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Jones and Palladio to themselves restore,
And be whate'er Vitruvius was before:
Till Kings call forth th' ideas of
your mind,
(Proud to accomplish what such hands design'd)
Bid harbours open, public ways extend,

Bid temples, worthier of the God, ascend;



Ver. 193. Jones] See an accurate and judicious account of his works in Walpole's Anecdotes, vol. ii. from page 261 to page 280, full of curious particulars. Dr. Clarke, of All Souls College, Oxford, had Jones's Palladio, with his own notes and observations in Italian, which the Doctor bequeathed to Worcester College.-Warton.

Ver. 195, 197, &c. Till Kings-Bid harbours open, &c.] The Poet, after having touched upon the proper objects of magnificence and expense, in the private works of great men, comes to those great and public works which become a prince. This poem was published in the year 1732, when some of the new-built churches, by the Act of Queen Anne, were ready to fall, being founded in boggy land, which is satirically alluded to in our author's imitation of Horace, Lib. ii. Sat. ii.

"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 mischiefs; many of the highways throughout England were hardly passable; and most of those which were repaired by turnpikes were made jobs for private lucre, and infamously executed, even to the entrance of London itself. The proposal 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 passed 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 ?

Should Ripley venture, all the world would smile." See the notes on that place.-Pope.

Ver. 197. Bid harbours open,] No country has been enriched and adorned, within a period of thirty or forty years, with so many works of public spirit, as Great Britain has been; witness our many extensive roads, our inland navigations, (some of which excel the boasted canal of Languedoc,) the lighting, and the paving, and beautifying our cities, and our various and magnificent edifices. A general good taste has been diffused in gardening, planting, and building. The ruins of Palmyra, the antiquities of Athens and Spalatro, and the Ionian antiquities, by Wood, Stuart, Adam, and Chandler, are such magnificent monuments of learned curiosity as no country in Europe can equal. Let it be remembered, that these fine lines of Pope were written when we had no Wyatt or Brown, Brindley or Reynolds; no Westminster Bridge, no Pantheon, no Royal Academy, no king that is at once a judge and a patron of all those fine arts, which ought to be employed in raising and beautifying a palace equal to his dignity and his taste.

On the whole, this Epistle contains rather strictures on the false taste, than illustrations of the true; which circumstance gave room to Mr. Mason to treat the subject in a more open and ornamental manner, and

Bid the broad arch the dangerous flood contain,
The mole projected break the roaring main;
Back to his bounds their subject sea command,
And roll obedient rivers thro' the land:

These honours, peace to happy BRITAIN brings,
These are imperial works, and worthy Kings.



with more picturesque and poetical imagery, in his English Garden.— Warton.

The connexion of this Epistle with the preceding, is, that it completes the subject "of the use of riches," by showing the folly of profusion, as the former exhibited the effects of avarice. Its relation to the great plan contemplated by the author, consists chiefly in illustrating the opinion that providence converts our errors as well as our vices into the means of benefit to others, by rendering the eccentricities and abuses into which men fall, through an absurd taste and an ostentatious vanity, subservient to the general good; but the attractive nature of the subject led the Poet to extend it to a discussion on "the principles of taste," which he has shown to consist, not in counterworking, but in improving nature, by the means of good sense. In this respect there is a coincidence and harmony in his manner of reasoning, which, although not insisted on by himself or his commentators, serves greatly to illustrate the truth of his general principles; for, as in the intellectual world the business of the moralist is not to endeavour to eradicate the ruling passion or original natural disposition, but to subject it to the dominion of reason, and convert it to useful and beneficial purposes; so the improvement and decoration of external scenery can only be effected by adhering to nature, correcting her occasional deviations, and enhancing her beauties, by the medium of good sense; and thus the same principle extends through the whole of the author's works, and serves to render each portion of them the best commentary on the other.






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