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IN 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 where soe'er I go,
The first, as it treats of man in the abstract, Through this day's life or death.
and considers him 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 tinurth book of the Dunciad, and up and down, occa. sionally, in the other three.
The third book, in like manner, was to reMORAL ESSAYS,
assunie 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 afterEst 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 goveruments 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.
being 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 reason. 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 the science of the world, and of wit; concluding with a satire against a misappliration 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 sufficient 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 ; so 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.
Difficulties arising from our own The fourth and last book concerned private passions, fancies, facultiis, &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 bad been maturely digest
action often hid from ourselves, ver. 41. Some 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
nan utterly different in different places and through ill health, partly through discourage seasons, ver. 71. L'nimaginable weaknesses in mnents 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 natur3, ver. 95. No ed, postponed, and, lastly, in a manner laid
juilging of the motives from the actions; 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 mind, and as we can have but a we can only take the strongest actions of a man's very imperfert idea of it from the disjecta mem life, and try to make them agree: the utter bra poetæ, that now remain, it may not be amiss
uncertainty of this, from nature itself, and from
OF TIIE 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 lie:
0 Yes, you despise the man to books confin'd, See the same man, in vigour, in the gout; W'ho from his study rails at hunan-kind;
Alone, in company; in place, or out; Though what he learos 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;
Druok at a borough, civil at a ball;
Catins is ever moral, ever grave.
Thinks who endures a knave, is next a knave, And yet the fate of all extremes is such,
Save just at dinner---then prefers, no doubt,
80 pien 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,
Be thanks you not, his pride is in piquette, Some unmark'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 leaden saint revere,
20 Next, that he varies froin himself no less;
A godless regent tremble at a star?
90 Add nature's, custom's, reason's, passion's strife,
The throne a bigot keep, a genius quit, And all opinion's colours cast on life.
Faithless througlı piety, and dup'd through wit? Our depths who fathoms, or our shallows finds, Europe a woman, child, or dotard rule, Quick whirls, and shifting eddies, of our ininds ? 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 man:
In man, the judgement shoots a flying game; His principle of action once explore,
A bird of pissave! 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 vou dissect, In vain the sage, with retrospective eye, You lose it in the moment you 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 share their crowns: Or Fancy's beam enlarges, multiplies,
To case the soul of one oppressive weight, Contracts, inverts, and zives ten thousand dyes. This quits an empire, that embroils a state : Nor will life's stream for observation stay,
The sa!ne adust complexion has impellid It hurries all too fast to mark their way :
Charles to the consent, Philip to the field. In vain sedate reflections we would make,
Not always actions show the man: we find
Perhaps the wind just shifted from the cast :
After ver. 86. in the former editions, (? 'hough past the recollection of the thought)
Triumphart leaders at an army's head, becomes the stuff of which ons dream is urought:
Hemmid round with glories, pilfer cloth or bread; Soncthing as dliin to our inte'mal vicw,
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: 110 Pride guides his steps, and bids him shun the great: Find, if you can, in what you cannot change. Wlo 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 cunning 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 here. 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 inust like him, or he dies : Alas! in truth the man but chang'd his mind, Though wondering senates hung on all he spoke, Perhaps was sick, in love, or had not din'd. The club must hail him master of the joke. Ask why from Britain Cæsar would retreat ? Shall parts so various aiin 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; Wise, 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-virties 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 more of wit than half mankind, 200 They please as beauties, here as wonders strike,
Too rash for thought, for action too refin'd:
He dies, sad outcast of each church and state, And justly set the gem above the flower.
And, harder still ! fagitious, 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 ? babit 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.
Consistent in our follies and our sins,
Old politicians chew on wisdom past,
And totter on in business 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 nameless race,
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, Still to his wench he crawls on knocking knees, Agrees as ill with Rufa studying Locke, And envies every sparrow that he sees.
As Sappho's diamonds with her dirty smock; A salmon's belly, Helluo, was thy fate ; Or Sappho at her toilet's greasy task, The doctor callid, declares all help too late : [240 With Sappho fragrant at an evening mask: "Merey !” cries Helluo,“ mercy on my soul ! So morning insects, that in muck begun, Is there no hope i-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 wink, (Were the last words that poor Narcissa spoke) But spare your censure; Siliả does not drink.
No, let a charming chiotz and Brussel's lace, All eyes may see from what the change aruse,
The courtier smooth, who forty years had shin’d A park is purchas'd, but the fair he sees An humble servant to all hurnan-kind, (stir, All bath'd in tears" Oh odious, odious trees !” 40 Just brought 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--if I must" -(then wept)" I give it Paul.” Awd without virtue, without beauty charın'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, Shall feel your ruling passion strong in death : Was just not ugly, and was just not mad; 50 Such in those moments as in all the past, (last. Yet ne'er so sure our passion to create, Oh, save my country, Heaven!” shall be your As when she touch'd the brink of all we hate.
Narcissa's nature, tolerably mild,
To make a wash, would hardly stew a child; EPISTLE II,
Has er'n been prov'd to grant a lover's prayer, TO A LADY,
And paid a tradesman once to make him stare;
Gave alms at Easter, in a Christian trim,
And made a widow happy, for a whim.
finished than this epistle: yet its success was in whin 'tis by that alone she can be borne? 00 no proportion to the pains he took in composing Whiy 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 sinall 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 burnsj 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, Nothing so true as what you once let fall,
Proud as a peeress, prouder as a punk;
Chaste to her husband, frank to all beside, " Most women have no characters at all."
teeming 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 di 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 erinin'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 Philoinedė, lecturing all mankind
Ver. 77. What has not fir'd, &c.] In the MS. Chuse a firm cloud, before it fall, and in it 120
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, Aud makes her hearty meal upon a dunce. 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 firm 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 sure 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 Sino'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
She e'er should cancel—but she may forget.
But none of Chloe's shall you ever hear.
But what are these to great Atossa's mind ? She bids her footman put it in her head.
One certain portrait may (I grant) be seen, Shines, in exposing knaves, and painting tools,
Which Heaven has raroish'd out, and made a quien : Yet is, whate'er she hates and ridicules. 120 The same for ever! and describ'd by all No thonght advances, but her eddy brain
With truth and goodness, as with crown and ball. Whisks it about, and down it goes again.'
Poets heap virtues, painters sews at will, Full sixty years the world has been her trade, And sbow their zcal, and hide their want of skill. 'The wisest fool much time has ever made.
"Tis well—but, artists! who can paint or write, From loveiess youth to unrespected age,
To «Iraw 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 whai parts of Nature it conceals : 190 The pleasure mist her, and the scandal hit. Th' exactest traits of body or of mind, Who breaks with her, provokes revenge from We owe to znodels of an bumble kind. Hell,
Queensberry to strip there's no compelling, But he's a bolder man who dares be well. 130 | 'Tis from a bandmaid we must take a Holen. Her every turn with violence pursued,
From peer or bishop 'tis no casy thing Nor more a storm her hate than gratitude: To draw the man who loves his God, vr king: To that each passion turns, or soon or late; Alas! I copy (or my draught would fail) Love, if it inakes her yield, must make her hate : From honest Mah’mét, or plain parson Hale. Superiors ? death! and equals? what a curse! But grant, in public men sometimes are shown, But an interior not dependant ? worse.
A woman's seen in private life alone :
200 Offend her, and she know's not to forgive; Oblige her, and she'll hate you while But die, and she'll adore you—Then the bust Aster ver. 148, in the VS. And temple rise--then fall again to dust. 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 thein all. A knare this morning, and his will a cheat.
Curs'd chance! this only could afflict her more, Strange! by the mcans defeated of the ends, If any part should wander to the poor. By spirit robb’d of power, by warmth of friends, By wealth of followers! without one distress
After ver. 198, in the MS.
Fain P'd in Fulvia spy the tender wife; Sick of berself, through very scitishness !
I cannot pruse it on her for my life :
And, for a noble priile, I blush no less,
Instead of Brrenie to think on Bess.
Thus while imn ortal Cibber only sings (kings, After ver. 122, in the MS.
(As Clarke and Hoadly preach) for queeds and Oppress'd with wealth and wit, abundance sad!
The nymph that ne'er reach Milton's milily line, One makes her poor, the other makes her mad.
May, it she love an.l merit verse, have mine.