« PreviousContinue »
And he was competent whose purse was fo.
A diffolution of all bonds ensu'd,
The curbs invented for the mulih mouth
Of head-strong youth were broken; bars and bolts
Grew rusty by difuse, and maffy gates
Forgot their office, op’ning with a touch ;
"Till gowns at length are found mere masquerade;
The tassell’d cap and the spruce band a jest,
A mock'ry of the world. What need of these
For gamesters, jockies, brothellers impure,
Spendthrifts and booted sportsmen, oft'ner feen
With belted waist and pointers at their heels,
Than in the bounds of duty ? What was learn’d,
If aught was learn'd in childhood, is forgot,
And such expence as pinches parents blue,
And mortifies the lib'ral hand of love,
Is squander'd in pursuit of idle sports
And vicious pleasures : buys the boy a name,
That fits a ftigma on his father's houfe,
And cleaves through life inseparably close
To him that wears it. What can after games
Of riper joys, and commerce with the world,
The lewd vain world that must receive him foon,
Add to fuch erudition thus acquir'd,
Where science and where virtue are profefs'd ?
They may confirm his habits, rivet faft
His folly, but to fpoil him is a talk
That bids defiance to th' united pow'rs
Of fashion, diffipation, taverns, stews.
Now, blame we most the nurslings or the nurse ?
The children crook'd, and twisted, and deform'd
Through want of care, or her whose winking eye
And flumb'ring ofcitancy mars the brood ?
The nurfe no doubt. Regardless of her charge,
She needs herfelf correction : needs to learn
That it is dang’rons sporting with the world,
With things fo facred as a nation's trust,
The nurture of her youth, her dearest pledge.
All are not such. I had a brother once
Peace to the mem'ry of a man of worth,
A man of letters, and of manners too.
Of manners sweet as virtue always wears,
When gay good-nature dreffes her in smiles.
He grac'd a college t, in which order yet
Was facred ; and was honour'd, lov'd and wept
By more than one, themselves confpicuous there.
Some minds are temper'd happily, and mixt
With such ingredients of good sense and taste
Of what is excellent in man, they thirft
With such a zeal to be what they approve,
That no restraints can circumfcribe them more,
Than they themfelves, by choice, for wisdom's
+ Bennet Coll. Cambridge.
Nor can example hurt them. What they fee
Of vice in others. but enhancing more
The charms of virtue in their juft esteem.
If such escape contagion, and emerge
Pure, from fo foul a pool, to shine abroad,
And give the world their talents and themselves,
Small thanks to those whose negligence or sloth
Expos'd their inexperience to the snare,
And left them to an undirected choice..
See then! the quiver broken and decay'd,
In which are kept our arrows. Rusting there
In wild- disorder, and unfit for use,
What wonder, if difcharg'd into the world,
They shame their shooters with a random. flight,
Their points obtufe, and feathers drunk with wine:
Well may the church wage unsuccessful war,
, With such artillery arm’d: Vice parries wide Th'undreaded volley with a sword of straw, And stands an impudent and fearless mark.
Have we not track'd the felon home, and found His birth-place and his dam? The country mourns, Mourns, because ev'ry plague that can infest Society, and that faps and worms the base Of th' edifice that policy has rais'd, Swarms in all quarters ; meets the eye, the ear, And suffocates the breath at ev'ry turn. Profufion breads them; and the cause itself
Of that calamitous mischief has been found :
Found too where most offensive, in the skirts
Of the rob’d pedagogue. Else, let the arraign'd
Stand up unconscious, and refute the charge.
So when the Jewish Leader stretch'd his arm,
And wav'd his rod divine, a race obscene,
Spawn'd in the muddy beds of Nile, came forth,
Polluting Ægypt. Gardens, fields and plains, ;
Were cover'd with the peft. The streets were
The croaking nuisance lurk'd in ev'ry nook,
Nor palaces nor even chambers 'scap'd,
And the land ftank, so num'rous was the fry.