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humble choice. You have entered upon a sacred office, where the harvest is great, and the laborers are but few ; while you have left the field of ambition, where the laborers are many, and the harvest not worth carrying away. But of all kinds of ambition—what from the refinement of the times, from differing systems of criticism, and from the divisions of party—that which pursues poetical fame is the wildest. Poetry makes a principal amusement among unpolished nations; but in a country verging to the ex

tremes of refinement, painting and music come in for

a share. As these offer the feeble mind a less laborious

entertainment, they at first rival poetry, and at length supplant her: they engross all that favor once shown to her; and, though but younger sisters, seize upon the elder's birthright. Yet, however this art may be neglected by the powerful, it is still in greater danger from the mistaken efforts of the learned to improve it. What criticisms have we not heard of late in favor of blank verse and pindaric odes, choruses, anapests and iambics, allitera

tive care and happy negligence Every absurdity has

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now a champion to defend it; and as he is generally
much in the wrong, so he has always much to say—for
error is ever talkative.
But there is an enemy to this art still more dangerous;
I mean party. Party entirely distorts the judgment,
and destroys the taste. When the mind is once infected
with this disease, it can only find pleasure in what con-
tributes to increase the distemper. Like the tiger, that
seldom desists from pursuing man after having once
preyed upon human flesh, the reader who has once grat-
ified his appetite with calumny makes ever after the
most agreeable feast upon murdered reputation. Such
readers generally admire some half-witted thing, who
wants to be thought a bold man, having lost the char-
acter of a wise one. Him they dignify with the name
of poet: his tawdry lampoons are called satires; his
turbulence is said to be force, and his frenzy fire.
What reception a poem may find which has neither
abuse, party, nor blank verse to support it, I can not
tell; nor am I solicitous to know. My aims are right.

Without espousing the cause of any party, I have at

tempted to moderate the rage of all. I have endeav

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ored to show. that there may be equal happiness in
states that are differently governed from our own; that
every state has a particular principle of happiness; and
that this principle in each may be carried to a mis-
chievous excess. There are few can judge better than
yourself how far these positions are illustrated in this
I am, DEAR siR,
Your most affectionate brother,



Or by the lazy Scheldt or wandering Po,
Or onward where the rude Carinthian boor
Against the houseless stranger shuts the door,
Or where Campania's plain forsaken lies

A weary waste expanding to the skies—

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Where’er I roam, whatever realms to see,
My heart, untravel'd, fondly turns to thee;
Still to my brother turns, with ceaseless pain,
And drags at each remove a lengthening chain.
Eternal blessings crown my earliest friend,
And round his dwelling guardian saints attend :
Bless'd be that spot, where cheerful guests retire
To pause from toil, and trim their evening fire;
Bless'd that abode, where want and pain repair,
And every stranger finds a ready chair;
Bless'd be those feasts, with simple plenty crown'd,
Where all the ruddy family around
Laugh at the jests or pranks that never fail,
Or sigh with pity at some mournful tale,
Or press the bashful stranger to his food,
And learn the luxury of doing good.
But me, not destin'd such delights to share,
My prime of life in wandering spent and care —
Impell'd with steps unceasing to pursue
Some fleeting good that mocks me with the view,
That like the circle bounding earth and skies

Allures from far, yet, as I follow, flies—

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