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Hither, as to their per place, arise
All various sounds from earth, and seas, and skies,
Or spoke aloud, or whisper'd in the ear;
Nor ever silence, rest, or peace is here.

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As on the smooth expanse of crystal lakes
The sinking stone at firit a circle makes,
The trembling surface by the motion itir'd,
Spreads in a second circle, then a third ;
Wide, and more wide, the floating rings advance, 440
Fill all the wat'ry plain, and to the margin dance;
Thus ev'ry voice and found, when first they break
On neighb’ring air, a soft impression make;
Another ambient circle then they move;
That in its turn impels the next above ;

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Through undulating air the sounds are sent,
And spread o'er all the fluid element.

There various neås I heard of love and strife,
Of

peace and war, health, sickness, death, and life,
Of loss and gain, of famine and of store,

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Of storms at sea, and travels on the shore,
Of prodigies, and portents seen in air,
Of fires and plagues, and stars with blazing hair,
Of turns of fortune, changes in the state,
The falls of fav’rites, projects of the great, 455
Of old mismanagements, taxations new;
All neither wholly false, nor wholly true.

Above, below, without, within, around,
Confus’d, unnumber'd inultitudes are found,
Who país, repass, advance, and glide away, 462
Hosts rais’d by fear, and phantoms of a day:
Aftrologers, that future fates forelhew;
Projectors, quacks, and lawyers not a few;
And priests, and party-zealots, num'rous bands;
With home-born lies, or tales from foreign lands,
Each talk'd aloud, or in some secret place,
And wild impatience star'd in ev'ry face.
They fying rumours gather'd as they rolld,
Scarce any tale was sooner heard than told;
And all who told it added something new,

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And all who heard it made enlargements too;
In ev'ry ear it spread, on ev'ry tongue it grew.

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Thus flying east and west, and north and south,
News travell'd with increase from mouth to mouth.
So from a fpark, that kindled first by chance, 475
With gath’ring force the quick’ning flames advance,
Till to the clouds their curling heads aspire,
And tow’rs and temples sink in floods of fire.

When thus ripe lies are to perfection sprung,
Full grown, and fit to grace a mortal tongue,
Thro' thousand vents, impatient, forth they flow,
And rush in millions on the world below.

Fame fits aloft, and points them out their course, Their date determines, and prescribes their force : Some to remain, and some to perish soon, Or wane and wax alternate like the moon. Around a thousand winged wonders fly, Borne by the trumpet's blast, and scatter'd thro' the

There, at one passage, oft you might furvey [lky. A lie and truth contending for the way;

490 And long 'twas doubtful, both fo clofely pent, Which first should issue thro' the narrow vent : At last agreed, together out they fly, Inseparable now the truth and lie; The strict companions are for ever joind, 495 And this or that unmix'd no mortal e'er shall find,

While thus I tood, intent to see and hear, One came, methought, and whisper'd in my ear, What could thus high thy rash ambition raise? Art thou, fond youth, a candidate for praile? 500

'Tis true, said I, not void of hopes I came, For who fo fond as youthful bards of fame? But few, alas! the casual blessing boast, So hard to gain, so easy to be loft. How vain that second life in others' breath, 505 Theftate which wits inherit after death! Ease, health, and life, for this they must resign, (Unsure the tenure, but how vast the fine !) The great man's curfe, without the gains, endure, Be envy'd, wretched, and be flatter'd, poor; SIO All luckless wits their enemies profest, And all successful, jealous friends at best.

Nor

Nor Fame I night, nor for her favours call;
She comes unlook'd for, if she comes at all.
But if the purchase costs so dear a price,

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As soothing folly, or exalting vice;
Oh! if the Muse must flatter lawless sway,
And follow still where Fortune leads the way;
Or if no basis bear my rising name,
But the fall’n ruins of another's fame;

520 Then teach me, Heav'n! to scorn the guilty bays, Drive from my breast that wretched luit of praise ; Unblemith'd let me live, or die unknown : Oh! grant an honest Famę, or grant me none !

Zso

OR,

THE MERCHANT'S TALE.

FROM CHAUCER.

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THERE liv?d in Lombardy, as authors write,

In days of old, a wife and worthy knight; Of gentle manners, as of gen'rous race, Blett with much tense, more riches, and some grace; Yet, led aftray by Venus' soft delights,

5 He scarce could rule some idle appetites : For long ago, let prieits say what they cou'd, Weak fintul laymen were but flesh and blood.

But in due time, when fixty years were o’er,
He vow'd to lead this vicious life no more:
Whether pure holiness inspir'd his mind,
Or dotage turn’d his brain, is hard to find;
But his high courage prick'd him forth to wed,
And try the pleasures of a lawful bed.
This was his nightly dream, his daily care, IS
And to the heav'nly pow’rs his conitant pray'r,
Once, ere he dy'd, to taste the blissful life
Of a kind husband and a loving wife.

These thoughts he fortify'd with reasons still,
(For none want reasons to confirm their will.)
Grave authors say, and witty poets fing,
That honest wedlock is a glorious thing:
But depth of judgment most in him appears,
Who wisely weds in his maturer years.
Then let him chute a damsel young and fair,
To bless his age, and bring a worthy heir;
To sooth his cares, and, free from noile and strife,
Conduct him gently to the verge of life.
Let sinful bachelors their woes deplore,
Full well they merit all they feel, and more :
Unaw'd by precepts, human or divine,
Like birds and beaits, promiscuously they join;
Nor know to make the preient blefiing laft,
To hope the future, or eftçem the pait;

But

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But vainly boast the joys they never try'd,

35 And find divulg'd the secrets they would hide. The marry'd man may bear his yoke with ease, Secure at once himself and Heav'n to please ; And pass his inoffensive hours away, In bliss all night, and innocence all day : Tho' fortune change, his constant spouse remains, Augments his joys, or mitigates his pains.

But what fo pure which envious tongues will spare ? Some wicked wits have libel'd all the fair. With matchless impudence they ftyle a wife, 45 The dear-bought curfe and lawful plague of life; A bosom serpent, a domestic evil, A night-invasion, and a mid-day devil. Let not the wife these fland'rous words regard, But corse the bones of ev'ry lying bard. All other goods by Fortune's hand are giv’n, A wife is the peculiar gift of Heav'n. Vain Fortune's favours, never at a stay, Like empty thadows, pass and glide away ; One solid comfort, our eternal wife

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Abundantly supplies us all our life:
This blessing lasts, (if those who try say true,)
As long as heart can with and longer too.

Our grandfire Adam, ere of Eve pofseft,
Alone, and e'en in paradile unbleit,
With mournful looks the blissful scene survey'd,
And wander'd in the solitary shade.
The Maker saw, took pity, and bestow'd
Woman, the latt, and best reserv'd of God.

A wife! ah gentle deities ! can he
That has a wife e'er feel adversity ?
Would men but follow what the sex advise,
All things would prosper, all the world grow wife,
'Twas by Rebecca's aid that Jacob won
His father's blessing from an elder fon :
Abusive Nabal ow'd his forfeit life
To the wife conduct of a prudent wife:
Heroic Judith, as old Hebrews show,
Preserv'd the Jews, and flew th’ Affyrian foe :

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