Page images

Plate XV.

Vol. III. facing p. 262.

N.Blakey inv. et del.

Ravenet Sculp

What brought S." Visto's ill-got Wealth to waste? Some Dæmon whisperd, Visto! have a Taste.


Not for himself he fees, or hears, or eats;
Artists must chufe his Pictures, Mufic, Meats:
He buys for Topham, Drawings and Defigns,
For Pembroke Statues, dirty Gods, and Coins;
Rare monkish Manufcripts for Hearne alone,
And Books for Mead, and Butterflies for Sloane. 10


philofophy of this obfervation, there is a fine Morality contained in it; namely, that ill-got Wealth is not only as unreasonably, but as uncomfortably squandered as it was raked together; which the poet himself further infinuates in 15.

What brought Sir Vifto's ill-got wealth to waste?

He then illuftrates the above obfervation by divers examples in every branch of wrong Tafte; and to fet their abfurdities in the strongest light, he, in conclufion, contrafts them with feveral inftances of the true, in the Nobleman to whom the Epiftle is addreffed. This difpofition is productive of various beauties; for, by this means, the Introduction becomes an epitome of the body of the Epistle; which, as we fhall fee, confists of general reflections on Tafte, and particular examples of bad and good. And his friend's Example concluding the Introduction, leads the poet gracefully into the fubject itself; for the Lord, here celebrated for his good Tafte, was now at hand to deliver the firft and fundamental precept of it himself, which gives authority and dignity to all that follow.


VER. 7. Topham] A Gentleman famous for a judicious collection of Drawings. P.

VER. 8. For Pembroke Statues, dirty Gods, and Coins.] The author fpeaks here not as a Philofopher or Divine, but as a Connoiffeur and Antiquary;

| confequently the dirty attribute here affigned thefe Gods of old renown, is not in difparagement of their worth, but in high commendation of their genuine pretenfions. SCRIBL.

[ocr errors]

VER. 9. Rare monkish Manuferipts for Heare alone,]

Think we all these are for himself? no more
Than his fine Wife, alas! or finer Whore.


For what has Virro painted, built, and planted? Only to fhow, how many Taftes he wanted. What brought Sir Vifto's ill got wealth to waste ? Some Dæmon whisper'd, "Vifto! have a Taste."


This is not to be understood | alas! or finer Whore.] By the in the ftrictness of the letter, Author's manner of putting toas if Mr. Tho. Hearne enjoy-gether these two different Utened these rarities without a partaker; for he has been often known to exemplify these precious relics under the authority of the Clarendon Printing-houfe, where the good feed has fometimes produced forty or fifty fold. Hence, and from their ftill continuing as much rarities as ever, it may be reafonably concluded they were not the delight of Mr. T. Hearne alone. SCRIBL.

VER 10. And Books for Mead, and Butterflies for Sloane.] Two eminent Phyfi cians; the one had an excellent Library, the other the fineft collection in Europe of natural curiofities; both men of great learning and huma nity. P.

VER. 12. Than kis fine Wife,

fils of falfe Magnificence, it appears, that, properly speaking, neither the Wife nor the Whore is the real object of modern tajte, 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 beft, as appears from her having most of it; and fo indeed becomes, by accident, the more fashionable Thing of the two. SCRIBL.

VER. 17. Heav'n vifits with a Taste the wealthy fool,] The prefent rage of Tafie, in this overflow of general Luxury, may be very properly reprefented by a defolating peftilence, alluded to in the word vifit, where Tafte becomes, as the poet says, that

planetary Plague, when Jove

Does o'er fome high-vic'd City hang his poison
In the fick air

Heav'n vifits with a Taste the wealthy fool,
And needs no Rod but Ripley with a Rule.
See! fportive fate, to punish aukward pride,
Bids Bubo build, and fends him fuch a Guide: 20
A standing sermon, at each year's expence,
That never Coxcomb reach'd Magnificence!

You show us, Rome was glorious, not profuse, And pompous buildings once were things of Use.


After 22. in the MS.

Muft Bishops, Lawyers, Statesmen, have the skill
To build, to plant, judge paintings, what you will?
Then why not Kent as well our treaties draw,
Bridgman explain the Gofpel, Gibs the Law?


VER. 18. Ripley] This man was a carpenter, employed by a firft Minifter, who raised him to an Architect, without any genius in the art; and after fome wretched proofs of his infufficiency in public Buildings, made him Comptroller of the Board of works. P.

VER. 19. See! Sportive fate, to punish aukward pride,] Pride is one of the greatest mifchiefs, as well as abfurdities of our nature; and therefore, as appears both from profane and facred Hiftory, has ever been the more peculiar object of divine vengeance.

[ocr errors]

But aukward Pride intimates fuch abilities in its owner, as eafes us of the apprehenfion of much mischief from it; fo that the poet fuppofes such a one fecure from the serious refentment of Heaven, though it may permit fate or fortune to bring him into the public contempt and ridicule, which his native badness of heart so well deferves.

VER. 23. The Earl of Burlington was then publishing the Defigns of Inigo Jones, and the Antiquities of Rome by Palladio. P.

« PreviousContinue »