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PARSON, these things in thy possessing
Are better than the bishop's blessing:
A wife that makes conserves; a steed
That carries double when there's need; -
October store, and best Virginia,
Tithe pig, and mortuary guinea;
Gazettes sent gratis down, and frank'd,
For which thy patron's weekly thank'd;
A large Concordance, bound long since ;
Sermons to Charles the First, when prince;
A chronicle of ancient standing ;
A Chrysostom, to smooth thy band in ;
The Polyglot, -three parts, my text—
Howbeit—likewise—now to my next—
Lo here the Septuagint, and Paul,—
To sum the whole,—the close of all.
He that has these, may pass his life,
Drink with the 'squire, and kiss his wife;
On Sundays preach, and eat his fill ;
And fast on Fridays, if he will;
Toast church and queen, explain the news,
Talk with churchwardens about pews,
Pray heartily for some new gift,

And shake his head at doctor Swift. - A TALE A TALE OF CHAUCER.


WOMEN, though nat sans leacherie,
Ne swinken but with secrecie:
This in our tale is plain y-fond,
Of clerk that wonneth in Irelond;
Which to the fennes hath him betake
To filch the gray ducke fro the lake.
Right then there passen by the way
His aunt, and eke her daughters tway:
Ducke in his trowzes hath he hent,
Not to be spied of ladies gent.
“But ho our nephew (crieth one)
“Ho: (quoth another) couzen John;” o
And stoppen, and lough, and callen out, -
This sely clerk full low doth lout.
They asken that and talken this,
“Lo here is coz, and here is miss.”
But, as he gloz'd with speeches soote,
The ducke sore tickleth his erse roote :
Forepiece and buttons all to-brest,
Forth thrust a white neck and red crest.
« Te-he,” cried ladies; clerke nought spake;
Miss star'd; and gray ducke crieth “quaake.”
“O moder, moder (quoth the daughter)
“Be thilke same thing maids longen a'ter :
“Bette is to pyne on coals and chalke,
“Then trust on mon, whose yerde can talke.”


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IN ev'ry town where Thamis rolls his tide,
A narrow pass there is, with houses low ;
Where ever and anon the stream is eyed,
And many a boat soft sliding to and fro:
There oft are heard the notes of infant woe,
The short thick sob, loud scream, and shriller squall:
How can ye, mothers, vex your children so :
Some play, some eat, some cack against the wall,
And, as they crouchen low, for bread and butter call.


And on the broken pavement here and there
Doth many a stinking sprat and herring lie;
A brandy and tobacco shop is near,
And hens, and dogs, and hogs, are feeding by:
And here a sailor's jacket hangs to dry;
At every door are sunburnt matrons seen,
Mending old nets to catch the scaly fry;
Now singing shrill, and scolding oft between ;
Scolds answer foulmouth'd scolds; bad neighbour-
hood, I ween. -


The snappish cur (the passenger's annoy)
Close at my heel with yelping treble flies;

The whimp'ring girl and hoarser screaming boy
Join to the yelping treble shrilling cries;

The scolding quean to louder notes doth rise,
And her full pipes those shrilling cries confound;
To her full pipes the grunting hog replies;
The grunting hogs alarm the neighbours round,
And curs, girls, boys, and scolds, in the deep base
are drown'd.


Hard by a sty, beneath a roof of thatch,
Dwelt Obloquy, who in her early days

Baskets of fish at Billingsgate did watch,
Cod, whiting, oyster, mackrel, sprat, or plaice:
There learn'd she speech from tongues that never

Sländer, beside her, like a magpie chatters,

With Envy (spitting cat) dread foe to peace;
Like a curs'd cur, Malice before her clatters,
And, vexing ev'ry wight, tears clothes and all to

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Her dugs were mark'd by ev'ry collier's hand,
Her mouth was black as bulldog's at the stall:
She scratched, bit, and spar'd ne lace ne band;
And bitch and rogue her answer was to all;
Nay, e'en the parts of shame by name would call.
Whene'er she passed by a lane or nook,
Would greet the man who turn'd him to the wall,
And by his hand obscene the porter took,
Nor ever did askance like modest virgin look.

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Such Lambeth, envy of each band and gown;
And Twick’nham such, which fairer scenes enrich,
Grots, statues, urns, and Jo-n's dog and bitch;

Ne village is without, on either side,
All up the silver Thames, or all adown;

Ne Richmond's self, from whose tall front are ey'd

Wales, spires, meandring streams, and Windsor's

tow'ry pride.

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IN Yorkshire dwelt a sober yeoman,
Whose wife, a clean, painstaking woman,
Fed num’rous poultry in her pens,
And saw her cocks well serve her hens.
A hen she had whose tuneful clocks
Drew after her a train of cocks;
With eyes so piercing, yet so pleasant,
You would have sworn this hen a pheasant.
All the plum'd beau monde round her gathers;
Lord! what a brustling up of feathers
Morning from noon there was no knowing,
There was such flutt'ring, chuckling, crowing:
Each forward bird must thrust his head in,
And not a cock but would be treading.
Yet tender was this hen so fair,
And hatch'd more chicks than she could rear.
Our prudent dame bethought her then
Of some dry nurse to save her hen :
She made a capon drunk; in fine
He eats the sops, she sipp'd the wine;

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