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the same year he added a couple of gates with portcullises; and during the winter of the same year, my uncle Toby, instead of a new suit of clothes, which he always had at Christmas, treated himself with a handsome sentrybox, to stand at the corner of the bowling-green, betwixt which point and the foot of the glacis there was left a little kind of an esplanade, for him and the Corporal to confer and hold councils of war upon. The sentrybox was in case of rain. All these were painted white three times over the ensuing spring, which enabled my uncle Toby to take the field with great splendour.

My father would often say to Yorick, that if any mortal in the whole universe had done such a thing except his brother Toby, it would have been looked upon by the world as one of the most refined satires upon the parade and prancing manner in which Louis XIV., from the beginning of the war, but particularly that very year, had taken the field. But 'tis not in my brother Toby's nature, kind soul! my father would add, to insult any one.




CAREFUL observers may foretell the hour

(By sure prognostics) when to dread a shower: While rain depends, the pensive cat gives o'er Her frolics, and pursues her tail no more.

Meanwhile the south, rising with dappled wings,

A sable cloud athwart the welkin flings,

That swill'd more liquor than it could contain,
And, like a drunkard, gives it up again.
Brisk Susan whips her linen from the rope,
While the first drizzling shower is borne aslope;
Such is that sprinkling, which some careless quean
Flirts on you from her mop-but not so clean :
You fly, invoke the gods; then turning, stop
To rail; she, singing, still whirls on her mop.
Not yet the dust had shunn'd the unequal strife,
But, aided by the wind, fought still for life,
And wafted with its foe by violent gust,

'Twas doubtful which was rain, and which was dust.
Ah! where must needy poet seek for aid,
When dust and rain at once his coat invade?

Sole coat, where dust cemented by the rain

Erects the nap, and leaves a cloudy stain !

Now in contiguous drops the flood comes down, Threatening with deluge this devoted town. To shops in crowds the draggled females fly, Pretend to cheapen goods, but nothing buy. The templar spruce, while every spout's a-broach, Stays till 'tis fair, yet seems to call a coach. The tucked-up sempstress walks with hasty strides, While streams run down her oil'd umbrella's sides. Here various kinds, by various fortunes led, Commence acquaintance underneath a shed.

Triumphant Tories and desponding Whigs,
Forget their feuds, and join to save their wigs.
Box'd in a chair the beau impatient sits,
While spouts run clattering o'er the roof by fits;
And ever and anon with frightful din

The leather sounds; he trembles from within.
So when Troy chairmen bore the wooden steed,
Pregnant with Greeks impatient to be freed
(Those bully Greeks, who, as the moderns do,
Instead of paying chairmen, run them through,)
Laocoon struck the outside with his spear,
And each imprisoned hero quaked for fear.




METHINKS it were a happy life,

To be no better than a homely swain;

To sit upon a hill, as I do now,

To carve out dials quaintly, point by point,

Thereby to see the minutes how they run :
How many make the hour full complete,
How many hours bring about the day,
How many days will finish up the year,

How many years a mortal man may live.
When this is known, then to divide the times :
So many hours must I tend my flock;

So many hours must I take rest;
So many hours must I contemplate;
So many hours must I sport myself;

So many days my ewes have been with young;
So many weeks ere the poor fools will yean;
So many years ere I shall shear the fleece:
So minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, and years,
Pass'd over to the end they were created,
Would bring white hairs unto a quiet grave.

Ah! what a life were this! how sweet-how lovely!
Gives not the hawthorn bush a sweeter shade

To shepherds, looking on their silly sheep,
Than doth a rich embroider'd canopy
To kings, that fear their subjects' treachery?
Oh, yes it doth; a thousandfold it doth.
And to conclude,-the shepherd's homely curds,
His cold thin drink out of his leather bottle,
His wonted sleep under a fresh tree's shade,
All which secure and sweetly he enjoys,

Is far beyond a prince's delicates,
His viands sparkling in a golden cup,
His body couchèd on a curious bed,

When care, mistrust, and treason wait on him.


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