Imágenes de página

Safe under such a wing, the boy shall show
No fpots contracted among grooms below,
Nor taint his speech with meannesses, design'd
Iiy footman Tom for witty and refin'd.
There, in his commerce, with the liveried herd,
Lurks the contagion chiefly to be fear'd ;
For fince (so fashion dictates) all who claim
An higher than a mere plebeian fame,
Find it expedient, come what mischief may,
To entertain a thief or two in pay,
(And they that can afford th' expence of more,
Some half a dozen and some half a score)
Great caufe occurs to save him from a band
So fure to fpoil him, and fo near at hand;
A point secur'd, if once he be supplied
With some such Mentor always at his fide.
Are such men rare ? perhaps they would abound
Were occupation easier to be found,
Were education, else so sure to fail,
Conducted on a manageable scale,
And schools, that have outliv'd all just esteem,
Exchang'd for the secure domeftic scheme.
But, having found him, be thou duke or earl,
Show thou hast fense enough to prize the pearl,
And, as thou woud'ft th' advancement of thine

In all good faculties beneath his care,


Respect, as is but rational and just,
A man deem'd worthy of so dear a trust.
Defpis’d by thee, what more can he expect
From youthful folly, than the same neglect ?
A flat and fatal negative obtains,
That inftant, upon all his future pains ;
His lessons tire, his mild rebukes offend,
And all the instructions of thy son's best friend
Are a stream choak’d, or trickling to no end.
Doom him not then to folitary meals,
But recollect that he has fenfe, and feels;
And that, poffeffor of a foul refin'd,
An upright heart and cultivated mind,
His post not mean, his talents not unknown,
He deems it hard to vegetate alone.
And if admitted at thy board he fit,
Account him no just mark for idle wit ;
Offend not him, whom modesty restrains
From repartee, with jokes that he disdains,
Much less, transfix his feelings with an oath,
Nor frown unless he vanish with the cloth.
And, trust me, his utility may reach
To more than he is hir'd or bound to teach,
Much trash unutter'd, and fome ills undone,
Through rev'rence of the cenfor of thy son.

But if thy table be indeed unclean,
Foul with excess, and with discourse obscene,


And thou a wretch, whom, following her old

plan, The world accounts an honourable man, Because forsooth thy courage has been tried And stood the test, perhaps on the wrong side, , Though thou hadīt never grace enough to prove That any thing but vice could win thy love ; Or haft thou a polite, card-playing wife, Chain'd to the routs that the frequents, for life, Who, just when industry begins to snore, Flies, wing'd with joy, to some coach-crowded!

door, And thrice in ev'ry winter throngs thine own With half the chariots and fedans in town, Thyself meanwhile e'en shifting as thou may'st, Not very sober though, nor very chaste; Or is thine house, though less fuperb thy rank, If not a scene of pleasure, a mere blank, And thou at best, and in thy fob'reft mood, , A trifler vain, and empty of all good ; Though mercy for thyself thou can'st have none, Hear nature plead, show mercy to thy fon: Sav'd from his home, where ev'ry day brings forth'. Some mischief fatal to his future worth, Find him a better in a distant spot, Within fome pious paftor's humble cot, Where vile example (your's I chiefly mean, The most seducing and the oft'neft seen)


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

May never more be stamp'd upon his breast,
Not yet perhaps incurably impress’d.
Where early reft makes early rising sure,
Disease or comes not, or finds easy cure,
Prevented much by diet neat and plain,
Or if it enter, foon starv'd out again :
Where all th' attention of his faithful hoft,
Discreetly limited to two at most,
May raise such fruits as shall reward his care,
And not at last evaporate in air :
Where, stillness aiding study, and his mind
Serene, and to his duties much inclin'd,
Not occupied in day-dreams, as at home,
Of pleasures past or follies yet to come,
His virtuous toil may terminate at last
In settled habit and decided taste.-
But whom do I advise? the fashion-led,
Th’incorrigibly wrong, the deaf, the dead,
Whom care and cool deliberation suit
Not better much than spectacles a brute,
Who, if their fons some flight tuition share,
Deem it of no great moment whose, or where;
Too proud t'adopt the thoughts of one unknown,
And much too

t' have


of their own.
But courage, man! methought the muse replied,
Mankind are various, and the world is wide;
The ostrich, filliest of the feather'd kind,
And forrnid of God without a parent's mind,


[ocr errors]

Commits her eggs, incautious, to the dust,
Forgetful that the foot may crush the trust;
And, while on public nurs’ries they rely,
Not knowing, and too oft not caring, why,
Irrational in what they thus prefer,
No few, that would seem wife, resemble her.
But all are not alike. Thy warning voice
May here and there prevent erroneous choice ;
And some perhaps, who busy as they are,
Yet make their progeny their dearest care,
(Whose hearts will ache, once told what ills may

Their offspring, left upon fo wild a beach)
Will need no stress of argument t' inforce
Th' expedience of a less advent'rous course;
The rest will flight thy counfel, or condemn;
But they have human feelings-turn to them.

To you then, tenants of life's middle ftate,
Securely plac'd between the finall and great,
Whose character, yet undebauch'd, retains
Two thirds of all the virtue that remains,
Who, wise yourselves, desire your fons should

Your wisdom and your ways to you I turn.
Look round you on a world perversely blind,
See what contempt is fall’n on human kind
See wealth abus'd, and dignities misplac'd,
Great titles, offices, and trusts disgrac’d,


« AnteriorContinuar »