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That very Cæfar born in Scipio's days,
In this one Passion man can strength enjoy,
COMMENTARY. same; but a different time had changed their subsidiary ones of Lust and Luxury, into their very opposites of Chastity and Frugality. 'Tis in vain therefore, says our author, for the observer of human nature to fix his attention on the Workman, if he all the while mistakes the Scaffold for the Building.
VER. 222. In this one Pasion &c.] But now it may be objected to our philosophic poet, that he has indeed shewn the true means of coming to the Knowledge and Characters of men by a Principle certain and infallible, when found, yet, by his own account, of so difficult investigation, that its Counterfeit, and it is always attended with one, may be easily mistaken for it. To
NOTE S. Characters; for they are, in reality, very different and diftinct; so much fo, that'tis remarkable, the three greatest men in Rome, and contemporaries, possessed each of these separately, without the least mixture of the other two : The men I mean were Cæsar, Cato, and Cicero: For Cæfar had Ambition without either vanity or pride; Cato had Pride without ambition or vanity; and Cicero had Vanity without pride or ambition.
VER.223. As Fits give vigour, just when they destroy.] The fimilitude is extremely apposite; as most of the instances he has afterwards given of the vigorous exertion of the Ruling Passion in the last moments, are from such who had haftened their death by an immoderate indulgence of that Passion..
Time, that on all things lays his lenient hand,
Old Politicians chew on wisdom past,
Behold a rev’rend fire, whom want of grace Has made the father of a nameless race,
COMMENTARY... remove this difficulty, therefore, and consequently the objection that arises from it, the poet has given (from v 221 to 228) one certain and infallible criterion of the Ruling Pasion, which is this, that all the other passions, in the course of time, change and wear away; while this is ever constant and vigorous; and still going on from strength to strength, to the very moment of its demolishing the miserable machine that it has now at lengthi over-worked. Of this great truth, the poet (from * 227 to the end) gives various instances in all the principal Ruling Passions of our nature, as they are to be found in the Man of Business, the Man of Pleasure, the Epicure, the Parfimoniqus; the Toafia
Note S. VER. 227. Here honest Nature ends as fhe begins.) Human nature is here humouroufly called honeft, as the impulfe of the ruling paffion (which she gives and cherishes) makes her more and more impatient of disguise.
Ver. 231. Lanefo’row.) An ancient Nobleman, who continued this practice long after his legs were disabled by the gout. Upon the death of Prince George of Denmark, he demanded an audience of the Queen, to advise her to preserve her health and difpel her grief by Dancing. P.
Shov'd from the wall perhaps, or rudely press’d By his own son, that passes by unbless’d: 235 Still to his wench he crawls on knocking knees, And envies ev'ry sparrow that he sees.
A salmon's belly, Helluo, was thy fate; The doctor call’d, declares all help too late : " Mercy! cries Helluo, mercy on my soul! 240 “ Is there no hope? --Alas!-then bring the jowl."
The frugal Crone, whom praying priests attend, Still tries to save the hallow'd taper's end, Collects her breath, as ebbing life retires, For one puff more, and in that puff expires. 245
* Odious! in woollen! 'twould a Saint provoke, (Were the last words that poor Narcissa spoke) “ No, let a charming Chintz, and Bruffels lace “ Wrap my cold limbs, and shade my lifeless face:
COMMENTARY: Courtier, the Miser, and the Patriot, which last instance the poet has had the art, under the appearance of Satire, to turn into the noblest Compliment on the person to whom the Epistle is addressed.
Notes. Ver. 247.- the last words that poor Narcissa spoke] This story, as well as the others, is founded on fact, tho' the author had the goodness not to mention the names. Several attribute this in particular to a very celebrated Actress, who, in detestation of the thought of being buried in woollen, gave these her last orders with her dying breath. P.
Ver. 242. The frugal Crone,] A fact told him, of a Lady at Paris.
had the goodicular to a very being
“One would not,fure, be frightful when one's dead-“And-Betty-give this Cheek a little Red.”
The Courtier smooth, who forty years had shin'd An humble servant to all human kind, Just brought out this, when scarce his tongue could
stir, “ If-where I'm going—I could serve you, Sir?”.
“ I give and I devise (old Euclio faid, 256 And figh’d) “ my lands and tenements to Ned. Your money, Sir?--"My money, Sir, what all ? “ Why,---if I must--- (then wept) I give it Paul. “ The Manor, Sir?---"The Manor ! hold, he cry'd, “ Not that ---I cannot part with that’---and dy'd.
And you! brave COBHAM, to the latest breath Shall feel your ruling passion strong in death: Such in those moments as in all the past, “Oh, save my Country, Heav'n!” shall be your lasta