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Ask of the Learn’d the way? The Learn’d are
Who thus define it, say they more or less
octavo edition, pp. 223. 324. 388, 389. also pp. 49. 316. 328. 336, 337. 339. And in Vol. v. pp. 5, 6. 17. 51. 92. 113. 310. Ver. 21, 23. Some place the bliss in action,
Some sunk to Beasts, &c.] 1. Those who place Happiness, or the summum bonum, in Pleasure, 'Hoovn ; such as the Cyreniac sect, called, on that account, the Hedonic. 2. Those who place it in a certain tranquillity or calm. ness of mind, which they call Ejóvula ; such as the Democritic sect. 3. The Epicurean. 4. The Stoic. 5. The Protagorean, which held that Man was πάντων χρημάτων μέτρον, the measure of all things; for that all things which appear to him, are, and those things which appear not to any Man, are not; so that every imagination' or opinion of every man was true. 6. The Sceptic: whose absolute doubt is, with great judgment, said to be the effect of Indolence, as well as the absolute trust of the Protagorean : for the same dread of labour attending the search of truth, which makes the Protagorean presume it is always at hand, makes the Sceptic conclude it is never to be found. The only difference is, that the laziness of the one is desponding, and the laziness of the other sanguine; yet both can give it a good name, and call it HAPPINESS. W. · Ver. 23. Some sunk to Beasts, &c.] These four lines added in the last Edition, as necessary to complete the summary of the false pursuits after Happiness, among the Greek Philosophers. W.
Of which Greek Philosophers, I imagine, Pope did not think, nor allude to.
Take Nature's path, and mad Opinion's leave; All states can reach it, and all heads conceive; 30 Obvious her goods, in no extreme 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, “ the Universal Cause 35 Acts not by partial, but by gen’ral laws :"? And makes what Happiness we justly call Subsist not in the good of one, but all. There's not a blessing Individuals find, But some way leans and hearkens to the kind; 40 No Bandit fierce, no Tyrant mad with pride, No cavernd hermit, rests self-satisfy’d: Who most to shun or hate Mankind pretend, Seek an admirer, or would fix a friend : Abstract what others feel, what others think, All pleasures sicken, and all glories sink : Each has his share ; and who would more obtain, Shall find the pleasure pays not half the pain. ;
ORDER is Heav'n's first law; and this confest, Some are, and must be, greater than the rest, 50
NOTES. Ver. 34. Equal is Common Sense,] The experience of every day and every hour convinces us of the falsehood of this Stoical boast.
Ver. 49. ORDER is Heuo'n's first law;] A writer of uncommon sagacity and penetration has made the following reflection: “Our notion of order in civil society, is frequently false; it is taken from the analogy of subjects inanimate and dead; we consider commotion and action as contrary to its nature; we think it consistent only with obedience, secrecy, and the silent passing of affairs through the hands of a few; the good order of stones in a wall, is their being properly fixed in the places for which they were hewn; were they to stir, the building must fall: but the
More rich, more wise; but who infers from hence
After Ver. 52 in the MS.
Say not, “ Heav'n's here profuse, there poorly saves,
NOTES. good order of men in society, is their being placed where they are properly qualified to act. The first is a fabric made of dead and inanimate parts; the second is made of living and active members. When we seek in society for the order of mere inaction and tranquillity, we forget the nature of our subject, and find the order of slaves, not of men.” Ferguson.
Ver. 50. Some are, and must be,] So much has of late years been said of the doctrine of Equality, and so much has it been perversely misinterpreted and misunderstood, that it is to be wished, that those who declaim on this subject, would only look into the three following fashionable French authors, who surely were staunch lovers of liberty, to see the absurdity of the notion of Equality of Ranks ; namely, I. Montesquieu, in the third Chapter of his eighth Book. II. D'Alembert, in his Comment on this Chapter of Montesquieu. III. Voltaire, in the Essay on the Spirit of Nations, Chapter 67, on Switzerland. “You are not, by this term Equality,” says the last, "to understand that absurd and impossible Equality, by which the master and the servant, the magistrate and the artificer, the plaintiff and the judge, are confounded together; but that Equality by which the subject depends only on the laws."
Heav'n breathes thro' ev'ry member of the whole
Fortune her gifts may variously dispose,
Oh sons of earth! attempt ye still to rise, By mountains pil'd on mountains, to the skies? Heav'n still with laughter the vain toil surveys, 75 And buries madmen in the heaps they raise.
Know, all the good that individuals find, Or God and Nature meant to mere mankind, Reason's whole pleasure, all the joys of Sense, Lie in three words, Health, Peace, and Competence. But Health consists with Temperance alone; 81 And Peace, oh Virtue! Peace is all thy own. The good or bad the gifts of Fortune gain ; But these less taste them, as they worse obtain.
After Ver. 66 in the MS.
'Tis peace of mind alone is at a stay:
Say, in pursuit of profit or delight,
85 Who risk the most, that take wrong means, or right? Of Vice or Virtue, whether blest or curst, Which meets contempt, or which compassion first? Count all th' advantage prosp'rous Vice attains, 'Tis but what Virtue flies from and disdains : 90 And grant the bad what happiness they would, One they must want, which is, to pass for good.
Oh blind to truth, and God's whole scheme below, Who fancy Bliss to Vice, to Virtue Woe! Who sees and follows that great scheme the best, 95 Best knows the blessing, and will most be blest. But fools, the good alone unhappy call, For ills or accidents that chance to All. See FALKLAND dies, the virtuous and the just! See godlike TURENNE prostrate on the dust! 100
Let sober Moralists correct their speech,
acute observer, “ may possess a spring and alacrity of temper, a certain gaiety of heart, which is indeed a good quality, but which is rewarded much beyond its merit; and when attended with good fortune, will compensate the uneasiness and remorse arising from all the other vices.” Hume's Essays. The Sceptic.
Ver. 88. Which meets contempt,] Compassion, it will be said, is but a poor compensation for misery.
Ver. 92. to pass for good.] “ But are not the one frequently mistaken for the other? How many profligate hypocrites have passed for good?”
Ver. 99. See FALKLAND] His genius, his learning, his integrity, his patriotism, are eloquently displayed by Cowley, as well as by Clarendon : but Lord Orford thinks the portrait by the latter too flattering and overcharged. If any proofs had been-want