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On him, their second Providence, they hung, Poet or patriot, rose but to restore
Taught nor to slack, nor strain its tender strings,
Such is the world's great harmony, that springs
And, in proportion as it blesses, blest;
For forms of government let fools contest;
Whate'er is best administer'd is best : A sovereign being, but a sovereign good. For modes of faith, let graceless zealots fight; True faith, true policy, united ran;
His can't be wrong whose life is in the right; That was but love of God, and this of man. In faith and hope the world will disagree, Who first taught souls enslav'd, and realms undone, But all mankind's concern is charity: Th' enormous faith of many made for one ; All must be false that thwarts this one great end ; That proud exception to all Nature's laws, And all of God, that bless mankind, or mend. T'invert the world and counter-work its cause? Man, like the generous vine, supported lives : Force first made conquest, and that conquest, law; The strength he gains is from th' embrace he gives. Till Superstition taught the tyrant awe,
On their own axis as the planets run, Then shar'd the tyranny, then lent it aid,
Yet make at once their circle round the Sun;
And bade self-love and social be the same.
SPECT TO HAPPINESS.
popular, answered. II. It is the end of all And Hell was built on spite, and Heaven on pride. nen, and attainable by all. God intends hapThen sacred seem'd th' ethereal vault no more ; piness to be equal; and to be so, it must be Allars grew marble then, and reek'd with gore : social, since all particular happiness depends on Then first the Flamen tasted living food ;
general, and since he governs by general, not Next his grim idol, smeard with human blood ; particular laws. As it is necessary for order, and With heaven's own thunders shook the world below, the peace and welfare of society, that external And play'd the god an engine on his foe.
goods should be unequal, happiness is not made So drives Self-love, through just, and through to consist in these. But, notwithstanding that unjust,
inequality, the balance of happiness among man. To one man's power, ambition, lucre, lust:
kind is kept even by Providence, by the two The same Self-love, in all, becomes the cause passions of Hope and Fear. III. What the Of what restrains him, government and laws. happiness of individuals is, as far as is consistent For, what one likes, if others like as well,
with the constitution of this world; and that the What serves one will, when many wills rebel ? good man has here he advantage. The error How shall he keep, what, sleeping or awake, of imputing to virtue what are only the calamities A weaker may surprise, a stronger take ?
of nature, or of fortune. IV. The folly of exHis safety must his liberty restrain :
pecting that God should alter his general laws All join to guard what each desires to gain.
in favor of particulars. V. That we are not Forc'd into virtue thus, by self-defence,
judges who are good ; but that, whoever they Ev'n kings learn'd justice and benevolence: are, they must be happiest. VI. That external Self-love forsook the path it first pursued.
goods are not the proper rewards, but often And found the private in the public good.
inconsistent with, or destructive of, viriue. 'Twas then the studious head or generous mind, That even these can make no man happy Follower of God, or friend of human-kind,
without virtue: instanced in riches. Honors.
OF THE NATURE AND STATE
MAN WITH REa
Nobility. Greatness. Fame. Superior talents. Heaven breathes through every member of the whole
And these be happy callid, unhappy those ;
But Heaven's just balance equal will appear, OA HAPPINESS! our being's end and aim! While those are plac'd in hope, and these in fear : Good, Pleasure, Ease, Content! whate'er thy name: Not present good or ill, the joy or curse, That something still which prompts th' eternal sigh, But future views of better, or of worse. For which we bear to live, or dare to die,
Oh, sons of Earth! attempt ye still to rise, Which still so near us, yet beyond us lies,
By mountains pil'd on mountains, to the skies? O'erlook'd, seen double, by the fool and wise : Heaven still with laughter the vain toil surveys, Plant of celestial seed ! if dropp'd below, And buries madmen in the heaps they raise. Say, in what mortal soil thou deign'st to grow? Know, all the good that individuals find, Fair opening to some court's propitious shine, Or God and Nature meant to mere mankind, Or deep with diamonds in the flaming mine? Reason's whole pleasure, all the joys of sense, Twin'd with the wreaths Parnassian laurels yield, Lie in three words, Health, Peace, and Competence. Or reap'd in iron harvests of the field ?
But Health consists with Temperance alone; Where grows? where grows it not? If vain our toil, And Peace, oh Virtue! Peace is all thy own. We ought to blame the culture, not the soil : The good or bad the gifts of Fortune gain; Fix'd to no spot is happiness sincere,
But these less taste them, as they worse obtain. "Tis nowhere to be found, or everywhere : Say, in pursuit of profit or delight, 'Tis never to be bought, but always free,
Who risk the most, that take wrong means, or right? And, fed from monarchs, St. John! dwells with Of Vice or Virtue, whether blest or curst, thee.
Which meets contempt, or which compassion first ? Ask of the learn'd the way? The learn'd are blind : Count all th’advantage prosperous Vice attains, This bids to serve, and that to shun mankind; "Tis but what Virtue flies from and disdains : Some place the bliss in action, some in ease, And grant the bad what happiness they would, Those call it pleasure, and contentment these : One they must want, which is to pass for good. Some, sunk to beasts, find pleasure end in pain; Oh blind to truth, and God's whole scheme below, Some, swellid to gods, confess ev'n virtue vain; Who fancy bliss to Vice, to Virtue woe! Or, indolent, to each extreme they fall,
Who sees and follows that great scheme the best, To trust in ev'ry thing, or doubt of all.
Best knows the blessing, and will most be blest. Who thus define it, say they more or less, But fools, the good alone, unhappy call, Than this, that happiness is happiness?
For ills or accidents that chance to all. Take Nature's path, and mad Opinion's leave; See Falkland dies, the virtuous and the just ! All states can reach it, and all heads conceive; See godlike Turenne prostrate on the dust! Obvious her goods, in no extreme they dwell; See Sidney bleeds amid the martial strise! There needs but thinking right, and meaning well; Was this their virtue, or contempt of life? And, mourn our various portions as we please, Say, was it virtue, more though Heaven ne'er gave. Equal is common sense, and common ease. Lamented Digby! sunk thee to the grave ? Remember, man, “the Universal Cause
Tell me, if virtue made the son expire, Acts not by partial, but by general laws;" Why, full of days and honor, lives the sire? And makes what happiness we justly call, Why drew Marseilles' good bishop purer breath, Subsist not in the good of one, but all.
When Nature sicken'd, and each gale was death There's not a blessing individuals find,
Or why so long (in life if long can be)
What makes all physical or moral ill ?
There deviates Nature, and here wanders will. Who most to shun or hate mankind pretend, God sends not ill; if rightly understood, Seek an admirer, or would fix a friend :
Or partial ill is universal good, Abstract what others feel, what others think, Or change admits, or Nature lets it fall, All pleasures sicken, and all glories sink : Short, and but rare, till man improv'd it all. Each has his share; and who would more obtain, We just as wisely might of Heaven complain Shall find, the pleasure pays not half the pain. That righteous Abel was destroyed by Cain,
Order is Heaven's first law; and this confest, As that the virtuous son is ill at ease Some are, and must be, greater than the rest, When his lewd father gave the dire disease. More rich, more wise ; but who infers from hence Think we, like some weak prince, th' Eternal Cause That such are happier, shocks all common sense. Prone for his favorites to reverse his laws ? Heaven to mankind impartial we confess,
Shall burning Ætna, if a sage requires,
Forget to thunder, and recall her fires?
When the loose mountain trembles from on high, Bliss is the same in subject or in king,
Shall gravitation cease, if you go by? In who oblain defence, or who defend,
Or some old temple, nodding to its fall, In him who is, or him who finds a friend :
For Chartres' head reserve the hanging wall ? 48
But still this world (so fitted for the knave) What differ more," you cry, "than crown and Contents us not. A better shall we have ?
cowl!" A kingdom of the just then let it be:
I'll tell you, friend! a wise man and a fool.
You 'll find, if once the monarch acts the monk,
Sluck o'er with titles, and hung round witb
strings, This cries, there is, and that, there is no God. That thou may'st be by kings, or whores of kings. What shocks one part, will edify the rest,
Boast the pure blood of an illustrious race,
But, by your father's worth if yours you rate,
Has crept through scoundrels ever since the Flood,
Nor own your fathers have been fools so long.
Look next on greatness; say, where greatness
From Macedonia's madman to the Swede;
The whole strange purpose of their lives, to find,
Yet ne'er looks forward further than his nose.
Men in their loose unguarded hours they take,
Who noble ends by noble means obtains,
Like Socrates, that man is great indeed.
A thing beyond us, ev'n before our death.
All that we feel of it begins and ends
To all beside as much an empty shade
An Eugene living, as a Cæsar dead;
Or on the Rubicon, or on the Rhine.
An honest man's the noblest work of God. How oft by these at sixty are undone
Fame but from death a villain's name can save, The virtues of a saint at twenty-one !
As Justice lears his body from the grave; To whom can riches give repute, or trust,
When what t'oblivion better were resign'd, Content, or pleasure, but the good and just ? Is hung on high to poison half mankind. Judges and senates have been bought for gold; All fame is foreign, but of true desert; Esteem and love were never to be sold.
Plays round the head, but comes not to the heart : Oh fool! to think God hates the worthy mind, One self-approving hour whole years outweighs The lover and the love of human-kind,
of stupid starers, and of loud huzzas ; Whose life is healthful, and whose conscience clear, And more true joy Marcellus exil'd feels, Because he wants a thousand pounds a-year. Than Cæsar with a senate at his heels. Honor and shame from no condition rise ;
In parts superior what advantage lies? Act well your part, there all the honor lies. Tell (for you can) what is it to be wise ? Fortune in men has some small difference made, 'Tis but to know how little can be known; One flaunts in rags, one flutters in brocade ; To see all others' faults, and feel our own: The cobbler apron'd, and the parson gown'd, Condemn'd in business or in arts to drudge, The friar hooded, and the monarch crown'd. Without a second, or without a judge :
Truths would you teach, or save a sinking land ? Pursues that chain which links th' immense design, All fear, none aid you, and few understand. Joins Heaven and Earth, and mortal and divine; Painful pre-eminence! yourself to view
Sees, that no being any bliss can know, Above life's weakness, and its comforts too. But touches some above, and some below;
Bring then these blessings to a strict account ; Learns from this union of the rising whole Make fair deductions; see to what they mount: The first, last purpose of the human soul; How much of other each is sure to cost;
And knows where faith, law, morals, all began, How much for other oft is wholly lost ;
All end in love of God, and love of man. How inconsistent greater goods with these ; For him alone, Hope leads from goal to goal, How sometimes life is risk'd, and always ease : And opens still, and opens on his soul : Think, and if still the things thy envy call, Till lengthen'd on to Faith, and unconfin'd, Say, wouldst thou be the man to whom they fall? It pours the bliss that fills up all the mind. To sigh for ribands, if thou art so silly,
He sees, why Nature plants in man alone Mark how they grace Lord Umbra, or Sir Billy. Hope of known bliss, and faith in bliss unknown: Is yellow dirt the passion of thy life?
(Nature, whose dictates to no other kind Look but on Gripus, or on Gripus' wife.
Are given in vain, but what they seek they find :)
At once his own bright prospect to be blest;
Self-love thus push'd to social, to divine,
In one close system of benevolence : Mark by what wretched steps their glory grows, Happier as kinder, in whate'er degree, From dirt and sea-weed, as proud Venice rose; And height of bliss but height of charity. In each, how guilt and greatness equal ran,
God loves from whole to parts: but human And all that rais'd the hero, sunk the man :
soul Now Europe's laurels on their brows behold, Must rise from individual to the whole. But slain'd with blood, or ill exchang'd for gold : Self-love but serves the virtuous mind to wake, Then see them broke with toils, or sunk in ease, As the small pebble stirs the peaceful lake; Or infamous for plunder'd provinces.
The centre mov'd, a circle straight succeeds, O! wealth ill-fated; which no act of fame Another still, and still another spreads ; E'er taught to shine, or sanctified from shame! Friend, parent, neighbor, first it will embrace ; What greater bliss attends their close of life? His country next; and next all human race ; Some greedy minion, or imperious wife,
Wide and more wide, th'o'erflowings of the mind The trophied arches, storied balls invade, Take every creature in, of every kind; And haunt their slumbers in the pompous shade. Earth smiles around, with boundless bounty blest, Alas! not dazzled with their noontide ray, And Heaven beholds its image in his breast. Compute the morn and evening to the day;
Come then, my friend! my genius! come along! The whole amount of that enormous fame, Oh master of the poet, and the song ! A tale, that blends their glory with their shame! And while the Muse now stoops, or now ascends,
Know then this truth (enough for man to know), To man's low passions, or their glorious ends, • Virtue alone is happiness below.”
like thee, in various nature wise,
From grave to gay, from lively to severe;
Intent to reason, or polite to please. And if it lose, attended with no pain :
Oh! while along the stream of time thy namo Without satiety, though e'er so blest,
Expanded flies, and gathers all its fame; And but more relish'd as the more distress'd : Say, shall my little bark attendant sail, The broadest mirth unfeeling Folly wears,
Pursue the triumph, and partake the gale ? Less pleasing far than Virtue's very tears: When statesmen, heroes, kings, in dust repose, Good, from each object, from each place acquir'd, Whose sons shall blush their fathers were thy For ever exercis'd, yet never lir'd;
foes, Never elated, while one man 's oppress'd :
Shall then this verse to future age pretend Never dejected, while another's blest;
Thou wert my guide, philosopher, and friend ? And where no wants, no wishes can remain, That, urg'd by thee, I turn'd the tuneful art, Since but to wish more virtue, is to gain. From sounds to things, from fancy to the heart;
See the sole bliss Heaven could on all bestow! For Wit's false mirror held up Nature's light;
IN FOUR EPISTLES TO SEVERAL PERSONS.
Extenuantis eas consulto.
And yet the fate of all extremes is such,
Men may be read, as well as books, too much.
To observations which ourselves we make,
Maxims are drawn from notions, these from guess.
There's some peculiar in each leaf and grain, Est brevitate opus, ut currat sententia, neu se
Some unmark'd fibre, or some varying vein : Impediat verbis lassas operantibus aures :
Shall only man be taken in the gross ?
Grant but as many sorts of mind as moss.
That each from other differs, first confess;
Next, that he varies from himself no less ;
And all opinion's colors cast on life.
Our depths who fathoms, or our shallows finds,
Quick whirls, and shifting eddies, of our minds ? EPISTLE I.
On human actions reason though you can,
It may be reason, but it is not man: OF THE KNOWLEDGE AND CHARACTERS His principle of action once explore,
That instant 'tis his principle no more.
Like following life through creatures you dissect, Argument.
You lose it in the moment you detect.
Yet more; the difference is as great between 1. That it is not sufficient for this knowledge to The optics seeing, as the objects seen.
consider man in the abstract: books will not All manners take a tincture from our own; serve the purpose, nor yet our own experience Or come discolor'd through our passions shown. singly. General maxims, unless they be formed Or Fancy's beam enlarges, multiplies, upon both, will be but notional. Some pecu. Contracts, inverts, and gives ten ihousand dyes. liarity in every man, characteristic to himself, yet
Nor will life's stream for observation stay, varying from himself. Difficulties arising from It hurries all too fast to mark their way: our own passior.s, fancies, faculties. The short. In vain sedate reflections we would make, ness of life to observe in, and the uncertainty of When half our knowledge we must snatch, not take the principles of action in men to observe by. Oft, in the passion's wild rotation tost, Our own principle of action often hid from our Our spring of action to ourselves is lost : selves. Some few characters plain, but in general Tir'd, not determin'd, to the last we yield, confounded, dissembled, or inconsistent. The And what comes then is master of the field. same man utterly different in different places and As the last image of that troubled heap, seasons. Unimaginable weaknesses in the greatest. When sense subsides and fancy sports in sleep, Nothing constant and certain but God and Nature. (Though past the recollection of the thought,) No judging of the motives from the actions; the Becomes the stuff of which our dream is wrought: same actions proceeding from contrary motives, Something as dim to our internal view, and the same motives influencing contrary ac. Is thus, perhaps, the cause of most we do. tions. II. Yet, to form characters, we can only
True, some are open, and to all men known; take the strongest actions of a man's life, and try Others, so very close, they're hid from none; to make them agree: the utter uncertainty of (So darkness strikes the sense no less than light) this, from nature itself, and from policy. Charac. Thus gracious Chandos is belov'd at sight; ters given according to the rank of men of the And every child hates Shylock, though his soul world : and some reason for it. Education alters Still sits at squat, and peeps not from its hole. the nature, or at least character of many. Ac- At half mankind when generous Manly raves, tions, passions, opinions, manners, humors, or prin- all know 'tis virtue, for he thinks them knaves; ciples, all subject to change. No judging by When universal homage Umbra pays,
III. It only remains to find (if we can) All see 'tis vice, an itch of vulgar praise. his ruling passion : that will certainly influence when flattery glares, all hate it in a queen, all the rest, and can reconcile the seeming or While one there is who charms us with his spleen. real inconsistency of all his actions. Instanced
But these plain characters we rarely find : in the extraordinary character of Clodio. A cau. Though strong the bent, yet quick the turns of mind, tion against mistaking second qualities for first, Or puzzling contraries confound the whole; which will destroy all possibility of the know. Or affectations quite reverse the soul. ledge of mankind. Examples of the strength of The dull, flat falsehood serves for policy; the ruling passion, and its continuation to the last And, in the cunning, truth itself's a lie: breath.
Unthought-of frailties cheat us in the wise ;
The fool lies hid in inconsistencies. Yes, you despise the man to books confin'd,
See the same man, in vigor, in the gout
Alone, in company; in place, or out;
Catius is ever moral, ever grave,
Thinks who endures a knave, is next a knave