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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 contrcul ;] 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.

inner.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 ;

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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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Which sees no more the stroke, or feels the pain,
Than favour'd Man by touch etherial flain.
The creature had his feast of life before ;
Thou too must perish, when thy feast is o'er!

To each unthinking being, Heav'n a friend,
Gives not the useless knowledge of its end:
To Man imparts it; but with such a view
As, while he dreads it, makes him hope it too:
The hour conceal'd, and so remote the fear, 75
Death still draws nearer, never seeming near.
Great standing miracle ! that Heav'n assign'd
Its only thinking thing this turn of mind.

II. Whether with Reason, or with Instinct blest, Know, all enjoy that pow'r which suits them best;

COMMENTARY. VER. 79. Whether with Reafon, &c.] But even to this, as a caviller would still object, we must suppose him fo to do, and fay, —Admit you have shewn that Nature hath endowed all animals, whether human or brutal, with such faculties as admirably fit them to promote the general good : yet, in its care for this, hath not Nature neglected to provide for the private good of the individual? We have cause to think she hath; and we suppose, it was on this exclusive confideration that she kept back from brutes the gift of Reason (so neceffary a means of private happiness) because Reason, as we find in the instance of

Notes. Ver. 68. Than favour'd who were struck by lightning as Man &c.] Several of the an- sacred persons, and the particients, and many of the Ori- cular favourites of Heaven. P. entals fince, eftçemed those


To bliss alike by that direction tend,
And find the means proportion’d to their end.
Say, where full Instinct is th’unerring guide,
What Pope or Council can they need beside ?
Reason, however able, cool at best,

Cares not for service, or but serves when prest,
Stays 'till we call, and then not often near;
But honest Instinct comes a volunteer,
Sure never to o'er-shoot, but just to hit;
While still too wide or short is human Wit; 90

After y 84. in the MS.

While Man, with opening views of various way's
Confounded, by the aid of knowledge strays :
Too weak to chuse, yet chusing still in hafte,
One moment gives the pleasure and distaste.

COMMENTARY. Man, where there is occasion for all the complicated contrivance you have described above, to make the effects of his Passions counter-work the immediate powers of his Reason, in order to keep him subservient to the general fyftem; Reason, we say, naturally tends to draw Beings into a private, independent system. This the poet answers, by thewing (from 78 to 109) that the happiness of animal and that of human life are widely different: The happiness of human life consisting in the improvement of the mind, can be procured by Reason only; but the happiness of animal life consisting in the gratifications of sense, is best promoted by Instinct. And, with regard to the regular and constant operation of each, in that, Instinct hath plainly the advantage ; for here God directs immediately; there, only mediately through Man.


Sure by quick Nature happiness to gain,
Which heavier Reason labours at vain.
This too serves always, Reason never long;
One must go right, the other may go wrong.
See then the acting and comparing pow'rs 95
One in their nature, which are two in ours;
And Reason raise c'er Instinct as you can,
In this ’tis God directs, in that 'tis Man.

Who taught the nations of the field and wood
To shun their poison, and to chuse their food ? 100
Prescient, the tides or tempests to withstand,
Build on the wave, or arch beneath the fand ?
Who made the spider parallels design,
Sure as De-moivre, without rule or line ?
Who bid the stork, Columbus-like, explore 105
Heav'ns not his own, and worlds unknown before?
Who calls the council, states the certain day,
Who forms the phalanx, and who points the way?

III. God, in the nature of each being, founds
Its proper bliss, and sets its proper bounds : IIO

COMMENTARY. Ver. 109. God, in the nature of each being, &c.] The author now cometh to the main subject of his epistle, the proof of Man's SOCIABILITY, from the two general societies composed by him; the raiural, subject to paternal authority; and the civil, subject to that of a magistrate. This he hath the address to introduce, from what had preceded, in so easy and na

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