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The same which in a sire the sons obey'd,
VI. Till then, by nature crown'd each patriarch
Who first taught souls enslaved, and realms unThe enormous faith of many made for one; (done, That proud exception to all nature's laws, To invert the world, and counterwork its cause. Force first made conquest, and that conquest, law; Till superstition taught the tyrant awe. Then shared the tyranny, then lent it aid, And gods of conquerors, slaves of subjects made:She midst the lightning's blaze, and thunder's sound, When rock'd the mountains, and when groan'd the ground,
She taught the weak to bend, the proud to pray,
So drives self-love, through just and through unjust.
'Twas then the studious head or generous mind, Follower of God, or friend of human-kind, Poet or patriot, rose but to restore The faith and moral nature gave before ; Resumed her ancient light, not kindled new ; If not God's image, yet his shadow drew ;
Taught power's due use to people and to kings,
For forms of government let fools contest;
Thus God and Nature link'd the general frame, And bade self-love and social be the same.
ARGUMENT OF EPISTLE IV.
Of the Nature and State of Man with respect to
Happiness. I. False notions of happiness, philosophical and pomu.
lar, answered, from ver. 19 to 77. II. It is the end
or all men, and attainable by all, ver. 30. God in. tends happiness to be equal; and, to be so, it must be social, since all particular happiness depends on gene. ral, and since he governs by general, not particular Jaws, ver. 37. As it is necessary for order, and the peace and welfare of society, that external goods should be unequal, happiness is not made to consist in these, ver. 51. But, notwithstanding that inequali"y, the balance of happiness among mankind is kept even by Providence, by the two passions of hope and
ver. 70. III. What the happiness of individuals is, as far as is consistent with the constitution of this world; and that the good man lias here the advantage, ver. 77.
The error of imputing to virtue what are only the calamities of nature, or of fortune, ver. 94. IV. The folly of expecting that God should alter his general laws in favour of particulars, ver. 121. V. That we are not judges who are good; but that, whoever they are, they must be happiest, ver. 133, &c. VI. That external goods are not the proper rewards, but often inconsistent with, or destructive of, virtue, ver. 167. That even these can make no man happy without virtuc; instanced in riches, ver. 185. Honours, ver. 193. Nobility, ver. 205. Greatness, ver. 217 Fame, ver. 237. Superior talents, ver. 257, &c. With pictures of human infelicity in men possessed of them all, ver. 269, &c. VII. That virtue only constitutes a happiness, whose object is universal, and whose prospect eternal, ver. 307. That the perfection of virtue and happiness consists in a conformity to the order of Providence here, and a resignation to it here and hereafter, ver. 326, &c.
EPISTLE IV. Oh Happiness ! our being's end and aim ! Good, pleasure, ease, content ! whate'er thy name: That something still which prompts the eternal sigh, For which we bear to live, or dare to die. Which still so near us, yet beyond us lies, O'erlook’d, seen double, by the fool and wise, Plant of celestial seed! if dropp'd below Say, in what mortal soil thou deigu'st to grow
Fair opening to some court's propitious shine,
1. Ask of the learn'd the way? The learn’d are blind.
Who thus define it, say they more or less Than this, that happiness is happiness?
II. Take nature's path, and mad opinions leave ; All states can reach it, and all heads conceive: 30 Obvious her goods, in no extreme they dwell; There needs but thinking right, and meaning well; And, mourn our various portions as we plcase, Equal is common sense, and common ease.
Remember, man, 'the Universal Cause Acts not by partial, but by general laws;' And makes what happiness we justly call, Subsist not in the good of one, but all. There's not a blessing individuals find, But some way leans and hearkens to the kind 40 No bandit fierce, no tyrant mad with pride, No cavern'd hermit, rests self-satisfied : Who most to shun or hate mankind pretend, Seek an admirer, or would fix a friend : Abstract what others feel, what others think, AN pleasures sicken, and all glories sink :