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MORAL ESSAYS

IN

FOUR EPISTLES

Τ ο

SEVERAL PERSONS

Elt brevitate opus, ut currat fententia, neu se
Impediat verbis lassas onerantibus aures:
Et fermone opus est modo tristi, faepe jocoso,
Defendente vicem modo Rhetoris atque Poetae,
Interdum urbani, parcentis viribus, atque
Extequantis eas consulto.

HOR.

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THAT it is not sufficient for this knowledge to con

lider man in the abstract: Books will not serve the purpose, nor yet our own experience singly, ver. 1. General maxims. unless they be formed upon both,, will be but notional, v. 10. Some peculiarity in: every man, characteristic to himself, yet varying from himself, v. 15.

Difficulties arising from our own passions, fancies, faculties, &c. v. 31. The shortness of life to observe in, and the uncertainty of the principles of action in men to observe by, V. 37, &c.

Our own principle of action often hid. from ourselves, v. 41. Some few characters. plain, but in general confounded, dissembled, or inconsiste ent, v. 51. The same man utterly different in difm ferent places and seasons, v, 73. Unimaginable weaknesses in the greatest, v. 77, &c. Nothing conftant and certain but God and Nature, v. 95. Na

judging of the motives from the actions; the same actions proceeding from contrary motives, and the fame motives influencing contrary actions, v. 100, II. Yet to form characters, we can only take the strongest actions of a man's life, and try to make them agree : The utter uncertainty of this, from nature itself, and from policy, v, 120. Characters given according to the rank of men of the world, v. 135. And fome reason for it, v. 140. Education alters the nature, or at least character, of many, V. 149. Actions, passions, opinions, manners, humours, or principles, all subject to change. No judging by nature, from v. 158 to 178. III. It only remains to find (if we can) his RULING PASSION: That will certainty influence all the rest, and can reconcile the seeming or real inconsistency of all his actions, verse 175. Instanced in the extraordinary character of Clodio, verse 179. A caution against mistaking second qualities for first, which will destroy all possibility of the knowledge of mankind, v. 210. Examples of the strength of the Ruling Passion, and its continuation to the last breath, verse 222, &c.

YES, you despise the man to books confin’d,

Who from his study rails at human kind;
Tho' what he learns he speaks, and may advance
Some general maxims, or be right by chance.
The coxcomb bird, so talkative and grave,
That from his cage cries cuckold, whore, and knave,

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