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Fortune in men has some small diff'rence made, One flaunts in rags, one flutters in brocade; The cobler apron'd, and the parson gown'd, The friar hooded, and the monarch crown'd.
What differ more (you cry) than crown and
friend---a wise man and a fool,
You'll find, if once the monarch acts the monk,
Or, cobler-like, the parson will be drunk,
The rest is all but leather or prunello.
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 father's worth if your's you rate,
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; 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 further then his nose.
No less alike the politic and wise;
But grant that those can conquer, these can cheats
The same (my Lord) if Tully's or your own.
All that we feel of it begins and ends
To all beside as much an empty shade
An Eugene living, as a Cæsar dead;
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;
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 exild 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?
"Tis but to know how little can be known;
To see all others faults, and feel our own:
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;
How each for other oft is wholly lost;