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Some place the blifs in action, fome in ease,
Those call it Pleasure, and Contentment thefe :
Some, funk to Beasts, find Pleasure end in Pain;
Some, fwell'd to Gods, confefs ev'n Virtue vain;
Or, indolent, to each extreme they fall,
To truft in ev'ry thing, or doubt of all.
Who thus define it, fay they more or lefs,
Than this, that Happiness is Happiness?
Take Nature's path, and mad Opinion's leave;
All ftates can reach it, and all heads conceive;
Obvious her goods, in no extreme they dwell;
There needs but thinking right, and meaning well;
And, mourn our various portions as we please,
Equal is Common Senfe, and Common Eafe.
Remember, Man," the Univerfal Caufe
"Acts not by partial, but by gen'ral laws;"
And makes what Happiness we juftly call,
Subfift not in the good of one, but all.
There's not a bleffing Individuals find,
But fome-way leans and hearkens to the kind:
No Bandit fierce, no Tyrant mad with pride,
No cavern'd Hermit, refts felf-fatisfy'd:
Who most to shun or hate Mankind pretend,
Seek an admirer, or would fix a friend:
Abstract what others feel, what others think,
All pleasures ficken, and all glories fink:
Each has his fhare; and who would more obtain,
Shall find, the pleasure pays not half the pain.
ORDER is Heaven's firft Law; and this confeft,
Some are, and must be, greater than the rest,
More rich, more wife; but who infers from hence
That fuch are happier, fhocks all common fenfe.
Heaven to Mankind impartial we confefs,
If all are equal in their Happiness:
But mutual wants this Happiness increase;
All Nature's difference keeps all Nature's peace.
Condition, circumstance, is not the thing;
Blifs is the fame in fubject or in king,
In who obtain defence, or who defend,
In him who is, or him who finds a friend :
Heaven breathes through every member of the whole
One common bleffing, as one common soul.
But Fortune's gifts if each alike poffeft,
And each were equal, must not all contest?
If then to all Men Happiness was meant,
God in Externals could not place Content.
Fortune her gifts may varioufly difpofe,
And these be happy call'd, unhappy thofe;
After ver. 52, in the MS. ↑
Say not, "Heaven 's here profufe, there poorly faves,
"And for one Monarch makes a thousand flaves."
You'll find, when Caufes and their Ends are known,
'Twas for the thoufand Heaven has made that one.
After ver. 66, in the MS.
'Tis peace of mind alone is at a stay:
The reft mad Fortune gives or takes away.
All other blifs by accident 's débarr'd;
But Virtue 's, in the inftant, a reward;
In hardeft trials operates the best,
And more is relish'd as the more diftreft.
But Heaven's juft balance equal will appear,
While thofe are plac'd in Hope, and these in Fear: 70
Not prefent good or ill,' the joy or curse,
But future views of better, or of worse.
Oh, fons of earth! attempt ye ftill to rise,
By mountains pil'd on mountains, to the skies?
Heaven still with laughter the vain toil furveys,
And buries madmen in the heaps they raise.
Know, all the good that individuals find,
Or God and Nature meant to mere Mankind,
Reafon's whole pleasure, all the joys of Senfe,
Lie in three words, Health, Peace, and Competence. So
But Health confifts with Temperance alone;
And Peace, oh Virtue! Peace is all thy own.
The good or bad the gifts of Fortune gain;
But these less taste them, as they worse obtain.
Say, in pursuit of profit or delight,
Who rifk the moft, that take wrong means, or right?
Of Vice or Virtue, whether bleft or curft,
Which meets contempt, or which compassion first?
Count all th' advantage profperous Vice attains,
'Tis but what Virtue flies from and difdains:
And grant the bad what happiness they would,
One they must want, which is, to pass for good.
Oh blind to truth, and God's whole fcheme below,
Who fancy Blifs to Vice, to Virtue Woe!
Who fees and follows that great scheme the best,
Best knows the bleffing, and will most be bleft.
After ver. 92, in the MS.
Let fober Moralifts correct their speech,
No bad man's happy; he is great, or rich.
But fools, the Good alone, unhappy call,
For ills or accidents that chance to all.
See Falkland dies, the virtuous and the juft!
See godlike Turenne proftrate on the duft!
See Sidney bleeds amid the martial ftrife!
Was this their Virtue, or contempt of Life?
Say, was it Virtue, more though Heaven ne'er gave,
Lamented Digby! funk thee to the grave?
Tell me, if Virtue made the Son expire,
Why, full of days and honour, lives the Sire?
Why drew Marseilles' good bifhop purer breath,
When Nature ficken'd, and each gale was death?
Or why fo long (in life if long can be)
Lent Heaven a parent to the poor and me?
What makes all physical or moral ill?
There deviates Nature, and here wanders will.
God fends not ill; if rightly understood,
Or partial Ill is univerfal Good,
Or Change admits, or Nature lets it fall,
Short, and but rare, till Man improv'd it all.
We juft as wifely might of Heaven complain
That righteous Abel was deftroy'd by Cain,
As that the virtuous fon is ill at ease
When his lewd father gave the dire disease.
Think we, like fome weak Prince, th' Eternal Cause
Prone for his favourites to reverse his laws?
After ver. 116, in the MS.
Of every evil, fince the world began,
The real fource is not in God, but man.
Shall burning Etna, if a fage requires,
Forget to thunder, and recall her fires?
On air or fea new motions be imprest,
Oh blameless Bethel! to relieve thy breast ?
When the loose mountain trembles from on high,
Shall gravitation ceafe, if you go by ?
Or fome old temple, nodding to its fall,
For Chartres' head reserve the hanging wall?
But ftill this world (fo fitted for the knave)
Contents us not. A better shall we have ?
A kingdom of the Just then let it be:
But first confider how those Just agree.
The good muft merit God's peculiar care;
But who, but God, can tell us who they are?
One thinks on Calvin Heaven's own Spirit fell;
Another deems him inftrument of hell;
If Calvin feel Heaven's bleffing, or its rod,
This cries there is, and that, there is no God.
What shocks one part, will edify the rest,
Nor with one fyftem can they all be blest.
The very beft will variously incline,
And what rewards your Virtue, punish mine.
WHATEVER IS, IS RIGHT.—This world, 'tis true,
Was made for Cæfar-but for Titus too;
After ver. 142, in fome Editions,
Give each a Syftem, all must be at ftrife;
What different Syftems for a man and wife!
The joke, though lively, was ill placed, and therefore ftruck out of the text.