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Written and spoken by the Poet LABERIUS, a Roman Knight whom CESAR forced upon the Stage.-Preserved by MACROBIUS.

WHAT! no way left to shun th' inglorious stage,
And save from infamy my sinking age!
Scarce half alive, oppressed with many a year,
What, in the name of dotage, drives me here?
A time there was, when glory was my guide,
No force nor fraud could turn my steps aside;
Unawed by power, and unappalled by fear,
With honest thrift I held my honour dear:
But this vile hour disperses all my store,
And all my hoard of honour is no more;
For ah! too partial to my life's decline,
Cesar persuades, submission must be mine;
Him I obey, whom Heaven itself obeys,
Hopeless of pleasing, yet inclined to please.
Here then at once I welcome every shame,
And cancel at threescore a life of fame :
No more my titles shall my children tell;
The old buffoon will fit my name as well:
This day beyond its term my fate extends,
For life is ended when our honour ends.


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So with decorum all things carried;
Miss frowned and blushed, and then was

Need we expose to vulgar sight
The raptures of the bridal night?
Need we intrude on hallowed ground,
Or draw the curtains closed around?
Let it suffice, that each had charms :
He clasped a goddess in his arms;
And, though she felt his usage rough,
Yet in a man 'twas well enough.

The honey-moon like lightning flew ;
The second brought its transports too;
A third, a fourth, were not amiss;
The fifth was friendship mixed with bliss:
But, when a twelvemonth passed away,
Jack found his goddess made of clay;
Found half the charms that decked her face

Arose from powder, shreds, or lace: But still the worst remained behind, That very face had robbed her mind.

Skilled in no other arts was she, But dressing, patching, repartee; And, just as humour rose or fell, By turns a slattern or a belle. 'Tis true she dressed with modern grace, Half naked at a ball or race; But when at home, at board or bed, Five greasy night-caps wrapped her head. Could so much beauty condescend To be a dull domestic friend? Could any curtain lectures bring To decency so fine a thing? In short, by night 'twas fits or fretting; By day 'twas ga lding or coquetting. Fond to be seen, she kept a bevy Of powdered coxcombs at her levy: The 'squire and captain took their stations, And twenty other near relations: Jack sucked his pipe and often broke A sigh in suffocating smoke; While all their hours were passed between Insulting repartee or spleen.

Thus as her faults each day were known, He thinks her features coarser grown; He fancies every vice she shows Or thins her lip, or points her nose: Whenever rage or envy rise,How wide her mouth, how wild her eyes! He knows not how, but so it is, Her face is grown a knowing phiz; And, though her fops are wondrous civil, He thinks her ugly as the devil.


LONG had I sought in vain to find
A likeness for the scribbling kind;
The modern scribbling kind, who write
In wit, and sense, and nature's spite;
Till reading, I forget what day on,
A chapter out of Tooke's Pantheon,
I think I met with something there
To suit my purpose to a hair:
But let us not proceed too furious,
First please to turn to God Mercurius !
You'll find him pictured at full length
In book the second, page the tenth:
The stress of all my proofs on him I lay,
And now proceed we to our simile.

Now to perplex the ravelled noose, As each a different way pursues, While sullen or loquacious strife Promised to hold them on for life, That dire disease, whose ruthless powe Withers the beauty's transient flower Lo! the small pox, whose horrid glare Levelled its terrors at the fair; And, rifling every youthful grace, Left but the remnant of a face.

The glass, grown hateful to her sight Reflected now a perfect fright; Each former art she vainly tries To bring back lustre to her eyes; In vain she tries her paste and creams. To smooth her skin or hide its seams; Her country beaux and city cousins, Lovers no more, flew off by dozens; The 'squire himself was seen to yield, And even the captain quit the field.

Poor madam, now condemned to hack The rest of life with anxious Jack, Perceiving others fairly flown, Attempted pleasing him alone. Jack soon was dazzled to behold Her present face surpass the old: With modesty her cheeks are dyed; Humility displaces pride; For tawdry finery is seen A person ever neatly clean: No more presuming on her sway, She learns good-nature every day: Serenely gay, and strict in duty, Jack finds his wife a perfect beauty.


Imprimis, pray observe his hat, Wings upon either side-mark that. Well! what is it from thence we gather? Why, these denote a brain of feather. A brain of feather! very right, With wit that's flighty, learning light ; Such as to modern bard's decreed; A just comparison,--proceed.

In the next place, his feet peruse, Wings grow again from both his shoes; Designed, no doubt, their part to bear, And waft his godship through the air : And here my simile unites : For in the modern poet's flights,

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WHERE the Red Lion, flaring o'er the way,
Invites each passing stranger that can pay,
Where Calvert's butt and Parson's black champagne
Regale the drabs and bloods of Drury-lane;
There, in a lonely room, from bailiffs snug,
The Muse found Scroggen stretched beneath a rug.
A window, patched with paper, lent a ray,
That dimly showed the state in which he lay;
The sanded floor that grits beneath the tread;
The humid wall with paltry pictures spread;
The royal Game of Goose was there in view,
And the Twelve Rules the royal martyr drew;
The Seasons, framed with listing, found a place,
And brave Prince William showed his lamp-black face:
The morn was cold, he views with keen desire
The rusty grate unconscious of a fire:

With beer and milk arrears the frieze was scored,
And five cracked teacups dressed the chimney board:
A night-cap decked his brows instead of bay;
A cap by night--a stocking all the day!

GOOD people all, of every sort,
Give ear unto my song;
And if you find it wondrous short,-
It cannot hold you long.


In Islington there was a man,

Of whom the world might say,
That still a godly race he ran,
Whene'er he went to pray.

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