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And his Son Herod plac'd on Juda's Throne;
(Thy Throne) butgold that got him puissant friends?
Therefore, if at great things thou would'st arrive,
Get Riches first, get Wealth, and Treasure heap,
Not difficult, if thou hearken to me,
Riches are mine, Fortune is in my hand;
They whom I favour thrive in wealth amain,
While Virtue, Valour, Wisdom fit in want.
To whom thus Jesus patiently reply'd;
Yet Wealth without these three is impotent
To gain dominion, or to keep it gain’d.
Witness those ancient Empires of the Earth,
In heighth of all their flowing wealth diffoly’d:
But men endu'd with these, have ofr attain'd
In lowest poverty to highest deeds ;
Gideon and Jephtha, and the Shepherd lad,
Whose Off-spring on the Throne of Judah sat
So many Ages, and shall yet regain
That seat, and reign in Israel without end.
Among the Heathen, (for throughout the Word
To me is not unknown what hath been done
Worthy Memorial) canst thou not remember
Quintus, Fabricius, Curius, Regulus ?
For I esteem those names of men so poor
Who could do mighty things, and could contemn
Riches though offer'd from the hand of Kings.
And what in me seems wanting, but that I
May also in this poverty as soon
Accomplish what they did, perhaps and more?
Extol not Riches then, the toyl of Fools,
The wise man's cumbrance, if not snare, more apt
To flacken Virtue, and abate her edge,
Than prompt her to do aught may merit praise.
What if with like aversion I reject
Riches and Realms; yet not for that a Crown,
Golden in fhew, is but a wreath of thorns,
Brings dangers, troubles, cares, and sleepless nights
To him who wears the Regal Diadem,
When on his shoulders each mans burden lies;
For therein stands the Office of a King,
His Honour, Virtue, Merit and chief Praise,
That for the Publick all this weight he bears.
Yet he who reigns within himself, and rules
Passions, Desires, and Fears, is more a King;
Which ev'ry wise and virtuous man attains:
And who attains not, ill aspires to rule
Cities of men, or head-strong multitudes.
Subject himself to Anarchy within,
Or lawless Passions in him which he serves.
But to guide Nations in the
By saving Doctrine, and from error lead
To know, and knowing worship God aright,
Is yet more Kingly, this attracts the Soul,
Governs the inner man, the nobler part,
That other o’er the body only reignis,
And oft by force, which to a gen'rous mind
So reigning can be no sincere delight.
Besides to give a Kingdom hath been thought
Greater and nobler done, and to lay down
Far more magnanimous, than to assume.
Riches are needless then, both for themselves,
And for thy reason why they should be sought,
To gain a Scepter, oftest better miss'd
The End of the Second Book.
O spake the Son of God, and Satan stood
A while as mute confounded what to say,
What to reply, confuted and convinc'd
Of his weak arguing, and fallacious drift ;
At length collecting all his Serpent wiles,
With soothing words renew'd, him thus accosts.
I fee thou know'st what is of use to know,
What best to say canst say, to do canst do ;
Thy actions to thy words accord, thy words
To thy large heart give utterance due, thy heart
Contains of good, wise, just, the perfect shape.
Should Kings and Nations from thy mouth consult,
Thy Counsel would be as the Oracle
Urim and Thummim, those oraculous
On Aaron's breast: or tongue of Seers old
Infallible; or wert thou sought to deeds
That might require th’array of war, thy skill
Of conduct would be such, that all the world
Could not sustain thy Prowess, or sublift
In battel, though against thy few in arms.
These God-like Virtues wherefore dost thou hide?
Affecting private life, or more obscure
In savage Wilderness, wherefore deprive
All Earth her wonder at thy acts, thy self
The fame and glory, glory the reward
That sole excites to high attempts, the flame
Of moft erected Spirits, most temper'd pure
Ætherial, who all pleasures else despise,
All treasures and all gain esteem as dross,
And dignities and pow'rs all but the highest?
Thy years are ripe, and over-ripe, the son
Of Macedonian Philip had e'er these
Won Asia and the Throne of Cyrus held
At his dispose, young Scipio had brought down
The Carthaginian pride, young Pompey quell'd