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And thrice in every winter throngs thine own
With half the chariots and sedans in town,
Thyself meanwhile e'en shifting as thou mayst ;
Not very sober though, nor very chaste ;
Or is thine house, though less superb thy rank,
If not a scene of pleasure, a mere blank,
And thou at best, and in thy soberest mood,
A trifler vain, and empty of all good ;-
Though mercy for thyself thou canst have none,
Hear Nature plead, show mercy to thy son.
Saved from his home, where every day brings forth
Some mischief fatal to his future worth,
Find him a better in a distant spot.
Within some pious pastor's humble cot,
Where vile example (yours I chiefly mean,
The most seducing, and the oftenest seen)
May never more be stamp'd upon his breast,
Not yet perhaps incurably impress'ıl..
Where early rest makes early rising sure,
Disease or comes not, or finds easy cure,
Prevented much by diet neat and plain;
Or, if it enter, soon starved out again :
Where all the attention of his faithful host,
Discreetly limited to two at most,
May raise such fruits as shall reward his care,
And not at last evaporate in air:
Where, stillness aiding study, and his mind
Serene, and to his duties much inclined,
Not occnpied in day dream, as at home,
of pleasures past, or follies yet to come,
His virtuous toil may terminate at last
In settled habit and decided taste.-
But whom do I advise ? the fashion-led,
The incorrigibly wrong. the deaf, the dead!
Whom care and cool deliberation suit
Not better much than spectacles a brute;
Who, if their sons some slight tuition share,
Deem it of no great moment whose, or where;
Too proud to adopt the thoughts of one unknown,
And much too gay to have any of their own.
But courage, man! methought the Muse repliea,
Mankind are various, and the world is wide :
The ostrich, silliest of the feather'd kind,
And form'd of God without a parent's mind,
Commits her eggs, incautious, to the dust,
Forgetful that the foot may crush the trust;
And, while on public nurseries they rely,
Not knowing, and too oft not caring, why,
Irrational in what they tbus prefer,
No few, that would seem wise, resemble her.
But all are not alike. Thy warning voice -
May here and there prevent erroneous choice;
And some, perhaps, who, busy as they are,
Yet make their progeny their dearest care,
(Whose hearts will ache, once told what ills may reach
Their offspring, left upon so wild a beach,)
Will need no stress of argument to ensorce
The expedience of a less adventurous course :
The rest will slight thy counsel, or condemn;
But they have human feelings--turn to them.
To you, then, tenants of life's middle state,
Securely placed between the small and great,
Whose character, yet undebauch'd, retains
Two-thirds of all the virtue that remains,
Who, wise yourselves, desire your sons should learn
Your wisdom and your ways-to you I tum.
Look round you on a world perversely blind;
See what contempt is fallen on human kind;
See wealth abused, and dignities misplaced,
Great titles, offices, and trusts disgraced,
Long lines of ancestry, renown's of old,
Their noble qualities all quench'd and cold;
See Bedlam's closeted and handcuff’d charge
Surpass'd in frenzy by the mad at large ;
See great commanders making war a trade,
Great lawyers, lawyers without study made;
Churchmen, in whose esteein their best employ
Is odious, and their wages all their joy,
Who, far enough from furnishing their shelves
With gospel lore, turn infidels themselves ;
See womanhood despised, and manhood shamed
With infamy tuo nauseous to be named,
Fops at all corners, ladylike in mien,
Civeted fellows, sineli ere they are seen,
Else coarse and rude in manners, and their tongue
On fire with curses, and with nonsense hung,
Now flushed with drunkenness, now with whoredom pale,
Their breath a sample of last night's regule
See volunteers in all the vilest arts,
Men well endow'd of honourable parts,
Design'd hy Nature wise, but self-made fools ;
All these, and more like these, were bred at schools.
And if it chance, as sometimes chance it will,
That though school-bred the boy be virtuous still ;
Such rare exceptions, shining in the dark,
Prove, rather than impeach, the just remark:
As here and there a twinkling star descried
Serves but to show how black is all beside.
Now look on him, whose very voice in tone
Just echoes thine, whose features are thine own,
And stroke his polished cheek of purest red,
And lay thine hand upon his faxen head,
And say, My boy, the unwelcome hour is come,
When thou, transplanted from thy genial home,
Must find a colder soil and bleaker air,
And trust for safety to a stranger's care ;
Wha! character, what turn thou wilt assume
From constant converse with I know not whom;
Who there will court thy friendship, with what views,
And, artless as thou art, whom thou wilt choose ;
Though much depends on what thy choice shall be,
Js all chance-medley, and unknown to me.
Canst thou, the lear just trembling on thy lids,
And while the dreadful risk foreseen forbids ;
Free too, and under no constraining force,
Unless the sway of custom warp iby course ;
Lay such a stake upon the losing side,
Merely to gratisy so blind a guide ?
Thou canst not! Nature, pulling at thine heart,
Condemns the unfatherly, the imprudent part.
Thou wouldst not, deaf to Nature's tenderest plea,
Turn him adrift upon a rolling sea,
Nor say, Go thither, conscious that there lay
A brood of asps, or quicksands in his way ;
Then, only govern'd by the self-same rule
Of natural pity, send him not to school.
No-guard him better. Is he not thine own,
Thyself in miniature, thy flesh, thy bone ?
And hopest thou not, ('tis every father's hope,)
That, since thy strength must with thy years elope,
And thou wilt need some comfort to assuage
Health's last farewell, a staff of thine old age,
That then, in recompense of all thy cares,
Thy child shall show respect to thy gray hairs,
Befriend thee, of all other friends bereft,
And give thy life its only cordial left ?
Aware then how much danger intervenes,
To compass that good end, forecast the means.
His heart, now passive, yields to thy command ;
Secure it thine, its key is in thine. hand;
If thou desert thy charge, and throw it wide,
Nor heed what guests there enter and abide,
Complain not if attachments lewd and base
Supplant thee in it, and usurp thy place.
But if thou guard its sacred chambers sure
From vicious inmates and delights impure,
Either his gratitude shall hold him fast,
And keep him warm and filial to the last ;
Or, if he prove unkind, (as who can say
But, being man, and therefore frail, he may ?)
One comfort yet shall cheer thine aged heart,
Howe'er he slight thee, thou hast done thy part.
Oh, barbarous ! wouldst thou with a Gothic hand
Pull down the schools—what!-all the schools i'th' land;
Or throw them up to livery nags and grooms,
Or turn them into shops and auction-rooms ?
A captious question, sir, (and yours is one,)
Deserves an answer similar, or none.
Wouldst thou, possessor of a flock, employ
(Apprised that he is such) a careless boy,
And feed him well, and give him handsome pay,
Merely to sleep, and let them run astray?
Survey our schools and colleges, and see
A sight not inuch unlike my simile.
From education, as the leading cause,
The public character its colour draws;
Thence the prevailing manners take their cast,
Extravagant or sober, loose or chaste.
And, though I would not advertise them yet,
Nor write on each- This Building to be Let,
Unless the world were all prepared to embrace
A plan well worthy to supply their place ;
Yet, backward as they are, and long have been,
To cultivate and keep the KORALS clean,
(Forgive the crime,) I wish them, I confess,
Or better managed, or encouraged less.
From the TASC. Book II. The Time-Piece
In colleges and hulls, in ancient days,
When learning, virtue, piety, and truth
Were precious and inculcated with care,
There dwelt a suge call'd 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'd.
His eye was meek and gentle, and a smile
Play'd on his lips; and in his 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 plensed him. 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 among so many overleap'd
The limits of control, his gentle eye
Grew stern, and darted a severe rebuke
His frown was full of terror, and his voice
Shook the delinquent with such fits of awo
As left him not, till penitence had won
Lost favor back again, and closed the breach.
But Discipline, 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.
bo colleges and halls neglected much
Their good old friend ; and Discipline at length,
O'er look'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 tassel'd cap and the spruce band a jest,
A mockery of the world! What Deed of these
For gamesters, jockeys, brothelers impure,
Spendthrifts, and booted sportsmens ofrener seen
With belted waist and pointers at their heels
Than in the bounds of duty ? What was learn'?
If anght was enrn'd in childhood, is forgot;
And such expense as pinches parents blue,
And mortifies the liberal hand of love,
Is sguulider d in pursuit of idle sports
An vicious pleasures ; buys the boy a name
That sila n stigma on his father's house,
And clenves through life inseparably close
To him inat weurs it. What can after-games
of river joys, and commerce with the world,
The end rain world, that must receive bim soon,
Add to such erudition, thus ncquired,
Wuerc science and where virtue are profess'd ?
They inay confirin his habits, rivet fast
His lily, but to spoil him is a task
Jant vids defiance to the united powers
Of lushion, Jissipation, taverns, stews.
Nori blame we most the nurslings or the nurse
'Nin children, crook'd, and twisted, and deformid,
Turough want of care;. or her, whose winking eye
And slumbering oscitancy mars the brood ?
The nurse, no doubt. Regardless of her charge,
the needs herself correction ; needs to learn
't'hat it is dangerous sporting with the world,
With things so sacred as a nation's trust,
The nurture of her youth, ber dearest pledge.
All are not such. I had a brother once
Peace to the memory of a man of worth,
A man of letters, and of manners too!
of manners sweet as Virtue always wears,
When gny good-nature dresses her in smiles.
He graced a college, in which order yet
Was sacred ; and was honor'd, loved, and wept
By more than one, themselves conspicuous there.
Some minds are temper'd happily, and inix'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 sako.
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 excape contngion, 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.