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It stands on record, that in Richard's times
P. Libels and satires ! lawless things indeed!
BOOK II. SATIRE II.
TO MR. BETHEL.
WHAT, and how great, the virtue and the art
To live on little with a cheerful heart (A doctrine sage, but truly none of mine); Let's talk, my friends, but talk before we dine. Not when a gilt buffet's reflected pride Turns you from sound philosophy aside; Not when from plate to plate your eye-balls roll, And the brain dances to the mantling bowl.
Hear Bethel's sermon, one not vers'd in schools, But strong in sense, and wise without the rules.
'Go work, hunt, exercise,' he thus began, • Then scorn a homely dinner, if you can. Your wine lock'd up, your butler stroll'd abroad, Or fish denied (the river yet unthaw'd), If then plain bread and milk will do the feat, The pleasure lies in you, and not the meat.
Preach as I please, I doubt our curious men Will choose a pheasant still before a hen;
Yet heus of Guinea füll as good I hold, Except you eat the feathers green and gold, Of carps and mullets why prefer the great (Though cut in pieces ere my lord can eat), Yet for small turbots such esteem profess? Because God made these large, the other less. Oldfield, with more than harpy throat endu'd, Cries, 'Send me, gods! a whole hog barbecu'd ! O blast it, south-winds! till a stench exhale Rank as the ripeness of a rabbit's tail. By what criterion do you eat, d'ye think, If this is priz'd for sweetness, that for stink? When the tir'd glutton labours through a treat, He finds no relish in the sweetest meat ; He calls for something bitter, something sour, And the rich feast concludes extremely poor : Cheap eggs, and herbs, and olives, still we see; Thus much is left of old simplicity! The robin-red-breast till of late had rest, And children sacred held a martin's nest, Till beccaficos sold so dev'lish dear To one that was, or would have been, a peer. Let me extol a cat on oysters fed, I'll have a party at the Bedford-head; Or ev'n to crack live crawfish recommend, I'd never doubt at court to make a friend.
'Tis yet in vain, I own, to keep a pother About one vice, and fall into the other; Between excess and famine lies a mean; Plain, but not sordid; though not splendid, clean,
Avidien, or his wife (uo matter which, For him you'll call a dog, and her a bitch) Sell their presented partridges and fruits, And humbly live on rabbits and on roots : One half-pint bottle serves them both to dine; And is at once their vinegar and wine. But on some lucky day (as when they found A lost bank bill, or heard their son was drown'd),: At such a feast, old vinegar to spare, Is what two souls so generous cannot bear:
Oil, though it stink, they drop by drop impart,
He knows to live who keeps the middle state,
Now hear what blessings temperance can bring: (Thus said our friend, and what he said I sing) First health : the stomach (cramm'd from every
How pale each worshipful and reverend guest
On morning wings how active springs the mind
Our fathers prais'd rank ven’son. You suppose, Perhaps, young men ! our fathers had no nose. Not so: a buck was then a week's repast, And 'twas their point, I woen, to make it last; More pleas'd to keep it till their friends could come, Than eat the sweetest by themselves at home.
Why had not I in those good times my birth,
Unworthy he the voice of fame to hear,
• Right, cries his lordship, 'for a rogue in need
Who thinks that fortune cannot change her mind,
Thus Bethel spoke, who always speaks his thought,
Content with little I can piddle here On brocoli and mutton round the year; But ancient friends (though poor, or out of play) That touch my bell, I cannot turn away. , 'Tis true, no turbots dignify my boards, But gudgeons, flounders, what my Thames affords : To Hounslow-heath 1 point, and Bansted-down, Thence comes your mutton, and these chicks my
own: From yon old walnut-tree a shower shall fall; And grapes long-lingering on my only wall; And figs from standard and espalier join ; The devil is in you if you cannot dine: Then cheerful healths (your mistress shall have place) And, what's more rare, a poet shall say grace.
Fortune not much of humbling me can boast : Though double tax'd, how little have I lost ! My life's amusements have been just the same, Before, and after standing armies came. My lands are sold, my father's house is gone; l'li hire another's : is not that my own, And yours, my friends ? through whose free-open
ing gate None comes too early, none departs too late ; (For 1, who hold sage Homer's rule the best, Welcome the coming, speed the going guest).
* Pray Heaven it last!' cries Swift,' as you go on : I wish to God this house had been your own : Pity! to build, without a son or wife; Why, you'll enjoy it only all your life.' Well, if the use be mine, can it concern one, Whether the name belong to Pope or Vernon? What's property ? dear Swift, you see it alter From you to me, from me to Peter Walter; Or, in a mortgage, prove a lawyer's share; Or, in a jointure, vanish from the heir; Or in pure equity (the case not clear) The Chancery takes your rents for twenty year : At best, it falls to some ungracious son, Who cries, ' My father's damn'd, and all's my own.'