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Self-love and Reason to one end aspire,
Pain their averfion, Pleasure their desire;
But greedy That, its object would devour,
This taste the honey, and not wound the flower : 90
Pleasure, or wrong or rightly understood,
Our greatest evil, or our greatest good.
III. Modes of Self-love the Passions we may call : 'Tis real good, or seeming, moves them all : But since not every good we can divide,
And Reafon bids us for our own provide :
Passions, though selfish, if their means be fair,
Lift under Reason, and deserve her care;
Those, that imparted, court a nobler aim,
Exalt their kind, and take some Virtue's name.
In lazy Apathy let Stoics boast
Their Virtue fix'd; 'tis fix'd as in a frost;
Contracted all, retiring to the breast;
But strength of mind is Exercise, not Reft:
The rising tempest puts in act the soul,
Parts it may ravage, but preserves the whole.
On life’s vast ocean diversely we fail,
Reason the card, but Passion is the gale;
Nor God alone in the still calm we find,
He mounts the form, and walks
After ver. 108. in the MS.
A tedious Voyage! where how useless lies
The compass, if no powerful gufts arise!
Passions, like elements, though born to fight,
Yet, mix'd and soften'd, in his work unite :
These 'tis enough to temper and employ;
But what composes Man, can Man destroy ?
Suffice that Reafon keep to Nature's road,
Subject, compound them, follow her and God.
Love, Hope, and Joy, fair Pleasure's smiling train ;
Hate, Fear, and Grief, the family of Pain,
'These mixt with art, and to due bounds confin'd,
Make and maintain the balance of the mind :
The lights and shades, whose well-accorded strife
Gives all the strength and colour of our life.
Pleasures are ever in our hands or eyes ;
And, when in act they cease, in prospect rise :
Present to grasp, and future still to find,
The whole employ of body and of mind.
All spread their charms, but charm not all alike;
On different senfes, different objects strike;
Hence different Passions more or less inflame,
As strong or weak, the organs of the frame; 130
And hence one master Passion in the breast,
Like Aaron's serpent, swallows up the rest.
As Man, perhaps, the moment of his breath, Receives the lurking principle of death; The young disease, that must subdue at length, 135 Grows with his growth, and strengthens with his strength:
After ver. 112. in the MS.
The soft reward the virtuous, or invite;
The fierce, the vicious punish or affright.
So, cast and mingled with his very frame,
The Mind's disease, its ruling Fassion came;
Each vital humour, which should feed the whole,
Soon flows to this, in body and in foul :
Whatever warms the heart, or fills the head,
As the mind opens, and its functions spread,
Imagination plies her dangerous art,
Nature its mother, Habit is its nurse;
Wit, Spirit, Faculties, but make it worse;
Reason itself but gives it edge and power;
As Heaven's blest beam turns vinegar more four.
We, wretched subjects though to lawful sway,
In this weak queen, some favourite ftill obey :
Ah! if the lend not arms, as well as rules,
What can she more than tell us we are fools?
Teach us to mourn our Nature, not to mend;
A sharp accuser, but a helpless friend! ,
Or from a judge turn pleader, to persuade
The choice we make, or justify it made;
Proud of an easy conquest all along,
She but removes weak passions for the strong :
So, when small humours gather to a gout,
The doctor fancies he has driv’n them out.
Yes, Nature's road must ever be preferr’d;
Reason is here no guide, but still a guard ;
'Tis hers to rectify, not overthrow,
And treat this passion more as friend than foe;
A mightier Power the strong direction sends,
And several Men impels to several ends :
Like varying winds, by other passions toft,
This drives them constant to a certain coaft.
Let power or knowledge, gold or glory, please,
Or (oft more strong than all) the love of ease ;
Through life 'tis follow'd, ev’n at life's expence;
The merchant's toil, the fage's indolence,
The monk's humility, the hero's pride,
All, all alike, find Reason on their fide.
Th’ Eternal Art, educing good from ill,
175 Grafts on this Passion our best principle : 'Tis thus the Mercury of Man is fix'd, Strong grows the Virtue with his nature mix'd; The dross cements what else were too refin'd, And in one interest body acts with mind.
180 As fruits, ungrateful to the planter's care, On favage stocks inserted learn to bear; The surest Virtues thus from Passions shoot, Wild Nature's vigour working at the root. What crops of wit and honesty appear From spleen, from obstinacy, hate, or fear! See anger,
zeal and fortitude supply ; Ev’n avarice, prudence; sloth, philosophy ; Luft, through some certain strainers well refin'd, Is gentle love, and charms all womankind; 190 Envy, to which th'ignoble mind's a llave, Is emulation in the learn'd or brave; Nor Virtue, male or female, can we name, But what will grow on Pride, or grow on Shame.
After ver. 194. in the MS.
How oft, with Passion, Virtue points her Charms! Then shines the Hero, then the Patriot warms.
Thus Nature gives us (let it check our pride) 195
The virtue nearest to our vice ally'd :
Reason the byas turns to good from ill,
And Nero reigns a Titus, if he will.
The fiery soul abhor'd in Catiline,
In Decius charms, in Curtius is divine :
The same ambition can destroy or fave,
And makes a patriot as it makes a knave.
This light and darkness in our chaos joind,
What shall divide ? The God within the mind.
Extremes in Nature equal ends produce, 205
In man they join to some mysterious use;
Though each by turns the other's bound invade,
As, in some well-wrought picture, light and shade,
And oft so mix, the difference is too nice
Where ends the Virtue, or begins the Vice.
Peleus' great Son, or Brutus, who had known,
Had Lucrece been a Whore, or Helen none?
But Virtues opposite to make agree,
That, Reason! is thy task, and worthy Thee.
Hard talk, cries Bibulus, and Reason weak.
- Make it a point, dear Marquess, or a pique.
Once, for a whim, persuade yourself to pay
A debt to reason, like a debt at play.
For right or wrong, have mortals suffer'd more?
B for his Prince, or ** for his Whore ?
Whose felf-denials nature most control ?
His, who would save a Sixpence, or his Soul ?
Web for his health, a Chartreux for his Sin,
Contend they not which foonest shall grow thin ?
What we resolve, we can : but here's the fault,
We ne'er resolve to do the thing we ought,