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So, caft and mingled with his very frame,
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 dang’rous 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 pow'r ;
As Heav'n's bieft beam turns vinegar more fow'r.
We, wretched subjects tho’ to lawful sway,
In this weak queen, some fav'rite ftill obey : 150
Ah! if she lend not arms, as well as rules,
What can shę 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 155
The choice we make, or justify it made ;
Proud of an easy conqueft all along,
She but removes weak passions for the ftrong:
So, when small humours gather to a gout,
The doctor fancies he has driv’n them out. 160
Yes, Nature's road muft ever be prefer’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 Pow'r the strong direction fends, 165
And sev'ral Men impels to fev'ral ends :
Like varying winds, by other paffions toft,
This drives them constant to a certain coast.
Let pow'r or knowledge, gold or glory, please,
Or (oft more strong than all) the love of ease; 170
Thro’ life 'tis follow'd, ev'n at life's expence;
The merchant's toil, the fage's indolence,
The monk's humility, the hero's pride,
All, all alike, find Reason on their side.
Th' Eternal Art educing good from ill,
Grafts on this Paffion our best principle :
'Tis thus the Mercury of Man is fix’d,
the Virtue with his nature mix'd ; The dross cements what else were too refin’d, And one int'reft body acts with mind. 180
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 vigor working at the root. What crops of wit and honefty appear 185 From spleen, from obstinacy, hate, or fear! See anger, zeal and fortitude supply ; Ev'n av’rice, prudence ; sloth, philosophy ; Luft, thro' fome certain strainers well refin'd, Is gentle love, and charms all womankind; 190 Envy, to which th' ignoble mind's a flave, Is emulation in the learn'd or brave;
Nor Virtue, male cr female, can we name,
But what will grow on Pride, or grow on Shame.
Thus Nature gives us (let it check our pride) 195
The virtue nearest to our vice ally'd :
Reason the byas turns to good from ill,
And Nero reign a Titus, if he will.
The fiery foul abhord in Catiline,
In Decius charms, in Curtius is divine :
200 The same ambition can destroy or save, And makes a patriot as it makes a knave,
This light and darkness in our chaos join'd, What shall divide ? The God within the raind.
Ver. 204. The God within the mind.) A Platonic phrase
After ver. 194. in the MS.
How oft, with Passion, Virtue points her Charms !
Then shines the Hero, then the Patriot warms,
Peleus' great Son, or Brutus, who had known,
Had Lucrege been a Whore, or Helen none?
But Virtues opposite to make agree,
That, Reason! is thy task, and worthy Thee.
Hard talk, cries Bibulus, and reason weak.
- Make it a point, dear Marquess, or a pique.
Once, for a whim, persuade yourself to pay
A debt to reason, like a debt at play.
For right or wrong, have mortals fuffer'd more?
B- for his Prince, or ** for his Whore ?
Whose self-denials nature most controul ?
His, who would save a Sixpence, or his Soul?
Web for bis health, a Chartreux for his Sin,
Contend they not which soonest shall grow thin?
What we resolve, we can: but here's the fault,
We ne'er resolve to do the thing we ought.
Extremes in Nature equal ends produce, 205 In Man they join to some mysterious use ; Tho' each by turns the other's bounds invade, As, in some well-wrought picture, light and shade, And oft so mix, the diff’rerce is too nice Where ends the Virtue, or begins the Vice. 210
Fools! who from hence into the notion fall, That Vice cr 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; 215 'Tis to mistake them, costs the time and pain.
Vice is a monster of fo frightful mein, As, to be hated, needs but to be seen; Yet feen too oft, familiar with her face, We first endure, then pity, then embrace.
for Conscience; and here employed with great judgment and propriety. For Conscience either signifies, fpeculatively, the judgment we pass of things upon whatever principles we chance to have; and then it is only (pinion, a very unable judge and divider. Or else it fignifies, practically, the application of the eternal rule of right (received by us as the law of God) to the regulation of our actions; and then it is properly Conscience, the God (or the law of God) within the mind, of power to divide the light from the darkness in this chaos he pasions.
After ver. 220. in the first Edition followed these,
A Cheat! a Whore! who starts not at the name,
In all the Inns of Court or Drury-lane ?
But where th’ 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, Zemble, or the Lord knows where.
No creature owns it in the first degree, 225
But thinks his neighbour further gone than he ;
Ev'n those who dwell beneath its very zone,
Or never feel the rage, or never own;
What happier natures shrink at with affright,
The hard inhabitant contends is right.
Virtuous and vicious ev'ry Man must be,
Few in th' exti eme, but all in the degree ;
The rogue and fool by fits is fair and wise
And ev’n the best, by fits, what they despise..
'Tis but by parts we follow good or ill; 235
For, Vice or Virtue, Self directs it still
; Each individual seeks a sev'ral goal; Eut Heav'n's great view is One, and that the Whole, That counter-works each folly and caprice; That disappoints th' effect of ev'ry vice;
240 That, happy frailties to all ranks apply'd; Shame to the virgin, to the matron pride,
After ver. 226. in the MS.
The Col’nel swears the Agent is a dog,
The Scriv'ner vows th' Attorney is a rogue,
Against the Thief th' Attorney loud inveighs,
For whose ten pound the County twenty pays,
The Thief damns Judges, and the Knaves of State ;
And dying, mourns small Villians hang'd by great,