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E P I S T L E I.


Sir Richard Temple, Lord Cobham.

A R G U M E N T. Of the Knowledge and Characters of MEN. THAT it is not sufficient for this knowledge to consider

Man in the Abstract: Books will not serve the purpose, nor yet our own Experience singly, y 1. General maxims, unless they be formed upon both, will be but notional, y 10. Somc Peculiarity in every man, chara&teristic to himself, yet varying from himself, ý 15. Difficulties arising from our own Pejions, Fancies, Faculties, &c. Ý 31. The shortness of Life, to observe in, and the uncertainty of the Principles of action in men, to observe by, v 37, &c. Our own Principle of action often hid from ourselves, Ý 41. Some few Characters plain, but in general confounded, dissembled, or inconfiftent, Ý 51. The same man utterly different in different places and seasons, x 71. Unimaginable weaknesses in the greatest, x 70,&c. Nothing constant ant certain but God and Nature, y 95. No judging of the Motives from the ačtions; the same astions proceeding from contrary Motives, and the fame Motives influencing contrary actions, ♡ 100. II. Yet to form Characters, we can only take the strongest actions of a man's life, and try to make them agree : The utter uncertainty of this, from Nature itself, and from Policy, x 120. Characters given according to the rank of men of the world, x 135. And some reason for it,

y 140.

Education alters the Nature, or at least Character of many, Ý 149. Actions, Passions, Opinions, Manners, Humours, or Principles all subjeet to change. No judging by Nature, from Ý 158 to 178. III. It only remains to find (if we can) bis RULING Passion : That will certainly influence all the rest, and can reconcile the seeming or real inconsistency of all bis actions, Ý 175. Instanced in the extraordinary charafter of Clodio, x 179 A caution against mistaking second qualities for first, which will destroy all poffibility of the knowledge of mankind, ý 210. Examples of the strength of the Ruling Passion, and its continuation to the last breath, x 222, &c.


N. Blakey in.xdel.

G.Scotin Sculp Boastfull a rough your first don is a:&quire; The next a Tradesman, meek and much a Liar; Tom struts a Soldier, open, bold and Bravel.; Will oneaks a Scrivener, an exceeding


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E P I S T L E I.


E S, you despise the man to Books confin’d,

Who from his study rails at human kind; Tho' what he learns he speaks, and may advance Some gen’ral maxims, or be right by chance.

COMMENTARY. Epistle of the Knowledge and Characters of Men.] Whoever compares this with the former Editions of this poem, will observe that the order and disposition of the several parts are entirely changed and transposed, tho' with hardly the Alteration of a single Word. When the Editor, at the Author's desire, first examined this Epistle, he was surprized to find it contain a number of fine obfervations, without order, connexion, or dependence: but much more so, when, on an attentive review, he faw, that, if put into a different form, on an idea he then conceived, it would have all the clearness of method, and force of connected reasoning. Indeed the observations then appeared to him so jumbled and confounded in one another, as if the feveral parts of a regular poem had been rolled up in tickets, drawn at random, and then set down as they arose. The author appeared as much struck with the observation as the editor, and agreed to put it in the prefent form, which has given the poem all the juitness of a true compofition. The introduction of the epistle on Riches was in the same condition, and underwent the same reform.

NOTES. Moral Ejays.] The EssAY | parts of them, which are useON MAN was intended to have ful, and therefore attainable, tobeen comprised in Four Books: gether with thole which are un

The First of which, the Au- useful, and therefore unattainthor has given us under that able. 3. Of the Nature, Ends, title, in four Epiltles.

Ufe, and Application of the The Second was to have different Capacities of Men. 'consisted of the fame number : 4. Of the Use of Learning, of 1. Of the extent and limits of the Science of the World, and. human Reason. 2. Of those of Wit; concluding with a Arts and Sciences, and of the I Satyr against the Misapplication

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