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Torn is the man, and mortal is the wound. Survive myself ?—That cures all other woe.
Close-twisted with the fibres of the heart!
Which, broken, break them; and drain off the soul
'Tis the survivor dies—My heart, no more.
NighT THE SIXth.
THE INFIDEL RECLAIMED.
IN TWO PARTS.
Containing the Nature, Proof, and Importance, of And art thou still a glutton of bright gold?
Where, among other Things, Glory and Riches are As when some stately growth of oak, or pine,
particularly considered. Which nods aloft, and proudly spreads her shade,
TO THE RIGHT HON. HENRY PELHAM, FIRST LORD The Sun's defiance, and the flock's defence;
COMMISSIONER OF THE TREASURY, AND CHANCELBy the strong strokes of laboring hinds subdued,
LOR OF THE EXCHEQUER.
These high-aim'd darts of Death, and these alone, gion than this. The dispute about religion, and Should I collect, my quiver would be full.
the practice of it, seldom go together. The shorter, A quiver, which, suspended in mid air,
therefore, the dispute, the better. I think it may Or near Heaven's Archer, in the zodiac, hung, be reduced to this single question, Is man immor. (So could it be,) should draw the public eye,
tal, or is he not? If he is not, all our disputes are The gaze and contemplation of mankind!
mere amusements, or trials of skill. In this case, A constellation awful, yet benign,
truth, reason, religion, which give our discourses To guide the gay through life's tempestuous wave; such pomp and solemnity, are (as will be shown) Nor suffer them to strike the common rock,
mere empty sound, without any meaning in them. "From greater danger, to grow more secure,
But if man is immortal, it will behove him to be And, wrapt in happiness, forget their fate.”
very serious about eternal consequences; or, in Lysander, happy past the common lot,
other words, to be truly religious. And this great Was warn’d of danger, but too gay to fear.
fundamental truth, unestablished, or una wakened He wood the fair Aspasia : she was kind :
in the minds of men, is, I conceive, the real In youth, form, fortune, fame, they both were blest ; source and support of all our infidelity; how reAll who knew, envied ; yet in envy lov'd :
mote soever the particular objections advanced Can fancy form more finisht happiness?
may seem to be from it. Fixt was the nuptial hour. Her stately dome Sensible appearances affect most men much more Rose on the sounding beach. The glittering spires than abstract reasonings; and we daily see bodies Float in the wave, and break against the shore : drop around us, but the soul is invisible. The So break those glittering shadows, human joys. power which inclination has over the judgment, is The faithless morning smil'd: he takes his leave, greater than can be well conceived by those that To re-embrace, in ecstasies, at eve.
have not had an experience of it; and of what The rising storm forbids. The news arrives :
numbers is it the sad interest that souls should not Untold, she saw it in her servant's eye.
survive! The heathen world confessed, that they She felt it seen (her heart was apt to feel);
rather hoped, than firmly believed, immortality! And, drown'd, without the furious ocean's aid, And how many heathens have we still amongst In suffocating sorrows, shares his tomb.
us! The sacred page assures us, that life and imNow, round the sumptuous, bridal monument, mortality is brought to light by the Gospel : but by The guilty billows innocently roar;
how many is the Gospel rejected, or overlooked ! And the rough sailor, passing, drops a tear;
From these considerations, and from my being A tear?-Can tears suffice ?-But not for me. accidentally privy to the sentiments of some parHow vain our efforts! and our arts how vain! ticular persons, I have been long persuaded that The distant train of thought I took to shun,
most, if not all, our infidels (whatever name they Has thrown me on my fate, These died together ; take, and whatever scheme, for argument's sake, Happy in ruin! undivorc'd by death!
and to keep themselves in countenance, they paOr ne'er to meet, or ne'er to part, is peace
tronize) are supported in their deplorable error, Narcissa! Pity bleeds at thought of thee.
by some doubt of their immortality, at the bottom. Yet thou wast only near me; not myself.
And I am satisfied, that men once thoroughly con
vinced of their immortality, are not far from being But why more woe? More comfort let it be, Christians. For it is hard to conceive, that a man, Nothing is dead, but that which wish'd to die; fully conscious eternal pain or happiness will cer- Nothing is dead, but wretchedness and pain; tainly be his lot, should not earnestly, and impar- Nothing is dead, but what encumber'd, gallid, tially, inquire after the surest means of escaping Block'd up the pass, and barr'd from real life. one, and securing the other. And of such an Where dwells that wish most ardent of the wise? earnest and impartial inquiry, I well know the Too dark the Sun to see it; highest stars consequence.
Too low to reach it; Death, great Death alone, Here, therefore, in proof of this most fundamental O'er stars and Sun triumphant, lands us there.
truth, some plain arguments are offered ; argu- Nor dreadful our transition ; though the inind,
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-lhe soul disdains
A mark so mean; far nobler hope inflames;
If endless ages can outweigh an hour, And gradual parting is a gradual death,
Let not the laurel, but the palm, inspire. 'Tis the grim tyrant's engine, which extorts,
Thy nature, immortality! who knows? By tardy pressure's still increasing weight,
And yet who knows it not? It is but life
In stronger thread of brighter color spun,
And spun for ever; dipt by cruel fate
How short our correspondence with the Sun!
And while it lasts, inglorious! Our best deeds, There, fate my melancholy walk ordain'd,
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, How oft I saw her dead, while yet in smiles !
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 ! in his pale progress gently gaining ground,
To call Heaven's rich unfathomable mines Death urg'd his deadly siege; in spite of art, of all the balmy blessings Nature lends
(Mines, which support archangels in their state)
Our own! To rise in science, as in bliss, To succor frail humanity. Ye stars!
Initiate in the secrets of the skies! (Not now first made familiar to my sight) And thou, O Moon! bear witness; many a night
To read creation ; read its mighty plan He tore the pillow from beneath my head,
In the bare bosom of the Deity! Tied down by sore attention to the shock,
The plan, and execution, to collate!
To see, before each glance of piercing thought, By ceaseless depredations on a life Dearer than that he left me.
All cloud, all shadow, blown remote; and leave of observation! darker every hour!
No mystery—but that of love divine, Less dread the day that drove me to the brink,
Which lifts us on the seraph's flaming wing,
From Earth's aceldama, this field of blood,
Of inward anguish, and of oulward ill,
From darkness, and from dust, to such a scene ! Of life and death spun doubtful, ere it fell,
Love's element! true joy's illustrious home! And turn'd up life ; my title to more woe.
From Earth's sad contrast (now deplor'd) more fair'
What exquisite vicissitude of fate! • Referring to Night V.
Blest absolution of our blackest hour
Lorenzo, these are thoughts that make man, man, In endless voyage, without port? The least The wise illumine, aggrandize the great.
of these disseminated orbs, how great! How great, (while yet we tread the kindred clod, Great as they are, what numbers these surpass, And every moment fear to sink beneath
Huge, as leviathan, to that small race, The clod we tread; soon trodden by our sons,) Those twinkling multitudes of little life. How great, in the wild whirl of time's pursuits, He swallows unperceiv'd ? Stupendous these! To stop, and pause, involv'd in high presage, Yet what are these stupendous to the whole! Through the long vista of a thousand years, As particles, as atoms ill perceiv’d; To stand contemplating onr distant selves,
As circulating globules in our veins ; As in a magnifying mirror seen,
So vast the plan. Fecundity divine! Enlarg d, ennobled, elevate, divine!
Exuberant source! perhaps, I wrong thee still. To prophesy our own futurities;
If admiration is a source of joy, To gaze in thought on what all thought transcends! What transport hence! yet this the least in Heaven. To talk, with fellow-candidates, of joys
What this to that illustrious robe he wears, As far beyond conception as desert,
Who toss'd this mass of wonders from his hand, Ourselves th' astonish'd talkers, and the tale! A specimen, an earnest of his power?
Lorenzo, swells thy bosom at the thought? "Tis to that glory, whence all glory flows, The swell becomes thee: 'is an honest pride. As the mead's meanest floweret to the Sun, Revere thyself;—and yet thyself despise.
Which gave it birth. But what, this Sun of Heaven?
The bare ideas! solid happiness
And chase we still the phantom through the fire,
Or, spider-like, spin out our precious all,
Our more than vitals spin (if no regard
The momentary buzz of vain renown!
In empire high, or in proud science deep, Drudge, sweat, through every shame, for every gain
Our hope in Heaven, our dignity with man? The gust, the glow of rational delight,
And deify the dirt, matur'd to gold ? As on this theme, which angels praise and share ? Ambition, avarice ; the two demons these, Man's sales and favors are a theme in Heaven. Which goad through every slough our human herd, What wretched repetition cloys us here !
Hard-travel'd from the cradle to the grave. What periodic potions for the sick !
How low the wretches stoop! How steep they climb! Distemper'd bodies! and distemper'd minds ! These demons burn mankind ; but most possess In an eternity, what scenes shall strike!
Lorenzo's bosom, and turn out the skies. Adventures Thicken! novelties surprise!
Is it in time to hide eternity ? What webs of wonder shall unravel, there! And why not in an atom on ihe shore What full day pour on all the paths of Heaven, To cover ocean? or a mote, the Sun? And light th' Almighty's footsteps in the deep! Glory and wealth! have they this blinding power? How shall the blessed day of our discharge What if to them I prove Lorenzo blind? Unwind, at once, the labyrinths of fate,
Would it surprise thee? Be thou then surprisid ; And straighten its inextricable maze!
Thou neither know'st; their nature learn from me. If inextinguishable thirst in man
Mark well, as foreign as these subjects seem, To know, how rich, how full, our banquet there ! What close connexion ties them to my theme. There, not the moral world alone unfolds ;
First, what is true ambition ? The pursuit The world material, lately seen in shades,
of glory, nothing less than man can share. And, in those shades, by fragments only seen, Were they as vain as gaudy-minded man, And seen those fragments by the laboring eye, As flatulent with fumes of self-applause, Unbroken, then, illustrious and entire,
Their arts and conquests animals might boast, Its ample sphere, its universal frame,
And claim their laurel crowns, as well as we; In full dimensions, swells to the survey ;
But not celestial. Here we stand alone ;
And man should blush, his forehead meets the skies
A slender portion! and a narrow bound! Behold an infinite of noating worlds
These reason, with an energy divine, Divide the crystal waves of ether pure,
O'erleaps ; and claims the future and unseen;
The vast unseen! the future fathomless!
Has thy new post betray'd thee into pride ? When the great soul buoys up to this high point, That treacherous pride betrays the dignity; Leaving gross Nature's sediments below,
That pride defames humanity, and calls Then, and then only, Adam's offspring quits The being mean, which staffs or strings can raise. The sage and hero of the fields and woods, That pride, like hooded hawks, in darkness soars, Asserts his rank, and rises into man.
From blindness bold, and towering to the skies. This is ambition : this is human fire.
"Tis born of ignorance, which knows not man ; Can parts or place (two bold pretenders!) make An angel's second ; nor his second, long. Lorenzo great, and pluck him from the throng? A Nero quitting his imperial throne,
Genius and art, ambition's boasted wings, And courting glory from the tinkling string, Our boast but ill deserve. A feeble aid !
But faintly shadows an immortal soul,
With empire's self, to pride, or rapture, fir’d.
High worth is elevated place : 'tis more;
It makes the post stand candidate for thee; When I behold a genius bright, and base,
Makes more than monarchs, makes an honest man ; of towering talents, and terrestrial aims;
Though no exchequer it commands, 'tis wealth ; Methinks I see, as thrown from her high sphere, And though it wears no riband, 'tis renown; The glorious fragments of a soul immortal, Renown, that would not quit thee, though disgrac'd With rubbish mix’d, and glittering in the dust. Nor leave thee pendent on a master's smile. Struck at the splendid, melancholy sight,
Other ambition Nature interdicts; At once compassion soft, and envy, rise
Nature proclaims it most absurd in man, But wherefore envy? Talents, angel-bright, By pointing at his origin, and end; If wanting worth, are shining instruments Milk, and a swathe, at first, his whole demand ; In false ambition's hand, to finish faults
His whole domain, at last, a turf, or stone; Illustrious, and give infamy renown.
To whom, between, a world may seem too small.
Unshod behind this momentary scene;
And laugh at this fantastic mummery,
Where dwarfs are often stilted, and betray
And nations laid in blood. Dread sacrifice
O thou most Christian enemy to peace; Monarchs and ministers are awful names !
Again in arms? Again provoking fate ? Whoever wear them, challenge our devoir. That prince, and that alone, is truly great, Religion, public order, both exact
Who draws the sword reluctant, gladly sheathes ; External homage, and a supple knee,
On empire builds what empire far outweighs, To beings pom pously set up, to serve
And makes his throne a scaffold to the skies. The meanest slave; all more is merit's due,
Why this so rare? Because forgot of all Her sacred and inviolable right,
The day of death; that venerable day, Nor ever paid the monarch, but the man.
Which sits as judge; that day, which shall pronounce
Lorenzo, never shut thy thought against it;
And give it audience in the cabinet.
That friend consulted, flatteries apart, His royal robe unborrow'd, and unbought, Will tell thee fair, if thou art great, or mean. ilis own, descending fairly from his sires.
To dote on aught may leave us, or be left, Shall man be proud to wear his livery,
Is that ambition? Then let flames descend, And souls in ermine scorn a soul without ?
Point to the centre their inverted spires,
And learn humiliation from a soul,
Yet these are they the world pronounces wise ; Each man makes his own stature, builds himself: The world which cancels Nature's right and wrong, Virtue alone outbuilds the pyramids :
And casts new wisdom : e'en the grave man lends
This stamps the paradox, and gives us leave
To put forth all his ardor, all his art,
of his idea, whose indulgent thought And give his soul her full unbounded flight, Long, long, ere chaos teem'd, plann'd human bliss. But reaching him, who gave her wings to fly.
What wealth in souls that soar, dive, range When blind ambition quite mistakes her road,
around, And downward pores, for that which shines above, Disdaining limit, or from place or time; Substantial happiness, and true renown;
And hear at once, in thought extensive, hear Then, like an idiot gazing on the brook,
Th' Almighty fiat, and the trumpet's sound ! We leap at stars, and fasten in the mud ;
Bold, on creation's outside walk, and view At glory grasp, and sink in infamy.
What was, and is, and more than e'er shall be ;
What wealth, in faculties of endless growth,
And in duration (how thy riches rise!)
Duration to perpetuate-boundless bliss! And, but for execution, ne'er set free.
Ask you, what power resides in feeble man With error in ambition justly charged,
That bliss to gain ? Is virtue's, then, unknown? Find we Lorenzo wiser in his wealth ?
Virtue, our present peace, our future prize. What if thy rental I reform ? and draw
Man's unprecarious, natural estate, An inventory new to set thee right?
Improvable at will, in virtue lies; Where thy true treasure? Gold says, “Not in me:" Its tenure sure; its income is divine. And. - Not in me," the diamond. Gold is poor; High-built abundance, heap on heap! for what? India's insolvent; seek it in thyself,
To breed new wants, and beggar us the more ; Seek in thy naked self, and find it there;
Then make a richer scramble for the throng? In being so descended, form'd, endow'd;
Soon as this feeble pulse, which leaps so long Sky-born, sky-guided, sky-returning race !
Almost by miracle, is tir'd with play, Erect, immortal, rational, divine!
Like rubbish from disploding engines thrown, In senses which inherit Earth, and Heavens ; Our magazines of hoarded trifles fly; Enjoy the various riches Nature yields ;
Fly diverse ; fly to foreigners, to foes; Far nobler! give the riches they enjoy ;
New masters court, and call the former fool Give taste to fruits; and harmony to groves; (How justly!) for dependence on their stay. Their radiant beams to gold, and gold's bright fire; Wide scatter, first, our playthings; then, our dust. Take in, at once, the landscape of the world, Dost court abundance for the sake of peace ? At a small inlet, which a grain might close, Learn, and lament thy self-defeated scheme : And half-create the wondrous world they see. Riches enable to be richer still; Our senses, as our reason, are divine.
And, richer still, what mortal can resist ? But for the magic organ's powerful charm, Thus wealth (a cruel task-maker.) enjoins Earth were a rude, uncolor'd chaos, still.
New toils, succeeding toils, an endless train Objects are but th' occasion ; ours th'exploit ; And murders peace, which taught it first to shine Ours is the cloth, the pencil, and the paint, The poor are half as wretched as the rich; Which Nature's admirable picture draws ; Whose proud and painful privilege it is, And beautifies creation's ample dome.
At once, to bear a double load of woe; Like Milton's Eve, when gazing on the lake, To feel the stings of envy, and of want, Man makes the matchless image, man admires. Outrageous want! both Indies cannot cure. Say, then, shall man, his thoughts all sent abroad, A competence is vital to content. Superior wonders in himself forgot,
Much wealth is corpulence, if not disease ; His adiniration waste on objects round,
Sick, or encumber'd, is our happiness. When Heaven makes him the soul of all he sees? A competence is all we can enjoy. Absurd ! not rare! so great, so mean, is man. O be content, where Heaven can give no more! What wealth in senses such as these! What wealth More, like a flash of water from a lock, In fancy, fir'd to form a fairer scene
Quickens our spirits' movement for an hour; Than sense surveys! In memory's firm record, But soon its force is spent, nor rise our joys Which, should it perish, could this world recall Above our native temper’s common stream. From the dark shadows of o'erwhelming years ! Hence disappointment lurks in every prize, In colors fresh, originally bright,
As bees in flowers; and stings us with success. Preserve its portrait, and report its fate!
The rich man, who denies it, proudly seigns ; What wealth in intellect, that sovereign power, Nor knows the wise are privy to the lie. Which sense and fancy summons to the bar; Much learning shows how little mortals know ; Interrogates, approves, or reprehends ;
Much wealth, how little worldlings can enjoy ; And from the mass those underlings import, At best, it babies us with endless toys, From their materials sifted, and refin'd,
And keeps us children till we drop to dust. And in truth's balance accurately weigh’d, As monkeys at a mirror stand amaz'd, Forms art, and science, government, and law ; They fail to find what they so plainly see; The solid basis, and the beauteous frame,
Thus men, in shining riches, see the face The vitals, and the grace of civil life!
of happiness, nor know it is a shade ; And manners (sad exception!) set aside,
But gaze, and touch, and peep, and peep again Strikes out, with master-hand, a copy fair
And wish, and wonder it is absent still.