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His Principle of action once explore,
That inftant 'tis his Principle no more.
Like following life through creatures you diffect,
You lose it in the moment you detect.
the difference is as great between
The optics feeing, as the objects feen.
All Manners take a tincture from our own;
Or come difcolour'd through our Paffions shown.
Or Fancy's beam enlarges, multiplies,
Contracts, inverts, and gives ten thousand dyes.
Nor will Life's stream for obfervation stay,
It hurries all too fast to mark their way:
In vain fedate reflections we would make,
When half our knowledge we must snatch, not take. 40
Oft, in the Paffion's wild rotation toft,
Our fpring of action to ourselves is lost :
Tir'd, not determin'd, to the last we yield,
And what comes then is mafter of the field.
As the last image of that troubled heap,
When fenfe fubfides, and Fancy sports in fleep,
(Though paft 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.
True, fome are open, and to all men known:
Others, fo very clofe, they 're hid from none;
(So darkness strikes the fense no less than light)
Thus gracious Chandos is belov'd at fight;
And every child hates Shylock, though his foul
Still fits at fquat, and peeps not from its hole.
At half mankind when generous Manly raves,
All know 'tis Virtue, for he thinks them knaves:
When univerfal homage Umbra pays,
All fee 'tis Vice, and itch of vulgar praise.
When Flattery glares, all hate it in a Queen,
While one there is who charms us with his Spleen.
But these plain Characters we rarely find:
Though ftrong the bent, yet quick the turns of mind:
Or puzzling Contraries confound the whole;
Or Affectations quite reverfe the foul.
The Dull, flat Falfehood ferves, for policy:
And in the Cunning, Truth itself's a lie :
Unthought-of Frailties cheat us in the Wife;
The Fool lies hid in inconfiftencies.
See the fame man, in vigour, in the gout;
Alone, in company; in place, or out;
Early at Bufinefs, and at Hazard late ;
Mad at a Fox-chase, wife at a Debate ;
Drunk at a Borough, civil at a Ball;
Friendly at Hackney, faithlefs at Whitehall.
Catius is ever moral, ever grave,
Thinks who endures a knave, is next a knave,
Save juft at dinner-then prefers, no doubt,
A Rogue with Venifon to a Saint without.
Who would not praife Patricio's high defert,
His hand unftain'd, his uncorrupted heart,
His comprehenfive head! all Interests weigh'd,
All Europe fav'd, yet Britain not betray'd.
He thanks you not, his Pride is in Picquette,
Newmarket-fame, and judgment at a Bett.
What made (fay, Montagne, or more fage Charron !) Otho a warrior, Cromwell a buffoon?
A perjur'd Prince a leaden faint revere,
A godless Regent tremble at a Star?
The throne a Bigot keep, a Genius quit,
Faithlefs through Piety, and dup'd through Wit?
Europe a Woman, Child, or Dotard rule,
And juft her wifest monarch made a fool ?
Know, God and Nature only are the fame :
In Man, the judgment shoots at flying game;
A bird of paffage! gone as foon as found,
Now in the Moon perhaps, now under ground.
In vain the fage, with retrospective eye,
Would from th' apparent What conclude the Why,
Infer the Motive from the Deed, and shew,
That what we chanc'd was what we meant to do,
Behold if Fortune or a Miftrefs frowns,
Some plunge in business, others fhave their crowns:
To ease the Soul of one oppreffive weight,
This quits an Empire, that embroils a State:
The fame aduft complexion has impell'd
Charles to the Convent, Philip to the Field.
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 fave a people, and now fave a groat.
Not always Actions fhew the man: we find
Who does a kindness, is not therefore kind:
Perhaps Profperity becalm'd his breast,
Perhaps the Wind juft shifted from the Eaft:
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 flave:
Who reasons wifely is not therefore wife,
His pride in Reasoning, not in Acting, lies.
But grant that actions beft discover man;
Take the most strong, and fort them as you can.
The few that glare, each character must mark,
You balance not the many in the dark.
What will you do with fuch as difagree?
Supprefs them, or mifcall them policy?
Must then at once (the character to fave)
The plain rough Hero turn a crafty Knave?
Alas! in truth the man but chang'd his mind,
Perhaps was fick, in love, or had not din'd.
Afk why from Britain Cæfar would retreat?
Cæfar himself might whisper, he was beat.
Ver. 129. in the former Editions:
Afk why from Britain Cæfar made retreat ?
Cæfar 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 Cæfar wrote his Commenta
ries of this war, and does not tell you he was beat. As
Cæfar too afforded an inftance of both cafes, it was
thought better to make him the fingle example.
Why risk the World's great empire for a Punk?
Cæfar perhaps might anfwer, he was drunk.
But, fage hiftorians! 'tis your task to prove
One action Conduct; one, heroic Love.
'Tis from high Life high characters are drawn; 135 A Saint in Crape is twice a Saint in Lawn; A Judge is juft, a Chancellor jufter still;
A Gownman, learn'd; a Bishop, what you will;
Wife, if a Minifter; but, if a King,
More wife, more learn'd, more juft, more every thing.
Court-Virtues bear, like Gems, the highest rate,
Born where Heaven's influence scarce can penetrate:
In life's low vale, the foil the Virtues like,
They please as beauties, here as wonders strike.
Though the fame fun with all-diffusive rays
Blush in the Rose, and in the Diamond blaze,
We prize the ftronger effort of his power,
And justly fet the Gem above the Flower.
'Tis Education forms the common mind,
Juft as the twig is bent, the tree's inclin'd.
Boaftful and rough, your firft fon is a 'Squire ;
The next a Tradesman, meek, and much a lyar;
Tom ftruts a Soldier, open, bold and brave;
Will fneaks a Scrivener, an exceeding knave:
Is he a Churchman? then he's fond of power:
A Quaker? fly: A Prefbyterian? fower:
A fmart Free-thinker? all things in an hour.
Afk mens Opinions: Scoto now shall tell
How Trade increases, and the world goes well;