Obrázky na stránke


Next pleas'd his Excellence a town to batter; (Its name I know not, and 'tis no great matter) 45 “Go on, my Friend (he cried), see yonder walls ! Advance and conquer ! go where glory calls ! More honours, more rewards, attend the brave." Don't


remember what reply he gave? “D'ye think me, noble Gen’ral, such a sot? 50 Let him take castles who has ne'er a groat.”

'Bred up at home, full early I begun, To read in Greek the wrath of Peleus' son. Besides, my Father taught me from a lad, The better art to know the good from bad : 55 (And little sure imported to remove, To hunt for Truth in Maudlin's learned grove.) But knottier points we knew not half so well, Depriv'd us soon of our paternal Cell; And certain Laws, by Sufforers thought unjust, 60 Deny'd all posts of profit and of trust :


ter with the application. But, in a great Writer, we pardon no.

, thing. And such should not forget, that the expression is not perfect, but when the ideas it conveys fit both the tale and the application : for then they reflect mutual light upon one an, other. W.

Ver. 53. To read in Greek the wrath of Peleus' son.] This circumstance has a happier application in the Imitation than in the Original; and properly introduces the 68th verse.

Ver. 55. The better art] Dacier interprets the words, curto dignoscere rectum, the study of geometry, which is rather absurd.

Ver. 57. in Maudlin's learned grove.] He had a partiality for this College in Oxford, in which he had spent many agreeable days with his friend Mr. Digby, who provided rooms for him at that College.

Civilisque rudem belli tuli æstus in arma,
Cæsaris Augusti non responsura lacertis.
Unde simul primum me dimisere Philippi,
Decisis humilem pennis, inopemque paterni
Et laris et fundi, paupertas impulit audax
Ut versus facerem: sed, quod non desit, habentem,
Quæ poterunt unquam satis expurgare cicuta,
Ni melius dormire putem, quam scribere versus ? ;

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


Singula de nobis anni prædantur euntes? Eripuere jocos, venerem, convivia, ludum , Tendunt extorquere poemata. quid faciam vis?


Ver. 63. mighty William's] Horace uses some very artful and apologetical terms, in the Original, in speaking of the part he had taken against Augustus. Dura tempora-belli æstus civilis - Augusti lacertis-dimisere-decisis pennis—for being totally plundered.

Ver. 64. For Right Hereditary) Admirable as these lines are, yet, from the nature of the subject, they cannot be so interesting as the events in Horace's life: the inconveniency Pope laboured under from being a Papist, and subject to penal laws, are not so striking as Horace's being taken from Athens by Brutus ; and having the command of a Roman legion given to him; being present at the battle of Philippi; and losing all his property for his attachment to Brutus and his republican friends. Dacier, like a true Frenchman, imagines, that a want of proper officers induced Brutus to give Horace this command in the army. Did he not recollect or know, that great numbers of young Romans, of spirit and ability, flocked to the standard of Brutus, and appeared forward in supporting the great cause of liberty?

Ver. 69. Indebted to no Prince or Peer alive,) Indeed, it would be very hard upon Authors, if the subscribing for a book, which does honour to one's age and country, and consequently reflects


Hopes after hopes of pious Papists fail'd,
While mighty WILLIAM's thund’ring arm prevail'd.
For Right Hereditary tax'd and fin’d,
He stuck to poverty with peace of mind;

65 ·
And me, the Muses help'd to undergo it;
Convict a Papist he, and I a Poet.
But (thanks to Homer), since I live and thrive,
Indebted to no Prince or Peer alive,
Sure I should want the care of ten Monroes, 70
If I would scribble, rather than repose.

& Years following years, steal something ev'ry day, At last they steal us from ourselves away; In one our Frolics, one Amusements end, In one a Mistress drops, in one a Friend : 75 This subtle Thief of Life, this paltry Time, What will it leave me, if it snatch my rhyme ? If ev'ry wheel of that unweary'd Mill, That turn'd ten thousand verses, now stand still ?



back part of it on the Subscribers, should be esteemed a debt or obligation. W. " Ver. 70. Monroes,] Dr. Monroe, Physician to Bedlam Hospital. W.

Ver. 73. At last they steal us from ourselves away ;] i. e. Time changes all our passions, appetites, and inclinations. W.

Ver. 74. In one our Frolics,] These two lines are languid in comparison of the brevity of the Original;

-jocos, venerem, convivia, ludum; Languïd also is verse 80,

-what would you have me do? and verse 85 is too quaint and proverbial. Also in verse 88, instead of the single word præterea, he has given a whole line. But on the other hand, the verses 90 and 91 are very forcible.


Denique non omnes eadem mirantur amantque. Carmine tu gaudes: his delectatur iambis Ille Bioneis sermonibus, et sale nigro. Tres mihi convivæ prope dissentire videntur, Poscentes vario multum diversa palato. Quid dem? quid non dem ? renuis quod tu, jubet

alter: Quod petis, id sane est invisum acidumque duobus.

Præter cætera, me Romæne poemata censes Scribere

posse, inter tot curas totque labores ? Hic sponsum vocat, hic auditum scripta, relictis Omnibus officiis : cubat hic in colle Quirini, Hic extremo in Aventino; visendus uterque.


Ver, 83. and that Pindaric lays ?] Of our modern Lyric Poetry, the English is Pindaric, and the Latin, Horatian. The first is like boiled meats, of different tastes and flavours, but all insipid : the other, like the same meats potted, all of one spicey taste, and equally high-flavoured. The reason is, the English ode-makers only imitate Pindar's sense; whereas the Latin employ the very words of Horace. w.

The note on this passage concerning our common modern lyric poetry, was written some years before Gray had so effectually vindicated this species of poetry from the objections here made to it.

Ver. 87. OldfieldDartineuf] Two celebrated gluttons.-This instance adds a beauty to the whole passage, as intimating that the demand for verse is only a species of luxury. W.

But it does not appear to be at all intimated.

Ver. 93. A Poet begs, &c.] Many are the poets who could not do justice to their works by reading them with propriety. Corneille, Dryden, and Thomson, were remarkably bad readers. On the contrary, Virgil, Racine, and Boileau, and above all Nat Lee, were most excellent reciters. Just reading is an uncommon talent. The Duke de la Rochefoucault would never become a member of the French Academy, lest he should expose himself


“But after all what would you have me do? 80 When out of twenty I can please not two; When this Heroics only deigns to praise, Sharp Satire that, and that Pindaric lays ? One likes the Pheasant's wing, and one the leg; The vulgar boil, the learned roast an egg;

85 Hard task! to hit the palate of such guests. When Oldfield loves, what Dartineuf detests. But grant I may relapse, for want of I

grace, Again to rhyme; can London be the place ? Who there his Muse, or self, or soul, attends, In crowds, and courts, law, business, feasts, and

friends? My counsel sends to execute a deed: A Poet begs me I will hear him read: In Palace-yard at nine you'll find me thereAt ten for certain, Sir, in Bloomsb’ry square 95




by his pronunciation of the speech necessary on that occasion. I had once the pleasure of hearing Quin read the Second Book of Milton, with marvellous propriety and harmony. And the late Mr. Henderson excelled in recitation,

Ver. 94. In Palace-yard] I am sorry he omitted, intervalla humanė commoda ; which heightens the distress and inconveni

In verse 101, a hackney-coach is better than, calidus redemtor. But verse 107 contains an image unnecessarily coarse and filthy. And verse 115 is little to the purpose.

I will give the reader an opportunity of comparing, and if he is imparţial, of preferring, this passage of Pope with one of Boileau on the same subject.

Qu'en tous lieux les chagrins m'attendent un passage.
Un cousin, abusant d'un factieux parentage,
Veut qu'encore tout poudreux, et sans me débotter,
Chez vingt juges pour lui j'aille solliciter ;

Il faut voir de ce pas le plus considerables,
5; L'un demeure au Marais, et l'autre aux Incurables.

« PredošláPokračovať »