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The hour conceal'd, and fo remote the fear,
II. Whether with Reafon or with Inftinct bleft, Know, all enjoy that pow'r which fuits them beft; To blifs alike by that direction tend, 81
And find the means proportion'd to their end.
VER. 79. Whether with Reafon, &c.] But even to this as a caviller would ftill object, we must fuppofe he does fo.— Admit (fays he) that Nature hath endowed all animals, whether human or brutal, with fuch faculties as admirably fit them to promote the general good: yet, in its care for this, hath not Nature neglected to provide for the private good of the individual? We have caufe to think fhe hath; and we fuppofe, it was on this exclufive confideration, that she kept back from brutes the gift of Reafon (fo neceffary a means of private happiness) because Reafon, as we find in the cafe of Man, where there is occafion for all the complicated contrivance you have described above, to make the effects of his Paffions counter-work the immediate powers of his Reafon, in order to keep him fubfervient to the general fyftem; Reafon, we fay, naturally tendeth to draw Beings into a private, independent fyftem. This the Poet anfwers, by fhewing (from Ver. 78 to 109.) that the happiness of animal and that of human life are widely different: The happiness of human life confifting in the improvement of the mind, can be procured by Reason only; but the happiness of animal life confifting in the gratifications of fenfe, is best promoted by Inftinct. And, with regard to the regular and conftant operation of each; in that, Inftinct hath plainly the advantage; for here God directs immediately, there only mediately through Man.
Say, where full Instinct is th' unerring guide,
Sure never to o'er-shoot, but just to hit ;
Who taught the nations of the field and wood To fhun their poison, and to chufe their food? 100 Prefcient, the tides or tempefts to withstand, Build on the wave, or arch beneath the fand? Who made the spider parallels defign,
Sure as De-moivre, without rule or line?
After Ver. 84. in the MS.
While Man, with op'ning views of various ways
Who bid the stork, Columbus-like, explore 105 Heav'ns not his own, and worlds unknown before?
Who calls the council, ftates the certain day, Who forms the phalanx, and who points the way? III. God, in the nature of each being, founds
proper blifs, and fets its proper bounds: 110 But as he fram'd the Whole, the Whole to bless, On mutual Wants built mutual Happiness : So from the first, eternal ORDER ran,
And creature link'd to creature, man to man. Whate'er of life all quick'ning æther keeps, 115 Or breathes thro' air, or shoots beneath the deeps,
VER. 109. God, in the nature of each being, &c.] The Author now cometh to the main fubject of his epiftle, the proof of Man's SOCIABILITY, from the two general focieties compofed by him; the natural, fubject to paternal authority; and the civil, fubject to that of a magiftrate. This he hath the address to introduce, from what had preceded, in fo eafy and natural a manner, as fheweth him to have the art of giving all the grace to the dryness and severity of Method, as well as wit to the strength and depth of Reason. The philofophic nature of his work requiring he should fhew by what means thofe Societies were introduced, this affords him an opportu pity of fliding gracefully and easily from the preliminaries into the main fubject; and fo of giving his work that perfection of method, which we find only in the compofitions of great writers. For having juft before, though to a different purpofe, defcribed the power of beftial Instinct to attain the happinefs of the Individual, he goeth on, in speaking of Instinct as it is ferviceable both to that, and to the Kind (from Ver.
Or pours profuse on earth, one nature feeds
108 to 147.) to illuftrate the original of Society. He fheweth, that though, as he had before obferved, God had founded the proper blifs of each creature in the nature of its own exiftence; yet thefe not being independent individuals, but parts of a Whole, God, to blefs that Whole, built mutual happinefs on mutual wants: Now, for the fupply of mutual wants, creatures muft neceffarily come together: which is the first ground of Society amongst Men. He then proceeds to that called natural, fubject to paternal authority, and arifing from the union of the two fexes; defcribes the imperfect image of it in brutes; then explains it at large in all its causes and effects. And laftly fhews, that, as in fact, like mere animal Society, it is founded and preferved by mutual wants, the fupplial of which caufeth mutual happiness; fo is it likewife in right, as a rational Society, by equity, gratitude, and the observance of the relation of things in general.
A longer care Man's helpless kind demands;
At once extend the int'reft, and the love;
Still as one brood, and as another rofe,
These natʼral love maintain'd, habitual those: 140
The State of Nature was the reign of God:
VER. 147. Nor think in Nature's state they blindly trod;] But the Atheist and Hobbit, against whom Mr. Pope argueth, deny the principle of Right, or of natural Juftice, before the invention of civil compact; which, they fay, gave being, to it: And accordingly have had the effrontery publicly to declare, that a fate of Nature was a state of War. This quite fubverteth the Poet's natural Society: Therefore, after this account of that ftate, he proceedeth to fupport the reality of it by overthrowing the oppugnant principle of no natural JufVOL. III.