« PreviousContinue »
And some reason for it, ver. 140. Education alters the nature, or at least character of many, ver. 149. Actions, passions, opinions, manners, humours, or principles, all subject to change. No judging by nature, from ver. 158 to 178.-III. It only remains to find (if we can) his ruling passion: that will certainly influence all the rest, and can reconcile the seeming or real inconsistency of all his actions, ver. 175. Instanced in the extraordinary character of Clodio, ver. 179. A caution against mistaking second qualities for first, which will destroy all possibility of the knowledge of mankind, ver. 210. Examples of the strength of the ruling passion, and its continua
tion to the last breath, ver. 222, &c. Yes, you despise the man to books confined, Who from his study rails at human kind; Though what he learns he speaks, and may advance Some general maxims, or be right by chance. The coxcomb bird, so talkative and grave, That from his cage cries cuckold, whore, and knave, Though many a passenger he rightly call, You hold him no philosopher at all.
And yet the fate of all extremes is such,
To observations which ourselves we wake,
- A fine turned allusion to what Philostratus said of Euxenus, the tutor of Apollonius, that he could only repeat some sentences of Pythagoras, like those coxcomb birds, who were taught their eů apátte and their Zeus idews, but knew not what they signiñed. Warburton.
That each from other differs, first confess; Next, that he varies from himself no less :
20 Add nature's, custom's, reason's, passion's strife, And all opinion's colours cast on life.
Our depths who fathoms, or our shallows finds,
Nor will life's stream for observation stay, It hurries all too fast to mark their way: In vain sedate reflections we would make, When half our knowledge we must snatch, not take. 40 Oft, in the passions' wild rotation tost, Our spring of action to ourselves is lost : Tired, not determined, 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 passed 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.
True, some are open, and to all men known;
Others so very close, they're hid from none;
But these plain characters we rarely find;
70 See the same man, in vigour, in the gout; Alone, in company; in place, or out; Early at business, and at hazard late; ' Mad at a fox-chase, wise at a debate;
1 James Brydges, first Duke of Chandos, whose hospitality and supposed personal munificence to Pope the latter was accused of having requited, by satirising the decorations and furniture of the duke's house at Canons in the epistle which now stands the fourth of the series, Of the Use of Riches. See lines 97 and following. Pope denied the pecuniary obligation, and defended himself against the charge of having alluded to the duke's house. The duke accepted the explanation ; and Pope has recorded his gratified feeling in the above praise of “gracious Chandos.”
? Manly is the hero of Wycherley's Plain Dealer. The author himself was commonly known by the title of Manly Wycherley.
3 Bubb Doddington.
Drunk at a borough, civil at a ball;
Catius 1 is ever moral, ever grave,
Who would not praise Patritio's high desert, 2
What made (say Montagne, or more sage Charron !)
Know, God and Nature only are the same:
1 Charles Darlineuf. 2 Lord Godolphin.
3 Louis XI. of France wore in his hat a leaden image of the Virgin Mary, which when he swore by, he feared to break his
4 Philip Duke of Orleans, Regent of France in the minority of Louis XV., superstitious in judicial astrology, though an unbeliever in all religion.-Warburton.
5 Philip V. of Spain, who, after renouncing the throne for religion, resumed it to gratify his queen ; and Victor Amadeus II. King of Sardinia, who resigned the crown, and trying to reassume. it, was imprisoned till his death.
In vain the sage, with retrospective eye,
Not always actions show the man: we find
But grant that actions best discover man;
The plain rough hero turn a crafty knave?