They ope their hand to ev'ry pay,
And you and me by turns betray.

He spoke, and all the truth appear'd:
The Cur was hang'd, the Mastiff clear'd.

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FABLE XXVII.

THE SICK MAN AND THE ANGEL.

Is there no hope ? the sick man said.
The silent doctor shook his head,

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And took his leave with signs of sorrow,
Despairing of his fee to-morrow.

When thus the Man, with gasping breath;
I feel the chilling wound of Death.
Since I must bid the world adieu,
Let me my former life review.
I grant my bargains well were made,
But all men overreach in trade;
'Tis self-defence in each profession;
Sure self-defence is no transgression.
The little portion in my hands,
By good security on lands,
Is well increas'd. If, unawares,
My justice to myself and heirs
Hath let my debtor rot in jail,
For want of good sufficient bail;
If I by writ, or bond, or deed,
Reduc'd a family to need,
My will hath made the world amends;
My hope on charity depends.
When I am number'd with the dead,
And all my pious gifts are read,
By heav'n and earth 'twill then be known
My charities were amply shown.

An Angel came. Ah! Friend! he cry'd,
No more in flatt'ring hope confide.
Can thy good deeds in former times
Outweigh the balance of thy crimes ?

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What widow, or what orphan prays
To cro:n thy life with length of days ?
A pious action's in thy pow'r,
Embrace with joy the happy hour,
Now while you draw the vital air,
Prove your intention is sincere :
This instant give a hundred pound;
Your neighbours want, and you abound.

But why such ste, the sick Man whines;
Who knows as yet what Heav'n designs ?
Perhaps I may recover still.
That sum and more are in my will.

Fool, says the Vision, now 'tis plain,
Your life, your soul, your heav'n, was gain.
From ev'ry side, with all your might,
You scrap'd, and scrap'd beyond your right;
And after death would fain atone,
By giving what is not your own.

While there is life, there's hope, he cry’d;
Then why such haste ? so groan'd and dy’d.

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FABLE XXVIII.

THE PERSIAN, THE SUN, AND THE CLOUD.

Is there a bard whom genius fires,
Whose ev'ry thought the God inspires ?
When Envy reads the nervous lines,
She frets, she rails, she raves, she pines;

Her hissing snakes with venom swell;
She calls her venal train from hell:
The servile fiends her nod obey;
And all Curl's authors are in pay.
Fame calls up Calumny and spite :
Thus shadow owes its birth to light.

As prostrate to the God of Day,
With heart devout, a Persian lay,
His invocation thus begun:

Parent of light! all-seeing Sun!
Prolific beam, whose rays dispense
The various gifts of Providence,
Accept our praise, our daily pray'r,
Smile on our fields, and bless the year.

A Cloud, who mock'd his grateful tongue,
The day with sudden darkness hung ;
With pride and envy swell’d, aloud
A voice thus thunder'd from the cloud.

Weak is this gaudy God of thine,
Whom I at will forbid to shine.
Shall I nor vows nor incense know ?
Where praise is due the praise bestow.

With fervent zeal the Persian mov'd,
Thus the proud Calumny reprov'd.
It was that God who claims my pray'r
Who gave thee birth, and rais' thee there;
When o'er his beams the veil is thrown,
Thy substance is but plainer shown:

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