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And bow obsequious, hide their hate of her.
All catch the frenzy, downward from her grace,
Whose flambeaux flash against the morning skies,
And gild our chamber ceilings as they pass,
To her, who, frugal only that her thrift
Alay feed excesses she can ill afford,
Is hackney'd home unlackey'd; who, in haste
Alighting, turns the key in her own door,
And, at the watchman's lantern borrowing light,
Finds a cold bed ber only comfort left.
Wives beggar husbands, husbands starve their wives,
On Fortune's velvet altar offering up
Their last poor pittance-Fortune, most severe - 'Of goddesses yet known, and costlier far
Than all, that held their routs in Juņo's heaven:
So fare we in this prison-house the World ;
And 'tis a fearful spectacle to see
So many maniacs dancing in.their chains.
They gaze upon the links, that hold them fast,
With eyes of anguish, execrate their lot,
Then shake them in despair, and dance again!
Now basket up the family of plagues,
That waste our vitals; peculation, sale
Of honour, perjury, corruption, frauds
By forgery, by subterfuge of law,
By tricks and lies as numerous and as keen
As the necessities their authors feel;
Then cast them, closely bundled, every brat
At the right door. Profusion is the sire.
Profusion unrestrain'd, with all that's base
In character, has litter'd all the land,
And bred, within the memory of no few,
A priesthood, such as Baal's was of old,
A people, such as never was till now.
It is a hungry vice :-it eats up all
That gives society its beauty, strength,
Convenience, and security, and use:
Makes men mere vermin, worthy to be trapp'd
And gibbetted, as fast as catchpole claws
Can seize the slippery prey : unties the koot
Of union, and converts the sacred band,
That holds mankind together, to a scourge.
Profusion, deluging a state with lusts
grossest nature and of worst effects, Prepares it for its ruin: hardens, blinds,
the consciences of public men, Till they can laugh at Virtue; mock the fools, That trust them; and in the end disclose a face, That would have shock'd Credulity herself, Uomask'd, vouchsafing this their sole excuse-Since all alike are selfish, why not they? This does Profusion, and the accursed cause Of such deep mischief has itself a cause.
In colleges and halls in ancient days, When learning, virtue, piety, and truth, Were precious, and inculcated with care, There dwelt a sage callid Discipline. His head, Not yet by time completely silver'd o'er, Bespoke him past the bounds of freakish youth, But strong for service still, and unimpair'i. His eye was meek and gentle, and a smile Play'd on his lips; and in bis speech was heard Paternal sweetness, dignity, and love. The occupation dearest to his heart Was to encourage goodness. He would stroke The head of modest and ingenuous worth, That blush'd at its own praise; and press the youth Close to his side, that pleased hiin. Learning grew Beneath his care a thriving vigorous plant; The mind was well inform'd, the passions held Subordinate, and diligence was choice. If e'er it chanced, as sometimes chance it must, That one arnong so many overleap'd The limits of control, his gentle eye Grew stern, and darted a severe rebuke : His frown was full of terrour, and his voice Shook the delinquent with such fits of awe, As left him not, till penitence had won Lost favour back again, and closed the breach. But Diseipline, a faithful servant long,
Declined at length into the vale of years :
A palsy struck his arm; his sparkling eye
Was quench'd in rheums of age; his voice, unstrung,
Grew tremulous, and moved derision more
Than reverence in perverse, rebellious youth.
So colleges and halls neglected much
Their good old friend; and Discipline at length,
O’erlook'd and unemploy'd, fell sick and died.
Then Study languish'd, Emulation slept,
And Virtue fled. The schools became a scene
Of solemn farce, where Ignorance in stilts,
His cap well lined with logic not his own,
With parrot tongue perform'd the scholar's part,
Proceeding soon a graduated dunce.
Then Compromise had place, and Scrutiny
Became stone blind; Precedence went in truck,
And he was competent whose purse was so.
A dissolution of all bonds ensued;
The curbs invented for the mulish mouth
Of headstrong youth were broken; bars and bolts
Grew rusty by disuse; and massy gates
Forgot their office, opening with a touch;
Till gowns at length are found mere masquerade,
The tassell’d cap and the spruce band a jest,
A mockery of the world! What need of these
For gamesters, jockeys, brothellers impure,
Spendthrifts, and booted sportsmen, oftener seen
With belted waist and pointers at their heels,
Than in the bounds of duty? What was learn'd,
If aught was learn'd in childhood, is forgot;
And such expense, as pinches parents blue,
And mortifies the liberal hand of love,
Is squander'd in pursuit of idle sports
And vicious pleasures; buys the boy a name,
That sits a stigma on his father's house,
And cleaves through life inseparably close
To him that wears it. What can after.games
Of riper joys, and commerce with the world,
The lewd vain world, that must receive him soon,
Add to such erudition, thus acquired,
Where science and where virtue are profess'd ?
They may confirm his habits, rivet fast
His folly, but to spoil him is a task,
That bids defiance to the united
Of fashion, dissipation, taverns, stews.
Now blame we most the nurslings or the nurse?
The children crook'd, and twisted, and deform’d,
Through want of care; or her, whose winking eye
And slumbering oscitancy mars the brood?
The nurse no doubt. Regardless of her charge,
She needs herself correction; needs to learn,
That it is dangerous sporting with the world,
With things so sacred as a nation's trust,
The purture of her youth, her dearest pledge.
All are not such. I had a brother oncePeace to the memory of a man of worth, A man of letters, and of manners too! Of manners sweet as Virtue always wears, When gay Good-nature dresses her in smiles. He graced a college, in which order yet Was sacred , and was honour'd, loved, and wept, By more than one, themselves conspicuous there. Some miods are temper'd happily, and mix'd With such ingredients of good sense, and taste Of what is excellent in man, they thirst With such a zeal to be what they approve, That no restraints can circumscribe them more Than they themselves by choice, for wisdom's sake. Nor can example hurt them : what they see Of vice in others but enhancing more The charms of virtue in their just esteem. If such escape contagion, and emerge Pure from so foul a pool to shine abroad, And give the world their talents and themselves, Small thanks to those whose negligence or sloth Exposed their inexperience to the snare, And left them to an undirected choice.
See then the quiver broken and decay'd,
In which are kept our arrows! Rusting there
In will disorder, and unfit for use,
What wonder if, discharged into the world,
They shaine their shooters with a random flight,
Their points obtuse, and feathers drunk with wine!
Well may the church wage unsuccessful war
With such artillery arm’d. Vice parries wide
The undreaded volley with a sword of straw,
And stands an impudent and fearless mark.
Have we not track'd the felon home, and found
His birth place and his dam? The country mouros,
Mouros because every plague, that can infest
Society, and that saps and worms the base
Of the edifice, that Policy has raised,
Swarms in all quarters : meets the eye, the ear,
And suffocates the breath at every turn.
Profusion breeds them; and the cause itself
Of that calamitous mischief has been found :
Found too where most offensive, in the skirts
Of the robed pedagogue! Else let the arraign'd
Stand up unconscious, and refute the charge.
So when the Jewish leader stretch'd his arm,
And waved his rod divine, a race obscene,
Spawn'd in the muddy beds of Nile, came forth,
Polluting Egypt: gardens, fields, and plains,
Were cover'd with the pest; the streets were fill'd;
The croaking nuisance lurk'd in eve nook;
Nor palaces, nor even chambers, 'scaped ;
And the land stank--so numerous was the fry.