Слике страница

Boastful and rough your first Soni a Squired; Thenexta Tradesmån méck, and much a Tom struts a Soldier, open, bold and Brave; Will sneaks a Soriéner, an exceeding Knaveni

E P I S T L E I.


ES, you despise the man to Books confin'd,

Who from his study rails at human kind; 1 Tho' what he learns he speaks, and may advance

"Some gen’ral maxims, or be right by chance. The coxcomb bird, so talkative and grave, 5 That from his cage cries Cuckold, Whore, and Knave, Tho' many a passenger he rightly call, You hold him no Philosopher at all. And yet

the fate of all extremes is such,
Men may be read, as well as Books, too much.
To obfervations which ourselves we make,
We grow more partial for th’ Observer's fake ;
To written Wisdom, as another's, less :
Maxims are drawn from Notions, those from Guess.
There's some Peculiar in each leaf and grain, 15
Some unmark'd fibre, or fome varying vein ;
Shall only Man be taken in the gross ?
Grant but as many sorts of Mind as Moss.

That each from other differs, first confess ;
Next, that he varies from himself no less; 20
Add Nature's, Custom's, Reason's, Paffion's (trife,
And all Opinion's colours cast on life.

Our depths who fathoms, or our fhallows finds,
Quick whirls, and shifting eddies, of our minds?


On human actions reason tho' you can,

25 It

may be reason, but it is not Man:
His Principle of action once explore,
That instant ’tis his Principle no more.
Like following life thro' creatures you dissect,
You lose it in the moment you detect.

Yet more ; the diff'rence is as great between
The optics seeing, as the objects seen.
All Manners take a tincture from our own ;
Or come discolour'd thro' our Passions shown.
Or Fancy's beam enlarges, multiplies,

35 Contracts, inverts, and gives ten thousand dyes.

Nor, will Life's stream for observation stay, It hurries all too fast to mark their way : In vain fedate reflections we would make, When half our knowledge we must snatch, not take. Oft in the Passions' wild rotation toft,

41 Our spring of adion to ourselves is loft:

VIR. 26. It may be Reason but it is not Man: ] i.e. The Philosopher' may invent a rational bypotbesis that shall account for the appearances he would investigate ; and yet that hypothefis be all the while very wide of trutb and the nature of things.

VER. 33. All Manners take a tincture from our own ; - Or come discolour'd tbro' our Passions hown.] These two lines are remarkable for the exactness and propriety of expression, The word tincture, which implies a weak colour given by degrees, well defcribes the influence of the Manners ; and the word discolour, which implies a quicker change and by a deeper dye, denotes as well the operation of the Paffions.


[ocr errors]

Tir’d, not determin’d, to the last we yield,
And what comes then is mafter of the field.
As the last image of that troubled heap,

45 When fenfe fubfides, and Fancy sports in sleep, (Tho' past the recollection of the thought) Becomes the stuff of which our dream is wrought : Something as dim to our internal view, Is thus, perhaps, the cause of most we do.

True, some are open, and to all men known ; Others so

very close, they're hid from none; (So darkness strikes the sense no less than Light) Thus gracious CHANDOs is belov'd at fight; And ev'ry child hates Shylack, tho' his soul

55 Still sits at squat, and peeps not from its hole. At half mankind when gen'rous Manly raves, All know 'tis Virtue, for he thinks them knaves : When universal homage Umbra pays, All see 'tis Vice, and itch of vulgar praise. 60 When Flatt'ry glares, all hate it in a Queen, While one there is who charms us with his Spleen.

But these plain Characters we rarely find; Tho' strong the bent, yet quick the turns of mind : Or puzzling Contraries confound the whole; 65 Or Affectations quite reverse the soul. The Dull, fat Falfhood serves, for policy: And in the Cunning, Truth itself's a lye : Unthought-of Frailties cheat us in the Wise ; The Fool lies hid in inconsistencies,


« ПретходнаНастави »