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But mutual wants this happiness increase;
All nature's difference keeps all nature's peace.
Condition, circumstance, is not the thing;
Bliss is the same in subject or in king,
In who obtain defence, or who defend,
In him who is, or him who finds a friend : [whole
Heaven breathes through every member of the
One common blessing, as one common soul.
But fortune's gifts, if each alike possest,
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 variously dispose,
And these be happy call’d, unhappy those;
But Heaven's just balance equal will appear,
While those are plac'd in hope and these in fear:
Not present good or ill the joy or curse,
But future views of better or of worse.

O sons of earth! attempt ye still to rise By mountains pild on mountains to the skies ? Heaven still with laughter the vain toil surveys, And buries madmen in the heaps they raise.

Know all the good that individuals find, Or God and nature meant to mere mankind, Reason's whole pleasure, all the joys of sense, Lie in three words—health, peace, and competence: But health consists with temperance alone, And peace,

O 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 risk the most, that take wrong means or right?
Of vice or virtue, whether blest or curst,
Which meets contempt, or which compassion first ?
Count all th' advantage prosperous vice attains,
'Tis but what virtue flies from and disdains :
And grant the bad what happiness they would,
One they must want, which is, to pass for good.

O blind to truth and God's whole scheme below,
Who fancy bliss to vice, to virtue woe!
Who sees and follows that great scheme the best,
Best knows the blessing, and will most be blest.
But fools the good alone unhappy call,
For ills or accidents that chance to all.
See Falkland dies, the virtuous and the just!
See godlike Turenne prostrate on the dust!
See Sidney bleeds amid the martial strife !
Was this their virtue or contempt of life?
Say, was it virtue, more though Heaven ne'er gave,
Lamented Digby!1 sunk 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 bishop? purer breath
When nature sicken’d, and each gale was death?
Or why so long (in life if long can be)
Lent Heaven a parent to the poor and me?

1 The Hon. Robert Digby: see Memoir prefixed to these volumes, p. lxxiv.

2 M. de Belsunce: he distinguished himself by his zeal and activity in behalf of his flock, while the plague raged at Marseilles in 1720.

What makes all physical or moral ill ?
There deviates nature, and here wanders will.
God sends not ill, if rightly understood,
Or partial ill is universal good,
Or change admits, or nature lets it fall,
Short and but rare till man improv'd it all.
We just as wisely might of Heaven complain
That righteous Abel was destroy'd by Cain,
As that the virtuous son is ill at ease
When his lewd father gave the dire disease.
Think

we, like some weak prince, th’Eternal Cause Prone for his favourites to reverse his laws ?

Shall burning Ætna, if a sage requires,
Forget to thunder, and recall her fires ?
On air or sea new motions be imprest,
O blameless Bethel, 8 to relieve thy breast ?
When the loose mountain trembles from on high,
Shall gravitation cease if you go by?
Or some old temple, nodding to its fall,
FO Chartres'4 head reserve the hanging wall ?

But still this world (so fitted for the knave)
Contents us not.—A better shall we have ?
A kingdom of the just then let it be;
But first consider how those just agree.

8 Hugh Bethel, Esq. a gentleman of good property in Yorkshire, a valued friend and correspondent of Pope.

4 Colonel Francis Chartres was infamous for every vice. By tricks at gaming-tables, and by lending money at exorbitant interest, and on great penalties, he acquired an immense fortune. He was twice condemned for rapes, but pardoned. He died in Scotland; and the populace at his funeral endeavoured to tear his body out of the coffin.

The good must 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 instrument of hell :
If Calvin feel Heaven's blessing or its rod,
This cries there is, and that there is no God.
What shocks one part will edify the rest;
Nor with one system can they all be blest.
The very best will variously incline,
And what rewards your virtue punish mine.
Whatever is is right. This world, 'tis true,
Was made for Cæsar—but for Titus too:
And which more bless’d? who chain'd his country,

say,
Or he whose virtue sigh’d to lose a day?

“ But sometimes virtue starves while vice is fed.” What then? is the reward of virtue bread ? That vice may merit; 'tis the price of toil; The knave deserves it when he tills the soil, The knave deserves it when he tempts the main, Where folly fights for kings or dives for gain. The good man may be weak, be indolent ; Nor is his claim to plenty but content. But grant him riches, your demand is o’er? “No-shall the good want health, the good want

power?Add health and power, and every earthly thing. “Why bounded power? why private? why no king? Nay, why external for internal given? Why is not man a god, and earth a heaven ? "

Who ask and reason thus will scarce conceive God gives enough while he has more to give: Immense the power, immense were the demand ; Say at what part of nature will they stand ?

What nothing earthly gives or can destroy, The soul's calm sunshine and the heartfelt joy, Is virtue's prize. A better would you fix ? Then give humility a coach and six, Justice a conqueror's sword, or truth a gown, Or public spirit its great cure, a crown. Weak, foolish man! will Heaven reward us there With the same trash mad mortals wish for here? The boy and man an individual makes, Yet sigh’st thou now for apples and for cakes? Go, like the Indian, in another life Expect thy dog, thy bottle, and thy wife; As well as dream such trifles are assign'd, As toys and empires, for a godlike mind: Rewards, that either would to virtue bring No joy, or be destructive of the thing : How oft by these at sixty are undone The virtues of a saint at twenty-one ! To whom can riches give repute or trust, Content or pleasure, but the good and just ? Judges and senates have been bought for gold ; Esteem and love were never to be sold. O fool! to think God hates the worthy mind, The lover and the love of humankind, Whose life is healthful, and whose conscience clear, Because he wants a thousand pounds a year.

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