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Attention habit and experience gains;

Each strengthens reason, and self-love restrains. 80
Let subtle schoolmen teach these friends to fight,
More studious to divide than to unite;

And grace and virtue, sense and reason split,
With all the rash dexterity of wit.

Wits, just like fools, at war about a name,
Have full as oft no meaning or the same.
Self-love and reason to one end aspire,
Pain their aversion, pleasure their desire;
But greedy that, its object would devour,
This taste the honey, and not wound the flower: 90
Pleasure, or wrong or rightly understood,
Our greatest evil, or our greatest good.

III. Modes of self-love the passions we may call ⚫ 'Tis real good, or seeming, moves them all :

But since not every good we can divide,

And reason bids us for our own provide:

Passions, though selfish, if their means be fair,

List under reason, and deserve her care;

Those, that imparted, court a nobler aim,

Exalt their kind, and take some virtue's name. 100
In lazy apathy let Stoics boast

Their virtue's fix'd: 'tis fix'd as in a frost;
Contracted all, retiring to the breast;

But strength of mind is exercise, not rest:
The rising tempest puts in act the soul;
Parts it may ravage, but preserve the whole.
On life's vast ocean diversely we sail,
Reason the card, but passion is the gale;
Nor God alone in the still calm we find,

He mounts the storm, and walks upon the wind. 110
Passions, like elements, though born to fight,

Yet mix'd and soften'd, in his work unite:
These 'tis enough to temper and employ;
But what composes man, can man destroy?
Suffice that reason keep to nature's road,
Subject, compound them, follow her and God.

Love, hope, and joy, fair pleasure's smiling train;
Hate, fear, and grief, the family of pain;
These mix'd with art, and to due bounds confin'd,
Make and maintain the balance of the mind:
The lights and shades, whose well-accorded strife
Gives all the strength and colour of our life.



Pleasures are ever in our hands and eyes; And when in act they cease, in prospect rise: Present to grasp, and future still to find, The whole employ of body and of mind, All spread their charms, but charm not all alike On different senses, different objects strike: Hence different passions more or less inflame, As strong or weak, the organs of the frame; And hence one master passion in the breast. Like Aaron's serpent, swallows up the rest. As man, perhaps, the moment of his breath, Receives the lurking principle of death; The young disease, which must subdue at length, Grows with his growth, and strengthens with his So, cast and mingled with his very frame, [strength: The mind's disease, its ruling passion came; Each vital humour, which should feed the whole, Soon flows to this, in body and in soul: Whatever warms the heart, or fills the head, As the mind opens, and its functions spread. Imagination plies her dangerous art, And pours it all upon the peccant part. Nature its mother, habit is its nurse; Wit, spirit, faculties, but make it worse; Reason itself but gives it edge and power; As Heaven's blest beam turns vinegar more sour. We wretched subjects, though no lawful sway, In this weak queen some favourite still obey; Ah! if she lent not arms, as well as rules, What can she more than tell us we are fools! Teach us to mourn our nature, not to mend : A sharp accuser, but a helpless friend!




Or from a judge turn pleader, to persuade
The choice we make, or justify it made;
Proud of an easy conquest all along,
She but removes weak passions for the strong.
So, when small humours gather to a gout,
The doctor fancies he has driven them out.
Yes, nature's road must ever be preferr'd;
Reason is here no guide, but still a guard;
'Tis hers to rectify, not overthrow,
And treat this passion more as friend than foe:
A mightier power the strong direction sends,
And several men impels to several ends:
Like varying winds by other passions toss'd,
This drives them constant to a certain coast.
Let power or knowledge, gold or glory, please,
Or (oft more strong than all) the love of ease; 170
Through life 'tis follow'd e'en at life's expense;
The merchant's toil, the sage's indolence,
The monk's humility, the hero's pride,
All, all alike, find reason on their side

The Eternal Art, educing good from ill,
Grafts on this passion our best principle:
'Tis thus the mercury of man is fix'd,
Strong grows the virtue with his nature mix'd:
The dross cements what else were too refined,
And in one interest body acts with mind.

As fruits, ungrateful to the planter's care,
On savage stocks inserted learn to bear;
The surest virtues thus from passions shoot,
Wild nature's vigour working at the root.
What crops of wit and honesty appear
From spleen, from obstinacy, hate, or fear!
See anger, zeal and fortitude supply;
E'en avarice, prudence; sloth, philosophy;
Lust, through some certain strainers well refined,
Is gentle love, and charms all womankind;
Envy, to which the ignoble mind's a slave,
Is emulation in the learn'd or brave;



Nor virtue, male or female, can we name,

But what will grow on pride, or grow on shame.

Thus Nature gives us (let it check our pride) The virtue nearest to our vice allied:

Reason the bias turns to good from ill,

And Nero reigns a Titus, if he will.
The fiery foul abhorr'd in Catiline,

In Decius charms, in Curtius is divine:


The same ambition can destroy or save,

And makes a patriot as it makes a knave.

IV. This light and darkness in our chaos join'd,
What shall divide? The God within the mind.
Extremes in nature equal ends produce,
In man they join to some mysterious use;
Though each by turns the other's bounds invade,
As, in some well-wrought picture, light and shade,
And oft so mix, the difference is too nice
Where ends the virtue, or begins the vice.

Fools! who from hence into the notion fall,
That vice and virtue there is none at all.
If white and black blend, soften, and unite
A thousand ways, is there no black or white?
Ask your own heart, and nothing is so plain;
'Tis to mistake them, costs the time and pain.
V. Vice is a monster of so frightful mein,
As, to be hated, needs but to be seen;
Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face,
We first endure, then pity, then embrace.



But where the extreme of vice, was ne'er agreed;
Ask where's the north? at York, 'tis on the Tweed:
In Scotland, at the Orcades; and there,
At Greenland, Zembla, or the Lord knows where.

No creature owns it in the first degree,

But thinks his neighbour farther gone than he:
E'en those who dwell beneath its very zone,
Or never feel the rage, or never own;
What happier nature shrink at with affright
The hard inhabitant contends is right.


Virtuous and vicious every man must be,
Few in the extreme, but all in the degree;
The rogue and fool by fits is fair and wise;
And e'en the best, by fits, what they despise.
'Tis but by parts we follow good or ill;
For, vice or virtue, self directs it still;
Each individual seeks a several goal;


But Heaven's great view, is one, and that the whole
That counterworks each folly and caprice;
That disappoints the effects of every vice;
That, happy frailties to all ranks applied,
Shame to the virgin, to the matron pride;
Fear to the statesman, rashness to the chief;
To kings presumption, and to crowds belief:
That, virtue's ends from vanity can raise,
Which seeks no interest, no reward but praise;
And build on wants, and on defects of mind,
The joy, the peace, the glory of mankind.

Heaven forming each on other to depend

A master, or a servant, or a friend,
Bids each on other for assistance call,


Till one man's weakness grows the strength of all. Wants, frailties, passions, closer still ally

The common interest, or endear the tie.

To these we owe true friendship, love sincere,
Each home-felt joy that life inherits here;

Yet from the same we learn, in its decline,

Those joys, those loves, those interests, to resign.
Taught half by reason, half by mere decay,
To welcome death, and calmly pass away.
Whate'er the passion, knowledge, fame, or pelf,
Not one will change his neighbour with himself.

The learn'd is happy nature to explore,

The fool is happy that he knows no more;

The rich is happy in the plenty given;

The poor contents him with the care of Heaven.
See the blind beggar dance, the cripple sing,
The sot a hero, lunatic a king;


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