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"No ('tis reply'd), the first Almighty Cause "Acts not by partial, but by genʼral laws;

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"Th'

NOTES.

thefe collateral incidents. So it is in the univerfe. The good leads, the evil follows: the good is always defigned, the evil only admitted: the good has existence, by being the final cause of all things; the evil has existence, because it cannot be avoided: the good appears to be fomething in character and form, which all beings fome way or other are framed to enjoy; the evil, on the contrary, appears to be fomething which all beings fome way or other are framed to avoid; some by talons, others by teeth; some by wings, others by fins; and, laftly, man, by genius ripened into arts, which alone is fuperior to the fum of all other preparations.

1

“Again, fome evil, though evil, is yet productive of good, and therefore had better be, than not be, else there had not been the good. For example, human nature is infirm; expofed to many and daily hardfhips; to pinching colds and fcorching heats; to famines, droughts, diseases, wounds. Call this, all of it, evil, if you please yet what a variety of arts arife from this evil, and which, if this evil had not urged, had never exifted? Where had been agriculture, architecture, medicine, weaving, with a thoufand other arts, too many to enumerate, had man been born a selffufficient animal, fuperior to the fenfations of want or evil? Where had been that noble activity, that never-ceafing energy of all his various powers, had not the poignancy of evil awakened them from the very birth, and difpelled all fymptoms of lethargy and drowsiness? Nay, more; courage, magnanimity, prudence, and wife indifference; patience, long-fuffering, and acquiefcence in our lot; a calm and manly refignation to the will of God, whatever he difpenfes, whether good or bad; these heroic virtues could never have had existence, had not those things called evils first established them into habit, and afterwards given occafion for them to energize, and become confpicuous. But the moft important circumftance of all is, that the very being and effence of society itself is derived from the wants and infirmities of human nature. 'Tis thefe various infirmities, fo much more numerous and lafting in man than in other animals, which make human focieties fo eminently neceffary; which extend them so far

beyond

"Th' exceptions few; fome change fince all began: "And what created perfect?-Why then Man?

If

NOTES.

beyond all other animal affociations, and knit them together with fuch indiffoluble bands. Let each individual be fuppofed felffufficient, and fociety at once is diffolved and annihilated. For why affociate without a caufe? And what need of society, if each can fupport himself? But mark the confequence: if fociety be foft, with it we lose the energy of every focial affection; a loss, in which every man lofes fomething, but in which a good man lofes his principal, and almost his only happiness: for what then becomes of friendship, benevolence, love of country, hofpitality, generofity, forgivenefs, with all the charities

Of father, fon, and brother?

A man detached from human connections and relations (if fuch a monfter may indeed be fuppofed) is no better than an ignorant inhuman favage; a mere Cyclops, devoid of all that is amiable and good." J. HARRIS, MS. WARTON.

VER. 143. When earthquakes fwallow, &c.] There is a fingular ftory, of a city fwallowed up by an earthquake, in Kircher; the account of which, as it is ftriking and awful, I beg to lay before the reader:

"After fome time, this violent paroxyfm ceafing, we again ftood up, in order to profecute our voyage to Euphemia, that lay within fight. In the mean time, while we were preparing for the purpose, I turned my eyes towards the city, but could fee only a frightful dark cloud, that feemed to rest upon the place. This the more' furprised us, as the weather was fo ferene; we waited therefore till the cloud was passed away: then turning to look for the city, it was totally funk. Wonderful to tell! nothing but a difinal and putrid lake was feen where it ftood. We looked about to find fome one that could tell us of its fad catastrophe, but could fee nonc. All was become a melancholy folitude, a scene of hideous defolation. Thus proceeding penfively along, in quest of some human being that could give us fome information, we faw a boy fitting on the fhore, appearing ftupified by terror. Of him we inquired concerning the fate of the city, but he could not be prevailed on give us an answer. We intreated

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If the great end be human Happiness,

Then Nature deviates; and can Man do lefs?
As much that end a conftant course requires
Of fhow'rs and fun-fhine, as of Man's defires;

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COMMENTARY.

VER. 151. As much that end, &c.] Having thus fhewn how moral evil came into the world, namely, by Man's abuse of his own free-will, our Poet comes to the point, the confirmation of his thefis, by fhewing how moral evil promotes good; and employs the fame conceffions of his adversaries, concerning natural evil, to illuftrate it.

VOL. III.

A's

1. He fhews it tends to the good of the Whole, or Universe (from ver. 150 to 165.), and this by analogy. You own, fays he, that ftorms

D

NOTES.

him to tell us, but his fenfes were quite, wrapt up in the contemplation of the danger he had efcaped. We ftill perfifted in our offices of kindness, but he only pointed to the place of the city, like one out of his fenfes; and then, running into the woods, was never heard of after. Such was the fate of the city of Euphemia: and as we continued our melancholy courfe along the fhore, the whole coaft, for the fpace of two hundred miles, prefented nothing but the remains of cities, and men fcattered, without an habitation, over the fields. Proceeding thus along, we at length ended our distressful voyage, by arriving at Naples, after having escaped a thousand dangers both by sea and land.”

Goldfmith's Tranflation.

VER. 148. And what created perfect ?] No position can be more true and folid; for perfect happiness is as incommunicable as omnipotence. WARTON.

VER. 150. Then Nature deviates; &c.] "While comets move in very eccentric orbs, in all manner of pofitions, blind Fate could never make all the planets move one and the fame way in orbs concentric; fome inconfiderable irregularities excepted, which may have rifen from the mutual actions of comets and planets upon one another, and which will be apt to increase, till this fyftem wants a reformation." Sir Ifaac Newton's Optics, Quaft. ult.

WARBURTON.

As much eternal fprings and cloudless skies,
As Men for ever temp'rate, calm, and wise.
If plagues or earthquakes break not Heav'n's defign,
Why then a Borgia, or a Catiline?

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COMMENTARY.

ftorms and tempefts, clouds, rain, heat, and variety of feasons, are neceffary (notwithstanding the accidental evil they bring with them) to the health and plenty of this Globe; why then should you fuppofe there is not the fame use, with regard to the Universe, in a Borgia or a Catiline? But you say you can see the one, and not the other. You fay right: one terminates in this system, the other refers to the Whole: which Whole can be comprehended by none but the great Author himself. For, fays the Poet in another place,

of this Frame, the bearings and the ties,
The strong connections, nice dependencies,
Gradations juft, has thy pervading foul

Look'd through? or can a part contain the whole ?”
Ver. 29, & feq.

Own therefore, fays he, that

"From Pride, our very Reas'ning Springs;
Account for moral, as for nat❜ral things:
Why charge we Heav'n in thofe, in these acquit?
In both, to reafon right, is to fubmit."

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Who

"Refpecting Man, whatever wrong we call,
May, must be right, as relative to all."

WARBURTON.

NOTES.

VER. 155. If plagues, &c.] What hath misled Mr. de Croufaz in his cenfure of this paffage, is his fuppofing the comparison to be between the effects of two things in this fublunary world; when not only the elegancy, but the juftnefs of it, confifts in its being between the effects of a thing in the universe at large, and the familiar known effects of one in this fublunary world. For the pofition inforced in these lines is this, that partial evil tends to the good of the whole.

Ver. 51.

How does the Poet inforce it? If you will believe this Critic, in illuftrating the effects of partial moral evil in a particular system, by that of partial natural evil in the fame fyftem, and fo he leaves

Who knows but He, whofe hand the light'ning

forms,

Who heaves old Ocean, and who wings the storms; Pours fierce Ambition in a Cæfar's mind,

Or turns young Ammon loofe to fcourge mankind? 160

From pride, from pride, our very reas'ning springs;
Account for moral, as for natʼral things:
Why charge we Heav'n in those, in these acquit?
In both, to reason right, is to submit.

Better for Us, perhaps, it might appear,
Were there all harmony, all virtue here;

COMMENTARY.

165

That

VER. 165. Better for Us, &c.] But, fecondly, to ftrengthen the foregoing analogical argument, and to make the wisdom and goodnefs of God ftill more apparent, he observes (from ver. 164 to 173.), that moral evil is not only productive of good to the Whole, but is even productive of good in our own fyftem. It might, fays he, perhaps

NOTES.

his pofition in the lurch. But the Poet reafons at another rate: The way to prove his point, he knew, was to illuftrate the effect of partial moral evil in the universe, by partial natural evil in a particular fyftem. Whether partial moral evil tend to the good of the Universe, being a queftion which, by reason of our ignorance of many parts of that Univerfe, we cannot decide but from known effects; the rules of good reafoning require that it be proved by analogy, i. e. fetting it by, and comparing it with, a thing clear and certain; and it is a thing clear and certain, that partial natural evil tends to the good of our particular fyftem. WARBURTON.

VER. 157. Who knows but He, &c.] The fublimity with which the great Author of Nature is here characterised, is but the second beauty of this fine paffage. The greateft is the making the very difpenfation objected to, the periphrafis of his title. WARBURTON.

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