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You'll find, if once the monarch acts the monk,
Or, cobler-like, the parfon will be drunk,
Worth makes the man, and want of it, the fellow;
The reft is all but leather or prunella.

Stuck o'er with titles and hung round with ftrings, That thou may'st be by kings, or whores of kings. blood of an illuftrious race,

Boaft the pure

In quiet flow from Lucrece to Lucrece:

But by your father's worth if your's you rate, Count me those only who were good and great. 210 Go! if your ancient, but ignoble blood


crept thro' fcroundels ever fince the flood, Go! and pretend your family is young;

Nor own, your fathers have been fools fo long.


VER. 207. Boaft the pure blood &c.] in the MS. thus,
The richest blood, right-honourably old,

Down from Lucretia to Lucretia roll'd,
May fwell thy heart and gallop in thy breast,
Without one dafh of usher or of priest:
Thy pride as much despise all other pride
As Chrift-Church once all colleges befide.


VER. 205. Stuck o'er with titles,&c.] II. Then as toNOBILITY, by creation or birth; this too the poet fhews (from 204 to 217) is in itself as devoid of all real worth as the reft; because, in the first cafe, the Title is generally gain'd by no merit at all; in the fecond, by the merit of the firft Founder of the family; which will generally, when reflected on, be rather the subject of Mortification than Glory.

What can ennoble fots, or flaves, or cowards? 215 Alas! not all the blood of all the HowARDS.

Look next on Greatnefs; fay where Greatness lies? "Where, but among the Heroes and the Wife?" Heroes are much the fame, 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!



VER. 217. Look next on Greatness; &c.] III. The poet in the next place (from 216 to 237) unmasks the falfe pretences of GREATNESS; whereby it is feen that the Hero and Politician (the two characters that would monopolize that quality) after all their buftle effect only this, if they want Virtue, that the one


VER. 219. Heroes are much the fame, &c.] This character might have been drawn with much more force; and de

ferved the poet's care. But Milton fupplies what is here wanting.

They err who count it glorious to fubdue
By conqueft far and wide, to over-run
Large Countries, and in field great Battles win,
Great Cities by affault. What do thefe worthies,
But rob and fpoil, burn, flaughter, and enflave
Peaceable Nations, neighb'ring or remote,
Made captive, yet deferving Freedom more
Than thofe their Conquerors; who leave behind
Nothing but ruin wherefoe'er they rove,
And all the flourishing works of peace deftroy?
Then fwell with pride, and must be titled Gods;
'Till Conqu❜ror Death difcovers them fearce Men,
Rolling in brutish Vices, and deform'd,
Violent or famefull death their due reward. ·
Par. Reg. B. iii.·

Not one looks backward, onward ftill he



Yet ne'er looks forward farther than his nose.
No lefs alike the Politic and Wise;
All fly flow things, with circumfpective eyes:
Men in their loose unguarded hours they take,
Not that themselves are wife, but others weak.
But grant that those can conquer, thefe can cheat;
'Tis phrase abfurd to call a Villain Great:


Who wickedly is wife, or madly brave,

Is but the more a fool, the more a knave.
Who noble ends by noble means obtains,
Or failing, fmiles 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.


proves himself a Fool, and the other a Knave: And Virtue they but too generally want; the art of Heroifm being underftood to confift in Ravage and Defolation, and the art of Politics in Circumvention.

It is not fuccefs, therefore, that conftitutes true Greatness; but the end aimed at, and the means which are employed: And if these be right, Glory will be the reward, whatever be the iffue:

Who noble ends by noble means obtains,
Or failing, fmiles in exile or in chains,
Like good Aurelius let him reign, or bleed
Like Socrates, that man is great indeed.

VER. 237. What's Fame?] IV. With regard to FAME,

Juft what you hear, you have, and what's unknown
The fame (my Lord) if Tully's, or your own.
All that we feel of it begins and ends
In the fmall circle of our foes or friends;

To all befide as much an empty shade
An Eugene living, as a Cæfar dead;


Alike or when, or where, they fhone, or fhine, 245 Or on the Rubicon, or on the Rhine.

A Wit's a feather, and a Chief a rod;

An honeft Man's the noble work of God.

Fame but from death a villain's name can fave,

As Justice tears his body from the grave;


When what t'oblivion better were refign'd,

Is hung on high, to poison half mankind.
All fame is foreign, but of true defert;

Plays round the head, but comes not to the heart:
One felf-approving hour whole years out-weighs
Of ftupid ftarers, and of loud huzzas;



that ftill more fantastic bleffing, he fheweth (from 236 to 259) that all of it, befides what we hear ourselves, is merely nothing; and that even of this fmall portion, no more of it giveth the poffeffor a real fatisfaction, than what is the fruit of Virtue. Thus he fhews, that Honour, Nobility, Greatness, Glory, fo far as they have any thing real and substantial, that is, fo far as they contribute to the Happiness of the poffeffor, are the fole iffue of Virtue; and that neither Riches, Courts, Armies, nor the Populace, are capable of conferring them.

And more true joy Marcellus exil'd feels,
Than Cæfar with a senate at his heels.


In Parts fuperior what advantage lies? Tell (for You can) what is it to be wife? 'Tis but to know how little can be known; To fee all others faults, and feel our own: Condemn'd in bus'nefs or in arts to drudge, Without a fecond, or without a judge: Truths would you teach, or save a sinking land? All fear, none aid you, and few understand. Painful preheminence! yourself to view Above life's weakness, and its comforts too.



VER. 259. In Parts superior what advantage lies?] V. But laftly, the poet proves (from y 258 to 269) that as no external goods can make man happy, fo neither is it in the power of all internal. For that even SUPERIOR PARTS bring no more real Happiness to the poffeffor than the reft; nay, that they put him into a worse condition; for that the quickness of apprehenfion and depth of penetration do but fharpen the miseries of life.


VER. 267. Painful prehe- | minence! &c.] This to his friend-nor does it at all con

tradict what he had faid to him
concerning Happiness in the
beginning of the epiftle:

'Tis never to be bought, but always free,
And fled from Monarchs, St. John! dwells with thee.

For he is now proving that
nothing either external to Man,
or what is not in his own
power and of his own ac-

quirement, can make him happy here. The most plaufible rival of Virtue is Knowledge: yet even this is fo far from

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