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EPISTLE II.

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I. Now then thyself, presume not to God to

scan, The proper study of Mankind is Man. Plac'd on this isthmus of a middle state, A Being darkly wife, and rudely great : With too much knowledge for the Sceptic fide, 5 With too much weakness for the Stoic's pride, He hangs between; in doubt to act, or reft; In doubt to deem himself a God, or Beast; In doubt his Mind or Body to preser ; Born but to die, and reas’ning but to err; Alike in ignorance, his reason fuch, Whether he thinks too little, or too much : Chaos of Thought and Paffion, all confus'd; Still by himself abus'd, or disabus'd; Created half to rise, and half to fall;

15 Great lord of all things, yet a prey to all ;

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Ver. 2. The proper fludy, etc.] The poet having shewn, in the first epistle, that the ways of God are too high for our comprehension, rightly draws this conclusion : and methodically makes it the subject of his Introduction to the second, which treats of the Naiure of Man.

VARIATIONS,
VER. 2. Ed. Ift,

The only science of Mankind is Man.

Fey Love still stronger, as its Objects nigh, Reasons at distance, and in prospect lie; That sees immediate Good by present dense, a Reason the future, and the Consequences

Eps:on Man Ep. II.

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Sole judge of Truth, in endless Error hurl'd :
The glory, jet, and riddle of the world!
Go, wond'rous creature! mount where Science
guides,

19
Go, measure earth, weigh air, and ftate the tides;
Instruct the planets in what orbs to run,
Correct old Time, and regulate the Sun;

VER. 22. Correct old Time,] This alludes to Sir Isaac News

VARIATIONS.
After x 18. in the MS.

For more perfection than this state can bear
In vain we figh, Heav'n made us as we are,
As wisely sure a modest Ape might aim
To be like Man, whose faculties and frame
He fees, he feels, as you or I to be
An Angel thing we neither know nor fee.
Observe how near he edges on our race;
What human tricks! how risible of face!
It must be fo-why else have I the sense
Of more than monkey charms and excellence ?
Why else to walk on two so oft essay'd ?
And why this ardent longing for a maid ?
So Pug might plead, and call his Gods unkind
'Till set on end and married to his mind.
Go, reasoning Thing! assume the Doctor's chair,
As Plato deep, as Seneca severe :
Fix moral fitness, and to God give rule,

Then drop into thyself, etc.
Ver. 21. Ed. 4th and 5th.

Show by what rules the wand'ring planets stray,

Correct old Time, and teach the Sun his Way.
VOL. III.

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Go, foar with Plato to th' empyreal sphere,
To the first good, first perfect, and first fair ;
Or tread the mazy round his follow'rs trod,
And quitting sense call imitating God;
As Eastern priests in giddy circles run,
And turn their heads to imitate the Sun.
Go, teach Eternal Wisdom how to rule-
Then drop into thyself, and be a fool !

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Superior beings, when of late they saw
A mortal Man unfold all Nature's law,
Admir’d such wisdom in an earthly shape,
And shew'd a Newton as we shew an Ape.

Could he, whose rules the rapid Comet bind, 35 Describe or fix one movement of his Mind? Who saw its fires here rise, and there descend, Explain his own beginning, or his end?

ton's Grecian Chronology, which he reformed on those two sublime conceptions, the difference between the reigns of kings, and the generations of men; and the position of the colures of the equinoxes and folstices at the time of the Argonautic expedition.

Ver. 37. Who saw its fires here rise, etc.] Sir Isaac Newton, in calculating the velocity of a Comet’s motion, and the course

VARIATIONS.
VER. 35. Ed. ift.

Could he, who taught each Planet where to roll,
Describe or fix one movement of the Soul?
Who mark'd their points to rise or to descend,
Explain his own beginning or his end ?

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