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And thrice in every winter throngs thine own
With half the chariots and sedans in town,
Thyself meanwhile e'en shifting as thou mayst,
Not very sober though, nor very chaste;
Or is thine house, though less superb thy rank,
If not a scene of pleasure, a mere blank,
And thou at best, and in thy soberest mood,
A trifler, vain, and empty of all good ?
Though mercy for thyself thou canst have none,
Hear nature plead, show mercy to thy son.
Saved from his home, where every day brings forth
Some mischief fatal to his future worth,
Find him a better in a distant spot,
Within some pious pastor's humble cot,
Where vile example (your's I chiefly mean,
The most seducing and the oftenest seen,)
May never more be stamp'd upon his breast,
Not yet perhaps incurably impress’d.
Where early rest makes early rising sure,
Disease or comes not, or finds easy cure,
Prevented much by diet neat and plain,
Or if it enter, soon starved out again.
Where all the attention of his faithful host
Discreetly limited to two at most,
May raise such fruits as shall reward his care,
And not at last evaporate in air.
Where stillness aiding study, and his mind
Serene, and to his duties much inclined,
Not occupied in day-dreams, as at home,
Of pleasures past or follies yet to come,
His virtuous toil may terminate at last
In settled habit and decided taste.

But whom do I advise ? the fashion-led,
The incorrigibly wrong, the deaf, the dead,
Whom care and cool deliberation suit
Not better much than spectacles a brute ;
Who if their sons some slight tuition share,
Deem it of no great moment, whose, or where,
Too proud to adopt the thoughts of one unknown,
And much too gay to have any of their own.
But courage, man ! methought the Muse replied,
Mankind are various, and the world is wide;
The ostrich, silliest of the feather'd kind,
And form'd of God without a parent's mind,
Commits her eggs, incautious, to the dust,
Forgetful that the foot may crush the trust;
And while on public nurseries they rely,
Not knowing, and too oft not caring why,
Irrational in what they thus prefer,
No few, that would seem wise, resemble her.
But all are not alike. Thy warning voice
May here and there prevent erroneous choice,
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, tenants 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 sons 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 human kind;
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 handcuffd 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 blest 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, lady-like 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 whoredom pale,
Their breath a sample of last night's regale;
See volunteers in all the vilest arts
Men well endowed, 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 chuse,
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 self-same 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 grey 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 secret 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.

Oh barbarous ! wouldst thou with a Gothic hand Pull down the schools—what !-all the schools i'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.

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