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Tir’d, not determin’d, to the last we yield,
True, some are open, and to all men known;
COMMENTAR T. to interrupt our first numbers: Theñ (which proves the truth of the hypothesis) we are fometimes able to trace the workings of the Fancy backwards, from image to image, in a chain, till we come to that from whence they all arose.
VER. 51. True, some are open, &c.) But now, in answer to all this, an objector (from Ver. 50 to 63.) máy say, “ That these difficulties seem to be aggravated : For many cha
NOTE S. VER. 56.- peeps not from its hele.] Which shews, that this grave person was content with his present situation, as find. ing but small satisfaction in what a famous Poet reckons onc of the advantages of old age;
“ The soul's dark cottage, batter'd and decay'd, “ Lets in new light through chinks that time has made."
At half mankind when gen’rous Manly raves,
But these plain characters we rarely find;
COMMENT A Ř Y. racters are so plainly marked, that no man can mistake them: and not so only in the more open and frank, but in the cl left and most recluse likewise.” Of each of these the Objector gives an instance; by which it appears, that the forbidding closeness and concealed hypocrisy in the oné, are as confpicuous to all mankind, as the gracious openness and frank plain dealing of the other.--The Reader sees, this objection is more particularly levelled at the doctrine of Ver. 23.
“ Our depths who fathoms, and our pallows finds," for here it endeavours to prove, that both are equally explorable.
VER. 63. But these plain Characters, &c.] To this objection, therefore, our Author replies (from Ver. 62 to 71.) that indeed the fact may be true, in the instances given; but that such plain characters are extremely rare: And for the truth of this, he not only appeals to experience, but explains the causes of those perplexed and complicated humours which diffuse themselves over the whole species. The first of which is, the vivacity of the imasination; that when the bias of the passions is sufficiently determined to mark out the Cha. racter, the vigour of the fancy generally rising in proportion
The Dull, flat Falfhood serves for policy;
See the fame man, in vigour, in the gout;
to the strength of the appetites, the one no fooner draws the bias, than the other turns it to a contrary direction :
" Tho' strong the bent, yet quick the turns of mind.”
2. A second cause is the contrariety of Appetites, which drawing several ways, as Avarice and Luxury, Ambition and Indolence, &c. (expressed in the line,
“ Or puzzling Contraries confound the whole,") must needs make the same character inconsistent to itself, and of course, inexplicable by the observer.
3. A third cause is Affectation, which aspires to qualities that neither nature nor education has given us; and which, consequently, neither use nor art will ever render graceful or becoming. On this account it is, he well observes,
“ Or Affectations quite reverfe the soul;" natural pallions may, indeed, turn it from that bias which the ruling one has given it; but the affected pallions distort all its faculties, and cramp all its operations; so that it acts with the same constraint that a tumbler walks upon his hands : and both have the like aim to procure admiration.
4. A fourth cause lies in the Inequalities of the human mind, which expose the wise to unexpected' frailties, and conduct the weak to as unlooked for wisdom.
VER.71. See the same man, &c.] Of all these Four causes he here gives EXAMPLES: 1. Of the vivacity of the imaginatiin 'from Ver. 70 to 77.)-2. Of the contrariety of Appetites (from Ver. 76 to 81.)-3. Of Affectations (from Ver. 80 to
Early at Bus’nefs, and at Hazard late ;
Catius is ever moral, ever grave,
Who would not praise Patritio’s high desert,
Triumphant leaders, at an army's head,
NOI E s.
Ver. 87.--Jay Montagne, or more sage Charron!] Charron was an admirer of Montagne; had contracted a strict friend
A perjur’d Prince a leaden Saint revere,
NOTES: hip with him; and has transferred an infinite number of his thoughts into his famous book De la Sagelse; but his moderating every where the extravagant Pyrrhonism of his friend, is the reason why the Poet calls him more fage Charron.
VER. 89. A perjur'd Priniel Louis XI. of France, wore in his Hat a leaden image of the Virgin Mary, which, when he swore by, lie feared to break his oath. P.
Ver. 90. A godless Regent tremble at a Star? ] Philip Duke of Orleans, Regent in the Minority of Louis XV. superstitious in judicial astrology, though an unbeliever in all religion. The same has been observed of many other Politicians. The Italians, in general, are not more noted for their refined politics, than for their attachment to the dotages of Astrology, under the influence of Atheism. It may be worth while to enquire into the cause of so singular a phænomenon, as it may probably do honour to Religion. These men observing (and none have equal opportunities of so doing) how perpetually public events fall out besides their expectation, and contrary to the best laid schemes of worldly policy, cannot but confefs that human affairs are ordered by some power extrinfecal. To acknowledge a God and his Providence, would be next to introducing a morality destructive of that public syftem which they think necessary for the government of the world. They have recourfe therefore to that absurd scheme of power which rules by no other law than Fate or Defliny. The consideration of this, perhaps, was the reason that the Poet, to keep up decorum, and to preserve the distinction between a Patriot and a Politician, makes his friend rely upon Providence for the public safery, in the concluding words of the epistle,
"-Such in those moments as in all the past;
VER. 91. The throne a Bigot keep, a Genius quit,] Philip V. of Spain, who, after renouncing the throne for Religion, re