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And, having dropp'd th' expected bag, pafs on.
He whistles as he goes, light-hearted wretch,
Cold and yet cheerful: meffenger of grief
Perhaps to thousands, and of joy to fome;
To him indiff'rent whether grief or joy.
Houses in afhes, and the fall of stocks,
Births, deaths, and marriages, epistles wet
With tears, that trickled down the writers' cheeks
Faft as the periods from his fluent quill,
Or charg'd with am'rous fighs of absent swains,
Or nymphs refponfive, equally affect
His horfe and him, unconscious of them all.
But oh th' important budget! ufher'd in
With fuch heart-fhaking mufic, who can fay
What are its tidings? have our troops awak'd?
Or do they ftill, as if with opium drugg'd,
Snore to the murmurs of th' atlantic wave?
Is India free? and does she wear her plum'd
And jewell'd turban with a smile of peace,
Or do we grind her ftill? The grand debate,
The popular harangue, the tart reply,
The logic, and the wisdom, and the wit,
And the loud laugh-I long to know them all;
I burn to fet th' imprifon'd wranglers free,
And give them voice and utt'rance once again.
Now stir the fire, and close the shutters fast,
Let fall the curtains, wheel the fofa round,
And, while the bubbling and loud-hiffing urn
Throws up a steamy column, and the cups,
That cheer but not inebriate, wait on each,
So let us welcome peaceful ev'ning in.
Not fuch his ev'ning, who with fhining face
Sweats in the crowded theatre, and, fqueez'd
And bor'd with elbow-points through both his fides,
Out-fcolds the ranting actor on the stage:
Nor his, who patient stands till his feet throb,
And his head thumps, to feed upon the breath
Of patriots, bursting with heroic rage,
Or placemen, all tranquillity and fmiles.
This folio of four pages, happy work!
Which not ev'n critics criticife; that holds
Inquifitive attention, while I read,
Fast bound in chains of filence, which the fair,
Though eloquent themselves, yet fear to break;
What is it, but a map of busy life,
Its fluctuations, and its vaft concerns?
Here runs the mountainous and craggy ridge
That tempts ambition. On the fummit fee
The feals of office glitter in his eyes;
He climbs, he pants, he grafps them! At his heels,
Close at his heels, a demagogue afcends,
And with a dextrous jerk foon twists him down,
And wins them, but to lose them in his turn.
Here rills of oily eloquence in foft
Meanders lubricate the course they take;
The modeft fpeaker is afham'd and griev'd
T'engrofs a moment's notice, and yet begs,
Begs a propitious ear for his poor thoughts,
However trivial all that he conceives.
Sweet bafhfulness! it claims at least this praise;
The dearth of information and good fenfe
That it foretells us always comes to pass.
Cat'racts of declamation thunder here;
There forefts of no meaning spread the page,
In which all comprehenfion wanders, loft;
While fields of pleasantry amufe us there
With merry defcants on a nation's woes.
The reft appears a wilderness of strange
gay confufion; roses for the cheeks,
And lilies for the brows of faded age,
Teeth for the toothless, ringlets for the bald,
Heav'n, earth, and ocean, plunder'd of their sweets,
Nectareous effences, Olympian dews,
Sermons, and city feafts, and fav'rite airs,
Æthereal journies, fubmarine exploits,
And Katterfelto, with his hair on end
At his own wonders, wond'ring for his bread.
'Tis pleasant through the loop-holes of retreat
peep at fuch a world; to fee the stir
Of the great Babel, and not feel the crowd;
To hear the roar fhe fends through all her gates
At a fafe distance, where the dying found
Falls a foft murmur on th' uninjur'd ear.
Thus fitting, and furveying thus at ease
The globe and its concerns, I feem advanc'd
To fome fecure and more than mortal height,
That lib'rates and exempts me from them all.
It turns fubmitted to my view, turns round
With all its generations; I behold
The tumult, and am ftill. The found of war
Has loft its terrors ere it reaches me;
Grieves, but alarms me not. I mourn the pride
And av'rice that make man a wolf to man;
Hear the faint echo of those brazen throats
By which he speaks the language of his heart,
And figh, but never tremble at the found.
He travels and expatiates, as the bee
From flow'r to flow'r, fo he from land to land;
The manners, cuftoms, policy, of all