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IL admirari, prope res eft una, Numici,
Solaque quae poffit facere et fervare beatum.
Hunc folem, et ftellas, et decedentia certis
Tempora momentis, funt qui formidine nulla
Imbuti fpectent. quid cenfes, munera terrae ?
Quid, maris extremos Arabas • ditantis et Indos ?
VER. 3. Dear MURRAY] This piece is the moft finished of all his imitations, and executed in that high manner the Italian Painters call con amore. By which they mean, the exertion of that principle, which puts the faculties on the stretch, and produces the fupreme degree of excellences For the Poet had all the warmth of affection for the great Lawyer to whom it is addressed, and indeed no man ever more deferved to have a Poet for his friend. In the obtaining of which as neither vanity, party, or fear had any share, fo he fupported his title to it by all the offices of true friendship,
VER. 4. Creech)] From whofe tranflation of Horace the two first lines are taken. P.
VER. 8. trust the Ruler with the fkies, To him commit the hour,] Our Author, in these imitations, has been all along careful to correct the loose morals, and abfurd divinity of his Original.
To Mr. MURRAY.
OT to admire, is all the Art I know, To make men happy, and to keep them so." (Plain Truth, dear MURRAY, needs no flow'rs of speech,
So take it in the very words of Creech.)
b This Vault of Air, this congregated Ball, Self-center'd Sun, and Stars that rise and fall, There are, my Friend! whofe philofophic eyes Look thro', and truft the Ruler with his fkies, To him commit the hour, the day, the year, And view this dreadful All without a fear.
Admire we then what Earth's low entrails hold, Arabian fhores, or Indian feas infold;
All the mad trade of Fools and Slaves for Gold?
VER. 10. And view this dreadful All without a fear.] He has added this idea to his text; and it greatly heightens the dignity of the whole thought. He gives it the appellation of a dreadful All, because the immenfity of God's creation, which modern philosophy has fo infinitely enlarged, is apt to affect narrow minds, who measure the divine comprehenfion by their own, with dreadful fufpicions of man's being overlooked in this dark and narrower corner of existence, by a Governor occupied and bufied with the fum of things.
Ludicra, quid, plaufus, et amici dona Quiritis?
Quo fpectanda modo, quo fenfu credis et ore?
h Qui timet his adverfa, fere miratur eodem
Quo cupiens pacto: pavor eft utrobique moleftus:
1 Gaudeat, an doleat; cupiat, metuatne; quid ad rem,
* Infani fapiens nomen ferat, aequus iniqui;
Ultra quam fatis eft, virtutem fi petat ipfam.
VER. 21. In either cafe, believe me, we admire ;] i. e. These objects, in either cafe, affect us, as objects unknown affect the mind, and confequently betray us into falfe judgments.
VER. 22. Whether we joy or grieve, the fame the curse, Surpriz'd at better, or furpriz'd at worse,] 1 he elegance of this is fuperior to the Original. The curfe is the fame
Or Popularity? or Stars and Strings?
The Mob's applauses, or the gifts of Kings?
Say with what eyes we ought at Courts to gaze,
If weak the pleasure that from these can spring,
The fear to want them is as weak a thing:
Whether we dread, or whether we defire,
Th' unbalanc'd Mind, and snatch the Man away;
'Go then, and if you can, admire the state Of beaming diamonds, and reflected plate; Procure a TASTE to double the furprize,
And gaze on Parian Charms with learned eyes:
(fays he) whether we joy or grieve. Why fo? Because, in either cafe, the man is furprized, hurried off, and led away captive.
(The good or bad to one extreme betray
Th' unbalanc'd Mind, and fnatch the Man away.) This happy advantage, in the imitation, arifes from the ambiguity of the word furprize.