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Fear to the statesman, rashness to the chief,
Heaven forming each on other to depend,
Whate'er the passion, 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 given, The poor contents him with the care of Heaven. See the blind beggar dance, the cripple sing, The sot a hero, lunatic a king, The starving chymist in his golden views Supremely bless'd, the poet in his muse.
See some strange comfort every state attend, And pride bestow'd on all, a common friend;
See some fit passion every age supply;
Behold the child, by Nature's kindly law,
Meanwhile opinion gilds with varying rays Those painted clouds that beautify our days, Each want of happiness by hope supplied, 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 given in vain : E’en mean self-love becomes, by force divine, The scale to measure others' wants by thine. See! and confess one comfort still must rise ; 'Tis this,—Though man's a fool, yet God is wise.
AN ESSAY ON MAN.
OF THE NATURE AND STATE OF MAN WITH RESPECT
1. The whole universe one system of society. Nothing made
wholly for itself, nor yet wholly for another. The happiness of animals mutual. 2. Reason or instinct operate alike to the good of each individual. Reason or instinct operate also to society in all animals. 3. How far society carried by instinct ;-how much farther by reason. 4. Of that which is called the state of nature. Reason instructed by instinct in the invention of arts;—and in the forms of society. 5. Origin of political societies;-origin of monarchy ;-patriarchal government. 6. 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,
1. 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 spreads 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
Know Nature's children all divide her care;
Grant that the powerful still the weak control; 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 ;