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ARGUMENT OF THE THIRD BOOK.
Self-recollection, and reproof-Address to domestick
happiness-Some account of myself—The vanity of many of their pursuits, who are reputed wise-Justification of my censures-Divine illumination neces sary to the most expert philosopher. The question, What is truth? answered by other questions-Domestick happiness addressed again-Few lovers of the country-My tame hare-Occupations of a retired gentleman in his garden-Pruning-FramingGreenhouse-Sowing of flower seeds—The country preferable to the town even in the winter-Reasons why it is deserted at that season-Ruinous effects of gaming and of expensive improvementBook concludes with an apostrophe to the metropolis.
AS ONE, who long in thickets and in brakes Entangled, winds now this way and now that His devious course uncertain, seeking home : Or, having long in miry ways been foil'd And sore discomfited, from slough to slough Plunging, and half despairing of escape ; If chance at length he find a greensward smooth And faithful to the foot, his spirits rise, He cherups brisk his ear erecting steed, And winds his way with pleasure and with ease! So I, designing other themes, and call'd To adorn the Sofa with eulogium due, To tell its slumbers, and to paint its dreams, Have rambled wide. In country, city, seat Of academick fame, (howe'er deservid,) Long held, and scarcely disengag'd at last :
But now with pleasant pace a cleanlier road
I feel myself at large,
Since pulpits fail, and sounding boards reflect Most part an empty ineffectual sound, What chance that i, to fame so little known, Nor conversant with men or manners much, Should speak to purpose, or with better hope Crack the satirick thong? 'Twere wiser far For me, enamour'd of sequester'd scenes, And charm’d with rural beauty, to repose Where chance may throw me, beneath elm or vine, My languid limbs; when summer sears the plaius; Or, when rough winter rages, on the soft And shelter'd Sofa, while the nitrous air Feeds a blue flaine, and makes a cheerful hearth; There, undisturb’d by Folly, and appriz'd How great the danger of disturbing her, To muse in silence, or at least confine Remarks, that gall so many, to the few My partners in retreat. Disgust conceal'd Js ofttimes proof of wisdom,
when the fault Is obstinate, and cure beyond our reach.
Domestick happiness, thou only bliss Of Paradise, that hast surviv'd the fall! Though few now taste thee unimpair'd and pure, Or lasting, long enjoy thee! too infirm, Or too incautious, to preserve thy sweets Unmix'd with drops of bitter, which neglect Or temper sheds into thy crystal cup; Thou art the nurse of Virtue-in thine arms She smiles, appearing, as in truth she is, Heav'n-born, and destin'd to the skies again. Thou art not known where Pleasure is ador'd,
at reeling goddess, with the zoneless waist
And wand'ring eyes, still Jeaning on the arm
His country, or was slack when she requir'd
I was a stricken deer, that left the herd