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A wit's a feather, and a chief a rod :

An honest man's the noblest work of God.
Fame but from death a villain's name can save,

As justice tears his body from the grave;
When what t'oblivion better were resign'd,
Is hung on high to poison half mankind.

All fame is foreign, but of true desert;


Plays round the head, but comes not to the heart:
One self-approving hour whole years outweighs
Of stupid starers, and of loud huzzas;


And more true joy Marcellus exil'd feels,
Than Cæsar with a senate at his heels.

In parts superior 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:
Condemn'd in business or in arts to drudge,
Without a second, or without a judge:


Truths would you teach, or save a sinking land? All fear, none aid you, and few understand. Painful pre-eminence! yourself to view

early wars of the seventeenth century, the principal seat of which was the banks of the Rhine.

251. When that which would be better resigned to oblivion, is hung on high, &c.

256. Of stupid starers.-This is a trope, by which the actor is put for the act.

262-263. 'Tis but to see.-'Tis but to be condemned. All would fear, none would aid you, &c.

267-263. To view yourself above life's weakness and its comforts too, is a painful pre-eminence.

Above life's weakness, and its comforts too.

Bring then these blessings to a strict account; Make fair deductions; see to what they mount: How much of other each is sure to cost; How much for other oft is wholly lost; How inconsistent greater goods with these; How sometimes life is risk'd, and always ease: Think, and if still the things thy envy call, Say, wouldst thou be the man to whom they fall? To sigh for ribands, if thou art so silly, Mark how they grace Lord Umbra, or Sir Billy. Is yellow dirt the passion of thy life?

Look but on Gripus, or on Gripus' wife.

If parts allure thee, think how Bacon shin'd,
The wisest, brightest, meanest of mankind:
Or ravish'd with the whistling of a name,
See Cromwell, damn'd to everlasting fame!
If all, united, thy ambition call,




From ancient story, learn to scorn them all.
There, in the rich, the honor'd, fam'd and great,
See the false scale of happiness complete!

In hearts of kings, or arms of queens who lay,
How happy! those to ruin, these betray.

275. If thou art so silly as to sigh for ribands.


279. The yellow dirt (i. e. gold or wealth) the passion of thy life.

283. Or, if thou art ravished with the whistling of a


286. Ancient story-history.

289-290. How happy are those, to ruin who lay in the

Mark by what wretched steps their glory grows,
From dirt and sea-weed, as proud Venice rose;
In each, how guilt and greatness equal ran,
And all that rais'd the hero, sunk the man:
Now Europe's laurels on their brows behold,
But stain'd with blood, or ill exchanged for gold:
Then see them broke with toils, or sunk in ease,
Or infamous for plunder'd provinces.

O! wealth ill-fated; which no act of fame

E'er taught to shine, or sanctified from shame! 300 What greater bliss attends their close of life? Some greedy minion, or imperious wife,


The trophied arches, storied halls invade,
And haunt their slumbers in the pompous shade.
Alas! not dazzled with their noontide ray,
Compute the morn and evening to the day;
The whole amount of that enormous fame,

A tale, that blends their glory with their shame! Know then this truth, (enough for man to know,) "Virtue alone is happiness below.”

The only point where human bliss stands still,


hearts of kings, and how happy are these to betray, who lay in the arms of queens.

305-306. View them not only in the blaze of their power, and the height of their prosperity, but look at the labors undergone, and the crimes committed in obtaining their superiority; and also at the miseries that are sure to follow.


The whole amount of that enormous fame is a tale that blends, &c.

311. It is the only point, &c

And tastes the good without the fall to ill;
Where only merit constant pay receives,
Is blest in what it takes, and what it gives;
The joy unequall'd, if its end it gain,


And if it lose, attended with no pain;

Without satiety, though e'er so blest,

And but more relish'd as the more distress'd:

The broadest mirth unfeeling folly wears,


Less pleasing far than virtue's very tears:

Good, from each object, from each place acquir'd, Forever exercis'd, yet never tir'd;

Never elated, while one man's oppress'd:

Never dejected, while another's blest;

And where no wants, no wishes can remain,
Since but to wish more virtue, is to gain.


See the sole bliss Heaven could on all bestow ! Which who but feels can taste, but thinks can know:

Yet poor with fortune, and with learning blind, The bad must miss; the good, untaught, will


Slave to no sect, who takes no private road,
But looks through nature, up to nature's God;

314. Where only merit is blest, &c.

325. And where no wants are, no wishes can remain. 326. To wish more virtue is the subject of the verb is, and to gain supplies a nom. after it.

328. Which he who but feels can taste, which he who but thinks can know.

331. He is a slave to no sect, who takes no private road.

Pursues that chain which links th' immense de


Joins heaven and earth, and mortal and divine;
Sees, that no being any bliss can know,


But touches soine above, and some below;

Learns from this union of the rising whole

The first, last purpose of the human soul;

And knows where faith, law, morals, all began,
All end in love of God, and love of man.
For him alone, hope leads from goal to goal,
And opens still, and opens on his soul:
Till lengthen'd on to faith, and unconfin'd,
It pours the bliss that fills up all the mind.
He sees, why nature plants in man alone



Hope of known bliss, and faith in bliss unknown: (Nature, whose dictates to no other kind

Are given in vain, but what they seek they find :) Wise is her present; she connects in this

His greatest virtue with his greatest bliss;
At once his own bright prospect to be blest,


333-334. Who pursues that chain which links the immense design-which joins, &c.

336. Except a bliss which touches some things (or perhaps beings) above and some below.

337. He is a slave to no sect, who learns, &c.

347. Nature is in apposition with nature in the 345th line.

349. Wise is her present, i. e. her gift.

351. It (i. e. her present, referring to hope and faith) is his own bright prospect to be blest. To be blest here supplies the place of the gerundial, or substantive phrase, of being blest.

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