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Go wondrous creature! mount where Science ARGUMENT OF EPISTLE II.
Go, measure Earth, weigh air, and state the tides; OF THE NATURE AND STATE OF MAN WITH RESPECT TO
Instruct the planets in what orbs to run, 20 HIMSELF, AS AN INDIVIDUAL.
Correct old Time, and regulate the Sun,
study himself. His middle nature: his powers to the first good, first perfect, and first fair;
Their end the same, ver. 81, &c. Go teach Eterna! Wisdom how to rule-
Then drop into thyself, and be a foul! The predominant passion, and its force, ver. 132
Superior beings, when of late they saw to 160. Its necessity, in directing men to diffe- A mortal man unfold all Nature's law, rent purposes, ver. 165, &c. Its providential Admir'd such wisdom in an earthly shape, use, in fixing our principle, and ascertaining our And show'd a Newton as we shew an ape. virtue, ver. 177. IV. Virtue and vice joined in Could he, whose rules the rapid cpmnet bind, our mixed nature; the limits near, yet the Describe or fix one movement of his mind! things separate and evident: what is the office Who saw its fires here rise and there descend, of reason, ver. 202 to 216. V. How odious Explain his own beginning or his end? vice in itself, and how we deceive ourselves into Alas, what wonder ? Man's superior part it, ver. 217. VI. That, however, the ends of Uncheok'd may rise, and climb from art to art ;+0 Providence and general good are answered in But when his own great work is but begyn, pur passions and imperfections, ver. 238, &c. What Reason weaves, by Passion is undone. How usefully these are distributed to all orders Trace Science then, with Modesty thy guide; of men, ver. 241. How useful they are to so- First strip off all her equipage of-Pride; ciety, ver. 251. And to individuals, ver. 263. Deduct what is but Vanity or dress, In every state, and every age of life, ver. 273, Or Learning's luxury, or Idleness; &c.
Or tricks to show the stretch of human brain,
Mere curious pleasure, or ingenious pain;
Expunge the whole, or lop th' excrescent parts 1. Know then thyself, presume not God to scan,
Of all our vices have created arts;
30 The proper study of mankind is man.
Then see how little the remaining sum, Plac'd on this isthmus of a middle state,
Which serv'd the past, and must the times to come! A being darkly wise, and rudely great :
11. Two principles in human nature reign; With 100 much knowledge for the Sceptic side,
Self-love, to urge, and Reason, to restrain ; With too mach weakness for the Stoic's pride,
Nor this a good, nor that a bad we call,
Each works its end, to move or govern all:
And to their proper operation still,
Ascribe all good, to their improper, ill. Born but to die, and reasoning but to err; 10
Self-love, the spring of motion, acts the soul; Alike in ignorance, his reason such,
Reasan's comparing balance rules the whole, Whether he thinks too little, or too much:
Man, but for that, no action could attend, Chaos of thought and passion, all confus'd;
And, but for this, were active to no end : Still by himself ahus'd or disabus'd;
Fix'd like a plant on his peculiar spot; Created half to rise, and half to fall;
To draw nutrition, propagate, and rot, Great lord of all things, yet a prey to all ;
Or, meteor-like, flame lawless through the void, Sole judge of truth, in endless errour hurl'd:
Destroying others, by bimself destroy'd. The glory, jest, and șiddle of the world!
Most strength the moving principle requires a
Sedate and quiet the comparing lies,
Form'd but to check, deliberate, and advise.
Self-love, still stronger, as its objects ngh;
Reason's at distance, and in prospect lie:
Go, reasoning thing! assume the doctor's chair, To be like man, whose faculties and frame
As Plato deep, as Seneca severe:
Fix moral fitness, and to God give rule,
Then drop into thyself, &c.
Ver. 21, Edit. 4th and 5th. What human tricks! how risible of face !
Show by what rules the wandering planets, stray, It must be so-why else have I the sense
Correct old Time, and teach the Sun his way. Of more than monkey charms and excellence ! Ver. 35, Edit. Ist. Why else to walk on two so oft essay'd?
Could he, who taught each planet where to roll, And why this ardent longing for a maid ?
Describe or fix one movement of the soul? So pug might plead, and call his gods unkind Who mark'd their points, to rise or to descenda Till set on end, and married to his mind,
Explain his own beginning, e his end ?
That sees immediate good by present sense ; Hence different passions more or less inflame, Reason, the future and the consequence.
As strong or weak, the organs of the frame; Thicker than arguments, temptations throng, And hence one master passion in the breast, At best more watchful this, but that more strong. Like Aaron's serpent, swallows up the rest. The action of the stronger to suspend,
As man, perhaps, the moment of his breath, Reason still use, to Reason still attend.
Receives the lurking principle of Death; Attertion, habit, and experience gains;
The young disease, which must subdue at length, Each strengthens Reason, and Self-love restrains. 80 Grows with his growth, and strengthens with his Let subtle schoolmen teach these friends to fight, So, cast and mingled with his very frame; (strength: More studious to divide than to unite;
The mind's disease, its Raling Passion came; And Grace and Virtue, Sense and Reason split, Each vital humour which should feed the whole, With all the rash dexterity of Wit.
Soon flows to this, in body and in soul : 140 Wits, just like fools, at war about a name,
Whatever warms the heart, or fills the head, Have full as oft no meaning, or the same.
As the iniud opens, and its functions spread, Self-love and Reason to one end aspire,
Imagination plies her dangerous art, Pain their arersion, pleasure their desire;
And pours it all upon the peccant part. Bat greedy that is object would devour,
Nature its mother, Habit is its nurse; This taste the honey, and not wound the flower: 90 Wit, Spirit, Faculties, but make it worse ; Pleasure, or wrong or rightly understood,
Reason itself but gives it edge and power; Our greatest evil, or our greatest good.
As Heaven's btest beam turns vinegar more sour. III. Modes of Self-love the passions we may call;
We, wretched subjects though to lawful sway, Tis real good, or seeming, moves them all : In this weak queen, some favourite still obey : 150. But since not every good we can divide,
Ah! if she lend not arms, as well as rules, And Reason bids us for our own provide;
What can she more than tell us we are fools? Passions, though selfish, if their means be fair, Teach us to mourn our nature, not to mend; List under Reason, and deserve her care;
A sharp accuser, but a helpless friend!
Proud of an easy conquest all along,
She but removes weak passions for the strong:. Contracted all, retiring to the breast;
So, when small humours gather to a gout, But strength of mind is exercise not rest:
The doctor fancies he has driv'n them out. 160 The rising tempest puts in act the soul;
Yes, Nature's road must ever be preferrd; Parts it may ravage, but preserves the whole. Reason is here no guide, but still a guard : On life's vast ocean diversely we sail,
'Tis hers to rectify, not overthrow, Reason the card, but Passion is the gale;
And treat this passion more as friend than foe; Nor God alone in the still calm we find,
A mightier power the strong direction sends, He mounts the storm, and walks upon the wind. 1:10 And several men impels to several ends: Passions, like elements, though born to fight,
Like varying winds, by other passions tost, Yet, mix'd and soften'd, in his work unite:
This drives them constant to a certain coast. These 'tis enough to temper and employ;
Let power or knoxledge, gold or glory, please, But what composes man, can man destroy? Or (oft more strong than all) the love of ease; 170 Suffice that Reason keep to Nature's road,
Through life 'tis follow'd ev'n at life's expense; Subject, compound thein, follow her and God. The merchant's toil, the sage's indolence, Love, Hope, and Joy, fair Pleasure's smiling train; The monk's humility, the hero's pride, Hate, Fear, and Grief, the family of Pain; All, all alike, find Reason on their side. These mix'd with art, and to due bounds contin'd, Th’ Eternal Art, educing good from ill, Make and maintain the balance of the mind; 120 Grafts on this passion our best principle: The lights and shades whose well-accorded strife 'Tis thus the mercury of man is fix'd, Gives all the strenyth and colour of our life. Strong grows the virtue with his nature inix'd; Pleasures are ever in our hands and eyes ;
The dross cements what else were too refin'd, And when in act they cease, in prospect rise:
And in one interest body acts with mind. 180 Present to grasp, and future still to find,
As fruits, ungrateful to the planter's care, The whole employ of body and of mind.
savage stocks inserted learn to bear; All spread their charms, but charm not all alike;
The surest virtues thus from passions shoot,
Wild Nature's vigour working at the root.
From spleen, from obstinacy, hate, or fear!
See anger, zeal and fortitude supply;
Ev'n avarice, prudence; sloth, philosophy; After ver. 86, in the MS.
Lust, through some certain strainers well refin'd, Of good and evil gods what frighted fools,
Is gentle love, and charms all womankind; 190 Of good and evil reason puzzled schools,
Envy, to which th' ignoble mind's a slave, Deceiv'd, deceiving, taught
Is emulation in the learn'd or brave;
Nor virtue, male or female, can we name,
The compass, if no powerful gusts arise !
After ver. 194, in the MS. The soft reward the virtuous, or invite;
How oft with passion, Virtue points her charms! The fierce the vicious punish or affrighto
Then shines the bero, then the patriot warms.
Thus Nature gives us (let it check our pride) "Tis but by parts we follow good ot ilt; The virtue nearest to our vice ally'd :
For, vice or viatue, Self directs it still; Reason the bias turns to good from ill,
Each individual seeks a several goal; [whole. And Nero reigns a Titus, if he will.
But Heaven's gr at view, is one, and that the The fiery soul abhor'd in Cataline,
That counter-works each folly and caprice; In Decius charms, in Curtius is divine: 200 That disappoints th effect of every vice : 240 The same ambition can destroy or save,
That, happy frailties to all ranks apply'd; And makes a patriot as it makes a knave.
Shame to the virgin, to the matron pride ; This light and darkness in our chaos join'd, Fear to the statesman, rashness to the chief; What shall divide? The God within the mind. To kings presumption, and to crowds belief:
Extremes in Nature equal ends produce, That, Virtue's ends from vanity can raise, In man they join to some mysterious use;
Which seeks no interest, no reward but praise Though each by turns the other's bound invade, And build on wants, and on defects of mind, As, in some well-wrought picture, light and shade, The joy, the peace, the glory of mankind. And oft so mix, the difference is too nice
Heaven forining each on other to depend, Where ends the virtue, or begins the vice. 210 master, or a servant, or a friend,
Fools! who from hence into the notion fall, Bids each on other for assistance call, *That vice or virtue there is none at all.
Till one man's weakness grows the strength of all If white and black blend, soften, and unite Wants, frailties, passions, closer still ally A thousand ways, is there no black or white? The common interest, or endear the tie. Ask your own heart, and nothing is so plain; To these we owe true friendship, love sincere, 'Tis to mistake them, costs the time and pain. Each home-felt joy that life inherits here;Vice is a monster of so frightful mien,
Yet from the same we learn, in its decline, As, to be hated, needs but to be seen;
Those joys, those loves, those interests, to resigns Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face,
Taught half by Reason, half by nicre decay, We first endure, then pity, then embrace. 220 | To welcome death, and calmly pass away.
260 But where th' extreme of vice, was ne'er agreed : Whate'er the passion, knowledge, fame, or pelf, Ask where's the north? at York, 'tis on the Tweed; Not one will change his neighbour with himself. In Scotland, at the Orcades; and there,
The learn'd is happy Nature to explore, At Greenland, Zembla, or the Lord knows where, The fool is happy that he knows no more; No creature owns it in the first degree,
The rich is happy in the plenty given, But thinks his neighbour further gone than he: The poor contents him with the care of Heaven. Ev'n those who dwell beneath its very zone,
See the blind beggar dance, the cripple sing, Or never feel the rage, or never own;
The sot a hero, lunatic á king; What happier natures shrink at with affright, The starving chymnist in his golden views The hard inhabitant contends is right. 230 Supremely blest, the poet in his Muse. 270 Virtuous and vicious every man must be,
See some strange comfort every state attend, Few in th' extreme, but all in the degree;
And pride bestow'd on all, a common friend :
Behold the child, by Nature's kindly law,
Some livelier play-thing gives his youth delight,
And beads and prayer-books are the toys of age: 280 That, Reason! is thy task, and worthy thee. Pleas'd with this bauble still, as that before; Hard task, cries Bibulus, and Reason weak. 'Till tir'd he sleeps, and Life's poor play is o'er.
- Make it a point, dear marquess, or a pique. Meanwhile Opinion gilds with varying rays Once, for a whim, persuade yourself to pay Those painted clouds that beautify our days: A debt to Reason, like a debt at play.
Each want of happiness by Hope supply'd, For right or wrong, have mortals suffer'd more?
And each vacuity of sense by Pride: B for his prince, or ** for his whore? These build as fast as Knowledge can destroy; Whose self-denials Nature most control ? In Folly's cup still laughs the bubble, Joy ; His, who would save a sixpence, or his soul? One prospect lost, another still we gain; Weh for his health, a Chartreux for his sin, And not a vanity is givin in vain ;
230 Contend they not which soonest shall grow thin? Ev'n mean Self-love becomes, by force divine, What we resolve, we can: but here 's the fault: The scale to measure others' wants by thine.
We ne'er resolve to do the thing we ought. See! and confess, one comfort still must rise; After ver. 220, in the first edition followed these : 'Tis this, Though man's a fool, yet GOD IS WISE.
A cheat! a whore! who starts not at the name,
In all the Inns of Court or Drury-lane? After ver. 226, in the MS.
ARGUMENT OF EPISTLE III. The colonel swears the agent is a dog ; The scrivener vows th' attorney is a rogue. OF THE NATURE AND STATE OF MAN WITH RESPECT TO Against the thief th'attorney loud inveighs,
SOCIETY. For whose ten pounds the county twenty pays. The thief damos judges, and the knaves of state, 1. The whole universe one system of society, ter. 7, And, dying, mourns small villaius bang’d by great. &c. Nothing made wholly for itself, nor yet
wholly for another, ver. 27. The happiness of Thine the full harvest of the golden year animáls mntual, ver. 49. II. Reason or instinct Part pays, and justly, the deserving steer: 40 operate alike to the good of each individual, The hog, that ploughs not, nor obeys thy call, ver. 79. Reason or instinct operate also to so- Lives on the labours of this lord of all. ciety in all animals, ver. 109. III. How far Know, Nature's children all divide her care; society carried by instinct, ver. 115. How The fur that warins a monarch, warm'd a bear. much farther by reason, ver. 128.
IV. Of that while man exclaims, “ See all things for my use! which is called the state of nature, ver. 144.
“ See man for mine!” replies a pamper'd goose : Reason instructed by instinct in the invention of. And just as short of reason he must fall, arts, Fer.166, and in the forms of society, ver. 176.
Who thinks all made for one, not one for all. V. Origin of political societies, ver. 196. Ori- Grant that the powerful still the weak control; gin of monarchy, ver. 207. Patriarchal go- Be man the wit and tyrant of the whole: 50 Vernment, ver. 212. VI. Origin of true reli- Nature that tyrant checks; he only knows, gion and government, from the same principle, And helps, another creature's wants and woes. of love, ver. 231, &c. Origin of superstition Say, will the falcon, stooping from above, and tyranny, from the same principle, of fear, Smit with her varying p'umage, spare the dove? ver. 237, Sc. The influence of self-love ope
Admires the jay the insect's giided wings? rating to the social and public good, ver. 266.
Or hears the hawk when Philomela sings? Restoration of true religion and governinent on
Man cares for all: to birds he gives his woods, their first principle, ver. 285. Mixed govern- To beasts his pastures, and to fish his noods: ment, ver. 288. Various forms of each, and for some his interest prompts him to provide, the true end of all, ver. 300, &C.
For more his pleasure, yet for more his pride: 60
That very life his learned hunger craves,
He saves from famine, from the savage saves; Here then, we rest; “The Universal Cause
Nay, feasts the animal he dooms his feast, Acts to one end, but acts by various laws.”
And, till he ends the being, makes it blest: In all the madness of superfluous health,
Which sees no more the stroke, or feels the paina The train of pride, the impudence of wealth,
Than favour'd man by touch ethereal slain.
The creature had his feast of life before;
Thou too must perish, when thy feast is o'er! 70
To each unthinking being, Heaven, a friend, Look round our world ; behold the chain of Love
Gives not the useless knowledge of its end :
To man imparts it; but with such a view
As, 'while he dreads it, makes him hope it toos
The hour conceald, and so remote the fear, Attract, attracted to, the next in place
Death still draws nearer, never seeming near. Form'd and impell'd its neighbour to embrace
Great standing miracle! that Heaven assign'd See matter next, with various life-endued,
Its only thinking thing this turn of mind. Press to one centre still, the general good.
II. Whether with reason, or with instinct blest, See dying vegetables life sustain,
Know, all enjoy that power which suits them best; See life dissolving vegetate again : All forms that perish other forms supply,
To bliss alike by that direction tend,
And find the means proportion'd to their end. (By turns we catch the vital breath, and die)
Say, where full Instinct is th’ unerring guide, Like bubbles on the sea of matter borne, They rise, they break, and to that sea return, 20
What pope or council can they need beside?
Reason, however able, cool at best, Nothing is foreign ; parts relate to whole?
Cares not for service, or but serves when prest, One all-extending, all-preserving soul Connects each being, greatest with the least;
Stays till we call, and then not often near;
But honest Instinct comes a volunteer,
Sure never to o'ershoot, but just to hit;
While still too wide or short is human Wit; The chain holds on, and where it ends, unknown.
90 Has God, thou fool! work'd solely for thy good, which heavier Reason labours at in vain.
Sure by quick Nature happiness to gain, Thy joy, thy pastime, thy attire, thy food!
This too serves always, Reason never long:
One inust go right, the other may go wrong.
See then the acting and comparing powers
One in their nature, which are two in ours!
After ver. 46, in the former editions,
What care to tend, to lodge, to cram, to treat Shares with his lord the pleasure and the pride.
All this he knew ; but not that 'twas to eat him. Is thine alone the seed that strewş the plain? The birds of Heaven shall vindicate their grain.
As far as goose could judge, he reason'd right;
But as to man, mistook the matter quite.
After ver. 84, in the MS.
While man, with opening views of various ways, Ver. 1. In several editions in 4to.
Confounded by the aid of knowledge strays; Learn, Dulness, learn! “ The Universal Cause, Too weak to chuse, yet chusing still in haste,
One moment gives the pleasure and distaste.
And Reason raise o'er Instinct as you can, The Fury-passions from that blood began,
And turn'd on man, a fiercer savage, man.
Learn from the birds what food the thickets yield; Sure as De Moivre, without rule or line?
Learn from the beasts the physic of the field; Who bid the stork, Columnbus-like, explore Thy arts of building from the bee receive: Heavers not his own, and worlds unknown before? Learn of the mole to plough, the worm to weave; Who calls the council, states the certain day? Learn of the little Nantilus to sail, Who forms the phalanx, and who points the way? Spread the thin oar, and catch the driving gale.
III. God, in the nature of each being, founds Here too all forms of social union find, Its proper bliss, and sets its proper bounds : 110 And Hence let Reason, ļate, instruct mankind: 180 But as he fram'd a whole, the whole to bless,
Here subterrancan works and cities see; On mutua) wants built inutual happiness :
There towns aëreal on the waving tree. So from the first, eternal Order ran,
Learn each small people's genius, policies, And creature link'd to creature, man to man. The ant's republic, and the realm of bees; Whate'er of life all-quickening ether keeps,
How those in common all their wealth bestow, Or breathes through air, or shoots beneath the deeps, and anarchy without confusion know; Or pouts profuse on earth, one Nature feeds And these for ever, though a monarch reign, The vital flame, and swells the genial seeds. Their separate cells and properties maintain. Not man alone, but all that roam the wood, Mark what uniary'd laws preserve each state, Or wing the sky, or roll along the tiood, 120 Laws wise as Nature, and as fix'd as Fate. 190 Each loves itself, but not itself alone,
In vain thy Reason finer webs shall draw, Each sex desires alike, till two are one.
Entangle Justice in her net of Law, Nor ends the pleasure with the fierce embrace; And right too rigid, harden into wrong; They love theinselves, a third time, in their race. Still for the strong too weak, the weak too strong. Thus beast and bird their common charge attend,
Yet go! and thus o'er all the creatures sway, The mothers nurse it, and the sires defend;
Thus let the wiser make the rest obey : The young dismiss’d to wander earth or air, And for those arts mere Instinct could afford, There stops the Instinct, and there ends the care; Be crowi'd as monarchs, or as gods ador'd." The link dissolves, each seeks a fresh embrace, V. Great Nature spoke; observant man obey'd; Another love su ceeds, another race. 130 Cities were built, societies were made: 200 A longer care man's belpless kind demands; Here rose one little state; another near That longer care contracts more lasting bands: Grew by like means, and join'd through love or fear Reflection, Reason, still the ties improve,
Did here the trees with ruddier burthens bend, At once extend the interest, and the love: And there the streams in purer rills descend? With choice we fix, with sympathy we burn; What War could ravish, Commerce could bestow; Each virtue in each passion takes its turn;
And he return'd a friend, who came a foe. And still new needs, new helps, new habits rise,
Converse and Love mankind might strongly draw, That graft benevolence on charities.
When Love was Liberty, and Nature Law. Still as one brood, and as another rose,
Thus states were forint); the name of king unknown, These natural love maintain'd, habitual those: 140 Till common interest plac'd the sway in one. 210 The last, scarce ripen'd into perfect man,
'Twas Virtue only, (or in arts or arms, Saw helpless him from whom their life began : Diffusing blessings, or averting harms) Memory and Forecast just returns engage,
The same which in a sire the sons obey'd, That pointed back to youth, this on to age;
A prince the father of a people made. While Pleasure, Gratitude, and Hope, combin'd, VI. Till then, by Nature crown'd, each patriarch Still spread the interest, and preserve the kind. King, priest, and parent, of his growing state: (sate,
IV. Nor think, in Nature's state they blindly On him, their second Providence, they hung,
Ver. 197, in the first editions,
Who for those arts they learn'd of brutes before, No murder cloth'd him, and no murder fed.
As kings shall crown them, or as gods adore. In the same temple, the resounding wood,
Ver. 201. Here rose one little state, &c.] In the All vocal beings hymn'd their equal God:
(spot; The shrine with gore unstain’d, with gold undressid, The neighbours leagu'd to guard their common Unbrib'd, unbloody, stood the blameless priest: And love was Nature's dictate; murder, not. Heaven's attribute was universal care,
For want alone each animal contends; And man's perogative, to rule, but spare. 160 Tigers with tigers, that remov'd, are friends. Ah! how unlike the man of times to come!
Plain Nature's wants the common mother crown'd, Of half that live the butcher and the tomb;
She pour'd her acoms, herbs, and streams around. Who, foe to Nature, hears the general groan,
No treasure then for rapine to invade, Murders their species, and betrays his own.
What need to fight for sun-shine or for shade But just disease to luxury succeeds,
And half the cause of contest was remov'd, And every death its own avenger breeds ;
When Beauty could be kind to all who lov'de