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He poised a lengthy ladder on his chin,
Of castanets, along its slender length,
Then headlong cast himself with all his strength,
At length the ape, ambitious to complete
On all occasions kept it to the last.
A sheet was hung between his friends and him,
Awoke attention to the highest pitch,
And drawing through the groove each pictured glass, With an exceeding gravity of face
Announced the different figures that should pass. "Here comes a king," he cried, " and there a queen;" But not a glimpse of either could be seen.
"Now stately towers," "now ships upon the main ;" But still the keenest optics stared in vain.
No mystic ring expanded in the gloom,
But all was darkness; and the blundering ape
The friends of pug proceeded in their rage
The juggler, who had luckily come in,
"No wonder that the audience are benighted, And all thy boasted visions undescried;
For, lo, the magic lantern is not lighted!"
Thus let me drop into each author's ear
A piece of counsel" Keep your meaning clear,
That dulness only ever is obscure."
V. THE GOAT AND THE horse.
A goat, with feet that danced and head that sway'd
Of a sweet violin, which, deftly play'd,
"These chords that speak so well, my humble friend,
May still survive, and be a thing of note;
The horse, as if in laughter, neigh'd aloud,
And answer'd thus: "Poor wretch! of what avail Would be the simple chords which makes thee proud, Unless I had supplied them from my tail
With many a hair to form the fiddle-bow,
Whose movement makes the hidden music flow?
"And though the loss may pain me, I'm content;
Indebted for its harmony to me.
But say, what pleasure can its accents give
Thus many a wretched writer, who has tried
VI. THE PARROTS AND THE MONKEY.
Two parrots fresh from St Domingo, Where each had learn'd a different lingo
For half that isle of sugar-cane
A parrot's or a woman's talk?)
Of French or Spanish phrases solely. But when their mistress-one whose hue
Of intellect inclined to blue;
O'erheard her brace of birds harangue
And utter nonsense less oracular.
But though the Gallic bird at once
Enrich'd the old Castilian tongue,
A term employed by modern corrupters of our language, when they affect to ridicule those who speak it with purity.-YRIARTE.
"What virtue is more lovely than Fidelity in brute or man?
The dog, who guards his master's
And drives the robber from the door,
Bestow'd as readily on me;
Of dainties that should crown his board."
On this the mouse withdrew again Into its hole, and answered then, "Henceforth, since thou art faithful, mice
Shall call fidelity a vice."
XI. THE TWO RABBITS.
With a ravenous pack of dogs at his back,
A rabbit fled-or flew,
For his course was as fleet as if his four feet Were wing'd, like Mercury's two.
Away, away, in wild dismay
He flew with all his might;
And his joy was vast, when he reach'd at last
But ere he stole into a hole,
Secure from further fear,
A comrade, who spied the trembler, cried,
"What is amiss! why, simply this,"
"Where, where?-But hark! I hear the bark
But, i'faith, you err, for there's not, good sir,
"Not a greyhound?" "No! for really, though
I see them now, and the dogs, I vow,
"What! beagles? Pshaw! the dogs that I saw
I am not blind, I know what kind
Of dogs were at my tail."
"Why, but for the fright, no doubt you might
"I tell you, zounds, that they're all greyhounds,
While words ran high, the dogs came nigh
And nigher, in pursuit,
Till unaware they fell on the pair,
And settled the dispute.
Some authors discuss a question thus,
And, like this foolish pair,
Expend their life in wordy strife
On trifles light as air.
XII. THE CHEST OF TEA and the cheST OF SAGE.
One morning, as they chanced to meet at sea,
A chest of sage address'd a chest of tea,
"Ho! brother, whence and whither art thou sailing?"
And in a speech emitted or exprest
As speeches ever must be-from the chest, `
NO. CCLXXXVI. VOL. XLVI.