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She has her praise. Now mark a spot or two, That so much beauty would do well to purge; And show this queen of cities, that so fair May yet be foul; so witty, yet not wise. It is not seemly, nor of good report, That she is slack in discipline; more prompt T' avenge than to prevent the breach of law: That she is rigid in denouncing death On petty robbers, and indulges life And liberty, and oft-times honour too, To peculators of the public gold: That thieves at home must hang ; but he, that puts Into his overgorg’d and bloated purse The wealth of Indian provinces, escapes. Nor is it well, nor can it come to good, That, through profane and infidel contempt Of holy writ, she has presum'd tannul And abrogate, as roundly as she may, The total ordinance and will of God; Advancing Fashion to the post of Truth, And cent’ring all authority in modes And customs of her own, till Sabbath rites Have dwindled into unrespected forms, And knees and hassocks are well-nigh divorc’d.
God made the country, and man made the town. What wonder then that health and virtue, gifts That can alone make sweet the bitter draught That life holds out to all, should most abound And least be threaten'd in the fields and groves; Possess ye therefore, ye who, borne about In chariots and sedans, know no fatigue But that of idleness, and taste no scenes But such as art contrives, possess ye still Your element; there only can ye shine; There only minds like yours can do no harm. Our groves were planted to console at noon The pensive wand'rer in their shades. At eve The moon-beam, sliding softly in between
The sleeping leaves, is all the light they wish,
ARGUMENT OF THE SECOND BOOK.
Reflections suggested by the conclusion of the former book.-Peace
among the nations recommended, on the ground of their common fellowship in sorrow.-- Prodigies enumerated.--Sicilian earthquakes. ---Man rendered obnoxious to these calamities by sin.--God the agent in them.---The philosophy that stops at secondary causes reproved.-Our own late miscarriages accounted for.-Satirical notice taken of our trips to Fontaine-Bleau.---But the pulpit, not satire, the proper engine of reformation.---The Reverend Advertiser of engraved sermons. -Petit-maitre parson.--The good preacher.---Picture of a theatrical, clerical coxcomb.--Story-tellers and jesters in the pulpit reproved.-Apostrophe to popular applause.-Retailers of ancient pbilosophy expostulated with. --Sum of the whole matter ---Effects of sacerdotal mismanagement on the laity.--Their folly and extravagance.---The mischiefs of profusion.---Profusion itself, with all its consequent evils, ascribed, as to its principal cause, to the want of discipline in the universities.
O, FOR a lodge in some vast wilderness,
That falls asunder at the touch of fire. He finds his fellow guilty of a skin Not colour'd like his own; and having pow'r T enforce the wrong, for such a worthy cause Dooms and devotes him as his lawful prey. Lands intersected by a narrow frith Abhor each other. Mountains interpos’d Make enemies of nations, who had else Like kindred drops been mingled into one. Thus man devotes his brother, and destroys; And, worse than all, and most to be deplor'd As human nature's broadest, foulest blot, Chains him, and tasks him, and exacts his sweat With stripes, that Mercy with a bleeding heart Weeps, when she sees inflicted on a beast. Then what is man? and what man seeing this, And having human feelings, does not blush, And hang his head, to think himself a man? I would not have a slave to till my ground, To carry me, to fan me while I sleep, And tremble when I wake, for all the wealth That sinews bought and sold have ever earn’d. No: dear as freedom is, and in my heart's Just estimation priz'd above all price, I had much rather be myself the slave, And wear the bonds, then fasten them on him. We have no slaves at home—then why abroad? And they themselves once ferried o'er the wave That parts us, are emancipate and loos’d. Slaves cannot breathe in England; if their lungs Receive our air, that moment they are free; They touch our country,
and their shackles fall. That's noble, and bespeaks a nation proud And jealous of the blessing. Spread it then, And let it circulate through ev'ry vein Of all your empire ; that, where Britain's pow'r Is felt, mankind may feel ber mercy too. Sure there is need of social intercourse,
Benevolence, and peace, and mutual aid,
Alas, for Sicily! rude fragments now
whole summer of 1783.