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Peace to them all! thofe brilliant times are fled,
And no such lights are kindling in their stead.
Our striplings shine, indeed, but with such rays
As set the midnight riot in a blaze;
And seem, if judg’d by their expressive looks,
Deeper in none than in their surgeons' books.
Say, mufe, (for education made the song,
No muse can hesitate or linger long)
What causes move us, knowing as we must,
That these menageries all fail their trust,
To send our sons to scout and scamper there,
While colts and puppies coft us so much care ?
Be it a weakness, it deserves fome praise; We love the play-place of our early days The scene is touching, and the heart is stone That feels not at that light, and feels at none, The wall on which we tried our graving skill, The very name we carv'd subfisting still; The bench on which we fat while deep employ'd, Though mangled, hack'd, and hew'd, not yet destroy'd : The little ones, unbutton'd, glowing hot, Playing our games, and on the very spot; As happy as we once, to kneel and draw The chalky ring, and knuckle down at taw;
To pitch the ball into the grounded hat,
Or drive it devious with a dext'rous pat-
The pleating spectacle at once excites
Such recollection of our own delights,
That, viewing it, we seem almost t'obtain
Our innocent sweet fimple years again.
This fond attachment to the well-known place,
Whence firft we started into life's long race,
Maintains its hold with such unfailing Sway,
We feel it ev'n in age, and at our latest day.
Hark! how the fire of chits, whose future share
Of classic fond begins to be his care,
With his own likeness plac'd on either knee,
Indulges all a father's heart-felt glee;
And tells them, as he strokes their filver locks,
That they must soon learn Latin, and to box ;
Then, turning, he regales his lift'ning wife
With all th' adventures of his early life;
His skill in coachmanship, or driving chaise,
In bilking tavern bills, and spouting plays ;
What shifts he us’d, detected in a scrape,
How he was flogg'd, or had the luck tescape;
What. sums he lost at play, and how he fold
Watch, seals, and all-till all his pranks are tolda
Retracing thus his frolics, ('tis a name
That palliates deeds of folly and of fame)
He gives the local bias all its sway;
Resolves that where he play'd his sons fhall play,
And destines their bright genius to be shown
Just in the scene where he display'd his own.
The meek and bashful boy will soon be taught
To be as bold and forward as he ought;
The rude wi.l scuffle through with ease enough,
Great schools fuit best the sturdy and the rough.
Ah, happy designation, prudent choice,
Th' event is sure ; expect it, and rejoice!
Soon see your with fulfill'd in either child
The pert made perter, and the tame made wild,
The great, indeed, by titles, riches, birth,
Excus'd th' incumbrance of more solid worth,
Are best dispos’d of where with most success
They may acquire that confident address,
Those habits of profuse and lewd expense,
That scorn of all delights but those of sense,
Which, though in plain plebeians we condemn,
With so much reafon all expect from them.
But families of less illustrious fame,
Whose chief distinction is their spotless name,
Whose heirs, their honours none, their income small,
Must shine by true desert, or not at all
What dream they of, that with so little care
They risk their hopes, their dearest treasure, there?
They dream of little Charles or William gracid
With wig prolix, down flowing to his waist;
They see th' attentive crowds his talents draw,
They hear him speak-the oracle of law !
The father who designs his babe a priest,
Dreams him episcopally such at least;
And, while the playful jockey scours the room
upon the parlour broom,
In fancy sees him more superbly ride
In coach with purple lin'd, and mitres on its side,
Events improbable and strange as these,
Which only a parental eye foresees,
A public school Thall bring to pass with ease.
But how? resides such virtue in that air
As must create an appetite for pray’r ?
And will it breathe into him all the zeal
That candidates for such a prize should feel,
To take the lead and be the foremost itill
In all true worth and literary skill?
“ Ah, blind to bright futurity, untaught
“ The knowledge of the world, and dull of thought!
« Church-ladders are not always mounted best
By learned clerks and Latinists profess’d.
« Th' exalted prize demands an upward look, « Not to be found by poring on a book. “ Small skill in Latin, and still less in Greek, “ Is more than adequate to all I seek. " Let erudition grace him or not grace, “ I give the bauble but the second place; “ His wealth, fame, honours, all that I intend, “ Sublist and centre in one point- a friend ! “ A friend, whate'er he studies or neglects, “ Shall give him consequence, heal all defects. “ His intercourse with peers, and sons of peers " There dawns the splendour of his future years ; 6 In that bright quarter his propitious skies “ Shall blush betimes, and there his glory rise. “ Your Lordship, and Your Grace! what school can teach “ A rhet’ric equal to those parts of speech ? “ What need of Homer's verse or Tully's prose, “ Sweet interjections ! if he learn but those ? “ Let rev’rend churls his ignorance rebuke, " Who starve upon a dog's-ear’d Pentateuch, “ The parson knows enough who knows a duke." Egregious purpose ! worthily begun In barb'rous prostitution of your son; Press’d on bis part by means that would disgrace A scriv'ner's clerk or footman out of place,