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On his GROTTO at Twickenham,
Marbles, Sparrs, Gemms, Ores, and
HOU who shalt stop, where Thames' tranf.
5 And latent Metals innocently glow :
VARIATION s. After v. 6. in the MS.
You see that Nand's wealth, where, only free,
Earth to her entrails feels not Tyranny. i. e. Britain is the only place on the globe which feels not Ty, ranny even to its very entrails. Alluding to the condemnation of Criminals to the Mines, one of the inflictions of civil justice in most Countries. The thought was exceeding natural and proper in this place, where the Poet was describing a Grotto incrusted and adorned with all sorts of Minerals collected, by the means of commerce, from the four quarters of the Globe.
On bis Grotto.] The improving and finifhing his Grott was the favourite amusement of his declining Years ; and the beauty of his poetic genius, in the disposition and ornaments of this romantic recess, appears to as much advantage as in his best contrived Poems.
Approach. Great NATURE studioufly behold!
the Mine without a with for Gold.
VARIATIONS. VER. 11. Wbere British fighs from dying Wyndbam sole,] la his Ms. it was thus,
To Wyndham's breaft the patriot-passions stole, which made the whole allude to a certain Anecdote of not much consequence to any but the parties concerned.
Ver. 9. Ægerian Grott] Alluding to Numa's projecting his system of Politics in this Grott, assisted, as he gave out, by the Goddess Ægeria.
Mrs. M. B. on her Birth-DAY.
H be thou bleft with all that Heav'n can send,
a Friend :
With added years if Life bring nothing new,
Let Joy or Ease, let Affluence or Content,
And oh fince Death must that fair frame destroy,
To Mr. Thomas Southern,
On his Birth-day, 1742.
ESIGN'D to live, prepar'd to die,
With not one fin, but poetry,
altho' a bard, devout.
VER. 5. A table] He was invited to dine on his birth-day with this Nobleman, who had prepared for him the entertain. ment of which the bill of fare is here set down.
Ver. 8. Presents ber barp] The harp is gencrally wove on the Irish Linen; such as Table-cloths, etc.
VER. 16. The price of prologues and of plays,] This alludes to a story Mr. Southera told Dryden, about the same time,
Be ev'ry birth-day more a winner,
time, to Mr. P. and Mr. W. When Southern first wrote for the stage, Dryden was so famous for his Prologues, that the players would act nothing without that decoration. His usual price till then had been four guineas: But when Southern came to him for the Prologue he had bespoke, Dryden told him he must have fix guineas for it; “which (said he) young man, is « out of no disrespect to you; but the Players have had my goods “ too cheap.”_We now look upon these Prologues with the fame admiration that the Virtuofi do on the Apothecaries pots painted by Raphael.