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Our fathers prais'd rank Ven’son. You suppose Perhaps, young men ! our fathers had no nose. Not so: a Buck was then a week's repast, And 'twas their point, I ween, to make it last; More pleas'd to keep it till their friends could come,
95 Than eat the sweetest by themselves at home. "Why had not I in those good times my birth, Ere coxcomb-pies or coxcombs were on earth?
Unworthy he the voice of Fame to hear, m That sweetest music to an honest ear
magnus posthac inimicis risus ! uterne "Ad casus dubios fidet sibi certius? hic, qui Pluribus assuerit mentem corpusque superbum; An qui contentus parvo metuensque futuri, In pace,
ut sapiens, aptarit idonea bello? *Quo magis his credas: puer hunc ego parvus
Ver. 122. As M**o's was, &c.] I think this light stroke of satire ill-placed; and that it hurts the dignity of the preceding morality. Horace was very serious, and properly so, when he said,
cur, Improbe! caræ Non aliquid patriæ tanto emetiris acervo ? He remembered, and hints with just indignation at, those luxurious Patricians of his old party : who, when they agreed to establish a fund in the cause of Freedom, under the conduct of Brutus, could never be persuaded to withdraw from their expensive pleasures what was sufficient for the support of so great a cause. He had prepared his apology for this liberty, in the preceding line, where he pays a fine compliment to Augustus !
quare “ Templa ruunt antiqua Deum ?" which oblique Panegyric the Imitator has very properly turned into a direct stroke of satire. W.
Ver. 122. Not at five per cent.] He could not forbear this stroke against a nobleman, whom he had been for many years accustomed to hear abused by his most intimate friends. A certain parasite, who thought to please Lord Bolingbroke by ridiculing the avarice of the Duke of M. was stopped short by that Lord, who
Or to thy Country let that heap be lent, 121 As M**o's was, but not at five
*Who thinks that Fortune cannot change her mind, Prepares a dreadful jest for all mankind. And “who stands safest ? tell me, is it he 125 That spreads and swells in puff’d Prosperity, Or blest with little, whose preventing care In peace provides fit arms against a war? * Thus Bethel spoke, who always speaks his
thought, And always thinks the very thing he ought: 130 His equal mind I copy what I can, And as I love would imitate the Man. In South-Sea days not happier, when surmis'd The Lord of Thousands, than if now " Excis’d;
said, “He was so very great a man, that I forgot he had that vice.” We have lived to read with equal astonishment and regret, the clear and indisputable proofs of the treachery, duplicity, hypocrisy, and ingratitude, of this great and able General and Politician. See particularly Sir John Dalrymple's Memoirs, vol. i. p. 194.
p Ver. 129. Thus BETHEL spoke,] This speech of Ofellus continues in the original to the end of this satire. Pope has taken all that follows out of the mouth of Bethel, and speaks entirely in his own person. It is impossible not to be pleased with the picture of his way of life, and the account he gives of his own table, in lines that express common and familiar objects with dignity and elegance. See therefore his bill of fare, of which you will long to partake, and wish you could have dined at Twickenham. Boileau had but a bad house and gardens at Auteuil near Paris.
Ver. 133. In South-Sea days not happier, &c.] Mr. Pope had South-Sea stock, which he did not sell out. It was valued at between twenty and thirty thousand pounds when it fell. W. VOL. IV.
Cum pecore et gnatis, fortem mercede colonum, Non ego, narrantem, temere edi luce profesta Quidquam, præter *olus fumosæ cum pede pernæ. Ac mihi seu "longum post tempus venerat hospes, Sive operum vacuo gratus conviva
imbrem Vicinus ; bene erat, non piscibus urbe petitis, Sed pullo atque hædo : tum *pensilis uva secundas Et nux ornabat mensas, cum duplice ficu. Post hoc ludus erat a cuppa potare magistra: Ac venerata Ceres, ita culmo surgeret alto, Explicuit vino contractæ seria frontis. "Sæviat atque novos moveat Fortuna tumultus ! Quantum hinc imminuet? quanto aut ego parcius,
O pueri, nituistis, ut huc novus incola venit?
Ver. 144. these chicks] Not used properly or commonly for chicken. Dryden has chick, in the singular number, chicken is the plural; we say oxen, not oxes; the en is Teutonic.
Ver. 150. And, what's more rare, a Poet shall say Grace.] The pleasantry of this line consists in the supposed rarity of a Poet's
a having a table of his own; or a sense of gratitude for the blessings he receives. But it contains, too, a sober reproof of people of condition, for their unmanly and brutal disuse of so natural a duty. W.
Swift always performed this duty with proper seriousness and gravity.
Ver. 154. Standing Armies came.] A constant topic of declamation against the court, at this time: and still continues to be
See what Dr. Adam Smith says, in his excellent Wealth of Nations, of the real and supposed dangers of Standing armies.
Ver. 160. Welcome the coming,] From Homer, Odyss. b. 15.
χρή ξείνον παρεόντα φιλεϊν, εθέλοντα δε πέμπειν. Theocritus has finely touched this subject in the sixteenth Idyllium.
In forest planted by a Father's hand,
135 Than in five acres now of rented land. Content with little I can piddle here On *brocoli and mutton, round the year : But 'ancient friends (tho' poor, or out of play) That touch my bell I cannot turn away.
140 'Tis true, no Turbots dignify my boards, But gudgeous, flounders, what my Thames affords : : To Hounslow-heath I point, and Banstead down, Thence comes your mutton, and these chicks my
own: * From
old walnut-tree a show'r shall fall; 145 And grapes long ling’ring on my only wall, And figs from standard and espalier join ; The Dev'l is in
you cannot dine : Then cheerful healths (your Mistress shall have
place), And, what's more rare, a Poet shall say Grace. 150
Fortune not much of humbling me can boast; Tho' double tax’d, how little have I lost? My Life's amusements have been just the same, Before and after Standing Armies came. My lands are sold, my father's house is gone; 155 I’li hire another's : is not that my own, And yours, my friends ? through whose free op’ning
gate None comes too early, none departs too late; (For I, who hold sage Homer's rule the best, Welcome the coming, speed the going Guest.) 160
Pray Heav’n it last! (cries Swift) as you go on; I wish to God this house had been your own: