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THE BOROUGH.

LETTER XIX.

THE POOR OF THE BOROUGH.

THE PARISH-CLERK.

Nam dives qui fieri vult,
Et citò vult fieri ; sed quæ reverentia legum,
Quis metus, aut pudor est unquam properantis avari ?

Juvenal. Sat. 14.

Nocte brevem si fortè indulsit cura soporem,
Et toto versata thoro jam membra quiescunt,
Continuò templum et violati Numinis aras,
Et quod præcipuis mentem sudoribus urget,
Te videt in somnis; tua sacra et major imago
Humanâ turbat pavidum, cogitque fateri.

Juvenal. Sat. 13.

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The Parish-Clerk began his Duties with the late Vicar, a

grave and austere Man; one fully orthodox; a Detecter and Opposer of the Wiles of Satan-His Opinion of his own Fortitude—The more frail offended by these Professions-His good Advice gives further Provocation—They invent Stratagems. to overcome his Virtue—His Triumph -He is yet not invulnerable: is assaulted by Fear of Want, and Avarice—He gradually yields to the Seduction-He reasons with himself and is persuaded—He offends, but with Terror; repeats his Offence; grows familiar with Crime; is detected—His Sufferings and Death.

THE BOROUGH.

LETTER XIX.

THE PARISH-CLERK.

the same,

With our late vicar, and his age
His clerk, hight Jachin, to his office came;
The like slow speech was his, the like tall slender

frame:
But Jachin was the gravest man on ground,
And heard his master's jokes with look profound;
For worldly wealth this man of letters sigh’d,
And had a sprinkling of the spirit's pride:
But he was sober, chaste, devout, and just,
One whom his neighbours could believe and trust:
Of none suspected, neither man nor maid
By him were wrong’d, or were of him afraid.

There was indeed a frown, a trick of state
In Jachin ;-formal was his air and gait;
But if he seem'd more solemn and less kind
Than some light men to light affairs confined,

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Still 'twas allow'd that he should so behave
As in high seat, and be severely grave.

This book-taught man, to man's first foe profess'd
Defiance stern, and hate that knew not rest;
He held that Satan, since the world began,
In every act, had strife with every man ;
That never evil deed on earth was done,
But of the acting parties he was one ;
The flattering guide to make ill prospects clear ;
To smooth rough ways the constant pioneer ;
The ever-tempting, soothing, softening power,
Ready to cheat, seduce, deceive, devour.

“ Me has the sly seducer oft withstood," Said pious Jachin,“ but he gets no good; “ I pass the house where swings the tempting sign, “ And pointing, tell him, . Satan, that is thine: I

pass the damsels pacing down the street, " And look more

and solemn when we meet; 66 Nor doth it irk me to rebuke their smiles, “ Their wanton ambling and their watchful wiles : “ Nay, like the good John Bunyan, when I view “ Those forms, I'm angry at the ills they do; “ That I could pinch and spoil, in sin's despite, “ Beauties! which frail and evil thoughts excite*.

grave

• John Bunyan, in one of the many productions of his zeal, has ventured to make public this extraordinary sentiment, which the frigid piety of our clerk so readily adopted.

“ At feasts and banquets seldom am I found,
“ And (save at church) abhor a tuneful sound;
“ To plays and shows I run not to and fro,
“ And where my master goes forbear to go."

No wonder Satan took the thing amiss,
To be opposed by such a man as this-
A man so grave, important, cautious, wise,
Who dared not trust his feeling or his eyes ;
No wonder he should lurk and lie in wait,
Should fit his hooks and ponder on his bait,
Should on his movements keep a

watchful

eye; For he pursued a fish who led the fry.

With his own peace our clerk was not content, He tried, good man! to make his friends repent.

Nay, nay, my friends, from inns and taverns fly; “ You may suppress your thirst, but not supply: “ A foolish proverb says, “ the devil 's at home;' “ But he is there, and tempts in every room: " Men feel, they know not why, such places please; “ His are the spells—they ’re idleness and ease; “ Magic of fatal kind he throws around, 66 Where care is banish'd but the heart is bound.

“ Think not of beauty; when a maid you meet, “ Turn from her view and step across the street; " Dread all the sex: their looks create a charm, “ A smile should fright you and a word alarm :

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