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Pleas'd with this bawble still, as that before ; 'Till ţir'd he sleeps, and life's poor play is o’er.
Meanwhile opinion gilds with varying rays Those painted clouds that beautify our days : Each want of happiness by hope supplied, And each vacuity of sense by pride: These build as fast as knowledge can destroy In folly's cup still laughs the bubble joy; One prospect lost, another still we gain ; And not a vanity is giv'n in vain; Ev'n mean self-love becomes, by force divine, The scale to measure others' wants by thine. See ! and confess, one comfort still must rise ; Tis this, Though man's a fool, yet God is wise.
ARGUMENT OF EPISTLE II.
of the Nature and State of Man with respect to
1. The whole universe one system of society, ver. 7,
&c. Nothing made wholly for itself, nor ye whoily for another, ver. 27. The happiness of animals mutual, ver. 49. II. Reason or instinct operate alike to the good of each individual, ver. 79. Reason or instinct operate also to society in all animals, ver. 104. III. How far society carried by instinct, ver. 115. How much far. ther by reason, ver. 128. IV. Of that which is called the state of uature, ver. 141. Reason instructed by instinct in the invention of arts, ver. 166, and in the forms of society, ver. 176. V. Origin of political societies, ver. 196. Origin of monarchy, ver. 207. Patriarchal government, ver. 212. VI. Origin of true religion and government, from the same principle of love, ver. 231, &c. Origin of superstition and tyranny, from the same principle of fear, ver. 237, &c. The influence of self-love operating to the social and public good, ver. 266. Restoration of true religion and government on their first principle, ver. 285. Mixed government, ver. 288. Various forms of each, and the true end of all, ver. 300, &c.
Let this great truth be present night and day;
1. Look round our world; behold the chain of love
Has God, thou fool! work'd solely for thy good, Thy joy, thy pastime, thy attire, thy food ? Who for thy table feeds the wanton fawn, For him as kindly spread the flowery 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 swell the note. The bounding steed you pompously bestride, Shares with his lord the pleasure and the pride. Is thine alone the seed that strews the plain? The birds of heaven shall vindicate their grain. Thine the full harvest of the golden year? Part pays, and justly, the deserving steer: The hog, that ploughs 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.
While man exclaims, See all things for my use !"
Grant that the powerful still the weak control;
IT. Whether with reason or with instinct blest, Know, all enjoy that power which suits them best ; 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,
Who taught the nations of the field and wood
III. God in the nature of each being founds Its proper bliss, and sets its proper bounds: But as he fram'd a whole the whole to bless, On mutual wants built inutual happiness: So from the first eternal order ran, And creature link'd to creature, man to man. Whate'er of life all-quickening ether keeps, Or breathes through air, or shoots beneath the deeps, Or pours profuse on earth, one nature feeds The vital flame, and swells the genial seeds. Not man alone, but all that roam the wood, Or wing the sky, or roll along the flood, Each loves itself, but not itself alone, Each sex desires alike, till two are one. Nor ends the pleasure with the fierce embrace; They love themselves, a third time, in their race.