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Him, even the diffolute admir'd; for he
A graceful loofenefs when he pleas'd put on,
And laughing could inftruct. Much had he read,
Much more had feen; he ftudied from the life,
And in th' original perus'd mankind.
Vers'd in the woes and vanities of life,
He pitied man and much he pitied those
Whom falfely-fmiling Fate has curs'd with means
To diffipate their days in queft of joy.
Our aim is happinefs; 'tis your's, 'tis mine,
He faid, 'tis the purfuit of all that live;
Yet few attain it, if 'twas e'er attain❜d.
But they the wideft wander from the mark,
Who thro' the flow'ry paths of faunt'ring Joy
Seek this coy goddefs; that from stage to stage
Invites us ftill, but shifts as we pursue.
For, not to name the pains that Pleasure brings
To counterpoise itself, relentless Fate
Forbids that we thro' gay voluptuous wilds
Should ever roam : And were the Fates more kind
Our narrow luxuries would foon be ftale.
Were.thefe exhauftlefs, Nature would,
And cloy'd with pleasure, squeamishly complain
That all was vanity, and life a dream.
Let Nature reft: Be bufy for yourself,
And for your friend; be bufy even in vain,
Rather than teaze her fated appetites.
Who never fafts, no banquet e'er enjoys ;
Who never toils or watches, never fleeps.
Let Nature reft: And when the taste of joy
Grows keen, indulge; but fhun fatiety.
'Tis not for mortals always to be bleft:
But him the leaft the dull or painful hours
Of life opprefs, whom fober fenfe conducts,
And Virtue thro' this labyrinth we tread.
Virtue and Senfe I mean not to disjoin:
Virtue and Senfe are one; and, truft me, he
Who has not virtue is not truly wise.
Virtue (for mere Good-nature is a fool)
Is fenfe and fpirit, with humanity :
'Tis fometimes angry, and its frown confounds; 'Tis even vindictive, but in vengeance juft. Knaves fain would laugh at it; fome great ones dare 3 But at his heart the moft undaunted fon
Of Fortune dreads its name and awful charms.
To noblest uses this determines wealth:
This is the folid pomp of profperous days;
The peace and shelter of adverfity.
And if you pant for glory, build your fame
On this foundation, which the fecret shock
Defies of Envy and all fapping Time.
The gaudy glofs of Fortune only strikes
The vulgar eye: The fuff'rage of the wife,
The praise that's worth ambition, is attain’d
By fenfe alone, and dignity of mind.
Virtue, the ftrength and beauty of the foul,
Is the best gift of heav'n: a happiness
That even above the fmiles and frowns of Fate
Exalts great Nature's favourites: a wealth
That ne'er encumbers, nor to bafer hands
Can be transferr'd: it is the only good
Man juftly boasts of, or can call his own.
Riches are oft by guilt and baseness earn'd;
Or dealt by chance, to shield a lucky knave,
Or throw a cruel funshine on a fool.
But for one end, one much neglected use,
Are riches worth your care: for Nature's wants
Are few, and without opulence fupplied.
This noble end is, to produce the Soul:
To fhew the virtues in the fairest light;
To make Humanity the Minifter
Of bounteous Providence; and teach the breaft
That generous luxury the gods enjoy.
Thus, in his graver vein, the friendly Sage
Sometimes declaim'd. Of Right and Wrong he taught
Truths as refin'd as ever Athen's heard;
And (ftrange to tell!) he practis'd what he preach'd.
IN Frolic's hour, ere ferious Thought had birth,
There was a time, my dear CORNWALLIS! when
The Mufe would take me on her airy wing,
And waft to views romantic; there present.
Some motley vifion, shade and fun: the cliff
O'er hanging, fparkling brooks, and ruins grey:
Bade me meanders trace, and catch the form
Of varying clouds, and rainbows learn to paint.
Sometimes Ambition, brufhing by, would twitch
My mantle, and, with winning look fublime,
Allure to follow. What tho' fteep the track,
Her mountain's top would overpay, when climb'd,
The scaler's toil; her temple there was fine,
And lovely thence the profpects. She could tell
Where laurels grew, whence many a wreath antique;
But more advis'd to fhun the barren twig,
(What is immortal verdure without fruit ?)
And woo fome thriving art; her numerous mines
Were open to the fearcher's skill and pains.
Caught by th' harangue, heart beat, and flutt'ring pulfe
Sounded irregular marches to be gone-
What! paufe a moment when Ambition calls!
No, the blood gallops to the diftant goal,
And throbs to reach it. Let the lame fit ftill.
When Fortune gentle, at the hill's verge extreme,
Array'd in decent garb, but fomewhat thin,
Smiling approach'd; and what occafion, afk'd,
Of climbing: She already provident,
Had cater'd well, if ftomach could digest
Her viands, and a palate not too nice :
Unfit, fhe faid, for perilous attempt;
That manly limb requir'd, and finew tough,.
She took, and laid me in a vale remote,
Amid the gloomy scene of fir and yew,
On poppy beds, where Morpheus ftrew'd the ground:
Obfcurity her curtain round me drew,
And Syren Sloth a dull quietus fung.
Sithence no fairy lights, no quick'ning ray,-
No flir of pulfe, nor objects to entice
Abroad the fpirits: but the cloyster'd heart
Sits fquat at home, like pagod in a niche
Obfcure, or grandees with nod-watching eye,
And folded arms, in prefence of the throne,
Turk, or Indoftan.-Cities, forums, courts,
And prating fanhedrims and drumming wars,
Affect no more than ftories told to bed
Lethargic, which at intervals the fick
Hears and forgets, and wakes to doze again.
Inftead of converse and variety,
The fame trite round, the fame ftale filent fcene :
Such are thy comforts, bleffed Solitude!—
But Innocence is there, but Peace all kind,
And fimple Quiet with her downy couch,
Meads lowing, tune of birds, and lapfe of ftreams,
And faunter with a book, and warbling Mufe
In praise of hawthorns-Life's whole business this!
Is it to bafk i' th' fun? if fo, a snail
Were happy crawling on a fouthern wall.
Why fits Content upon a cottage-fill
At eventide, and bleffeth the coarfe meal
In footy corner? why fweet flumber wait
Th' hard pallet? not becaufe from haunt remote
Sequefter'd in a dingle's bushy lap :
'Tis labour makes the peafant's fav'ry fare,
And works out his repofe: for Ease must ask
The leave of Diligence to be enjoy'd.
Oh! liften not to that enchantress Eafe
With feeming fmile; her palatable cup
By standing grows infipid; and beware
The bottom, for there's poifon in the lees.
What health impair'd, and crowds inactive maim'd !
What daily martyrs to her fluggish caufe!
Lefs ftrict devoir the Rufs and Perfian claim
Defpotic; and as fubjects long inur'd
To fervile burthen, grow fupine and tame,
So fares it with our fov'reign and her train.
What tho' with lure fallacious fhe pretend
From worldly bondage to fet free, what gain