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Add to such erudition, thus acquir'd,
Where science and where virtue are profess’d?
They may confirm his habits, rivet fast
His folly, but to spoil him is a task
That bids defiance to th' united pow'rs
Of fashion, dissipation, 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 slumb’ring oscitancy mars the brood?
The nurse no doubt. Regardless of her charge,
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

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 dresses her in smiles.
He grac'd a college, in which order yet
Was sacred; and was honour'd, lov’d, and wept,
By more than one, themselves conspicuous there.
Some minds are temper'd happily, and mixt
With such ingredients of good sense and taste
Of what is excellent in man, they thirst

With such a zeal to be what they approve,

That no restraints can circumscribe them more

Than they themselves by choice, for wisdom's

sake;

Nor can example hurt them: what they see
Of vice in others but enhancing more
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,
Small thanks to those whose negligence or sloth

• Ben'et Coll. Cambridge.

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, discharg'd into the world, They shame their shooters with a random flight, Their points obtuse, and feathers drunk with wine! Well may the church wage unsuccessful war, With such artill’ry 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-placeand his dam? The country mourns-Mourns, because ev'ry plague that can infest 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

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,

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And wav'd his rod divine, a race obscene,

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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 fill’d;
The croaking nuisance lurk’d in ev'ry nook;
Nor palaces, nor even chambers, 'scap'd;
And the land stank—so num'rous was the fry.

THE TAS K.

BOOK III.

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