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But still the kittens, sitting as before,
Sat watching close the bottom of the door.
“I hope,” said I, “the villain I would kill
Has slipp'd between the door and the door-sill;
And if } make despatch, and follow hard,
No doubt but I shall find him in the yard;"
For long ere now it should have been rehearsed,
'Twas in the garden that I found him first.
Ev’n there I found him ; there the full-grown cat,
His head, with velvet paw, did gently pat;
As curious as the kittens erst had been
To learn what this phenomenon might mean.
Fill'd with heroic ardour at the sight,
And fearing every moment he would bite,
And rob our household of our only cat,
That was of age to combat with a rat;
With outstretch'd hoe 1 slew him at the door,
And taught him NEVER To comE THERE No MoRE.
ON FRIENDSHIP. “Amicitia nisi inter bonos esse non potest.”—CICERO,
HAT virtue can we name, or grace,
But men unqualified and base
Will boast it their possession ?
Profusion apes the noble part
Of liberality of heart,
And dulness of discretion.
But, as the gem of richest cost
Is ever counterfeited most,
So, always, imitation
Employs the utraost skill she can
To counterfeit the faithful man,
The friend of long duration.
Some will pronounce me too severe— But long experience speaks me clear; Therefore, that censure scorning, I will proceed to mark the shelves, On which so many dash themselves, And give the simple warning.
Youth, unadmonished by a guide,
Will trust to any fair outside :
An error soon corrected ;
For who but learns, with riper years,
That man, when smoothest he appears,
Is most to be suspected.
But here again a danger lies;
Lest, thus deluded by our eyes,
And taking trash for treasure,
We should, when undeceived, conclude
Friendship, imaginary good,
A mere Utopian pleasure.
An acquisition, rather rare,
Is yet no subject of despair;
Nor should it seem distressful,
If either on forbidden ground,
Or where it was not to be found,
We sought it unsuccessful.
No friendship will abide the test
That stands on Sordid interest
Aud mean self-love erected ;
Nor such, as may awhile subsist
"Twixt sensualist and sensualist,
For vicious ends connected.
Who hopes a friend, should have a heart,
Himself, well furnished for the part,
And ready on occasion
To show the virtue that he seeks ;
For ’tis an union that bespeaks
A just reciprocation.
A fretful temper will divide
The closest knot that may be tied,
By ceaseless sharp corrosion:
A temper, passionate and fierce,
May suddenly your joys disperse
At one immense explosion.
In vain the talkative unite
With hope of permanent delight:
The secret just committed
They drop through mere desire to prate,
Forgetting its important weight,
And § themselves outwitted.
How bright soe'er the prospect seems,
All thoughts of friendship are but dreams,
If envy chance to creep in :
An envious man, if you succeed,
May prove a dang'rous foe indeed,
But not a friend worth keeping.
As envy pines at good possess'd,
So jealousy looks forth distress'd,
On good that seems approaching;
And if success his steps attend,
Discerns a rival in a friend,
And hates him for encroaching.
Hence authors of illustrious name
(Unless belied by common fame)
Are sadly prone to quarrel;
To deem the wit a friend displays
So much of loss to their own praise,
And pluck each other's laurel.
A man renown'd for repartee,
Will seldom scruple to make free
With friendship's finest feeling;
Will thrust a dagger at your breast,
And tell you 'twas a special jest,
By way of balm for healing.
Beware of tatlers; keep your ear
Close stopt against the tales they hear,
Fruits of their own invention;
The separation of chief friends
Is what their kindness most intends ;
Their sport is your dissension.
Friendship that wantonly admits
A joco-serious play of wits,
In brilliant altercation,
Is union such as indicates,
Like Hand-in-Hand Insurance plates,
Danger of conflagration.
Some fickle creatures boast a soul
True as the needle to the pole,
Yet shifting, like the weather,
The needle's constancy forego
For any novelty, and show
Its variations rather.
Insensibility makes some
Unseasonably deaf and dumb,
When most you need their pity;
'Tis waiting till the tears shall fall
From Gog and Magog in Guildhall,
Those playthings of the city.
The great and small but rarely meet
On terms of amity complete :
Th' attempt would scarce be madder,
Should any from the bottom hope,
At one huge stride, to reach the top
Of an erected ladder.
Courtier and patriot cannot mix
Their het'rogeneous politics
Without an effervescence,
Such as of salts with lemon-juice,
But which is rarely known to induce,
Like that, a coalescence.
Religion should extinguish strife,
And make a calm of human life :
But even those, who differ
Only on o: left at large,
How fiercely will they meet and charge No combatants are stiffer.
To prove, alas ! my main intent,
Needs no great cost of argument,
No cutting and contriving;