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Ah ! if she lend not Arms, as well as Rules,
What can she more than tell us we are Fools ?
Teach us to mourn our Nature, not to mend,
A fharp Accufer, but a helpless Friend!
Or from a fudge turn Pleader, to persuade 145
The Choice we make, or justify it, made ;
Proud of an easy Conqueft all along,
She but removes weak Passions for the Strong ;
So, when small Humours gather to a Gout,
The Doctor fancies he has driv'n 'em out.
Yes, Nature's Road must ever be preferr'd;
Reason is here no Guide, but still a Guard;
Tis her's to rectify, not overthrow,
And treat this passion more as Friend than Foe:
Like varying Winds, by other Passions tofs’d, 155
This drives them constant to a certain Coast;
Let Pow'r or Knowledge, Gold, or Glory, please,
Or (oft more strong than all) the Love of Ease :
Thro' Life 'tis follow'd, ev’n at Life's Expence ;
The Merchant's Toil, the Sage's Indolence, 160
The Monk's Humility, the Hero's Pride,
And all, alike, find Reason on their Side.
Th' eternal Art, educing Good from Ill, ,
Grafts on this Paffion our best Principle :
Tis thus, the Mercury of Man is fix'd :
Strong grows the Virtue with his Nature mix'd ;
The Dross cements what else.were too refin'd
And in one Inter'st Body cēts with Mind.
As Fruits, ungrateful to their Planter's Care,
On Savage-Stocks inserted, learn to bear ; 170
The furest Virtues, thus from Passions shoot,
Wild Nature's Vigour working at the Root.
What Crops of Wit and Honesty appear,
From Spleen, from Obstinacy, Hate, or Fear!
See Anger, Zeal and Fortitude fupply ;
Ev'n Avarice, Prudence ; Sloth, Philosophy ;
Envy, to which th'ignoble Mind's a Slave,
Is Emulation in the Learn'd and Brave :
Nor Virtue, Male or Female, can we name,
But what or grows on Fride, or grows. on Shame.
Thus Nature gives us (let us check our Pride)
The Virtue nearest to our Vice ally'd ;
Reafon the Byass turns to Good from Ill,
And Nero reigns a Titus, if he will.
The fiery Soul, abhor'd in Cataline,
In Decius charms, in Curtius is divine.
The fame Ambition can destroy or save,
And makes a Patriot, as it makes a Knave.
This Light and Darkuess in our Chaos join'd, What shall divide? The God within the Mind.
190 Tho' each by turns the other's Bounds invade, As in some well-wrought Picture Light and Shade, And oft so mix, the Diff'rence is too nice, Where ends the Virtue, or begins the Vice : Fools! who from hence into the Notion fall, 195 That Vice or Virtue there is none at all. If white and black blend, soften, and unite A thousand Ways, is there no black and white ? Ask your own Heart, and nothing is so plain ; 'Tis to mistake them, costs the Time aud Pain. 200
Vice is a Monster of so frightful Mein, As, to be hated, needs but to be seen ; But seen too oft, familiar with her Face, We first endure, then pity, then embrace : A Cheat! a Whore! who starts not at the Name, 205 In all the Inns of Court, or Drury-Lane ? But where the Point of Vice, was ne'er agreed : Ask where's the North? At York, 'tis on the Tweed : In Scotland, at the Orcades, and there, At Greenland, Zembla, or the Lord knows where. 210 No Creature owns it, in the first Degree, But thinks his Neighbour farther gone than he. Ev’n those who dwell beneath the
Or never feel the Rage, or never own ;
What happier Nature shrinks at with Affright,
The hard Inhabitant contends his Right.
Virtuous and Vicious every Man must be,
Few in th’ Extreme, but all in the Degree :
The Rogue and Fool, by Fits, is fair and wife,
And ev’n the best, by Fits, what they despise.
"Tis but by Parts we follow Good or Ill,
For, Vice or Virtue, Self directs it ftill;
Each Individual seeks a lev'ral Gole ;
But HEAVEN'S great View is One, and that the WHOLE :
That counter-works each Folly and Caprice ;
That disappoints th' Effects of ev'ry Vice.
That happy Frailties to all Ranks apply'd,
Shame to the Virgin, to the Matron Pride ;
Fear to the Statesman, Rajhness to the Chief,
To Kings Presumption, and to Crowds Belief. 230
That Virtue's Ends from Vanity can raise,
Which seeks no Int'reft, no Reward but Praise.
And builds on Wants, and on Defects of Mind,
The Joy, the Peace, the Glory of Mankind.
Heav'n forming each on other to depend, 235
A Master, or a Servant, or a Friend,
Bids each on other for Assistance call,
'Till one Man's Weakness grows the Strength of all.
Wants, Frailties, Passions, closer still allye
The common Int'reft, or endear the Tye: 240
To these we owe true Friendship, Love fincere,
Each home-felt Joy that Life inherits here :
Yet from the same we learn, in it's Decline,
Those Joys, those Loves, those Intrests to resign.
Taught half by Reason, half by mere Decay, 245
To welcome Death, and calmly pass away.
Whate'er the Pasion, Knowledge, Fame, or Pelf,
Not one will change his Neighbour with himself.
The Learn'd are happy, Nature to explore ;
The Fool is happy, that he knows no more ;
The Rich are happy in the Plenty given ;
The Poor contents him with the Care of Heaven.
See! the blind Beggar dance, the Cripple fing,
The Sot a Hero, Lunatic a King :
The starving Chymift in his golden Views 255
Supreamly bless'd ; the Poet in his Muse.
See! some strange Comfort, ev'ry State attend.
And Pride bestow'd on all, a common Friend ;
See! some fit Paffon ev'ry Age supply,
Hope travels through, nor quits us when we die. 260
Till then, Opinion gilds with varying Rays
Those painted Clouds that beautify our Days;
Each Want of Happiness by Hope supply d,
And each Vacuity of Sense by Pride.
These build up all that Knowledge can destroy.
265 In Folly's Cup still laughs the Bubble, Joy;
One Prospect loft, another still we gain,
And not a Vanity is giv'n in vain ;
Even mean Self-Love becomes by Force divine,
The Scale to measure others Wants by thine. 270
See! and confess, one Comfort ftill must rise,
'Tis this, tho' Man's a Fool, yet God is wise.
The End of the second EPISTLE.
“ Acts to one End, but acts by various Laws.".
In all thé Madness of fuperfluous Health,
The Trim of Pride, and Impudence of Wealth;
Let that great Truth be present Night and Day ; 5
But most be present, if thou preach, or pray.
View thy own World : Behold the Chain of Love
Combining all below, and all above.
See, lifeless Matter moving to one End,
The single Atoms each to other tend;
Attra&t, attracted to, the next in Place,
By Nature form'd its Neighbour to embrace.
Bebold it next with various Life fuftain,
Press to one Centre fill, the Gen'ral Good.