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We travel far, 'tis true, but not for nought;
And must be bribed to compass earth again
By other hopes and richer fruits than your’s.

But though true worth and virtue in the mild
And genial soil of cultivated life
Thrive most, and may perhaps thrive only there,
Yet not in cities oft : in proud and gay,
And gain-devoted cities. Thither flow,
As to a common and most noisome sewer,
The dregs and feculence of every land.
In cities foul example on most minds
Begets its likeness. Rank abundance breeds
In gross and pampered cities sloth and lust,
And wantonness and gluttonous excess.
In cities vice is hidden with most ease,
Or seen with least reproach; and virtue, taught
By frequent lapsc, can hope no triumph there
Beyond th' achievement of successful flight.
I do confess them rurseries of the arts
In which they flourish most; where, in the beams
Of warm encouragement, and in the eye
Of public note, they reach their perfect size.
Such London is, by taste and wealth proclaimed
The fairest capital of all the world,
By riot and incontinence the worst;
There, touched by Reynolds, a dull blank becomes
A lucid mirror, in which Nature sees
All her reflected features. Bacon there
Gives more than female beauty to a stone,
And Chatham's eloquence to marble lips.
Nor does the chissel occupy alone
The powers of sculpture, but the style as much;
Each province of her art her equal care.
With nice incision of her guided steel
She ploughs a brazen field, and clothes a soil
So steril with what charms soever she will,
The richest scenery and the loveliest forms.
Where finds philosophy her eagle eye,
With which she gazes at yon burning disk
Undazzled, and detects and courts his spots ?
In London. Where her implements exact,
With which she calculates, computes, and scans,

All distance, motion, magnitude, and now
Measures an atom, and now girds a world ?
In London. Where has commerce such a mart,
So rich, so thronged, so drained, and so supplied,
As London---opulent, enlarged, and still
Increasing London ? Babylon of old
Not more the glory of the earth than she,
A more accomplished world's chief glory now.

She has her praise. Now mark a spot or two
That so much beauty would do well to purge;
And show this queen of cities, that so fair
May yet be foul ; so witty, yet not wise.
It is not seemly, nor of good report,
That she is slack in discipline; more prompt
T'avenge than to prevent the breach of law :
That she is rigid in denouncing death
On petty robbers, and indulges life
And liberty, and oft-times honour too,
To peculators of the public gold;
That thieves at home must hang ; but he that puts
Into his overgorged and bloated purse
The wealth of Indian provinces, escapes.
Nor is it well, nor can it come to good,
That, through profane and infidel contempt
Of holy writ, she has presumed t'annul
And abrogate, as roundly as she may,
The total ordinance and will of God;
Advancing fashion to the post of truth,
And centering all authority in modes
And customs of her own, till sabbath rites
Have dwindled into unrespected forms,
And knees and hassocks are well nigh divorced.

God made the country, and man made the town. What wonder then that health and virtue, gifts That can alone make sweet the bitter draught, That life holds out to all, should most abound And least be threatened in the fields and groves ? Possess ye therefore, ye who, borne about In chariots and sedans, know no fatigue But that of idleness, and taste no scenes But such as art contrives, possess ye still Your element ; there only can ye shine;

There only minds like yours can do no harm.
Our groves were planted to console at noon
The pensive wanderer in their shades. At eve
The moon-beam, sliding softly in between
The sleeping leaves, is all the light they wish,
Birds warbling all the music. We can spare
The splendour of your lamps ; they but eclipse
Our softer satellite. Your songs confound
Our more harmonious notes : the thrush departs
Scared, and th' offended nightingale is mute.
There is a public mischief in your mirth ;
It plagues your country. Folly such as your's,
Graced with a sword, and worthier of a fan,
Has made, what enemies could ne'er have done,
Our arch of empire, stedfast but for you,
A mutilated structure, soon to fall.

THE TASK.

BOOK II.

THE TIME-PIECE.

Argument. Reflections suggested by the conclusion of the former

book.---Peace among the nations recommended, on the ground of their common fellowship in sorrow.--- Prodi. gies enumerated.--Sicilian earthquakes.---Man rendered obnoxious to these calamities by sin.--

God the agent in them.---The philosophy that stops at secondary causes reproved.--Our own late miscarriages accounted for.Satirical notice taken of our trips to Fontainbleau.--But the pulpit, not satire, the proper engine of reformation. The Reverend Advertiser of engraved sermons. ---Petit-maitre Parson.--The good preacher.--Pictures of a theatrical clerical coxcomb.---Story-tellers and jesters in the pulpit reproved.-Apostrophe to popular applause.--Retailers of ancient philosophy expostulated with.--Sum of the whole matter. Effects of sacerdotal mismanagement on the laity.--Their folly and extrava. gance.---The mischiefs of profusion.---Profusion itself, with all its consequent evils, ascribed, as to its principal cause, to the want of discipline in the universities.

OH! for a lodge in some vast wilderness,
Some boundless contiguity of shade,
Where rumour of oppression and deceit, .
Of unsuccessful, or successful, war,
Might never reach me more. My ear is pained,
My soul is sick, with every day's report
Of wrong and outrage, with which earth is filled.
There is no flesh in man's obdurate heart,

It does not feel for man; the natural bond
Of brotherhood is severed as the flax,
That falls asunder at the touch of fire.
He finds his fellow guilty of a skin
Not coloured like his own; and having power
T' enforce the wrong, for such a worthy cause
Dooms and devotes him as a lawful prey.
Lands intersected by a narrow frith
Abhor each other. Mountains interposed
Make enemies of nations, who had else
Like kindred drops been mingled into one.
Thus man devotes his brother, and destroys;
And, worse than all, and most to be deplored
As human nature's broadest foulest blot,
Chains him, and tasks him, and exacts his sweat
With stripes, that mercy with a bleeding heart
Weeps, when she sees inflicted on a beast.
Then what is man? And what man, seeing this,
And having human feelings, does not blush,
And hang his head, to think himself a man?
I would not have a slave to till my ground,
To carry me, to fan me while I sleep,
And tremble when I wake, for all the wealth
That sinews bought and sold have ever earned.
No: dear as freedom is, and in my heart's
Just estimation prized above all price,
I had much rather be myself the slave,
And wear the bonds, than fasten them on him.
We have no slaves at home---then why abroad?
And they themselves once ferried o'er the wave
That parts us, are emancipate and loosed.
Slaves cannot breathe in England; if their lungs
Receive our air, that moment they are free ;
They touch our country, and their shackles fall.
That's noble! and bespeaks a nation proud
And jealous of the blessing. Spread it then,
And let it circulate through every vein
Of all your empire; that where Britain's power
Is felt, mankind may feel her mercy too.

Sure there is need of social intercourse,
Benevolence, and peace, and mutual aid,
Between the nations in a world, that seems

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