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In time of danger,
Such kind attentions from a stranger!
Doomed to a final drop at Newgate; And he well knows (the heedless elf!) ⚫ That there's no soul at home, except myself." "Indeed!" replied the stranger, looking grave;
"Then he's a double knave:
He knows that rogues and thieves, by scores,
And see, how easily might one
Of these domestic foes,
Even beneath your very nose,
thus, and thus,
So said, so done; - he made no more remark,
Nor waited for replies,
But marched off with his prize,
Leaving the gouty merchant in the dark!
12. THE VICTIM OF REFORM. — Blackwood's Magazine. Adapted.
A MONKEY, once, whom fate had led to list
To all the rancorous spouting and contention
For every one's emancipation
From every thing and body in creation,
Had struck at all existing institutions,
Not far he'd wandered, when his indignation
A great menagerie,
Where birds and beasts of every race and station,
The window of the building stood ajar;
Nor, like Parnassus, very hard to climb.
And many a growl was sent through many a bar.
Zounds! how it made him chafe,
A tiger limited to four feet ten;
Pug went above, a solitary mounter,
Up gloomy stairs, and saw a pensive group
Where feathered prisoners were doomed to droop:
A pining ostrich, moping in a coop;
And cramped in such a space, the longest bills
His temper little mended,
Pug from his bird-cage walk at last descended
His bosom in a pant
To see all Nature's free list thus suspended,
A hardship always reckoned quite prodigious.
To give them freedom, civil and religious;
thy bolts are undone;
Alas for Freedom, and for Freedom's hero!
13. "TIS NOT FINE FEATHERS THAT MAKE FINE BIRDS.
A PEACOCK came, with his plumage gay,
The peacock strutted; - a bird so fair
While the small bird hung at the cottage door, And what could a peacock wish for more? Alas! the bird of the rainbow wing, He was n't contented, - he tried to sing! And they who gazed on his beauty bright, Scared by his screaming, soon took to flight; While the little bird sang, in his own sweet words, ""Tis not fine feathers that make fine birds!"
Then, prithee, take warning, maidens fair,
While the little birds sing, in their own true words, ""Tis not fine feathers that make fine birds!
And ounces of Pactolian sand
Lying around him.
The case admitting no denial,
"As to offending powers divine,"
Of the King's image; you, O fearful odds!
15. THE JESTER CONDEMNED TO DEATH. -Horace Smith.
ONE of the Kings of Scanderoon, a royal jester, had in his train a gross buffoon, who used to pester the court with tricks inopportune, venting on the highest folks his scurvy pleasantries and hoaxes. It needs some sense to play the fool; which wholesome rule occurred not to our jackanapes, who consequently found his freaks lead to innumerable scrapes, and quite as many kicks and tweaks; which only made him faster try the patience of his master.
Some sin, at last, beyond all measure, incurred the desperate displeasure of his serene and raging Highness. Whether the wag had twitched his beard, which he was bound to have revered, or had intruded on the shyness of the seraglio, or let fly an epigram at royalty, none knows his sin was an occult one; but records tell us that the Sultan, meaning to terrify the knave, exclaimed, ""T is time to stop that breath! Thy doom is sealed, presumptuous slave! Thou stand'st condemned to certain death! Silence, base rebel! no replying. But such is my indulgence still, that, of my own free grace and will, I leave to thee the mode of dying." "Your royal will be done; 't is just," replied the wretch, and kissed the dust; "since, my last moments to assuage, your majesty's humane decree has deigned to leave the choice to me, I'll die, so please you, of old age!"
16. THE POET AND THE ALCHEMIST. - Horace Smith.
BEFORE this present golden age of writers, a Grub-street Garreteer existed, one of the regular inditers of odes and poems to be twisted into encomiastic verses, for patrons who have heavy purses. Besides the bellman's rhymes, he had others to let, both gay and sad, all ticketed from A to Izzard; and, living by his wits, I need not add, the rogue was lean as any lizard. Like a rope-maker's were his ways; for still one line upon another he spun, and, like his hempen brother, kept going backwards all his days. Hard by his attic lived a chemist, or alchemist, who had a mighty faith in the Elixir Vitæ ; and, though
inflattered by the dimmest glimpses of success, kept groping and grubbing in his dark vocation; stupidly hoping to find the art of changing metals, and guineas coin from pots and kettles, by mystery of transmutation.
Our starving poet took occasion to seek this conjuror's abode; not with encomiastic ode, or laudatory dedication, but with an offer to impart, for twenty pounds, the secret art, which should procure, without the pain of metals, chemistry and fire, what he so long had sought in vain, and gratify his heart's desire. The money paid, our bard was hurried to the philosopher's sanctorum: who, somewhat sublimized, and flurried out of his chemical decorum, crowed, capered, giggled, seemed to spurn his crucibles, retort and furnace, and cried, as he secured the door, and carefully put to the shutter: " Now, now, the secret, I implore! For Heaven's sake, speak, discover, utter! With grave and solemn air, the Poet cried: "List! O, list! for thus I show it: - Let this plain truth those ingrates strike, who still, though blessed, new blessings crave: that we may all have what we like, simply by liking what we have!"
17. BLINDMAN'S BUFF. -Horace Smith.
THREE wags (whom some fastidious carpers might rather designate three sharpers) entered, at York, the Cat and Fiddle; and, finding that the host was out on business for two hours or more, while Sam, the rustic waiter, wore the visage of a simple lout, whom they might safely try to diddle,- they ordered dinner in a canter, — cold or hot, it mattered not, provided it was served instanter; and, as the heat had made them very dry and dusty in their throttles, they bade the waiter bring three bottles of prime old Port, and one of Sherry. Sam ran with ardor to the larder, then to the kitchen; and, as he briskly went to work, he drew from the spit a roasted turkey, with sausages embellished, which in a trice upon the board was spread, together with a nice, cold brisket; nor did he even obliviscate half a pig's head. To these succeeded puddings, pies, custards and jellies, all doomed to fall a sacrifice to their insatiable bellies; as if, like camels, they intended to stuff into their monstrous craws enough to satisfy their maws, until their pilgrimage was ended. Talking, laughing, eating and quaffing, the bottles stood no moment still. They rallied Sam with joke and banter, and, as they drained the last decanter, called for the bill.
"T was brought, when one of them, who eyed and added up the items, cried, Extremely moderate, indeed! I'll make a point to recommend this inn to every travelling friend; and you, Sam, shall be doubly fec'd." This said, a weighty purse he drew, when his companion interposed: -"Nay, Harry, that will never do; pray let your purse again be closed; you paid all charges yesterday; 't is clearly now my turn to pay." Harry, however, would n't listen to any such insulting offer; his generous eyes appeared to glisten, indig