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One's so good-natur’d, he's beyond all bearing,
He'll ridicule no friend, tho' out of hearing :
Another warm'd with zeal, offends our eyes,
Because he holds the mirror up to vice.
No wonder then, since fancies wild as these
Can move our spleen, that real faults displease.
When Mævius, spite of dullness, will be bright,
And teach ARGYLL to speak, and Swift to write ;
When Flavia entertains us with her dreams,
And Macer with his no less airy schemes ;
When peevishness, and jealousy and pride,
Aud intrest that can brother hearts divide,
In their imagin'd forms our eyesight hit,
Of an old maid, a poet, peer or cit ;
Can then, you'll fay, philosophy refrain,
And check the torrent of each boiling vein ?
Yes. She can still do more; view paffion's slave
With mind serene, indulge him, and yet fave.
But self-conceit steps in, and with strict eye
Scans every man, and every man awry ;
That reigning pastion, which thro' every stage
Of life, still haunts us with unceafing rage.
No quality so mean, but what can raise
Some drudging driveling candidate for praise;
Ev’n in the wretch, who wretches can despise,
Still felf-conceit will find a time to rise.
Quintus falutes you with forbidding face,
And thinks he carries his excuse in lace :
You ask, why Clodius bullies all he can?
Clodius will tell you, he's a gentleman :
Myrtilla struts and fhudders half the year,
With a round cap, that shews a fine turn'd ear:
The lowest jest makes Delia laugh to death ;
Yēt she's no fool, she has only handsome teeth.
Ventoso lolls, and scorns all human kind
From the gilt coach with four lac'd llaves behind ;
Does all this pomp and state proceed from merit?
Mean thought ! he deems it nobler to inkerit :
While Fopling from some title draws his pride,
Meanless, or infamous, or misapply'd;
Free-mason, rake or wit, 'tis just the same,
The charm is hence, he has gain’d himself a name.
Yet, spite of all the fools that pride has made,
'Tis not on man an useless burthen laid ;
Pride has ennobled fome, and some disgrac'd ;
It hurts not in itself, but as 'uis plac'd;
When right, its view knows none but virtue's bound;
wrong, it scarcely looks one inch around.
Mark! with what care the fair one's critic eye
Scans o'er her dress, nor let's a fąult slip by ;
Each rebel bair must be reduc'd to place
With tedious skill, and tortur’d into grace ;
Betty must o'er and o'er the pins dispose,
"Till into modifh folds the drapery lows,
And the whole frame is fitted to express
The charms of decency and nakedness.
Why all this art, this labour'd ornament;
To captivate, you'll cry no doubt, 'tis meant.
True. But let's wait upon this fair machine
From the lone closet to the social scene ;
There view her loud, affected, scornful, four,
Paining all others, and herself still more.
What means the, at one instant to disgrace,
The labour of ten hours, her much-loy'd face?
Why, 'tis the self-fame paffion gratify'd;
The work is ruin'd, that was rais'd by pride.
Yet of all tempers, it requires leaft pain,
Could we but rule ourselves, to rule the vain.
The prudent is by reason only sway'd,
With him each sentence and each word is weigh’d;
The gay and giddy can alone be caught
By the quick luftre of a happy thought ;
The miser hates, unless he fteals your pelf;
The prodigal, unless you rob yourself ;
The lewd will thun you, if your wife prove chaste ;
The jealous, if a smile on his be caft;
The steady or the whimsical will blame,
Either, because you're not, or are the fame;
The peevish, fullen, shrewd, luxurious, rash,
Will with your virtue, peace, or intereft, clach;
But mark the proud man's price, how very low !
"Tis but a civil speech, a smile, or bow.
Ye who puth'd on by noble ardour, aim In social life to gain immortal fame,
Observe the various passions of mankind,
General, peculiar, fingle or combind :
How youth from manhood differs in its views,
And how old age still other paths pursues ;
How zeal in Priscus nothing more than heats,
In Codex burns, and ruins all it meets ;
How freedom now a lovely face shall wear,
Now shock us in the likeness of a bear;
How jealousy in some resembles hate,
In others, seems but love grown
How modesty is often pride refin'd,
And virtue but the canker of the mind;
How love of riches, grandeur, life, and fame,
Wear different shapes, and yet are still the fame.
But not our passions only disagree,
In taste is found as great variety :
Sylvius is ravish'd when he hears a hound,
His lady hates to death the odious found:
Yet both love music, tho' in different ways;
He in a kennel, the at opera's.
A florift fhall, perhaps, not grudge fome hours,
To view the colours in a bed of flowers ;
Yet, shew him Titian's workmanship divine,
He passes on, and only cries, 'tis fine.
A rusty coin, an old worm-eaten post,
The mouldy fragment of an author loft,
A butterfly, an equipage, a ftar,
A globe, a fine lac'd head, a china jar,
A mistress, or a fashion, that is new,
Have each their charms, tho' felt but by a few.
Then study each man's passion and his tafe,
The first to soften, and indulge the last :
Not like the wretch, who beats down virtue's fence,
'And deviates from the paths of common sense ;
Who daubs with fulsome flattery, blind and bold,
The very weakness we with grief behold.
Passions are common to the fool and wise,
And all would hide them under art's disguise ;
For so avow'd, in others, is their shame,
None hates them more, than he who has the same.
But taste seems more peculiarly our own,
And every man is fond to make his known;
Proud of a mark he fancies is design'd
By nature to advance him o'er his kind ;
And where he fees that character impress’d,
With joy he hugs the favourite to his breaft.
But the main stress of all our cares must lie,
To watch ourselves with strict and constant eye:
To mark the working mind, when passion's course
Begins to swell, and reason still has force;
Or, if she's conquer'd by the stronger tide,
Observe the moments when they first subfide ;
For he who hopes a victory to win
O'er other men, muft with himself begin ;
Else like a town by mutiny oppress’d,
He's ruin'd by the foe within his breast ;