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Or tricks to shew the stretch of human brain,
Mere curious pleasure, or ingenicus pain;
Expunge the wholc, or lop th' excrescent parts
Of all our Vices have created Arts;

50 Then see how little the remaining suin, Which serv'd the past, and must the times to coine !

II. Two principles in human nature reign; Self-love, to urge, and Reason, to restrain; Nor this a good, nor that a bad we call, 55 Each works its end, to move or govern

all : NOTES. ments, as the best vehicles of Truth. Shakespear touches upon this latter advantage with great force and humour. The Flatterer says to Timon in distress, “ I cannot cover o the monstrous bulk of their ingratitude with any size of words, " The other replies, “ Let it go naked, men may 6 fee't the better.

VER. 46. Or Learning's Luxury, or Idleness ;] The Luxury of Learning consists in dressing up and disguising old notions in a new way, so as to make them more fashionable and palateable; instead of examining and scrutinizing their truth. As this is often done for pomp and shew, it is called luxury; as it is often done to save pains and labour, it is called idleness.

VER. 47. Or tricks to shew the firetch of human brain.) Such as the mathematical demonstrations concerning the small quantity of matter; the endless divisibility of it, &c.

Ver. 48. Mere curious pleasure, or ingenious pain ;] That is, when Admiration sets the mind on the rack.

Ver. 49. Expunge the whole, or lop th' axcrescent parts:Of all our vices have created Arts;] i.e. Those parts of natural Philosophy, Logic, Rhetoric, Poetry, &c. that adı minister to luxury, deceit, ambition, effeminacy, &c.

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And to their proper operation still,
Ascribe all Good, to their improper, Ill.
Se f-love, the spring of motion, acts the soul;
Reason's comparing balance rules the whole.
Man, but for that, no action could attend,
And but for this, were active to no end:
Fix'd like a plant on his peculiar spot,
To draw nutrition, propagate, and rot;
Or, meteor-like, flame lawless thro' the void, 65
Destroying others, by himself destroy'd.
Most strength the moving principle requires;
Active it's task, it prompts, impels, inspires;
Sedate and quiet, the comparing lies,
Form’d but to check, delib'rate, and advise. 70
Self-love still stronger, as its objects nigh;
Reason's at distance, and in prospect lie:
That fees immediate good by present sense;
Reason, the future and the consequence.
Thicker than arguments, temptations throng, 75
At best more watchful this, but that more strong,
The action of the stronger to suspend
Reason still use, to Reason ftill attend.

NOTES. Ver. 74. Reason, the future and the consequence.] 1. e. By experience, Reason collects the future; and by argumentation, the confequences

Attention, habit, and experience gains ;
Each strengthens Reason, and Self-love restrains. 80
Let subtle schoolmen teach these friends to fight,
More ftudious to divide than to unite;
And Grace and Virtue, Sense and Reason split, }
With all the rash dexterity of wit.
Wits just like fools, at war about a name,
Have full as oft no meaning, or the same.
Self-love and Reason to one end aspire,
Pain their aversion, Pleasure their desire;
But greedy That, its object would devour,
This taste the honey, and not wound the fow'r: 90

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VARIATIONS,

After ver.

86 in the MS.
Of good and evil Gods what frighted Fools
Of good and evil Reason puzzled Schools,
Deceiv'd, deceiving, taught

NOTES. Ver. 81. Let subtle Schoolmen, &c.] This observation on the folly of the schoolmen, who consider reason and the passions as two opposite principles, the one good and the other evil, is seasonable and judicious; for this folly givez great support to the Manichæan or Zoroastrian error, the confutation of which was one of the author's chief ends in writing. For if there be two principles in Man, a good and bad, it is natural to think him the joint product of the two Manichæan deities (the first of which contributed to his Reason, the other to his Paffions) rather than the creature of one Individual Cause. This was Plutarch's notion, and, as we may see in him, of the more ancient

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Pleasure, or wrong, or rightly understood,
Our greatest evil, or our greatest good.
III. Modes of Self-love the Passions

inay
'Tis real good, or seeming, moves them all :
But since not ev'ry good we can divide, 95
And Reason bids us for our own provide;
Passions, tho' selfish, if their means be fair,
Lift under Reason, and deserve her care;
Those that imparted, court a nobler aim,
Exalt their kind, and take some Virtue's name. 100

In lazy Apathy let Stoics boast
Their Virtue fix'd; 'tis fixʼd as in a frost;
Contracted all, retiring to the breast;
But strength of mind is Exercise, not Rest;
The rising tempest puts in act the soul, 105
Parts it may ravage, but preserves the whole.
On life’s vast ocean diversely we fail,
Reason the card, but passion is the gale.

VARIATIONS.

After ver. 103. in the MS.

A tedious Voyage! where how useless lies
The compass, if no pow'rful gusts arise ?

NOTES.

Manichæans. It was of importance, therefore, to reprobate and subvert a notion that served to the support of so dangerous an error.

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Nor God alone in the still calm we find,
He mounts the storm, and walks upon the wind. 110

Passions, like elements, tho' born to fight,
Yet, mix'd and soften'd in his work unite:
These, 'tis enough to temper and employ;
But what composes Man, can Man destroy?
Suffice that Reason keep to Nature's road, 115
Subject, compound them, follow her and God.

VARIATIONS.

After ver. 112, in the MS.

The soft reward the virtuous, or invite ;
The fierce, the vicious punish or affright.

NOTE s.

VER. 109. Nor God alone, &c.) These words are only a fimple affirmation in the poetic dress of a fimilitude, to this purpose: Good is not only produced by the fubdual of the passions, but by the turbulent exercise of them. A truth conveyed under the most sublime imagery that poetry could conceive or paint. For the author is here only shewing the providential issue of the Passions, and how, by God's gracious disposition, they are turned away from their natural bias, to promote the happiness of Mankind. As to the method in which they are to be treated by Man in whom they are found, all that he contends for, in favour of them, is only this, that they should not be quite rooted up and destroyed, as the Stoics, and their followers in all religions, foolishly attempted. For the rest, he constantly repeats this advice,

The action of the stronger to suspend,
Reason still use, to Reason ftill attend.

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