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228

What can ennoble sots, or slaves, or cowards?
A'a! not all the blood of all the Howards.

Look next on greatness; say where greatness

lies:

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220

Where, but among the heroes and the wise?"
Heroes are much the same, the point's agreed,
From Macedonia's madman to the Swede;
The whole strange purpose of their lives, to find,'
Or make, an enemy of all mankind!
Not one looks backward, onward still he goes,
Yet ne'er looks forward further than his nose.
No less alike the politic and wise:

230

All sly slow things, with circumspective eyes:
Men in their loose unguarded hours they take,
Not that themselves are wise, but others weak.
But grant that those can conquer, these can cheat;
'Tis phrase absurd to call a villain great:
Who wickedly is wise, or madly brave,
Is but the more a fool, the more a knave.
Who noble ends by noble means obtains,
Or failing, smiles in exile or in chains,
Like good Aurelius let him reign, or bleed
Like Socrates, that man is great indeed.

What's fame? a fancy'd life in others' breath,
A thing beyond us, ev'n before our death.
240
Just what you hear, you have; and what's unknown,
The same (my lord) if Tully's, or your own.
All that we feel of it begins and ends

In the small circle of our foes or friends;
To all beside as much an empty shade
An Eugene living, as a Cæsar dead;
Alike or when, or where they shone, or shine,
Or on the Rubicon, or on the Rhine.

A wit's a feather, and a chief a rod:

Or ravish'd with the whistling of a name,
See Cromwell, damn'd to everlasting fame!
If all, united, thy ambition call,

From ancient story, learn to scorn them all.
There, in the rich, the honour'd, fam'd, and great,
See the false scale of happinesscomplete!
In hearts of kings, or arms of queens who lay,
How happy! those to ruin, these betray.
Mark by what wretched steps their glory grows,
From dirt and sea-weed as proud Venice rose;
In each how guilt and greatness equal ran,
And all that rais'd the hero, sunk the man:
Now Europe's laurels on their brows behold,
But stain'd with blood, or ill exchang'd for gold:
Then see them broke with toils, or sunk in ease,
Or infamous for plunder'd provinces.

O! wealth ill-fated; which no act of fame

E'er taught to shine, or sanctify'd from shame! 300
What greater bliss attends their close of life?
Some greedy minion, or imperious wife,
The trophy'd arches, story'd halls invade,
And haunt their slumbers in the pompous shade.
Alas! not dazzled with their noon-tide ray,
Compute the morn and evening to the day;
The whole amount of that enormous fame,

250

An honest man's the noblest work of God.
Fame but from death a villain's name can save,
As Justice tears his body from the grave;
When what t' oblivion better were resign'd,
Is hung on high to poison half mankind.
All fame is foreign, but of true desert;
Plays round the head, but comes not to the heart:
One self-approving hour whole years out-weighs
Of stupid starers, and of loud huzzas;
And more true joy Marcellus exil'd feels,
Than Cæsar with a senate at his heels.

A tale, that blends their glory with their shame!
310
Know then this truth (enough for man to know)
"Virtue alone is happiness below.”
The only point where human bliss stands still,
And tastes the good without the fall to ill;
Where only merit constant pay receives,
Is blest in what it takes, and what it gives;
The joy unequal'd, if its end it gain,
And if it lose, attended with no pain:
Without satiety, though e'er so bless'd,
And but more relish'd as the more distress'd :
The broadest mirth unfeeling Folly wears,
Less pleasing far than Virtue's very tears :
Good, from each object, from each place acquir'd,
For ever exercis'd, yet never tir'd ;
Never elated, while one man's oppress'd;
Never dejected, while another's blest;
And where no wants, no wishes can remain,
Since but to wish more virtue, is to gain.

320

See the sole bliss Heaven could on all bestow !
Which who but feels can taste, but thinks can know:
260 Yet poor with fortune, and with learning blind,
331
The bar must miss; the good, untaught, will find ¡
Slave to no sect, who takes no private road,
But looks through Nature, up to Nature's God;
Pursues that chain which links th' immense design,
Joins Heaven and Earth, and mortal and divine ;
Sces, that no being any bliss can know,
But touches some above, and some below;
Learns from this union of the rising whole,
The first, last purpose of the human soul;
340
And knows where faith, law, morals, all began,
All end, in love of God, and love of man.
For him alone, Hope leads from goal to goal,
And opens still, and opens on his soul;

In parts superior what advantage lies?
Tell (for you can) what is it to be wise?
'Tis but to know how little can be known;
To see all others faults, and feel our own :
Condemu'd in business or in arts to drudge,
Without a second, or without a judge:
Truths would you teach, or save a sinking land?
All fear none aid you, and few understand.
Painful pre-eminence! yourself to view
Above life's weakness, and its comforts too.

Bring then these blessings to a strict account;
[270
Make fair deductions; see to what they mount :
How much of other each is sure to cost;
How much for other oft is wholly lost;
How inconsistent greater goods with these;
How sometimes life is risqu'd, and always ease:
Think, and if still the things thy envy call,
Say, wouldst thou be the man to whom they
fall?

To sigh for ribbands if thou art so silly,
Mark how they grace lord Umbra, or sir Billy.
Is yellow dirt the passion of thy life;
Look but on Gripus, or on Gripus' wife.
If parts allure thee, think how Bacon shin'd,
The wisest, brightest, meanest of mankind:

280

290

VARIATION.
After ver. 316, in the MS.

Ev'n while it seems unequal to dispose,
And chequers all the good man's joys with woes,
'Tis but to teach him to support each state,
With patience this, with moderation that;
And raise his base on that one solid joy,
Which conscience gives, and nothing can destroy

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Self-love thus push'd to social, to divine, Gives thee to make thy neighbour's blessing thine. Is this too little for the boundless heart? Extend it, let thy enemies have part; Grasp the whole worlds of reason, life, and sense, In one close system of benevolence: Happier as kinder, in whate'er degree, And height of bliss but height of charity.

360

God loves from whole to parts: but human soul Must rise from individual to the whole. Self-love but serves the virtuous mind to wake, As the small pebble stirs the peaceful lake; The centre mov'd, a circle straight succeeds, Another still, and still another spreads; Friend, parent, neighbour, first it will embrace; His country next; and next all human race; Wide and more wide, th' o'erflowings of the mind Take every creature in, of every kind; Earth smiles around, with boundless bounty blest, And Heaven beholds its image in his breast.

370

Come then, my friend! my genius! come along; Oh master of the poet, and the song! And while the Muse now stoops, or now ascends, To man's low passions, or their glorious ends, Teach me, like thee, in various nature wise, To fall with dignity, with temper rise ; Form'd by thy converse, happily to steer, From grave to gay, from lively to severe; Correct with spirit, eloquent with ease, Intent to reason, or polite to please. Oh! while along the stream of time thy name Expanded flies, and gathers all its fame; Say, shall my little bark attendant sail, Pursue the triumph, and partake the gale? When statesmen, heroes, kings, in dust repose, Whose sons shall blush their fathers were thy foes, Shall then this verse to future age pretend Thou wert my guide, philosopher, and friend? 390 That, urg'd by thee, I turn'd the tuneful art, From sounds to things, from fancy to the heart; For Wit's false mirror held up Nature's light; Show'd erring Pride, WHATEVER IS, IS RIGHT; That reason, passion, answer one great aim; That true self-love and social are the same; That virtue only makes our bliss below; And all our knowledge is, ourselves to know,

380

VARIATIONS.

Ver. 373. Come then, my friend! &c.] In the MS. thus:

And now transported o'er so vast a plain, While the wing'd courser flies with all her rein, While heaven-ward now her mounting wing she feels, Now scatter'd fools fly trembling from her heels, Wilt thou, my St. John! keep her course in sight, Confine her fury, and assist her flight? Ver. 397. That virtue only, &c.] In the MS. thus: That just to find a God is all we can, And all the study of mankind is man.

THE UNIVERSAL PRAYER.

DEO OPT. MAX.

Ir may be proper to observe, that some passages, in the preceding Essay, having been unjustly suspected of a tendency towards fate and naturalism, the author composed this Prayer as the sum of all, to show that his system was founded in free-will, and terminated in piety: That the first cause was as well the Lord and Governor of the Universe as the Creator of it; and that, by submission to his will (the great principle enforced throughout the Essay) was not meant the suffering ourselves to be carried along by a blind determination, but the resting in a religious acquiescence, and confidence full of hope and immortality. To give all this the greater weight, the poet chose for his model the Lord's Prayer, which, of all others, best deserves the title prefixed to this Paraphrase.

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ADVERTISEMENT.

THE Essay on Man was intended to have been comprised in four books;

The first of which, the author has given us under that title, in four epistles.

The second was to have consisted of the same number: 1. Of the extent and limits of human reason. 2. Of those arts and sciences, and of the parts of them, which are useful. and therefore attainable together with those which are un3. Of the useful, and therefore unattainable. nature, ends, use, and application of the different capacities of men. 4. Of the use of learning, of the science of the world, and of wit; concluding with a satire against a misapplication of them, illustrated by pictures, characters, and examples.

I.

The third book regarded civil regimen, or the science of politics, in which the several forms of a republic were to be examined and explained; together with the several modes of religious worship, as far forth as they affect society; between which the author always supposed there was the most interesting relationand closest connection; so that this part would have treated of civil and religious society in their full extent.

The fourth and last book concerned private ethics, or practical morality, considered in all the circumstances, orders, professions, and stations of human life.

The scheme of all this had been maturely digest ed, and communicated to lord Bolingbroke, Dr. Swift, and one or two more, and was intended for the only work of his riper years; but was, partly through ill health, partly through discourage ments from the depravity of the times, and partly on prudential and other considerations, interrupted, postponed, and, lastly, in a manner laid aside.

to be a little more particular concerning each of these projected books.

The first, as it treats of man in the abstract, and considers him in general under every of his relations, becomes the foundation, and furnishes out the subjects, of the three following; so that

The second book was to take up again the first and second epistles of the first book, and treats of man in his intellectual capacity at large, as has been explained above. Of this only a small part of the conclusion (which, as we said, was to have contained a satire against the misapplication of wit and learning) may be found in the fourth book of the Dunciad, and up and down, occasionally, in the other three.

The third book, in like manner, was to reassume 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 afterwards conceived might be best executed in an epic poem, as the action would make it more animated, and the fable less invidious; in which all the great principles of true and false goveruments and religions should be chiefly delivered in feigned examples.

The fourth and last book was to pursue the subject of the fourth epistle of the first, and treats of ethics, or practical morality; and would have consisted of many members; of which the four following epistles were detached portions; the two first, on the characters of men and women, being the introductory part of this concluding book.

But as this was the author's favourite work, which more exactly reflected the image of his strong capacious mind, and as we can have but a very imperfect idea of it from the disjecta membra poctæ, that now remain, it may not be amiss

MORAL ESSAYS.

EPISTLE I.

TO SIR RICHARD TEMPLE, L. COBHAM.

ARGUMENT.

OF THE KNOWLEDGE AND CHARACTERS OF MEN.

THAT it is not sufficient for this knowledge to
consider man in the abstract: books will not
serve the purpose, not yet our own experience
singly, ver. 1. General maxims, unless they be
formed upon both, will be but notional, ver,
10. Some peculiarity in every man, charac-
teristic to himself, yet varying from himself,
ver. 15. Difficulties arising from our own
passions, fancies, faculties, &c. ver. 31. The
shortness of life to observe in, and the uncer-
tainty of the principles of action in men to
observe by, ver. 37. &c. Our own principle of
action often hid from ourselves, ver. 41.
few characters plain, but in general confounded,
dissembled, or inconsistent, ver. 51. The same
man utterly different in different places and
seasons, ver. 71. Unimaginable weaknesses in
the greatest, ver. 70, &c. Nothing constant
and certain but God and nature, ver. 95. No
judging of the motives from the actions; the
same actions proceeding from contrary motives,
and the same motives influencing contrary ac-
tions, ver. 100. II. Yet, to form characters,
we can only take the strongest actions of a man's
life, and try to make them agree: the utter
uncertainty of this, from nature itself, and from

Some

3

•hite

policy, ver. 120. Characters given according to the rank of men of the world, ver. 135. And some reason for it, ver. 140. Education alters the nature, or at least character of many, ver. 149. Actions, passions, opinions, manners, humours, or principles, all subject to change. No judging nature, from ver. 158. to ver. 178. III. It only remains to find (if we can) his ruling passion: that will certainly influence all the rest, and can reconcile the seeming or real inconsistency of all his actions, ver. 175. Instanced in the extraordinary character of Clodio, ver. 179. A caution against mistaking second qualities for first, which will destroy all possibility of the knowledge of mankind, ver. 210. Examples of the strength of the ruling passion, and its continuation to the last breath, ver. 222, &c.

EPISTLE I.

YES, you despise the man to books confin'd,
Who from his study rails at human-kind;
Though what he learns he speaks, and may advance
Some general maxims, or be right by chance.
The coxcomb bird, so talkative and grave,
That from his cage cries cuckold, whore, and knave,
Though many a passenger he rightly call,
You hold him no philosopher at all.

And yet the fate of all extremes is such,
Men may be read, as well as books, too much. 10
To observations which ourselves we make,
We grow more partial for th' observer's sake;
To written wisdom, as another's, less:

Maxims are drawn from notions, these from guess.
There's some peculiar in each leaf and grain,
Some unmark'd fibre, or some varying vein :
Shall only man be taken in the gross?
Grant but as many sorts of mind as moss.

20

That each from other differs, first confess;
Next, that he varies from himself no less;
Add nature's, custom's, reason's, passion's strife,
And all opinion's colours cast on life.

Our depths who fathoms, or our shallows finds,
Quick whirls, and shifting eddies, of our minds?
On human actions reason though you can,
It may be reason, but it is not man:
His principle of action once explore,
That instant 'tis his principle no more.
Like following life through creatures you dissect,
You lose it in the moment you detect.

30

Yet more; the difference is as great between The optics seeing, as the objects seen. All manners take a tincture from our own; Or come discolour'd through our passions shown. Or Fancy's beam enlarges, multiplies, Contracts, inverts, and gives ten thousand dyes. Nor will life's stream for observation stay, It hurries all too fast to mark their way: In vain sedate reflections we would make, 1 When half our knowledge we must snatch, not take. Oft, in the passion's wild rotation tost, Our spring of action to ourselves is lost : Tir'd, not determin'd, to the last we yield, And what comes then is master of the field. As the last image of that troubled heap, When sense subsides and fancy sports in sleep, (Though past the recollection of the thought) Becomes the stuff of which our dream is wrought: Something as dim to our internal view, Is thus, perhaps, the cause of most we do. su v. 246.

41

Take care I and buried in fiannel become me."

Would

never

50

True, some are open, and to all men known; Others, so very close, they're hid from none; (So darkness strikes the sense no less than light) Thus gracious Chandos is belov'd at sight; And every child hates Shylock, though his soul Still sits at squat, and peeps not from its hole. At half mankind when generous Manly raves, All know 'tis virtue, for he thinks them knaves : When universal homage Umbra pays, All see 'tis vice, an itch of vulgar praise. When flattery glares, all hate it in a queen, While one there is who charms us with his spleen.

60

But these plain characters we rarely find: Though strong the bent, yet quick the turns of mind: Or puzzling contraries confound the whole; Or affectations quite reverse the soul. The dull, flat falsehood serves, for policy; And in the cunning, truth itself's a lie: Unthought-of frailties cheat us in the wise; The fool lies hid in inconsistencies.

See the same man, in vigour, in the gout; Alone, in company; in place, or out; Early at business, and at hazard late; Mad at a fox-chase, wise at a debate; Drunk at a borough, civil at a ball; Friendly at Hackney, faithless at Whitehall. Catius is ever moral, ever grave. Thinks who endures a knave, is next a knave, Save just at dinner-then prefers, no doubt, A rogue with venison to a saint without.

70

89

Who would not praise Patricio's high desert,
His hand unstain'd, his uncorrupted heart,
His comprehensive head! all interests weigh'd,
All Europe sav'd, yet Britain not betray'd.
He thanks you not, his pride is in piquette,
Newmarket fame, and judgment at a bett.

[ron !)

90

What made (say, Montagne, or more sage CharOtho a warrior, Cromwell a buffoon? A perjured prince a leaden saint revere, A godless regent tremble at a star? The throne a bigot keep, a genius quit, Faithless through piety, and dup'd through wit? Furope a woman, child, or dotard rule, And just her wisest monarch made a fool?

Know, God and Nature only are the same: In man, the judgement shoots a flying game; A bird of passage! gone as soon as found, Now in the Moon perhaps, now under ground. In vain the sage, with retrospective eye, Would from th' apparent what conclude the why, Infer the motive from the deed, and shew, 101 That what we chanc'd, was what we meant to do. Behold if Fortune or a mistress frowns, Some plunge in business, others shave their crownss To ease the soul of one oppressive weight, This quits an empire, that embroils a state : The same adust complexion has impell'd Charles to the convent, Philip to the field.

Not always actions show the man: we find Who does a kindness, is not therefore kind : Perhaps prosperity becalm'd his breast, Perhaps the wind just shifted from the cast:

110

VARIATIONS.

After ver. 86. in the former editions,

Triumphant leaders at an army's head,
Hemm'd round with glories, pilfer cloth or bread;
As meanly plunder as they bravely fought,
Now save a people, and now save a groat.

Not therefore humble he who seeks retreat,
Pride guides his steps, and bids him shun the great:
Who combats bravely is not therefore brave,
He dreads a death-bed like the meanest slave:
Who reasons wisely is not therefore wise,
His pride in reasoning, not in acting, lies.

But grant that actions best discover man;
Take the most strong, and sort them as you can.
The few that glare, each character must mark, 121
You balance not the many in the dark.
What will you do with such as disagree?
Suppress them, or miscall them policy?
Must then at once (the character to save)
The plain rough hero turn a crafty knave?
Alas! in truth the man but chang'd his unind,
Perhaps was sick, in love, or had not din'd.
Ask why from Britain Cæsar would retreat?
Caesar imself might whisper, he was beat,
Why risk the world's great empire for a punk?
Cæsar perhaps might answer, he was drunk
But, sage historians! 'tis your task to prove
One action, conduct; one, heroic love.

130

'Tis from high life high characters are drawn: A saint in crape is twice a saint in lawn; A judge is just, a chancellor juster still; A gownman learn'd; a bishop, what you will; Wise, if a minister; but, if a king, [thing. 140 More wise, more learn'd, more just, more every Court-virtues bear, like gems, the highest rate, Born where Heaven's influence scarce can penetrate: In life's low vale, the soil the virtues like, They please as beauties, here as wonders strike, Though the same Sun with all diffusive rays Blush in the rose, and in the diamond blaze, We prize the stronger effort of his power, And justly set the gem above the flower.

'Tis education forms the common mind;
Just as the twig is bent, the tree's inclin'd,
Boastful and rough, your arst son is a 'squire;
The next a tradesman, meek, and much a lyar,
Tom struts a soldier, open, bold and brave;
Will sneaks a scrivener, an exceeding knave:
Is he a churchman? then he's fond of power:
A quaker? sly: a presbyterian? sour:
A smart free-thinker? all things in an hour.

Ask men's opinions: Scoto now shall tell
How trade increases, and the world goes well;
Strike off his pension, by the setting sun,
And Britain, if not Europe, is undone.

That gay free thinker, a fine talker once,
What turns him now a stupid, silent dunce!
Some god, or spirit, he has lately found;
Or chanc'd to meet a minister that frown'd,

Judge we by nature? habit can efface, Interest o'ercome, or policy take place: By actions? those uncertainty divides: By passions? these dissimulation hides;

VARIATION.

150

160

Ver. 129. in the former editions:

Ask why from Britain Cæsar made retreat? Cæsar himself would tell you he was beat. The mighty Czar what mov'd to wed a punk? The mighty Czar would tell you he was drunk. Altered as above, because Caesar wrote his Commentarics of this war, and does not tell you he was beat. As Casar too afforded an instance of both cases, it was thought better to make him the single example.

170

Opinions? they still take a wider range :
Find, if you can, in what you cannot change.
Manners with fortunes, humours turn with climes,
Tenets with books, and principles with times.

Search then the ruling passion: there, alone,
The wild are constant, and the cunning known;
The fool consistent, and the false sincere;
Priests, princes, women, no dissemblers here.
This clue once found, unravels all the rest,
The prospect clears, and Wharton stands confest.
Wharton, the scorn and wonder of our days, 180
Whose ruling passion was the lust of praise;
Born with whate'er could win it from the wise,
Women and fools must like him, or he dies:
Though wondering senates hung on all he spoke,
The club must bail him master of the joke.
Shall parts so various aim at nothing new?
He'll shine a Tully and a Wilmot too.
Then turns repentant, and his God adores
With the same spirit that he drinks and whores;
Enough if all around him but admire,
190
And now the punk applaud, and now the friar.
Thus with each gift of Nature and of Art,
And wanting nothing but an honest heart;
Grown all to all, from no one vice exempt;
And most contemptible, to shun contempt;
His passion still, to covet general praise;
His life, to forfeit it a thousand ways;

A constant bounty, which no friend has made;
An angel tongue, which no man can persuade;
A fool, with more of wit than half mankind, 200
Too rash for thought, for action too refin'd:
A tyrant to the wife his heart approves ;
A rebel to the very king he loves;

He dies, sad outcast of each church and state,
And, harder still! flagitious, yet not great.

Ask you why Wharton broke through every rule!
'Twas all for fear the knaves should call him fool.
Nature well known, no prodigies remain,
Comets are regular, and Wharton plain.

Yet, in this search, the wisest may mistake, 210
If second qualities for first they take,
When Catiline by rapine swell'd his store;
When Cæsar made a noble dame a whore;
In this the lust, in that the avarice,
Were means, not ends; ambition was the vice,
That very Cæsar, born in Scipio's days,
Had aim'd like him, by chastity, at praise,
Lucullus, when frugality could charm,
Had roasted turnips in the Sabine farm.
In vain the observer eyes the builder's toil,
But quite mistakes the scaffold for the pile.

In this one passion man can strength enjoy,
As fits give vigour, just when they destroy.
Time, that on all things lays his lenient hand,
Yet tames not this; it sticks to our last sand,
Consistent in our follies and our sins,
Here honest Nature ends as she begins,

Old politicians chew on wisdom past,
And totter on in business to the last;
As weak, as earnest; and as gravely out,
As sober Lanesborow dancing in the gout.

Behold a reverend sire, whom want of grace Has made the father of a nameless race,

VARIATIONS.

In the former editions, ver. 208.

Nature well known, no miracles remain. Altcred, as above, for very obvious reasons.

220

230

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