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men and manners, which in a calmer and more settled state of things would not probably have fallen to his share. He had experienced many of the vicissitudes which necessarily follow in the track of such a storm as then shook the fabric of national polity into ruins; he had felt the stings of adversity and persecution, he had had his portion of sunshine and of favour; and of the world as he had found it, beyond the pale and protection of his domestic Cares, he thus speaks:
Thy tedious vanity,
Fond shameless world, and canst thou ween I will for thee ev'n common sense deny ?
Thou wear'st a beauteous skin, I grant;
Or is the poison's soul
Less its curs'd self, because it lies In the brave ambush of a golden bowl?
When Israel's and Wisdom's king
Prove base and counterfeits ?
Whose stamp tho' neat, and colour gay, Their purest ore was but refined cheats.
And oh that I had been content
By thee deceived to be,
'Tis not another world could win My heart to dote or trust on empty thee.
Go, fawn on those, whose frothy mind
Can solace in a bubble find,
Who by the lying paint
With the same good sense, and just estimate of what is prized by the mass of mankind greatly beyond its intrinsic value, has he weighed, and found wanting in the balance, many of those dazzling and seductive accomplishments which
have been but too often the handmaids of ambition, and have served but to render their possessor, either in a political or ecclesiastical light, the tyrant and enslaver of his species. Among these, no one has been wrested to worse purposes, or more effectually subserved the machinations of tyranny, hypocrisy, and superstition, than eloquence, whether flowing from the pen or tongue. In the latter capacity, indeed, it has done more mischief than the sword, and not only imposed upon, and led astray, the thoughtless and ignorant multitude, but, in numberless instances, the wise, the good, the great. To distrust, therefore, such a dangerous faculty, unless supported by a corresponding rectitude of conduct, should be the duty of every prudent man; and the following lines of our author, which inculcate the necessity for such caution in the most emphatic language, may be considered in the light of a salutary beacon. I would particularly call attention to the concluding stanza, as alike admirable for its force and perspicuity.
To speak or write
Judgment, and trimm'd with handsome wit ; Sweet numbers, which can Pleasure's soul distil, And thro' the willing heart their conquests thrill;
Words tuned by
And the Creator's glory sing,
Is brave, I grant:
That man for me,
Zeal's gallant flames. I dare not found
Substantial worth upon a sound :
Yet whatever may have been the privations and disappointments which our author was condemned to experience, in consequence of the temporary overthrow of the constitution in church and state, we know that he waited the return of better times with faith, and charity, and hope ; and the poems now before me, which were written during the gloomiest period of national anarchy, exhibit, in almost every page, proofs of this happy disposition, proofs not only of his piety and Christian forgiveness, but of that cheerfulness and alacrity of spirit which could only spring from a mind conscious of having acted well, and therefore at peace within itself. There are, in particular, four poems towards the conclusion of the series, entitled “ The Times," “ Idleness," “ Hope," and “ Content,” which strongly mark this character of the man. From the first I give two stanzas, as affording an admirable lesson for those who,