Abbildungen der Seite
[ocr errors]

"I don't know whether you won't have reason to think I am "too folicitous about those trifles, by my giving you the trouble "to alter them; but I would have them appear in as good a "drefs as poffible, for fear of their being a disgrace to the per"fons I have addressed them to. My Father and Mother defire "their compliments. I am, with great refpect and truth, your "moft obliged humble fervant, G. LYTTELTON." I have admitted this as a circumftance connected with literature, and with Pope.

After Pope's death, the GREAT PHILOSOPHER AND FRIEND, to whom this Epiftle is addreffed, became the most implacable ENEMY to his memory. Pope had printed privately 1500 copies of the "Patriot King," the MS. of which pamphlet Bolingbroke had intrufted to him, and these were found after his death. Bolingbroke felt that Pope had violated his honour, and he employed Mallet to abuse him, and ftigmatize his memory. Mallet, it is faid, had for the task the copy-right of Bolingbroke's philofophic labours. So ended the History of this " Friendship and Philofophy!"





IL admirari, prope res eft una, Numici,
Solaque quæ poffit facere et fervare beatum.
"Hunc folem, et ftellas, et decedentia certis
Tempora momentis, funt qui formidine nulla
Imbuti fpectent. quid cenfes, munera terræ ?
Quid, maris extremos Arabas ditantis et Indos?
Ludicra, quid, plaufus, et amici dona Quiritis?
Quo fpectanda modo, quo fenfu credis et ore?






VER. 3. dear MURRAY,] This piece is the moft finished of all his Imitations, and executed in the high manner the Italian Painters call con amore. By which they mean, the exertion of that principle, which puts the faculties on the stretch, and produces the fupreme degree of excellence. For the Poet had all the warmth of affection for the great Lawyer to whom it is addreffed: and, indeed, no man ever more deserved to have a Poet for his friend. In the obtaining of which, as neither vanity, party, nor fear had any fhare, (which gave birth to the attachments of many of his noble acquaintance,) fo he fupported his title to it by all the good offices of a generous and true Friendship. WARBURTON.

VER. 4. Creech.] From whofe Tranflation of Horace the two first lines are taken. POPE. VER. 4. Words of Creech.] Who, in truth, is a much better tranflator than he is ufually fuppofed and allowed to be. He is a nervous and vigorous writer; and many parts, not only of his Lucretius, but of his Theocritus and Horace, (though now decried,) have not been excelled by other tranflators. One of his pieces may be pronounced excellent: his tranflation of the thirteenth Satire of Juvenal; equal to any Dryden has given us of at author. WARTON.


[ocr errors]



NOT to admire, is all the Art I know,

"To make men happy, and to keep them fo." (Plain Truth, dear MURRAY, needs no flow'rs of



So take it in the very Words of Creech.)


This Vault of Air, this congregated Ball, Self-center'd Sun, and Stars that rise and fall, There are, my Friend! whose philofophic eyes Look through, and trust the Ruler with his Skies, To him commit the Hour, the Day, the Year, And view this dreadful All without a fear. Admire we then what Earth's low Entrails hold, Arabian fhores, or Indian feas infold;


All the mad trade of Fools and Slaves for Gold?
Or 'Popularity? or Stars and Strings?


The Mob's applauses, or the gifts of Kings?
Say with what eyes we ought at Courts to gaze,
pay the Great our homage of Amaze?






NOTES. *Afterwards the celebrated Lord Mansfield. This was writ ten 1737

VER. 8. truft the Ruler] This laft line is quaint and even obfcure; the two first vigorously expreffed. Horace thought of a striking and exalted paffage in Lucretius, Book v. l. 1185.



Qui timet his adversa, fere miratur eodem

Quo cupiens pacto: pavor eft utrobique moleftus:
Improvifa fimul fpecies exterret utrumque :

Gaudeat, an doleat; cupiat, metuatne; quid ad rem,
Si, quidquid vidit melius pejufve fua fpe,
Defixis oculis, animoque et corpore torpet?


Infani sapiens nomen ferat, æquus iniqui; Ultra quam fatis eft, virtutem fi petat ipfam.




I nunc, argentum et marmor" vetus, æraque et artes Sufpice: cum gemmis " Tyrios mirare colores: Gaude, quod fpectant oculi te° mille loquentem: Gnavus mane forum, et vefpertinus pete tectum; "Ne plus frumenti dotalibus emetat agris Mutus, et (indignum ; quod fit pejoribus ortus) 'Hic tibi fit potius, quam tu mirabilis illi.

Quicquid fub terra eft, in apricum proferet ætas ; Defodiet,


VER. 44. Fet Time ennobles, or degrades each Line; It brighten'd Craggs's, and may darken thine :] One of the nobleft houfes in Europe.-The original is, "Quicquid fub terra eft, in apricum proferet ætas ; "Defodiet, condetque nitentia."

This wants neither force nor elegance; yet is vaftly inferior to the Imitation, where a very fine panegyric on two great characters, in the fecond line, gives dignity and eafe to the mafterly concifenefs of the first. WARBURTON.

VER. 45. It brighten'd CRAGGS's,] His father had been in a low fituation; but, by industry and ability, got to be Post Master General and Agent to the Duke of Marlborough. WARTON.

« ZurückWeiter »