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Is fick? the MAN of Ross relieves,
B. Thrice happy man! enabled to purfue 275 What all fo wifh, but want the pow'r to do! Oh fay, what fums that gen'rous hand supply? What mines to fwell that boundless charity?
P. Of Debts,and Taxes, Wife and Children clear, This man poffeft-five hundred pounds a year, 280 Blush, Grandeur, blush! proud Courts, withdraw your blaze!
Ye little Stars! hide your diminish'd rays.
B. And what? no monument, infcription, stone? His race, his form, his name almost unknown?
VER. 275. Thrice happy man! enabled to pursue, &c.-boundlefs charity? Thefe four lines (which the poet, with the higheft propriety, puts into the mouth of his noble friend) very artfully introduce the two following, as by the equivocal expreffion they had raised our expectations to hear of millions, which prove, at laft, to be only five hundred pounds a year. A circumftance, as we fee in the Comment, of great importance to be inculcated.
VER. 281. Blush, Grandeur, blush! proud Courts, withdraw your blaze! &c.] In this fublime apoftrophe, they are not bid to blush becaufe outflript in virtue, for no fuch contention is
P. Who builds a Church to God, and not to Fame,
VER. 287. thus in the MS.
The Register inrolls him with his Poor,
fuppofed: but for being outbined in their own proper pretenfions to Splendor and Magnificence. SCRIBL.
VER, 287. Go, fearch it there,] The parish-regifter.
VER. 293. Should'ring God's altar a vile image ftands, Belies his features, nay extends his hands ;] The defcription is inimitable. We fee him should'ring the altar like one who impiously affected to draw off the reverence of God's worshipers, from the facred table, upon himself; whofe Features too the sculptor had belied by giving them the traces of humanity: And, what was ftill a more impudent flattery, had infinuated, by extending his hands, as if that humanity had been fome time or other, put
That live-long wig which Gorgon's felf might own,
VER. 297. Behold what bleffings Wealth to life can lend!
In the first part of this Epistle the author had fhewn, from Reafen, that Riches abused afford no comfort either in life or death. In this part, where the fame truth is taught by examples, he had, in the cafe of Cotta and his fon, fhewn, that they afford no comfort in life: the other member of the divifion remained to be spoken to,
Now fee what Comfort they afford our end.
And this he illustrates (from 298 to 339) in defcribing the unhappy deaths of the laft Villers, Duke of Buckingham, and Sir J. Cutler; whofe profufion and avarice he has beautifully contrafted. The miserable end of these two extraordinary perfons naturally leads the poet into this humane reflexion, however ludicrously expreffed,
Say, for fuch worth, are other worlds prepar'd?
And now, as if fully determined to refolve this doubtful quef
VER. 296. Eternal buckle takes in Parian flone.] The poet ridicules the wretched taste of carving large perriwigs on busto's, of which there are feveral vile examples in the tombs at Weftminster and elsewhere. P.
The George and Garter dangling from that bed
Of mimick'd Statesmen, and their merry King. 310
No Fool to laugh at, which he valu'd more.
tion, he affumes the air and importance of a Profeffor ready addrefs'd to plunge himfelf into the very depths of theology: A knotty point! to which we now proceed
when, on a fudden, the whole scene is changed, But you are tir'd.-I'll tell a tale-Agreed.
And thus, by the most eafy tranfition, we are come to the concluding doctrine of his poem.
VER. 305. Great Villers lies-] This Lord, yet more famous for his vices than his misfortunes, having been poffeffed of about 50,000l. a year, and paffed through many of the highest pofts in the kingdom, died in the year 1687, in a remote inn in Yorkshire, reduced to the utmost mifery. P.
VER. 307. Cliveden] A delightful palace, on the banks of the Thames, built by the D. of Buckingham. P.
VER. 308. Shrewsbury] The Countess of Shrewsbury, a woman abandoned to gallantries. The Earl her hufband was killed by the Duke of Buckingham in a duel; and it has been. faid, that during the combat the held the Duke's horfes in the habit of a page. P.
VER. 312. No Fool to laugh at, which he valued more.] That
There, Victor of his health, of fortune, friends,
is, he liked disguised flattery better than the more direct and avowed. And no wonder a man of wit fhould have this taste. For the taking pleasure in fools, for the fake of laughing at them, is nothing elfe but the complaifance of flattering ourSelves, by an advantageous comparison, which the mind makes between itself and the object laughed at. Hence too we may fee the Reason of mens preferring this to other kinds of flattery. For we are always inclined to think that work beft done which we do ourselves.
VER. 319. Refolve me, Reafon, which of thefe is worse, Want with a full, or with an empty purfe?] The poet did well in appealing to Reafon, from the parties concerned; who, it is likely, had made but a very forry decifion. The abhorrence of an empty purse would have certainly perverted the judgment of Want with a full one: And the longings for a full one would probably have as much misled Want with an empty one. Whereas Reafon refolves this matter in a trice. There being a poffibility that Want with an empty purfe may be relieved; but none, that Want with a full purfe ever can.
VER. 322. Cutler-Arife and tell me, &c.] This is to be understood as a folemn evocation of the Shade of this illuftrious knight, in the manner of the Ancients; who used to call up their departed Heroes by two things they principally loved and