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From an essay on man epistle 2

The business of Man not to pry into God, but to study himself. His middle nature; his powers and frailties, ver. The limits of his capacity, ver.

The two principles of Man, self-love and reason, both necessary, ver. Self-love the stronger, and why, ver.

Their end the same, ver. The passions, and their use, ver.

An Essay on Man: Epistle II

The predominant passion, and its force, ver. Its necessity, in directing men to different purposes, ver. Its providential use, in fixing our principle, and ascertaining our virtue, ver.

Virtue and vice joined in our mixed nature; the limits near, yet the things separate and evident: What is the office of reason, ver. How odious vice in itself, and how we deceive ourselves into it, ver. That, however, the ends of Providence and general good are answered in our passions and imperfections, from an essay on man epistle 2.

How usefully these are distributed to all orders of men, ver. How useful they are to society, ver. And to the individuals, ver.

An Essay on Man, by Alexander Pope

In every state, and every age of life, ver. Placed on this isthmus of a middle state, A being darkly wise, and rudely great: The glory, jest, and riddle of from an essay on man epistle 2 world!

Go, teach Eternal Wisdom how to rule — Then drop into thyself, and be a fool! Could he, whose rules the rapid comet bind, Describe or fix one movement of his mind? Who saw its fires here rise, and there descend, Explain his own beginning, or his end? Two principles in human nature reign — Self-love, to urge, and reason, to restrain; Nor this a good, nor that a bad we call, Each works its end, to move or govern all: And to their proper operation still, Ascribe all good; to their improper, ill.

Most strength the moving principle requires; Active its task, it prompts, impels, inspires. That sees immediate good by present sense; Reason, the future and the consequence. Thicker than arguments, temptations throng, At best more watchful this, but that more strong. The action of the stronger to suspend Reason still use, to reason from an essay on man epistle 2 attend. Attention, habit and experience gains; Each strengthens reason, and self-love restrains.

Wits, just like fools, at war about a name, Have full as oft no meaning, or the same. Self-love and reason to one end aspire, Pain their aversion, pleasure their desire; But greedy that its object would devour, This taste the honey, and not wound the flower: Modes of self-love the passions we may call: The rising tempest puts in act the soul, Parts it may ravage, but preserves the whole.

Pleasures are ever in our hands or eyes; And when, in act, they cease, in prospect, rise: Present to grasp, and future still to find, The whole employ of body and of mind.

As Man, perhaps, the moment of his breath, Receives the lurking principle of death; The young disease, from an essay on man epistle 2 must subdue at length, Grows with his growth, and strengthens with his strength: We, wretched subjects, though to lawful sway, In this weak queen, some favourite still obey: Teach us to mourn our nature, not to mend, A sharp accuser, but a helpless friend! Or from a from an essay on man epistle 2 turn pleader, to persuade The choice we make, or justify it made; Proud of an easy conquest all along, She but removes weak passions for the strong: So, when small humours gather to a gout, The doctor fancies he has driven them out.

A mightier power the strong direction sends, And several men impels to several ends: Like varying winds, by other passions tost, This drives them constant to a certain coast.

What crops of wit and honesty appear From spleen, from obstinacy, hate, or fear! Thus Nature gives us let it check our pride The virtue nearest to our vice allied: Reason the bias turns to good from ill, And Nero reigns a Titus, if he will. If white and black blend, soften, and unite A thousand ways, is there no black or white? Vice is a monster of so frightful mien, As, from an essay on man epistle 2 be hated, needs but to be seen; Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face, We first endure, then pity, then embrace.

No creature owns it in the first degree, But thinks his neighbour further gone than he; Even those who dwell beneath its very zone, Or never feel the rage, or never own; What happier natures shrink at with affright, The hard inhabitant contends is right. Wants, frailties, passions, closer still ally The common interest, or endear the tie.

To these we owe true friendship, love sincere, Each from an essay on man epistle 2 joy that life inherits here; Yet from the same we learn, in its decline, Those joys, those loves, those interests to resign; Taught half by reason, half by mere decay, To welcome death, and calmly pass away.

Some livelier plaything gives his youth delight, A little louder, but as empty quite: Scarfs, garters, gold, amuse his riper stage, And beads and prayer-books are the toys of age: Meanwhile opinion gilds with varying rays Those painted clouds that beautify our days; Each want of happiness by hope supplied, And each vacuity of sense by pride: The only science of mankind is Man.

Observe how near he edges on our race; What human tricks! And why this ardent longing for a maid? Then shines the hero, then the patriot warms. But virtues opposite to make agree, That, Reason! Hard task, cries Bibulus, and reason weak: Make it a point, dear Marquess! Once, for a whim, persuade yourself to pay A debt to reason, like a debt at play. B—— for his prince, or —— for his whore? Whose self-denials nature most control? His, who would save a sixpence, or his soul?

Web for his health, a Chartreux for his sin, Contend they not which soonest shall grow from an essay on man epistle 2 What we resolve, we can: