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Whose chearful Tenants bless their yearly toil,
Whose ample Lawns are not asham'd to feed
But future Buildir.g, future Navies grow.
Bid Harbors open, public Ways extend,
'I hc Mole projected break ihe roaring main.
NOTES. make the examples of good Taste the better understood, introduces them with a summary of his Precepts in these two fublime lines : for, the consulting Use is beginning with Sense; and the making Splendor or Taste borrow all its rays from thence, is going o.. with Sense, after the has led us up to Tafie. The art of this can never be sufficiently admired. * But the Expression is equal to the Thought. This functifying of expence gives us tie idea of something confecrated and set apart for sacred ules; and indeed, it is the idea under which it may be properly considered: For wealth employed according to the intention on Providence, is its true confecration ; and the real uses of humanity were certainly firil in its intention.
Whose ample Lawns are not asham'd to feed: 185
You too proceed! make falling Arts your care,
NOTES. VER. 195, 197, &c.] 'Till Kings — Bid Harbors open, &c.] The poet after having touched upon the proper objects of Magnificence and Expence, in the private works of great men, comes to those great and public works which become a prince. This Poem was published in the year 1732, when some of the new-built churches, by the act of Queen Anne, were ready to fall, being founded in boggy land (which is fatirically alluded to in our author's imitation of Horace, Lib. ii. Sat. 2.
Shall half the new-built Churches round thee fall) others were vilely executed, thro' fraudulent cabals between undertakers, officers, &c. Dagenham-breach had done very great mischiefs ; many of the Highways throughout England were hardly passable; and most of those which were repaired by Turnpikes were made jobs for private lucre, and infamously executed, even to the entrance of London itself: The pro
Bid the broad Arch the dang'rous Flood contain,
NOTES. posal of building a Bridge at Westminster had been petition'd against and rejected ; but in two years after the publication of this poem, an Aet for building a Bridge pass’d thro’ both houses. After many debates in the committee, the execution was left to the carpenter above-mentioned, who would have made it a wooden one; to which our auther alludes in these lines,
Who builds a Bridge that never drove a pile ?
Should Ripley venture, all the world would smile. See the notes on that place. P.
MORAL ESSAY S.
EPIST L E V.
To Mr. ADDISO N.
Occasion'd by his Dialogues on MEDALS.
E E the wild Waste of all-devouring years!
How Rome her own sad Sepulchre appears, With nodding arches, broken temples spread! The very
Tombs now vanish'd like their dead!
NOTES. THIS was originally written in the year 1715, when Mr. Addison intended to publish his book of Medals; it was sometime before he was Secretary of State ; but not published till Mr. Tickell's Edition of his works ; at which time the verses on Mr. Craggs, which conclude the poem, were added, viz. in 1720. P.
Epist. V.) As the third Epistle treated of the extremes of Avarice and Profusion; and the fourth took up one particular branch of the latter, namely, the vanity of expence in people of wealth and quality, and was therefore a corollary to the third; so this treats of one circumstance of that Vanity, as it appears in the common collectors of old coins ; and is, therefore, a corollary to the fourth.
Imperial wonders rais'd on Nations spoiled, 5
NOTES, Ver. 6. IVhere mix'd with purves the groaning Martyr to:!!:] The inattentive reader might wonder how this circumstance came to find a place here. But let him compare it with * 13, 14, and he will see the Reason,
Barbarian blindness, Chriflian zeal conspire,
And Papal piety, and Gothic fire. For the Slaves mentioned in the 6th linc were of the same nation with the Barbarians in the 13th : and the Chriftians in the 13th, the Succeflors of the Martyrs in the 6th : Providence ordaining, that these should ruin what those were so injuriously employed in rearing: for the poet never loseth sight of his great principle.
VER.9. Fanes, which admiring Gods with pride survey,] These Gods were the then Tyrants of Rome, to whom the Empire raifed Temples. The epithet, admiring, conveys a ftrong ridicule ; that passion, in the opinion of Philosophy, always conveying the ideas of ignorance and misery.
Nil admirari prope res eft una, Numici,
Solaque quæ poflit facere et fervare beatum. Almiration implying our ignorance of other things ; pride, our ignorance of ourselves.