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“ And lest the Company should hear, “ Whispers bis Nothings in your Ear. “ Think
'twas Zeal, or Virtue's Care " That placed the smirking Doctor there? “ No—'twas Connections form’d at School “ With some rich Wit, or noble Fool, “ Obsequious Flattery, and Attendance ; " A wilful, useful, base dependance; “ A supple bowing of the Knees “ To any human God you please. “ (For true good-breeding's so polite, “ 'Twould call the very Devil white) “ 'Twas watching others shifting Will, “ And veering to and fro with Skill: “ These were the means that made him rise, “Mind your connections, and be wise."
Methinks I hear son Tom reply,
I'll be a Bishop by and by.
Connections at a public School
Will often serve a wealthy Fool,
By lending him a letter'd Knave
To bring him Credit, or to save ;
And Knavery gets a profit real,
By giving parts and worth ideal,
The Child that marks this slavish Plan,
Will make his Fortune when a Man,
While honest Wit's ingenuous Merit
Enjoys his pittance, and his Spirit.
The Strength of public Education
Is quick’ning Parts by EMULATION;
And Emulation will create
In narrow minds a jealous state,
Which stifled for a course of Years,
From want of Skill or mutual Fears,
Breaks out in manhood with a zeal,
Which none but rival Wits can feel.
For when good people Wits commence,
They lose all other kind of sense ;
(The maxim makes you smile, I see,
Retort it when you please on me)
One writer always hates another,
As Emperors would kill a brother,
Or Empress Queen to rule alone,
Pluck down a Husband from the Throne.
When tir'd of Friendship and alliance, Each side springs forward to defiance, Inveterate Hate and Resolution, Faggot and Fire and Persecution, Is all their aim, and all their cry, Though neither side can tell you why. To it they run like valiant Men, And Aash about them with their Pen.
What Inkshed springs from Altercation ! What loppings off of Reputation ! You might as soon hush stormy Weather, And bring the North and South together, As reconcile your létter'd foes, Who come to all things but dry blows.
Your desperate lovers wan and pale, As needy culprits in a jail, Why muse and doat, and pine, and die, Scorch'd by the light’ning of an eye, (For ladies' eyes, with fatal stroke, Will blast the veriest heart of oak) Will wrangle, bicker, and complain, Merely to make it up again. Though Swain look glum, and Miss look fiery, 'Tis nothing but amantium iræ, And all the progress purely this A frown, a pout, a tear, a kiss. Thus love and quarrels (April weather) Like vinegar and oil together, Join in an easy mingled strife, To make the sallad up of life. Love settles best from altercation, As liquors after fermentation.
In a stage-coach, with lumber cramm’d, Between two bulky bodies jamm’d,
Did you ne'er writhe yourself about,
To find the seat and cushion out?
How disagreeably you sit,
With b-m awry, and place unfit,
Till some kind jolt o'er ill-pav'd town,
Shall wedge you close, and nail you down;
So fares it with your fondling dolts,
And all love's quarrels are but jolts.
When tiffs arise, and words of strife
Turn one to two in man and wife,
(For that's a matrimonial course
Which yoke-mates must go through perforce,
And ev'ry married man is certain
T'attend the lecture call'd the curtain)
Tho' not another word is said,
When once the couple are in bed:
There things their proper channel keep,
(They make it up, and go to sleep)
These fallings in and fallings out,
Sometimes with cause, but most without,
Are but the common modes of strife,
Which oil the springs of married life,
Where sameness would create the spleen,
For ever stupidly serene.
Observe yon downy bed-to make it, You toss the feathers up, and shake it.
So fondness springs from words and scuffling,
As beds lie smoothest after shuffling.
But Authors wranglings will create
The very quintessence of hate;
Peace is a fruitless vain endeavour,
Sworn foes for once, they're foes for ever.
-Oh! had it pleas'd my wiser betters
That I had never tasted letters,
Then no Parnassian maggots bred,
Like fancies in a madman's head,
No graspings at an idle name,
No childish hope of future fame,
No impotence of wit had ta'en
Possession of my muse-struck brain.
Or had my birth, with fortune fit,
Varnish'd the dunce, or made the wit;
I had not held a shameful place,
Nor letters paid me with disgrace.
-O! for a pittance of my own,
That I might live unsought, unknown!
Retir'd from all this pedant strife,
Far from the cares of bust’ling life;
Far from the wits, the fools, the great,
And all the little world I hate.