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And deans, no doubt, and chapters, with one volte,
As bound in duty, would confirm the choice.
Behold your bishop! well he plays his part,
Christian in name, and infidel in heart,
Ghostly in office, earthly in his plan,
A slave at court, elsewhere a lady's man.
Dumb as a senator, and as a priest
A piece of mere church-furniture at best;
To live estranged from God his total scope,
And his end sure, without one glimpse of hope.
But fair although and feasible it seem,
Depend not much upon your golden dream;
For providence, that seems concerned to exempt,
The hallowed bench from absolute contempt,
In spite of all the wrigglers into place,
Still keeps a seat or two for worth and grace;
And therefore 'tis, that, though the sight be rare,
We sometimes see a Lowth or Bagot there.
Besides, school-friendships are not always found,
Though fair in promise, permanent and sound;
The most disinterested and virtuous minds,
In early years connected, time unbinds;
New situations give a different cast
Of habit, inclination, temper, taste;
And he that seemed our counterpart at first,
Soon shows the strong similitude reversed.
Young heads are giddy, and young hearts are warm,
And make mistakes for manhood to reform.
Boys are at best but pretty buds unblown,
Whose scent and hues are rather guessed than known;
Each dreams that each is just what he appears,
But learns his error in maturer years,
When disposition, like a sail unfurled,
Shows all its rents and patches to the world.
If, therefore, even when honest in design,
A boyish friendship may so soon decline,
Twere wiser sure to inspire a little heart
With just abhorrence of so mean a part,
Than set your son to work at a vile trade
For wages so unlikely to be paid.
Our public hives of puerile resort,
If shrewd, and of a well constructed brain,
Keen in pursuit, and vigorous to retain,
Ycur son come forth a prodigy of skill;
As, wheresoever taught, so formed, he will;
The pedagogue, with self-complacent air,
Claims more than half the praise as his due share..
But if, with all his genius, he betray,
Not more intelligent than loose and gay,
Such vicious habits, as disgrace his name,
Threaten his health, his fortune, and his fame;
Though want of due restraint alone have bred
The symptoms, that you see with so much dread;
Unenvied there, he may sustain alone
The whole reproach, the fault was all his own.
Oh 'tis a sight to be with joy perused, By all whom sentiment has not abused; New-fangled sentiment, the boasted grace Of those, who never feel in the right place; A sight surpassed by none that we can show, Though Vestris on one leg still shine below; A father blest with an ingenuous son, Father, and friend, and tutor, all in one. How!—turn again to tales long since forgot, .ffisop, and Phaedrus, and the rest ?—Why not? He will not blush that has a father's heart, To take in childish plays a childish part;
But bends his sturdy back to any toy,
That youth takes pleasure in, to please his boy:
Then why resign into a stranger's hand
A task as much within your own command,
That God and nature, and your interest too,
Seem with one voice to delegate to you?
Why hire a lodging in a house unknown
For one, whose tenderest thoughts all hover roonjl
This second weaning, needless as it is,
Alas, poor boy !—the natural effect
Of love by absence chilled into respect,
Say, what accomplishments, at school acquired,.
Brings he, to sweeten fruits so undesired?
Thou well deserves! an alienated son,
Unless thy conscious heart acknowledge—none;
None that, in thy domestic snug recess,
He had not made his own with more address,
Though some perhaps that shock thy feeling mind,.
And better never learned, or left behind.
Add too, that, thus estranged, thou canst obtain
By no kind arts his confidence again;
That here begins with most that long complaint
Of filial frankness lost, and love grown faint,
Which, oft neglected, in life's waning years
A parent pours into regardless ears.
Like caterpillars, dangling under trees By slender threads, and swinging in the breeze, Which filthily bewray and sore disgrace The boughs, in which are bred the unseemly race; While every worm industriously weaves And winds his web about the rivelled leaves; So numerous are the follies, that annoy The mind and heart of every sprightly boy; Imaginations noxious and perverse, Which admonition can alone disperse.