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EPIS T L E IV. Of the Nature and State of Man with respect to

Happiness. I. FALSE Notions of Happiness, Philosophical and Po

pular, answered from ø 19 to 77. II. It is the End of all Men, and attainable by all, ý 30. God intends Happiness to be equal; and to be so, it must be social, fince all particular Happiness depends on general, and fince he governs by general, not particular Laws, Ý 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, x 51. But, notwithstanding that inequality, the balance of Happiness among Mankind is kept even by Providence, by The two Passions of Hope and Fear, ý 70. III. What the Happiness of Individuals is, as far as is consistent with the constitution of this world; and that the good Man has here the advantage, x 77: The error of imputing to Virtue what are only the calamities of Nature, or of Fortune, * 94. IV. The folly of expecting that God mould alter his general Laws in favour of particulars,

I2I. V. That we are not judges who are good; but that, whoever they are, they must be happiest, x 133, &c. VI. That external goods are not the proper rewards, but often inconsistent with, or destructive of Vir: tue, Ý 165. That even these can make no Man happy without Virtue : Instanced in Riches, Ý 183. Honours, Ý 191. Nobility, x 203. Greatness, $ 215. Fame, x 235. Superior Talents, ¥ 257, &c. With pietures of human Infelicity in Men posessed of them all, x 267, &c. VII. That Virtue only constitutes a Happiness, whose object is universal, and whose prospect eternal, x 307, &c. 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, x 326, &c.

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E PIST LE

IV.

O

H HAPPINESS! our being's end and aim!
Good, Pleasure, Ease, Content! whate'er thy

name:

VARIATION S.
VER. I. Oh Happiness ! &c.] in the MS. thus,

Oh Happiness! to which we all aspire,
Wing’d with strong hope, and borne by full desire;
That ease, for which in want, in wealth we figh;
That eafe, for which we labour and we die.

Honda COMMENTARY. THE two foregoing epistles having considered Man with regard to the Means (that is, in all his relations, whether as an Individual, or a Member of Society) this last comes to consider him with regard to the End, that is, Happiness.

It opens with an Invocation to Happiness, in the manner of the ancient poets, who, when destitute of a patron God, applied to the Muse, and, if she was engaged, took up with any simple Virtue next at hand, to inspire and prosper their designs. This was the ancient Invocation, which few modern poets have had the art to imitate with any degree either of spirit or decorum ; but our author hath contrived to make it subservient to the method and reasoning of his philosophic composition. I will endeavour to explain so uncommon a beauty.

It is to be observed that the Pagan deities had each their sefor his veral names and places of abode, with some of which they were

supposed to be more delighted than others, and confequently to

be then most propitious when invoked by the favourite name con

and place: Hence we find, the hymns of Homer, Orpheus, and Callimachus to be chiefly employed in reckoning up the feveral names and places of abode by which the patron God was diftinguished. Our poet hath made these two circumstances

That something still which prompts th'eternal figh,
For which we bear to live, or dare to die,
Which still so near us, yet beyond us lies,
O'er-look’d, seen double, by the fool, and wise.
Plant of celestial seed ! if dropt below,
Say, in what mortal soil thou deign'st to grow?

5

COMMENTARY. serve to introduce his subject. His purpose is to write of Happiness; method therefore requires that he first define what men mean by Happiness, and this he does in the ornament of a poetic Invocation; in which the several names, that happiness goes by, are enumerated.

Oh Happiness ! our being's end and aim, Good, Pleasure, Ease, Content ! whate'er thy Name : After the Definition, that which follows next, is the Propofition, which is, that human Happiness confifts not in external Advantages, but in Virtue. For the subject of this epistle is the detecting the false notions of Happiness, and settling and explaining the true ; and this the poet lays down in the next fixteen lines. Now the enumeration of the several situations in which Happiness is supposed to reside, is a summary of falfe Happiness, placed in Externals:

Plant of celestial seed! if dropt below,
Say, in what mortal soil thou deign'st to grow?
Fair op'ning to some Court's propitious shine,
Or deep with Di'monds in the flaming mine,
Twin'd with the wreaths Parnaffian laurels yield;
Or reap'd in iron harvests of the field ?

NOTĖ S. Ver. 6. O'erlook'd, seen any thing else to have a share double,] O’erlook'd by those with Virtue in procuring Hapwho place Happiness in any piness; these being the two thing exclusive of Virtue ; general mistakes that this episeen double by those who admit itle is employed in confuting.

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