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A weåk old man would none employ,
Though all would Thomas praise; Anon, they told him, (sound of woe,) That he must to the work-house go,
And end his wretched days.
Beneath his full and hoary brow,
Indignant flash'd his eye:
His hapless fate to fly.
He paced his garden up and down,
And loudly thus complain'd: " Full forty years upon this spot, A happy, independent lot,
My labour has maintain'd.
“And trimly was my garden kept,
And neat my fire-side,
My grey locks to deride!
“Rear'd by this hand, have children eight
To men and women grown; And doth it basely now deny, With bread and water to supply,
The poor old man alone?
“But bread and water doth he ask,
With independence still; Rouse! rouse! thou yet may'st that engage,' Thou grow'st a sluggard in thy age,
And wantest but the will."
Next morn he rose, (he knew no rest,):
With such a fate impending : And to the fields he bent his way, . And stubbornly he toil'd all day,
With youth and strength contending.
'Twas the last glimmer of a flame
That could no longer blaze;
And clos'd his feeble days.
Exhausted, scarce he totter'd home,
Ere fell the dews of night;
Beheld the morning light.
Then let the marbled grave of him,
Of proud, but meaner doom, Who, crawling from a humble state, By littleness at length grew great,
To Thomas yield his tomb;
And there be carv'd, in humble phrase,
How Thomas lived and died;
May learn a peasant's pride*.
THE FRENCH SURGEON IN ORDINARY TO THE
EMPEROR OF MOROCCO.
.... We were advancing towards the castle of Morocco, when a troop of masgarines, or armed guards, preceded by a pasha, came towards us, and commanding our escort to stop, demanded of our conductors, by authority of the emperor, the names and professions of their prisoners. As I knew that, in all barbarous countries, men skilled in the healing art are in great esteem, I did not fail to make known that we had in our company Dr. C. a French surgeon, whowas also a botanist, oculist and dentist, and whose skill was very celebrated. The pasha ordered the masgarines to put us into a meteore, (a kind of prison,) to wait the further orders of the emperor. He then went to inform him of our names and qualities; and, in order to make his court, he took care to say, that
* Should not indigent old age be enabled to draw its last breath in the domestic cottage with some degree of comfort; and is not condemning it, after a life of useful labour, to die in an hospital, a reflection on the alınost proverbial charity of the country? Whatever may be the opinion of our readers on the subject, they will, we trust, agree with us in saying, that the poem does great credit to the feelings and discernment of its author.
among the captives was a surgeon and dentist, one of the ablest in France. The pasha well knew that this intelligence would please the emperor, who had been for a long time tormented with so violent a tooth-ache, that all applications had been ineffectual to relieve it. When the pasha was speaking to the emperor of the French surgeon and dentist, the shootings of the pain were so tormenting, that the emperor immediately gave orders to have Dr. C- brought to the castle, intending to put himself under his care.
The pasha returned quickly to the prison, followed by several negroes carrying a complete dress for Dr. C- The orders of the emperor were signified to him; and without being yet informed of the cause of this change of fortune, he was requested to be dressed. He was stripped of his great coat, and richly dressed in the Moorish fashion. Instead of his cocked hat and wig, a turban was substituted of studied elegance. He was perfumed with all kind of essences, and unable to inform his companions, because unable to guess himself , the purport of all this ceremony, he saw himself carried away in a very honourable manner, and conducted to the palace of the emperor through a crowd of courtiers, who were already informed of his good fortune.
Every body prayed for the happy success of the means to be employed by the French dentist; for the emperor, since he had suffered so cruelly, was become very savage and untractable. He often condemned to death persons who, but for his tooth-ache, would certainly have obtained a pardon. To cure, or at least, relieve him, would be a benefit to the whole empire of Morocco.
The pasha introduced the doctor into a hall of the castle; and making him repose himself in a chair of
honour, he told him to wait a moment, for he was going to inform the emperor of his arrival, who would soon pay him a visit.
Dr. C- remained alone, not knowing what to think. The idea of a visit from the emperor excited in him a certain shuddering of awe and terror which it would be difficult to describe. -" In what will all these ceremonies end?” said he to himself, “ have they dressed me in this manner only to perish with more » distinction?" He had not, however, much time for reflection before the emperor presented himself with an interpreter. The surgeon, confounded at the sight, rose and made an obeisance: he was invited to sit down; the emperor seated himself also, supporting his jaw with his hand, and making terrible grimaces. The interpreter began to speak, and held this discourse in French with Dr. C- , “ The august emperor of Morocco, Mohammed Ben Abdallah, descendant of the Great Prophet, having heard of you as a great surgeon and dentist, gives you your liberty from this moment, and the title of his surgeon in ordinary; and if you shall succeed in curing the pain in his teeth, he engages himself by oath to grant you any request you shall make, let it be what it may.” Figure to yourself the astonishment of Dr. C- at these words! It was no time to hesitate: “If I obstinately refuse," said he,"it is clear I am a dead man. If I undertake an operation above my skill, and which my natural timidity will render still more difficult, I certainly run a great risk of perishing. To draw the tooth of a private person is a delicate operation; but to draw one of an emperor, and an emperor of Morocco, is of all things the most hazardous :