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N.Blakey inv.& deh.

GIootin fculp.. Who sees pale Mammon pine amidsthis Store,

Sees but a backward Steward for the Poor; na This Year a Reservoir, to keep and spares: The next, a Fountain, apouting throhis

Fleirin

&pion Riches.

EPIS T L E III.

P.

WHO

HO shall decide, when Doctors disagree,
And foundest Casuists doubt, like you

and me? You hold the word, from Jove to Momus giv’n, That Man was made the standing jest of Heav'n;

COMMENTARY. EPISTLE III.] This Epistle was written after a violent outcry against our Author, on a supposition that he had ridiculed a worthy nobleman merely for his wrong taste. He justified himself

upon that article in a letter to the Earl of Burlington ; at the end of which are these words: “ I have learnt that there are " fome who would rather be wicked than ridiculous; and there“ fore it may be safer to attack vices than follies. I will there“ fore leave my betters in the quiet possession of their idols, their

groves, and their high places ;. and change my fubject from “their pride to their meanness, from their vanities to their mi« feries; and as the only certain way to avoid misconstructions, << to lessen offence, and not to multiply ill-natured applications, “I may probably, in my next, make ufe of real names instead 66 of fictitious ones.” P.

VER. I. Who fall decide, &c.] The address of the Introduction (from y 1 to 21) is remarkable: The poet reprefents himself and the noble Lord his friend, as in a conversation, philosophising on the final cause of Riches ; and it proceeds by way

of

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NOTES Ver. 3. Momus giv'n,] A- came to be at the head of the mongst the earliest abuses of old Free-thinkers.

Him, the reason, one of the first was to Mythologists very ingeniously cavil at the ways of Provi- made the Son of Sleep and dence.' But as, in those times, Night, and fo, consequently, every Vice as well as Virtue, half-brother to Dulness

. Pre had its Patron-God, MOMUS having been much employét,

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And Gold but sent to keep the fools in play, 5
For some to heap, and fome to throw away.

But I, who think more highly of our kind,
(And surely, Heav'n and I are of a mind)
Opine, that Nature, as in duty bound,
Deep hid the shining mischief under ground: 10

COMMENTARY. dialogue, which most writers use to hide want of method; our Author only to foften and enliven the dryness and severity of it. 2 ou (lays the poet)

hold the word from fove to Momus giv'n,
But I, who think more highly of our kind, &c.

Opine that Nature, &c.
As much as to say, “ You, my Lord, hold the subject we are

upon as tit only for Satire ; I, on the contrary, esteem it a “cafe of Philosophy and profound Ethics : But as we both

agree in the main Principle, that Riches were not given for the reward of Virtue, but for very different purposes (See Essay on Man, Ep. iv.) let us compromile the matter, and consider " thc subject jointly, both under your idea and mine, i. e. Satirically and Philosophically.—And this, in fact, we shall find to be the true character of this poem, which is a Species peculiar to itself, and partaking equally of the nature of his Ethic Epistles and his Satires, as the beit picces of Lucian arose from a combination of the Dialogues of Plato, and the Scenes of Aristophanes. This it will be necessary to carry with us, if we would sec either the Wit or the Reasoning of this Epistle in their true light.

NOTE s. in after ages, by the Greek Sa- | facred to controversy and high tirists, he came, at last, to pass debate. for a Wit; and under this idea,

6. 9.

- that Nature, as he is to be considered in the in duty bound,] This, though place before us.

ludicrously, is yet exactly, exVER... Opine,] A term pressed ; to Thew, that, by

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Ver.

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Y

But when by Man's audacious labour won,
Flam'd forth this rival to, its Sire, the Sun,
Then careful Heav'n supply'd two sorts of Men,
To squander These, and Those to hide agen.

Like Doctors thus, when much dispute has past,
We find our tenets just the same at last.
Both fairly owning, Riches, in effect,
No
grace

of Heav'n or token of th’Elect; Giv'n to the Fool, the Mad, the Vain, the Evil, To Ward, to Waters, Chartres, and the Devil. 20

16

Notes. Nature, the poet meant, not a conveyance with Sir John the God of nature, but the in- Blunt, to secrete fifty · thouftrument and substitute of his fand pounds of that Director's providence.

Estate, forfeited to the SouthVER. 12. Flam'd forth this Sea company by Act of Parrival to, its Sire, the Sun,]liament. The Company reThe rival of its Sire in its covered the fifty thoufand brightness, and in its power of pounds against Ward; but he drawing mankind into error set up prior conveyances of and delusion; the two first his real estate to his brother idols of the world, natural and and son, and conceal'd all his moral, being the Sun and perfonal, which was computed Gold.

to be one hundred and fifty : Ver. 20. John WARD of thousand pounds. These conHackney Efq; Member of Par- veyances being also set aside by liament, being prosecuted by a bill in Chancery, Ward was the Duchess of Buckingham, imprisoned, and hazarded the and convicted of Forgery, forfeiture of his life, by not was first expelled the House, giving in his effects till the last and then stood in the Pillory day, which was that of his on the 17th of March 1727. examination. During his conHe was suspected of joining in finement, his amusement was

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