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Is fick? the MAN of Ross relieves,
any
Prescribes, attends, the medicine makes, and gives.
Is there a variance; enter but his door, 271
Balk'd are the Courts, and conteft is no more.
Defpairing Quacks with curfes fled the place,
And vile Attorneys, now an useless race.

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?

NOTES.

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

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P. Who builds a Church to God, and not to Fame,
Will never mark the marble with his Name: 286
Go, fearch it there, where to be born and die,
Of rich and poor makes all the history;
Enough, that Virtue fill'd the space between ;
Prov'd, by the ends of being, to have been. 290
When Hopkins dies, a thousand lights attend
The wretch, who living fav'd a candle's end:
Should'ring God's altar a vile image stands,
Belies his features, nay extends his hands;

VARIATION S.

VER. 287. thus in the MS.

The Register inrolls him with his Poor,
Tells he was born and dy'd, and tells no more.
Juft as he ought, he fill'd the Space between;
Then ftole to reft, unheeded and unfeen.

NOTES.

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

into act.

That live-long wig which Gorgon's felf might own,
Eternal buckle takes in Parian stone.

296
Behold what bleffings Wealth to life can lend!
And fee, what comfort it affords our end.
In the worst inn's worst room, with mat half-hung,
The floors of plaister, and the walls of dung, 300
On once a flock-bed, but repair'd with straw,
With tape-ty'd curtains, never meant to draw,

COMMENTARY.

VER. 297. Behold what bleffings Wealth to life can lend!
Now fee what comfort it affords our end.]

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?
Or are they both, in this, their own reward?

And now, as if fully determined to refolve this doubtful quef

NOTES.

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
Where tawdry yellow ftrove with dirty red,
Great Villers lies-alas! how chang'd from him,
That life of pleasure, and that foul of whim! 306
Gallant and gay, in Cliveden's proud alcove,
The bow'r of wanton Shrewsbury and love;
Or juft as gay, at Council, in a ring

Of mimick'd Statesmen, and their merry King. 310
No Wit to flatter, left of all his store!

?

No Fool to laugh at, which he valu'd more.

COMMENTARY.

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.

NOTES.

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

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There, Victor of his health, of fortune, friends,
And fame; this lord of useless thoufands ends.
His Grace's fate fage Cutler could forefee, 315
And well (he thought) advis'd him, "Live like me.”
As well his Grace reply'd, Like you, Sir John?
"That I can do, when all I have is gone."
Refolve me, Reason, which of these is worse,
Want with a full, or with an empty purse? 320
Thy life more wretched, Cutler, was confefs'd,
Arife, and tell me, was thy death more bless'd?

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NOTES.

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

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