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ARGUMENT of the SECOND Book.
Reflections suggested by the conclusion of the former book.—Peace among the nations recommended on the ground of their common fellowship in forrow.Prodigies enumerated.-Sicilian earthquakes. Man rendered obnoxious to these calamities by fin. God the agent in them.—The philosophy that stops at fecondary causes, reproved. Our own late milcarriages accounted for.- Satirical notice taken of our trips to Fontainbleau.—But the pulpit, not fatire, the proper engine of reformation - The Reverend Advertiser of engraved sermons.-Petit-maitre parfon.-The good preacher.-- Picture of a theatrical clerical coxcomb.--Story-tellers and jefters in the pulpit reproved.-- Apistrophe to popular applause.Retailers of ancient philosophy expoftulated with.---Sum of the whole matter.---Effects of facerdotal mismanagement on the Igity.---Their folly and extravagance.---The mischiefs of profusion. Profufion itself, with all its consequent evils, afcribed as to its principal cause, to the want of difcipline in the Univerhlies.
H for a lodge in some vast wilderness, ,
Some boundless contiguity of shade,
Where rumour of oppression and deceit,
Of unsuccessful or successful war,
Might never reach me more. My ear is pain’d,
My soul is sick with ev'ry day's report
Of wrong and outrage with which earth is
There is no flesh in man's obdurate heart,
It does not feel for man. The nat'ral bond:
Of brotherhood is sever'd as the flax
That falls asunder at the touch of firė.
He finds his fellow guilty of a skin
Not colour'd like his own, and having pow'r
T'inforce the wrong, for such a worthy cause
Dooms and devotes him as his lawful prey.
Lands intersected by a narrow frith
Abhor each other. Mountains interposed,
Make enemies of nations who had else
Like kindred drops been mingled into one.
Thus man devotes his brother, and destroys;
And worse than all, and most to be deplor'd
As human nature's broadeft, fouleft blot,
Chains him, and talks him, and exacts his sweat
With stripes, that mercy with a bleeding heart
Weeps when she sees inflicted on a beaft.
Then what is man? And what man seeing this,
And having human feelings, does not blush
And hang his head, to think himself a man?
I would not have a slave to till my ground,
To carry me, or fan me while I sleep,
And tremble when I wake, for all the wealth
That sinews bought and sold have ever earn'd.
No : dear as freedom is, and in my heart's
Just estimation priz'd above all price,
I had much rather be myself the flave
And wear the bonds, than fasten them on him.
We have no slaves at home. -Then why abroad?
And they themselves once ferried o'er the wave
That parts us, are emancipate and loos'd.
Slaves cannot breathe in England ; if their lungs
Receive our air, that moment they are free,
They touch our country and their shackles fall.
That's noble, and bespeaks a nation proud
And jealous of the blefling. Spread it then,
And let it circulate through ev'ry vein
Of all your empire : that, where Britain's power
Is felt, mankind may feel her mercy too.
Sure there is need of social intercourse,
Benevolence and peace and mutual aid
Between the nations, in a world that seems
To toll the death-bell of its own decease,
And by the voice of all its elements
To preach the gen'ral doom*. When were the
Let slip with such a warrant to destroy ?
When did the waves fo haughtily o’erleap
Their ancient barriers, deluging the dry ?
Fires from beneath, and meteors + from above-
Portentous, unexampled, unexplained,
Have kindled beacons in the skies, and th' old
And crazy earth has had her shaking fits
More frequent, and foregone her usual rest.
Is it a time to wrangle, when the props
And pillars of our planet feem to fail,
And Nature + with a dim and fickly eye
To wait the clofe of all ? But grant her end
More distant, and that prophecy demands
A longer respite, unaccomplished yet ;
Still they are frowning signals, and bespeak
Displeasure in his breast who smites the earth
Or heals it, makes it languish or rejoice,
And 'tis but feemly, that where all deserve
And stand exposed by common peccancy
To what no few have felt, there should be peace,
And brethren in calamity should love.
Alas ! for Sicily! rude fragments now
Lie scatter'd where the shapely column stood.
Her palaces are duft. In all her streets
The voice of singing and the sprightly chord
Are filent. Revelry and dance and show
Suffer a fyncope and folemn pause,
While God performs upon the trembling stage
Of his own works, his dreadful part alone.
How does the earth receive him? -With what
Of gratulation and delight, her king ?
Pours she not all her choicest fruits abroad,
Her sweetest flow'rs, her aromatic gums,
Disclofing paradise where'er he treads ?
4 Alluding to the fog that covered both Europe and Afia during the whole summer of 1783.