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And all who told it added fomething new, 4701 And all who heard it, made enlargements too, In ev'ry ear it spread, on every tongue it grew. Thus flying east and west, and north and south, News travell'd with increase from mouth to mouth. So from a spark, that kindled first by chance, 475 With gath'ring force the quick'ning flames ad
Till to the clouds their curling heads afpire,
When thus ripe lies are to perfection sprung,
There, at one paffage, oft you might survey, A lie and truth contending for the way; 490
VER. 489. There, at one paffage, etc.]
And long 'twas doubtful, both fo closely pent,
While thus I ftood, intent to fee and hear, One came, methought, and whisper'd in my ear: What could thus high thy rafh ambition raise ? Art thou, fond youth, a candidate for praise? 500
"Tis true, faid I, not void of hopes I came, For who fo fond as youthful bards of Fame? But few, alas! the cafual bleffing boast, So hard to gain, fo eafy to be lost. How vain that second life in others breath, 505 Th' eftate which wits inherit after death!
VER. 497. While thus I ftood, etc.] The hint is taken from a paffage in another part of the third book, but here more naturally made the conclufion, with the addition of a Moral, to the whole. In Chaucer, he only answers " he came to see the place;" and the book ends abruptly, with his being furprized at the fight of a Man of great Authority, and awaking in a fright. P.
A lefing and a fad footh faw
That gonnen at adventure draw
And no map, be he ever fo wrothe,
Eafe, health, and life, for this they must refign,
But the fall'n ruins of another's fame ;