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To pitch the ball into the grounded hat,
His skill in coachmanship, or driving chaise, '
The meek and bashful boy will soon be taught To be as bold and forward as he ought ; The rude will scuffle through with ease enough, Great schools suit best the sturdy and the rough. Ah, happy designation, prudent choice, Th’ event is sure, expect it and rejoice! Soon see your wish fulfill'd in either child The pert made perter, and the tame made wild. The great, indeed, by titles, riches, birth, Excus'd th' incumbrance of more solid worth, Are best dispos'd of where with most success They may acquire that confident address, Those habits of profuse and lewd expense, That scorn of all delights but those of sense, Which, though in plain plebeians we condemn, With so much reason all expect from them. But families of less illustrious fame, Whose chief distinction is their spotless name, Whose heirs, their honours none, their income small, Must shine by true desert, or not at all What dream they of, that with so little care They risk their hopes, their dearest treasure, there? They dream of little Charles or William grac’d With wig prolix, down-flowing to his waist; They see th attentive crowds his talents draw, They hear him speak-the oracle of law! The father, who designs his babe a priest, Dreams him episcopally such at least; And, while the playful jockey scours the room Briskly, astride upon the parlour broom,
In fancy sees him more superbly ride In coach with purple lin'd, and mitres on its side. Events improbable and strange as these, Which only a parental eye foresees, A public school shall bring to pass with ease. But how? resides such virtue in that air As must create an appetite for pray'r ? And will it breathe into him all the zeal That candidates for such a prize should feel, To take the lead and be the foremost still In all true worth and literary skill ? “ Ah, blind to bright futurity, untaught “ The knowledge of the world, and dull of thought ! “ Church ladders are not always mounted best “ By learned clerks and Latinists profess’d. “ Th’ exalted prize demands an upward look, “ Not to be found by poring on a book. “ Small skill in Latin, and still less in Greek, “ Is more than adequate to all I seek. « Let erudition grace him or not grace, “ I give the bawble but the second place ; “ His wealth, fame, honours, all that I intend, « Subsist and centre in one point--a friend !
“ Shall give him consequence, heal all defects. “ His intercourse with peers, and sons of peers, “ There dawns the splendour of his future years; “ In that bright quarter his propitious skies * Shall blush betimes, and there his glory rise.
“ Your Lordship, and Your Grace! what school can
teach • A rhet'ric equal to those parts of speech ? “ What need of Homer's verse or Tully's prose, “ Sweet interjections ! if he learn but those ? “ Let reverend churls his ignorance rebuke, “ Who starve upon a dog's-ear'd Pentateuch, “ The Parson knows enough who knows a duke.”.) Egregious purpose ! worthily begun In barb'rous prostitution of your son ; Press’d on his part by means that would disgrace A scriv'ner's clerk or footman out of place, And ending, if at last its end be gain’d, In sacrilege, in God's own house profan'd! It may succeed ; and, if his sins should call For more than common punishment, it shall; The wretch shall rise, and be the thing on earth Least qualified in honour, learning, worth, To occupy a sacred, awful post, In which the best and worthiest tremble most. The royal letters are a thing of course A king, that would, might recommend his horse ; And deans, no doubts, and chapters with one voice, As bound in duty, would confirm the choice. Behold your bishop! well he plays his part Christian in name, and infidel in heart,
A slave at court, elsewhere a lady's man!
To live estrang'd from God his total scope,