« AnteriorContinuar »
of Extremes, and brings all to it's great End by perpetual Revolutions, 161 to 178. How a Miser aets upon Principles which appear to him reasonable, x 179. How a Prodigal does the same, $ 199. The due Medium, and true use of Riches, y 219. The Man of Rofs, 250. The fate of the Profuse and the Covetous, in two examples; both miserable in Life and in Death, ý 300, &c. The Story of Sir Balaam, x 339 to the end.
N.Blakey iv.& del
Gsevan frulp.Who sees pale Mammon pine amidsthis Stóre, Sees but a backward Steward for the Poor;
This Year a Reservoir, to keep and spare); She next, a Fountain, spouting thro his Heir
E P I S T L E
THO shall decide, when Doctors disagree,
EPISTLE III.) This Epistle was written after a violent outery against our Author, on a supposition that he had ridicaled a worthy nobleman merely for his wrong taste. He justified himself upon that article, in a letter to the Earl of Burlington ;
at the end of which are these words: " I have learnt that there are some who would rather be " wicked than ridiculous ; and therefore it may be safer
to attack vices tban follies. I will therefore leave my “ betters in the quiet promotion of their idols, their groves, " and their high piaces; and change my subject from “ their pride to their meanness, from their vanities to “ their miseries ; and as the only certain way to avoid “ misconstructions, to lessen offence, and not to multiply " ill-natured applications, I may probaby, in my next, " make use of real names instead of fiétitious ones." P.
Who fall decide, &c.] The address of the Introduction (from ý 1 to 21) is remarkable: The poet represents himself and the noble Lord his friend, as in a conversation, philosophising on the final cause of Riches ; and it proceeds by way of dialogue, which most writers use to hide want of method ; our Author only to foften and enliven the dryness and severity of it. You (says the poet)
- hold the word from Jove to Momus giv'n,
You hold the word, from Jove to Momus giv'n, That Man was made the standing jest of Heav'n ; And Gold but sent to keep the fools in play, 5 For some to heap, and some to throw away.
As much as to say, “ You, my Lord, hold the subje&t we
are upon as fit only for Satire; I, on the contrary, “ esteem it a case of Philosophy and profound Ethics: “ But as we both agree in the main Principle, that Riches
were not given for the reward of Virtue, but for very
different purposes (See Esay on Man, Ep. iv.) let us “ compromise the matter, and consider the subject joint
ly, both under your idea and mine, i.e. Satirically “ and Philosophically."-And this, in fact, we shall find to be the true character of this poem, which is a Species peculiar to itself, and partaking equally of the nature of his Ethic Epiftles and his Satires, as the best pieces of Lucian arose from a combination of the Dialogues of Plato, and the Scenes of Aristophanes. This it will be necessary to carry with us, if we would see either the Wit or the Reasoning of this Epiftle in their true light.
Ver. 3. Momus giv'n] A- the Son of Sleep and Night, mongst the earliest abuses of and fo, consequently, halfreason, one of the first was brother to Dulness. But havto cavil at the ways of Pro-ing been much employed, vidence. But as, in those in after ages, by the Greek times, every Vice as well | Satirifts, he came, at last, as Virtue, had its Patron- to pass for a Wit; and unGod, Momus came to be der this idea, he is to be at the head of the old Free considered in the place bethinkers. Him, the Mytho- | fore us. logifts very ingeniously made