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-Πόταγ ̓, ὦ ̓γαθέ· τὰν γὰρ ἀοιδὰν
Οὔτι πα εἰς Αΐδαν γε τὸν ἐκλελάθοντα φυλαξεῖς.

As sickly plants betray à niggard earth, Whose barren bosom starves her generous birth, Nor genial warmth, nor genial juice retains, Their roots to feed, and fill their verdant veins ; And as in climes, where winter holds his reign, The soil, though fertile, will not teem in vain, Forbids her gems to swell, her shades to rise, Nor trusts her blossoms to the churlish skies: So draw mankind in vain the vital airs, Unform'd, unfriended, by those kindly cares, That health and vigour to the soul impart,

Spread the young thought, and warm the opening heart: So fond instruction on the growing powers

Of nature idly lavishes her stores,

If equal justice with unclouded face

Smile not indulgent on the rising race,





And scatter with a free, though frugal hand,
Light golden showers of plenty o'er the land:
But tyranny has fix'd her empire there,
To check their tender hopes with chilling fear,
And blast the blooming promise of the
This spacious animated scene survey,
From where the rolling orb, that gives the day,
His sable sons with nearer course surrounds
To either pole, and life's remotest bounds.
How rude so c'er th' exterior form we find,
Howe'er opinion tinge the varied mind,
Alike to all, the kind, impartial heav'n
The sparks of truth and happiness has giv'n:
With sense to feel, with memory to retain,
They follow pleasure, and they fly from pain;
Their judgment mends the plan their fancy draws,
The event presages, and explores the cause;
The soft returns of gratitude they know,
By fraud clude, by force repel the foe;
While mutual wishes, mutual woes endear
The social smile, the sympathetic tear.

Say, then, through ages by what fate confin'd
To different climes seem different souls assign'd?
Here measur'd laws and philosophic ease

Fix, and improve the polish'd arts of peace;
There industry and gain their vigils keep,
Command the winds, and tame th' unwilling deep:
Here force and hardy deeds of blood prevail;
There languid pleasure sighs in every gale.
Oft o'er the trembling nations from afar
Has Scythia breath'd the living cloud of war;
And, where the deluge burst, with sweepy sway
Their arms, their kings, their gods were roll'd away.




As oft have issued, host impelling host,
The blue-eyed myriads from the Baltic coast.
The prostrate south to the destroyer yields
Her boasted titles, and her golden fields:
With grim delight the brood of winter view
A brighter day, and heav'ns of azure hue;
Scent the new fragrance of the breathing rose,
And quaff the pendent vintage as it grows.
Proud of the yoke, and pliant to the rod,
Why yet does Asia dread a monarch's nod,
While European freedom still withstands




Th' encroaching tide that drowns her lessening lands ;
And sees far off, with an indignant groan,

Her native plains, and empires once her own?
Can opener skies and suns of fiercer flame
O'erpower the fire, that animates our frame;
As lamps, that shed at eve a cheerful ray,
Fade and expire beneath the eye of day?
Need we the influence of the northern star
To string our nerves and steel our hearts to war?
And, where the face of nature laughs around,
Must sick'ning virtue fly the tainted ground?
Unmanly thought! what seasons can control,
What fancied zone can circumscribe the soul,
Who, conscious of the source from whence she springs,
By reason's light, on resolution's wings,
Spite of her frail companion, dauntless goes

O'er Libya's deserts and through Zembla's snows?
She bids each slumb'ring energy awake,
Another touch, another temper take,
Suspends th' inferior laws that rule our clay :
The stubborn elements confess her sway;





Their little wants, their low desires refine,
And raise the mortal to a height divine.

Not but the human fabric from the birth
Imbibes a flavour of its parent earth:
As various tracts enforce a various toil,
The manners speak the idiom of their soil.
An iron-race the mountain-cliffs maintain,
Foes to the gentler genius of the plain :
For where unwearied sinews must be found
With side-long plough to quell the flinty ground,
To turn the torrent's swift-descending flood,

To brave the savage rushing from the wood,
What wonder, if, to patient valour train'd,
They guard with spirit what by strength they gain'd?
And while their rocky ramparts round they see,
The rough abode of want and liberty,

(As lawless force from confidence will grow)
Insult the plenty of the vales below?
What wonder, in the sultry climes, that spread
Where Nile redundant o'er his summer-bed
From his broad bosom life and verdure flings,
And broods o'er Egypt with his wat'ry wings,
If with advent'rous oar and ready sail
The dusky people drive before the gale;
Or on frail floats to neighb'ring cities ride,
That rise and glitter o'er the ambient tide












THE author's subject being (as we have seen) The necessary alliance between a good form of government and a good mode of education, in order to produce the happiness of mankind, the Poem opens with two similes,-an uncommon kind of exordium; but which I suppose the poet intentionally chose, to intimate the analogical method he meant to pursue in his subsequent reasonings. 1st, He asserts that men without education are like sickly plants in a cold or barren soil, (line 1 to 5, and 8 to 12;) and 2ndly, he compares them, when unblest with a just and well-regulated government, to plants that will not blossom or bear fruit in an unkindly and inclement air (7. 5 to 9, and l. 13 to 22.) Having thus laid down the two propositions he means to prove, he begins by examining into the characteristics which (taking a general view of mankind) all men have in common one with another (l. 22 to 39); they covet pleasure and avoid pain (7. 31); they feel gratitude for benefits (7. 34); they desire to avenge wrongs, which they effect either by force or cunning (7. 35); they are linked to each other by their common feelings, and participate in sorrow and in joy (l. 36, 37). If then all the human species agree in so many moral particulars, whence arises the diversity of national characters? This question the poet puts at line 38, and dilates upon to l. 64. Why, says he, have some nations shewn a propensity to commerce and industry; others to war and rapine; others to ease and pleasure? (l. 42 to 46). Why have the northern people overspread, in all ages, and prevailed over the southern? (7. 46 to 58). Why has Asia been, time out of mind, the seat of despotism, and Europe that of freedom? (7. 59 to 64). Are we from these instances to imagine men necessarily enslaved to the inconveniences of the climate where they were born? (l. 64 to 72). Or are we not rather to suppose there is a natural strength in the human mind, that is able to vanquish and break through them? (l. 72 to 84). It is confessed, however, that men receive an early tincture from the situation they are placed in, and the climate which produces them (7. 84 to 88). Thus the inhabitants of the mountains, inured to labour and patience, are naturally trained to war (7. 88 to 96); while those of the plain are more open to any attack, and softened by ease and plenty (7. 96 to 99). Again, the Egyptians, from the nature of their situation, might be the inventors of home navigation, from a necessity of keeping up an intercourse between their towns during the inundation of the Nile (7. 99 to ***). Those persons would naturally have the first turn to commerce, who inhabited a barren coast, like the Tyrians, and were persecuted by some neighbouring tyrant; or were drove to take refuge on some shoals, like the Venetian and Hollander; their discovery of some rich island, in the infancy of the world, described. The Tartar, hardened to war by his rigorous climate and pastoral life, and by his disputes for water and herbage in a country without land-marks, as also by skirmishes between his rival clans, was consequently fitted to conquer his rich southern neighbours, whom ease and luxury had enervated: yet this is no proof that liberty and valour may not exist in southern climes, since the Syrians and Carthaginians gave noble instances of both; and the Arabians carried their conquests as far as the Tartars. Rome also (for many centuries) repulsed those very nations, which, when she grew weak, at length demolished her extensive empire.

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