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To distant lands Vertumnus never roves;
of putting himself in the place of God, and judgLike you, contented with his native groves;
ing of the fitness or unfitness, perfection or imperNor at first sight, like most, admires the fair ; fection, justice or injustice, of his dispensations. For you he lives; and you alone shall share
V. The absurdity of conceiting himself the final His last affection, as his early care.
cause of the creation, or expecting that perfection Besides, he's lovely far above the rest,
in the moral world, which is not in the natural. With youth immortal, and with beauty blest.
VI. The unreasonableness of his complaints Add, that he varies every shape with ease,
against Providence, while on the one hand he And tries all forms that may Pomona please. demands the perfection of the angels, and on But what should most excite a mutual flame,
the other the bodily qualifications of the brutes ; Your rural cares and pleasures are the same.
though, to possess any of the sensitive faculties To him your orchard's early fruit are due,
in a higher degree, would render him miserable. (A pleasing offering when 'tis made by you,)
VII. That throughout the whole visible world, He values these ; but yet (alas)! complains, an universal order and gradation in the sensual That still the best and dearest gift remains.
and mental faculties is observed, which causes a Not the fair fruit that on yon branches glows
subordination of creature to creature, and of all With that ripe red th' autumnal sun bestows;
creatures to man. The gradations of sense, inNor tasteful herbs that in these gardens rise,
stinct, thought, reflection, reason; that reason alone Which the kind soil with milky sap supplies; countervails all the other faculties. VIII. How You, only you, can move the god's desire :
much farther this order and subordination of Oh, crown so constant and so pure a fire!
living crcatures may extend above and below us ; Let soft compassion touch your gentle mind; were any part of which broken, not that part Think, 'tis Vertumnus begs you to be kind; only, but the whole connected creation inust be So may no frost, when early buds appear,
destroyed. IX. The extravagance, madness, and Destroy the promise of the youthful year;
pride of such a desire. X. The consequence of Nor winds, when first your florid orchard blows, all the absolute submission due to Providence, Shake the light blossoms from their blasted boughs!" both as to our present and future state.
This when the various god had urg'd in vain,
Than just to look about us, and to die)
Expatiate free o'er all this scene of man; Force he prepar'd, but check'd the rash design : A mighty maze! but not without a plan : For when, appearing in a form divine,
A wild, where weeds and flowers promiscuous shoot; The nymph surveys him, and beholds the grace
Or garden, tempting with forbidden fruit.
Of all who blindly creep, or sightless soar ;
I. Say, first, of God above, or man below,
What can we reason, but from what we know?
Of man, what see we but his station here,
From which to reason, or to which refer?
Through worlds unnumber'd though the God be TO R. ST. JOHN, LORD BOLINGBROKE.
'Tis ours to trace him only in our own.
He, who through vast immensity can pierce,
What other planets circle other suns,
What vary'd Being peoples every star,
May tell why Heaven has made us as we are. Of man in the abstract. — I. That we can judge But of this frame the bearings and the ties,
only with regard to our own system, being igno The strong connections, nice dependencies, rant of the relations of systems and things. Gradations just, has thy pervading soul II. That man is not to be deemned imperfect, but Look'd through? or can a part contain the whole ? a being suited to his place and rank in the crea Is the great chain, that draws all to agree, tion, agreeable to the general order of things, and And drawn supports, upheld by God, or thee? conformable to ends and relations to him un II. Presumptuous man! the reason wouldst thou known. III. That it is partly upon his ignorance
find, of future events, and partly upon the hope of a Why form’d so weak, so little, and so blind ? future state, that all his happiness in the present | First, if thou canst, the harder reason guess, depends. IV. The pride of aiming at inore know why form'd no weaker, blinder, and no less ? ledge, and pretending to more perfection, the Ask of thy mother Earth, why oaks are made cause of man's errour and misery. The impiety Taller or weaker than the weeds they shade ?
OF THE NATURE AND STATE OF MAN WITH RESPECT
TO THE UNIVERSE.
Or ask of yonder argent fields above,
To be, contents his natural desire, Why Jove's Satellites are less than Jove ?
He asks no angel's wing, no seraph's fire; Of systems possible, if 'tis confest,
But thinks, admitted to that equal sky, That Wisdom infinite must form the best,
His faithful dog shall bear him company. Where all must full or not coherent be,
IV. Go, wiser thou ! and in thy scale of sese, And all that rises, rise in due degree;
Weigh thy opinion against Providence ; Then, in the scale of reasoning life, 'tis plain, Call imperfection what thou fancy'st such; There must be, somewhere, such a rank as man: Say, here he gives too little, there too much: And all the question (wrangle e'er so long) Destroy all creatures for thy sport or gust, Is only this, if God has plac'd him wrong? Yet say, if man's unhappy, God's unjust;
Respecting man, whatever wrong we call If man alone ingross not Heaven's high care, May, must be right, as relative to all.
Alone made perfect here, immortal there : In human works, though labour'd on with pain, Snatch from his hand the balance and the rod, A thousand movements scarce one purpose gain: Re-judge his justice, be the god of God. In God's, one single can its end produce;
In Pride, in reasoning Pride, our errour lies; Yet serves to second too some other use.
All quit their sphere, and rush into the skies. So man, who here seems principal alone,
Pride still is aiming at the blest abodes, Perhaps acts second to some sphere unknown, Men would be angels, angels would be gods. Touches some wheel, or verges to some goal ; Aspiring to be gods, if angels fell, 'Tis but a part we see, and not a whole.
Aspiring to be angels, men rebel : When the proud steed shall know why man re And who but wishes to invert the laws strains
Of order, sins against th’ Eternal Cause. His fiery course, or drives him o'er the plains; V. Ask for what end the heavenly bodies shine, When the dull ox, why now he breaks the clod, Earth for whose use ? Pride answers, “Tis for x Is now a victim, and now Ægypt's god :
For me kind Nature wakes her genial power; Then shall man's pride and dulness comprehend Suckles each herb, and spreads out every flower; His actions', passions', being's, use and end ; Annual for me, the grape, the rose, renew Why doing, suffering, check impellid; and why The juice nectareous, and the balmy dew; This hour a slave, the next a deity.
For me, the mine a thousand treasures brings: Then say not Man's imperfect, Heaven in fault ; For me, health gushes from a thousand springs; Say, rather, Man's as perfect as he ought:
Seas roll to waft me, suns to light me rise; His knowledge measur'd to his state and place ; My foot-stool Earth, my canopy the skies." His time a moment, and a point his space.
But errs not Nature from this gracious end, If to be perfect in a certain sphere,
From burning suns when livid deatlis descend, What matter, soon or late, or here, or there? When earthquakes swallow, or when tempests svar The blest to day is as completely so,
Towns to one grave, whole nations to the deep? As who began a thousand years ago. (Fate, «i No," 'tis reply'd, “the first Almighty Cause
III. Heaven from all creatures hides the book of Acts not by partial, but by general laws; All but the page prescrib'd, their present state: Th' exceptions few ; some change since all begin: From brutes what men, from men what spirits know: And what created perfect ?" Why then man? Or who could suffer being here below?
If the great end be human happiness, The lamb thy riot dooms to bleed to-day,
Then Nature deviates; and can man do less? Had he thy reason, would he skip and play? As much that end a constant course requires Pleas'd to the last, he crops the flowery food, Of showers and sun-shine, as of man's desires; And licks the hand just rais'd to shed his blood. As much eternal springs and cloudless skies 0! blindness to the future ! kindly given,
As men for ever temperate, calm, and wise. That each may fill the circle mark'd by Heaven: If plagues or earthquakes break not Heaven's designs Who sees with equal eye, as God of all,
Why then a Borgia, or a Catiline; A hero perish, or a sparrow fall,
Who knows, but he whose hand the lightning for Atoms or systems into ruin hurld,
Who heaves old Ocean, and who wings the storms; And now a bubble burst, and now a world. Pours fierce ambition in a Cæsar's mind,
Hope humbly then; with trembling pinions soar, Or turns young Ammon loose to scourge mankind? Wait the great teacher, Death ; and God adore. From pride, from pride our very reasoning spring What future bliss, he gives not thee to know, Account for moral as for natural things : But gives that hope to be thy blessing now. Why charge we Heaven in those, in these acquit? Hope springs eternal in the human breast :
In both, to reason right, is to submit. Man never Is, but always To be blest :
Better for us, perhaps, it might appear,
That never air or ocean felt the wind,
The general order, since the whole began,
Is kept in Nature, and is kept in man. Behind the cloud-topt hill, an humbler Heaven; VI. What would this man? Now upward will be Some safer world in depth of woods embrac'd,
soar, Some happier island in the watery waste,
And, little less than angel, would be more; Where slaves once more their native land behold, Now looking downwards, just as grier'd appears No fiends torment, no Christians thirst for gold. To want the strength of bulls, the fur of bears.
Made for his use all creatures if he call,
From Nature's chain whatever link you strike, Say what their use, had he the powers of all ? Tenth, or ten thousandth, breaks the chain alike. Nature to these without profusion, kind,
And, if each system in gradation roll The proper organs, proper powers assign'd; Alike essential to th' amazing whole, Each seeming want compensated of course, The least confusion but in one, not all Here with degrees of swiftness, there of force ; That system only, but the whole must fall. All in exact proportion to the state ;
Let Earth unbalanc'd from her orbit fly, Nothing to add, and nothing to abate.
Planets and suns run lawless through the sky; Each beast, each insect, happy in its own :
Let ruling angels from their spheres be hurld, Is Heaven unkind to man, and man alone ? Being on being wreck’d, and world on world; Shall he alone, whom rational we call,
Heaven's whole foundations to their centre nod, Be pleas'd with nothing, if not blest with all ? And Nature trembles to the throne of God.
The bliss of man (could Pride that blessing find) All this dread order break — for whom ? for thee ? Is not to act or think beyond mankind;
Vile worm! - oh madness! pride ! impiety! No powers of body or of soul to share,
IX. What if the foot, ordain'd the dust to tread, But what his nature and his state can bear. Or hand, to toil, aspir'd to be the head ? Why has not man a microscopic eye ?
What if the head, the eye, or ear, repin'd For this plain reason, man is not a fly.
To serve mere engines to the ruling mind ? Say what the use, were finer optics given,
Just as absurd for any part to claim T' inspect a mite, not comprehend the Heaven? To be another in this general frame: Or touch, if tremblingly alive all o'er,
Just as absurd, to mourn the tasks or pains To smart and agonize at every pore?
The grcat directing mind of all ordains. Or quick effluvia darting through the brain,
All are but parts of one stupendous whole, Die of a rose in aromatic pain ?
Whose body Nature is, and God the soul ; If Nature thunder'd in his opening ears,
That chang'd through all, and yet in all the same; And stunn'd him with the music of the spheres, Great in the Earth, as in th' ethereal frame; How would he wish that Heaven had left him still Warms in the Sun, refreshes in the breeze, The whispering zephyr, and the purling rill! Glows in the stars, and blossoms in the trees; Who finds not Providence all good and wise, Lives through all life, extends through all extent ; Alike in what it gives, and what denies ?
Spreads undivided, operates unspent; VII. Far as creation's ample range extends, Breathes in our soul, informs our mortal part, The scale of sensual, mental powers ascends : As full, as perfect, in a hair as heart, Mark how it mounts to man's imperial race, As full, as perfect, in vile man that mourns, From the green myriads in the peopled grass : As the rapt seraph that adores and burns : What modes of sight betwixt each wide extreme, To him no high, no low, no great, no small; The mole’s dim curtain, and the lynx's beam; He fills, he bounds, connects, and equals all. Of smell, the headlong lioness between,
X. Cease, then, nor order imperfection name : And hound sagacious on the tainted green; Our proper bliss depends on what we blame. Of hearing, from the life that fills the flood, Know thy own point: this kind, this due degree To that which warbles through the vernal wood! Of blindness, weakness, Heaven bestows on thee. The spider's touch, how exquisitely fine !
Submit. — In this, or any other sphere, Feels at each thread, and lives along the line : Secure to be as blest as thou canst bear : In the nice bee, what sense so subtly true
Safe in the hand of one disposing Power, From poisonous herbs extracts the healing dew! Or in the natal, or the mortal hour. How Instinct varies in the grovelling swine, All Nature is but Art, unknown to thee ; Compar'd, half-reasoning elephant, with thine! All Chance, Direction, which thou canst not see; 'Twixt that, and Reason, what a nice barrier!
All Discord, Harmony not understood ; For ever separate, yet for ever near!
All partial Evil, universal Good.
And, spite of Pride, in erring Reason's spite,
TO HIMSELF, AS AN INDIVIDUAL.
Argument. earth, All matter quick, and bursting into birth.
I. The business of man not to pry into God, but Above, how high! progressive life may go!
to study himself. His middle nature : his powers Around, how wide ! how deep extend below! and frailties. The limits of his capacity. II. The Vast chain of being ! which from God began,
two principles of man, self-love and reason, both Natures ethereal, human, angel, man,
Self-love the stronger, and why: Beast, bird, fish, insect, what no eye can see,
Their end the same. III. The passions, and No glass can reach ; from Infinite to thee,
their use. The predominant passion, and its force. From thee to Nothing. — On superior powers Its necessity, in directing men to different purWere we to press, inferior might on ours;
poses. Its providential use, in fixing our prinOr in the full creation leave a void,
ciple, and ascertaining our virtue. Îv. Virtuc Where, one step broken, the great scale's destroy'd: and vice joined in our mixed nature; the limits
OP THE NATURE AND STATE OF MAN WITH RESPECT
near, yet the things separate and evident : what | Man, but for that, no action could attend, is the office of reason. V. How odious vice in And but for this, were active to no end : itself, and how we deceive ourselves into it. Fix'd like a plant on his peculiar spot ; VI. That, however, the ends of Providence and To draw nutrition, propagate, and rot, general good are answered in our passions and Or, meteor-like, Aaine lawless through the void, imperfections. How usefully these are dis- Destroying others, by himself destroy'd. tributed to all orders of men. How useful they Most strength the moving principle requires are to society; and to individuals, in every state, Active its task, it prompts, impels, inspires and every age of life.
Sedate and quiet the comparing lies,
Form'd but to check, deliberate, and advise. I. Know then thyself, presume not God to scan, Self-love, still stronger, as its objects nigh; The proper study of mankind is man.
Reason's at distance, and in prospect lie: Plac'd on this isthmus of a middle state,
That sees immediate good by present sens; A being darkly wise, and rudely great :
Reason, the future and the consequence. With too much knowledge for the Sceptic side, Thicker than arguments, temptations throng, With too much weakness for the Stoic's pride, At best more watchful this, but that more streng He hangs between ; in doubt to act, or rest; The action of the stronger to suspend, In doubt to deem himself a god, or beast ;
Reason still use, to Reason still attend. In doubt his mind or body to prefer ;
Attention, habit, and experience gains; Born but to die, and reasoning but to err;
Each strengthens Reason, and Self-love restrais Alike in ignorance, his reason such,
Let subtle schoolmen teach these friends to fight Whether he thinks too little, or too much :
More studious to divide than to unite; Chaos of thought and passion, all confus'd; And Grace and Virtue, Sense and Reason Still by himself abus'd, or disabusid ;
With all the rash dexterity of Wit. Created half to rise, and half to fall;
Wits, just like fools, at war about a name, Great lord of all things, yet a prey to all ;
Have full as oft no meaning, or the same. Sole judge of truth, in endless errour hur\'d : Self-love and Reason to one end aspire, The glory, jest, and riddle of the world! [guides, Pain their aversion, pleasure their desire ;
Go, wondrous creature ! mount where Science But greedy that, his object would devour, Go, measure Earth, weigh air, and state the tides; This taste the honey, and not wound the tort: Instruct the planets in what orbs to run,
Pleasure, or wrong or rightly understood, Correct old Time, and regulate the Sun;
Our greatest evil, or our greatest good. Go, soar with Plato to th' empyreal sphere,
III. Modes of Self-love the passions we mayal; To the first good, first perfect, and first fair ; 'Tis real good, or seeming, moves them all : Or tread the mazy round his followers trod, But since not every good we can divide, And quitting sense call imitating God;
And Reason bids us for our own provide ; As eastern priests in giddy circles run,
Passions, though selfish, if their means be fair, And turn their heads to imitate the Sun.
List under Reason, and deserve her care; Go, teach Eternal Wisdom how to rule
Those, that imparted, court a noblet aiın, Then drop into thyself, and be a fool!
Exalt their kind, and take some virtue's nanie Superior beings, when of late they saw
In lazy apathy let Stoics boast A mortal man unfold all Nature's law,
Their virtue fix'd ; 'tis fixʼd as in a frost; Admir'd such wisdom in an earthly shape,
Contracted all, retiring to the breast; And show'd a Newton as we show an ape.
But strength of mind is exercise, not rest : Could he, whose rules the rapid comet bind, The rising tempest puts in act the soul; Describe or fix one movement of his mind! Parts it may ravage, but preserves the whole. Who saw its fires here rise and there descend, On life's vast ocean diversely we sail, Explain his own beginning or his end ?
Reason the card, but Passion is the gale; Alas, what wonder! Man's superior part
Nor God alone in the still calın we find, Uncheck'd may rise, and climb from art to art ; He mounts the storm, and walks upon the wind But when his own great work is but begun,
Passions, like elements, though born to figt! What Reason weaves, by Passion is undone. Yet, mix'd and soften'd, in his work unite :
Trace Science, then, with Modesty thy guide ; These 'tis enough to temper and employ; First strip off all her equipage of Pride;
But what composes man, can man destroy ? Deduct what is but Vanity or dress,
Suffice that Reason keep to Nature's road, Or Learning's luxury, or Idleness ;
Subject, compound them, follow her and God Or tricks to show the stretch of human brain, Love, Hope, and Joy, fair Pleasure's siniling train; Mere curious pleasure, or ingenious pain ;
Hate, Fear, and Grief, the family of Pain; Expunge the whole, or lop th' excrescent parts These, mixt with art, and to due bounds confin', Of all our Vices have created Arts;
Make and maintain the balance of the mind; Then see how little the remaining sum,
The lights and shades whose well-accorded strife Which serv'd the past, and must the times to come! Gives all the strength and colour of our life.
II. Two principles in human nature reign ; Pleasures are ever in our hands and eyes; Self-love, to urge, and Reason, to restrain ; And when in act they cease, in prospect rise : Nor this a good, nor that a bad we call,
Present to grasp, and future still to find, Each works its end, to move or govern all: The whole employ of body and of mind. And to their proper operations still,
All spread their charms, but charın not all alike; Ascribe all good, to their improper, ill.
On different senses, different objects strike: Self-love, the spring of motion, acts the soul; Hence different passions more or less intlame, Reason's comparing balance rules the whole. As strong or weak, the organs of the frame;
And hence one master passion in the breast, The fiery soul abhorr'd in Catiline,
And makes a patriot as it makes a knave.
Extremes in Nature equal ends produce, So, cast and mingled with his very frame,
In man they join to some mysterious use ; The mind's disease, its Ruling Passion came; Though each by turns the other's bound invade, Each vital humour which should feed the whole, As in some well-wrought picture, light and shade, Soon flows to this, in body and in soul :
And oft so mix, the difference is too nice Whatever warms the heart, or fills the head, Where ends the virtue, or begins the vice. As the mind opens, and its functions spread,
Fools! who from hence into the notion fall, Imagination plies her dangerous ari,
That vice or virtue there is none at all. And pours it all upon the peccant part.
If white and black blend, soften, and unite Nature its mother, Habit is its nurse;
A thousand ways, is there no black or white ? Wit, Spirit, Faculties, but make it worse ;
Ask your own heart, and nothing is so plain ; Reason itself but gives it edge and power;
'Tis to mistake them, costs the time and pain. As Heaven's blest beam turns vinegar more sour.
V. Vice is a monster of so frightful mien, We, wretched subjects though to lawful sway,
As, to be hated, needs but to be seen; In this weak queen, some favourite still obey:
Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face, Ah! if she lend not arms, as well as rules,
We first endure, then pity, then embrace. What can she more than tell us we are fools ? But where th' extreme of vice, was ne'er agreed : Teach us to mourn our nature, not to mend; Ask where's the north ? at York, 'tis on the Tweed; A sharp accuser, but a helpless friend !
In Scotland, at the Orcades; and there, Or from a judge turn pleader, to persuade
At Greenland, Zembla, or the Lord knows where. The choice we make, or justify it made ;
No creature owns it in the first degree, Proud of an easy conquest all along,
But thinks his neighbour further gone than he: She but removes weak passions for the strong:
Ev'n those who dwell beneath its very zone, So, when small humours gather to a gout,
Or never feel the rage, or never own; The doctor fancies he has driv’n them out.
What happier natures shrink at with affright, Yes, Nature's road must ever be preferr'd;
The hard inhabitant contends is right. Reason is here no guide, but still a guard : )
Virtuous and vicious every man must be, 'Tis hers to rectify, not overthrow,
Few in th' extreme, but all in the degree; And treat this passion more as friend than foe; The rogue and fool by fits is fair and wise ; A mightier power the strong direction sends, And ev’n the best, by fits, what they despise. And several men impels to several ends :
"Tis but by parts we follow good or ill; Like varying winds, by other passions tost,
For, vice or virtue, Self directs it still ; This drives them constant to a certain coast. Each individual seeks a several goal; Let power or knowledge, gold or glory, please, VI. But Heaven's great view, is one, and that the Or (oft more strong than all) the love of ease;
whole. , Through life 'tis follow'd ev'n at life's expense; That counter-works each folly and caprice; The merchant's toil, the sage's indolence,
That disappoints th' effect of every vice : The monk's humility, the hero's pride,
That, happy frailties to all ranks apply'd; All, all alike, find Reason on their side.
Shame to the virgin, to the matron pride; Th' Eternal Art, educing good from ill,
Fear to the statesman, rashness to the chief; Grafts on this passion our best principle:
To kings presumption, and to crowds belief : 'Tis thus the mercury of man is fix'd,
That, Virtue's ends from vanity can raise, Strong grows the virtue with his nature mix'd; Which seeks no interest, no reward but praise. The dross cements what else were too refin'd, And build on wants, and on defects of mind, And in one interest body acts with mind.
The joy, the peace, the glory of mankind. As fruits, ungrateful to the planter's care,
Heaven forming each on other to depend, On savage stocks inserted learn to bear ;
A master, or a servant, or a friend, The surest virtues thus from passions shoot,
Bids each on other for assistance call, Wild Nature's vigour working at the root.
Till one man's weakness grows the strength of all. What crops of wit and honesty appear
Wants, frailties, passions, closer still ally From spleen, from obstinacy, hate, or fear! The common interest, or endear the tie. See anger, zeal and fortitude supply;
To these we owe true friendship, love sincere, Ev'n avarice, prudence; sloth, philosophy ; Each home-felt joy that life inherits here; Lust, through some certain strainers well refin'd, Yet from the same we learn, in its decline, Is gentle love, and charms all womankind; Those joys, those loves, those interests, to resign; Envy, to which th' ignoble mind's a slave,
Taught half by Reason, half by mere decay, Is emulation in the learn'd or brave;
To welcome death, and calmly pass away. Nor virtue, male or female, can we name,
Whate'er the passion, knowledge, fame, or pelf, But what will grow on pride, or grow on shame. Not one will change his neighbour with himself.
Th us Nature gives us (let it check our pride) The learned is happy Nature to explore, The virtue nearest to our vice ally'd:
The fool is happy that he knows no more. Reasc the bias turns to good from ill,
The rich is happy in the plenty given, And Nero reigns a Titus, if he will.
The noor contents him with the care of Heaven.