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"Tis from high life high characters are drawn;
'Tis education forms the common mind;
The gay freethinker, a fine talker once,
By actions ?—those uncertainty divides :
Manners with fortunes, humours turn with climes, Tenets with books, and principles with times.
PART III. SEARCH then the ruling passion : there, alone, The wild are constant, and the cunning known; The fool consistent, and the false sincere; Priests, princes, women, no dissemblers here. This clue once found unravels all the rest, The prospect clears, and Wharton stands confess’d. Wharton! the scorn and wonder of our days, Whose ruling passion was the lust of praise; Born with whate'er could win it from the wise, Women and fools must like him, or he dies : Though wondering senates hung on all he spoke, The club must hail him master of the joke. Shall parts so various aim at nothing new? He'll shine a Tully and a Wilmot too: Then turns repentant, and his God adores With the same spirit that he drinks and whores; Enough if all around him but admire, And now the punk applaud, and now the friar. Thus with each gift of Nature and of Art, And wanting nothing but an honest heart; Grown all to all, from no one vice exempt; And most contemptible to shun contempt; His passion still to covet general praise; His life, to forfeit it a thousand ways;
A constant bounty, which no friend has made;
Nature well known, no prodigies remain ;
Yet in this search the wisest may mistake, If second qualities for first they take. . When Catiline by rapine swell’d his store, When Cæsar made a noble dame a whore, In this the lust, in that the avarice, Were means, not ends; ambition was the vice. That very Cæsar, born in Scipio's days, Had aim’d, like him, by chastity at praise. Lucullus, when frugality could charm, Had roasted turnips in the Sabine farm. In vain the observer eyes the builder's toil, But quite mistakes the scaffold for the pile.
In this one passion man can strength enjoy, As fits give vigour just when they destroy. Time, that on all things lays his lenient hand, Yet tames not this: it sticks to our last sand. Consistent in our follies and our sins, , Here honest Nature ends as she begins.
Old politicians chew on wisdom pass’d,
Behold a reverend sire, whom want of grace Has made the father of a nameless race, Shoved from the wall, perhaps, or rudely press'd By bis own son, that passes by unbless'd; Still to his wench he crawls on knocking knees, And envies every sparrow that he sees.
A salmon's belly, Helluo, was thy fate; The doctor call’d, declares all help too late.
Mercy! (cries Helluo) mercy on my soul ! | Is there no hope?—Alas!—then bring the jowl.'
The frugal crone, whom praying priests attend, Still strives to save the hallow'd taper's end, Collects her breath, as ebbing life retires, For one puff more, and in that puff expires.
Odious! in woollen ! 'twould a saint provoke, (Were the last words that poor Narcissa spoke) No, let a charming chintz and Brussels lace Wrap my cold limbs and shade my lifeless face: One would not, sure, be frightful when one's deadAnd— Betty-give this cheek a little red.'
The courtier smooth, who forty years had shined An humble servant to all humankind, [stir, Just brought out this, when scarce his tongue could • If—where I'm going—I could serve you, sir?
• I give and I devise (old Euclio said, And sigh’d) my lands and tenements to Ned.' • Your money, sir ?My money, sir, what, all? Why—if I must-(then wept) I give it Paul.' • The manor, sir!~ The manor! hold, (he cried) · Not that, I cannot part with that -- and died.
And you, brave Cobham! to the latest breath Shall feel your ruling passion strong in death; Such in those moments as in all the past, O save my country, Heaven ! shall be your last.
To a Lady:
OF THE CHARACTERS OF WOMEN.
argument. That the particular characters of women are not so strongly
marked as those of men, seldom so fixed, and still more inconsistent with themselves.- Instances of contrarieties given, even from such characters as are more strongly marked, and seemingly, therefore, most consistent: as, I. In the affected.--2. In the soft-natured.-3. In the cunning and artful.-4. In the whimsical.-5. In the lewd and vicious.-6. In the witty and refined.-7. In the stupid and simple.— The former part having shown that the particular characters of women are more various than those of men, it is nevertheless observed that the general characteristic of the sex, as to the ruling passion, is more uniform. This is occasioned partly by their nature, partly by their education, and in some degree by necessity. What are the aims and the fate of this sex:-1. As to power.-2. As to pleasure.—Advice for their true interest.
-The picture of an estimable woman, with the best kind of contrarieties.
NOTHING so true as what you once let fall,
How many pictures of one nymph we view,