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Yet, in my soil, the Hebrew root
Has scarcely made one single shoot.

I've now broke up, but have a task tho'
Harder than your's with Mr. Mascow ;
For mine's as knotty as the devil,
Your law and master both are civil;
With milder means to learning lead,
By diff'rent roads, with diff'rent speed,
Douglas and you keep gently jogging,
But I must run the race with flogging.






A Young Gentleman at Eton School.


THOUGH plagu'd with algebraic lectures,
And astronomical conjectures,

Wean'd from the sweets of poetry

To scraps of dry philosophy,
You see, dear HAL, I've found a time
T'express my thoughts to you in rhyme.
For why, my friend, should distant parts,
Or time, disjoin united hearts;
Since, though by intervening space
Depriv'd of speaking face to face,
By faithful emissary letter
We may converse as well, or better?
And, not to stretch a narrow fancy,
To shew what pretty things I can say,
(As some will strain at simile,
First work it fine, and then apply";

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Add Butler's rhymes to Prior's thoughts,
And choose to mimic all their faults,
By head and shoulders bring in a stick,
To shew their knack at hudibrastic,)
I'll tell you, as a friend and crony,
How here I spend my time, and money ;
For time and money go together

As sure as weathercock and weather;
And thrifty guardians all allow
This grave reflection to be true,
That whilst we pay so dear for learning
Those weighty truths we've no concern in,
The spark who squanders time away
In vain pursuits, and fruitless play,
Not only proves an arrant blockhead,
But, what's much worse, is out of pocket.
Whether my conduct bad, or good is,
Judge from the nature of my studies.

No more majestic Virgil's heights,
Nor tow'ring Milton's loftier flights,
Nor courtly Horace's rebukes,
Who banters vice with friendly jokes,
Nor Congreve's life, nor Cowley's fire,
Nor all the beauties that conspire
To place the greenest bays upon
Th' immortal brows of Addison;
Prior's inimitable ease,

Nor Pope's harmonious numbers please;
How can poetic flow'rs abound,

How spring in philosophic ground?
Homer indeed (if I would shew it)
Was both philosopher and poet,
But tedious philosophic chapters
Quite stifle my poetic raptures,
And I to Phoebus bade adieu
When first I took my leave of you.
Now algebra, geometry,
Arithmetic, astronomy,
Optics, chronology, and statics,
All tiresome points of mathematics;
With twenty harder names than these,
Disturb my brains, and break my peace.
All seeming inconsistencies

Are nicely solv'd by a's, and b's ;'
Our senses are disprov'd by prisms,
Our arguments by syllogisms.
If I should confidently write
This ink is black, this paper white,
Or, to express myself yet fuller,
Should say that black, or white's a colour;
They'd contradict it, and perplex one
With motion, light, and its reflection,
And solve th' apparent falsehood by
The curious texture of the eye.
Should I the poker want, and take it,
When't looks as hot, as fire can make it,
And burn my finger, and my coat,
They'd flatly tell me, 'tis not hot;
The fire, say they, has in't, 'tis true,

The pow'r of causing heat in you;

But no more heat's in fire that heats you, Than there is pain in stick that beats you.

Thus too philosophers expound
The names of odour, taste, and sound;
The salts and juices in all meat
Affect the tongues of them that eat,
And by some secret poignant power,
Give them the taste of sweet, and sour,
Carnations, violets, and roses

Cause a sensation in our noses;

But then there's none of us can tell
The things themselves have taste, or smell,
So when melodious Mason sings,
Or Gething tunes the trembling strings,
Or when the trumpet's brisk alarms
Call forth the cheerful youth to arms,
Convey'd through undulating air
The music's only in the ear.

We're told how planets roll on high,
How large their orbits, and how nigh;
I hope in little time to know

Whether the moon's a cheese, or no ;
Whether the man in't, as some tell ye,
With beef and carrots fills his belly;
Why like a lunatic confin'd
He lives at distance from mankind;
When he at one good hearty shake

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