« AnteriorContinuar »
He from the wondering furrow call’d the food, Relum'd her ancient light, not kindled new;
Taught nor to slaçk, nor strain its tender strings, Till drowing, sickening, Jying, they began The less, or greater, set so justly true,
291 W'houn they rever'd as God to mourn as Man: That tunching one must strike the other too; Then, looking up from sire to sire, explor'd Tilljarring interests of themselves create One great First Father, and that first ador'd. Th’ according music of a well-mix'd state. Or plain tradition, that this All begun,
Such is the world's great harmony, that springs Convey'd unbroken faith from sire to son ;
From order, union, full consent of things : The worker from the work distinct was known, Where small and great, where weak and mighty, And simple Reason never sou ht but one: 230 To serve, not suffer, strengthen, not invade ; [made Fre Wit oblique hal broke that steady light, More powerful each as needful to the rest, Man, like his Maker, saw that all was right; And, in proportion as it blesses, blest; 300 To virtue, in the paths of pleasure trod,
Draw to one point, and to one centre bring and own'd a father when he own'd a God.
Beast, man, or angel, serrant, lord, or king. Love all the faith, and all th' allegiance then; For forms of goverument let fools contest; For Nature knew no right divine in iren,
Whate'er is best administer'd is best : No ill could fear in God; and unslerstood
For modes of faith, let gra eless zealots fight; A sover-ign being, but a sovereign good.
His can't be wrong whose life is in the right; True faith, true policy, united ran;
In faith and hope the world will disagree, That was but love of God, and this of man. 240 | But all mankini's concern is charity : Who first taught souls enslav'd, and realms un All must be false that thwarts this one great end; Th' enormous faith of many made for one; (done, And all of God, that bless mankind, or mend. 310 That proud exception to all Nature's laws, Man, like the generous vine, supported lives : T invert the world and counter-work its cause? The strength he gains is from th' embrace he gives Force first made conquest, and that conquest, law; On their own axis as the planets run, Till Superstition taught the tyrant awe,
Yet make at once their circle round the Sun; Then shard the tyranny, then lent ít aid,
So two consistent motions act the soul; And gods of conquerors, slaves of subjects made: And one regards itself, and one the whole. She 'midst the lightning 's blaze, and thunder's Thus God and Nature link'd the general frame, sound,
And bade self-love and social be the same. When rock'd the mountains, and when groan'd the ground,
250 She taught the weak to bend, the proud to pray, To power unseen, and mightier far than they:
ARGUMENT OF EPISTLE IV.
1. FAUSE notions of happiness, philosophical and Whuse attributes were rage, revenge, or lust;
popular, answered from ver. 19 to 77. II. It is Such as the souls of cowards might conceive,
the end of all men, and attainable by all, ver. 30. And, form'd like tyrants, tyrants would believe.
God intends happiness to be equal ; and to be Zeal then, not charity, became the guide;
so, it must be social, since all particular bapAnd Hell was built on spite, and Heaven on pride.
piness depends on general, and since he governs Then sacred seem'd th'ethereal vault no more;
by general, not particular laws, ver. 37. As it Altars grew marble then, and reek'd with gore: is necessary for order, and the peace and welfare Then first the Flamen tasted living food;
of society, that external goods should be uneNext his grim idol, smear'd with human blood; qual, happiness is not made to consist in these, With heaven's own thunders shook the world below, ver. 51. But, notwithstanding that inequality, And play'd the god an engine on his foe.
the balance of happiness among mankind is kept So drives Self-love, through just, and through un even by Providence, by the two passions of To one man's power,' ambition, lucre, lust: Tjust, hope and fear, ver. 70. III. What the happiness The same self-love, in all, becomes the cause 271
of individuals is, as far as is consistent with the Of what restrains him, government and laws. constitution of this world; and that the good For, what one likes, if others like as well,
man has here the advantage, ver. 77. What serves one will, when many wills rebel? rour of imputing to virtue what are only the How shall he keep, what, sleeping or awake,
calamities of Nature, or of Fortune, ver. 94. A weaker may surprise, a stronger take?
IV. The folly of expecting that God should alter His safety must his liberty restrain :
his general laws in favour of particu ars, ver. 121. All join to guard what each desires to gain.
V. That we are not judges who are pool; but Forc'd into virtue thus, by self-defence,
that, whoever they ar, they must be happiest, Ev'n kings learn'd justice and benevolence: 280 ver. 133, &c. VI. That ext rnal grouls are not Self-love forsook the path it first pursued,
the proper rewards, but often inconsistent with, And found the private in the public good.
or destructive of, virtue, 167. That even these 'Twas then the studious head or generous mind, can make no man happy without virtue: in. Follower of God, or friend of human kind,
stanced in riches, ver. 185. Honours, ver. 193. Poet or patriot, rose but to restore
Nobility, ver. 205. Greatness, ver. 217. Fame, The faith and moral, Nature gave before ;
ver. 237. Superior talents, ver. 257, &c. With VOL XIL
OF THE NATURE AND STATE OF MAN WITH RESPECT TO
pictures of human infelicity in men, possesord of, More rich, more wise; but who infers from hence them all, ver. 269, &c. VII. That virtue only That such are happier, shock3 all common sense. constitutes a happiness, whose object is universal, Heaven to mankind impartial we confess, and whose prospect eternal, ver. 307. That the If all are equal in their happiness : perfection of virtue and happiness consists in a But mutual wants this happiness increase; conformity to the order of Providence here, and All Nature's difference keeps all Nature's peace. a resignation to it here and hereafter, ver. 326, Condition, circumstance, is not the thing; &c.
Bliss is the same in subject or in king,
In who obtain defence, or who defend,
Io him who is, or him who finds a friend : 60 Oh Happiness! Our being's end ani aim!
Heaven breathes through every member of the
whole Good, Pleasure, Ease, Content! whate'erthy name:
One common blessing, as one common soul. 'That something still which prompts th' eternal
But Fortune's gifts if each alike possest, sigh,
And each were equal, must not all contest? For which we bear to live, or dare to die,
If then to all men happiness was meant, Which still so near us, yet beyond us lies,
God in externals could not place content. O'erlouk'd, seen double, by the fool and wise :
Fortune her gifts may variously dispose, Plant of celestial seed! if dropp'd below,
And these be happy call'd, unhappy those; Say, in what mortal soil thou deign'st to grow?
But Heaven's just balance equal will appear, Pair opening to some court's propitious shine,
While those are plac'd in hope and these in fear: Or deep with diamonds in the faming mine? 10
Not pri sent good or ill, the joy or curse, Twin'd with the wreaths Parnassian laurels yield,
But future views of better, or of worse. Or reap'd in iron harvests of the field?
Oh, sons of Farth! attempt ye still to rise, Where grows ? where grows it not? It vain our toil, By mountains pil'd on mountains, to the skies? We ought to blame the culture, not the soil :
licasen still with laughter the vain toil surveys, Fix'd to no spot is happiness sincere,
ind buries madmen in the heaps they raise. "Tis no where to be found, or every where :
know, all the good that individuals find, "Iis never to be bought, but always free,
Or God and Nature meant to mere mankind, And Aed from onarchs, St. John dwells with thee. Reason's whole pleasure, all the joys of sense, Ask of the learu'd the way? The learn'd are
Jie in three words, Health, Peace, and ('ompetenre, blind :
But Health consists with Temperance alone ; 61 This bids to serve, and that to shun mankind; 20
And Peace, Oh Virtne! Peace is all thy own. Some place the bliss in action, some in ease,
The good or bad the gifts of Fortune gain; Those call it pleasure, and contentment these : But these less taste them, as they worse obtain. Some, sunk to beasts, lind pipasure end in pain;
Say, in pursuit of profit or delight, Soone', swell'd to Gods, confess ev'n virtue vain;
Who risk the most, that take wrong means, or right? Or, indolent, to each extreme they fall,
Of Vice or Virtue, whether blest or curst, 'To trust in erry thing, or doubt of all.
Which meets contempt, or which compassion first? Who thus define it, say they more or less, Count all th' advantage prosperous Vice attains, Than this, that happiness is happiness?
'Tis but what Virtue flies from and disdains: 90 Take Nature's path, and mad Opinion's leave;
And grant the bad what happiness they would, All states can reach it, and all heads conceive; 30
One they must want, which is to pass for good. Obijous her goods, in no extreme they dwell;
Oh blind to truth, and God's whole scheme below, There needs but thinking right, and meaning well; Who fancy bliss to Vice, to Virtue woe! And, mourn our various portions as we please,
Who sees and follows that great scheme the best, Equal is coinmon sense, and cominon case.
Best knows the blessing, and will most be blest. Remember, man, “the Universal Cause
But fools, the good alone, unhappy call, Acts not by partial, but by gen'ral laws;”
For ills or accidents that chance to all. And makes what happiness we justly call,
sce lalkland vlies, the virtuous and the just! Subsist not in the good of one, but all.
Se godlike Turenne prostrate on the dust! 100
After ver. 52, in the MS.
(sares, Who post to shun or hate mankind pretend,
Heaven's here profuse, there pourly Suck an admirer, or would fix a friend :
And for one monarch makes a thousand slave's." Abstract what others feel, what others think,
You'll find, when causes and their All pleasures sicken, and all glories sink:
Tone. Each has his share; and who would more obtain, 'Twas for the thousand Heaven has made that Shall find, the pleasure pays not half the pain. After ver. 66, in the MS.
Order is Heaven's first law; and this contest, "l'is peace of mind alone is at a stay : Some are, and must be, greater than the rest, 50 The rest mad Fortune gives or takes away.
All other bliss by accident 's debarrd;
But Virtue's, in the instant, a reward ; Ver. 1. Oh Happiness, &c.] in the MS. thus: in hardest trials operates the best,
(sire; Oh Happiness, to which we all aspire,
And more is relish'd as the more distrest.
Sea Sidney bleeds amid the martial strife!
Add health and power, and every earthly thing, Was this their virtue, or contempt of life?
Why bounded power: wly private ? why no king?" Say, was it virtue, more though Heaven ne'er gave, Nay, why ext: rnal for internal giren? 161 Lamented Digby! sunk thee to the grave? Why is not man a god, and Earth a Heaven? Tell me, if virtue made the sou expire,
Who ask and reason thus, will scarce conceive Why, full of days and honour, lives the sire ? God gives enough, while he has more to give; Why drew Marseilles' good bishop purer breath, Immense the power, immense were the demand; Wlien Nature sicken'd, and each gale was death? Say, at what part of Nature will they stand ? Or why so long (in life if long can be)
What nothing earthly gives, or can destroy, Lent Heaven a parent to the poor and me? 110 The soul's calm sun shive, and the heart felt joy, What makes all physical or moral ill?
Is Virtue's prize: A better would you fix? There deviates Nature, and here wanders will. Then give Humility a coach and six,
170 God sends not ill; if rightly nnderstood,
Justice a conqueror's sword, or Truth a gown, Or partial ill is universal good,
Or Public Spirit its great cure, a crown. Or change admits, or Nature lets it fall,
Weak, foolish man! will Heaven reward us there Short, and but rare, till man improv'd it all. With the same trash mad mortals wish for here? We just as wisely might of Heaven complain The boy and man an individnal makes, That righteons Abel was destroy'd by Cain,
Yet sigh'st thou now for apples and for cakes? As that the virtuous son is ill at ease
Go, like the Indian, in another life M'hen his lewd father gave the dire disease. 120 | Expect thy dog, thy bottle, and thy wife; Think we, like some weak prince, th' Eternal Cause As well as dream such trifies are assign'd, Prone for liis favourites to reverse his laws? As toys and empires, for a godlike mind. 180 Shall burning Ætna, if a sage requires,
Rewards, that either would to virtue bring Forget to thunder, and recall her fires?
No joy, or be destructive of the thing;
How oft by these at sixty are undone
Content, or pleasure, but the good and just ?
Judges and senates have been bought for gold; For Chartres' head reserve the hanging wall? 130 Esteem and love were never to be sold.
But still this world (so fitted for the knave) Oh fool! to think God hates the worthy mind, Contents us not. A better shall we have ?
The lover and the love of human-kind,
190) A kingdom of the just then let it be:
Whose life is healthful, and whose conscience clear, But first consider bow those just agree.
Because he wants a thousand pounds a year. The good must merit God's peculiar care ;
Honour and shame from no condition rise; But who, but God, can tell us who they are ? Act well your part, there all the honour lies. One thinks on Calvin Heaven's owu spirit fell; Fortune in men has some small difference made, Another deems him instrument of Hell;
One flaunts in rags, one flutters in brocade; If Calvin feels Heaven's blessing, or its rod, The cobler apron'd, and the parson gown't, This cries, there is, and that, there is no God. 140 The friar hooded, and the monarch crown'd. scowl!" What shocks one part, will edify the rest,
" What differ more" (you cry) “ than crown and Nor with one system can they all be blest.
I'll tell you, friend! a wise man and a fool. 200 The very best will variously incline,
You'll find, if once the monarch acts the monk, And what rewards your virtue, punish mine. Or, cobler-like, the parson will be drunk, WHATEVER IS, IS RIGHT.-This world, 'tis true, Worth makes the man, and want of it the fellow: Was made for Cæsar-but for Titus too;
The rest is all but leather or prunella. And which more blest? who chain'd his country, say, Stuck o'er with titles and hung round with strings, Or he whose virtue sigh'd to lose a day?
That thou mayst be by kings, or whores of kings. “ But sometimes Virtues tarves, while Vice is fed.” Boast the pure blood of an illustrious race, What then? Is the reward of Virtue bread ? 150 In quiet flow from Lucrece to Lucrece: That, Vice may merit, 'tis the price of toil; But by your fathers' worth if yours you rate, The knare deserves it, when hè tills the soil; Count me those only who were good and great. 210 The knave deserves it, when he tempts the main, Go! if your ancient, but ignoble blood Where folly fights for kings, or dives for gain. Has crept through scoundrels ever since the flood, The good man may be weak, be indolent;
Go! and pretend your family is young; Nor is his claim to plenty, but content.
Nor own your fathers have been fools so long.
Say, what rewards this idlo world imparts,
Or fit for searcbing heads or honest hearts. After ver. 116, in the MS.
Ver. 207. Boast the pure blood, &c.] In the MS. Of every evil, since the world bogan,
thus : The real source is not in God, but mag.
The richest blood, right-honourably old, After ver. 142, in some editions,
Down from Lucretia to Lucretia rollid, Give each a system, all must be at strile;
May suell thy heart and gallop in thy brcast, What different systems for a man and wife! Without one dash of usher or of priest :
The joke, though lively, was ill-plaged, and Thy pride as much desvise all other pride, therefore' struck out of the spect
As Christ Church once all colleges beside
What can ennoble sots, or slaves, or cowards ? Or ravish'd with the whistling of a name,
See Cromwell, damn'd to everlasting fame!
Froin ancient story, learn to scorn them all. '. Where, but among the heroes and the wise ?» There, in the rich, the honour'd, fam'd, and great, Heroes are much the same, the point's agreed, See the false scale of happinesscomplete From Macedonia's madman to the Swede; 220 In hearts of kings, or arms of queens who lay, The whole strange purpose of their lives, to find, How happy! those to ruin, these betray. 290 Or make, an enemy of all mankind!
Mark by what wretcind steps their glory grows, Not one looks backward, onward still he goes, From dirt and sea-weed as proud Venice rose; Yet ne'er looks forward further than his nose. In each how guilt and greatness equal ran, No less alike the politic and wise:
And all that rais'd the hero, sunk the man: All sly slow things, with circumspective eyes : Now Europe's laurels on their brows behold, Men in their loose unguarded hours they take, But stain'd with blood, or ill exchang'd for gold: Not that themselves are wise, but others weak. Then see them broke with toils, or sunk in ease, But grant that those can conqner, these can cheat; Or infamous for plunder'd provinces. "Ti. phrase absurd to call a villain great: 2300! wealth ill-fated; which no act of fame Who wickedly is wise, or madly brave,
E'er taught to shine, or sanctify'd from shame! 300 Is but the more a fool, the more a krave.
What greater bliss attends their close of life? Who noble ends by poble means obtains,
Some greedy minion, or imperious wife, Or failing, smiles in exile or in chains,
The trophy'd arches, story'd halls invade, Like gnor Aurelius let him reign, or bleed
And haunt their slumbers in the pompous shade Like Socrates, that man is great indeed.
Alas! not dazzled with their noon-tide ray, What's fame? a fancy'd life in others' breath, Compute the inorn and evening to the day; A thing beyond us, evin before our death.
The whole amount of that enormous fame, Just what you hear, you have; and what's unknown, | A tale, that blends their glory with their shame! The same (my lord) if Tully's, or your own.
Know then this truth (enough for man to know) All that we feel of it begins and ends
“Virtue alone is happiness below.”
310 In the small circle of our foes or friends ;
'The only point where human bliks stands still, To all beside as much an empty shade
And tastes the good without the fall to ill; An Eugene living, as a Cæsar dead;
Where only merit constant pay receives, Alike or when, or where they shone, or shine, Is blest in what it takes, and what it gives; Or on the Rubicon, or on the Rhine.
The joy unequal'd, if its end it gain, A wit's a feather, and a chief a rod :
And if it lose, attended with no pain : An honest man's the noblest work of God.
Without satiety, though e'er so bless'd, Fame but from death a villain's name can save, And but more relish'l as the more distress'd : As Justice tears his body from the grave; 250 | The broadest mirth unfeeling Folly wears, When what t'oblivion better were resign'd, Less pleasing far than Virtue's very tears :
320 Is hung on high to poison balf mankind.
Gool, from each object, from each place acquirido All fame is foreign, but of true desert;
for ever exercis'd, yet never tir'd;
And where no wants, no wishes can remain,
Since but to wish more virtue, is to gain. Than Cæsar with a senate at his heels.
See the sole bliss Heaven could on all bestow ! In parts superior what advantage lies?
Which uho but feels can taste, but thinks can know Tell (for you can) what is it to be wise ? 260 | Yet poor with fortune, and with learning blind, 'Tis but to know how little can be known;
The bad must miss; the good, untaught, will find; To see all others faults, and feel our own :
Slave to no sect, who takes no private road, 331 Condemn'd in business or in arts to drudge, But looks through Nature, up to Nature's God; Without a second, or without a judge:
Pursues that chain which links th' immense design, Truths would you teach, or save a sinking land? Joins Heaven and Earth, and mortal and divine ; All fear, none aid you, and few understand. Sees, that no being any bliss can know, Painful pre-eminence! yourself to view
But touches some above, and some below; Above life's weakness, and its comforts too.
Learns from this union of the rising whole, Bring then these blessings to a strict account; The first, last purpose of the human soul; Make fair deductions ; see to what they mount: And knows where faith, law, morals, all began, How much of other earh is sure to cost; (970 All end, in love of God, and love of man. 340 How much for other oft is wholly lost;
For him alone, Hope leads from goal to goal, How inconsistent greater goods with these ; And opens still, and opens on his soul ; How son etimes life is risqu’d, and always ease : Think, and if still the things thy envy call,
VARIATION. Say, wouldst thou be the man to whom they fall?
After ver. 316, in the MS. To sigh for ribbands if thou art so silly,
Ev'n while it seems unequal to dispose, Mark how they grace lord Umbra, or sir Billy. And chequers all the good man's joys with woa, Is yellow dirt the passion of thy life;
'Tis but to teach him to support each state, Look but on Gripus, or on Gripus' wife. 280 With patience this, with moderation that ; If parts allure thee, think how Baron shin'd,
And raise his base on that one solid joy, The wisest, brightest, wennest of mankind:
Which conscience gives, and nothing can destroy.
Till lengthen'd on to Faith, and unconfin'd,
THE UNIVERSAL PRAYER.
DEO OPT. MAX.
It may be proper to observe, that some passages, Wise is her present; she connects in this
in the preceding Essay, having been unjustlý His greatest virtue with his greatest bliss; 350 At once his own bright prospect to be blest;
suspected of a tendency towards fate and na
turalism, the author composed this Prayer as And strongest motive to assist the rest.
the sum of all, to show that his system was Self-love thus push'd to social, to divine, Gires thee to make thy neighbour's blessing thine.
founded in free-will, and terminated in piety:
Tbat the first cause was as well the Lord and Is this too little for the boundless heart?
Governor of the l'niverse as the Creator of it; Extend it, let thy enemies have part;
and that, by subrnission to his will (the great Grasp the whole worlds of reason, life, and sense,
principle enforced throughout the Fssay) was In one close system of benevolence : Happier as kinder, in whate'er degree,
not meant the suffering ourselves to be carried
along by a blind determination, but the resting And height of bliss but height of charity. 360
in a religious acquiescence, and confidence full God loves from whole to parts : but human soul Must rise from individual to the whole.
of hope and immortality. To give all this the Self-love but serves the virtuous mind to wake,
greater weight, the poet chose for his model As the small pebble stirs the peaceful lake;
the Lord's Prayer, which, of all others, best de
serves the title prefixed to this Paraphrase.
THE UNIVERSAL PRAYER.
DEO OPT. MAX.
In every clime ador’d,
Jehovah, Jove, or Lord !
Who all my sense confin'd
And that myself arn blind;
Yet gave me, in this dark estate, From grave to gay, from lively to severe ; 380
To see the good from ill; Correct with spirit, eloquent with case,
And, binding Nature fast in Fato,
Left free the human will :
What conscience dictates to be done,
Or warns me not to do, Pursue the triumph, and partake the gale?
This, teach me more than Hell to shun, When statesmen, heroes, kings, in dust repose,
That, more than Heaven pursue.
Let me not cast away;
T enjoy is to obey.
Thy goodness let me bound,
When thousand worlds are round: That true self-love and social are the same; 'That virtue only makes our bliss below;
Lt not this weak, unknowing hand
Presume thy bolts to throw, Apd all our knowledge is, ourselves to know,
And deal damnation round the land,
On each I judge thy foe.
If I am right, thy grace impart, Ver. 373. Come then, my friend ! &c.] In the MS.
Still in the right to stay: thus : And now transported o'er so vast a plain,
If I am wrong, oh teach my heart
To find that better way.
Or impious discontent,
Teach me to feel another's woe,
That mercy I to others show, And all the study of mankind is man.
That mercy show to me