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In plenty ftarving, tantaliz'd in ftate,
I'ct hence the Poor are cloaih'd, the Hungry fed; Health to himself, and to his Infants bread
170 The Lab'rer bears : What his hard Heart denies, His charitable Vanity supplies. incther
ihail see the golden Ear Imbrown the Slope, and nod on the Parterre, Deep Harveits bury all his pride has plann’d, 175 And laughing Ceres l'c-assume the land.
Who then ihall grace, or who improve the Soil ? Who plants like BATHURST, or who builds like
Ver. 169. Yet bence 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 diffuses Expence more than a good one. This recurs to what is laid down in Book I. Ep. ii. ver. 230-7, and in the Epirtle preceding this, ver. 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 clasical figure, as not cnly to make it do its vulgar office, of wepresenting a very plenifa! harviff, but also to assume the Image of Nature, re-establishing her relf in her rights, and mocking the vain efforts of falde magnificence, which would keep her out of tim.
'Tis Use alone that fan&tisies Expence,
His Father's Acres who enjoys in peace,
You too proceed! make falling Arts your care,
Ver. 179, 180. 'Tis Use alone that sanctifies Expence, And Splendor borrows all ber rays from Senfe.] 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 Taste 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 fanerifying of expence gives us the idea of something consecrated and set apart for sacred 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 consecra
and the real uses of humanity were certainly first in its intention,
'Till Kings call forth th' Ideas of your mind, 195
Temples, worthier of the God, afcend;
Ver. 195, 197, etc. 'Till Kings — Bid Harbours open, etc.) The poet after having touched upon the proper objects of Magniticence 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)
others very vilely executed, through fraudulent cabals betwen undertakers, officers, etc. Dagenham-breach had done very great mischiefs; many of the Highways throughout England were har. ly palable ; and most of those which were repaired by Turnpikes were made jobs for private lucie, and infamously executed, even to the entrance of Londun itself : The proporal of building a Bridge at Westmin1ter biad been petitioned against and rejected; but in two years after the publication of this poem, an Ad for building a Bridge palled through both houses. After many debates in the commi'tee, the execution was left to the carpenter above-mentioned, who would have made it a wooden one ; to which our au: hor alludes in these lines,
Who builds a Bridge that never drove a pile ?
See the notes on that place.
Back to his bounds their subject sea command, And roll obedient Rivers thro' the Land : These Honours, Peace to happy Britain brings, These are Imperial Works, and worthy Kings,
E E the wild Waite of all-devouring years!
How Rome her o.vn fid fepulchre :ppears, With nodding arches, broken temples spread! The very Tombs nuw vanih like their dead !
EPISTLE V.) This was originally written in the year 1715, wlien Mr. Addison intended to publish his book of Medals ; it was some time before he was Secretary of State ; but not published till Mr. Tickell's Edition of his works ; at which time the verses on Mr. Craggs, which conclude the form, were added, viz. in 1726.
As the third Epistle treated of the extremes of Avarice and Profufior ; and the fourth took up one particular branch of the latter, namely, the vanity of expence in people of wealtia and quality, and was therefore a corollary to the third; fo this treats of one circumstance of that Vanity, as it appears in the common coilectors of old coins : and is, therefore, a corollary to the fourth.