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;

Great lord of all things, yet a prey to all;
Sole judge of Truth, in endless Error hurl'd:
The glory, jest, and riddle of the world!

After x 18. in the MS.

For more perfection than this state can bear
In vain we figh, Heav'n made us as we are.

NOTES. Ver. II. Alike in igno- point where use is reasonably rance, &c.] i. e. The proper fupposed to end, and mere sphere of his Reason is so nar- curiosity to begin; they conrow, and the exercise of it so clude in the most extravagant nice, that the too immoderate and senseless inferences, such use of it is attended with the as the unreality of matter; same ignorance that proceeds the reality of space; the ferfrom the not using it at all. vility of the Will, &c. The Yet, tho' in both these cases, reason of this sudden fall out he is abused by himself, he has of full light into utter darkness it still in his own power to

appears not to result from the disabuse himself, in making his natural condition of things, Paffions fubfervient to the but to be the arbitrary decree means, and regulating his Rea of infinite wisdom and goodfon by the end of Life.

ness, which impofed a barrier Ver. 12: Whether he thinks to the extravagances of its too little, or too much :) This is giddy lawless creature, also true, that ignorance arifes as ways inclined to pursue truths well from pushing our enquiries of less importance too far, to too far, as from not carrying the neglect of those more nethem far enough, that we may cessary for his improvement in observe, when Speculations, his station here. even in Science, are carried VER-17. Sole judge of Truth, beyond a certain point; that in endless Error hurld:] Some

Go, wond'rous creature ! mount where Science guides,

19 Go, measure earth, weigh air, and state the tides ;

As wisely sure a modest Ape might aim
To be like Man, whose faculties and frame
He sees, he feels, as you or I to be
An Angel thing we neither know nor see.
Observe how near he edges on our race;
What human tricks ! how risible of face !
It must be fo-why else have I the sense
Of more than monkey charms and excellence?
Why else to walk on two so oft essay’d?
And why this ardent longing for a Maid?
So Pug might plead, and call his Gods unkind
Till fet on end and married to his mind.

NOTES. have imagined that the author, about in endless error ; and this by, in endless error hursd, he intended they should figmeant, cast into endless error, nify, as appears from the antior into the regions of endlefs thesis, fole judge of truth. So error, and therefore have taken that the sense of the whole is, notice of it as an incongruity " Tho', as fole judge of of speech. But they neither “ truth, he is now fixed and understood the poet's language, “ stable; yet, as involved in nor his sense, to hurl and cast endless error, he is now again are not fynonymous; but are hursd, or tossed up and down related only as the genus and

66 in it." This thews us how {pecies; for to hurl signifies, cautious we ought to be in cennot simply to caft, but to caft furing the expressions of a wri. backward and forward, and is ter, one of whose characteristic taken from the rural game qualities was correctness of excalled hurling. So that, into pression and propriety of sentiendless error hurld, as these critics would have it, would Ver. 20. Go, measure earth, have been a barbarism. His &c.] Alluding to the noble words therefore signify, tossed and useful project of the mo


Instruct the planets in what orbs to run,
Correct old Time, and regulate the Sun;
Go, foar with Plato to th’empyreal sphere,
To the first good, first perfect, and first fair';
Or tread the


round his follow'rs trod, And quitting sense call imitating God; As Eastern priests in giddy circles run, And turn their heads to imitate the Sun, Go, teach Eternal Wisdom how to ruleThen drop into thyself, and be a fool ! 30


Go, reasoning Thing! assume the Doctor's chair,
As Plato deep, as Seneca severe:
Fix moral fitness, and to God give rule,
Then drop into thyself, &c.

VER. 21. Ed 4th and sth.

Show by what rules the wand'ring planets stray,
Correct old time, and teach the Sun his Way.

Notes. dern Mathematicians, to mea- | difference between the reigns sure a degree at the equator of kings, and the generations and the polar circle, in order of men; and the position of to determine the true figure the colures of the equinoxes of the earth; of great import and solstices at the time of the ance to astronomy and navi- Argonautic expedition. gation.

VER. 29, 30. Go, teach VER. 22. Correct old Time,] Eternal Wisdom &c.] These This alludes to Sir Isaac New two lines are a conclusion ton's Grecian Chronology, from all that had been said which he reformed on those from x 18, to this effect: two sublime conceptions, the Go now, vain Man, elated

Superior beings, when of late they saw
A mortal Man unfold all Nature's law,
Admir'd such wisdom in an earthly shape,
And Thew'd a Newton as we lhew an Ape.

COMMENTARY. VER. 31. Superior beings, &c.] To give this second argument its full force, he illustrates it (from * 30 to 43) by the noblest example that ever was in science, the incomparable Newton; who, although he penetrated so far beyond others into the works of God, yet could go no farther in the knowledge of his own nature than the generality of his fellows. Of which the poet assigns this very just and adequate reason : In all other sciences the Understanding is unchecked and uncontrouled by any opposite principle; but in the science of Man, the Passions overturn as fast as Reason can build up.

NOTES. with thy acquirements in real | doubt whether the owner of science, and imaginary inti such prodigious science should macy with God; go, and run not be reckoned of their own into all the extravagancies I order; just as men, when they have exploded in the first

in the first see the surprising marks of epistle, where thou pretendest Reason in an Ape, are almost to teach Providence how to tempted to rank him with govern; then drop into the

their own kind. And yet this obscurities of thy own nature,

wondrous Man could go no and thereby manifest thy igno- farther in the knowledge of rance and folly.

himself than the generality of VER. 31. Superior beings, his species. In which we fee &c.] In these lines he speaks it was not Mr. Pope's intento this effect: But to make tion to bring any of the Ape's you fully sensible of the dif- qualities, but its fagacity, into ficulty of this study, I shall the comparison. But why the instance in the great Newton Ape's, it may be said, rather himself; whom, when superior than the fagacity of some more beings, not long since, faw decent animal, particularly capable of unfolding the whole the half-reasoning elephant, as law of Nature, they were in the poet calls it; which, as

Could he, whose rules the rapid Comet bind, Describe or fix one movement of his Mind? 36 Who saw its fires here rise, and there descend, Explain his own beginning, or his end?

VER. 35. Ed. ift.

Could he, who taught each Planet where to roll,
Describe or fix one movement of the Soul?
Who mark'd their points to rise or to descend,
Explain his own beginning or his end ?

NOTES. well on account of this its other poetical excellence. The superiority, as for its having two great perfections of works no ridiculous fide, like the of genius are Wit and SubliApe, on which it could be mity. Many writers have viewed, seems better to have been witty, several have been deserved this honour? I reply, sublime, and some few have Because, as none but a shape even possessed both these quaresembling human, accompa lities separately; but none that nied with great fagacity, could I know of, besides our Poet, occasion the doubt of that ani- hath had the art to incorporate mal's relation to Man, the Ape them; of which he hath given only having that resemblance, many examples, both in this no other animal was fitted | Essay and his other poems, one for the comparison. And on of the noblest being the pasthis ground of relation the fage in question. This seems whole beauty of the thought to be the last effort of the depends'; Newton and those imagination, to poetical persuperior spirits being equally fection :

and in this comimmortal, though of different pounded excellence the Wit orders. And here let take receives a dignity from the notice of a new species of the Sublime, and the Sublime a Sublime, of which our poet splendor from the Wit; which, may be justly said to be the in their state of separate exmaker; fo new, that we have istence, they both wanted. yet no name for it, though



Who saw its fires of a nature distinct from every | here rise, &c.] Sir Ifaac New


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