With two spurs or one, and no great matter which,
Boots bought, or boots borrow'd, a whip or a switch,
Five shillings or less for the hire of his beast,
Paid part into hand;--you must wait for the rest.
Thus equipt, Academicus climbs up his horse,
And out they both sally for better or worse;
His heart void of fear, and as light as a feather;
And in violent haste to go not knowing whither.
Through the fields and the towns; (see!) he scampers along:
And is look-d at and laugh'd at by old and by young.
Til, at length overspent, and his sides smear'd with blood,
Down tumbles his horse, man and all in the mud.
In a wagon or chaise, shall he finish his route?
Oh! scandalous fate! he must do it on foot.
Young gentlemen, hear!--I am older than you;
The advice that I give I have proved to be true;
Wherever your journey may be, never doubt it,
The faster you ride, you-re the longer about it.