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It is not seemly, nor of good report,
avenge than to prevent the breach of law:
745 And customs of her own, till sabbath rites Have dwindled into unrespected forms, And knees and hassocks are well-nigh divorc’d.
God made the country, and man made the town. What wonder then that health and virtue, gifts 750 That can alone make sweet the bitter draught That life holds out to all, should most abound And least be threaten'd in the fields and groves ? Possess ye, therefore, ye who, borne about In chariots and sedans, know no fatigue
755 But that of idleness, and taste no scenes But such as art contrives, possess ye still Your element, there only can ye shine ; There only minds like yours can do no harm. Our groves were planted to console at noon 760 The pensive wand'rer in their shades. At eve The moonbeam, sliding softly in between The sleeping leaves, is all the light they wish, Birds warbling all the musick. We can spare The splendour of your lamps ; they but eclipse 765 Oar softer satellite. Your songs confound
Our more harmonious notes: the thrush departs
ARGUMENT OF THE SECOND BOOK. Reflections suggested by the conclusion of the former book-Peace
among the nations recommended on the ground of their common fellowship in sorrow--Prodigies enumerated-Sicilian earthquakes--Man rendered obnoxious to these calamities by sinGod the agent in them--The philosophy that stops at secondary causes reproved--Our own late miscarriages accounted for Satirical notice taken of our trips to Fontainbleau-But the pulpit, not satire, the proper engine of reformation - The Reverend Advertiser of engraved serions-Petit-maitre parson-The good preacher-Picture of a theatrical clerical coxcomb-Storytellers and jesters in the pulpit reproved-Apostrophe to popular applause-Retailers of ancient philosophy expostulated with Sum of the whole matter-Effects of sacerdotal mismanagement on the laity-Their folly and extravagance-The mischiefs of profusion-Profusion itself, with all its consequent evils, ascribed, as to its principal cause, to the want of discipline in the universities.
O FOR a lodge in some vast wilderness,
That falls asunder at the touch of fire.
25 Then what is man? And what man, seeing this, And having human feelings, does not blush, And hang his head, to think himself a man? I would not have a slave to till my ground, To carry me, to fan me while I sleep,
30 And tremble when I wake, for all the wealth That sinews bought and sold have ever earn'd No: dear as freedom is, and in my heart's Just estimation priz'd above all price, I had much rather be myself the slave,
35 And wear the bonds, than fasten them on him. We have no slaves at home. Then why abroad? And they themselves, once ferried o'er the wave That parts us, are emancipate and loos’d. Slaves cannot breathe in England ; if their lungs 40 Receive our air, that moment they are free ; They touch our country, and their shackles fall. That's noble, and bespeaks a nation proud And jealous of the blessing. Spread it, then, And let it circulate through ev'ry vein
45 Of all your empire: that, where Britain's pow'r Is felt, mankind may feel her mercy too.
Sure there is need of social intercourse,
Benevolence, and peace, and mutual aid,
60 More frequent, and foregone her usual rest. Is it a time to wrangle, when the props And pillars of our planet seem to fail, And Nature with a dim and sickly eyef To wait the close of all ? But grant her end 65 More distant, and that prophecy demands A longer respite, unaccomplish'd yet ; Still they are frowning signals, and bespeak Displeasure in his breast who smites the Earth Or heals it, makes it languish or rejoice. And 'tis but seemly, that, where all deserve And stand expos’d by common peccancy To what no few have felt, there should be peace, And brethren in calamity should love. Alas for Sicily! rude fragments now
75 Lie scatter'd, where the shapely columns stood. Her palaces are dust. In all her streets The voice of singing and the sprightly chord Are silent. Revelry, and dance, and show, Suffer a syncope and solemn pause ;
80 While God performs upon the trembling stage Of his own works his dreadful part alone, How does the earth receive him? with what signs
Alluding to the calamities in Jamaica. 1 August, 18, 1783.
# Alluding to the fog that covered both Europe and Asia during the whole summer of 1783.