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Say, was it virtue, more though Heaven De'er gave,
Lamented Digby! sunk thee to the grave ?
Tell me, if virtue made the son expire,
Why, full of days and honour, lives the sire ?
Why drew Marseilles' good bishop purer breath,
When nature sicken'd, and each gale was death?
Or why so long (in life if long can be)
Lent Heaven a parent to the poor and me! 110

What makes all physical or moral ill?
There deviates nature, and here wanders will.
God sends not ill, if rightly understood,
Or partial ill is universal good,
Or change admits, or nature lets it fall,
Short, and but rare, till man improved it all.
We just as wisely might of Heaven complain
That righteous Abel was destroy'd by Cain,
As that the virtuous son is ill at ease
When his lewd father gave the dire disease.

120 Think we, like some weak prince, th' Eternal Cause Prone for his favourites to reverse his laws ?

IV. Shall burning Ætna, if a sage requires,
Forget to thunder, and recal her fires ?
On air or sea new motions be impress'd,
Oh blameless Bethel! to relieve thy breast?
When the loose mountain trembles from on high,
Shall gravitation cease, if you go by?
Or some old temple, nodding to its fall,
For Chartres' head reserve the hanging wall ?

V. But still this world (so fitted for the knave)
Contents us not. A better shall we have ?
A kingdom of the just then let it be:
But first consider how those just agree.
The good must merit God's peculiar care !
But who, but God, can tell us who they are ?
One thinks on Calvin Heaven's own spirit fell :
Another deems him instrument of hell;
If Calvin feel Heaven's blessing, or its rod,
This cries, there is, and that, there is no God. 140
What shocks one part, will edify the rest,
Nor with one system can they all be bless'd.
The very best will variously incline,
And what rewards your virtue, punish mine.

WHATEVER IS, IS RIGHT.--This world, 'tis true,
Was made for Cæsar-but for Titus too;
And which more bless'd? who chain's his country, say,
Or he whose virtue sigh'd to lose a day?

VI. But sometimes virtue starves, while vice is fed.'
What then? Is the reward of virtue bread? 150
That, vice may merit, 'tis the price of toil ;
The knave deserves it, when he tills the soil;
The knave deserves it, when he tempts the main,
Where folly fights for kings, or dives for gain.
The good man may be weak, be indolent;
Nor is his claim to plenty, but content.
But grant him riches, your demand is o'er;
* No-shall the good want health, the good want power?"
Add health and power, and every earthly thing,
• Why bounded power? why private ? why no king?
Nay, why external for internal given ?

Why is not man a god, and earth a heaven ?'
Who ask and reason thus, will scarce conceive
God gives enough, while he has more to give;
Immense the power, immense were the demand;
Say, at what part of nature will they stand ?

What nothing earthly gives or can destroy,
The soul's calm sunshine, and the heart-felt joy,
Is virtue's prize: a better would you fix?
Then give humility a coach and six,

Justice a conqueror's sword, or truth a gown,
Or public spirit its great cure, a crown.
Weak, foolish man! will Heaven reward us there
With the same trash mad mortals wish for here?
The boy and man an individual makes,
Yet sigh'st thou now for apples and for cakes ?
Go, like the Indian, in another life
Expect thy dog, thy bottle, and thy wife;
As well as dream such trifles are assign'd,
As toys and empires, for a god-like mind.

Rewards, that either would to virtue bring
No joy, or be destructive of the thing;
How oft by these at sixty are undone
The virtues of a saint at twenty-one!
To whom can riches give repute or trust,
Content or pleasure, but the good and just ?

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Judges and senates have been bought for gold;
Esteem and love were never to be sold.
Oh fool! to think God hates the worthy mind,
The lover and the love of human kind,

190 Whose life is healthful, and whose conscience clear, Because he wants a thousand pounds a-year.

Honour and shame from no condition rise; Act well your part, there all the honour lies. Fortune in men has some small difference made, One flaunts in rags, one flutters in brocade; The cobbler apron'd, and the parson gown'd, The friar hooded, and the monarch crown’d. • What differ more, you cry, 'than crown and cowl?' I'll tell you, friend! a wise man and a fool. 200 You'll find, if once the monarch acts the monk, Or, cobbler-like, the parson will be drunk, Worth makes the man, and want of it the fellow : The rest is all but leather or prunella.

Stuck o'er with titles, and hung round with strings, That thou may'st be by kings, or whores of kings. Boast the pure blood of an illustrious race, In quiet flow from Lucrece to Lucrece: But by your fathers' worth if yours you rate, Count me those only who were good and great. 210 Go! if your ancient, but ignoble blood Has crept through scoundrels ever since the flood, Go! and pretend your family is young ; Nor own your fathers have been fools so long. What can ennoble sots, or slaves, or cowards ? Alas! not all the blood of all the Howards.

Look next on greatness ; say where greatness lies : • Where, but among the heroes and the wise ?' Heroes are much the same, the point 's agreed, From Macedonia's madman to the Swede ; 220 The whole strange purpose of their lives, to find, Or make, an enemy of all mankind ! Not one looks backward, onward still he goes, Yet ne'er looks forward farther than his nose. No less alike the politic and wise : All sly slow things, with circumspective eyes : Men in their loose unguarded hours they take, Not that themselves are wise, but others weak.

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But grant that those can conquer, these can cheat; 'Tis phrase absurd to call a villain great:

230 Who wickedly is wise, or madly brave, Is but the more a fool, the more a knave. Who noble ends by noble means obtains, Or failing, smiles in exile or in chains, Like good Aurelius let him reign, or bleed Like Socrates, that man is great indeed.

What's fame? a fancied life in others' breath, A thing beyond us, e'en before our death. Just what you hear you have; and what's unknown, 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 As Eugene living, as a Cæsar dead; Alike or when or where they shone or shine, 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. Fame but from death a villain's name can save, As justice tears his body from the grave;

250 When what t'oblivion better were resign'd, Is hung on high, to poison half mankind, All fame is foreign but of true desert, Plays round the head, but comes not to the heart : One self-approving hour whole years outweighs Of stupid starers, and of loud huzzas; 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. Painful pre-eminence! yourself to view Above life's weakness, and its comforts too.

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, 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! If all, united, thy ambition call, From ancient story, learn to scorn them all. There, in the rich, the honour'd, fam'd, and great, See the false scale of happiness complete ! In hearts of kings, or arms of queens who lay, How happy! those to ruin, these betray.

290 Mark by what wretched steps their glory grows, From dirt and sea-weed as proud Venice rose ,5 In each how guilt and greatness equal ran, And all that raised the hero sunk the man : Now Europe's laurels on their brows behold, But stain'd with blood, or ill-exchanged for gold : Then see them broke with toils, or sunk in ease, Or infamous for plunder'd provinces. O wealth ill-fated! which no act of fame E'er taught to shine, or sanctified from shame! 300 What greater bliss attends their close of life? Some greedy minion, or imperious wife :: . The trophied arches, storied halls invade, And haunt their slumbers in the pompous shade. Alas! not dazzled with their noon-tide ray, Compute the morn and evening to the day; The whole amount of that enormous fame, A tale that blends their glory with their shame!

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 ;

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