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Than they themselves by choice, for wisdom's sake.
Nor can example hurt them: what they see
Of vice in others but enhancing more
The charms of virtue in their just esteem.
If such escape contagion, and emerge.
Pure from so foul a pool to shine abroad,
And give the world their talents and themselves,
Small thanks to those whose negligence or sloth
Exposed their inexperience to the snare,
And left them to an undirected choice.

See then the quiver broken and decay'd,
In which are kept our arrows! Busting there
In wild disorder, and unfit for use,
What wonder, if discharged into the world,
They shame their shooters with a random flight,
Their points obtuse, and feathers drunk with wine!
Well may the church wage unsuccessful war,
With such artillery arm'd. Vice parries wide
The undreaded volley with a sword of straw,
And stands an impudent and fearless mark.

Have we not track'd the felon home, and found His birthplace and his dam? The country mourns, Mourns because every plague that can infest Society, and that saps and worms the base Of the edifice that Policy has raised, Swarms in all quarters; meets the eye, the ear, And suffocates the breath at every turn. Profusion breeds them ; and the cause itself Of that calamitous mischief has been found: Found too where most offensive, in the skirts

Of the robed pedagogue! Else let the arraign'd
Stand up unconscious, and refute the charge.
So when the Jewish leader stretch'd his arm,
And waved his rod divine, a race obscene,
Spawn'd in the muddy beds of Nile, came forth,
Polluting Egypt: gardens, fields, and plains
Were cover'd with the pest; the streets were fill'd;
The croaking nuisance lurk'd in every nook;
Nor palaces, nor even chambers, 'scaped;
And the land stank—so numerous was the fry.

THE TASK. BOOK m. THE GARDEN.

AKGUMENT.

Self-recollection and reproof. Address to domestic happiness. Some account of myself. TJie vanity of many of their pursuits who are reputed wise. Justification of my censures. Divine illumination necessary to the most expert philosopher. The question, What is truth? answered by other questions. Domestic happiness addressed again. Few lovers of the country. My tame hare. Occupations of a retired gentleman in his garden. Pruning. Framing. Greenhouse. Sowing of flower seeds. The country preferable to the town even in the winter. Reasons why it is deserted at that season. Ruinous effects of gaming, and of expensive improvement. Book concludes with an apostrophe to the metropolis.

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