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And for th' imagin'd vice of human race, Destroy our virtue, or our parts debase; Since God with reason joins to make us own, That 'tis not good for man to be alone.
END OF EPISTLES
SATIRICAL AND PRECEPTIVE.
SATIRICAL AND PRECEPTIVE.
CONTENTS OF PART I.
OF the end and efficacy of Satire.
implanted in man as a spur to virtue, is generally perverted. And thus becomes the occasion of the greatest follies, vices, and miseries. It is the work of Satire to rectify this passion, to reduce it to its proper channel, and to convert it into an incentive to wisdom and virtue. Hence it appears that Satire may influence those who defy all laws human and divine. An objection answered.
4. Dauntless pursues the path Spinoza trod ;] Benedict de Spinoza, son of a Portuguese Jew settled at Amsterdam, was born in 1633, and commenced philosopher very early in life. His great atheistical principle was, That there is nothing properly and absolutely existing, but matter and the modifications of
matter; among which are even comprehended thoughts, abstract and general ideas, comparisons, relations, combinations of relations, &c. He died in 1677.
4 To man a coward, and a brave to God.]
Vois-tu ce libertin en public intrépide,
Qui prêche contre un Dieu que dans son ame il croit?
Mais de ses faux amis il craint la raillerie,
Et ne brave ainsi Dieu que par poltronnerie.
BOILEAU, Ep. 3.
Like the arm'd Bee, with art most subtly true
In the nice bee what art so subtly true,
7. Ev'n Allen's bounteous hand,- -] Ralph Allen, Esquire, of Prior Park, near Bath. He died 29th
P.8. Rules for the conduct of Satire. Justice and truth its chief and essential property. Prudence in the application of wit and ridicule, whose province is, not
to explore unknown, but to enforce known truths. Proper subjects of Satire are the manners of present times. Decency of expression recommended. The different methods in which folly and vice ought to be chastised. The variety of style and manner which these two subjects require. The praise of virtue may be admitted with propriety. Caution with regard to panegyric. The dignity of true Satire.
9. Lo, Shaftsb❜ry rears her high on Reason's throne,] It were to be wished that Lord Shaftsbury had expressed himself with greater precision on this subject: however, thus much may be affirmed with truth.
1st, By the general tenor of his essays on Enthusiasm, and the Freedom of wit and humor, it appears that his principal design was to recommend the way of ridicule, (as he calls it) for the investigation of truth, and detection of falsehood, not only in moral but religious subjects.
2dly, It appears no less evident, that, in the course of his reasonings on this question, he confounds two things which are in their nature and consequences entirely different. These are ridicule and good-humor : the latter acknowledged by all to be the best mediator in every debate; the former no less regarded by most, as an embroiler and incendiary. Though he sets out with a formal profession of proving the efficacy of wit, humor, and ridicule, in the investigation of truth, yet, by shifting and mixing his terms, he generally slidesinsensibly into meer encomiums on good-breeding,