THE CUB, AT NEW-MARKET.
1 POETS, for most part, have been poor;
2 Experience tells us; — Proof too sure.
3 "Ay, may be so," Lord RICH exclaims,
4 Who Fortune's Will incessant blames,
5 "It may be so; but yet, confound 'em,
6 " They still have Jollity around 'em. "
7 PRAY, my good Lord! — 'tis no Offence
8 To ask by rules of common sense, —[Page 12]
9 Is not this distribution right? —
10 At least I view it in that light;
11 For 'tis but just that ev'ry Creature
12 Should have some favour from Dame Nature.
13 RICH shrugs his shoulders; — "Why, perhaps,
14 " 'Tis as you say "— then sudden slaps
15 His fist upon his buff-clad thigh,
16 And surly grunts," Don't know, not I.
17 "But come, don't you your Promise fail,
18 " Do, give us now that same new Tale
19 "Of Mirth; — 'twill serve my spleen t' appease,
20 " And set my troubled mind at ease. "
21 I will, my Lord! but hope you'll make
22 Allowance for a Youngster's sake.
23 "O never fear. " — Don't look so grim,
24 You seem dispos'd my back to trim;[Page 13]
25 That Cudgel looks so wondrous strong,
26 'Twould sweep a dozen Tars along.
27 "POH! Poh! this idle trifling! nay,
28 " Come, Sir, youdine with me to-day. "
29 BRAVO! my Lord! Oh, now I'm fee'd,
30 Wise as a Lawyer I'll proceed.
31 LORD E*******N, who has, you know,
32 A little dash of whim, or so;
33 Who thro' a thousand scenes will range
34 To pick up any thing that's strange,
35 By chance a curious CUB had got,
36 On SCOTIA's Mountains newly caught;
37 And, after driving him about
38 Thro' London, many a diff'rent rout,[Page 14]
39 The comic Episodes of which
40 Would tire your Lordship's Patience each;
41 New-market Meeting being near,
42 He thought 'twas best to have him there;
43 And, that your Time I mayn't consume,
44 View him in the New Coffee-Room!
45 THERE soon his noble Patron gay
46 Flies to his sportive Friends away:
47 While the Poor Being hums a song,
48 Astonish'd to behold a Throng
49 Of DUKES and LORDS! — Bless me! he thought;
50 Enchantment surely here has wrought!
51 SOMETIMES stock-still he stood amaz'd,
52 And with a stupid wonder gaz'd;
53 Admir'd at ev'ry thing he saw,
54 Ev'n Spurs would his attention draw;[Page 15]
55 Much more MILITIA COL'NELS GREAT!
56 The Bulwarks of BRITANNIA's State!
57 Whose strut majestic made him shrink,
58 As on a Promontory's brink:
59 In short, size, colour, voice, and shape,
60 Made our Prodigious Hero gape!
61 Such charms in Novelty we find,
62 Such it's effect on ev'ry mind.
63 SOMETIMES, he, with an awkard stride,
64 Would lift his legs, from side to side;
65 While Stars reflecting Phoebus' light
66 With beamy radiance struck his sight:
67 Then, as his visive orbs grew dim,
68 Began to think some look'd at him;
69 And Bashfulness, he knew not why,
70 Brought tears into his sheepish eye.
71 WHAT could the luckless fellow do?
72 For not a single soul he knew.
73 At last a corner pure and snug
74 He chanc'd to spy, which made him hug
75 Himself with joy. — There down he sat,
76 Of Solitude fond as a Bat:
77 And like a man at point of death,
78 Scarcely squeez'd forth above his breath,
79 "Here, get me Paper, Pen and Ink,
80 " For, Waiter, I will write, I think. "
81 AND now, my Story, pause awhile;
82 Till I, in Hudibrastic stile,
83 Attempt to give you as I can,
84 The Portraiture of this Wild Man.
85 HE was not of the iron Race,
86 Which sometimes CALIDONIA grace,[Page 17]
87 Tho' he to Combat could advance —
88 Plumpness shone in his Countenance;
89 And Belly prominent declar'd,
90 That he for Beef and Pudding car'd.
91 He had a large and pond'rous head,
92 That seem'd to be compos'd of lead;
93 From which hung down such stiff, lank hair,
94 As might the crows in Autumn scare.
95 TWO hours thus studious past or more;
96 Afraid to venture on the floor,
97 He rather thought on something new,
98 Nor dreamt he any notice drew.
99 SEDLEY, a truly worthy Knight,
100 In whom strong sense quick parts unite,
101 Whose humour of peculiar cast
102 Surprizes you from first to last;[Page 18]
103 Who, tho' few really are more wise,
104 To look a little foolish tries;
105 And likes Exotics to discover,
106 As a fine Lady a new Lover;
107 To the consounded Put comes near,
108 Tips him at once a friendly leer,
109 And thus accosts him: "How now, Squire?
110 " Why, you've already wrote a Quire;
111 "Yet still continue to go on:
112 " What! will your labours ne'er be done?
113 "'Tis said that you and EGLINTOUN
114 " Our History are handing down:
115 "No doubt, 'twill be a Work compleat;
116 " All former Authors will be beat:
117 "Out with Proposals — for my share,
118 " I'll instantly subscribe, I swear. "
119 JUST in the moment as he spoke,
120 The sprightly PEER, with switch of oak,
121 Popt in his nose — "Faith, good enough,
122 " Sir CHARLES my friend! You Jockey bluff!
123 "We'll give you leave — no favour light —
124 " Here to throw in a willing mite.
125 "You, to Parnassus who resort,
126 " And the Pierian Ladies court,
127 "Come, touch us up a sketch in rhime,
128 " And shew your genius — now's the time.
129 "To the best*
* The best Justice — Mr. P — N.JUSTICE in the Nation —
130 "The Squire I mean — make Dedication;
131 " And I, who have a knack that way,
132 "Will whistle Notes to what you say:
133 " Nay, more, in attitude burlesque,
134 "Will draw the†[Page 20]
† The Caliban — An Appellation sometimes merrily bestowed on a very sensible worthy Member, who loves a jest himself; and who admires the equitable Practice of Give and Take,CALIBAN grotesque;
135 "Who in the Frontispiece shall stand,
136 " And, ludicrous, your mirth command. "
137 THIS last Design was scarcely broach'd,
138 When, lo! the MONSTER fell approach'd!
139 The Justice in one arm he lugs,
140 And the thin Spectre onward tugs.
141 OUR CLOWN (like country mouse of old,
142 'Bout which in HORACE we are told)
143 Quak'd timid, as, with horrid grin,
144 He saw HIM shake his triple chin;
145 Th' affrighted Animal would skulk,
146 And hide him from th' ENORMOUS BULK.
147 YOU'll easily believe, My Lord!
148 That this could no small fun afford;[Page 21]
149 And set — nay call me not queer Dog —
150 Their Gelasticity agog.
151 AT first the circle held but few;
152 Till, as the loud laugh stronger grew,
153 DUKES, LORDS, and COMMONS fondly join'd,
154 Eager the mighty joke to find:
155 Not one of 'em a sentence spoke,
156 With peals of laughter like to choak;
157 Each as he came th' infection seiz'd,
158 And by his friend behind was teaz'd
159 With "What's the matter?" — All at once,
160 The friend behind turns equal Dunce.
161 IN short, the Hounds, when in full cry,
162 Ne'er struck with so much force the sky,
163 As this blithe Chorus did assault
164 The Coffee-Room's resounding Vault.
165 MEANTIME, Sir CHARLES, who seem'd to pry
166 Into the Jest, with aspect sly;
167 His visage veiling with a gloom,
168 Slip'd to the middle of the room,
169 Pull'd half a dozen by the sleeve,
170 And whisper'd each; "You may believe,
171 " I'm forc'd to tell you what is true,
172 "Why, damn it, Sir! they laugh at You."
173 AND now, my Lord! — And now, in end,
174 To what does all this Story tend?
175 IF you're so good as to allow,
176 I'd willingly the Moral show.
177 "Ha! ha! my Boy! with all my heart; —
178 " You're now to play a serious part.
179 "Wisdom to learn from such as you,
180 " Is surely something very new. "
181 YOUR Lordship here then may observe,
182 That Nonsense frequently will serve
183 To set a table on a roar,
184 And drive dull Sadness out of door.
185 From whence, that Folly is at least
186 Harmless, I think should be confest;
187 And that in life it may be well,
188 Sometimes to hunt the Bagatelle.
189 LIKEWISE we see that Fate ne'er fails
190 To weigh things in impartial scales:
191 For, tho' some People are more blest,
192 With Understanding than the rest,
193 She some external Oddity
194 Bestows, which they themselves can't see,
195 Or some particular defect,
196 Which, while they indolent neglect,[Page 24]
197 To Mortals of inferior sort,
198 In harmless Satire serves for sport.
199 THUS is the Ballance render'd even;
200 Here view the equity of Heaven.
About this text
Author: James Boswell
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