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Poet ends his Essay, as the just and necessary conclusion of his work:
Self-love but serves the virtuous mind to wake,
Earth smiles around, with boundless bounty blest,
ON A BOOK ENTITLED
Future Rewards and Punishments believed by the Ancients, particularly the Philosophers;
Wherein some Objections of the Rev. Mr. WARBURTON, in his Divine Legation of Moses, are considered: 1742.
In answer to some Objections of DR. SYKES;
And A LETTER to Bishop SMALLBROOK.
Beware lest any man spoil you through PHILOSOPHY and vain deceit, after the traditions of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after CHRIST. Col. ii. 8.
1. The first and chief is a grandeur and sublimity of conception:
Come then, my friend! my genius! come along,
And while the Muse now stoops, and now ascends,
2. The second, that pathetic enthusiasm, which at the same time melts and enflames:
Teach me, like thee, in various nature wise,
3. A certain elegant formation and ordonance of figures:
O! while along the stream of time, thy name
When statesmen, heroes, kings, in dust repose,
And fifthly, which includes in itself all the rest, a weight and dignity in the composition:
Shew'd erring Pride, whatever is, is RIGHT;
But this, as we say, is not our province at present. I shall therefore content myself with an observation, which this sublime recapitulation of the general argument, in
the last lines, affords me to conclude with. Which is, of one great beauty that shines through the whole Essay It is this, that the Poet, whether he speaks of Man as an individual, a member of society, or the subject of happiness, never misseth an opportunity, while he is explaining his state under any of these capacities, to illustrate it, in the most artful manner, by the inforcement of his grand principle, That every thing tends to the good of the whole. From whence his system receives the reciprocal advantage of having that grand theorem realized by facts, and his facts justified on a principle of right or nature.
Thus have I endeavoured to analyse and explain the noble reasoning of these four Epistles. Enough, I presume, to convince our Critic's friends that it hath a precision, force, and closeness of connexion, rarely to be inet with, even in the most formal treatises of philosophy. Yet in doing this, it is but too evident I have destroyed that grace and energy which animates the original. So right was Mr. Pope's prediction of the event of such an undertaking, where he says, in his preface, that, he was unable to treat this part of his subject more in detail, without becoming dry and tedious. And now let the Reader believe, if he be so disposed, what our great Logician insinuates to be his own sentiments, as well as those of his friends: "That certain persons have conjectured that Mr. Pope did not compose this Essay at once, and in a regular order; but that after he had "wrote several fragments of Poetry, all finished in their "kind; one, for example, on the Parallel between Reason "and Instinct; another, upon Man's groundless Pride; "another, on the Prerogatives of Human Nature; another, on Religion and Superstition; another, on the Original of Society; and several fragments besides, on Self-love and the Passions; he tacked these together as he could, "and divided them into four Epistles, as, it is said, was "the fortune of Homer's Rhapsodies*." Yes, I believe full as much of Mr. Pope's Rhupsodies, as I do of Homer's. But if this be the case, that the leaves of these two great Poets were wrote at random, tossed about, and afterwards put in order, like the Cumaan Sibyls; then, what • Commentaire, p. 346.
TO THE SECOND EDITION;
THE AUTHOR of the Pamphlet here examined, hath lately made a public confession of his authorship, signed with his own name; and thereby saved himself from all farther correction of this kind. For he who is so lost to shame, as a WRITER, to own what he before wrote, and so lost to shame, as a MAN, to own what he hath now written, must needs be past all amendment, the only reasonable view in correction. I shall therefore but do, what indeed (were it any more than repeating what he himself hath discovered to the Public) would be justly reckoned the cruellest of all things, tell my reader the name of this Miserable; which we find to be I. TILLARD.