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MISCELLANEOUS THOUGHTS *.
LL'men's intrigues and projects tend,
By several courses, to one end;
* This, and the other little Sketches that follow, were, among many of the same kind, fairly written out by Butler, in a sort of poetical Thesaurus, which I have before mentioned. Whether he intended ever to publith any of them as separate distinct thoughts, or to interweave them into some future compositions, a thing very usual with him, cannot be ascertained ; nor is it, indeed, very material to those who are fond of his manner of thinking and writing. I have ventured to give them the title of Miscellaneous Thoughts; but I have not been over-curious in placing them in any methodical order. Out of this magazine he communicated to Mr. Aubrey that genuine fragment printed in his life, beginning,
No Jesuit e'er took in hand
To plant a church in barren land,
Nor ever thought it worth the while
A Swede or Russ to reconcile, &c. The publishing of Miscellaneous Thoughts, or, what passes under the name of Table-talk, might be justified by many names of the greatest authority in the learned world ; and these fallies of wit, unconnectedly printed, sometimes give more pleasure than when they are interspersed in a long and regular work; as it'is often more entertaining to examine jewels separately in a cabinet, than to see them adorning a prince's crown or a 3
To compass, by the propereft fhows,
Whatever their designs propose;
And that which owns the fairelt pretext
Is often found the indirect'ft.
Hence 'tis that hypocrites ftill paint
Much fairer than the real saint,
And knaves appear more juft and true
Than honest men, that make less thew :
The dullest idiots in disguise
Appear more knowing than the wise ;
Illiterate dunces, undiscern'd,
Pass on the rabble for the learn'd;
And cowards, that can damn and rant,
Pass muster for the valiant :
For he that has but impudence,
To all things has a just pretence,
And, put among his wants but shame,
To all the world may lay his claim.
HOW various and innumerable
Are those who live upon the rabble !
'Tis they maintain the church and staten
Employ the priest and magistrate;
Bear all the charge of government,
And pay the public fines and rent;
Defray all taxes and excises,
And impositions of all prices;
royal robe. One may venture to add, that these of our Author must have a kind of additional recommendation, by the agreeable fingularity of their being in verse.
Bear all th'
pay the pulpit and the bar;
Maintain all churches and religions,
And give their pastors exhibitions ;
And those who have the greated flocks
Are primitive and orthodox;
Support all schismatics and feets,
them for tormenting texts ;
Take all their doctrines off their hands,
And pay them in good rents and lands ;
Discharge all costly offices,
The doctor's and the lawyer's fees,
The hangman's wages, and the scores.
Of caterpillar bawds and whores ;
Discharge all damages and costs
of Knights and Squires of the Post;
All statesinen, cutpurses, and padders,
for all their ropes and ladders į
All pettifoggers, and all sorts
Of markets, churches, and of courts ;
All sums of money paid or spent,
With all the charges incident,
Laid out, or thrown away, or given
To purchase this world, hell, or heaven.
SHOULD once the world resolve t'abolish
All that's ridiculous and foolish,
It would have nothing left to do,
T' apply in jest or earnest to,
No business of importance, play,
Qr state, to pass its time away.
THE world would be more just, if truth and lyes, And right and wrong, did bear an equal price ; But, since impostors are so highly rais’d, And faith and justice equally debas'd, Few men have tempers, for such paltry gains, T' undo themselves with drudgery and pains.
THE fottish world without distinction looks
On all that paffes on th' account of books ;
And, when there are two scholars that within
The species only hardly are a-kin,
The world will pass for men of equal knowledge,
If equally they ’ve loiter'd in a college.
CRITICS are like a kind of fies that breed
In wild fig-trees, and, when they ’re grown up, feed
Upon the raw fruit of the nobler kind,
And, by their nibbling on the outward rind,
for the sun To ripen it sooner than he would have done.
A S all Fanatics preach, so all men write,
Out of the strength of gifts and inward light,
In spite of art ; as horses thorough pacid
Were never taught, and therefore go more fast.
IN all mistakes the strict and regular
Are found to be the desperat'st ways to err;
And worst to be avoided ; as a wound:
Is said to be the harder cur'd that's roundi;
For error and mistake, the less they' appear,
In th' end are found to be the dangerouser ;
As no man minds those clocks that use to go
Apparently too'over-fast or slow.
THE truest characters of ignorance
Are vanity, and pride, and arrogance ;
As blind men use to bear their noses higher
Than those that have their eyes and light entire,
THE metaphysic 's but a puppet motion
That goes with screws, the notion of a notion ;
and lame draught
Unnaturally taken from a thought;
That counterfeits all pantomimic tricks,
And turns the eyes like an old crucifix ;
That counterchanges whatsoe'er it calls
B' another name, and makes it true or false;
Turns truth to falsehood, falsehood into truth,
By virtue of the Babylonian's tooth.
'TIS not the art of schools to understand,
But make things hard, instead of being explain'd;
And therefore those are commonly the learned &
That only study between jest and earnest :
For, when the end of learning 's to pursue
And trace the subtle steps of false and true,
They ne'er consider how they ’re to apply,
But only listen to the noise and cry,
And are so much delighted with the chace,
They never mind the taking of their preys.