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Trace seience then, with modesty thy guide ;
II. Two principles in human nature reign;
Self-love, the spring of motion, acts the soul; Reason's comparing balance rules the whole. Man, but for that, no action could attend, And, but for this, were active to no end : Fix'd like a plant on his peculiar spot; To draw nutrition, propagate, and rot, Or, meteor-like, flame law.less through the void, Destroying others, by himself destroy'd.
Most strength the moving principle requires : Active its task, it prompts, impels, inspires. Sedate and quiet the comparing lies, Form'd but to check, deliberate, and advise. Self-love, still stronger, as its objects nigh; Reason's at distance, and in prospect lie : That sees immediate good by present sense; Reason, the future and the consequence. Thicker than argumeuts temptations throng, At best more watchful this, but that more strong. The action of the stronger to suspend, Reason still use, to reasou still attend. Attention habit and experience gains; Each strengthens reason, and self-love restrains. Let subtle schoolmen teach these friends to fight, More studious to divide than to unite ;.
And grace and virtue, sense and reason split,
III. Modes of self-love the passious we may call;
In lazy apathy let Stoics boast
Passions, like elements, though born to fight,
Pleasures are ever in our hands and eyes; And when in act they cease, in prospect rise : Present to grasp, and future still to find, The whole employ of body and of mind. All spread their charms, but charm vot all alike ; On different senses, different objects strike: Hence different passions more or less inflame, As strong or weak, the organs of the frame; And hence one master passion in the breast, Like Aaron's serpent, swallows up the rest. As man, perhaps, the moment of his breath, Receives the lurking principle of death; The young disease, which must subdue at length, Grows with his growth, and strengthens with his .
strepgth : So, cast and mingled with his very frame, The mind's disease, its ruling passion came; Each vital humour which should feed the whole, Soon flows to this, in body and in soul : Whatever warms the heart, or fills the head, As the mind opens, and its functions spread, Imagination plies her dangerous art, And pours it all upon the peccant part.
Nature its mother, habit is its nurse; Wit, spirit, faculties, but make it worse; Re on itself but gives it edge and power; As Heaven's blest beam turns vinegar more sour.
We, wretched subjects, though to lawful sway, In this weak queen some favourite still obey: 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 sharp accuser, but a helpless friend ! Or from a judge tura pleader, to persuade The choice we make, or justify it made; Proud of an easy conquest all along, She but removes weak passions for the strong: So, when small bumours gather to a gout, The doctor fancies he has driven hem out.
Yes, nature's road must ever be preferr'd; Reason is here no guide, but still a guard : 'Tis hers to rectify, not overthrow, And treat this passion more as friend than foe: A mightier power the strong direction sends, And several men impels to several ends : Like varying winds, by other passions tost, This drives them constant to a certain coast. Let power or knowledge, gold or glory, please, Or (oft more strong than all) the love of ease; Through life 'tis follow'd ev'n at life's expense ; The merchant's toil, the sage's indolence, The monk's humility, the hero's pride, All, all alike, find reason on their side.
Th’ Eternal Art, educing good from ill, Grafts on this passion 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 interest body acts with mind.
As fruits ungrateful to the planter's care, On savage stocks inserted learn to bear; The surest 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 supply; Ev'n avarice prudence, sloth philosophy; Lust, through some certain strainers well refin'd, Is gentle love, and charms all womankind; Envy, to which th' ignoble mind's a slave, Is emulation in the learn'd or brave; Nor virtue, male or female, can we name, But what will grow on pride, or grow on shame.
Thus nature gives us (let it check our pride) The virtue nearest to our vice allied : Reason the bias turns to good from ill, And Nero reigns a Titus if he will. The fiery soul abhorr'd in Catiline, * Decius charms, in Curtius is divine:
The same ambition can destroy or save,
IV. This light and darkness in our chaos joind, What shall divide? The God within the mind.
Extremes in nature equal ends produce,
Fools! who from hence into the notion fall,
V. Vice is a monster of so frightful mien,
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 wise ; 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 still; Each individual seeks a several goal; (whole. But Heaven's great view, is one, and that the That counterworks each folly and caprice; That disappoints th' effect of every vice: