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Let none direct thee what to do or say,

Till thee thy judgment of the matter sway;

Let not the pleafing many thee delight.

First judge, if those whom thou doft please, judge right.
Search not to find what lies too deeply hid,

Nor to know things, whofe knowledge is forbid ;
Nor climb on pyramids, which thy head turn round
Standing, and whence no fafe defcent is found:
In vain his nerves and faculties he ftrains
To rife, whofe raifing unfecure remains :
They whom defert and favour forwards thrust,
Are wife, when they their measures can adjust.
When well at eafe, and happy, live content,
And then confider why that life was lent;
When wealthy, show thy wisdom not to be
To wealth a fervant, but make wealth serve thee.
Though all alone, yet nothing think or do,
Which nor a witnefs nor a judge might know.
The highest hill is the most slippery place,
And Fortune mocks us with a smiling face.
And her unfteady hand hath often plac'd
Men in high power, but feldom holds them faft;
Against her then her forces Prudence joins,
And to the golden mean herself confines.

More in profperity is reason toft,

Than fhips in ftorms, their helms and anchors loft:
Before fair gales not all our fails we bear,
But with fide winds into fafe harbours fteer;
More fhips in calms on a deceitful coaft,
Or unfeen rocks, than in high storms are loft.


Who cafts out threats and frowns, no man deceives,
Time for refiftance and defence he gives;
But flattery ftill in fugar'd words betrays,
And poison in high-tasted meats conveys;
So Fortune's smiles unguarded man furprize,
But when the frowns, he arms, and her defies.


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IS the first fanction nature gave to man,
Each other to affift in what they can;
Just or unjust, this law for ever stands,

All things are good by law which the commands;
The first step, man towards Chrift muft justly live,
Who t' us himself, and all we have, did give;
In vain doth man the name of just expect,
If his devotions he to God negle&t;

So muft we reverence God, as firft to know
Juftice from him, not from ourselves doth flow;
God thofe accepts, who to mankind are friends,
Whose justice far as their own power extends;
In that they imitate the power divine,
The fun alike on good and bad doth shine;
And he that doth no good, although no ill,
Does not the office of the just fulfill.
Virtue doth man to virtuous actions steer,
'Tis not enough that he should vice' forbear;
We live not only for ourfelves to care,
Whilft they that want it are deny'd their share.

Wife Plato faid, the world with men was ftor'd,
That fuccour each to other might afford;
Nor are thofe fuccours to one fort confin'd,
But feveral parts to several men consign'd;
He that of his own ftores no part can give,
May with his counsel or his hands relieve.
If fortune make thee powerful, give defence
'Gainst fraud, and force, to naked innocence :
And when our justice doth her tributes pay,
Method and order must direct the way:
Firft to our God we muft with reverence bow;
The second honour to our prince we owe ;
Next to wives, parents, children, fit respect,
And to our friends and kindred we direct:
Then we must those who groan beneath the weight
Of age, disease, or want, commiserate :
'Mongst those whom honeft lives can recommend,
Our juftice more compaffion should extend;
To fuch, who thee in some distress did aid,
Thy debt of thanks with interest should be paid :
As Hefiod fings, fpread waters o'er thy field,
And a most just and glad increase 'twill yield.
But yet take heed, left doing good to one,
Mischief and wrong be, to another done;
Such moderation with thy bounty join,

That thou may'st nothing give, that is not thine;
That liberality 's but cast away,

Which makes us borrow what we cannot pay :

And no access to wealth let rapine bring;

Do nothing that 's unjuft, to be a king.


Juftice must be from violence exempt,
But fraud 's her only object of contempt.
Fraud in the fox, force in the lion dwells;
But justice both from human hearts expels ;
But he's the greatest monfter (without doubt)
Who is a wolf within, a fheep without.
Nor only ill injurious actions are,

But evil words and flanders bear their share.
Truth juftice loves, and truth injuftice fears,
Truth above all things a juft man reveres :
Though not by oaths we God to witness call,
He fees and hears, and ftill remembers all;
And yet our atteftations we may wrest,
Sometimes to make the truth more manifeft;
If by a lye a man preserve his faith,
He pardon, leave, and abfolution hath;
Or if I break my promise, which to thee
Would bring no good, but prejudice to me.
All things committed to thy trust conceal,
Nor what 's forbid by any means reveal.
Express thyself in plain, not doubtful words,
That ground for quarrels or disputes affords :
Unless thou find occafion, hold thy tongue;'
Thyself or others, carelefs talk may wrong.
When thou art called into public power,
And when a crowd of fuitors throng thy door,
Be sure no great offenders 'scape their dooms;
Small praise from lenity and remiffness comes :
Crimes pardon'd, others to thofe crimes invite,
Whilft lookers-on fevere examples fright:

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When by a pardon'd murderer blood is fpilt,

The judge that pardon'd hath the greatest guilt;
Who accuse rigour, make a gross mistake,
One criminal pardon'd, may an hundred make;
When justice on offenders is not done,

Law, government, and commerce, are o'erthrown ;
As befieg'd traitors with the foe conspire,
T' unlock the gates, and set the town on fire.
Yet left the punishment th' offence exceed,
Juftice with weight and measure must proceed:
Yet when pronouncing fentence, feem not glad,
Such fpectacles, though they are just, are sad ;
Though what thou doft, thou ought'ft not to repent,
Yet human bowels cannot but relent :

Rather than all muft fuffer, some must die;

Yet nature must condole their misery.

And yet, if many equal guilt involve,

Thou may'ft not these condemn, and those absolve.
Juftice, when equal scales she holds, is blind,
Nor cruelty, nor mercy, change her mind;
When fome escape for that which others die,
Mercy to thofe, to these is cruelty.

A fine and flender net the spider weaves,
Which little and light animals receives;
And if the catch a common bee or fly,
They with a piteous groan and murmur die 3
But if a wafp or hornet fhe entrap,

They tear her cords like Sampfon, and escape;
So like a fly the poor offender dies;

But, like the wafp, the rich escapes and flies.


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