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Tho' the same sun with all-diffusive
145 Blush in the rose, and in the Di'mond blaze, We prize the stronger effort of his pow'r, And justly set the Gem above the Flow'r.
'Tis Education forms the common mind, Just as the Twig is bent, the Tree's inclin’d.
150 Boastful and rough, your first son is a 'Squire ; The next a Tradesman, meek, and much a lyar; Tom struts a Soldier, open, bold, and brave; Will sneaks a Scriv’ner, an exceeding knave: 154 Is he a Churchman ? then he's fond of pow'r : A Quaker? fly: A Presbyterian ? sow'r: A smart Free-thinker? all things in an hour.
Ask mens Opinions: Scoto now shall tell How Trade increases, and the world
goes Strike off his Pension, by the setting fun, And Britain, if not Europe, is undone.
That gay Free-thinker, a fine talker once, What turns him now a stupid silent dunce ? Some God, or Spirit he has lately found; Or chanc'd to meet a Minifer that frown'd. 165
Ver. 164, 165. Some God, cr Spirit be bas lately found; Or chanc'd to meet a Minifier that frown’d.] Disasters the most unlooked for, as they were what the Free-thinker's Speculations and Practice were principally directed to avoid.—The poet here alludes to the ancient classical opinion, that the sudden vision of a God was supposed to trike the irreverend observer speechless. He has only a little extended the conceit, and supposed, that the tërrors of a Court-God might have the like eliect on a very devoted worshipper,
Judge we by Nature ? Habit can efface,
Search then the Ruling PASSION: There, alone,
VER. 172. 173. Manners with Fortunes, Humours turn with Climes, Tinets with Books, and Principles with Times.] The poet had hitherto reckoned up the several simple causes that hinder our knowledge of the natural characters of men. In these two fine lines he describes the complicated causes. Humours bear the same relation to Manners, that Principles do to Teners; that is, the former are modes of the latter; our Marners (says the Poet) are warped from nature by our Fortunes or Stations ; our Tenets, by our Books or Professions ; and then each drawn still more.oblique, into humour and political principles, by the teinperature of the climate, and the constitution of the government,
: VsR. 174. Search then the ruling Pasion :) See Essay CA Man, Ep. ii. 133. et seq.
Wharton, the scorn and wonder of our days,
Ver. 181. The Luft of Praise :) This very well expressesthe grossness of his appet'te for it; where the firength of the Passion had destroyed all the delicacy of the Sensation.
VER. 187. John Wilmot, E. of Rochester, famous for his Wit and Extravagancies in the time of Charles the Second.
Ver. 189. With the same spirit] Spirit, for principle, not passion.
A Fool, with more of Wit than half mankind, 200
Nature well known, no prodigies remain,
Ver. 200. A Fool, with more of Wit] Folly, join'd with much Wit, produces that behaviour which we call Abfurdity; and this Abfurdity the poet has here admirably described in the words,
Too rash for Thought, for Action too refin'd. by which we are made to understand, that the person described gave a loose to his Fancy when he should have used his Judgment; and pursued his Speculations when he shculd have trusted to his Experience.
Ver. 207. 'Trvas all for fear, etc:] To understand this, we must observe, that the List of general praise made the person, whose Characier is here so admirably drawn, both extravagant and fiagitious; his Madness was to please the Fools,
Women and Fools must like him, or he dies, And his Crimes to avoid the censure of the Knaves,
'Twas all for fear the Knaves should call him Fool,
Nature well known, no Miracles remain.
Yet, in this search, the wisest may mistake, 210
214 Were means, not ends; Ambition was the vice.
Prudence and Honesty being the two qualities that Fools and Knaves are most interested, and consequently most industrious, to misrepresent.
VER. 209. Comets are regular, and Wharton plain.] This illustration has an exquifite beauty, arising from the exactness of the analogy: For, as the appearance of irregularity, in a Comet’s motion, is occasioned by the greatness of the force which pushes it round a very eccentric orb; so it is the violence of the Ruling Passion, that, impatient for its object, in the impetuosity of its course towards it, is frequently hurried to an immense distance from it, which occasions all that puzzling inconsistency of conduct we observe in it.
VER. 213.-A noble Dame a whore ;] The sister of Cato, and mother of Brutus.
VER. 215. Ambition was the vice.] Pride, Vanity, and Anbition are such bordering and neighbouring vices, and hold so much in common, that we generally find them going together, and therefore, as generally mistake them for one another. This does not a little contribute to our confounding Characters ; for they are, in lity, very different and distinct, so much so, that 'tis remarkable, the three greatest Men in Rome, and contemporaries, possessed each of these separately, without the leaft mixture of the other two: The Men I mean were Cæsar, Cato, and Cicero : For Cæsar had Ambition without either vanity or pride; Cato had Pride without ambition or vanity; and Cicero had Vanity without pride or ambition, Vol. III.