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E P I S T L E II.
I. Now then thyself, presume not God to scan;
The proper study of Mankind is Man.
Ver. 2. Ed. ift.
The only science of Mankind is Man.
VER. 2. The proper fuo , Sceptics are wont to em dy, &c.] The poet having ploy fuch kind of paintings, thewn, in the first epiftle, namely not to deter men that the Ways of God are from the search, but to extoo high for our compre- cite them to the discovery henfion, rightly draws this of truth; he hath, with conclusion: and methodi- great judgment, representcally makes it the subject of ed Man as doubting and his Introduction to the se- wavering between the right cond, which treats of the and wrong object ; from Nature of Man.
which state there are great Ver. 3. Placid on this hopes he may be relieved ifthmus, &c.] As the poet by a careful and circumhath given us this descrip- spect use of Reason. On tion of man for the very the contrary, had he supcontrary purpose to which posed Man so blind as to be
Vol.1. facing p.26.
N. Blakey invis delin 1748.
Self Love still stronger, as its Objects nigh, Reason's at distance, and in prăspectliepia Reason the future, and the Consequence
immediatelood, by present Sense,
nce.co isayon Man, Ap.II.
With too much knowledge for the Sceptic fide,
5 With too much weakness for the Stoic's pride, He hangs between; in doubt to act, or rest; In doubt to deem himself a God, or Beast; In doubt his Mind or Body to prefer ; Born but to die, and reas'ning but to err; IO Alike in ignorance, his reason such, Whether he thinks too little, or too much: Chaos of Thought and Passion, all confus'd ; Still by himself abus'd, or disabus'd; Created half to rise, and half to fall;
15 Great lord of all things, yet a prey to all;
Notes. busied in chusing, or doubt-concerning Man's Nature. ful in his choice, between VER. II. Alike in ignotwo objects equally wrong, rance, &c.] i.e. The prothe case had appeared def. per sphere of his Reason is perate, and all Audy of Man lo narrow, and the exercise had been effectually discou- of it so nice, that the too raged.
immoderate use of it is atVer. 10. Born but to die, tended with the same igno&c.] The author's meaning rance that proceeds from is, that, as we are born to the not using it at all. Yet, die, and yet enjoy some tho' in both these cases, he small portion of life; fo, is abufed by himself, he has though we reason to err, it still in his own power to yet we comprehend some difabuse himself, in making few truths. This is the his Paffions subservient to weak ftate of Reason, in the means, and regulating which Error mixes itself his Reafon by the end of with all it's truc conclufions Life.
Sole judge of Truth, in endless Error hurld :
19 Go, measure earth, weigh air, and state the tides ;
After x 18. in the MS.
For more perfection than this state can bear
NOTES. Ver. 20. Go, measure noble and useful project of carth, &c.] Alluding to the the modern Mathematici