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A trav’ler took his folitary way ; -
When low beneath the hills was funk the day.
And now the skie, with gath'ring darkness lowr,
The branches rustle with the threaten'd shower ;
With fudden blasts the forest murmurs loud,
Indented lightnings cleave the fable cloud,
Thunder on thunder breaks, the tempest roars,
And heav'n discharges all its watry stores.
The wand'ring trav’ler shelter feeks in vain,
And fhrinks and shivers with the beating rain ;
On his steed’s neck the flacken'd bridle lay,
Who chose with cautious step th' uncertain way ;
And now he checks the reign, and halts to hear
If any noise foretold a village near.
At length from far a stream of light he fees
Extend its level ray between the trees ;
Thither he speeds, and as he nearer came,
Joyful he knew the lamp's domestic flame
That trembled thro’ the window : cross the way
Darts forth the barking cur, and stands at bay.

It was an ancient lonely houfe, that stood
Upon the borders of the spacious wood ;
Here towers and antique battlements arife,
And there in heaps the moulder'd ruin lies ;
Some lord this manfion held in days of yore,
To chace the wolf, and pierce the foaming boar :
How chang'd, alas, from what it once had been !
'Tis new degraded to a public inn.

Strait he difmounts, repeats his loud commands ; Swift at the gate the ready landlord stands; With frequent cringe he bows, and begs excuse, His house was full, and ev'ry bed in ufe. What not a garret, and no straw to spare ? Why then the kitchen-fire and elbow. chair Shall ferve for once to nod away the night. The kitchen ever is the servant’s right, Replies the host ; there, all the fire around, The count's tir’d footmen fnore upon the ground.

The maid, who liften'd to this whole debate, With pity learnt the weary stranger's fate. Be brave, she cries, you ftill may be our guest, Our haunted room was ever held the best ;

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If then your valour can the fright fustain Of rattling curtains and the clinking chain, If your courageous tongue has power to talk, When round your bed the horrid ghost shall walk; If you dare ask it, why it leaves its tomb, I'll fee your sheets well air’d, and fhow the room, „“ Soon as the frighted maid her tale had told, | The stranger enter’d, for his heart was bold. The damfelled him through a spacious hall, Where ivy hung the half-demolish’d wall; She frequent look'd behind, and chang'd her hue, While fancy tipt the candle's flame with blue. And now they gain'd the winding stairs afcent, And to the lonefome room of terrors went. When all was ready fwift retir’d the maid, The watch-lights burn, tuckt warm in bed was laid The hardy stranger, and attends the sprite ’Till his accustom’d walk at dead of night. At first he hears the wind with hollow roar Shake the loose lock, and fwing the creaking door ; Nearer and nearer draws the dreadful found Of rattling chains, that dragg'd upon the ground: When lo, the fpečtre came with horrid stride, * Approach'd the bed, and drew the curtains wide; In human form the ghaftful phantom stood, Expos'd his mangled bosom dy’d with blood, Then filent pointing to his wounded breast, | Thrice wav'd his hand. Beneath his frighted guest, The bed. cords trembled, and with shudd'ring fear, y Sweat chill'd his limbs, high rofe his; Then mutt'ring hasty pray'rs, he mann'd his heart, And cry'd aloud ; Say, whence and who thou art? The stalking ghost with hollow voice replies, Three years are counted, since with mortal eyes I saw the fun, and vital air respir'd. Like thee benighted, and with travel tir’d, Within these walls I slept. O thirst of gain f See still the planks the bloody marks retain ; Stretch'd on this very bed, from sleep I start, And fee the steel impending o’er my heart; The barb’rous hostess held the lifted knife, The floor ran purple with my gushing life.

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My treasure now they seize, the golden spoil
They bury deep beneath the grafs-grown foil,
Far in the common field. Be bold, arife,
My steps shall lead thee to thy secret prize ;
There dig and find ; let that thy care reward:
Call loud on justice, bid her not retard
To punish murder ; lay my ghost at rest,
So shall with peace fecure thy nights be blest ;
And when beneath these boards my bones are found,
Decent inter them in fome facred ground.

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C H A P. · XVI: s- of F a B L = s. HE Fable differs little from the Tale, except in this, that it is allegorical, and generally introduces animals, and things inanimate, as persons difcourfing together, and delivering Precepts for the improvement of

mankind: This fpecies of composition was invented, we may fuppofe, to convey truth in an indirect manner, and un, der feigned charaćters, in cafes where to speak plainly, and directly to the purpose, might not befo fafe or fo effec


tual. We find this ufe made of it even in the Holy Scriptures. Fotham’s parable of the trees in the ninth chapter of Judges is a kind of Fable, as is also that of Nathan's poor man and his lamb; which, as Mr. Addison obferves, conveyed instruction to the ear of a king without offence, and brought David to a proper fense of his guilt, and of his duty. Æsop, we may suppose, read his lećtures in this manner as well for the fake of safety, as | to make them more agreeable ; and we are told that in the beginning of the Roman Commonwealth, a mutiny was appeafed, and the incensed rabble reduced to reason, by a Fable of the belly and the limbs; when a man would have been torn in pieces, perhaps, who had preached the fame doćtrine to them in any other manner. It is always expećted that these compositions should inculcate fome moral, or useful lefson, for when deficient in this respect, they are of little, or no value.–Take an example from Mr. GAY.

The JUG GLER s. A FABL e. By Mr. Gay.

A Juggler long through all the town
Had rais'd his fortune and renown ;
You'd think (fo far his art transcends)
The devil at his fingers ends.
Wice heard his fame, she read his bill ;
Convinc’d of his inferior skill,
She fought his booth, and from the crowd
Defy'd the man of art aloud.
Is this then he fo fam'd for flight,
Can this flow bungler cheat your fight,
Dares he with me dispute the prize ? - - -
I leave it to impartial eyes.
Provok'd, the juggler cry'd, 'tis done.
In science I submit to none.
Thus faid, the cups and balls he play’d ;
By turns, this here, that there, convey'd ;
The cards obedient to his words,
Are by a fillip turn'd to birds ;
His little boxes change the grain,
Trick after trick deludes the train.

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