תמונות בעמוד

Has time worn out, or fashion put to shame Good sense, good health, good conscience, and

good fame? All these belong to virtue, and all prove That virtue has a title to your love. Have you no touch of pity, that the poor Stand starved at your inhospitable door? Or if yourself, too scantily supplied, Need help, let honest industry provide. Earn, if you want; if you abound, impart: These both are pleasures to the feeling heart. No pleasure? Has some sickly eastern waste Sent us a wind parch us at a blast? Can British Paradise no scenes afford, To please her sated and indifferent lord? Are sweet philosophy's enjoyments run Quite to the lees? And has religion none? Brutes capable would tell you ’tis a lie, And judge you from the kennel and the sty. Delights like these, ye sensual and profane, Ye are bid, begg'd, besought to entertain; Call'd to these crystal streams, do ye turn off Obscene to swill and swallow at a trough? Envy the beast then, on whom Heaven bestows Your pleasures, with no curses in the close.

Pleasure admitted in undue degree Enslaves the will, nor leaves the judgment free. "Tis not alone the grape's enticing juice Unnerves the moral powers, and mars their use; Ambition, avarice, and the lust of fame, And woman, lovely woman does the same. The heart, surrender'd to the ruling power Of some ungovern'd passion every hour, Finds by degrees the truths that once bore sway, And all their deep impressions, wear away;

So coin grows smooth, in traffic current pass'd, Till Cæsar's image is effaced at last.

The breach, though small at first, soon opening In rushes folly with a full-moon tide,

Then welcome errors of whatever size,
To justify it by a thousand lies.
As creeping ivy clings to wood or stone,
And hides the ruin that it feeds upon;
So sophistry cleaves close to and protects
Sin's rotten trunk, concealing its defects.
Mortals, whose pleasures are their only care,
First wish to be imposed on, and then are.
And, lest the fulsome artifice should fail,
Themselves will hide its coarseness with a veil.
Not more industrious are the just and true,
To give to Virtue what is Virtue's due
The praise of wisdom, comeliness, and worth,
And call her charms to public notice forth-
Than Vice's mean and disingenuous race,
To hide the shocking features of her face.
Her form with dress and lotion they repair;
Then kiss their idol, and pronounce her fair.

The sacred implement I now employ
Might prove a mischief, or at best a toy;
A trifle if it move but to amuse;
But, if to wrong the judgment and abuse,
Worse than a poniard in the basest hand,
It stabs at once the morals of a land.

Ye writers of what none with safety reads,
Footing it in the dance that fancy leads:
Ye novelists, who mar what ye would mend,
Sniveling and driveling folly without end;
Whose corresponding misses fill the ream
With sentimental frippery and dream,



Caught in a delicate soft silken net
By some lewd earl or rakehell baronet;
Ye pimps, who under Virtue's fair pretence,
Steal to the closet of young Innocence,
And teach her, unexperienced yet and green,
To scribble as you scribbled at fifteen:
Who, kindling a combustion of desire,
With some cold moral think to quench the fire;
Though all your engineering proves in vain,
The dribbling stream ne'er puts it out again.
0, that a verse had power, and could command
Far, far away, these flesh-flies of the land,
Who fasten without mercy on the fair,
And suck, and leave a craving maggot there!
Howe'er disguised the’ inflammatory tale,
And cover'd with a fine-spun specious veil;
Such writers and such readers owe the gust
And relish of their pleasure all to lust.

But the Muse, eagle-pinion'd, has in view

quarry more important still than you;
Down, down the wind she swims and sails away,
Now stoops upon it, and now grasps the

Petronius! all the Muses weep for thee;
But every tear shall scald thy memory:
The Graces too, while Virtue at their shrine
Lay bleeding under that soft hand of thine,
Felt each a mortal stab in her own breast,
Abhorr’d the sacrifice, and cursed the priest.
Thou polish'd and high-finish'd foe to truth,
Graybeard corrupter of our listening youth,
To purge and skim away the filth of vice,
That so refined it might the more entice,

it on the morals of thy son;
To taint his heart was worthy of thine own!


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Now, while the poison all high life pervades,
Write, if thou canst, one letter from the shades;
One, and one only, charged with deep regret,
That thy worst part, thy principles, live yet;
One sad epistle thence may cure mankind
Of the plague spread by bundles left behind.

'Tis granted, and no plainer truth appears,
Our most important are our earliest years;
The Mind, impressible and soft, with ease
Imbibes and copies what she hears and sees,
And through life's labyrinth holds fast the clue,
That Education gives her, false or true.
Plants raised with tenderness are seldom strong;
Man's coltish disposition asks the thong;
And, without discipline, the favourite child,
Like a neglected forester, runs wild.
But we, as if good qualities would grow
Spontaneous, take but little pains to sow;
We give some Latin, and a smatch of Greek;
Teach him to fence and figure twice a week;
And having done, we think, the best we can,
Praise his proficiency, and dub him man.

From school to Cam or Isis, and thence home; And thence with all convenient speed to Rome. With reverend tutor clad in habit lay, To tease for cash, and quarrel with all day; With memorandum-book for every town, And every post, and where the chaise broke down; His stock a few French phrases got by heart, With much to learn, but nothing to impart; The youth, obedient to his sire's commands, Sets off a wanderer into foreign lands. Surprised at all they meet, the gosling pair, With awkward gait, stretch'd neck, and silly stare,

Discover huge cathedrals. built with stone,
And steeples towering high much like our own;
But show peculiar light by many a grin
At popish practises observed within.

Ere long some bowing, smirking, smart abbé
Remarks two loiterers that have lost their way;
And, being always primed with politesse
For men of their appearance and address,
With much compassion undertakes the task,
To tell them more than they have wit to ask:
Points to inscriptions wheresoe'er they tread,

as, when legible, were never read, But, being canker'd now and half worn out, Craze antiquarian brains with endless doubt; Some headless hero, or some Cæsar, shows Defective only in his Roman nose; Exhibits elevations, drawings, plans, Models of Herculanean pots and pans; And sells them medals, which, if neither rare Nor ancient, will be so, preserved with care.

Strange the recital! from whatever cause His great improvement and new light he draws, The squire, once bashful, is shamefaced no more, But teems with powers he never felt before; Whether increased momentum, and the force With which from clime to clime he sped his course (As axles sometimes kindle as they go), Chafed him, and brought dull nature to a glow; Or whether clearer skies and softer air, That make Italian flowers so sweet and fair, Freshening his lazy spirits as he ran, Unfolded genially and spread the man; Returning he proclaims by many a grace, By shrugs and strange contortions of his face,

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