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That none, decoy'd into that fatal ring, Unless by heaven's peculiar grace, escape. There we grow early grey, but never wife, There form connections, but acquire no friend; Solicit pleasure hopelefs of success; Waste youth in occupations only fit For second childhood, and devote old age To sports which only childhood could excuse, There they are happiest who diffemble best Their weariness; and they the most polite Who squander time and treasure with a smile, Though at their own destruction. She that asks Her dear five hundred friends, contemns them all, And hates their coming. They, what can they less ? Make just reprisals, and with cringe and shrug, And bow obsequious, hide their hate of her. All catch the frenzy, downward from her Grace, Whose flambeaux flash against the morning skies, And gild our chamber ceilings as they pass, To her who frugal only that her thrift
May feed excesses she can ill afford,
Is hackney'd home unlacquey'd. Who in halte
Alighting, turns the key in her own door,
And at the watchman's lantern borrowing light,
Finds a cold bed her only comfort left.
Wives beggar husbands, husbands ftarve their wives,
On fortune's velvet altar off'ring up
Their last poor pittance. Fortune most severe
Of goddesses yet known, and costlier far
Than all that held their routs in Juno's heav'a
So fare we in this prison-house the world,
And ’tis a fearful spectacle to see
many maniacs dancing in their chains.
They gaze upon the links that hold them faft,
With eyes of anguish, execrate their lot,
Then shake them in defpair, and dance again,
Now basket up the family of plagues That waste our vitals. Peculation, fale Of honor, perjury, corruption, frauds
By forgery, by subterfuge of law,
By tricks and lies as num'rous and as keen
As the neceflities their authors feel;
Then cast them closely bundled, ev'ry brat
At the right door. Profusion is the fire.
Profusion unrestrain’d, with all that's base
In character, has litter'd all the land,
And bred within the mem'ry of no few,
A priesthood such as Baal's was of old,
A people such as never was till now.
It is a hungry vice :-ít eats up all
That gives society its beauty, strength,
Convenience, and security, and use :
Makes men mere vermin, worthy to be trapp'd
And gibbetted as fast as catchpole claws
Can seize the slipp'ry prey. Unties the knot
Of union, and converts the sacred band
That holds mankind together, to a scourge.
Profusion deluging a state with lusts
Of groffest nature and of worst effects,
Prepares it for its ruin. Hardens, blinds,
And warps the consciences of public men
Till they can laugh at virtue ; mock the fools
That trust them; and, in th’ end, disclose a face
That would have shock'd credulity herself
Unmask'd, vouchsafing this their sole excuse ;
Since all alike are selfish-why not chey?
This does Profusion, and th' accursed cause
Of such deep mischief, has itself a cause.
In colleges and halls, in ancient days,
When learning, virtue, piery and truth
Were precious, and inculcated with care,
There dwelt a fage call’d Discipline. His head
Not yet by time completely silver'd o'er,
Bespoke him past the bounds of freakish youth,
But strong for service still, and unimpair’d.
His eye was meek and gentle, and a smile
Play'd on his lips, and in his speech was heard
Paternal sweetnefs, dignity, and love.
The occupation dearest to his heart
Was to encourage goodness. He would stroke
The head of modest and ingenuous worth
That blush'd at its own praise; and press the youth
Close to his side that pleas'd him.. Learning grew
Beneath his care, a thriving vig’rous plant ;
The mind was well inform’d, the passions held
Subordinate, and diligence was choice.
If e'er it chanc'd, as sometimes chance it must,
That one among
many overleap'd The limits of controul, his gentle eye Grew stern, and darted a severe rebuke; His frown was full of terror, and his voice Shook the delinquent with such fits of awe As left him not, till penitence had won Lost favor back again, and clos’d the breach. But Discipline, a faithful servant long, Declin’d at length into the vale of years ; A palsy struck his arm, his sparkling eye Was quench'd in rheums of age, his voice unstrung