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From school to Cam or Isis, and thence home;
And thence with all convenient speed to Rome, 370
With rev'rend tutor clad in habit lay,
To tease for cash, and quarrel with all day ; .
With memorandum book for ev'ry town,
And ev'ry post, and where the chaise broke down.
His stock, a few French phrases got by heart,
With much to learn, but nothing to impart :
The youth, obedient to his sire's commands,
Sets off a wanderer into foreign lands.
Surpris'd at all they meet, the gosling pair,
With awkward gait, stretch'd neck, ant silly stare,
Discover huge cathedrals built with stone,
And steeples tow'ring high much like our own;
But show peculiar light by many a grin
At popish practices observ'd within.
Ere long some bowing, smirking, smart abbé 385
Remarks two loit'rers, that have lost their way;
And being always prim'd with politesse
For men of their appearance and address,
With much compassion undertakes the task,
To tell them more than they have wit to ask ; 390
Points to inscriptions wheresoe'er they tread,
Such as, when legible, were never read,
But, being canker'd now and half worn out,
Craze antiquarian brains with endless doubt ;
Some headless hero, or some Cæsar shows 395
Defective only in his Roman nose ;
Exhibits elevations, drawings, plans,
Models of Herculanean pots and pans;
And sells them medals, which, if neither raro
Nor ancient, will be so, preserv'd with care. 400
Strange the recital ! from whatever cause
His great improvement and new light he draws,
The squire, once bashful, is shamefac'd no more,
But teems with pow'rs he never felt before :
Whether increas'd momentum, and the force 405
With which from clime to clime he sped his course,
As axles sometimes kindle as they go,)
Cnaf'd him, and brought dull nature to a glow ;
Or whether clearer skies and softer air,
That make Italian flow'rs so sweet and fair, 410
Fresh’ning his lazy spirits as he ran,
Unfolded genially and spread the man:
Returning he proclaims by many a grace,
By shrugs and strange contortions of his face,
How much a dunce, that has been sent to roam,
115 Excels a dunce, that has been kept at home.
Accomplishments have taken virtue's place,
And wisdom falls before exteriour grace :
Wo slight the precious kernel of the stone,
And toil to polish its rough coat alone.
A just deportment, manners grac'd with ease,
Elegant phrase, and figure form'd to please,
Are qualities that seem to comprehend
Whatever parents, guardians, schools, intend;
Hence an unfurnish'd and a listless mind,
425 Though busy, trifling; empty, though refin'd; Hence all that interferes, and dares to clash With indolence and luxury, is traslı : While learning, once the man's exclusive pride, Seems verging fast towards the female side. 430 Learning itself, receiv'd into a mind By nature weak, or viciously inclin'd, Servee but to lead philosophers astray, Where children would with ease discern the way. And of all arts sagacious dupes invent,
435 To cheat themselves and gain the world's assent, The worst is—Scripture warp'd from its intent
The carriage bowls along, and all are pleas'd If Tom be sober, and the wheels well greas'd; But if the rogue have gone a cup toc far,
440 Left out his linchpin or forgot his tar, It suffers interruption and delay, And meets with hind'rance in the smoothest way When some hypothesis absurd and vain
Has fill'd with all its fumes a critick's brain, 445
'The text, that sorts not with his darling whim,
Though plain to others, is obscure to him.
The will made subject to a lawless force,
All is irregular and out of course;
And judgment drunk, and brib'd to lose his way, 450
Winks hard, and talks of darkness at noonday.
A critick on the sacred book should be
Candid and learn'd, dispassionate and fres;
Free from the wayward bias bigots fcel,
From fancy's influence, and intemperato zeal; 455
But above all, (or let the wretch refrain,
Nor touch the page he cannot but profane,)
Free from the domineering power of lust ;
A lewd interpreter is never just.
How shall I speak thee, or thy power address, 400 Thou god of our idolatry, the press ? By thee, religion, liberty, and laws, Exert their intluence, and advance their cause ; By thee worse plagues than Piharaoh's land befell, Diffus'd, make earth the vestibule of Hell; 463 Thou fountain, at which drink the good and wise ; Thou ever-bubbling spring of endless lies; Like Eden's dread probationary tree, Knowledge of good and evil is from thee. No wild enthusiast ever yet could rest,
470 Till half inankind were like himself possess'd. Philosophers, who darken and put out Eternal truth by everlasting doubt ; Church quacks, with passions under no command, Who fill the world with doctrines contraband, 475 Discov'rers of they know not what, confin'd Within no bounds—the blind that lead the blind; To streams of popular opinion drawn, Deposit in those shallows all their spawn. The wriggling fry soon fill the creeks around, 480 Pois'ning the waters where their swarıns abound Scorn'd by the nobler tenants of the flood,
Minnows and gudgeons gorge the unwholesome food.
The propagated myriads spread so fast,
E'en Lewenhoeck himself would stand aghast, 485
Employ'd to calculate th' enormous sum,
And own his crab-computing powers o'ercome.
Is this hyperbole? The world well known,
Your sober thoughts will hardly find it one.
Fresh confidence the speculatist takes
From every hair-brain'd proselyte he makes :
And therefore prints. Himself but half deceiv'd,
Till others have the soothing tale believ'd.
Hence comment after comment, spun as fine
As bloated spiders draw the flimsy line.
495 Hence the same word, that bids our lusts obey, Is misapplied to sanctify their sway. If stubborn Greek refuse to be his friend, Hebrew or Syriack shall be forc'd to bend. If languages and copies all cry, Nom
500 Somebody prov'd it centuries ago. Like trout pursued, the critick in despair Darts to the mud, and finds his safety there. Women, whom custom has forbid to fly The scholar's pitch, (the scholar best knows why,) 503 With all the simple and unletter'd poor, Admire his learning, and almost adore. Whoever errs, the priest can ne'er be wrong, wath such fine words familiar to his tongue. Ye ladies! (for indiff'rent in your cause,
510 I should deserve to forfeit all applause, Whatever shocks or gives the least offer.ce To virtue, delicacy, truth, or sense (Try the criterion, 'tis a faithful guide,) Nor has, nor can have, Scripture on its side. 515
Nune but an author knows an author's cares, Or Fancy's fondness for the child she bears. Committed once into the publick arms, The baby seems to smile with added charms. Liko something precious ventur’d far from shoro, 520
'Tis valued for the danger's sake the more.
He views it with complacency supreme,
Solicits kind attention to his dream ;
And daily more enamour'd of the cheat
Kneels, and asks Heav'n to bless the dear deceit.
So one, whose story serves at least to show
Men lov'd their own productions long ago,
Woo'd an unfeeling statue for his wife,
Nor rested till the gods had giv'n it life.
If some mere driv'ller suck the sugar'd fib,
One that still needs his leading string and bib,
And praise his genius, he is soon repaid
In praise applied to the same part—his head •
For 'tis a rule, that holds for ever true,
Grant me discernment, and I grant it you.
Patient of contradiction as a child,
Affablc, humble, diffident, and mild;
Such was Sir Isaac, and such Boyle and Locke :
Your blund'rer is as sturdy as a rock
The creature is so sure to kick and bite,
A muleteer's the man to set him right.
First Appetite enlists him Truth's sworn foe,
Then obstinate Self-will confirms him so.
Tell him he wanders ; that his errour leads
To fatal ills; that, tho' the path he treads
Be flow'ry, and he see no cause of fear,
Death and the pains of Hell attend him there ;
In vain : the slave of arrogance and pride,
He has no hearing on the prudent side.
His still-refuted quirks he still repeats ;
New-rais'd objections with new quibbles mects;
Till, sinking in the quicksand he defends,
He dies disputing, and the contest ends--
But not the mischiefs ; they, still left behind,
Like thistle seeds, are sown by every wind.
Thus men go wrong with an ingenious skill ;
Bend the straight rule to their own crooked will ;
And with a clear and shining lamp supplied, -