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Jam satis est. At tu quantumvis tolle. Benignè.
Ver. 45. the lively eye,] It is said, that Pope's eyes were remarkably expressive. He seems often in his writings to keep this in mind; but the passage is very unequal to the closeness and pleasing painting of the original. Perhaps four lines never were so well expressed, as forming a delineation or accurate portrait of the Roman bard. We see-the "forte latus," "nigros angustâ fronte capillos;" the " dulce loqui," and "ridere decorum." The words of the first line set the person of Horace immediately before us, and nothing can be so characteristic of his style in his Epistles, as the words DULCE LOQUI; RIDERE DECORUM. Bowles.
The lines of Pope are perhaps in no respect inferior to those of Horace; and the
laugh'd down many a summer sun,
And kept you up so oft till one,"
is more sprightly, as well as more decent than the
Inter vina fugam Cynaræ, &c.
Ver. 50. As when Belinda] A compliment he pays himself and
the public on his Rape of the Lock.
Pray take them, Sir.-Enough's a feast:
And 'tis but just, I'll tell
You give the things you never care for.
Be mighty ready to do good;
But makes a difference in his thought
Now this I'll say, you'll find in me,
To give me back my constitution!
The engaging smile, the gaiety,
That laugh'd down many a summer sun,
As when Belinda raised my strain.
And all that voluntary vein,
A weasel once made shift to slink In at a corn-loft through a chink;
Ver. 51. A weasel once] Horace shines particularly in these short fables which he was so fond of introducing; as he does in
Repserat in cumeram frumenti; pastaque, rursus
Sæpe verecundum laudâsti; Rexque, Paterque
Parvum parva decent. Mihi jam non regia Roma, Sed vacuum Tibur placet, aut imbelle Tarentum. Strenuus et fortis, causisque Philippus agendis Clarus, &c.
deed in that difficult art of telling a story well, of which the story of Philippus," Strenuus et fortis," &c. is a master-piece. We are in no one respect so very inferior to the French as in our fables; we have no La Fontaine. The fables of Gay, esteemed our best, are written in a pure and neat style, but have not much nature or humour. Horace's mice are inimitable. The long introductions to the fables of Gay's second volume of fables read like political pamphlets. Warton.
Ver. 67. Craggs and Child,] Mr. Craggs gave him some SouthSea subscriptions. He was so indifferent about them as to neglect making any benefit of them. He used to say, it was a satisfaction to him that he did not grow rich, as he might have done, by the public calamity. Warburton.
But having amply stuff'd his skin,
I'm no such beast, nor his relation;
Cramm'd to the throat with Ortolans:
All that may make me none of mine.
South-sea subscriptions take who please,
'Twas what I said to Craggs and Child,
Harley, the nation's great support,"— But you may read it; I stop short.
Hoc erat in votis: modus agri non ita magnus,
Illum ipsum mercatus, aravit, dives amico
Ver. 22. And to be kept in my right wits;] An apprehension of the loss of intellect gave the Dean great uneasiness through life. Some hereditary expectation, or some peculiarity of feeling, I presume, occasioned a perpetual anticipation of that sad event, which at length befel him. Pope's part of the imitation begins at verse 125, but I cannot accede to Warburton's opinion, that his portion of the performance is executed with more dexterity than that of Swift, who is unexceptionably excellent, and preserves with most happy accommodation the playful urbanity of his author. There are indeed several strokes in the more humorous passages of Pope's division, after Swift's best manner; but the following seems to me the most successful:
Tells all their names, lays down the law: