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The very best will variously incline,
“But sometimes Virtue starves, while Vice is fed.” What then? Is the reward of Virtue bread?
150 That 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; 155 Nor is his claim to plenty, but content. But
grant him riches, your demand is o'er? 6 No-shall the good want Health, the good want
Pow'r?" Add Health, and Pow'r, and ev'ry earthly thing,
Why bounded Pow'r? why private? why no king? « Nay, why external for internal 'giv'n? 161
Why is not inan a God, and Earth a Heav'n?” Who ask and reason thus, will scarce conceive God gives enough, while he has more to give :
NOTE s. who both perished by too near an approach to Ætna and Vesuvius, while they were exploring the cause of their eruptions.
Immense the pow'r, immense were the demand; 165 Say, at what part of nature will they stand?
What nothing carthly gives, or can deftroy, The soul's calm sun-fhine, and the heart-felt joy, Is Virtue's prize: A better would you
fix, Then give hun.ility a coach and fix,
170 Justice a Conqu’ror's sword, or Truth a gown, Or publie Spirit its great cure, a Crown. Weak, foolish Man! will Heav'n reward us there With the same trash mad mortals wish for here? 'The Boy and Man an individual makes,
175 Yet figh'st thou now for apples and for cakes? Go, like the Indian, in another life Expect thy dogs thy bottle, and thy wife : As well as dream such trifles are affign'd, As toys and empires, for a god-like mind. 180
NOTES. VER. 177. Go, like the Indian, &c.] Alluding to the ex. ample of the Indian, in Epift. i. ver. 99. and shewing, that that example was not given to discredit any rational hopes of future happiness, but only to reprove the folly of separating them from charity: as when
-Zeal, not charity, became the guide,
Rewards, that either would to Virtue bring
igo Whose life is healthful, and whose conscience clear, Because he wants a thousand pounds a-year.
Honour and shame from no Condition rife, Act well your part, there all the honour lies. Fortune in Men has some small diff'rence made, 195 One flaunts in rags, one flutters in brocade;
Ver. 193. Honour and shame from no condition rise, &c.] What power
then has fortunę over the Man? None at all. For as her favours can confer neither worth nor wisdom; so neither can her displeasure cure him of any of his follies. On his Garb indeed she hath some little influence; but his Heart still remains the same :
Fortune in Men has some small diff'rence made,
One flaunts in rags, one flutters in brocade. But this difference extends no further than to the habit ; the pride of heart is the same, both in the flaunter and fiutterer, as it is the poet's intention to infinuate by the use of those terms.
The cobler apron'd, and the parson gown'd,
Stuck o'er with titles, and hung round with strings,
Ver. 207. Boast the pure blood, &C.) In the MS. thus:
The richest blood, right- honourably old,
May (well thy heart and gallop in thy-breaft, 11. Without one dash of usher or of priest:
Thy pride as much despise all other pride
What can ennoble fots, or flaves, or cowards? 215 Alas! not all the blood of all the HOWARDS.
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, Froin 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 Wife;
225 All fly flow things, with circumspective eyes ; Men in their loose unguarded hours they take, Not that themselves are wife, 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, siniles in exile or in chains, Like good Aurelius let him reign, or bleed
235 Like Socrates, that Man is great indeed.
What's Fame! a fancy'd life in other's breath, A thing beyond us, ev'n before our death. Just what you hear, you have, and what's unknown The fame (my Lord) if Tully's or your own. 240