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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 ruftle with the threaten'd fhower;
With fudden blafts the foreft murmurs loud,
Indented lightnings cleave the fable cloud,
Thunder on thunder breaks, the tempeft roars,
And heav'n discharges all its watry stores.
The wand'ring trav'ler shelter seeks in vain,
And shrinks and fhivers with the beating rain;
On his steed's neck the flacken'd bridle lay,
Who chose with cautious ftep th' uncertain way;
And now he checks the reign, and halts to hear
any noife foretold a village near.

At length from far a ftream of light he fees
Extend its level ray between the trees;
Thither he fpeeds, and as he nearer came,
Joyful he knew the lamp's domeftic flame
That trembled thro' the window: crofs the way
Darts forth the barking cur, and ftands at bay.
It was an ancient lonely houfe, that flood
Upon the borders of the fpacious wood;
Here towers and antique battlements arise,
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 now 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 houfe was full, and ev'ry bed in use.
What not a garret, and no ftraw to spare?
Why then the kitchen-fire and elbow chair
Shall ferve for once to nod away the night.
The kitchen ever is the fervant's right,
Replies the hoft; 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 ftranger's fate.
Be brave, fhe cries, you ftill may be our guest,
Our haunted room was ever held the beft;

If then your valour can the fright sustain
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 fheets well air'd, and fhow the room.
Soon as the frighted maid her tale had told,
The ftranger enter'd, for his heart was bold.
The damfel led him through a fpacious 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 lonesome room of terrors went.
When all was ready swift retir'd the maid,
The watch-lights burn, tuckt warm in bed was laid
The hardy ftranger, and attends the sprite
'Till his accuftom'd walk at dead of night.

At first he hears the wind with hollow roar Shake the loofe 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 fpectre came with horrid stride,
Approach'd the bed, and drew the curtains wide;
In human form the ghaftful phantom flood,
Expos'd his mangled bofom dy'd with blood,
Then filent pointing to his wounded breast,
Thrice wav'd his hand. Beneath his frighted gueft,
The bed-cords trembled, and with fhudd'ring fear,
Sweat chill'd his limbs, high rofe his;
Then mutt'ring hafty pray'rs, he mann'd his heart,
And cry'd aloud; Say, whence and who thou art ?
The ftalking ghoft with hollow voice replies,
Three years are counted, fince with mortal eyes
I faw the fun, and vital air respir'd.
Like thee benighted, and with travel tir'd,
Within these walls I flept. O thirft of gain !
See ftill the planks the bloody marks retain ;
Stretch'd on this very bed, from fleep I start,
And see the steel impending o'er my heart;
The barb'rous hoftefs held the lifted knife,
The floor ran purple with my gushing life.

My treasure now they feize, the golden spoil
They bury deep beneath the grafs-grown foil,
Far in the common field. Be bold, arife,
My fteps fhall lead thee to thy fecret prize;
There dig and find; let that thy care reward:
Call loud on juftice, bid her not retard
To punish murder; lay my ghoft at reft,
So fhall with peace fecure thy nights be bleft;
And when beneath thefe boards my bones are found,
Decent inter them in fome facred ground.

Here ceas'd the ghoft. The ftranger fprings from bed, And boldly follows where the phantom led; The half-worn ftony ftairs they now defcend, Where paffages obfcure their arches bend, Silent they walk; and now through groves they pafs, Now through wet meads their steps imprint the grafs ; At length amidst a spacious field they came: There ftops the spectre, and afcends in flame. Amaz'd he stood, no bush, nor briar was found, To teach his morning fearch to find the ground; What could he do? the night was hideous dark, Fear fhook his joints, and nature dropt the MARK; With that he starting wak'd, and rais'd his head, But found the golden MARK was left in bed.

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HE Fable differs little from the Tale, except in this, that it is allegorical, and generally introduces animals, and things inanimate, as perfons difcourfing together, and delivering Precepts for the improvement of mankind:

This fpecies of compofition was invented, we may fuppofe, to convey truth in an indirect manner, and under feigned characters, in cafes where to speak plainly, and directly to the purpofe, might not be fo 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 alfo 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 sense of his guilt, and of his duty. Efop, we may fuppofe, read his lectures 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 doctrine to them in any other manner.

It is always expected that these compofitions fhould inculcate fome moral, or ufeful leffon, for when deficient in this refpect, they are of little, or no value.-Take an example from 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.

Vice heard his fame, the 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 difpute the prize? -
I leave it to impartial eyes.

Provok'd, the juggler cry'd, 'tis done.
In fcience 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.

He shakes his bag, he shows all fair,
His fingers spread, and nothing there.
Then bids it rain with fhowers of gold,
And now his iv'ry eggs are told.

But when from thence the hen he draws,
Amaz'd fpectators hum applause.

Vice now ftept forth and took the place
With all the forms of his grimace.

This magick looking glafs, fhe cries,
(There, hand it round) will charm your eyes :
Each eager eye the fight defir'd,

And ev'ry man himself admir'd.

Next, to a fenator addreffing;

See this Bank-note; observe the bleffing;
Breathe on the bill, Heigh, pafs! 'Tis gone.
Upon his lips a padlock fhone.

A fecond puff the magick broke,
The padlock vanish'd, and he spoke.
Twelve bottles rang'd upon the board,
All full, with heady liquor ftor'd,
By clean conveyance disappear,
And now too bloody fwords are there.
A purfe fhe to the thief expos'd;
At once his ready fingers clos'd;
his fift, the treasures fled



He fees a halter in its ftead.

She bids ambition hold a wand,

He grafps a hatchet in his hand.

A box of charity the shows:

Blow here, and a church warden blows
'Tis vanish'd with conveyance neat,

And on the table fmokes a treat.

She thakes the dice, the board fhe knocks.

And from all pockets fills her box.

She next a meager rake addrest

This picture fee; her fhape, her breast!
What youth, and what inviting eyes!
Hold her, and have her. With furprise,
His hand expos'd a box of pills;
And a loud laugh proclaim'd his ills.
A counter, in a mifer's hand,
Grew twenty guineas at command;

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