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200

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) 195
The virtue nearest to our vice ally'd:
Reason the bias turns from good to ill,
And Nero reigns a Titus, if he will.
The fiery soul abhorr'd in Catiline,
In Decius charms, in Curtius is divine :
The same ambition can destroy or save,
And makes a patriot as it makes a knave.

This light and darkness in our chaos join'd, What shall divide ? The god within the mind.

Extremes in nature equal ends produce, 205 In man they join to some mysterious use ;

Tho' After ver. 194 in the MS.

How oft, with passion, virtue points her charms!
Then shines the hero, then the patriot warms.
Peleus' great son, or Brutus, who had known,
Had Lucrece been a whore, or Helen none!
But virtues opposite to make agree,
That, reason! is thy task; and worthy thee.
Hard task, cries Bibulus, and reason weak.
- Make it a point, dear Marquess! or a pique.
Once, for a whim, persuade yourself to pay
A debt to reason, like a debt at play.
For right or wrong have mortals suffer'd more?
B- for his prince, or * * for his whore ?
Whose self-denials nature must controul ?
His, who would save a sixpence, or his soul?
Web for his health, a Chartreux for his sin,
Contend they not which soonest shall grow thin?
What we resolve, we can: but here's the fault,
We ne'er resolve to do the thing we ought.

220

Tho' each by turns the other's bound invade,
As, in some well-wrought picture, light and shade,
And oft so mix, the diff'rence is too nice
Where ends the virtue, or begins the vice. 210

Fools! who from hence into the notion fall,
That vice or virtue there is none at all.
If white and black blend, soften, and unite
A thousand ways, is there no black or white ?
Ask your own heart, and nothing is so plain ; 215
'Tis to mistake them, costs the time and pain.

Vice is a monster of so frightful mien, As, to be hated, needs but to be seen ; Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face, We first endure, then pity, then embrace. But where th' extreme of vice, was ne'er agreed : Ask where's the north? at York, 'tis on the Tweed; In Scotland, at the Orcades ; and there, At Greenland, Sembla, or the Lord knows where. No creature owns it in the first degree,

225 But thinks his neighbour farther gone than he ; Ev’n those who dwell beneath its very zóne, Or never feel the rage, or never own;

What After ver. 220 in the first Edition, followed these :

A cheat! a whore! who starts not at the name,

In all the inns of court or Drury-lane ?
After ver. 226 in the MS.

The col’nel swears the agent is a dog,
The scriv'ner vows th' attorney is a rogue.
Against the thief th' attorney loud inveighs,
For whose ten pound the county twenty pays.
The thief damns judges, and the knaves of state;
And dying, mourns small villains hang'd by great.

What happier natures shrink at with affright,
The hard inhabitant contends is right.

230
Virtuous and vicious ev'ry 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; 235 For, vice or virtue, self directs it still ; Each individual seeks a sev'ral goal ; But Heav'n's great view is one, and that the whole. That counter-works each folly and caprice; That disappoints th' effect of ev'ry vice; 240 That, happy frailties to all ranks apply'd; Shame to the virgin, to the.matron pride, Fear to the statesman, rashness to the chief, To kings presumption, and to crowds belief : That, virtue's ends from vanity can raise,

245 Which seeks no int’rest, no reward but praise ; And build on wants, and on defects of mind, The joy, the peace, the glory of mankind.

Heav'n forming each on other to depend, A master, or a servant, or a friend,

250 Bids each on other for assistance call, Till one man's weakness grows the strength of all. Wants, frailties, passions, closer still ally The common int’rest, or endear the tie. To these we owe true friendship, love sincere, 255 Each home-felt joy that life inherits here ;

Yet

Yet from the same we learn, in its decline,
Those joys, those loves, those int'rests to resign ;
Taught half by reason, half by mere decay,
To welcome death, and calmly pass away. 260

Whate'er the passion, knowledge, fame, or pelf,
Not one will change his neighbour with himself.
The learn'd is happy nature to explore,
The fool is happy that he knows no more ;
The rich is happy in the plenty giv'n, 265
The
poor

contents him with the care of Heav'n.
See the blind beggar dance, the cripple sing,
The sot a hero, lunatic a king ;
The starving chemist in his golden views
Supremely blest, the poet in his muse.

270
See some strange comfort ev'ry state attend,
And pride bestow'd on all, a common friend :
See some fit passion ev'ry age supply,
Hope travels through, nor quits us when we die.

Behold the child, by nature's kindly law, 275 Pleas'd with a rattle, tickled with a straw : Some livelier play-thing gives his youth delight, A little louder, but as empty quite : Scarfs, garters, gold, amuse his riper stage, And beads and pray’r-books are the toys of age: 280 Pleas'd with this bauble still, as that before, Till tir'd he sleeps, and life's poor play is o'er.

Meanwhile opinion gilds with varying rays Those painted clouds that beautify our days;

Each

285

Each want of happiness by hope supply'd,
And each vacuity of sense by pride :
These build as fast as knowledge can destroy ;
In folly's cup still laughs the bubble, joy;
One prospect lost, another still we gain :
And not a vanity is giv'n in vain ;
Ev'n mean self-love becomes, by force divine,
The scale to measure others' wants by thine.
See! and confess, one comfort still must rise ;
'Tis this, Tho'man's a fool, yet GOD IS WISE.

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