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He bark’d, he scratch'd, he tore the ground,
And ran around, around, around.
I forward to the contest press’d,
And, thus, the silly Dog address'd ;
• Thy feet, thy jaws had need be steel, • With such a rough one there to deal. • Howe'er you give your anger vent, • He still his prickles will present, • With him—this truth take to the letter . • The less you have to do the better.'
Ye biped Dogs, you'll find it true,
That there are human Hedgehogs too,
And well it is to understand
How rough they are to take in hand;
And, tho' you think yourselves a match,
You'll surely get full many a scratch.
Nay, tho' you strive to circumvent,
Their prickles always they present ;
With them this truth is to the letter -
THE LESS YOU HAVE TO DO THE BETTER.
A Man possess'd a valu'd Goose,
Which daily did an egg produce;
And so much profit to him brought
As far surpass'd all previous thought:
But still 'twas only day by day,
Assisting him to pay his way.
Says he, ‘Had I it in a lump,
''Twould make my very heart to jump
• With joy to think how many a thing
• The golden store to me would bring.
• It shall be so I'm not a dunce-
• I'll do it, and be rich at once.
From out his poke his knife he whipp'd,
And, in a trice, the Goose he ripp’d,
But what was there he saw too well-
No egg was cover'd with a shell.
A string of ev'ry size he sees,
From a full yolk to less than peas,
Which, had he but with patience staid,
Well had his daily care repaid ;
But, grasping all, e'en all was fled,
The Goose with all her treasures dead,
And left her owner to lament
How Avarice mars his own intent.
. •Ah! silly Man !' you all exclaim:
But thousands practise just the same.
Yon Gentleman, with his estate,-
With care he is both rich and great;
True Pleasure courts him with her smile,
And Wealth and Fame his heart beguile.
Tho' great, he would be greater still,
And thinks to shew consummate skill.
He plants, fells, builds, electioneers,
And seeks a seat among the Peers ;
In nothing will he e'er be cross'd
He grasps at all,-and all-is lost.
Yon Servant is another case,
How happy were he in his place,
Could he but feel his favour'd lot,
And know the master he has got.
All for his present wants has he,
And Time shall make him rich and free.
But Time, tho' fleet, to him is slow,
His avarice begins to grow;
Upon his master now he preys,
And robs him in a thousand ways :
He is detected in the same,
Turn'd off to poverty and shame.
The Tradesman, too, large profit craves, ."
Each Customer his shop soon leaves ;
When, had his profit been but fair,
He'd come in for an ample share.
From all ranks could I soon produce Hundreds like him who had the Goose.
But let me, thus, my readers warn,
Lest they th' instructive Fable scorn.
And, when they meditate a thing,
Much present profit to bring in,
Then let them turn it to their use, -
Is not this RIPPING UP THE GOOSE?
HARK ! 'tis a rap at the back door,
To open it does Sarah flee,
Her eyes the yard all round explore,
But, near or distant, none can see.
“ 'Tis strange, indeed ! 'tis passing strange!
Something it must betoken sure ! • Ah! in the family some change!
My mother's haply at death's door.'
Her master she resolv'd to tell,
But he, unfeeling wight, did say— Of no one did it sound the knell,
Some boy had rapp'd and run away.'
· But, no. 'Twas often heard again, .
And once, her hand upon the latch, The rapper gave its wonted strain,
And Sarah thought the cause to catch.
No soul, however, could she see,
Her blood ran cold into her heart, · Invisible the cause must be,
And this again did she impart.
And now, once more, a livelong night,
At intervals, the noise was heard ; And William too believ'd a sprite
Some awful warning thus preferr'd.
The morning dawn'd, again it came,
When William, at his window, shock’d,Put out his head beyond the frame,
And saw-'twas Tom the Cat who knock’d.
For Tom had seen, when in the yard,
When some one knock’d, it did betide, That, tho' before the door was barr’d,
It presently was open'd wide :
And, so, he knock’d; but, when 'twas op'd
Or, whether it were fear, or whim Away he instantly elop'd,
And no one e'er suspected him.