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Society, and that saps and worms the base
Of th' edifice that policy has rais'd,
Swarms in all quarters; meets the eye, the ear,
And suffocates the breath at ev'ry turn.
Profusion breeds them; and the cause itself
Of that calamitous mifchief has been found :
Found, too, where most offensive, in the fkirts
Of the rob'd pedagogue ! Elfe, let th' arraign'd
Stand up unconscious, and refute the charge.
So when the Jewish leader stretch'd his arm,
And wav'd his rod divine, a race obscene,
Spawn'd in the muddy beds of Nile, came forth,
Polluting Egypt: gardens, fields, and plains,
Were cover'd with the peft; the Areets were fill’d;
The croaking nuisance lurk’d in ev'ry nook ;
Nor palaces, nor even chambers, 'scap'd;
And the land stank--so num'rous was the fry.

THE TASK

BOOK III.

ARGUMENT OF THE THIRD BOOK.

Self-recolle&tion and reproof.- Address to domestic happi

ness.Some account of myself. The vanity of manj of their pursuits who are reputed wife.-Juftification of my cenfures.--Divine illumination necessary to the most expert philosopher. The question, What is truth answered by other questions.-Domestic happiness ad, dressed again.-Few lovers of the country.- My tami bare.-- Occupations of a retired gentleman in his gar den.Pruning.Framing.-Greenhouse.- Sowing of flower-feeds. The country preferable to the town ever in the winter.-Reasons why it is deserted at that fesfon.-Ruinous effeats of gaming and of expenhve improvement.-Book concludes with an apostrophe to the metropolis.

THE TASR.

BOOK III.

THE GARDEN.

As

one, who, long in thickets and in brakes Entangled, winds now this way and now that His devious course uncertain, seeking home; Ir, having long in miry ways been foil'd And fore discomfited, fron Nough to fough "unging, and half-despairing of escape; f chance at length he find a green.sward smooth And faithful to the foot, his spirits rise, de chirrups brisk his ear-erecting steed, fod winds his way with pleasure and with ease; io I, designing other themes, and call'd ľadorn the sofa with eulogium dae, o tell its (umbers, and to paint its dreams

Have rambled wide. In country, city, seat
Of academic fame (howe'er deserv'd),
Long held, and scarcely difengag'd at last.
But now, with pleasant pace, a cleanlier road
I mean to tread. I feel myself at large,
Courageous and refresh'd for future toil.
If toil await me, or if dangers new.

Since pulpits fail, and founding boards reflect Most part an empty ineffectual sound, What chance that I, to fame so little known, Nor conversant with men or manners much, Should speak to purpose, or with better hope Crack the satiric thong ? "Twere wiser far For me enamour'd of fequester'd scenes, And charm'd with rural beauty, to repose, Where chance may throw me, beneath elm or vine, My languid limbs, when summer fears the plains ; Or, when rough winter rages, on the soft And shelter'd Sofa, while the nitrous air Feeds a blue frame, and makes a cheerful hearth; There, undisturb'd by folly, and appriz'd How great the danger of disturbing her, To muse in silence, or at least confine Remarks that gall fo many, to the few My partners in retreat. Disgust conceald

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