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A Letter from Cambridge to a young Gentleman

at Eton School.


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HO' plagu'd with algebraic lectures,

And astronomical conjectures,
Wean'd from the sweets of poetry
To scraps of dry philofophy,
You fee, dear fir, I've found a time
T'express my thoughts to you in rhime.
For why, my friend, shou'd diftant parts,
Or times, disjoin united hearts,
Since, tho’ by intervening space
Depriv'd of speaking face to face,
By faithful emiffary 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 fimile,
First work it fine, and then apply;
Tag Butler's rhimes to Prior's thoughts,
And chuse to mimic all their faults,
By head and shoulders bring in a stick,
To fhew 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

refiection to be true,
That whilft 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 Flaccus'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 ; Homer indeed (for critics fhew it) Was both philosopher, and poet, But tedious philofophic chapters Quite ftifle my.poetic raptures, And I to Phæbus bade adieu When first I took my leave of you.

Now algebra, geometry,
Arithmetic, astronomy,
Optics, chronology, and statics,
All tiresome parts of mathematics;
With twenty harder names than these


brain, and break my peace.
All seeming inconsistencies
Are nicely folv'd by a's, and b's;
Our eye-fight is difprov'd by prisms,
Our arguments by fyllogisms.
If I shou'd confidently write
This ink is black, this paper white,
Or, to express myself yet fuller,
Shou'd say that black, or white's a colouri
They'd contradict it, and perplex one
With motion, rays, and their reflexion,
And solve th' apparent falsehood by
The curious texture of the eye.
Shou'd 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 hor;
The fire, fay 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 tno philosophers expound
The names of odour, taste, and found;


The falts, 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 fings,
Or Gethring tunes the trembling ftrings,
Or when the trumpet's brisk alarms
Call forth the cheerful youth to arms,
Convey'd thro'ụndulating 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,
Might whirl his prison off his back;
Or like a maggot in a nut
Full bravely eat his passage out.
Who knows what vast discoveries
From such inquiries might arise ?

T 3


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But feuds, and tumults in the nation
Disturb such curious fpeculation.
Cambridge from furious broils of state,
Foresees her near-approaching fate;
Her surest patrons are remov’d,
And her triumphant foes approv'd.

No more! this due to friend fhip take,
Not idly writ for writing's fake;
No longer question my respect,
Nor call this short delay neglect ;
At least excufe it, when you

This pledge of my fincerity;
For one who rhimes to make you eafy,
And his invention strains to pleafe you,
To fhew his friendship cracks his brains,
Sure is a mad-man if he feigns.

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HAT self-sufficiency and falfe content

Benunib the senses of the indolent !
Dead to all purposes of good, or ill,
Alive alone in an unactive will.
His only vice in no good action lies,
And his fole virtue is his want of vice.
Bufiness he deems too hard, trifles too easy,
And doing nothing finds himself too bufy.


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