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Back to his bounds their fubject Sea command, And roll obedient Rivers thro' the Land: These Honours, Peace to happy Britain brings, These are Imperial Works, and worthy Kings.
were ready to fall, being founded in boggy land (which is fa tyrically alluded to in our author's imitation of Horace, Lib. ii. Sat. 2.
"Shall half the new-built Churches round thee fall)
others were vilely executed, through fraudulent cabals between undertakers, officers, &c. Dagenham-breach had done very great mifchiefs; many of the Highways throughout England were hardly paffable; and moft of those which were repaired by Turnpikes were made jobs for private lucre, and infamously executed, even to the entrance of London itfelf. The propofal of building a Bridge at Westminster had been petitioned against and rejected; but in two years after the publication of this poem, an Act for building a Bridge paffed through both houses. After many debates in the committee, the execution was left to the carpenter above-mentioned, who would have made it a wooden one; to which our author alludes in these lines,
"Who builds a Bridge that never drove a pile?
See the notes on that place.
A a z
To Mr. ADDISON.
Occafioned by his Dialogues on MEDALS.
EE the wild Waste of all-devouring years! How Rome her own fad Sepulchre appears, With nodding arches, broken temples spread! The very Tombs now vanish'd like their dead!
THIS was originally written in the year 1715, when Mr. Addison intended to publish his book of Medals; it was fometime before he was Secretary of State; but not published till Mr. Tickle's Edition of his works; at which time the verfes on Mr. Craggs, which conclude the poem, were added, viz. in 1720. P.
EPIST. V.] As the third Epiftle treated of the extremes of Avarice and Profufion; and the fourth took up one particular branch of the latter, namely, the vanity of expence in people
Imperial wonders rais'd on Nations fpoil'd, Where mix'd with Slaves the groaning Martyr toil'd:
Huge Theatres, that now unpeopled Woods, Now drain'd a distant country of her Floods: Fanes, which admiring Gods with pride furvey, Statues of Men, scarce less alive than they!
of wealth and quality, and was therefore a corollary to the third; fo this treats of one circumstance of that vanity, as it appears in the common collectors of old coins; and is, therefore, a corollary to the fourth.
VER. 6. Where mix'd with Slaves the groaning Martyr toil'd:] The inattentive reader might wonder how this circumstance came to find a place here. But let him compare it with Ver. 13. 14. and he will fee the Reason,
"Barbarian blindness, Chriftian zeal confpire, "And Papal piety, and Gothic fire."
For the Slaves mentioned in the 6th line were of the fame nation with the Barbarians in the 13th; and the Chriftians, in the 13th, the Succeffors of the Martyrs in the 6th: Providence ordaining, that these fhould ruin what thofe fo injurioufly employed in rearing: for the Poet never lofeth fight of his great principle.
VER. 9. Fanes, which admiring Gods with pride furvey,] Thefe Gods were then the Tyrants of Rome, to whom the Empire raised Temples. The epithet, admiring, conveys a ftrong ridicule; that paffion, in the opinion of Philofophy, always conveying the ideas of ignorance and mifery.
"Nil admirari prope res eft una, Numici,
Admiration implying our ignorance of other things; pride, our ignorance of ourselves.
Some felt the filent ftroke of mould'ring age,
Perhaps, by its own ruins fav'd from flame, 15
Ambition figh'd: She found it vain to trust The faithlefs Column, and the crumbling Buft: 20 Huge moles, whose shadow stretch'd from shore to shore,
Their ruins perifh'd, and their place no more!
VER. 18. And give to Titus old Vefpafian's due.] A fine infinuation of the entire want of Tafte in Antiquaries; whofe ignorance of characters mifleads them fupported only by a name) against reafon and history.
VER. 25. A narrow Orb each crouled Conqueft keeps.] A ridicule on the pompous title of Orbis Romanus, which the Romans gave to their Empire.
VER. 27.-the proud arch] i. e. The triumphal Arch, which was generally an enormous mafs of building.
A fmall Euphrates thro' the piece is roll'd,
Gods, Emp'rors, Heroes, Sages, Beauties, lie.
NOT E S.
VER. 35. With fharpen'd fight pale Antiquaries pore,] Microscopic glaffes, invented by Philofophers, to discover the beauties in the minuter works of Nature, ridiculously applied by Antiquaries, to detect the cheats of counterfeit medals.
VER. 37. This the blue varn fh, that the green endears,] i. e. This a collector of filver; That, of brafs coins.
VER. 41. Poor Vadius,] See his history, and that of his Shield, in the Memoirs of Scriblerus.
VER. 43. And C.rio, restless, &c.} The most extraordinary inftance of this Virtuofo-tafte we have in the Hiftorian Dio. He tells us, that one Vibius Rufus, who, in the reign of iberius, was the fourth husband to Cicero's widow, Terentia, then upwards of an hundred, ufed to value himself on his