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MORAL ESSA Y S.
E P I S T L E I.
Sir Richard Temple, Lord Cobham.
ARGU M E N T.
Of the Knowledge and Characters of MEN.
THAT it is not sufficient for this knowledge to consider
Man in the Abstract: Books will not serve the purpose, nor yet our own Experience fingly, 1. General maxims, unless they be formed upon both, will be but notional, x 10. Some Peculiarity in every man, charaEteristic to himself, yet varying from himself, x 15. Difficulties arising from our own Pasons, Fancies, Fcculties, &c. x 31. The shortness of Life, to observe in, and the uncertainty of the Principles of action in men, to observe by, x 37, &c. Our own Principle of a£tion often bid from ourselves, X 41. Some fero Chara&ters plain, but in general confounded, dissembled, or inconsistent, ♡ 51. The same man utterly different in different places and seasons, Ý 71. Unimaginable weaknesses in the greatest, x 70, &c. Nothing constant and certain but God and Nature, x 95. No judging of the Motives from the ałtions ; the same actions proceeding from contrary Motives, and the same Motives infiuencing contrary a£tions, w 100. II. Yet to form Characters, we can only take ibe strongest actions of a man's life, and try to make them agree : The utter uncertainty of this, from Nature itself, and from Policy, x 120. Characters given according to the rank of men of the world, x 135. And some reason for it, X 140. Education alters the Nature, or at least Character, of many, $ 149. Actions, Passions, Opinions, Manners, Humours, or Principles, all subjeet to change. No judging by Nature, from ø 158 to 178. III. It only remains to find (if we can) bis Rulino Passion: That will certainly influence all the rest, and can reconcile the seeming or real inconsistency of all bis a£tions, x 175. Instanced in the extraordinary charaeter of Clodio, ø 179. A caution against mistaking second qualities for first, which will destroy all polfibility of the knowledge of mankind, x 210. Examples of the strength of the Ruling Passion, and its continuation to the last breath, x 222, &c.
N. Blakey im.xdel.
G«Scotin Sculp. Boasifull of rough your first son is adquire; The next a Tradesman, meek and much aliar; Tom struts a Soldier, open, bold and Bravel.; Will oneaks a Sorivener, an exc
Ε Ρ Ι S T L Ε Ι.
E S, you despise the man to Books confin'd
Who from his study rails at human kind; Tho' what he learns he speaks, and may
advance Some gen’ral maxims, or be right by chance.
COMMENTARY, Epi Ale of the Knowledge and Characters of Men,) Whoever compares this with the former Editions of this poem, will obferve that the order and disposition of the several parts are entirely changed and reversed, tho' with hardly the Alteration of 4 single Word. When the Editor, at the Author's desire, first examined this Epistle, he was surprized to find it contain a number of fine observations, without order, connection, or depen dence : but much more so, when, on an attentive review, he saw, that, if put into a different form, on an idea he then conceived, it would have all the clearners of method, and force of connected reasoning. The author appeared as much struck with the thing as the editor, and agreed to put the Poem into the present order, which has given it all the justness of a true compofition. The introduction of the epistle on Riches was in the same condition, and underwent the fame reform,
NOTES, Moral Essays.] The EssAY ON MAN was intended to have been comprised in Four Books :
The First of which, the Author has given us under that. title, in four Epistles.
The Second was to have confifted of the fame number: 1, Of the extent and limits of human Reason. 2. Of those Arts and Sciences, and of the parts of them, which are useful, and therefore attainable, together with those which are unuseful, and therefore unattainable. 3. Of the Nature, Ends, Use, and Application of the different Capacities of Men. 4. Of the Use of Learning, of the Science of the World, and of