« ZurückWeiter »
Virtue, I grant you, is an empty boast;
125 Learn, from their Books, to hang himself and Wife?
VER, 113. Virtue, I grant you, is an empty boaft ;] A satirical ambiguity--either that those farve who have it, or that those who boast of it, bave it not : and both together (he insinuates) make up the present state of modern virtue,
Ver. 115. Cibber's Song - Ricb] Two players : look for them in the Dunciad.
VIR. 123. If Blount.] Author of an impious and foolish book called the Oracles of Reason, who being in love with a near kinswoman of his, and rejected, gave himself a stab in the arm, as pretending to kill himself, of the consequence of which he really died.
VER. 124. Poleran!) Author of another book of the same famp, called, A philosophical discourse on death, being a de. fence of suicide. He was a nobleman of Piedmont, banilhed from his country for his impieties, and lived in the utmost misery, yet feared to practise his own precepts... This unhappy man at last died a penitent.
VER. 125. But fall a Printer, etc.] A Fact that happened in London a few years past. The unhappy man left behind him
This, this, my friend, I cannot, mult not bear;
Let modeft Foster, if he will, excell
a paper justifying his action by the reasonings of some of these authors.
VER. 129. This calls the Church to deprecate our Sin,] Alluding to the forms of prayer, composed in the times of public calamity; where the fault is generally l'aid upon the People.
VER. 130. Gin.] A fpirituous liquor, the exorbitant ufe of which had almost destroyed the lowest rank of the People till it was restrained by an act of Parliament in 1736.
Ver. 134. Landaffe.] A poor Bishoprick in Wales, as poorly supplied. VER.
Let þumble ALLEN with an aukward Sbame,--Do good by stealth, and blush to find it Fame.] We are so absolutely governed by custom, that to act contrary to it, creates even in virtuous men, who are ever modeft, a kind of diffidence, which is the parent of Shame. But when, to this, there is joined a consciousness that, in forsaking custom, you follow truth and reason, the indignation arising from such a conscious virtue, mixing with Shame, produces that amiable aukwardness, in going out of the fashion, which the Poet, here, celebrates :
and blush to find it Fame, i, e. He blushed at the degeneracy of his times, which, at best, gave his goo: vess its due commendation (the thing he never aimed at) instead of following and imitating his example,
Virtue may choose the high or low Degree,
which was the reafon why some acts of it were not done by ftealtb, but more openly.
Ver. 138. 'Tis just alike to Virtue, and to me ;] He gives the reason for it, in the line that presently follows,
She's still the same, belov'd, contented thing. So that the sense of the text is this, “ It is all one to Virtue on “ whom her influence falls, whether on high or low, because “ it still produces the same effect, their content; and it is all one to me, because it still produces the same effect, my love.".
See thronging Millions to the Pagod ran,
Yet may this Verse (if such a Verfe remain)
VERi 165. The Wit of Cheats, the Courage of a Wbore -- Are what ten thousand envy and adore :) And no wonder, for the wit of Cheats being the evasion of Justice, and the Courage of a Wbore the contempt for reputation; these emancipate men from the two tyrannical restraints upon free Spirits, fear of punishment, and dread of shame.
S A TIRE S.
Written in MDCCXXXVIII.
IS all a Libel-Paxton (Sir) will say
Friend! to morrow 'faith
P. Not yet, my
And for that very cause I print to day.
VER, s. Paxton.) Late sollicitor to the Treasury,