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E P I S T L E IV.
'IS ftrange, the Miser should his Cares employ
To gain those riches he can ne'er enjoy: Is it'less strange, the Prodigal should waste His wealth, to purchase what he ne'er can tafte ? Not for himself he sees, or hears, or eats ; 5 Artists must chuse his Pictures, Music, Meats : He buys for Topham, Drawings and Designs, For Pembroke Statues, dirty Gods, and Coins;
EPISTLE IV.] The extremes of Avarice and Profusion being treated of in the foregoing Epistle; this takes up one particular branch of the latter, the Vanity of Expence in people of wealth and quality; and is therefore a corollary to the preceding, just as the Epistle on the Characters of Women is to that of the Knowledge and Characters of Men. It is equally remarkable for exactness of method with the rest. But the nature of the sub. ject, which is less philosophical, makes it capable of being analysed in a much narrower compass.
VER. 7. Topbam,] A Gentleman famous for a judicious col. lection of Drawings.
Ver. 8. For Pembroke Statues, dirty Gods, and Coins ;] The author speaks here not as a Philofopher or Divine, but as a Connoisseur and Antiquary ; consequently the dirty attribute here assigned these Gods of old renown, is not in disparagement of their worth, but in high commendation of their genuine free tenfions,
Rare monkish Manuscripts for Hearne alone,
For what has Virro painted, built, and planted ?
VER. 10. And Books for Mead, and Butterflies for Sloane.] Two eminent Physicians; the one had an excellent Library, the other the finest collection in Europe of natural curiofities; both men of great learning and humanity.
Ver. 12. Than his fine Wife, alas! or finer Wbore.] By the Author's manner of putting together these two different Utensils of false Magnificence, it appears, that, properly speaking, neither the Wife nor the Whore is the real object of modern taste, but the Finery only: And whoever wears it, whether the Wife or the Whore, it matters not; any further than that the latter is thought to deserve it best, as appears from her having most of it; and so indeed becomes, by accident, the more fashionable Thing of the two.
Ver. 18. Ripley] This man was a carpenter, employed by a first Minister, who raised him to an Architect, without any genius in the art ; and after some wretched proofs of his insufticiency in public Buildings, made him Comptroller of the Board titorks,
A standing sermon, at each year's expence,
You show us, Rome was glorious, not profuse,
brother Peer, A certain truth, which many buy too dear : 40
hinted to your
23. The Earl of Burlington was then publishing the Designs of Inigo Jones, and the Antiquities of Rome by Palladio,
Must Bishops, Lawyers, Statesmen, have the skill
Something there is more needful than Expence,
To build, to plant, whatever you intend,
Consult the Genius of the Place in all; That tells the Waters or to rise, or fall;
Ver. 46. Inigo Jones the celebrated Architect, and M. Is Nôtre, the designer of the best Gardens in France,
Ver. 57. Consult the Genius of the Place, etc. -- to defiga, $ 64.] The personalizing or rather deifying the Genius of ti place, in order to be consulted as an Oracle, has produced or of the noblest and most sublime descriptions of Dehga, thi poetry could express. Where this Genius, while presiding are the work, is represented by little and little, as advancing free a simple adviser, to a creator of all the beauties of improved Nature, in a variety of bold metaphors and allusions, all nta: one above another, 'till they complete the unity of the genda idea,