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Prescient, the tides or tempests to withstand,
Build on the wave, or arch beneath the sand ;
Who made the spider parallels design,
Sure as De-moivre, without rule or line?
Who bid the stork, Columbus-like, explore 105
Heav'ns not his own, and worlds unknown before?
Who calls the council, states the certain day,
Who forms the phalanx, and who points the way?

III. God, in the nature of each being, founds
Its proper bliss, and sets its proper bounds: 110

NOTES.

He wrote the History of the Treaty of Westphalia. Posterity will look on this as a curious work: the state of Europe being now so totally changed, this history will read like a romance.

Ver. 99. Who taught] This passage is highly finished; such objects are more suited to the nature of poetry than abstract ideas. Every verb and epithet has here a descriptive force. We find more imagery from these lines to the end of the epistle, than in any other parts of this Essay. The origin of the connexions in social life, the account of the state of nature, the rise and effects of superstition and tyranny, and the restoration of true religion and just government; all these ought to be mentioned as passages that deserve high applause, nay, as some of the most exalted pieces of English poetry.

Ver. 109. God, in the nature of each being, &c.] The Author now cometh to the main subject of his epistle, the proof of Man's SOCIABILITY, from the two general societies composed by him ; the natural, subject to paternal authority; and the civil, subject to that of a magistrate. This he hath the address to introduce, from what had preceded, in so easy and natural a manner, as sheweth him to have the art of giving all the grace to the dryness and severity of Method, as well as wit to the strength and depth of Reason. The philosophic nature of his work requiring he should shew by what means those Societies were introduced, this affords him an opportunity of sliding gracefully and easily from the preliminaries into the main subject; and so of giving his work that perfection of method, which we find only in the compositions of great writers. For having just before, though

But as he fram'd the Whole, the Whole to bless,
On mutual Wants built mutual happiness :
So from the first, eternal ORDER ran,
And creature link'd to creature, man to man.
Whate'er of life all quick’ning ether keeps, 115
Or breathes thro' air, or shoots beneath the deeps,
Or pours profuse on earth, one nature feeds
The vital flame, and swells the genial seeds.
Not man alone, but all that roam the wood,
Or wing the sky, or roll along the flood,

120
Each loves itself, but not itself alone,
Each sex desires alike, till two are one.
Nor ends the pleasure with the fierce embrace! .
They love themselves, a third time, in their race.
Thus beast and bird their common charge attend, 125
The mothers nurse it, and the fires defend;

NOTES. to a different purpose, described the power of bestial Instinct to attain the happiness of the Individual, he goeth on, in speaking of Instinct as it is serviceable both to that, and to the Kind (from Ver. 108 to 147), to illustrate the original of Society. He sheweth, that though, as he had before observed, God had founded the proper bliss of each creature in the nature of its own existence; yet these not being independent individuals, but parts of a Whole, God, to bless that Whole, built mutual happiness on mutual wants : now, for the supply of mutual wants, creatures must necessarily come together: which is the first ground of Society amongst Men. He then proceeds to that called natural, subject to paternal authority, and arising from the union of the two sexes; describes the imperfect image of it in brutes; then explains it at large in all its causes and effects. And lastly shews, that, as in fact, like mere animal Society, it is founded and preserved by mutual wants, the supplial of which causeth mutual happiness; so is it likewise in right, as a rational Society, by equity, gratitude, and the observance of the relation of things” in general. W.

The young dismiss’d to wander earth or air,
There stops the Instinct, and there ends the care ;
The link dissolves, each seeks a fresh embrace,
Another love succeeds, another race.

130
A longer care Man's helpless kind demands;
That longer care contracts more lasting bands:
Reflection, Reason, still the ties improve,
At once extend the int’rest, and the love;
With choice we fix, with sympathy we burn; 135
Each Virtue in each Passion takes its turn;
And still new needs, new helps, new habits, rise,
That graft benevolence on charities.
Still as one brood, and as another rose,
These nat’ral love maintain’d, habitual those: 140
The last, scarce ripen'd into perfect Man,
Saw helpless him from whom their life began :
Mem’ry and forecast just returns engage,
That pointed back to youth, this on to age;
While pleasure, gratitude, and hope, combin'd, 145
Still spread the intrest, and preservd the kind.
IV. Nor think, in NATURE'S STATE they blindly

trod; The State of Nature was the reign of God : Self-love and Social at her birth began, Union the bond of all things, and of Man. 150 Pride then was not; nor Arts, that Pride to aid ; Man walk'd with beast, joint-tenant of the shade; .

NOTES. Ver. 152. Man walk'd with beast,] Lucretius, agreeably to his more uncomfortable system, has presented us with a different and more horrid picture of this state of Nature. The calamitous condition of Man is exhibited by images of much energy and

VOL. III.

H

The same his table, and the same his bed ;
No murder cloth'd him, and no murder fed.
In the same temple, the resounding wood, 155
All vocal beings hymn’d their equal God :
The shrine with gore unstain'd, with gold undrest,
Unbrib’d, unbloody, stood the blameless priest :

NOTES. wildness of fancy; see ver. 980, book v; and particularly when he represents, at ver. 991, some of these wretched mortals mangled by the wild beasts, into whose caverns they had retreated for shelter in tempestuous seasons, and running distracted with pain through the woods, with their wounds undressed and putrefying :

-tremulas super ulcera tetra tenentes

Palmas, horriferis accibant vocibus Orcum. Pain is most forcibly expressed by the action here described, and by the epithet “ tremulas.”

The continuance and universality of the savage state of Man, in the earliest ages of the world, has been the favourite opinion of many late philosophical writers, particularly of Lord Kaimes in his Sketches, which has been answered with much learning and acuteness by Dr. Doig, 1792.

Ver. 156. All vocal beings, &c.] This may be well explained by å sublime passage of the Psalmist, who, calling to mind the age of Innocence, and full of the great ideas of those

“ Chains of Love
Combining all below and all above,
Which to one point, and to one centre bring,

Beast, Man, or ANGEL, Servant, Lord, or King;" breaks out into this rapturous and divine apostrophe, to call back the devious Creation to its pristine rectitude; that very state our author describes above: “ Praise the Lord, all angels; praise him, all ye hosts. Praise ye him, sun and moon; praise him, all ye stars of light,” &c. W.

Ver. 157. undrest, Unbrib'd, unbloody,] Alliteration is here used with effect. But is the assertion consistent with the usual interpretation of the Scripture account of the origin of sacrifice ? · Ver. 158. Unbrib'd, unbloody, &c.] i.e. the state described from

160

Heav'n's attribute was Universal Care,
And Man's prerogative to rule, but spare.
Ah! how unlike the Man of times to come!
Of half that live the butcher and the tomb;
Who, foe to Nature, hears the gen’ral groan,
Murders their species, and betrays his own.
But just disease to luxury succeeds,

165
And ev'ry death its own avenger breeds;
The Fury-passions from that blood began,
And turn’d on Man a fiercer savage, Man.

See him from Nature rising slow to Art! To copy Instinct then was Reason's part; 170 Thus then to Man the voice of Nature spake“Go, from the Creatures thy instructions take :

NOTES.

Ver. 262 to 269, was not yet arrived. For then, when Superstition was become so extreme as to bribe the Gods with human sacrifices ; Tyranny became necessitated to woo the priest for a favourable answer. W.

Ver. 162. the butcher and the tomb;] Plutarch has written a treatise against animal food; tom. ii. 995. Thomson, with his usual tenderness, has done the same; Spring, v. 330. Ver. 171. Thus then to Man the voice of Nature spake -

Go, &c.] M. Du Resnel has translated the lines thus,

“ La Nature indignée alors se fit entendre;

Va, malheureux mortel, va, lui dit elle, apprendre.” One would wonder what should make the Translator represent Nature in such a passion with Man, and calling him names, at a time when Mr. Pope supposed her in her best good-humour. W. • Ver. 171. the voice of Nature] The prosopopoeia is magnificent, and the occasion important, no less than the origin of the arts of life. Nature is personified by Lucretius, and introduced speaking with suitable majesty and elevation : She is chiding

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