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But when the breath of age commits the fault,
'Tis nauseous as the vapor of a vault.
So wither'd stumps disgrace the fylvan scene,
No longer fruitful and no longer green,
The faplefs wood divested of the bark,
Grows fungous and takes fire at ev'ry spark.
Oaths terminate, as Paul observes, all strife-
Some men have surely then a peaceful life,
Whatever subject occupy discourse,
The feats of Veftris or the naval force,
Afleveration blust'ring in your face
Makes, contradiction such an hopeless case ;
In ev'ry tale they tell, or false or true,
Well known, or such as no man ever knew,
They fix attention, heedless of your pain,
With oaths like rivets forced into the brain,
And ev'n when fober truth prevails throughout,
They swear it, 'till affirmánce breeds a doubt,
A Persian, humble servant of the sun,
Who though devout yet bigotry had none,
Hearing a lawyer, grave in his address,
With adjurations ev'ry word impress,
Supposed the man a bishop, or at least,
God's name so much upon his lips, a priest,
Bowed at the close with all his graceful airs,
And begg'd an int’rest in his frequent pray'rs.
Go' quit the rank to which ye stood preferred,
Henceforth associate in one common herd,
Religion, virtue, reason; common sense"
Pronounce your human form a false pretence,
A mere disguise in which a devil lurks,
Who: yèt betrays his secret by his works.
Ye pow'rs who rule the tongue, if such there are,
And make colloquial happiness your care,
Preserve me from the thing I dread and hate,
A duel in the form of a debate :
The clash of arguments-and-jar of words
Worse than the mortal brunt of rival swords,
Decide no question with their tedious length,
For opposition gives opinion strength,
Divert the champions prodigal of breath,
put the peaceably-disposed to death.
Oh thwart me not, Sir Soph. at ev'ry turn,
Nor carp at ev'ry faw you may discern,
Though fyllogisms hang not on my tongue,
I am not surely always in the wrongs
'Tis hard if all is false that I advance,
A fool must now and then be right, by chance.
Not that all freedom of dissent I blame,
No-there I grant the privilege I claim.
A difputable point is no man's ground,
Rove where you please; 'tis common all around,
may want an animated --NO-
To brush the surface and to make it flow,
But still remember if
mean to please,
To press your point with modesty and ease.
The mark at which my jufter aim I take,
Is contradiction for its own dear fake;
Set your opinion at whatever pitch,
Knots and impediments make something hitch,
Adopt his own, 'tis equally in vain;
Your thread of argument is snapt again ;
The wrangler, rather than accord with you,
Will judge himself deceiv'd, and prove it too.
Vociferated logic kills me quites
A noisy man is always in the right,
I twirl my thumbs, fall back into my chair,
Fix on the wainscot a distrefsful ftare,
And when I hope his blunders are all out,
Reply discreetly-to be suremno doubt.
Dubius is such a scrupulous good man-
you may catch him tripping if you can. He would not with a peremptory tone Affert the nose upon his face his own; With hesitation admirably now,': He humbly hopes, presumes it may be fo. His evidence, if he were called by law, To swear to some enormity he saw, · For want of prominence and just relief, Would hang an honest man and save a thief.
He ties up
Through constant dread of giving truth offence,
all' his hearers in suspense, Knows what he knows as if he knew it not, What he remembers feems to have forgot, His fole opinion, whatsoe'er befall, Cent'ring at last in having none at all. Yet though he teaze and baulk your list’ning ear, He makes one useful point exceeding clear ; Howe'er ingeniouś on his darling theme, A sceptic in philosophy may seem, Reduced to practice, his beloved rule, Would only prove him a consummate fool, Useless in him alike both brain and speech, Fate having placed all truth above his reach ; His ambiguities his total sum, He might as well be blind and deaf and dumb.
Where men of judgment creep and feel their way, The Positive pronounce without dismay, Their want of light and intellect supplied By sparks absurdity Atrikes out of pride :