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She begs an idle pin of all she meets
And hoards them in her sleeve; but needful food,
Though press’d with hunger oft, or comelier
cloaths, Though pinch'd with cold, asks never.—Kate is
craz'd. I fee a column of flow-rising smoke O’ertop the lofty wood that shirts the wild. A vagabond and useless tribe there eat Their miserable meal. A kettle slung Between two poles upon a stick transverse, Receives the morsel; flesh obscene of dog, Or vermin, or at best, of cock purloin'd From his accustom’d perch. Hard-faring race ! They pick their fuel out of ev'ry hedge, Which kindled with dry leaves, juft faves un
quench'd The spark of life. The sportive wind blows wide Their flutt'ring rags, and shows a tawny skin The vellum of the pedigree they claim. Great skill have they in palmistry, and more To conjure clean-away the gold they touch, Conveying worthless dross into its place. Loud when they beg, dumb only when they steal. Strange! that a creature rational, and cast In human mould, should brutalize by choice His nature, and though capable of arts By which the world might profit and himself,
Self-banish'd from fociety, prefer
Such fqualid floth to honourable toil.
Yet even these, though feigning sickness oft
They swathe the forehead, drag the limping limb
And vex their flesh with artificial fores,
Can change their whine into a mirthful note
When safe occasion offers, and with dance
And music of the bladder and the bag
Beguile their woes and make the woods resound
Such health and gaiety of heart enjoy
The houseless rovers of the sylvan world;
And breathing wholesome air, and wand'ring
Need other physic none to heal th' effects
Of loathsome diet, penury, and cold.'
Bleft he, though undistinguish'd from the
By wealth or dignity, who dwells fecure
Where man, by nature fierce, has laid aside
His fierceness, having learnt, though flow to
The manners and the arts of civil life.
His wants, indeed, are many; but supply
Is obvious ; placed within the easy reach
Of temp'rate wishes and industrious hands.
Here virtue thrives as in her proper foil ;
Not rude and furly, and beset with thorns,
And terrible to fight, as when she springs,
(If e'er she spring spontaneous) in remote
And barb'rous climes, where violence prevails,
And strength is lord of all; but gentle, kind,
By culture tam'd, by liberty refresh'd,
And all her fruits by radiant truth matur'd.
War and the chace engrofs the favage whole.
War follow'd for revenge, or to supplant
The envied tenants of some happier spot,
The chace for sustenance, precarious trust!
His hard condition with severe constraint
Binds all his faculties, forbids all growth
Of wisdom, proves a school in which he learns
Sly circumvention, unrelenting hate,
Mean felf-attachment, and scarce aught beside.
Thus fare the shiv'ring natives of the north,
And thus the rangers of the western world
Where it advances far into the deep,
Towards th’ Antarctic. Ev'n the favour'd ifles
So lately found, although the constant fun
Cheer all their seasons with a grateful smile,
Can boast but little virtue; and inert
Through plenty, lose in morals, what they gain
In manners, victims of luxurious eale.
These therefore I can pity, placed remote
From all that science traces, art invents,
Or inspiration teaches ; and inclosed
In boundless oceans never to be pass’d
By navigators uninform'd as they
Or plough'd perhaps by British bark again.
But far beyond the rest, and with most cause
Thee, gentle + savage ! whom no love of thee
Or thine, but curiosity perhaps,
Or else vain glory, prompted us to draw
Forth from thy native bow'rs, to show thee here
With what fuperior skill we can abuse
The gifts of providence, and squander life.
The dream is past. And thou hast found again
Thy cocoas and bananas, palms and yams,
And homestall thatch'd with leaves. But hast
Their former charms ? and having fien our state,
Our palaces, our ladies, and our pomp
Of equipage, our gardens, and our sports,
And heard our music ; are thy simple friends,
Thy simple fare, and all thy plain delights
As dear to thee as opce ? And have thy joys
Loft nothing by comparison with ours ?
Rude as thou art (før we return’d thee rude
And ignorant, except of outward show)
I cannot think thee yet so dull of heart
And spiritless, as never to regret
Sweets tasted here, and left as soon as known.
Methinks I see thee straying on the beach,
And asking of the surge that bathes thy foot
If ever it has wash'd our diftant Thore.
I see thee weep, and thine are honest tears,
A patriot's for his country. Thou art sad
At thought of her forlorn and abject state,
From which no power of thine can raise her up.
Thus fancy paints thee, and though apt to err,
Perhaps errs little, when the paints thee thus.
She tells me too that duly ev'ry morn
Thou climb'st the mountain top, with eager eye
Exploring far and wide the wat’ry waste
for fight of thip from England. Ev'ry speck
Seen in the dim horizon, turns thee pale
With conflict of contending hopes and fears.
But comes at last the dull and dusky eve,
And sends thee to thy cabbin, well-prepar'd
To dream all night of what the day denied.
Alas ! expect it not. We found no bait
To tempt us in thy country. Doing good,
Disinterested good, is not our trade.
We travel far 'tis true, but not for nought ;
And must be brib?d to compass earth again
By other hopes and richer fruits than yours.
But though true worth and virtue, in the mild
And genial foil of cultivated life
Thrive most, and may perhaps thrive only there,
Yet not in cities oft. In proud and gay
And gain devoted cities ; thither flow,
As to a common and most noisome fewer,