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And grant the bad what happiness they wou'd,
Oh blind to truth, and God's whole scheme below,
VIR. 100. Sec god-like Turenne] This epithet has a peculiar juftness; the great man to whom it is applied not being diftinguished, from other generals, for any of his superior qualities so much as for his providential care of those whom he led to war; which was so uncommon, that his chief purpose in taking on himself the command of armies, seems to have been the Preservation of Mankind. In this god-like care he was more diftinguishably employed throughout the whole course of that famous campaign in which he loft his life,
Let fober Moralists correct their speech,
Why drew Marfeilles' good bishop purer breath,
115 Short, and but rare, 'till Man improv'd it all. We just as wisely might of Heav'n complain That righteous Abel was destroy'd by Cain, As that the virtuous fon is ill at ease When his lewd father gave the dire disease. Think we, like some weak Prince, th’Eternal Cause Prone for his fav’rites to reverse his laws ?
Ver. 110. Lent Heav'n a parent, etc.] This laft inftance of the poet's illustration of the ways of Providence, the reader fees, has a peculiar elegance ; where a tribute of piety to a parent is paid in a return of thanks to, and made subfervient of, his vindication of the Great Giver and Father of all things. The Mother of the Author, a person of great piety and charity, died the year this poem was finished, vim, 1733
Of ev'ry evil, since the world began,
Shall burning Ætna, if a fage requires, Forget to thunder, and recall her fires : On air or sea new motions he imprest,
125 Oh blameless Bethel ! to relieve thy breast? When the loose mountain trembles from on high, Shall gravitation cease, if you go by ? Or some old temple, nodding to its fall, For Chartres' head reserve the hanging wall ? 130
But still this world (so fitted for the knave) Contents us not. A better shall we have ? A kingdom of the juft then let it be: But first consider how those Just agree. The good muft merit God's peculiar care ; 135 But who, but God, can tell us who they are ? One thinks on Calvin Heav'n's own spirit fell ; Another deems him initrument of hell ; If Calvin feel Heav'n's bleffing, or its rod, This cries there is, and that, there is no God. 140 What shocks one part will edify the rest, Nor with one system can they all be blest.
Ver. 123. Sball burning Ærna, etc.] Alluding to the fata of those two great Naturalists, Empedocles and Pliny, who both perish'd by too near an approach to Ætna and Vesuvius, while they were exploring the cause of their eruptions.
VARIATIONS. After ver. 142. in some Editions,
Give each a System, all must be at strife ;
What diff'rent Systems for a Man and Wife ? The joke, though lively, was ill placed, and therefore truck out of the text.
The very best will variously incline,
146 And which more bleft? who chain'd his country, say, Or he whose Virtue figh'd to lose a day?
“ But sometimes Virtue ftarves, while Vice is fed." What then? Is the reward of Virtue bread ?
150 That, Vice may merit, 'tis the price of toil ; The knave deserves it, when he tills the soil, The knave deserves it, when he tempts the main, Where folly fights for kings, or dives for gain. The good man may be weak, be indolent ; 155 Nor is his claim to plenty, but content. But
grant him riches, your demand is o'er ? * No
shall the good want Health, the good want
“ Pow'r?” Add Health and Pow'r, and ev'ry earthly thing, “ Why bounded Pow'r ! why private ? why no king?”
160 Nay, why external for internal giv'n? Why is not Man a God, and Earth a Heav'n? Who ask and reason thus, will scarce conceive God gives enough, while he has more to give : Immense the pow'r, immense were the demand ; Say, at what part of nature will they stand? 166
What nothing earthly gives, or can destroy, The foul's calm fun-fhine, and the heart-felt joy,
Is Virtue's prize: A better would you fix ?
Ver, 177, Go, like tbe Indian, etc.) Alluding to the example of the Indian, in Epist. i. ver. 99. and thewing, that that example was not given to discredit any rational hopes of future happiness, but only to reprove the folly of separating them from charity : as when
· Zeal, not Charity became the guide,
Say, what rewards this idle world imparts,