A Monkey with airs due to his association with humans went back to the forest and tried to show off for his companions there. Not a good idea!
Don’t put on airs.
A Monkey, to reform the times,
Resolved to visit foreign climes;
For men in distant regions roam,
To bring politer manners home.
So forth he fares, all toil defies;
Misfortune serves to make us wise.
At length the treacherous snare was laid;
Poor Pug was caught, to town conveyed.
There sold. (How envied was his doom,
Made captive in a lady’s room!)
Proud as a lover of his chains,
He day by day her favour gains.
Whene’er the duty of the day
The toilette calls, with mimic play
He twirls her knots, he cracks her fan,
Like any other gentleman.
In visits, too, his parts and wit,
When jests grew dull, were sure to hit.
Proud with applause, he thought his mind
In every courtly art refined;
Like Orpheus, burnt with public zeal
To civilise the monkey weal:
So watched occasion, broke his chain,
And sought his native woods again.
The hairy sylvans round him press,
Astonished at his strut and dress.
Some praise his sleeve, and others gloat
Upon his rich embroidered coat;
His dapper periwig commending,
With the black tail behind depending;
His powdered back, above, below,
Like hoary frost, or fleecy snow:
But all, with envy and desire,
His flutt’ring shoulder-knot admire.
“Hear and improve,” he pertly cries,
“I come to make a nation wise.
Weigh your own worth, support your place,
The next in rank to human race.
In cities long I passed my days,
Conversed with men, and learned their ways.
Their dress, their courtly manners see;
Reform your state, and copy me.
Seek ye to thrive? in flatt’ry deal;
Your scorn, your hate, with that conceal.
Seem only to regard your friends,
But use them for your private ends.
Stint not to truth the flow of wit;
Be prompt to lie whene’er ’tis fit.
Bend all your force to spatter merit;
Scandal is conversation’s spirit.
Boldly to everything pretend,
And men your talents shall commend.
I knew the great. Observe me right;
So shall you grow like man polite.”
He spoke and bowed. With mutt’ring jaws,
The wond’ring circle grinned applause.
Now, warmed with malice, envy, spite,
Their most obliging friends they bite;
And, fond to copy human ways,
Practise new mischiefs all their days.
Thus the dull lad, too tall for school,
with travel finishes the fool:
Studious of every coxcomb’s airs,
He gambles, dresses, drinks, and swears;
O’erlooks with scorn all virtuous arts,
For vice is fitted to his parts.