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May feed excesses she can ill afford,
665 Then shake them in despair, and dance again !
Now basket up the family of plagues, That waste our vitals; peculation, sale Of honour, perjury, corruption, frauds By forgery, by subterfuge of law,
670 By tricks and lies as num'rous and as keen As the necessities their authors feel : Then cast them, closely bundled, ev'ry brat At the right door. Profusion is the sire. Profusion unrestrain'd, with all that's base
675 In character, has litter'd all the land, And bred, within the mem'ry of no few, A priesthood, such as Baal's was of old, A people, such as never was till now. It is a hungry vice :-it eats up all
680 That gives society its beauty, strength, Convenience, sécurity, and use : Makes men mere vermin, worthy to be trapp'd And gibbeted, as fast as catchpole claws'. Can seize the slippery prey : unties the knot 685 Of union, and converts the sacred band That holds mankind together, to'a scourge. Profusion deluging a state with lusts
Of grossest nature and of worst effects,
In colleges and halls in ancient days, When learning, virtue, piety, and truth,
700 Were precious and inculcated with care, There dwelt a sage call’d Discipline. His head, Not yet by time completely silver'd o'er, Bespoke him past the bounds of freakish youth, But strong for service still, and unimpair'd.
705 His eye was meek and gentle, and a smile Play'd on his lips; and in his speech was heard Paternal sweetness, dignity, and love. The occupation dearest to his heart Was to encourage goodness. He would stroke 710 The head of modest and ingenious worth, That blush'd at his own praise : and press the youth Close to his side that pleas’d him. Learning grew Beneath his care, a thriving vig'rous plant; The mind was well informed, the passions held 715 Subordinate, and diligence was choice. If e'er it chanc'd, as sometimes chance it must, That one among so many overleap'd The limits of control, his gentle eye Grew stern, and darted a severe rebuke;' 720 His frown was full of terrour, and his voice Shook the delinquent with such fits of awe, As left him not, till penitence had won Lost favour back again, and clos'd the breach. But Discipline, a faithful servant long,
725 Declin'd at length into the vale of years:
A palsy struck his arm ; his sparkling eye
cap well lind with logick not his own,
760 And cleaves through life inseparably close To him that wears it. What can after games Of riper joys, and commerce with the world, Vol. II.
The lewd vain world, that must receive him soon,
770 Now blame we most the nurselings or the nurse ? The children crook'd, and twisted, and deformid, Through want of care; or her, whose winking eye And slumb’ring oscitancy mars the brood ? The nurse, no doubt. Regardless of her charge, 775 She needs herself correction; needs to learn That it is dang’rous sporting with the world, With things so sacred as a nation's trust, The nurture of her youth, her dearest pledge. All are not such. I had a brother once
780 Peace to the memory of a man of worth, A man of letters, and of manners too ! Of manners sweet as Virtue always wears, When gay good-natured dresses her in smiles. He grac'd a college,* in which order yet
785 Was sacred; and was honour'd, lov’d, and wept By more than one, themselves conspicuous there. Some minds are temper'd happily, and mix'd With such ingredients of good sense, and taste Of what is excellent in man, they thirst
790 With such a zeal to be what they approve, That no restraints can circumscribe them inore Than they themselves by choice, for wisdom's sake. Nor can example hurt them; what they see Of vice in others but enhancing more
795 The charms of virtue in their just esteem. If such escape contagion, and emerge Pure from so foul a pool to shine abroad, And give the world their talents and themselves,
Bene’t Coll. Cambridge.
Small thanks to those whose negligence or sloth 800
See then the quiver broken and decay'd,
Have we not track'd the felon home, and found His birthplace and his dam ? The country mourns, Mourns because ev'ry plague that can infest 815 Society, and that saps 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. Profusion breeds them; and the cause itself 820 Of that calamitous mischief has been found : Found, too, where most offensive, in the skirts Of the rob’d pedagogue! Else let th' arraign'd Stand up unconscious, and refute the charge. So when the Jewish leader stretch'd his arm, 825 And wav'd his rod divine, a race obscene, Spawn’d in the muddy beds of Nile, came forth, Polluting Egypt : gardens, fields, and plains, Were cover'd with the pest; the streets were fillid; The croaking nuisance lyrk'd in ev'ry nook ; 830 Nor palaces, nor even chambers, 'scap'd ; And the land stank--so num'rous was the fry.