Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

Per & mare pauperiem fugiens, per faxa, per ignes : Ne cures b ea, quae ftulie miraris et optas, Discere, et audire, et meliori credere non vis ? Quis circum pagos et circum compita pugnax Magna coronari contemnat Olympia, cui spes, Cui fit conditio dulcis fine pulvere palmae ? " i Vilius eft auro argentum, virtutibus aurum. "* O cives, cives! quaerenda pecunia primum est; Virtus poft nummos : haec ? Janus fummus ab imo Prodocet: haec recinunt juvenes dictata senesque, m Laevo suspensi loculos tabulamque lacerto.

Eft , animus tibi, sunt mores, eft lingua, fidesque:

Notes.

VER. 77. Here, Wisdom calls : etc.] All from hence to -110, is a pretty close transition: but in general done with so masterly a spirit, that the Original, tho' one of the most finished pairages in Horace, looks only like the initation of it.

VER. 78. As Gold to Silver, Virtue is to Gold.] This perhaps is the most faulty line in the whole collection. The Original is,

Vilius est auro argentum, virtutibus aurum. which only says, that as Silver is of less value than Gold, jo Gold is of less value than Virtue : in which simple inferiority, and not the proportion of it, is implied. For it was as contrary to the Author's purpose, as it is to common sense, to fappose, that Virtue was but just as much better than gold, as gold is better than silver. Yet Mr. Pope, too attentive to his constant object, conciseness, has, before he was aware, fallen into this meaning.

Ver. 82. From low St. James's up to hig's St. Paul ;]

1

To stop thy foolith views, thy long desires, 75 And ease thy heart of all that it admires ?

Here, Wisdom calls: i 6 Seek Virtue first, be bold ! As Gold to Silver, Virtue is to Gold.” There, London's voice: k « Get Money, Money still ! " And then let Virtue follow, if she will.” 80 This, this the saving doctrine, preach'd to all, From low St. James's up to high St. Paul; From him whose quills stand quiver'd at his ear, To him who notches sticks at Westminster.

Barnard in " spirit, sense, and truth abounds; 85 " Pray then, what wants he?” Fourscore thousand pounds;

Notes. i.e. This is a doctrine in which both Whigs and Tories agree.

Ver. 83. From him whose quills fand quiver'd at his ear,] They who do not take the delicacy of this satire, may think the figure of standing quiver'd, extremely hard and quaint ; but it has an exquisite beauty, insinuating that the pen of a Scrivener is as ready as the quill of a porcupine, and as fatal as the shafts of a Parthian. ---Quiver'd at his ear, which describes the position it is usually found in, alludes to the custom of the American canibals, who make use of their hair (ried in a knot on the top of their heads) for a quiver for their poison'd arrows.

VER. 84. notches sticks] Exchequer Tallies.

VER. 85. Barnard in spirit, sense, and truth abounds;] Sir John Barnard. It was the Poet's purpose to say, that this great man (who does so much honour to his Country) had a fine genius, improved and put in use by a true understanding; and both, under the guidance of an integrity

Sed quadringentis sex feptem millia desint;

Plebs eris. P at pueri ludentes, Rex eris, aiunt,

Si recte facies. Hic 9 murus aheneus efto,

Nil conscire sibi, nulla pallescere culpa.

Rofcia, dic fodes, melior lex, an puerorum est

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

* Isne tibi melius fuadet, qui, “ Rem facias; rem,

“ Si poffis, recte ; fi non, quocunque modo rem."

Ut "propius spectes lacrymosa poemata Pupi!

An, qui fortunae te responsare superbae

Liberum et erectum, * praesens hortatur et aptat?

y Quod fi me Populus Romanus forte roget, cur

Noris.

superior to all the temptations of interest, honours, or any meaner passion. Many events, since the paying this tribute to his virtue, have shewn how much, and how para ticularly it was due to him,

90

A Penfion, or such Harness for a flave
As Bug now has, and Dorimant would have.
Barnard, thou art a Cit, with all thy worth;
But Bug and D*l, Their Honours, and so forth.

Yct ev'ry P child another song will fing,
Virtue, brave boys ! 'tis Virtue makes a King.'
True, conscious Honour is to feel no fin,
He's arm'd without that's innocent within ;
Be this thy 9 Screen, and this thy Wall of Brass; 95
Compar'd to this, a Minister's an Afs.

* And say, to which shall our applause belong, This new Court jargon, or the good old song? The modern language of corrupted Peers, Or what was spoke at Cressy and Poitiers? 100 + Who counsels best? who whispers, “ Be but great, " With Praise or Infamy leave that to fate; “ Get Płace and Wealth, if poflible, with grace; “ If not, by any means get Wealth and Place." For what? to have a Box where Eunuchs fing, 105 And foremost in the Circle eye a King. Or whe, who bids thee face with steady view Proud Fortune, and look shallow Greatness thro: And, w while he bids thee, sets th’ Example too? If y such a Doctrine, in St. James's air, Shou'd chance to make the well-dreft Rabble ftare;

Notes. VER. 97. And say, etc.] These four lines greatly superior to any thing in the Original.

}

IIO

Non, ut porticibus, fic judiciis fruar iisdem,

Nec sequar aut fugiam, quae diligit ipse vel odit ;

Olim quod a vulpes aegroto cauta leoni

Respondit, referam: Quia me vestigia terrent

Omnia te adversum spectantia, nulla retrorsum.

Bellua multorum es capitum, nam quid fequar, aut

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

Ver. 117, Full many a Beaft goes in,] This expreflion is used for the joke's sake; but it hurts his moral , which is, that they come out beafls. He should here have stuck to the terms of his Original, veftigia omnia te adversum Spectantia.

Ver. 118. Adieu to Virtue, etc.] These two lines are intended for the application or moral of a fable, which needs no explaining; and, consequently, they impair the grace of it, which at beit is inferior to his Original. For Horace speaks of the common people, Populus Romanus, to whom one of Æsop's Fables was properly addressed : too simple a method of conveying truth to the well-drejt Rabble of St. James's.

Ver. 124. Alike in nothing but one Luft of Gold, Just balf the land would buy, and half be sold :] Here the argument suffers a little for the sake of the fatire. The rea

« ZurückWeiter »