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Cramp not your language into logick rules,
To roftrums leave the pedantry of schools ;
Nor let your learning always be discern'd,
But chuse to seem judicious more than learn'd.
Quote feldom, and then let it be, at least,
Some fact that's prov'd, or thought that's well express’d.
But left, disguis’d, your eye it shou'd escape,
Know, pedantry can put on ev'ry shape :
For when we deviate into terms of art,
Unless conftrain'd, we act the pedant's part.
Or if we're ever in the self-fame key,
No matter of what kind the subject be.
From laws of nations down to laws of dress,
For statesmen have their cant, and belles no less,
As good hear By dictate on epiftles,
Or B-rm-n comment on the Grecian whistles ;
As old Obesus preach upon his belly,
Or Phileunucha rant on Farinelli;
Flirtilla read a lecture on a fan,
Or W-d set forth the praise of Kouli-Kan.
But above all things raillery decline,
Nature but few does for that task design:
'Tis in the ableft hand a dang'rous tool,
But never fails to wound the medling fool :
For all must grant, it needs no common art
To keep men patient, when we make them smart.
Not wit alone, nor humour's self, will do,
Without good-nature, and much prudence too,
To judge aright of persons, place, and time;
For taste decrees what's low, and what's fublime:
And what might charm to-day, or o'er a glass,
Perhaps at court, or next day, wou'd not pass.
Then leave to low buffoons, by custom bred,
And form'd by nature to bė kickd and fed,
The vulgar and unenvied task, to hit
All persons right or wrong with random wit.
Our wise forefathers, born in sober days,
Refign'd to fools the tart and witty phrase ;
The motley coat gave warning for the jest,
Excus'd the wound, and fanctify'd the peft:
But we from high to low all strive to sneer,
Will all be wits, and not the livery wear.
Of all the qualities that help to raise
In men the universal voice of praise,
Whether in pleasure or in use they end,
There's none that can with modesty contend.
'Tis a transparent veil that helps the fight,
And lets us look on merit with delight:
In others, 'tis a kindly light, that seems
To gild the worst defects with borrow'd beams.
Yet, 'tis but little that its form be caught,
Unless its origin be first in thought :
Else rebel nature will reveal the cheat,
And the whole work of art at once defeat.
Hold forth upon yourself on no pretence,
Unless invited, or in self-defence;
The praise you take, altho'it be your due,
Will be fupected, if it come from you :
For each man, by experience taught, can tell
How strong a flatterer does within him dwell:
And if to self-condemning you incline,
In sober sadness, and without defign,
(For some will slyly arrogate a vice,
That from excess of virtue takes its rise)
The world cries out, why does he hither come?
Let him do penance for his fins at home.
of conduct asks for skill more nice,
Tho' none more common, than to give advice :
Misers themselves in this will not be saving,
Unless their knowledge makes it worth the having.
And where's the wonder, when we will obtrude
An useless gift, it meets ingratitude ?
Shun then, unafk'd, this arduous talk to try;
But if consúlted, use fincerity ;
Too facred is the welfare of a friend,
To give it up for any felfish end.
But use one caution, fift him o'er and o'er,
To find if all be not refolv'd before,
If such the case, in spight of all his art,
Some word will give the foundings of his heart;
And why should you a bootless freedom use,
That serves him not, and may his friend ship lose?
Yet still on truth bestow this mark of love,
Ne'er to commend the thing you can't approve.
Sincerity has such refiftless charms,
She oft the fiercest of our foes disarms :
No art she knows, in native whiteness dress’d,
Her thoughts all pure, and therefore all express'd :
She takes from error its deformity ;
And without her, all other virtues die.
Bright fource of goodness! to my aid descend,
Watch o'er my heart, and all my
If still thou deign to set thy foot below,
Among a race quite polish'd into show,
Oh! save me from the jilt's diffembling part,
Who grants to all all favours, but her heart :
Perverts the end of charming, for the fame;
To fawn, her business; to deceive, her aim :
She smiles on this man, tips the wink on that,
Gives one a squeeze, another a kind pat ;
Now jogs a foot, now whispers in an ear;
Here flips a letter, and there casts a leer;
Till the kind thing, the company throughout,
Distributes all its pretty self about;
While all are pleas'd, and wretched soon or late,
All but the wise, who see and shun the bait.
Yet if, as complaisance requires to do,
And rigid virtue fometimes will allow,
You stretch the truth in favour of a friend,
Be sure it ever aim at some good end ;
To cherish growing virtue, vice to fame,
And turp to noble views the love of fame :
And not, like fawning parasites, unaw'd
By sense or truth, be ev'ry paflion's bawd.
Be rarely warm in cenfure, or in praise ;
Few inen deserve our passion either ways;
For half the world but floats 'twixt good and ill,
As chance disposes objects, these the will:
"Tis but a fee-saw game, where virtue now
Mounts above vice, and then finks down as low.
Befides the wise still hold it for a rule,
To trust that judgment most, that seems most cool :
For all that rises to hyperbole,
Proves that we err, at least in the degree.
But if your temper to extremes should lead,
Always upon th' indulging fide exceed;
For tho' to blame moft lend a willing ear,
Yet hatred ever will attend on fear;
And when a neighbour's dwelling blazes out,
The world will think 'tis time to look about.
Let not the curious from
Secrets, where Prudence ought to set her seal
Yet be so frank and plain, that at one view,
In other things, each man may
For if the mask of policy you wear,
The honest hate you, and the cunning fear.
Wou'd you be well receiv'd where-e'er you go,
Remember each man vanquish'd is a foe.
Refift not, therefore, with your utmost might,
But let the weakest think he's sometimes, right;