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THE BOROUGH.

LETTER XVIII.

THE POOR AND THEIR DWELLINGS.

Bene paupertas
Humili tecto contenta latet,

Seneca.

Omnes quibu' res sunt minu' secundæ, magi' sunt, nescio quo modo,
Suspiciosi; ad contumeliam omnia accipiunt magis;
Propter suam impotentiam se semper credunt negligi.

Terent. in Adelph. Act 4. Scene 3.

Show not to the poor thy pride,

Let their home a cottage be;
Nor the feeble body hide

In a palace fit for thee;

Let him not about him see
Lofty ceilings, ample halls,

Or a gate his boundary be,
Where nor friend or kinsman calls.

Let him not one walk behold,

That only one which he must tread,
Nor a chamber large and cold,
Where the aged and sick are led;

Better far his humble shed,
Humble sheds of neighbours by,

And the old and tatter'd bed,
Where he sleeps and hopes to die.

To quit of torpid sluggishness the cave,
And from the pow'rful arms of sloth be free,
'Tis rising from the dead-Alas! it cannot be.

Thomson's Castle of Indolence.

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The Method of treating the Borough Paupers—Many main

tained at their own Dwellings—Some Characters of the Poor-The School-mistress, when aged—The IdiotThe poor

Sailor-The declined Tradesman and his Companion—This contrasted with the Maintenance of the Poor in a common Mansion erected by the HundredThe Objections to this Method: not Want, nor Cruelty, but the necessary Evils of this Mode—What they areInstances of the Evil- A Return to the Borough PoorThe Dwellings of these--The Lanes and By-ways-No Attention here paid to Convenience–The Pools in the Path-ways-Amusements of Sea-port Children - The Town-Flora-Herbs on Walls and vacant Spaces—A female Inhabitant of an Alley-A large Building let to several

poor

Inhabitants-Their Manners and Habits.

THE BOROUGH.

LETTER XVIII.

THE POOR AND THEIR DWELLINGS.

Yes! we've our Borough-vices, and I know
How far they spread, how rapidly they grow;
Yet think not virtue quits the busy place,
Nor charity, the virtues crown and grace.
Our
poor,

how feed we?”—To the most we give
A weekly dole, and at their homes they live ;-
Others together dwell,—but when they come
To the low roof, they see a kind of home,
A social people whom they 've ever known,
With their own thoughts and manners like their own.

At her old house, her dress, her air the same, I see mine ancient letter-loving dame:

Learning, my child,” said she, “ shall fame command; -Learning is better worth than house or land“For houses perish, lands are gone and spent ; “ In learning then excel, for that's most excellent.”

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VOL. II.

“And what her learning ?”—'Tis with awe to look
In every verse throughout one sacred book;
From this her joy, her hope, her peace is sought:
This she has learn'd, and she is nobly taught.

If aught of mine have gain'd the public ear;
If RUTLAND deigns these humble Tales to hear;
If critics pardon, what my friends approved; ;
Can I mine ancient widow pass unmoved ?
Shall I not think what pains the matron took,
When first I trembled o'er the gilded book ?
How she, all patient, both at eve and morn,
Her needle pointed at the guarding horn;
And how she soothed me, when, with study sad,
I labour'd on to reach the final zad ?
Shall I not grateful still the dame survey,
And ask the muse the poet's debt to pay?

Nor I alone, who hold a trifler's pen,
But half our bench of wealthy, weighty men,
Who rule our Borough, who enforce our laws;
They own the matron as the leading cause,
And feel the pleasing debt, and pay the just applause :
To her own house is borne the week's supply;
There she in credit lives, there hopes in peace to die.

With her a harmless idiot we behold,
Who hoards up silver shells for shining gold;

These he preserves, with unremitted care,
To buy a seat, and reign the Borough's mayor:
Alas !—who could th' ambitious changeling tell,
That what he sought our rulers dared to sell ?

Near these a sailor, in that hut of thatch
(A fish-boat's cabin is its nearest match),
Dwells, and the dungeon is to him a seat,
Large as he wishes—in his view complete:
A lockless coffer and a lidless hutch
That hold his stores, have room for twice as much :
His one spare shirt, long glass, and iron box,
Lie all in view; no need has he for locks :
Here he abides, and, as our strangers pass,
He shows the shipping, he presents the glass ;
He makes (unask’d) their ports and business known,
And (kindly heard) turns quickly to his own,
Of noble captains, heroes every one,-
You might as soon have made the steeple run:
And then his messmates, if you ’re pleased to stay,
He'll one by one the gallant souls display,
And as the story verges to an end,
He'll wind from deed to deed, from friend to friend;
He'll speak of those long lost, the brave of old,
As princes gen'rous and as heroes bold;
Then will his feelings rise, till you may trace
Gloom, like a cloud, frown o'er his manly face,-

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