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See plastic Nature working to this end,
The single atoms each to other tend,

Attract, attracted to, the next in place
Form’d and impell’d its neighbour to embrace.
See Matter next, with various life endu'd,
Press to one centre still, the 'gen'ral Good.
See dying vegetables life sustain,

15 See life diffolving vegetate again:

COMMENTARY. dictate of the Creator; and that. Man, in this, did but follow the example of general Nature, which is united in one close system of benevolence.

VER. 9. See plastic Nature working to this end,] This he proveth, first (from * 8 to 13) on the noble theory of Attraction, from the economy of the material world; where there is a general conspiracy in all the particles of Matter to work for one end; the use, beauty, and harmony of the whole mass.

Ver. 13. See Matter next, & c.] The second argument (from 12 to 27) is taken from the vegetable and animal world; whose Beings serve mutually for the production, fupport, and fuftentation of each other.

But this part of the argument, in which the poet tellus, that God

Connects each being, greatest with the least;
Made Beast in aid of Man, and Man of Beast ;
All feru'd, all serving-

tends to be wisdom, wit, learn- fenfible parts is as necessary as
ing, honesty, and, in short, that quality fo equally and uni-
all the virtues in their turns. versally conferred upon it,
VER. 12. Form'd and im called Attraction.

To express pelld &c.] To make Matter the first part of this thought, lo cohere as to fit it for the our Author says, form’d; and uses intended by its Creator, to express the latter, impelld, a proper configuration of its in

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All forms that perish other forms supply,
(By turns we catch the vital breath, and die)
Like bubbles on the sea of Matter born,
They rise, they break, and to that sea return.
Nothing is foreign : Parts relate to whole;
One all-extending, all-preserving Soul
Connects each being, greatest with the least;
Made Beast in aid of Man, and Man of Beast;
All serv'd, all serving: nothing stands alone; 25
The chain holds on, and where it ends, unknown.

Has God, thou fool! work'd solely for thy good, Thy joy, thy pastime, thy attire, thy food?

COMMENTARY. awaking again the old pride of his adversaries, who cannot bear that Man should be thought to be serving as well as served ; he takes this occasion again to humble them (from y 26 to 49) by the fame kind of argument he had so successfully employed in the first epistle, and which our comment on that epistle bath confidered at large.

NOTES. Ver. 22. One all-extending,

VER. 23. Greatest with the all-preserving Soul] Which, in leaft;] As acting more strongthe language of Sir Isaac New ly and immediately in beasts, ton, is, Deus omnipræsens eft, whose instinct is plainly an exnon per virtutem folam, sed ternal reason ; which made an etiam per subftantiam : nam old school-man say, with great virtus fine substantia subfiftere elegance, Deus est anima brunon poteft. Newt. Princ. schol.

torum : gen. fub fin.

In this 'tis God directs



Who for thy table feeds the wanton fawn,
For him as kindly spread the flow'ry lawn:
Is it for thee the lark ascends and sings?
Joy tunes his voice, joy elevates his wings.
Is it for thee the linnet pours his throat ?
Loves of his own and raptures fwell the note.
The bounding steed you pompously bestride, 35
Shares with his lord the pleasure and the pride.
Is thine alone the feed that strews the plain?
The birds of heav'n shall vindicate their grain.
Thine the full harvest of the golden year?
pays, and justly, the deserving steer:

The hog, that plows not nor obeys thy call,
Lives on the labours of this lord of all.

Know, Nature's children all divide her care;
The fur that warms a monarch, warm'd a bear.44
While Man exclaims,“ See all things for my use!"
- See man for mine!” replies a pamper'd goose:

After y 46. in the former Editions,

What care to tend, to lodge, to cram, to treat him!
All this he knew; but not that 'twas to eat him.
As far as Goose could judge, he reason'd right;
But as to Man, mistook the matter quite.


See all thing! | Lord hath made all things for for my use!] On the contrary, himself. Prov. xvi. 4.

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VER. 45.

And just as Thort of reason He must fall,
Who thinks all made for one, not one for all.

Grant that the pow'rful still the weak controul;
Be Man the Wit and Tyrant of the whole: 50
Nature that Tyrant checks; He only knows,
And helps, another creature's wants and woes.

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COMMENTARY. VER. 49. Grant that the pow'rful fill the weak controul;] However, his adversaries, loth to give up the question, will reason upon the matter; and we are now to suppose them objecting against Providence in this manner. We grant, say they, that in the irrational, as in the inanimate creation, all is served, and all is serving : But, with regard to Man, the case is different; he ftandeth single. For his Reafon hath endowed him both with power and address sufficient to make all things ferve him ; and his Self-love, of which you have so largely provided for him, will dispose him, in his turn, to ferve none: Therefore your theory is imperfect.-Not so, replies the poet (from y 48 to 79) I grant that Man, indeed, affects to be the Wit and Työ rant of the whole, and would fain shake off

- that chain of love, Combining all below and all above : But Nature, even by the very gift of Reason, checks this tyrant. For Reason endowing Man with the ability of setting together. the memory of the past with his conjectures about the future ; and paft misfortunes making him apprehensive of more to come, this disposeth him to pity and relieve others in a ftate of suffering. And the passion growing habitual, naturally extendeth its

NOTES. Ver. 50. Be Man the Wit fensible of pain or pleasure: and and Tyrant of the whole :] Al so encouraged Men in the exluding to the witty system of ercise of that Tyranny over that Philosopher, which made their fellow-creatures, conseAnimals mere Machines, in quent on such a principle.

Say, will the falcon, stooping from above,
Smit with her varying plumage, spare the dove?
Admires the jay the infect's gilded wings? 55
Or hears the hawk when Philomela sings?
Man cares for all: to birds he gives his woods,
To beasts his pastures, and to fish his floods ;
For some his Int'rest prompts him to provide,
For more his pleasure, yet for more his pride: 60
All feed on one vain Patron, and enjoy
Th’extensive blessing of his luxury.

life his learned hunger craves,
He faves from famine, from the savage faves;
Nay, feasts the animal he dooms his feast,
And, 'till he ends the being, makes it blest ;



COMMENTARY. effects to all that have a sense of suffering. Now as brutes, have neither Man's Reason, nor his inordinate Self-love, to draw them from the system of Benevolence; so they wanted not, and therefore have not, this human fympathy of another's misery. By which paffion, we see, those qualities, in Man, balance one another; and so retain him in that general Order, in which Providence hath placed its whole creation. But this is not all; Man's interest, amusement, vanity, and luxury, tie him still closer to the fystem of benevolence, by obliging him to provide for the support of other animals; and though it be, for the most part, only to devour them with the greater gust, yet this does not abate the proper happiness of the animals so preserved, to whom Providence hath not imparted the uselefs knowledge of their end. From all which it appears, that the theory is yet uniform and perfecta

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