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Content with little, I can piddle here
On brocoli and mutton, round the year;
But ' ancient friends (tho' poor, or out of play)
That touch my bell, I cannot turn away.
'Tis true, no Turbots dignify my boards,
But gudgeons, flounders, what my Thames affords: To Hounflow-heath I point, and Banfted-down,
My Life's amusements have been just the fame,
Thence comes your mutton, and these chicks my own:
* From yon old walnut-tree a show'r fhall fall; 145 And grapes, long ling'ring on my only wall,
And figs from standard and efpalier join;
The Dev'l is in you if you cannot dine:
Then 'chearful healths, (your Mistress fhall have place,)
My lands are fold, my father's house is gone;
And yours, my friends? through whofe free op'ning gate
None comes too early, none departs too late;
VER. 154. Standing Armies came.] A conftant topic of declamation against the court, at this time.
WARTON. The outcry was equally violent against the Excife, and no less unjustly. See Coxe's Memoirs, ch. 41.
Nam propria telluris herum natura neque illum,
VER. 160. Welcome the coming,] From Homer, Cd. b. 15. v. 74• χρη ξεινον παρον]α φιλειν, εθελονία δε πέμπειν. Theocritus has finely touched this fubject in the fixteenth Idyllium. WARTON.
VER. 165 Wel, if the ufe be mine, &c.] In a letter to this Mr. Bethel, of March 2c, 1743, he fays, "My Landlady, Mrs. Vernon, being dead, this Garden and Houfe are offered me in fale; and, I believe, (together with the cottages on each fide my grafs plot next the Thames,) will come at about a thousand pounds. If I thought any very particular friend would be pleafed to live in it after my death, (for, as it is, it ferves all my purposes as well, during life,) I would purchase it; and more particularly could I hope two things; that the friend who fhould like it, was fo much younger and healthier than my self, as to have a profpect of its continuing his, fome years longer than I can of its continuing mine. But most of thofe I love are travelling out of the world, not into it; and unless I have fuch a view given me, I have no vanity nor pleasure that does not flop fhort of the Grave." So that we fee (what fome who call themselves his friends would not believe) his thoughts in profe and verse were the fame. WARBURTON.
VER. 171-2. Or in pure equity, (the cafe not clear,) The Chanc'ry takes your rents for twenty year :] A Proteftant Mifer's money in Chancery, and a Catholic Mifer's perfon in Purgatory, are never to be got out, till the Law and the Church have been well paid for their redemption. WARBURTON.
VER. 175 that to BACON could] Gorhambury, near St. Alban's, a fine and venerable old manfion. WARTON. Pope, with his ufual pronenefs to invective, alludes to a very refpectable nobleman, William, firft Lord Grimfione.
Pray Heav'n it laft! (cries SWIFT) as you go on "I wifh to God this house had been your own:
Pity! to build, without a fon or wife :
The Chanc'ry takes your rents for twenty year:
Let lands and houses have what Lords they will, Let Us be fix'd, and our own masters still.
VER. 177. And Hemfley,] Helmsley, in Yorkshire. VER. 177. proud Buckingham's, &c.] Villiers Duke of Buckingham.
THIS imitation appears to me, the leaft fuccefsfully polished and pointed of any he has attempted. The observations, indeed, are not very ftriking in the original; and as to Pope, if Bethel always fpoke what he thought, and always thought as he ought," we cannot be impreffed with the fagenes of his remarks. The chief merit of Horace is the language, and in this refpect Pope has followed him with much lefs fuccefs than he has done in his other Imitations.