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Were I but now the lord of such hot youth;
As when brave Gaunt, thy father, and myself,
Rescued the Black Prince, that young Mars of men,
From forth the ranks of many thousand French;
Oh, then, how quickly should this arm of mine,
Now prisoner to the palsy, chastise thee,
And minister correction to thy fault.
Many are the sayings of the wise,
In ancient and in modern books enrolled,
Extolling patience as the truest fortitude;
And to the bearing well of all calamities,
All chances incident to man's frail life,
With studied argument, and much persuasion sought,
Lenient of grief and anxious thought;
But with the afflicted in his pangs their sound
Little prevails, or rather seems a tune
Harsh and of dissonant mood from his complaint;
Unless he feels within
Some source of consolation from above,
Secret refreshings that repair his strength,
And fainting spirits uphold.
When I consider how my light is spent,"
Ere half my days in this dark world and wide,
And that one talent which is death to hide,
Lodged with me useless, though my soul more beut,
To serve therewith my Maker and, present
My true account, lest he returning chide;
"Doth God exact day-labour, light denied ?"
I fondly ask; but Patience, to prevent
That murmur, soon replies, God doth not need
Either man's work, or his own gifts; who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best; his state
Is kingly, thousands at his bidding speed,
And pass o'er land and ocean without rest,
They also serve who only stand and wait.
CAPTAIN BOBADIL'S METHOD OF DEFEATING AN ARMY.
I will tell you, sir, by way of private and under seal, I am a gentleman, and live here obscure and to myself; but were I known to his Majesty and the Lords, observe me, I would undertake, upon this poor head and life, for the public benefit of the state, not only to spare the entire lives of his subjects in general, but to save the one-half, nay three-fourths of his yearly charge in holding war, and against what enemy soever. And how would I do it think you?-Why thus, sir:-I would select nineteen more to myself, throughout the land: gentlemen they should be; of good spirit, strong and able constitution. I would choose them by an instinct that I have. And I would teach these nineteen the special rules; as, your Punto, your Reverso, your Stoccata, your Imbroccata, your Passada, your Montonto, till they could all play very near, or altogether, as well as myself. This done, say the enemy were forty thousand strong. We twenty would come into the field, the tenth of March, or thereabout, and we would challenge twenty of the enemy; they could not in their honour refuse us. Well-we would kill them: challenge twenty more-kill them: twenty more-kill them: twenty more-kill them too. And thus would we kill every man his ten a day-ten a day, that's ten score: ten score-that's two hundred: two hundred a day-five days a thousand-forty thousand-forty times
five-five times forty-two hundred days, kill them all by computation. And this I will venture my poor gentleman-like carcase to perform (provided there be no treason practised upon us) by fair and discreet manhood; that is, civilly-by the sword.
THE POST ARRIVES IN THE VILLAGE.
Hark! 'tis the twanging horn! o'er yonder bridge,
That with its wearisome but needful length
Bestrides the wintry flood, in which the moon
Sees her unwrinkl'd face reflected bright,
He comes, the herald of a noisy world,
With spatter'd boots, strapp'd waist and frozen locks,
News from all nations lumb'ring at his back,
True to his charge the close-packed load behind,
Yet careless what he brings, his one concern
Is to conduct it to the destined inn ;
And having dropp'd th' expected bag, pass on.
He whistles as he goes, light-hearted wretch,
Cold, and yet cheerful; messenger of grief
Perhaps to thousands, and of joy to some;
To him indiff'rent whether grief or joy.
Houses in ashes, and the fall of stocks,
Births, deaths, marriages, epistles wet
With tears that trickled down the writer's cheeks
Fast as the periods from his fluent quill,
Or charg'd with am'rous sighs of absent swains,
Or nymphs responsive, equally affect
His horse and him, unconscious of them all.
But oh, th' important budget! ushered in
With such heart-shaking music, who can say
What are its tidings; have our troops awak'd?
Or do they still as if with opium drugg'd,
Snore to the murmurs of th' Atlantic wave?
Is India free? and does she wear her plum'd
And jewell'd turban with a smile of peace;
Or do we grind her still? The grand debate,
The popular harangue, the tart reply,
The logic, and the wisdom, and the wit,
And the loud laugh—I long to know them all;
I burn to set th' imprison'd wranglers free,
And give them voice and utterance once again,
Now stir the fire, and close the shutters fast,
Let fall the curtains, wheel the sofa round;
And while the bubbling and loud hissing urn
Throws up a steamy column, and the cups
That cheer not to inebriate, wait ou each,
So let us welcome peaceful ev'ning in.
Not such his ev'ning, who with shining face,
Sweats in the crowded theatre, and squeez'd
And bor'd with elbow points through both his sides
Outscolds the ranting actor on the stage.
Nor his who patient stands till his feet throb
And his head thumps, to feed upon the breath
Of patriots, bursting with heroic rage,
Or placemen, all tranquillity and smiles,
This folio of four pages, happy work!
Which not e'en critics criticise, that holds
Inquisitive attention, while I read,
Fast bound in chains of silence, which the fair,
Though eloquent themselves, yet fear to break,
What is it but a map of busy life,
Its fluctuations, and its vast concerns?
Here runs the mountainous and craggy ridge
That tempts ambition. On the summit, see
The seals of office glitter in his eye;
He climbs, he pants, he grasps them. At his heels
Close at his heels a demagogue ascends,
And with a dext'rous jirk soon twists him down
And wins them, but to lose them in his turn.
Here rills of oily eloquence in soft
Meanders lubricate the course they take.
The modest speaker is asham'd and griev'd
Τ engross a moment's notice: and yet
Begs a propitious ear for his poor thoughts,
However trivial all that he conceives.
Sweet bashfulness! it claims at last this praise:
The dearth of information and good sense
That it foretells us, always comes to pass.
Cataracts of declamation thunder here;
The forests of no-meaning spread the page
In which all comprehension wanders lost;
While fields of pleasantry amuse us there
With merry descants on a nation's woes.
The rest appears a wilderness of strange
But gay confusion-roses for the cheeks
And lilies for the brows of faded age,
Teeth for the toothless, ringlets for the bald,
Heaven, earth, and ocean plunder'd of the sweets,
Nectareous essences, Olympian dews ;
Sermons, and city feasts, and fav'rite airs,
Ethereal journeys, submarine exploits
And Katerfelto,* with his hair on end
At his own wonders, wond'ring for his bread.
REPORT OF AN ADJUDGED CASE, NOT TO BE FOUND IN ANY OF THE BOOKS.
Between Nose and Eyes a strange contest arose,
The spectacles set them unhappily wrong;
The point in dispute was, as all the world knows,
To which the said spectacles ought to belong.
So the tongue was the lawyer, and argued the cause,
With a great deal of skill, and a wig full of learning
While chief baron Ear sat to balance the laws,
So famed for his talent in nicely discerning
In behalf of the Nose, it will quickly appear,
And your lordship, he said, will undoubtedly find
That the Nose has had spectacles always in wear,
Which amounts to possession, time out of mind.
Then holding the spectacles up to the court-
Katerfelto, a celebrated juggler.