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“ Here too all forms of social union find, “ And hence let Reason, late, instruct Mankind : « Here subterranean works and cities see ; 181 “ There towns aerial on the waving tree. “ Learn each small People's genius, policies, « The Ant's republic, and the realm of Bees; “ How those in common all their wealth bestow, “ And Anarchy without confusion know;

186 “ And these for ever, tho' a Monarch reign, “ Their sep'rate cells and properties maintain.

COMMENTARY.
Thus then to Man the voice of Nature spake :
Go, from the Creatures thy instructions take, &c.
And for those Arts mere Inftinet could afford,

6 Be crown'd as Monarchs, or as Gods ador'd.' The delicacy of the poet's address in the first part of the last line, is very remarkable. In this paragraph he has given an account of those intermediate means, that led Mankind from natural to civil Society, namely, the invention and improvement of Arts. Now here, on his conclusion of this account, and his entry upon the description of civil Society itself, he connects the two parts the most gracefully that can be conceived, by this true historical circumstance, that it was the invention of those Arts which raised to the Magistracy in this new Society formed for the perfecting them.

NOTES. lib. i. describes this fish in the 6 and extend a membrane befollowing manner :

“ They

“ tween, which serves as a « swim on the surface of the « fail; the other two feet they « fea, on the back of their “ employ as oars at the side. “ shells, which exactly resem " They are usually seen in the “ ble the hulk of a ship; they

66 Mediterranean." P. < raise two feet like maits,

2

“ Mark what unvary'd laws preserve each state,

Laws wise as Nature, and as fix'd as Fate. 190 " In vain thy Reason finer webs shall draw,

Entangle Justice in her net of Law, “ And right, too rigid, harden into wrong; “ Still for the strong too weak, the weak too strong.

Yet go! and thus o'er all the creatures sway, 195 « Thus let the wiser make the rest obey; “ And for those Arts mere Instinct could afford, “Be crown'd as Monarchs, or as Gods ador'd.”

V. Great Nature spoke ; obfervant Men obey'd;
Cities were built, Societies were made:
Here rose one little state; another near
Grew by like means, and join'd, thro' love or fear.

VARIATIONS.
Ver. 197. in the first Editions,
Who for those Arts they learn'd of Brutes before,

As Kings shall crown them, or as Gods adore.
Ver. 201. Here rose one little state, &c.] In the MS. thus,

The Neighbours leagu'd to guard their common spot:
And Love was Nature's dictate, Murder, not.

200

COMMENTARY.
VER. 199. Great Nature spoke ;} After all this necessary pre-

NOTES. VER. 199. obfervant Men ence to the voice of Nature, obey'd ;] The epithet is beauti and attention to the lefsons of ful, as fignifying both obedi. I the animal creation,

Did here the trees with ruddier burdens bend,
And there the streams in

purer

rills descend ? What War could ravish, Commerce could bestow, And he return'd a friend, who came a foe. 206 Converse and Love mankind'might strongly draw, When Love was Liberty, and Nature Law. Thus States were form’d; the name of King un

known, 'Till common int'rest plac'd the sway in one. 210

VARIATIONS.
For want alone each animal contends;
Tygers with Tygers, that remov'd, are friends.
Plain Nature's wants the common mother crown'd,
She pour'd her acorns, herbs, and streams around.
No Treasure then for rapine to invade,
What need to fight for fun-fhine or for shade?
And half the cause of contest was remov’d,
When beauty could be kind to all who lov'd.

COMMENTARY. paration, the poet shews (from 198 to 209) how civil Society followed, and the advantages it produced.

Ver. 209. Thus States were form'd ;] Having thus explained the original of Civil Society, he shews us next (from ® 208 to 215) that to this Society a civil magistrate, properly so called, did belong : And this in confutation of that idle hypothesis which pretends that God conferred the regal title on the Fathers of fa

NOTES. Ver. 208. When Love was civil pactions; the love which Liberty,] i.e. When men had each master of a family had for no need to guard their native those under his care being their liberty from their governors by best security.

»Twas VIRTUE ONLY (or in arts or arms, Diffusing blessings, or averting harms)

The same which in a Sire the Sons obey'd, A Prince the Father of a People made. VI. 'Till then, by Nature crown'd, each Patriarch fate,

215 King, priest, and parent of his growing state

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COMMENTARY.

milies; from whence men, when they had instituted Society, were to fetch their Governors. On the contrary, our author shews, that a King was unknown, 'till common interest, which led men to institute civil government, led them at the same time to institute a governor. However, that it is true that the same wisdom or valour, which gained regal obedience from sons to the fire, procured kings a paternal authority, and made them considered as fathers of their people. Which probably was the original (and, while mistaken, continues to be the chief support) of that Navish error; antiquity representing its earliest monarchs under the idea of a common father, walnię adwy. Afterwards indeed they became a kind of foster-fathers, wospíva haw, as Homer calls one of them : 'Till at length they began to devour that flock they had been so long accustomed to fhear; and, as Plutarch fays of Cecrops, εκ χρησ βασιλέως άγιον και δρακονώδη γενόμενον TYPANNON.

VER. 215. 'Till then, by Nature crown'd, &c.] The poet now returns (at x 215 to 241) to what he had left unfinished in his description of natural Society. This, which appears irregular, is indeed a fine Instance of his thorough knowledge of the art of Method. I will explain it:

NOTES. VER. 211. 'Twas Virtue on was Virtue only, or in arts or ly, &c.] Our author hath good arms : Καθίσαθαι Βασιλεύς εκ των authority for his account of the επιεικών καθ' υπεροχήν αρετής, η origin of kingship. Aristotle πράξεων των από της αρελής, ή καθ' affures us of this truth, that it | Tigoxov TOISTO yéves,

On him, their second Providence, they hung,
Their law his

eye,

their oracle his tongue. He from the wond'ring furrow call'd the food, Taught to command the fire, controul the flood, 220 Draw forth the monsters of th’abyss profound, Or fetch th’aerial eagle to the ground. 'Till drooping, fick’ning, dying they began Whom they rever'd as God to mourn as Man:

COMMENTARY. This third epistle, we fee, considers Man with respect to Society; the second, with respect to Himself; and the fourth, with respect to Happiness. But in none of these relations does the poet ever lose sight of him under that in which he stands to God; it will follow, therefore, that speaking of him with respect to Society, the account would be then most imperfect, were he not at the same time considered with respect to his Religion ; for between these two there is a close, and, while things continue in order, a most interesting connection:

True faith, true policy united ran;

That was but love of God, and this of Man. Now Religion fuffering no change or depravation, when Man first entered into civil Society, but continuing the same as in the state of Nature; the author, to avoid repetition, and to bring the accounts of true and false religion nearer to one another, in order to contrast them by the advantage of that situation, deferred giving account of his Religion till he had spoken of the origin of that Society. Thence it is that he here resumes the account of the state of Nature, that is; so much of it as he had left untouched, which was only the Religion of it. This consisting in

Notes. VER. 219. He from the won the four elements, and made d'ring furrow, &c.] i. e. He them subfervient to the use of fubdued the intractability of all | Man.

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