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Or pining Love shall waste their youth, Or Jealousy with rankling tooth,
That inly gnaws the secret heart, And Envy wan, and faded Care, Grim-visag'd, comfortless Despair, And Sorrow's piercing dart.
Ambition this shall tempt to rise,
Then whirl the wretch from high,
To bitter Scorn a sacrifice,
And grinning Infamy.
The stings of Falsehood those shall try, And hard Unkindness' alter'd eye,
That mocks the tear it forc'd to flow, And keen Remorse with blood defil'd, And moody Madness laughing wild Amid severest woe.
A grisly troop are seen,
The painful family of Death,
More hideous than their queen:
This racks the joints, this fires the veins, That every labouring sinew strains;
Those in the deeper vitals rage:
Lo, Poverty, to fill the band,
That numbs the soul with icy hand;
And slow-consuming Age.
To each his suff'rings: all are men,
Condemn'd alike to groan,
The tender for another's pain,
Th' unfeeling for his own.
Yet, ah! why should they know their fate?
Since Sorrow never comes too late,
And Happiness too swiftly flies:
Thought would destroy their paradise.
No more: where ignorance is bliss,
'Tis folly to be wise.
THE wealthy Cit, grown old in trade,
Now wishes for the rural shade,
And buckles to his one-horse chair
Old Dobbin, or the founder'd mare;
While wedg'd in closely by his side
Sits Madam, his unwieldy bride,
With Jackey on a stool before 'em,
And out they jog in due decorum.
Scarce past the turnpike half a mile,
How all the country seems to smile!
And, as they slowly jog together,
The Cit commends the road and weather;
While Madam dotes upon the trees,
And longs for ev'ry house she sees,
Admires its views, its situation,
And thus she opens her oration:
"What signify the loads of wealth
Without that richest jewel, health?
Excuse the fondness of a wife,
Who dotes upon your precious life?
Such ceaseless toil, such constant care,
Is more than human strength can bear;
One may observe it in your face-
Indeed, my dear, you break apace;
And nothing can your health repair,
But exercise and country air.
Sir Traffic has a house, you know,
About a mile from Cheney-row;
He's a good man, indeed, 'tis true,
But not so warm, my dear, as you;
And folks are always apt to sneer-
One would not be out-done, my dear!"
Sir Traffic's name so well apply'd
Awak'd his brother merchant's pride;
And Thrifty, who had all his life
Paid utmost deference to his wife,
Confess'd her arguments had reason,
And by th' approaching summer season
Draws a few hundreds from the stocks, And purchases his Country Box.
Some three or four miles out of town, (An hour's ride will bring you down) He fixes on his choice abode,
Not half a furlong from the road;
And so convenient does it lay,
The stages pass it every day:
And then so snug, so mighty pretty,
To have a house so near the city!
Take but your places at the Boar,
You're set down at the very door.
Well then, suppose them fix'd at last,
White-washing, painting, scrubbing past,
Hugging themselves in ease and clover,
With all the fuss of moving over;
Lo, a new heap of whims are bred,
And wanton in my lady's head.
"Well, to be sure, it must be own'd, It is a charming spot of ground; So sweet a distance for a ride, And all about so countryfied! 'Twould come to but a trifling price To make it quite a paradise. I cannot bear those nasty rails, Those ugly, broken, mouldy pails: Suppose, my dear, instead of these, We build a railing all Chinese:
Although one hates to be expos'd,
'Tis dismal to be thus inclos'd;
One hardly any object sees-
I wish you'd fell those odious trees.
Objects continual passing by
Were something to amuse the eye;
But to be pent within the walls-
One might as well be at St. Paul's.
Our house beholders would adore,
Was there a level lawn before;
Nothing its views to incommode,
But quite laid open to the road!
While every traveller, in amaze,
Should on our little mansion gaze,
And, pointing to the choice retreat,
Cry, "That's Sir Thrifty's country-seat."
No doubt her arguments prevail,
For Madam's taste can never fail.
Blest age! when all men may procure
The title of a Connoisseur;
When noble and ignoble herd
Are govern'd by a single word;
Though, like the royal German dames,
It bears a hundred christian names;
As Genius, Fancy, Judgment, Goût,
Whim, Caprice, Je ne sçai quoi, Virtù;
Which appellations all describe
Taste and the modern tasteful tribe.