Your homely Face, Flippanta, you disguise With Patches, numerous as Argus’ Eyes: I own that Patching’s requisite for you; For more we’re pleas’d, if less your Face we view: Yet I advise, if my Advice you’d ask, Wear but one Patch;---but be that Patch a Mask. Enjoy the present hour, be mindful of the past; And neither fear nor wish the Approaches of the last. Learn of the skilful: He that teaches himself, hath a fool for his master.
The cringing Train of Pow’r, survey; What Creatures are so low as they! With what obsequiousness they bend! To what vile Actions condescend! Their Rise is on their Meanness built, And Flatt’ry is their smallest Guilt. Best is the Tongue that feels the rein; -- He that talks much, must talk in vain; We from the wordy Torrent fly: Who listens to the chattering Pye? Think Cato sees thee. No Wood without Bark.
Enrag’d was Buckram, when his Wife he beat, That she’d so often lousy Knave, repeat. At length he seiz’d and drag’d her to the Well, I’ll cool thy Tongue, or I’ll thy Courage quell. Ducking, thy Case, poor Buckram, little mends; She had her Lesson at her Fingers Ends. Sows’d over head, her Arms she raises high; And cracking Nails the Want of Tongue supply. Monkeys warm with envious spite, Their most obliging FRIENDS will bite; — And, fond to copy human Ways, Practise new Mischiefs all their days. Joke went out, and brought home his fellow, and they two began a quarrel.
Rash Mortals, e’er you take a Wife, Contrive your Pile to last for Life: On Sense and Worth your Passion found, By DECENCY cemented round; Let Prudence with Good-Nature strive To keep Esteem and Love alive; Then, come old Age when e’er it will, Your Friendship shall continue still. Let thy discontents be thy Secrets; - if the world knows them, ‘twill despise thee and increase them. E’er you remark another’s Sin, Bid your own Conscience look within. Anger and Folly walk cheek-by-jole; Repentance treads on both their Heels.
Fair Decency, celestial Maid, Descend from Heav’n to Beauty’s Aid: Tho’ Beauty may beget Desire, ’Tis thou must fan the Lover’s Fire: For, Beauty, like supreme Dominion, Is best supported by Opinion: If Decency bring no Supplies, Opinion falls and Beauty dies. Turn Turk Tim, and renounce thy Faith in Words as well as Actions: Is it worse to follow Mahomet than the Devil? Don’t overload Gratitude; if you do, she’ll kick. Be always asham’d to catch thy self idle.
When painful Colin in his Grave was laid, His mournful Wife this Lamentation made; I’ve lost, alas! (poor Wretch, what must I do?) The best of Friends, and best of Husbands too. Thus of all Joy and Happiness bereft; And with the Charge of ten poor Children left; A greater Grief no Woman sure can know. Who (with ten Children) --- who will have me now? Where yet was ever found the Mother, Who’d change her booby for another? At 20 years of age the Will reigns; at 30 the Wit; at 40 the Judgment. Christianity commands us to pass by Injuries; Policy, to let them pass by us.
Nature expects Mankind should share The Duties of the publick Care. Who’s born for Sloth? To some we find The Plough share’s annual Toil assign’d; Some at the sounding Anvil glow; Some the swift Sliding Shuttle throw; Some, studious of the Wind and Tide, From Pole to Pole our Commerce guide. Lying rides upon Debt’s back. They who have nothing to be troubled at, will be troubled at nothing. Wife from thy Spouse each blemish hide More than from all the World beside: Let DECENCY be all thy Pride.
Some (taught by Industry) impart With Hands and Feet the Works of Art; While some, of Genius more refin’d, With Head and Tongue assist Mankind: Each aiming at one common End Proves to the whole a needful Friend. Thus, born each other’s useful Aid, By Turns are Obligations paid. Nick’s Passions grow fat and hearty; his Understanding looks consumptive! If evils come not, then our fears are vain: And if they do, Fear but augments the pain. Rob not for burnt offerings. If you would keep your Secret from an enemy, tell it not to a friend.
The Monarch, when his Table’s spread, To th’ Farmer is oblig’d for Bread; And when in all his Glory drest, Owes to the Loom his royal Vest: Do not the Mason’s Toil and Care Protect him from th’ inclement Air? Does not the Cutler’s Art supply The Ornament that guards his Thigh? Bess brags she ‘as Beauty, and can prove the same: As how? why thus, Sir, ‘tis her puppy’s name. Up, Sluggard, and waste not life; in the grave will be sleeping enough. Well done, is twice done. Clearly spoken, Mr. Fog! You explain English by Greek.
All these, in Duty, to the Throne Their common Obligations own. 'Tis he (his own and People’s Cause) Protects their Properties and Laws: Thus they their honest Toil employ, And with Content the Fruits enjoy In every Rank, or great or small, 'Tis INDUSTRY supports us all. Formio bewails his Sins with the same heart, As Friends do Friends when they’re about to part. Believe it Formio will not entertain, One chearful Thought till they do meet again. Honours change Manners.
Syl. dreamt that bury’d in his fellow Clay, Close by a common Beggar’s Side he lay: And, as so mean a Neighbour shock’d his Pride Thus, like a Corpse of consequence, he cry’d: Scoundrel, begone; and henceforth touch me not: More manners learn; and, at a distance, rot. How! Scoundrel! in a haughtier Tone cry’d he; Proud Lump of Dirt, I scorn thy Words and thee; Here all are equal; now thy Case is mine; This is my Rotting Place, and that is thine. Jack eating rotten cheese, did say, Like Sampson I my thousands slay; I vow, quoth Roger, so you do, And with the self-same weapon too. There are no fools so troublesome as those that have wit. Quarrels never could last long, If on one side only lay the wrong.
From Flow’r to Flow’r, with eager Pains, See the poor busy Lab’rer fly! When all that from her Toil she gains Is, in the Sweets she hoards, to die. 'Tis thus, would Man the Truth believe, With Life’s soft Sweets, each fav’rite Joy: If we taste wisely, they relieve; But if we plunge too deep, destroy.
Let no Pleasure tempt thee, no Profit allure thee, no Ambition corrupt thee, no Example sway thee, no Persuasion move thee, to do any thing which thou knowest to be Evil; So shalt thou always live jollily: for a good Conscience is a continual Christmass.
He that by Injury is griev’d, And goes to Law to be reliev’d, Is sillier than a sottish Chouse, Who when a Thief has robb’d his House, Applies himself to cunning Men To help him to his Goods again: When, all he can expect to gain, Is but to squander more in vain. For Lawyers, lest the Bear Defendant, And Plaintiff Dog should make an End on’t, Do stave and tail with Writs of Error, Reverse of Judgment and Demurrer, To let them breath a-while, and then Cry Whoop, and set them on again: Until, with subtil cobweb Cheats, They’re catch’d in knotted Law, like Nets, In which, when once they are embrangl’d, The more they stir the more they’re tangl’d: For while their Purses can dispute, There’s no End of th’ immortal Suit.