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Alas what wonder! Man's fuperior part
Trace Science then, with Modefty thy guide ;
highest appearance of truth, that Comets revolve perpetually round the Sun, in ellipfes vastly eccentrical, and very nearly approaching to parabolas." In which he was greatly confirmed, in observing between two Comets a coincidence in their perihelions, and a perfect agreement in their velocities.
Vanity, or Dress,] These are the first parts of what the Poet, in the preceding line, calls the scholar's equi. page of Pride. By vanity, is meant that luxuriancy of thought and expression in which a writer indulges himself, to thew the fruitfulness of his fancy or invention. By drefs, is to be understood a lower degree of that practice, in amplification of thought and ornamental expression, to give force to what the writer would convey : but even this, the poet, in a severe search after truth, condemns! and with great judgment. Conciseness of thought and fimplicity of expression, being as well the best inftruments, as the best vehicles of Truth.
VER. 46, Or Learning's Luxury, or Idleness ;] The Luxury of Learning consists in dressing up and disguising old notions in a new way, so as to make them more fáshionable and pa
instead of examining and scrutinizing their truth. As this is often done for pomp and shew, it is called luxury ; as it is often done too to save pains and labour, it is called idianes.
VER. 47. Or tricks to fh!w :be firength of buman brair,] Such
Expunge the whole, or lop th' excrescent parts
II. Two Principles in human nature reign;
Self-love, the spring of motion, acts the foul;
Most strength the moving principle requires ;
as the mathematical demonstrations concerning the small quantity of matter, the endless divisibility of it, etc.
Ver. 48. Mere curious pleasure, or ingenious pain ;] That is, when Admiration sets the mind on the rack.
Ver. 49. Expunge the wbole, or lop th’ excrescent parts - Of all our vices have created Arts;] i, ei Those parts of natural Philosophy, Logic, Rhetoric, Poetry, etc. that administer to luxury, deceit, ambition, effeminasy, etc.
Self-love, still stronger, as its objects nigh ;
VER. 74. Reason, the future and the consequence.) i, e. By experience Reason collects the future ; and by argumentation, the consequence.
Of good and evil Gods what frighted Fools,
III. Modes of Self-love the Passions we may call : 'Tis real good, or seeming, moves them all : But since not ev'ry good we can divide,
In lazy Apathy let Stoics boaft
Passions, like elements, tho’ born to fight,
After ver. 108. in the MS.
A tedious Voyage! where how useless lies
The compass, if no pow'rful gusts arise ?
The soft reward the virtuous, or invite ;
Suffice that Reafon keep to Nature's road, 115
Pleasures are ever in our hands or eyes ;
As Man, perhaps, the moment of his breath, Receives the lurking principle of death ; The young disease, that must subdue at length, 135 Grows with his growth, and strengthens with his
Ver. 133. As man perhaps, etc.] “ Antipater Sidonius Poeta « omnibus annis uno die natali tantum corripiebatur febre,
et eo consumptus est satis longa senecta." Plin. lib. vii. Nat. Hijt. This Antipater was in the times of Craffus, and is celebrated for the quickness of his parts by Cicero,