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But let us not proceed too furious ;-
Imprimis; pray observe his hat,
With wit that's flighty, learning light;
In the next place, his feet peruse,
Lastly, vouchsafe t'observe his hand,
Denote the rage with which he writes,
Drove souls to Tart'rus with his rod,
With his goose-quill the scribbling elf,
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
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.]
GOOD people all, of every sort,
Give ear unto my song,
And if you find it wond'rous short,
It cannot hold
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,
And in that town a dog was found,
Both mongrel, puppy, whelp, and hound,
This dog and man at first were friends
But when a pique began,
The dog, to gain some private ends,'
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,
But soon a wonder came to light,
That show'd the rogues they lied:
The man recover'd of the bite-
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,
The only art her guilt to cover,
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,
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,
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;
More lasting rapture from his works shall rise,
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!
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,
But how? ay, there's the rub! [pausing] I've got my cue:
Lud! what a group the motley scene discloses !
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.