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Love, hope, and joy, fair pleasure's smiling train ;
Hate, fear, and grief, the family of pain ;
These mix'd with art, and to due bounds confin’d,
Make and maintain the balance of the mind : 12C
The lights and shades, whose well-accorded strife
Gives all the strength and colour of our life.
Pleasures are ever in our hands and eyes;
And when in act they cease, in prospect rise :
Present to grasp, and future still to find,
The whole employ of body and of mind,
All spread their charms, but charm not all alike
On different senses, different objects strike:
Hence different passions more or less inflame,
As strong or weak, the organs of the frame; 130
And hence one master passion in the breast.
Like Aaron's serpent, swallows up the rest.
As man, perhaps, the moment of his breath,
Receives the lurking principle of death ;
The young disease, which must subdue at length,
Grows with his growth, and strengthens with his
So, cast and mingled with his very frame, (strength:
The mind's disease, its ruling passion came;
Each vital humour, which should feed the whole,
Soon flows to this, in body and in soul : 140
Whatever warms the heart, or fills the head,
As the mind opens, and its functions spread.
Imagination plies her dangerous art,
And pours it all upon the peccant part.
Nature its mother, habit is its nurse;
Wit, spirit, faculties, but make it worse;
Reason itself but gives it edge and power;
As Heaven's blest beam turns vinegar more sour.
We wretched subjects, though no lawful sway, In this weak queen some favourite still obey ; 160 Ah! if she lent not arms, as well as rules, What can she more than tell us we are fools'? Teach us to miourn our nature, not to mend : A sharp accuser, but a helpless friend !
Or from a judge tu:n 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 driven them out. 16
Yes, nature's road must ever te preferr’d;
Reason is here no guide, but still a guard ;
'Tis hers to rectify, not overthrow,
And treat this passion more as friend than foe:
A mightier power the strong direction sends,
And several men impels to several ends :
Like varying winds by other passions toss'd,
This drives them constant to a certain coast.
Let power or knowledge, gold or glory, please,
Or (oft more strong than all) the love of ease;
Through life 'tis follow'd e'en at life's expense;
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,
Grafts on this passion our best principle:
"Tis thus the mercury of man is fix’d,
Strong grows the virtue with his nature mix'd :
The dross cements what else were too refined,
And in one interest body acts with mind. 180
As fruits, ungrateful to the planter's care, On savage stocks inserted learn to bear; The surest virtues thus from passions shoot, Wild nature's vigour working at the root. What crops of wit and honesty appear From spleen, from obstinacy, hate, or fear! See anger, zeal and fortitude supply; E'en avarice, prudence; sloth, philosophy; Lust, through some certain strainers well refined, Is gentle love, and charms all womankind; 190 Envy, to which the ignoble mind's a slave, Is emulation in the learn'd or brave;
Nor virtue, male or female, can we name,
But what will grow on pride, or grow on shame.
Thus Nature gives us (let it check our pride)
The vir’ue nearest to our vice allied :
Reason the bias turns to good from ill,
And Nero reigns a Titus, if he will.
The fiery coul abhorr'd in Catiline,
In Decius charms, in Curtius is divine:
200 The same ambition can destroy or save, And makes a patriot as it makes a knave.
IV. This light and darkness in our chaos join'd,
What shall divide? The God within the mind.
Extremes in nature equal ends produce,
In 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. 210
Fools! who from hence into the notion fali,
That vice and 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.
V. Vice is a monster of so frightful mein,
As, to be hated, needs but to be seen ;
Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face,
We first endure, then pity, then embrace. 220
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 farther gone than he:
E'en those who dwell beneath its very zone,
Or never feel the rage, or never own;
What happier nature 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 e'en 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 effects of every vice; 240 That, happy frailties to all ranks applied, Shame to the virgin, to the matron pride; l'ear 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.
Heaven forming each on other to depend A master, or a servant, or a friend,
250 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 resigr.. Taught half by reason, half by mere decay, To welcome death, and calmly pass away. 260
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 given ; The poor contents him with the care of Heaven. 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,
Pleased with a rattle, tickled with a straw:
Some livelier play-thing gives his youth delight,
A little louder, but as empty quite :
Scarfs, garters, goid, amuse his riper stage,
And beads and prayer-books are the toys of age: 280
Pleased with this bauble still, as that before;
'Till tired, 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;
290 E'en 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.
ARGUMENT OF EPISTLE III.
Of the Nature and State of Man with respect to
Society. 1. The whole universe one system of society, ver. 7, &c
Nothing made wholly for itself, nor yet wholly foj another, ver. 27. The happiness of animals mutual ver. 49. II. Reason or instinct operate alike to the good of each individual, ver. 79. Reason or instinct operate also to society in all animals, ver. 109. III