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ALEXANDER POPE
English poet and critic
(1688 - 1744)
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Mark what unvary'd laws preserve each state,
  Laws wise as Nature, and as fixed as Fate.
      - Essay on Man (ep. III, l. 189) [Law]

Like bubbles on the sea of matter borne,
  They rise, they break, and to that sea return.
      - Essay on Man (ep. III, l. 19) [Life]

The enormous faith of many made for one.
      - Essay on Man (ep. III, l. 242) [Faith]

For forms of government let fools contest;
  Whate'er is best administer'd is best.
      - Essay on Man (ep. III, l. 303)
        [Government]

For modes of faith let graceless zealots fight;
  His can't be wrong whose life is in the right.
      - Essay on Man (ep. III, l. 305) [Faith]

In Faith and Hope the world will disagree,
  But all mankind's concern is charity.
      - Essay on Man (ep. III, l. 307) [Charity]

Is it for thee the linnet pours his throat?
  Loves of his own, and raptures swell the note.
      - Essay on Man (ep. III, l. 33) [Linnets]

The hog that ploughs not, not obeys thy call,
  Lives on the labours of this lord of all.
      - Essay on Man (ep. III, l. 41) [Swine]

Say, will the falcon, stooping from above,
  Smit with her varying plumage, spare the dove?
    Admires the jay the insect's gilded wings?
      Or hears the hawk when Philomela sings?
      - Essay on Man (ep. III, l. 53) [Falcons]

Whether with Reason, or with Instinct blest,
  Know, all enjoy that pow'r which suits them best.
      - Essay on Man (ep. III, l. 79) [Enjoyment]

But honest instinct comes a volunteer;
  Sure never to o'er-shoot, but just to hit,
    While still too wide or short in human wit.
      - Essay on Man (ep. III, l. 85) [Instinct]

Reason, however able, cool at best,
  Cares not for service, or but serves when prest,
    Stays till we call, and then not often near.
      - Essay on Man (ep. III, l. 85) [Reason]

See plastic Nature working to this end,
  The single atoms each to other tend,
    Attract, attracted to, the next in place
      Form'd and impell'd its neighbor to embrace.
      - Essay on Man (ep. III, l. 9) [Nature]

Oh happiness! our being's end and aim!
  Good, Pleasure, Ease, Content! whate'er thy name;
    That something still which prompts th' eternal sigh,
      For which we bear to live, or dare to die.
      - Essay on Man (ep. IV, l. 1) [Happiness]

Where grows?--where grows it not? If vain our toil,
  We ought to blame the culture, not the soil.
      - Essay on Man (ep. IV, l. 13) [Agriculture]

But sometimes virtue starves while vice is fed.
  What then? Is the reward of virtue bread?
      - Essay on Man (ep. IV, l. 149) [Virtue]

Fix'd to no spot is Happiness sincere;
  'Tis nowhere to be found, or ev'rywhere;
    'Tis never to be bought, but always free.
      - Essay on Man (ep. IV, l. 15) [Happiness]

The soul's calm sunshine and the heartfelt joy,
  Is virtue's prize.
      - Essay on Man (ep. IV, l. 168) [Virtue]

Judges and senates have been bought for gold;
  Esteem and love were never to be sold.
      - Essay on Man (ep. IV, l. 187) [Bribery]

Ask of the Learn'd the way? The Learn'd are blind;
  This bids to serve, and that to shun mankind;
    Some place the bliss in action, some in ease,
      Those call it Pleasure, and Contentment these.
      - Essay on Man (ep. IV, l. 19) [Learning]

Honour and shame from no condition rise;
  Act well your part, there all the honour lies.
      - Essay on Man (ep. IV, l. 193) [Honor]

Fortune in men has some small diff'rence made,
  One flaunts in rags, one flutters in brocade,
    The cobbler apron'd, and the parson gown'd,
      The friar hooded, and the monarch crown'd.
      - Essay on Man (ep. IV, l. 195) [Fortune]

Some place the bliss in action, some in ease,
  Those call it pleasure, and contentment these.
      - Essay on Man (ep. IV, l. 21) [Bliss]

What can ennoble sots, or slaves, or cowards?
  Alas! not all the blood, of all the Howards.
      - Essay on Man (ep. IV, l. 215) [Ancestry]

What's fame? a fancy'd life in others' breath.
  A thing beyond us, e'en before our death.
      - Essay on Man (ep. IV, l. 237) [Fame]


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