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The suffering eye inverted nature sees,
My lord advances with majestic mien,
thighs, Just at his study-door he'll bless your eyes.
His study! with what authors is it stored?3 In books, not authors, curious is my lord; To all their dated backs he turns you round: These Aldus printed, those Du Sueil has bound. Lo, some are vellum, and the rest as good, For all his lordship knows but they are wood. For Locke or Milton 'tis in vain to look, These shelves admit not any modern book. 140
And now the chapel's silver bell you hear,
1 The two statues of the Gladiator pugnans and Gladiator moriens.
2 The approaches and communications of house with garden, or of one part with another, ill judged, and inconvenient.
3 The false taste in books; a satire on the vanity in collecting them, more frequent in men of fortune than the study to understand them. Many delight chiefly in the elegance of the print, or of the binding; some have carried it so far, as to cause the upper shelves to be filled with painted books of wood; others pique themselves so much upon books in a language they do not understand, as to exclude the most useful in one they do.
That summons you to all the pride of prayer:1
But hark! the chining clocks to dinner call;
1 The false taste in music, improper to the subjects, as of light airs in churches, often practised by the organist, &c.
* And in painting (from which even Italy is not free) of naked figures in churches, &c., which has obliged some Popes to put draperies on some of those of the best masters.
3 Verrio (Antonio) painted many ceilings, &c., at Windsor, Hampton Court, &c., and Laguerre at Blenheim Castle, and other places.
4 This is a fact; a reverend Dean preaching at court, threatened the sinner with punishment in “a place which he thought it not decent to name in so polite an assembly.”
5 Taxes the incongruity of ornaments (though sometimes practised by the ancients) where an open mouth ejects the water into a fountain, or where the shocking images of serpents, &c., are introduced in grottoes or buffets.
6. The proud festivals of some men are here set forth to ridicule, where pride destroys the ease, and formal regularity all the pleasur: able enjoyment of the entertainment.
From soup to sweet-wine, and God bless the king.
Yet hence the poor are clothed, the hungry fed;1
170 The lab’rer bears: what his hard heart denies, His charitable vanity supplies.
Another age shall see the golden ear Embrown the slope, and nod on the parterre, Deep harvests bury all his pride has planned, And laughing Ceres re-assume the land.
Who then shall grace, or who improve the soil?
His father's acres who enjoys in peace,
1 The moral of the whole, where Providence is justified in giving wealth to those who squander it in this manner. . A bad taste employs more hands, and diffuses expense more than a good one. This recurs to what is laid down in Book 1. Ep. ii. ver. 230-7; and in the Epistle preceding this, ver, 161, &c.
First shade a country, and then raise a town.
You too proceed! make falling arts your care,
TO MR. ADDISON. OCCASIONED BY HIS DIALOGUES ON MEDALS. This was originally written in the year 1715, when Mr. Addison intended to publish his book of medals ; it was some time before he was Secretary of State ; but not published till Mr. Tickell's edition of his works; at which time the verses on Mr. Craggs, which conclude the poem, were added, viz., in 1720. SEE the wild waste of all-devouring years ! How Rome her own sad sepulchre appears, With nodding arches, broken temples spread! The very tombs now vanished like their dead ! Imperial wonders raised on nations spoiled, Where mixed with slaves the groaning martyr toiled: Huge theatres, that now unpeopled woods,
Now drained a distant country of her floods:
Ambition sighed : she found it vain to trust
The medal, faithful to its charge of fame,