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And spite of pride, in erring reason's spite. To such oversights will the most vigorous mind be liable, when it is employed at once upon argument and poetry.
The second and third Epistles were published; and Pope was, I believe, more and more suspected of writing them; at last, in 1734, he avowed the fourch, and claimed the honour of a moral poet.
In the conclufion it is sufficiently acknowledged, that the doctrine of the Ejay on Man was received from Bolingbroke, who is said to have ridiculed Pope, among those who enjoyed his confidence, as having adopted and advanced principles of which he did not perceive the consequence, and as blindly
propagating opinions contrary to hisown. That those communications had been consolidated into a scheme regularly drawn, and delivered to Pope, from whom it returned only transformed from prose to verse, is reported, but hardly can be true. The Effay plainly appears the fabrick of a poet: what Bolingbroke supplied could be only the first principles; the order, illustration, and embellishments must all be Pope's.
These principles it is not my bufiness to clear from obscurity, dogmatism, or falsehood; but they were not immediately examined ; philosophy and poetry have not often the same readers; and the Eflay abounded in fplendid anplifications and sparkling sentences, which
were read and admired, with no great attention to their ultimate purpose; its flowers caught the eye, which did not see what the gay foliage concealed, and for a time flourished in the sunshine of universal approbation. So little was any evil tendency discovered, that, as inno, cence is unsuspicious, many read it for a manual of piety. Its reputation soon invited a transla.
It was first turned into French prose, and afterwards by Resnel into verse. Both translations fell into the hands of Crousaz, who first, when he had the version in prose, wrote a general censure, and afterwards reprinted Resnel's version, with particular remarks upon every paragraph.
Crousaz-was a professor of Switzerland, eminent for his treatise of Logick, and his Examen de Pyrrhonisine, and, however little known or regarded, was no mean antagonist. His mind was one of those in which philosophy and piety are happily united. He was accustomed to argument and disquisition, and perhaps was grown too desirous of detecting faults; but his intentions were always right, his opinions were solid, and his religion pure.
His incessant vigilance for the promotion of picty disposed him to look with distrust upon all metaphysical systems of Theology, and all schemes of virtue and happiness purely rational, and therefore it was not long before he
was persuaded that the positions of Pope, as they terminated for the most part in natural religion, were intended to draw mankind away from Revelaiion, and to represent the whole course of things as a neceffary concatenation of indissoluble fatality; and it is undeniable, that in many paffages a religious eye may cafily discover expressions not very favourable to morals, or to liberty.
About this time Warburton began to make his appearance in the first ranks of learning. He was a man of vigorous faculties, a mind fervid and vehemnent, fupplied by incessant and unlimited enquiry, with wonderful extent and variety of knowledge, which yet