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The Two Beavers.

A FABLE.

1 'TWere well, my friend, for human kind,
2 Would ev'ry man his bus'ness mind;
3 In his own orbit always move,
4 Nor blame, nor envy those above.
5 A Beaver, well advanc'd image,
6 By long experience render'd sage,
7 Was skill'd in all the useful arts,
8 And justly deem'd a beast of parts;
9 Which he apply'd (as patriots shou'd)
10 In cultivating publick good.
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11 This Beaver on a certain day,
12 A friendly visit went to pay
13 To a young cousin, pert and vain,
14 Who often rov'd about the plain:
15 With ev'ry idle beast conferr'd,
16 Hearing, and telling what he heard.
17 The vagrant youth was gone from home,
18 When th' ancient sage approach'd his dome;
19 Who each apartment view'd with care,
20 But found each wanted much repair.
21 The walls were crack'd, decay'd the doors,
22 The corn lay mouldy on the floors;
23 Thro' gaping crannies rush'd amain
24 The blust'ring winds with snow and rain;
25 The timber all was rotten grown,
26 In short, the house was tumbling down.
27 The gen'rous beast, by pity sway'd,
28 Griev'd to behold it thus decay'd;
29 And while he mourn'd the tatter'd scene,
30 The master of the lodge came in.
31 The first congratulations o'er,
32 They rest recumbent on the floor;
33 When thus the young conceited beast
34 His thoughts impertinent express'd.
35 I long have been surpriz'd to find,
36 The lion grown so wond'rous kind
37 To one peculiar sort of beasts,
38 While he another sort detests;
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39 His royal favour chiefly falls
40 Upon the species of jack-alls;
41 They share the profits of his throne,
42 He smiles on them, and them alone.
43 Mean while the ferret's useful race
44 He scarce admits to see his face;
45 Traduc'd by lies and ill report,
46 They're banish'd from his regal court,
47 And counted, over all the plain,
48 Opposers of the lion's reign.
49 Now I conceiv'd a scheme last night,
50 Would doubtless set this matter right:
51 These parties should unite together;
52 The lion partial be to neither,
53 But let them both his favours share,
54 And both consult in peace and war.
55 This method (were this method try'd)
56 Would spread politick basis wide,
57 And on a bottom broad and strong,
58 Support the social union long
59 But uncle, uncle, much I fear,
60 Some have abus'd the lion's ear;
61 He listens to the leopard's tongue;
62 That cursed leopard leads him wrong:
63 Were he but banish'd far away
64 You don't attend to what I say!
65 Why really, couz, the sage rejoin'd,
66 The rain and snow, and driving wind,
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67 Beat thro' with such prodigious force,
68 It made me deaf to your discourse.
69 Now couz, were my advice pursu'd,
70 (And sure I mean it for your good)
71 Methinks you should this house repair;
72 Be this your first and chiefest care.
73 Your skill the voice of prudence calls
74 To stop these crannies in the walls,
75 And prop the roof before it falls.
76 If you this needful task perform,
77 You'll make your mansion dry and warm;
78 And we may then converse together,
79 Secure from this tempestuous weather.

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    About this text

    Title (in Source Edition): The Two Beavers. A FABLE.
    Author: Stephen Duck
    Themes: advice; moral precepts; politics; animals
    Genres: fable
    References: DMI 22685

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    Source edition

    A Collection of Poems in Six Volumes. By Several Hands. Vol. III. London: printed by J. Hughs, for R. and J. Dodsley, 1763 [1st ed. 1758], pp. 116-119. 6v.: music; 8⁰. (ESTC T131163; OTA K104099.003) (Page images digitized by the Eighteenth-Century Poetry Archive from a copy in the archive's library.)

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    The text has been typographically modernized, but without any silent modernization of spelling, capitalization, or punctuation. The source of the text is given and all editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. Based on the electronic text originally produced by the ECCO-TCP project, this ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 3.0.

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