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“Sir, did you tell-?" (relating the affair).
“Resolved to trace so wond'rous an event,
Away he goes, and having found him out,
you, sir, throw up a black crow ?! “Not I.”
Two comrades, as grave authors say,
WO comrades, as grave authors say, “Neighbors and friends, refer to me
(But in what chapter, page, or line, This doughty matter in dispute, Ye critics, if ye please, define)
I'll soon decide the important suit, Had found an oyster in their way.
And finish all without a fee.
Contest and foul debate arose,
"Give me the oyster then--'tis well—!! Both viewed at once with greedy eyes, He opens it, and at one sup
Both challeng'd the delicious prize, Gulps the contested trifle up, And high words soon improved to blows. And, smiling, gives to each a shell.
Actions on actions hence succeed, ''Henceforth let foolish discord cease, Each hero's obstinately stout,
Your oyster's good as e'er was eat; Green bags and parchment fly about, I thank you for my dainty treat; Pleadings are drawn, and Counsel feed. And bless you both! go live in peace !''
The lawyer of the place, good man !
Whose kind and charitable heart,
In human ills still bore a part, Thrice shook his head, and thus began :
Ye men of England and of Wales,
From this learn common sense ; Nor thrust your neighbours into jails
For every slight offence.
Banish those vermin of debate
That on your substance feed :
Would starve--if fools agreed.
XXI.-THE HAUNCH OF VENISON.
T Number One dwelt Captain Drew,
George Benson dwelt at Number Two
Lived snug upon a pension.
Tom Blewit knew them both-than he
Of culinary knowledge ;
In Cookery's High College.
Benson to dine invited Tom :
A host who “spread" so nicely, Tom answered, ere the ink was dry, “Extremely happy--come on Fri
Day next, at six precisely."
Blewit, with expectation fraught,
Ideal turbot rich in;
He saw a haunch of venison roast
" Hey! zounds! what's this? a haunch at Drew's?
To pass were downright treason :
Zounds! it's the first this season."
You see your dinner, Tom,” Drew cried.
" It smoked below.” "What !” Venison--
“Your neighbor! who?" George Benson.”
" His chimney smoked; the scene to change,
my kitchen range,
The venison you observed below
it's now demolished.
" Tom, why that look of doubtful dread ?
Don't sit with hands and knees up ;
When next you open Æsop."
XXII.-THE JESTER CONDEMNED TO DEATH.
JAMES SMITH. Ö NE of the King's of Scanderoon, a Royal Jester, had in his train a gross buf
foon, who used to pester the Court with tricks inopportune, venting on the highest folks his scurvy pleasantries and hoaxes. It needs some sense to play the fool, which wholesome rule occurred not to our jackanapes; who consequently found his freaks led to innumerable scrapes, and quite as many kicks and tweaks, which only seemed to make him faster try the patience of his master.
Some sin, at last, beyond all measure, incurred the desperate displeasure of his serene and raging Highness: whether he twitched his most revered and sacred beard, or had intruded on the quietness of the studio, or let fly an epigram at royalty, none knows : his sin was an occult one; but records tell us that the Sultan, meaning to terrify the knave, exclaimedro? Tis time to stop that breath: thy doom is sealed :-presumptuous slave! thou stand'st condemned to certain death. Silence, base rebel !--no replying !--but such is my indulgence still, that, of my own free grace and will, I leave to thee the mode of dying."
Thy royal will be done—'tis just,” replied the wretch, and kissed the dust ; “ since, my last moments to assuage, your Majesty's humane decree has deigned to leave the choice to me, I'll die, so please you, of old age.”'
XXIII.-THE WELL OF ST. KEYNE.
WELL there is in the west country, and a clearer one never was seen ,
there is not a wife in the west country, but has heard of the Well of St. Keyne. An oak and an Elm-tree stand beside, and behind does an ash-tree grow, and a willow from the bank above droops to the water below.
A traveller came to the Well of St. Keyne ; joyfully he drew nigh, for from cock-crow he had been travelling, and there was not a cloud in the sky. He drank of the water so cool and clear, for thirsty and hot. was te: and he sat down upon the bank, under the willow-tree.
There came a man from the neighboring town, at the Well to fill his pail; on the Well-side he rested it, and he bade the stranger hail. “Now, art thou a bachelor, stranger ?" quoth he, "for, an' if thou hast a wife, the happiest draught thou hast drunk this day, that ever thou didst in thy life. Or has thy good woman -if one thou hast-ever here in Cornwall been? for, 'an if she have, I'll venture my life she has drunk of the well of St. Keyne.” "I have left a good woman who never was here,o' the stranger he made reply ; “ but that my draught should be better for that, I pray you answer me why.” “St. Keyne,” quoth the Cornishman, “many a time drank of this crystal well, and before the angel summoned her, she laid on the water a spell : If the husband, of this gifted Well shall drink before his wife, a happy man henceforth is he, for he shall be master for life. But if the wife should drink of it first,-heaven help the husband then !”—The stranger stooped to the Well of St. Keyne, and drank of the water again. " You drank of the Well, I warrant, betimes ?” he to the Cornish-man said : but the Cornish-man smiled as the stranger spake, and sheepishly shook his head. “ I hastened as soon as the wedding was done, and left my wife in the porch: but i'faith! she had been wiser than I, for she took a bottle to church.”
XXIV.-NOSE AND EYES.
BETWEEN Nose and Eyes a strange contest arose,
To which the said spectacles ought to belong.
So Tongue was the lawyer, and argued the cause
With a great deal of skill, and a wig full of learning ;
So famed for his talent in nicely discerning,
"In behalf of the Nose, it will quickly appear,
“And your lordship," he said, "will undoubtedly find, “That the nose has had spectacles always in wear
Which amounts to pessession, time out of mind.“
Then, holding the spectacles up to the court,
Your lordship observes, they are made with a straddle “ As wide as the ridge of the Nose is; in short,
“Design’d to sit close to it, just like a saddle.
· Again, would your lordship a moment suppose
"('Tis a case that has happen'd, and may be again)
“That the visage or countenance had not a Nose,
Pray who would, or who could, wear spectacles then.
“On the whole it appears, and my argument shows,
“With a reasoning the court will never condemn,
" And the nose was as plainly intended for them."
Then shifting his side, (as a lawyer knows how,)
He pleaded again in behalf of the Eyes ;
For the court did not think they were equally wise.
So his lordship decreed, with a grave solemn tone,
Decisive and clear, without one if or but,
By daylight or candlelight-Eyes should be shut !
HE boy stood on the back-yard fence, whence all but him had fled ;
The flames that lit his father's barn shone just above the shed.