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In brief sententious precepts while they treat
Of fate and chance, and change in human life}
High actions, and high passions best describing:
Thence to the famous Orators repair,
Those ancient, whose resistless eloquence
Wielded at will that fierce Democratic,
Shook th' Arsenal and fulmin'd over Greece^
To Macedon, and Artaxerxes Throne %
To sage Philosophy next lend thine ear,
From Heav'n descended to the low-rooft house
Of Sdcratesy see there his Tenement,
Whom well inspir'd the Oracle pronoune'd
Wisest of men} from whose mouth islu'd forth
Mellisluous streams that water'd all the Schools
Of Academics old and new* with those
Sirnam'd Teripateticks, and the Sectr
Epicureany and the Stoic severe}
These here revolve, or, as thou lik'st, at home*
Till time mature thee to a Kingdom's weight?
These rules will render thee a King compleat
Within thy self} much more with Empire join'd.

To whom our Saviour sagely thus reply'd. Think not, but that I know these things, or think I know them not} not therefore am I short

Of knowing what I aught) he who receives

Light from above, from the fountain of light,

No other doctrine needs, though granted true}

But these are false,' or little else but dreams,

Conjectures, fancies, built on nothing firm.

The first and wisest of them all profess'd

To know this only, that he nothing knew;

The next to fabling fell and smooth conceits,

A third fort doubted all things, though plain fense j

Others in virtue plac'd felicity,

But virtue join'd with riches and long life,

In corporal pleasure he, and careless ease,

The Stoic last in Philosophic pride,

By him call'd virtue; and his virtuous man,

Wife, perfect in himself, and all possessing

Equal to God, oft shames not to prefer,

As fearing God nor man, contemning all

Wealth, pleasure, pain or torment, death and life,

Which when he lists, he leaves, or boasts he can,

For all hi^ tedious talk is but vain boast,

Or subtle shifts conviction to evade.

Alas what can they teach, and not miss-lead}

s 4. Ignorant Ignorant of themselves, of God much more,

And how the world began, and how man fell

Degraded by himself, on grace depending?

Much of the Soul they talk, but all awry,

And fn themselves seek virtue, and to themselves

All glory arrogate, to God give none,

Rather accuse him under usual nameSj

Fortune and Fate, as one regardless quite

Gf mortal things. Who therefore seeks in these

True wisdom, finds her not, or by delusion

Far worse, her false resemblance only meets,

An empty cloud. Ho wever many books

Wife men have said are wearisom j who reads

Incessantly, and to his reading brings not

A spirit and judgment equal or superior,

(And what he brings, what need he elsewhere seek}

Uncertain and unsettled still remains,

Deep verst in books and shallow in himself,

Crude or intoxicate, collecting toys,

And trisles for choice matters, worth a spunge*

As Children gath'ring pibles on the more*

Or if I would delight my private hours

With Mustek or with Poem, where so soon

As in our native Language can I find

That solace? All our Law and Story strew'd.

With HymenSjOUr Psalms with artful terms inscrib'd,

Our Hebrew Songs and Harps in Baby fan*

That pleas'd so well our Victors ear, declare

That rather Greece from us these arts deriv'd j

111 imitated, while they loudest sing

The vices of their Deities, and their own

In Fable, Hymn, or Song, so personating

Their Gods ridiculous,, and themselves past shame,

Remove their swelling Epithetes thick laid

As varnish on a Harlot's cheek, the rest,

Thin sow n with aught of profit or delight*

Will far be found Unworthy to compare

With Szon's songs, to all true tasts excelling,- 1

Where God is prais'd aright, and God-like men

The Holiest of Holies* and his Saints*

Such are from God inspir*d, not such from thee}

Unless where moral virtue is express'd

By tight of Mature not in all quite lost;

Their Orators thou then extoll'st, as those'

The top of Eloquence, Statists indeed,

And lovers of thew! Country, as may seem *

r,<; . Q Bt 82 'P A R AT> IS E Regained. Book IV.

But herein to our Prophers far beneath,

As men divinely taught, and better teaching

The solid rules of Civil Government

In their Majestic unaffected stile:

Than all the Oratory of Greece and Rome.)

In them is plainest taught, and easiest learnt,. .

What makes a Nation happy, and keeps it soy

What ruins Kingdoms, and lays Cities flat}

These only with our Law best form a King.

So spake the Son of God} but Satan now Quite at a loss, for all his darts were spent, Thus to our Saviour with stern brow reply'd.

Since neither wealth, nor honour, arms nor arts, Kingdom nor Empire pleases thee, nor aught By me propos'd in life contemplative, Or active, tended on by glory, or fame, What dost thou in this World? the Wilderness' For thee is fittest place, I found thee there, And thither will return thee, yet remember What I foretel thee, soon thou (halt have cause To wish thou never hadst rejected thus Nicely or cautiously my ofter'd aid, Which would have set thee in short time with ease


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