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Oft has it been my lot to mark A proud, conceited, talking spark, With eyes that hardly serv’d at most To guard their master 'gainst a post: Yet round the world the blade has been To see whatever could be seen. Returning from his finish'd tout, Grown ten times perter than before Whatever word you chance to drop, The travell’d fool your mouth will stop; “Sir, if my judgment you'll allow— “I’ve seen—and sure I ought to know”— So begs you'd pay a due submission, And acquiesce in his decision.
Two travellers of such a cast,
“Hold there,”, the other quick replies,
chapter xiii. THE YoUTH AND THE PHILosophER.
A Grecian Youth, of talents rare, Whom Plato's philosophic care Had form'd for virtue's nobler view, By precepts and example too, Would often boast his matchless skill, To curb the steed, and guide the wheel; And as he pass'd the gazing throng, With graceful ease, and smack'd the thong, The idiot wonder they express'd Was praise and transport to his breast. At length, quite vain, he needs would show His master what his art could do; And bade his slaves the chariot lead To Academus’ sacred shade. The trembling grove confess'd its fright, The wood-nymphs started at the sight; The Muses drop the learned lyre, And to their inmost shades retire. Howe'er the youth, with forward air, Bows to the sage, and mounts the car: The lash resounds, the coursers spring, The chariot marks the rolling ring; And gath'ring crowds with eager eyes, And shouts, pursue him as he flies. Triumphant to the goal return'd, With nobler thirst his bosoma burn'd; And now along th' indented plain, The self-same track he marks again, Pursues with care the nice design, Nor ever deviates from the line. Amazement seiz'd the circling crowd, The youths with emulation glow'd; Ev’n bearded sages hail'd the boy, And all, but Plato, gaz'd with joy; For he, deep judging sage, beheld With pain the triumphs of the field;
And when the charioteer drew migh,
Where London's column, pointing at the skies,
Asleep and naked as an Indian lay, An honest factor stole a gem away: He pledg'd it to the knight; the knight had wit, So kept the Di’mond, and the rogue was bit. Sonie scruple rose, but thus he eas'd his thought, “I’ll now give sixpence where I gave a groat; “Where once I went to Church, I'll now go twice— “And am so clear too of all other vice.” The Tempter saw his time; the work he ply'd; Stocks and subscriptions pour on ev'ry side, Till all the Demon makes his full descent In one abundant show'r of cent. per cent. Sinks deep within him, and possesses whole, Then dubs Director, and secures his soul. Behold Sir Balaam now a man of spirit, Ascribes his gettings to his parts and merit; What late he call'd a Blessing, now was Wit, And God’s good Providence, a lucky Hit. Things change their titles, as our manners turn: His Counting-house employ'd the Sunday morn: Seldom at Church ('twas such a busy life) But duly sent his family and wife. There (so the Devil ordain’d) one Christmas-tide My good old Lady catch'd a cold and dy’d. A Nymph of 2nality admires our Knight, He marries, bows at Court, and grows polite : , Leaves the dull Cits, and joins (to please the Fair) The well-bred cuckolds in St. James's air. In Britain's Senate he a seat obtains, And one more pensioner St. Stephen gains. My Lady falls to play; so bad her chance, e must repair it; takes a bribe from France; The House impeach him; Coningsby harangues; The Court forsake him, and Sir Balaam hangs. Wife, Son, and Daughter, Satan! are thy own, His wealth, yet dearer, forfeits to the Crown : The Devil and the King divide the prize, And sad Sir Balaam curses God and dies.