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And drive you, Giuli, to a state so low,
That you shall hang yourself, and I be gay.
Oh, with what folly did they toil in vain,
Who thought old Arnold, Sully, or Gabor wise,
And night and day labored with earnest eyes
To turn their metals into golden grain!
How did their pots and they perspire again
Over their sulphurs, salts, and mercuries,
And never, after all, could see their prize,
Or do what Nature does, and with no pain:
And yet, ah me! why, why, dear Nature say,
This lovely art- why must it be despised?
Why mayn't we follow this thy noblest way?
I'd work myself; and having realized,
Great Heavens! a capital of Giuli Tre,
Break up my tools, content and aggrandized.
My Creditor seems often in a way
Extremely pleasant with me, and polite;
Just like a friend. You'd fancy, at first sight,
He thought no longer of the Giuli Tre.
All that he wants to know is, what they say
Of Frederick now; whether his guess was right
About the sailing of the French that night;
Or, What's the news of Hanover and D'Estrée.
But start from whence he may, he comes as truly,
By little and little, to his ancient pass,
And "Well when am I to have the Giuli?"
"Tis the cat's way. She takes her mouse, alas!
And having purred, and eyed, and tapped him duly,
Gives him at length the fatal coup de grace.
My Creditor has no such arms as he
Whom Homer trumpets, or whom Virgil sings,
Arms which dismissed so many souls in strings,
From warlike Ilium and from Italy;
Nor has he those of later memory,
With which Orlando did such loads of things;
But with hard hints, and horrid botherings,
And such rough ways, — with these he warreth me.
And suddenly he launcheth at me, lo!
His terrible demand the Giuli Tre;
I draw me back, and thrust him with a No!
Then glows the fierce resentment of the fray,
Till turning round, I scamper from the foe;
The only way, I find, to gain the day.
THE CURATE AND HIS BISHOP.
(From the French. Written during the Old Régime. Translated by Leigh Hunt.)
ON BUSINESS called from his abode,
A curate jogged along the road.
In patient leanness jogged his mare;
The curate, jogging, breathed a prayer;
And jogging as she faced the meads,
His maid, behind him, told her beads.
They hear a carriage, it o'ertakes 'em ;
With grinding noise and dust it rakes 'em;
"Tis he himself! they know his port;
My Lord the Bishop, bound to court.
Beside him to help meditation,
The lady sits, his young relation.
The carriage stops! the curate doffs
His hat, and bows; the lady coughs:
The prelate bends his lordly eyes,
And "How now, sir!" in wrath he cries;
"What! choose the very King's highway,
And ride with girls in open day!
Good heav'ns! what next will curates do?
My fancy shudders at the view. —
Girl, cover up your horrid stocking:
Was ever seen a group so shocking!"
"My Lord," replies the blushing man,
"Pardon me, pray, and pardon Anne;
Oh deem it, good my Lord, no sin:
I had no coach to put her in."
[GEORGE CRABBE, English poet, was born at Aldeburgh, on the Suffolk seaboard, December 25, 1754. Having failed to establish himself as a physician in his native town, he went up to London to make a trial of literature. After a hard struggle with poverty he obtained the assistance of Burke, and was introduced to Fox, Sir Joshua Reynolds, Lord Thurlow, and the publisher Dodsley, who brought out "The Library" (1781). At Burke's suggestion, Crabbe entered the Church, became domestic chaplain to the Duke of Rutland at Belvoir Castle, and from 1813 until his death, February 3, 1832, was rector of Trowbridge in Wiltshire. His principal works are: "The Village," "The Parish Register," "The Borough," and "Tales of the Hall."]
THAN old George Fletcher, on the British coast
Dwelt not a seaman who had more to boast:
Kind, simple, and sincere - he seldom spoke,
But sometimes sang and chorused
In dangers steady, with his lot content,
His days in labor and in love were spent.
He left a son so like him, that the old
With joy exclaimed, ""Tis Fletcher we behold;"
But to his brother, when the kinsmen came
And viewed his form, they grudged the father's name.
George was a bold, intrepid, careless lad,
With just the failings that his father had;
Isaac was weak, attentive, slow, exact,
With just the virtues that his father lacked.
George lived at sea: upon the land a guest
He sought for recreation, not for rest;
While, far unlike, his brother's feeble form
Shrank from the cold, and shuddered at the storm;
Still with the seaman's to connect his trade,
The boy was bound where blocks and ropes were made.
George, strong and sturdy, had a tender mind,
And was to Isaac pitiful and kind;
A very father, till his art was gained,
And then a friend unwearied he remained;
He saw his brother was of spirit low,
His temper peevish, and his motions slow;
Not fit to bustle in a world, or make
Friends to his fortune for his merit's sake;
But the kind sailor could not boast the art
Of looking deeply in the human heart;
Else had he seen that this weak brother knew
What men to court-what objects to pursue;
That he to distant gain the way discerned,
And none so crooked but his genius learned.
Isaac was poor, and this the brother felt;
He hired a house, and there the landman dwelt,
Wrought at his trade, and had an easy home,
For there would George with cash and comforts come:
And when they parted, Isaac looked around
Where other friends and helpers might be found.
He wished for some port place, and one might fall, He wisely thought, if he should try for all; He had a vote - and were it well applied,
Might have its worth and he had views beside;
Old Burgess Steel was able to promote
An humble man who served him with a vote;
For Isaac felt not what some tempers feel,
But bowed and bent the neck to Burgess Steel;
And great attention to a lady gave,
His ancient friend, a maiden spare and grave;
One whom the visage long and look demure
Of Isaac pleased - he seemed sedate and pure;
And his soft heart conceived a gentle flame
For her who waited on this virtuous dame :
Not an outrageous love, a scorching fire,
But friendly liking and chastised desire;
And thus he waited, patient in delay,
In present favor and in fortune's way.
George then was coasting-war was yet delayed,
And what he gained was to his brother paid;
Nor asked the seaman what he saved or spent,
But took his grog, wrought hard, and was content;
Till war awaked the land, and George began
To think what part became a useful man:
"Pressed, I must go; why, then, 'tis better far At once to enter like a British tar,
Than a brave captain and the foe to shun,
As if I feared the music of a gun."
"Go not!" said Isaac
"you shall wear disguise."
"What!" said the seaman, "clothe myself with lies!" "Oh! but there's danger.".
"Danger in the fleet? You cannot mean, good brother, of defeat; And other dangers I at land must share So now adieu! and trust a brother's care."
Isaac awhile demurred-but, in his heart, So might he share, he was disposed to part:
The better mind will sometimes feel the pain
Of benefactions favor is a chain;
But they the feeling scorn, and what they wish, disdain;
While beings formed in coarser mold will hate
The helping hand they ought to venerate:
No wonder George should in this cause prevail,
With one contending who was glad to fail:
"Isaac, farewell! do wipe that doleful eye;
Crying we came, and groaning we may die;
Let us do something 'twixt the groan and
And hear me, brother, whether pay or prize,
One half to thee I give and I devise;
For thou hast oft occasion for the aid
Of learned physicians, and they will be paid;
Their wives and children men support at sea,
And thou, my lad, art wife and child to me:
Farewell! I go where hope and honor call,
Nor does it follow that who fights must fall."
Isaac here made a poor attempt to speak,
And a huge tear moved slowly down his cheek;
Like Pluto's iron drop, hard sign of grace,
It slowly rolled upon the rueful face,
Forced by the striving will alone its way to trace.
Years fled-war lasted - George at sea remained,
While the slow landman still his profits gained:
A humble place was vacant-he besought
His patron's interest, and the office caught;
For still the virgin was his faithful friend,
And one so sober could with truth commend,
Who of his own defects most humbly thought,
And their advice with zeal and reverence sought:
Whom thus the mistress praised, the maid approved,
And her he wedded whom he wisely loved.
No more he needs assistance — but, alas!
He fears the money will for liquor pass;
Or that the seaman might to flatterers lend,
Or give support to some pretended friend:
Still he must write - he wrote, and he confessed
That, till absolved, he should be sore distressed;
But one so friendly would, he thought, forgive
The hasty deed - Heaven knew how he should live;
"But you," he added, "as a man of sense,
Have well considered danger and expense:
I ran, alas! into the fatal snare,
And now for trouble must my mind prepare;