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The young disease, that must fubdue at length,
135 Grows with his growth, and strengthens with his
145 Wit, Spirit, Faculties, but make it worse; Reason itself but gives it edge and pow'r; As Heav'n's blest beam turns vinegar more fow'r.
We, wretched subjects tho' to lawful sway, In this weak queen, some fav’rite still obey :
150 Ah! if she 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 accufer, but a helpless friend! Or from a judge turn pleader, to persuade
155 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. 160
Yes, Nature's road must ever be prefer'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 Pow'r the strong direion ferds, 165 And sev'ral Men impcls to sev'ral ends : Like varying winds, by other passions tost, This drives them constant to a certain coast. Let pow'r or knowledge, gold or glory, please, Or (ost more strong than all) the love of ease ;
170 Thro’ life 'tis follow'd, ev’n at life's expence; The merchant's toil, the sage'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, 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 refind, And in one int'rest body acts with mind. 180
As fruits, ungrateful to the planter's care, On savage stocks inserted, learn to bear; The surest Virtues thus from Paffions shoot, Wild Nature's vigor working at the root. What crops of wit and honesty appear 185 From spleen, from obstinacy, hate, or fear! See anger, zeal and fortitude fupply; Ev’n av'rics, prudence; sloth, philosophy;
Lust, thro' some certain strainers well refin'd,
Thus Nature gives us (let it check our pride) 195
After x 194. in the MS.
How oft, with Passion, Virtue points her Charms!.
-Make it a point, dear Marquess! or a pique.
The fiery soul abhor'd in Catiline,
This light and darkness in our chaos joind,
Extremes in Nature equal ends produce, 205 In Man they join to some mysterious use; Tho’each by turns the other's bound invade, As, in some well-wrought picture, light and shade, And oft so mix, the diff'rence is too nice Where ends the Virtue, or begins the Vice.
Fools! who from hence into the notion fall, That Vice or Virtue there is none at all. If white and black blend, soften, and unite A thousand ways, is there no black or white ? Ask your own heart, and nothing is so plain; 215 "Tis to mistake them, costs the time and pain.
Vice is a monster of so frightful mien, As, to be hated, needs but to be seen;
Ver. 204. The God within the mind.] A Platonic phrase for Conscience; and here employed with great judgment and propriety. For Conscience either fignifies, speculatively, the judgment we pass of things upon whatever principles we chance to have ; and then it is only Opinion, a very unable judge and divider. Or else it signifies, practically, the application of the eternal rule of right (received by us as the law of God) to the regulation of our actions ; and then it is properly Conscience, the God (or the law of God) within the mind, of power to divide the light from the darkness in this chaos of the passions,
Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face,
Virtuous and vicious ev'ry Man must be,
After x 220, in the ift. Edition, followed these,
A Cheat! a Whore! who starts not at the name,
In all the Inns of Court or Drury-lane ?
The Col'nel swears the Agent is a dog,