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EARL OF ROCHESTER
SILENCE! coeval with eternity,
Thou wert, ere nature's self began to be;
Twas one vast nothing, all, and all slept fast in thee. Thine was the sway, ere heav'n was formed, or earth:
Fre fruitful thought conceived creation's birth,
And framed the clamorous race of busy human-kind.
But rebel wit deserts thee oft in vain ; Lost in the maze of words he turns again, And seeks a surer state, and courts thy gentle reign. Afflicted sense thou kindly dost set free, Oppress'd with argumental tyranny,
And routed reason finds a safe retreat in thee.
With thee in private modest dulness lies, And in thy bosom lurks in thought's disguise; Thou varnisher of fools, and cheat of all the wise!
Yet thy indulgence is by both confess'd; Folly by thee lies sleeping in the breast, And 'tis in thee at last that wisdom seeks for rest.
Silence, the knave's repute, the whore's good name, The only honour of the wishing dame;
Thy very want of tongue makes thee a kind of fame. But couldst thou seize some tongues that now are
How charch and state should be obliged to thee; At senate, and at bar, how welcome wouldst thou be!
Yet speech e'en there submissively withdraws, From rights of subjects, and the poor man's cause: Then pompous Silence reigns, and stills the noisy laws.
Past services of friends, good deeds of foes,
What favourites gain, and what the nation owes. Fly the forgetful world, and in thy arms repose. The country wit, religion of the town,
The courtier's learning, policy of the gown, Are best by thee express'd; and shine in thee alone The parson's cant, the lawyer's sophistry, Lord's quibble, critic's jest, all end in thee, All rest in peace at last, and sleep eternally.
EARL OF DORSET
THOUGH Artemisia talks, by fits,
Reads Malbranche, Boyle, and Locke;
Haughty and huge as High-Dutch bride,
On her large squab you find her spread,
Like a fat corpse upon a bed,
That lies and stinks in state.
She wears no colours (sign of grace)
All white and black beside:
Dauntless her look, her gesture proud,
And masculine her stride.
So have I seen, in black and white,
A stately, worthless animal,
That plies the tongue, and wags the tail
PHRYNE had talents for mankind,
Her learning and good-breeding such,
Spaniards or French came to her;
'Twas 'Si Signor,' 'twas 'Yaw Mynheer,'
In diamonds, pearls, and rich brocades,
So have I known those insects fair
Still gain new titles with new forms;
THE HAPPY LIFE OF A COUNTRY PARSON.
PARSON, these things in thy possessing,
A wife that makes conserves; a steed
A Chrysostom to smooth-thy band in;
Toast church and queen, explain the news
AN ESSAY ON MAN
IN FOUR EPISTLES
TO HENRY ST. JOHN, LORD BOLINGBROKE
HAVING proposed to write some pieces on human life and manners, such as (to use my lord Bacon's expression) 'come home to men's business and bosoms,' I thought it more satisfactory to begin with considering man in the abstract, his nature, and his state: since, to prove any moral duty, to enforce any
moral precept, or to examine the perfection or imper. fection of any creature whatsoever, it is necessary first to know what condition and relation it is placed in, and what is the proper end and purpose of its being.
The science of human nature is, like all other sciences, reduced to a few clear points: there are not many certain truths in this world. It is therefore in the anatomy of the mind as in that of the body; more good will accrue to mankind by attending to the large, open, and perceptible parts, than by studying too much such finer nerves and vessels, the conformations and uses of which will for ever escape our observation. The disputes are all upon these last; and I will venture to say, they have less sharpened the wits than the hearts of men against each other, and have diminished the practice more than advanced the theory of morality. If I could flatter myself that this Essay has any merit, it is in steering betwixt the extremes of doctrines seemingly opposite, in passing over terms utterly unintelligible, and in forming a temperate, yet not inconsistent, and a short, yet not imperfect, system of ethics.
This I might have done in prose; but I chose verse and even rhyme, for two reasons. The one will appear obvions; that principles, maxims, or precepts, so written, both strike the reader more strongly at first, and are more easily retained by him afterwards; the other may seem odd, but it is true: I found 1 could express them more shortly this way than in prose itself; and nothing is more certain, than that much of the force, as well as the grace of arguments or instructions, depends on their conciseness. I was unable to treat this part of my subject more in detail, without becoming dry and tedious; or more poetically, without sacrificing perspicuity to ornament, without wandering from the precision, or breaking the chain of reasoning: if any man can unite all