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The lamb thy riot dooms to bleed to-day,
may fill the circle mark'd by Heaven;
Hope humbly then; with trembling pinions soar; Wait the great teacher Death, and God adore : What future bliss, he gives not thee to know, But gives that hope to be thy blessing now. Hope springs eternal in the human breast : 95 Man never is, but always to be bless'd : The soul, uneasy and confined from home, Rests and expatiates in a life to come. that pain must predominate over pleasure in all human existence;
for the foresight of good would undoubtedly contribute to the fulness of present pleasure. But the argument is contrary to experience; for man sees much farther than the brute, yet is capable of much higher, because more intelligent pleasure; and we can conceive spirits seeing much farther into futurity than man, and yet all that we know of them declares that they are happy. There is also on the whole much more good fortune than ill in the world, and thus bis more extended anticipation would supply man with a more solid material of hope: but the true reason why foresight to any remarkable degree has been denied to man, seems to be, that it would paralyse his moral action. The uncertainty of events is the great stimulus to effort: the certainty of evil would throw him into helpless despair; the certainty of enjoyment would relax him into lazy security.
97 The soul, uneasy and confined from home. This was originally written confined at home, but altered, to meet Warburton's fastidious fear, and altered at the expense of the
Lo, the poor Indian! whose untutor'd mind Sees God in clouds, or hears him in the wind; His soul proud science never taught to stray 101 Far as the solar walk or milky way; Yet simple Nature to his hope has given, Behind the cloud-topp'd hill, a humbler heaven; Some safer world in depth of woods embraced, Some happier island in the watery waste, 106 Where slaves once more their native land behold; No fiends torment, no Christians thirst for gold. To Be, contents his natural desire; He asks no angel's wing, no seraph's fire; 110 But thinks, admitted to that equal sky, His faithful dog shall bear him company.
iv. Go, wiser thou! and, in thy scale of sense, Weigh thy opinion against Providence; Call imperfection what thou fanciest such; Say, Here he gives too little, there too much; Destroy all creatures for thy sport or gust; Yet cry, If man's unhappy, God's unjust : If man alone engross not Heaven's high care, Alone made perfect here, immortal there; Snatch from his hand the balance and the rod, Rejudge his justice, be the God of God. In pride, in reasoning pride, our error lies; All quit their sphere, and rush into the skies. Pride still is aiming at the bless'd abodes ; 125 Men would be angels, angels would be gods. Aspiring to be gods, if angels fell, Aspiring to be angels, men rebel : poetry. The illustrative passage, 'Lo, the poor Indian!' is one of the most celebrated of Pope, and one of the fairest flowers of the whole garden of the Muse.
And who but wishes to invert the laws
v. Ask for what end the heavenly bodies shine, Earth for whose use; Pride answers, < 'Tis for
But errs not Nature from this gracious end, From burning suns when livid deaths descend; When earthquakes swallow, or when tempests sweep Towns to one grave, whole nations to the deep? • No,' 'tis replied; the first Almighty Cause 145 Acts not by partial, but by general laws; The exceptions few; some change since all began; And what created perfect?'- Why then man? If the great end be human happiness, Then Nature deviates; and can man do less ? 150 As much that end a constant course requires Of showers and sunshine, as of man's desires; As much eternal springs and cloudless skies, As men for ever temperate, calm, and wise. If plagues or earthquakes break not Heaven's design,
155 Why then a Borgia or a Catiline ?
156 Why then a Borgia or a Catiline? Warburton asserts that this is merely an acknowlegement of the compatibility of partial evil with universal good : but he mistakes Pope's argu
Who knows, but He, whose hand the lightning
forms, Who heaves old Ocean, and who wings the storms; Pours fierce ambition in a Cæsar's mind, Or turns young Ammon loose to scourge mankind? From pride, from pride, our very reasoning springs: Account for moral, as for natural things : Why charge we Heaven in those, in these acquit? In both, to reason right, is to submit.
Better for us, perhaps, it might appear, 165 Were there all harmony, all virtue here; That never air or ocean felt the wind; That never passion discomposed the mind. But All subsists by elemental strife; And passions are the elements of life: The general Order, since the whole began, Is kept in nature, and is kept in man.
vi. What would this man? Now upward will
And, little less than angels, would be more;
ment, which is, that as God sends tempests to sweep the physical face of nature, so he may send great criminals to sweep the moral. The general fallacy of optimism is, that in its zeal to vindicate the beneficence of the Deity, it makes him the author of crime. Thus Pope says:
Who knows, but He, whose hand the lightning forms,
Or turns young Ammon loose to scourge mankind ? This makes the God of benevolence and purity create an evil passion, and even urge it to its exercise. The true view is, that the evil is of man, the conversion of its results into good is of Deity. There is no just analogy between the tempest, which is the unconscious agent of the will of Heaven; and the great culprit, who is the conscious and evil agent of his own,
Now looking downwards, just as grieved appears,
find, Is not to act or think beyond mankind; 190 No
powers of body or of soul to share,
-man is not a fly. 193 Why has not man a microscopic eye? This fine passage is founded on Locke, 11. 3. but the poet draws an imperfect conclusion from the philosopher. If the microscopic power essentially precluded any other use of the eye, we should undoubtedly be losers by that construction; but we know no physical reason why the eye might not have been formed with powers much more extensive than it now possesses. No moral evil has resulted from availing itself of the powers of both the microscope and the telescope, and we can argue none from its possession of the powers of both by nature. Pope conceives the limitation to be for the purpose of securing our happiness: the more just conception might be, that it was for the purpose of exercising our invention and rewarding our ingenuity. If man possessed all arts by instinct, all enjoyments by the course of things, and all powers by the gift of