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By riot and incontinence the worst.
There touch'd by Reynolds, a dull blank becomes 700
A lucid mirror, in which nature sees
All her reflected features. Bacon there
Gives more than female beauty to a stone,
And Chatham's eloquence to marble lips.
Nor does the chisel occupy alone

705
The powers of sculpture, but the style as much;
Each province of her art her equal care.
With nice incision of her guided steel
She ploughs a brazen field, and clothes a soil
So sterile with what charms soe'er she will, 710
The richest scenery and the loveliest forms.
Where finds philosophy her eagle eye
With which she gazes at yon burning disk
Undazzled, and detects and counts his spots ?
In London. Where her implements exact 715
With which she calculates, computes and scans
All distance, motion, magnitude, and now
Measures an atom, and now girds a world ?
In London. Where has commerce such a mart,
So rich, so throng'd, so drain'd, and so supplied 720
As London, opulent, enlarged, and still
Increasing London ? Babylon of old
Not more the glory of the earth, than she
A more accomplish'd world's chief glory now.

She has her praise. Now mark a spot or two 725 That so much beauty would do well to purge; And show this Queen of Cities, that so fair May yet be foul, so witty, yet not wise. It is not seemly, nor of good report That she is slack in discipline,-more prompt

730

To avenge than to prevent the breach of law.
That she is rigid in denouncing death 43
On petty robbers, and indulges life
And liberty, and oft-times honour too
To peculators of the public gold.

735
That thieves at home must hang; but he that puts
Into his overgorged and bloated purse
The wealth of Indian provinces, escapes.
Nor is it well, nor can it come to good 44,
That through profane and infidel contempt 4* 740
Of holy writ, she has presumed to annul
And abrogate, as roundly as she may,
The total ordonance and will of God;
Advancing fashion to the post of truth,
And centering all authority in modes

745 And customs of her own, till sabbath rites Have dwindled into unrespected forms, And knees and hassocks are well-nigh divorced. ", God made the country, and man made the town./ What wonder then 46, that health and virtue, gifts 750

43 One to destroy is murder by the law,

And gibbets keep the lifted hand in awe.
To murder thousands takes a specious name.

Young. Sutire vii.
Where little villains must submit to fate,
That great ones may enjoy the world in state.

Dispensary. Canto ii.
** It is not, nor it cannot come to good. Hamlet.
45 An infidel contempt of holy writ

Stole by degrees upon his mind. Excursion, p. 63. 46 What wonder then, if fields and regions here Breathe forth elixir pure.

Par. Lost, ïïi. 606.

ye

That can alone make sweet the bitter draught
That life holds out to all, should most abound
And least be threatened in the fields and groves?
Possess

ye

therefore, who borne about In chariots and sedans, know no fatigue 47

755 But that of idleness, and taste no scenes But such as art contrives,-possess ye still Your element; there only ye can shine, There only minds like yours can do no harm. Our groves were planted to console at noon 760 The pensive wanderer in their shades. At eve The moon-beam sliding softly in between The sleeping leaves, is all the light they wish, Birds warbling all the music. We can spare The splendour of your lamps, they but eclipse 765 Our softer satellite. Your songs confound Our more harmonious notes. The thrush departs Scared, and the offended nightingale is mute. There is a public mischief in your mirth, It plagues your country. Folly such as yours 770 Graced with a sword, and worthier of a fan, Has made, which enemies could ne'er have done, Our arch of empire, steadfast but for you, A mutilated structure, soon to fall.

47 Pleasures fled to, to redress

The sad fatigue of idleness. Green. Spleen.
There too, my Paridel, she marked thee there,
Stretch'd on the rack of a too easy chair,
And heard thy everlasting yawn confess
The pains and penalties of idleness.

Dunciad, iv. 341.

THE TASK.

BOOK II.

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