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Imperial wonders rais'd on Nations fpoil'd,
and is, therefore, a corollary | wonder how this circumstance to the fourth. came to find a place here. But let him compare it with 13, 14, and he will fee the Reafon, Barbarian blindness, Chriftian zeal confpire, And papal piety, and gothic fire. For the Slaves mentioned above | were of the fame nation with the Barbarians here: and the Chriftians here, the Succeffors of the Martyrs there: Providence ordaining, that thefe fhould ruin what those were fo injuriously employed in rearing for the poet never lofeth fight of his great principle.
VER. 9. Fanes, which ad
VER. 6. Where mix'd with flaves the groaning Martyr toil'd] The inattentive reader might |
miring Gods with pride furvey,] Thefe Gods were the then Tyrants of Rome, to whom the Empire raised Temples. The epithet, admiring, conveys a ftrong ridicule; that paffion, in the opinion of Philofophy, always conveying the ideas of ignorance and mifery:
Nil admirari prope res eft una, Numici,
Solaque quæ poffit facere & fervare beatum.
Admiration implying our ignorance of other things; pride, our ignorance of ourselves.
Perhaps, by its own ruins fav'd from flame, 15
Ambition figh'd: She found it vain to trust The faithlefs Column and the crumbling Buft: Huge moles, whose shadow stretch'd from shore to fhore,
Their ruins perish'd, and their place no more!
Now scantier limits the proud Arch confine,
VER. 18. And give to Titus old Vefpafian's due.] A fine infinuation of the entire want of Tafte in Antiquaries; whofe ignorance of Characters mifleads them, (fupported only by a name) againft Reafon and Hiftory.
VER. 25. A narrow Orb
The Medal, faithful to its charge of fame, Thro' climes and bears each form and name: ages In one short view fubjected to our eye
Gods, Emp'rors, Heroes, Sages, Beauties, lie.
Theirs is the Vanity, the Learning thine: 45
VER. 35. With fharpen'd fight pale Antiquaries pore,] Microfcopic glaffes, invented by philofophers to difcover the beauties in the minuter works of nature, ridiculously applied by Antiquaries, to detect the
cheats of counterfeit medals.
Nor blush, these studies thy regard engage;
Oh when shall Britain, conscious of her claim,
VER. 49. Nor blush, thefe" ow'd his Fame and ForStudies thy regard engage;] A "tune. He spoke of his Works fenfelefs affectation which fome "as of Trifles that were beneath writers of eminence have be- "him; and hinted to me in trayed; who when fortune, or "our firft Converfation, that their talents have raised them "I fhould vifit him upon no to a condition to do without "other Foot than that of a those arts, for which only "Gentleman, who led a Life they gained our esteem, have "of plainnefs and fimplicity. pretended to think letters below "Ianfwer'd, that, had he been their Character. This falfe "fo unfortunate as to be a fhame M. Voltaire has very "mere Gentleman, I fhould well, and with proper indignation, expofed in his account of Mr. Congreve : "He had one Defect, which "was, his entertaining too 66 mean an Idea of his firft "Profeffion, (that of a Wri-tain, "ter) tho' 'twas to this he
never have come to see him; "and I was very much difguft"ed at fo unfeasonable a piece "of vanity. Letters concerning the English Nation, xix.
VER. 53. Oh when shall Bri
&c.] A compliment to one of Mr. Addifon's papers in
Or in fair feries laurell'd Bards be shown,
A Virgil there, and here an Addifon.
Then shall thy CRAGGS (and let me call him mine) On the caft ore, another Pollio, fhine; With aspect open, fhall erect his head, And round the orb in lasting notes be read, "Statesman, yet friend to Truth! of foul fincere, "In action faithful, and in honour clear; "Who broke no promise, ferv'd no private end, "Who gain'd no title, and who loft no friend; "Ennobled by himself, by all approv'd, "And prais'd, unenvy'd, by the Muse he lov'd.
the Spectator on this fubject. VER. 67. "Statefman, yet friend to truth, &c.] It should be remembered that this poem was written to be printed before Mr. Addison's discourse on Medals, in which there is the the following cenfure of long legends upon coins: "The firft "fault I find with a modern σε legend is its diffusiveness. "You have fometimes the "whole fide of a medal overrun with it. One would fancy the Author had a Defign of being Ciceronian"but it is not only the tedi"oufnefs of these inscriptions
"that I find fault with; fup66 pofing them of a moderate length, why must they be in "verfe? We fhould be fur66 prized to fee the title of a "ferious book in rhime. Dial. iii.
VER. ult. And prais'd unenvy'd by the Muse he lov'd.] It was not likely that men acting in fo different spheres as were those of Mr. Craggs and Mr. Pope, fhould have their friendfhip disturbed by Envy. We muft fuppofe then that fome circumstances in the friendship of Mr. Pope and Mr. Addison are hinted at in this place.
FIN I S.