Page images

Warms in the fun, refreshes in the breeze,
Glows in the stars, and blossoms in the trees,
Lives through all life, extends through all extent;
Spreads undivided, operates unspent;
Breathes in our soul, informs our mortal part, 275
As full, as perfect, in a hair as heart;
As full, as perfect, in vile Man that mourns,
As the rapt Seraph that adores and burns:
To him no high, no low, no great, no small;
He fills, he bounds, connects, and equals all. 280

X. Cease then, nor Order Imperfection name :

proper bliss depends on what we blame.
Know thy own point: This kind, this due degree
Of blindness, weakness, Heaven bestows on thee.
Submit.-In this, or any other sphere,

Secure to be as blest as thou canst bear :
Safe in the hand of one disposing Power,
Or in the natal, or the mortal hour.
All Nature is but Art, unknown to thee;
All Chance, Direction, which thou canst not see; 290
All Discord, Harmony not understood :
All partial Evil, universal Good.
And, spite of Pride, in erring Reason's fpite,
One truth is clear, WHATEVER IS, IS RIGHT.

After ver. 282. in the MS.

Reason, to think of God, when the pretends,
Begins a Cenfor, an Adorer ends.

[blocks in formation]




Of the Nature and State of Man with respect to

Himself, as an Individual.

I. The business of Man not to pry into God, but to study

himself. His Middle Nature : his Powers and Frailties, ver. I to 19.

The Limits of his Capacity, ver. 19, &c. II. The two Principles of Man, Self-love and Reason, both necessary, ver. 53, &c. Self-love the stronger, and why, ver. 67, &c. Their end the fame, ver. &i, &c. III. The Passions, and their use, ver. 93 to 130.

The Predominant Passion, and its force, ver. 132 to 160. Its Necessity, in directing Men to different purposes, ver. 165, &c. Its providential Use, in fixing our Principle, and ascertaining our Virtue, ver. 177. IV. Virtue and Vice joined in our mixed Nature; the limits near, yet the things separate and evident: What is the Office of Reason, ver. 202 to 216. V. How odious Vice in it. self, and how we deceive ourselves into it, ver. 217. VI. That, however, the Ends of Providence and general Good are answered in our Passions and Imperfections, ver. 238, &c. How usefully these are distributed to all Orders of Men, ver. 241. How useful they are to Society, ver. 251. And to Individuals, ver. 263. In every state, and every age of life, ver. 273, &c.


EPISTLE II. I. V NOW then thyself, presume not God to scan, KN

The proper study of Mankind is Man. Plac'd on this isthmus of a middle state, A being darkly wise, and rudely great : With too much knowledge for the Sceptic side, 5 With too much weakness for the Stoic's pride, He hangs between ; in doubt to act, or rest; In doubt to deem himself a God, or Beast; In doubt his Mind or Body to prefer; Born but to die, and reasoning but to err;

10 Alike in ignorance, his reason such, Whether he thinks too little, or too much : Chaos of Thought and Passion, all confus'd; Still by himself abus’d or disabus’d; Created half to rise, and half to fall;

15 Great lord of all things, yet a prey to all ; Sole judge of Truth, in endless Error hurl'd: The glory, jeit, and riddle of the world !

Go, wondrous creature! mount where Science guides, Go, measure earth, weigh air, and state the tides ;




Ver. 2. Ed. ift.

The only science of Mankind is Man.
After ver. 18. in the MS.

For more perfection than this state can bear
In vain we figh, Heaven made us as we are.
As wisely sure a modest Ape might aim
To be like Man, whose faculties and frame



Instruct the planets in what orbs to run,
Corret old Time, and regulate the Sun;
Go, scar with Plato to th' empyreal sphere,
To the first good, first perfect, and first fair ;
Or tread the mazy round his followers trod,
And quitting sense call imitating God;
As Eastern priests in giddy circles run,
And turn their heads to imitate the Sun.
Go, teach Eternal Wisdom how to rule
Then drop into thyself, and be a fool!

Superior beings, when of late they saw
A mortal Man unfold all Nature's Law,
Admir'd such wisdom in an earthly shape,
And shew'd a Newton as we shew an Ape.

He sees, he feels, as you or I to be
i An Angel thing we neither knew nor see.

Observe how near he edges on our race ;
What human tricks! how risible of face !
It must be so-why else have I the sense
Of more than monkey charms and excellence ?
Why else to walk on two so oft effay'd ?
And why this ardent longing for a maid ?
So Pug might plead, and call his Gods unkind
Till set on end, and married to his mind.
Go, reasoning Thing! assume the Doctor's chair,
As Plato deep, as Seneca severe :
Fix moral fitness, and to God give rule,

Then drop into thyself, &c.
Ver. 21. Edit. 4th and sth.

Shew by what rules the wandering planets stray,
Correct old Time, and teach the Sun his Way.


Could he, whose rules the rapid Comet bind, 35
Describe or fix one movement of his Mind ?
Who saw its fires here rise, and there descend,
Explain his own beginning, or his end;
Alas, what wonder! Man's superior part
Uncheck'd may rise, and climb from art to art; 40
But when his own great work is but begun,
What Reason weaves, by Passion is undone.

Trace Science then, with Modesty thy guide;
First strip off all her equipage of Pride ;
Deduct what is but Vanity or Dress,
Or Learning's Luxury, or Idleness ;
Or tricks to thew the stretch of human brain,
Mere curious pleasure, or ingenious pain;
Expunge the whole, or lop th' excrescent parts
Of all our Vices have created Arts;
Then see how little the remaining sum,
Which serv'd the past, and must the times to come!

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 : And to their proper operation still, Ascribe all Good, to their improper Ill.

Self-love, the spring of motion, acts the foul; Reason's comparing balance rules the whole.

Ver. 35. Ed. first.

Could he, who taught each Planet where to roll,
Describe or fix one movement of the Soul ?
Who mark'd their points to rise or to descend,
Explain his own beginning, or his end ? .



« PreviousContinue »