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I knew the man, and knew his nature mild, And was his plaything often when a child; But somewhat at that moment pinch'd him close;
Else he was seldom bitter or morose.
Perhaps, his confidence just then betray'd,
Perhaps 'twas mere good-humour gave it birth, The harmless play of pleasantry and mirth. Howe'er it was, his language, in my mind, Bespoke at least a man that knew mankind.
But, not to moralize too much, and strain Το
prove an evil of which all complain, (I hate long arguments, verbosely spun) One story more, dear Hill, and I have done. Once on a time an emp'ròr, a wise manNo matter where, in China or JapanDecreed that whosoever should offend
Against the well-known duties of a friend,
Convicted once, should ever after wear
But half a coat, and show his bosom bare.
Oh, happy Britain! we have not to fear
Such hard and arbitrary measure here;
Else, could a law like that which I relate
Once have the sanction of our triple state,
An honest man, close-button'd to the chin,
Broad-cloth without, and a warm heart within.