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Not meanly, nor ambitiously purfu'd,
After 226. in the MS.
That fecret rare, with affluence hardly join'd,
fame way, fhew the USE likewife: He therefore (from 218, to 249) calls for an EXAMPLE, in which may be found, againft the Prodigal, the Senje to value Riches; against the Vain, the Art to enjoy them; and againft the Avaricious, the Virtue to impart them, when acquired. This whole Art (he tells us) may be comprized in one great and general precept, which is this. "That the rich man fhould confider himfelf as the fubftitute "of Providence in this unequal diftribution of things, as the "perfon who is
To cafe, or emulate, the care of Heav'n;
To mend the faults of fortune, or to juflify her graces.” And thus the poet fides naturally into the profecution of his fubject in an Example of the true Ufe of Riches.
Riches, is not, in the City-meaning, the Sanfe in valuing them: For as Riches may be enjoyed without Art, and imparted with
B. To Worth or Want well-weigh'd, be Bounty giv'n,
And eafe, or emulate, the care of Heav'n; 230
P. Who ftarves by Nobles, or with Nobles eats? The Wretch that trufts them, and the Rogue that cheats.
Is there a Lord, who knows a chearful noon
Virtue, so they may be valued without Senfe. That man therefore only fhews he has the fenfe to value Riches, who keeps what he has acquired, in order to enjoy one part of it innocently and elegantly, in fuch measure and degree as his ftation may juftify, which the poet calls the Art of enjoying; and to impart the remainder amongst objects of worth, or want well weigh'd; which is, indeed, the Virtue of imparting.
VER. 231, 232. (Whofe measure full d'erflows on human race) Mend Fortune's fault, and juflify her grace.] i. e. Such of the Rich whofe full measure overflows on human race, repair the wrongs of Fortune done to the indigent; and at the fame time, juftify the favours the had beftowed upon themfelves.
Who copies Your's, or OXFORD's better part,
But all our praises why should Lords engross? Rife,honest Muse! and fing the MAN of Ross: 250
After 250. in the MS.
Trace humble worth beyond Sabrina's fhore,
VER. 249. But all our praises why should Lords engross? Rife, boneft Mufe!] This invidious expreffion of the poet's unwillingnefs that the Nobility fhould engrofs all his praifes, is strongly ironical; their example having been given hitherto only to fhew the abufe of Riches. But there is great juftness of Defign as well as agreeablenefs of Manner in the preference here given to the Man of Rofs. The purpose of the poet is to fhew, that an immenfe fortune is not wanted for all the good that Riches
VER. 243, OXFORD's better part,] Edward Harley, Earl of Oxford. The fon of Robert, created Earl of Oxford, and Earl Mortimer by Queen Anne. This Nobleman died regretted by all men of letters, great numbers of whom had experienced his benefits. He left behind him one of the most noble Libraries in Europe, P.
VER. 250. The MAN of Ross:] The perfon here celebrated, who with a small Eftate actually performed all thefe good works,
Pleas'd Vaga echoes thro' her winding bounds,
are capable of doing; he therefore chufes fuch an instance, as proves, that a man with five hundred pounds à year could become a bleffing to a whole country; and, confequently, that the poet's precepts for the true use of money, are of more general service than a bad heart will give an indifferent head leave to conceive. This was a truth of the greatest importance to inculcate: He therefore (from 249 to 297) exalts the character of a very private man, one Mr. J. Kyrle, of Herefordfhire And in ending his description, ftruck as it were with admiration at a fublimity of his own creating, and warmed with fentiments of a gratitude he had raised in himself in behalf of the public, the poet bursts out,
And what? no monument, infcription, stone?
Then transported with indignation at a contrary object, he exclaims,
When Hopkins dies, a thousand lights attend.
and whose true name was almost loft (partly by the title of the Man of Rofs given him by way of eminence, and partly by being buried without fo much as an infcription) was called Mr. John Kyrle. He died in the year 1724, aged 90, and lies interred in the chancel of the church of Rofs in Herefordfhire. P.
We must understand what is here faid, of actually performing, to mean by the contributions which the Man of Rojs, by his affiduity and intereft, collected in his neighbourhood.
Not to the skies in ufelefs columns toft,
Should'ring God's altar a vile image ftands,
I take notice of this defcription of the portentous vanity of amiferable Extortioner, chiefly for the ufe we fhall now fee he makes of it in carrying on his fubject.
VER. 255. Not to the fkies in ufelefs columns toft, Or in proud falls magnificently loft,] The intimation, in the first line, well ridicules the madness of fafhionable Magnificence; these columns afpiring to prop the fkies, in a very different fense from the heav'n-directed fprre, in the verfe that follows: As the expreffion, in the fecond line, expofes the meannefs of it, in falling proudly to no purpose.