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Fam. A baby beat its dying mother :
Both. Who bade you do't?
The same! the same !
Fire. Sisters ! I from Ireland came !
Both. Who bade you do't?
The same ! the same !
* As on I strode with monstrous strides—1798. † All the night—ib. # The fire—ib.
All. He let us loose, and cried Halloo !
Fam. Wisdom comes with lack of food.
Slau. They shall tear him limb from limb!
Fire. O thankless beldames and untrue !
[To Slaughter. For you he turn'd the dust to mud With his fellow-creatures' blood !
To Famine. And hunger scorch'd as many more To make your cup of joy run o'er.
To Both.] Ninety months he, by my troth !
THE DEVIL'S THOUGHTS. *
FROM his brimstone bed at break of day
A-walking the Devil is gone,
* An eight years' debt ?-1798.
+ Printed in The Morning Post, Sept. 6, 1799 (with the stanzas in a somewhat different order).
To visit his snug little farm the Earth,
And see how his stock goes on.*
Over the hill and over the dale,
And he went over the plain, And backward and forward he switch'd † his long
As a gentleman switches | his cane. (tail
And how then was the Devil drest ?
He saw a Lawyer killing a viper
On a dunghill hard by his own stable ;
Of Cain and his brother Abel.
|| Ride by on his vocation ;
* To look at his little snug farm of the earth,
And see how his stock went on.-1799. of Swish'd-10.
Swishes—10. § On the dunghill beside his stable ; "Oh oh,' quoth he, for it put him in mind
Of the story of Cain and Abel.—11. ll An Apothecary on a white horse
Rode by, &c.-16,
And the Devil thought of his old friend
Death in the Revelation.*
He saw a cottage with a double coach-house,
A cottage of gentility;
Is pride that apes humility.
Quoth he, “We are both of one college !
Hard by the tree of knowledge." S
* And I looked, and behold a pale horse : and his name that sat on him was Death.-Revel. vi. 8.
† And he grinn'd at the sight, for his favourite vice-1799. # Upon the tree-Ib.
§ This anecdote is related by that most interesting of the Devil's biographers, Mr. John Milton, in his Paradise Lost, and we have here the Devil's own testimony to the truth and accuracy of it. “ And all amid them stood the tree of life High eminent, blooming ambrosial fruit Of vegetable gold [query paper money:) and next to Life Our Death, the tree of knowledge, grew fast by.
So clomb this first grand thief-
The allegory here is so apt, that in a catalogue of various readings obtained from collating the MSS. one might expect to find it noted, that for “ life” Cod. quid. habent “trade.”
Down the river did glide, with wind and with tide,
A pig with vast celerity ; And the Devil look'd wise as he saw how the while, It cut its own throat. There,” quoth he with a
smile, “ Goes England's commercial prosperity.”*
A solitary cell ;
For improving his prisons in Hell. Though indeed the trade, i.e. the bibliopolic, so called Kat' ¿Sóxnv, may be regarded as Life sensu eminentiori ; a suggestion which I owe to a young retailer in the hosiery line, who on hearing a description of the net profits, dinner-parties, country-houses, &c. of the trade, exclaimed, “Ay! that's what I call Life now!”—This “Life, our Death,” is thus happily contrasted with the fruits of authorship-Sic nos non nolis mellificamus apes.
Of this poem, which with the “Fire, Famine, and Slaughter," first appeared in the Morning Post, the ist, 2nd, 3rd, gth, and 16th stanzas were dictated by Mr. Southey. See Apologetic Preface.
* He saw a pig right rapidly
Adown the river float,
Was cutting his own throat.
For joy and admiration-
And her darling babe Taxation.-1799.