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Thou Great First Cause, least understood ;

Who all my sense confined
To know but this, That thou art good,

And that myself am blind;
Yet gave me, in this dark estate,

To see the good from ill;
And, binding Nature fast in Fate,

Left free the human will:
What conscience dictates to be done,

Or warns me not to do,
This, teach me more than hell to shun,

That, more than heaven pursue.
What blessings thy free bounty gives,

Let me not cast away ;
For God is paid when man receives :

To enjoy is to obey.
Yet not to earth's contracted span

Thy goodness let me bound,
Or think thee Lord alone of man,

When thousand worlds are round.
Let not this weak, unknowing hand

Presume thy bolts to throw,
And deal damnation round the land,

On each I judge thy foe.
If I am right, thy grace impart,

Still in the right to stay :
If I am wrong,

O teach

my

heart
To find that better way.
Save me alike from foolish pride,

Or impious discontent,
At aught thy wisdom has denieri,

Or aught thy goodness lent.
Teach me to feel another's wo,

To hide the fault I see : That mercy I to others show

That mercy show to me

Mean though I am, not wholly so,

Since quicken’d by thy breath ; O lead me, wheresoe'er I go,

Through this day's life or death.
This day, be bread and peace my lot :

All else beneath the sun,
Thou know'st if best bestow'd or not,

And let thy will be done.
To thee, whose temple is all space,

Whose altar, earth, sea, skies!
One chorus let all beings raise !

All Nature's incense rise!

MORAL ESSAYS,
IN FOUR EPISTLES TO SEVERAL PERSONS.

Est brcvitate opus, ut currat sententia, neu
Impediat verbis lagsas onerantibus aures :
Et sermone opus est modo tristi, sæpe jocoso,
Defendente vicem modo rhetoris atque poetæ,
Interclum urbani, parccntis viribus, atque
Extenuantis eas consulto.

Ilor.

ADVERTISEMENT. The Essay on Man was intended to have been comprised in four books :

The first of which the author has given us under that title, in four epistles.

The second was to have consisted of the same number: 1. Of the extent and limits of human reason. 2. Of those arts and sciences, and of the parts of them, which are useful, and therefore attainable, together with those which are unuseful, and there. fore unattainablc. 3. Of the nature, ends, use, and application of the different capacities of men. 4. Of the use of learning, of the science of the world, and of wits concluding with a satire against a misapplication of them, illustrated by pictures, characters, and examples.

The third book regarded civil regimen, or the science of politics, in which the several forms of a republic were to be examined and explained; together with the several modes of religious worship, as far forth as they affect society : between which the author always supposed there was the most interesting relation and closest connexion : so that this part would have treated of civil and religious society in their full extent.

The fourth and last book concerned private ethics, or practical morality, considered in all the circumstances, orders, professions, and stations of human life.

The scheme of all this had been maturely digested, and communicated to Lord Bolingbroke, Dr. Swift, and one or two more, and was intended for the only work of his riper years; but was partly through illhealth, partly through discouragements from the depravity of the times, and partly on prudential and other considerations, interrupted, postponed, and, lastly, in a manner laid aside.

But as this was the author's favourite work, which more exactly reflected the image of his strong capacious mind, and as we can have but a very im. perfect idea of it from the disjecta membra poetæ that now remain, it may not be amiss to be a little more particular concerning each of these projected books.

The first, as it treats of man in the abstract, and considers him in general under every of his relations, becomes the foundation, and furnishes out the subjects, of the three following ; so that

The second book was to take up again the first and second epistles of the first book, and treat of man in his intellectual capacity at large, as has been' explained above. Of this, only a small part of the conclusion (which, as we said, was to have contained a satire against the misapplication of wit and learning) may be found in the fourth book of the Dunciad, and up and down, occasionally, in the other three.

The third book, in like manuer, was to re-assume the subject of the third epistle of the first, which treats of man in his social, political, and religious capacity. But this part the poet afterwards conceived might be best executed in an epic poem ; as the action would make it more animated, and the fable less invidious: in which all the great principles of true and false governments and religions should be chiefly delivered in feigned examples.

The fourth and last book was to pursue the subject of the fourth epistle of the first, and to treat of ethics, or practical morality; and would have consisted of many members; of which the four following epistles were detached portions; the first two, on the characters of men and women, being the introductory part of this concluding book.

MORAL ESSAYS.

EPISTLE I.
TO SIR RICHARD TEMPLE, LORD COBHAM.

ARGUMENT. Of the Knowledge and Characters of Men. 1. That it is not suicient for this kaowleage to consider

man in the abstract : books will not serve the purpose, nor yet our own experience singly, ver. 1. General inax. ime, unless they be formed upon both, will be but no. tional, ver. 10. somne peculiarity in every man, charac.

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teristic to himself, yet varying from himself, ver. 15. Difficulties arising from our own passions, fancies, faculties, &c. ver. 31. The shortness of life to observe in, and the uncertainty of the principles of action in men in observe by, ver. 37, &c. Our own principle of action often hid from ourselves, ver. 41. Some few characters plain, but in general confounded, dissembled, or inconsistent, ver. 51. The same man utterly different in dirferent places and seasons, ver. 62. Unimaginable weak. nesses in the greatest, ver. 70, &c. Nothing constant and certain but God and nature, ver. 95. No judging of the motives from the actions: the same actions proceeding from contrary motives, and the same motives influencing contrary actions, ver. 100. II. Yet, to form characters, we can only take the strongest actions of a man's life, and try to make them agree. The utter uncertainty of this, from nature itself, and from policy, ver. 120. Character given according to the rank of men of the world, ver. 135. And some reason for it, ver. 140. Education alters the nature, or at least character, of many, ver. 149. Actions, passions, opinions, manners, humours, or principles, ali subject to change. No judging by nature, from ver. 158 to ver. 168. JIL It only remains to find (if we can) his ruling passion : That will certainly influence all the rest, and can reconcile the seeming or real inconsistency of all his actions, ver. 175. Instanced in the extraordinary character of Clodio, ver. 179. A caution against mistaking second qualities for first, which will destroy all possibility of the knowledge of mankind, ver. 210. Examples of the strength of the ruling passion, and its continuation to the last breath, ver. 222, &c.

EPISTLE I. L Yes, you despise the man to books confined, Who from his study rails at buman kind, Though what he learns he speaks, and may advance Soine general maxims, or he right by chance

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