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What happier natures shrink at with affright;
Virtuous and vicious every man must be,
Heaven forming each on other to depend,
Taught half by Reason, half by mere decay,
Whate'er the passion, knowledge, fame, or pelf,
See some strange comfort every state attend, And pride bestow'd on all, a common friend: See some fit passion every age supply; Hope travels through, nor quits us when we dic.
Behold the child, by Nature's kindly law, Pleas'd with a rattle, tickled with a straw; Some livelier plaything gives his youth delight, A little louder, but as empty quite : Scarfs, garters, gold, amuse his riper stage, And beads and prayer-books are the toys of age: Pleas'd with this bauble still, as that before ; 'Till tir'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 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 lost, another still we gain; And not a vanity is giv’n in vain;
Ev'n mean Self-love becomes, by force divine,
EPISTLE III. OF THE NATURE AND STATE OF MAN WITH RESPECT
Argument. I. The whole universe one system of society.
Nothing made wholly for itself, nor yet wholly for another. The happiness of animals mutual. II. Reason or instinct operate alike to the good of each individual. Reason or instinct operate also to society in all animals. . III. How far society carried by instinct. How much farther by reason. IV. Of that which is called the state of nature. Reason instructed by instinct in the invention of arts, and in the forms of society. V. Origin of political societies. Origin of mo narchy. Patriarchal government. VI. Origin of true religion and government, from the same principle, of love. Origin of superstition and tyranny, from the same principle of fear. The influence of self love operating to the social and public good. Restoration of true religion and government on their first principle. Mixed government. Various forms of each, and the true end of all.
Here then we rest ; “ the Universal Cause
Let this great truth be present night and day;
I. Look round our world; behold the chain of
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?
Know, Nature's children all divide her care ;
Grant that the powerful still the weak controul ; Be man the wit and tyrant of the whole : Nature that tyrant checks; he only knows, And helps, another creature's wants and woes. Say, will the falcon, stooping from above, Smit with her varying plumage, spare the dove ? Admires the jay the insect's gilded wings? Or hears the hawk when Philomela sings? Man cares for all: to birds he gives his woods, To beasts his pastures, and to fish his floods : For some, his interest prompts him to provide, For more his pleasure, yet for more his pride : All feed on one vain patron, and enjoy Th' extensive blessing of his luxury. That very life his learned hunger craves, He saves from famine, from the savage saves; Nay, feasts the animal he dooms his feast, And, till he ends the being, makes it blest : Which sees no more the stroke, or feels the pain, Than favour'd man by touch ethereal slain.