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ferent capacities of men.
4. Of the use of learning, of the science of the world, and of wit; concluding with a satire against the misapplication of them, illustrated by pictures,
characters, and examples. The Third Book regarded civil regimen, or the
science of politics, in which the several forms of a republic were to be examined and explained ; together with the several modes of religious wor. ship, as far forth as they affect society; between which the author always supposed there was the most interesting relation and closest connection; so that this part would have treated of civil and
religious Society in their full extent. The Fourth, and last Book, concerned private
ethics, or practical morality, considered in all the circumstances, orders, professions, and sta
tions, of human life. The scbeme of all this had been maturely digested,
and communicated to L. Bolingbroke, Dr. Swift, and one or two more, and was intended for the only work of his riper years; but was, partly through ill health, partly through discouragements from the depravity of the times, and partly on prudential and other considerations, interrupted, postponed, and lastly, in a manner laid
aside. But as this was the Author's favorite work, which
more exactly reflected the image of his strong
capacious mind, and as we can have but a very imperfect idea of it from the disjecta membra poetæ that now remain, it may not be amiss to be a little more particular concerning each of
these projected Books. The First, as it treats of man in the abstract, and
considers him in general under every of his relations, becomes the foundation, and furnishes out the subjects of the three following ; so that The Second Book was to take up again the first and
second Epistles of the First Book, and treats of Man in his intellectual capacity at large, as has been explained above. Of this only a small part of the conclusion (which, as we said, was to have contained a satire against the misapplication of wit and learning) may be found in the Fourth Book of the Dunciad, and up and down,
occasionally, in the other three. The Third Book, in like manner, was to reassume
the subject of the Third Epistle of the First, which treats of Man in his social, political, and religious capacity. But this part the Poet afterwards conceived might be best executed in an cpic poem, as the action would make it more animated, and the fable less invidious; in which all the great principles of true and false
governo ments and religions should be chiefly delivered
in feigned examples. The Fourth, and last Book, was to pursue the sub
ject of the fourth Epistle of the First, and treats
of ethics, or practical morality, and would have consisted of many members : of which the Four following Epistles were detached portions: the two first, on the characters of men and women, being the introductory part of this concluding Book.
TO SIR RICHARD TEMPLE, LORD COBHAM.
OF THE KNOWLEDGE AND CHARACTERS OF MEN.
Che Argument. 1. THAT it is not sufficient for this knowledge to consider Man
in the abstract; books will not serve the purpose, nor yetour own experience singly, v, 1. General maxims, unless they be formed upon both, will be but notional, v. 10. culiarity in every man, characteristic to himself, yet varving from himself, v. 15. Difficulties arising from our own passions, fancies, faculties, &c. v. 31. The shortness of life to observe in, and the uncertainty of the principles of action in men to observe by, v. 37, &c. Our own principle of action often hid from ourselves, v. 41. Some few characters plain, but in general confounded, dissembled, or inconsistent, v. 51. The same man utterly different in different places and seasons, v. 71. Unimaginable weakness in the greatest, v. 77, &c. Nothing constant and certain but God and Nature, v. 95. No judging of the motives from the actions; the same actions proceeding from contrary motives, and the same motives in. fluencing contrary actions, v. 100. 11. Yet to form characters we can only take the strongest actions of a man's life, and try to make them agree; the utter uncertainty of this, from aiure itself, and from policy, v. 120. Characters given according to the rank of men in the world, v. 135; and some reason for it, v. 140. Education alters the nature, or at least character, of many, v. 149. Actions, passions, opinions, manners, hue mors, or principles, all subject to change, No judging by Nature, from y. 158, 10 174. III. It only remains to find it we can) his ruling passion: that will certainly influence all the rest, and can reconcile the seeming or real inconsistency of all his actions, v. 175. Instanced in the extraordinary character of Clodio, 179. A caution against mistaking second qualities for first, which will destroy all possibility of the knowledge of mankind, v. 210. Examples of the strength of the ruling passion, and its continuation to the last breatha V. 222, &c,
PART I. Y
Es, you despise the man to books confin'd, Who from his study rails at human kind;
Though what he learns he speaks, and may advance
And yet the fate of ali extremes is such,
may be read, as well as books, too much. 10 To observations, which ourselves we make, We grow more partial for th’ observer's sake ; To written wisdom, as another's, less : Maxims are drawn from notions, these from guess. There's soine peculiar in each leaf and grain, 15 Some unmark'd fibre, or some varying vein ; Shall only man be taken in the gross ? Grant but as many sorts of mind as moss.
That each from other differs, first confess; Next he that varies from himself no less ; 20 Add Nature's, Custom's, Reason's, Passion's, strife, And all Opinion's colors cast on life.
Our depths who fathoms, or our shallows finds, Quick whirls, and shifting eddies, of our minds ? On human actions reason though you can, 25 It may
be reason, but it is not man: His principle of action once explore, That instant 'ris his principle no more. Like following life through creatures you dissect, You lose it in the moment you