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And some perhaps who, busy as they are, Yet make their progeny their dearest care (Whose hearts will ache, once told what ills may

reach Their offspring, left upon so wild a beach), Will need no stress of argument to' enforce The' expedience of a less adventurous course : The rest will slight thy counsel, or condemn; But they have human feelings-turn to them.

To you then, tenant's of life's middle state, Securely placed between the small and great, Whose character, yet undebauch’d, retains Two-thirds of all the virtue that remains, Who,wise yourselves, desire your son should learn Your wisdom and your ways—to you I turn. Look round you on a world perversely blind: See what contempt is fallen on humankind; See wealth abused, and dignities misplaced, Great titles, offices, and trusts disgraced, Long lines of ancestry, renown'd of old, Their noble qualities all quench'd and cold; See Bedlam's closeted and handcuff'd charge Surpass'd in frenzy by the mad at large; See great commanders making war a trade, Great lawyers, lawyers without study made; Churchmen, in whose esteem their best employ Is odious, and their wages all their joy, Who, far enough from furnishing their shelves With Gospel lore, turn infidels themselves; See womanhood despised, and manhood shamed With infamy too nauseous to be named, Fops at all corners, ladylike in mien, Civeted fellows, smelt ere they are seen,

Else coarse and rude in manners, and their tongue On fire with curses, and with nonsense hung, Now flush'd with drunkenness, now with whore

dom pale, Their breath a sample of last night's regale: See volunteers in all the vilest arts, Man well endow'd, of honourable parts, Design’d by Nature wise, but self-made fools; All these, and more like these, were bred at

schools. And if it chance, as sometimes chance it will, That though school-bred the boy be virtuous still; Such rare exceptions, shining in the dark, Prove, rather than impeach, the just remark: As here and there a twinkling star descried Serves but to show how black is all beside. Now look on him, whose very voice in tone Just echoes thine, whose features are thine own, And stroke his polish'd cheek of purest red, And lay thine hand upon his flaxen head, And say, My boy, the’unwelcome hour is come, When thou, transplanted from thy genial home, Must find a colder soil and bleaker air, And trust for safety to a stranger's care; What character, what turn thou wilt assume From constant converse with I know not whom ; Who there will court thy friendship, with what

views, And, artless as thou art, whom thou wilt choose; Though much depends on what thy choice shall be, Is all chance medley, and unknown to me. Canst thou, the tear just trembling on thy lids, And while the dreadful risk foreseen forbids;

Free too, and under no constraining force,
Unless the sway of custom warp thy course;
Lay such a stake upon the losing side,
Merely to gratify so blind a guide ?
Thou canst not! Nature, pulling at thine heart,
Condemns the' unfatherly, the’ imprudent part.
Thou wouldst not, deaf to Nature's tenderest plea,
Turn him adrift upon a rolling sea,
Nor say, Go thither, conscious that there lay
A brood of asps or quicksands in his way;
Then, only govern'd by the selfsame rule
Of natural pity, send him not to school.
No-guard him better. Is he not thine own,
Thyself in miniature, thy flesh, thy bone?
And hopest thou not ('tis every father's hope),
That, since thy strength must with thy years elope,
And thou wilt need some comfort to assuage
Health's last farewell, a staff of thine old age,
That then, in recompense of all thy cares,
Thy child shall show respect to thy gray hairs,
Befriend thee, of all other friends bereft,
And give thy life its only cordial left?
Aware then how much danger intervenes,
To compass that good end, forecast the means.
His heart, now passive, yields to thy command;
Secure it thine, its key is in thine hand.
If thou desert thy charge, and throw it wide,
Nor heed what guests there enter and abide,
Complain not if attachments lewd and base
Supplant thee in it, and usurp thy place.
But if thou guard its sacred chambers sure
From vicious inmates and delights impure,
Either his gratitude shall hold him fast,
And keep him warm and filial to the last;

· Or if he prove unkind (as who can say

But being man, and therefore frail, he may ?) One comfort yet shall cheer thine aged heart, Howe'er he slight thee, thou hast done thy part.

O barbarous ! wouldst thou with a gothic hand Pull down the schools-what!-all the schools

in the land; Or throw them up to livery nags and grooms, Or turn them into shops and auction rooms? A captious question, sir (and yours is one), Deserves an answer similar, or none. Wouldst thou, possessor of a flock, employ (Apprised that he is such) a careless boy, And feed him well, and give him handsome pay, Merely to sleep, and let them run astray ?

Survey our schools and colleges, and see · A sight not much unlike my simile. From education, as the leading cause, The public character its colour draws; Thence the prevailing manners take their cast, Extravagant or sober, loose or chaste. And though I would not advertise them yet, Nor write on each— This building to be let, Unless the world were all prepared to embrace A plan well worthy to supply their place; Yet, backward as they are, and long have been, To cultivate and keep the MORALS clean (Forgive the crime), I wish them, I confess, Or better managed, or encouraged less.

VERSES

SUPPOSED TO BE WRITTEN BY

ALEXANDER SELKIRK,
DURING HIS SOLITARY ABODE ON THE ISLAND OF JUAN

FERNANDEZ.
I AM monarch of all I survey,

My right there is none to dispute;
From the centre all round to the sea,

I am lord of the fowl and the brute. O Solitude! where are the charms,

That sages have seen in thy face? Better dwell in the midst of alarms

Than reign in this horrible place. I am out of humanity's reach,

I must finish my journey alone, Never hear the sweet music of speech;

I start at the sound of my own. The beasts that roam over the plain,

My form with indifference see; They are so unacquainted with man,

Their tameness is shocking to me. Society, friendship, and love,

Divinely bestow'd upon man, 0, had I the wings of a dove,

How soon would I taste you again! My sorrows I then might assuage

In the ways of religion and truth, Might learn from the wisdom of age,

And he cheer'd by the sallies of youth. Religion ! what treasure untold

Resides in that heavenly word! More precious than silver and gold,

Or all that this earth can afford.

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