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The Borough
by George Crabbe
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"THE BOROUGH", by GEORGE CRABBE (1754-1832) {1}



LETTER I.



These did the ruler of the deep ordain, To build proud navies and to rule the main. POPE, Homer's Iliad.

Such scenes has Deptford, navy-building town, Woolwich and Wapping, smelling strong of pitch; Such Lambeth, envy of each band and gown, And Twickenham such, which fairer scenes enrich. POPE, Imitation of Spencer.

. . . . . . . . . . . Et cum coelestibus undis Aequoreae miscentur aquae: caret ignibus aether, Caecaque nox premitur tenebris hiemisque suisque; Discutient tamen has, praebentque micantia lumen Fulmina: fulmineis ardescunt ignibus undae. OVID, Metamorphoses.

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GENERAL DESCRIPTION.

The Difficulty of describing Town Scenery—A Comparison with certain Views in the Country—The River and Quay—The Shipping and Business- -Shipbuilding—Sea-Boys and Port-Views—Village and Town Scenery again compared—Walks from Town—Cottage and adjoining Heath, &c.— House of Sunday Entertainment—The Sea: a Summer and Winter View—A Shipwreck at Night, and its Effects on Shore—Evening Amusements in the Borough—An Apology for the imperfect View which can be given of these Subjects.

"DESCRIBE the Borough"—though our idle tribe May love description, can we so describe, That you shall fairly streets and buildings trace, And all that gives distinction to a place? This cannot be; yet moved by your request A part I paint—let Fancy form the rest. Cities and towns, the various haunts of men, Require the pencil; they defy the pen: Could he who sang so well the Grecian fleet, So well have sung of alley, lane, or street? Can measured lines these various buildings show, The Town-Hall Turning, or the Prospect Row? Can I the seats of wealth and want explore, And lengthen out my lays from door to door? Then let thy Fancy aid me—I repair From this tall mansion of our last year's Mayor, Till we the outskirts of the Borough reach, And these half-buried buildings next the beach, Where hang at open doors the net and cork, While squalid sea-dames mend the meshy work; Till comes the hour when fishing through the tide The weary husband throws his freight aside; A living mass which now demands the wife, Th' alternate labours of their humble life. Can scenes like these withdraw thee from thy wood, Thy upland forest, or thy valley's flood? Seek then thy garden's shrubby bound, and look, As it steals by, upon the bordering brook; That winding streamlet, limpid, lingering slow, Where the reeds whisper when the zephyrs blow; Where in the midst, upon a throne of green, Sits the large Lily as the water's queen; And makes the current, forced awhile to stay, Murmur and bubble as it shoots away; Draw then the strongest contrast to that stream, And our broad river will before thee seem. With ceaseless motion comes and goes the tide, Flowing, it fills the channel vast and wide; Then back to sea, with strong majestic sweep It rolls, in ebb yet terrible and deep; Here Samphire-banks and Saltwort bound the flood, There stakes and sea-weeds withering on the mud; And higher up, a ridge of all things base, Which some strong tide has roll'd upon the place. Thy gentle river boasts its pigmy boat, Urged on by pains, half-grounded, half afloat: While at her stern an angler takes his stand, And marks the fish he purposes to land; From that clear space, where, in the cheerful ray Of the warm sun, the scaly people play. Far other craft our prouder river shows, Hoys, pinks, and sloops: brigs, brigantines, and snows: Nor angler we on our wide stream descry, But one poor dredger where his oysters lie: He, cold and wet, and driving with the tide, Beats his weak arms against his tarry side, Then drains the remnant of diluted gin, To aid the warmth that languishes within; Renewing oft his poor attempts to beat His tingling fingers into gathering heat. He shall again be seen when evening comes, And social parties crowd their favourite rooms: Where on the table pipes and papers lie, The steaming bowl or foaming tankard by; 'Tis then, with all these comforts spread around, They hear the painful dredger's welcome sound; And few themselves the savoury boon deny, The food that feeds, the living luxury. Yon is our Quay! those smaller hoys from town, Its various ware, for country use, bring down; Those laden waggons, in return, impart The country-produce to the city mart; Hark! to the clamour in that miry road, Bounded and narrow'd by yon vessel's load; The lumbering wealth she empties round the place, Package, and parcel, hogshead, chest, and case: While the loud seaman and the angry hind, Mingling in business, bellow to the wind. Near these a crew amphibious, in the docks, Rear, for the sea, those castles on the stocks: See! the long keel, which soon the waves must hide; See! the strong ribs which form the roomy side; Bolts yielding slowly to the sturdiest stroke, And planks which curve and crackle in the smoke. Around the whole rise cloudy wreaths, and far Bear the warm pungence of o'er-boiling tar. Dabbling on shore half-naked sea-boys crowd, Swim round a ship, or swing upon the shroud; Or in a boat purloin'd, with paddles play, And grow familiar with the watery way: Young though they be, they feel whose sons they are, They know what British seamen do and dare; Proud of that fame, they raise and they enjoy The rustic wonder of the village-boy. Before you bid these busy scenes adieu, Behold the wealth that lies in public view, Those far extended heaps of coal and coke, Where fresh-fill'd lime-kilns breathe their stifling smoke. This shall pass off, and you behold, instead, The night-fire gleaming on its chalky bed; When from the Lighthouse brighter beams will rise, To show the shipman where the shallow lies. Thy walks are ever pleasant; every scene Is rich in beauty, lively, or serene - Rich is that varied view with woods around, Seen from the seat within the shrubb'ry bound; Where shines the distant lake, and where appear From ruins bolting, unmolested deer; Lively the village-green, the inn, the place, Where the good widow schools her infant-race. Shops, whence are heard the hammer and the saw, And village-pleasures unreproved by law: Then how serene! when in your favourite room, Gales from your jasmines soothe the evening gloom; When from your upland paddock you look down, And just perceive the smoke which hides the town; When weary peasants at the close of day Walk to their cots, and part upon the way; When cattle slowly cross the shallow brook, And shepherds pen their folds, and rest upon their crook. We prune our hedges, prime our slender trees, And nothing looks untutor'd and at ease, On the wide heath, or in the flowery vale, We scent the vapours of the sea-born gale; Broad-beaten paths lead on from stile to stile, And sewers from streets the road-side banks defile; Our guarded fields a sense of danger show, Where garden-crops with corn and clover grow; Fences are form'd of wreck, and placed around, (With tenters tipp'd) a strong repulsive bound; Wide and deep ditches by the gardens run, And there in ambush lie the trap and gun; Or yon broad board, which guards each tempting prize, "Like a tall bully, lifts its head and lies." There stands a cottage with an open door, Its garden undefended blooms before: Her wheel is still, and overturn'd her stool, While the lone Widow seeks the neighb'ring pool: This gives us hope, all views of town to shun - No! here are tokens of the Sailor-son; That old blue jacket, and that shirt of check, And silken kerchief for the seaman's neck; Sea-spoils and shells from many a distant shore, And furry robe from frozen Labrador. Our busy streets and sylvan-walks between, Fen, marshes, bog, and heath all intervene; Here pits of crag, with spongy, plashy base, To some enrich th' uncultivated space: For there are blossoms rare, and curious rush, The gale's rich balm, and sun-dew's crimson blush, Whose velvet leaf with radiant beauty dress'd, Forms a gay pillow for the plover's breast. Not distant far, a house commodious made, (Lonely yet public stands) for Sunday-trade; Thither, for this day free, gay parties go, Their tea-house walk, their tippling rendezvous; There humble couples sit in corner-bowers, Or gaily ramble for th' allotted hours; Sailors and lasses from the town attend, The servant-lover, the apprentice-friend; With all the idle social tribes who seek And find their humble pleasures once a week. Turn to the watery world!—but who to thee (A wonder yet unview'd) shall paint—the Sea? Various and vast, sublime in all its forms, When lull'd by zephyrs, or when roused by storms, Its colours changing, when from clouds and sun Shades after shades upon the surface run; Embrown'd and horrid now, and now serene, In limpid blue, and evanescent green; And oft the foggy banks on ocean lie, Lift the fair sail, and cheat th' experienced eye. Be it the summer—noon: a sandy space The ebbing tide has left upon its place; Then just the hot and stony beach above, Light twinkling streams in bright confusion move; (For heated thus, the warmer air ascends, And with the cooler in its fall contends) Then the broad bosom of the ocean keeps An equal motion; swelling as it sleeps, Then slowly sinking; curling to the strand, Faint, lazy waves o'ercreep the rigid sand, Or tap the tarry boat with gentle blow, And back return in silence, smooth and slow. Ships in the calm seem anchor'd; for they glide On the still sea, urged solely by the tide: Art thou not present, this calm scene before, Where all beside is pebbly length of shore, And far as eye can reach, it can discern no more? Yet sometimes comes a ruffing cloud to make The quiet surface of the ocean shake; As an awaken'd giant with a frown Might show his wrath, and then to sleep sink down. View now the Winter-storm! above, one cloud, Black and unbroken, all the skies o'ershroud: Th' unwieldy porpoise through the day before Had roll'd in view of boding men on shore; And sometimes hid and sometimes show'd his form, Dark as the cloud, and furious as the storm. All where the eye delights, yet dreads to roam, The breaking billows cast the flying foam Upon the billows rising—all the deep Is restless change; the waves so swell'd and steep, Breaking and sinking, and the sunken swells, Nor one, one moment, in its station dwells: But nearer land you may the billows trace, As if contending in their watery chase; May watch the mightiest till the shoal they reach, Then break and hurry to their utmost stretch; Curl'd as they come, they strike with furious force, And then re-flowing, take their grating course, Raking the rounded flints, which ages past Roll'd by their rage, and shall to ages last. Far off the Petrel in the troubled way Swims with her brood, or flutters in the spray; She rises often, often drops again, And sports at ease on the tempestuous main. High o'er the restless deep, above the reach Of gunner's hope, vast flights of Wild-ducks stretch; Far as the eye can glance on either side, In a broad space and level line they glide; All in their wedge-like figures from the north, Day after day, flight after flight, go forth. In-shore their passage tribes of Sea-gulls urge, And drop for prey within the sweeping surge; Oft in the rough opposing blast they fly Far back, then turn, and all their force apply, While to the storm they give their weak complaining cry; Or clap the sleek white pinion to the breast, And in the restless ocean dip for rest. Darkness begins to reign; the louder wind Appals the weak and awes the firmer mind; But frights not him whom evening and the spray In part conceal—yon Prowler on his way: Lo! he has something seen; he runs apace, As if he fear'd companion in the chase; He sees his prize, and now he turns again, Slowly and sorrowing—"Was your search in vain?" Gruffly he answers, "'Tis a sorry sight! A seaman's body: there'll be more to-night!" Hark! to those sounds! they're from distress at sea; How quick they come! What terrors may there be! Yes, 'tis a driven vessel: I discern Lights, signs of terror, gleaming from the stern; Others behold them too, and from the town In various parties seamen hurry down; Their wives pursue, and damsels urged by dread, Lest men so dear be into danger led; Their head the gown has hooded, and their call In this sad night is piercing like the squall; They feel their kinds of power, and when they meet, Chide, fondle, weep, dare, threaten, or entreat. See one poor girl, all terror and alarm, Has fondly seized upon her lover's arm; "Thou shalt not venture;" and he answers "No! I will not:"—still she cries, "Thou shalt not go." No need of this; not here the stoutest boat Can through such breakers, o'er such billows float, Yet may they view these lights upon the beach, Which yield them hope whom help can never reach. From parted clouds the moon her radiance throws On the wild waves, and all the danger shows; But shows them beaming in her shining vest, Terrific splendour! gloom in glory dress'd! This for a moment, and then clouds again Hide every beam, and fear and darkness reign. But hear we not those sounds? Do lights appear? I see them not! the storm alone I hear: And lo! the sailors homeward take their way; Man must endure—let us submit and pray. Such are our Winter-views: but night comes on - Now business sleeps, and daily cares are gone; Now parties form, and some their friends assist To waste the idle hours at sober whist; The tavern's pleasure or the concert's charm Unnumber'd moments of their sting disarm: Play-bills and open doors a crowd invite, To pass off one dread portion of the night; And show and song and luxury combined, Lift off from man this burthen of mankind. Others advent'rous walk abroad and meet Returning parties pacing through the street, When various voices, in the dying day, Hum in our walks, and greet us in our way; When tavern-lights flit on from room to room, And guide the tippling sailor staggering home: There as we pass, the jingling bells betray How business rises with the closing day: Now walking silent, by the river's side, The ear perceives the rippling of the tide; Or measured cadence of the lads who tow Some entered hoy, to fix her in her row; Or hollow sound, which from the parish-bell To some departed spirit bids farewell! Thus shall you something of our BOROUGH know, Far as a verse, with Fancy's aid, can show. Of Sea or River, of a Quay or Street, The best description must be incomplete; But when a happier theme succeeds, and when Men are our subjects and the deeds of men, Then may we find the Muse in happier style, And we may sometimes sigh and sometimes smile.



LETTER II.



. . . . . . . . Festinat enim decurrere velox Flosculus angustae miseraeque brevissima vitae Portio! dum bibimus, dum serta, unguenta, puellas Poscimus, obrepit non intellecta senectus. JUVENAL, Satires

And when at last thy Love shall die, Wilt thou receive his parting breath? Wilt thou repress each struggling sigh, And cheer with smiles the bed of death? PERCY.

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THE CHURCH.

Several Meanings of the word Church—The Building so called, here intended—Its Antiquity and Grandeur—Columns and Aisles—The Tower: the Stains made by Time compared with the mock antiquity of the Artist—Progress of Vegetation on such Buildings—Bells—Tombs: one in decay—Mural Monuments, and the Nature of their Inscriptions—An Instance in a departed Burgess—Churchyard Graves—Mourners for the Dead—A Story of a betrothed Pair in humble Life, and Effects of Grief in the Survivor.

"WHAT is a Church?"—Let Truth and Reason speak, They would reply, "The faithful, pure, and meek; From Christian folds, the one selected race, Of all professions, and in every place." "What is a Church?"—"A flock," our Vicar cries, "Whom bishops govern and whom priests advise; Wherein are various states and due degrees, The Bench for honour, and the Stall for ease; That ease be mine, which, after all his cares, The pious, peaceful prebendary shares." "What is a Church?"—Our honest Sexton tells, "'Tis a tall building, with a tower and bells; Where priest and clerk with joint exertion strive To keep the ardour af their flock alive; That, by its periods eloquent and grave; This, by responses, and a well-set stave: These for the living; but when life be fled, I toll myself the requiem for the dead." 'Tis to this Church I call thee, and that place Where slept our fathers when they'd run their race: We too shall rest, and then our children keep Their road in life, and then, forgotten, sleep; Meanwhile the building slowly falls away, And, like the builders, will in time decay. The old Foundation—but it is not clear When it was laid—you care not for the year; On this, as parts decayed by time and storms, Arose these various disproportion'd forms; Yet Gothic all—the learn'd who visit us (And our small wonders) have decided thus:- "Yon noble Gothic arch," "That Gothic door;" So have they said; of proof you'll need no more. Here large plain columns rise in solemn style, You'd love the gloom they make in either aisle; When the sun's rays, enfeebled as they pass (And shorn of splendour) through the storied glass, Faintly display the figures on the floor, Which pleased distinctly in their place before. But ere you enter, yon bold tower survey, Tall and entire, and venerably gray, For time has soften'd what was harsh when new, And now the stains are all of sober hue; The living stains which Nature's hand alone, Profuse of life, pours forth upon the stone: For ever growing; where the common eye Can but the bare and rocky bed descry; There Science loves to trace her tribes minute, The juiceless foliage, and the tasteless fruit; There she perceives them round the surface creep, And while they meet their due distinction keep; Mix'd but not blended; each its name retains, And these are Nature's ever-during stains. And wouldst thou, Artist! with thy tints and brush, Form shades like these? Pretender, where thy blush? In three short hours shall thy presuming hand Th' effect of three slow centuries command? Thou may'st thy various greens and grays contrive; They are not Lichens, nor like ought alive;- But yet proceed, and when thy tints are lost, Fled in the shower, or crumbled by the frost; When all thy work is done away as clean As if thou never spread'st thy gray and green; Then may'st thou see how Nature's work is done, How slowly true she lays her colours on; When her least speck upon the hardest flint Has mark and form, and is a living tint; And so embodied with the rock, that few Can the small germ upon the substance view. Seeds, to our eyes invisible, will find On the rude rock the bed that fits their kind; There, in the rugged soil, they safely dwell, Till showers and snows the subtle atoms swell, And spread th' enduring foliage;—then we trace The freckled flower upon the flinty base; These all increase, till in unnoticed years The stony tower as gray with age appears; With coats of vegetation, thinly spread, Coat above coat, the living on the dead; These then dissolve to dust, and make a way For bolder foliage, nursed by their decay: The long-enduring Ferns in time will all Die and depose their dust upon the wall; Where the wing'd seed may rest, till many a flower Show Flora's triumph o'er the falling tower. But ours yet stands, and has its Bells renown'd For size magnificent and solemn sound; Each has its motto: some contrived to tell, In monkish rhyme, the uses of a bell; Such wond'rous good, as few conceive could spring From ten loud coppers when their clampers swing. Enter'd the Church—we to a tomb proceed, Whose names and titles few attempt to read; Old English letters, and those half pick'd out, Leave us, unskilful readers, much in doubt; Our sons shall see its more degraded state; The tomb of grandeur hastens to its fate; That marble arch, our sexton's favourite show, With all those ruff'd and painted pairs below; The noble Lady and the Lord who rest Supine, as courtly dame and warrior drest; All are departed from their state sublime, Mangled and wounded in their war with Time, Colleagued with mischief: here a leg is fled, And lo! the Baron with but half a head: Midway is cleft the arch; the very base Is batter'd round and shifted from its place. Wonder not, Mortal, at thy quick decay - See! men of marble piecemeal melt away; When whose the image we no longer read, But monuments themselves memorials need. With few such stately proofs of grief or pride, By wealth erected, is our Church supplied; But we have mural tablets, every size, That woe could wish, or vanity devise. Death levels man—the wicked and the just, The wise, the weak, lie blended in the dust; And by the honours dealt to every name, The King of Terrors seems to level fame. - See! here lamented wives, and every wife The pride and comfort of her husband's life; Here, to her spouse, with every virtue graced, His mournful widow has a trophy placed; And here 'tis doubtful if the duteous son, Or the good father, be in praise outdone. This may be Nature: when our friends we lose, Our alter'd feelings alter too our views; What in their tempers teased us or distress'd, Is, with our anger and the dead, at rest; And much we grieve, no longer trial made, For that impatience which we then display'd; Now to their love and worth of every kind A soft compunction turns th' afflicted mind; Virtues neglected then, adored become, And graces slighted, blossom on the tomb. 'Tis well; but let not love nor grief believe That we assent (who neither loved nor grieve) To all that praise which on the tomb is read, To all that passion dictates for the dead; But more indignant, we the tomb deride, Whose bold inscription flattery sells to pride. Read of this Burgess—on the stone appear How worthy he! how virtuous! and how dear! What wailing was there when his spirit fled, How mourned his lady for her lord when dead, And tears abundant through the town were shed; See! he was liberal, kind, religious, wise, And free from all disgrace and all disguise; His sterling worth, which words cannot express, Lives with his friends, their pride and their distress. All this of Jacob Holmes? for his the name: He thus kind, liberal, just, religious?—Shame! What is the truth? Old Jacob married thrice; He dealt in coals, and av'rice was his vice; He ruled the Borough when his year came on, And some forget, and some are glad he's gone; For never yet with shilling could he part, But when it left his hand it struck his heart. Yet, here will Love its last attentions pay, And place memorials on these beds of clay; Large level stones lie flat upon the grave, And half a century's sun and tempest brave; But many an honest tear and heartfelt sigh Have follow'd those who now unnoticed lie; Of these what numbers rest on every side! Without one token left by grief or pride; Their graves soon levell'd to the earth, and then Will other hillocks rise o'er other men; Daily the dead on the decay'd are thrust, And generations follow, "dust to dust." Yes! there are real Mourners—I have seen A fair, sad Girl, mild, suffering, and serene; Attention (through the day) her duties claim'd, And to be useful as resign'd she aim'd: Neatly she dress'd, nor vainly seem'd t'expect Pity for grief, or pardon for neglect; But when her wearied parents sunk to sleep, She sought her place to meditate and weep: Then to her mind was all the past display'd, That faithful Memory brings to Sorrow's aid; For then she thought on one regretted Youth, Her tender trust, and his unquestioned truth; In ev'ry place she wander'd, where they'd been, And sadly sacred held the parting scene; Where last for sea he took his leave—that place With double interest would she nightly trace; For long the courtship was, and he would say, Each time he sail'd,—"This once, and then the day: Yet prudence tarried, but when last he went, He drew from pitying love a full consent. Happy he sail'd, and great the care she took That he should softly sleep and smartly look; White was his better linen, and his check Was made more trim than any on the deck; And every comfort men at sea can know Was hers to buy, to make, and to bestow? For he to Greenland sail'd, and much she told How he should guard against the climate's cold; Yet saw not danger; dangers he'd withstood, Nor could she trace the fever in his blood: His messmates smiled at flushings in his cheek, And he too smiled, but seldom would he speak; For now he found the danger, felt the pain, With grievous symptoms he could not explain; Hope was awaken'd, as for home he sail'd, But quickly sank, and never more prevail'd. He call'd his friend, and prefaced with a sigh A lover's message—"Thomas, I must die: Would I could see my Sally, and could rest My throbbing temples on her faithful breast, And gazing go!—if not, this trifle take, And say, till death I wore it for her sake: Yes! I must die—blow on, sweet breeze, blow on! Give me one look before my life be gone, Oh! give me that, and let me not despair, One last fond look—and now repeat the prayer." He had his wish, had more: I will not paint The Lovers' meeting: she beheld him faint, - With tender fears, she took a nearer view, Her terrors doubling as her hopes withdrew; He tried to smile, and, half succeeding, said, "Yes! I must die;" and hope for ever fled. Still long she nursed him: tender thoughts meantime Were interchanged, and hopes and views sublime: To her he came to die, and every day She took some portion of the dread away; With him she pray'd, to him his Bible read, Soothed the faint heart, and held the aching head: She came with smiles the hour of pain to cheer: Apart she sigh'd; alone, she shed the tear: Then as if breaking from a cloud, she gave Fresh light, and gilt the prospect of the grave. One day he lighter seemed, and they forgot The care, the dread, the anguish of their lot; They spoke with cheerfulness, and seem'd to think, Yet said not so—"Perhaps he will not sink:" A sudden brightness in his look appear'd, A sudden vigour in his voice was heard, - She had been reading in the Book of Prayer, And led him forth, and placed him in his chair; Lively he seem'd, and spoke of all he knew, The friendly many, and the favourite few; Nor one that day did he to mind recall But she has treasured, and she loves them all: When in her way she meets them, they appear Peculiar people—death has made them dear. He named his Friend, but then his hand she press'd, And fondly whisper'd, "Thou must go to rest;" "I go," he said: but as he spoke, she found His hand more cold, and fluttering was the sound! Then gazed affrighten'd; but she caught a last, A dying look of love,—and all was past! She placed a decent stone his grave above, Neatly engraved—an offering of her love; For that she wrought, for that forsook her bed, Awake alike to duty and the dead; She would have grieved, had friends presum'd to spare The least assistance—'twas her proper care. Here will she come, and on the grave will sit, Folding her arms, in long abstracted fit; But if observer pass, will take her round, And careless seem, for she would not be found; Then go again, and thus her hour employ, While visions please her, and while woes destroy. Forbear, sweet Maid! nor be by Fancy led, To hold mysterious converse with the dead; For sure at length thy thoughts, thy spirit's pain, In this sad conflict will disturb thy brain; All have their tasks and trials; thine are hard, But short the time, and glorious the reward; Thy patient spirit to thy duties give, Regard the dead, but to the living live.



LETTER III.



And telling me the sov'reign'st thing on earth Was parmacity for an inward bruise. SHAKSPEARE, Henry IV, Part I

So gentle, yet so brisk, so wond'rous sweet, So fit to prattle at a lady's feet. CHURCHILL

Much are the precious hours of youth misspent In climbing learning's rugged, steep ascent; When to the top the bold adventurer's got, He reigns vain monarch of a barren spot; While in the vale of ignorance below, Folly and vice to rank luxuriance grow; Honours and wealth pour in on every side, And proud preferment rolls her golden tide. CHURCHILL

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THE VICAR—THE CURATE.

The lately departed Minister of the Borough—His soothing and supplicatory Manners—His cool and timid Affections—No praise due to such negative Virtue—Address to Characters of this kind—The Vicar's employments—His Talents and moderate Ambition—His dislike of Innovation—His mild but ineffectual Benevolence—A Summary of his Character. Mode of paying the Borough-Minister—The Curate has no such Resources—His Learning and Poverty—Erroneous Idea of his Parent—His Feelings as a Husband and Father—the Dutiful Regard of his numerous Family—His Pleasure as a Writer, how interrupted—No Resource in the Press—Vulgar Insult—His Account of a Literary Society, and a Fund for the Relief of indigent Authors, &c.

THE VICAR.

WHERE ends our chancel in a vaulted space, Sleep the departed Vicars of the place; Of most, all mention, memory, thought are past - But take a slight memorial of the last. To what famed college we our Yicar owe, To what fair county, let historians show: Few now remember when the mild young man, Ruddy and fair, his Sunday-task began; Few live to speak of that soft soothing look He cast around, as he prepared his book; It was a kind of supplicating smile, But nothing hopeless of applause the while; And when he finished, his corrected pride Felt the desert, and yet the praise denied. Thus he his race began, and to the end His constant care was, no man to offend; No haughty virtues stirr'd his peaceful mind; Nor urged the Priest to leave the Flock behind; He was his Master's Soldier, but not one To lead an army of his Martyrs on: Fear was his ruling passion; yet was Love, Of timid kind, once known his heart to move; It led his patient spirit where it paid Its languid offerings to a listening Maid: She, with her widow'd Mother, heard him speak, And sought awhile to find what he would seek: Smiling he came, he smiled when he withdrew, And paid the same attention to the two; Meeting and parting without joy or pain, He seem'd to come that he might go again. The wondering girl, no prude, but something nice, At length was chill'd by his unmelting ice; She found her tortoise held such sluggish pace, That she must turn and meet him in the chase: This not approving, she withdrew, till one Came who appear'd with livelier hope to run; Who sought a readier way the heart to move, Than by faint dalliance of unfixing love. Accuse me not that I approving paint Impatient Hope or Love without restraint; Or think the Passions, a tumultuous throng, Strong as they are, ungovernably strong: But is the laurel to the soldier due, Who, cautious, comes not into danger's view? What worth has Virtue by Desire untried, When Nature's self enlists on Duty's side? The married dame in vain assail'd the truth And guarded bosom of the Hebrew youth; But with the daughter of the Priest of On The love was lawful, and the guard was gone; But Joseph's fame had lessened in our view, Had he, refusing, fled the maiden too. Yet our good priest to Joseph's praise aspired, As once rejecting what his heart desired; "I am escaped," he said, when none pursued; When none attack'd him, "I am unsubdued;" "Oh pleasing pangs of love!" he sang again, Cold to the joy, and stranger to the pain. E'en in his age would he address the young, "I too have felt these fires, and they are strong;" But from the time he left his favourite maid, To ancient females his devoirs were paid: And still they miss him after Morning-prayer; Nor yet successor fills the Vicar's chair, Where kindred spirits in his praise agree, A happy few, as mild and cool as he; The easy followers in the female train, Led without love, and captives without chain. Ye Lilies male! think (as your tea you sip, While the town small-talk flows from lip to lip; Intrigues half-gather'd, conversation-scraps, Kitchen cabals, and nursery-mishaps), If the vast world may not some scene produce, Some state where your small talents might have use; Within seraglios you might harmless move, 'Mid ranks of beauty, and in haunts of love; There from too daring man the treasures guard, An easy duty, and its own reward; Nature's soft substitutes, you there might save From crime the tyrant, and from wrong the slave. But let applause be dealt in all we may, Our Priest was cheerful, and in season gay; His frequent visits seldom fail'd to please; Easy himself, he sought his neighbour's ease: To a small garden with delight he came, And gave successive flowers a summer's fame; These he presented, with a grace his own, To his fair friends, and made their beauties known, Not without moral compliment; how they "Like flowers were sweet, and must like flowers decay.' Simple he was, and loved the simple truth, Yet had some useful cunning from his youth; A cunning never to dishonour lent, And rather for defence than conquest meant; 'Twas fear of power, with some desire to rise, But not enough to make him enemies; He ever aim'd to please; and to offend Was ever cautious; for he sought a friend; Yet for the friendship never much would pay, Content to bow, be silent, and obey, And by a soothing suff'rance find his way. Fiddling and fishing were his arts: at times He alter'd sermons, and he aim'd at rhymes; And his fair friends, not yet intent on cards, Oft he amused with riddles and charades. Mild were his doctrines, and not one discourse But gain'd in softness what it lost in force: Kind his opinions; he would not receive An ill report, nor evil act believe; "If true, 'twas wrong; but blemish great or small Have all mankind; yea, sinners are we all." If ever fretful thought disturb'd his breast, If aught of gloom that cheerful mind oppress'd, It sprang from innovation; it was then He spake of mischief made by restless men: Not by new doctrines: never in his life Would he attend to controversial strife; For sects he cared not; " They are not of us, Nor need we, brethren, their concerns discuss; But 'tis the change, the schism at home I feel; Ills few perceive, and none have skill to heal: Not at the altar our young brethren read (Facing their flock) the decalogue and creed; But at their duty, in their desks they stand, With naked surplice, lacking hood and band: Churches are now of holy song bereft, And half our ancient customs changed or left; Few sprigs of ivy are at Christmas seen, Nor crimson berry tips the holly's green; Mistaken choirs refuse the solemn strain Of ancient Sternhold, which from ours amain Comes flying forth from aisle to aisle about, Sweet links of harmony and long drawn out." These were to him essentials; all things new He deemed superfluous, useless, or untrue: To all beside indifferent, easy, cold, Here the fire kindled, and the woe was told. Habit with him was all the test of truth: "It must be right: I've done it from my youth." Questions he answer'd in as brief a way: "It must be wrong—it was of yesterday." Though mild benevolence our Priest possess'd, 'Twas but by wishes or by words expressed. Circles in water, as they wider flow, The less conspicuous in their progress grow, And when at last they touch upon the shore, Distinction ceases, and they're view'd no more. His love, like that last circle, all embraced, But with effect that never could be traced. Now rests our Vicar. They who knew him best, Proclaim his life t'have been entirely rest; Free from all evils which disturb his mind Whom studies vex and controversies blind. The rich approved,—of them in awe he stood; The poor admired,—they all believed him good; The old and serious of his habits spoke; The frank and youthful loved his pleasant joke; Mothers approved a safe contented guest, And daughters one who back'd each small request; In him his flock found nothing to condemn; Him sectaries liked,—he never troubled them: No trifles fail'd his yielding mind to please, And all his passions sunk in early ease; Nor one so old has left this world of sin, More like the being that he entered in.

THE CURATE.

ASK you what lands our Pastor tithes?—Alas! But few our acres, and but short our grass: In some fat pastures of the rich, indeed, May roll the single cow or favourite steed; Who, stable-fed, is here for pleasure seen, His sleek sides bathing in the dewy green; But these, our hilly heath and common wide Yield a slight portion for the parish-guide; No crops luxuriant in our borders stand, For here we plough the ocean, not the land; Still reason wills that we our Pastor pay, And custom does it on a certain day: Much is the duty, small the legal due, And this with grateful minds we keep in view; Each makes his off'ring, some by habit led, Some by the thought that all men must be fed; Duty and love, and piety and pride, Have each their force, and for the Priest provide. Not thus our Curate, one whom all believe Pious and just, and for whose fate they grieve; All see him poor, but e'en the vulgar know He merits love, and their respect bestow. A man so learn'd you shall but seldom see, Nor one so honour'd, so aggrieved as he; - Not grieved by years alone; though his appear Dark and more dark; severer on severe: Not in his need,—and yet we all must grant How painful 'tis for feeling Age to want: Nor in his body's sufferings; yet we know Where Time has ploughed, there Misery loves to sow; But in the wearied mind, that all in vain Wars with distress, and struggles with its pain. His father saw his powers—"I give," quoth he, "My first-born learning; 'twill a portion be:" Unhappy gift! a portion for a son! But all he had: —he learn'd, and was undone! Better, apprenticed to an humble trade, Had he the cassock for the priesthood made, Or thrown the shuttle, or the saddle shaped, And all these pangs of feeling souls escaped. He once had hope—Hope, ardent, lively, light; His feelings pleasant, and his prospects bright: Eager of fame, he read, he thought, he wrote, Weigh'd the Greek page, and added note on note. At morn, at evening, at his work was he, And dream'd what his Euripides would be. Then care began: —he loved, he woo'd, he wed; Hope cheer'd him still, and Hymen bless'd his bed - A curate's bed ! then came the woeful years; The husband's terrors, and the father's tears; A wife grown feeble, mourning, pining, vex'd With wants and woes—by daily cares perplex'd; No more a help, a smiling, soothing aid, But boding, drooping, sickly, and afraid. A kind physician, and without a fee, Gave his opinion—"Send her to the sea." "Alas!" the good man answer'd, "can I send A friendless woman? Can I find a friend? No; I must with her, in her need, repair To that new place; the poor lie everywhere; - Some priest will pay me for my pious pains:" - He said, he came, and here he yet remains. Behold his dwelling! this poor hut he hires, Where he from view, though not from want, retires; Where four fair daughters, and five sorrowing sons, Partake his sufferings, and dismiss his duns; All join their efforts, and in patience learn To want the comforts they aspire to earn; For the sick mother something they'd obtain, To soothe her grief and mitigate her pain; For the sad father something they'd procure To ease the burden they themselves endure. Virtues like these at once delight and press On the fond father with a proud distress; On all around he looks with care and love, Grieved to behold, but happy to approve. Then from his care, his love, his grief, he steals, And by himself an Author's pleasure feels: Each line detains him; he omits not one, And all the sorrows of his state are gone. - Alas! even then, in that delicious hour, He feels his fortune, and laments its power. Some Tradesman's bill his wandering eyes engage, Some scrawl for payment thrust 'twixt page and page; Some bold, loud rapping at his humble door, Some surly message he has heard before, Awake, alarm, and tell him he is poor. An angry Dealer, vulgar, rich, and proud, Thinks of his bill, and, passing, raps aloud; The elder daughter meekly makes him way - "I want my money, and I cannot stay: My mill is stopp'd; what, Miss! I cannot grind; Go tell your father he must raise the wind:" Still trembling, troubled, the dejected maid Says, "Sir! my father!"—and then stops afraid: E'en his hard heart is soften'd, and he hears Her voice with pity; he respects her tears; His stubborn features half admit a smile, And his tone softens—"Well! I'll wait awhile." Pity! a man so good, so mild, so meek, At such an age, should have his bread to seek; And all those rude and fierce attacks to dread. That are more harrowing than the want of bread; Ah! who shall whisper to that misery peace! And say that want and insolence shall cease? "But why not publish?"—those who know too well, Dealers in Greek, are fearful 'twill not sell; Then he himself is timid, troubled, slow, Nor likes his labours nor his griefs to show; The hope of fame may in his heart have place, But he has dread and horror of disgrace; Nor has he that confiding, easy way, That might his learning and himself display; But to his work he from the world retreats, And frets and glories o'er the favourite sheets. But see! the Man himself; and sure I trace Signs of new joy exulting in that face O'er care that sleeps—we err, or we discern Life in thy looks—the reason may we learn? "Yes," he replied, "I'm happy, I confess, To learn that some are pleased with happiness Which others feel—there are who now combine The worthiest natures in the best design, To aid the letter'd poor, and soothe such ills as mine. We who more keenly feel the world's contempt, And from its miseries are the least exempt; Now Hope shall whisper to the wounded breast And Grief, in soothing expectation, rest. "Yes, I am taught that men who think, who feel, Unite the pains of thoughtful men to heal; Not with disdainful pride, whose bounties make The needy curse the benefits they take; Not with the idle vanity that knows Only a selfish joy when it bestows; Not with o'erbearing wealth, that, in disdain, Hurls the superfluous bliss at groaning pain; But these are men who yield such blest relief, That with the grievance they destroy the grief; Their timely aid the needy sufferers find, Their generous manner soothes the suffering mind; There is a gracious bounty, form'd to raise Him whom it aids; their charity is praise; A common bounty may relieve distress, But whom the vulgar succour they oppress; This though a favour is an honour too, Though Mercy's duty, yet 'tis Merit's due; When our relief from such resources rise, All painful sense of obligation dies; And grateful feelings in the bosom wake, For 'tis their offerings, not their alms we take. "Long may these founts of Charity remain, And never shrink, but to be fill'd again; True! to the Author they are now confined, To him who gave the treasure of his mind, His time, his health,—and thankless found mankind: But there is hope that from these founts may flow A side-way stream, and equal good bestow; Good that may reach us, whom the day's distress Keeps from the fame and perils of the Press; Whom Study beckons from the Ills of Life, And they from Study; melancholy strife! Who then can say, but bounty now so free, And so diffused, may find its way to me? "Yes! I may see my decent table yet Cheer'd with the meal that adds not to my debt; May talk of those to whom so much we owe, And guess their names whom yet we may not know; Blest, we shall say, are those who thus can give, And next who thus upon the bounty live; Then shall I close with thanks my humble meal. And feel so well—Oh, God! how shall I feel!" {2}



LETTER IV.



. . . . . . . . . . . But cast your eyes again And view those errors which new sects maintain, Or which of old disturbed the Church's peaceful reign; And we can point each period of the time When they began and who begat the crime; Can calculate how long th' eclipse endured; Who interposed; what digits were obscured; Of all which are already passed away We knew the rise, the progress, and decay. DRYDEN, Hind and Panther

Oh, said the Hind, how many sons have you Who call you mother, whom you never knew! But most of them who that relation plead Are such ungracious youths as wish you dead; They gape at rich revenues which you hold, And fain would nibble at your grandame gold. ibid. ——————————

SECTS AND PROFESSIONS IN RELIGION.

Sects and Professions in Religion are numerous and successive— General effect of false Zeal—Deists—Fanatical Idea of Church Reformers—The Church of Rome—Baptists—Swedenborgians— Univerbalists—Jews—Methodists of two Kinds: Calvinistic and Arminian—The Preaching of a Calvinistic Enthusiast—His contempt of Learning—Dislike to sound Morality: why—His Ideas of Conversion— His Success and Pretensions to Humility. The Arminian Teacher of the older Flock—Their Notions of the operations and power of Satan- -Description of his Devices—Their opinion of regular Ministers— Comparison of these with the Preacher himself—A Rebuke to his Hearers; introduces a description of the powerful Effects of the Word in the early and awakening Days of Methodism.

"SECTS in Religion?"—Yes of every race We nurse some portion in our favour'd place; Not one warm preacher of one growing sect Can say our Borough treats him with neglect: Frequent as fashions they with us appear, And you might ask, "how think we for the year?" They come to us as riders in a trade, And with much art exhibit and persuade. Minds are for Sects of various kinds decreed, As diff'rent soils are formed for diff'rent seed; Some when converted sigh in sore amaze, And some are wrapt in joy's ecstatic blaze; Others again will change to each extreme, They know not why—as hurried in a dream; Unstable, they, like water, take all forms, Are quick and stagnant; have their calms and storms; High on the hills, they in the sunbeams glow, Then muddily they move debased and slow; Or cold and frozen rest, and neither rise nor flow. Yet none the cool and prudent Teacher prize. On him ther dote who wakes their ectasies; With passions ready primed such guide they meet, And warm and kindle with th' imparted heat; 'Tis he who wakes the nameless strong desire, The melting rapture and the glowing fire; 'Tis he who pierces deep the tortured breast, And stirs the terrors never more to rest. Opposed to these we have a prouder kind, Rash without heat, and without raptures blind; These our Glad Tidings unconcern'd peruse, Search without awe, and without fear refuse; The truths, the blessings found in Sacred Writ, Call forth their spleen, and exercise their wit; Respect from these nor saints nor martyrs gain, The zeal they scorn, and they deride the pain: And take their transient, cool, contemptuous view, Of that which must be tried, and doubtless may be true. Friends of our Faith we have, whom doubts like these, And keen remarks, and bold objections please; They grant such doubts have weaker minds oppress'd, Till sound conviction gave the troubled rest. "But still," they cry, "let none their censures spare. They but confirm the glorious hopes we share; From doubt, disdain, derision, scorn, and lies, With five-fold triumph sacred Truth shall rise." Yes! I allow, so Truth shall stand at last, And gain fresh glory by the conflict past: - As Solway-Moss (a barren mass and cold, Death to the seed, and poison to the fold), The smiling plain and fertile vale o'erlaid, Choked the green sod, and kill'd the springing blade; That, changed by culture, may in time be seen Enrich'd by golden grain and pasture green; And these fair acres rented and enjoy'd May those excel by Solway-Moss destroy'd. Still must have mourn'd the tenant of the day, For hopes destroy'd, and harvests swept away; To him the gain of future years unknown, The instant grief and suffering were his own: So must I grieve for many a wounded heart, Chill'd by those doubts which bolder minds impart: Truth in the end shall shine divinely clear, But sad the darkness till those times appear; Contests for truth, as wars for freedom, yield Glory and joy to those who gain the field: But still the Christian must in pity sigh For all who suffer, and uncertain die. Here are, who all the Church maintains approve, But yet the Church herself they will not love; In angry speech, they blame the carnal tie Which pure Religion lost her spirit by; What time from prisons, flames, and tortures led, She slumber'd careless in a royal bed; To make, they add, the Church's glory shine, Should Diocletian reign, not Constantine. "In pomp," they cry, "is "England's Church array'd, Her cool Reformers wrought like men afraid; We would have pull'd her gorgeous temples down, And spurn'd her mitre, and defiled her gown: We would have trodden low both bench and stall, Nor left a tithe remaining, great or small." Let us be serious—Should such trials come. Are they themselves prepared for martyrdom? It seems to us that our reformers knew Th' important work they undertook to do; An equal priesthood they were loth to try, Lest zeal and care should with ambition die; To them it seem'd that, take the tenth away, Yet priests must eat, and you must feed or pay: Would they indeed, who hold such pay in scorn, Put on the muzzle when they tread the corn? Would they all, gratis, watch and tend the fold, Nor take one fleece to keep them from the cold? Men are not equal, and 'tis meet and right That robes and titles our respect excite; Order requires it; 'tis by vulgar pride That such regard is censured and denied; Or by that false enthusiastic zeal, That thinks the Spirit will the priest reveal, And show to all men, by their powerful speech, Who are appointed and inspired to teach: Alas! could we the dangerous rule believe, Whom for their teacher should the crowd receive? Since all the varying kinds demand respect, All press you on to join their chosen sect, Although but in this single point agreed, "Desert your churches and adopt our creed." We know full well how much our forms offend The burthen'd Papist and the simple Friend: Him, who new robes for every service takes, And who in drab and beaver sighs and shakes; He on the priest, whom hood and band adorn, Looks with the sleepy eye of silent scorn; But him I would not for my friend and guide, Who views such things with spleen, or wears with pride. See next our several Sects,—but first behold The Church of Rome, who here is poor and old: Use not triumphant raillery, or, at least, Let not thy mother be a whore and beast; Great was her pride indeed in ancient times, Yet shall we think of nothing but her crimes? Exalted high above all earthly things, She placed her foot upon the neck of kings; But some have deeply since avenged the crown, And thrown her glory and her honours down; Nor neck nor ear can she of kings command, Nor place a foot upon her own fair land. Among her sons, with us a quiet few, Obscure themselves, her ancient state review, And fond and melancholy glances cast On power insulted, and on triumph past: They look, they can but look, with many a sigh, On sacred buildings doom'd in dust to lie; "On seats," they tell, "where priests mid tapers dim Breathed the warm prayer, or tuned the midnight hymn; Where trembling penitents their guilt confessed, Where want had succour, and contrition rest; There weary men from trouble found relief, There men in sorrow found repose from grief. To scenes like these the fainting soul retired; Revenge and anger in these cells expired; By Pity soothed, Remorse lost half her fears, And soften'd Pride dropp'd penitential tears. "Then convent walls and nunnery spires arose, In pleasant spots which monk or abbot chose; When counts and barons saints devoted fed, And making cheap exchange, had pray'r for bread. "Now all is lost, the earth where abbeys stood Is layman's land, the glebe, the stream, the wood: His oxen low where monks retired to eat, His cows repose upon the prior's seat: And wanton doves within the cloisters bill, Where the chaste votary warr'd with wanton will." Such is the change they mourn, but they restrain The rage of grief, and passively complain. We've Baptists old and new; forbear to ask What the distinction—I decline the task; This I perceive, that when a sect grows old, Converts are few, and the converted cold: First comes the hotbed heat, and while it glows The plants spring up, and each with vigour grows: Then comes the cooler day, and though awhile The verdure prospers and the blossoms smile, Yet poor the fruit, and form'd by long delay, Nor will the profits for the culture pay; The skilful gard'ner then no longer stops, But turns to other beds for bearing crops. Some Swedenborgians in our streets are found, Those wandering walkers on enchanted ground, Who in our world can other worlds survey, And speak with spirits though confin'd in clay: Of Bible-mysteries they the keys possess, Assured themselves, where wiser men but guess: 'Tis theirs to see around, about, above, - How spirits mingle thoughts, and angels move; Those whom our grosser views from us exclude, To them appear—a heavenly multitude; While the dark sayings, seal'd to men like us, Their priests interpret, and their flocks discuss. But while these gifted men, a favour'd fold, New powers exhibit and new worlds behold; Is there not danger lest their minds confound The pure above them with the gross around? May not these Phaetons, who thus contrive 'Twixt heaven above and earth beneath to drive, When from their flaming chariots they descend, The worlds they visit in their fancies blend? Alas! too sure on both they bring disgrace, Their earth is crazy, and their heaven is base. We have, it seems, who treat, and doubtless well, Of a chastising not awarding Hell; Who are assured that an offended God Will cease to use the thunder and the rod; A soul on earth, by crime and folly stain'd, When here corrected has improvement gain'd; In other state still more improved to grow, And nobler powers in happier world to know; New strength to use in each divine employ, And more enjoying, looking to more joy. A pleasing vision! could we thus be sure Polluted souls would be at length so pure; The view is happy, we may think it just, It may be true— but who shall add, it must? To the plain words and sense of Sacred Writ, With all my heart I reverently submit; But where it leaves me doubtful, I'm afraid To call conjecture to my reason's aid; Thy thoughts, thy ways, great God! are not as mine, And to thy mercy I my soul resign. Jews are with us, but far unlike to those, Who, led by David, warr'd with Israels foes; Unlike to those whom his imperial son Taught truths divine—the Preacher Solomon; Nor war nor wisdom yield our Jews delight; They will not study, and they dare not fight. These are, with us, a slavish, knavish crew, Shame and dishonour to the name of Jew; The poorest masters of the meanest arts, With cunning heads, and cold and cautious hearts; They grope their dirty way to petty gains, While poorly paid for their nefarious pains. Amazing race! deprived of land and laws, A general language and a public cause; With a religion none can now obey, With a reproach that none can take away: A people still, whose common ties are gone; Who, mix'd with every race, are lost in none. What said their Prophet?—"Shouldst thou disobey, The Lord shall take thee from thy land away; Thou shalt a by-word and a proverb be, And all shall wonder at thy woes and thee; Daughter and son, shalt thou, while captive, have, And see them made the bond-maid and the slave; He, whom thou leav'st, the Lord thy God, shall bring War to thy country on an eagle-wing. A people strong and dreadful to behold, Stern to the young, remorseless to the old; Masters whose speech thou canst not understand By cruel signs shall give the harsh command: Doubtful of life shalt thou by night, by day, For grief, and dread, and trouble pine away; Thy evening wish,—Would God I saw the sun Thy morning sigh,—Would God the day were done! Thus shalt thou suffer, and to distant times Regret thy misery, and lament thy crimes." A part there are, whom doubtless man might trust, Worthy as wealthy, pure, religious, just; They who with patience, yet with rapture, look On the strong promise of the Sacred Book: As unfulfill'd th' endearing words they view, And blind to truth, yet own their prophets true; Well pleased they look for Sion's coming state, Nor think of Julian's boast and Julian's fate. More might I add: I might describe the flocks Made by Seceders from the ancient stocks; Those who will not to any guide submit, Nor find one creed to their conceptions fit - Each sect, they judge, in something goes astray, And every church has lost the certain way! Then for themselves they carve out creed and laws, And weigh their atoms, and divide their straws. A Sect remains, which, though divided long In hostile parties, both are fierce and strong, And into each enlists a warm and zealous throng. Soon as they rose in fame, the strife arose, The Calvinistic these, th' Arminian those; With Wesley some remain'd, the remnant Whitfield chose. Now various leaders both the parties take, And the divided hosts their new divisions make. See yonder Preacher! to his people pass, Borne up and swell'd by tabernacle-gas: Much he discourses, and of various points, All unconnected, void of limbs and joints; He rails, persuades, explains, and moves the will By fierce bold words, and strong mechanic skill. "That Gospel, Paul with zeal and love maintain'd, To others lost, to you is now explain'd; No worldly learning can these points discuss, Books teach them not as they are taught to us. Illiterate call us!—let their wisest man Draw forth his thousands as your Teacher can: They give their moral precepts: so, they say, Did Epictetus once, and Seneca; One was a slave, and slaves we all must be, Until the Spirit comes and sets us free. Yet hear you nothing from such man but works; They make the Christian service like the Turks. "Hark to the Churchman: day by day he cries, 'Children of Men, be virtuous and be wise: Seek patience, justice, temp'rance, meekness, truth; In age be courteous, be sedate in youth.' - So they advise, and when such things be read, How can we wonder that their flocks are dead? The Heathens wrote of Virtue: they could dwell On such light points: in them it might be well; They might for virtue strive; but I maintain, Our strife for virtue would be proud and vain. When Samson carried Gaza's gates so far, Lack'd he a helping hand to bear the bar? Thus the most virtuous must in bondage groan: Samson is grace, and carries all alone. "Hear you not priests their feeble spirits spend, In bidding Sinners turn to God, and mend; To check their passions and to walk aright, To run the Race, and fight the glorious Fight? Nay more—to pray, to study, to improve, To grow in goodness, to advance in love? "Oh! Babes and Sucklings, dull of heart and slow, Can Grace be gradual? Can Conversion grow? The work is done by instantaneous call; Converts at once are made, or not at all; Nothing is left to grow, reform, amend, The first emotion is the Movement's end: If once forgiven, Debt can be no more; If once adopted, will the heir be poor? The man who gains the twenty-thousand prize, Does he by little and by little rise? There can no fortune for the Soul be made, By peddling cares and savings in her trade. "Why are our sins forgiven?—Priests reply, - Because by Faith on Mercy we rely; 'Because, believing, we repent and pray.' Is this their doctrine?—then they go astray; We're pardon'd neither for belief nor deed, For faith nor practice, principle nor creed; Nor for our sorrow for our former sin, Nor for our fears when better thoughts begin; Nor prayers nor penance in the cause avail, All strong remorse, all soft contrition fail: It is the Call! till that proclaims us free, In darkness, doubt, and bondage we must be; Till that assures us, we've in vain endured, And all is over when we're once assured. "This is Conversion: —First there comes a cry Which utters, 'Sinner, thou'rt condemned to die;' Then the struck soul to every aid repairs, To church and altar, ministers and prayers; In vain she strives,—involved, ingulf'd in sin, She looks for hell, and seems already in: When in this travail, the New Birth comes on, And in an instant every pang is gone; The mighty work is done without our pains, - Claim but a part, and not a part remains. "All this experience tells the Soul, and yet These moral men their pence and farthings set Against the terrors of the countless Debt; But such compounders, when they come to jail, Will find that Virtues never serve as bail. "So much to duties: now to Learning look, And see their priesthood piling book on book; Yea, books of infidels, we're told, and plays, Put out by heathens in the wink'd-on days; The very letters are of crooked kind, And show the strange perverseness of their mind. Have I this Learning? When the Lord would speak; Think ye he needs the Latin or the Greek? And lo! with all their learning, when they rise To preach, in view the ready sermon lies; Some low-prized stuff they purchased at the stalls, And more like Seneca's than mine or Paul's: Children of Bondage, how should they explain The Spirit's freedom, while they wear a chain? They study words, for meanings grow perplex d, And slowly hunt for truth from text to text, Through Greek and Hebrew: —we the meaning seek Of that within, who every tongue can speak: This all can witness; yet the more I know, The more a meek and humble mind I show. "No; let the Pope, the high and mighty priest, Lord to the poor, and servant to the Beast; Let bishops, deans, and prebendaries swell With pride and fatness till their hearts rebel: I'm meek and modest: —if I could be proud, This crowded meeting, lo! th' amazing crowd! Your mute attention, and your meek respect, My spirit's fervour, and my words' effect, Might stir th' unguarded soul; and oft to me The Tempter speaks, whom I compel to flee; He goes in fear, for he my force has tried, - Such is my power! but can you call it pride? "No, Fellow-Pilgrims! of the things I've shown I might be proud, were they indeed my own! But they are lent: and well you know the source Of all that's mine, and must confide of course: Mine! no, I err; 'tis but consigned to me, And I am nought but steward and trustee."

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FAR other Doctrines yon Arminian speaks; "Seek Grace," he cries, "for he shall find who seeks." This is the ancient stock by Wesley led; They the pure body, he the reverend head: All innovation they with dread decline, Their John the elder was the John divine. Hence, still their moving prayer, the melting hymn, The varied accent, and the active limb: Hence that implicit faith in Satan's might, And their own matchless prowess in the fight. In every act they see that lurking foe, Let loose awhile, about the world to go; A dragon flying round the earth, to kill The heavenly hope, and prompt the carnal will; Whom sainted knights attack in sinners' cause, And force the wounded victim from his paws; Who but for them would man's whole race subdue, For not a hireling will the foe pursue. "Show me one Churchman who will rise and pray Through half the night, though lab'ring all the day, Always abounding—show me him, I say:" - Thus cries the Preacher, and he adds, "Their sheep Satan devours at leisure as they sleep. Not so with us; we drive him from the fold, For ever barking and for ever bold: While they securely slumber, all his schemes Take full effect,—the Devil never dreams: Watchful and changeful through the world he goes, And few can trace this deadliest of their foes; But I detect, and at his work surprise The subtle Serpent under all disguise. "Thus to Man's soul the Foe of Souls will speak, - 'A Saint elect, you can have nought to seek; Why all this labour in so plain a case, Such care to run, when certain of the race?' All this he urges to the carnal will, He knows you're slothful, and would have you still: Be this your answer,—'Satan, I will keep Still on the watch till you are laid asleep.' Thus too the Christian's progress he'll retard: - 'The gates of mercy are for ever barr'd; And that with bolts so driven and so stout, Ten thousand workmen cannot wrench them out.' To this deceit you have but one reply, - Give to the Father of all Lies the lie. "A Sister's weakness he'll by fits surprise, His her wild laughter, his her piteous cries; And should a pastor at her side attend, He'll use her organs to abuse her friend: These are possessions—unbelieving wits Impute them all to Nature: 'They're her fits, Caused by commotions in tne nerves and brains;' - Vain talk! but they'll be fitted for their pains. "These are in part the ills the Foe has wrought, And these the Churchman thinks not worth his thought; They bid the troubled try for peace and rest, Compose their minds, and be no more distress'd; As well might they command the passive shore To keep secure, and be o'erflow'd no more; To the wrong subject is their skill applied, - To act like workmen, they should stem the tide. "These are the Church-Physicians: they are paid With noble fees for their advice and aid; Yet know they not the inward pulse to feel, To ease the anguish, or the wound to heal. With the sick Sinner, thus their work begins: 'Do you repent you of your former sins? Will you amend if you revive and live? And, pardon seeking, will you pardon give? Have you belief in what your Lord has done, And are you thankful?—all is well my son.' "A way far different ours—we thus surprise A soul with questions, and demand replies: 'How dropp'd you first,' I ask, 'the legal Yoke? What the first word the living Witness spoke? Perceived you thunders roar and lightnings shine, And tempests gathering ere the Birth divine? Did fire, and storm, and earthquake all appear Before that still small voice, What dost thou here? Hast thou by day and night, and soon and late, Waited and watch'd before Admission-gate; And so a pilgrim and a soldier pass'd To Sion's hill through battle and through blast? Then in thy way didst thou thy foe attack, And mad'st thou proud Apollyon turn his back?' "Heart-searching things are these, and shake the mind, Yea, like the rustling of a mighty wind. "Thus would I ask: 'Nay, let me question now, How sink my sayings in your bosoms? how? Feel you a quickening? drops the subject deep? Stupid and stony, no! you're all asleep; Listless and lazy, waiting for a close, As if at church;—do I allow repose? Am I a legal minister? do I With form or rubric, rule or rite comply? Then whence this quiet, tell me, I beseech? One might believe you heard your Rector preach, Or his assistant dreamer: —Oh! return, Ye times of burning, when the heart would burn; Now hearts are ice, and you, my freezing fold, Have spirits sunk and sad, and bosoms stony-cold. "Oh! now again for those prevailing powers, Which, once began this mighty work of ours; When the wide field, God's Temple, was the place, And birds flew by to catch a breath of grace; When 'mid his timid friends and threat'ning foes, Our zealous chief as Paul at Athens rose: When with infernal spite and knotty clubs The Ill-One arm'd his scoundrels and his scrubs; And there were flying all around the spot Brands at the Preacher, but they touch'd him not: Stakes brought to smite him, threaten'd in his cause, And tongues, attuned to curses, roar'd applause; Louder and louder grew his awful tones, Sobbing and sighs were heard, and rueful groans; Soft women fainted, prouder man express'd Wonder and woe, and butchers smote the breast; Eyes wept, ears tingled; stiff'ning on each head, The hair drew back, and Satan howl'd and fled. "In that soft season when the gentle breeze Rises all round, and swells by slow degrees; Till tempests gather, when through all the sky The thunders rattle, and the lightnings fly; When rain in torrents wood and vale deform, And all is horror, hurricane, and storm: "So, when the Preacher in that glorious time, Than clouds more melting, more than storm sublime, Dropp'd the new Word, there came a charm around; Tremors and terrors rose upon the sound; The stubborn spirits by his force he broke, As the fork'd lightning rives the knotted oak: Fear, hope, dismay, all signs of shame or grace, Chain'd every foot, or featured every face; Then took his sacred trump a louder swell, And now they groan'd, they sicken'd, and they fell; Again he sounded, and we heard the cry Of the Word-wounded, as about to die; Further and further spread the conquering word, As loud he cried—'The Battle of the Lord.' E'en those apart who were the sound denied, Fell down instinctive, and in spirit died. Nor stay'd he yet—his eye, his frown, his speech, His very gesture, had a power to teach: With outstretch'd arms, strong voice, and piercing call, He won the field, and made the Dagons fall; And thus in triumph took his glorious way, Through scenes of horror, terror, and dismay."



LETTER V.



Say then which class to greater folly stoop, The great in promise, or the poor in hope?

Be brave, for your leader is brave, and vows reformation; there shall be in England seven halfpenny loaves sold for a penny; and the three-hooped pot shall have ten hoops. I will make it felony to drink small beer: all shall eat and drink on my score, and I will apparel them all in one livery,that they may agree like brothers; and they shall all worship me as their lord. SHAKSPEARE, Henry VI.

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THE ELECTION.

The Evils of the Contest, and how in part to be avoided—The Miseries endured by a Friend of the Candidate—The various Liberties taken with him who has no Personal Interest in the Success—The unreasonable Expectations of Voters—The Censures of the opposing Party—The Vices as well as Follies shown in such Time of Contest— Plans and Cunning of Electors—Evils which remain after the Decision, opposed in vain by the Efforts of the Friendly, and of the Successful; among whom is the Mayor—Story of his Advancement till he was raised to the Government of the Borough—These Evils not to be placed in Balance with the Liberty of the People, but are yet Subjects of just Complaint.

YES, our Election's past, and we've been free, Somewhat as madmen without keepers be; And such desire of Freedom has been shown, That both the parties wish'd her all their own: All our free smiths and cobblers in the town Were loth to lay such pleasant freedom down; To put the bludgeon and cockade aside, And let us pass unhurt and undefied. True! you might then your party's sign produce, And so escape with only half th' abuse: With half the danger as you walk'd along, With rage and threat'ning but from half the throng. This you might do, and not your fortune mend, For where you lost a foe you gain'd a friend; And to distress you, vex you, and expose, Election-friends are worse than any foes; The party-curse is with the canvass past, But party-friendship, for jour grief, will last. Friends of all kinds; the civil and the rude, Who humbly wish, or boldly dare t'intrude: These beg or take a liberty to come (Friends should be free), and make your house their home; They know that warmly you their cause espouse, And come to make their boastings and their bows; You scorn their manners, you their words mistrust, But you must hear them, and they know you must. One plainly sees a friendship firm and true, Between the noble candidate and you; So humbly begs (and states at large the case), "You'll think of Bobby and the little place." Stifling his shame by drink, a wretch will come, And prate your wife and daughter from the room: In pain you hear him, and at heart despise, Yet with heroic mind your pangs disguise; And still in patience to the sot attend, To show what man can bear to serve a friend. One enters hungry—not to be denied, And takes his place and jokes—"We're of a side." Yet worse, the proser who, upon the strength Of his one vote, has tales of three hours' length; This sorry rogue you bear, yet with surprise Start at his oaths, and sicken at his lies. Then comes there one, and tells in friendly way What the opponents in their anger say; All that through life has vex'd you, all abuse, Will this kind friend in pure regard produce; And having through your own offences run, Adds (as appendage) what your friends have done, Has any female cousin made a trip To Gretna Green, or more vexatious slip? Has your wife's brother, or your uncle's son, Done aught amiss, or is he thought t'have done? Is there of all your kindred some who lack Vision direct, or have a gibbous back? From your unlucky name may quips and puns Be made by these upbraiding Goths and Huns? To some great public character have you Assigned the fame to worth and talents due, Proud of your praise?—In this, in any case, Where the brute-spirit may affix disgrace, These friends will smiling bring it, and the while You silent sit, and practise for a smile. Vain of their power, and of their value sure, They nearly guess the tortures you endure; Nor spare one pang—for they perceive your heart Goes with the cause; you'd die before you'd start; Do what they may, they're sure you'll not offend Men who have pledged their honours to your friend. Those friends indeed, who start as in a race, May love the sport, and laugh at this disgrace; They have in view the glory and the prize, Nor heed the dirty steps by which they rise: But we their poor associates lose the fame, Though more than partners in the toil and shame. Were this the whole; and did the time produce But shame and toil, but riot and abuse; We might be then from serious griefs exempt, And view the whole with pity and contempt. Alas! but here the vilest passions rule; It is Seduction's, is Temptation's school; Where vices mingle in the oddest ways, The grossest slander and the dirtiest praise; Flattery enough to make the vainest sick, And clumsy stratagem, and scoundrel trick: Nay more, your anger and contempt to cause, These, while they fish for profit, claim applause; Bribed, bought, and bound, they banish shame and fear; Tell you they're staunch, and have a soul sincere; Then talk of honour, and, if doubt's express'd, Show where it lies, and smite upon the breast. Among these worthies, some at first declare For whom they vote: he then has most to spare; Others hang off—when coming to the post Is spurring time, and then he'll spare the most: While some demurring, wait, and find at last The bidding languish, and the market past; These will affect all bribery to condemn, And be it Satan laughs, he laughs at them. Some too are pious—One desired the Lord To teach him where "to drop his little word; To lend his vote where it will profit best; Promotion came not from the east or west; But as their freedom had promoted some, He should be glad to know which way 'twould come. It was a naughty world, and where to sell His precious charge, was more than he could tell." "But you succeeded?"—True, at mighty cost, And our good friend, I fear, will think he's lost: Inns, horses, chaises, dinners, balls, and notes; What fill'd their purses, and what drench'd their throats; The private pension, and indulgent lease, - Have all been granted to these friends who fleece; Friends who will hang like burs upon his coat, And boundless judge the value of a vote. And though the terrors of the time be pass'd, There still remain the scatterings of the blast; The boughs are parted that entwined before, And ancient harmony exists no more; The gusts of wrath our peaceful seats deform, And sadly flows the sighing of the storm: Those who have gain'd are sorry for the gloom, But they who lost, unwilling peace should come; There open envy, here suppress'd delight, Yet live till time shall better thoughts excite, And so prepare us, by a six-years' truce, Again for riot, insult, and abuse. Our worthy Mayor, on the victorious part, Cries out for peace, and cries with all his heart; He, civil creature! ever does his best To banish wrath from every voter's breast; "For where," says he, with reason strong and plain, "Where is the profit? what will anger gain?" His short stout person he is wont to brace In good brown broad-cloth, edg'd with two-inch lace, When in his seat; and still the coat seems new, Preserved by common use of seaman's blue. He was a fisher from his earliest day, And placed his nets within the Borough's bay; Where, by his skates, his herrings, and his soles, He lived, nor dream'd of Corporation-Doles; But toiling saved, and saving, never ceased Till he had box'd up twelvescore pounds at least: He knew not money's power, but judged it best Safe in his trunk to let his treasure rest; Yet to a friend complain'd: "Sad charge, to keep So many pounds; and then I cannot sleep:" "Then put it out," replied the friend: —"What, give My money up? why then I could not live:" "Nay, but for interest place it in his hands Who'll give you mortgage on his house or lands." "Oh but," said Daniel, "that's a dangerous plan; He may be robb'd like any other man:" "Still he is bound, and you may be at rest, More safe the money than within your chest; And you'll receive, from all deductions clear, Five pounds for every hundred, every year." "What good in that?" quoth Daniel, "for 'tis plain, If part I take, there can but part remain:" "What! you, my friend, so skill'd in gainful things, Have you to learn what Interest money brings?" "Not so," said Daniel, "perfectly I know, He's the most interest who has most to show." "True! and he'll show the more the more he lends; Thus he his weight and consequence extends; For they who borrow must restore each sum, And pay for use. What, Daniel, art thou dumb?" For much amazed was that good man.—"Indeed!" Said he with gladd'ning eye, "will money breed? How have I lived ? I grieve, with all my heart, For my late knowledge in this precious art: - Five pounds for every hundred will he give? And then the hundred?—I begin to live." - So he began, and other means he found, As he went on, to multiply a pound: Though blind so long to Interest, all allow That no man better understands it now: Him in our Body-Corporate we chose, And once among us, he above us rose; Stepping from post to post, he reach'd the Chair, And there he now reposes—that's the Mayor. But 'tis not he, 'tis not the kinder few, The mild, the good, who can our peace renew; A peevish humour swells in every eye, The warm are angry, and the cool are shy; There is no more the social board at whist, The good old partners are with scorn dismiss'd; No more with dog and lantern comes the maid, To guide the mistress when the rubber's play'd; Sad shifts are made lest ribands blue and green Should at one table, at one time, be seen: On care and merit none will now rely, 'Tis Party sells what party-friends must buy; The warmest burgess wears a bodger's coat, And fashion gains less int'rest than a vote; Uncheck'd the vintner still his poison vends, For he too votes, and can command his friends. But this admitted; be it still agreed, These ill effects from noble cause proceed; Though like some vile excrescences they be, The tree they spring from is a sacred tree, And its true produce, Strength and Liberty. Yet if we could th' attendant ills suppress, If we could make the sum of mischief less; If we could warm and angry men persuade No more man's common comforts to invade; And that old ease and harmony re-seat, In all our meetings, so in joy to meet; Much would of glory to the Muse ensue, And our good Vicar would have less to do.



LETTER VI.



Quid leges sine moribus Vanae proficiunt? HORACE.

Vae! misero mihi, mea nunc facinora Aperiuntur, clam quae speravi fore. MANILIUS.

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Trades and Professions of every kind to be found in the Borough—Its Seamen and Soldiers—Law, the Danger of the Subject—Coddrington's Offence—Attorneys increased; their splendid Appearance, how supported—Some worthy Exceptions—Spirit of Litigation, how stirred up—A Boy articled as a Clerk; his Ideas—How this Profession perverts the Judgement—Actions appear through this medium in a false Light—Success from honest Application—Archer, a worthy Character—Swallow, a character of a different kind—His Origin, Progress, Success &c.

PROFESSIONS—LAW.

"TRADES and Professions"—these are themes the Muse, Left to her freedom, would forbear to choose; But to our Borough they in truth belong, And we, perforce, must take them in our song. Be it then known that we can boast of these In all denominations, ranks, degrees; All who our numerous wants through life supply, Who soothe us sick, attend us when we die, Or for the dead their various talents try. Then have we those who live by secret arts, By hunting fortunes, and by stealing hearts; Or who by nobler means themselves advance, Or who subsist by charity and chance. Say, of our native heroes shall I boast, Born in our streets, to thunder on our coast, Our Borough-seamen? Could the timid Muse More patriot ardour in their breasts infuse; Or could she paint their merit or their skill, She wants not love, alacrity, or will: But needless all; that ardour is their own, And for their deeds, themselves have made them known. Soldiers in arms! Defenders of our soil! Who from destruction save us; who from spoil Protect the sons of peace, who traffic, or who toil; Would I could duly praise you; that each deed Your foes might honour, and your friends might read: This too is needless; you've imprinted well Your powers, and told what I should feebly tell: Beside, a Muse like mine, to satire prone, Would fail in themes where there is praise alone. - Law shall I sing, or what to Law belongs? Alas! there may be danger in such songs; A foolish rhyme, 'tis said, a trifling thing, The law found treason, for it touch'd the King. But kings have mercy, in these happy times. Or surely One had suffered for his rhymes; Our glorious Edwards and our Henrys bold, So touch'd, had kept the reprobate in hold; But he escap'd,—nor fear, thank Heav'n, have I, Who love my king, for such offence to die. But I am taught the danger would be much, If these poor lines should one attorney touch - (One of those Limbs of Law who're always here; The Heads come down to guide them twice a year.) I might not swing, indeed, but he in sport Would whip a rhymer on from court to court; Stop him in each, and make him pay for all The long proceedings in that dreaded Hall: - Then let my numbers flow discreetly on, Warn'd by the fate of luckless Coddrington, {3} Lest some attorney (pardon me the name) Should wound a poor solicitor for fame. One Man of Law in George the Second's reign Was all our frugal fathers would maintain; He too was kept for forms; a man of peace, To frame a contract, or to draw a lease: He had a clerk, with whom he used to write All the day long, with whom he drank at night, Spare was his visage, moderate his bill, And he so kind, men doubted of his skill. Who thinks of this, with some amazement sees, For one so poor, three flourishing at ease; Nay, one in splendour! see that mansion tall, That lofty door, the far-resounding hall; Well-furnish'd rooms, plate shining on the board, Gay liveried lads, and cellar proudly stored: Then say how comes it that such fortunes crown These sons of strife, these terrors of the town? Lo! that small Office! there th' incautious guest Goes blindfold in, and that maintains the rest; There in his web, th' observant spider lies, And peers about for fat intruding flies; Doubtful at first, he hears the distant hum, And feels them fluttering as they nearer come; They buzz and blink, and doubtfully they tread On the strong bird-lime of the utmost thread; But when they're once entangled by the gin, With what an eager clasp he draws them in; Nor shall they 'scape, till after long delay, And all that sweetens life is drawn away. "Nay, this," you cry, "is common-place, the tale Of petty tradesmen o'er their evening ale; There are who, living by the legal pen, Are held in honour,—'Honourable men'" Doubtless—there are who hold manorial courts, Or whom the trust of powerful friends supports, Or who, by labouring through a length of time, Have pick'd their way, unsullied by a crime. These are the few: in this, in every place, Fix the litigious rupture-stirring race; Who to contention as to trade are led, To whom dispute and strife are bliss and bread. There is a doubtful Pauper, and we think 'Tis not with us to give him meat and drink; There is a Child; and 'tis not mighty clear Whether the mother lived with us a year: A Road's indicted, and our seniors doubt If in our proper boundary or without: But what says our attorney? He, our friend, Tells us 'tis just and manly to contend. "What! to a neighbouring parish yield your cause, While you have money, and the nation laws? What! lose without a trial, that which, tried, May—nay it must—be given on our side? All men of spirit would contend; such men Than lose a pound would rather hazard ten. What! be imposed on? No! a British soul Despises imposition, hates control: The law is open; let them, if they dare, Support their cause; the Borough need not spare. All I advise is vigour and good-will: Is it agreed then—Shall I file a bill?" The trader, grazier, merchant, priest, and all, Whose sons aspiring, to professions call, Choose from their lads some bold and subtle boy, And judge him fitted for this grave employ: Him a keen old practitioner admits, To write five years and exercise his wits: The youth has heard—it is in fact his creed - Mankind dispute, that Lawyers may be fee'd: Jails, bailiffs, writs, all terms and threats of Law, Grow now familiar as once top and taw; Rage, hatred, fear, the mind's severer ills, All bring employment, all augment his bills: As feels the surgeon for the mangled limb, The mangled mind is but a job for him; Thus taught to think, these legal reasoners draw Morals and maxims from their views of Law; They cease to judge by precepts taught in schools, By man's plain sense, or by religious rules; No! nor by law itself, in truth discern'd, But as its statutes may be warp'd and turn'd: How they should judge of man, his word and deed, They in their books and not their bosoms read: Of some good act you speak with just applause; "No, no!" says he, "'twould be a losing cause: Blame you some tyrant's deed?—he answers "Nay, He'll get a verdict; heed you what you say." Thus to conclusions from examples led, The heart resigns all judgment to the head; Law, law alone for ever kept in view, His measures guides, and rules his conscience too; Of ten commandments, he confesses three Are yet in force, and tells you which they be, As Law instructs him, thus: "Your neighbour's wife You must not take, his chattles, nor his life; Break these decrees, for damage you must pay; These you must reverence, and the rest—you may." Law was design'd to keep a state in peace; To punish robbery, that wrong might cease; To be impregnable: a constant fort, To which the weak and injured might resort: But these perverted minds its force employ, Not to protect mankind, but to annoy; And long as ammunition can be found, Its lightning flashes and its thunders sound. Or Law with lawyers is an ample still, Wrought by the passions' heat with chymic skill: While the fire burns, the gains are quickly made, And freely flow the profits of the trade; Nay, when the fierceness fails, these artists blow The dying fire, and make the embers glow, As long as they can make the smaller profits flow: At length the process of itself will stop, When they perceive they've drawn out every drop. Yet, I repeat, there are who nobly strive To keep the sense of moral worth alive; Men who would starve, ere meanly deign to live On what deception and chican'ry give; And these at length succeed; they have their strife, Their apprehensions, stops, and rubs in life; But honour, application, care, and skill, Shall bend opposing fortune to their will. Of such is Archer, he who keeps in awe Contending parties by his threats of law: He, roughly honest, has been long a guide In Borough-business, on the conquering side; And seen so much of both sides, and so long, He thinks the bias of man's mind goes wrong: Thus, though he's friendly, he is still severe, Surly, though kind, suspiciously sincere: So much he's seen of baseness in the mind, That, while a friend to man, he scorns mankind; He knows the human heart, and sees with dread, By slight temptation, how the strong are led; He knows how interest can asunder rend The bond of parent, master, guardian, friend, To form a new and a degrading tie 'Twixt needy vice and tempting villainy. Sound in himself, yet when such flaws appear, He doubts of all, and learns that self to fear: For where so dark the moral view is grown, A timid conscience trembles for her own; The pitchy-taint of general vice is such As daubs the fancy, and you dread the touch. Far unlike him was one in former times, Famed for the spoil he gather'd by his crimes; Who, while his brethren nibbling held their prey, He like an eagle seized and bore the whole away. Swallow, a poor Attorney, brought his boy Up at his desk, and gave him his employ; He would have bound him to an honest trade, Could preparations have been duly made. The clerkship ended, both the sire and son Together did what business could be done; Sometimes they'd luck to stir up small disputes Among their friends, and raise them into suits: Though close and hard, the father was content With this resource, now old and indolent: But his young Swallow, gaping and alive To fiercer feelings, was resolved to thrive: - "Father," he said, "but little can they win, Who hunt in couples where the game is thin; Let's part in peace, and each pursue his gain, Where it may start—our love may yet remain." The parent growl'd, he couldn't think that love Made the young cockatrice his den remove; But, taught by habit, he the truth suppress "d, Forced a frank look, and said he "thought it best." Not long they'd parted ere dispute arose; The game they hunted quickly made them foes. Some house the father by his art had won Seem'd a fit cause of contest to the son, Who raised a claimant, and then found a way By a staunch witness to secure his prey. The people cursed him, but in times of need Trusted in one so certain to succeed: By Law's dark by-ways he had stored his mind

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