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That never air or ocean felt the wind;
We see, therefore, it would be doing great injustice to our author to suspect that he intended,
by this, to give any encouragement to vice. His system, as all his Ethic Epistles Thew, is this: That the paffions, for the reasons given above, are necessary to the support of Virtue : That, indeed, the Passions in excess produce Vice, which is, in its own Nature, the greatest of all Evils, and comes into the world from the abuse of Man's free-will; but that God, in his infinite wisdom and goodness, deviously turns the natural bias of its malignity to the advancement of human happiness, and makes it productive of general Good TH'ETERNAL ART Educes GOOD PROM ILL.
Ep. ii. ver. 175. Ver. 169. But all subfifs, &c.] See this subject ex. tended in Ep. ii. from ver. 90 to 112, 155, &c.
VER. 174. And little less than Angel, &c.] Thou bast made him a little lower than the Angels, and haft crowned bim with glory and honour, Psalm viii. 9.
Made for his use, all creatures if he call,
The proper organs, proper pow'rs aflign’d; 180
The bliss of Man (could Pride that blessing find) Is not to act or think beyond mankind; Igo No pow'rs of body or of soul to share, But what his nature and his state can bear. Why has not Man a microscopic eye? For this plain reason, man is not a Fly. Say what the use, were finer optics giv'n, T'inspect a mite, not comprehend the heav'n? Or touch, if tremblingly alive all o'er, To smart and agonize at ev'ry pore?
NOTES. Ver. 182. Here with degrees of swiftness, &c.] It is a certain axiom in the anatomy of creatures, that in proportion as they are formed for strength, their swiftness is leffened; or, as they are formed for swiftness, their strength is abated. P.
Or quick effluvia darting thro' the brain,
VII. Far as Creation's ample range extends, The scale of sensual, mental pow'rs ascends : Mark how it mounts, to Man's imperial race, From the green myriads in the peopled grass: 210 What modes of fight betwixt each wide extreme, The mole's dim curtain, and the lynx's beam: Of smell, the headlong lioness between, And hound sagacious on the tainted green:
Ver. 202. Stunn'd bim with the music of the Spheres.] This instance is poetical, and even sublime, but misplaced. He is arguing philosophically in a case that required him to employ the real objects of sense only; and, what is worse, he speaks of this as a real object. -if NATURB thunder'd, &c. The case is different where (in ver. 253.) he speaks of the motion of the heavenly bodies under the sublime Imagery of ruling Angels : For whether there be ruling Angels or no, there is real motion, which was all his argument wanted; but if there be no music of the Spheres, there was no real sound, which his argument was obliged
Yer.213. The headlong lioness] The manner of the lions
Of hearing, from the life that fills the flood, 215
NOTES. hunting their prey in the deserts of Africa is this : At their first going out in the night time they set up a loud roar, and then listen to the noise made by the beasts in their flight, pursuing them by the ear, and not by the poftril
. It is probable the story of the Jackals hunting for the lion, was occasioned by observation of this defect of scent in that terrible animal. P.
VER. 224. for ever sep’rate, &c.] Near, by the fimili. tude of the operation ; separate, by the immense difference in the nature of the powers.
VER. 226. What ihin partitions, &c.] So thin, that the Atheistic philosophers, as Protagoras, held that thought was only sense ; and from thence concluded, that
imagination or opinion of every man was true: Ilāra pavlacis isin canons. But the poet determines more philosophically, that they are really and essentially different, how ihin foever the partition is by which they are divided. Thus (ta illustrate the truth of this observation) when a geometer confiders a triangle, in order to demonstrate the equality
And Middle natures, how they long to join, .
NOTES. of its three angles to two right ones, he has the picture or image of some sensible triangle in his mind, which is Jense; yet notwithstanding, he must needs have the notion or idea of an intellectual triangle in his mind, which is thought; for this plain reason, because every image or picture of a triangle must needs be obtufangular, or rectangular, or acutangular : but that which, in his mind, is the subject of this proposition, is the ratio of a triangle, undetermined to any of these species. On this account it was that Αriftotle faid, Νοήματα τινι διοίσει, τε μη φανάσματα άναι, ή δε ταύτα φαλάσματα αλλ' εκ άνευ φανlασμάτων.
칡 The conceptions of the Mind differ fomewhat from sensible images; they are not sensible images, and yet not quite free or disengaged from sensible images. VER. 237. Vast chain of Being!] Who will not ac