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LETTER XI.

INNS.

All the comforts of life in a tavern are known,
'Tis his home who possesses not one of his own;
And to him who has rather too much of that one,
'Tis the house of a friend where he's welcome to run :
The instant you enter my door you 're my lord,
With whose taste and whose pleasure I'm proud to accord;
And the louder you call and the longer you stay,
The more I am happy to serve and obey.

To the house of a friend if you 're pleased to retire,
You must all things admit, you must all things admire;
You must pay with observance the price of your treat,

You must eat what is praised, and must praise what you eat:
But here you may come, and no tax we require,
You may loudly condemn what you greatly admire;
You may growl at our wishes and pains to excel,
And may snarl at the rascals who please you so well.
At your wish we attend, and confess that your speech
On the nation's affairs might the minister teach; .
His views you may blame, and his measures oppose,
There's no tavern-treason-you’re under the Rose:
Should rebellions arise in your own little state,
With me you may safely their consequence wait ;
To recruit your lost spirits 'tis prudent to come,
And to fly to a friend when the devil's at home.
That I've faults is confess'd; but it won't be denied,
'Tis my interest the faults of my neighbours to hide ;
If I've sometimes lent Scandal occasion to prate,
I've often conceal'd what she'd love to relate;
If to Justice's bar some have wander'd from mine,
'Twas because the dull rogues wouldn't stay by their wine ;
And for brawls at my house, well the poet explains,
That men drink shallow draughts, and so madden their brains.

A difficult Subject for Poetry-Invocation of the Muse

Description of the principal Inn and those of the first Class—The large deserted Tavern—Those of a second Order-Their Company-One of particular Description -A lower Kind of Public Houses : yet distinguished among themselves—Houses on the Quays for SailorsThe Green-Man: its Landlord, and the Adventure of his Marriage, &c.

THE BOROUGH.

LETTER XI.

INNS.

Much do I need, and therefore will I ask,
A Muse to aid me in my present task;
For then with special cause we beg for aid,
When of our subject we are most afraid:
Inns are this subject—'tis an-ill-drawn lot,
So, thou who gravely triflest, fail me not.
Fail not, but haste, and to my memory bring
Scenes yet unsung, which few would choose to sing:
Thou mad'st a Shilling splendid; thou hast thrown
On humble themes the graces all thine own;
By thee the Mistress of a village-school
Became a queen, enthroned upon her stool;
And far beyond the rest thou gav'st to shine
Belinda's Lock-that deathless work was thine.

Come, lend thy cheerful light, and give to please, These seats of revelry, these scenes of ease ;

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Who sings of Inns much danger has to dread,
And needs assistance from the fountain-head.

High in the street, o'erlooking all the place,
The rampant Lion shows his kingly face;
His ample jaws extend from side to side,
His eyes are glaring, and his nostrils wide;
In silver shag the sovereign form is dress’d,
A mane horrific sweeps his ample chest ;
Elate with pride, he seems t'assert his reign,
And stands the glory of his wide domain.

Yet nothing dreadful to his friends the sight,
But sign and pledge of welcome and delight:
To him the noblest guest the town detains
Flies for repast, and in his court remains;
Him too the crowd with longing looks admire,
Sigh for his joys, and modestly retire ;
Here not a comfort shall to them be lost
Who never ask or never feel the cost.

The ample yards on either side contain
Buildings where order and distinction reign ;-
The splendid carriage of the wealthier guest,
The ready chaise and driver smartly dress’d;
Whiskeys and gigs and curricles are there,
And high-fed prancers many a raw-boned pair.
On all without a lordly host sustains
The care of empire, and observant reigns ;

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The parting guest beholds him at his side,
With pomp obsequious, bending in his pride;
Round all the place his eyes

all objects meet,
Attentive, silent, civil, and discreet.
O’er all within the lady-hostess rules,
Her bar she governs, and her kitchen schools;
To every guest th' appropriate speech is made,
And every duty with distinction paid ;
Respectful, easy, pleasant, or polite-
“ Your honour's servant-Mister Smith, good night.”

Next, but not near, yet honour'd through the town, There swing, incongruous pair ! the Bear and Crown; That Crown suspended gems and ribands deck, A golden chain hangs o'er that furry neck: Unlike the nobler beast, the Bear is bound, And with the Crown so near him, scowls uncrown'd; Less his dominion, but alert are all Without, within, and ready for the call ; Smart lads and light run nimbly here and there, Nor for neglected duties mourns the Bear.

To his retreats, on the election-day, The losing party found their silent way; There they partook of each consoling good, Like him uncrown'd, like him in sullen mood Threat’ning, but bound.—Here meet a social kind, Our various clubs for various cause combined;

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