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Alk we what makes one keep, and one bestow? That Pow'r who bids the Ocean ebb and flow, Bids seed-time, harveft, equal course maintain, 165 Thro' reconcil'd extremes of drought and rain, Builds Life on Death, on Change Duration founds, And gives th'eternal wheels to know their rounds,

Riches, like insects, when conceald they lie, Wait but for wings, and in their season fly. 170 Who sees pale Mammon pine amidst his store, Sees but a backward steward for the Poor ; This year a Reservoir, to keep and spare; The next, a Fountain, spouting thro' his Heir, In lavish streams to quench a Country's thirst, 175 And men and dogs shall drink him till they burst.


VER. 173. This year a Reservoir, to keep and spare ; The next, a Fountain, spouting thro' his Heir,] Besides the obvious beauties of this fine fimilitude, it has one still more exquisite, tho' less observable, which is its being taken from a circumstance in the most elegant part of improved life. For tho' in Society, the follies of hoarding and squandering may correct each other, and produce real advantage to the whole'; as Reservoirs and Fountains may be both useful and ornamental amongst the other improvements of art; yet in a State of Nature either kind of excess would be pernicious; because, in that State, the quantity of natural goods, unimproved by art, would not suffer, without great danger of want to the whole body, either an immoderate hoarding, or a lavish profufion. And therefore Providence has wisely ordered that, in that State, by there being no fantastic wants, there should be no

: Old Cotta sham'd his fortune and his birth,
Yet was not Cotta void of wit or worth:
What tho' (the use of barb'rous spits forgot)
His kitchen vy'd in coolness with his grot? 180
His court with nettles, moats with cresses stor'd,
With soups unbought and sallads bless'd his board?
If Cotta liv'd on pulse, it was no more
Than Bramins, Saints, and Sages did before;

COMMENTARY. VER. 177. Old Cotta sham'd his fortune &c.] The poet now proceeds to support the principles of his Philosophy by examples: But before we come to these, it will be necessary to look back upon the general economy of the poem.

In the first part, to $ 109, the use and abuse of Riches are satirically delivered in precept. From thence, to * 177, the causes of the abuse are philosophically inquired into: And from thence to the end, the use and abuse are historically illustrated in examples. Where we may observe, that the conclusion of the first part, concerning the Miser's cruelty to others, naturally introduces the second, by a satirical apology, shewing that he is full as cruel to himself: The explanation of which extraordinary phænomenon brings the author into the Philosophy of his subject';

NOTES. poflible temptation to either. Which noble truth our poe hints at in the beginning of the Epistle:

But when by Man's audacious labour won,
Flam'd forth this Rival to it's Sire, the sun,
Then careful Heav'n supply'd two sorts of men,
To squander These, and Thefe to hide again. x 11, &c.

IMITATIONS. Ver. 182. With soups unbought,]

dapibus mensas onerabat inemptis. Virg. P.


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To cram the rich was prodigal expence,
And who would take the Poor from Providence ?,
Like some lone Chartreux stands the good old Hall,
Silence without, and fasts within the wall;
No rafter'd roofs with dance and tabor sound,
No noontide-bell invites the country round: 190
Tenants with fighs the smoakless towr's survey,
And turn th’unwilling steeds another

Benighted wanderers, the forest o'er,
Curs’d the fav'd candle, and unop’ning door
While the gaunt mastiff growling at the gate, 195
Affrights the beggar whom he longs to eat.

Not so his Son, he mark'd this oversight, And then mistook reverse of


COMMENTARY. and this ending in an observation of Avarice and Profusion's core recting and reconciling one another, as naturally introduces the third, which proves the truth of the observation from fact. And thus the Philosophy of his subject standing between his Precepts and Examples, gives strength and light to both, and receives it reflected back again from both.

He first gives us two examples (from 176 to 219) of these opposite ruling Pasions, and (to see them in their full force) taken from subjects, as he tells us, not void of wit or worth; from such as could reason themselves (as we fee by * 183, & feqq. and y 205, & feqq.) into the whole length of each extreme: For the Poet had observed of the ruling pasion that

Wit, Spirit, Faculties, but make it worse;
Reason itself but gives it edge and pow'r.

Elay, Ep. ii. $146.
Old Cotta therefore and his Son afforded him the most happy
illustration of his doctrine,
Vol. III,


for right.

(For what tɔ shun will no great knowledge needs
But what to follow, is a task indeed.)
Yet fure, of qualities deserving praise,
More go to ruin Fortuneș, than to raise.
What slaughter'd hecatombs, what floods of wine,
Fill the capacious 'Squire, and deep Divine !
Yet no mean motive this profusion draws, 205
His oxen perish in his country's cause;
"Tis George and LIBERTY that crowns the cup,
And Zeal for that great House which eats him up.

VER. 200. Here I found two lines in the Poet's MS.

! Yet furc, of qualities deserving praise,
© More

go to ruin fortunes than to raise. which, as they seemed to be necessary to do justice to the genes ral Character going to be described, I advised him to insert in their place.

NOTES, VER. 199. (For what to fhun will no great knowledge needs But what to follow, is a task indeed.)] The poet is here speaking only of the knowledge gained by experience. Now there are so many miserable examples of ill conduct, that no one, with his eyes open, can be at a loss to know what to hun; but; vary inviting examples of a good conduct are extremely rare : Besides, the mischiefs of folly are eminent and obvious; but the fruits of prudence, remote and retired from common observation ; and if seen at all, yet their dependance on their causes not being direct and immediate, they are not easily understood.

VER. 201, 202, Yet sure, of qualities deserving praise, More go to ruin fortunes than to raise.) This, tho' a certain truth, will, as I apprehend, never make its fortune in the City : yet, for all that, the poet has fully approved his maxim by the example of a character truly amiable for its beneficence, thom carried

an extieme,

The Woods recede around the naked seat,
The sylvans groan—no matter—for the Fleet: 210
Next goes his Wool-to clothe our valiant bands,
Last, for his country's love, he fells his Lands.
To town he comes, completes the nation's hope,
And heads the bold Train-bands and burnsa Pope.
And shall not Britain now reward his toils, 215
Britain, that


her Patriots with her Spoils ? In vain at Court the Bankrupt pleads his cause, His thankless Country leaves him to her Laws.

The Sense to value Riches, with the Art T'enjoy them, and the Virtue to impart,


After Ý 218. in the MS.

Where one lean herring furnith'd Cotta's board,
And nettles grew, fit porridge for their Lord;
Where mad good-nature, bounty misapply'd,
In lavish Curio blaz'd awhile and dy'd ;
There Providence once more fhall shift the scene,
And shewing H-Y, teach the golden mean.

COMMENTARY. Ver. 219. The Sense to value Riches, &c.] Having now largely exposed the ABUSE of Riches by example, not only the Plang but the Philosophy of his Poem, required, that he should in the

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NOTE S. VER. 219, 220. The Sense to value Riches, with the Art, Tenjoy them, and the Virtue to impart.] The Sense to value

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