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II. Whether with reason, or with instinct blest,
Know, all enjoy that power which suits thein best;
See the blind beggar dance, the cripple sing, Attract, attracted to, the next in place
Form'd and impell'd its neighbour to embrace. The starving chymist in his golden views
See matter next, with various life endued,
Press to one centre still, the general good.
All forms that perish other forms supply, Hope travels through, nor quits us when we die. (By turns we catch the vital breath, and die,)
Behold the child, by Nature's kindly law, Like bubbles on the sea of matter borne,
They rise, they brcak, and to that sea return.
One all-extending, all-preserving soul Scarfs, garters, gold, amuse his riper stage, Connects each being, greatest with the least ; And beads and prayer-books are the toys of age: Made beast in aid of man, and man of beast ; Pleas'd with this bauble still, as that before; All serv'd, all serving : nothing stands alone; 'Till tir'd he sleeps, and Life's poor play is o'er. The chain holds on, and where it ends unknown. Meanwhile Opinion gilds with varying rays
Has God, thou fool! work'd solely for thy good, Those painted clouds that beautify our days: Thy joy, thy pastime, thy attire, thy food? Each want of happiness by Hope supply'd, Who for thy table feeds the wanton fawn, And each vacuity of sense by Pride :
For him as kindly spread the flowery lawn : These build as fast as Knowledge can destroy; Is it for thee the lark ascends and sings? In Folly's cup still laughs the bubble, Joy ; Joy lunes his voice, joy elevates his wings One prospect lost, another still we gain;
Is it for thee the linnet pours his throat ? And not a vanity is giv'n in vain;
Loves of his own and raptures swell the noto.
Thine the full harvest of the golden year?
The hog, that ploughs not, nor obeys thy call,
Lives on the labours of this lord of all.
Know, Nature's children all divide her care ; The fur that warms a monarch, warm'd a bear. While man exclaims, “ See all things for my use!"
“ See man for mine!" replies a pamper'd goose : Argument.
And just as short of reason he must fall,
Who thinks all made for one, not one for all. I. The whole universe one system of society. ! Grant that the powerful still the weak controul;
Nothing made wholly for itself, nor yet wholly | Be man the wit and tyrant of the whole: for another. The happiness of animals mutual. Nature that tyrant checks; he only knows, II. Reason or instinct operate alike to the good And helps, another creature's wants and woes. of each individual. Reason or instinct operate Say, will the falcon, stooping from above, also to society in all animals. III. How far Smit with her varying plumage, spare the dove? society carried by instinct. How much farther Admires the jay the insect's gilded wings? by reason. IV. Of that which is called the state Or hears the hawk when Philomela sings? of nature. Reason instructed by instinct in the Man cares for all : to birds he gives his woods, invention of arts, and in the forms of society. To beasts his pastures, and to fish his floods : V. Origin of political societies. Origin of mo- For some, his interest prompts him to provide, narchy. Patriarchal government. VI. Origin For more his pleasure, yet for more his pride: of true religion and government, from the same All feed on one vain patron, and enjoy principle, of love. Origin of superstition and Th' extensive blessing of his luxury. tyranny, from the same principle of fear. The That very life his learned hunger craves, influence of self-love operating to the social and He saves from famine, from the savage saves; public good. Restoration of true religion and Nay, feasts the animal he dooms his feast, government on their first principle. Mixed go- And, till he ends the being, makes it blest : vernment. Various forms of each, and the true which sees no more the stroke, or feels the pain, end of all.
Than favour'd man by touch ethereal slain.
The creature had his feast of life before ; Herz then we rest ; “ the Universal Cause Thou too must perish, when thy feast is o'er! Acts to one end, but acts by various laws." To each unthinking being, Heaven, a friend, In all the madness of superfluous health,
Gives not the useless knowledge of its end : The train of pride, the impudence of wealth, To man imparts it; but with such a view Let this great truth be present night and day; As, while he dreads it, makes him hope it too : But inust be present, if we preach or pray.
The hour conceal'd, and so remote the fear, I. Look round our world; behold the chain of Death still draws nearer, never seeming near; Love
Great standing miracle ! that Heaven assign'd Combining all below and all above.
Its only thinking thing this turn of mind.
OF THE NATURE AND STATE OF MAN WITH RESPECT
To bliss alike by that direction tend,
Self-love and social at her birth began, And find the means proportion'd to their end Union the bond of all things, and of man. Say, where full Instinct is th' unerring guide, Pride then was not; nor arts, that Pride to aid ; What pope or council can they need beside ? Man walk'd with beast, joint tenant of the shade; Reason, however able, cool at best,
The same his table, and the same his bed ; Cares not for service, or but serves when prest, No murder cloth'd him, and no murder fed. Stays till we call, and then not often near ; In the same temple, the resounding wood, But honest Instinct comes a volunteer,
All vocal beings hymn'd their equal God: Sure never to o'ershoot, but just to hit ;
The shrine with gore unstain'd, with gold undress'd, While still too wide or short is human Wit; Unbrib’d, unbloody, stood the blameless priest : Sure by quick Nature happiness to gain,
Heaven's attribute was universal care, Which heavier Reason labours at in vain.
And man's prerogative, to rule, but spare. This too serves always, Reason never long:
Ah ! how unlike the man of times to come! One must go right, the other may go wrong.
Of half that live the butcher and the tomb;
Who, foe to Nature, hears the general groan,
And every death its own avenger breeds ;
Thus then to man the voice of Nature spake Sure as De Moivre, without rule or line ?
“ Go, from the creatures thy instructions take:
III. God, in the nature of each being, founds Learn of the little Nautilus to sail,
And hence let Reason, late, instruct mankind : So from the first, eternal Order ran,
Here subterranean works and cities see; And creature link'd to creature, man to man. There towns aërial on the waving tree. Whate'er of life all-quickening ether keeps, Learn each small people's genius, policies, Or breathes through air, or shoots beneath the deeps The ant's republic, and the realm of bees ; Or
pours profuse on earth, one Nature feeds How those in common all their wealth bestow, The vital flame, and swells the genial seeds. And anarchy without confusion know ; Not man alone, but all that roam the wood, And these for ever, though a monarch reign, Or wing the sky, or roll along the flood,
Their separate cells and properties maintain. Each loves itself, but not itself alone,
Mark what unvary'd laws preserve each state, Each sex desires alike, till two are one.
Laws wise as Nature, and as fix'd as Fate. Nor ends the pleasure with the fierce embrace; In vain thy Reason finer webs shall draw, They love themselves, a third time, in their race. Entangle Justice in her net of Law, Thus beast and bird their common charge attend, And right, too rigid, harden into wrong; The mothers nurse it, and the sires defend ; Still for the strong too weak, the weak too strong. The young dismiss'd to wander earth or air, Yet go! and thus o'er all the creatures sway, There stops the Instinct, and there ends the care ; Thus let the wiser make the rest obey : The link dissolves, each seeks a fresh embrace, And for those arts mere Instinct could afford, Another love succeeds, another race.
Be crown'd as monarchs, or as gods ador'd." A longer care man's helpless kind demands ;
V. Great Nature spoke ; observant man obey'd ; That longer care contracts more lasting bands : Cities were built, societies were made : Reflection, Reason, still the ties improve,
Here rose one little state ; another near At once extend the interest, and the love :
Grew by like means, and join'd through love or fear. With choice we fix, with sympathy we burn; Did here the trees with ruddier burthens bend, Each virtue in each passion takes its turn; And there the streams in purer rills descend, And still new needs, new helps, new habits rise, What War could ravish, Commerce could bestow; That graft benevolence on charities.
And he return'd a friend, who came a foe. Still as one brood, and as another rose,
Converse and Love mankind might strongly draw, These natural love maintain'd habitual those : When Love was Liberty, and Nature Law. The last, scarce ripen'd into perfect man,
Thus states were form’d; the name of king unknown, Saw helpless him from whom their life began : Till common interest plac'd the sway in one. Memory and Forecast just returns engage,
'Twas Virtue only, (or in arts or arms, That pointed back to youth, this on to age ; Diffusing blessings, or averting harms,) While Pleasure, Gratitude, and Hope, combin'd, The same which in a sire the sons obey'd, Still spread the interest, and preserve the kind. A prince the father of a people made. IV. Nor thipk, in Nature's state they blindly VI. Till then, by Nature crown'd, each patriarch trod;
sate, The state of Nature was the reign of God : King, priest, and parent, of his growing state:
On him, their second Providence, they hung, Poet or patriot, rose but to restore
The faith and moral, Nature gave before;
Taught nor to slack, nor strain its tender strings Till drooping, sickening, dying, they began The less, or greater, set so justly true, Whom they rever'd as God to mourn as Man: That touching one must strike the other too; Then, looking up from sire to sire, explor'd Till jarring interests of themselves create One great First Father, and that first ador'd. Th' according music of a well-mir'd state. Or plain tradition, that this All begun,
Such is the world's great harmony, that springs Convey'd unbroken faith from sire to son ;
From order, union, full consent of things:
And, in proportion as it blesses, blest ;
For forms of government let fools contest; No ill could fear in God: and understood Whate'er is best administer'd is best : A sovereign being, but a sovereign good.
For modes of faith, let graceless zealots fight ; True faith, true policy, united ran;
His can't be wrong whose life is in the right; That was but love of God, and this of man. In faith and hope the world will disagree, Who first taught souls enslav’d, and realms undone, But all mankind's concern is charity : Th' enormous faith of many made for one; All must be false that thwarts this one great end; That proud exception to all Nature's laws, And all of God, that bless mankind, or mend. T' invert the world and counter-work its cause ? Man, like the generous vine, supported lives : Force first made conquest, and that conquest, law; The strength he gains is from th’ embrace he gires Till Superstition taught the tyrant awe,
On their own axis as the planets run, Then shar'd the tyranny, then lent it aid,
Yet make at once their circle round the Sun;
And bade self-love and social be the same.
OF THE NATURE AND STATE OF MAN WITH RESPECT
Argument. Such as the souls of cowards might conceive, I. False notions of happiness, philosophical and And, form'd like tyrants, tyrants would believe. popular, answered. 11. It is the end of all Zeal, then, not charity, became the guide;
men, and attainable by all. God intends has And Hell was built on spite, and Heaven on pride. piness to be equal; and to be so, it must be Then sacred seem'd th' ethereal vault no more; sucial, since all particular happiness depends ca Altars grew marble then, and reek'd with gore: general, and since he governs by general
, na Then first the Flamen tasted living food;
particular laws. As it is necessary for order, and Next his grim idol, smear'd with human blood; the peace and welfare of society, that external With heaven's own thunders shook the world below, goods should be unequal, happiness is not made And play'd the god an engine on his foe. (unjust, to consist in these. “But, notwithstanding that
So drives Self-love, through just, and through inequality, the balance of happiness among manTo one man's power, ambition, lucre, lust :
kind is kept even by Providence, by the two The same self-love, in all, becomes the cause
passions of Hope and Fear. Of what restrains him, government and laws. happiness of individuals is, as far as is consistens For, what one likes, if others like as well,
with the constitution of this world; and that the What serves one will, when many wills rebel? good man has here the advantage. The errour How shall he keep, what, sleeping or awake, of imputing to virtue what are only the calamities A weaker may surprise, a stronger take ?
of nature, or of fortune. IV. The folly of exHis safety must his liberty restrain :
pecting that God should alter his general laws All join to guard what each desires to gain.
in favour of particulars. V. That we are bok Forc'd into virtue thus, by self-defence,
judges who are good; but that
, whoever they Ev'n kings learn'd justice and benevolence:
are, they must be happiest. VI. That external Self-love forsook the path it first pursued,
goods are not the proper rewards, but often And found the private in the public good. 'Twas then the studious head or generous mind,
inconsistent with, or destructive of, virtue
That even these can make no man happy Follower of God, or friend of human kind,
without virtue : instanced in riches. Honours
III. What the
Nobility. Greatness. Fame. Superior talents. | Heaven breathes through every member of the whols, With pictures of human infelicity in men, pos- One common blessing, as one common soul. sessed of them all. VII. That virtue only But Fortune's gifts if each alike possest, constitutes a happiness, whose object is universal, And each were equal, must not all contest? and whose prospect eternal. That the perfec- If then to all men happiness was meant, tion of virtue and happiness consists in a con- God in externals could not place content. formity to the order of Providence here, and a Fortune her gifts may variously dispose, resignation to it here and hereafter.
And these be happy call’d, unhappy those;
But Heaven's just balance equal will appear, OH HAPPINESS! our being's end and aim ! While those are plac'd in hope, and these in fear : Good, Pleasure, Ease, Content! whate'er thy name : Not present good or ill, the joy or curse, That something still which prompts th' eternal sigh, But future views of better, or of worse. For which we bear to live, or dare to die,
On, sons of Earth ! attempt ye still to rise, Wlich still so near us, yet beyond us lies,
By mountains pil'd on mountains, to the skies? O'erlook'd, seen double, by the fool and wise : Heaven still with laughter the vain toil surveys, Plant of celestial seed! if dropp'd below,
And buries madmen in the heaps they raise. Say, in what mortal soil thou deign'st to grow ? Know, all the good that individuals find, Fair opening to some court's propitious shine, Or God and Nature meant to mere mankind, Or deep with diamonds in the flaming mine? Reason's whole pleasure, all the joys of sense, Twin'd with the wreaths Parnassian "laurels yieid, Lie in three words, Health, Peace, and Competence. Or reap'd in iron harvests of the field ?
But Health consists with Temperance alone; Where grows? where grows it not ? If vain our toil, And Peace, oh Virtue! Peace is all thy own. We ought to blame the culture, not the soil : The good or bad the gifts of Fortune gain; Fir’d to no spot is happiness sincere,
But these less taste them, as they worse obtain. 'Tis no where to be found, or every where : Say, in pursuit of profit or delight, "Tis never to be bought, but always free,
Who risk the most, that take wrong means, or right? And fled from monarchs, S:. John! dwells with Of Vice or Virtue, whether blest or curst, thee.
Which meets contempt, or which compassion first ? Ask of the learn'd the way? The learn'd are blind : Count all th' advantage prosperous Vice attains, This bids to serve, and that to shun mankind; 'Tis but what Virtue Alies from and disdains : Some place the bliss in action, some in ease, And grant the bad what happiness they would, Those call it pleasure, and contentment these : One they must want, which is to pass for good. Some, sunk to beasts, find pleasure end in pain; Oh blind to truth, and God's whole scheme below, Some, swell’d to gods, confess ev'n virtue vain; Who fancy bliss to Vice, to Virtue woe ! Or, indolent, to each extreme they fall,
Who secs and follows that great scheme the best, To trust in ev'ry thing, or doubt of all.
Best knows the blessing, and will most be blest. Who thus define it, say they more or less, But fools, the good alone, unhappy call, Than this, that happiness is happiness?
For ills or accidents that chance to all. Take Nature's path, and mad Opinion's leave; See Falkland dies, the virtuous and the just ! All states can reach it, and all heads conceive; See godlike Turenne prostrate on the dust! Obvious her goods, in no extreme they dwell; See Sidney bleeds amid the martial strife! There needs but thinking right, and meaning well; Was this their virtue, or contempt of life? And, mourn our various portions as we please, Say, was it virtue, more though Heaven ne'er gave, Equal is common sense, and common ease. Lamented Digby! sunk thee to the grave ? Remember, man, “ the Universal Cause
Tell me, if virtue made the son expire, Acts not by partial, but by gen’ral laws;"
Why, full of days and honour, lives the sire ? And makes what happiness we justly call,
Why drew Marseilles' good bishop purer breath, Subsist not in the good of one, but all.
When Nature sicken'd, and each gale was death? There's not a blessing individuals find,
Or why so long in life if long can be)
What makes all physical or moral ill ?
There deviates Nature, and here wanders will.
Or partial ill is universal good,
Short, and but rare, till man improv'd it all. Each has his share; and who would more obtain, We just as wisely might of Heaven complain Shall find, the pleasure pays not half the pain. That righteous Abel was destroyed by Cain, Order is Heaven's first law; and this confest,
As that the virtuous son is ill at ease Some are, and must be, greater than the rest, When his lewd father gave the dire disease. More rich, more wise ; but who infers from hence Think we, like some weak prince, th' Eternal Cause That such are happier, shocks all common sense. Prone for his favourites to reverse his laws ? Heaven to mankind impartial we confess,
Shall burning Ætna, if a sage requires, If all are equal in their happiness :
Forget to thunder, and recall her fires ? But mutual wants this happiness increase ; On air or sea new motions be imprest, All Nature's difference keeps all Nature's peace. Oh blameless Bethel ! to relieve thy breast ? Condition, circumstance, is not the thing ; When the loose mountain trembles from on high, Bliss is the same in subject or in king,
Shall gravitation cense, if you go by ? In who obtain defence, or who defend,
Or some old teinple, nodding to its fall, In him who is, or him who finds a friend :
For Chartres' head reserve the hanging wall ?
But still this world (so fitted for the knave) “ What differ more," you cry, “than crown and Contents us not. A better shall we have ?
cowl!" A kingdom of the just then let it be :
I'll tell you, friend! a wise man and a fool. But first consider how those just agree.
You'll find, if once the monarch acts the monk, The good must
merit God's peculiar care ; Or, cobbler-like, the parson will be drunk, But who, but God, can tell us who they are ? Worth makes the man, and want of it the fellow; One thinks on Calvin Heaven's own spirit fell; The rest is all but leather or prunella. Another deems him instrument of Hell ;
Stuck o'er with titles, and hung round with If Calvin feels Heaven's blessing, or its rod,
strings, This cries, there is, and that, the
is no God.
That thou mayst be by kings, or whores of kings What shocks one part, will edify the rest,
Boast the pure blood of an illustrious race, Nor with one system can they all be blest.
In quiet flow from Lucrece to Lucrece: The very best will variously incline,
But, by your father's worth if yours you rate, And what rewards your virtue, punish mine. Count me those only who were good and great WHATEVER IS, IS RIGHT.—This world, 'tis true, Go! if your ancient, but ignoble blood Was made for Cæsar-but for Titus too;
Has crept through scoundrels ever since the Flood, And which more blest? who chain'd his country, say, Go! and pretend your family is young; Or he whose virtue sigh’d to lose a day?
Nor own your fathers have been fools so long. “ But sometimes Virtue starves, while Vice is fed.” What can ennoble sots, or slaves, or cowards ? What then? Is the reward of Virtue bread ? Alas! not all the blood of all the Howards. That, Vice may merit, 'tis the price of toil ;
Look next on greatness ; say, where greatness The knave deserves it, when be tills the soil ; The knave deserves it, when he tempts the main, “ Where but among the heroes and wise ?" Where folly fights for kings, or dives for gain. Heroes are much the same, the point's agreed, The good man may be weak, be indolent;
From Macedonia's madman to the Swede; Nor is his claim to plenty, but content.
The whole strange purpose of their lives, to find, But grant him riches, your demand is o'er ? Or make, an enemy of all mankind ! “ No-shall the good want health, the good want Not one looks backward, onward still he goes, power?"
Yet ne'er looks forward further than his nose.
Men in their loose unguarded hours they take,
What nothing earthly gives, or can destroy, Who noble ends by noble means obtains,
Like Socrates, that man is great indeed.
What's fame? a fancy'd life in others breath, Or Public Spirit its great cure, a crown.
A thing beyond us, ev'n before our death. Weak, foolish man! will Heaven reward us there Just what you hear, you have ; and what's unknown, With the same trash mad mortals wish for here? The same, my lord, if Tully's, or your own. The boy and man an individual makes,
All that we feel of it begins and ends Yet sigh'st thou now for apples and for cakes? In the small circle of our foes or friends; Go, like the Indian, in another life
To all beside as much an empty shade
An Eugene living, as a Cæsar dead;
Or on the Rubicon, or on the Rhine.
A wit's a feather, and a chief a rod : No joy, or be destructive of the thing ;
An honest man's the noblest work of God. How oft by these at sixty are undone
Fame but from death a villain's name can sare, The virtues of a saint at twenty-one!
As Justice tears his body from the grave; To whom can riches give repute, or trust,
When what t'oblivion better were resign'd, Content, or pleasure, but the good and just ? Is hung on high to poison half mankind. Judges and senates have been bought for gold; All fame is foreign, but of true desert ; Esteem and love were never to be sold.
Plays round the head, but comes not to the heart
: Oh fool! to think God hates the worthy mind, One self-approving hour whole years outweighs The lover and the love of human-kind,
Of stupid starers, and of loud huzzas ;
Honour and shame from no condition rise; In parts superior what advantage lies?
To see all others faults, and feel our own:
Condemnd in business or in arts to drudge, The friar hooded, and the monarch crown'd. Without a second, or without a judge: