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But small the bliss that sense alone bestows, And sensual bliss is all the nation knows. In florid beauty groves and fields appear, Man seems the only growth that dwindles here. Contrasted faults through all his inanners reign; Though poor, luxurious; though submissive, vain; Though grave, yet trifling; zealous, yet untrue; And ev’n in penance planning sins anew. All evils here contaminate the inind, That opulence departed leaves behind; For wealth was theirs, not far remov'd the date, When commerce proudly flourislı'd through the state; At her command the palace learnt to rise, Again the long-fall'n column sought the skies; The canvas glow'd beyond ev'n Nature warın, The pregnant quarry teem'd with human form, Till, more unsteady than the southern gale, Commerce on other shores display'd her sail;' While nought remain'd, of all that riches gave, But towns unmann'd, and lords without a slave: And late the nation found, with fruitless skill, Its former strength was but plethoric ill.
Yet, still the loss of wealth is here supplied
1 “Then marble soften'd into life grew warm, And yielding metal flow'd to human form.”
Pope, To Augustus. : “But more unsteady than the southern gale, Soon Commerce turn'd on other shores her sail.”
First, Second, and Third Editions. 3 “Yet, though to fortune lost, here still abide Some splendid arts, the wrecks of former pride."
First Edition, altered in Second.
Processions form’d for piety and love,
My sonl, turn from them; turn we to survey
1 "Either Sir Joshua Reynolds, or a mutual frierid who immediately communicated the story to him, calling at Goldsmith's lodgings, opene the door without ceremony, and discovered him, not in meditation or in the throes of poetic birth, but in the boyislı office of teaching a favorite dog to sit upright upon its haunches, or, as it is commonly said, to beg. Occasionally he glanced his eyes over his desk, and occasionally shook his finger at the unwilling pupil, in order to make him retain his position; while on the page before him was written that couplet, with the ink of the second line still wet, from the description of Italy:
By sports like these are all their cares beguild,
The sports of children satisfy the child.' The sentiment seemed so appropriate to the employment that the visitor could not refrain from giving vent to his surprise in a strain of banter, which was received with characteristic good-humor, and the admission at once made that the amusement in which he had been engaged had given birth to the idea.”—Prior, ii. 33. * Here followed in the first second, and third editions :
“At sports like these while foreign arms advance,
In passive ease they leave the world to chance." “When struggling Virtue sinks by long control,
She leaves at last, or feebly mans the soul.”—First Edition. “When noble aims have suffer'd long control,
They sink at last or feebly man the soul."- Second and Third Editions. “Amidst the ruin, heedless of the dead.”
First, Second, and Third Editions.
Where the bleak Swiss their stormy mansion tread,
6. Yet still, even here, content can spread a charm, Redress the clime, and all its rage disarm.
Though poor the peasant's hut, liis feast though small,
Each wish contracting, fits him to the soil.
Thus every good his native wilds impart,
This fine use of the word breasts is given by Johnson as an example in his Dictionary.
And ev'n those ills that round his mansion rise,
Such are the charms to barren states assign'd; Their wants but few, their wishes all confin'd. Yet let them only share the praises due; If few their wants, their pleasures are but few : For every want that stimulates the breast Becomes a source of pleasure when redrest. Whence from such lands each pleasing science flics, That first excites desire, and then supplies ; Unknown to them, when sensual pleasures cloy, To fill the languid pause with finer joy; Unknown those powers that raise the soul to flame, Catch every nerve, and vibrate through the frame. Their level life is but a smouldering fire, Unquench'd by want, unfann'd by strong desire ;' Unfit for raptures, or, if raptures cheer On some high festival of once a year, In wild excess the vulgar breast takes fire, Till, buried in debauch, the bliss expire.
But not their joys alone thus coarsely flow; Their morals, like their pleasures, are but low: For, as refinement stops, from sire to son Unalter’d, unimprov'd the manners run ;'
1 “And as a babe, when scaring sounds molest," etc.
First, Second, and Third Editions. * “ Their level life is but a smould'ring fire, Not quench'd by want, nor fann'd by strong desire."
First, Second, and Third Editions. • "Unalter'd, unimproved their manners run."
First, Second, and Third Editions.
And love's and friendship’s finely pointed dart
To kinder skies, where gentler manners reign,
So blest a life these thoughtless realms display,
1 "I had some knowledge of music, with a tolerable voice, and now turned what was once my amusement into a present means of subsistence. I passed among the harmless peasants of Flanders, and among such of the French as were poor enough to be very merry; for I ever found them sprightly in proportion to their wants. Whenever I approached a peasant's house towards nightfall, I played one of my most merry tunes ; and that procured me not only a lodging, but subsistence for the next day."— The Vicar of Wakefield, chap. xx.