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The young disease, that must subdue at length,
Nature, its mother, habit is its nurse;
We, wretched subjects, though to lawful sway, In this weak queen, some favourite still obey: Ah! if she lend uot arms as well as rules, What can she 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 The choice we make, or justify it made; Proud of an easy conquest all along, She but removes weak passions for the strong: So when small humours gather to a gout, The doctor fancies he has driv'n them out.
Yes, nature's road must ever be preferr d ; Reason is here no guide, but still a guard; 'Tis hier's to rectify, not overthrow, And treat this passion more as friend than foe : A mightier pow'r the strong direction sends, And several men impels to several ends : Like varying winds, by other passions tost, 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; Through life 'tis follow'd, ev'n at life's expence; The merchant's toil, the sage's indolence, The monk's humility, the hero's pride, All, all alike, find reason on their side.
The' eternal art educing good from ill,
As fruits ungrateful to the planter's care,
Thus nature gives us (let it check our pride)
4. This light and darkness in our chaos join'd, What shall divide ?-the God within the mind."
Extremes in nature equal ends produce ; Ia man they join to some mysterious use; Though each by turns the other's bounds invade, As in some well-wrought picture light and shade, And oft so mix, the difference is too nice Where ends the virtue or begins the vice.
Fools ! who from hence into the notion fall *That vice or 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 ; 'Tis to mistake them costs the time and pain.
5. Vice is a monster of so frightful mien, As to be hated needs but to be seen; Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face, We first endure, then pity, then embrace. But where the 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, Zembla, or the Lord knows where. No creature owns it in the first degree, 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 every man must be, Few in the extreme, 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; For vice or virtue self directs it still; Each individual seeks a several goal ; But Heaven's great view is one, and that the whole: That counterworks each folly and caprice ; That disappoints the effect of every vice; That happy frailties to all ranks applied, Shame to the virgin, to the matron pride, Fear to the statesman, rashness to the chief, To kings presumption, and to crowds belief: That virtue's ends from vanity can raise, Which seeks no interest, no reward but praise ; And build on wants, and on defects of mind, The joy, the peace, the glory of mankind !
Heav'n forming each on other to depend, A master, or a servant, or a friend, Bids each on other for assistance call, Till one man's weakness grows the strength of all. Wants, frailties, passions, closer still ally The common interest, or endear the tie.
To these we owe true friendship, love sincere, Each home-felt joy that life inherits here; Yet from the same we learn, in its decline, Those joys, those loves, those interests, to resigu; Taught, half by reason, half by mere decay, To welcome death, and calmly pass away. Whate'er the passion, knowledge, fame, or pelf, Not one will change his neighbour with himself. The learn'd is happy nature to explore, The fool is happy that he knows no more; The rich is happy in the plenty giv'n, The poor contents him with the care of Heav'n. See the blind beggar dance, the cripple sing, The sot a hero, lunatic a king; The starving chemist in his golden views Supremely bless'd, the poet in his muse.
See some strange comfort every state attend, And pride bestow'd on all, a common friend : See some fit passion every age supply ; Hope travels through, nor quits us when we die.
Behold the child, by Nature's kindly law, Pleas'd with a rattle, tickled with a straw: Some livelier plaything gives his youth delight, A little louder, but as empty quite: Scarfs, garters, gold, amuse his riper stage, And beads and pray'r-books are the toys of age : Pleas'd with this bauble still, as that before, Till tir'd he sleeps, and life's poor play is o'er.
Meanwhile opinion gilds with varying rays Those painted clouds that beautify our days; Each want of happiness by hope supplied, And each vacuity of sense by pride : These build as fast as knowledge can destroy; In folly's cup still laughs the bubble joy ; One prospect lost, another still we gain, And not a vanity is given in vain : Ev'n mean self-love becomes, by force divine, The scale to measure others' wants by thine. See ! and confess one comfort still must rise; Tis this,--Though man's a fool, yet God is wise.
of the Nature and State of Man with respect
ARGUMENT. 1. The whole universe one system of society - Nothing
made wholly for itself, nor yet wholly for another The happiness of animals mutual.-2. Reason or instinct operate alike to the good of each individual.-Reason or instinct operate also to society in all animals.-3. How far society is carried by instinct ;-how much far. ther by reason.-4. Of that which is called the state of nature. ---Reason instructed by instinct in the invention of arts :---ard in the forms of society.---5. Origin of political societies ;---origin of monarchy;---patriarchal government.-6. Origin of true religion, and government, from the same principle of love ;--origin of superstition and tyranny, from the same principle of fear.---The influence of self-love operating to the social and public good.--Restoration of true religion and government on their first principle..--Mixed government.--Various forms
of each, and the true end of all. HERE then we rest :-" the Universal Cause
Acts to one end, but acts by various laws." In all the madness of superfluous health, The trim of pride, the impudence of wealth, Let this great truth be present night and day, But most be present, if we preach or pray.
1. Look round our world; behold the chain of love Combining all 'below and all above. See plastic Nature working to this end, The single atoms each to other tend, Attract, attracted to, the next in place Form'd and impell’d its neighbour to embrace. See matter next, with various life endued, Press to one centre still, the general good: See dying vegetables life sustain, See life dissolving vegetate again : All forms that perish other forms supply, (By turns we catch the vital breath, and die)