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DEAR Joseph-five and twenty years ago
Alas, how time escapes 'tis even so
With frequent intercourse, and always sweet,
And always friendly, we were wont to cheat
A tedious hour and now we never meet!
As some grave gentleman in Terence says
('Twas therefore much the same in ancient days),
Good lack, we know not what to-morrow brings
Strange fluctuation of all human things !
True. Changes will befall, and friends may party
But distance only cannot change the heart:
And were I call’d to prove the assertion true,
One proof should serve—a reference to you.

Whence comes it then, that in the wane of life, Though nothing have occurr'd to kindle strife, We find the friends we fancied we had won, Though numerous once, reduced to few or none? Can gold grow worthless that has stood the touch ? No; gold they seem'd, but they were never such.

Horatio's servant once, with bow and cringe, Swinging the parlour door upon its hinge, Dreading a negative, and overawed Lest he should trespass, begg'd to go abroad. Go, fellow ? whither?'-turning short about

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Nay, stay at home - you're always going out.'
'Tis but a step, sir, just at the street's end.'
For what?'—An please you, sir, to see a friend.'
A friend l’Horatio cried, and seem'd to start-

marry shalt thou, and with all my heart. And fetch my cloak; for, though the night be raw, I'll see him too the first I ever saw.'

I knew the man, and knew his nature mild, And was his plaything often when a child ; But somewhat at that moment pinch'd him close Else he was seldom bitter or morose. Perhaps, his confidence just then betray'd, His grief might prompt him with the speech he

made ;

Perhaps 'twas mere good humour gave it birth, The harmless play of pleasantry and mirti. Howe'er it was, his language, in my mind,

Bespoke at least a man that knew mankind.

But not to moralize too much, and strain
To prove an evil of which all complain
¡I hate long arguments verbosely spun);
One story more, dear Hill, and I have done
Once on a time an emperor, a wise man,
No matter where, in China or Japan,
Decreed that whosoever should offend
Against the well known duties of a friend,
Convicted once, should ever after wear
But half a coat, and show his bosom bare.
The punishment importing this, no doubt,
That all was naught within, and all found out

Oh, happy Britain! we have not to fear Such hard and arbitrary measure here: Else, could a law like that which I relate Once have the sanction of our triple'state, Some few, that I have known in days of old, Would run most dreadful risk of catching cold ; While

you, my friend, whatever wind should blow Might traverse England safely to and fro, An honest man, close-button’d to the chin, Broad-cloth without, and a warm heart within.


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(650) 723-9201 salcirc@sulmail.stanford.edu All books are subject to recall.


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