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Not all that freedom of dissent I blame;
Nomthere I grant the privilege I claim.
A disputable point, is no man's ground;
Rove where you please, 'tis common all around.
Discourse may want an animated-No,
To brush the surface, and to make it flow;
But still remember, if you mean to please,
To press your point with modesty and ease,
The mark at which my juster aim I take,
Is contradiction for its own dear sake.
Set your opinion at whatever pitch,
Knots and impediments make something hitch ,
Adopt his own, tis equally in vain,
Your thread of argument is snapp'd again ;
The wrangler, rather than accord with you,
Will judge himself deceiv'd, and prove it too.
Vociferated logick kills me quite,
A noisy man is always in the right-
I twirl my thumbs, fall back into my chair,
Fix on the wainscoat a distressful stare,
And when I hope his blunders are all out,
Reply discreetly-To be sure—no doubt!
Dubious is such a scrupulous good man-
Yes—you may catch him tripping, if you can.
He would not with a peremptory tone,
Assert the nose upon his face his own;
With hesitation admirably slow,
He humbly hopes-presumes may
His evidence, if he were call'd by law
To swear to some enormity he saw,
For want of prominence and just relief,
Would hang an honest man, and save a thief.
Through constant dread of giving truth offence,
He ties up all his hearers in suspense ;
Knows what he knows, as if he knew it not ;
Whạt de remembers, seems to have forgot :
His sole opinion, whatsoe'er befall,
Cent’ring at last in having none at all



be so.



Yet, though he tease and balk your list’ning ear,

135 He makes one useful point exceeding clear ; Howe'er ingenious on his darling theme A sceptick in philosophy may seem, Reduc'd to practice, his beloved rule Would only prove him a consummate fool: 140 Useless in hiin alike both brain and speech, Fate having plac'd all truth above his reach, His ambiguities his total sum, He might as well be blind, and deaf, and dumb. Where men of judgment creep and feel their way, 145 The positive pronounce without dismay ; Their want of light and intellect supplied By sparks absurdity strikes out of pride. Without the means of knowing right from wrong, They always are decisive, clear, and'strong; 150 Where others toil with philosophick force, Their nimble nonsense takes a shorter course; Flings at your head conviction in the lump, And gains remote conclusions at a jump: Their own defect invisible to them,

155 Seen in another, they at once condemn; And, though self-idolized in ev'ry case, Hate their own likeness in a brother's face. The cause is plain, and not to be denied, The proud are always most provok'd by pride,

160 Few competitions but engender spite ; And those the most, where neither has a right.

The point of honour has been deem'd of use, To teach good manners and to curb abuse ; Admit it true, the consequence is clear,

165 Our polish'd manners are a mask we wear, And, at the bottom barb'rous still and rude, We are restrain’d, indeed, but not subdu'd. The very remedy, however sure, Springs from the mischief it intends to cure, And savage in its principle appears, Tried as it should be, by the fruit it bears


"Tis hard, indecd if nothing will defend Mankind from quarrels but their fatal end ; That now and then a hero must decease,

175 That the surviving world may live in peace. Perhaps at last close scrutiny may show The practice dastardly, and mean, and low; That men engage in it compelld by force, And fear, not courage, is its proper source,

160 The fear of tyrant custom, and the fear Lest fops should censure us, and fools should sneer. At least to trample on our Maker's laws, And hazard life for any or no cause, To rush into a fix'd eternal state

185 Out of the very fiames of rage and hate, Or send another shiv'ring to the bar With all the guilt of such unnatural war, Whatever Use may urge, or Honour plead, On Reason's verdict a madman's deed,

190 Am I to set my life upon a throw, Because a bear is rude, and surly? NoA moral, sensible, and well-bred man Will not affront me; and no other can. Were I empower'd to regulate the lists, They should encounter with well-loaded fists: A Trojan combat would be something rew, Let Dares beat Entellus black ana bile; Then each might show, to his aumiring frierds · In honourable bumps his rich amenas,

220 And carry in contusions of his skull, A satisfactory receipt in full

A story, in which native humour reigne, is often useful, always entertains : A graver fact, enlisted on your side,

205 May furnish illustration, well applied; But sedentary weavers of long tales Give me the fidgets, and my patience fails. "l'is the most asinine employ on earth, To hear them tell of parentage and birt!!, 210


And echo conversations, dull and dry,
Embellish'd with-He said, and So said I.
At ev'ry interview their route the same,
The repetition makes attention lame :
We bustle up with unsuccessful speed,

And in the saddest part cry-Droll indeed
The path of narrative with care pursue,
Still making probability your clew;
On all the vestiges of truth attend,
And let them guide you to a decent end.

220 Of all ambitions man may entertain; The worst, that can invade a sickly brain, Is that, which angles hourly for surprise, And baits its hook with prodigies and lies. Credulous infancy, or age as weak,

2525 Are fittest auditors for such to seek, Who to please others will themselves disgrace, Yet please not, but affront you to your face. A great retailer of this curious ware Having unloaded and made many stare,

Can this be true ?-an arch observer cries,
Yes, (rather mov’d) I saw it with these eyes;
Sir! I believe it on that ground alone ;
I could not, had I seen it with my own.

A tale should be judicious, clear, succinct;
The language plain, and incidents well link'd ,
Tell not as new what ev'ry body knows,
And, new or old, still hasten to a close ;
There, cent’ving in a focus round and neat,
Let all your rays of information meet.

What neither yields us profit nor delight
Is like a nurse's lullaby at night;
Guy, Earl of Warwick and fair Eleanor,
Or giant-killing Jack, would please me more.
The pipe, with solemn interposing puff,

245 Makes half a sentence at a time enough; The dozing sages drop the drowsy strain,

and puff—and speak, and pause again.

Then pause,





Such often, like the tube they so admire,
Important triflers! have more smoke than fire.
Pernicious weed! whose scent the fair annoys ;
Unfriendly to society's chief joys,
Thy worst effect is banishing for hours
The sex, whose presence civilizes ours :
Thou art indeed the drug a gard'ner wants,
To poison vermin that infest his plants ;
But are we so to wit and beauty blind,
As to despise the glory of our kind,
And show the softest minds and fairest forms
As little mercy, as he grubs and worms?
They dare not wait the riotous abuse,
Thy thirst-creating steams at length produce.
When wine has giv'n indecent language birth,
And forc'd the floodgates of licentious inirth;
For sea-born Venus her attachment shows
Still to that element from which she rose,
And with a quiet, which no fumes disturb,
Sips meek infusions of a milder herb.

Th' emphatick speaker dearly loves t' oppose,
In contact inconvenient, nose to nose,
As if the gnomon on his neighbour's phiz,
Touch'd with a magnet had attracted his.
His whisper'd theme, dilated and at large,
Proves after all a wind-gun's airy charge,
An extract of his diary-no more,
A tasteless journal of the day before.
Ho walk'd abroad, o'ertaken in the rain,
Call’d on a friend, drank tea, stepp'd home again,
Resum'd his purpose, had a world of talk
With one he stumlled on, and lost his walk.
I interrupt him with a sudden bow,
Adieu, dear Sir, lest you should lose it now.

I cannot talk with civet in the room,
A fine puss-gentleman that's all perfume ;
The sight's enough-no need to smell a beau-
Who thu usts his nose into a raree show?





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