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T. QUINCE, ESQ., TO THE REV. MATTHEW PRINGLE.
You wonder that your ancient friend
Since my old crony and myself
Sir, I'm a Bachelor, and mean,
“As years increase,” your worship cries, “ All troubles and anxieties Come swiftly on: you feel vexation About your neighbors, or the nation; The gout in fingers or in toes, Awakes you from your first repose; You'll want a clever nurse, when life Begins to fail you !-take a wife; Believe me, from the mind's disease Her soothing voice might give you ease, . And when the twinge comes shooting through
you, Her care might be of service to you."
Sir, I'm not dying, though I know You charitably think me so; Not dying yet, though you, and others, In augury your learned brothers, Take pains to prophesy events Which lie some twenty winters hence. Some twenty ?-look! you shake your head, As if I were insane or dead,
And tell your children and your wife,
And when I talk about my health,
* I must confess that Dr. Swift
You—who are clever to foretell Where ignorance might be as well, Would marvel how my health has stood : My pulse is firm, digestion good, I walk to see my turnips grow, Manage to ride a mile or so, Get to the village church to pray, And drink my pint of wine a day; And often, in an idle mood, Emerging from my solitude, Look at my sheep, and geese, and fowls, And scare the sparrows and the owls, Or talk with Dick about my crops, And learn the price of malt and hops.
You say, that, when you saw me last, My appetite was going fast, My eye was dim, my cheek was pale, My bread—and stories—both were stale, My wine and wit were growing worse, And all things else, —except my purse; In short, the very blind might see I was not what I used to be.
My glass (which I believe before ye,) Will teach me quite another story; My wrinkles are not many yetMy hair is still as black as jetMy legs are full-my cheeks are ruddyMy eyes, though somewhat sunk by study,
Retain a most vivacious ray,
And yet you think I'm growing thinner ! You'd stare to see me eat my dinner! You know that I was held by all The greatest epicure in Hall, And that the voice of Grahta's sons Styled me the Gourmand of St. John's; I have not yet been found unable To do my duty to my table, Though at its head no Lady gay Hath driven British food away, And made her hapless husband bear Alike her fury and her fare. If some kind-hearted chum calls in,An extra dish, an older bin, And John in all his finery drest, Do honor to the welcome guest; And then we talk of other times, Of parted friends, and distant climes, And lengthened converse, tale, and jest, Lull every anxious care to rest, And when unwillingly I rise, With newly-waken'd sympathies,