Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

His Principle of action once explore,
That instant 'tis his Principle no more.
Like following life thro' creatures you dissect,
You lose it in the moment

you
detect.

30
Yet more's the diff'rence is as great between
The optics seeing, as the objects feen.
All Manners take a tincture from our own ;
Or come discolour'd thro’ our Passions shown.
Or Fancy's beam enlarges, multiplies,

35 Contracts, inverts, and gives ten thousand dyes.

Nor will Life's stream for Observation stay, It hurries all too fast to mark their way : In vain sedate reflections we wou'd make, When half our knowledge we must snatch, not take. Oft, in the Passions' wild rotation tost,

41 Our spring of action to ourselves is loft : Tir’d, not determin’d, to the last we yield, And what comes then is master of the field. As the last image of that troubled heap, 45 When Senfe fubfides, and Fancy sports in sleep, (Tho' past the recollection of the thought) Becomes the stuff of which our dream is wrought : Something as dim to our internal view, Is thus, perhaps, the cause of most we do. 50

True, some are open, and to all men known; Others so very close, they're hid from none;

(So Darkness strikes the sense no less than Light)
Thus gracious CHANDOs is belov'd at sight;
And ev'ry child hates Shylock, tho' his soul 55
Still fits at squat, and peeps not from its hole.
At half mankind when gen'rous Manly raves,
All know 'tis Virtue, for he thinks them knaves :
When universal homage Umbra pays,
All see 'tis Vice, and itch of vulgar praise.

60 When Flatt’ry glares, all hate it in a Queen, While one there is who charms us with his Spleen.

But these plain Characters we rarely find ;
Tho' strong the bent, yet quick the turns of mind :
Or puzzling Contraries confound the whole; 65
Or Affectations quite reverse the soul.
The Dull, flat Falshood serves, for policy;
And in the Cunning, Truth itself's a lye:
Unthought-of Frailties cheat us in the Wise ;
The Fool lies hid in inconsistencies,

70
See the same man, in vigour, in the gout ;
Alone, in company ; in place, or out;
Early at Bus’ness, and at Hazard late ;
Mad at a Fox-chace, wife at a Debate;
Drunk at a Borough, civil at a Ball;

75 Friendly at Hackney, faithless at Whitehall.

Catius is ever moral, ever grave,
Thinks who endures a knave, is next a knave,

[ocr errors]

Save just at dinner--then prefers, no doubt,
A Rogue with Ven'son to a Saint without. 80

Who would not praise Patritio’s high desert,
His hand unftain'd, his uncorrupted heart,
His comprehensive head! all Int'rests weigh’d,
All Europe fav’d, yet Britain not betray'd.
He thanks you not, his pride is in Picquette, 85
New-market-fame, and judgment at a Bett.

What made (fayMontagne, or more sage Charron!) Otho a warrior, Cromwell a buffoon?

VARIATIONS.

After 86. in the former Editions,

Triumphant leaders, at an army's head,
Hemm'd round with glories, pilfer cloth or bread
As meanly plunder as they bravely fought,
Now fave a People, and now save a groat.

[ocr errors]

Notes.

VER. 81. Patritio) Lordnite number of his thoughts G-n.

into his famous book De la Ver.87.-Jay Montagne, Sagesse; but his moderating or more fage Charron! ] every-where the extravaCharron was an admirer of gant Pyrrhonism of his Montagne ; had contracted friend, is the reafon why a ftri&t friendship with him; the poet calls him more fage and has transferred an infi- Charron.

н

1

90

A perjur’d Prince a leaden Saint revere,
A godless Regent tremble at a Star?
The throne a Bigot keep, a Genius quit,
Faithless thro’ Piety, and dup'd thro' Wit?
Europe a Woman, Child, or Dotard rule,
And just her wisest monarch made a fool?

Know, God and NATURE only are the same :
In Man, the judgment shoots at flying game,

96

NOTES.

VER. 89. A perjur'd | sume it, was imprisoned till Prince) Louis XI. of France, his death. P wore in his Hat a leaden Ver. 93. Europe a Woimage of the Virgin Mary, man, Child, or Dotard rule, which when he swore by, he — And juft ber wiseft mofeared to break his oath. P. narch made a fool?] The

Ver. 90. A godless Re Czarina, the King of France, gent tremble at a Star ?] the Pope, and the abovePhilip Duke of Orleans, Re- mentioned King of Sardinia. gent of France in the mi

Ver. 95. Know, God and nority of Louis XV. fuper- Nature, & c] By Nature is ftitious in judicial astrology, not here meant any imagitho' an unbeliever in all nary substitute of God, calld religion. P:

a Plastic nature ; but his VER 91. The throne a moral laws : And this obBigot keep, a Genius quit,] servation was inserted with Philip V. of Spain, who, great propriety and discreafter renouncing the throne tion, in the conclusion of a for Religion, resumed it to long detail of the various gratify his Queen ; and Vic characters of men: For, from tor Amadeus II King of this circumstance, Montagne Sardinia, who resigned the and others have been bold crown, and trying*to reaf- enough to infinuate, that

A bird of passage! gone as soon as found,
Now in the Moon perhaps, now under ground.

In vain the Sage, with retrospective eye,
Would from th’apparent What conclude the Why,
Infer the Motive from the Deed, and shew, ΙΟΙ
That what we chanc'd was what we meant to do.
Behold! If Fortune or a Mistress frowns,
Some plunge in bus’ness, others shave their crowns :
To ease the Soul of one oppressive weight, 105
This quits an Empire, that embroils a State :
The same adust complexion has impelld
Charles to the Convent, Philip to the Field.

NOTES.

morality is founded more in derived it from his father custom and fashion than in Charles V. whose health the the nature of things. The historians of his life tell us, {peaking therefore of a mo- was frequently disorder'd by ral law of God, as having bilious fevers. But what all the constancy and dura- the author meant principalbility of his Essence, had ly to observe here was, that an high expediency in this this humour made both these place.

princes act contrary to their Ver. 107. The same aduft Character; Charles, who complexion has impelled — was an active man, when Charles to the Convent, he retired into a Convent ; Philip to the Field.] The Philip, who atrabilaire complexion of of the Closet, when he Philip II. is well known, gave the battle of St Quinbut not so well that he tin.

was a

man

« ZurückWeiter »