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fick? the MAN of Ross relieves,
271 Balk'd are the Courts, and contest is no more. Despairing Quacks with curses fled the place, And vile Attorneys, now an useless race.
B, Thrice happy man! enabled to pursue 275 What all so wish, but want the pow'r to do! Oh say, what sums that gen'rous hand supply?. What mines to swell that boundless charity?
P. Of Debts,and Taxes, Wife and Children clear, This man pofseft-five hundred pounds a year, 280 Blush, Grandeur, blush! proud Courts, withdraw
blaze! Ye little Stars! hide your diminish'd rays. B. And what? no monument, infcription stone?
his form, his name almost unknown?
275: Thrice happy man! enabled to pursue, &c.--boundless charity? ] These four lines (which the poet, with the highest propriety; puts into the mouth of his noble friend) very artfully introduce the two following, as by the equivocal expression they had raised our expectations to hear of millions, which prove, at laft, to be only five hundred pounds a year. A circumstance, as we see in the Comment, of great importance to be inculcated.
VER. 281. Blush, Grandeur, blush! proud Courts, withdraw your blaze! &c.] In this sublime apostrophe, they are not bid to blush because outfiript in virtue, for no such 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,
NOTE s. fupposed: but for being outshined in their own proper pretenfions to Splendor and Magnificence. SCRIBL.
Ver. 287. Go, search it there, ] The parish-register.
Ver. 293. Should'ring God's altar a vile image sands, Belies his features, nay extends his hands ;] The description is inimitable. We see 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; whose Features too the sculptor had belied by giving them the traces of humanity: And, what was still a more impudent Aattery, had insinuated, by extending his hands, as if that humanity had been some time or other, put into act.
That live-long wig which Gorgon's self might own,
Now see what comfort it affords our end.] In the first part of this Epistle the author had shewn, from Rea-;fon, that Riches abused afford no comfort either in life or death.
In this part, where the same truth is taught by examples, he had, in the case of Cotta and his son, shewn, that they afford no comfort in life : the other member of the division remained to be spoken to,
Now see what Comfort they afford our end. And this he illustrates (from x 298 to 339) in describing the unhappy deaths of the last Villers, Duke of Buckingham, and Sir J. Cutler; whose profusion and avarice he has beautifully contrasted. The miserable end of these two extraordinary perfons naturally leads the poet into this humane reflexion, however ludicrously expressed,
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 resolve this doubtful ques
NOTES Ver. 296. Eternal buckle takes in Parian stone.] The poet ridicules the wretched taste of carving large perriwigs on bufto's, of which there are several vile examples in the tombs at Westminster and elsewhere. P
The George and Garter dangling from that bed
COMMENTARY. tion, he assumes the air and importance of a Professor ready aldrefs'd ro plunge himfell into the very depths of theology:
A kuotty point! to which we now proceedwhen, on a sudden, the whole scene is changed,
But you are tir’d.-I'll tell a tale-Agreed. And thus, by the most easy transition, we are come to the concluding dottrine of his poem.
NOTES. VER. 305. Great Villers lies-- ] This Lord, yet more famous for his vices than his misfortunes, having been possessed of about 50,000l. a year, and passed through many of the highest posts in the kingdom, died in the year 1687, in a remote inn in Yorkshire, reduced to the utmost misery. 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 husband was killed by the Duke of Buckingham in a duel; and it has been faid, that during the combat the held the Duke's horses 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, And fame; this lord of useless thousands ends,
His Grace’s fate fage Cutler could foresee, 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.” Resolve me, Reason, which of these is worse, Want with a full, or with an empty purse? 320 Thy life more wretched, Cutler, was confess’d, Arise, and tell me, was thy death more bless’d?
NOTES. is, he liked disguised flattery better than the more direct and avowed. And no wonder a man of wit should have this taste. For the taking pleasure in fools, for the sake of laughing at them, is nothing else but the complaisance of flattering ourselves, by an advantageous comparison, which the mind makes between itself and the object laughed at. Hence too we may see the Reason of mens preferring this to other kinds of flattery. For we are always inclined to think that work best done which we do ourselves.
VER. 319. Resolve me, Reason, which of these is worse, Want with a full, or with an empty purse?] The poet did well in appealing to Reason, from the parties concerned; who, it is likely, had made but a very sorry decision. 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 Reason résolves this matter in a trice. There being a possibility that Want with an empty purse may be relieved; but none, that Want with a full purse ever can.
VER. 322. - Cutler-- Arise and tell me, &c.] This is to be understood as a solemn evocation of the Shade of this illustrious knight, in the manner of the Ancients; who used to call up their departed Heroes by two things they principally loved and