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"What differ more (you cry) than crown and cow!!"
I'll tell you, friend! a wife man and a fool.
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 strings, That thou may'ft be by kings, or whores of kings. Boaft the pure blood of an illustrious race, In quiet flow from Lucrece to Lucrece : But by your father's worth if your's you rate, Count me thofe only who were good and great. Go! if your ancient, but ignoble blood Has crept thro' fcoundrels ever fince the flood, Go! and pretend your family is young;
Nor own your fathers have been fools fo long.
What can ennoble fots, or flaves, or cowards?
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 ftrange purpofe of their lives, to find Or make, an enemy of all mankind! Not one looks backward, onward ftill he goes, Yet ne'er looks forward further than his nofe. No lefs alike the Politic and Wife;
All fly flow things, with circumfpective eyes:
Men in their loofe unguarded hours they take,
Not that themselves are wife, but others weak.
But grant that those can conquer, these 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.
Just 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 small circle of our foes and friends;
To all befide as much an empty fhade
An Eugene living, as a Caefar dead;
Alike or when, or where they fhone, or fhine,
Or on the Rubicon, or on the Rhine.
A Wit's a feather, and a Chief a rod;
An honeft Man's the nobleft work of GOD.
Fame but from death a villain's name can fave,
As Juftice 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 stupid ftarers, and of loud huzzas ;
And more true joys Marcellus exil'd feels,
Than Caefar with a fenate 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 fave a finking land? All fear, none aid you, and few understand. Painful pre-eminence! yourfelf to view Above life's weakness, and its comforts too.
Bring then these bleffings to a strict account
Make fair deductions; fee to what they mount :
How much of others each is fure to coft;
How each for other oft is wholly lost;
How inconfiftent greater goods with thefe;
How fometimes life is rifqu'd and always ease:
Think, and if still the things thy envy call,
Say, would't thou be the man to whom they fall?
To figh for ribbands if thou art fo filly,
Mark how they grace Lord Umbra or Sir Billy.
Is yellow dirt the paffion of thy life;
Look but on Gripus, or on Gripus' wife.
If parts allure thee, think how Bacon fhin'd,
The wifeft, brightest, meanest of mankind :
Or ravish'd with the whistling of a Name,
See Cromwell, damn'd to everlafting fame!
If all, united, thy ambition call,
From ancient ftory, learn to fcon them all.
There, in the rich, the honour'd, fam'd and great, See the falfe fcale of Happiness complete!
In hearts of Kings, or arms of Queers who lay,
How happy thofe to ruin, these betray.
Mark by what wretched steps their glory grows,
From dirt and fea-weed as proud Venice rofe;
In each how guilt and greatnefs equal ran,
And all that rais'd the Hero, funk the Man :
Now Europe's laurels on their brows behold,
But ftain'd with blood, or ill exchang'd for Gold:
Then fee them broke with toils, or funk in ease,
Or infamous for plunder'd provinces.
Oh wealth ill-fated! with no act of fame
E'er taught to fhine, or fanctify'd from thame!
What greater blifs attends their clofe of life?
Some greedy minion, or imperious wife,
The trophy'd arches, story'd halls invade,
And haunt their flumbers in the pompous fhade.
Alas! not dazzled with their noon-tide ray,
Compute the morn and ev'ning to the day;
The whole amount of that enormous fame,
A Tale, that blends their glory with their fhame!
Know then this truth (enough for Man to know)
"Virtue alone is happiness below"
The only point where human bliss stands still,
And taftes the good without the fall to ill;
Where only merit conftant pay receives,
Is bleft in what it takes, and what it gives;
The joy unequall'd, if its end it gain,
And, if it lofe, attended with no pain:
Without fatiety, tho' e'er fo bless'd,
And but more relish'd, as the more distress'd;
The broadeft mirth unfeeling Folly wears,
Lefs pleasing far than Virtue's very tears:
Good, from each object, from each place acquir'd,
For ever exercis'd, yet never tir'd;
Never elated, while one man's oppress'd;
Never dejected, while another's bless'd;
And where no wants, no wishes can remain,
Since but to wifh more virtue, is to gain.
See the fole blefs Heav'n could on all bestow!
Which who but feels can taste, but thinks can know:
Yet poor with fortune, and with learning blind,
The bad must mifs, the good, untaught, will find;
Slave to no fect, who takes no private road,
But looks thro' Nature, up to Nature's God:
Purfues that chain which links th' immenfe design,
Joins heav'n and earth, and mortal and divine;
Sees, that no Being any blifs can know,
But touches fome above, and fome below;
Learns, from this union of the rifing whole,
The first, last purpose of the human foul;
And knows where Faith, Law, morals, all began,
All end, in LOVE OF GOD, and LOVE OF MAN.
For him alone, hope leads from goal to goal,
And opens ftill, and opens on his foul;
'Till leng:hen'd on to Faith, and unconfin'd,
It pours the blifs that fills up all the mind.
He fees, why naturé plants in Man alone
Hope of known blifs, and Faith in blifs unknown:
(Nature, whofe dictates to no other kind
Are giv'n in vain, but what they feek they find)