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CHAPTER II.

DIDACTIC PIECES

SECTION I.

The love of the world detected. THUS

says the prophet of the Turk: Good Mussulman, abstain from pork : There is a part in ev'ry swine No friend or follower of mine May taste, whate'er his inclination, On pain of excommunication. Such Mahomet's mysterious charge, And thus he left the point at large. Had he the sinful part express’d, They might with safety eat the rest : But for one piece they thought it bard From the whole hog to be debarr'd; And set their wit at work to find What joint the prophet had in mind. Much controversy straight arose ; These choose the back, the belly those ; By some, 'tis confidently said He meant not to forbid the head ; While others at that doctrine rail, And piously prefer the tail. Thus, conscience freed from ev'ry clog, Mahometans eat up the hog.

You laugh—'tis well—the tale applied May make you laugh on t' other side. “ Renounce the world,” the preacher cries “ We do," a multitude replies. While one as innocent regards A snug and friendly game at cards : And one, whatever you may say, Can see no evil in a play ; Some love a concert, or a race, And others, shooting and the ckace.

Revild and lov'd, renounc'd and follow'd,
Thus bit by bit the world is swallow'd ;
Each thinks his neighbour makes too free,
Yet likes a slice as well as be:
With sophistry their sauce they sweeten,
Till quite from tail to snout 'tis eaten. COWPER.

SECTION II.

On Friendship.
What virtue, or what mental grace,
But men, unqualified and base,

Will boast it their profession ?
Profusion apes the noble part
Of liberality of heart,

And dulness, of discretion.
If ev'ry polish'd gem we find,
Illuminating heart or mind,

Provoke to imitation ;
No wonder Friendship does the same,
That jewel of the purest flame,

Or rather constellation.
No knave but boldly will pretend
The requisites that form a friend,

A real and a sound one ;
Nor any fool he would deceive,
But prove as ready to believe,

And dream that he has found one.
Candid, and generous, and just,
Boys care but little whom they trust,

An error soon corrected
For who but learns in riper years,
That man, when smoothest he appean,

Is most to be suspected ?
But here again a danger lies,
Lest having misemploy'd our eyes,

And taken trash for treasure,
We should unwarily conclude
Friendship a false ideal good,

A mere Utopian pleasure.
An acquisition rather rare,
Is yet no subject of despair;

Nor is it wise complaining,

If either on forbidden ground,
Or where it was not to be found,

We sought without attaining.
No friendship will abide the test
That stands on sordid interest,

Or mean self-love erected ; Nor such as may awhile subsist Between the sot and sensualist,

For vicious ends connected. Who seeks a friend, should come dispos'd, T exhibit, in full bloom disclos'd,

The graces and the beauties,
That form the character he seeks,
For 'tis an upion that bespeaks

Reciprocated duties.
Mutual attention is implied,
An equal truth on either side,

And constantly supported;
'Tis senseless arrogance ťaccuse
Another of sinister views,

Our own as much distorted.
But will sincerity suffice ?
It is indeed above all price,

And must be made the basis;
But ev'ry virtue of the soul
Must constitute the charming whole,

All shining in their places.
A fretful temper will divide
The closest knot that may be tied ;

By careless sharp corrosion,
A temper passionate and fierce,
May suddenly your joys disperse,

At one immense explosion.
In vain the talkative unite
In hopes of permanent delight-

The secret just committed,
Forgetting its important weight,
They drop through mere desire to prate,

And by themselves outwitted. How bright soe'er the prospect seems, All thoughts of friendship are but dreams,

If envy chance to creep in : An envious

you succeed, May prove a dang'rous foe indeed,

But not a friend worth keeping.

man, if

As Envy pines at Good possess'd,
So Jealousy looks forth distress'd,

On Good that seems approaching ;
And if success his steps attend,
Discerns a rival in a friend,

And hates him for encroaching.
Hençe authors of illustrious name,
Unless belied by common fame,

Are sadly prone to quarrel;
To deem the wit a friend displays
A tax upon their own just praise,

And pluck each others laurel.
A man renown'd for repartee,
Will seldom scruple to make free

With friendship's finest feeling ;
Will thrust a dagger at your breast,
And say he wounded you in jest,

By way of balm for healing.
Whoever keeps an open ear
For tattlers, will be sure to hear

The trumpet of contention ;
Aspersion is the babbler's trade,
To listen is to lend him aid,

And rush into dissension.
A friendship that in frequent fits
Of controversial rage emits

The sparks of disputation,
Like hand in hand insurance plates,
Most unavoidably creates

The thought of conflagration.
Some fickle creatures boast a soul
True as the needle to the pole,

Their humour yet so various
They manifest, their whole life through,
The needle's deviation too,

Their love is so precarious.
The great and small but rarely meet
On terms of amity complete ;

Plebeians must surrender,
And yield so much to noble folk,
It is combining fire with smoke,

Obscurity with splendour. Some are $o placid and serene, (As Irish bogs are always green)

They sleep secure from waking ;

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And are indeed a bog that bears
Your unparticipated cares,

Unmov'd and without quaking.
Courtier and patriot cannot mix
Their het'rogeneous politics,

Without an effervescence,
Like that of salts with lemon juice,
Which does not yet like that produce

A friendly coalescence.
Religion should extinguish strife,
And make a calm of human life ;

But friends that chance to differ
On points which God has left at large,
How fiercely will they meet and charge,

No combatants are stiffer!
To prove at last my main intent,
Needs no expense of argument,

No cutting and contriving-
Seeking a real friend, we seem
T'adopt the chymist's golden dream,

With still less hope of thriving.
Sometimes the fault is all our own,
Some blemish in due time made known,

By trespass or omission ;
Sometimes occasion brings to light
Our friend's defect, long hid from sight,

And even from suspicion.
Then judge yourself, and prove your man
As circumspectly as you can ;

And having made election,
Beware no negligence of yours,
Such as a friend but ill endures,

Enfeeble his affection.
That secrets are a sacred trust,
That friends should be sincere and just,

That constancy befits them,
Are observations on the case,
That savour much of common place,

And all the world admits them.
But 'tis not timber, lead and stone,
An architect requires alone,

To finish a fine building-
The palace were but half complete
If he could possibly forget

The carving and the gilding.

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