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I knew the man, and knew his nature mild, And was his plaything often when a child; But somewhat at that moment pinch'd him close;

Else he was seldom bitter or morose.

Perhaps, his confidence just then betray'd,
His grief might prompt him with the speech he

made;

Perhaps 'twas mere good-humour gave it birth, The harmless play of pleasantry and mirth. Howe'er it was, his language, in my mind, Bespoke at least a man that knew mankind.

But, not to moralize too much, and strain Το

prove an evil of which all complain, (I hate long arguments, verbosely spun) One story more, dear Hill, and I have done. Once on a time an emp'ròr, a wise manNo matter where, in China or JapanDecreed that whosoever should offend

Against the well-known duties of a friend,

Convicted once, should ever after wear

But half a coat, and show his bosom bare.
The punishment importing this, no doubt.
That all was naught within, and all found out.

Oh, happy Britain! we have not to fear

Such hard and arbitrary measure here;

Else, could a law like that which I relate

Once have the sanction of our triple state,
Some few that I have known in days of old,
Would run most dreadful risk of catching cold;
While you, my friend, whatever wind should blow,
Might traverse England safely to and fro,

An honest man, close-button'd to the chin,

Broad-cloth without, and a warm heart within.

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TO THE

REV. WILLIAM ČAWTHORNE UNWIN,

RECTOR OF STOCK IN ESSEX,

THE TUTOR OF HIS TWO SONS,

THE FOLLOWING

Ρ Ο Ε Μ,

RECOMMENDING PRIVATE TUITION,

IN PREFERENCE TO

AN EDUCATION AT

AT SCHOOL,

IS INSCRIBED,

BY HIS AFFECTIONATE FRIEND,

WILLIAM COWPER.

Olney, Nov. 6, 1784.

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