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At what a sailor suffers ; fancy too,
550 More tatter'd still; and both but ill conceal A bosom heav'd with never-ceasing sighs. She begs an idle pin of all she meets, And hoards them in her sleeve ; but needful food, 554 Though press’d with hunger oft, or comelier clothes, Though pinch'd with cold, asks never.-Kate is craz’d.
I see a column of slow rising smoke O’ertop the lofty wood, that skirts the wild. A vagabond and useless tribe there eat Their miserable meal. A kettle, slung
560 Between two poles upon a stick transverse, Receives the morsel-flesh obscene of dog, Or vermin, or at best of cock purloin'd From his accustom'd perch. Hard faring race ! They pick their fuel out of ev'ry hedge,
565 Which, kindled with dry leaves, just saves unquench'd The spark of life. The sportive wind blows wide Their flutt'ring rags, and shows a tawny skin, The vellum of the pedigree they claim. Great skill have they in palmistry, and more 570 To conjure clean away the gold they touch, Conveying worthless dross into its place; Loud when they beg, dumb only when they steal. Strange! that a creature rational, and cast In human mould, should brutalize by choice 575 His nature; and, though capable of arts, By which the world might profit, and himself Self-banish'd from society, prefer
Such squalid sloth to honourable toil !
Blest he, though undistinguish'd from the crowd By wealth or dignity, who dwells secure, Where man by nature fierce, has laid aside His fierceness, having learnt, though slow to learn, The manners and the arts of civil life.
596 His wants indeed are many ; but supply Is obvious, plac'd within the easy reach Of temp’rate wishes and industrious hands. Here virtue thrives as in her proper soil ;
600 Not rude and surly, and beset with thorns, And terrible to sight, as when she springs, (If e'er she spring spontaneous,) in remote And barb'rous climes, where violence prevails, And strength is lord of all ; but gentle, kind, 605 By culture tam’d, by liberty refreshid, And all her fruits by radiant truth matur d. War and the chase engross the savage whole ; War follow'd for revenge or to supplant The envied tenants of some happier spot : 610 The chase for sustenance, precarious trust! His hard condition with scvere constraint Binds all his faculties, forbids all growth Of wisdom, provos a school, in which he learns Sly circumvention, unrelenting hate,
615 Mean self-attachment, and scarce aught beside.
Thus fare the shiv’ring natives of the north,
630 Or plough'd perhaps by British bark again. But far beyond the rest, and with most cause, Thee, gentle savage !* whom no love of thee Or thine, but curiosity perhaps, Or else vain glory, prompted us to draw
635 Forth from thy native bow'rs, to show thee here With what superiour skill we can abuse The gifts of Providence, and squander life. The dream is past; and thou hast found again Thy cocoas and bananas, palms and yams, 640 And homestall thatch'd with leaves. But hast thou
found Their former charms ? And, having seen our state, Our palaces, our ladies, and our pomp Of equipage, our gardens, and our sports, And heard our musick; are thy simple friends, 645 Thy simple fare, and all thy plain delights, As dear to thec as once ? And have thy joys Lost nothing by comparison with ours ? Rude as thou art, (for we return'd thee rudo And ignorant, except of outward show,)
650 I cannot think thee yet so dull of heart And spiritless, as nevor to regret
Sweets tasted here, and left as soon as known.
665 For sight of ship from England. Ev'ry speck Seen in the dim horizon turns thee pale With conflict of contending hopes and fears. But comes at last the dull and dusky eve, And sends thee to thy cabin, well prepar'd
670 To dream all night of what the day denied. Alas ! expect it not. We found no bait To tempt us in thy country. Doing good, Disinterested good, is not our trade. We travel far, 'tis true, but not for nought; 675 And must be brib'd to compass Earth again By other hopes and richer fruits than yours.
But though true worth and virtue in the mild And genial soil of cultivated life Thrive most, and may perhaps thrive only there, 680 Yet not in cities oft: in proud, and gay, And gain-devoted cities. Thither flow, As to a common and most noisome sewer, The dregs and feculence of every land. In cities, foul example on most minds Begets its likeness. Rank abundance breeds, In
gross and pamper'd cities, sloth, and lust, And wantonness, and gluttonous excess. In cities, vice is hidden with most ease, Or seen with least reproach ; and virtue, taught 690 VOL. II.
By frequent lapse, can hope no triumph there
705 The pow'rs of sculpture, but the style as much; Each province of her art her equal care. With nice incision of her guided steel She ploughs a brazen field, and clothes a soil So sterile with what charms soe'er she will, 710 The richest scenery and the loveliest forms. Where finds Philosophy her eagle eye, With which she gazes at yon burning disk Undazzled, and detects and counts his spots ? In London. Where her implements exact, 715 With which she calculates, computes, and scans, All distance, motion, magnitude, and now Measures an atom, and now girds a world ? In London. Where has commerce such a mart, So rich, so throng'd, so drain'd, and so supplied, 720 As London-opulent, enlarg’d, and still Increasing London ? Babylon of old Not more the glory of the Earth, than she, A more accomplish'd world's chief glory now.
She has her praise. Now mark a spot or two, 725 That so much beauty would do well to purge ; And show this queen of cities, that so fair, May yet be foul ; so witty, yet not wise.