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Yet more ; the diff'rence is as great between The optics seeing, as the objects seen. All manners take a tincture from our own, Or come discolor'd through our passions shown; Or Fancy's beam enlarges, multiplies, Contracts, inverts, and gives ten thousand dyes.
Nor will life's stream for observation stay, It hurries all too fast to mark their In vain sedate reflections we would make, When half our knowledge we must snatch, not take.
40 Oft in the passion's wild rotation tost, Our spring of action to ourselves is lost: Tird, not determin’d, to the last we yield, And what comes then is master of the field. As the last image of that troubled heap, When sense subsides, and fancy sports in sleep, (Though past the recollection of the thought) Becomes the stuff of which our dream is wrought : Something as dim to our internal view, Is thus, perhaps, the cause of most we do. 50
True, some are open, and to all men known; Others so very close they're hid from none; (So darkness strikes the sense no less than light ;) Thus gracious Chandos is belov'd at sight; And ev'ry child hates Shylock, though his soul 55 Still sits at squat, and peeps not from its hole. At half mankind when gen'rous Manly raves, All know 'tis virtue, for he thinks them knaves ;
When universal homage Umbra pays,
But these plain characters we rarely find; Though strong the bent, yet quick the turns of
mind : Or puzzling contraries confound the whole; 65 Or affectations quite reverse the soul, The dull, flat falsehood, serves for policy; And in the cunning, truth itself's a lie ; Unthought-of frailties cheat us in the wise ; The fool lies hid in inconsistencies,
70 See the same man in vigor, in the gout; Alone, in company; in place, or out; Early at bus’ness, and at hazard late; Mlad at a fox-chase, wise at a debate ; Drunk at a borough, civil at a ball; Friendly at Hackney, faithless at Whitehall.
Catius is ever moral, ever grave, Thinks who endures a knave, is next a krave, Save just a dinner--then prefers, no doubt, A rogue with ven’son to a saint without. 80
Who would not praise Patricio's high desert, His hand unstain'd, his uncorrupted heart, His comprehensive head! all int’rests weigh’d, All Europe sav'd, yet Britain not betray’d. He thanks you not, his pride is in Picquette, 85 New-Market fame, and judgment at a bett,
What made (say Montaigne, or more sage
Know, God and Nature only are the same : 95 In man the judgment shoots at flying game: A bird of passage ! gone as soon as found, Now in the moon, perhaps now under ground. 98
In vain the
with retrospective eye, 99 Would from th' apparent What conclude the Why, Infer the motive from the deed, and show That what we chanc'd, was what we meant to do. Behold! if Fortune, or a mistress frowns, Some plunge in bus'ness, others shave their crowns ; To ease the soul of one oppressive weight
105 This quits an empire, that embroils a state. The same adust complexion has impellid Charles to the convent, Philip to the field.
Not always actions shew the man; we find Who does a kindness, is not therefore kind : 110 Perhaps prosperity becalm'd his breast ; Perhaps the wind just shifted from the east;
Not therefore humble he who seeks retreat,
But grant that actions best discover man; 119 Take the most strong, and sort them if you can. The few that glare, each character must mark: You balance not the many in the dark. What will you do with such as disagree ? Suppress them? or miscal them policy? Must then at once (the character to save) 125 The plain rough hero turn a crafty knave ? Alas ! in truth, the man but chang'd his mind, Perhaps was sick, in love, or had not din'd. Ask why from Britain Cæsar would retreat ? Cæsar himself might whisper he was beat. 130 Why risk the world's great empire for a punk ? Cæsar perhaps might answer he was drunk. But, sage Historians, 'tis your task to prove One action conduct; one, heroic love.
'Tis from high life high characters are drawn: 135 A saint in crape is twice a saint in lawn; A judge is just, a chanc'llor juster still ; A gowinan, learn'd; a bishop, what you will ; Wise, if a minister ; but if a king, More wise, more learn’d, more just, more ev'ry thing
Court-virtues bear, like gems, the highest rate,
'Tis education forms the common mind;
160 And Britain, if not Europe, is undone.
That gay Freethinker, a fine talker once,
Judge we by Nature ? habit can efface,