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Each has his share ; and who would more obtain, Shall find the pleasure pays not half the pain.
Order is Heaven's first law; and this confessid, Some are, and must be, greater than the rest, 50 More rith, more wise; but who infers from hence That such are happier, shocks all common sense Ileaven to mankind impartial we confess, If all are equal in their happiness : But mutual wants this happiness increase ; All nature's difference keeps all nature's peace. Condition, circumstance, is not the thing; Bliss is the same in subject or in king, In who obtain defence, or who defend, In him who is, or him who finds a friend : 60 Heaven breathes through every member of the whole One common blessing, as one common soul. But fortune's gifts, if each alike possess'd, And each were equal, must not all contest? If then to all men happiness was meant, God in externals could not place content.
Fortune her gifts may variously dispose, And these be happy call'd, unhappy those; But Heaven's just balance equal will appear, While those are placed in hope, and these in fear: 70 Not present good or ill, the joy or curse, But future views of better or of worse. 0, sons of earth! attempt ye still to rise, By mountains piled on mountains, to the skies? Heaven still with laughter the vain toil surveys, And buries madmen in the heaps they raise.
III. Know, all the good that individuals find, Or God and nature meant to mere mankind, Reason's whole pleasure, all the joys of sense, Lie in three words, health, peace, and competence, 80 But health consists with temperance alone; And peace, O virtue! peace is all thy own. The good or bad the gifts of fortune gain; But these less taste them, as they worse obtain.
Say, m pursuit of profit or delight,
Oh, blind to truth, and God's whole scheme below,
What makes all physical or moral ill ? There deviates nature, and here wanders will. God sends not ill, if rightly understood, Or partial ill is universal good, Or change admits, or nature lets it fall, Short, and but rare, till man improved it all. We just as wisely might of Heaven complain, That righteous Abel was destroy'd by Cain, As that the virtuous son is ill at ease When his lewd father gave the dire disease. 120 Think we, like some weak prince, the E:ernal Cause Prone ior his favourites to reverse his laws!
IV. Shall burning Ætna, if a sage requires, Forget to thunder, and recall her fires ! On air or sea new motions be impress'd, Oh blameless Bethel ! to relieve thy breast ? When the loose mountain trembles from on high, Shall gravitation cease if you go by ? Or some old temple, nodding to its fall, For Chartres' head reserve the hunging wall? 130
V. But still this world (so fitted for the knave) Contents us not. A better shall we hare? A kingdom of the just then let it be: But first consider how those just agree. The good must merit God's peculiar care! But who, but God, can tell us who they are ? One thinks on Calvin Heaven's own spirit fell; Another deems him instrument of hell: Jf Calvin feel Heaven's blessing, or its rud, This cries, there is, and that, there is no God. 140 What shocks one part will edify the rest, Nor with one system can they all be bless'd. The very best will variously incline, And what rewards your virtue, punish mine. WHATEVER IS, IS RIGHT.—This world, 'tis true, Was made for Cæsar-but for Titus too; And which more bless'd ? who chain'd his country,
say, Or he whose virtue sigh'd to lose a day?
VI. But sometimes virtue starves while vice is fed.' What then? Is the reward of virtue bread ? 150 T'hat, vice may merit, 'tis the price of toil; The knave deserves it, when he tills the soil ; The knave deserves it when he tempts the main; Where folly fights for kings, or dives for gain The good man may be weak, be indolent; Nor is his claim to plenty, but content. But grant him riches, your demand is o'er : 'No-shall the good want health, the good wan
And health and power and every earthly thing-
180 Rewards, that either would to virtue bring No joy, or be destructive of the thing; How oft by these at sixty are undone The virtues of a saint at twenty-one! To whom can riches give repute or trust, Content or pleasure, but the good and just ? Judges and senates have been boughi for gold; Esteem and love were never to be sold. Oh fool! to think God hates the worthy mind, The lover and the love of human-kind,
190 Whose life is healthful, and whose conscience clear, Because he wants a thousand pounds a year.
Honour and shame from no condition rise; Act well your part, there all the honour lies. Fortune in men has some small difference made One flaunts in rags, one sutters in brocade ;
The cobbler apron'd, and the parson gown'd,
Stuck o'er with titles and hung round with strings,
Look next on greatness : say where greatness lies “Where, but among the heroes and the wise ?' Heroes are much the same, the point’s agreed, From Macedonia's madman to the Swede; 220 The whole strange purpose of their lives, to find Or make, an enemy of all mankind! Not one looks backward, onward still he goes Yet ne'er looks forward further than his nose. No less alike the politic and wise; All sly slow things with circumspective eyes ; Men in their loose unguarded hours they take, Not that themselves are wise, but others weak. But grant that those can conquer, these can cheat, "Tis phrase absurd to call a villain great: 230 Who wickedly is wise, or madly brave, Is but the more a fool, the more a knave, Who noble ends by noble means obtains, Or failing smiles in exile or in chains,