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Grew tremulous, and mov'd derision more
Than rev'rence, in perverse rebellious youth.
So colleges and halls neglected much
Their good old friend, and Discipline at length
O’erlook'd and unemploy'd, fell fick and died.
Then study languish'd, emulation slept;
And virtue fled. The schools became a scene
Of solemn farce, where ignorance in stilts,
well lin’d with logic not his own,
With parrot tongue perform’d the scholar's part,
Proceeding soon a graduated durice.
Then compromise liad place, and scrutiny
Becane stone-blind, precedence went in truck,
And he was competent whose purse was fo.
A diffolution of all bonds ensu'd,
The curbs invented for the mulish mouth
Of head-strong youth were broken'; bars and bolts
Grew rusty by disuse, and massy gates
Forgot their office, op’ning with a touch ;
'Till gowns at length are found mere masquerade ;
The taffellid cap and the spruce band a jest,
A mock’ry of the world. What need of these
For gamesters, jockies, brothellers impure,
Spendthrifts and booted sportsmen, oft'ner seen
With belted waist and pointers at their heels,
Than in the bounds of duty ? What was learn'd,
If aught was learn’d in childhood, is forgot,
And such expence as pinches parents blue,
And mortifies the lib'ral hand of love,
Is squander'd in pursuit of idle sports
And vicious pleasures : buys the boy a name,
That fits a stigma on his father's house,
And cleaves through life inseparably close
To him that wears it. What can after-games
Of riper joys, and commerce with the world,
The lewd vain world that must receive him soon,
Add to such erudition thus acquir’d,
Where science and where virtue are profess’d ?
They may confirm his habits, rivet fast
His folly, but to spoil him is a talk
That bids defiance to th’ united pow'rs
Of fashion, diffipation, taverns, stews.
Now, blame we most the nurslings or the nurse?
The children crook'd, and twisted, and deform'd
Through want of care, or her whose winking eye
And flumb’ring ofcitancy mars the brood ?
The nurse no doubt. Regardless of her charge,
She needs herself correction: needs to learn
That it is dang'rous sporting with the world,
With things fo facred as a nation's trust,
The nurture of her youth, her dearest pledge.
All are not such. I had a brother once
Peace to the mem'ry of a man of worth,
A man of letters, and of manners too.
Of manners sweet as virtue always wears,
When gay good-naturé dresses her in smiles.
He grac'd a college *, in which order yet
Was sacred ; and was honor'd, loy'd and wept
By more than one, themselves conspicuous there.
Some minds are temper'd happily, and mixt
With such ingredients of good fenfe and taste
Of what is excellent in man, they thirst
With such a zeal to be what they approve,
That no restraints can circumscribe them more,
Than they themselves by choice, for wisdom's sake,
Nor can example hurt them. What they see
Of vice in others but enhancing more
The charms of virtue in their juft esteem.
If such escape contagion, and emerge
Pure, from fo foul a pool, to shine abroad,
And give the world their talents and themselves,
Small thanks to those whose negligence or sloth
Expos’d their inexperience to the fnare,
And left them to an undirected choice.
See then! the quiver broken and decay'd, In which are kept our arrows. Rusting there
In wild disorder, and unfit for ufe,
What wonder, if discharg'd into the world,
They shame their shooters with a random fight,
Their points obtufe, and feathers drunk with wine.
Well may the church wage unsuccessful war,
With such artillry arm’d. Vice parries wide
Th' undreaded volley with a sword of straw,
And stands an impudent and fearless mark.
Have we not track'd the felon home, and found His birth-place and his dam? The country mourns, Mourns, because ev'ry plague that can infest Society, and that faps and worms the base Of th' edifice that policy has rais’d, Swarms in all quarters; meets the eye, the ear, And suffocates the breath at ev'ry turn. Profusion breeds them; and the cause itself Of that calamitous mischief has been found : Found too where most offensive, in the skirts Of the rob’d pedagogue. Else, let th' arraign'd