« הקודםהמשך »
See dying vegetables life sustain,
13 See life dissolving vegetate again : All forms that perish other forms supply, (By turns we catch the vital breath, and die) Like bubbles on the sea of Matter born, They rise, they break, and to that sea return. 20 Nothing is foreign ; Parts relate to whole; One all-extending, all-preserving Soul
COMMENTARY. ferved; he takes this occasion again to humble them (from Ver. 26 to 49.) by the same kind of arguinent he had so successfully employed in the first epistle, and which the comment on that epistle hath considered at large.
NOTE s. quality so equally and univerfally conferred upon it, called Attraction. To express the first part of this thought, our Author says form’d; and to express the latter, impell’d.
Ver. 19, 20. Like bublles, &c.] M. Du Resnel transates these two lines thus,
• Sort du neant y rintre, et reparoit au jour." He is here, indeed, consistently wrong: for having (as we faid) mistaken the Poet's account of the prefervation of Mat. ' ter for the cria in of it, he commits the very fame mistake with regard to the vegetable and animal systems; and so talks now, though with the latest, of the production of things out of nothing. Indeed, by his speaking of their returning into nothing, he has subjected his Author to M. Du Crousaz's. cenfure. 4 Mr. Pope descends to the most vulgar prejudices, « when he tells us that each being returns to nothing : the Vul
gar think that what disappears is annihilated," &c. Comm. p. 221.
VER. 22. One all-exten:ling, all-preserving Soul] Which, in the language of Sir Isaac Newton, is, “ Deus omnipræsens “ est, non per virtutem folam, sed etiam per fubftantiam :
Connects each being, greatest with the least; Made Beast in aid of Man, and Man of Beast; All serv'd, all serving: nothing stands alone; 25 The chain holds on, and where itends, unknown.
Has God, thou fool! work’d solely for thy good, Thy joy, thy pastime, thy attire, thy food? Who for thy table feeds the wanton fawn, For him as kindly spread the flow'ry lawn:
30 Is it for thee the lark ascends and fings? Joy tunes his voice, joy elevates his wings. Is it for thee the linnet pours his throat ? Loves of his own and raptures swell the note. The bounding steed you pompously bestride, 35 Shares with his lord the pleasure and the pride. Is thine alone the feed that strews the plain? The birds of Heav'n shall vindicate their grain. Thine the full harvest of the golden year? Part pays, and justly, the deserving steer : The hog, that plows not, nor obeys thy call, Lives on the labours of this Lord of all.
NO TE s. “ nam virtus fine substantia subsistere non poteft.” New!, Princ. schol. gen. fub fin.
Ver. 23. Greatest with the least ;] As acting more strongly and immediately in beasts, whose instinct is plainly an external reason; which made an old school-man say, with great elegance, “ Deus eft anima brutorum :"
“ In this 'uis God directs"
Know, Nature's children all divide her care; The fur that warms a monarch, warm'd a bear. While Man exclaims, “ See all things for my cc use !"
45 « See man for mine!" replies a pamper'd goofe: And just as short of reafon he must fall, Who thinks all made for one, not one for all.
Grant that the pow’rful still the weakcontroul; Be Man the Wit and Tyrant of the whole:
After Ver. 46. in the former Edition,
What care to tend, to lodge, to cram, to treat him!
COMMENTARY. VER. 49. Grant that the pow'rful fill the weak controul ;] However, his adversaries, loth to give up the question, will
the matter; and we are now to suppose them objecting against Providence in this manner. We grant, say they, that in the irrational, as in the inanimate creation, all is served, and all is serving : But, with regard to Man, the
NOTE 3. Ver. 45. See all things for my use!] On the contrary, the wise man hath faid, The Lord hath made all things for bimself, Prov. xvi. 4.
Ver. 50. Be Man the Wit and Tyrant of the whole :) Alluding to the witty system of that Philosopher, which made Animals mere Machines, insensible of pain or pleasure; and fo encouraged Men in the exercise of that Tyranny over their fellow-creatures, consequent on such a principle.
Nature that Tyrant checks; He only knows, And helps, another creature's wants and woes. Say, will the falcon, stooping from above, Smit with her varying plumage, spare the dove?
cafe is different; he standeth single. For his reason hath endowed him both with power and address sufficient to make all things serve him; and his Self-love, of which you have so largely provided for him, will indispose him, in his turn, to serve any: Therefore your theory is imperfect.-Not fo, replies the Poet (from Ver. 48 to 79.) I grant that Man, indeed, affects to be the Wit and Tyrant of the whole, and would fain shake off
« that chain of love, « Combining all below and all above”
But Nature, even by the very gift of Reason, checks this tyrant. For Reafon endowing Man with the ability of setting together the memory of the past with his conjectures about the future; and past misfortunes making him apprehensive of more to come, this disposeth him to pity and relieve others in a state of suffering. And the passion growing habitual, naturally extendeth its effects to all that have a fenfe of suffering. Now as brutes have neither Man's Reason, nor his inordinate Self-love, to draw them from the system of beneficence ; so they wanted not, and therefore have not, this human sympathy of another’s misery : By which passion, we see, those qualities, in Man, balance one another; and so retain him in that orderly connexion, in which Providence hath placed its whole creation. But this is not all; Man's interest, amusement, vanity, and luxury, tie him still closer to the system of beneficence, by obliging him to provide for the support of other animals; and though it be, for the most part, only to devour them with the greater guft, yet this does not abate the proper happiness of the animals so preserved, to
Admires the jay the insect's gilded wings? 55
life his learned hunger craves,
To each unthinking being, Heav’n a friend,
NOTE s. Ver. 68. Than favour'd Man, &c.] Several of the ancients, and many of the Orientals fince, esteemed those who were struck by lightning as sacred persons, and the particulas favourites of Heaven. P.