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Why doing, suff'ring, check’d, impelld; and why
This hour a slave, the next a deity.

Then say not Man's imperfect, Heav'n in fault ;
Say rather, Man's as perfect as he ought :

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His knowledge'measur'd to his state and place;
His time a moment, and a point his space.
If to be perfect in a certain sphere,
What matter, foon or late, or here or there ;
The blest to day is as completely so,

75 As who began a thousand years ago.

III. Heav'n from all creatures hides the book of Fate,
All but the page prescib'd, their present state:
From brutes what men, from men what spirits know:
Or who could suffer Being here below? 80
The lamb thy riot dooms to bleed to day,
Had he thy reason, would he skip and play?
Pleas’d to the last, he crops the flow’ry food,
And licks the hand just rais'd to shed his blood.
Oh blindness to the future! kindly giv’n, 28
That each may fill the circle mark'd by Heav'n:

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VARIATIONS,
After ver. 68. the following lines in the first Ed.

If to be perfect in a certain fphere,
What matters soon or late, or here or there?
The bleft to day is as completely fo,
As who began ten thousand years ago.

Who fees with equal eye, as God of all,
A hero perish, or a sparrow fall,
Atoms or systems into ruin hurld,
And now a bubble burst, and now a world.

Hope humbly then ; with trembling pinions soar; Wait the great teacher Death ; and God adore,

90

VARIATION S.
After ver. 88. in the MS.
No great, no little ; 'tis as much decreed
That Virgil's Gnat should die, as Cæsar bleed,

NOTE s.
Ver. 87. Who Sees with equal eye, &c.) Matth. X. 29.

VER. 91. Hope humbly then ;] The Hope of a happy fu. turity was implanted in the humau breast by God himself for this very purpose, as an earnest of that Bliss, which always flying from us here, is reserved for the good Man hereafter.

The reason why the poet chuses to insist on this proof of a future state, in preference to others, is in order to give his system (which is founded in a sublime and improved Platonism) the greater grace of uniformity. For Hope was Plato's peculiar argument for a future state; and the words here employed the foul uneasy, &c. his peculiar expression. The poet in this place, therefore, tays in express terms, that God gave us bope to supply that future bliss, which be at present keeps hid from us. In his fecond epinle, ver. 274, he goes still further, and says, this HOPE quits us not even at Death, when every thing mortal drops from us :

Hope travels thro', nor quits us when we die. And, in the fourth epiftle he shews how the fame HOPE is a proof of a future ftate, from the confideration of God's

What future bliss he gives not thee to know,
But gives that hope to be thy blessing now.

VARIATIONS.

In the first Fol. and Quarto,

What bliss above he gives not thee to know,
But gives that Hope to be thy bliss below.

NOTES.

giving man no appetite in vain, or what he did not intend Thould be satisfied ;

He fees why Nature plants in Man alone
Hope of known bliss, and Faith in bliss unknown:
(Nature, whose dictates to no other kind

Are giv'n in vain, but what they seek they find.) It is only for the good man, he tell us, that Hope leads from goal to goal, &c. It would be strange indeed then, if it should prove

a delusion. Ver. 93. What future blis, &c.] It hath been objected, that the System of the best weakens the other natural arguments for a future state; because, if the evils which good Men suffer promote the benefit of the whole, then every thing is here in order ; and nothing amiss that wants to be fet right: Nor has the good man any reason to expect amends, when the evils he suffered had such a tendency. To this it may be replied, 1. Thatthe poet tells us, (Ep. iv. ver. 361.) That God loves from whole to parts. 2. That the System of the beft is so far from weakening those natural arguments, that it strengthens and supports them. For if those evils, to which good men are subject, be mere Disorders, without tendency to the greater good of the whole; then, though we muft indeed conclude that they will hereafter be set right, yet this view of things, repre. senting God as suffering disorders for no other end than to set them right, gives us a very low idea of the divine wif

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Hope springs eternal in the human breast :
Man never Is, but always To be bleft:
The soul, uneasy and confin’d, from home,
Rests and expatiates in a life to come.

NOTES.

dom. But if those evils (according to the bem of the best) contribute to the greater perfection of the whole; such a reason may be then given for their permission, as fupports our idea of divine wisdom to the highest religious purposes. Then, as to the good man's hopes of a retribution, those still remain in their original force: For our idea of God's justice, and how far that justice is engaged to a retribution, is exactly and invariably the same on either hypothesis. For though the system of the best supposes that the evils thenselves will be fully compensated by the good they produce to the whole, yet this is so far from fupposing that particulars shall suffer for a general good, that it is essential to this system to conclude, that, at the completion of things, when the whole is carried to the state of utmost perfe&ion, particular and universal good thall coincide.

Such is the world's great harmony, that springs
From Order, Union, full Consent of things.
Where small and great, where weak and mighty, made
To serve, not suffer ; strengthen, not invade, &c.

Ep. iii. ver. 295. Which coincidence can never be, without a retribution to good men for the evils they suffered here below.

VER. 97,- from home.] The construction is, “The “ foul being from home (confined and uneasy) expa

tiates," &c. by which words it was the Poet's purpose to teach, that the present life is only a state of probation for another, more suitable to the effence of the soul, and to the free exercise of its qualities.

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Lo, the poor Indian ! whose untutor'd mind Sees God in clouds, or hears him in the wind; 100 His soul, proud science never taught to stray Far as the solar walk, or milky way; Yet simple nature to his hope has giv'n Behind the cloud-topt hill, an humbler heav'n, Some safer world in depth of woods embraced, 105 Soine happier island in the watry waste, Where slaves once more their native land behold, No fiends torment, no Christians thirst for gold, To Be, contents his natural desire, He asks no Angel's wing, no Seraph's fire ;

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VARIATION S.

After ver, 108. in the first Ed.

But does he say the Maker is not good,
'Till he's exalted to what state he wou'd :
Himself alone high Heav'n's peculiar care,
Alone made happy when he will, and where ?

NOTES. Ver. 99. Lo, the poor Indian! &c.] The poet, as we said, having bid Man comfort himself with expectation of future happiness, having shewn him that this HOPE is an earnest of it, and put in one very necessary caution,

Hope humbly then, with trembling pinions foar ; provoked at those miscreants whom he afterwards (Ep. iji: ver. 263.) describes as building Hell on spite, and Heaven on pride, he upbraids them (fromver. 99 to 112.) with the example of the poor Indian, to whom also nature hath given

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