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Here rose one little state; another near
VER. 201. Here roje one little ftate, &c.] In the MS, thus,
The Neighbours leagu'd to guard their common spot;
VRR. 196. Observant Man obey'd ;] The epithet is beautiful, as fignifying both obedience to the voice of Nature, and attention to the lessons of the animal creation.
Ver. 208. When Love was Liberty.) i. e. When men had no need to guard their native liberty from their governor by civil pactions ; the love which each master of a family had for those ander his care being their best security.
Thus States were form’d; the name of King unknown, 'Till common int'rest plac'd the sway in one, 210 'Twas VIRTUE ONLY (or in arts or arms, Diffusing blessings, or averting harms) The fame which in a Sire the Sons obcy’d, A Prince the Father of a People made. VI. 'Till then, by Nature crown'd, each Patriarch sate,
215 King, priest, and parent of his growing state;
Ver. 209. Thus flates were form'd;} This is said in confutation of that idle hypothesis which pretends, that God conferred the regal title on the fathers of families ; from whence men, when they had instituted Society, were to fetch their Governors. On the contrary, our author shews, that a King was unknown, 'till common interest, which led men to institute civil government, led them at the fame time to institute a governor. However, that it is true that the same wisdom or valour, which gained regal obedience from fons to the fire, procured kings a paternal authority, and made them considered as fathers of their people. Which probably was the original (and, while mistaken, continues to be the chief support of that Slavish error: antiquity representing its earliest monarchs under the idea of a common father, waring avdewr. After-.. wards indeed they became a kind of foster-fathers, wormiva news, as Homer calls one of them: "Till at length they began to devour that Aock they had been so long accustomed to fhear: and, as Plutarch fays of Cecrops, ix xanse βασιλέως άγριον και δρακουλώδη γενόμενον ΤΥΡΑΝΝΟΝ.
Ver.211. 'Twas Virtue only, &c.] Our author hath good authority for this account of the origin of kingship. Ari
On him, their second Providence they hung,
ftotle assures us, that it was Virtue only, or in art or arms: Καθίσαθαι βασιλεύς εκ των επιεικών καθ' υπεροχην αρετής, πράξεων των από της αρείης, ή καθ' υπεροχήν τοιύτε θύες.
VER. 219. He from the wond'ring furrow, &c.i. c. He subdued the intractability of all the four elements, and made them subfervient to the use of Man.
Ver. 225. Then, looking up, &c.] The poet here maketh their more serious attention to Religion to have arisen, not from their gratitude amidst abundance, but for their helplessness in distress; by shewing that, during the former state, they rested in second causes, the immediate authors of their blessings, whom they rever'd as God, but that, in the other, they reasoned up to the First:
Then looking up from fire to fire, &c.
Ere Wit oblique had broke that steddy light,
Who first taught souls enfav’d, and realms undone, Th' enormous faith of
made for one;
NOTES, This, I am afraid, is but too true a representation of haman nature.
Ver. 231. Ere Wit oblique, &c.] A beautiful allusion to the effects of the prismatic glass on the rays of light.
VER. 241. Who firft taught fouls, enslav'd, &c.] The poet informs us, agreeably to his exact knowledge of Antiquity, that it was the Politician, and not the Prieft (as our illiterate tribe of Free-thinkers would make us believe) who firft corrupted Religion. Secondly, That the Superstition he brought in was not invented by him, as an engine to play upon others (as the dreaming Atheist feigns, who would thus miserably account for the origin of Religion) but was a trap he firå fell into himself.
VER. 242. Tb' enortuous faith, &c.] In this Aristotle placeth the difference between a King and a Tyrant, that the firft supposeth himself made for the People; the other that the People are made for him: Bórélai d'• BALIAEYE είναι φύλαξ, όπως οι μύ κεκτημένοι τας εσίας μηθέν άδικου σάwow, ο δε δημό- μη υβρίζηται μηδέν», η δε ΤΥΡΑΝΝΙΣ προς
That proud exception to all Nature's laws,
NOTES. δεν αποβλέπει κοινόν, ει μη της ιδίας ωφελείας χάριν. Ρol. lib. ν.
VER. 245. Force first made Conquest, &c.] All this is agreeable to fact, and Theweth our author's exact knowledge of human nature. For that impotency of mind (as the Latin writers call it) which giveth birth to the enormous crime necessary to support a Tyranný, naturally subjecteth its owner to all the vain, as well as real, terrors of Conscience : Hence the whole machinery of Superstition,
It is true, the Poet observes, that afterwards, when the Tyrant's fright was over, he had cunning enough, from the experience of the effect of Superstition' upon himself, to turn it by the asistance of the Priest (who for his rèward went sharer with him in the Tyranny, as his best defence against his Subjects. For a Tyrant naturally and reasonably deemeth all his Slaves to be his enemies.