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- The Borough - 10/45 -


He may be robb'd like any other man:" "Still he is bound, and you may be at rest, More safe the money than within your chest; And you'll receive, from all deductions clear, Five pounds for every hundred, every year." "What good in that?" quoth Daniel, "for 'tis plain, If part I take, there can but part remain:" "What! you, my friend, so skill'd in gainful things, Have you to learn what Interest money brings?" "Not so," said Daniel, "perfectly I know, He's the most interest who has most to show." "True! and he'll show the more the more he lends; Thus he his weight and consequence extends; For they who borrow must restore each sum, And pay for use. What, Daniel, art thou dumb?" For much amazed was that good man.--"Indeed!" Said he with gladd'ning eye, "will money breed? How have I lived ? I grieve, with all my heart, For my late knowledge in this precious art: - Five pounds for every hundred will he give? And then the hundred?--I begin to live." - So he began, and other means he found, As he went on, to multiply a pound: Though blind so long to Interest, all allow That no man better understands it now: Him in our Body-Corporate we chose, And once among us, he above us rose; Stepping from post to post, he reach'd the Chair, And there he now reposes--that's the Mayor. But 'tis not he, 'tis not the kinder few, The mild, the good, who can our peace renew; A peevish humour swells in every eye, The warm are angry, and the cool are shy; There is no more the social board at whist, The good old partners are with scorn dismiss'd; No more with dog and lantern comes the maid, To guide the mistress when the rubber's play'd; Sad shifts are made lest ribands blue and green Should at one table, at one time, be seen: On care and merit none will now rely, 'Tis Party sells what party-friends must buy; The warmest burgess wears a bodger's coat, And fashion gains less int'rest than a vote; Uncheck'd the vintner still his poison vends, For he too votes, and can command his friends. But this admitted; be it still agreed, These ill effects from noble cause proceed; Though like some vile excrescences they be, The tree they spring from is a sacred tree, And its true produce, Strength and Liberty. Yet if we could th' attendant ills suppress, If we could make the sum of mischief less; If we could warm and angry men persuade No more man's common comforts to invade; And that old ease and harmony re-seat, In all our meetings, so in joy to meet; Much would of glory to the Muse ensue, And our good Vicar would have less to do.

LETTER VI.

Quid leges sine moribus Vanae proficiunt? HORACE.

Vae! misero mihi, mea nunc facinora Aperiuntur, clam quae speravi fore. MANILIUS.

-----------------------------

Trades and Professions of every kind to be found in the Borough--Its Seamen and Soldiers--Law, the Danger of the Subject--Coddrington's Offence--Attorneys increased; their splendid Appearance, how supported--Some worthy Exceptions--Spirit of Litigation, how stirred up--A Boy articled as a Clerk; his Ideas--How this Profession perverts the Judgement--Actions appear through this medium in a false Light--Success from honest Application--Archer, a worthy Character--Swallow, a character of a different kind--His Origin, Progress, Success &c.

PROFESSIONS--LAW.

"TRADES and Professions"--these are themes the Muse, Left to her freedom, would forbear to choose; But to our Borough they in truth belong, And we, perforce, must take them in our song. Be it then known that we can boast of these In all denominations, ranks, degrees; All who our numerous wants through life supply, Who soothe us sick, attend us when we die, Or for the dead their various talents try. Then have we those who live by secret arts, By hunting fortunes, and by stealing hearts; Or who by nobler means themselves advance, Or who subsist by charity and chance. Say, of our native heroes shall I boast, Born in our streets, to thunder on our coast, Our Borough-seamen? Could the timid Muse More patriot ardour in their breasts infuse; Or could she paint their merit or their skill, She wants not love, alacrity, or will: But needless all; that ardour is their own, And for their deeds, themselves have made them known. Soldiers in arms! Defenders of our soil! Who from destruction save us; who from spoil Protect the sons of peace, who traffic, or who toil; Would I could duly praise you; that each deed Your foes might honour, and your friends might read: This too is needless; you've imprinted well Your powers, and told what I should feebly tell: Beside, a Muse like mine, to satire prone, Would fail in themes where there is praise alone. - Law shall I sing, or what to Law belongs? Alas! there may be danger in such songs; A foolish rhyme, 'tis said, a trifling thing, The law found treason, for it touch'd the King. But kings have mercy, in these happy times. Or surely One had suffered for his rhymes; Our glorious Edwards and our Henrys bold, So touch'd, had kept the reprobate in hold; But he escap'd,--nor fear, thank Heav'n, have I, Who love my king, for such offence to die. But I am taught the danger would be much, If these poor lines should one attorney touch - (One of those Limbs of Law who're always here; The Heads come down to guide them twice a year.) I might not swing, indeed, but he in sport Would whip a rhymer on from court to court; Stop him in each, and make him pay for all The long proceedings in that dreaded Hall: - Then let my numbers flow discreetly on, Warn'd by the fate of luckless Coddrington, {3} Lest some attorney (pardon me the name) Should wound a poor solicitor for fame. One Man of Law in George the Second's reign Was all our frugal fathers would maintain; He too was kept for forms; a man of peace, To frame a contract, or to draw a lease: He had a clerk, with whom he used to write All the day long, with whom he drank at night, Spare was his visage, moderate his bill, And he so kind, men doubted of his skill. Who thinks of this, with some amazement sees, For one so poor, three flourishing at ease; Nay, one in splendour! see that mansion tall, That lofty door, the far-resounding hall; Well-furnish'd rooms, plate shining on the board, Gay liveried lads, and cellar proudly stored: Then say how comes it that such fortunes crown These sons of strife, these terrors of the town? Lo! that small Office! there th' incautious guest Goes blindfold in, and that maintains the rest; There in his web, th' observant spider lies, And peers about for fat intruding flies; Doubtful at first, he hears the distant hum, And feels them fluttering as they nearer come; They buzz and blink, and doubtfully they tread On the strong bird-lime of the utmost thread; But when they're once entangled by the gin, With what an eager clasp he draws them in; Nor shall they 'scape, till after long delay, And all that sweetens life is drawn away. "Nay, this," you cry, "is common-place, the tale Of petty tradesmen o'er their evening ale; There are who, living by the legal pen, Are held in honour,--'Honourable men'" Doubtless--there are who hold manorial courts, Or whom the trust of powerful friends supports, Or who, by labouring through a length of time, Have pick'd their way, unsullied by a crime. These are the few: in this, in every place, Fix the litigious rupture-stirring race; Who to contention as to trade are led, To whom dispute and strife are bliss and bread. There is a doubtful Pauper, and we think 'Tis not with us to give him meat and drink; There is a Child; and 'tis not mighty clear Whether the mother lived with us a year: A Road's indicted, and our seniors doubt If in our proper boundary or without: But what says our attorney? He, our friend, Tells us 'tis just and manly to contend. "What! to a neighbouring parish yield your cause, While you have money, and the nation laws? What! lose without a trial, that which, tried, May--nay it must--be given on our side? All men of spirit would contend; such men Than lose a pound would rather hazard ten. What! be imposed on? No! a British soul Despises imposition, hates control: The law is open; let them, if they dare, Support their cause; the Borough need not spare. All I advise is vigour and good-will: Is it agreed then--Shall I file a bill?" The trader, grazier, merchant, priest, and all,


The Borough - 10/45

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