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IX POUR EPISTLES TO SEVERAL PERSONS.
Mean though I am, not wholly so,
to be a little more particular concerning each of Since quicken'd by thy breath;
these projected books. O lead me wheresoe'er I go,
The first, as it treats of man in the abstract, Through this day's life or death.
and considers hin in general under every of his This day, be bread and peace my lot:
relations, becomes the foundation, and furnishes All else beneath the Sun,
out the subjects, of the three following; so that Thou know'st if best bestow'd or not,
The second book was to take up again the first And let thy will be done.
and second epistles of the first book, and treats
of man in his intellectual capacity at large, as has To thee, whose temple is all space,
been explained above. Of this only a small part Whose altar, earth, sea, skies !
of the conclusion (which, as we said, was to have One chorus let all being raise!
contained a satire against the misapplication of All Nature's incense rise!
wit and learning) may be found in the fourth book of the Dunciad, and up and down, occa. sionally, in the other three.
The third book, in like manner, was to reMORAL ESSAYS,
assume the subject of the third epistle of the first, which treats of man in his social, political, and
religious capacity. But this part the poet afterFsı brevitate opus, ut currat sententia, neu se wards conceived might be best executed in an Impediat verbis lassas onerantibus aures:
epic poem, as the action would make it more aniEt's rinone opus est modo tristi, sæpe jocoso,
mated, and the fable less invidious; in which ail Defendente vicem modo Rhetoris atque Poëtæ, the great principles of true and false governments Interdum urbani, parcentis viribus, atque and religions should be chiefly delivered in feigned Extenuantis eas consultò.
The fourth and last book was to pursue the ADVERTISEMENT.
subject of the fourth epistle of the first, and treats
of ethics, or practical morality; and would have The Essay on Man was intended to have been com- consisted of many members; of which the four prised in four books;
following epistles were detached portions; the two The first of which, the author has given us un- tirst, on the characters of men and women, der that title, in four epistles.
bcing the introductory part of this concluding The second was to have consisted of the same book. number: 1. Of the extent and limits of human
2. Of those arts and sciences, and of the parts of them, which are useful, and there
MORAL ESSAYS. fore attainable together with those which are unuseful, and therefore unattainable. 3. Of the nature, ends, use, and application of the different TO SIR RICHARD TEMPLE, L. COBHAM. capacities of men. 4. Of the use of learning, of tlie science of the world, and of wit; concluding with a satire against a misapplication of them,
ARGUMENT. illustrated hy pictures, characters, and examples.
The third book regarded civil regimen, or the science of politics, in which the several forms of a
1. That it is not suflicient for this knowledge to republic were to be examined and explained ;
consider man in the abstract: books will not together with the several modes of religious wor. serve the purpose, not yet our own experience ship, as far forth as they affect society ; between singly, ver. 1. General maxims, unless they be which the author always supposed there was the formed upon both, will be but notional, ver. most interesting relationand closest connection ; $0 10. Some peculiarity in every man, characthat this part would have treated of civil and religi
teristic to himself, yet varying from himself, ous society in their full extent.
15. Difficulties arising from our own The fourth and last book concerned private passions, fancies, faculties, &c. ver. 31. The ethics, or practical morality, considered in all the shortness of life to observe in, and the uncercircumstances, orders, professions, and stations of tainty of the principles of action in men to human life.
observe by, ver. 37. &c. Our own principle of The scheme of all this had been maturely digest
action often hid from ourselves, ver. 41. Sonne ed, and communicated to lord Bolingbroke, Dr.
few characters plain, but in general confounded, Swift, and one or two more, and was intended for dissembled, or inconsistent, ver. 51. The same the only work of his riper years; but was, partly
nian utterly different in different places and through ill health, partly through discourage seasons, ver. 71. Unimaginable weaknesses in inents from the depravity of the tiines, and partly
the greatest, ver. 70, &c. Nothing constant on prudential and other considerations, interrupt.
and certain but God and natura, ver. 95. No ed, postponed, and, lastly, in a manner laid jurging of the motives from the actious; the aside.
same actions proceeding from contrary motives, But as this was the author's favourite work,
and the same motives influencing contrary acwhich more exactly reflected the image of his tions, ver. 100. 11. Yet, to form characters, strong capacious minil, and as we can have but a we can only take the stcongest actions of a man's very imperfert idea of it from the disjecta mein- life, and try to make them agree: the utter bra poetæ, that now remain, it may not be an iss uncertainty of this, from nature itself, and from
OF THE KNOWLEDGE AND CHARACTERS OF MEN,
policy, ver. 120. Characters given according True, some are open, and to all men known;
And in the cunning, truth itself's a lic:
70 Yes, you despise the man to books confin'd, See the same man, in vigour, in the gout; Who from his study rails at human-kind;
Alone, in company; in place, or out; Though what he leams he speaks, and may advance Early at business, and at hazard late; Some general maxims, or be right by chance.
Mad at a fox-chase, wise at a debate; The coxcomb bird, so talkative and grave,
Drunk at a borough, civil at a ball; That from his cage cries cuckold, whore, and knave, Friendly at Hackney, faithless at Whitehall. Though many a passenger he rightly call,
Catius is ever moral, ever grave. You hold him no philosopher at all.
Thinks who endures a knave, is next a knave, And yet the fate of all extremes is such,
Save just at dinner-then prefors, no doubt,
80 Dien may be read, as well as books, too much. 10 A rogue with venison to a saint without. To observations which ourselves we make,
Who would not praise Patricio's high desert, We grow more partial for th'observer's sake;
His hand unstain'd, his uncorrupted heart, To written wisdom, as another's, less :
His comprehensive head! all interests weigh’d, Maxims are drawn from notions, these from guess.
All Europe sav'd, yet Britain not betray'd. There's some peculiar in each leaf and grain,
He thanks you not, his pride is in piquette, Some upmark'd fibre, or some varying vein :
Newmarket.fame, and judgment at a bett. Shall only man be taken in the gross ?
What made (say, Montagne, or more sage CharGrant but as many sorts of mind as moss.
Otho a warrior, Cromwell a buffoon? [ron!) That cach from other differs, first confess;
A perjured prince a leadeu saint revere, Next, that he varies from himself no less; 20 godless regent tremble at a star?
90 Add nature's, custom's, reason's, passion's strife,
The throne a bigot kcep, a genius quit, And all opinion's colours cast on life.
Faithless through piety, and dup'd through wit? Our depths who fathoms, or our shallow's finds, Europe a woman, child, or <lotard rule, Quick whirls, and shitting eddies, of our minds?
And just her wisest monarch made a fool ? On human actions reasun though you can,
know, God and Nature only are the same : It may be reason, but it is not ma:
In man, the judgement shoots al sing game; His principle of action once explore,
A bird of passaye! gone as soon as found, That instant 'tis his principle no more.
Now in the Moon perhaps, now under ground. Like following life through creatures you dissect,
In vain the saye, with retrospective eye, You lose it in the inoment vou detect.
30 Would from th' apparent what conclude the why, Yet more; the difference is as great between
Inter the motive from the deed, and she w, 101 The optics seeing, as the objects seen.
That what we chanc'd, was what we meant to do. All manners take a tincture from our own;
Behold if Fortune or a mistress frowns, Or come discolour'd through our passions shown.
Some plunge in business, others shave their crowns: Or Fancy's beam enlarges, multiplies,
To case the soul of one oppressive weight, Contracts, inverts, and give's ten thousand dyes. This quits an empire, that embroils 1 state : Nor will life's stream for observation stay,
The sarne adust complexion bas impellid It hurries all too fast to mark their way :
Charles to the convent, Philip to the tield. In vain sedate reflections we would make,
Not always actions show the man:
Perhaps the wind just shifted from the east:
After ver. 86. in the former editions, (hough past the recollection of the thought)
Triumphant leaders at an army's head, Becomes the stuff of which our dream is wrought :
Hemm'd round with glories, pilfer cloth or bread; Somcthing is diin to our internal view,
As meanly plunder as they bravely fought, Is thus, perhaps, the cause of most we do. 50 Now save a people, and now save a groat
Not therefore humble he who seeks retreat, Opinions ? they still take a wider range: 170 Pride guides his steps, and bids him shun the great: Find, if you can, in what you cannot change. Who combats bravely is not therefore brave,
Manners with fortunes, humours turn with climes, He dreads a death-bed like the meanest slave: Tenets with books, and principles with times. Who reasons wisely is not therefore wise,
Search then the ruling passion : there, alone, His pride in reasoning, not in acting, lies.
The wild are constant, and the cuoning known ; But grant that actions best discover man; The fool consistent, and the false sincere; Take the most strong, and sort them as you can. Priests, princes, women, no dissemblers bere. The few that glare, each character must mark, 121 | This clue once found, upravels all the rest, You balance not the many in the dark.
The prospect clears, and Wharton stands confest. What will you do with such as disagree?
Wharton, the scorn and wonder of our days, 180 Suppress them, or miscall them policy?
Whose ruling passion was the lust of praise ; Must then at once (the character to save) Born with whate'er could win it from the wise, The plain rough hero turn a crafty knave? Women and fools must like him, or he dies: Alas! in truth the man but chang'd his mind, Though wondering senate's hung on all he spoke, Perhaps was sick, in love, or had not din'd. The club must bail him master of the joke. Ask why from Britain Cæsar would retreat ? Shall parts so various aim at nothing new? Cæsar limself might whisper, he was beat, 130 | He'll shine a Tully and a Wilmot too. Why risk the world's great empire for a punk? Then turns repentant, and his God adores Cæsar perhaps might answer, he was drunk. With the same spirit that he drinks and whores; But, sage historians ! 'tis your task to prove Enough if all around him but admire, 190 One action, conduct; one, heroic love.
And now the punk applaud, and now the friar. "Tis from high life high characters are drawn : Thus with each gift of Nature and of Art, A saint in crape is twice a saint in lawn;
And wanting nothing but an honest heart; A judge is just, a chancellor juster still;
Grown all to all, from no one vice exempt; A gownman learn'd; a bishop, what you will; And most contemptible, to shun contempt ; W'ise, if a minister ; but, if a king, (thing. 140 His passion still, to covet general praise ; More wise, more learn'd, more just, more every His life, to forfeit it a thousand ways; Court-virtues bear, like gems, the highest rate, A constant bounty, which no friend has made ; Born where Heaven's influencescarce can penetrate: An angel tongue, which no man can persuade; In life's low vale, the soil the virtues like,
A fool, with inore of wit than half mapkind, 200 They please as beauties, here as wonders strike,
Too rash for thonght, for action too refind:
He dies, sad outcast of each church and state, And justly set the gem above the flower.
And, harder still ! flagitious, yet not great.
When Cæsar made a noble dame a whore ;
Were means, not ends; ainbition was the vice,
Lucullus, when frugality could charm, That gay free-thinker, a fine talker once, Had roasted tumips in the Sabine farm. What turns him now a stupid, silent dunce! In vain the observer eyes the builder's toil, 220 Some god, or spirit, he has lately found ;
But quite mistakes the scaffold for the pile. Or chanc'd to meet a minister that frown'd,
In this one passion man can strength enjoy, Judge we by nature? habit can efface,
As fits give vigour, just when they destroy. Interest o'ercome, or policy take place :
Time, that on all things lays his lenient hand, By actions ? those uncertainty divides :
Yet tames not this; it sticks to our last sand. By passions ? these dissimulation hides :
Consistent in our follies and our sins,
Old politicians chew on wisdom past,
And totter on in busjuess to the last ; Ver. 129. in the former editions :
As weak, as earnest; and as gravely out, 250 Ask why froin Britain Cæsar made retreat ?
As sober Lanesborow dancing in the gout. Cæsar himself would tell you he was beat.
Behold a reverend sire, whom want of grace The mighty Czar what mov'd to wed a punk?
Has made the father of a naineless race, The mighty Czar would tell you he was drunk.
Altered as above, because Cæsar wrote his Commentaries of this war, and does not tell you he was beat. As Cæsar too afforded an instance of In the former editions, ver. 208. both cases, it was thought better to make him the Nature well known, no miracles remain. single example.
Altered, as above, for very obvious reasons,
Shor'd from the wall perhaps, or rudely press'd Rufa, whose eye, quick glancing o'er the Park, By his own son, that passes by unbless'd :
Attracts each light gay meteor of a spark,
As Sappho's diamonds with her dirty smock;
mercy on my soul ! So morning insects, that in muck begun, Is there no hope ?dlas !--then bring the jowl." Shine, buzz, and fly-blow in the setting-sun,
The frugal crone, whom praying priests attend, How soft is Silia! fearful to offend; Still strives to save the hallow'd taper's end, The frail-one's advocate, the weak-one's friend. 30 Collects her breath, as ebbing life retires,
To her Calista prov'd her conduct nice; For one puff more, and in that puff expires, And good Simplicius asks of her advice.
“Odious ! in woollen ! 'twould a saint provoke,” Sudden, she storins! she raves! You tip the rink, (Were the last words that poor Narcissa spoke) But spare your censure; Siliá does not drink. “ No, let a charming chiutz and Brussel's lace, All eyes may see from what the change aruse, Wrap my cold limbs, and shade my lifeless face: All eyes may see a pimple on her nose. One would not, sure, be frightful when one's dead Papillia, wedded to her amorous spark, And-Betty-give this cheek a little red.” (250 Sighs for the shades-“ How charining is a park!"
The courtier smooth, who forty years had shin'd A park is purchas'd, but the fair he sees An humble servant to all human-kind, (stir, All bath' in tears" Oh odious, odious trees !" 40 Just bronght out this, when scarce his tongue could Ladies, like variegated tulips, show, * If-where I'm going->I could serve you, sir !" "Tis to their changes half their charms we owe; “ I give and I devise" (old Euclio said,
Fine by defect, and delicately weak, And sigh'd) “my lands and tenements to Ned.” Their happy spots the nice admirer take. Your money, sir?" My money, sir, what all? 'Twas thus Calypso once each heart alarm’d, "Why,mif I must”---(then wept) "" I give it Paul.” | Aw'd without virtue, without beauty charm'd; The inanor, sir?-" The manor ! hold, he cry d. Her tongue bewitch'd as oddly as her eyes, “ Not that, I cannot part with that,”—and dy'd. Less wit than mimic, more a wit than wise;
And you ! brave Cobham, to the latest breath, Strange graces still, and stranger flights she had,
Narcissa's nature, tolerably mild,
Has er'n been prov'd to grant a lover's prayer,
And paid a tradesman once to make him stare;
Gave alms at Easter, in a Christian trin,
And made a widow happy, for a whim.
finished than this epistle: yet its success was in Wh«n 'tis by that alone she can be borne? 60 no proportion to the pains he took in composing Why pique all mortals, yet affect a name? it. Something he chanced to drop in a short A fool to pleasure, yet a slave to fame: advertisement prefixed to it, on its first publica- Now deep in Taylor and the Book of Martyrs, tion, may perhaps account for the small atten- Now drinking citron with his grace and Chartres; tion given to it. He said that no one character Now conscience chills her, and now passion burns; in it was drawn from the life. The public be- And atheism and religion take their turns ; lieved him on his word, and expressed little A very Heathen in the carnal part, curiosity about a satire, in which there was Yet still a sad good Christian at her heart. nothing personal.
See Sin in state, majestically drunk,
Proud as a peeress, prouder as a punk; Noruing so true as what you once let fall, Chaste to her husband, frank to all beside, " Most women have no characters at all."
A teening mistress, but a barren bride. Matter too soft a lasting mark to bear,
What then? let blood and body bear the fault, And best distinguish'd by black, brown, or fair. Her head's untouch'd, that noble seat of thought;.
How many pictures of one nymph we view, Such this day's doctrine in another fit All how unlike each other, all how true!
She sins with poets through pure love of wit. Arcadia's countess, here, in ermin'd pride, What has not fir'd her bosom or her brain? Is there, Pastora by a fountain side.
Casar and Tall--boy, Charles and Charlemagne. Here Pannia, leering on her own good man, As Helluo, late dictator of the feast, And there, a naked Leda with a swan. 10 The nose of Haut-gout, and the tip of Taste, 80 Let then the fair-one beautifully cry,
Critiqu'd your wine, and analyz'd your meat, In Magdalene's loose hair, and lifted eye,
Yet on plain pudding deign'd at home to eat; Or drest in smiles of sweet Cecilia shine,
So Philoinedé, lecturing all mankind
Ver. 77. What has not fir'd, &c.] In the MS. Chuse a firm cloud, before it fall, and in it (20 In whose mad brain the mix'd ideas roll, Catch, ere she change, the Cynthia of this minute.
Of Tall-boy's breeches, and of Cæsar's soul.
Th’ address, the delicacy~stoops at once, Atossa, curs'd with every granted prayer,
Childless with all her children, wants an heir. Flavia's a wit, has too much sense to pray;
To heirs unknown descends th' unguarded store, To toast our wants and wishes, is her way;
Or wanders, Heaven-directed, to the poor.
150 Nor asks of God, but of her stars, to give
Pictures, like these, dear madam, to design, The mighty blessing, “ while we live, to live.” 90 Asks no firin hand, and no unerring line ; Then all for death, that opiate of the soul ! Some wandering touches, some reflected light, Lucretia's dagger, Rosamonda's bowl.
Some flying stroke alone can hit them right: Say, what can cause such impotence of mind ? For how should equal colours do the knack? A spark too fickle, or a spouse too kind.
Chameleons who can paint in white and black? Wise wretch! with pleasures too refin’d to please; “ Yet Chloe surt was form'd without a spot.”With too much spirit to be e'er at ease;
Nature in her then err'd not, but forgot. With too much quickness ever to be taught; “ With every pleasing, every prudent part, 1160 With too much thinking to have common thought: Say, what can Chloe want?”-She wants a heart. You purchase pain with all that joy can give, She speaks, behaves, and acts just as she ought; And die of nothing but a rage to live. 100 But never, never reach'd one generous thought. Turn then from wits; and look on Simo's mate,
Virtue she finds too painful an endeavour,
Content to dwell in decencies for ever.
Can mark the figures on an Indian chest;
Forbid it Heaven, a favour or a debt Or who in sweet vicissitude appears
She e'er should cancel-but she may forget. Of mirth and opium, ratafie and tears,
110 Safe is your secret still in Chloe's ear; The daily anodyne, and nightly draught,
But none of Chloe's shall you ever hear.
But what are these to great Atossa's mind ? She bids her footinan put it in her head.
One certain portrait may (I grant) be seen, Shines, in exposing knaves, and painting fools, Which Heaven has varpish'd out, an'lmade a qurea : Yet is, whate'er she hates and ridicules. 120 The sanie for ever! and describ'd by all No thonghi advances, but her eddy brain
With truth and goodness, as with crown and ball. Whisks it about, and down it goes again."
Ports heap virtues, painters yen:s at will, Full sixty years the world has been her trade, And show their zeal, and hide their want of skill. The wisest fool much time has ever made.
"Tis well-out, artists! who can paint or write, Froin loreiess youth to unrespected age,
To draw the naked is your true delight. No passion gratify'd, except her rage,
That robe of quality so struts and swells, So much the fury still outran the wit,
None see what parts of Nature it conreals : 190 The pleasure mist her, and the scandal hit. Th' exactest traits of body or of inind, Who breaks with her, provokes revenge from We owe tu nodels of an bumble kind. Hell,
If Queensberry to strip there's no compelling, But he's a bolder man who dares be well. 130 / 'Tis from a handmaid we must take a Helen. Her every turn with violence pursued,
From peer or bishop 't is no easy thing Nor more a storm her hate than gratitude: To diaw the man who loves his Goul, or king : To that each passion turns, or soon or late; Alas! I copy (or my draught would fail) Love, if it makes her yield, must make her hate : From honest Mah’met, or plain parson Hale. Superiors ? dcath! and equals? what a curse! But grant, in public men sometimes are shown, But an inferior not dep ndant ? worse.
woinan's seen in private lite alone :
200 Offend her, and she knows not to forgive; Oblige her, and she'll hate you while you live: But die, and she'll adore you—Then the bust After ver. 148, in the MS. And temple rise--then fall again to duist. 140
This Death decides; nor lets the blessing fall Last night, her lord was all that's good and great ; On any one she hates, but on them all. A knave this morning, and his will a cheat.
Curs'd chance! this only could afflict her more, Strange! by the means defeated of the ends,
If any part should wander to the poor.
After ver. 198, in the MS.
Fain I'd in Frivia spy the tender wife ;
And, for a noble priile, I blush no less,
Instead of Botanice to think on Bess.
Thus while immortal Cibber only sings [kings, After ver. 122, in the MS.
(As Clarke and Hoadly preach) for quceps and Oppress'd with wealth and wit, abundance sad !
The nymph that ne'er read Milton's mişlity line, One makes her poor, the other makes her mad.
May, it she love an.) merit verse, hare mine.