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Where all the attention of his faithful hoft,
Discreetly limited to two at most,
May raise such fruits as shall reward his care,
And not at last evaporate in air:.
Where, stillness aiding study, and his mind
Serene, and to his duties much inclined,
Not occupied in day-dreams, as at home,
Of pleasures paft, or follies yet to come,
His virtuous toil may terminate at last
In settled habit and decided taste.-
But whom do I advise? the fashion-led,
The incorrigibly wrong, the deaf, the dead,
Whom care and cool deliberation suit
Not better much than spectacles a brute; : ;
Who, if their sons fome Night tuition share, . . in
Deem it of no great moment whose, or where;
Too proud to adopt the thoughts of one unknown,
And much too gay to have any of their own.
But courage, man! methought the muse replied,
Mankind are various, and the world is wide:
The ostrich, filliest of the feathered kind,
And formed of God without a parent's mind,
Commits her eggs, incautious, to the dust, :
Forgetful that the foot may crush the truft; : :.
And, while on public nurseries they rely
Not knowing, and too oft not caring, why,
Irrational in what they thus prefer,
No few, that would seem wife, resemble ber.
But all are not alike. Thy warning voice
May here and there provent erroneous choice;'
And some perhaps, who, bofy as they are,
Yet make their progony their deareft care,
(Whose hearts will ache, once told what ills may
Their offspring, left upon so wild a beach)
Will need no ftrefs of argumovt to enforce
The expedience of a defs adventurons counse:
The rest will fight thy counfel, or condemn;
But they have human feelings--turn to them.
To you then, tenants of life's middle ftate, Securely placed between the finall and great, Whofe character, yet andebauched, retains Two thirds of all the virtue that remains, Who, wise yourselves, defire your son should learn Your wisdom and your ways-mto you I turn. Look round you on a world perversely blind; See what contempt is fallen on human kind;
See wealth abused, and dignities misplaced,
Great titles, offices and trufts disgraced,
Long lines of ancestry, renowned of old,
Their noble qualities all quenched and cold;
See Bedlam's closetted and hand-cuffed charge
Surpassed in frenzy by the mad at large;
See great commanders making war a trade,
Great lawyers, lawyers without ftudy made;
Churchmen, in whose esteem their bleft employ
Is odious, and their wages all their joy,
Who, far enough from furnishing their shelves
With gospel lore, turn infidels themselves; .
See womanhood despised, and manhood shamed
With infamy too nauseous to be named,
Fops at all corners, lady-like in mien,
Civetted fellows, smelt ere they are seen,
Else coarse and rude in manners, and their tongue
On fire with curses, and with nonsense hung,
Now flushed with drunk’ness, now with whore-
Their breath a sample of last night's regale;
See volunteers in all the vilest arts,
Men well endowed, of honourable parts,
Designed by nature wise, but felf-made fools;
All these, and more like these, were bred at schools.
And if it chance, as sometimes chance it will,
That though school-bred the boy be virtuous still;
Such rare exceptions, saining in the dark,
Prove, rather than impeach, the just remark:
As here and there a twinkling star descried
Serves but to show how black is all beside.
Now look on him, whose very voice in tone
Just echoes thine, whose features are thine own,
And stroke his polished cheek of purest red,
And lay thine hand upon his flaxen head,
And say, My boy, the unwelcome hour is come,
When thou, transplanted from thy genial home,
Must find a colder foil and bleaker air,
And trust for safety to a stranger's care;
What character, what turn thou wilt assume
From constant converse with I know not whom;
Who there will court thy friendship, with what
And, artless as thou art, whom thou wilt choose;
Though much depends on what thy choice shall bė,
Is all chance-medley, and unknown to me.
Can'ft thou, the tear just trembling on thy lids,'
And while the dreadful risque foreseen forbids;
Free too, and under no constraining force,
Unless the sway of custom warp thy course;
Lay such a ftake upon the losing fide,
Merely to gratify so blind a guide ?
Thou can'st not! Nature, pulling at thine heart,
Condemns the unfatherly, the imprudent part.
Thou wouldest not, deaf to Nature's tenderest plea,
Turn him adrift upon a rolling sea, .
Nor say, Go thither, conscious that there lay
A brood of afps, or quicksands in his way;
Then, only governed by the self-fame rule
Of natural pity, send him not to school.
No-guard him better. Is he not thine own,
Thyself in miniature, thy flesh, thy bone?
And hopest thou not ('tis every father's hope)
That, since thy strength must with thy years elope,
And thou wilt need some comfort to assuage
Health's last farewell, a staff of thine old age,
That then, in recompense of all thy cares,
Thy child shall show respect to thy gray hairs,
Befriend thee, of all other friends bereft,
And give thy life its only cordial left?!