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EPISTLE III.

ARGUMENT. Of the Nature and State of Man with respect to Society. The whole universe one system of society.... Nothing made wholly for itself, nor yet

wholly for another.... The happiness of animals mutual....Reason or instinct operates alike to the good of each individual....Reason or instinct operates also to society in all animals....How far society is carried by instinct....How much farther by reason....Of that which is called the state of nature....Reason instructed by instinct in the invention of arts, and in the forms of society....Origin of political societies....Origin of monarchy.... Patriarchal government....Origin of true religion and government, from the same principle of love,...Origin of superstition and tyranny, from the same principle of fear....The influence of self-love operating to the social and public good.... Restoration of true religion and government on their first principle.... Mixed government.... Various forms of each, and the true end of all.

Here then we rest : « the Universal Cause

Acts to one end, but acts by various laws," In all the madness of superfluous health, The trim of pride, the impudence of wealth, Let this great truth be present night and day: But most be present, if we preach or pray.

Look round our world, behold the chain of love

Combining all below and all above.

See plastic Nature working to this end,
The single atoms each to other tend,

Attract, attracted to, the next in place
Form'd and impell’d its neighbour to embrace,
See matter next, with various life endu'd,

Press to one center still, the gen’ral good.
See dying vegetables life sustain,
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 borne,

They rise, they break, and to that sea return.
Nothing is foreign; parts relate to whole;
One all-extending, all-preserving soul

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;
The chain holds on, and where it ends, 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 spreads the flow'ry lawn:
Is it for thee the lark ascends and sings?
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, Shares with his lord the pleasure and the pride. Is thine alone the seed 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.

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 use!"

“ See man for mine!” replies a pamper'd goose:

And just as short of reason he must fall,

Who thinks all made for one, not one for all.

Grant that the pow’rful still the weak controul; Be man the wit and tyrant of the whole : 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?

Admires the jay the insect's gilded wings?
Or hears the hawk when Philomela sings?
Man cares for all: to birds he gives his woods,
To beasts his pastures, and to fish his floods.
For some his int'rest prompts him to provide,
For more his pleasure, yet for more his pride:
All feed on one vain patron, and enjoy
Th’ extensive blessing of his luxury.
That
very

life his learned hunger craves, He saves from famine, from the savage saves;

Nay, feasts the animal he dooms his feast,
And, 'till he ends the being, makes it blest;
Which sees no more the stroke, nor feels the pain,
Than favour'd man, by touch etherial slain.

The creature had his feast of life before,

Thou too must perish, when thy feast is o'er !

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