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And therefore prints: himself but half deceiv'd, 'Till others have the soothing tale believ'd.
Hence comment after comment, spun as fine · As bloated spiders draw the Himfy line:
Hence the fame word, that bids our lufts obey,
Is misapplied to sanctify their sway.
If stubborn Greek refuse to be his friend,
Hebrew or Syriac shall be forc'd to bend :
If languages and copies all cry, Nom
Somebody prov'd it centuries ago.
Like trout pursued, the critic, in despair,
Darts to the mud, and finds his fafety there.
Women, whom custom has forbid to fly
The scholar's pitch, (the scholar best knows why)
With all the simple and unletter'd poor,
Admire his learning, and almost adore.
Whoever errs, the priest can ne'er be wrong,
With such fine words familiar to his tongue.
! Ye ladies! (for, indiff'rent in your cause,
I should deserve to forfeit all applause)
Whatever shocks, or gives the least offence
To virtue, delicacy, truth, or sense,
(Try the criterion, 'tis a faithful guide)
Nor has, nor can have, scripture on its side.
None but an author knows an author's cares,
Or fancy's fondness for the child she bears.
Committed once into the public arms,
The baby seems to smile with added charms.
Like something precious ventured far from shore,
'Tis valued for the danger's fake the more.
He views it with complacency fupreme,
Solicits kind attention to his dream;
And daily, more enamour'd of the cheat,
Kneels, and asks heav'n to bless the dear deceit.
So one, whose story serves at least to show
Men lov'd their own productions long ago,
Woo'd an unfeeling statue for his wife,
Nor rested till the gods had given it life."
If some mere driv'ler suck the sugar'd fib,
One that still needs his leading-string and bib,
And praise his genius, he is foon repaid
In praise applied to the fame part his head.
For 'tis a rule, that holds for ever true,
Grant me discernment, and I grant it you.
Patient of contradiction, as a child
Affable, humble; diffident, and mild;
Such was sir Isaac; and such Boyle and Locke:
Your blund'rer is as sturdy as a rock. ..
The creature is so sure to kick and bite,
A muleteer's the man to fet him right.
First appetite enlists him truth's fworn foe,
Then obstinate felf-will confirms him fo.
Tell him he wanders; that his error leads
To fatal ills; that, though the path he treads
Be flow'ry, and he see no cause of fear,
Death and the pains of hell attend him there;
In vain; the slave of arrogance and pride,
He has no hearing on the prudent side.
His still refuted quirks he still repeats ;
New rais’d objections with new quibbles meets ;
'Till, sinking in the quicksand he defends,
He dies disputing, and the contest ends-
But not the mischiefs s they, still left behind,
Like thistle-seeds, are sown by ev'ry wind.
Thus men go wrong with an ingenious skill;
Bend the straight rule to their own crooked will ;
And, with a clear and shining lamp fupplied,
First put it out, then take it for a guide.
Halting on crutches of unequal size ;
One leg by truth supported, one by lies;
They sidle to the goal with awkward pace,
Secure of nothing--but to lose the race.
Faults in the life breed errors in the brain;
And these, reciprocally, those again.
The mind and conduct mutually imprint
And stamp their image in each other's mint ;
Each, fire and dam of an infernal race,
Begetting and conceiving all that's base.
None sends his arrow to the mark in view,
Whose hand is feeble, or his aim untrue,
For though, ere yet the shaft is on the wing,
Or when it first forsakes th’ elastic string,
It err but little from th' intended line,
It falls at last får wide of his design:
So he, who seeks a mansion in the sky,
Must watch his purpose with a stedfast eye;
That prize belongs to none but the sincere,
The least obliquity is fatal here.
With caution taste the sweet Circean cup:
He that sips often, at laft drinks it up.
Habits are foon affum'd; but, when we strive
To ftrip them off, 'tis being flay'd alive.
Call’d to the temple of impure delight,
He that abstains, and he alone, does right.
If a wish wander that way, call it home;
He cannot long be safe whose wishes roam,
But, if you pass the threshold, you are caught ;
Die then, if pow'r Almighty save you not.
There, hard’ning by degrees, till double steeld,
Take leave of nature's God, and God reveald;