To me, after all my eager pursuits, no solid pleasures now remain but the reflection of a long life spent in meaning well, the sensible conversation of a few good lady ephemeræ, and now and then a kind smile and a tune from the ever-amiable brillante.
ON THE LOSS OF HER AMERICAN SQUIRREL, WHO, ESCAPING
FROM HIS CAGE WAS KILLED BY A SHEPHERD'S DOG
LONDON, 26th September, 1772.
DEAR MISS: I lament with you most sincerely the unfortunate end of poor Mungo. Few squirrels were better accomplished, for he had a good education, had traveled far, and seen much of the world. As he had the honor of being, for his virtues, your favorite, he should not go, like common akuggs, without an elegy or an epitaph. Let us give him one in the monumental style and measure, which, being neither prose nor verse, is perhaps the properest for grief; since to use common language would look as if we were not affected, and to make rhymes would seem trifling in sorrow.
Alas ! poor Mungo !
Happy wert thou, hadst thou known
Thy own felicity.
Remote from the fierce bald eagle,
Tyrant of thy native woods,
Thou hadst naught to fear from his piercing talons,
Nor from the murdering gun
Of the thoughtless sportsman.
Safe in thy wired castle,
Grimalkin never could annoy thee.
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Book title: Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. Contributors: Benjamin Franklin - Author. Publisher: Macmillan. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1914. Page number: 219.
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