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And ending, if at last its end be gainid,
In facrilege, in God's own house profan’d!
It may succeed ; and, if his fins should call
For more than common punishment, it shall;
The wretch shall rise, and be the thing on earth
Least qualified in honour, learning, worth,
To occupy a sacred, awful post,
In which the best and worthieft tremble most.
The royal letters are a thing of course
A king, that would, might recommend his horse;
And deans, no doubt, and chapters, with one voice,
As bound in duty, would confirm the choice.
Behold your bishop! well he plays his part
Chriftian in name, and infidel in heart,
Ghostly in office, earthly in his plan,
A Nave at court, elsewhere a la!y's man!
Dumb as a fenator, and, as a priest,
A piece of mere church-furniture at best;
To live estrang'd from God his total scope,
And his end sure, without one glimpse of hope !
But, fair although and feasible it seem,
Depend not much upon your golden dream;
For providence, that seems concern'd t'exempt
The hallow'd bench from absolute contempt,
In spite of all the wrigglers into place,
Still keeps a seat or two for worth and grace;
And therefore 'tis, that, though the fight be rare,
We sometimes see a Lowth or Bagot there.
Besides, school-friendships are not always found,
Though fair in promise, permanent and found;
The most disint'rested and virtuous minds,
In early years connected, time unbinds;
New situations give a diff'rent cast
Of habit, inclination, temper, taste;
And he, that seem'd our counterpart at first,
Soon shows the strong similitude revers’d.
Young heads are giddy, and young hearts are warm,
And make mistakes for manhood to reform.
Boys are at best but pretty buds unblown,
Whose scent and hues are rather guess'd than known;
Each dreams that each is just what he appears,
But learns his error in maturer years,
When disposition, like a sail unfurld,
Shows all its rents and patches to the world,
If, therefore, ev'n when honest in design,
A boyish friendship may so soon decline,
'Twere wiser sure t'inspire a little heart
With just abhorrence of so mean a part,
Than set your son to work at a vile trade
For wages so unlikely to be paid,
Our public hives of puerile resort,
That are of chief and most approv'd reports
To such bafe hopes, in many a sordid foul,
Owe their repute in part, but not the whole.
A principle, whose proud pretensions pass
Unquestion'd, though the jewel be but glass
That with a world, not often over-nice,
Ranks as a virtue, and is yet a vice;
Or rather a gross compound, justly tried
Of envy, hatred, jealousy, and pride
Contributes most perhaps tenhance their fame;
An emulation is its specious name.
Boys, once on fire with that contentious zeal,
Feel all the rage that female rivals feel;
The prize of beauty in a woman's eyes
Not brighter than in their's the scholar's prize.
The spirit of that competition burns
With all varieties of ill by turns;
Each vainly magnifies his own success,
Resents his fellow's, wishes it were less,
Exults in his miscarriage if he fail,
Deems his reward too great if he prevail,
And labours to surpass him day and night,
Less for improvement than to tickle spite.
The fpur is powerful, and I grant its force;
It pricks the genius forward in its course,
Allows short time for play, and none for flóth ;
And, felt alikę by each, advances both :
But judge, where so much evil intervenes,
The end, though plausible, not worth the means.
Weigh, for a moment, classical defert
Against an heart deprav'd and temper hurt;
Hurt, tco, perhaps for life ; for early wrong,
Done to the nobler part, affects it long;
And you are staunch indeed in learning's cause,
If you can crown a discipline, that draws
Such mischief after it, with much applause.
Connexion form'd for int'reft, and endear'd By selfith views, thus censur’d and cashier'd; And emulation, as engend'ring hate, Doom'd to a no less ignominious fate; The props of such proud seminaries fall, The Jachin and the Boaz of them all. Great schools rejected, then, as those that swell Beyond a fize that can be manag'd well, Shall royal institutions miss the bays, And small academies win all the praise ? Force not my drift beyond its just intent, I praise a school as Pope a government; So take my judgment in his language dressid " Whate'er is best adminifter'd is best." Few boys are born with talents that excel, But all are capable of living well;
Then ask not, Whether limited or large?
But, watch they strictly, or neglect their charge?
If anxious only that their boys may learn,
While morals languish, a despis’d concern,
The great and small deserve one common blame,
Diff'rent in size, but in effect the same.
Much zeal in virtue's cause all teachers boast,
Though motives of mere lucre sway the most;
Therefore in towns and cities they abound,
For there the game they seek is easiest found;
Though there, in fpite of all that care can do,
Traps to catch youth are most abundant too.
If shrewd, and of a well-constructed brain,
Keen in pursuit, and vig'rous to retain,
Your son come forth a prodigy of skill;
As, wheresoever taught, so form'd, he will ;
The pedagogue, with felf-complacent air,
Claims more than half the praise as his due share.
But, if, with all his genius, he betray,
Not more intelligent than loose and gay,
Such vicious habits as disgrace his name,
'Threaten his health, his fortune, and his fame;
Though want of due restraint alone have bred
The symptoms that you see with so much dread;
Unenvy'd there, he may sustain alone
The whole reproach the fault was all his own!