« AnteriorContinuar »
Behold your Bishop ! well he plays his part,
Christian in name, and Infidel in heart,
Ghostly in office, earthly in his plan,
A slave at court, elsewhere a lady's man,
Dumb as a senator, and as a priest
A piece of mere church-furniture at best;
To live estrang'd from God his total scope,
And his end sure, without one glimpse of hope.
But fair although and feasible it seem,
Depend not much upon your golden dream ;
For Providence, that seems concern'd t exempt
The hallow'd bench from absolute contempt,
In spite of all the wrigglers into place,
Still keeps a feat or two for worth and grace;
And therefore ?tis, that, though the fight be
We sometimes fee a Lowth or Bagot there.
Besides, school-friendships are not always found ;
Though fair in promise, permanent and found;
The most difint'rested and virtuous minds
In early years connected, time unbinds;
New situations give a diff'rent caft
Of habit, inclination, temper, tafte,
And he that seem'd our counterpart at first,
Soon shows the strong similitude revers’d.
Young heads are giddy, and young hearts are
warm, And make mistakes for manhood to reform.
Boys are at best but pretty buds unblown,
Whofe fcent and hues are rather guess'd than
Each dreams that each is just what he
But learns his error in maturer years,
When difpofition, like a fail unfurl'd,
Shows all its rents and patches to the world.
If therefore, ev'n when honest in design,
A boyish friendship may fo foon decline,
'Twere wiser sure t'inspire a little heart
With just abhorrence of so mean a part,
Than set your son to work at a vile trade
For wages fo unlikely to be paid.
Our public hives of puerile resort,
That are of chief and most approv'd report,
To fuch base hopes, in many a fordid foul,
Owe their repute in part, but not the whole.
A principle, whose proud pretensions pass
Unquestion'd, though the jewel be but glass
That with a world, not often over-nice,
Ranks as a virtue, and is yet a vice;
Or rather a grofs compound, justly tried,
Of envy, hatred, jealousy, and pride
Contributes moft perhaps t' inhance their fame,
And Emulation is its fpecious name.
Boys once on fire with that contentious zeal
Feel all the rage that female rivals feel,
The prize of beauty in a woman's eyes
Not brighter than in their's the scholar's prize
The spirit of that competition burns
With all varieties of ill by turns ;
Each vainly magnifies his own success,
Refents his fellow's, wishes it were less,
Exults in his miscarriage if he fail,
Deems his reward too great if he prevail,
And labours to surpafs him day and night,
Less for improvement, than to tickle spite.
The spur is pow'rful, and I grant its force;
It pricks the genius forward in its course,
Allows short time for play, and none for floth,
And, felt alike by each, advances both;
But judge, where so much evil intervenes,
The end, though plausible, not worth the
Weigh, for a moment, classical desert
Against an heart deprav'd and temper hurt,
Hurt too perhaps for life, for early wrong
Done to the nobler part, affects it long,
And you are staunch indeed in learning's cause,
If you can crown a discipline, that draws
Such mischiefs after it, with much applaufe.
Connection form'd for interest, and endear'd
By selfish views, thus censur'd and cashier'd ;
And Emulation, as engend'ring hate,
Doom'd to a no less ignominious fate,
The props of such proud seminaries fall,
The JACHin and the Boaz of them all.
Great schools rejected then, as those that swell
Beyond a fize that can be manag'd well,
Shall royal institutions miss the bays,
And small academies win all the praise ?
Force not my drift beyond its just intent,
I praise a school as Pope a government ;
So take my judgment in his language dress’d,
6. Whate'er is best administer'd, is best.”
Few boys are born with talents that excel,
But all are capable of living well ;
Then ask not, whether limited or large ?
But, watch they strictly, or neglect their charge ?
If anxious only that their boys may learn,
While Morals languish, a despis'd concern,
and small deserve one common blame,
Diff'rent in fize, but in effect the same.
Much zeal in virtue's cause all teachers boast,
Though motives of mere lucre fway the most;
Therefore in towns and cities they abound,
For there, the game they seek is easiest found,
Though there, in spite of all that care can do.
Traps to catch youth are most abundant too.
If shrewd, and of a well-constructed brain,
Keen in pursuit, and vig'rous to retain,
Your son come forth a prodigy of skill,
As wherefoever taught, so form’d, he will,
The pædagogue, with self-complacent air,
Clains more than half the praise as his due
But if, with all his genius, he betray,
Not more intelligent than loose and gay,
Such vicious habits as disgrace his name,
Threaten his health, his fortune, and his fame,
Though want of due restraint alone have bred
The symptoms that you fee with so much dread, :.
Unenvy'd there he may sustain alone
The whole reproach, the fault was all his own.
Oh 'tis a fight to be with joy perus'd,
By all whom sentiment has not abus'd,
New-fangled fentiment, the boafted grace
Of those who never feel in the right place;
A fight furpafs'd by none that we can show,
Though Vestris on one leg still dine below;
A father blest with an ingenuous son,
Father, and friend, and tutor all in one.
How !-turn again to tales long since forgot,
Itop, and Phædrus, and the rest ? - Why
He will not blush, that has a father's heart,
To take in childish plays a childish part,
But bends his sturdy back to any toy
That youth takes pleasure in, to please his boy ;
Then why resign into a stranger's hand
A talk as much within your own command,