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But mutual wants this Happiness increase ; 53
Fortune her gifts may variously dispose, ,
'Tis peace of mind alone is at a stay;
COMMENTAR Y. 2. To prevent perpetual discord amongst men equal in power, which an equal distribution of external goods would neceffarily occasion. From hence he concludes, that, as external goods were not given for the reward of Virtue, but for many different purposes, God could not, if he intended Happiness for all, place it in the Enjoyment of Externals.
Ver. 67. Fortune her gifts may variously dispose,] His second
But Heav'n's just balance equal will appear, While those are plac'd in Hope, and these in Fear : Not present good or ill, the joy or curse,
71 But future views of better, or of worse.
Oh sons of earth! attempt ye still to rise, By mountains pil'd on mountains, to the skies? Heav'n still with laughter the vain toil surveys, 75 And buries madmen in the heaps they raise.
Know, all the good that individuals find, Or God and Nature meant to mere Mankind,
COMMENTARY. argument (from ý 66 to 73) against the popular error of Happiness being placed in Externals, is, that the Poffeffion of them is inseparably attended with Fear; the want of them with Hope; which directly crossing all their pretensions to making happy, evidently shews that God had placed Happiness elsewhere. And hence, in concluding this argument, he takes occasion (from * 72 to 77) to upbraid the desperate folly and impiety of those, who, in spite of God and Nature, will yet attempt to place Happiness in Externals:
Oh Sons of earth! attempt ye still to rise,
And buries madmen in ihe heaps they raise. Ver. 77. Know, all the good&c.) The Poet having thus confuted the two errors concerning Happiness, Philojophical arid Popular; and proved that true Happiness was neither folitary and partial, nor yet placed in externals ; goes on (from * 76 to 83) to hew in what it doth consist. He had before faid in general, and repeated it, that Happiness lay in common to the whole species. He now brings us better acquainted with it, in a more explicite account of its nature ; and tells us, it is all contained in Health, Peace, and Competence ; but that theie are
Reason's whole pleasure, all the joys of Sense,
to be gained only by Virtue, namely, by Temperance, Innocence, and Industry.
Ver. 83. The good or lad, &c.] But hitherto the poet. hath only considered Health and Peace :
But Health confifts with Temperance alone ;
And Peace, ob Virtue! Peace is all thy own. One head yet remained to be spoken to, namely, Competence. In the pursuit of Health and Peace there is no danger of running into excess; but the case is different with regard to Compee tence : here Wealth and Affluence would be too apt to be mistaken for it, in Mens passionate pursuit after external goods. To obviate this mistake therefore, the poet Ihews (from * 82 to 93) that, as exorbitant wealth adds nothing to the Happiness arising from a Competence; so, as it is generally ill-gotten, it is
VER. 79. Reason's whole țue ; or, in his own emphatic pleasure, &c.] This is a beau words, Peace is all thy own; a tiful paraphrasis for Happiness ; conclusive obfervation in his for all we feel of good is by argument, which stands thus : Sensation and reflection. Is Happiness rightly placed in
VER. 82. And Peace, &c.] | Externals ? No, for it consists Conscious Innocence (says the in Health, Peace, and Comfoet) is the only source of in petence. Health and Competernal Peace; and known Inno. tence are the product of Temcence, of external; therefore, perance, and Peace of perfect Peace is the sole issue of Vir
Say, in pursuit of profit or delight,
85 Whorisk the most, that take wrong means, or right? Of Vice or Virtue, whether bleft or curst, Which meets contempt, or which compassion fisst? Count all th’advantage profp'rous Vice attains, 'Tis but what Virtue flies from and disdains : And grant the bad what happiness they wou'd, One they must want, which is, to pass for good. Oh blind to truth, and God's whole scheme
below, Who fancy Bliss to Vice, to Virtue Woe!
Let sober Moralists correct their speech,
attended with circumstances that weaken another part of this triple chord, namely Peace :
Reason's whole pleasure, all the joys of Sense,
And Peace, oh Virtue ! Peace is all thy own. VER. 93. Ob blind te truth, &c.] Our author having thus largely confuted the mistake of Happiness's consisting in externals, proceeds to expose the terrible consequences of such an opinion on the sentiments and practice of all sorts of men, making the Dissolute impious and atheistical ; the Religious uncharitable and intolerant; and the Good restless and discontent. For when it is once taken for granted, that Happiness consists in ex
Who sees and follows that great scheme the best,
I. He begins, first of all with the Atheistical complainers, and pursues their impiety, from x 93 to 131
Oh! blind to truth, and God's whole scheme beloou, &c. VER. 97:
the Good alone unhappy call, &c.] He exposes their folly even on their own notions of external goods,
1. By examples (from y 98 to 1) where he shews, first, that if good men have been untimely cut off, this is not to be ascribed to their Virtues, but to a contempt of life that hur
NOTES. VER. 100. See god-like Tu-traordinary, that his chief purrenne] This epithet has a pecu pose in taking on himself the liar justness; the great man to command of armies, seems to whom it is applied not being have been the Preservation of diftinguished, from other ge- Mankind. In this god-like care nerals, for any of his superior he was more distinguishably qualities fo much as for his pro-employed throughout the whole yidential care of those whom he course of that famous campaign led to war; which was so ex in which he lost his life.