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|Publisher:||AMS Press, Inc.|
|Edition description:||1st AMS ed|
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THE PROGRESS OF ERROR. Si quid loquar andiendum. Hob. Lib. iv. OD. 2. Sing, muse (if such a theme, so dark, so long, May find a muse to grace it with a song), By what unseen and unsuspected arts The serpent Error twines round human hearts; Tell where she lurks, beneath what flowery shades, That not a glimpse of genuine light pervades, The poisonous, black, insinuating worm Successfully conceals her loathsome form. Take, if ye can, ye careless and supine, Counsel and caution from a voice like mine ! Truths, that the theorist could never reach, And observation taught me, I would teach. Not all, whose eloquence the fancy fills, Musical as the chime of tinkling rills, Weak to perform, though mighty to pretend, Can trace her mazy windings to their end; Discern the fraud beneath the specious lure, Prevent the danger, or prescribe the cure. The clear harangue, and cold as it is clear, Falls soporific on the listless ear; Like quicksilver, the rhetoric they display Shines as it runs, but grasp'd at, slips away. Placed for his trial on this bustling stage, From thoughtless youth to ruminating age, Free in his will to choose or to refuse, Man may improve the crisis, or abuse ; Else, on the fatalist's unrighteous plan, Say to what bar amenable were man ? With nought in charge he could betray no trust; And, if he fell, would fall because he must; If love reward him, or if vengeance strike, His recompense in both unjust alike. Divine authority within his breast Brings every thought, word, action, to the test; Warns him or prompts, approves him or restrains, As reason, or as passion, takes the reins Heaven from above, and conscience from within, Cries in his startled earAbstain from sin !The world around solicits his desire, And kindles in his soul a treacherous fire ; While, all his ...