Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

Qui fodicet latus, et cogat trans pondera dextram

Porrigere: m Hic multum in Fabia valet, ille Velina:

Cui libet, is fasces dabit ; eripietque curule,

Cui volet, importunus ebur: "Frater, Pater, adde:

Ut cuique est aetas, ita quemque° facetus adopta.

Sip bene qui coenat, bene vivit; lucet: eamus

Quo ducit gula : piscemur, venemur, ut 9 olim

Gargilius: qui mane plagas, venabula, servos,

Differtum transire forum populumque jubebat,

Unus ut e multis populo fpectante referret.

NOTES.

Ver. 110. Then turn about, and laugh at your own Jeft.] Which is so natural for all Ministers of State to do, that we need not suppose he meant any particular Minister.

Ver. 118. And envy'd Thirst and Hunger to the Poor.] The Poet has here, with admirable sense, exposed what he elsewhere calls,

THE IMPUDENCE OF WEALTH! which, in its rage to ingross all the blessings of life to itself, without studying to deserve any, not only dares fuffer an honest

III

Tell at your Levee, as the Crouds approach,
To whom'to nod, whom take into your Coach,
Whom honour with your hand: to make remarks,
Who rules in Cornwall, or who rules in Berks:
“ This may be troublesome, is near the Chair: 106
« That makes three Members, this can chuse a

“ May’r.”
Instructed thus, you bow, embrace, protest,
Adopt him "Son, or Cousin at the least,
Then turn about, ando laugh at your own Jest.

Or if your life be one continu'd Treat,
If P to live well means nothing but to eat;
Up, up! cries Gluttony, 'tis break of day,
Go drive the Deer, and drag the finny-prey;
With hounds and hornsgo hunt an Appetite---115
So 9 Russel did, but could not eat at night,
Call’d happy Dog! the Beggar at his door,
And envy'd Thirst and Hunger to the Poor.

NOTES. man to continue poor, but is so horribly mean and abject as to envy him the advantages arising from his very poverty: A degree of corruption not so rare as detestable; tho' it has its root in our common nature, if the Poet has not outraged it, in the description he gives of its pride and meanness :

What would this man? Now upward will he foar,
And little less than Angel, would be more;
Now looking downwards, just as griev'd appears
To want the Atrengih of Bulls, the fur of Bears.

Emtum mulus aprum. * crudi, tumidique lavemur,

Quid deceat, quid non, obliti; Caerite cera

Digni; «remigium vitiofum Ithacenfis Ulyssei;
Cui potior patria fuit interdicta voluptas.

[ocr errors][merged small]

Nil est jucundum ; vivas in amore jocisque.

Vive, vale. fi quid novisti rectius istis,

[ocr errors]

Candidus imperti : fi non, his utere mecum.

Nores.
Ver. 127. Wilmot] Earl of Rochester.

Ibid. 129. And Swift say wisely, Vive la Bagatelle.!"] Our Poet, speaking in one place of the purpose of his fatire, says,

In this impartial glass, my Muse intends

Fair to expose myself, my foes, my friends. and, in another, he makes his Court-Adviser fay,

Laugh at your Friends, and if your Friends be sore,

So much the better, you may laugh the more. because their impatience under reproof would Thew, they had a great deal which wanted to be set right.

On this principle, Swift falls under his correction. He could not bear to see a Friend he so much valued, live in the miserable abuse of one of Nature's best gifts, unadmonished of his folly. Swift (as we may fee by some posthumous Volumes, lately published, so dishonourable and injurious to his memory) trifled away his old age in a dissipation that women and boys might be ashamed of. For when men have given into a long habit of employing their wit only to thew their parts, to edge their spleen, to pander to a faction; or, in short, to any thing but that for which Nature bestowed it, namely, to recommend, and set off Truth; old age, which abates the pasions, will never rectify

Or shall we ev'ry Decency confound, Thro' Taverns, Stews, and Bagnio's take our round, Go dine with Chartres, in each Vice out-do 12 I *K---l's lewd Cargo, or Ty---y’s Crew, From Latian Syrens, French Circæan Feasts, Return well travell’d, and transform'd to Beasts, Or for a titled Punk, or foreign Flame, 125 Renounce our Country, and degrade our Name?

If, after all, we must with " Wilmot own, The Cordial Drop of Life is Love alone, And Swift cry wisely, “ Vive la Bagatelle !" The Man that loves and laughs, must sure do well. w Adieu ---if this advice appear the worst, E'en take the Counsel which I gave you Or better Precepts if you can impart, Why do, I'll follow them with all

my

heart.

NOTES. the abuses they occasioned. But the remains of wit, instead of seeking and recovering their proper channel, will run into that miserable depravity of taste here condemned: and in which Dr. Swift seems to have placed no inconsiderable part of his wisdom. “I chufe (says he, in a Letter to Mr. Pope) my Com“panions amongst those of the least consequence, and most “ compliance: I read the most trifling Books I can find : and “ whenever I write, it is upon the most triling subjects.” And again, “I love La Bagatelle better than ever. I am always writ

ing bad prose or worse verses, either of rage or raillery,etc. And again, in a letter to Mr. Gay, My rule is, Vive la Bagatelle.

ІЗІ gave you first:

« ZurückWeiter »