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Find virtue local, all relation scorn,
While VER. 478, 6c.
Make God man's image, man the final cause,
See all in selfHere the poet, from the errors relating to a Deity in natural philosophy, descends to those in moral. Man was made according to God's image : but this false theology, measuring his attributes by ours, makes God after man's image : this proceeds from the imperfection of his reason. The next, of imagining himself the final cause, is the effect of his pride: as the making virtue and vice arbitrary, and morality the imposition of the magistrate, is of the corruption of his heart. Hence he centers every thing in himvelf. The progress of dulness herein differing from that of madness; this ends in seeing all in God; the other in seeing all in self.
Pope. Ver. 481. Of nought so certain as our reason still,] Of which we have most cause to be diffident. Of nought so doubtful
, as of soul and will; i.e. the existence of our soul, and the freedom of our will; the two things most self-evident.
PoPE. . Ver. 484. Such as Lucretius drew,] Lib. i. ver. 57. « Omnis enim per se Divam natura necesse est
Immortali ævo summa cum pace fruatur,
Nec bene pro meritcs capitur, nec tangitur ira;" from whence the two verses following are translated ; and wonderfully agree with the character of our goddess.
While through poetic scenes the Genius roves,
490 That NATURE our society adores, Where Tindal dictates, and Silenus snores.
VER. 488. Which Theocles in raptur'd vision saw,] Thus this philosopher calls upon his friend, to partake with him in these visions :
To-morrow, when the eastern sun
By favour of the sylvan nymphs : and invoking first the genius of the place, we'll try to obtain at least some faint and distant view of the sovereign genius and first beauty.” CHARACT. vol. ii. page 245.
This genius is thus apostrophized (page 345.) by the same philosopher :
O glorious nature !
Thee I invoke, and thee alone adore.” Sir Isaac Newton distinguishes between these two in a very different manner. (Princ. Schol. gen. sub fin.) —Hunc cognoscimus solummodo per proprietates suas el attributa, et per sapientissimas et optimas rerum structuras, et causas finales ; veneramur autem et calimus ob dominium, Deus etenim sine dominio, providentia, et causis finalibus, nihil aliud est quam Fatum et Natura. Pope.
Ver. 489. rovesOr wanders wild in academic groves ; ] “ Above all things I lov'd ease, and of all philosophers those who reasoned most at their ease, and were never angry or disturbid as those callid sceptics never were. I look'd upon this kind of philosophy as the prettiest, agreeablest, roving exercise of the mind, possible to be imagined.” Vol. ii. p. 206.
Pope. VER. 491. That NATURE our society adores,] See the Pantheisticon, with its liturgy and rubrics, composed by Toland; which Then snapt
Rous'd at his name, up rose the bowzy sire, And shook from out his pipe the seeds of fire ;
his box, and strok'd his belly down : 495
have I seen, 505 Smiling on all, and smil'd on by a queen ?
very lately, for the edification of the society, has been translated into English, and publicly sold by the booksellers of London and Westminster.
WARBURTON. Ver. 492. Silenus] Mr. Thomas Gordon.-Silenus was an Epicurean philosopher, as appears from Virgil, Eclog. vi. where he sings the principles of that philosophy in his drink. Pope.
Ver. 494. seeds of fire;) The Epicurean language, Semina rerum, or atoms. Virg. Ecl. vi. Semina ignis--semina stamma.
POPE. VER. 501. First slave to words, &c.] A recapitulation of the whole course of modern education described in this book, which confines youth to the study of words only in schools; subjects them to the authority of systems in the universities; and deludes them with the names of party-distinctions in the world. All equally concurring to narrow the understanding, and establish slavery and error in literature, philosophy, and politics. The whole finished in modern FREE-THINKING; the completion of whatever is vain, wrong, and destructive to the happiness of mankind, as it establishes self-love for the sole principle of action.
Mark'd out for honours, honour'd for their birth,
With that, a WIZARD OLD his cup extends ;
520 A feather, shooting from another's head, Extracts his brain ; and principle is filed ; Lost is his God, his country, ev'ry thing; And nothing left but homage to a King !
Ver. 506. smild on by a queen ??] i. e. This queen or goddess of Dulness.
WARBURTON. VER. 513. Poor W*'] Philip Duke of Wharton, so much celebrated for his profligacy, wit, and eccentricity, who died an exile and an outlaw, in 1731.
VER. 517. his cup-Which whoso tastes, &c.] The cup of selflove, which causes a total oblivion of the obligations of friendship, or honour ; and of the service of God or our country; all sacrificed to vain-glory, court-worship, or the yet meaner considera. tions of lucre and brutal pleasures. From ver. 520 to 528. Pope.
Ver. 523, 524. Lost is bis God, bis country And nothing left but homage to a King!] So strange as this must seem to a mere English reader, the famous Mons de la Bruyere declares it to be
The vulgar herd turn off to roll with hogs,
But she, good Goddess, sent to ev'ry child
Kind self-conceit to some her glass applies,
the character of every good subject in a monarchy: “ Where (says he) there is no such thing as love of our country, the interest, the glory, and the service of the Prince, supply its place.” De la Republique, chap. x.
Of this duty another celebrated French author speaks, indeed, a little more disrespectfully; which, for that reason, we shall not translate, but give in his own words, “ L'amour de la patrie, le grand motif des prémiers heros, n'est plus regardé que comme une chimêre; l'idée du service du Roi, etendüe jusqu'à l'oubli de tout autre principe, tient lieu de ce qu'on appelloit autrefois grandeur d'ame & fidelité.” Boulainvilliers Hist. des Anciens Parlements de France, &c.--And a much greater man than either of them, the Cardinal de Retz, speaking of a conversation he had with the Regente, Anne of Austria, makes this observation on the court, “ Je connus en cet endroit, qu'il est impossible que la cour conçoive ce que c'est LE PUBLIC. La flatterie, qui en est la peste, l'infecte toujours à un tel point, qu'elle lui cause un delire incurable sur cet article."
WARBURTON. VER. 529. But sbe, good Goddess, &c.] The only comfort such people can receive, must be owing in some shape or other to Dul. ness; which makes one sort stupid, another impudent; gives selfconceit to some, arising from the flatteries of their dependants; presents the false colours of interest to others, and busies or amuses the rest with idle pleasures or sensualities, till they become easy under any infamy. Each of which species is here shadowed under allegorical persons.