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Each individual seeks a sev'ral goal;
But HEAV’n’s great view is One, and that the

Whole.
That counter-works each folly and caprice;
That disappoints th'effect of ev'ry vice; 24.0
That, happy frailties to all ranks apply'd;
Shame to the virgin,, to the matron pride,
Fear to the statesman, rashness to the chief,
To kings presumption, and to crowds belief:
That, Virtue's ends from vanity can raise, 245
Which seeks no intrest, no reward but praise ;
And build on wants, and on defects of mind,
The joy, the peace, the glory of Mankind.

Heav'n forming each on other to depend,
A master, or a servant, or a friend,

250

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COMMENTARY. Ver. 239. That counterworks each folly and caprice;] The mention of this principle, that Self directs Vice and Virtue, and its consequence, which is, that

Each individual seeks a sev'ral goal, leads the author to observe

That Heav'n's great View is One, and that the Whole. And this brings him naturally round again to his main subject, namely, God's producing good out of ill, which he prosecutes from ý 238 to 249.

VER. 249. Heav'n forming each on other to depend,] I. Hitherto the Poet hath been employed in discoursing of the use of the Paffions, with regard to Society at large ; and in freeing bis

;

Bids each on other for assistance call,
"
'Till one Man's weakness grows the strength of all,
Wants, frailties, paflions, closer still ally
The common int'rest, or endear the tie.
To these we owe true friendship, love sincere, 255
Each home-felt joy that life inherits here;
Yet from the fame we learn, in its decline,

Those joys, those loves, those int'rests to resign;
Taught half by Reason, half by mere decay,
To welcome death, and calmly pass away. 260.

Whate'er the Passion, knowledge, fame, or pelf, Not one will change his neighbour with himself.

COMMENTARY, doctrine from objections: This is the first general division of the subject of this epistle.

II. He comes to shew (from 248 to 261) the use of these Paffions, with regard to the more confined circle of our Friends, Relations, and Acquaintance; and this is the second general divifion.

Ver. 261. Whate'er the Passion, &c.] III. The poet having thus shewn the use of the Passions in Society, and in Domestic

NOTES VER. 253. Wants, frailties, passions, clafer ftill ally The common intreft, &c.] As these lines have been misunderstood, I shall give the reader their plain and obvious meaning. To these frailties (fays he) we owe all the endearments of private life; yet, when we come to that age, which generally dispofęs Men to think more feriously of the true value of things, and consequently of their provifion for a future state, the confideration, that the grounds of those joys, loves, and friendships, are wants, frailtięs, and passions, proves the best expedient to wean

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265

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 sing,
The sot a hero, lunatic a king;
The starving chemist in his golden views
Supremely blest, the poet in his Muse.

270

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COMMENTARY.
life; he comes, in the last place (from 260 to the end) to shew
their use to the Individual, even in their illusions ; the imaginary
happiness they present, helping to make the real miseries of life
less insupportable: And this is his third general division :

-Opinion gilds with varying rays
Those painted clouds that beautify our days, &cce
One prospect loft, another ftill we gain ;

And not a vanity is giv'n in vain.
Which must needs vastly raise our idea of God's goodness, who
hath not only provided more than a counter balance of real hap-
piness to human miseries, but hath even, in his infinite compal-
fion, bestowed on those, who were so foolish as not to have made
this provision, an imaginary happiness; that they may not be
quite over-borne with the load of human miseries. This is the
poet's great and noble thought;, as strong and solid as it is new

NOTES. us from the world; a disengagement so friendly to that provision

are now making for another. The observation is new, and would in any place be extremely beautiful, but has here an infinite grace and propriety, as it so well confirms, by an instance of great moment, the general thesis, That God makes Ill, at every step, productive of Good.

Ver. 270.--the poet in his Mufe.] The author having said, that no one would change his profession or views for those of another, intended to carry his obfervation still further, and

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See some strange comfort ev'ry state attend,
And pride bestow'd on all, a common friend:
See some fit passion ev'ry age supply,
Hope travels thro', nor quits us when we die.

Behold the child, by nature's kindly law, 275
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 age :

COMMENTARY.
and ingenious; which teaches, That these illusions are the fol-
ļies of Men, which they willfully fall into, and through their
own fault; thereby depriving themselves of much happiness,
and exposing themselves to equal misery: But that ftill God
(according to his universal way of working) graciously turns
these follies so far to the advantage of his miserable creatures,
as to be the present folace and support of their diftreffes :
-Tho'Man's a fool, yet God is wise.

NOTES. shew that Men were unwilling to exchange their own acquire ments even for those of the same kind, confeffedly larger, and infinitely more eminent, in another. To this end he wrote,

What partly pleases, totally will shock:

I question much, if Toland would be Locke. but wanting another proper instance of this truth when he published his laft Edition of the Effay, he reserved the lines above for some following one.

Ver. 280. And beads and pray'r-books are the toys of age :] A Satire on what is called in Popery the Opus operatum. As this is a description of the circle of human life returning into itself by a second child-hood, the poet has with great elegance concluded his description with the same image with which he fet qut.

Pleas'd with this bauble still, as that before; 281
'Till tir’d he deeps, and Life's poor play is o'er.
Mean-while Opinion gilds with varying rays
Those painted clouds that beautify our days;
Each want of happiness by Hope supply'd, 285
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 loft, another still we gain;
And not a vanity is giv'n in vain;

290 Ev'n mean Self-love becomes, by force divine, The scale to measure others wants by thine. See! and confefs, one comfort still must rise; 'Tis this, Tho' Man's a fool, yet GOD IS WISE.

NOTES. VER. 286. And each vacuity of sense by Pride :] An eminent Cafuift, Father Francis Garasje, in his Somme Theologique, has drawn a very charitable conclufion from this principle. « Se“ lon la Justice (says this equitable Divine) tout travail hon« nête doit être recompense de louange ou de satisfaction. " Quand les bons esprits font un ouvrage excellent, ils sont “justement recompensez par les fuffrages du Public. Quand « un pauvre esprit travaille beaucoup, pour fair un magvais “ ouvrage, il n'est pas juste ni raisonable, qu'il attende des s louanges publiques ; car elles ne lui sont pas duës. Mais “ afin que les travaux ne demeurent pas sans recompense, Dieu “ lui donne une satisfaction personelle, que personne ne lui ça peut envier fans une injustice plus que barbare ; tout ainsi

que Dieu, qui est juste, donne de la satisfaction aux Grenoü$ illes de leur chant. Autrement la blâme public, joint à leur şs mécontentement, seroit suffisant pour les réduire au desespoir.”

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