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IL admirari, prope 'res est una, Numici,
Solaque quae poffit facere et fervare beatum.
Hunc folem, et ftellas, et decedentia certis
Tempora momentis, sunt qui formidine nulla
quid censes, munera terrae ?
Quid, maris extremos Arabas • ditantis et Indos ?
Nores. Ver. 3. Dear MURRAY] This piece is the most 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 supreme degree of excellence. For the Poet had all the warmth of affection for the great Lawyer to whom it is addressed, and indeed no man ever more deserved to have a Poet for his friend. In the obtaining of which as neither vanity, party, or fear had any share, so he supported his title to it by all the offices of true friendship,
Ver. 4. Creech)] From whose translation of Horace the two first lines are taken. P.
Ver. 8. trust the Ruler with the skies, To bim commit the hour,] Our Author, in these imitations, has been all along careful to correct the loose morals, and absurd divi. nity of his Original,
EPIST LE VI.
To Mr. MURRAY.
OT to admire, is all the Art I know, N To make men happy, and to keep them so.”. (Plain Truth, dear MURRAY, needs no flow'ts of
speech, So take it in the very words of Creech.)
• This Vault of Air, this congregated Ball, 5
Admire we then what Earth's low entrails hold,
Notes. Ver. 10. And view this dreadful All without a fear.) He has added this idea to his text ; and ic greatly heightens the dignity of the whole thought. He gives it the appellation of a dreadful All, because the immensity of God's creation, which modern philosophy has fo infinitely enlarged, is apt to affect narrow minds, who measure the divine comprehension by their own, with dreadful fufpi. cions of man's being overlooked in this dark and narrower corner of existence, by a Governor occupied and busied with the sum of things.
Ludicra, quid, plausus, et amici dona Quiritis ?
Qui timet his adversa, fere miratur eodem
Quo cupiens pacto: pavor est utrobique moleftus:
Improvisa fimul species exterret utrumque :
Gaudeat, an doleat; cupiat, metuatne; quid ad rem,
Ultra quam fatis est, virtutem fi petat ipfam.
1 I nunc, argentum et marmor
Suspice: cum gemmis n Tyrios mirare colores :
Notes. VER.:21. In either case, believe me, we admire ;] i.e. These objects, in either case, affect us, as objects unknown affect the mind, and consequently betray us into false judgments.
VER. 22. Whether we joy or grieve, the same the curse, Surpriz'd at better, or surpriz'd at worse.] The elegance of this is superior to the Original. The curse is the same
Or f Popularity or Stars and Strings ?
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,
20 In either case, believe me, we admire; Whether we i joy or grieve, the fame the curse, Surpriz'd at better, or surpriz'd at worse. Thus good or bad, to one extreme betray Th' unbalanc'd Mind, and snatch the Man away; For * Virtue's self may too much zeal be had; 25 The worst of Madmen is a Saint run mad.
Go then, and if you can, admire the state Of beaming diamonds, and reflected plate; Procure a Taste to double the surprize, -30 And gaze on ® Parian Charms with learned eyes: Be struck with bright Brocade, or Tyrian Dye, Our Birth-day Nobles' splendid Livery.
Notes. (says he) whether we joy or grieve. Why so ? Because, in either case, the man is furprized, hurried off, and led away captive.
(The good or bad to one extreme betray
Th' unbalanc'd Mind, and snatch the Man away.) This happy advantage, in the imitation, arises from the ambiguity of the word surprize.