« ZurückWeiter »
Forms the soft bosom with the gentlest art,
each human Virtue in the heart. 220
VER. 217. He from the taste obscene, etc.] This, in imitation of his Original, refers to the true Poet,
torquet ab obfcoenis. and likewise to Mr. Addison's papers in the Tatlers, Spectators, and Guardians; the character of which is given in the preceding note. But their excellence may be best gathered from their having procured so long credit to that vast heap of crude and indigested things with which they are intermixed.
Ver. 226. the Idiot and the Poor.) A foundation for the maintenance of Idiots, and a Fund for asisting the Poor, by lending small sums of money on demand.
P. VER. 229. Not but there are, etc.) Nothing can be more truly humorous or witty than all that follows to y 240. Yet the noble fobriety of the original, or, at lealt, the appearance of
Disceret unde preces, vatem ni Musa dediffet ?
blandus; Avertit morbos, metuenda pericula pellit;
Impetrat et pacem, et locupletem frugibus annum, Carmine Dî superi placantur, carmine Manes,
· Agricolae prisci, fortes, parvoque beati, Condita poft frumenta, levantes tempore festo
Corpus et ipsum animum spe finis dura ferentem,
Cum sociis operum pueris et conjuge fida,
Silvanum lacte piabant,
Floribus et vino Genium memorem brevis aevi.
hunc inventă licentia morem
Versibus alternis opprobria rustica fudit ;
NOTES. fobriety, which is the same thing here, is of a taste vastly fuperior to it.
VER. 230. Sternhold.] One of the versifiers of the old singing psalms. He was a Courtier, and Groom of the Robes to Hen, vilt, and of the Bedchamber to Edward vi. Fuller, in
How could Devotion b touch the country pews,
236 The silenc'd Preacher yields to potent strain, And feels that
grace his pray'r besought in vain ; The blessing thrills thro' all the lab’ring throng, And a Heav'n is won by Violence of Song. 240
Our rural Ancestors, with little blest,
NOTES. his Church History, says he was esteemed an excellent Poet.
VER. 241. Our rural Ancestors, etc.) This is almost literal ; and shews, that the beauty and spirit, so much admired in these Poems, owe lefs to the liberty of imitating, than to the superios genius of the imitator,
Lusit amabiliter : & donec jam faevus apertam
In rabiem cocpit verti jocus, et per
Ire domos impune minax, doluere cruento
Dente laceffiti: fuit intactis quoque cura
Conditione super communi: quin etiam lex Poenaque lata, malo quae nollet carmine dhem
Describi. vertere modum, formidine fustis
k Graecia capta ferum victorem cepit, et artes
VER. 259. Most warp'd to Flatt'ry's side, etc.] These two lines (notwithstanding the reference) are an addition to the Original. They seemed neceffary to compleat the History of the rise and progress of Wit; and, if attended to, will be seen to make much for the argument the Poet is upon, viz. the recommendation of Poetry to the protection of the Magistrate. And is, therefore, what Horace would have chosen to say, had he reAlected on it.
But Times corrupt, and & Nature, ill-inclin'd,
charms; Her Arts victorious triumph'd o'er our Arms; Britain to soft refinements less a foe,
265 Wit grew polite, and Numbers learn’d to flow.
NOTES. VER. 263. We conquerid France, etc.] The instance the Poet here gives, to answer that in the Original, is not so happy. However, it might be said with truth, that our Intrigues on the Continent brought us acquainted with the Provincial Poets, and produced Chaucer. I, only, wonder, when he had such an example before him, of a Bard who fo greatly polished the rusticity of his age, he did not use it to paraphrafe the sense of
Defluxit numerus Saturnius, et grave virus