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Be patient, Nymph, and if deriv'd from Hear'n, Thither lift up thy Eyes; all Good or Ill Derives from thence, as Streams from Fountains flow, Or Plants spring from their Roots : And tho' all Good Here upon Earth, is greatly mix'd with Ill; Yet there, where all is good, it turns to Good.
But fometimes Virtue starvęs while Vice is fed.
The good Man may be weak, be indolent,
Such People asking as a Reward for Virtue what would most certainly destroy it, he concludes therefore on the Whole, that,
What nothing earthly gives, or can destroy, The Soul's calm Sunshine, and the Heart felt Joy Is Virtue's Prize.
The Poet (fays our Commentator) begins therefore [from 1. 174 to 195] with considering Riches. 1. He examines first, what there is of real Value in them, and thews, they can give the good Man only that very Contentment he had before, or, at most, but burthen him with a Truft to be dispens'd for the Benefit of others : For Riches, can they give but to the Juft His own Contentment, or another's Truft? Since the good Man esteems all, beside what is fufficient to supply him with the Conveniencies of Life, as entrusted to him by Providence, for the Supply of others Necessaries. 'Tis true, he tells us elsewhere, that another Sort of good Men are of a different Opinion : The grave Sir-Gilbert holds it for a Rule, That ev'ry Man in Want is Knave or Fool:
all of it, besides what we hear ourselves, is merely nothing; and that even of this fmall Portion, nó more of it gives the Poffeffor a real Satisfaction, than what is the Fruit of Virtue. All Fame is foreign, but of trus Defert, Plays round the Head, but comes not near the Heart, Thus he shews, that Honour, Nobility, Greatness, Glory, so far as they have any Thing real and subftantial, that is, so far as they contribute to the Happiness of the Possessor, are the sole Issue of Virtue, and that neither Riches, Courts, Armies, nor the Populace, are capable of conferring them.
V. But lastly, the Poet proves [from l. 248 to 259) that as there are no external Goods can make Man happy, so neither is it in the Power of all internal. For, that even superior Parts bring no more real Happinefs to the Poffeffor, than the rest, nay, put him into a worse Condition; for that the Quickness of Apprehension, and Depth of Penetration do but sharpen the Miseries of Life:
In Parts fuperior, what Advantage lies? Tell (for You can) what is it to be wise ? 'Tis but to know how little can be known; To see all others Faults, and feel our own, &c. Painful Pre-eminence! yourself to view Above Life's Weakness, and its Comforts too. This to his Friend-nor does it at all contradict what he had said to him concerning Happinels in the Beginning of the Epistle: For he is now proving that nothing external to Man, or what is not in his own Power, and of his own Acquirement, can make hiin happy here. The most plaufible Rival of Virtue is Knowledge. Yet even this, he says, is so far from giving any Degree of real Happiness, chat it deprives