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The great Alcides, ev'ry Labour past,
To thee, the World its present homage pays,
NOTES. for the public welfare. Which, nothing better secures than the speedy damping Popularity; so dangerous to the community when joined to great Talents.
SCRIBL. Ver. 17. The great Alcides,] This instance has not the same grace here as in the original, where it comes in well after those of Romulus, Bacchus, Castor, and Pollux, tho' aukwardly after Edward and Henry. But it was for the sake of the beautiful thought in the next line; which, yet, does not equal the force of his original.
Ver. 21. Oppress’d we feel, etc.] “ Les hommes, nez ingrats 66 et jaloux (says an ingenious French Writer with becoming « indignation) ne pardonnent pas ceux qui prétend à leur admio “ ration: de la mériter ils en font un crime, qu'ils punissent par “ des calomnies, des critiques ameres, et des mépris affectez. La “ Postérité le vengera de ses oppresseurs, en le comblant de lou
Caetera nequaquam fimili ratione modoque
Si, quia" Graiorum sunt antiquissima quaeque Scripta vel optima, Romani pensantur eadem Scriptores trutina ; non est quod multa loquamur : Nil intra est oleam, nil extra est in nuce duri. Venimus ad fummum fortunae: pingimus, atque • Pfallimus, et ? luelamur Achivis doctius unétis.
NOTE s. · “ anges, tandis que les imbécilles detracteurs, ces hommes
“ vils, qui pour être oubliez, n'ont pas besoin de cesser d'être, “ resteront pour jamais plongez dans l'oubli.”
VER. 38. And beastly Škelion, etc.] Skelton, Poet Laureat to Hen. viii. a volume of whose verses has been lately reprinted, consisting almost wholly of ribaldry, obscenity, and scurrilous anguage.
Just in one instance, be it yet confest
Chaucer's worst ribaldry is learn’d by rote,
Tho' justly · Greece her eldest fons admires,
P. Ver. 42. The Muses met him] This instance of the People's ill taste was both well chosen and happily expressed. Johnson's talents were learning, judgment, and industry, rather than wit, or natural genius.
Ver. 42. met him at the Devil] The Devil Tavernt, where Ben Johnson held his Poetical Club.
Si a meliora dies, ut vina, poemata reddit;
Utor permiffo, caudaeque pilos ut "equinae
Note 8. VER. 68. Beforu a Garland only on a Bier.] The thought is beautiful, and alludes to the old practice of our Ancestors, of covering the Bier (on which the dead were carried to their in
If 9 Time improve our Wit as well as Wine,
“ Who lasts a "century can have no flaw, 55 “ I hold that Wit a Classic, good in law.
Suppose he wants a year, will you compound?
“ We shall not quarrel for a year or two; < By courtesy of England, he may do.
Then, by the rule that made the "Horse-tail bare,
Notes. terment) with Garlands. A manly and pious custom, which arose from the ancient practice of rewarding victors; and from thence was brought into the Church, and applied to those who had fought the good fight of the Apostle.