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ON GENERAL HENRY WITHERS,

IN WESTMINSTER-ABBEY, 1729.

HERE, WITHERS, rest! thou bravest, gentlest mind,
Thy country's friend, but more of human kind.
O born to arms! O worth in youth approved !
O soft humanity, in age beloved !
For thee the hardy veteran drops a tear,
And the gay courtier feels the sigh sincere.

WITHERS, adieu ! yet not with thee remove
Thy martial spirit, or thy social love !
Amidst corruption, luxury, and rage,
Still leave some ancient virtues to our age :
Nor let us say (those English glories gone)
The last true Briton lies beneath this stone.

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Of manners gentle, of affections mild;
In wit, a man ; simplicity, a child :
With native humour tempering virtuous rage,
Form’d to delight at once and lash the age.
Above temptation, in a low estate,
And uncorrupted even among the great:
A safe companion, and an easy friend,
Unblamed through life, lamented in thy end.
These are thy honours! not that here thy bust
Is mix'd with heroes, or with kings thy dust;
But that the worthy and the good shall say,
Striking their pensive bosoms--Here lies Gay.

XII.

INTENDED FOR SIR ISAAC NEWTON,

IN WESTMINSTER-ABBEY.

ISAACUS NEWTONUS:

Quem Immortalem
Testantur Tempus, Natura, Coelum :

Mortalem

Hoc marmor fatetur. Nature and Nature's laws lay hid in night: God said, Let Newton be! and all was light.

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ON EDMUND DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM, WHO DIED IN THE NINETEENTH YEAR OF HIS AGE, 1735.

If modest youth, with cool reflection crown'd,
And every opening virtue blooming round,
Could save a parent's justest pride from fate,
Or add one patriot to a sinking state ;
This weeping marble had not ask'd thy tear,
Or sadly told, how many hopes lie here!
The living virtue now had shone approved,
The senate heard him, and his country loved.
Yet softer honours and less noisy fame
Attend the shade of gentle BUCKINGHAM :
In whom a race, for courage famed and art,
Ends in a milder merit of the heart;
And chiefs or sages long to Britain given,
Pays the last tribute of a saint to heaven.

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WHO DIED IN EXILE AT PARIS, 1732, (HIS ONLY DAUGHTER HAVING EXPIRED IN HIS ARMS, IMMEDIATELY AFTER SHE ARRIVED

IN FRANCE TO SEE HIM.)

DIALOGUE.

SHE. Yes, we have lived-one pang, and then we part ! May Heaven, dear father ! now have all thy heart. Yet ah ! how once we loved, remember still, Till you are dust like me.

HE.

Dear shade! I will :
Then mix this dust with thine–O spotless ghost !
O more than fortune, friends, or country lost !
Is there on earth one care, one wish beside ?

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FOR ONE WHO WOULD NOT BE BURIED IN

WESTMINSTER-ABBEY.

HEROES and KINGS ! your distance keep :
In peace let one poor poet sleep,
Who never flatter'd folks like you :
Let Horace blush, and Virgil too.

ANOTHER ON THE SAME.

UNDER this marble, or under this sill,
Or under this turf, or e'en what they will ;
Whatever an heir, or a friend in his stead,
Or any good creature shall lay o'er my head,
Lies one who ne'er cared, and still cares not a pin
What they said, or may say, of the mortal within :
But, who living and dying, serene still and free,
Trusts in God, that as well as he was, he shall be.

AN ESSAY ON MAN.

In four Epistles.

TO H. ST. JOHN, LORD BOLINGBROKE.

THE DESIGN. HAVING proposed to write some pieces on Human Life and Manners. such as (to use my Lord Bacon's expression) come home to men's business and bosoms, I thought it more satisfactory to begin with considering Man in the abstract, his nature and his state, since, to prove any moral duty, to enforce any moral precept, or to examine the perfection or imperfection of any creature whatsoever, it is necessary first to know what condition and relation it is placed in, and what is the proper end and purpose of its

being.

The science of human nature is, like all other sciences, reduced to a few clear points; there are not many certain truths in this world. It is therefore in the anatomy of the mind as in that of the body; more good will accrue to mankind, by attending to the large, open, and perceptible parts, than by studying too much such finer nerves and vessels, the conformations and uses of which will for ever escape our observation. The disputes are all upon these last, and, I will venture to say, they have less sharpened the wits than the hearts of men against each other, and have diminished the practice, more than advanced the theory, of morality. If I could flatter myself that this Essay has any merit, it is in steering betwixt the extremes of doctrines seemingly opposite, in passing over terms utterly unintelligible, and in forming a temperate, yet not inconsistent, and a short, yet not imperfect, system of ethics.

This I might bave done in prose, but I chose verse, and even rhyme, for two reasons. The one will appear obvious; that principles, maxims, or precepts, so written, both strike the reader more strongly at first, and are more easily retained by him afterwards: the other may seem odd, but is true. I found I could express them more shortly this way than in prose

grace of arguments or instructions depends on their conciseness. I was unable to treat this part of my subject more in detail, without becoming dry and tedious; or more poetically, without sacrificing perspicuity to ornament, without wandering from the precision, or breaking the chain of reasoning: if any man can unite all these without diminution of any of them, I freely confess he will compass a thing above my capacity.

What is now published, is only to be considered as a general map of MAN, marking out no more than the greater parts, their extent, their limits, and their connection, but leaving the particular to be more fully delineated in the charts which are now to follow. Consequently these Epistles in their progress (if I have health and leisure to make any progress) will be less dry, and more susceptible of poetical ornament. I am here only opening the fountains, and clearing the passage. To deduce the rivers, to follow them in their course, and to observe their effects, may be a task more agreeable.

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