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• To every reptile a disgrace, • And fatal to our god-like race. • Why were such creatures form'd as you, • Unless to prove my doctrine true; • That, when we view this nether sphere, • Nor wisdom, nor design appear?'

The serpent rais'd his angry crest, An honest zeal inflam'd his breast. His hissings struck the fopling's ear, And shook his very soul with fear.

Inglorious wretch ! the Viper cries, • How dare you broach malicious lies? • Is there, in all creation's chain, • A link so worthless and so vain?

Grant that your dress were truly thine, • How can your gold compare with mine?

Your vestments are of garter blue, • Mine boast a far superior hue.

"You style me reptile in contempt,

You are that very reptile meant; • A two-legg'd thing, which crawls on earth, • Void of utility and worth.

• You call me fatal to your race.• Was ever charge só false and base ? • You can't in all your annals find, • That unprovok'd we hurt mankind. • Uninjur'd men in mischief deal, • We only bite the hostile heel.

. Do not we yield our lives to feed,.. • And save your vile distemper'd breed?

• When leprosy pollutes your veins,. ..) • Do not we purge the loathsome stains?

When riot and excess prevail, . And health, and strength, and spirits fail, '' • Doctors from us their aid derive, • Consumptive patients hence revive; • We bleed to make the caitiffs dine, • Or drown to medicate their wine.

* You ask, my poison to what end? • Minute philosopher, attend.

• Nature, munificent and wise, • To all our wants adapts supplies.

Our frames are fitted to our need, · Hence greyhounds are endu'd with speed. * Lions by force their prey subdue, By force maintain their empire too : * But power, altho' the lion's fame, • Was never known the Viper's claim. • Observe, when I unroll- my length"Say, is my structure form’d for strength?. . • Doth not celerity imply • Or legs to run, or wings to fly? • My jaws are constituted weak, Hence poison lurks behind my cheek. • As light'ning quick my fangs convey · This liquid to my wounded prey. • The venom thus insures my bite, • For wounds preclude the victim's flight.'

• But why this deadly juice, you cry, To make the wretched captive die?

• Why not possess'd of stronger jaws, . Or arm'd like savage brutes with claws ?

Can such weak arguments persuade?
• Ask, rather, why were Vipers made?
• To me my poison's more than wealth,
. And to ungrateful mortals health.

In this benevolent design
My various organs all combine.
Strike out the poison from my frame,
My system were no more the same.
I then should want my comforts due,
Nay lose my very being too.
* And you'd, as doctors all agree,
• A sovereign med'cine lose in me.

• Now learn, 'tis arrogance in man,
• To censure what he cannot scan.
• Nor dare to charge God's works with ill,

Since Vipers kind designs fulfil: • But give injurious scruples o'er,-

Be still, be humble, and adore.'

·

FABLE XL.

THE SNAIL AND THE GARDENER.“

By Dr. Cotton.

WHEN men of fortune ride on high,
How do we point th' admiring eye!
With foolish force of wonder gaze,
And often covet what we praise.
How do we partial Nature chide, .
As deaf to ev'ry son beside.

But, when inferior ranks we see,
Who move in humbler spheres than we;'
Men by comparisons are taught,
Nature is not so much in fault. Depinde
Yet mark my tale—the poet's pen
Shall vindicate her ways to men. . .

Within a garden, far from town, vi
There dwelt a Snail of high renown;
Who, by tradition, as appears, m
Had been a tenant several years.. ...
She spent her youth in wisdom's page
Hence honour'd and rever'd in age.
Do Snails at any time contend,
Insult a neighbour, or' a friend ;
Dispute their property, and share,
Or in a cherry, or a pear?

No Lord Chief Justice, all agree, So able, and so just as she! Whichever way their causes went, All parties came away content. At length she found herself decay, Death sent mementos every day. Her drooping strength sustains no more The shell, which on her back she bore. The eye had lost its visual art, The heavy ear refus'd its part: The teeth perform'd their office ill, i And ev'ry member faild her will. But no defects in mind appear, Her intellects are strong and clear. Thus, when his glorious course is min, How brightly shines the setting sun !

The news thro' all the garden spread, The neighbours throng?d about her bed ; Cheerful she rais'd her voice aloud, And thus address'd the weeping crowd :

• My friends, I'm hast’ning to the grave, • And know, nor plum, nor peach can save. Yes, to those mansions go I must, · Where our good fathers sleep in dust.

Nor am I backward to explore * That gloomy vale I trod before. • 'Gainst Death's decree what can I say? • Like other Snails, I've had my day. • Full many summer stins I've seen, • And now die grateful and serene.

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