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MISCELL ANIES.

MISCELL ANIES.

THE CLOWN'S REPLY.

John Trott was desir'd by two witty peers,
To tell them the reason why asses had ears ;
“ An't please you," quoth John, “I'm not given to letters,
Nor dare I pretend to know more than my betters;
Howe'er from this time I shall ne'er see your graces,
As I hope to be sav'd! without thinking on asses."

Edinburgh, 1753.*

PROLOGUE,

WRITTEN AND SPOKEN BY THE POET LABERIUS, A ROMAN

KNIGHT, WHOM CESAR FORCED UPON THE STAGE.

Preserved by Macrobius.t

What! po way left to shun th' inglorious stage,
And save from infamy my sinking age!

* [This is the only effusion preserved of several, which Goldsmith is said to have written while a student at Edinburgh.]

† [This translation was first printed in “The Present State of Polite Learning,” in 1759; but was omitted in the second edition, which appeared in 1774. Decimus Laberius was made a Roman knight by Julius Cæsar. For a long period he maintained the first character as a farce writer ; but Publius Syrus at last became his rival, and carried off the applause of the theatre. See Aulus Gellius, I. iii., c. 7; and Hor. Sat. lib. i. sat. x.]

Scarce half alive, oppress'd with many a year,
What, in the name of dotage, drives me here?
A time there was, when glory was my guide,
Nor force nor fraud could turn my steps aside;
Unaw'd by power, and unappall’d by fear,
With honest thrift I held my honor dear :
But this vile hour disperses all my store,
And all my hoard of honor is no more ;
For ah! too partial to my life's decline,
Cæsar persuades, submission must be mine;
Him I obey, whom Heaven itself obeys,
Hopeless of pleasing, yet inclin'd to please.
Here then at once I welcome every shame,
And cancel at threescore a life of fame;
No more my

titles shall

my

children tell;
The old buffoon will fit my name as well :
This day beyond its term my fate extends,
For life is ended when our honor ends.

THE LOGICIANS REFUTED.

In imitation of Dean Swift.*

Logicians have but ill defin'd
As rational the human mind;

* (First printed in the “Busy Body,” 1759 ; to draw attention to which publication it was announced as the production of the Dean of St. Patrick. It was included in the Dublin edition of his works, and is continued by Sir Walter Scott, who had doubtless forgotten its position in the works of Goldsmith. See Life, ch. ix.

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