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That no restraints can circumscribe them more
Than they themselves by choice, for wisdom's fake;
Nor can example hurt them: what they see
Of vice in others but enhancing more
The charms of virtue in their juft esteem.
If such escape contagion, and emerge
Pure from fo foul a pool to shine abroad,
And give the world their talents and themselves,
Small thanks to those, whose negligence or Noth
Exposed their inexperience to the snare,
And left them to an undirected choice.

See then the quiver broken and decayed, In which are kept our arrows! Rusting there In wild disorder, and unfit for use, What wonder if, discharged into the world, 'They shame their shooters with a random flight, Their points obtufe, and feathers drunk with wine! Well may the church wage unsuccessful war With such artillery armed. Vice parries wide The undreaded volley with a sword of firaw, And stands an impudent and fearless mark.

Have we not tracked the felon home, and found His birth-place and his dam » The country mourns, Mourns because every plague, that can infeft

Society, and that saps and worms the bare
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 arraigned
Stand up unconscious, and refute the charge.
So, when the Jewish leader stretched his arm,
And waved his rod divine, a race obscene,
Spawned in the muddy beds of Nile, came forth,
Polluting Ægypt: gardens, fields, and plains,
Were covered with the peft; the streets were filled;
The croaking nuisance lurked in every nook ;
Nor palaces, nor even chambers, 'scaped ;
And the land ftank-so numerous was the fry.

THE TASK.

BOOK III.

ARGUMENT OF THE THIRD BOOK.

Self-recollection and reproof.--Address to domestic

happiness.-Some account of myself.The vanity of many of their pursuits who are reputed wise. -Justification of my censures.- -Divine illumination necessary to the most expert philosopher. -The question, What is truth ? answered by other questions.Domestic happiness addressed again.-Few lovers of the country. My tame Hare.--Occupations of a retired gentleman in his garden- Pruning.- Framing - Greenhouse. Sowing of flower seeds.The country preferalle to the town even in the winter.- Reasons why it is deserted at that season.-Ruinous effects of gaming, and of expensive improvement.--Book concludes with an apostrophe to the metropolis.

THE TASK.

BOOK III.

THE GARDEN.

As

is one, who long in thickets and in brakes Entangled winds now this way and now that His devious course uncertain, seeking home; Or, having long in miry ways been foiled And fore discomfited, from sough to flough Plunging and half defpairing of escape; If chance at length he find a greenfward smooth And faithful to the foot, his spirits rise, He chirrups brisk his ear-erecting steed, And winds his way with pleasure and with ease; So I, designing other themes, and called To adorn the Sofa with eulogium due, To tell its slumbers, and to paint its dreams,

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