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He then speaks of the paffions. and their use, and more especially of the predominant or ruling paffion ; of its necessity, in direćting men to different pursuits, and its providential ufe, in fixing our principles, and ascertaining OUT VIrtue.
Pastions, like elements, tho’ born to fight,
Yet, mix’d and foften'd, in his work unite :
These, 'tis enough to temper and employ ;
But what composes man, can man destroy ?
Suffice that reafon keep to nature's road,
Subjećt, compound them, follow her and God.
Love, hope, and joy, fair pleasure's fmiling 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 aćt they ceafe, 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 objećts strike ;
Hence diff'rent passions more or less enflame,
As strong or weak, the organs of the frame ;
And hence one master-pastion in the breast,
Like Aaron's ferpent, fwallows up the rest.
As man, perhaps, the moment of his breath,
Receives the lurking principle of death ;
The young disease, that must subdue at length,
Grows with his growth, and strengthens with his strength:
So cast, and mingled with his very frame,
The mind's disease, its ruling paffion came ;
Each vital humour which should feed tħe 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 ourfelves into it. He proves that not only the ends of Pro- | vidence are answer’d in our passions and imperfections, but that the general good is often promoted by them, and fhews how uïefully they are distributed to all orders of men ; points out their use to society, and to individuals in ey y ítate, and every age of life, and thus concludes the epistle.
Whate'er the pastion, 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 fing, The fot a hero, lunatic a king ; The starving chymift in his golden views Supremely blest, the poet in his mufe. See fome strange comfort ev'ry state attend, And pride bestow'd on all, a common friend : See fome fit pastion 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 delight; A little louder, but as empty quite: Scarfs, garters, gold, amuse his riper stage ; And beads and pray’r-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 ; 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 fenfe by pride : a These build as fast as knowledge can destroy; In folly's cup still laughs the bubble, joy ; One prospećt loft, another still we gain ; And not a vanity is giv'n in vain ; Ev'n mean felf-love becomes by force divine, The fcale to measure others wants by thine. | See ! and confess, one comfort still must rife, ’Tis this, Tho' man's a fool, yet God is wife.
Tn his third epistle, he treats of the nature and state of man with respect to society, and confiders the whole universe as one system thereof, in which nothing subfists 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 fingle atoms each to other tend,
Attract, attraćted to the next in place,
Form’d and impell'd its neighbour to embrace.
See matter next, with various life endu'd,
Press to one centre still, the gen’ral good.
See dying vegetables life fustain, -
See life diffolving vegetate again :
All forms that perish other forms supply
(By turns we catch the vital breath, and die)
Like bubbles on the fea of matter born,
They rife, they break, and to that fea return.
Nothing is foreign : parts relate to whole ;
One all-extending, all-preserving foul
Connećts each being, greatest with the least ;
Made beast in aid of man, and man of beast ;
All ferv'd, all ferving : nothing stands alone ;
The chain holds on, and, where it ends, unknown.
Has God, thou fool ! work'd folely for thy good,
Thy joy, thy pastime, 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 justly, the deferving steer:
The hog, that plows not, nor obeys thy call,
Lives on the labours of this lord of all.
Thus then to man the voice of nature speak–
« Go, from the creatures thy insti ućtion take:
Learn from the birds what food the thickets yield ;
Learn from the beast the phyfic 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 focial union find, ()
And hence let reason, late instruét mankind ;
Here subterranean works and cities fee ;
There towns aereal on the waving tree: | Å
Learn each fmall people’s genius, policies, |
The ant’s republic, and the realm of bees ; llat
How those in common all their wealth bestow,
And anarchy without confufion know ;
And these for ever, tho' a monarch reign,
Their fep'rate cells and properties maintain.
Mark what unvary’d laws preferve each state, i.
Laws wife 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 sway,
Thus let the wifer make the rest obey ;
And for those arts mere infținćt could afford, |
Be crown'd as monarchs, or as gods ador'd.’
He thence traces out the origin of political focieties ; of monarchy, and patriarchal governments, and shews 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 confiders the influence of felf-love, as operating to the focial and public good ; treats of the restoration of true religion and government on their first principles; then descants on mix'd governments and their various forms ; and laftly, points out the true end of all, in the following admirable lines.
For forms of government let fools contest ;
Whate'er is best administer’d is best :
For modes of faith let gracelefs 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 blefs 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 fun ;
So two confistent motions aćt the foul ;
And one regards Itself, and one the Whole.
Thus God and nature link'd the gen’ral frame,
And bade felf-love and social be the fame.
In his fourth epistle he treats of the nature and state of man with respeết to happinefs, explodes all falfe notions of happinefs, 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 fo, it must be focial, fince all particular happiness depends on general, and fince 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 fenfe, and common ease.
Remember, man, « the univerfal cause
Aćts not by partial, but by gen’ral laws ;’