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His meagre aspect, and his naked bones;
In gratitude for plumping up his prey,
A pamper'd spendthrift; whose fantastic air,
Well-fashion'd figure, and cockaded brow,
He took in change, and underneath the pride
Of costly linen, tuck'd his filthy shroud.
His crooked bow he straiten'd to a cane;
And hid his deadly shafts in Myra's eye.

The dreadful masquerader, thus equipt,
Out-sallies on adventures. Ask you where?
Where is he not? For his peculiar haunts,
Let this suffice; sure as night follows day,
Death treads in pleasure's footsteps round the world,
When pleasure treads the paths which reason shuns.
When, against reason, riot shuts the door,
And gaiety supplies the place of sense,
Then, foremost at the banquet and the ball,
Death leads the dance, or stamps the deadly die;
Nor ever fails the midnight bowl to crown.
Gaily carousing to his gay compeers,
Inly he laughs, to see them laugh at him,
As absent far; and when the revel burns,
When fear is banish'd, and triumphant thought,
Calling for all the joys beneath the Moon,
Against him turns the key, and bids him sup
With their progenitors-he drops his mask;
Frowns out at full; they start, despair, expire.

Scarce with more sudden terror and surprise,
From his black mask of nitre, touch'd by fire,
He bursts, expands, roars, blazes, and devours.
And is not this triumphant treachery,
And more than simple conquest, in the fiend?

And now, Lorenzo, dost thou wrap thy soul In soft security, because unknown Which moment is commission'd to destroy? In death's uncertainty thy danger lies. Is death uncertain? Therefore thou be fit; Fixt as a sentinel, all eye, all ear, All expectation of the coming foe. Rouse, stand in arms, nor lean against thy spear; Lest slumber steal one moment o'er thy soul, And fate surprise thee nodding. Watch, be strong; Thus give each day the merit, and renown, Of dying well; though doom'd but once to die. Nor let life's period hidden, (as from most,) Hide too from thee the precious use of life.

Early, not sudden, was Narcissa's fate. Soon, not surprising, Death his visit paid. Her thought went forth to meet him on his way, Nor gaiety forgot it was to die : Though fortune too, (our third and final theme,) As an accomplice, play'd her gaudy plumes, And every glittering gewgaw, on her sight, To dazzle, and debauch it from its mark. Death's dreadful advent is the mark of man; And every thought that misses it, is blind. Fortune, with youth and gaiety, conspir'd To weave a triple wreath of happiness (If happiness on Earth) to crown her brow. And could Death charge through such a shining shield?

That shining shield invites the tyrant's spear, As if to damp our elevated aims, And strongly preach humility to man. O how portentous is prosperity! How, comet-like, it threatens, while it shines! Few years but yield us proof of Death's ambition, To cull his victims from the fairest fold, And sheath his shafts in all the pride of life. When flooded with abundance, purpled o'er

With recent honors, bloom'd with every bliss,
Set up in ostentation, made the gaze,
The gaudy centre, of the public eye,
When fortune thus has toss'd her child in air,
Snatcht from the covert of an humble state,
How often have I seen him dropt at once,
Our morning's envy! and our evening's sigh!
As if her bounties were the signal given,
The flowery wreath to mark the sacrifice,
And call Death's arrows on the destin'd prey.

High fortune seems in cruel league with fate. Ask you for what? To give his war on man The deeper dread, and more illustrious spoil; Thus to keep daring mortals more in awe. And burns Lorenzo still for the sublime Of life? To hang his airy nest on high, On the slight timber of the topmost bough, Rockt at each breeze, and menacing a fall? Granting grim Death at equal distance there; Yet peace begins just where ambition ends. What makes man wretched? Happiness denied? Lorenzo no: "Tis happiness disdain'd. She comes too meanly drest to win our smile; And calls herself Content, a homely name! Our flame is transport, and content our scorn. Ambition turns, and shuts the door against her, And weds a toil, a tempest, in her stead; A tempest to warm transport near of kin. Unknowing what our mortal state admits, Life's modest joys we ruin, while we raise; And all our ecstasies are wounds to peace; Peace, the full portion of mankind below.

And since thy peace is dear, ambitious youth! Of fortune fond! as thoughtless of thy fate! As late I drew Death's picture, to stir up Thy wholesome fears; now, drawn in contrast, see Gay Fortune's, thy vain hopes to reprimand. See, high in air, the sportive goddess hangs, Unlocks her casket, spreads her glittering ware, And calls the giddy winds to puff abroad Her random bounties o'er the gaping throng. All rush rapacious; friends o'er trodden friends; Sons o'er their fathers; subjects o'er their kings; Priests o'er their gods; and lovers o'er the fair, (Still more adorn'd) to snatch the golden shower.

Gold glitters most, where virtue shines no more;
As stars from absent suns have leave to shine.
O what a precious pack of votaries
Unkennel'd from the prisons, and the stews,
Pour in, all opening in their idol's praise;
All, ardent, eye each wafture of her hand,
And, wide expanding their voracious jaws,
Morsel on morsel swallow down unchew'd,
Untasted, through mad appetite for more;
Gorg'd to the throat, yet lean and ravenous still.
Sagacious all, to trace the smallest game,
And bold to seize the greatest. If (blest chance!)
Court-zephyrs sweetly breathe, they lanch, they fly,
O'er just, o'er sacred, all-forbidden ground,
Drunk with the burning scent of place or power,
Staunch to the foot of lucre, till they die.

Or, if for men you take them, as I mark
Their manners, thou their various fates survey.
With aim mis-measur'd, and impetuous speed,
Some darting, strike their ardent wish far off,
Through fury to possess it: some succeed,
But stumble, and let fall the taken prize.
From some, by sudden blasts, 'tis whirl'd away,
And lodg'd in bosoms that ne'er dreamt of gain.
To some it sticks so close, that, when torn off,

Torn is the man, and mortal is the wound.
Some, o'er-enamour'd of their bags, run mad,
Groan under gold, yet weep for want of bread.
Together some (unhappy rivals!) seize,
And rend abundance into poverty;
Loud croaks the raven of the law, and smiles:
Smiles too the goddess; but smiles most at those,
(Just victims of exorbitant desire!)

Who perish at their own request, and, whelm'd
Beneath her load of lavish grants, expire.
Fortune is famous for her numbers slain;
The number small, which happiness can bear.
Though various for a while their fates; at last
One curse involves them all: at Death's approach,
All read their riches backward into loss,
And mourn, in just proportion to their store.

And Death's approach (if orthodox my song)
Is hasten'd by the lure of Fortune's smiles.
And art thou still a glutton of bright gold?
And art thou still rapacious of thy ruin?
Death loves a shining mark, a signal blow;
A blow which, while it executes, alarms;
And startles thousands with a single fall.
As when some stately growth of oak, or pine,
Which nods aloft, and proudly spreads her shade,
The Sun's defiance, and the flock's defence;
By the strong strokes of laboring hinds subdued,
Loud groans her last, and, rushing from her height
In cumbrous ruin, thunders to the ground:
The conscious forest trembles at the shock,
And hill, and stream, and distant dale, resound.

These high-aim'd darts of Death, and these alone,
Should I collect, my quiver would be full.
A quiver, which, suspended in mid air,

Or near Heaven's Archer, in the zodiac, hung,
(So could it be,) should draw the public eye,
The gaze and contemplation of mankind!
A constellation awful, yet benign,

To guide the gay through life's tempestuous wave;
Nor suffer them to strike the common rock,
"From greater danger, to grow more secure,
And, wrapt in happiness, forget their fate."

Lysander, happy past the common lot, Was warn'd of danger, but too gay to fear. He woo'd the fair Aspasia: she was kind: In youth, form, fortune, fame, they both were blest; All who knew, envied; yet in envy lov'd: Can fancy form more finisht happiness? Fixt was the nuptial hour. Her stately dome Rose on the sounding beach. The glittering spires Float in the wave, and break against the shore: So break those glittering shadows, human joys. The faithless morning smil'd: he takes his leave, To re-embrace, in ecstasies, at eve.

The rising storm forbids. The news arrives:
Untold, she saw it in her servant's eye.
She felt it seen (her heart was apt to feel);
And, drown'd, without the furious ocean's aid,
In suffocating sorrows, shares his tomb.
Now, round the sumptuous, bridal monument,
The guilty billows innocently roar;

And the rough sailor, passing, drops a tear;
A tear? Can tears suffice?-But not for me.
How vain our efforts! and our arts how vain!
The distant train of thought I took to shun,
Has thrown me on my fate-These died together;
Happy in ruin! undivorc'd by death!

Or ne'er to meet, or ne'er to part, is peaceNarcissa! Pity bleeds at thought of thee. Yet thou wast only near me; not myself.

Survive myself?-That cures all other woe.
Narcissa lives; Philander is forgot.

O the soft commerce! O the tender ties,
Close-twisted with the fibres of the heart!
Which, broken, break them; and drain off the soul
Of human joy; and make it pain to live-
And is it then to live? When such friends part,
"Tis the survivor dies-My heart, no more.




Containing the Nature, Proof, and Importance, of Immortality.


Where, among other Things, Glory and Riches are particularly considered.



Few ages have been deeper in dispute about religion than this. The dispute about religion, and the practice of it, seldom go together. The shorter, therefore, the dispute, the better. I think it may be reduced to this single question, Is man immortal, or is he not? If he is not, all our disputes are mere amusements, or trials of skill. In this case, truth, reason, religion, which give our discourses such pomp and solemnity, are (as will be shown) mere empty sound, without any meaning in them. But if man is immortal, it will behove him to be very serious about eternal consequences; or, in other words, to be truly religious. And this great fundamental truth, unestablished, or unawakened in the minds of men, is, I conceive, the real source and support of all our infidelity; how remote soever the particular objections advanced may seem to be from it.

Sensible appearances affect most men much more than abstract reasonings; and we daily see bodies drop around us, but the soul is invisible. The power which inclination has over the judgment, is greater than can be well conceived by those that have not had an experience of it; and of what numbers is it the sad interest that souls should not survive! The heathen world confessed, that they rather hoped, than firmly believed, immortality! And how many heathens have we still amongst us! The sacred page assures us, that life and immortality is brought to light by the Gospel: but by how many is the Gospel rejected, or overlooked! From these considerations, and from my being accidentally privy to the sentiments of some particular persons, I have been long persuaded that most, if not all, our infidels (whatever name they take, and whatever scheme, for argument's sake, and to keep themselves in countenance, they patronize) are supported in their deplorable error, by some doubt of their immortality, at the bottom. And I am satisfied, that men once thoroughly con

But why more woe? More comfort let it be,
Nothing is dead, but that which wish'd to die;
Nothing is dead, but wretchedness and pain;
Nothing is dead, but what encumber'd, gall'd,
Block'd up the pass, and barr'd from real life.
Where dwells that wish most ardent of the wise?
Too dark the Sun to see it; highest stars
Too low to reach it; Death, great Death alone,
O'er stars and Sun triumphant, lands us there.

vinced of their immortality, are not far from being Christians. For it is hard to conceive, that a man, fully conscious eternal pain or happiness will certainly be his lot, should not earnestly, and impartially, inquire after the surest means of escaping one, and securing the other. And of such an earnest and impartial inquiry, I well know the

Nor dreadful our transition; though the mind,
An artist at creating self-alarms,
Rich in expedients for inquietude,

Is prone to paint it dreadful. Who can take
Death's portrait true? The tyrant never sat.
Our sketch all random strokes, conjecture all;
Close shuts the grave, nor tells one single tale.
Death, and his image rising in the brain,
Bear faint resemblance; never are alike;
Fear shakes the pencil; Fancy loves excess;
Dark Ignorance is lavish of her shades:
And these the formidable picture draw.

Here, therefore, in proof of this most fundamental
truth, some plain arguments are offered; argu-
ments derived from principles which infidels admit
in common with believers; arguments, which ap-
pear to me altogether irresistible; and such as,
I am satisfied, will have great weight with all,
who give themselves the small trouble of looking
seriously into their own bosoms, and of observing,
with any tolerable degree of attention, what daily
passes round about them in the world. If some
arguments shall, here, occur, which others have
declined, they are submitted, with all deference,
to better judgments in this, of all points the most
important. For, as to the being of a God, that is
no longer disputed; but it is undisputed for this
reason only; viz. because, where the least pre-
tence to reason is admitted, it must for ever be
indisputable. And of consequence no man can be
betrayed into a dispute of that nature by vanity;
which has a principal share in animating our mod-
ern combatants against other articles of our belief.
SHE* (for I know not yet her name in Heaven)
Not early, like Narcissa, left the scene;
Nor sudden, like Philander. What avail?
This seeming mitigation but inflames;
This fancied medicine heightens the disease.
The longer known, the closer still she grew;
And gradual parting is a gradual death,
'Tis the grim tyrant's engine, which extorts,
By tardy pressure's still increasing weight,
From hardest hearts, confession of distress.

But grant the worst; 'tis past; new prospects rise;
And drop a veil eternal o'er her tomb.
Far other views our contemplation claim,
Views that o'erpay the rigors of our life;
Views that suspend our agonies in death.
Wrapt in the thought of immortality,
Wrapt in the single, the triumphant thought!
Long life might lapse, age unperceiv'd come on;
And find the soul unsated with her theme.
Its nature, proof, importance, fire my song.
O that my song could emulate my soul!
Like her, immortal. No!-the soul disdains
A mark so mean; far nobler hope inflames;
If endless ages can outweigh an hour,
Let not the laurel, but the palm, inspire.

Thy nature, immortality! who knows?
And yet who knows it not? It is but life
In stronger thread of brighter color spun,
spun for ever; dipt by cruel fate

O the long, dark approach through years of pain, In Stygian dye, how black, how brittle here!
Death's gallery! (might I dare to call it so)
With dismal doubt, and sable terror, hung:
Sick hope's pale lamp, its only glimmering ray;
There, fate my melancholy walk ordain'd,
Forbid self-love itself to flatter, there.
How oft I gaz'd, prophetically sad!
How oft I saw her dead, while yet in smiles!
In smiles she sunk her grief to lessen mine.
She spoke me comfort, and increas'd my pain.
Like powerful armies trenching at a town,
By slow, and silent, but resistless sap,
In his pale progress gently gaining ground,
Death urg'd his deadly siege; in spite of art,
Of all the balmy blessings Nature lends
To succor frail humanity. Ye stars!
(Not now first made familiar to my sight)
And thou, O Moon! bear witness; many a night
He tore the pillow from beneath my head,
Tied down by sore attention to the shock,
By ceaseless depredations on a life

How short our correspondence with the Sun!
And while it lasts, inglorious! Our best deeds,
How wanting in their weight! Our highest joys,
Small cordials to support us in our pain,
And give us strength to suffer. But how great,
To mingle interests, converse amities,
With all the sons of reason, scatter'd wide
Through habitable space, wherever born,
Howe'er endow'd! To live free citizens
Of universal Nature! To lay hold
By more than feeble faith on the Supreme!
To call Heaven's rich unfathomable mines
(Mines, which support archangels in their state)
Our own! To rise in science, as in bliss,
Initiate in the secrets of the skies!
To read creation; read its mighty plan
In the bare bosom of the Deity!
The plan, and execution, to collate!
To see, before each glance of piercing thought,
All cloud, all shadow, blown remote; and leave
No mystery-but that of love divine,
Which lifts us on the seraph's flaming wing,
From Earth's aceldama, this field of blood,
Of inward anguish, and of outward ill,
From darkness, and from dust, to such a scene!
Love's element! true joy's illustrious home!
From Earth's sad contrast (now deplor'd) more fair'

Dearer than that he left me. Dreadful post
Of observation! darker every hour!
Less dread the day that drove me to the brink,
And pointed at eternity below;
When my soul shudder'd at futurity;
When, on a moment's point, th' important die
Of life and death spun doubtful, ere it fell,
And turn'd up life; my title to more woe.

* Referring to Night V.

What exquisite vicissitude of fate!
Blest absolution of our blackest hour'

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Lorenzo, these are thoughts that make man, man,
The wise illumine, aggrandize the great.
How great, (while yet we tread the kindred clod,
And every moment fear to sink beneath
The clod we tread; soon trodden by our sons,)
How great, in the wild whirl of time's pursuits,
To stop, and pause, involv'd in high presage,
Through the long vista of a thousand years,
To stand contemplating our distant selves,
As in a magnifying mirror seen,
Enlarg'd, ennobled, elevate, divine!
To prophesy our own futurities;

To gaze in thought on what all thought transcends!
To talk, with fellow-candidates, of joys
As far beyond conception as desert,
Ourselves th' astonish'd talkers, and the tale!

Lorenzo, swells thy bosom at the thought? The swell becomes thee: 'tis an honest pride. Revere thyself;-and yet thyself despise. His nature no man can o'er-rate; and none Can under-rate his merit. Take good heed, Nor there be modest, where thou shouldst be proud; That almost universal error shun. How just our pride, when we behold those heights! Not those ambition paints in air, but those Reason points out, and ardent virtue gains; And angels emulate: our pride how just! When mount we? When these shackles cast? This cell of the creation? this small nest, Stuck in a corner of the universe, Wrapt up in fleecy cloud, and fine-spun air? Fine-spun to sense; but gross and feculent To souls celestial; souls ordain'd to breathe Ambrosial gales, and drink a purer sky; Greatly triumphant on time's further shore, Where virtue reigns, enrich'd with full arrears; While pomp imperial begs an alms of peace.

In empire high, or in proud science deep, Ye born of Earth! on what can you confer, With half the dignity, with half the gain, The gust, the glow of rational delight, As on this theme, which angels praise and share? Man's fates and favors are a theme in Heaven. What wretched repetition cloys us here! What periodic potions for the sick! Distemper'd bodies! and distemper'd minds! In an eternity, what scenes shall strike! Adventures thicken! novelties surprise! What webs of wonder shall unravel, there! What full day pour on all the paths of Heaven, And light th' Almighty's footsteps in the deep! How shall the blessed day of our discharge Unwind, at once, the labyrinths of fate, And straighten its inextricable maze!

If inextinguishable thirst in man

To know, how rich, how full, our banquet there!
There, not the moral world alone unfolds;
The world material, lately seen in shades,
And, in those shades, by fragments only seen,
And seen those fragments by the laboring eye,
Unbroken, then, illustrious and entire,
Its ample sphere, its universal frame,
In full dimensions, swells to the survey;
And enters, at one glance, the ravisht sight.
From some superior point (where, who can tell?
Suffice it, 'tis a point where gods reside)
How shall the stranger man's illumin'd eye,
In the vast ocean of unbounded space,
Behold an infinite of floating worlds
Divide the crystal waves of ether pure,

[quit When

In endless voyage, without port? The least
Of these disseminated orbs, how great!
Great as they are, what numbers these surpass,
Huge, as leviathan, to that small race,
Those twinkling multitudes of little life,
He swallows unperceiv'd? Stupendous these!
Yet what are these stupendous to the whole!
As particles, as atoms ill perceiv'd;
As circulating globules in our veins;
So vast the plan. Fecundity divine!
Exuberant source! perhaps, I wrong thee still.
If admiration is a source of joy,

What transport hence! yet this the least in Heaven.
What this to that illustrious robe he wears,
Who toss'd this mass of wonders from his hand,
A specimen, an earnest of his power?
"Tis to that glory, whence all glory flows,
As the mead's meanest floweret to the Sun,
Which gave it birth. But what, this Sun of Heaven?
This bliss supreme of the supremely blest?
Death, only Death, the question can resolve.
By Death, cheap-bought th' ideas of our joy;
The bare ideas! solid happiness

So distant from its shadow chas'd below.

And chase we still the phantom through the fire, O'er bog, and brake, and precipice, till death? And toil we still for sublunary pay? Defy the dangers of the field and flood, Or, spider-like, spin out our precious all, Our more than vitals spin (if no regard To great futurity) in curious webs Of subtle thought, and exquisite design; (Fine net-work of the brain!) to catch a fly? The momentary buzz of vain renown! A name; a mortal immortality!

Or (meaner still!) instead of grasping air, For sordid lucre, plunge we in the mire? Drudge, sweat, through every shame, for every gain, For vile contaminating trash; throw up Our hope in Heaven, our dignity with man? And deify the dirt, matur'd to gold? Ambition, avarice; the two demons these,

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Is it in time to hide eternity?

And why not in an atom on the shore
To cover ocean? or a mote, the Sun?
Glory and wealth! have they this blinding power?
What if to them I prove Lorenzo blind?
Would it surprise thee? Be thou then surpris'd;
Thou neither know'st; their nature learn from me.
Mark well, as foreign as these subjects seem,
What close connexion ties them to my theme.

First, what is true ambition? The pursuit
Of glory, nothing less than man can share.
Were they as vain as gaudy-minded man,
As flatulent with fumes of self-applause,
Their arts and conquests animals might boast,
And claim their laurel crowns, as well as we;
But not celestial. Here we stand alone;
As in our form, distinct, pre-eminent;

If prone in thought, our stature is our shame :
And man should blush, his forehead meets the skies
The visible and present are for brutes,
A slender portion! and a narrow bound!
These reason, with an energy divine,
O'erleaps; and claims the future and unseen;

The vast unseen! the future fathomless!
When the great soul buoys up to this high point,
Leaving gross Nature's sediments below,
Then, and then only, Adam's offspring quits
The sage and hero of the fields and woods,
Asserts his rank, and rises into man.
This is ambition: this is human fire.
Can parts or place (two bold pretenders!) make
Lorenzo great, and pluck him from the throng?
Genius and art, ambition's boasted wings,
Our boast but ill deserve. A feeble aid!
Dedalian enginery! If these alone
Assist our flight, fame's flight is glory's fall.
Heart-merit wanting, mount we ne'er so high,
Our height is but the gibbet of our name.
A celebrated wretch, when I behold;
When I behold a genius bright, and base,
Of towering talents, and terrestrial aims;
Methinks I see, as thrown from her high sphere,
The glorious fragments of a soul immortal,
With rubbish mix'd, and glittering in the dust.
Struck at the splendid, melancholy sight,
At once compassion soft, and envy, rise—
But wherefore envy? Talents, angel-bright,
If wanting worth, are shining instruments
In false ambition's hand, to finish faults
Illustrious, and give infamy renown.

Great ill is an achievement of great powers.
Plain sense but rarely leads us far astray.
Reason the means, affections choose our end;
Means have no merit, if our end amiss.
If wrong our hearts, our heads are right in vain ;
What is a Pelham's head, to Pelham's heart?
Hearts are proprietors of all applause.
Right ends, and means, make wisdom: worldly-wise
Is but half-witted, at its highest praise.

Let genius then despair to make thee great;
Nor flatter station. What is station high?
"Tis a proud mendicant; it boasts, and begs;
It begs an alms of homage from the throng,
And oft the throng denies its charity.
Monarchs and ministers are awful names!
Whoever wear them, challenge our devoir.
Religion, public order, both exact
External homage, and a supple knee,
To beings pompously set up, to serve
The meanest slave; all more is merit's due,
Her sacred and inviolable right,

Has thy new post betray'd thee into pride?
That treacherous pride betrays the dignity;
That pride defames humanity, and calls
The being mean, which staffs or strings can raise.
That pride, like hooded hawks, in darkness soars,
From blindness bold, and towering to the skies.
"Tis born of ignorance, which knows not man;
An angel's second; nor his second, long.
A Nero quitting his imperial throne,

And courting glory from the tinkling string,
But faintly shadows an immortal soul,
With empire's self, to pride, or rapture, fir'd.
If nobler motives minister no cure,
E'en vanity forbids thee to be vain.


High worth is elevated place 'tis more;
It makes the post stand candidate for thee;
Makes more than monarchs, makes an honest man;
Though no exchequer it commands, 'tis wealth;
And though it wears no riband, 'tis renown;
Renown, that would not quit thee, though disgrac'd
Nor leave thee pendent on a master's smile.
Other ambition Nature interdicts;
Nature proclaims it most absurd in man,
By pointing at his origin, and end;

Milk, and a swathe, at first, his whole demand;
His whole domain, at last, a turf, or stone;
To whom, between, a world may seem too small.

Souls truly great dart forward on the wing
Of just ambition, to the grand result:
The curtains fall: there, see the buskin'd chief
Unshod behind this momentary scene;
Reduc'd to his own stature, low or high,
As vice, or virtue, sinks him, or sublimes;
And laugh at this fantastic mummery,
This antic prelude of grotesque events,
Where dwarfs are often stilted, and betray
A littleness of soul by worlds o'er-run,
And nations laid in blood. Dread sacrifice
To Christian pride! which had with horror shock'd
The darkest Pagans offer'd to their gods.

O thou most Christian enemy to peace;
Again in arms? Again provoking fate?
That prince, and that alone, is truly great,
Who draws the sword reluctant, gladly sheathes;
On empire builds what empire far outweighs,
And makes his throne a scaffold to the skies.

Why this so rare? Because forgot of all
The day of death; that venerable day,
Which sits as judge; that day, which shall pronounce
On all our days, absolve them, or condemn.
Lorenzo, never shut thy thought against it;
Be levees ne'er so full, afford it room,
And give it audience in the cabinet.
That friend consulted, flatteries apart,
Will tell thee fair, if thou art great, or mean.

To dote on aught may leave us, or be left,
Is that ambition? Then let flames descend,
Point to the centre their inverted spires,
And learn humiliation from a soul,

Nor ever paid the monarch, but the man.
Our hearts ne'er bow but to superior worth;
Nor ever fail of their allegiance there.
Fools, indeed, drop the man in their account,
And vote the mantle into majesty.
Let the small savage boast his silver fur;
His royal robe unborrow'd, and unbought,
His own, descending fairly from his sires.
Shall man be proud to wear his livery,
And souls in ermine scorn a soul without?
Can place or lessen us, or aggrandize?
Pygmies are pygmies still, though perch'd on alps; Which boasts her lineage from celestial fire.
And pyramids are pyramids in vales.
Each man makes his own stature, builds himself:
Virtue alone outbuilds the pyramids:

Her monuments shall last, when Egypt's fall.
Of these sure truths dost thou demand the cause?
The cause is lodg'd in immortality.
Hear, and assent. Thy bosom burns for power;
What station charms thee? I'll instal thee there;
"Tis thine. And art thou greater than before?
Then thou before wast something less than man.

Yet these are they the world pronounces wise;
The world which cancels Nature's right and wrong,
And casts new wisdom: e'en the grave man lends
His solemn face, to countenance the coin.
Wisdom for parts is madness for the whole.
This stamps the paradox, and gives us leave
To call the wisest weak, the richest poor,
The most ambitious, unambitious, mean;
In triumph, mean; and abject on a throne.
Nothing can make it less than mad in man,

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