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That REASON, PASSION, anfwer one great aim; 395 That true SELF-LOVE and SOCIAL are the fame; That VIRTUE only makes our Bliss below;
And all our Knowledge is, OURSElves to know.
VER. 397. That Virtue only, &c.] In the MS. thus:
And all the ftudy of Mankind is Man.
an Essay, is, that the Author has not formed his plan with all the regularity of method which it might have admitted." And again— “I was, by the unanimous opinion of all those whom I have consulted on this occasion, and, amongst these, of several Englishmen completely skilled in both languages, obliged to follow a different method. The French are not fatisfied with fentiments, however beautiful, unless they be methodically difpofed: Method being the characteristic that diftinguifbes our performances from thofe of our neighbours," &c. After having given many examples of the critical skill of this wonderful man of method, in the foregoing notes, it is enough just to have quoted this flourish of self-applause, and so to leave him to the laughter of the World. WARBURTON.
DEO OPT. MAX.
FATHER of All! in ev'ry Age,
By Saint, by Savage, and by Sage,
UNIVERSAL PRAYER.] "Some paffages in the Effay on Man having been unjustly suspected of a tendency toward Fate and Naturalism, the Author compofed a Prayer, as the fum of all, which was intended to fhew that his system was founded in Freewill, and terminated in Piety." RUFFHEAD.
Warton thinks, for "clofenefs and comprehenfion of thought, and for brevity and energy of expreffion, there are few pieces of poetry in our language that can be compared with this." How extraordinary is it, that Warton should be ever accused, as if he wifhed to decry Pope! No one has borne fuch willing and ample testimony to his excellence as a Poet, when he truly deserves it; but will any one compare him to Milton?
In this place, Warton gives the Poetry more praise than it appears entitled to; though this compofition is beautiful, and in fome paffages fublime.
VER. 4. Jehovah, Jove, or Lord!] "It is of very little confequence," fays Seneca, De Beneficiis, "by what name you call the first Nature, and the divine Reason, that prefides over the universe, and fills all the parts of it. He is ftill the fame God. You may give Him as many names as you please, provided you allow but one Sole Principle every-where prefent."
Thou Great First Cause, leaft understood,
To know but this, that Thou art Good,
Yet gave me, in this dark Eftate,
"Notwithstanding all the extravagancies and miscarriages of the Poets," fays Cudworth, chap. 4., "we fhall now make it plainly appear, that they really afferted, not a multitude of felfexiftent and independent Deities, but one, only, unmade Deity; and all the other, generated or created gods. This hath been already proved concerning Orpheus, from fuch fragments of the Orphic Poems as have been owned and attested by Pagan writers.” Cudworth proceeds to confirm this opinion by many strong and uncontefted paffages from Homer, Hefiod, Pindar, Sophocles, and especially Euripides, Book i. chap. iv. fect. 19.; and Aristophanes, in the first line of Plutus, diftinguishes betwixt Jupiter and the gods : Ω Ζεῦ καὶ θεοι. WARTON.
VER. 6. my Senfe confin'd] It ought to be confinedft, or didft confine; and afterwards, gaveft, or didft give, in the second per fon. See Lowth's Grammar. WARTON.
VER. 9. Yet gave me,] Originally Pope had written another Aanza, immediately after this:
"Can fins of moments claim the rod
And that offend great Nature's God
The licentious fentiment it contains, evidently borrowed from a well-known paffage of Guarini in the Paftor Fido, induced him to ftrike it out. And perhaps alfo the abfurd metaphor of a rod of fires, on examination, displeased him. WARTON.
VER. 12. Left free] An abfurd and impoffible exemption, exclaims the Fatalift; "comparing together the moral and the natural