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Yet go ! and thus o'er all the creatures sway,
She 'midst the lightning's blaze, and thunder's Thus let the wiser make the rest obey ;
sound, And for those arts mere instinct could afford, When rocked the mountains, and when groaned Be crowned as monarchs, or as gods adored.”
She taught the weak to bend, the proud to pray, V. Great Nature spoke ; observant Man To Power unseen, and mightier far than they : obeyed;
She, from the rending earth and bursting skies, Cities were built, societies were made :
Saw gods descend, and fiends infernal rise : Here rose a little state; another near
Here fixed the dreadful, there the blest abodes : Grew by like means, and joined through love or Fear made her devils, and weak hope her gods: fear.
Gods partial, changeful, passionate, unjust, Did here the trees with ruddier burthens bend, Whose attributes were rage, revenge, or lust; And there the streams in purer rills descend ? Such as the souls of cowards might conceive, What war could ravish, commerce could be. And, formed like tyrants, tyrants would believe. stow,
Zeal then, not charity, became the guide; And he returned a friend, who came a foe. And hell was built on spite, and heaven on pride, Converse and love, mankind may strongly draw, Then sacred seemed the ethereal vault no more; When love was liberty, and nature law.
Altars grew marble then, and reeked with gore : Thus states were formed; the name of king Then first the Flamen tasted living food; unknown,
Next his grim idol smeared with human blood; Till common interest placed the sway in one. With Heaven's own thunders shook the world 'Twas VIRTUE ONLY (or in arts or arms,
below, Diffusing blessings, or averting harms)
And played the god an engine on his foe. The same which in a sire the sons obeyed,
So drives self-love, through just and through A prince the father of a people made.
To one man's power, ambition, lucre, lust: VI. Till then, by Nature crowned, each patri. The same self-love in all, becomes the cause arch sate,
Of what restrains him, government and laws. King, priest, and parent of his growing state; For, what one likes if others like as well, On him, their second Providence, they hung, What serves one will, when many wills reveli Their law his eye, their oracle his tongue. How shall we keep, what, sleeping or awake, He from the wondering furrow called the food, A weaker may surprise, a stronger take ! Taught to command the fire, control the flood, His safety must his liberty restrain : Draw forth the monsters of the abyss profound, All join to guard what each desires to gain Or fetch the aerial eagle to the ground.
Forced into virtue thus by self-defence, Till drooping, sickening, dying, they began Even kings learned justice and benevolence : Whom they revered as God to mourn as man: Self-love forsook the path it first pursued, Then, looking up from sire to sire, explored And found the private in the public good. . One great first Father, and that first adored. 'Twas then, the studious head, orgenerous mind, Or plain tradition that this all begun,
Follower of God, or friend of humankind, Conveyed unbroken faith from sire to son; Poet or PATRIOT, rose but to restore The worker from the work distinct was known, The faith and moral Nature gave before ; And simple reason never sought but one : Relumed her ancient light, not kindled new; Ere wit oblique had broke their steady light, If not God's image, yet His shadow drew : Man, like his Maker, saw that all was right; Taught power's due use to people and to kings, To virtue, in the paths of pleasure trod,
Taught nor to slack nor strain its tender strings, And owned a father when he owned a God. The less or greater, set so justly true, LOVE all the faith and all the allegiance then; That touching one must strike the other too; For Nature knew no right divine in men, Till jarring interests, of themselves create No ill could fear in God; and understood
The according music of a well mixed state. A sovereign being but a sovereign good.
Such is the world's great harmony, that springs True faith, true policy, united ran
From order, union, full consent of things : That was but love of God, and this of man. Where small and great, where weak and mighty Who first taught souls enslaved, and realms made undone,
To serve, not suffer, strengthen, not invade; The enormous faith of many made for one ; More powerful each as needful to the rest, That proud exception to all Nature's laws, And, in proportion as it blesses, blessed ; To invert the work and counterwork its cause ? Draw to one point, and to one centre bring Force first made conquest, and that conquest | Beast, man, or angel, servant, lord, or king. law;
For forms of government let fools contest; Till superstition taught the tyrant awe,
Whate'er is best administered is best : Then shared the tyranny, then lent it aid, For modes of faith let graceless zealots fight; And gods of conquerors, slaves of subjects made: His can't be wrong whose life is in the right
In faith and hope the world will disagree, Fixed to no spot is happiness sincere,
'Tis nowhere to be found, or everywhere: All must be false that thwart this one great end; 'Tis never to be bought, but always free, And all of God, that bless mankind or mend. And fled from monarchs, ST JOHN! dwells with
Man, like the generous vine, supported lives; thee. The strength he gains is from the einbrace he Ask of the learned the way? The learned are gives.
blind; On their own axis as the planets run,
This bids to serve, and that to shun mankind; Yet make at once their circle round the sun; Some place the bliss in action, some in ease, So two consistent motions act the soul;
Those call it pleasure, and contentment these; And one regards itself, and one the whole. Some sunk to beasts, find pleasure end in pain; Thus God and Nature linked the general Some swelled to gods, confess even virtue vain ! frame,
Or indolent, to each extreme they fall, And bade self-love and social be the same. To trust in everything, or doubt of all.
Who thus define it, say they more or less EPISTLE IV.
Than this, that happiness is happiness ? Argument.- Of the Nature and State of Man
Take Nature's path, and mad Opinion's leave; with respect to Happiness.
All states can reach it, and all heads conceive; I. False notions of happiness, philosophical and popu.
Obvious her goods, in no extreme they dwell; lar, answered. II. It is the end of all men, and There needs but thinking right, and meaning attainable by all. God intends happiness to be equal; well; and to be so, it must be social, since all particular And mourn our various portions as we please, happiness depends on general, and since He governs Fonal is com
Equal is common sense, and common ease. by general, not particular laws. As it is necessary for order, and the peace and welfare of society, that
II. Remember, man, “the Universal Causs external good should be unequal, happiness is not made to consist in these. But, notwithstanding
Acts not by partial, but by general laws :" that inequality, the balance of happiness among
And makes what happiness we justly call mankind is kept even by Providence, by the two Subsist not in the good of one, but all. passions of hope and fear. III. What the happiness | There's not a blessing individuals find, of individuals is, as far as is consistent with the 'But some way leans and hearkens to the kind; constitution of this world; and that the good man
No bandit fierce, no tyrant mad with pride, bas here the advantage. The error of imputing to
No caverned hermit, rest self-satisfied : virtue what are only the calamities of nature, or of
Who most to shun or hate mankind pretend, fortune. IV. The folly of expecting that God should alter His general laws in favour of particulars. V.
Seek an admirer, or would fix a friend : That we are not judges who are good; but that Abstract what others feel, what others think, whoever they are, they must be happiest. VI. That | All pleasures sicken, and all glories sink : external goods are not the proper rewards, but often | Each has his share; and who would more obtain, inconsistent with, or destructive of, virtue. That Shall find, the pleasure pays not half the pain. even these can make no man happy without virtue
ORDER is Heaven's first law; and this confessed, -instanced in riches, honour, nobility, greatness,
Some are, and must be, greater than the rest, fame, superior talents, with pictures of human infelicity in men possessed of them all. VII. That |
More rich, more wise; but who infers from hence virtue only constitutes a happiness, whose object is
whose obiect is That such are happier, shocks all common sense. universal, and whose prospect eternal. That the Heaven to mankind impartial we confess, perfection of virtue and happiness consists in a | If all are equal in their happiness : conformity to the ORDER OF PROVIDENCE here, and
But mutual wants this happiness increase ; a resignation to it here and hereafter.
All nature's difference keeps all nature's peace. I. O Happiness ! our being's end and aim ! Condition, circumstance is not the thing; Good, pleasure, ease, content! whate'er thy Bliss is the same in subject or in king, name :
In who obtain defence, or who defend, That something still which prompts the eternal In him who is, or him who finds a friend : sigh,
Heaven breathes through every member of the For which we bear to live, or dare to die;
whole Which still so near us, yet beyond us lies, One common blessing, as one common soul. O'erlooked, seen double, by the fool, and wise. But Fortune's gifts if each alike possessed,. Plant of celestial seed I if dropped below, And each were equal, must not all contest ? Say, in what mortal soil thou deign'st to grow ? If then to all men happiness was meant, Fair opening to some court's propitious shrine, God in externals could not place content. Or deep with diamonds in the flaming mine? Fortune her gifts may variously dispose, Twined with the wreaths Parnassian laurels yield. And these be happy called, unhappy those; Or reaped in iron harvests of the field ?
But Heaven's just balance equal will appear Where grows where grows it not? If vain our While those are placed in hope, and these in fear: toil,
Not present good or ill, the joy or curse, We ought to blame the culture, not the soil : But future views of better, or of worse.
O sons of earth! attempt ye still to rise,
V. But still this world (so fitted for the knave) By mountains piled on mountains, to the skies! | Contents us not. A better shall we have ? Heaven still with laughter the vain toil surveys, | A kingdom of the just then let it be: And buries madmen in the heaps they raise. I But first consider how those just agree.
The good must merit God's peculiar care ; III. Know, all the good that individuals find, But who but God can tell us who they are ! Cr God and nature meant to mere mankind, I One thinks on Calvin Heaven's own spirit fell ; Reason's whole pleasure, all the joys of sense, Another deems him instrument of hell ; Liein three words-health, peace, and competence. | If Calvin feel Heaven's blessing, or its rod, But health consists with temperance alone;
This cries there is, and that, there is no Gou And peace, O virtuel peace is all thy own. What shocks one part will edify the rest, The good or bad the gifts of fortune gain; Nor with one system can they all be blest; But these less taste them, as they worse obtain. The very best will variously incline, Say, in pursuit of profit or delight,
And what rewards your virtue, punish mine. Who risk the most, that take wrong means, or | Whatever is, is right. This world, 'tis true, right?
Was made for Cæsar-but for Titus too: Of vice or virtue, whether blest or curst, And which more blest? who chained his country, Which meets contempt, or which compassion first ? say, Count all the advantage prosperous vice attains, Or he whose virtue sighed to lose a day? 'Tis but what virtue flies from and disdains : “But sometimes virtue starves, while vice is And grant the bad what happiness they would, fed." One they must want, which is, to pass for good. What then? Is the reward of virtue bread! Oh blind to truth, and God's whole scheme | That, vice may merit, 'tis the price of toil; below,
The knave deserves it, when he tills the soil, Who fancy bliss to vice, to virtue woe!
The knave deserves it, when he tempts the main Who sees and follows that great scheme the best, Where folly fights for kings, or dives for gain. Best knows the blessing, and will most be blest. The good man may be weak, be indolent; But fools, the good alone unhappy call,
Nor is his claim to plenty, but content. For ills or accidents that chance to all.
But grant him riches, your demand is o'er ! See FALKLAND dies, the virtuous and the just! | “No-shall the good want health, the good See godlike TURENNE prostrate on the dust! I want power ?” See SIDNEY bleeds amid the martial strife! Add health, and power, and every earthly thing. Was this their virtue, or contempt of life? “Why bounded power? why private ? why no Say, was it virtue, more though Heaven ne'er gave, king?" Lamented DIGBY? sunk thee to the grave ? Nay, why external for internal given ? Tell me, if virtue made the son expire,
Why is not man a god, and earth a heaven? Why, full of days and honour, lives the sire? Who ask and reason thus, will scarce conceive Why drew Marseilles' good bishop purer breath, God gives enough, while He has more to give: When nature sickened, and each gale was death? Immense the power, immense were the demand; Or why so long (in life if long can be)
Say, at what part of nature will they stand ? Lent Heaven a parent to the poor and me? What makes all physical or moral ill ?
VI. What nothing earthly gives, or can destroy There deviates Nature, and here wanders Will. The soul's calm sunshine, and the heartfelt joy, God sends not ill, if rightly understood ; Is virtue's prize : A better would you fix, Or partial ill is universal good,
Then give Humility a coach and six, Or change admits, or nature lets it fall!
Justice a conqueror's sword, or Truth a gown, Short, and but rare, till man improved it all. Or Public Spirit its great cure, a crown. We just as wisely might of Heaven complain Weak, foolish man! will Heaven reward us there That righteous Abel was destroyed by Cain, With the same trash mad mortals wish for here! As that the virtuous son is ill at ease
The boy and man an individual makes, INHERITING FROM PARENTS dire disease. Yet sighest thou now for apples and for cake
Go, like the Indian, in another life IV. Think we, like some weak prince, the Expect thy dog, thy bottle, and thy wife; Eternal Cause,
As well as dream such trifles are assigned, Prone for His favourites to reverse His laws ! As toys and empires, for a godlike mind. Shall burning Etna, if a sage requires,
Rewards, that either would to virtue bring Forget to thunder, and recall her fires :
No joy, or be destructive of the thing :
How oft by these at sixty are undone
Content or pleasure, but the good and just i
O fool! to think God hates the worthy mind, Alike or when or where they shone or shine, The lover and the love of humankind,
Or on the Rubicon, or on the Rhine. Whose life is healthful and whose conscience A wit 's a feather, and a chief a rod; clear,
An honest man's the noblest work of God. Because he wants a thousand pounds a year. Fame but from death a villain's name can save,
Honour and shame from no condition rise ; As justice tears his body from the grave;
And more true joy Marcellus exiled feels,
To see all others' faults, and feel our own:
Condemned in business or in arts to drudge, Stuck o'er with titles, and hung round with
titles, and hung round with Without a second, or without a judge: strings,
Truths would you teach, or save a sinking land ! That thou mayst be by kings, or LINES of kings, All fear, none aid you, and few understand. Boast the pure blood of an illustrious race, Painful pre-eminence ! yourself to view In quiet flow from Lucrece to Lucrece:
Above life's weakness, and its comforts too. But by your fathers' worth if yours you rate, Bring then these blessings to a strict account: Count me those only who were good and great. Make fair deductions; see to what they mount; Go! if your ancient but ignoble blood
How much of other each is sure to cost; Has crept through scoundrels ever since the flood, How each for other oft is wholly lost; Go! and pretend your family is young;
How inconsistent greater goods with these ; Nor own your fathers have been fools so long. How sometimes life is risked, and always ease : What can ennoble sots, or slaves, or cowards ?
| Think, and if still the things thy envy call, Alas! not all the blood of all the HOWARDS. Say, wouldst thou be the man to whom they Look next on greatness ! say where greatness fall ? lies ?
To sigh for ribands if thou art so silly, “Where, but among the heroes and the wise ?" Mark how they grace Lord Umbra, or Sir Billy. Heroes are much the same, the point's agreed, Is yellow dirt the passion of thy life? From Macedonia's madman to the Swede; Look but on Gripus, or on Gripus' wife. The whole strange purpose of their lives, to find If parts allure thee, think how Bacon shined, Or make an enemy of all mankind !
The wisest, brightest, meanest of mankind : Not one looks backward, onward still he goes, | Or ravished with the whistling of a name, Yet ne'er looks forward further than his nose. See Cromwell, damned to everlasting fame! No less alike the politic and wise ;
If all, united, thy ambition call, All sly, slow things, with circumspective eyes : From ancient story learn to scorn them all. Men in their loose unguarded hours they take, There, in the rich, the honoured, famed, and great, Not that themselves are wise, but others weak, See the false scale of happiness complete ! But grant that those can conquer, these can In hearts of kings, or arms of queens who lay cheat;
How happy! those to ruin, these betray. 'Tis phrase absurd to call a villain great : Mark by what wretched steps their glory grows, Who wickedly is wise, or madly brave,
From dirt and seaweed as proud Venice rose; Is but the more a fool, the more a knave. In each how guilt and greatness equal ran, Who noble ends by noble means obtains, And all that raised the hero sunk the man? Or failing, smiles in exile or in chains,
Now Europe's laurels on their brows behold, Like good Aurelius let him reign, or bleed But stained with blood, or ill exchanged for gold: Like Socrates, that man is great indeed.
Then see them broke with toils, or sunk in ease, What's fame! a fancied life in others' breath, Or infamous for plundered provinces. A thing beyond us, e'en before our death. O wealth ill fated ! which no act of fame Just what you hear, you have, and what's un- | E'er taught to shine, or sanctified from shame! known,
What greater bliss attends their close of life? The same (my lord), if Tully's, or your own Some greedy minion, or imperious wife, All that we feel of it begins and ends
| The trophied arches, storied halls invade, In the small circle of our foes or friends;
And haunt their slumbers in the pompous shade. To all beside as much an empty shade
Alas! not dazzled with their noontide ray, A Eugene living, as a Cæsar dead;
Compute the moru and evening to the day;
The whole amount of that enormous fame, | At once his own bright prospect to be blest, A tale, that blends their glory with their shame! | And strongest motive to assist the rest.
Self-love thus pushed to social, to divine, VII. Know, then, this truth (enough for man Gives thee to make thy neighbour's blessing thine. to know), .
Is this too little for the boundless heart? “Virtue alone is happiness below."
Extend it, let thy enemies have part: The only point where human bliss stands still, Grasp the whole world of reason, life, and sense, And tastes the good without the fall to ill;
In one close system of benevolence :
Happier as kinder, in whate'er degree,
God loves from whole to parts; but human soul And if it lose, attended with no pain :
Must rise from individual to the whole. Without satiety, though e'er so blest,
Self-love but serves the virtuous mind to wake, And but more relished as the more distressed : As the small pebble stirs the peaceful lake; The broadest mirth unfeeling folly wears, The centre moved, a circle straight succeeds, Less pleasing far than virtue's very tears :
Another still, and still another spreads; Good, from each object, from each place acquired, Friend, parent, neighbour, first it will embrace; For ever exercised, yet never tired;
His country next, and next all human race; Never elated, while one man's oppressed; Wide, and more wide, the o'erflowings of the Never dejected, while another's blessed ;
mind And where no wants, no wishes can remain, Take every creature in, of every kind; Since but to wish more virtue, is to gain. Earth snuiles around, with boundless bounty blest,
See the sole bliss Heaven could on all bestow ! | | And Heaven beholds its image in his breast. Which who but fools can taste, but thinks can come then, my friend ! my genius! come along; know:
O master of the poet and the song! Yet poor with fortune, and with learning blind, | And while the muse now stoops, or now ascenda, The bad must miss; the good, untaught, will To man's low passions, or their glorious ends,
Teach me, like thee, in various nature wise, Slave to no sect, who takes no private road, To fall with dignity, with temper rise; But looks through Nature up to Nature's God; Formed by thy converse, happily to steer Pursues that chain which links the immense de From grave to gay, from lively to severe;
Correct with spirit, eloquent with ease, Joing heaven and earth, and mortal and divine ; Intent to reason, or polite to please. Sees that no being any bliss can know,
Oh! while along the stream of time thy name But touches some above, and some below; Expanded flies, and gathers all its fame; Learns from this union of the rising whole, Say, shall my little bark attendant sail, The first, last purpose of the human soul; Pursue the triumph, and partake the gale ? And knows where faith, law, morals, all began, When statesmen, heroes, kings, in dust repose, All end, in LOVE OF GOD, and LOVE OF MAN. Whose sons shall blush their fathers were thy
For him alone Hope leads from goal to goal, foes, And opens still, and opens on his soul;
Shall then this verse to future age pretend Till lengthened on to FAITH, and unconfined, Thou wert my guide, philosopher, and friend! It pours the bliss that fills up all the mind. That, urged by thee, I turned the tuneful art He sees why Nature plants in man alone
From sounds to things, from fancy to the heart; Hope of known bliss, and faith in bliss unknown: For wit's false mirror held up Nature's light; (Nature, whose dictates to no other kind Showed erring pride, WHATEVER IS, IS RIGHT; Are given in vain, but what they seek they That REASON, PASSION, answer one great aim; find :)
That true SELF-LOVE and SOCIAL are the same; Wise is her present; she connects in this
That VIRTUE only makes our bliss below; His greatest virtue with his greatest bliss : | And all our knowledge is, OURSELVES TO KNOW.
JONATHAN SWIFT. BORN 1667: Died 1745.
(From his Miscellaneous Writings.) .
Whoever makes the fewest persons uneasy is A TREATISE ON GOOD MANNERS AND | the best bred in the company. GOOD BREEDING.
As the best law is founded upon reason, so are Good manners is the art of making those people the best manners. And as some lawyers have easy with whom we converse.
| introduced unreasonable things into common