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AN

EPISTLE

TO

JOSEPH HILL, ESQ.

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Dear Joseph-five and twenty years ago
Alas how time escapes! 'tis even 80-
With frequent intercourse, and always sweet,
And always friendly, we were wont to cheat
A tedious hour and now we never meett
As some grave gentleman in Terence says,
('Twas therefore much the same in ancient days)
Good lack, we know not what to-morrow brings
Strange Auctuation of all human things !
True. Changes will befall, and friends may part,
But distance only cannot change the heart:
And, were I called to prove the assertion true,
One proof should serve--a reference to you.

Whence comes it then, that in the wane of life, Though nothing have occurred to kindle strife, We find the friends we fancied we had won, Though numerous once, reduced to few or none? Can gold grow worthless that has stood the touch? No; gold they seemed, but they were never sucb. Horatio's servant once, with bow and cringes Swinging the parlour door upon its binge, Dreading a negative, and overawed Lest he should trespass, begged to go abroad. Go, fellow!

whither in turning short about Nay. Stay at home--you are always going out. 'Tis but a step, sir, just at the street's end.. For what?-An please you, sir, to see a friend. A friend! Horatio cried, and seemed to start Yea marry shalt thou, and with all my heart. And fetch my cloak; for though the night be raw I'll see him to the first I ever saw.

I knew the man, and knew his nature mild, And was bis play thing often when a child; But somewhat at that moment pinched him close, Else he was seldom bitter or morose. Perhaps his confidence just then betrayed, His grief might prompt him with the speech he

made;
Perhaps 'twas mere good-humour gave it birth,
The harmless play of pleasantry and mirth.
Howe'er it was, his language, in my mind,
Bespoke at least a man that knew mankind.

But not to moralize too much, and strain
To prove an evil of which all complain,
(I hate long arguments verbosely spun,)
One story more, dear Hill, and I have done.
Once on a time an emperor, a wise man,
No matter where, in China or Japan,
Decreed that whosoever should offend
Against the well-known duties of a friend,

Copvicted once should ever after wear :
But half a coat, and show his bosom båre;.
The punisbment importing this, no doubt,
That all was daught within, and all found out.

Oh happy. Britain! we have not to fear
Such hard and arbitrary measure here.;
Else, could a law, like that which I relate,
Once have the sanction of our triple state,
Some few, that I have known in days of old,
Would run most dreadful risk of catching.cold;
While you, my friend, whatever wind sbould blow).
Might traverse England safely to and from
An honest man, close buttoned to the chin, I
Broad-cloth without, and a warm heart within.

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Αρχη πολιτειας απασης νεων τροφα.

C8A1 Diog, LAERT.

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