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And still new deeds, new helps, new habits rise,
Still as one brood, and as another rose,
These natural love maintain'd, habitual those: 140
Saw helpless him from whom their life began:
Self-love and social at her birth began,
All vocal beings hymn'd their equal God:
The shrine with gore unstain'd, with gold undress'd,
See him from nature rising slow to art: To copy instinct then was reason's part. Thus then to man the voice of nature spake'Go, from the creatures thy instructions take: Learn from the birds what food the thickets yield; Learn from the beasts the physic of the field;
Thy arts of building from the bee receive;
Learn of the mole to plough, the worm to weave; Learn of the little Nautilus to sail,
Spread the thin oar, and catch the driving gale.
Here too all forms of social union find,
And right, too rigid, harden into wrong;
Still for the strong too weak, the weak too strong. Yet go! and thus o'er all the creatures sway,
Thus let the wiser make the rest obey:
And for those arts mere instinct could afford,
Be crown'd as monarchs, or as gods adored.'
V. Great nature spoke: observant man obey'd; Cities were built, societies were made:
Here rose one little state; another near
Grew by like means, and join'd through love or fear.
Did here the trees with ruddier burdens bend,
What war could ravish, commerce could bestow:
And he return'd a friend, who came a foe.
Thus states were form'd; the name of king unknown, Till common interest placed the sway in one. 'Twas virtue only (or in arts or arms,
Diffusing blessings, or averting harms,)
The same which in a sire the sons obey'd,
He from the wandering furrow call'd the food,
True faith, true policy, united ran;
That was but love of God, and this of man.
Who first taught souls enslaved, and realms unThe enormous faith of many made for one; [done, That proud exception to all nature's laws, To invert the world, and counterwork its cause. Force first made conquest, and that conquest, law; Till superstition taught the tyrant awe. Then shared the tyranny, then lent it aid,
And gods of conquerors, slaves of subjects made: She midst the lightning's blaze, and thunder's sound, When rock'd the mountains, and when groan'd the 250
She taught the weak to bend, the proud to pray,
So drives self-love, through just and through unjust, To one man's power, ambition, lucre, lust; The same self-love in all becomes the cause Of what restrains him, government and laws. For what one likes, if others like as well, What serves one will, when many wills rebel? How shall he keep what, sleeping or awake. A weaker may surprise, a stronger take? His safety must his liberty restrain: All join to guard what each desires to gain. Forced into virtue thus, by self-defence, E'en kings learn'd justice and benevolence: Self-love forsook the path it first pursued, And found the private in the public good.
'Twas then the studious head or generous mind, Follower of God, or friend of human-kind, Poet or patriot, rose but to restore
The faith and moral nature gave before;
Taught power's due use to people and to kings,
Taught nor to slack, nor strain its tender strings, 290
The less or greater set so justly true,
That touching one must strike the other too,
Till jarring interests of themselves create
The according music of a well-mix'd state.
Such is the world's great harmony, that springs
From order, union, full consent of things:
Where small and great, where weak and mighty, made
For forms of government let fools contest;
All must be false, that thwarts this one great end;
Man, like the generous vine, supported lives; The strength he gains is from the embrace he gives On their own axis as the planets run,
Yet make at once their circle round the sun;
So two consistent motions act the soul;
And one regards itself, and one the whole.
Thus God and Nature link'd the general frame,
And bade self-love and social be the same.
ARGUMENT OF EPISTLE IV.
Of the Nature and State of Man with respect to Happiness.
1. False notions of happiness, philosophical and popu lar, answered, from ver. 19 to 77. II. It is the end