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Now Europe's laurels on their brows behold,
A tale, that blends their glory with their shame ! I have extracted the whole of this sublime invective, that the particular aspect of our satirist on the circumstances of Marlborough’s life may be more distin&tly seen amidit this general cenfure of military glories.
The second clause of the first verse, and the second couplet, relate to his intrigue with the Duchess of Cleveland, for which I refer the reader to the Biographia Britannica, vol. iii. p. 563, or Lediard's life, pp. 18 and 19.
The third and fourth couplets have a view to his supposed peculation as commander in chief, and his prolongation of the war on this account, to which we must refer also the discarded variation at his first Moral Essay, ver. 86.
Triumphant leaders, at an army's head,
Now save a people, and now save a groat. The fixth couplet is explained by that charge of avarice which is usually brought against him, and which gave rise to that epigram upon the bridge in Blenheim-Park:
The spacious arch his vast ambition shows;
The stream an emblem of his bounty flows. The application of the following lines to his Duchess, the palace at Blenheim, and his second infancy, so finely touched by Johnson in his Vanity of Human Wishes, is too obvious to need more than a limple admonition to direct the attention of the reader.
THE UNIVERSAL PRAYER. P. 197.
Ver. 17. What bleffings thy free bounty gives,
Let me not caft away ;
T enjoy is to obey.
Let Fortune's fav’rites in broad sunshine live,
Ver. 49. To thee, whose temple is all space,
Whofe altar, earth, fea, skies.
Eftne Dei sedes, nisi terra, et pontus, et aër,
EPISTLE I. P. 207.
Ver. 256. Euclio was designed for Sir Charles Duncombe of Helmsley; who is alluded to again in Imitations of Horace, ii. Sat. ii. fin.
And Helmsley, once proud Buckingham's delight,
Slides to a scriv'ner, or a city knight: and who divided his estates in Yorkshire and Wilts
different branches of his family. B.
See note A. in the Biog. Brit. Art. Duncombe William.
EPISTLE II. P. 245.
Dip in the rainbow, trick her off in air;
Catch, e'er the change, the Cynthia of this minute. This paffage, of elegance fo exquisitely curious, is indebted for the original conception to Cowley, David. ii. 807.
This he with starry vapours spangles all,
EPISTLE III. P. 271.
Ver. 127. The crown of Poland, venal twice an age,
To just three millions ftinted modest Gage.
And one fate buries in th' Asturian mines. A Mr. Gage, of Sir Thomas Gage's family, of Hengrave, I think, near Bury, Suffolk; and Lady Mary Herbert (daughter of the Marquis of Powis), whofe mother was a natural daughter
of James II. ; whence the phrase hereditary realms. In Bowles's Travels into Spain, is fome account of this scheme of working the Asturian mines. B.
Ver. 291. When Hopkins dies, a thousand lights attend
The wretch, who living fav'd a candle's end. Edmund Boulter, Esq. executor to Vulture Hopkins, made so fplendid a funeral for him, that the expences amounted to 76661. B.
Ver. 333. Cutler and Brutus, dying, both exclaim,
“ Virtue ! and Wealth! what are ye but a name ?" Dion Cassius, xlvii. 49. “ Brutus made an effort to force his way “ from the strong position, whither he had retreated, into the
camp; but, finding this impracticable, and learning that some “ of his soldiers had submitted to the conquerors, he abandoned “ himself to despair : but, disdaining captivity, he refolved on “ death; and desired fome of his attendants to dispatch him, “ after he had repeated with a loud voice that exclamation of “ Hercules, in the Tragedy :
“ Ab ! hapless Virtue ! deem'd a truth by me ;
EPISTLE IV. P. 321.
Ver. 117. Grove nods at grove, each alley has a brother,
And half the platform just reflects the other.
And scatter'd clumps, that nod at one another,
* Landscape, ii. 6. a poem, which the elegant and ingenious author, by a few lectures on versification, relative to modes of expression too undignified for poetry, and a languishing imbecillity of numbers, would soon polish into greater excellence. The address of Sir Edward Winnington is an admirable specimen of fine taste and noble fentiment.
* M:. Knight's Puem.