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To all their dated backs he turns you round; 135
And now the Chapel's filver bell you hear,
V18. 141. The false tafte in Music, improper to the subjects, as of ligát airs in churches, often practised by the organitts, etc
Vsr. 142. Thai fummans you to all the Pride of Pray’r:] This absurdity is very happily expressed; Pride, of all human follies, being the first we thould leave behind us when we approach the facred altar. But he who could take Meanness for Magnificence, might easily mistake Humility for Meanness.
Ver. 145. —And in Painting (from which even Italy is not free) of naked figures in Churches, etc. which has obliged some Popes to put draperies on some of those of the best masters.
Ver. 146. Verrio or Laguerre,] Verrio (Antonio) painted many ceilings, etc. at Windsor, Hampton-Court, etc, and Laguerre at Blenheim-castle, and other places.
To rest, the Cushion and soft Dean invite,
But hark! the chiming Clocks to dinner call;
155 No, 'tis a Temple, and a Hecatomb. A folemn Sacrifice, perform d in itate, You drink by measure, and to minutes eat.
Ver. 150. Who never mentions Hell to ears polite.] This is a fact; a reverend Dean preaching at Court, threated the finner with punishment in “ a place which he thought it not 66 decent to name in so polite an allembly.”
Ver. 153. Taxes the incongruity of Ornaments (tho’ fome. times practised by the ancients) where an open mouth ejects the water into a fountain, or where the shocking images of serpents, etc, are introduced in Grotto's or Builets,
Ver. 153. The rich Buffet weil-colour’d Serpents grace,] The circumfarces of being cell-colour’d Thews this ornament not only to be very absurd, but very odious too ; and has a peculiar beauty, as, in one instance of falle Tafte, viz. an injudicious choice in imitation, he gives in the epithet employed; the fugeest.on of another, whicin is an injudicious man
Ver. 155. Is this a dinner, etc.) The proud Festivals of fume men are here set forth to ridicule, where prile deftroys the ease, and formal regularity all the pleasuable enjoyment of the eniertainment.
So quick retires each flying course, you'd swear
Yet hence the Poor are cloath'd, the Hungry fed;
shall see the golden Ear
Ver. 160. Sancho's dread Doftor] See Don Quixote, chap. xlvii.
VER. 169. Yet hence the Poor, etc.] The Moral of the whole, where PROVIDENCE is justified in giving Wealth to those who squander it in this manner. A bad Taste employs more hands, and diffufes Expence more than a good one.
This recurs to what is laid down in Book I. Ep. ii. x 230-7, and in the Epistle preceding this, x 161, etc.
Ver. 176. And laughing Ceres re-assume the land.] The great beauty of this line is an instance of the art peculiar to our poet; by which he has so disposed a trite claftical figure, as not only
Who then shall grace, or who improve the Soil ? Who plants like BATHURST, or who builds like
BOYLE. 'Tis Ure alone that fan&ifies Expence, And splendor borrows all her rays from Sense. 180
His Father's Acres who enjoys in peace, Or makes his Neighbours glad, if he encrease : Whose chearful Tenants bless their yearly toil, Yet to their Lord owe more than to the soil; Whose ample Lawns are not asham'd to feed 185 The milky heifer and deferving feed; Whose rising Forests, not for pride or show, But future Buildings, future Navies, grow :
to make it do its vulgar office, of representing a very plentiful barvesi, but also to assume the Image of Nature, re-establishing herself in her rights, and mocking the vain efforts of false magnificence, which would keep her out of them.
VER, 179, 180. 'Tis Use a?one that sanctifies Experce, And Splendor borrows all ber rays from Sense.] Here the poet, to make the examples of good Taste the better understood, introduces them with a summary of his Precepts in these two sublime lines : for, the consulting Use is beginning with Sense; and the making Splendor or Tafie borrow all its rays from thence, is going on with Sense, after she has led us up to Taste. The art of this can never be sufficiently admired. But the Expression is equal to the Thought. This fan.7ifying of expence gives us the idea of something consecrated and set apart for facred uses; and indeed, it is the idea under which it may be properly considered : For wealth employed according to the intention of Providence, is its true consecration; and the real uses of humanity were certainly first in its intention,
Let his plantations stretch from down to down,
You too proceed! make falling Arts your care, Erect new wonders, and the old repair; Jones and Palladio to themselves restore, And be whate'er Vitruvius was before : 'Till Kings call forth th' Ideas of your mind, 195 (Proud to accomplish what such hands design d,)
VER. 195, 197, etc. 'Till Kings - bid Harbours open, etc.] The poet after having touched upon the proper objects of Magnificence and Expence, in the private works of great men, comes to those great and public works which become a prince. This Poem was published in the year 1732, when some of the new-built churches, by the act of Queen Anne, were ready to fall, being founded in boggy land (which is satirically alluded to in our author's imitation of Horace, Lib. ii. Sat. 2.
Shall half the new-built Churches round thee fall) cthers very vilely executed, through fraudulent cabals between rindertakers, officers, etc. Dagenham-breach had done very great imischiefs ; many of the Highways throughout England were hardly paliable; and most of those which were repaired by Turnpikes were made jobs for private lucre, and infamously executed, even to the entrance of London itself: The proposal of building a Bridge at Westminster had been petitioned against and rejected; but in two years after the publication of ? his poem, an Act for building a Bridge passed thro' both houses. After many debates in the committee, the execution was left to the carpenter above-mentioned, who would have made it a wooden cne; to which our author alludes in these lines,
Who builds a Bridge that never drove a pile ?
Should Ripley venture, all the world would smile. See the potes on that place,