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By frequent lapse, can hope no triumph there
Beyond the achievement of successful flight.
I do confess them nurseries of the arts,
In which they flourish most; where, in the beams
Of warm encouragement, and in the eye
Of public note, they reach their perfect size.
Such London is, by taste and wealth proclaim'd
The fairest capital of all the world,
By riot and incontinence the worst.
There, touch'd by Reynolds, a dull blank becomes
A lucid mirror, in which Nature seer
All her reflected features. Bacon there
Gives more than female beauty to a stone,
And Chatham's eloquence to marble lips.
Nor does the chisel occupy alone
The powers of sculpture, but the style as much;
Each province of her art her equal care.
With nice incision of her guided steel
She ploughs a brazen field, and clothes it soil
So sterile with what charms soe'er she will,
The richest scenery and the loveliest forut.
Where finds Philosophy her eagle eye,
With which she gazes at yon burning disk
Undazzled, and detects and counts his spots ?
In London. Where her implements exact,
With which she calculates, computes, and ecans,
All distance, motion, magnitude, and now
Measures an atom, and now girds a world ?
In London. Where has commerce such a mart,
So rich, so throng'd, so drain'd and so supplied,
As London-opulent, enlarged, and still
Increasing, London ? Babylon of old
Not more the glory of the earth than she,
A more accomplis).'d world's chief glory now.
She has her praise. Now mark a spot or two
That so much beauty would do well to purge;
And shew this queen of cities, that so fair
May yet be foul; so witty, yet not wise.
It is not seemly, nor of good report,
That she is slack in discipline; more prompt
To avenge than to prevent the breach of law:
That she is rigid in denouncing death
On petty robbers, and indulges life
And liberty, and oft-times honour too
To peculators of the public gold :
That thieves at home must hang; but he, that puts
Into his overgorged and bloated purse
The wealth of Indian provinces, escapes.
Nor is it well, nor can it come to good,
That, through profane and infidel contempt
Of holy writ, she has presumed to annul
And abrogate, as roundly as she may,
The total ordinance and will of God;
Advancing Fashion to the post of Truth,
And centering all authority in modes
And customs of her own, till sabbath rites
Have dwindled into unrespected forms,
And knees and hassocks are well-nigh divorced.
God made the country, and man made the town
What wonder then that health and virtue, gifts
That can alone make sweet the bitter draught
That life holds out to all, should most abound
And least be threaten'd in the fields and groves?
Possess ye therefore, ye who, borne about
In chariots and sedans, know no fatigue
But that of idleness, and taste no scenes
But such as art contrives, possess ye still
Your element; there only can ye shine;
There only minds like yours can do no harm.
Our groves were planted to console at noon
The pensive wanderer in their shades. At eve
The moon-beam, sliding softly in between
The sleeping leaves, is all the light they wish,
Birds warbling all the music. We can spare
The splendour of your lamps; they but eclipse
Our softer satellite. Your songs confound
Our more harmonious notes: the thrush departs
Scared, and the offended nightingale is mute.
There is a public mischief in your mirth;
It plagues your country. Folly such as yours,
Graced with a sword, and worthier of a fan,
Has made, what enemies could ne'er have dono,
Our arch of empire, steadfast but for you,
A mutilated structure, soon to fall.
Reflections suggested by the conclusia of the former book.
Peace among the nations recommended, on the ground of their common fellowship in sorrow.-Prodigies enumerated. --Sici an earthquakes.-Man rendered obnoxious to these calanri:ies by sin.-God the agent in them.-The philosophy that stops at secondary causes reproved.-Our own late miscarriages accounted for.-Satirical notice taken of our trips to Fontainebleau.-But the pulpit, not satire, the proper engine of reformation - The Reverend Adveruser os en rayod ser mons.--Petit-maitre parson.-The good preacher.- Picture of a theatrical clerical coxcomb.--Story-tellers and jesters in the pulpit reproved.--Apostrophe to popular applause. --Retailers of ancient philosophy expostulated wiin.-Sum of the whole matter.--Effects of sacerdotal mismanagement on the laity. Their folly and extravagance.--The mischiefs of profusionProfusion itself, with all its consequent evils, escribed, as to its principal cause, to the want of discipline in the universities,
THE TIME-PIECE. O FOR a lodge in some vast wilderness, Some boundless contiguity of shade, Where rumour of oppression and deceit, Of unsuccessful or successful war, Might never reach me more. My ear is pain'd, My soul is sick with every day's report Of wrong and outrage with which earth is fill'd. There is no flesh in man's obdurate heart; It does not feel for man; the natural bond Of brotherbood is severed as the flax, That falls asunder at the touch of fire. He finds his fellow guilty-of a skin Not colour'd like his own; and having power To enforce the wrong, for such a worthy cause Dooms and devotes him as his lawful prey. Lands intersorted by a narrow frith Abhor each other. Mountains interposed Make enemies of nations, who had else, Like kindred drops, been mingled into one. Thus man devotes his brother and destroys; And worse than all, and most to be deplored, As human nature's broadest, foulest blot, Chains him, and tasks him, and exacts his sweat