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Yhis was a stagnant pool of waters foul ;
The rains of heaven engendered nothing in it
But slime and rank corruption.
Stran.

Yet even these
Are reservoirs whence public charity
Still keeps her channels full.
Towns.

Now, sir, you touch
Upon the point. This man of half a million
Had all these public virtues which you praise,
But the poor man rung never at his door:
And the old beggar, at the public gate,
Who, all the summer long, stands, hat in hand, -
He knew how vain it was to lift an eye
To that hard face. Yet he was always found
Among your ten and twenty pound subscribers,
Your benefactors in the newspapers.
His alms were money put to interest
In the other world, donations to keep open
A running charity account with Heaven ;
Retaining fees against the last assizes,
When, for the trusted talents, strict account
Shall be required from all, and the old arch-lawyer
Plead his own cause as plaintiff.
Stran.

I must needs
Believe you, sir : there are your witnesses,
These mourners here, who from their carriages
Gape at the gaping crowd. A good March wind
Were to be prayed for now, to lend their eyes
Some decent rheum. The very hireling mute
Bears not a face blanker of all emotion
Than the old servant of the family.

* Mutes are persons dressed in deep mourning, who are sometimes employed by undertakers, in England, to stand before the door of a house in which preparations for a funeral are going on.

How can this man have lived, that thus his death
Costs not the soiling one white handkerchief?

Towns. Who should lament for him, sir, in whose heart
Love had no place, nor natural charity ?
The parlor spaniel, when she heard his step,
Rose slowly from the hearth, and stole aside
With creeping pace; she never raised her eyes
To woo kind words from him, nor laid her head
Upraised upon his knee, with fondling whine.
How could it be but thus ? Arithmetic
Was the sole science he was ever taught.
The multiplication table was his creed,
His pater-noster, and his decalogue.
When yet he was a boy, and should have breathed
The
open

air and sunshine of the fields,
To give his blood its natural spring and play,
He, in a close and dusky counting house,
Smoke-dried, and seared, and shrivelled up his heart.
So, from the way in which he was trained up,
His feet departed not; he toiled and moiled,
Poor muckworm! through his threescore years and ten ;
And when the earth shall now be shovelled on him,
If that which served him for a soul were still
Within its husk, 'twould still be dirt to dirt.

Stran. Yet your next newspapers will blazon him,
For industry and honorable wealth,
A bright example.
Towns.

Even half a million
Gets him no other praise. But come this way
Some twelve months hence, and you will find his virtues
Trimly set forth in lapidary lines,
Faith, with her torch beside, and little Cupids
Dropping upon his urn their marble tears.

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