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ARGUMENT of the THIRD BOOK.
Self-recollection and reproof. Address to domestic happiness.--Some account of myself.-The vanity of many of their pursuits who are reputed wife.Juftification of my cenfures.--Divine illumination necessary to the most expert philosopher.-The question, What is Truth? answered by other questions. Domestic happiness addressed again. --Few lovers of the country.—My tame hare.-Occupations of a retired gentleman in his garden.-Pruning. Framing. -Greenhouse.-Sewing of flowerseeds.--The country preferable to the town even in the winter.-Reasons why it is deserted at that seafon—Ruinous effects of gaming and of expenfive improvement - Book concludes
with an apostrophe to the metropolis.
S one who, long in thickets and in brakes Entangled, winds now this way and now that His devious course uncertain, seeking home; Or having long in miry ways been foil'd And fore discomfited, from flough to flough Plunging, and half despairing of escape, If chance at length he find a green-sward smooth And faithful to the foot, his fpirits rise, He chirrups brisk his ear-erecting steed, And winds his way with pleasure and with ease ; So I, designing other themes, and call'd Tadorn the Sofa with eulogium due, To tell its slumbers and to paint its dreams,
Have rambled wide. In country, city, feat
Since pulpits fail, and founding-boards reflect
beneath elm or vine, My languid limbs when summer fears the plains, Or when rough winter rages, on the foft And shelter'd Sofa, while the nitrous air Feeds a blue flame, and makes a chearful hearth ; There, undisturb'd by folly, and appriz'd How great the danger of disturbing her, To mufe in filence, or at least confine Remarks that gall so many, to the few My partners in retreat. Difguft conceald Is oft-times proof of wisdom, when the fault Is obstinate, and cure beyond our reach.
Domestic happiness, thou only bliss Of Paradise that has surviv'd the fall ! Though few now taste thee unimpair'd and pure, Or tafting, long enjoy thee, too in firm Or too incautious to preserve thy fweets Unmixt with drops of bitter, which neglect Or temper sheds into thy crystal cup Thou art the nurse of virtue. In thine arms She smiles, appearing, as in truth she is, Heav'n-born, and destined to the skies again. Thou art not known where pleasure is ador'd, That reeling goddess with the zonelefs waist And wand'ring eyes, ftill leaning on the arm Of novelty, her fickle frail fupport ; For thou art meek and constant, hating change, And finding in the calm of truth-tried love Joys that her stormy raptures never yield. Forsaking thee, what shipwreck have we made Of honour, dignity, and fair renown; Till prostitution elbows us afide In all our crowded ftreets, and fenates feem Conven'd for purpofes of empire less, Than to releafe th' adultrefs from her band. Th' adultrefs! what a theme for angry verse, What provocation to th' indignant heart That feels for injur'd love! but I disdain The nauseous tafk to paint her as the is,