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HAUNCH OF VENISON.
THANKS, my lord, for your venison, for fine,
Never rang'd in a forest, or smok'd in a platter; The haunch was a picture for painters to study, The fat was so white, and the lean was so ruddy; Though my stomach was sharp, I could scarce help regretting
To spoil such a delicate picture by eating:
I had thoughts, in my chambers to place it in view,
This tale of the bacon's a damnable bounce? Well, suppose it a bounce-sure a poet may try, By a bounce now and then, to get courage to fly. But, my lord, it's no bounce: 1 protest in m
It's a truth-and your lordship may ask Mr. Burn.* To go on with my tale-As I gaz'd on the haunch; I thought of a friend that was trusty and staunch,
*Lord Clare's nephew.
So I cnt it, and sent it to Reynolds undrest,
There's Hd, and C-y, and H-rth, and H-ff,
An acquaintance, a friend as he call'd himself, enter'd ;
An under-bred, fine-spoken fellow was he,
And he smil'd as he look'd at the ven'son and me. What have we got here?-Why this is good eating! Your own I suppose-or is it in waiting?
Why whose should it be?' cried I with a flounce: I get these things often-but that was a bounce: Some lords, my acquaintance, that settle the nation,
Are pleas'd to be kind-but I hate ostentation,'
If that be the case then,' cried he, very gay, 'I'm glad I have taken this house in my way. To-morrow you take a poor dinner with me; No words-I insist on't-precisely at three: We'll have Johnson, and Burke, all the wits will be there;
My acquaintance is slight, or I'd ask my lord Clare.
What say you? a pasty, it sball, and it must,
friend! Thus snatching his hat, he brush'd off like the wind, And the porter and eatables follow'd behind.
Left alone to reflect, having emptied my shelf, And 'nobody with me at sea but myself* ;' Though I could not help thinking my gentleman
hasty, Yet Johnson and Burke and a good venison pasty, Were things that I never dislik'd in my life, Thongh clogg'd with a coxcomb, and Kitty his wife. So next day, in due splendour to make my approach, I drove to his door in my own hackney-coach. When come to the place where we all were to dine (A chair-lumber'd closet just twelve feet by nine), My friend bade me welcome, but struck me quite
dumb With tidings that Johnson and Burke would not
come; • For I knew it,' he cried, ' both eternally fail, The one with his speeches, and t’other with Thrale Bnt no matter, I'll warrant we'll make up With two full as elever, and ten times as hearty. The one is a Scotchman, the other a Jew, They're both of them merry, and authors like you; The one writes the Snarler, the other the Scourge; Some think he writes Cinna--he owns to Panurge.' While thus he describ'd them by trade and by name, They enter'd, and dinner was serv'd as they came.
* See the letters that passed between his royal highness Henry Duke of Cumberland, and lady Grosvenor: 12mo. 1769.