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AN EPISTLE TO JOSEPH HILL, ESQ
DEAR Joseph-five and twenty years ago
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
Nay, stay at home - you're always going out.'
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
Perhaps 'twas mere good humour gave it birth, The harmless play of pleasantry and mirti. Howe'er it was, his language, in my mind,
But not to moralize too much, and strain
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.
END OF VOL. I.