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unskilfal laugh, cannot but make the judicious grieve : the censure of one of which must in your allowance o’erweigh a whole theatre of others. Oh! there be players tha: I have seen play, and heard others praise, and that highly (not to speak it profanely) that, neither having the accent of Christian, nor the gait of Christian, Pagan, nor man, have so strutted and bellowed, that I have thought some of Nature's journeymen had made men, and not made their well; they imitated humanity so abominably.
And let those that play your clowns, speak no more than is set down for them : for there be of them that will themselves laugh, to set on some quantity of barren fpectators to laugh too; though, in the mean time, fome necessary question of the play be then to be considered: that's villanous : and shews a mort-pitiful ambition in the fool that uses it.
THE PRESENT CONDITION QF MAN
Heav'n from all creatures hides the book of fate,
All but the page prescrib'd, their present state :
From brutes what men, from men what spirits know,
Or who could suffer being here below?
The lamb thy riot dooms to bleed to-day,
Had he thy reason, would he'skip and play?
Pleas'd to the last, he crops the flowery food,
And licks the hand just rais’d to shed his blood.
Oh blindness to the future! kindly given,
That each may fill the circle mark'd by Heav'n ;
Who fees with equal eye, as God of all,
A hero perish, or a sparrow fall;
Atoms or systems into ruin hurl'd,
And now a bubble burst, and now a world,
Hope humbly then ; with trembling pinions foar; Wait the great teacher Death: and God adore. What future bliss, he gives not thee to know, But gives that Hope to be thy blessing now. Hope springs eternal in the human breast; Man never IS, but always To be blest : The soul, uneasy and confin’d from home, Rests and expatiates in a life to come.
Lo, the poor Indian ! whose untutor'd mind
Sees God in clouds, or hears him in the wind ;
His soul, proud Science never taught to firay
Far as the solar walk, or milky way ;
Yet simple Nature to his hope has givin,
Behind the cloud-topt hill, an humbler heav'n;
Some safer world in depth of woods embrac'd,
Some happier island in the wat’ry walte,
Where flaves once more their native land behold,
No fiends torment, nor Christians thirst for gold.
To Be, contents his natural desire,
He asks no Angel's wing, no Seraph's fire :
But thinks, admitted to that equal sky,
His faithful dog shall bear him company.
Go, wiser thou! and in thy scale of sense,
Weigh thy opinion against Providence;
Call imperfection what thou fanciest such,
Say, here he gives too little, there too much :
Destroy all creatures for thy sport or guft,
Yet cry, if Man's unhappy, God's unjust;
If man alone engross not Heaven's high care,
Alone made perfect here, immortal there :
Snatch from his hand the balance and the rod,
Re-judge his justice, be the God of God.
In Pride, in reas'ning Pride, our error lies;
All quit their sphere, and rush into the skies.
Pride still is aiming at the blest abodes,
Men would be Angels, Angels would be Gods.
Aspiring to be Gods, if Angels fell,
Aspiring to be Angels, Men rebel :
And who but wishes to invert the laws
Of Order, fins against the Eternal Cause.
SEE, thro' this air, this ocean, and this earth,
All matter quick, and bursting into birth.
Above, how high progressive life may go !
Around, how wide! how deep extend below!
Vast chain of Being! which from God begali,
Nature ethereal, human; Angel, man;
Beast, bird, fish, insect, what no eye can see,
No glass can reach ; from Infinite to thee,
From thee to Nothing.-On fuperior pow'rs
Were we to press, inferior might on ours :
Or in the full creation leave a yoid,
Where, one step broken, the great scale's destroy'd:
From Nature's chain whatever link you ftrike,
Tenth or ten thousandth, breaks the chain alike.
And, if each system in gradation roll
Alike effential to th' amazing whole,
The least confusion but in one, not all
That system only, but the whole must fall.
Let earth, unbalanc'd from her orbit fly,
Planets and Suns, run lawless thro' the sky;
Let ruling Angels from their spheres be hurl'd,
Being on being wreck'd, and world on world;
Heav'ns whole foundations to the centre nod,
And Nature tremble to the throne of God.
All this dread Order break-for whom? for thee?
Vile worm!Oh Madness! Pride! Impiety!
What if the foot, ordain'd the duft to tread,
Or hand, to toil, afpir'd to be the head?
What if the head, the eye, or ear repin'd
To serve mere engines to the ruling mind?
Just as absurd for any part to claim
To be another, in this gen'ral frame :
Just as absurd, to mourn the tasks or pains,
The great directing Mind of All ordains.
All are but parts of one stupendous whole,
Whole body Nature is, and God the soul :
That, chang'd thro' all, and yet in all the fame,
Great in the earth, as in th' ethereal frame,
Warms in the sun, refreshes in the breeze,
Glows in the ftars, and blossoms in the trees,
Lives thro' all life, extends thro' all extent,
Spreads undivided, operates unspent;
Breathes in our soul, informs our mortal part,
As full, as perfect, in a hair as heart ;
As full, as perfect, in vile Man that mourns,
As the rapt Seraph that adores and burns:
To him no high, no low, no great, no small :
He fills, he bounds, connects, and equals all.
Cease then, nor Order Imperfection name :
proper bliss depends on what we blame.
Know thy own point: this kind, this due degree
Of blindness, weakness, Heav'n bestows on thee.
Submit.-In this, or any other sphere,
Secure to be as bleft as thou canst bear :
Safe in the hand of one difpofing Pow'r,
Or in the natal, or the mortal hour.
All Nature is but Art, unknown to thee;
All Chance, Direction, which thou canst not fee;
All Discord, Harmony not understood;
All partial Evil, universal Good:
And, spite of Pride, in erring Reason's spite,
Operath is clear, "VLATIVER IS, IS RICHT.
Who first taught fouls enslav'd, and realms undone,
Th' enormous faith of many made for one;
That proud exception to all Nature's laws,
T’ invert the world, and counter-work its cause !
Force firit made conquett, and that Conquest, Law;
Till Superstition taught the tyrant awe,
Then shar'd the Tyranny, then lent it aid,
And Gods of Conq’rors, Slaves of Subjects made :
She 'midst the lightning's blaze, and thunder's found,
When rock'd the mountains, and when groan’d the
She taught the weak to bend, the proud to pray,
To Pow'r unseen, and mightier far than they :
She, from the rending earth and bursting skies,
Saw Gods descend, and fiends infernal rise :
Here fix'd the dreadful, there the blest abodes;
Fear nrade her devils, and weak Hope her Gods;
Gods partial, changeful, passionate, unjust,
Whose attributes were Rage, Revenge, or Luft;
Such as the souls of cowards might conceive,
And, form'd like tyrants, tyrants would believe,
Zeal then, not charity became the guide;
And hell was built on spite, and heav'n on pride.
Then sacred seem'd th' ethereal vault no more ;
Altars grew marble then, and reek'd with gore:
Then firit the Flamen tatted living food;
Next his grim idol smear'd with human blood ;
With heav'n's own thunders Thook the world below,
And play'd the God an engine on his foe.
So drives self-love, thro' just and thro' unjust, To one man's pow'r, ambition, lucre, luft :