PARODY ON THE CITY AND COUNTRY MOUSE.
1 A Country vicar in his homely house,
2 Pleas'd with his lot, and happy in his spouse,
3 With simple diet, at his humble board,
4 Once entertain'd the chaplain of a lord; —
5 He gave him (all he could) a little fish,
6 With sauce of oysters, in no silver dish;
7 And, for the craving stomach's sure relief,
8 The glory of Old England, rare Roast-beef,
9 Horse-radish and potatoes, Ireland's pride;
10 A pudding too the prudent dame supply'd:
11 Their cheering beverage was a pint of port
12 (Tho' small the quantum) of the better sort;
13 But plenty of good beer, both small and stout,
14 With wine of elder to prevent the gout.
15 The vicar hop'd, by such a various treat,
16 To tempt his scarf-embellish'd friend to eat;
17 With nicest bits provok'd his guest to dine,
18 He carv'd the haddock, and he serv'd the wine:
19 Content his own sharp stomach to regale
20 With plain, substantial roast-meat and mild ale.
21 Our courtly chaplain, as we may suppose,
22 At such old-fashion'd commons curl'd his nose;[Page 176]
23 He tried in vain to piddle, and, in brief,
24 Pish'd at the pudding, and declin'd the beef;
25 At length, their homely dinner finish'd quite,
26 Thus to the vicar spoke the priest polite:
27 'How can my brother in this paltry town
28 ' Live undistinguish'd, to the world unknown?
29 'And not exalt your towering genius higher,
30 ' Than here to herd with country clown — or squire;
31 'Stunn'd with the discord of hoarse cawing rooks,
32 ' The roar of winds, the dissonance of brooks,
33 'Which discontented thro' the valley stray,
34 ' Plaintive and murmuring at their long delay.
35 'Come, come with me, nor longer here abide;
36 ' You've friends in town, and I will be your guide:
37 'Soon great preferment to your share will fall,
38 ' A good fat living, or perhaps — a stall. '
39 These weighty reasons sway'd the vicar's mind —
40 To town he hied, but left his wife behind: —
41 Next levee day he waited on his Grace,
42 With hundreds more, who bow'd to get a place;
43 Shov'd in the croud, he stood amaz'd to see
44 Lords who to Baal bent the supple knee,
45 And doctors sage he could not but admire,
46 Who stoop'd profoundly low — to rise the higher.
47 So much of ermine, lace, beaus, bishops, young and old,
48 'Twas like a cloud of sable edg'd with gold:
49 By turns his Grace the servile train addrest,
50 Pleas'd with a smile, or in a whisper blest.
51 Sick of the scene, the vicar sought the door,
52 Determin'd never to see London more;[Page 177]
53 But, as his friend had pleas'd the hour to fix,
54 First went to dinner to my Lord's at six; —
55 He knock'd — was usher'd to the room of state,
56 (My Lord abroad) and dinner serv'd in plate;
57 Which, tho' it seem'd but common soup and hash,
58 Was really callipee and callipash,
59 (The relicks of the gaudy day before)
60 What Indians eat, and Englishmen adore;
61 With bright champaign the courtier crown'd the feast,
62 Sooth'd his own pride, and gratify'd his guest:
63 All this conspir'd our Stoic to controul,
64 And warpt the steady purpose of his soul —
65 When lo! the cry of fire creates amaze —
66 "The next house, Lady Riot's, in a blaze"—
67 Aghast the vicar stood, in wild affright,
68 Then briefly thus address'd the priest polite:
69 "Adieu, my friend — your state I envy not —
70 "Beef, liberty, and safety be my lot. "