Abbildungen der Seite

Now Europe's laurels on their brows behold,
But ftain'd with blood, or ill-exchang'd for gold.
Then fee them broke with toils, or funk in ease,
Or infamous for plunder'd provinces.

Oh wealth ill-fated! which no act of fame
E'er taught to fhine, or fanctifyed from shame!
What greater blifs attends their close of life?
Some greedy minion, or imperious wife,
The trophy'd arches, ftory'd halls invade,
And haunt their flumbers in the pompous shade.
Alas! not dazzled with their noon-tide ray,
Compute the morn and ev'ning to the day;
The whole amount of that enormous fame,

A tale, that blends their glory with their shame! I have extracted the whole of this fublime invective, that the particular afpect of our fatirift on the circumftances of Marlborough's life may be more diftinctly feen amidit this general cenfure of military glories.

The fecond clause of the first verse, and the fecond couplet, relate to his intrigue with the Duchefs 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 fuppofed 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 firft Moral Effay, ver. 86.

Triumphant leaders, at an army's head,

Hemm'd round with glories, pilfer cloth or bread:
As meanly plunder, as they bravely fought;
Now fave a people, and now fave a groat.

The fixth couplet is explained by that charge of avarice which is ufually brought against him, and which gave rife 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 Duchefs, the palace at Blenheim, and his fecond infancy, fo finely touched by Johnfon in his Vanity of Human Wishes, is too obvious to need more than a fimple admonition to direct the attention of the reader.

[blocks in formation]


Ver. 17. What bleffings thy free bounty gives,
Let me not caft away;

For God is paid when Man receives :
T' enjoy is to obey.

Athenæus, in his compilations, ii. 3. quotes a paffage from Alexis which contains a pleafing fentiment of the fame complexion, as follows:

Let Fortune's fav'rites in broad funfhine live,
And God's benignity difplay to all.
Then, only then, the bounteous Donor reapa
His recompenfe, when man enjoys the boon.
The niggard and penurious, who fhuts up
The ftores cœleftial with close-handed care,
He views difpleas'd, and soon withdraws the gift.

Ver. 49. To thee, whose temple is all space,
Whofe altar, earth, fea, fkies.

Lucan, ix. 578. has an admirable paffage of this kind:
Eftne Dei fedes, nifi terra, et pontus, et aër,
Et cœlum, et virtus? Superos quid quærimus ultrà ?
Jupiter eft quodcunque vides, quocunque moveris.
Is there a place, that God would choose to love
Beyond this earth, the feas, yon heaven above,
And virtuous minds, the nobleft throne of Jove?
Why feek we farther then? Behold around,
How all thou feeft does with the God abound;
Jove is alike in all, and always to be found.





EPISTLE I. P. 207.

Ver. 256. Euclio was defigned for Sir Charles Duncombe of Helmfley; who is alluded to again in Imitations of Horace, ii. Sat. ii. fin.

And Helmfley, once proud Buckingham's delight,
Slides to a fcriv'ner, or a city knight:

and who divided his eftates in Yorkshire and Wilts among different branches of his family. B.

See note A. in the Biog. Brit. Art. Duncombe William.


Ver. 17. Come then, the colours and the ground prepare
Dip in the rainbow, trick her off in air;

Chufe a firm cloud, before it fall, and in it

Catch, e'er the change, the Cynthia of this minute.

This paffage, of elegance fo exquifitely curious, is indebted for

the original conception to Cowley, David. ii. 807.

This he with ftarry vapours spangles all,

Took in their prime, e'er they grow ripe and fall :

Of a new rainbow, e'er it fret or fade,

The choiceft piece took out, the scarf is made.


Ver. 127. The crown of Poland, venal twice an age,
To juft three millions ftinted modeft Gage.
But nobler scenes Maria's dreams unfold,
Hereditary realms, and worlds of gold.
Congenial fouls! whofe life one av❜rice joins,
And one fate buries in th' Afturian 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 phrafe hereditary realms. In Bowles's Travels into Spain, is fome account of this scheme of working the Afturian mines. B.

Ver. 291. When Hopkins dies, a thousand lights attend The wretch, who living fav'd a candle's end. Edmund Boulter, Efq. executor to Vulture Hopkins, made fo 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 Caffius, xlvii. 49. "Brutus made an effort to force his way "from the ftrong pofition, whither he had retreated, into the "camp; but, finding this impracticable and learning that fome "of his foldiers had fubmitted to the conquerors, he abandoned "himself to despair: but, difdaining captivity, he refolved on "death; and defired fome of his attendants to dispatch him, "after he had repeated with a loud voice that exclamation of "Hercules, in the Tragedy:

"Ah! hapless Virtue! deem'd a truth by me ;

"But Fortune's flave thou wert, and a mere empty name."


Ver. 117. Grove nods at grove, each alley has a brother,
And half the platform just reflects the other.

An author of congenial tafte; and, on a fimilar fubject, has made ufe of this moft happy couplet:

And scatter'd clumps, that nod at one another,
Each ftiffly waving at its formal brother.

* Landscape, ii. 6. a poem, which the elegant and ingenious author, by a few lectures on verfification, relative to modes of expreffion too undignified for poetry, and a languifhing imbecillity of numbers, would foon polish into greater excellence. The addrefs of Sir Edward Winnington is an admirable fpecimen of fine tafte and noble sentiment.

*M:. Knight's Poem.


Ver. 149. The foft Dean is faid to be Dr. Alured Clarke, Dean of Peterborough. B.

Ver. 204. These are imperial works, and worthy kings.

From Dryden's Virgil, vi. 1177.

Thofe are imperial arts, and worthy thee.


Strahan and Preston,

« ZurückWeiter »