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sT was thus that Æsop's ftag—a creature blameless, Yet something vain, like one that shall be nameless Once on the margin of a fountain food, And cavil'd at his image in the flood: “The deuce confound,' he cries, these drumstick shanks, • They never have my gratitude nor thanks; • They're perfectly disgraceful! strike me dead!• But, for a head-yes, yes, I have a head. • How piercing is that eye! how sleek that brow!

My horns! I'm told horns are the fashion now.' Whilst thus he spoke, astonish’d! to his view, Near and more near, the hounds and huntsmen drew; • Hoicks! hark forward !' came thund'ring from behind, He bounds aloft, outstrips the fleeting wind : He quits the woods, and tries the beaten ways He starts, he pants, he takes the circling maze. At length his filly head, so priz'd before, Is taught his former folly to deplore; Whilst his strong limbs conspire to set him free, And at one bound he faves himself-like me.

(Taking a jump through the stage.door.)

EPILOGUE

TO THE COMEDY OF THE SISTERS.

What! five long ads-and all to make us wiser!
Our authoress sure has wanted an adviser.
Had the consulted me, she should have made
Her moral play a speaking masquerade,
Warm’d up each bustling scene, and in her rage
Have emptied all the green-room on the stage.

My life on't, this had kept her play from finking-
Have pleas'd our eyes, and fav’d the pain of thinking.
Well, since she thus has shewn her want of skill,
What if I give a masquerade?-I will.
Buthow? ay, there's the rub! (paufing) I've got my cue.
The world'sa masquerrde! the masquers, you, you, you.

(To Boxes, Pit, and Gallery.)
Lud! what a group the motley scene difcloses !
False wits, false wives, false virgins, and false spouses!
Statesmen with bridles on; and, close beside 'em,
Patripts in party-colour'd suits that ride 'em.
There Hebes, turn'd of fifty, try once more
To raise a flame in Cupids of threescore.
These in their turn, with appetites as keen,
Deserting fifty, 'faften on fifteen.
Miss, not yet full fifteen, with fire uncommon,
Flings down her sampler, and takes up the woman:
The little urchin smiles, and spreads her lure,
And tries to kill, ere the's got power to cure.
Thus 'tis with all-their chief and constant care
Is to seem every thing—but what they are.
Yon broad, bold, angry fpark, I fix my eye on,
Who seems t' have robb'd his vizor from the lion;
Who frowns, and talks, and swears, with round parade,
Looking, as who should say, dam'me! who's afraid?

(Mimicking.) Strip but this vizor off, and sure I am You'll find his lionthip a very lamb. Yon politician, famous in debate, Perhaps, to vulgar eyes, bestrides the state; Yet, when he deigns his real shape t'assume, He turns old wonian, and bestrides a broom.

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Yon patriot, too, who presses on your fight,
And seems to every gazer, all in white-
If with a bribe his candour you attack,
He bows, turns round, and whip—the man in black!
Yon critic, too-but whither do I run?
If I proceed, our bard will be undone;
Well then a truce, since the requests it too
Do you spare her; and I'll for once spare you.

THE CLOWN'S REPLY. JOHN TROTT was desir'd by two witty peers, To tell them the reason why asses had ears? • An't please you,' quoth John, 'l'm not given to letters, • Nor dare I pretend to know more than

my

betters; Howe'er from this time I shall ne'er see your graces, • As I hope to be sav’d, without thinking on asses.'

EPITAPH ON EDWARD PURDON.*
Here lies poor Ned Purdon, from misery freed,

Who long was a bookseller's hack-
He led such a damnable life in this world,

I don't think he'll wish to come back.

* Who translated Voltaire's Henriade.

FINIS.

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