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See dying vegetables life fuftain,
See life diffolving vegetate again:
They rife, they break, and to that fea return. 20
ferved; he takes this occafion again to humble them (from Ver. 26 to 49.) by the fame kind of argument he had fo fuccefsfully employed in the first epiftle, and which the comment on that epiftle hath confidered at large.
quality fo equally and univerfally conferred upon it, called Attraction. To exprefs the firft part of this thought, our Author fays form'd; and to exprefs the latter, impell'd.
VER. 19, 20. Like bubbles, &c.] M. Du Refnel translates thefe two lines thus,
"Sort du ncant y ríntre, et reparoit au jour.”
He is here, indeed, confiftently wrong: for having (as we faid) mistaken the Poet's account of the prefer vation of Matter for the crea in of it, he commits the very fame mistake with regard to the vegetable and animal fyftems; and fo talks now, though with the lateft, of the production of things out of nothing. Indeed, by his fpeaking of their returning into nothing, he has fubjected his Author to M. Du Croufaz's cenfure. "Mr. Pope defcends to the most vulgar prejudices, "when he tells us that each being returns to nothing: the Vul"gar think that what difappears is annihilated," &c. Comm.
VER. 22. One all-extending, all-preferving Soul] Which, in the language of Sir Ifaac Newton, is, "Deus omnipræfens "eft, non per virtutem folam, fed etiam per fubftantiam:
Connects each being, greatest with the least;
❝nam virtus fine substantia fubfiftere non poteft." New:. Princ. fchol. gen. fub fin.
VER. 23. Greatest with the leaft ;] As acting more strongly and immediately in beafts, whofe inftinct is plainly an external reafon; which made an old fchool-man fay, with great elegance, "Deus eft anima brutorum:"
"In this 'tis God directs”
Know, Nature's children all divide her care; The fur that warms a monarch, warm'd a bear. While Man exclaims, "See all things for my
45 "See man for mine!" replies a pamper'd goofe: And just as short of reafon he must fall, Who thinks all made for one, not one for all.
Grant that the pow'rful still the weak controul; Be Man the Wit and Tyrant of the whole: 50
After Ver. 46. in the former Edition,
What care to tend, to lodge, to cram, to treat him!
VER. 49. Grant that the pow'rful fill the weak controul;] However, his adverfaries, loth to give up the queftion, will reafon upon the matter; and we are now to fuppofe them objecting against Providence in this manner.-We grant, fay they, that in the irrational, as in the inanimate creation, all is ferved, and all is ferving: But, with regard to Man, the
VER. 45. See all things for my ufe!] On the contrary, the wife man hath faid, The Lord hath made all things for himself, Prov. xvi. 4.
VER. 50. Be Man the Wit and Tyrant of the whole :] Alluding to the witty fyftem of that Philofopher, which made Animals mere Machines, infenfible of pain or pleasure; and fo encouraged Men in the exercife of that Tyranny over their fellow-creatures, confequent on fuch a principle.
Nature that Tyrant checks; He only knows, And helps, another creature's wants and woes. Say, will the falcon, ftooping from above, Smit with her varying plumage, fpare the dove?
cafe is different; he ftandeth fingle. For his reafon hath endowed him both with power and addrefs fufficient to make all things ferve him; and his Self-love, of which you have fo largely provided for him, will indispose him, in his turn, to ferve any: Therefore your theory is imperfect.-Not fo, replies the Poet (from Ver. 48 to 79.) I grant that Man, indeed, affects to be the Wit and Tyrant of the whole, and would fain shake off
"that chain of love, "Combining all below and all above:"
But Nature, even by the very gift of Reafon, checks this tyrant. For Reafon endowing Man with the ability of fetting together the memory of the past with his conjectures about the future; and paft misfortunes making him apprehensive of more to come, this difpofeth him to pity and relieve others in a ftate of fuffering. And the paffion growing habitual, naturally extendeth its effects to all that have a fenfe of fuffering. Now as brutes have neither Man's Reason, nor his inordinate Self-love, to draw them from the system of beneficence; fo they wanted not, and therefore have not, this human fympathy of another's mifery: By which paffion, we fee, thofe qualities, in Man, balance one another; and so retain him in that orderly connexion, in which Providence hath placed its whole creation. But this is not all; Man's intereft, amufement, vanity, and luxury, tie him ftill clofer to the system of beneficence, by obliging him to provide for the fupport of other animals; and though it be, for the most part, only to devour them with the greater guft, yet this does not abate the proper happiness of the animals fo preferved, to
Admires the jay the infect's gilded wings?
Th' extensive bleffing of his luxury.
To each unthinking being, Heav'n a friend, Gives not the useless knowledge of its end: To Man imparts it, but with fuch a view
As, while he dreads it, makes him hope it too:
whom Providence hath not imparted the useless knowledge of their end. From all which it appears, that the theory is yet uniform and perfect.
VER. 68. Than favour'd Man, &c.] Several of the ancients, and many of the Orientals fince, efteemed those who were ftruck by lightning as facred perfons, and the particular favourites of Heaven. P.