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See the fame man, in vigor, in the gouts
75 Friendly at Hackney, faithless at Whitehall.
Catius is ever moral, ever grave,
85 Newmarket-fame, and judgment at a Bett.
What made (fay Montagne, or more fage Charron!) Otho a warrior, Cromwell a buffoon? A perjur’d Prince a leaden faint revere, A godless Regent tremble at a Star ?
VER. 81. Patritio] Lord G-n.
Triumphant leaders, at an army's head,
The throne a Bigot keep, a Genius quit,
Know, God and Nature only are the same : 95
in his Haț a leaden image of the Virgin Mary, which when he swore by, he feared to break his oath.
VER. 90. A godless Regent tremble at a Star ? ] Philip Duke of Orleans, Regent of France in the minority of Louis XV. superstitious in judicial astrology, though an unbeliever in all religion.
VER.95. The throne a Bigot keep, a Genius quit,] Philip V. of Spain, who, after renouncing the throne for Religion, resumed it to gratify his Queen; and Victor Amadeus II. King of Sardinia, who resigned the crown, and trying to. reassume it, was imprisoned 'till his death.
Ver. 93. Europe a Woman, Cbild, or Dotard rule, - And just ber wisest monarch made a fool ? ] The Czarina, the King of France, the Pope, and the abovementioned King of Sardinia.
VER. 95. Know, God and Nature, etc.] By Nature is not here meant any imaginary substitute of God, called a Plastic nature ; but his moral laws : And this observation was inferted with great propriety and discretion, in the conclusion of a long detail of the various characters of men : For, from this circumstance, Montagne and others have been bold enough to infinuate, that morality is founded more in custom and fashion than in the nature of things. The speaking therefore of a moral law of God as having all the constancy and durability of his Effence, had an high expediency in this place,
In vain the fage, with retrospective eye, Would from th' apparent What conclude the Why, Infer the Motive from the Deed, and shew, That what we chanc'd was what we meant to do. Behold! If Fortune or a Mistress frowns, Some plunge in bus’ness, others shave their crowns : To ease the Soul of one oppressive weight, 105 This quits an Empire, that embroils a State : The fame aduft complexion has impellid Charles to the Convent, Philip to the Field.
Not always Actions shew the man: we find Who does a kindness, is not therefore kind: Perhaps Prosperity becalm'd his breaft, Perhaps the Wind just shifted from the east : Not therefore humble he who seeks retreat, Pride guides his steps, and bids him shun the great: Who combats bravely is not therefore brave, 115 He dreads a death-bed like the meaneft slave :
VER. 107. The Same adust complexion bas impell d - Charles 40 tbe Convent, Philip to the Field.] The attrabilaire complexion of Philip II. is well known, but not so well that he derived it from his father Charles V. whose health, the historians of his life tell us, was frequently disordered by bilious fevers. But what the author meant principally to observe here was, that this humour -made both these princes act contrary to their Character; Charles, who was an active man, when he retired into a Convent ; Philip, who was a Man of the Closet, when he gave the battle of St. Quintin.
Who reasons wisely is not therefore wise,
that actions beft discover man;
do with such as disagree ? Suppress them, or miscall them policy? Must then at once (the character to save) 125 The plain rough Hero turn a crafty Knave ? Alas! in truth the man but chang’d his mind, Perhaps was sick, in love, or had not din'd. Ask why from Britain Cæsar would retreat ? Cæsar himself might whisper he was beat. 130
VER. 117. Who reasons wisely, etc.] By reasoning is not here meant speculating ; but deliberating and resolving in public counsels; for this instance is given as one, of a variety of actions.
Ver. 139. Cæfar bimself might wbisper be was beat.] Cæfar wrote his Commentaries, in imitation of the Greek Generals, for
VER. 129. In the former Editions ;
Ask why from Britain Cæsar made retreat ?
The mighty Czar would tell you he was drunk. Altered as above, because Cæsar wrote his Commentaries of this war, and does not tell you he was beat. As Cæsar too afforded an instance of both cases, it was thought better to make him the fingle Example,
Why risk the world's great empire for a Punk?
"Tis from high Life high Characters are drawn; A Saint in Crape is twice a Saint in Lawn ;
136 A Judge is just, a Chanc'lor jufter still ; A Gownman, learn'd; a Bishop, what you will; Wise, if a Minister ; but, if a King, More wise, more learn'd, more just, more every thing Court-Virtues bear, like Gems, the highest rate, 14! Born where Heav'n's influence scarce can penetrate; In life's low vale, the foil the Virtues like, They please as beauties, here as wonders strike. Tho' the same fun with all-diffusive rays 145 Blush in the rose, and in the Dimond blaze,
the entertainment of the world : But had his friends asked him, in his ear, the reason of his sudden retreat from Britain, . after so many pretended victories, we have cause to suspect, even from his own public relation of that matter, that he would have whisper'd be was beat.
VER. 131. Why rijk tbe world's great empire for a Punk ? ] After the battle of Pharsalia, Cæsar pursued his enemy to Alexandria, where he became infatuated with the charms of Cleopatra, and instead of pushing his advantages, and dispersing the relicks of the Pharsalian quarrel, (after narrowly escaping the violence of an enraged populace) brought upon himself an unneceifary war, at a time his arms were most wanted elsewhere.
Ver. 141. Court-virtues bear, like Gems, etc.) This whole reflection, and the fimilitude brought to support it, have a great delicacy of ridicule.