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ARGUMENT OF THE SECOND BOOK. Reflections suggested by the conclusion of the former book-Peace
among the nations recommended on the ground of their common fellowship in sorrow_Prodigies enumerated-Sicilian earthquakes-Man rendered obnoxious to these calamities by sin
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-Picture of a theatrical clerical coxcomb-Storytellers 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 extravagance—The mischiefs & profusion-Profusion itself, with all its consequent evils, ascribed, as to its principal cause, to the want of discipline in the universities.
O FOR a lodge in some vast wilderness,
That falls asunder at the touch of fire.
20 And worse than all, and most to be deplor'd, 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.
25 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,
30 And tromble when I wake, for all the wealth That sinews bought and sold have ever earn'd No: dear as freedom is, and in my heart's Just estimation priz'd above all price, I had much rather be myself the slave,
35 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 loos'd. Slaves cannot breathe in England ; if their lungs 40 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 ev'ry vein Of all your empire: that, where Britain's pow'r Is felt, mankind may feel her mercy too.
Sure there is need of social intercourse,
Benevolence, and peace, and mutual aid,
70 And 'tis but seemly, that, where all deserve And stand expos’d by common peccancy To what no few have felt, there should be peace, And brethren in calamity should love. Alas for Sicily! rude fragments now
75 Lie scatter'd, where the shapely columns stood. Her palaces are dust. In all her streets The voice of singing and the sprightly chord Are silent. Revelry, and dance, and show, Suffer a syncope and solemn pause ;
80 While God performs upon the trembling stage Of his own works his dreadful part alone. How does the earth receive him ? with what signs * Alluding to the calamities in Jamaica.
August, 18, 1783.
Alluding to the fog that covered both Europe and Asia during the whole summer of 1783.
Of gratulation and delight her king ?
105 Multitudes, fugitive on ev'ry side, And fugitive in vain. Tho sylvan scene Migrates uplifted : and, with all its soil Alighting in far distant fields, finds out A new possessor, and survives the change. 110 Ocean has caught the frenzy, and, upwrought To an enormous and o'erbearing height, Not by a mighty wind, but by that voice Which winds and waves obey, invades the shore Resistless. Never such a sudden flood,
115 Upridg’d so high, and sent on such a charge, Possess'd an inland scene. Where now the throng That press'd the beach, and, hasty to depart, Look'd to the sea for safety? They are gone, Gone with the refluent wave into the deep- 120 A prince with half his people. Ancient tow'rs,
And roofs embattled high, the gloomy scenes
140 Life's necessary means, but he must die. Storms rise t'o'erwhelm him ; or if stormy winds Rise not, the waters of the deep shall rise, And, needing none assistance of the storm, Shall roll themselves ashore, and reach him there, 145 The earth shall shake him out of all his holds, Or make his house his grave: nor so content, Shall counterfeit the motions of the flood, And drown him in her dry and dusty gulfs. What then !-were they the wicked above all, 150 And we the righteous, whose fast-anchor'd isle Mov'd not, while theirs was rock'd, like a light skiff, The sport of every wave ? No; none are clear, And none than we more guilty. But, whero all Stand chargeable with guilt, and to the shafts 155 Of wrath obnoxious, God may choose his mark ; May punish, if he please, the less, to warn The more malignant. If he spard not them,