Abbildungen der Seite


Not always actions shew the man: We find Who does a kindness, is not therefore kind; Perhaps Prosperity becalm’d his breast, Perhaps the Wind just shifted from the east: Not therefore humble he who seeks retreat, Pride guides his steps, and bids him shun the great : Who combats bravely is not therefore brave, 115 He dreads a death-bed like the meanest slave: Who reasons wisely is not therefore wise, His pride in Reas’ning, not in Acting lies.

But grant that Actions best discover man; Take the most strong, and sort them as you can. 120 The few that glare each character must mark, You balance not the many in the dark. What will you do with such as disagree? Suppress them, or miscall them Policy? Must then at once (the character to save) 125 The plain rough Hero turn a crafty Knave ? Alas! in truth the man but chang’d his mind, Perhaps was fick, in love, or had not din'd.


Ver. 117. Who reasons resolving in public counwisely, &c.] By reasoning sels; for this instance is is not here meant fpecula- given as one, of a variety sing ; but deliberating and of actions,


Ask why from Britain Cæsar would retreat ?
Cæsar himself might whisper he was beat.
Why risk the world's great empire for a Punk?
Cæsar perhaps might answer he was drunk,



Ver. 129. in the former Editions,

Ask why from Britain Cæsar made retreat ?
Cæsar himself would tell you he was beat.
The mighty Czar what mov'd to wed a Punk ?
The mighty Czar would tell

you he was drunk. Alter'd as above, because Cæsar wrote his Commentaries of this war, and does not tell you he was beat. As Cæsar too afforded an instance of both cases, it was thought better to make him the single Example.

NOTES Ver. 130. Cæfar himself | world's great empire for a might whisper he was beat.] Punk?] After the battle of Cæsar wrote his Commenta- Pharsalia, Cæsar pursued his ries, in imitation of the enemy to Alexandria, where Greek Generals, for the en- being infatuated with the tertainment of the world : charms of Cleopatra, instead But had his friend asked him, of pushing his advantages, in his ear, the reason of his and dispersing the relicks of sudden retreat from Britain, the Pharsalian quarrel, havafter so many signal vieto-ing narrowly escaped the ries, we have cause to suf- violence of an enraged peopect, even from his own ple, he brought upon himpublic relation of that mat- felf an unnecessary war, at ter, that he would have a time his arms were most whisper'd he was beat. wanted elsewhere. Ver. 131. Wby risque the

But, fage historians ! ’tis your task to prove
One action Conduct ; one, heroic Love.

'Tis from high Life high Characters are drawn;
A Saint in Crape is twice a Saint in Lawn ; 136
A Judge is just, a Chanc'lor juster still ;
A Gownman, learn'd ; a Bishop, what you will;
Wise, if a Minister ; but, if a King,
More wise, more learn'd, more just, more ev'ry thing.
Court-virtues bear, like Gems, the highest rate, 141
Born where Heav'n's influence scarce can penetrate :
In life's low vale, the soil the Virtues like,
They please as beauties, here as wonders strike.
Tho' the fame Sun with all-diffusive rays 145
Blush in the Rose, and in the Di'mond blaze,
We prize the stronger effort of his pow'r,
And justly set the Gem above the Flow'r.

'Tis Education forms the common mind, Just as the Twig is bent, the Tree's inclin’d. 150 Boastful and rough, your first son is a 'Squire; The next a Tradesman, meek, and much a lyar; Tom struts a Soldier, open, bold, and brave; Will sneaks a Scriv'ner, an exceeding knave: 154 Is he a Churchman? then he's fond of pow'r : A Quaker ? fly: A Presbyterian ? sow'r: A smart Frec-thinker? all things in an hour.


Ask men's Opinions : Scoto now shall tell How Trade increases, and the World goes well ; Strike off his Pension, by the setting fun,

160 And Britain, if not Europe, is undone. That gay Free-thinker, a fine talker once,

, What turns him now a stupid silent dunce? Some God, or Spirit he has lately found ; Or chanc'd to meet a Minister that frown'd. 165

Judge we by Nature ? Habit can efface,
Int'rest o'ercome, or Policy take place:
By Actions ? those Uncertainty divides :
By Paffions? these Diffimulation hides :
Opinions ? they still take a wider range: 170
Find, if you can, in what you cannot change.
Manners with Fortunes, Humours turn with

Tenets with Books, and Principles with Times.


Ver. 172, 173. Manners describes the complicated with Fortunes, Humours turn causes. Humours bear the with Climes, Tenets with same relation to Manners, Books, and Principles with that Principles do to Tenets; Times.] The poet had hi- that is, the former are modes therto reckoned up the fe- of the latter ; our Manners veral simple causes that hin- are warped from nature by der our knowledge of the our Fortunes or Stations ; natural characters of men. our Tenets, by our Books or In these two fine lines he | Professions; and then each


Search then the RULING PASSION, There, alone, The Wild are constant, and the Cunning known; The Fool confiftent, and the False sincere ; Priests, Princes, Women, no dissemblers here. This clue once found, unravels all the rest, The prospect clears, and Wharton stands confest. Wharton, the scorn and wonder of our days, 180 Whose ruling Passion was the Luft of Praise : Born with whate'er could win it from the Wise, Women and Fools must like him or he dies; Tho'wond’ring Senates hung on all he spoke, The Club must hail him master of the joke. 185 Shall parts so various aim at nothing new? He'll shine a Tully and a Wilmot too. Then turns repentant, and his God adores With the fame spirit that he drinks and whores;


drawn ftill more oblique, in-appetite for it; where the to bumour and political prin- Arength of the Passion had ciples, by the temperature of destroyed all the delicacy of the climate, and the consti- the Sensation. tution of the government.

VER. 187. John Wilmot, Ver. 174. Search then E. of Rochester, famous for the Ruling Pasion :) See his Wit and Extravagancies Essay on Man, Ep. ii. 133, in the time of Charles the

Second. P. Ver. 181. the Luft of VER. 189. With the same Praise.) This very well ex- fpirit] Spirit, for principle, presses the grofness of his not passion.

& feq.

« ZurückWeiter »