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How cruel this ! more cruel to forbear.
His plan had practis'd long before 't was writ. Our nature such, with necessary pains,
The world 's all tille-page; there's no contents ; We purchase prospects of precarious peace :
The world's all face, the man who shows his heart, Though not a father, this might steal a sigh. Is hooted for his nudities, and scorn'd. Suppose him disciplin'd aright (if not,
A man I knew, who liv'd upon a smile, 'T will sink our poor aecount to poorer still);
And well it fed him ; he look'd plump and fair; Ripe from the tutor, proud of liberty,
While rankest venom foam'd through every vein. He leaps enclosure, bounds into the world! Lorenzo! what I tell thee, take not ill ! The world is taken, after ten years' toil,
Living, he fawn'd on every fool alive ; Like ancient Troy; and all its joys his own. And, dying, curs'd the friend whom he liv'd. Alas! the world 's a tutor more severe ;
To such proficients thou art half a saint. Its lessons hard, and ill deserve his pains ;
In foreign realms (for thou hast travell'd far)
How curious to contemplate two state-rooks,
With all the necromantics of their art,
Playing the game of faces on each other, Welcome the modest stranger to their sphere, Making court sweet-meats of their latent gall, (Which glitter'd long, at distance, in his sight,) In foolish hope to steal each other's trust; And, in their hospitable arms, enclose:
Both cheating, both exulting, both deceiv'd; Men, who think nought so strong of the romance, And sometimes both (let Earth rejoice) undone! So rank knight-errant, as a real friend :
Their parts we doubt not; but be that their shame; Men, that act up to reason's golden rule,
Shall men of talents, fit to rule mankind, All weakness of affection quite subdued :
Stoop to mean wiles, that would disgrace a fool; Men, that would blush at being thought sincere, And lose the thanks of those few friends they serve? And feign, for glory, the few faults they want ; For who can thank the man he cannot see? That love a lie, where truth would pay as well; Why so much cover? It defeats itself. [hearts As if, to them, vice shone her own reward.
Ye, that know all things! know ye not, men's Lorenzo ! canst thou bear a shocking sight? Are therefore known, because they are conceal'd? Such, for Florello's sake, 't will now appear :
For why conceald? - The cause they need not tell See, the steel'd files of season'd veterans,
I give him joy, that's awkward at a lie; Train'd to the world, in burnish'd falsehood bright; Whose feeble nature truth keeps still in awe; Deep in the fatal stratagems of peace ;
His incapacity is his renown.
Thou say'st, “ 'Tis needful :" is it therefore right?
To strain at an excuse ; and wouldst thou then As wise as Lucifer, and half as good ;
Escape that cruel need ? Thou may'st, with ease; And by whom none, but Lucifer, can gain Think no post needful that demands a knave. Naked, through these (so common fate ordains), When late our civil helm was shifting hands, Naked of heart, his cruel course he runs,
So Pulteney thought : think better if you can. Stung out of all, most amiable in life, (feign’d; But this, how rare! the public path of life Prompt truth, and open thought, and smiles un- Is dirty: — yet, allow that dirt is due, Affection, as his species, wide diffus'd;
It makes the noble mind more noble still : Noble presumptions to mankind's renown; The world 's no neuter; it will wound, or sare; Ingenuous trust, and confidence of love.
Or virtue quench, or indignation fire. (man:" These claims to joy (if mortals joy might claim) You say, “ The world, well known, will make a Will cost him many a sigh ; till time, and pains, The world, well-known, will give our hearts to From the slow mistress of this school, experience,
Heaven, And her assistant, pausing, pale, distrust,
Or make us demons, long before we die. Purchase a dear-bought clue to lead his youth To show how fair the world, thy mistress, shines, Through serpentine obliquities of life,
Take either part, sure ills attend the choice;
Sure, though not equal, detriment ensues,
Foes, that ne'er fail to make her feel their hate. If less than heavenly virtue is our guard.
Virtue has her peculiar set of pains. Thus, a strange kind of curst necessity
True friends to virtue, last, and least, complain; Brings down the sterling temper of his soul, But if they sigh, can others hope to smile? By base alloy, to bear the current stamp,
If wisdom has her miseries to mourn, Below call's wisdom; sinks him into safety, How can poor folly lead a happy life? And brands him into credit with the world;
And if both suffer, what lias Earth to boast, Where specious titles dignify disgrace,
Where he most happy, who the least laments ? And Nature's injuries are arts of life;
Where much, much patience, the most envied state, Where brighter reason prompts to bolder crimes; And some forgiveness, needs the best of friends ? And heavenly talents make infernal hearts; For friend, or happy life, who looks not higher, That unsurmountable extreme of guilt!
Of neither shall he find the shadow here.
“ Thus far thy song is right; and all must own
Virtue has her peculiar set of pains.
of real greatness ? That man greatly lives, And joys peculiar who to vice denies ?
Whate'er his fate, or fame, who greatly dies; If vice it is, with nature to comply:
High-flush'd with hope, where heroes shall despair. If pride, and sense, are so predominant,
If this a true criterion, many courts,
Th’ Almighty, from his throne, on Earth surveys
An humble heart, his residence ! pronounc'd
The private path, the secret acts of men,
If noble, far the noblest of our lives! Of these, the Porch, and Academy, talk'd; How far above Lorenzo's glory sits Of these, each following age had much to say
Th' illustrious master of a name unknown; Yet, unexhausted, still the needful theme.
Whose worth unrivall’d, and unwitness'd, loves Who talks of these, to mankind all at once
Life's sacred shades, where gods converse with men; He talks ; for were the saints from either free? And peace, beyond the world's conception, smiles ! Are these thy refuge ? - - No: these rush upon thee; As thou (now dark), before we part, shalt see. Thy vitals seize, and, vulture-like, devour:
But thy great soul this skulking glory scorns. I'll try if I can pluck thee from thy rock,
Lorenzo's sick, but when Lorenzo's seen ; Prometheus! from this barren ball of Earth; And when he shrugs at public business, lies. If reason can unchain thee, thou art free.
Denied the public eye, the public voice, And, first, thy Caucasus, ambition, calls; As if he liv'd on others' breath, he dies. Mountain of torments ! eminence of woes !
Fain would he make the world his pedestal ; Of courted woes ! and courted through mistake! Mankind the gazers, the sole figure, he. 'Tis not ambition charms thee ; 't is a cheat Knows he, that mankind praise against their will, Will make thee start, as H - at his Moor.
And mix as much detraction as they can? Dost grasp at greatness? First, know what it is : Knows he, that faithless fame her whisper has, Think'st thou thy greatness in distinction lies ? As well as trumpet ? That his vanity Not in the feather, wave it e'er so high,
Is so much tickled from not hearing all ? By fortune stuck, to mark us from the throng, Knows this all-knower, that from itch of praise, Is glory lodg'd: 't is lodg'd in the reverse; Or, from an itch more sordid, when he shines, In that which joins, in that which equals, all, Taking his country by five hundred ears, The monarch and his slave; -“ a deathless soul, Senates at once admire him, and despise, Unbounded prospect, and immortal kin,
With modest laughter lining loud applause, A Father-God, and brothers in the skies ;"
Which makes the smile more mortal to his fame? Elder, indeed, in time; but less remote
His fame, which (like the mighty Cæsar), crown'd In excellence, perhaps, than thought by man; With laurels, in full senate, greatly falls, Why greater what can fall, than what can rise ? By seeming friends, that honour, and destroy. If still delirious, now, Lorenzo! go;
We rise in glory, as we sink in pride : And with thy full-blown brothers of the world, Where boasting ends, there dignity begins : Throw scorn around thee; cast it on thy slaves ; And yet, mistaken beyond all mistake, Thy slaves and equals : how scorn cast on them The blind Lorenzo's proud of being proud; Rebounds on thee! If man is mean, as man,
And dreams himself ascending in his fall. Art thou a god? If fortune makes him so,
An eminence, though fancy'd, turns the brain : Beware the consequence : a maxim that,
All vice wants hellebore; but of all vice, Which draws a monstrous picture of mankind, Pride loudest calls, and for the largest bowl; Where, in the drapery, the man is lost ;
Because, unlike all other vice, it flies, Externals fluttering, and the soul forgot.
In fact, the point in fancy most pursued. Thy greatest glory, when dispos’d to boast, Who court applause, oblige the world in this ; Boast that aloud, in which thy servants share. They gratify man's passion to refuse.
We wisely strip the steed we mean to buy: Superior honour, when assum'd, is lost ; Judge we, in their caparisons, of men ?
E'en good men turn banditti, and rejoice, It nought avails thee, where, but what, thou art ; Like Kouli-Kan, in plunder of the proud. All the distinctions of this little life
Though somewhat disconcerted, steady still Are quite cutaneous, foreign to the man.
To the world's cause, with half a face of joy, When, through death's streights, Earth's subtle Lorenzo cries - -“ Be, then, ámbition cast; serpents creep,
Ambition's dearer far stands unimpeach'd, Which wriggle into wealth, or climb renown. Gay pleasure ! proud ambition is her slave; As crooked Satan the forbidden tree,
For her, he soars at great, and hazards ill ; They leave their party-colour'd robe behind, For her, he fights, and bleeds, or overcomes ; All that now glitt while they rear aloft
And paves his way, with crowns, to reach frer smile: Their brazen crests, and hiss at us below.
Who can resist her charms?" — Or, should ? LoOf fortune's fucus strip them, yet alive :
renzo! Strip them of body, too; nay, closer still,
What mortal shall resist, where angels yield ? Away with all, but moral, in their minds;
Pleasure 's the mistress of ethereal powers; And let what then remains impose their name, For her contend the rival gods above ; Pronounce them weak, or worthy; great, or mean. i Pleasure 's the mistress of the world below; llow mean that snuff of glory fortune lights, And well it was for man, that pleasure charms; And death puts out! Dost thou demand a test, How would all stagnate, but for pleasure's ray! A test, at once, infallible, and short,
How would the frozen stream of action cease!
What is the pulse of this so busy world?
And know thyself; and know thyself to be The love of pleasure : that, through every vein, (Strange truth) the most absterious man alive, Throws motion, warınth ; and shuts out death from Tell not Calista ; she will laugh thee dead; life.
Or send thee to her hermitage with L. Though various are the tempers of mankind, Absurd presumption! Thou who never knew'st Pleasure's gay family hold all in chains :
A serious thought! shalt thou dare dream of joy? Some most affect the black; and some, the fair ; No man e'er found a happy life by chance; Some honest pleasure court; and some, obscene. Or yawn'd it into being, with a wish; Pleasures obscene are various, as the throng Or, with the shout of grovelling appetite, Of passions, that can err in human hearts;
E’er smelt it out, and grubb'd it from the dirt. Mistake their objects, or transgress their bounds. An art it is, and must be learnt; and learnt Think you there's but one whoredom? Whoredom, With unremitting effort, or be lost; all,
And leaves us perfect blockheads, in our bliss But when our reason licenses delight :
The clouds may drop down titles and estates; Dost doubt, Lorenzo ? Thou shalt doubt no more. Wealth may seek us; but wisdom must be sought; Thy father chides thy gallantries, yet hugs Sought before all ; but (how unlike all else An ugly common harlot, in the dark ;
We seek on Earth!) 't is never sought in vain. A rank adulterer with others' gold !
First, pleasure's birth, rise, strength, and granAnd that hag, vengeance, in a corner, charms.
deur see. Hatred her brothel has, as well as love,
Brought forth by wisdom, nurst by discipline, Where horrid epicures debauch in blood.
By patience taught, by perseverance crown'd, Whate'er the motive, pleasure is the mark :
She rears her head majestic; round her tlirone, For her, the black assassin draws his sword; Erected in the bosom of the just, For her, dark statesmen trim their midnight lamp, Each virtue, listed, forms her manly guard. To which no single sacrifice may fall ;
For what are virtues? (formidable name !)
Great Legislator! scarce so great, as kind !
In the transgression lies the penalty ;
Of pleasure, next, the final cause explore;
Its mighty purpose, its important end. Pleasure the purpose of my gloomy song.
Not to turn human brutal, but to build Pleasure is nought but virtue's gayer name : Divine on human, pleasure came from Heaven. I wrong her still, I rate her worth too low; In aid to reason was the goddess sent; Virtue the root, and pleasure is the flower;
To call up all its strength by such a charm. And honest Epicurus' foes were fools.
Pleasure, first, succours virtue ; in return, But this sounds harsh, and gives the wise offence! Virtue gives pleasure an eternal reign. If o'erstrain'd wisdom still retains the name, What, but the pleasure of food, friendship, faith, How knits austerity her cloudy brow,
Supports life natural, civil, and divine ? And blames, as bold, and hazardous, the praise 'T is from the pleasure of repast, we live ; Of pleasure, to mankind, unprais'd, too dear ! 'T is from the pleasure of applause, we please ; Ye modern Stoics! hear my soft reply;
'T is from the pleasure of belief, we pray; 'Their senses men will trust : we can't impose; (All prayer would cease, if unbeliev'd the prize ;) Or, if we could, is imposition right?
It serves ourselves, our species, and our God; Own honey sweet ; but, owning, add this sting : And to serve more, is past the sphere of man. “ When mixt with poison, it is deadly too.
Glide, then, for ever, pleasure's sacred stream! Truth never was indebted to a lie.
Through Eden, as Euphrates ran, it runs Is nought but virtue to be prais'd, as good ? And fosters every growth of happy life; Why then is health preferr'd before disease ? Makes a new Eden where it flows; — but such What nature loves is good without our leave ; As must be lost, Lorenzo! by thy fall. see, And where no future drawback cries, “ Beware,” “ What mean I by thy fall ?" - Thou 'lt stortly Pleasure, though not from virtue, should prevail. While pleasure's nature is at large display'd; 'T is balm to life, and gratitude to Heaven ; Already sung her origin, and ends. How cold our thanks for bounties unenjoy'd ! Those glorious ends, by kind, or by degree, The love of pleasure is man's eldest-born,
When pleasure violates, 't is then a vice, Born in his cradle, living to his tomb :
And vengeance too; it hastens into pain. Wisdom, her younger sister, though more grave, From due refreshment, life, health, reason, jos; Was meant to minister, and not to mar,
From wild excess, pain, grief, distraction, death; Imperial pleasure, queen of human hearts.
Heaven's justice, this proclaims, and that her lore. Lorenzo! thou, her majesty's renown'd,
What greater evil can I wish my foe, Though uncoift counsel, learned in the world! Than his full draught of pleasure, from a cask Who think'st thyself a Murray, with disdain Unbroach'd by just authority, ungaug'd May'st look on me. Yet, my Demosthenes!
By temperance, by reason unrefind? Canst thou plead pleasure's cause as well as I ? A thousand demons lurk within the lee. Know'st thou her nature, purpose, parentage ? Heaven, others, and ourselves ! uninjur'd tác, Attend my song, and thou shalt know them all; Drink deep; the deeper, then, the more divine:
Angels are angels, from indulgence there ;
Dost call the bowl, the viol, and the dance, 'T is unrepenting pleasure makes a god.
Loud mirth, mad laughter ? Wretched comforters ! Dost think thyself a god from other joys? Physicians ! more than half of thy disease. A victim rather shortly sure to bleed.
Laughter, though never censur'd yet as sin, The wrong must mourn : can Heaven's appoint- (Pardon a thought that only seems severe,) ments fail?
Is half-immortal : is it much indulg'a ?
That tickles little minds to mirth effuse!
The house of laughter makes a house of woe. With unprecarious flows of vital joy;
A man triumphant is a monstrous sight;
What cause for triumph, where such ills abound? “ Is virtue, then, and priety the same ?"
What for dejection, where presides a power, No; piety is more ; 't is virtue's source;
Who call'd us into being to be blest ? Mother of every worth, as that of joy.
So grieve, as conscious grief may rise to joy ; Men of the world this doctrine ill digest :
So joy, as conscious joy to grief may fall. They smile at piety; yet boast aloud
Most true, a wise man never will be sad; Good-will to men ; nor know they strive to part But neither will sonorous, bubbling mirth, What nature joins; and thus confute themselves. A shallow stream of happiness betray : With piety begins all good on Earth;
Too happy to be sportive, he 's serene. 'T is the first-born of rationality.
Yet wouldst thou laugh (but at thy own expense), Conscience, her first law broken, wounded lies ; This counsel strange should I presume to give Enfeebled, lifeless, impotent to good ;
“ Retire, and read thy Bible, to be gay.” A feign'd affection bounds her utmost power. There truths abound of sovereign aid to peace ; Some we can't love, but for the Almighty's sake; Ah! do not prize them less, because inspir'd, A foe to God was ne'er true friend to man; As thou, and thine, are apt and proud to do. Some sinister intent taints all he does ;
If not inspir'd, that pregnant page had stood, And, in his kindest actions, he 's unkind.
Time's treasure; and the wonder of the wise ! On piety, humanity is built ;
Thou think'st, perhaps, thy soul alone at stake; And on humanity, much happiness;
Alas! - Should men mistake thee for a fool ;And yet still more on piety itself.
What man of taste for genius, wisdom, truth, A soul in commerce with her God is Heaven; Though tender of thy fame, could interpose? Feels not the tumults and the shocks of life; Believe me, sense, here, acts a double part, The whirls of passions, and the strokes of heart. And the true critic is a Christian too. A Deity believ'd, is joy begun;
But these, thou think'st, are gloomy paths to joy. A Deity ador'd, is joy advanc'd ;
True joy in sunshine ne'er was found at first; A Deity belov’d, is joy matur'd.
They, first, themselves offend, who greatly please; Each branch of piety delight inspires ;
And travel only gives us sound repose. Faith builds a bridge from this world to the next, Heaven sells all pleasure ; effort is the price ; O’er death's dark gulf, and all its horrour hides ; The joys of conquest are the joys of man; Praise, the sweet exhalation of our joy,
And glory the victorious laurel spreads That joy exalts, and makes it sweeter still ; O'er pleasure's pure, perpetual, placid stream. Prayer ardent opens Heaven, lets down a stream There is a timc, when toil must be preferr'd, Of glory on the consecrated hour
Or joy, by mistim'd fondness, is undone. Of man, in audience with the Deity.
A man of pleasure is a man of pains. Who worships the Great God, that instant joins Thou wilt not take the trouble to be blest. The first in Heaven, and sets bis foot on Hell. False joys, indeed, are born from want of thought :
Lorenzo! when wast thou at church before? From thoughts full bent, and energy, the true ; Thou think'st the service long : but is it just ? And that demands a mind in equal poise, Though just, unwelcome ; thou hadst rather tread Remote from gloomy grief and glaring joy. Unhallow'd ground; the Muse, to win thine ear, Much joy not only speaks small happiness, Must take an air less solemn. She complies. But happiness that shortly must expire. Good conscience ! at the sound the world retires; Can joy, unbottom'd in reflection, stand ? Verse disaffects it, and Lorenzo smiles;
And, in a tempest, can reflection live? Yet has she her seraglio full of charms;
Can joy, like thine, secure itself an hour ? And such as age shall heighten, not impair. Can joy, like thine, meet accident unshock'd ? Art thou dejected ? Is thy mind o'ercast ? Or ope the door to honest poverty ? Amid her fair-ones, thou the fairest choose, (truth; Or talk with threatening death, and not turn pale ? To chase thy gloom. — “Go, fix some weighty In such a world, and such a nature, these Chain down some passion ; do some generous good ;
Are needful fundamentals of delight ;
These fundamentals give delight indeed ;
“ Rejoice for ever :" it becomes a man :
And why? 'T is love of pleasure bids thee blerd; Exalts, and sets him nearer to the gods.
Comply, or own self-love extinct, or blind. “ Rejoice for ever!" Nature cries, “ Rejoice !" For what is vice ? Self-love in a mistake : And drinks to man, in her nectareous cup,
A poor blind merchant buying joys too dear.
And virtue, what? 'T is self-love in her wits,
Self-love's good sense is love of that dread power, And he that will not pledge her, is a churl.
From whom herself, and all she can enjoy. II firmly to support, good fully taste,
Other self-love is but disguis'd self-hate ; Is the whole science of felicity :
More mortal than the malice of our foes ; Yet sparing pledge : her bowl is not the best A self-hate, now, scarce felt; then felt full-sore, Mankind can boast. -"A rational repast; When being curst ; extinction, loud implor'd; Exertion, vigilance, a mind in arms,
And every thing preferr'd to what we are. A military discipline of thought,
Yet this self-love Lorenzo makes his choice : To foil temptation in the doubtful field;
And, in this choice triumphant, boasts of joy. And ever-waking ardour for the right."
How is his want of happiness betray'd, 'T is these first give, then guard, a cheerful heart. By disaffection to the present hour! Nought that is right, think little; well aware, Imagination wanders far afield : What reason bids, God bids; by his command The future pleases : why? The present pains How aggrandiz'd, the smallest thing we do! 6. But that 's a secret. Yes, which all men know; Thus, nothing is insipid to the wise :
And know from thee, discover'd unawares.
Thy ceaseless agitation, restless roll
“ Mad!” (thou reply'st, with indignation fir’d) What is it? - 'T is the cradle of the soul, “ Of ancient sages proud to tread the steps, From instinct sent, to rock her in disease, I follow nature." – Follow nature still,
Which her physician, reason, will not cure. But look it be thine own : is conscience, then, A poor expedient ! yet thy best; and while No part of nature ? Is she not supreme?
It mitigates thy pain, it owns it too. Thou regicide! O raise her from the dead!
Such are Lorenzo's wretched remedies!
The weak bave remedies; the wise have joys
And what sure mark distinguishes the wise?
Consistent wisdom ever wills the same; At intervals, and must disgust e'en thee !
Thy fickle wish is ever on the wing. The fact thou know'st ; but not, perhaps, the cause. Sick of herself, is folly's character ; Virtue's foundations with the world's were laid ; As wisdom's is, a modest self-applause. Heaven mixt her with our make, and twisted close A change of evils is thy good supreme; Her sacred interests with the strings of life. Nor, but in motion, canst thou find thy rest. Who breaks her aweful mandate, shocks himself, Man's greatest strength is shown in standing still His better self; and is it greater pain,
The first sure symptom of a mind in health Our soul should murmur, or our dust repine? Is rest of heart, and pleasure felt at home, And one, in their eternal war, must bleed.
False pleasure from abroad her joys imports; If one must suffer, which should least be spar'd? Rich from within, and self-sustain'd, the true; The pains of mind surpass the pains of sense: The true is fixt, and solid as a rock; Ask, then, the gout, what torment is in guilt. Slippery the false, and tossing, as the wave. The joys of sense to mental joys are mean :
This, a wild wanderer on Earth, like Cain ; Sense on the present only feeds; the soul
That, like the fabled, self-enamour'd boy, On past, and future, forages for joy.
Home-contemplation her supreme delight; 'T is hers, by retrospect, through time to range ; She dreads an interruption from without. And forward time's great sequel to survey.
Smit with her own condition; and the more Could human courts take vengeance on the mind, Intense she gazes, still it charms the more. Axes might rust, and racks and gibbets fall :
No man is happy, till he thinks, on Earth Guard then, thy mind, and leave the rest to fate. There breathes not a more happy than himself : Lorenzo! wilt thou never be a man?
Then envy dies, and love o'erflows on all; The man is dead, who for the body lives,
And love o'erflowing makes an angel here. Lur'd, by the beating of his pulse, to list
Such angels, all, entitled to repose With every lust that wars against his peace : On him who governs fate : though tempest frowns, And sets him quite at variance with himself. Though nature shakes, how soft to lean on Heaven! Thyself, first, know; then love: a self there is To lean on him, on whom archangels lean! Of virtue fond, that kindles at her charms,
With inward eyes, and silent as the grave, A self there is, as fond of every vice,
They stand collecting every beam of thought, While every virtue wounds it to the heart :
Till their hearts kindle with divine delight; Humility degrades it, justice robs,
For all their thoughts, like angels, seen of old Blest bounty beggars it, fair truth betrays,
In Israel's dream, come from, and go to, Heavet: And god-like magnanimity destroys.
Hence, are they studious of sequester'd scenes; This self, when rival to the former, scorn;
While noise, and dissipation, comfort thee. When not in competition, kindly treat ;
Were all men happy, revelings would cease, Defend it, feed it: -- but when virtue bids, That opiate for inquietude within. Toss it or to the fowls, or to the flames,
Lorenzo! never man was truly blest,