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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; 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, 100 infer the inotive from the deed, and show that what we chanc'd was what we meant to do. Behold! if fortune or a mistress srowns, 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 impellid Charles to the convent, Phillip to the field.
Not always actions shew the man: we find who does a kindness is not therefore kind : 110 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 meaner 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) the plain rough hero turn a crafty knave? alas! in truth the man but chang'd his mind, perhaps was sick, in love, or had not din'd. Ask why from Britian Cæsar would retreat? Cæsar himself might whisper, he was beat. 130 Why risk the world's great empire for a punk? Cæsar perhaps might answer, he was drunk. But, sage Historians! 't is your task to prove one action, conduct; one, heroic love.
'T is from high life high characters are drawn; a saint in crape is twice a saint in lawn: a judge is just, a chancellor juster still; a grownman 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 same sun with all-diffusive rays 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 joclin'd. Boastful and rough, your first son is a 'squire, the next a tradesman, meek, and much a liar: Tom struts a soldier, open, bold, and brave; Will sneaks a scriv'ner, an exceeding knave. Is he a Churchman? then he's fond of pow'r: 155 a Quaker? sly: a Presbyterian ? sour: a smart Free-thinker? all things in an hour. Ask men's opinion: Scoto now shall tell
how trade increases, and the world goes well. strike off his pension by the setting sun,
,,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,' " ;
hobition officer TOO! int'rest o'ercome, or policy take place; by actions? those uncertainty divides ; ; by Passions? these dissimulation hides; opinions? they still take a wider range.. . 170 Find, if you can, in what you cannot change.
Manners with fortunes, humours turn with climes, tenets with books, and principles with times.) Search then the ruling passion : there, alone, the wild are constant, and the cunning known; 175 the fool consistent, and the false sincere; priest, princes, women, no dissemblers here."0!??!? This clue once found unravels all the rest, 1991 the prospect clears, and Wharton stands confest. ' Wharton! the scorn and wonder of our days,'' 180 whose ruling passion was the lust of praise 9999 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. Shall parts so yarious aim at nothing new? ** He 'll shine a Tully and a Wilmot too: then turns repentant, and his God adores". with the same spirit that he drinks and whores; enough if all around him butadinire, Ini! 190 and now the punk applaud and now the friar.' , Thus with each gift of Nature and of Art, * ..
and wanting nothing but an honest heart; grown all to all, from no one vice exempt, and most contemptible to shun contempt; his passion still to covet gen'ral praise, his life to forfeit it a thousand ways; a constant bounty which no friend has made; an angel tongue which no man can persuade; a fool with more of wit than half mankind, 200 too rash for thought, for action too refin'd; a tyrant to the wise his heart approves; a rebel to the very king he loves; he dies, sad outcast of each church and state, and, harder still! flagitious, yet not great! 205 Ask you why Wharton broke thro' ev'ry rule? *t was all for fear the knaves should call him fool.
Nalure well known, no prodigies remain; comets are regular, and Wharton plain.
Yet in this search the wisest may mistake, 210 if second qualities for first they take. When Catiline by rapine swell’d his store, when Cæsar made a noble dame a whore, in this the lust, in that the avarice, were means, not ends; ambition was the vice. 215 That very Cæsar, born in Scipio's days, had aim'd, like him, by chastity, at praise. Lucullus, when frugality could charm, had roasted turnips in the Sabine farm. In vain th' observer eyes the builder's toil, 220 but quite mistakes the scaffold for the pile.
In this one passion man can strength enjoy, as fits give vigour just when they destroy. Time, that on all things lays his lenient hand, yet tames not this; it sticks to our last sand. Consistent in our follies and our sins,
here, honest Nature ends as she begins.
Old politicians chew on wisdom past? and totter on in bus'ness to the last; as weak as earnest, and as gravely out as sober Lanesb'row dancing in the gout.
Bebold a rev'rend sire, whom want of grace has made the father of a nameless race, shor'd from the wall perhaps, or rudely press'd by his own son that passes by unbless'd ; still to his wench he crawls on knocking knees, and envies ev'ry sparrow that he sees.
A salmon's belly, Helluo, was thy fate; the doctor call's, declares all help too late. « Mercy !" cries Helluo,“ mercy on my soul! 240 is there no hope? ---A las !---then bring the jow).”
The frugal Crone, whom praying priests attend, still strives to save the hallow'd taper's end, collects her breath, as ebbing life retires,
for one puff more, and in that puff expires. - 245 ( “ Odious! in woollen ! 't would a saint provoke,
(were the last words that poor Narcissa spoke!) no, let a charming chintz and Brussels lace wrap my cold limbs, and shade my lifeless face: one would not, sure, be frightful when one's dead--and---Betty---give this cheek a little red.” . 251
The Courtier smooth, who forty years had shin'd an humble servant to all human kind, just brought out this, when scarce his tongue could 66 If---where I'm going--- I could serve you, Sir?” (stir,
“ I give and I devise,” (old Euclio said, 256 and sigh’d) “ my lands and tenements to Ned.” “ Your money, Sir?”-“ My money, Sir, what, all ? why---if I must--(then wept) I give it Paul." 259 « The manor, Sir?”. The manor! hold !” he cry'd;