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THE POOR OF THE BOROUGH.
-Was a sordid soul,
Feels not the import of the deed ;
Methought the souls of all that I had murder'd
Shakspeare. Richard III.
The times have been, That when the brains were out, the man would die, And there an end; but now they rise again, With twenty mortal murders on their crowns, And push us from our stools.
The Father of Peter a Fisherman-Peter's early Conduct
His Grief for the old Man-He takes an ApprenticeThe Boy's Suffering and Fate—A second Boy: how he died—Peter acquitted— A third Apprentice- A Voyage by Sea: the Boy does not return-Evil Report on Peter: he is tried and threatened-Lives alone-His Melancholy and incipient Madness-Is observed and visited-He escapes and is taken : is lodged in a Parish-house: Women attend and watch him-He speaks in a Delirium : grows more collected—His Account of his Feelings and visionary Terrors previous to his Death.
Old Peter Grimes made fishing his employ,
Yes! then he wept, and to his mind there came
“ It is the word of life," the parent cried; -“ This is the life itself,” the boy replied; And while old Peter in amazement stood, Gare the bot spirit to his boiling blood :How he, with oath and furious speech, began To prove his freedom and assert the man; And when the parent checkd his impious rage, How he had cursed the tyranny of age, Nay, once had dealt the sacrilegious blow On his bare head, and laid his parent low; The father groan d—“ If thou art old," said he, “ And hast a son—thou wilt remember me: “ Thy mother left me in a happy time, “ Thou kill'dst not her–Hear'n spares the double crime."
On an inn-settle, in his maudlin grief,
Now lived the youth in freedom, but debarr'd
With greedy eye he look’d on all he saw,
Oft in the night has Peter dropp'd his oar,
up the hedge-row glided, on his back
He built a mud-wall’d hovel, where he kept His various wealth, and there he oft-times slept; But no success could please his cruel soul, He wish'd for one to trouble and control; He wanted some obedient boy to stand And bear the blow of his outrageous hand; And hoped to find in some propitious hour A feeling creature subject to his power.
Peter had heard there were in London then,Still have they being !-workhouse-clearing men, Who, undisturb'd by feelings just or kind, Would parish-boys to needy tradesmen bind : They in their want a trifling sum would take, And toiling slaves of piteous orphans make.
Such Peter sought, and when a lad was found, The sum was dealt him, and the slave was bound. Some few in town observed in Peter's trap A boy, with jacket blue and woollen