Essay On Man Epistle 1 Explanation

The First Book, in four Epistles, was to treat of man in the abstract, and of his relation to the Universe. The Second Book was to treat of Man Intellectual; the Third Book, of Man Social, including ties to Church and State; the Fourth Book, of Man Moral, was to illustrate abstract truth by sketches of character.This part of the design is represented by the Moral Essays, of which four were written, to which was added, as a fifth, the Epistle to Addison which had been written much earlier, in 1715, and first published in 1720. One pair is upon the Characters of Men and on the Characters of Women, which would have formed the opening of the subject of the Fourth Book of the Essay: the other pair shows character expressed through a right or a wrong use of Riches: in fact, Money and Morals. The fourth (to the Earl of Burlington) was first published in 1731, its title then being “Of Taste;” the third (to Lord Bathurst) followed in 1732, the year of the publication of the first two Epistles on the “Essay on Man.” In 1733, the year of publication of the Third Epistle of the “Essay on Man,” Pope published his Moral Essay of the “Characters of Men.” In 1734 followed the Fourth Epistle of the “Essay on Man;” and in 1735 the “Characters of Women,” addressed to Martha Blount, the woman whom Pope loved, though he was withheld by a frail body from marriage.

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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.

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.

The intellectual scepticism, based upon an honest search for truth, could end only in making truth the surer by its questionings.

The other form of scepticism, which might be traced in England from the low-minded frivolities of the court of Charles the Second, was widely spread among the weak, whose minds flinched from all earnest thought.

Out of this came, nearly at the same time, two works wholly different in method and in tone—so different, that at first sight it may seem absurd to speak of them together.

They were Pope’s “Essay on Man,” and Butler’s “Analogy of Religion, Natural and Revealed, to the Constitution and Course of Nature.” Butler’s “Analogy” was published in 1736; of the “Essay on Man,” the first two Epistles appeared in 1732, the Third Epistle in 1733, the Fourth in 1734, and the closing Universal Hymn in 1738.

His offence in the eyes of de Crousaz was that he had left out of account all doctrines of orthodox theology.

But if he had been orthodox of the orthodox, his argument obviously could have been directed only to the form of doubt it sought to overcome.

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