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Just what you hear, you have; and what's un
known 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 A 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. nobler, because of a less selfish kind. Even in life, however removed from public praise, we can rejoice in its results to our children, to our friends, or to our country. But may not a principle, so strongly tinging our brief human career, be conceived to act on the whole scale of man's existence ? Where is the proof, that man loses, in the future state, the recollections of his passage through the world ? may he not retain them with the same vividness, at least, as in the hurried and confused course of things here ? may be not equally give and receive the honors earned by conspicuous virtue among men? Or, have we not, in fact, the most decided declarations, that on that conduct will be formed his peculiar rank of reward—a reward which would be unintelligible, without a full recollection of the services done, and with them, of the honors gained in the period of mortality ? Whether the disembodied mind may not continue to have sufficient knowlege of the globe which it has left behind, to follow the progress of time, and sympathise in the events and feelings of human history, is a more involved question. Yet angels possess this knowlege : and if the human spirit shares their nature, posthumous fame becomes, not a vanity, but a solid possession ; a lasting enjoyment; a high and effectual prize, worthy of the best energies of man.
246 An honest man's the noblest work of God. Yet this often applauded line is true only by a perversion of language. Honesty, in the common meaning (which is therefore the true one) of the word, amounts to scarcely more than the lowest moral quality : it may exist without force, dignity, or
Fame but from death a villain's name can save,
256 And more true joy Marcellus exiled 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 'Tis but to know how little can be known; To see all others' faults, and feel our own : Condemn'd in business or in arts to drudge, Without a second, or without a judge : Truths would you teach, or save a sinking land ? All fear, none aid you, and few understand. 266 fortitude of mind : it may be combined with the most unintelligent habits, the most obscure conceptions, and the most repulsive and humiliating toils of society. No man can pro, nounce a clown, however fair-dealing, to be the noblest work of God!' The honesty which alone deserves the pa. negyric of the text, is classic, the honestum, the vigorous, accomplished, and graceful virtue, deified by the ancient philosophy; that honesty, of which Plato says, Ildytuv ιερώτατον έστν άνθρωπος και αγαθός.
260 Tell, for you can, what is it to be wise? The poetry of this passage is admirable ; but the poet unfortunately confounds talents and learning with wisdom. The possession of eminent talents, or the ambition of boundless learning, may be attended with the common penalties of human superiority: but no man can be too wise for happiness. For wisdom, by showing us the true value of all things, is the antidote to all disappointment in their possession ; teaches us to extract the possible good from the natural evil; and best reconciles us, in every instance, to the vicissitudes of fortune.
Painful pre eminence! yourself to view
Bring then these blessings to a strict account; Make fair deductions ; see to what they mount; How much of other each is sure to cost;
271 How each for other oft is wholly lost; How inconsistent greater goods with these ; How sometimes life is risk’d, and always ease : Think, and if still the things thy envy call, 275 Say, wouldst thou be the man to whom they fall ? To sigh for ribands if thou art so silly, Mark how they grace lord Umbra, or sir Billy. Is yellow dirt the passion of thy life? Look but on Gripus, or on Gripus' wife. 280 If parts allure thee, think how Bacon shined, The wisest, brightest, meanest of mankind : Or ravish'd with the whistling of a name, See Cromwell, damn’d to everlasting fame !
281 How Bacon shined. It should be remembered, for the honor of British science, that the guilt with which Bacon was charged was rather carelessness than corruption; that the servants of his court were the true criminals; and that the sentence pronounced against him by faction was never inAlicted.
284 See Cromwell. Warburton's note on this passage is curiously erroneous. He pronounces Cromwell to be distinguished in the most eminent manner, in regard to his abilities, from all other great and wicked men who have overthrown the liberties of their country. Whether Cromwell's abilities were superior to those of the whole race of the Catilines, may be fairly matter of doubt; but that he found no liberties of England to overthrow, is matter of history. He found England completely tyrannised over by a violent faction, hostile to the laws, domineering over the constitution, and hated by the people ;-the long parliament; despotic as Nero, and lawless as the king of Ashantee. . Warburton, with equal departure from historic fact, ex
If all, united, thy ambition call,
aggerates the ability of the leading revolutionists,' as a set of the greatest geniuses for government whom the world ever saw, embarked in a common cause. The parliament, it is true, defeated the inexperienced counsels of an unpopular king ; but there their triumph closed. Their combined ability was thenceforth shown only in losing the national affections, suffering all power to slide from the hands of government, and finally sinking without a struggle before the breath of one of their own instruments. Cromwell's true crime was that of staining his hands with royal blood : but, in the prostration of the democracy, he saved the empire, rescued the character of the people, and prepared the way for all that bears the name of liberty in England.
The whistling of a name' is from Cowley's 'Charm'd with the foolish whistling of a name.'-Imit. of Virgil. · 29 () wealth ill-fated. Pope, as the friend of Bolingbroke, was of course a hater of Marlborough, the chief pillar of the ministry which had been mastered by Harley and Bolingbroke in 1710. But posterity does justice to all. Marlborough's fame has survived alike the pungency of wit and the virulence of faction : his services to England and Europe
What greater bliss attends their close of life? 301
Know then this truth, enough for man to know, · Virtue alone is happiness below.'
310 The only point where human bliss stands still, And tastes the good without the fall to ill; Where only merit constant pay receives, Is bless'd in what it takes and what it gives; place him at the head of his age : his victories of Blenheim, Ramillies, Oudenard, and Malplaquet, broke down the military domination of France, and were not more trophies to English glory than ramparts of European freedom. Possessing the highest qualities for every station in which he moved, he was at once the greatest general, the most successful ambassador, and the most accomplished statesman, of his time. He was charged by his public enemies with love of money, a personal weakness : but all attempts failed to convict him of peculation, a public crime. His eminent character with the queen and the country rendered his removal from power essential to the existence of the new cabinet; but the measure was desperate : it was effected only at the price of the most impolitic treaty ever made by England, the national humiliation, and the loss of all popularity. The fall of that cabinet was the last and lightest penalty of its outrage on national gratitude. On the Brunswick accession, Marlborough was recalled by a sense of public justice, and reinstated in all his honors. In old age his faculties failed, probably from overexertion during a long life employed in the highest affairs : he died in his seventy-third year, in 1722. The fine expression of his eccentric contemporary, the celebrated lord Peterborough, might be his epitaph :- He was so great a man, that I forget his faults.'