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is recommended to the public, were written by your lordship. To be so distinguished, is an honour, which, being very little accustomed to favours from the great, I know not well how to receive, or in what terms to acknowledge.

When, upon some slight encouragement, I first visited your lordship, I was overpowered, like the rest of mankind, by the enchantment of your address, and could not forbear to wish that I might obtain that regard for which I saw the world contending : but I found my attendance so little encouraged, that neither pride nor modesty would suffer me to continue it. When I had once addressed your lordship in public, I had exhausted all the art of pleasing which a retired and uncourtly scholar can possess. I had done all that I could : and no man is well pleased to have his all neglected, be it ever so little.

Seven years, my lord, have now past, since I waited in your outward rooms, or was repulsed from your door; during which time I have been pushing on my work through difficulties, of which it is useless to complain, and have brought it, at last, to the

verge

of publication, without one act of assistance, one word of encouragement, or one smile of favour. Such treatment I did not expect, for I never had a patron before.

The shepherd in Virgil grew at last acquainted with Love, and found him a native of the rocks.

Is not a patron, my lord, one who looks with unconcern on a man struggling for life in the water, and when he has reached ground, encumbers him with

help? The notice which you have been pleased to take of my labours, had it been early, had been kind ; but it has been delayed till I am indifferent and cannot enjoy it; till I am solitary, and cannot impart it; till I am known, and do not want it. I hope it is no very cynical asperity not to confess obligations where no benefit has been received, or to be unwilling that the public should consider me as owing that to a patron, which Providence has enabled me to do for myself.

Having carried on my work thus far with so little obligation to any favourer of learning, I shall not be disappointed though I should conclude it, if less be possible, with less ; for I have been long wakened from that dream of hope, in which I once boasted myself with so much exultation.

My lord,
Your lordship's most humble,
Most obedient servant,

SAM. JOHNSON.

THE VANITY OF HUMAN WISHES.

Let observation with extensive view
Survey mankind, from China to Peru;
Remark each anxious toil, each eager strife,
And watch the busy scenes of crowded life;
Then say how hope and fear, desire and hate,
O’erspread with snares the clouded maze of fate,
Where wavering man, betray'd by venturous pride,
To tread the dreary paths without a guide,

As treacherous phantoms in the mist delude,
Shuns fancied ills, or chases airy good;
How rarely reason guides the stubborn choice,
Rules the bold hand or prompts the suppliant voice;
How nations sink, by darling schemes oppressed,
When Vengeance listens to the fool's request;
Fate wings with ev'ry wish the afflictive dart,
Each gift of nature and each grace of art;
With fatal heat impetuous courage glows,
With fatal sweetness elocution flows;
Impeachment stops the speaker's powerful breath,
And restless fire precipitates on death.
But, scarce observed, the knowing and the bold
Fall in the general massacre of gold;
Wide-wasting pest! that rages unconfined,
And crowds with crimes the records of mankind.
For gold his sword the hireling rufian draws;
For gold the hireling judge distorts the laws.
Wealth heaped on wealth, nor truth nor safety buys;
The dangers gather as the treasures rise.

Let history tell, where rival kings command,
And dubious title shakes the madded land,
When statutes glean the refuse of the sword,
How much more safe the vassal than the lord ;
Low skulks the hind beneath the rage of power,
And leaves the wealthy traitor in the Tower,
Untouched his cottage and his slumbers sound,
Though confiscation's vultures hover round.

The needy traveller, serene and gay,
Walks the wide heath, and sings his toil away.

Does envy seize thee? Crush the upbraiding joy,
Increase his riches, and his peace destroy :
New fears in dire vicissitude invade;
The rustling brake alarms, and quivering shade :
Nor light nor darkness bring his pain relief,—
One shows the plunder, and one hides the thief.

Yet still one general cry the skies assails,
And gain and grandeur load the tainted gales :
Few know the toiling statesman's fear or care,
The insidious rival and the gaping heir,

Once more, Democritus, arise on earth, With cheerful wisdom and instructive mirth, See motley life in modern trappings dressed, And feed with varied fools the eternal jest. Thou who couldst laugh where want enchained caprice, Toil crushed conceit, and man was of a piece ; Where wealth unloved without a mourner died ; And scarce a sycophant was fed by pride; Where ne'er was known the form of mock debate, Or seen a new-made mayor's unwieldy state; Where change of favourites made no change of laws, And senates heard before they judged a cause ; How wouldst thou shake at Briton's modish tribe, Dart the quick taunt, and edge the piercing gibe ! Attentive truth and nature to descry, And pierce each scene with philosophic eye. To thee were solemn toys or empty show The robes of pleasure and the veils of woe; All aid the farce, and all thy mirth maintain, Whose joys are causeless, or whose griefs are vain.

Such was the scorn that filled the sage's mind,
Renewed at every glance in human kind.
How just that scorn ere yet thy voice declare,
Search every state, and canvass every prayer.

Unnumbered suppliants crowd Preferment's gate
Athirst for wealth, and burning to be great;
Delusive Fortune hears the incessant call :
They mount, they shine, evaporate, and fall.
On every stage the foes of

peace

attend : Hate dogs their flight, and insult mocks their end ; Love ends with hope: the sinking statesman's door Pours in the morning worshipper no more ; For growing names the weekly scribbler lies, To growing wealth the dedicator flies; From every room descends the painted face, That hung the bright palladium of the place, And smoked in kitchens, or in auction sold, To better features yields the frame of gold; For now no more we trace in every line Heroic worth, benevolence divine; The form distorted justifies the fall, And detestation rids the indignant wall.

But will not Britain hear the last appeal Sign her foes' doom, or guard her favourites' zeal ? Through Freedom's sons no more remonstrance rings Degrading nobles, and controlling kings; Our supple tribes repress their patriot throats, And ask no questions but the price of votes ; With weekly libels and septennial ale, Their wish is full to riot and to rail.

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