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While the pent ocean, rising o'er the pile,
Thus, while around the wave-subjected soil Impels the native to repeated toil, Industrious habits in each bosom reign, And industry begets a love of gain. Hence all the good from opulence that springs, With all those ills superfluous treasure brings, Are here display'd. Their much lov'd wealth imConvenience, plenty, elegance, and arts; [parts But, view them closer, craft and fraud appear ; 18 Even liberty itself is barter'd here. At gold's superior charms all freedom flies, The needy sell it, and the rich man buys. 14 A land of tyrants, and a den of slaves, Here wretches seek dishonourable graves, And calmly bent, to servitude conform, Dull as their lakes that slumber in the storm.
12 A new] · Holland seems to be a conquest upon the sea, and in a manner rescued from its bosom.'
Gold. An. Nat. i. p. 276. 13 Even liberty] Slavery was permitted in Holland; children were sold by their parents for a certain number of years.
14 A nation once famous for setting the world an example of freedom is now become a land of tyrants and a den of slaves.'
Cit. of the World, i. p. 147. 15 So in the Cit. of the World, ii. p. 196, in praise of Britain. Yet from the vernal softness of the air, the verdure of the fields, the transparency of the streams, and the beauty of the women; here love might sport among painted lawns and warbling groves, and carol upon gales wafting at once both fragrance and harmony.'
Heavens! how unlike their Belgic sires of old ! Rough, poor, content, ungovernably bold; War in each breast, and freedom on each brow; How much unlike the sons of Britain now!
Fir'd at the sound, my genius spreads her wing, 15 And flies where Britain courts the western
spring; Where lawns extend that scorn Arcadian pride, And brighter streams than fam’d Hydaspes glide. There all around the gentlest breezes stray, There gentle music melts on every spray; Creation's mildest charms are there combin’d, Extremes are only in the master's mind! Stern o’er each bosom reason holds her state With daring aims irregularly great; Pride in their port, defiance in their eye, I see the lords of human kind pass by; Intent on high designs, a thoughtful band, By forms unfashion'd, fresh from nature's hand, Fierce in their native hardiness of soul, True to imagin'd right, above control, — While even the peasant boasts these rights to scan, And learns to venerate himself as man.
Thine, Freedom, thine the blessings pictur’dhere, Thine are those charms that dazzle and endear; Too blest, indeed, were such without alloy ; But, foster'd even by freedom, ills annoy: That independence Britons prize too high, Keeps man from man, and breaks the social tie; The self-dependent lordlings stand alone, All claims that bind and sweeten life unknown; Here, by the bonds of nature feebly held, Minds combat minds, repelling and repell’d; 16 Ferments arise, imprison’d factions roar, Represt ambition struggles round her shore; Till, over-wrought, the general system feels . Its motions stop, or frenzy fire the wheels. .
Nor this the worst. As nature's ties decay, As duty, love, and honour fail to sway, Fictitious bonds, the bonds of wealth and law, Still gather strength, and force unwilling awe. Hence all obedience bows to these alone, And talent sinks, and merit weeps unknown; Till time may come, when, stript of all her charms, The land of scholars, and the nurse of arms, Where noble stems transmit the patriot flame, Where kings have toil'd and poets wrote for fame
16 It is extremely difficult to induce a number of free beings to co-operate for their mutual benefits: every possible advantage will necessarily be sought, and every attempt to procure it must be attended with a new fermentation.'
Cit. of the World, ii. 228
One sink of level avarice shall lie,
Yet think not, thus when freedom's ills I state, 17 I mean to flatter kings, or court the great: Ye powers of truth, that bid my soul aspire, Far from my bosom drive the low desire ; And thou, fair Freedom, taught alike to feel The rabble's rage, and tyrant's angry steel; Thou transitory flower, alike undone By proud contempt, or favour's fostering sun, Still may thy blooms the changeful clime endure I only would repress them to secure: For just experience tells, in every soil, That those who think must govern those that
toil; And all that freedom's highest aims can reach, Is but to lay proportion'd loads on each. Hence, should one order disproportion'd grow, Its double weight must ruin all below.
O then how blind to all that truth requires, Who think it freedom when a part aspires! Calm is my soul, nor apt to rise in arms, Except when fast approaching danger warms:
17 •In the things I have hitherto written, I have neither allured the vanity of the great by Aattery, nor satisfied the malignity of the vulgar by scandal; but have endeavoured to get an honest reputation by liberal pursuits.'
v. Pref. to Eng. History, p. 398.
But when contending chiefs blockade the throne,
Yes, Brother, curse with me that baleful hour, When first ambition struck at regal power;
18 “It is not yet decided in politics, whether the diminution of kingly power in England tends to increase the happiness or freedom of the people. For my own part, from seeing the bad effects of the tyranny of the great in those republican states that pretend to be free, I cannot help wishing that our monarchs may still be allowed to enjoy the power of controlling the encroachments of the great at home.
Goldsmith's Pref. to Hist. of England. It is the interest of the great to diminish kingly power as much as possible.' - Vic. of Wakef. p. 101.
19 • What they may then expect may be seen by turning our eyes to Holland, Genoa, or Venice, where the laws govern the poor, and the rich govern the law.' – Vic. of Wakef. cxix.
• There was a time even here when titles softened the rigour of the law; when dignified wretches were suffered to live.'
Cit. of the World, i. 162. 20 I fly] · Marriage may all these petty tyrants chase.'
Pope's Ep. to Mrs. Blount,