The Jugglers and Vice

Moral: No Moral. Suggest us a moral of this fable in comment section.
A juggler once had travelled thorough
Each city, market−town, and borough;
You’d think, so far his art transcended,
Old Nick upon his fingers tended.
Vice heard his name: she read his bill,
And sought his booth—defied his skill.
The juggler, willing, laid a wager,
Not yet by losses rendered sager;
He played his tricks of high emprize,—
Confounding touch, deluding eyes.
Then cards obeyed his will, and gold
From empty bags in torrents rolled!
He showed an ivory egg: and then
Hatched and brought forth the mother−hen!
Vice then stepped forth, with look serene
Enough to stir a juggler’s spleen:
She passed a magic looking−glass,
Which pleased alike dame, lad, and lass;
Whilst she, a senator addressing,
Said: “See this bank−note—lo! a blessing—
Breathe on it—Presto! hey! ’tis gone!”
And on his lips a padlock shone.
“Hey, presto!” and another puff,
It went, and he spoke well enough!
She placed twelve bottles on the board,
They were with some enchantment stored;
“Hey, presto!” and they disappear—
A pair of bloody swords were there.
She showed a purse unto a thief,
His fingers closed on it in brief;
“Hey, presto!” and—the treasure fled—
He grasped a halter, noosed, instead.
Ambition held a courtier’s wand,
It turned a hatchet in his hand.
A box for charities, she drew;
“Blow here!” and a churchwarden blew—
“Hey, presto, open!” Opened, in her,
For gold was a parochial dinner!
Vice shook the dice, she smote the board,
And filled all pockets from her hoard.
A counter, in a miser’s hand,
Grew twenty guineas at command;
She bade a rake to grasp them, fain—
They turned a counter back again.
The transmutations of a guinea
Made every one stare like a ninny;
But fair was false, and false was fair,
By which Vice cheated eye and ear.
The juggler, though with grief at heart,
In recognition of her art,
Said: “Now and then I cheat the throng,
You every day—and all day long!”

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