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For twenty or thirty years past, it has been the fashion to consider luxury as one of the greatest national advantages: and all the wisdom of antiquity, in that particular, as erroneous. Still, however, I must remain a professed ancient on that head, and continue to think those luxuries prejudicial to states, by which so many vices are introduced, and so many kingdoms have been undone. Indeed, so much has been poured out of late on the other side of the question, that merely for the sake of novelty and variety one would sometimes

wish to be in the right.

I am, DEAR SIR,
Your sincere friend,

and ardent admirer,

OLIVER GOLDSMITH.

Seats of my youth, when every sport could please – 6

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How often have Iloiter'd o'er thy green,
Where humble happiness endear'd each scene;
How often have I paus’d on every charm—
The shelter'd cot, the cultivated farm,
The never failing brook, the busy mill,
The decent church that topp'd the neighboring hill,
The hawthorn bush with seats beneath the shade

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How often have I bless'd the coming day
When toil remitting lent its turn to play,
And all the village train, from labor free,
Led up their sports beneath the spreading tree—
While many a pastime circled in the shade,
The young contending as the old survey'd,
And many a gambol frolick'd o'er the ground,
And sleights of art and feats of strength went round:
And still, as each repeated pleasure tir’d,
Succeeding sports the mirthful band inspir’d—
The dancing pair that simply sought renown
By holding out to tire each other down,
The swain mistrustless of his smutted face
While secret laughter titter'd round the place,
The bashful virgin's sidelong looks of love,
The matron's glance that would those looks reprove.
These were thy charms, sweet village 1 sports like these,
With sweet succession, taught even toil to please;
These round thy bowers their cheerful influence shed;
These were thy charms—but all these charms are fled.
Sweet smiling village, loveliest of the lawn,

Thy sports are fled, and all thy charms withdrawn; 36

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