Behold the child, by Natures kindly law, Pleased with a rattle, tickled with a straw; Some livelier plaything gives his youth delight, A little louder, but as empty quite; Scarfs, garters, gold, amuse his riper stage, And beads and prayer-books are the toys of age. Pleased with this bauble still, as that before, Till tired he sleeps, and lifes poor play is oer.
For forms of government let fools contest; Whateer is best administerd is best. For modes of faith let graceless zealots fight; His cant be wrong whose life is in the right.2 In faith and hope the world will disagree, But all mankinds concern is charity.
O happiness! our beings end and aim! Good, pleasure, ease, content! whateer thy name: That something still which prompts the eternal sigh, For which we bear to live, or dare to die.
Essay on Man. Epistle iv. Line 1.
Note 1. Why may not a goose say thus? there is nothing that yon heavenly roof looks upon so favourably as me; I am the darling of Nature. Is it not man that keeps and serves me?Montaigne: Apology for Raimond Lebond. [back]