Posted in Essay On Man, Language, Music

Essay On Man: Piece V

V. Vice is a monster of so frightful mien, As, to be hated, needs but to be seen; Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face, We first endure, then pity, then embrace. But where th’ extreme of vice, was ne’er agreed: Ask where’s the north? at York, ’tis on the Tweed; In Scotland, at the Orcades; and there, At Greenland, Zembla, or the Lord knows where. No creature owns it in the first degree, But thinks his neighbour farther gone than he; Even those who dwell beneath its very zone, Or never feel the rage, or never own; What happier nations shrink at with affright, The hard inhabitant contends is right.
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"If he's honest, he'll steal; if he's human, he'll murder; if he's faithful, he'll deceive. Being at a loss to resolve these questions, I am resolved to leave them without any resolution." I have so much to say to you that I am afraid I shall tell you nothing."

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