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THE

SHEEP AND THE BRAMBLE BUSH. A THICK-TWISTED brake, in the time of a storm,

Seem'd kindly to cover a sheep: So snug, for a while, he lay shelter'd and warm,

It quietly sooth'd him asleep. The clouds are now scatter'd—the winds are at

The sheep to his pasture inclined : [peace; But ah! the fell thicket lays hold of his fleece,

His coat is left forfeit behind. My friend! who the thicket of law never tried, Consider before you get in;

[side, Though judgment and sentence are pass'd on your

By Jove, you'll be fleeced to the skin.

THE FOX AND THE CAT. The Fox and the Cat, as they traveld one day, With moral discourses cut shorter the way: • 'Tis great (says the Fox) to make justice our

guide! • How godlike is mercy!' Grimalkin replied. Whilst thus they proceeded, a Wolf from the

wood, Impatient of hunger, and thirsting for blood, Rush'd forth, as he saw the dull shepherd asleep, And seized for his supper an innocent sheep. • In vain, wretched victim, for mercy you bleat, When mutton's at hand (says the Wolf), I must Grimalkin's astonish’d—the Fox stood aghast, To see the fell beast at his bloody repast. • What a wretch (says the Cat)-'tis the vilest

eat.'

of brutes ! Does he feed upon flesh, when there's herbage and roots?

(so good, Cries the Fox— While our oaks give us acorns What a tyrant is this, to spill innocent blood!' Well, onward they march'd, and they moralized

[by a mill; Till they came where some poultry pick'd chaff Sly Reynard survey'd them with gluttonous eyes, And made (spite of morals) a pullet his prize. A Mouse too, that chanced from her covert to

stray, The greedy Grimalkin secured as her prey.

A Spider that sat in her web on the wall, Perceived the poor victims, and pitied their fall; She cried — Of such murders how guiltless am I! So ran to regale on a new-taķen fly,

still,

MORAL,

The faults of our neighbours with freedom we

blame, But tax not ourselves, though we practise the

le.

TALES.

THE THRUSH AND PYE.

CONCEAL'D within a hawthorn bush,
We're told, that an experienced Thrush
Instructed, in the prime of Spring,
Many a neighbouring bird to sing.
She carold, and her various song
Gave lessons to the listening throng :
But, the' entangling boughs between,
'Twas her delight to teach unseen.

At length the little wondering race
Would see their favourite face to face;
They thought it hard to be denied,
And begg’d that she'd no longer hide.
O’ermodest, worth's peculiar fault,
Another shade the tutoress sought;
And loath to be too much admired,
In secret from the bush retired.

An impudent, presuming Pye,
Malicious, ignorant, and sly,
Stole to the matron's vacant seat,
And in her arrogance elate,
Rush'd forward-with-My friends, you see
The mistress of the choir in me:

I 2

Here be your due devotion paid,
I am the songstress of the shade.'

A Linnet, that sat listening nigh,
Made the impostor this reply-
• I fancy, friend, that vulgar throats
Were never form'd for warbling notes:

if these lessons came from you,
Repeat them in the public view;
That your assertions may be clear,
Let us behold as well as hear.'

The lengthening song, the softening strain,
Our chattering Pye attempts in vain,
For, to the fool's eternal shame,
All she could compass was a scream.

The birds, enraged, around her fly,
Nor shelter nor defence is nigh:
The caitiff wretch, distress'd, forlorn!
On every side is peck'd and torn!
Till, for her vile atrocious lies,
Under their angry beaks she dies.

Such be his fate, whose scoundrel claim
Obtrudes upon a neighbour's fame.

Friend En', the tale apply,
You are, yourself, the chattering Pye:
Repent, and with a conscious blush,
Go make atonement to the Thrush?

An Ayrshire Bookseller, who pirated an edition of “The Pleasing Instructor.'

2 The Compiler and reputed Authoress of the Original Essays in that book.

THE PICTURE.

A PORTRAIT, at my lord's command,
Completed by a curious hand :
For dabblers in the nice vertû
His lordship set the piece to view,
Bidding their connoisseurships tell,
Whether the work was finish'd well.
• Why (says the loudest), on my word,
'Tis not a likeness, good my lord;
Nor, to be plain, for speak I must,
Can I pronounce one feature just.'
Another effort straight was made,
Another portraiture essay’d;
The judges were again besought,
Each to deliver what he thought.
• Worse than the first-(the critics bawl);
0, what a mouth! how monstrous small!
Look at the cheeks, how lank and thin!
See, what a most preposterous chin!'
After remonstrance made in vain,
• I'll (says the painter) once again
(If my good lord vouchsafes to sit),
Try for a more successful hit:
If you'll to-morrow deign to call,
We'll have a piece to please you all.'
To-morrow comes—a picture's placed
Before those spurious sons of taste-
In their opinions all agree,
This is the vilest of the three.

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