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Not mcanly, nor ambitiously pursu'd,
That secret rare, with affuence hardly join'd,
COMMENTARY. same way, shew the Use likcwise: He therefore (from Ý 218, to 249) calls for an Exaurly, in which may be found, against the Proligal, the Senje to value Riches; against the l'ain, the Art to enjoy them; and against the Avaricious, the Virtue 19 impart them, when acquired. This whole Art (he tells us) may be comprived in one great and general precept, which is this. “ 'That the righ man Thould coplider himself as the substitute “ of Providence in this unequal distribution of things, as the “person who is
To cale, or emulate, the care of Heav'n; - To mond the faults of fortune, or to jullify her graces.” And thus the poet Mules naturally into the prosecution of his subject in an Example of the true lle of Riches.
NOTES. Ribei, is not, in the City-m. caning, the Sonse in valuing thom: Boras Ribes a nyo bo mjoyed without Ari, and imparted with
B. To Worth or Want well-weigh’d, be Bounty
... giv'n, And ease, or emulate, the care of Heav'n; 230 (Whose measure full o'erflows on human race) Mend Fortune's fault, and justify her grace. Wealth in the gross is death, but life diffus’d; As poison heals, in just proportion us’d: In heaps, like Ambergrise, a stink it lies, 235 But well-dispers’d, is Incense to the Skies.
P. Who starves by Nobles, or with Nobles eats ? The Wretch that trusts them, and the Rogue that
cheats. Is there a Lord, who knows a chearful noon Without a Fiddler, Flạtt'rer, or Buffaon ?... 24.0 Whose table, Wit, or modeft Merit fhare, Un-elbow'd by a Gamester, Pimp, or Pláy?r?
NOTES. Virtue, so they may be valued without Sense. That man there . fore only frews he has the sense to value Riches, who keeps what he has acquired, in order to enjoy one part of it innocently and elegantly, in such measure and degree as his station may justify, which the poet calls the Art of enjoying; and to impart the remainder' amongst objects of worth, or want. well weigh'd; which is, indeed, the Virtue of imparting.'
VER: 231, 232. (IV bofe measure full verfiows on human race) Mend Fortune's fault, and justify her grace.] i. e. Such of the Rich whose full measure overflows on human race, repair. the wrongs of Fortune done to the indigent; and at the fanie time, justify the favours the liad bestowed upon themselves.'
Who copies Your's, or Oxford's better part,
But all our praises why should Lords engross? Rise,honestMuse! and sing the Man of Ross: 250
Trace humble worth beyond Sabrina's shorc,
COMMENTARY. VER. 249. But all our praises why should Lords engross? Rise, honest Muse! ] This invidious expression of the poet's unwillingness that the Nobility should engross all his praises, is strongly ironical; their example having been given hitherto only to shew the abuse of Riches. But there is great justness of Design as well as agreeableness of Manner in the preference here given to the Man of Rofs. The purpose of the poet is to shew, that an immense fortune is not wanted for all the good that Riches
NOTE 3. · Ver. 243, OXFORD's better part,] Edward Harley, Earl of Oxford. The son of Robert, created Earl of Oxford, and Earl Mortimer by Queen Anne. This Nobleman died regretted by all men of letters, great numbers of whom had experienced his benefits. He left behind him one of the most noble Libraries in Europe. P.
VER. 250. The Man of Ross:] The person here celebrated, who with a small Estate actually performed all these good works,
Pleas'd Vaga echoes thro' her winding bounds,
COMMENTARY. are capable of doing; he therefore chuses such an instance, as proves, that a man with five hundred pounds à year could become a blessing to a whole country; and, confequently, that the poet's precepts for the true use of money, are of more general service than a bad heart will give an indifferent head leave to conceive. This was a truth of the greatest importance to inculcate : He therefore (from 249 to 297) exalts the character of a very private man, one Mr. J. Kyrle, of Herefordshire : And in ending his description, struck as it were with admiration at a sublimity of his own creating, and warmed with sentiments of a gratitude he had raised in himself in behalf of the public, the poet bursts out,
And what? no monument, inscription, stone? . His race, his form, his name almost unknown? Then transported with indignation at a contrary object, he exclaims,
When Hopkins dies, a thousand lights attend
NOT E S. and whose true name was almost loft (partly by the title of the Man of Ross given him by way of eminence, and partly by being buried without so much as an inscription) was called Mr. John Kyrle. He died in the year 1724, aged 90, and lies interred in the chancel of the church of Ross in Herefordfhire. P. · We must understand what is here faid, of actually performing, to mean by the contributions which the Alan of Rojs, by his assiduity and interest, collected in his neighbourhood.
Not to the skies in useless columns tost, 255
Belies his features, nay, extends his hands. I take notice of this description of the portentous vanity of a miserable Extortioner, chiefly for the use we shall now see he makes of it in carrying on his subject.
NOTES, VER. 255. Not to the fries in useless columns toft, Or in proud falls magnificently 1017,] The intimation, in the first line, well ridicules the madness of fashionable Magnificence; these co. lumns aspiring to prop the skies, in a very different sense from the heav'n-directed fpere, in the verse that follows: As the exe pression, in the second line, exposes the meanness of it, in falling proudly to no purpose.