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THE BOROUGH.

LETTER XVI.

INHABITANTS OF THE ALMS-HOUSE.

BENBOW.

Thou art the Knight of the Burning Lamp—if thou wast any way given to virtue, I would swear by thy face; my oath should be by this fire. Oh! thou 'rt a perpetual triumph, thou hast saved me a thousand marks in links and torches, walking in a night betwixt tavern and

Shakspeare.

tavern,

Ebrietas tibi fida comes, tibi Luxus, et atris
Circa te semper volitans Infamia pennis.

Silius Italicus.

Benbow, an improper Companion for the Badgemen of the

Alms-house-He resembles Bardolph-Left in Trade by his Father-Contracts useless Friendships-His Friends drink with him, and employ others—Called worthy and honest! Why—Effect of Wine on the Mind of ManBenbow's common Subject—the Praise of departed Friends and Patrons—'Squire Asgill, at the Grange: his Manners, Servants, Friends—True to his Church : ought therefore to be spared—His Son's different Conduct–Vexation of the Father's Spirit if admitted to see the AlterationCaptain Dowling, a boon Companion, ready to drink at all Times, and with any Company: famous in his Clubroom—His easy Departure-Dolley Murrey, a Maiden advanced in Years: abides by Ratafia and Cards Her free Manners—Her Skill in the Game-Her Preparation and Death-Benbow, how interrupted : his Submission.

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See! yonder badgeman, with that glowing face,
A meteor shining in this sober place;
Vast sums were paid, and many years were past,
Ere
gems

so rich around their radiance cast !
Such was the fiery front that Bardolph wore,
Guiding his master to the tavern-door ;
There first that meteor rose, and there alone,
In its due place, the rich effulgence shone:
But this strange fire the seat of peace invades,
And shines portentous in these solemn shades.

Benbow, a boon companion, long approved
By jovial sets, and (as he thought) beloved,
Was judged as one to joy and friendship prone,
And deem'd injurious to himself alone;
Gen'rous and free, he paid but small regard
To trade, and faild; and some declared “ 'twas hard :"
These were his friends-his foes conceived the case
Of common kind; he sought and found disgrace:
The reasoning few, who neither scorn'd nor loved,
His feelings pitied and his faults reproved.

Benbow, the father, left possessions fair,
A worthy name and business to his heir ;
Benbow, the son, those fair possessions sold,
And lost his credit, while he spent the gold :
He was a jovial trader: men enjoy'd
The night with him; his day was unemploy’d;
So when his credit and his cash were spent,
Here, by mistaken pity, he was sent ;
Of late he came, with passions unsubdued,
And shared and cursed the hated solitude,
Where gloomy thoughts arise, where grievous cares in-

trude.
Known but in drink-he found an easy friend,
Well pleased his worth and honour to commend ;
And thus inform’d, the guardian of the trust
Heard the applause and said the claim was just;
A worthy soul! unfitted for the strife,
Care and contention of a busy life;-
Worthy, and why?—that o'er the midnight bowl
He made his friend the partner of his soul,
And any man his friend :—then thus in glee,
“ I speak my mind, I love the truth," quoth he;

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