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Boys, once on fire with that contentious zeal,
Feel all the rage that female rivals feel;
The prize of beauty in a woman's eyes
Not brighter than in their's the scholar's prize.
The spirit of that competition burns
With all varieties of ill by turns;
Each vainly magnifies his own fuccess,
Refents his fellow's, wishes it were lefs,
Exults in his mifcarriage if he fail,
Deems his reward too great if he prevail,
And labours to furpass him day and night,
Lefs for improvement than to tickle fpite.
The fpur is powerful, and I
grant its force
It pricks the genius forward in its course,
Allows fhort time for play, and none for sloth;
And, felt alike by each, advances both :
But judge, where so much evil intervenes,
The end, though plaufible, not worth the means.
Weigh, for a moment, claffical defert
Against an heart deprav'd and temper hurt;
Hurt, too, perhaps for life; for early wrong, Done to the nobler part, affects it long;
And you are ftaunch indeed in learning's caufe,
If you can crown a difcipline, that draws
Such mischiefs after it, with much applause.
Connexion form'd for int'reft, and endear'd By selfish views, thus cenfur'd and cashier'd; And emulation, as engend'ring hate, Doom'd to a no lefs ignominious fate; The props of fuch proud feminaries fall, The Jachin and the Boaz of them all. Great schools rejected, then, as those that swell Beyond a fize that can be manag'd well,
Shall royal inftitutions mifs the bays, And fmall academies win all the praife? -Force not my drift beyond its juft intent, I praise a school as Pope a government; So take my judgment in his language drefs'd"Whate'er is beft adminifter'd is beft."
Few boys are born with talents that excel,
But all are capable of living well;
Then ask not, Whether limited or large?
But, Watch they ftrictly, or neglect their charge?
If anxious only that their boys may learn,
While morals languish, a defpis'd concern,
and small deserve one common blame,
Diff'rent in fize, but in effect the same.
Much zeal in virtue's cause all teachers boast,
Though motives of mere lucre fway the most;
Therefore in towns and cities they abound,
For there the game they feek is easiest found;
Though there, in fpite of all that care can do,
Traps to catch youth are most abundant too.
If fhrewd, and of a well-conftructed brain,
Keen in purfuit, and vig'rous to retain,
Your fon come forth a prodigy of skill;
As, wherefoever taught, fo form'd, he will;
The pedagogue, with felf-complacent air,
Claims more than half the praise as his due share.
But, if, with all his genius, lie betray,
Not more intelligent than loofe and gay,
Such vicious habits as difgrace his name,
Threaten his health, his fortune, and his fame;
Though want of due restraint alone have bred
The symptoms that you fee with fo much dread;
Unenvy'd there, he may fuftain alone
The whole reproach-the fault was all his own!
Oh 'tis a fight to be with joy perus'd,
By all whom fentiment has not abus'd;
New-fangled fentiment, the boasted
Of those who never feel in the right place;
A fight furpafs'd by none that we can fhow,
Though Veftris on one leg ftill fhine below;
A father bleft with an ingenuous fon-
Father, and friend, and tutor, all in one.
How!-turn again to tales long fince forgot,
Æfop, and Phædrus, and the reft?-Why not?
He will not blush, that has a father's heart,
To take in childish plays a childish part;
But bends his fturdy back to any toy
That youth takes pleasure in, to please his boy:
Then why refign into a stranger's hand
A task as much within your own command,
That God and nature, and
Seem with one voice to delegate to you?
Why hire a lodging in a house unknown
For one whofe tend'reft thoughts all hover round your
This fecond weaning, needlefs as it is,
How does it lac'rate both your heart and his!
Th' indented ftick, that lofes day by day
Notch after notch, till all are fmooth'd away,
Bears witness, long ere his difmiffion come,
With what intense desire he wants his home.
But, though the joys he hopes beneath roof
Bid fair enough to answer in the proof,