« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
SCENE, the Study at Crux-Easton. Molly and Fanny are sitting at work; enter to them Harriot in a passion.
LORD! sister, here's the butcher come,
And not one word from brother Tom ;
The punctual spark, that made his boast
He'd write by every other post!
That ever I was so absurd
To take a man upon his word!
Quoth Frances, Child, I wonder much
You could expect him to keep touch:
'Tis so, my dear, with all mankind;
When out of sight you're out of mind.
Think you he'd to his sisters write?
Was ever girl so unpolite!
Some fair Italian stands possess'd,
And reigns sole mistress in his breast;
To her he dedicates his time,
And fawns in prose, or sighs in rhyme.
She'll give him tokens of her love,
Perhaps not easy to remove;
Such as will make him large amends
For loss of sisters, and of friends.
Cries Harriot, When he comes to France, I hope in God he'll learn to dance, And leave his aukward habits there, I'm sure he has enough to spare.
O could he leave his faults, saith Fanny, And bring the good alone, if any, Poor brother Tom! he'd grow so light, The wind might rob us of him quite! Of habits he may well get clear; Ill humors are the faults I fear, For in my life I ne'er saw yet A creature half so passionate. Good heav'ns! how did he rave and tear, On my not going you know where ; I scarcely yet have got my dread off: I thought he'd bite my sister's head off. "Tween him and Jenny what a clatter About a fig, a mighty matter ! I could recount a thousand more, But scandal's what I most abhor.
Molly, who long had patient sat, And heard in silence all their chat,
Observing how they spoke with rancor,
Took up my cause, for which I thank her.
What eloquence was then display'd!
The charming things that Molly said,
Perhaps it suits not me to tell;
But faith! she spoke extremely well.
She first, with much ado, put on
A prudish face, then thus begun.
Heyday! quoth she, you let your tongue
Run on most strangely, right or wrong.
"Tis what I never can connive at ;
Besides, consider whom you drive at ;
A person of establish'd credit,
Nobody better, though I say it.
In all that's good, so tried and known,
Why, Girls, he's quite a proverb grown,
His worth no mortal dares dispute:
Then he's your Brother too to boot.
At this she made a moment's pause,
Then with a sigh resum'd the cause.
Alas! my dears, you little know
A sailor's toil, a trav'ler's woe;
Perhaps this very hour he strays
A lonely wretch through desert ways;
Or shipwreck'd on a foreign strand,
He falls beneath some ruffian's hand :
Or on the naked rock he lies,
And pinch'd by famine wastes and dies.
Can you this hated Brother see
Floating, the sport of wind and sea?
Can you his feeble accents hear,
Though but in thought, nor drop a tear?
He faintly strives, his hopes are fled,
The billows booming o'er his head;
He mounts upon the waves again,
He calls on us, but calls in vain ;
To death preserves his friendship true,
And mutters out a kind adieu.
See now he rises to our sight,
Now sinks in everlasting night.
Here Fanny's color rose and fell,
And Harriot's throat began to swell :
One sidled to the window quite,
Pretending some unusual sight,
The other left the room outright;
While Molly laugh'd, her ends obtain❜d,
To think how artfully she feign'd.
OR, A CURIOUS JOURNAL OF FIVE DAYS, Wrote with a Pencil in a Chaise.
prose I've wrote you many a journal
Of travels, which I hope you'll burn all,
And now for once I write in rhyme
To tell you how I spend my time,
And what adventures may ensue
While I am hasting down to you.
On Sep. the second day I went
To London from my house in Ken;
And, as good luck would have it, found
A friend for shire of Ebor bound:
It proving temperate, pleasant weather,
We soon agreed to go together,