Alexander Pope Essay On Man

“So drives Self-love thro’ just and thro’ 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.” This sounds well and good but what is missing is any idea of how the market requires that profits cannot be made unless the needs and wants of consumers are met satisfactorily.

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They swelled the number of the army of bold questioners upon the ways of God to Man, but they were an idle rout of camp-followers, not combatants; they simply ate, and drank, and died.

In 1697, Pierre Bayle published at Rotterdam, his “Historical and Critical Dictionary,” in which the lives of men were associated with a comment that suggested, from the ills of life, the absence of divine care in the shaping of the world.

Having proposed to write some pieces on Human Life and Manners, such as, to use my Lord Bacon's expression, `come home to men's business and bosoms,' I thought it more satisfactory to begin with considering Man in the abstract, his nature and his state: since to prove any moral duty, to enforce any moral precept, or to examine the perfection or imperfection of any creature whatsoever, it is necessary first to know what condition and relation it is placed in, and what is the proper end and purpose of its being.

The science of Human Nature is, like all other sciences, reduced to a few clear points: there are not many certain truths in this world.

But as the eighteenth century grew slowly to its work, signs of a deepening interest in the real issues of life distracted men’s attention from the culture of the snuff-box and the fan.

As Pope’s genius ripened, the best part of the world in which he worked was pressing forward, as a mariner who will no longer hug the coast but crowds all sail to cross the storms of a wide unknown sea. Under Queen Anne he was an original poet, but made little money by his verses; under George I. Pope’s life as a writer falls into three periods, answering fairly enough to the three reigns in which he worked.Pope’s poetry thus deepened with the course of time, and the third period of his life, which fell within the reign of George II., was that in which he produced the “Essay on Man,” the “Moral Essays,” and the “Satires.” These deal wholly with aspects of human life and the great questions they raise, according throughout with the doctrine of the poet, and of the reasoning world about him in his latter day, that “the proper study of mankind is Man.” Wrongs in high places, and the private infamy of many who enforced the doctrines of the Church, had produced in earnest men a vigorous antagonism.Tyranny and unreason of low-minded advocates had brought religion itself into question; and profligacy of courtiers, each worshipping the golden calf seen in his mirror, had spread another form of scepticism.His safety must his liberty restrain: All join to guard what each desires to gain.Forc’d into virtue thus by self-defence, Ev’n kings learn’d justice and benevolence: [280] Self-love forsook the path it first pursued, And found the private in the public good.If I could flatter myself that this Essay has any merit, it is in steering betwixt the extremes of doctrines seemingly opposite, in passing over terms utterly unintelligble and in forming a temperate, yet not inconsistent, and a short, yet not imperfect, system of ethics.This I might have done in prose; but I chose verse, and even rhyme, for two reasons.he was chiefly a translator, and made much money by satisfying the French-classical taste with versions of the “Iliad” and “Odyssey.” Under George I.he also edited Shakespeare, but with little profit to himself; for Shakespeare was but a Philistine in the eyes of the French-classical critics.

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