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near, yet the things separate and evident : what | Man, but for that, no action could attend, is the office of reason. V. How odious vice in And but for this, were active to no end : itself, and how we deceive ourselves into it. Fix'd like a plant on his peculiar spot ; VI. That, however, the ends of Providence and To draw nutrition, propagate, and rot, general good are answered in our passions and Or, meteor-like, fame lawless through the void, imperfections. How usefully these are dis- Destroying others, by himself destroy'd. tributed to all orders of men. How useful they Most strength the moving principle requires are to society; and to individuals, in every state, Active its task, it prompts, impels, inspires. and every age of life.
Sedate and quiet the comparing lies,
Form'd but to check, deliberate, and advise. I. Know then thyself, presume not God to scan, Self-love, still stronger, as its objects nigh; The proper study of mankind is man.
Reason's at distance, and in prospect lie: Plac'd on this isthmus of a middle state,
That sees immediate good by present sense ; A being darkly wise, and rudely great :
Reason, the future and the consequence. With too much knowledge for the Sceptic side, Thicker than arguments, temptations throng, With too much weakness for the Stoic's pride, At best more watchful this, but that more strong. He hangs between ; in doubt to act, or rest; The action of the stronger to suspend, In doubt to deem himself a god, or beast;
Reason still use, to Reason still attend. In doubt his mind or body to prefer ;
Attention, habit, and experience gains; Born but to die, and reasoning but to err;
Each strengthens Reason, and Self-love restrains. Alike in ignorance, his reason such,
Let subtle schoolmen teach these friends to fight, Whether he thinks too little, or too much :
More studious to divide than to unite; Chaos of thought and passion, all confus'd;
And Grace and Virtue, Sense and Reason split, Still by himself abus'd, or disabus'd;
With all the rash dexterity of Wit. Created half to rise, and half to fall;
Wits, just like fools, at war about a name, Great lord of all things, yet a prey to all ;
Have full as oft no meaning, or the same. Sole judge of truth, in endless errour hurl'd : Self-love and Reason to one end aspire, The glory, jest, and riddle of the world! [guides, Pain their aversion, pleasure their desire ;
Go, wondrous creature ! mount where Science But greedy that, his object would devour, Go, measure Earth, weigh air, and state the tides ; This taste the honey, and not wound the tower : Instruct the planets in what orbs to run,
Pleasure, or wrong or rightly understood, Correct old Time, and regulate the Sun;
Our greatest evil, or our greatest good. Go, soar with Plato to th’ empyreal sphere,
III. Modes of Self-love the passions we may call; To the first good, first perfect, and first fair; 'Tis real good, or seeming, moves them all : Or tread the mazy round his followers trou,
But since not every good we can divide, And quitting sense call imitating God;
And Reason bids us for our own provide ; As eastern priests in giddy circles run,
Passions, though selfish, if their means be fair, And turn their heads to imitate the Sun.
List under Reason, and deserve her care; Go, teach Eternal Wisdom how to rule
Those, that imparted, court a nobler aim, Then drop into thyself, and be a fool !
Exalt their kind, and take some virtue's name. Superior beings, when of late they saw
In lazy apathy let Stoics boast A mortal man unfold all Nature's law,
Their virtue fix'd ; 'tis fix'd as in a frost; Admir'd such wisdom in an earthly shape,
Contracted all, retiring to the breast; And show'd a Newton as we show an ape.
But strength of mind is exercise, not rest : Could he, whose rules the rapid comet bind, The rising tempest puts in act the soul; Describe or fix one movement of his mind!
Parts it may ravage, but preserves the whole. Who saw its fires here rise and there descend, On life's vast ocean diversely we sail, Explain his own beginning or his end ?
Reason the card, but Passion is the gale; Alas, what wonder! Man's superior part
Nor God alone in the still calm we find, Uncheck'd may rise, and climb from art to art; He mounts the storm, and walks upon the wind. But when his own great work is but begun,
Passions, like elements, though born to fight, What Reason weaves, by Passion is undone. Yet, mix'd and soften'd, in his work unite :
Trace Science, then, with Modesty thy guide ; These 'tis enough to temper and employ; First strip off all her equipage of Pride;
But what composes man, can man destroy ? Deduct what is but Vanity or dress,
Suffice that Reason keep to Nature's road, Or Learning's luxury, or Idleness;
Subject, compound them, follow her and God. Or tricks to show the stretch of human brain, Love, Hope, and Joy, fair Pleasure's smiling train; Mere curious pleasure, or ingenious pain;
Hate, Fear, and Grief, the family of Pain; Expunge the whole, or lop th' excrescent parts These, mixt with art, and to due bounds confin'd, Of all our Vices have created Arts;
Make and maintain the balance of the mind; Then see how little the remaining sum,
The lights and shades whose well-aecorded strife Which serv'd the past, and must the times to come! Gives all the strength and colour of our life.
II. Two principles in human nature reign; Pleasures are ever in our hands and eyes; Self-love, to urge, and Reason, to restrain;
And when in act they cease, in prospect rise : Nor this a good, nor that a bad we call,
Present to grasp, and future still to find, Each works its end, to move or govern all:
The whole employ of body and of mind. And to their proper operations still,
All spread their charms, but charm not all alike; Ascribe all good, to their improper, ill.
On different senses, different objects strike: Self-love, the spring of motion, acts the soul; Hence different passions more or less inflame. Reason's comparing balance rules the whole. | As strong or weak, the organs of the frame;
And hence one master passion in the breast, The fiery soul abhorr'd in Catiline,
The same ambition can destroy or save,
And makes a patriot as it makes a knave. The young disease, which must subdue at length, IV. This light and darkness in our chaos join'd, Grows with his growth, and strengthens with his
What shall divide? The God within the mind. strength:
Extremes in Nature equal ends produce, So, cast and mingled with his very frame,
In man they join to some mysterious use; The mind's disease, its Ruling Passion came; Though each by turns the other's bound invade, Each vital humour which should feed the whole,
As in some well-wrought picture, light and shade, Soon flows to this, in body and in soul :
And oft so mix, the difference is too nice Whatever warms the heart, or fills the head, Where ends the virtue, or begins the vice. As the mind opens, and its functions spread,
Fools! who from hence into the notion fall, Imagination plies her dangerous art,
That vice or virtue there is none at all. And pours it all upon the peccant part.
If white and black blend, soften, and unite Nature its mother, Habit is its nurse;
A thousand ways, is there no black or white ? Wit, Spirit, Faculties, but make it worse ;
Ask your own heart, and nothing is so plain ; Reason itself but gives it edge and power;
'Tis to mistake them, costs the time and pain. As Heaven's blest beam turns vinegar more sour.
V. Vice is a monster of so frightful mien,
We first endure, then pity, then embrace.
But where th' extreme of vice, was ne'er agreed : Teach us to mourn our nature, not to mend; Ask where's the north ? at York, 'tis on the Tweed; A sharp accuser, but a helpless friend !
In Scotland, at the Orcades; and there, Or from a judge turn pleader, to persuade
At Greenland, Zembla, or the Lord knows where, The choice we make, or justify it made ;
No creature owns it in the first degree, Proud of an easy conquest all along,
But thinks his neighbour further gone than he: She but removes weak passions for the strong:
Ev’n those who dwell beneath its very zone, So, when small humours gather to a gout,
Or never feel the rage, or never own; The doctor fancies he has driv'n them out.
What happier natures shrink at with affright, Yes, Nature's road must ever be preferr'd;
The hard inhabitant contends is right. Reason is here no guide, but still a guard :
Virtuous and vicious every man must be, 'Tis hers to rectify, not overthrow,
Few in th' extreme, but all in the degree;
'Tis but by parts we follow good or ill; Like varying winds, by other passions tost,
For, vice or virtue, Self directs it still, This drives them constant to a certain coast. Each individual seeks a several goal; Let power or knowledge, gold or glory, please,
VI. But Heaven's great view, is one, and that the Or (oft more strong than all) the love of ease;
whole. Through life 'tis follow'd ev'n at life's expense; That counter-works each folly and caprice; The merchant's toil, the sage's indolence,
That disappoints th' effect of every vice : The monk's humility, the hero's pride,
That, happy frailties to all ranks apply'd ;
Shame to the virgin, to the matron pride ;
To kings presumption, and to crowds belief : 'Tis thus the mercury of man is fix'd,
That, Virtue's ends from vanity can raise, Strong grows the virtue with his nature mir’d; Which seeks no interest, no reward but praise. The dross cements what else were too refin'd, And build on wants, and on defects of mind, And in one interest body acts with mind.
The joy, the peace, the glory of mankind. As fruits, ungrateful to the planter's care,
Heaven forming each on other to depend, On savage stocks inserted learn to bear ;
A master, or a servant, or a friend, The surest virtues thus from passions shoot,
Bids each on other for assistance call, Wild Nature's vigour working at the root.
Till one man's weakness grows the strength of all. What crops of wit and honesty appear
Wants, frailties, passions, closer still ally From spleen, from obstinacy, hate, or fear!
The common interest, or endear the tie. See anger, zeal and fortitude supply;
To these we owe true friendship, love sincere, Er'n avarice, prudence; sloth, philosophy ; Each home-felt joy that life inherits here; Lust, through some certain strainers well refin'd, Yet from the same we learn, in its decline, Is gentle love, and charms all womankind; Those joys, those loves, those interests, to resign; Envy, to which th' ignoble mind's a slave,
Taught half by Reason, half by mere decay, Is emulation in the learn'd or brave;
To welcome death, and calmly pass away. Nor virtue, male or female, can we name,
Whate'er the passion, knowledge, fame, or pelf, But what will grow on pride, or grow on shame. Not one will change his neighbour with himself.
Thus Nature gives us (let it check our pride) The learned is happy Nature to explore, The virtue nearest to our vice ally'd :
The fool is happy that he knows no more. Reason the bias turns to good from ill,
The rich is happy in the plenty given, And Nero reigns a Titus, if he will.
'The noor contents him with the care of Heaven,
See the blind beggar dance, the cripple sing, | Attract, attracted to, the next in place
Form'd and impell’d its neighbour to embrace. The starving chymist in his golden views
See matter next, with various life endued,
Press to one centre still, the general good.
All forins that perish other forms supply, Hope travels through, nor quits us when we dic. (By turns we catch the vital breath, and die,)
Behold the child, by Nature's kindly law, Like bubbles on the sea of matter borne,
They rise, they brcak, and to that sea return.
One all-extending, all-preserving soul
Connects cach being, greatest with the least; And beads and prayer-books are the toys of age: Made beast in aid of inan, and man of beast; Pleas'd with this bauble still, as that before ; All serv'd, all serving : nothing stands alone; 'Till tir'd he sleeps, and Life's poor play is o'er. The chain holds on, and where it ends unknown. Meanwhile Opinion gilds with varying rays
Has God, thou fool! work'd solely for thy good,
For him as kindly spread the flowery lawn :
Is it for thee the linnct pours his throat ?
Loves of his own and raptures swell the note. Fy'n mean Self-love becomes, by force divine, The bounding steed you pompously bestride, The scale to measure others wants by thinc.
Shares with his lord the pleasure and the pride. See! and confess, one comfort still must rise; Is thine alone the seed that strcws the plain? 'Tis this, Though man's a fool, yet God is WISE. The birds of Heaven shall vindicate their grain.
Thine the full harvest of the golden ycar?
The hog, that ploughs not, nor obeys thy call,
Lives on the labours of this lord of all.
Know, Nature's children all divide her care; OF THE NATURE AND STATE OF MAN WITH RESPECT The fur that warms a inonarch, warm'd a bear. TO SOCIETY.
While man exclaims, “ See all things for my use!"
“ See man for mine !" replies a pamper'd goose : Argument.
And just as short of reason he must fall,
Who thinks all made for one, not one for all. I. The whole universe one system of society, ! Grant that the powerful still the weak controul;
Nothing made wholly for itself, nor yet wholly | Be man the wit and tyrant of the whole : for another. The happiness of animals mutual. Nature that tyrant checks; he only knows, U. Reason or instinct operate alike to the good And helps, another creature's wants and woes. of each individual. Reason or instinct operate Say, will the falcon, stooping from above, also to society in all animals. III. How far Smit with her varying plumage, spare the dove ? society carried by instinct. How much farther Admires the jay the insect's gilded wings? by reason. IV. Of that which is called the state Or hears the hawk when Philomela sings? of nature. Reason instructed by instinct in the Man cares for all: to birds he gives his woods, invention of arts, and in the forms of society. | To beasts his pastures, and to fish his floods : V. Origin of political societies. Origin of mo- For some, his interest prompts him to provide, narchy. Patriarchal government. VI. Origin For more his pleasure, yet for more his pride : of true religion and government, from the same All feed on one vain patron, and enjoy principle, of love. Origin of superstition and Th' extensive blessing of his luxury. tyranny, from the same principle of fear. The That very life his learned hunger craves, influence of self-love operating to the social and He saves from famine, from the savage saves; public good. Restoration of true religion and Nay, feasts the animal he dooms his feast, government on their first principle. Mixed go | And, till he ends the being, makes it blest : vernment. Various forms of each, and the true Which sees no more the stroke, or feels the pain, erid of all.
Than favour'd man by touch ethereal slain.
The creature had his feast of life before ; HERE then we rest; “ the Universal Cause
Thou too must perish, when thy feast is o'er ! Acts to one end, but acts by various laws."
To each unthinking being, Heaven, a friend, In all the madness of superfluous health,
Gives not the useless knowledge of its end :
The hour conceal'd, and so remote the fear,
Great standing miracle ! that Heaven assign'd Combining all below and all above.
Its only thinking thing this turn of mind. See plastic Nature working to this end,
II. Whether with reason, or with instinct blest, The single atonis each to other tend,
Know, all enjoy that power which suits them best ;
To bliss alike by that direction tend,
Self-love and social at her birth began, And find the means proportion'd to their end Union the bond of all things, and of man. Say, where full Instinct is th' unerring guide, Pride then was not ; nor arts, that Pride to aid ; What pope or council can they need beside ? | Man walk'd with beast, joint tenant of the shade; Reason, however able, cool at best,
The same his table, and the same his bed; Cares not for service, or but serves when prest, No murder cloth'd him, and no murder fed. Stays till we call, and then not often near ;
In the same temple, the resounding wood, But honest Instinct comes a volunteer,
All vocal beings hymn'd their equal God : Sure never to o'ershoot, but just to hit;
The shrine with gore unstain'd, with gold undressid, While still too wide or short is human Wit; Unbrib’d, unbloody, stood the blameless priest : Sure by quick Nature happiness to gain,
Heaven's attribute was universal care, Which heavier Reason labours at in vain.
And man's prerogative, to rule, but spare. This too serves always, Reason never long :
Ah ! how unlike the man of times to come! One must go right, the other may go wrong. Of half that live the butcher and the tomb ; See then the acting and comparing powers
Who, foe to Nature, hears the general groan, One in their nature, which are two in ours ! Murders their species, and betrays his own. And Reason raise o'er Instinct as you can,
But just disease to luxury succeeds, In this 'tis God directs, in that 'tis man.
And every death its own avenger breeds ; Who taught the nations of the field and wood The Fury-passions from that blood began, To shun their poison, and to choose their food ? | And turn'd on man, a fiercer savage, man Prescient, the tides or tempests to withstand,
See him from Nature rising slow to Art! Build on the wave, or arch beneath the sand ? To copy Instinct then was Reason's part : Who made the spider parallels design,
Thus then to man the voice of Nature spake Sure as De Moivre, without rule or line ?
“ Go, from the creatures thy instructions take: Who bid the stork, Columbus-like, explore
Learn from the birds what food the thickets yield; Heavens not his own, and worlds unknown before? Learn from the beasts the physic of the field; Who calls the council, states the certain day? Thy arts of building from the bee receive : Who forms the phalanx, and who points the way? Learn of the mole to plough, the worm to weave;
III. God, in the nature of each being, founds Learn of the little Nautilus to sail, Its proper bliss, and sets its proper bounds : Spread the thin oar, and catch the driving gale. But as he fram'd a whole, the whole to bless, - Here too all forms of social union find, On mutual wants built mutual happiness :
And hence let Reason, late, instruct mankind: So from the first, eternal Order ran,
Here subterranean works and cities see; And creature link'd to creature, man to man. There towns aërial on the waving tree. Whate'er of life all-quickening ether keeps, Learn each small people's genius, policies, Or breathes through air, or shoots beneath the deeps, The ant's republic, and the realm of bees; Or pours profuse on earth, one Nature feeds How those in common all their wealth bestow, The vital flame, and swells the genial seeds. And anarchy without confusion know; Not man alone, but all that roam the wood,
And these for ever, though a monarch reign, Or wing the sky, or roll along the flood,
Their separate cells and properties maintain. Fach loves itself, but not itself alone,
Mark what unvary'd laws preserve each state, Each sex desires alike, till two are one.
Laws wise as Nature, and as fix'd as Fate. Nor ends the pleasure with the fierce embrace; In vain thy Reason finer webs shall draw, They love themselves, a third time, in their race. Entangle Justice in her net of Law, Thus beast and bird their common charge attend, And right, too rigid, harden into wrong; The mothers nurse it, and the sires defend ; Still for the strong too weak, the weak too strong. The young dismiss'd to wander earth or air, Yet go! and thus o'er all the creatures sway, There stops the Instinct, and there ends the care ; Thus let the wiser make the rest obey : The link dissolves, each seeks a fresh embrace, And for those arts mere Instinct could afford, Another love succeeds, another race.
Be crown'd as monarchs, or as gods ador'd.” A longer care man's helpless kind demands;
V. Great Nature spoke ; observant man obey'd ; That longer care contracts more lasting bands : Cities were built, societies were made : Reflection, Reason, still the ties improve,
Here rose one little state ; another near At once extend the interest, and the love :
Grew by like means, and join'd through love or fear, With choice we fix, with sympathy we burn; Did here the trees with ruddier burthens bend, Each virtue in each passion takes its turn;
And there the streams in purer rills descend, And still new needs, new helps, new habits rise, What War could ravish, Commerce could bestow; That graft benevolence on charities.
And he return'd a friend, who came a foe. Still as one brood, and as another rose,
Converse and Love mankind might strongly draw, These natural love maintain'd habitual those : When Love was Liberty, and Nature Law. The last, scarce ripen'd into perfect man,
Thus states were form'd; the name of king unknown, Sau helpless him from whom their life began : Till common interest plac'd the sway in one. Memory and Forecast just returns engage,
'Twas Virtue only, (or in arts or arms, That pointed back to youth, this on to age; Diffusing blessings, or averting harms,) While Pleasure, Gratitude, and Hope, combin’d, The same which in a sire the sons obey'd, Sull spread the interest, and preserve the kind. A prince the father of a people made. IV. Nor think, in Nature's state they blindly VI. Till then, by Nature crown'd, each patriarch trod;
sate, The state of Nature was the reign of God : King, priest, and parent, of his growing state:
On him, their second Providence, they hung, Poet or patriot, rose but to restore
The faith and moral, Nature gave before;
Taught nor to slack, nor strain its tender strings, Till drooping, sickening, dying, they began The less, or greater, set so justly true, Whom they rever'd as God to mourn as Man: That touching one must strike the other too; Then, looking up from sire to sire, explor'd
Till jarring interests of themselves create One great First Father, and that first ador'da Th' according music of a well-mix'd state. Or plain tradition, that this All begun,
Such is the world's great harmony, that springs Convey'd unbroken faith from sire to son ;
From order, union, full consent of things:
And, in proportion as it blesses, blest ;
For forms of government let fools contest;
Whate'er is best administer'd is best : A sovereign being, but a sovereign good.
For modes of faith, let graceless zealots fight; True faith, true policy, united ran;
His can't be wrong whose life is in the right; That was but love of God, and this of man. In faith and hope the world will disagree, Who first taught souls enslav'd, and realms undone, But all mankind's concern is charity : Th' enormous faith of many made for one; | All must be false that thwarts this one great end; That proud exception to all Nature's laws, | And all of God, that bless mankind, or mend. T' invert the world and counter-work its cause ? ; Man, like the generous vine, supported lives : Force first made conquest, and that conquest, law; The strength he gains is from th' embrace he gives Till Superstition taught the tyrant awe,
| On their own axis as the planets run, Then shar'd the tyranny, then lent it aid,
Yet make at once their circle round the Sun;
And bade self-love and social be the same,
OF THE NATURE AND STATE OF MAN WITH RESPECT Here fix'd the dreadful, there the blest abodes;
11. False notions of happiness, philosophical and And, form'd like tyrants, tyrants would believe. popular, answered. II. It is the end of all Zeal, then, not charity, became the guide ;
men, and attainable by all. God intends hapAnd Hell was built on spite, and Heaven on pride. piness to be equal; and to be so, it must be Then sacred seem'd th' ethereal vault no more; sucial, since all particular happiness depends on Altars grew marble then, and reek'd with gore: general, and since he governs by general, nok Then first the Flamen tasted living food;
particular laws. 'As it is necessary for order, and Next his grim idol, smear'd with human blood; the peace and welfare of society, that external With heaven's own thunders shook the world below, goods should be unequal, happiness is not made And play'd the god an engine on his foe. (unjust, to consist in these. But, notwithstanding that
So drives Self-love, through just, and through inequality, the balance of happiness among manTo one man's power, ambition, lucre, lust:
kind is kept even by Providence, by the two The same self-love, in all, becomes the cause
passions of Hope and Fear. III. What the Of what restrains him, government and laws. happiness of individuals is, as far as is consistent For, what one likes, if others like as well,
with the constitution of this world; and that the What serves one will, when many wills rebel ? good man has here the advantage. The errour How shall he keep, what, sleeping or awake,
of imputing to virtue what are only the calamities A weaker may surprise, a stronger take?
of nature, or of fortune. IV. The folly of elHis safety must his liberty restrain :
pecting that God should alter his general laws All join to guard what each desires to gain.
in favour of particulars. V. That we are not Forc'd into virtue thus, by self-defence,
judges who are good; but that, whoever they Ev'n kings learn'd justice and benevolence:
are, they must be happiest. VI. That external Self-love forsook the path it first pursued,
goods are not the proper rewards, but often And found the private in the public good.
inconsistent with, or destructive of, virtue. 'Twas then the studious head or generous mind, That even these can make no man happy Follower of God, or friend of human kind,
without virtue: instanced in riches. Honours.