« AnteriorContinuar »
A kingdom of the just then let it be:
But first consider how those just agree.
The good must merit God's peculiar care ; 135
But who, but God, can tell us who they are ?
One thinks on Calvin Heav'n's own spirit fell;
Another deems him instrument of hell ;
If Calvin feel Heav'n's blessing, or its rod,
This cries, there is, and that, there is no God.
What shocks one part will edify the rest,
Nor with one system can they all be bleste
The very best will variously incline,
And what rewards your virtue, punish mine.
WHATEVER IS, IS RIGHT.-This world, 'tis true,
Was made for Cæsar but for Titus too: 146
And which more blest? who chain'd his country? say,
Or he whose virtue sigh'd to lose a day?
“ But sometimes virtue starves, while vice is fed.” What then? Is the reward of virtue bread?
150 That, vice may merit, 'tis the price of toil; . The knave deserves it, when he tills the soil, The knave deserves it, when he tempts the main, Where folly fights for kings, or dives for gain. The good man may be weak, be indolent;
155 Nor is his claim to plenty, but content.
After ver. 142. in some editions,
Give each a system, all must be at strife ;
What diff'rent systems for a man and wife?
him riches, your
demand is o'er ? “ No-shall the good want health, the good want
Add health, and pow'r, and ev'ry earthly thing. “ Why bounded pow'r? why private? why no king?" Nay, why external for internal giv'n?
Why is not man a god, and earth a heav'n?
Who ask and reason thus, will scarce conceive
God gives enough, while he has more to give :
Immense the pow'r, immense were the demand;
Say, at what part of nature will they stand? 166
What nothing earthly gives, or can destroy,
The soul's calm sun-shine, and the heart-felt joy,
Is virtue's prize: A better would you fix,
Then give humility a coach and six,
Justice a conqu’ror's sword, or truth a gown,
Or public spirit its great cure, a crown.
Weak, foolish man! will Heav'n reward us there
With the same trash mad mortals wish for here?
The boy and man an individual makes,
175 Yet sigh'st thou now for apples and for cakes? Go, like the Indian, in another life Expect thy dog, thy bottle, and thy wife: As well as dream such trifles are assign'd, As toys'and empires, for a god-like mind.
After ver. 172. in the MS.
Say, what rewards this idle world imparts,
Or fit for searching heads or honest hearts.
Rewards, that either would to virtue bring
No joy, or be destructive of the thing:
How oft by these at sixty are undone
The virtues of a saint at twenty-one ?
To whom can riches give repute, or trust, 185
Content, or pleasure, but the good and just ?
Judges and senates have been bought for gold,
Esteem and love were never to be sold.
Oh fool! to think God hates the worthy mind,
The lover and the love of human-kind,
190 Whose life is healthful, and whose conscience clear, Because he wants a thousand pounds a-year.
Honour and shame from no condition rise ;
Act well your part, there all the honour lies.
Fortune in men has some small diff'rence made, 195
One flaunts in rags, one flutters in brocade ;
The cobler apron'd, and the parson gown'd,
The friar hooded, and the monarch crown'd.
“What differ more (you cry) than crown and cowl ?”
friend! a wise man and a fool.
You'll find, if once the monarch acts the monk,
Or, cobler-like, the parson will be drunk,
Worth makes the man, and want of it the fellow;
The rest is all but leather or prunella.
Stuck o'er with titles, and hung round with strings,
That thou may'st be by kings, or whores of kings,
blood of an illustrious race,
In quiet flow from Lucrece to Lucrece:
But by your fathers' worth if your's you rate,
Count me those only who were good and great. 210
Go! if your ancient, but ignoble blood
Has crept through scoundrels ever since the flood,
Go! and pretend your family is young ;
Nor own, your fathers have been fools so long.
What can ennoble sots, or slaves, or cowards : 215
Alas! not all the blood of all the HOWARDS.
Look next on greatness; say where greatness lies?
“ Where, but among the heroes and the wise ?".
Heroes are much the same, the point's agreed,
From Macedonia's madman to the Swede; 220
The whole strange purpose of their lives, to find
Or make, an enemy of all mankind !
Not one looks backward, onward still he goes,
Yet ne'er looks forward further than his nose.
No less alike the politic and wise ;
225 All sly slow things, with circumspective eyes : Men in their loose unguarded hours they take, Not that themselves are wise, but others weak. But
grant that those can conquer, these can cheat ; 'Tis phrase absurd to call a villain great : 230 Who wickedly is wise, or madly brave, Is but the more a fool, the more a knave.
Who VER. 207. Boast the pure blood, &c.] In the MS. thus,
The richest blood, right-honourably old,
Down from Lucretia to Lucretia rollid,
May swell thy heart and gailop in thy breast,
Without one dash of usher or of priest :
Thy pride as much despise all other pride
As Christ Church once all colleges beside.
Who noble ends by noble means obtains,
Or failing, smiles in exile or in chains,
Like good Aurelius let him reign, or bleed 235
Like Socrates, that man is great indeed..
What's fame? a fancy'd life in other's breath,
A thing beyond us, ev'n before our death.
have, and what's unknown
The same (my Lord) if Tully's, or your own. 240
All that we feel of it begins and ends
In the small circle of our foes or friends;
To all beside as much an empty shade
An Eugene living, as a Cæsar dead :
Alike or when, or where, they shone, or shine, 245
Or on the Rubicon, or on the Rhine.
A wit's a feather, and a chief a rod;
An honest man's the noblest work of God.
Fame but from death a villain's name can save,
As justice tears his body from the grave ; 250
When what t'oblivion better were resign’d,
Is hung on high, to poison half mankind.
All fame is foreign, but of true desert ;
Plays round the head, but comes not to the heart :
One self-approving hour whole years outweighs 255
Of stupid starers, and of loud huzzas;
And more true joy Marcellus exil'd feels,
Than Cæsar with a senate at his heels.
In parts superior what advantage lies ? Tell (for you can) what is it to be wise ? 260