« VorigeDoorgaan »
Perhaps, by its own ruins fav'd from flame,
Ambition figh’d: She found it vain to trust
VER. 18. And give to Titus old Vespasian's due.] A finc insinuation of the entire want of Taste in Antiquaries; whole ignorance of Characters misleads them, (supponied only by a name) against Reason and History. VER.
2. 25. A narrow Orb each crowded Conquest keeps,] A ridicule on the pompous title of Orbis Romanus, which the Romans gave to their empire.
Ver. 27. - the proud Arch] i. e. The triumphal Aich, which was generally an enormous mass of building.
The Medal, faithful to its charge of fame, Thro' climes and ages bears each form and name: In one short view subjected to our eye Gods, Emp’rors, Heroes, Sages, Beauties, lie. With sharpen'd fight pale Antiquaries pore, 35 Th'inscription value, but the rust adore. This the blue varnish, that the green endears, The sacred rust of twice ten hundred years! To gain Pescennius one employs his Schemes, One grasps a Cecrops in ecstatic dreams. 40 Poor Vadius, long with learned fpleen devour'd, Can taste no pleasure since his Shield was fcour'd: And Curio, restless by the Fair-one's fide, Sighs for an Otho, and neglects his bride.
Theirs is the Vanity, the Learning thine: 45 Touch'd by thy hand, again Rome’s glories shine ; Her Gods, and god-like Heroes rise to view, . And all her faded garlands bloom a-new.
VARIATIONS. VER. 35. With sharpen'd fight pale Antiquaries pore,) Microscopic glatles, invented by philosophers to discover the · beauties in the minuter works of nature, ridiculously appied by Antiquaries, to detect the cheats of counterfeit me
Ver. 37. This the blue varnish, that the green endears,] i.e. This a collector of silver; That, of brass coins.
Ver. 41. Poor Padius,] See h's history, and that of his Child, in the Memoirs of Sciblerus,
Nor blush, these studies thy regard engage;
Oh when Nall Britain, conscious of her claim,
55 And vanquish'd realms supply recording gold? Here, rising bold, the Patriot's honest face; There Warriors frowning in historic brass: Then future ages with delight Mall see How Plato's, Bacon's, Newton's looks agree; 60
NOTES. Ver. 49. Nor bluth, these Studies thy regard engage;] A senseless affectation which fome writers of eminence have betrayed; who when fortune, or their talents have raifed them to a condition to do without those arts, for which only they gained our esteem, have pretended to think letters below their Character. This false shame M. Voltaire has very well, and with proper indignation, exposed in his account of Mr. Congreve : « He had one Defect, which was, his entertaining too ( mean an Idea of his first Profession, (that of a Writer) tho' “ 'twas to this he ow'd his Fame and Fortune. He spoke of “ his works as of Trifles that were beneath him; and hinted “ to me in our first Conversation, that I should visit him upon “ no other foot than that of a Gentleman, who led a Life of « plainnefs and simplicity. I answer'd, that, had he been fo “ unfortunate as to be a mere Gentleman, I fhould never “ have come to see him; and I was very much disgused at " so unseasonable a piece of vanity.” Letters concerning the English Nation, xix.
Ver. 53. Oh when Mall Britain, &c.] A compliment to one of Mr. Addison's papers in the Spectator, on this subject.
Or in fair series laurell’d Bards be shown, A Virgil there, and here an Addison. Then shall thy Craggs (and let me call him mine) On the cast ore, another Pollio, shine; With aspect open shall erect his head, 65 And round the orb in lasting notes be read, “ Statesman, yet friend to Truth! of soul sincere, “ In action faithful, and in honour clear; “ Who broke no promise, serv'd no private end, “ Who gain’d no title, and who lost no friend; " Ennobled by himself, by all approv'd, “ And prais’d, unenvy'd, by the Muse he lov'd,
NOTES. VER. 67. “ Statesman, yet friend to truth, &c ]. It should be remembered that this poem was written to be printed before Mr. Addison's discourse on Medals, in which there is the following censure of long legends upon coins : “ The first “ fault I find with a modern legend is its diffusiveness. You “ have sometimes the whole side of a medal over-run with it. • One would fancy the Author had a design of being Cicero“ nian -- but it is not only the tediousness of these inscrip« tions that I find fault with; supposing them of a moderate “ length, why must they be in verse? We should be surprized " to tee the title of a serious book in rhyme.”- Dial. iii.
VER. ult. And prais’d, unenvy'd, by the Muse he lov’d.] It was not likely that men acting in so different spheres as were those of Mr. Craggs and Mr. Pope, should have their friendfhip di!turbed by Envy. We must fuppofe then that some circumstances in the friendship of Mr. Pope and Mr. Addison are hin::d at in this place.