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And grant the bad what happiness they woud, One they must want, which is, to pass for good.
Oh blind to truth, and God's whole scheme below, Who fancy Bliss to Vice, to Virtue Woe! Who fees and follows that great scheme the best, 95 Best knows the blessing, and will most be blest. But fools, the Good alone, unhappy call, For ills or accidents that chance to all. See FALKLAND dies, the virtuous and the just ! See god-like TURENNE prostrate on the duft! See SIDNEY bleeds amid the martial strife! Was this their Virtue, or Contempt of Life ? Say, was it Virtue, more tho' Heav'n ne'er
gave, Lamented Digby! sunk thee to the grave ? Tell me, if Virtue made the Son expire, 105 Why, full of days and honour, lives the Sire?
VER. 100. See god-like Turenne] This epithet has a peculiar justness; the great man to whom it is applied not being distinguished, from other generals, for any of his superior qualities so much as for his providential care of those whom he led to war; which was so uncommon, that his chief purpose in taking on himself the command of armies, seems to have been the Prefervation of Mankind. In this god-like care he was more distinguishably employed throughout the whole course of that famous campaign in which he lost his life.
Let sober Moralists correct their speech,
Why drew Marseilles' good bishop purer breath,
What makes all physical or moral ill ?
VER, 110. Lent Heav'n a parent, etc.] This last instance of the poet's illustration of the ways of Providence, the reader sees, has a peculiar elegance, where a tribute of piety to a parent is paid in a return of thanks to, and made subfervient of, his vindication of, the Great Giver and Father of all things. The Mother of the author, a person of great piety and charity, died the year
this poem was finished, viz. 1733.
Of ev'ry evil, since the world began,
Shall burning Ætna, if a fage requires, Forget to thunder, and recall her fires ? On air or sea new motions be imprest,
125 Oh blameless Bethel! to relieve thy breast ? When the loose mountain trembles from on high, Shall gravitation cease, if you go by ? Or fome old temple, nodding to its fall, For Chartres' head reserve the hanging wall ? 13
But still this world (so fitted for the knave) Contents us not. A better shall we have ? A kingdom of the Just then let it be: But first consider how those Just agree. The good must merit God's peculiar care ; 135 But who, but God, can tell us who they are ? One thinks on Calvin Heav'n's own spirit fell ; Another deems him instrument of hell; If Calvin feel Heav'n's blessing, or its rod, This cries there is, and that, there is no God. 140 What shocks one part will edify the rest, Nor with one system can they all be bleft.
VER. 123. Shall burning Ætna, etc.] Alluding to the fate of those two great Naturalists, Empedocles and Pliny, who both perished by too near an approach to Ætna and Vesuvius, while they were exploring the cause of their cruptions.
Give each a System, all must be at strife;
What diff'rent Systems for a Man and Wife? The joke, tho' lively, was ill plac'd, and therefore struck out of the text,
The very best will variously incline,
146 And which more blest? who chain'd his country, say, Or he whosc Virtue sigh`d to lose a day?
“ But sometimes Virtue staryes, while Vice is fed." What then? Is the reward of Virtue bread ?
150 That, Vice may merit, 'tis the price of toil; The knave deserves it, when he tills the soil, The knave deserves it, when he tempts the main, Where folly fights for kings, or dives for gain. The good man may be weak, be indolent;
155 Nor is his claim to plenty, but content. But grant him riches, your demand is o'er ? “ No-shall the good want Health, the good want
« Pow'r?” Add Health, and Pow'r, and ev'ry earthly thing, “ Why bounded Pow'r! why private? why no king?"
16a Nay, why external for internal giv'n? Why is not Man a God, and Earth a Heav'n? Who ask and reason thus, will scarce conceive God gives enough, while he has more to give : Immense the pow'r, immense were the demand ; Say, at what part of nature will they stand ? 166
What nothing earthly gives, or can destroy, The soul's calm sun-fhine, and the heart-felt joy,
Is Virtue's prize: A better would you fix?
VIR. 177. Go, like the Indian, etc.] Alluding to the example of the Indian, in Epift. i. $ 99. and shewing, that that example was not given to discredit any rational hopes of future happiness, but only to reprove the folly of separating them from charity :
Zeal, not Charity, became the guide,
Say, what rewards this idle world imparts,