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which was the third, and almoft touched the heaven which he affected, is be. lieved to have died with grief and discontent, because he could not 'attain to the honeit name of a king, and the old formality of a crown, though he had before exceeded the power by a wieked usurpation. If he could have compassed that, be would perhaps have wanted something else that is necessary to felicity, and pined away for want of the title of an emperor or a god. The reason of this is, that greatness has no reality in nature, being a creature of the fancy, a notion that consists only in relation and comparison : it is indeed an idol ; but St. Paul teaches us, idolis nothing in the world." There is in truth no rising or meridian of the sun, but only in respect to several places: there is no right or left, no upper-hand in nature; every thing is little, and every thing is great, according as it is diversely compared. There may be perhaps some village in Scotland or Ireland, where I might be a great man : and in that case I should be like Cæfar (you would wonder how Cæsar and I should be like one another in any thing); and choose rather to be the first man of the village, than second at Rome. Our country is called Great Britany, in regard only of a lesser of the same name; it would be but a ridiculous epithet for it, when we consider it together with the kingdom of China. That, too, is but a pitiful rood of ground, in comparison of the whole earth besides, and this whole globe of earth, which we account so immense a body, is but one point or atom in relation to those numberless worlds that are scattered up and down in the infinite space of the sky which we behold.
The other many inconveniences of grandeur I have spoken of dispersedly in several chapters; and shall end this with an Ode of Horace, not exactly copied, but rudely
HORACE, LIB. III. ODE I.
“Odi profanum vulgus, &c.”
HENCE, ye profane ; I hate you all;
Both the great vulgar, and the small.
To virgin minds, which yet their native whiteness hold,
Not yet discolour'd with the love of gold
(That jaundice of the soul,
Which makes it look so gilded and so foul),
To you, ye very few, these truths I tell;
The Muse inspires my song; hark, and observe it well.
We look on men, and wonder at such odds
'Twixt things that were the same by birth;
We look on kings as giants of the earth,
These giants are but pigmies to the gods.
The humbleft bush and proudest oak
Are but of equal proof against the thunder-stroke.
Beauty, and strength, and wit, and wealth, and powers
Have their fhort flourishing hour:
And love to see themselves, and smile,
And joy in their pre-eminence awhile ;
Ev'n so in the same land,
Poor weeds, rich corn, gay flowers, together stand;
Alas! death mows down all with an impartial handa
And all ye men, whom greatness does so please,
Ye feaft, I fear, like Damocles:
If ye your eyes could upwards move
(But ye, I fear, think nothing is above)
Ye would perceive by what a little thread
The sword still hangs over your head :
No tide of wine would drown your cares ;
No mirth or music over-noise your fears :
The fear of death would you so watchful keep,
As not l'admit the image of it, Neep.
Sleep is a god too proud to wait in palaces,
And yet so humble too, as not to scorn
The meanest country cottages:
“ His poppy grows among the corn.”
The halcyon Sleep will never build his net
In any stormy breast.
'Tis not enough that he does find
Clouds and darkness in their mind;
Darkness but half his work will do:
"Tis not enough; he must find quiet too.
The man, who in all wishes he does make,
Does only nature's counsel take,
That wife and happy man will never fear
The evil aspects of the year;
Nor tremble, though two comets should appear :
He does not look in almanacks, to see
Whether he fortunate shall be;
Let Mars and Saturn in the heavens conjoin,
And what they please against the world design,
So Jupiter within him shine.
If of your plcasures and desires no end be found,
God to your cares and fears will set no bound.
What would content you? who can tell ?
Ye fear so much to lose what ye have got,
As if ye lik'd it well:
Ye strive for more, as if ye lik'd it not.
Go, level hills, and fill up seas,
Spare nought that may your wanton fancy please ;
But, trust me, when you have done all this,
Much will be missing still, and much will be amiss,
HERE are two sorts of avarice: the one is but of a bastard kind, and that is,
the rapacious appetite of gain ; not for its own sake, but for the pleasure of refunding it immediately through all the channels of pride and luxury: the other is the true kind, and properly so called; which is a restless and unsatiable desire of riches, nor for any farther end or use, but only to hoard, and preserve, and perpetually increase them. The covetous man, of the first kind, is like a greedy ostrich, which devours any metal; but it is with an intent to feed upon it, and in effect, it makes a shift to digest and excern it. The second is like the foolish chough, which loves to steal money only to hide it. The first does much harm to mankind; and a little good too, to some few: the second does good to none; no, not to himself. The first can make no excuse to God, or angels, or rational men, for his actions; the second can give no
on or colour, not to the devil himself, for what he does; he is a Rave to Mammon bout wages. The first makes a shift to be beloved ; ay, and envied too by some ple; the second is the universal object of hatred and contempt. There is no vice has n lo pelted with good sentences, and especially by the poets, who have pursued it
stories, and fables, and allegories, and allufions; and moved, as we say, every store Aing at it: among all which, I do not remember a more fine and gentleman-likę rection, than that which was given it by one line of Ovid:
« Desunt luxuriæ multa, avaritiæ omnia."
Much is wanting to luxury, all to avarice.
To which saying, I have a mind to add one member, and render it thus :
Poverty wants fome, luxury many, avarice all things.
Somebody says * of a virtuous and wise man " that having nothing, he has all :" this is
this antipode, who, having all things, yet has nothing. He is a guardian eunuch to
s beloved gold : “audivi eos amatores effe maximos, sed nil potesse." They are the
acest losers, but impotent to enjoy.
And, oh, what man's condition can be worse
Than his, whom plenty starves, and bleffings curse;
The beggars but a common fate deplore,
The rich poor man's emphatically poor.
I wonder how it comes to pass, that there has never been any law made against him :
gainst him do I say? I mean, for him: as there are public provisions made for all
aher madmen : it is very reasonable that the king should appoint fome persons (and
I think the courtiers would not be against this propofition) to manage his estate during
life (for his heirs commonly need not that care): and out of it to make it their baliness to fee, that he should not want alimony befitting his condition, which he could sever get out of his own cruel fingers. We relieve idle vagrants, and counterfeit begFars
; but have no care at all of these really poor men, who are, methinks, to be re. petfully treated, in regard of their quality. I might be endless against them, but I in almost choaked with the super-abundance of the matter ; too much plenty impoFerihes me, as it does them. I will conclude this odious subject with part of Horace's frit fatire, which take in his own familiar style;
I admire, Mæcenas, how it comes to pass,
That no man ever yet contented was,
Nor is, nor perhaps will be, with that state
In which his own choice plants him, or his fate.
Happy the merchant, the old soldier cries :
The merchant, beaten with tempestuous skies,
Happy the soldier ! one half-hour to thee
Gives speedy death, or glorious victory :
The lawyer, knockt up early from his reft
By reftlefs clients, calls the peasant bleft:
The peasant, when his labours ill succeed,
Envies the mouth, which only talk does feed.
'Tis not (I think you'll say) that I want store
Of instances, if here I add no more ;
They are enough to reach, at least a mile,
Beyond long orator Fabius's ftyle.
"The author, well acquainted with the taste of his readers, would not disgust their delicacy by lete
ting them know that this a fomebody" was St. Paul, [2 Cor. vi. 10.)-Though the sease and expicka
son would have done honour to Plato. Hurd.
But hold, ye, wham no fortune e'er endears,
Gentlemen, malecontents, and mutineers,
Who bounteous Jove so often cruel call,
Behold, Jove's now resolved to please you all.
Thou soldier, be a merchant: merchant, thou
A soldier be: and, lawyer to the plough.
Change all your stations strait: why do they stay?
The devil a man will change, now, when he may.
Were I in general Jove's abused case,
By Jove I'd cudgel this rebellious race:
But he's too good; be all, then, as ye were ;
However, make the best of what ye are,
And in that state be cheerful aud rejoice,
Which either was your fate, or was your choice.
No, they must labour yet, and sweat, and toil,
And very miserable be awhile ;
But 'tis with a design only to gain
What may their age with plenteous ease maintain.
The prudent pismire does this leffon teach,
And industry to lazy mankind preach :
The little drudge does trot about and sweat,
Nor does he ftrai devour all he can get;
But in his temperate mouth carries it home
A stock for winter, which he knows must come.
And, when the rolling world to creatures here
Turns up the deform'd wrong-side of the year,
And shuts him in, with storms, and cold, and wet,
He cheerfully does his past labours cat :
0, does he so? your wife exampie, th' ant,
Does not, at all times, rest and plenty want ;
But, weighing juftly a mortal ant's condition,
Divides his life 'twixt labour and fruition.
Thee, neither heat, nor storms, nor wet, nor cold,
From thy unnatural diligence can with-hold :
To th? Indies thou would'It run, rather than see
Another, though a friend, richer than thce.
Fond man! what good or beauty can be found
In heaps of treasure, buried under ground?
Which rather than diminish'd e'er to see,
Thou would's thyself, too, buried with them be:
And what's the difference? is 't not quite as bad
Never to use, as never to have had ?
In thy vast barns millions of quarters store;
Thy belly, for all that, will hold no more
Than mine does. Every baker makes much bread;
What then? He's with no more, than others, fed.
Do you within the bounds of nature live,
And to augment your own you need not strive ;
One hundred acres will no less for you
Your life's whole business, than ten thousand, do.
But pleasant 'tis to take from a great store.
What, man! though you're resolv'd to take no more
Than I do from a small one? If your will
Be but a pitcher or a pot to fill,
To some great river for it must you go,
When a clear spring just at your feet does dow.
Give me the spring, which does to human use
Safe, easy, and untroubled stores produce;
He who fcorns these, and needs will drink at Nile,
Must run the danger of the crocodile,
And of the rapid Itream itself, which may,
At unawares, bear him perhaps away.
In a full food Tantalus stands, his skin
Walh'd o'er in vain, for ever dry within :
He catches at the stream with greedy lips,
From his toucht mouth the wanton torrent Dips:
You laugh now, and expand your careful brow;
'Tis finely said, but what's all this to you?
Change but the name, this fable is thy story,
Thou in a flood of useless wealth doit glory,
Which thou canst only touch, but never taste;
Th' abundance ftill, and fill the want does last.
The treasures of the gods thou would’ft not spare :
But when they're made thine own, they sacred are;
And must be kept with reverence ; as if thou
No other use of precious gold didft know,
But that of curious pictures, to delight;
With the fair stamp, thy virtuoso fight.
The only true and genuine use is this,
To buy the things which nature cannot miss
Without discomfort; oil and vital bread,
And wine, by which the life of life is fed,
And all those few things else by which we
All that remains, is giv'n for thee to give.
If cares and troubles, envy, grief, and fear,
The bitter fruits be, which fair riches bear ;
If a new poverty grow out of store ;
The old plain way, ye gods! let me be poor.
PARAPHRASE ON HORACE, B. III. OD. Xji.
A TOWER of brass, one would have said,
And locks, and bolts, and iron bars,
And guards, as stri&t as in the heat of wars,
Might have preserv'd one innocent maidenhead.
The jealous father thought he well might spare
Aí further jealous care;
And, as he walk'd, t himself alone he smild,
To think how Venus' art3 he had beguild;
And, when he slept, his rest was deep:
But Venus laugh'd to fee and hear him sleep.
She taught the amorous Jove
A magical receipt in love,
Which arm'd him Itronger, and which help'd him more,
Thar all his thunder did, and his almighty-ship before,
She taught him love's elixir, by which art
His godhead into gold he did convert :