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But both those orators, so much renown'd,
Ver. 186. But both those orators,] Lydiat, mentioned by Johnson in the subsequent imitation, was not generally known, though a very learned man, and able mathematician, and many persons enquired who he was. Galileo was well chofen to exemplify the hard fate of a very illustrious philosopher.
Deign on the passing world to turn thine eyes,
Hear Lydiat's life, and Galileo's end. I cannot forbear adding, that Johnson made an alteration in the fourth of these lines; at first it stood,
Toil, envy, want, the garret, and the jail. When Lord Chesterfield disappointed him of the patronage le expected, he suddenly altered it to
the patron, and the jail. This Mr. William Collins informed me of, who was present at the time. He himself at last met with a suitable reward for his labours, by the gracious and generous penfion which the King gave him of 3001. a year. And a superb monument and statue of him is erected in St. Paul's cathedral. Dr. J. WARTON.
Ver. 190. The Latin of this couplet is a famous verse of Tully's, in which he sets out the happiness of his own consulship; famous for the vanity, and the ill poetry of it; for Tully, as he had a good deal of the one, su he had no great share of the other.
Nor he, the wonder of the Grecian throng,
With itch of honour, and opinion, vain, All things beyond their native worth we strain : The spoils of war, brought to Feretrian Jove, An empty coat of armour hung above
209 The conqueror's chariot, and in triumph born, A streamer from a boarded galley torn, A chap-faln beaver loosely hanging by The cloven helm, an arch of victory, On whose high convex fits a captive foe, And sighing casts a mournful look below; Of every nation, each illustrious name, Such toys as these have cheated into fame :
Ver. 196. The orations of Tully against Mark Anthony were ftiled by him Philippics, in imitation of Demofthenes, who had given that name before to those he made against Philip of Mas : cedon.
Ver. 205. To learn] A just definition of eloquence, and its abuse, especially in democracies.
Dr. J. WARTON. Ver. 208 This is a mock account of a Roman triumph.
Exchanging solid quiet, to obtain
219 So much the thirst of honour fires the blood; So
many would be great, fo few be good. For who would Virtue for herfelf regard, Or wed, without the portion of reward ? Yet this mad chace of fame, by few pursu'd, Has drawn destruction on the multitude : This avarice of praise in times to come, Those long inscriptions, crowded on the tomb, Should fome wild fig-tree take her native bent, And heave below the gaudy monument, Would crack the marble titles, and disperse 230 The characters of all the lying verse. For sepulchres themselves must crumbling fall In time's abyss, the common grave of all. .
Great Hannibal within the balance lay; And tell how many pounds his afhes weigh ; 235 Whom Afric was not able to contain, Whose length runs level with the Atlantic main, And wearies fruitful Nilus, to convey His fun-beat waters by so long a way ; Which Ethiopia's double clime divides, 240 And elephants in other mountains lides. Spain first he won, the Pyrenæans paft, And steepy Alps, the mounds that Nature cast: And with corroding juices, as he went, A passage through the living rocks he rent. 245
Then, like a torrent, rolling from on high,
Ver. 247. He pours his headlong] Charles XII. of Sweden was a very favourite character of Dr. Johnson. Though he condemned so many of the other works of Voltaire, yet he used to speak in the terms of high approbation of his hiltory of this extraordinary warrior.
On what foundation stands the warrior's pride,
To point a moral, or adorn a tale.
I demens, et fævas curre per Alpes,
In three victorious battles over-run ;
Alk what a face belong’d to his high fame:
design'd, Distinguish'd from the herd of human kind, For so untam’d, fo turbulent a inind ! Nor swords at hand, nor hissing darts afar, Are doom'd to avenge the tedious bloody war; But poison, drawn through a ring's hollow plate, Must finish him ; a fucking infant's fate. Go, climb the rugged Alps, ambitious fool, To pleafe the boys, and be a theme at school.
One world fuffic'd not Alexander's mind; Coop'd up, he feem'd in earth and seas confin'd: