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Go! and pretend your Family is young ;
205 Alas! not all the Blood of all the HOWARDS.
Look next on Greatness, say where Greatness lies! “ Where, but among the Heroes, and the Wise?" Heroes are much the same, the Point's agreed, From Macedonia's Mad-men to the Swede : 210 The whole ftrange Purpose 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 Nose. No less alike the Politic and Wife,
215 All Ay Now Things, with circumspective Eyes : Men in their loose unguarded Hours they take, Nor that themselves are wise, but others weak. But grant, that those can conquer, these can cheat, 'Tis Phrase absurd, to call a Villain great.
220 Who wickedly is wise, or madly brave, Is but the more a Fool, the more a Knave. Who noble Ends, by noble Means obtains, Or failing, smiles in Exile, or in Chains ; Like good Aurelius let him reigngor bleed, 225 Like Socrates, that Man is great indeed.
What's Fame? That fancy'd Life in others Breathi! A Thing beyond us, ev'n before our Death. Just what you bear you have, and what's unknown, The same (my Lord) is Tully's, as your own. 230 All that we feel of it, begins and ends In the same Circle, of our Foes or Friends ; To all beside, as much an empty Shade, An Eugene living, as a Casar dead. Alike, or when or where, they shone or shine, Or on the Rubicon, or on the Rhine. A Wit's a Feather, and a Chief a Rod; An honeft Man's the noblest Work of God: Fame, but from Death a Villain's Name can save, As Justice tears his Body from the Grave; 240 When what t' Oblivion better were resign'd, Is hung on high, to poison half Mankind. All Fame is foreign, but of true Desert, Plays round the Head, but comes not to the Heart.
One self-approving Hour whole Years out-weighs 245
In Parts superior what Advantage lies ?
250 'Tis but to know, how little can be known, To see all other's Faults, and feel our own ; Condemn'd in Business, or in Arts, to drudge Without a Second, or without a Judge: Truths would you teach, or save a finking Land: 255 All fear, none aid you, and few understand. Painful Preheminence! yourself to view, Above Life's Weakness, and it's Comforts too.
Bring then these Blessings to a strict Account, Make fair Deductions, fee to what they mount ! 260 How much of other each is sure to cost ! How each for other oft is wholly loft! How inconsistent greater Goods with these! How sometimes Life is risqu’d, and always Ease ! Think, and if still the Things thy Envy call, 265 Say, would'At thou be the Man to whom they fall? To figh for Ribbans, if thou art fo filly, Mark how they grace Lord Umbra, or Sis Billy, Is yellow Dirt the Passion of thy Life? Look but on Gripus, or on Gripus' Wife. 270 If Parts allure thee, think how Bacon hin'd;, The wiseft, brighteft, meanest of Mankind : Or ravish'd with the Whistling of a Name, See Cromwell, damn'd to everlasting Fame ! If all, united, thy Ambition call, From ancient Story learn to scorn them all. There, in the rich, the honour'd, fam’d, and great, See the falle Scale of Happiness compleat ! In Hearts of Kings, or Arms of Queens who lay, (How happy!) those to ruin, these betray ; 280 Mark by what wretched Steps their Glory grows, From Dirt, and Sea-weed, as proud Venice rose; In each, how Guilt and Greatness equal ran, And all that rais'd the Hero, funk the Man, Now Europe's Lawrels on their Brows behold, 185 But staind for Blood, or ill exchang'd for Gold :
Then see them broke with Toils, or loft in Eafe,
Know then this Truth, (enough for Man to know) VIRTUE alone is Happiness below:
300 The only Point where human Bliss ftands ftill, And tastes the Good, without the Fall to III; Where only Merit conftant Pay receives, Is bless'd in what it takes, and what it gives : The Joy unequal'd, if its End it gain,
305 And if it lose, attended with no Pain : Without Satiety, tho' e'er so blessid, And but more relish'd as the more distress’d : The broadeft Mirth, unfeeling Folly wears, Less pleasing far than Virtue's very Tears. 310 Good, from each Object, from each Place acquir'd, For ever exercis'd, yet never tir'd ; Never elated, while one Man's oppressid, Never dejected, while another's bless'd ; And where no Wants, no Wishes can remain, 315 Since but to with more Virtue, is to gain.
See! the sole Bliss Heav’n can on all bestow, Which, who but feels can tafte ; but thinks can know ? Yet poor with Fortune, and with Learning blind, The Bad muft miss, the Good untaught will find ; 320 Slave to no Sect, who takes no private Road, But looks thro' Nature, up to Nature's GOD; Pursues that Chain which links th’immense Design, Joins Heav'n and Earth, and mortal, and divine ; Sees, that no Being any Bliss can know,
325 But touches some above, and tome below; Learns, from this Union of the rising Whole, The first, laft Purpose of the human Soul ;
And knows where Faith, Law, Morals, all began,
For him alone, Hope leads from Gole to Gole,
pours the Fliss that fills up all the Mind.
Self-Love thus push'd to Social, to divine,
God loves from Whole to Parts ; but human Soul
Genius come along,
Friend ! my
Correct with Spirit, eloquent with Ease,
Nature's Light :
385 And all our Knowledge is, Ourfelves to know.