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But let us not proceed too furious ;-
Imprimis; pray observe his hat,
In the next place, his feet peruse,
Lastly, vouchsafe t'observe his hand,
Now to apply, begin we then :His wand's a modern author's pen; The serpents round about it twined Denote him of the reptile kind;
Denote the rage with which he writes,
And here my simile almost tript,
GOOD people all, of every sort,
Give ear unto my song,
And if you find it wond'rous short,—
It cannot hold you long.
* J. B.2
AN ELEGY ON THE DEATH OF A MAD DOG.
[This burlesque elegy is supposed to have been first printed in the 'Vicar of Wakefield (chap. xvii.), 1766; though probably it was written about the time of the popular scare concerning mad dogs (1760), which Goldsmith has otherwise immortalized in his Citizen of the World,' letter lxix. Mr. Croker has pointed out that this and the similarly constructed 'Elegy on Mrs. Mary Blaize' (p. 81), are close imitations of the popular French song 'Le fameux La Galisse, homme imaginaire.'-ED.]
1 Var.-In which our scribbling bards agree.-First edition.
2 The poem in both editions of the Essays' has this signature. Evans dropped it out; and Percy, and the rest, have followed Evans; but, as a possible clue to the original publication, we now restore it. Perhaps "J. B." stands for "Jack Book-worm," the name of the hero of 'The Double Transformation,' which appeared with this poem in the 'Essays.'-ED.
In Isling town there was a man,
Whene'er he went to pray.
A kind and gentle heart he had,
And in that town a dog was found,
Both mongrel, puppy, whelp, and hound,
This dog and man at first were friends;
The dog, to gain some private ends,'
Around from all the neighb'ring streets
The wound it seem'd both sore and sad
And while they swore the dog was mad,
But soon a wonder came to light,
1 The first edition has-" his private ends.”—ED.
STANZAS ON WOMAN.
[Olivia's song in the Vicar of Wakefield,' chap. xxiv., where it seems to have been first published (1766).—ED.]
WHEN lovely woman stoops to folly,
And finds, too late, that men betray,
The only art her guilt to cover,
To hide her shame from every eye,
And wring his bosom, is—to die.
EPITAPH ON EDWARD PURDON.1
[We have not found this in print earlier than 1777, when it appeared with the eighth edition of Retaliation.' Poor Purdon, however, died "suddenly " ten years before that date.-ED.]
HERE lies poor Ned Purdon, from misery freed,
He led such a damnable life in this world,
I don't think he'll wish to come back.
EPITAPH ON DR. PARNELL.
[This epitaph on Thomas Parnell, the poet-Archdeacon of Clogher, whose life Goldsmith wrote, seems to have been first printed in 1776 with The Haunch of Venison,' though probably it was written at the time of the Life of Parnell,' 1770.-ED.]
THIS tomb, inscribed to gentle PARNELL's name,
1 This gentleman was educated at Trinity College, Dublin; but having wasted his patrimony, he enlisted as a foot soldier. Growing tired of that employment, he obtained his discharge, and became a scribbler in the newspapers. He translated Voltaire's 'Henriade.'-Note in edit. 1777. [Goldsmith revised the translation: see Voltaire in vol. iv.-ED.]
Celestial themes confess'd his tuneful aid;
EPILOGUE TO THE COMEDY OF THE SISTER.1
[This Epilogue was spoken by Mrs. Bulkley, who played Miss Autumn in the comedy, and was afterwards the original Miss Hardcastle in She Stoops to Conquer. The Sister' was produced Feb. 18, 1769. The editors of Goldsmith, including the much relied upon, but often fallible, Percy, very persistently misprint the name 'The Sisters.'__Our text is that of the first and second editions of the comedy, 1769.-Ed.]
WHAT? five long acts-and all to make us wiser!
1 The Sister' was by Mrs. Charlotte Lennox, author of The Female Quixote,' 'Shakespeare Illustrated,' &c. It was performed one night only at Covent Garden, in 1769, but in print it achieved a second edition. The author, who was praised by Dr. Johnson, as the cleverest female writer of her age (vide Boswell's 'Life of Johnson,' Bohn's ed., v. viii., p. 272), died in distressed circumstances, Jan. 4, 1804.-Ed.