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Yet, hold, surmounting all the rest,
To all thy kindred striking:
Insignias of their liking.
L'ENVOY OF THE POET.
On thoughts of pedigree and boasted birth;
For, after all, our common parent's earth.
Duke of " exclaimed my friend. “ Impossible," answered I, glancing at the arms emblazoned on the pan. nel of the vehicle, where I could perceive no bar of bastardy. “ Pshaw,” replied my friend, “ your heralds, now-adays, have a method of disposing of them, so as to draw a veil over that family obloquy." Upon this he requested me to examine the arms more minutely, which I accordingly did; when lo! the cloven foot appeared, but so artfully wound round the shield in form of a garter, as to take away all appearance of the fatal bar, that insignia of illegitimacy, Thanks to the contrivance of the Collegians of Arms,
THE POET'S CHORUS TO FOOLS. Comé, trim the boat, row on each Rara Avis, Crowds flock to man my Stultifera Nayis.
OF FOOLS WHO PURSUE UNPROFITABLE STUDY.
Learning, that cobweb of the brain,
What learned doctors of the schools
* Aristotle, the famous father of this branch of philosophy, or, as others call it, pneumatology, seems to have intended by his metaphysics, a species of natural theology: yet, as
A learned wight, who folios wrote us,
in all cases of an abstruse nature, the several votaries of this science have, in some measure, varied in their ideas on the subject, for instance, Locke, in England, and Malebranche, in France, racked their brains on this theme, and although more perspicuous than the ancients, are frequently so intri. cate in their reasonings, as to send common sense a wool. gathering; so that, speaking of these philosophers, we may well exclaim with the Roman, they are but “ deliramenta doctrinæ:” or, to quote a sentence used by Mr. Locke, when he considers the association of ideas, “I conceive that such deep men of the schools only give sense to jargon, demonstration to absurdities, and consistency to nonsense; and have proved the foundation of the greatest, I had almost said, of all the errors in the world.”
* This very acute metaphysician and logician, surnamed Doctor Subtilis, most assuredly may claim the wreath of most consummate folly: for, what with speculative ideas, such as the poet has instanced in the third and fourth lines of the above stanza, which alluded to corpuscular philosophy, together with the jargon of the schools, he may well be said arenearum telas texere, while he intended to display the art of reasoning justly. Yet, soft, why do I dare presume to rail against this renowned character, whose oratory outvied the power of the famed Orpheus, by giving animation even to stone, without instrumental assistance: for we
are very gravely informed, that, while Duns Scotus was haranguing the learned doctors of the day, on the subject of the immaculate conception of the Virgin Mary, he pointed to the stone effigy of the mother of our Saviour, placed in the church of Notre Dame, at Paris, upon which, in token of assent to the position of the speaker, the image very reverent. ly bent its body, and is stated to have ever after continued in that curbed attitude. Another voluminous writer of later date, known by the name of Dr. Manton, produced in this country a thick folio volume of commentaries on the 119th psalm; to the reading of which the famous Lord Bolingbroke attributes all his scepticism on religious subjects: and indeed, the production of the above doctor forcibly brings to mind these lines of Butler:
Still so perverse and opposite,
Had got th' advowson of his conscience. Dean Swift, in speaking of the folly of fast days, has been equally sarcastic in these lines: