« AnteriorContinuar »
Some livelier plaything gives his youth delight, In all the madness of superAuous health,
The train of pride, the impudence of wealth,
Form'd and impell’d its neighbour to embrace. These build as fast as knowledge can destroy; See matter next, with various life endued, In folly's cup fill laughs the bubble, joy; Press to one centre still, the general good. One prospeá loft, another ftill we gain;
See dying vegetables life sustain, And not a vanity is giv'n in vain;
290 See life disolving vegatate again : Ev'n mean self-love becomes, by force divine, All forms that perifh other forms supply, 'Thəse ale to measure others wants by thine. (By turns we catch the vital breath, and die) Sce! and confess, one comfort still must rise; Like bubbles on the sea of matter borne, 'Tis this, Though man's a fool, yet God is wife. They rise, they break, and to that sea return. 29
Nothing is foreign ; parts relate to whole ;
One all extending, all-preserving soul
Connects each being, greatest with the least ;
The chain holds on, and where it ends, unknown. of the Nature and State of Man with respect
Has God, thou fool! work'd solely for thy good, to Society.
Thy joy, thy pastime, thy attire, thy food!
Who for thy table feeds the wanton fawn, 1. The whole universe one system of society: Is it for thee the fark afcends and fings!
For him as kindly spread the flowery lawn: ver. 7, &c. Nothing made wholly for itself, nor yet wholly for anether, ver. 27.' The hap- Joy tunes his voice, joy elevates his wings. piness of animals mutual, ver. 49. II. Reason
Is it for thee the linnet pours his throat ! or instind operate alike to the good of each
Loves of his own and rapeures (well the note. individual, ver. 79. Reason or instinct ope shares with his lord the pleasure and the pride.
The bounding steed you pompously bestride, rate also io society in all animals, ver. 109. III. How far fociety carried by instinct, ver.
Is thine alone the feed that strews the plain? 115. How much farther by reason, ver. 128.
The birds of heaven shall vindicate their grain. IV. Of that which is called the fate of nature,
Thine the full harvest of the golden year?
Part pays, and justly, the deserving steer: ver. 144. Reason instructed by instinct in the invention of arts, ver. 166. and in the forms
The hog, that ploughs not, nor obeys thy call,
Lives on the labours of this lord of all, of society, ver. 176. V. Origin of political societies, ver. 196. Origin of monarchy, ver.
Know, nature's children all divide her care ; 207. Patriarchal government, ver.
The fur that warms a monarch, warm'd a bear. VI. Origin of true religion and government,
While man exclaims, See all things for my use !" from the same principle, of love, ver. 231, &c.
“ See man for mine!" replies a pamper'd goose : Origin of fuperftition and tyranny, from the
And just as short of reason he must fall,
Who thinks all made for one, not one for all, same principle, of fear, ver. 237, &c. The influence of self-love operating to the social and
Grant that the powerful still the weak controul; public good, ver. 266. Rettoration of true
Be nian the wit and tyrant of the whole: religion and government on their fir& principle, Nature that tyrant checks; he only knows, ver. 285. Mixed government, ver. 288. Va.
And helps another creature's wants and woes. rious forms of each, and the true end of all, ver.
Say, will the falcon, stooping from above,
Admires the jay the insects gilded wings?
Or hears the hawk when Philomela sings? * Ads to one end, but ads by various laws."
Man cares for all : to birds he gives his woods,
For more his pleasure, yet for more his pride, 60
All feed on one vain patron, and enjoy
Th' extensive blelling of his luxury.
He saves from samine, from the savage faves;
The creature had his feast of life before ;
Nor ends the pleasure with the fierce enibrace ; '1 hou too muft perish, when thy feast is o'er! 70 They love themelves, a third time, in their race. To each unthinking being, heaven a friend, Thus beast and bird their common charge attend, Gives not the useless knowledge of its end : The mothers nurse it, and the fires defend; To man imparts it; but with luch a view
The young dismiss'd to wander earth or air, As, while he dreads it, makes him hope it too : There stops the instinct, and there ends the care ; The hour conceal'd, and fo remote the fear, The link diffolves, each seeks a fresh embrace, Death ftill draws nearer, never seeming near. Another love succeeds, another race.
130 Great standing miracle! that heaven affign'd A longer care man's helpless kind demands; Its only thinking thing this turn of mind.
That longer care contracts more lasting bands: II. Whether with reason, or with instinct blest, Reflection, reason, still the ties improve, Know, all enjoy that power which suits them At once extend the intereft, and the love : bett;
With choice we fix, with sympathy we burn; To bliss alike by that direction tend, 81 Each virtue in each pallon takes its turn; Ar.d find the means proportion'd to their end. And fill new needs, new helps, new habits rise, Say, where full inftinct is th' unerring guide, That graft benevolence on charities. What pope or council can they need belide ? Still as one brood, and as another rose, Realon, however able, cool at best,
Thele natural love maintain’d, habitual those : Cases not for service, or but ferves when prest, The lart, scarce ripen'd into perfect man, 141 Stays till we call, and then not ofren near; Saw helpless him from whom their life began: But honeft inftinet comes a volunteer,
Memory and forecast just returns engage, Sure never to o'ershoot, but jult to hit ;
That pointed back to youth, this on to age; While still too wide or short is human wit; 90 While pleasure, gratitude, and hope, combin'd, Surt by quick nature happiness to gain,
Still spread the interest, and preserve the kind. Which heavier reason labours at in vain.
IV. Nor think, in nature's ftate they blindly This too terves always, rcalon never long : One must go right, the other may go wrong.
The state of nature was the reign of God: See then the ading and comparing powers
Self-love and social at her birth began, One in their nature, which are now in ours ! Union the bond of all things, and of man. 150 And reason raise o'er instind as you can,
Pride then was not; nor arts, that pride to aid; la this 'tis God directs, in that 'tis man.
Man walk'd with beast, joint tenant of the shade; Who taught the nations of the field and wood The fame his table, and the same his bed; Todoun their poison, and to choose their food? 100 No murder cloth'd him, and no murder fed. Precient, the tides or tempefts to withstand, In the same temple, the resounding wood, Exhiu va the wave, or arch beneath the land? All vocal beings hymn'd their equal God: Who made the spider parallels delign,
The thrine with gore unitain'd, with gold unSere as De Moivre, without rule or line?
drets'd, Wko bid the ftork, Columbus-like, explore Unbrib'd, unbloody, stood the blameless pricit : Heavers not hisown, and worlds unknown before? Heaven's attribute was universal care, W7:0 cells the council, states the certain day? And man's prerogative, to rule, but fpare. 16 Wiko forms the phalanx, and whe points the way? Ah! how unlike the man of times to come!
III. God, in the nature of each being, sounds Of half that live the butcher and the tomb; Its proper bliss, and sets it proper bounds : 110 Who, foe to nature, hears the general groan, But as he fram'd a whole, the whole to bless, Murders their species, and betrays his own. On mutual wants built mutual happiness :
But just discale to luxury succeeds, So from the first, ETERNAL ORDER ran,
And every death its own avenger breeds; And creacure lirik'd to creature, man to man. The fury-passions from that blood began, Whate'er of life ait, quickening æther keeps,
And turn'd on man, a fiercer favage, man. Or breathes through air, or Moots beneath the See him from nature rising flow to art! deeps,
To copy instinct then was reason's part : Or pours profuse on earth, one nature feeds Thus then to man the voice of nature spakeThe vital flame, and (weils the genial feeds, “ Go, from the creatures thy instructions take : Not man alone, but all that roam the wood,
“ Learn from the birds what food the chickets Or wing the sky, or roll along the flood, 120
“ yield; Each loves itself, but not itself alone,
“ Learn from the beasts the physic of the field; Each ses delires alike, till two are one.
“ l'hy arts of building from the bce receive ;
“ Spread the thin oar, and catch the driving gale. VARIATIONS.
“ Here too all forms of social union find, After ver. 84. in the MS.
“ And hence let reason, late, intruct mankind : While man, with opening views of various ways, “ Here subterranean works and cities see; 181 Confounded, by the aid of knowledge Atrays; “ There towns aerial on the waving tree. Too weak to choose, yet choosing still in hafte, “ Learri each small jeople's genius, policies, One moment gives the pleasure and distalte. “ The ant's republic, and the ream of bees ;
“ How those in common all their wealth bestow, | The worker from the work diftinct was known, " And anarchy without confusion know;
And simple reason never fought but one :
23 “ And these for ever, though a monarch reign, Ere wit oblique had broke that steady light, “ Their separate cells and properties maintaio. Man, like his Maker, saw that all was right; “ Mark what unvary'd laws preserve each ftate, To virtue, in the paths of pleasure trod, “ Laws wife as pature, and as fix'd as fate. 190 And own'd a father when he own'd a God. “ In vain thy reason finer webs shall draw, Love all the faith, and all th' allegiance then; “ Entangle justice in her net of law,
For nature knew no right divine in men, “ And right, too rigid, harden into wrong; No ill could fear in God; and understood “ Still for the strong too weak, the weak too strong. A sovereign being, but a sovereign good. “ Yet go! and thus o'er all the creatures sway, True faith, true policy, united ran; “ Thus let the wiser make the rest obey :
That was but love of God, and this of man. 240 “ And for those arts mere inftin& could afford, Who first taught souls enllav'd, and realms un* Be crown'd as monarchs, or as gods ador'd.”
done, V. Great Nature spoke; observant man obey'd; Th' enormous faith of many made for one; Cities were built, societies were made :
That proud exception to all nature's laws, Here rose one little fate; another nea (fear. T' invert the world, and counter-work its cause? Grew by like means, and join'd, through love or Force first made conquest, and that conquest, law; Did here the trees with ruddier burdens bend, Till superstition taught the tyrant awe, And there the streams in purer rills descend? Then shar'd the tyranny, then lent it aid, What war could ravish, commerce could be tow; And gods of conquerors, flaves of subje&s made : And he return'd a friend, who came a foc. She 'midst the lightning's blaze, and thunder's Converse and love mankind might strongly draw, sound, When love was liberty, and nature law.
When rock'd the mountains, and when groan'd Thus states were form’d; the name of king un
She taught the weak to bend, the proud to pray, Till common interest plac'd the fway in one. 210 To power unseen, and mightier far than they : 'Twas virtue only (or in arts or arms,
She, from the rending earth, and bursting skies, Diffusing bleflings, or averting harms)
Saw gods descend, and fiends infernal rise : The fame which in a fire the sons obey'd, Here fix'd the dreadful, there the blest abodes; A prince the father of a people made.
Fear made her devils, and weak hope her gods; VI. Till then, by nature crown'd, each patri- Gods partial, changeful, passionate, unjust, arch sat,
Whore attributes were rage, revenge, or luft; King, priest, and parent, of his growing sate : Such as the souls of cowards might conceive, On him, their fecond providence, they hung, And, form'd like tyrants, tyrants would believe. Their law his eye, their oracle his tongue. Zeal then, not charity, became the guide ; He from the wondering furrow callid the food, And hell was built on spite, and heaven on pride. Taught to command the fire, controul the flood, Then facred seem'd th' ethereal vault no more; Draw forth the monsters of th' abyss profound, Altars grew marble then, and reek'd with gore : Or fetch th' aerial eagle to the ground.
Then first the Flamen tasted living food; Till dropping, fickening, dying, they began Next his grim idol smear'd with human blood; Whom they rever'd as God to mourn as man : With heaven's own thunders Thook the world beThen, looking up from fire to fire, explor'd
low, One great First Father, and that first ador'd. And play'd the God an engine on his foe. Or plain tradition that this All begun,
So drives self-love, through just, and through Convey'd unbroken faith from fire to son ;
unjust, To one man's power, ambition, lucre, lust: 270
The same self-love, in all, becomes the cause VARIATIONS.
Of what restrains him, government and laws. Ver. 197, in the first editions,
For, what one likes, if others like as well, Who for those arts they learn'd of brutes before, What serves one will, when many walls rebel? As kings shall crown them, or as gods adore.
How shall he keep, what, Deeping or awake, Ver. 201. Here rose one little ftate, &c.] In the A weaker may surprise, a stronger take? MS. thus :
His safety must his liberty restrain : The neighbours leagu'd to guard their common
All join to guard what each desires to gain. spot ;
Forc'd into virtue thus, by self-defence, And love was nature's didate; murder, not. Ev'n kings learn'd justice and benevolence: 286 For want alone each animal contends;
Self-love forsook the path it first pursued, Tigers with tigers, that removid, are friends.
And found the private in the public good. Plain nature's wants the common mother crown'd,
'Twas then the studious head or generous mind, She pour’d her acorns, herbs, and streams around. Follower of God, or friend of human kind, No treasure then for rapine to invade,
Poet or patriot, rose but to restore What need to fight for sun-line or for shade?
The faith and moral, nature gave before; And half the cause of contest was remov'd,
Relum'd her ancient light, not kindled new; When beauty could be kind to all who lor'd. ll not God's image, yet his shadow drew:
Taught power's due ufc to people and to kings, proper rewards, but often inconsistent with, or Taught nor to lack nor strain its tender strings, destructive of virtue, ver. 167. That even The less, or greater, set fo juftly true, 291 these can make no man happy without virtue : That touching one must strike the other too; Instanced in riches, ver. 185. Honours, ver. Till jarring interests of themselves create
19;. Nobility, ver. 205 Greatness, ver, 217. . Th' according music of a well-mix'd ftate.
Fame, ver. 237. Superior talents, ver. 257, Sach is the world's great harmony, that springs &c. With pictures of human infelicity in men, Erom order, union, full consent of things :
poffessed of them all, ver. 269, &c. VII. Where small and great, where weak and mighty, That virtue only constitutes a happiness, whose made
object is universal, and whose prospect eternal, To serve, not fuffer, Itrengthen, not invade ;
That the perfc&ion of virtue and More powerful each as needful to the rest,
happiness consists in a conformity to the Order And, in proportion as it blefses, blest ; 300 of Providence here, and a resignation to it here Draw to one point, and to one centre bring
and hereafter, ver. 326, &c. Beaf, man, or angel, servant, lord, or king.
For forms of government let fools contest; On Happiness! our being's end and aim! Whate'er is best administer'd is best :
Good, pleasure, ease, content! whace'er thy name: For modes of faith, let graceless zealots fight; That something Nill which prompts th' eternal His can't be wrong whose life is in the right;
sigh, lo faith and hope the world will disagree, For which we bear to live, or dare to die, But all mankind's concern is charity :
Which still so near us, yet beyond us lies, All muß be false that thwarts this one great end; O'erlook'd, seen double, by the fool and wise: And all of God, that bless mankind, or mend. 310 Plant of celestial feed; if dropp'd below, Man, like the generous vine, supported lives : Say, in what mortal soil thou deign'st to grow? The ftrength he gains is from th'embrace he gives. Fair opening to some court's propitious shine, On their own axis as the planets run.
Or deep with diamonds in the faming mine? 10 Yet make at once their circle round the sun; Twin'd with the wreaths Parnaffian laurels yield, So two confitent motions act the soul;
Or reap'd in iron harvests of the field ? And one' regards itself, and one the whole. Where grows ? where grows it not? If vain our Thus God and nature link'd the general frame,
toil, And bade self-love and social be the same. We ought to blame the culture, not the soil :
Fix'd to no fpot is happiness sincere,
'Tis no where to be found, or every where : EPISTLE IV.
'Tis never to be bought, but always free,
And fled from monarchs, St. John: dwells with Of the Nature and State of Man with respect to
[blind : Happiness.
Ak of the learn'd the way? The learn’d are
This bids to serve, and that to Thun mankind; 20 THE ARGUMENT.
Some place the bliss in action, fome in ease.
Those call it pleasure, and contentment these : I False notions of bappiness, philosophical and Some, sunk to beats, find pleasure end in pain;
popular, answered from ver. 19 to 77. II. It Some, swelled to gods, confess ev'n virtue vain; is the end of all med, and attainable by all, Or, indolent, to each extreme they fall, ver. 30. God intends happiness to be equal; | To trust in ev'ry thing, or doubt of all. and to be fo, it must be focial, since all par
Who thue define it, say they more or less, ticular happiness depends on general, and Than this, that happiness is happiness? lince he governs by general, not particular
Take nature's path, and mad opinion's leave; laws, ver. 37. As it is necessary for order, and all states can reach it, and all heads conceive; 30 the peace and welfare of society, that external Obvious her goods, in no extreme they dwell; gouds should be unequal, happiness is not made | There needs but thinking right, and meaning welli to consist in these, ver. 51. But, notwithstand-And, mourn our various portions as we please, ing that inequality, the balance of happiness a
Equal is common sense, and common case. mong mankind is kept even by providence, by
Remember, man, “ the Universal Cause the two paffi'ins of hope and fear, ver. 70.
“ Ads not by partial, but b gen'ral laws," III. What the happiness of individuals is, as far
And makes what happiness we justly call, as is confitent with the constitution of this Sublist not in the good of one, but all. world; and that the good man has here the advantage, ver. 77. The error of imputing to virtue what are only the calamities of nature,
VARIATIONS. or of fortune, ver. 94. IV. The folly of cx Ver. 1. Oh happiness, &c ] in the MS. thus: pe&ing that God should alter his general laws Oh happiness, to which we all aspire, in favour of particulars, ver. 121. V. That Wing'd with strong hope, and borne by full dea we are not judges who are good; but that, whoever they are, they must be happiest, ver, That ease, for which in want, in wealth ne figh; 133. &c. Ví. That citernal goods are not the That case, for which we labour, and we die.
There's not a blefling individuals find,
Say, in pursuit of profit or delight,
[right? But some way Icars and hearkens to the kind : 40 Who risk the most, that take wrong mcans, or No bandit fierce, no tyrant mad with pride, Of vice or virtue, whether bleft or curft, No cavern'd hermit; refts fell-fatisfy'd :
Which meets contempt, or which compallion first? Who moft to fun or hare mankind pretend, Count all th' advantage prosperous vice attains, Seek an admirer, or would fix a friend :
'Tis but what virtue flies from and disdains: 90 Abstract what others feel, what others think, And grant the bad what happiness they would, All pleasures ficken, and all glories sink :
One they must want, which is, to pass for good. Each has his share; and who would more obtain, Oh blind to truth, and God's whole scheme below, Shall find, the pleasure pays not half the pain. Who fancy bliss to vice, to virtue woe!
Order is Heaven's firit law; and this confeft, Who sees and follows that great scheme the beft, Some are, and must be, greater than the rest, 50 Best knows the blesling, and will molt be bleft. More rich, more wise; but who infers from hence But fools, the good alone, unhappy call, That such are happier, shocks all common sense. For ills or accidents that chance to all. Heaven to mankind impartial we confess,
See Falkland dies, the virtuous and the juf: If all are equal in their happiness :
See godlike Turenne prostrate on the duit! I03 But mutual wants this happiness increase ; See Sidney bleeds amid the martial trife! All nature's difference keeps all nature's peace. Was this their virtuc, or contempt of lise ? Condition, circumstance, is not the thing ; Say, was it virtue, more though heaven nc'er Blifs is the same in subject or in king,
gave, In who obtain defence, or who defend,
Lamented Digby! funk thee to the grave ? In him who is, or him who finds a friend : 60 Tell me, if virtue made the son expire, Heaven breathes through every member of the Why, full of days and honour, lives the fire? whole
Why drew Marseilles' good bishop purer breath, One common blessing, as one common soul. When nature ficken'd, and each gale was death? But fortune's gifts if each alike pofleft.
Or why so long (in life if long can be) And each were equal, must not all contest? Lent heaven a parent to the poor and me? If then to all men happiness was meant,
What makes all physical or moral ill? God in externals could not place content.
There deviates nature, and here wanders will. Fortune her gifts may variously dispose, God sends not ill; if rightly underflood, And these be happy call’d, unhappy those ; Or partial ill is universal good, But heaven's just balance equal will appear, Or change admits, or nature lets it fall, While those are plac'd in hope, and these in short, and but rare, till man improv'd it all. fear :
70 We just as wisely might of heaven complain Not present good or ill, the joy or curse,
That righteous Abel was destroy'd by Cain, But future views of better, or of worse.
As that the virtuous son is ill at ease
Shall burning Æuna, if a fage requires,
80 When the loole mountaip trembles from on high,
Contents us act, A bitter hall we have ?
A kingdom of the jut then let it be :
But first consider how those just agree.
The good must merit Cod's peculiar care ; Say not, “ Heaven's here profuse, there poorly But who, but God, can tell us who they are? « faves,
One thinks on Calvin heaven's own spirit fell; “ And for one monarch makes a thousand slaves." Another deems him instrument of hell; You'll find, when causes and their ends are known, 'Twas for the thousand Heaven has made that one. After ver. 66, in the MS.
VARIATIONS. 'Tis peace of mind alone is at a lay:
After ver. 92, in the MS.
No bad man's happy; he is great, or rich.
After ver. 116, in the MS. In hardest trials operates the best,
of every evil, since the world began, And more is relith'd as the more diftreft.
The real source is not in God, but man.