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For Locke or Milton 'tis in vain to look,
Ver. 141. The false taste in Mufic, improper to the subjects, as of light airs in churches, often practised by the organists, etc.
VER. 142. That summons you to all the Pride of Pray’r:) This absurdity is very happily expressed; Pride, of all human follies, being the firit we should leave behind us when we approach the sacred altar. But he who could take Meanness for Magnificence, might easily minke 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) paint. ed many ceilings, etc, at Windsor, Hampton-Cour:, bts, and Laguerre at Blenheim-castle, and other places,
VER. 150. Wbo never mentions Hell to ears polite.] This is a fect; a reverend Dean preaching at Court, threatned the
But hark! the chiming Clocks to dinner call;
161 From soup to fweet-wine, and God bless the King.
finner with punishment in " a place which he thought it not “ decent to name in so polite an assembly.”
VER, 153. Taxes the incongruity of Ornaments (though sometimes practised by the ancients) where an open mouth ejects the water into a fountain, or where the mocking images of serpents, etc. are introduced in Grottos or Buffets.
VER. 153. The rich Buffet well-colour'd Serpents grace,] The circâmstance of being well-colour'd shews this ornament not only to be very absurd, but very odious too; and has a peculiar beauty, as, in one instance of false Taste, viz. an injudicious choice in imitation, he gives in the epithet employed) the suggestion of another, which is an injudicious manner of it.
Ver. 155. Is this a dinner, etc.] The proud Festivals of fome men are here set forth to ridicule, where pride destroys the ease, and formal regularity all the pleasurable enjoyment of the entertainment.
Ver. 160. Sancho's dread Doétor] See Don Quixote, chap. xlvii.
In plenty ftarving, tantaliz'd in frate,
Yct hence the Poor are cloaih’d, the Hungry feed;
Another age shall see the golden Ear Imbrown the Slope, and nod on the Parterre, Deep Harvests bury all his pride has plannid, And laughing Ceres re-assume the land.
Who then shall 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 Epistle preceding this, ver. 161, etc.
Ver. 176. And laughing Ceres re-«?/Junie 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 only to make it do its vulgar office, of representing a very plentiful barae/f, but also to assume the Image of Nature, re-establishing her telf in ber rights, and mocking the vain efforts of falde magnificence, which would keep her out of them.
Tis Ufe alone that fanétifies Expence,
His Father's Acres who enjoys in peace,
190 You too proceed ! make falling Arts your care, Eret new wonders, and the old repair ; Jones and Palladio to themselves restore, And be whate'er Vitruvius was before:
VER. 179, 180. 'Tis Use alone that fanctifies Expence, 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 fub. lime lines : for, the consulting Use is beginning with Sense; and the making Splendor or Taste borruzu all its rays from thence, is going on with Sense, after she has led us up to Tafe. The art of this can never be sufficiently admired. But the Expression is equal to the Thought. This fan&tifying of expence gives us the idea of something confecrated 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. tion; and the real uses of humanity were certainly first in its intention,
'Till Kings call forth th’Ideas of your mind, 195 (Proud to accomplish what such bands design'd,) Bid Harbours open, public Ways extend, 1. Temples, worthier of the God, afcend; Bid the broad Arch the dang’rous Flood contain, The viole projected break the roaring Main ;
VER. 195, 197, etc. 'Till Kings - Bid Harbours open, etc.) The poot 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, hy 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, thropgh fraudulent cabals between 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 lu. cie, and infamously executed, even to the entrance of Londun itself : The proposal of building a Bridge at WestminHer had been petitioned against and rejected; but in two years after the publication of this poem, an Act for building a Bridge palled through both houses, After many debates in the commitee, the execution was left to the carpenter above-mentioned, who would have made it a wooden one; to which our author alludes in these lines,
Who builds a Bridge that never drove a pile ?
See the notes on that place.