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But let us not proceed too furious ;-
First please to turn to god Mercurius:
You'll find him pictured at full length,
In book the second, page the tenth :
The stress of all my proofs on him I lie,
And now proceed we to our simile.

Imprimis; pray observe his hat,
Wings upon either side-mark that.
Well! what is it from thence we gather?
Why, these denote a brain of feather.
A brain of feather! very right,

With wit that's flighty, learning light;
Such as to modern bard's decreed:
A just comparison-proceed.

In the next place, his feet peruse,
Wings grow again from both his shoes;
Design'd, no doubt, their part to bear,
And waft his godship through the air:
And here my simile unites;
For in a modern poet's flights,
I'm sure it may be justly said,
His feet are useful as his head.

Lastly, vouchsafe t'observe his hand,
Fill'd with a snake-encircled wand,
By classic authors term'd caduceus,
And highly famed for several uses:
To wit, most wond'rously endued,
No poppy water half so good;
For let folks only get a touch,
Its soporific virtue's such,

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Denote the rage with which he writes,
His frothy slaver, venom'd bites:
An equal semblance still to keep,
Alike, too, both conduce to sleep.
This diff'rence only, as the god


Drove souls to Tart'rus with his rod,

With his goose-quill the scribbling elf,
Instead of others, damns himself.

And here my simile almost tript,


Yet grant a word by way of postcript.

Moreover Merc'ry had a failing:

Well! what of that? out with it-stealing;

In which all modern bards agree,1

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[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.]

GOOD people all, of every sort,

Give ear unto my song,

And if you find it wond'rous short,

It cannot hold

you long.

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,

Of whom the world might say, That still a godly race he ran,

Whene'er he went to pray.

A kind and gentle heart he had,
To comfort friends and foes:
The naked every day he clad,--
When he put on his clothes.



And in that town a dog was found,
As many dogs there be,

Both mongrel, puppy, whelp, and hound,
And curs of low degree.


This dog and man at first were friends

But when a pique began,

The dog, to gain some private ends,'
Went mad, and bit the man.


Around from all the neighb'ring streets

The wond'ring neighbours ran,


And swore the dog had lost his wits,

To bite so good a man.

The wound it seem'd both sore and sad


To every Christian eye;

And while they swore the dog was mad,
They swore the man would die.

But soon a wonder came to light,

That show'd the rogues they lied:

The man recover'd of the bite-
The dog it was that died.

1 The first edition has-" his private ends."-ED.



[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,
What charm can soothe her melancholy,
What art can wash her guilt away?

The only art her guilt to cover,
To hide her shame from every eye,
To give repentance to her lover,

And wring his bosom, is-to die.


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[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,
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.


[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,
May speak our gratitude, but not his fame.
What heart but feels his sweetly moral lay,

That leads to truth through pleasure's flowery way?

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;
And Heav'n, that lent him genius, was repaid.
Needless to him the tribute we bestow,
The transitory breath of fame below:

More lasting rapture from his works shall rise,
While converts thank their poet in the skies.


[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!
Our auth'ress sure has wanted an adviser.
Had she 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 sinking,
Have pleased our eyes, and saved the pain of thinking.
Well, since she thus has shown her want of skill,
What if I give a masquerade ?—I will.


But how? ay, there's the rub! [pausing] I've got my cue:
The world's a masquerade! the masquers, you, you, you.
[To Boxes, Pit, and Gallery.

Lud! what a group the motley scene discloses !
False wits, false wives, false virgins, and false spouses!
Statesmen with bridles on; and, close beside 'em,
Patriots 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 :


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.

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