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He then speaks of the passions, and their use, and more especially of the predominant or ruling passion ; of its neceflity, in directing men to different pursuits, and its providential use, in fixing our principles, and ascertaining our virtue,
Passions, like elements, tho' born to fight,
Yet, mix'd and soften'd, in his work unite :
These, 'tis enough to temper and employ;
But what compoles man, can man destroy?
Suffice that reason keep to nature's road,
Subjcct, compound them, follow her and God.
Love, hope, and joy, fair pleasure's smiling train,
Hate, fear, and grief, the family of pain ;
These mix'd with art, and to due bounds confin'd,
Make and maintain the balance of the mind :
The lights and shades, whose well-accorded strife
Gives all the strength and colour of our life.
Pleasures are ever in our hands or eyes.
And when in act they cease, in prospect rise :
Present to grasp, and future still to find,
The whole employ of body and of mind.
All spread their charms, but charm not all alike;
On diff'rent Senses diff'rent objects strike;
Hence dif'rent pasijons more or less enflame,
As strong or weak, the organs of the frame;
And hence one master-paslion in the breast,
Like Aaron's serpent, swallows up the reft.
As man, perhaps, the moment of his breath,
Receives the lurking principle of death;
The young disease, that most subdue at length,
Grows with his growth, and strengthens with his Arength:
So cast, and mingled with his very frame,
The mind's disease, its ruling passion came ;
Each vital humour which should feed the whole,
Soon flows to this, in body and in foul:
Whatever warms the heart, or fills the head,
As the mind opens, and its functions spread,
Imagination plies her dang'rous art,
And pours it all upon the peccant part.
Virtue and vice, he observes, are joined in our mixt nature, and their limits are near, tho' separate and evident,
He points out the office of reason, describes vice as odious
in itself, and yet shews by what means we deceive ouro
felves into it. He proves that not only the ends of Pro-
vidence are answerd in our paffions and imperfections,
but that the general good is often promoted by them, and
fhews how usefully they are distributed to all orders of men ;
points out their use to fociety, and to individuals in every
Itate, and every age of life, and thus concludes the epistle.
Whate'er the passion, knowledge, fame or pelf,
Not one will change his neighbour with himself.
The learn’d is happy nature to explore,
The fool is happy that he knows no more ;
The rich is happy in the plenty giv’n,
The poor contents him with the care of heav'n.
See the blind beggar dance, the cripple sing,
The sot a hero, lunatic a king;
The starving chymist in his golden views
Supremely bleit, the poet in his muse.
See some frange comfort ev'ry fate attend,
And pride bestow'd on all, a common friend :
See some fit pafion ev'ry age supply,
Hope travels thro', nor quits us when we die.
Behold the child, by nature's kindly law,
Pleas'd with a rattle, tickled with a straw :
Some livelier play-thing gives his youth delights
A little louder, but as empty quite:
Scarfs, garters, gold, amuse his riper stage ;
And beads and pray'r-books are the toys
Pleas'd with this bauble still, as that before ;
"Till tir'd he sleeps, and life's poor play is o'er ;
Mean while opinion gilds with various rays
Those painted clouds that beautify our days ;
Each want of happiness by hope supply'd,
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 loft, 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 ftill must rise,
'Tis this, Tho' man's a fool, yet God is wife.
In his third epifle, he treats of the nature and state of man with respect to society, and confiders the whole uni. verse as one system thereof, in which nothing fubfifts wholly for itself, nor yet wholly for another, but wherein the hap. piness of animals is mutual.
Look round our world; behold the chain of love
Combining all below and all above.
See plastic Nature working to this end,
The single atoms each to other tend,
Attract, attracted to the next in place,
Form'd and impellid its neighbour to embrace.
See matter next, with various life endu'd,
Press to one centre Atill, the gen'ral good.
See dying vegetables life fustain,
See life diffolving vegetate again :
All forms that perifh other forms supply
(By turns we catch the vital breath, and die)
Like bubbles on the sea of matter born,
They rise, they break, and to that fea return.
Nothing is foreign : parts relate to whole;
One all-extending, all-preserving foul
Connects each being, greatest with the least;
Made beast in aid of man, and man of beast;
All ferv’d, all serving : nothing stands alone ;
The chain holds on, and, where it ends, unknown.
Has God, thou fool! work'd solely for thy good,
Thy joy, thy paftime, thy attire, thy food ?
Who for thy table feeds the wanton fawn,
For him as kindly spreads the flow'ry lawn.
Is it for thee the lark ascends and fings?
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 feed that strews the plain?
The birds of heav'n shall vindicate their grain :
Thine the full harvest of the golden year?
Part pays, and juftly, the deserving iteer :
The hog, that plows 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 !'
• See man for mine !' replies a pamper'd goose :
And just as short of reason he must fall,
Who thinks all made for one, not one for all.
He then proceeds to fhew, that reason or instinct operates alike to the good of each individual, and enforces society in all animals. He confiders how far society is carried by instinct, and how much farther by reason; he beautifully describes the state of nature, and shews how reason was instructed by instinct in the invention of arts, and in the forms of society.
Thus then to man the voice of nature speak
• Go, from the creatures thy instruction take:
Learn from the birds what food the chickets yield;
Learn from the beast the physic of the field ;
The arts of building from the bee receive ;
Learn of the mole to plow, the worm to weave;
Learn of the little nautilus to fail,
Spread the thin oar, and catch the driving gale.
Here too all forms of social union find,
And hence let reason, late instruct mankind ;
Here subterranean works and cities see ;
There towns aereal 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 befow,
And anarchy without confufion know ;
And these for ever, tho' a monarch reign,
Their sep’rate cells and properties maintain.
Mark what unvary'd laws preferve each ftate,
Laws wise as Nature, and as fixt as Fate.
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 fway,
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.'
He thence traces out the origin of political societies ; of monarchy, and patriarchal governments, and thews that true religion and government had both their foundation in the principle of love, and that superstition and tyranny arose from the principle of fear. He considers the influence of self-love, as operating to the social and public good; treats of the restoration of true religion and government on their firkt principles; then descants on mix'd governments and their various forms; and lastly, points out the true end of all, in the following admirable lines.
For forms of government let fools contest;
Whate'er is best adminifter'd is beft:
For modes of faith let graceless zealots fight;
His can't be wrong whose life is in the right :
In faith and hope the world will disagree,
But all mankind's concern is charity :
All must be false that thwart this one great end,
And all of God, that bless mankind or mend.
Man, like the gen'rous vine, supported lives;
The strength he gains is from th’ embrace he gives.
On their own axis as the planets run,
Yet make at once their circle round the sun;
So two consistent motions act the foul ;
And one regards Itself, and one the Whole.
Thus God and nature link'd the gen'ral frame,
And bade self-love and social be the same.
In his fourth epistle he treats of the nature and state of man with respect to happiness, explodes all false notions of happiness, philosophical and popular, and affirms that it is the end of all men, and attainable by all, for God intends happiness to be equal; and to be so, it must be focial, fince all particular happiness depends on general, and since he governs by general, not particular laws.
Take Nature's path, and mad opinions leave,
All states can reach it, and all heads conceive;
Obvious her goods, in no extream they dwell ;
There needs but thinking right, and meaning well;
And mourn our various portions as we please,
Equal is common sense, and common ease.
Remember, man, o the universal cause
A&s not by partial, but by gen'ral laws ;'.