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EPISTOLA VI.

N

IL admirari, prope res est una, Numici,

Solaque quae pofsit facere et servare beatum.

• Hunc folem, et ftellas,'et decedentia certis

Tempora momentis, funt qui o formidine nulla

NOTES.

Ver. 3. dear MURRAY,] This Piece is the most finished of all his imitations, and executed in the high manner the Italian Painters call con amore. By which they mean, the cxertion of that principle, which puts the faculties on the stretch, and produces the supreme degree of excellence. For the Poet had all the warmth of affection for the great Lawyer to whom it is addressed: and, indeed, no man ever more deserved to have a Poet for his friend. In the obtaining of which, as neither Vanity, Party, nor Fear, had any share; so he supported his title to it by all the offices of true Friendship.

Ver. 4. Creech.] From whose Translation of Horace the two first lines are taken.

P. VER, 6. stars that rise and fall,] The original is,

decedentia certis Tempora momentis

E P I S T LE VI.

To Mr. MURRAY.

"N TOT to admire, is all the Art I know, “I Tomake men happy, and to keep them so.” (Plain Truth, dear Murray, needs no flow'rs of

speech, So take it in the very words of Creech.)

This Vault of Air, this congregated Ball, 5 Self-center'd Sun, and Stars that rise and fall, There are, my Friend! whose philosophic eyes Look thro', and trust the Ruler with his skies, To him commit the hour, the day, the year, And view this dreadful All without a fear. 10

Note s.. which words fimply and literally signify, the change of seafons. But this change being considered as an object of admiration, his imitator has judiciously expressed it in the more sublime figurative terms of

Stars that rise and fall, by whose courfes the seasons are marked and distinguished.

Ver. 8. trust the Ruler with his skies, To him commit the hour,] Our Author, in these imitations, has been all along careful to correct the loose morals, and absurd divinity of his Original.

VER. 10. And view this dreadful All without a fear.) He has added this idea to his text; and it greatly heightens the dignity

rise and fall. marked and dió him commit ile Imbuti spectent. d quid censes, munera terrac ? Quid, maris extremos Arabas ditantis et Indos ? Ludicra, quid, ' plaufus, et amici dona Quiritis? Quo fpectanda modo, & quo fenfu credis et ore?

"Qui timet his adversa, fere miratur eodem Quo cupiens pacto: pavor est utrobique molestus: Improvisa fimul species exterret utrumque: Gaudeat, an doleat; cupiat, metuatne ; quid ad rem, Si, quidquid vidit melius pejusve sua fpe, Defixis oculis, animoque et corpore torpet ?

* Insani sapiens nomen ferat, aequus iniqui; Ultra quam satis est, virtutem fi petat ipfam.

NOTES. of the whole thought. He gives it the appellation of a dreadful All, because the immensity of God's creation, which modern philosophy has so infinitely enlarged, is apt to affect narrow minds, who measure the divine comprehension by their own, with dreadful suspicions of man's being overlooked in this dark and narrower corner of existence, by a Governor occupied and busied with greater matters.

Ver. 21. In either case, believe me, we admire ;] i. e. These objects, in either case, affect us, as objects unknown affect the mind, and consequently betray us into false judgments.

Admire we then what' Earth's low entrails hold,)
Arabian shores, or Indian seas infold;
All the mad trade of Fools and Slaves for Gold?
Or Popularity? or Stars and Strings?
The Mob's applauses, or the gifts of Kings? 15
Say with what eyes we ought at Courts to gaze,
And pay the Great our homage of Amaze ?

If weak the pleasure that from these can spring,
The fear to want them is as weak a thing:
Whether we dread, or whether we desire, 20
In either case, believe me, we admire ;
Whether we i joy or grieve, the fame the curse,
Surpriz'd at better, or surpriz’d at worse.
Thus good or bad, to one extreme betray
Th’ unbalanc'd Mind, and snatch the Man away;
For k Virtue's self may too much zeal be had; 25
The worst of Madmen is a Saint run mad.

NOTES. Ver. 22. Whether we joy or grieve, the same the curse, Surpriz'd at better, or surpriz'd at worfe.] The elegance of this is fuperior to the Original. The cur fe is the fame (says he) whether we joy or grieve. Why so? Because, in either case, the man is surprized, hurried off, and led away captive,

· (The good or bad to one extreme betray

Th’ unbalanc'd Mind, and snatch the Man away.) This happy advantage, in the imitation, arises from the ambi. guity of the word surprize.

Ver. 27. The worst of Madmen is a Saint run mad.] Because

"I nunc, argentum et marmor m vetus, aeraque

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Gnavus P mane forum, et vespertinus pete tectum;

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Mutus et (indignum ; quod fit pejoribus ortus)

* Hic tibi fit potius, quam tu mirabilis illi.

LULUS

NOTE s.

when men are carried away by their passions, as all Madmen are, he, who has joined the Cause of God to his own, must needs do the most mischief, as this Union gives him additional vigour in the pursuit of his extravagances.

Ver. 29. reflected Plate] This epithet conveys a fine stroke of satire ; it insinuates, that the enamoured poffeffor, half alhamed of his passion, obliquely eyes his plate from the refleeting mirror, that hangs opposite to his Side-board ; which idea he expresses in another place by

a gilt Buffet's reflected pride. VER. 30. Procure a Taste to double the surprize.) This is one of those superior touches that most cnoble a perfect picce. · He

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