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'Tis innocent, and harmiess, and refind, 'The balm of care, Elysium of the mind.

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Innocent! Oh, if venerable Time
Slain at the foot of pleasure be no crime,
Then, with his silver beard and magick wand,
Let Comus rise archbishop of the land ;
Let him your rubrick and your feasts prescribo, 186
Grand metropolitan of all the tribe.

Of manners rough, and coarse athletick cast,
The rank debauch suits Clodio's filthy taste.
Rusillus, exquisitely form’d by rule,
Not of the moral, but the dancing school,

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W onders at Clodio's follies, in a tone
As tragical, as others at his own.
He cannot drink five bottles, bilk the score,
Then kill a constable, and drink five more :
But he can draw a pattern, make a lart,

195 And has the ladies' etiquette by heart. Go, fool; and, arm in arm with Clodio, plead Your cause before a bar you little dread: But know, the law, that bids the drunkərd die, Is far too just to pass the trifler by. Both baby featur’d, and of infant size, View'd from a distance, and with heedless eyes Folly and Innocence are so alike, The diff'rence, though essential, fails to strike, Yet Folly ever has a vacant stare,

205 A simp’ring count'nance, and a trifling air : But Innocence, sedate, serene, erect, Delights us, by engaging our respect. Man, Nature's guest by invitation sweet, Receives from her both appetite and treat; 210 But if he play the glutton, and exceed, His benefactress blushes at the deed ; For Nature, nice, as lib'ral to dispense, Made nothing but a brute the slave of sense. Daniel ate pulse by choice-o rample raro' 215 Heaven bless’d the youth, and made himn fresh and fair. Vol. I.

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Gorgonius sits, abdominous and wan,
Like a fat squab upon a Chinese fan :
He snuffs far off the anticipated joy ;
Turtle and ven’son all his thoughts employ, 220
Prepares for meals as jockies take a sweat,
Oh, nauseous an emetick for a whet!
Will Providence o'erlook the wasted good ?
Temperance were no virtue if he could.

That pleasures, therefore, or what such we call, 225
Are hurtful, is a truth confess'd by all.
And some, that seem'd to threaten virtue less,
Still hurtful in th' abuse, or by the excess.
Is
man

then only for his torment plac'd The centre of delights he may not taste ?

230 Like fabled Tantalus condemn'd to hear The precious stream still purling in his ear, Lip deep in what he longs for, and yet curs’d With prohibition, and perpetual thirst ? No, wrangler,—destitute of shame and sense, 235 The precept, that enjoins him abstinence, Forbids him none but the licentious joy, Whose fruit, though fair, tempts only to destroy. Remorse, the fatal egg by pleasure laid In every bosom where her nest is made,

240 Hatch'd by the beams of truth, denies him rest, And proves a raging scorpion in his breast. No pleasure ? Are domestick comforts dead? Are all the nameless sweets of friendship fled ? 244 Has time worn out, or fashion put to shame, [fame? Good sense, good health, good conscience, and good meel these belong to virtue, and all prove, That virtue has a title to your love. Have you no touch of pity, that the poor Stand starv'd at your inhospitable door ?

250 Or if yourself, too scantily supplied, Need help, let honest industry provide. Earn, if you want; if you abound, impart , Theso both are pleasures to the feeling heart.

No pleasure ? Has some sickly eastern waste

255 Sent us a wind to parch us at a blast ? Can British Paradise no scenes afford To please her sated and indifferent lord ? Are sweet philosophy's enjoyments run Quite to the lees? And has religion none ? 260 Brutes capable would tell you 'tis a lie, And judge you from the kennel and the sty. Delights like these, ye sensual and profane, Ye are bid, begg’d, besought to entertain ; Call’d to these crystal streams, do ye turn off

265 Obscene to swill and swallow at a trough? Envy the beast then, on whom Heav'n bestows Your pleasures, with no curses in the close.

Pleasure admitted in undue degree Enslaves the will, nor leaves the judgment free. 270 Tis not alone the grape's enticing juice, Unnerves the moral powers, and mars their use : Ambition, av'rice, and the lust of fame, And woman, lovely woman, does the same. The heart surrender'd to the ruling power

275 Of some ungovern'd passion every hour, Finds by degrees the truths, that once bore sway, And all their deep impressions, wear away ; So coin grows smooth, in traffick current pass'd, Till Cæsr's image is effac'd at last.

280 The breach, tho' small at first, soon opening wide, In rushes folly with a full-moon tide, Then welcome errours of whatever size, To justify it by a thousand lies. As creeping ivy clings to wood or stone,

285 And hides the ruin that it feeds

upon;
So sophistry cleaves close to and protects
Sin's rotten trunk, concealing its defects.
Mortals, whose pleasures are their only care,
First wish to be impos'd on, and then are.

290 And, lest the fulsome artifice should fail, Themselves will hide its coarseness with a veil.

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Not more industrious are the just and true,
To give to Virtue what is Virtue's due-
The praise of wisdom, comeliness, and worth,
And call her charms to publick notice forth-
Than Vice's mean and disingenuous race,
To hide the shocking features of her face.
Her form with dress and lotion they repair;
Then kiss their idol, and pronounce her fair.

The sacred implement I now employ
Might prove a mischief, or at best a toy ;
A trifle, if it move but to amuse ;
But, if to wrong the judgment and abuse,
Worse than a poniard in the basest hand,
It stabs at once the morals of a land.

Ye writers of what none with safety reads;
Footing it in the dance that Fancy leads;
Ye novelists, who mar what ye would mend,
Sniv'ling and driv'ling folly without end ;
Whose corresponding misses fill the ream
With sentimental frippery and dream,
Caught in a delicate soft silken net
By some lewd earl, or rakehell baronet;
Ye pimps, who under virtue's fair pretence,
Steal to the closet of young innocence,
And teach her, unexperienc'd yet and green,
To scribble as you scribbled at fifteen;
Who, kindling a combustion of desire,
With some cold moral think to quench the fire ,
Though all your engineering proves in vain,
The dribbling stream ne'er puts it out again.
O that a verse had pow'r, and could command
Far, far away these flesh-flies of the land;
Who fasten without mercy on the fair,
And suck, and leave a craving maggot there!
Howe'er disguis’d, th' inflammatory tale,
And cover'd with a fine-spun specious veil;
Such writers, and such readers, owe the gust
And relish of their pleasure all to lust.

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But the muse, eagle pinion 'd, has in view
A quarry more important still than you ;
Down, down the wind she swims, and sails away,
Now stoops upon it, and now grasps the prey.

Petronius! all the muses weep for thee;
But ev'ry tear shall scald thy memory ;
The greces too, while Virtue at their shrine,
Lay bleeding under that soft hand of thine,
Felt each a mortal stab in her own breast,
Alhor'd the sacrifice, and curs'd the priest.
Thou polish'd and high finish'd foe to fruth,
Graybeard corrupter of our list'ning youth,
To purge and skim away the filth of vice,
Chat so refind it might the more entice,
Then pour it on the morals of thy son ;
To taint his heart, was worthy of thine own!
Now, while the poison all high life pervades,
Write, if thou canst, one letter from the shades,
One, and one only, charg'd with deep regret,
That thy worst part, thy principles, live yet;
One sad cpistle thence may cure mankind
Of the plague spread by bundles left behind.
"Tis granted, and no plainer truth appears,
Our most important are our earliest years;
The Mind, impressible and soft, with ease
Imbibes and copies what she hears and sees,
And through life's labyrinth holds fast the clow,
That Education gives her, false or true,
Plants rais'd with tenderness are soldom strong ;
Man's coltish disposition asks the thong ;
And, without discipline, the fav’rite child,
Like a neglected forester, runs wild.
But we, as if good qualities would grow
Spontaneous, take but little pains to sow;
We give some Latin, and a smatch of Groek;
'T'cach him to fence, and figure twice a week:
And having done, we think the best we can,
Praise his proficiency, and dub him inan.

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