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Impatient, when the pow'rful band demands 545
Its unremember'd cov’nant from their hands.
Unlike to such, without a sigh restore
What Fortune lends : anon she'll lavish more:
Repenting of her bounty snatch away
Yea seize your patrimonial fund for prey.
Embrace her proffer'd boon, but instant rise,
Spring upward, and secure a lafting prize,
The gift which Wisdom to her sons divides ;
Knowledge, whose beam the doubting judgment guides,
Scatters the sensual fog, and clear to view. 555
Distinguishes false int’rest from the true.
Flee, flee to this, with unabating pace,
Nor parly for a moment at the place
Where Pleasure and her Harlots tempt, nor rest
But at False Wisdom's inn, a transient guest : 560
For short refection, at her table sit, E.
And taste what science may your palate hit:
Then wing your journey forward, 'till you reach
True Wisdom, and imbibe the truths she'll teach.
Such is th’advice the friendly Genius gives, 565
He perishes who scorns, who follows lives.
And thus this moral piece instructs; if aught
Is mystic still, reveal your doubting thought.
Thanks, generous Sire; tell, then, the transient bait, : The Genius grants us at False Wisdom's gate. 570 Whate'er in arts or sciences is found Of solid use, in their capacious round, These, Plato reasons, like a curbing rein, Unruly youth from devious starts restrain.
Muft we, solicitous our souls to save,
Asistance from these previous studies crave ? Necessity there's none. We'll not deny Their merit in some less utility; But they contribute, we aver, no part To heal the manners and amend the heart. 580 An author's meaning, in a tongue unknown, May glimmer through translation in our own: Yet masters of his language, we might gain Some trivial purposes by tedious pain. So in the sciences, though, rudely taught, 585 We may áttain the little that we ought ; Yet, accurately known, they might convey More light, not wholly useless in its way. But Virtue may be reach'd, through all her rules, Without the curious subtleties of schools. 599
1 Natural knowledge, how far useful, and when unprofitable and hurtful. ; Vol. VI.
How! not the learn d'excel the common fhoal,
In pow'rful aids to meliorate the foul? Blind as the crowd, alas ! to good and ill, Intangled by the like corrupted will, What boasts the man of letters o'er the reft ? 595 Skill'd in all tongues, of all the arts poffeft, What hinders but he sink into a fot, A libertine, or villain in a plot, Miser, or knave, or whatsoe'er you'll name: Of moral lunacy and reason's shame? Scandals too rife!
How, then, for living right Avail those studies, and their vaunted light Beyond the vulgar?
Nothing. But disclose The cause from whence this Brange appearance grows. Held by a potent charm in this retreat
605 They dwell, content with nearness to the seat Of Virtuous Wisdom.
- Near, metbinks, in vain: Since numbers, oft, from out the nether plain, ’Scap'd from the. Smares of Lewdness and Excefs Undevious to her lofty- station presse Yet pass these letter'd clans.
What, then, are these
In moral things, advantag'd o'er the lees
Of human race ? in moral things, we find
These duller, or less tractable of mind.
Pride, pride averts their eyes 615
From offer'd light, in felf-sufficience wise,
Although unknowing, they presume to know:
Clogg'd with that vain conceit they creep below,
Nor can mount up to yon exalted bound,
True Wisdom's mansion, by the humble found. 620
Not found by these, 'till the vain visions spread,
By False Opinion, in the learned head,
Repentance scatter ; and deceiv'd no more,
They own th' illusion which deceiv'd before,
That for True Wisdom they embrac'd her shade, 625
And hence the healing of their souls delay'd.
Strangers, these lessons, oft revolving, hold
Fast to your hearts, and into habit mould:
To this high scope life's whole attention bend,
Despise aught else as erring from your end.
Do thus, or unavailing is my care,
And all th’ instruction dies away in air.
A JOLLY, brave toper, who could not forbear
1) Though his life was in danger, old portand ftale beer,
Gave the doctors the hearing—but still would drink on,
'Till the dropfy had swelld him as big as a ton.
The more he took physic the worse still he grew,
And tapping was now the last thing he could do.
Affairs at this crisis, and doctors come down,
He began to consider — so sent for his son.
Tom, see. by what courses I've shorten'd my life,
I'm leaving the world ere I'm forty and five;
More than probable ʼtis, that in twenty-four hours,
This manor, this house, and estate will be yours; :
My early excesses may teach you this truth,
That’tis working for death to drink hard in one's youth.
Says Tom, (who's a lad of a generous spirit,
And not like young rakes who 're in haste to inherit,)