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Into the head at length she gets,
And there in public grandeur sits,
To judge of things, and censure wits.
“Here, Richard, how could I explain
The various labyrinths of the brain !
Surprise my readers, whilst I tell 'em
Of cerebrum, and cerebellum!
How could I play the commentator
On dura and on pia mater!
Where hot and cold, and dry and wet,
Strive each the other's place to get;
And, with incessant toil and strife,
Would keep possession during life.
I could demonstrate every pore,
Where memory lays up all her store;
And to an inch compute the station
"Twixt judgment and imagination.
O friend! I could display much learning,
At least to men of small discerning.
The brain contains ten thousand cells:
In each some active fancy dwells;
Which always is at work, and framing
The several follies I was naming.
As in a hive's vimineous dome
Ten thousand bees enjoy their home,
Each does her studious actions vary,
To go and come, to fetch and carry;
Each still renews her little labor,
Nor justles her assiduous neighbor:
Each-whilst this thesis I maintain,
I fancy, Dick, I know thy brain.
O, with the mighty theme affected,
Could I but see thy head dissected !"
“My head!" quoth Dick, “to serve your
Spare that, and take some other limb.
Sir, in your nice affairs of system,
Wise men propose; but fools assist 'em."
Says Matthew, “ Richard, keep thy head,
And hold thy peace; and I'll proceed."
“ Proceed!" quoth Dick: “Sir, I aver,
You have already gone too far.
When people once are in the wrong,
Each line they add is much too long.
Who fastest walks, but walks astray,
Is only farthest from his way.
Bless your conceits! must I believe,
Howe'er absurd, what you conceive;
And, for your friendship, live and die
A Papist in philosophy ?
I say, whatever you maintain
Of Alma in the heart or brain,
The plainest man alive may tell ye,
Her seat of empire is the belly:
From hence she sends out those supplies,
Which make us either stout or wise ;
The strength of every other member
Is founded on your belly-timber;
The qualms or raptures of your blood
Rise in proportion to your food ;
And, if you would improve your thought,
You must be fed as well as taught.
Your stomach makes your fabric roll,
Just as the bias rules the bowl.
The great Achilles might employ
The strength design'd to ruin Troy;
He din'd on lion's marrow, spread
Op toasts of ammunition bread :
But, by his mother sent away,
Amongst the Thracian girls 10 play,
Effeminate he sat, and quiet:
Strange product of a cheese-cake diet!
Now give my argument fair play,
And take the thing the other way :
The youngster, who at nine and three
Drinks with his sisters milk and tea,
From breakfast reads till twelve o'clock,
Burnet and Heylin, Hobbes, and Locke :
He pays due visits after noon
To cousin Alice and uncle John.
At ten from coffee-house or play
Returning, finishes the day.
But, give him port and potent sack,
From milksop he starts up Mohack ;
Holds that the happy know no hours;
So through the street at midnight scours,
Breaks watchmen's heads and chairmen's glasses
And thence proceeds to nicking sashes ;
Till, by some tougher hand o'ercome,
And first knock'd down, and then led home,
He damns the footman, strikes the maid,
And decently reels up to bed.
“Observe the various operations
Of food and drink in several nations.
Was ever Tartar fierce or cruel
Upon the strength of water.gruel ?
But who shall stand his rage and force,
If first he rides, then eats his horse ?
Salads, and eggs, and lighter fare,
Tune the Italian spark's guitar.
And, if I take Dan Congreve right,
Pudding and beef make Britons fight.
Tokay and coffee cause this work
Between the German and the Turk ;
And both, as they provisions want,
Chicane avoid, retire and saint.
Hunger and thirst, or guns and swords,
Give the same death in different words.
To push this argument no further;
To starve a man, in law is murther.
" As in a watch's fine machine,
Though many artful springs are seen;
The added movements, which declare
How full the Moon, how old the year,
Derive their secondary power
From that which simply points the hour.
For, though those gimcracks were away,
(Quare would not swear, but Quare would say)
However more reduc'd and plain,
The watch would still a watch remain :
But, if the horal-orbit ceases,
The whole stands still, or breaks to pieces ;
Is now no longer what it was,
And you may e'en go sell the case.
So, if unprejudic'd you scan
The goings of this clock-work man,
You find a hundred movements made
By fine devices in his head;
But 'tis the stomach's solid stroke
That tells his being what's o'clock.
If you take off this rhetoric trigger,
He talks no more in mode and ligure;
Or, clog his mathematic-wheel,
His buildings fall, his ship stands still;
Or, lastly, break his politic-weight,
His voice no longer rules the state.
Yet, if these finer whims are gone,
Your clock, though plain, would still go on;
But spoil the engine of digestion,
And you entirely change the question.
Alma's affairs no power can mend;
The jest, alas! is at an end :
Soon ceases all the worldly bustle,
And you consign the corpse to Russel.
“Now make your Alma come or go
From leg to hand, from top to toe,
Your system, without my addition,
Is in a very sad condition.
So Harlequin extoll'd his horse,
Fit for the war, or road, or course!
His mouth was soft, his eye was good,
His foot was sure as ever trod :
One fault he had (a fault indeed!)
And what was that? the horse was dead."
“ Dick, from these instances and fetches,
Thou mak'st of horses, clocks, and watches,"
Quoth Mat, “ to me thou seem'st to mean,
That Alma is a mere machine :
That, telling others what's o'clock,
She knows not what herself has struck;
But leaves to standers-by the trial
Of what is mark'd upon her dial.”
“Here hold a blow, good friend,” quoth Dick, And rais'd his voice exceeding quick. “Fight fair, sir : what I never meant Don't you infer. In argument Similies are like songs in love: They much describe; they nothing prove."
Mat, who was here a little gravellid,
Tost up his nose, and would have cavillid;
But, calling Hermes to his aid,
Half pleas'd, half angry, thus he said :
(Where mind ('tis for the author's fame)
That Matthew call'd, and Hermes came.
In danger heroes, and in doubt
Poets find gods to help them out.)
“Friend Richard, I begin to see,
That you and I shall scarce agree.
Observe how oddly you behave:
The more I grant, the more you crave.
But, comrade, as I said just now,
I should affirm, and you allow.
We system-makers can sustain
The thesis, which you grant was plain;
And with remarks and comments tease ye,
In case the thing before was easy.
But, in a point obscure and dark,
We fight as Leibnitz did with Clarke ;
And, when no reason we can show,
Why matters this or that way go,
The shortest way the thing we try,
And what we know not, we deny ;
True to our own o'erbearing pride,
And false to all the world beside.
“That old philosopher grew cross,
Who could not tell what motion was :
Because he walk'd against his will,
He fac'd men down, that he stood still.
And he who, reading on the heart,
(When all his quodlibets of art
Could not expound its pulse and heat)
Swore he had never felt it beat.
Chrysippus, foild by Epicurus,
Makes bold (Jove bless him !) to assure us,
That all things, which our mind can view,
May be at once both false and true.
And Malebranche has an odd conceit,
As ever enter'd Frenchman's pate:
Says he, 'So little can our mind
Of matter or of spirit find,
That we by guess at least may gather
Something, which may be both, or neither.'
Faith, Dick, I must confess, 'tis true,
(But this is only entre nous)
That many knotty points there are,
Which all discuss, but few can clear;
As Nature slily had thought fit,
For some by-ends, to cross-bite wit:
Circles to square, and cubes to double,
Would give a man excessive trouble ;
The longitude uncertain roams,
In spite of Whiston and his bombs.
What system, Dick, has right averr'd
The cause why woman has no beard ?
Or why, as years our frame attack,
Our hairs grow white, our tecth grow black!
In points like these we must agree,
Our barbers know as much as we.
Yet still, unable to explain,
We must persist the best we can;
With care our system still renew,
And prove things likely, though not true.
“I could, thou seest, in quaint dispute,
By dint of logic, strike thee mute;
With learned skill, now push, now parry,
From Darii to Bocardo vary,
And never yield; or, what is worst,
Never conclude the point discours'd.
Yet, that you hic & nunc may know
How much you to my candor owe,
I'll from the disputant descend,
To show thee, I assume the friend
I'll take thy notion for my own..
(So most philosophers have done)
It makes my system more complete :
Dick, can it have a nobler fate ?"! (friend
“ Take what thou wilt," said Dick, "dear But bring thy matters to an end."
"I find," quoth Mat, “ reproof is vain :
Who first offend, will first complain.
Thou wishest I should make to shore ;
Yet still putt'st in thy thwarting oar.
What I have told thee fifty times
In prose, receive for once in rhymes :
A huge fat man in country-fair,
Or city-church, (no matter where,)
Labor'd and push'd amidst the crowd,
Still bawling out extremely loud,
• Lord save us! why do people press!
Another, marking his distress,
Friendly replied, “Plump gentleman,
Get out as fast as e'er you can;
Or cease to push, or to exclaim:
You make the very crowd you blame.""
Says Dick, “ Your moral does not need
The least return; so e'en proceed :
Your tale, howe'er applied, was short:
So far, at least, I thank you for 'l."
Mat took his thanks; and, in a tone
More magisterial, thus went on.
“Now Alma settles in the head, As has before been sung or said:
And here begins this farce of life;
Enter Revenge, Ambition, Strise:
Behold on both sides men advance,
To form in earnest Bays's dance.
L'Avare, not using half his store,
Still grumbles that he has no more ;
Strikes not the present tun, for fear
The vintage should be bad next year;
And eats 10-day with inward sorrow,
And dread of fancied want to-morrow.
Abroad if the surlout you wear
Repels the rigor of the air ;
Would you be warmer, if at home
You had the fabric and the loom?
And, if two boots keep out the weather,
What need you have two hides of leather ?
Could Pedro, think you, make no trial
Of a sonała on his viol,
Unless he had the total gut
Whence every string at first was cut ?
“ When Rarus shows you his cartone,
He always tells you, with a groan,
Where two of that same hand were torn,
Long before you or he were born.
Poor Vento's mind so much is crost,
For part of his Petronius lost,
That he can never take the pains
To understand what yet remains.
" What toil did honest Curio take, What strict inquiries did he make, To get one medal wanting yet, And perfect all his Roman set ! 'Tis found : and, 0 his happy lot! 'Tis bought, lock'd up, and lies forgot : Of these no more you hear him speak : He now begins upon the Greek. These, rang'd and show'd, shall in their turns Remain obscure as in their urns. My copper lamps, at any rate,
For being true antique, I bought;
Yet wisely melted down my plate,
On modern models to be wrought:
And trifles I alike pursue,
Because they're old, because they're new.
“ Dick, I have seen you with delight,
For Georgy* make a paper kite.
And simple ode too many show ye
My servile complaisance to Chloe.
Parents and lovers are decreed
By Nature fools.”_" That's brave, indeed!"
Quoth Dick: "such truths are worth receiving."
Yet still Dick look'd as not believing.
** Now, Alma, to divines and prose
I leave thy frauds, and crimes, and woes ;
Nor think to-night of thy ill-nature,
But of thy follies, idle creature !
The turns of thy uncertain wing,
And not the malice of thy sting:
Thy pride of being great and wise
I do but mention, to despise ;
I view, with anger and disdain,
How little gives thee joy or pain;
A print, a bronze, a flower, a root,
A shell, a butterfly, can do't :
Ev'n a romance, a tune, a rhyme,
Help thee to pass the tedious time,
Which else would on thy hand remain;
Though, flown, it ne'er looks back again ;
And cards are dealt, and chess-boards brought,
To ease the pain of coward Thought:
Happy result of human wit!
That Alma may herself forget.
“ Dick, thus we act; and thus we are,
Or toss'd by hope, or sunk by care.
With endless pain this man pursues
What, if he gain'd, he could not use :
And t'other fondly hopes to see
What never was, nor e'er shall be.
We err by use, go wrong by rules,
In gesture grave, in action fools :
We join hypocrisy to pride,
Doubling the faults we strive to hide.
Or grant that, with extreme surprise,
We find ourselves at sixty wise,
And twenty pretty things are known,
of which we can't accomplish one;
Whilst, as my system says, the Mind
Is to these upper rooms confin'd.
Should I, my friend, at large repeat
Her borrow'd sense, her fond conceit,
The bead-roll of her vicious tricks,
My poem would be too prolix.
For, could I my remarks sustain,
Like Socrates, or Miles Montaigne,
Who in these times would read my books,
But Tom o'Stiles, or John o'Nokes?
“ As Brentford kings, discreet and wise,
After long thought and grave advice,
Into Lardella's coffin peeping,
Saw nought to cause their mirth or weeping:
So Alma, now to joy or grief
Superior, finds her late relief:
Wearied of being high or great,
And nodding in her chair of state ;
Stunn'd and worn out with endless chat
Of Will did this, and Nan said that;
She finds, poor thing, some liule crack,
Which Nature, forc'd by Time, must make,
Through which she wings her destin'd way;
Upward she soars, and down drops clay:
While some surviving friend supplies
Hic jacet, and a hundred lies.
" Richard, till that day appears, Which must decide our hopes and fears, Would Fortune calm her present rage, And give us playthings for our age : Would Clotho wash her hands in milk, And twist our thread with gold and silk; Would she, in friendship, peace and plenty, Spin out our years to four times twenty ; And should we both, in this condition, Have conquer'd Love, and worse Ambition, (Else those two passions, by the way, May chance to show us scurvy play.) Then, Richard, then should we sit down, Far from the tumult of this town; I fond of my well-chosen seat, My pictures, medals, books complete. Or, should we mix our friendly talk, O'ershaded in that favorite walk, Which thy own hand had whilom planted, Both pleas'd with all we thought we wanted . Yet then, ev'n then, one cross reflection Would spoil thy grove, and my collection:
Thy son, and his, ere that, may die,
And Time some uncouth heir supply,
Who shall for nothing else be kuown
But spoiling all that thou hast done.
Who set the twigs shall he remember
That is in haste to sell the timber?
THE VANITY OF THE WORLD.
And what shall of thy woods remain,
Except the box that threw the main ?
· Nay, may not Time and Death remove
IN THREE BOOKS.
The near relations whom I love?
And my coz Tom, or his coz Mary,
“Ο Βίος γάρ δνομ' έχει, πόνος δ' έργω πέλει. (Who hold the plow, or skim the dairy.)
EURIP. My favorite books and pictures sell
Siquis Deus mihi largiatur, ut ex hac ætate repuerascam, et in To Smart, or Doiley, by the ell ?
cunis vagiam, valde recusem.CIC. de Senect. Kindly throw in a little figure, And set the price upon the bigger ?
The bevailing of man's miseries has been elegantly and copiThose who could never read the grammar, ously set forth by many in the writings as well of philosoWhen my dear volumes touch the hammer, phers as divines; and is both a pleasant and a profitable conMay think books best, as richest bound;
My copper medals by the pound
May be with learned justice weigh’d;
To turn the balance, Olho's head
May be thrown in; and, for the metal,
The coin may mend a tinker's keule-
“Tir'd with these thoughts"-"Less tird Texts chiefly alluded to in Book I
“The words of the Preacher the son of David, king of Quoth Dick, “ with your philosophy
Jerusalem."--Eccles, chap. i. ver. 1.
That people live and die, I knew
An hour ago, as well as you.
“Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities, And, if Fate spins us longer years,
all is vanity."-Ver. 2. Or is in haste to take the shears,
" I communed with mine own heart, saying, Lo, I am I know we must both fortunes try,
come to great estate, and have gotten more wisdom And bear our evils, wet or dry.
than all they that have been before me in Jerusalem : Yet, let the goddess smile or frown,
yea, iny heart had great experience of wisdom and Bread we shall eat, or white or brown;
knowledge."--Ver. 16. And in a cottage, or a court, Drink fine chumpaigne, or muddled port.
“ He spake of trees, from the cedar-tree that is in Leba. What need of books these truths to tell,
non, even unto the hyssop that springeth out of the Which folks perceive who cannot spell ?
wall: he spake also of beasts, and of fowl, and of And must we spectacles apply,
creeping things, and of fishes."–1 Kings, chap. iv. ver.
33. To view what hurts our naked cye! “Sir, if it be your wisdom's aim
"I know, that whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever; To make me merrier than I am,
nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it; I'll be all night at
and God doeth it, that men should fear before him." devotion
your Come on, friend, broach the pleasing notion ;
Eccles. chap. iii. ver. 14. But, if you would depress my thought,
"He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also Your system is not worth a groal
he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man “For Plato's fancies what care I?
can find out the work that God maketh from the be. I hope you would not have me die,
ginning to the end."-Ver. 11. Like simple Cato in the play,
“For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that in. For any thing that he can say:
creaseth knowledge, increaseth sorrow."-ch. i. ver. 18. E'en let him of ideas speak
" And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of To heathens in his native Greek.
making many books there is no end: and much study If to be sad is to be wise,
is a weariness of the flesh."-ch. xii. ver. 12. I do most heartily despise Whatever Socrates has said,
THE ARGUMENT. Or Tully writ, or Wanley read. “Dear Drift,* to set our matters right,
SOLOMON, seeking happiness from knowledge, conRemove these papers from my sight;
venes the learned men of his kingdom ; requires Burn Mat's Des-cart, and Aristotle :
them to explain to him the various operations Here! Jonathan, your master's boule."
and effects of Nature; discourses of vegetables, animals, and man; proposes some questions
concerning the origin and situation of the habi• Mr. Prior's secretary and executor.
table Earth ; proceeds to examine the system of the visible Heaven; doubts if there may not be a plurality of worlds ; inquires into the nature of spirits and angels ; and wishes to be more
fully informed as to the attributes of the Supreme Wanting the Sun, why does the caltha fade ?
Being. He is imperfectly answered by the rab- Why does the cypress flourish in the shade ?
bins and doctors; blames his own curiosity; and The fig and date, why love they to remain
concludes, that, as to human science, All is In middle station, and an even plain :
While in the lower marsh the gourd is found,
And while the hill with olive shade is crown d ? YE sons of men, with just regard attend,
Why does one climate and one soil endue Observe the preacher, and believe the friend, The blushing popny with a crimson hue, Whose serious Muse inspires him to explain, Yet leave the lily pale, and linge the violet blue? That all we act, and all we think, is vain; Why does the fond carnation love to shoot That, in this pilgrimage of seventy years,
A various color from one parent root; O'er rocks of perils, and through vales of tears, While the fantastic tulip strives to break Destin'd to march, our doubtful steps we tend, In twofold beauty, and a parted streak ? Tir'd with the toil, yet fearful of its end:
The twining jasmine and the blushing rose, That from the womb we take our fatal shares With lavish grace, their morning scents disclose : Of follies, passions, la bors, lumults, cares ; The smelling tuberose and jonquil declare And, at approach of Death, shall only know The stronger impulse of an evening air. The truth, which from these pensive numbers flow, Whence has the tree (resolve me), or the flower, That we pursue false joy, and suffer real woe. A various instinct, or a different power ?
Happiness, object of that waking dream, Why should one earth, one clime, one stream, one Which we call life, mistaking: fugitive theme
breath, Of my pursuing verse, ideal shade,
Raise this to strength, and sicken that to death? Notional good, by fancy only made,
“Whence does it happen, that the plant, which And by tradition nurs'd, fallacious fire,
well Whose dancing beams mislead our fond desire, We name the Sensitive, should move and feel ? Cause of our care, and error of our mind ; Whence know her leaves to answer her command, Oh! hadst thou ever heen by Heaven design'd And with quick horror fly the neighboring hand? To Adam, and his mortal race; the boon
“ Along the sunny bank, or watery mead, Entire had been reserv'd for Solomon:
Ten thousand stalks the various blossoms spread On me the partial lot had been bestow'd,
Peaceful and lowly in their native soil, And in my cup the golden draught had flow'd. They neither know to spin, nor care to toil ;
But 0! ere yet original man was made, Yet with confess'd magnificence deride Ere the foundations of this Earth were laid, Our vile attire, and impotence of pride. It was, opponent to our search, ordain'd
The cowslip smiles, in brighter yellow dress'd That joy, still sought, should never be attain'd. Than that which veils the nubile virgin's breast : This sad experience cites me to reveal,
A fairer red stands blushing in the rose And what I dictate is from what I feel.
Than that which on the bridegroom's vestment Born, as I was, great David's favorite son,
Dear to my people, on the Hebrew throne, Take but the humblest lily of the field,
Sublime my court, with Ophir's treasures blest, And, if our pride will to our reason yield,
My name extended to the farthest east,
It must, by sure comparison, be shown
My body cloth'd with every outward grace, That on the regal seat great David's son,
Strength in my limbs, and beauty in my face, Array'd in all his robes and types of power,
My shining thought with fruitful notions crown'd, Shines with less glory than that simple flower.
Quick my invention, and my judgment sound : “Of fishes next, my friends, I would inquire.
“ Arise," I commun'd with myself, “arise ; How the mute race engender, or respire,
Think, to be happy; to be great, be wise : From the small fry that glide on Jordan's stream,
Content of spirit must from science flow,
Unmark'd, a multitude without a name, For 'tis a godlike attribuie to know.”
To that Leviathan, who o'er the seas I said; and sent my edict through the land : Immense rolls onward his impetuous ways, Around my throne the letter'd rabbins stand; And mocks the wind, and in the tempest plays ? Historic leaves revolve, long volumes spread, How they in warlike bands march greatly forth The old discoursing as the younger read: From freezing waters and the colder north, Attent I heard, propos’d my doubts, and said : To southern climes directing their career,
“ The vegetable world, each plant and tree, Their station changing with th' inverted year? Its seed, its name, its nature, its degree,
How all with careful knowledge are endued, I am allow'd, as Fame reports, to know
To choose their proper bed, and wave, and food ; From the fair cedar on the craggy brow
To guard their spawn, and educate their brood ? Of Lebanon, nodding supremely tall,
“Of birds, how each, according to her kind, To creeping moss and hyssop on the wall: Proper materials for her nest can find, Yet, just and conscious to myself, I find
And build a frame, which deepest thought in man A thousand doubts oppose the searching mind. Would or amend or imitate in vain?
“ I know not why the beech delights the glade How in small flights they know to try their young, With boughs extended, and a rounder shade; And teach the callow child her parent's song? Whilst towering firs in conic forms arise,
Why these frequent the plain, and those the wood? And with a pointed spear divide the skies : Why every land has her specific brood ? Nor why again the changing oak should shed Where the tall crane, or winding swallow, goes, The yearly honor of his stately head;
Fearful of gathering winds and falling snows Whilst the distinguish'd yew is ever seen, If into rocks, or hollow trees, they creep, Unchang'd his branch, and permanent his green. In temporary death confin'd to sleep;