« ZurückWeiter »
my dear delight—not Fleury's more: But touch me, and no Minister fo fore. Whoe'er offends, at some unlucky time * Slides into verse, and hitches in a rhime, Sacred to Ridicule his whole life long, And the sad burthen of some merry song.
80 y Slander or Poison dread from Delia's rage, Hard words or hanging, if your Judge be Page. From furious Sappho scarce a milder fate, P-x'd by her love, or libell'd by her hate.
Its proper pow'r to hurt, each creature feels; 85 Bulls aim their horns, and Asses lift their heels; 'Tis a Bear's talent not to kick, but hug ; And no man wonders he's not stung by Pug. * So drink with Walters, or with Chartres eat, They'll never poison you, they'll only cheat. 90
VER. 81–84 Slander-libelld by her hate.] There seenis to be more spirit here than in the original : But it is hard to pronounce with certainty: for though one may be confident there is more force in the 83d and 84th lines than in
“ Canidia Albutî, quibus est inimica, venenum ;" yet there might be fomething, for aught we know, in the character or history of Cervius, which might bring up that line to the spirit and poignancy of the S:d verfe of the Imitation.
WARBURTON. VER. 83. From furious Sappho] There is no doubt, notwithflanding all his evasions, who is here meant by Sappho ; but what Warburton calls “ fpirited,” is unmanly and disgraceful.
VER. 85-90. lis proper power to burt, &c.] All, except the two last lines, inferior to the elegance and precision of the original.
Matrem ; nil faciet sceleris pia dextera (mirum?
Ne longum faciam : feu me tranquilla senectus Exspectat, seu mors artis circumvolat alis ; Dives, inops ; Romæ, seu fors ita jusserit, exsul; Quisquis erat vitæ, scribam, color.
T. O puer, ut fis Vitalis metuo; et majorum ne quis amicus Frigore te feriat.
H. ' Quid ? cum est Lucilius ausus Primus in hunc operis componere carmina morem,
Ver.ci. Then, learned Sir!] The brevity and force of the original is evaporated in this long and feeble paraphrase of the next ten lines. The third and three succeeding verses are very languid and verbose, and perhaps some of the worst he has written.
WARTON. VER. 93-96. Whether Old age -- Skade ;] The original is more finished, and even more fublime. Besides, the last verse-To wrap me in the universal shade, has a languor and redundancy unusual with our Author.
WARBURTON. VER.98. Or whiten'd wall] From Boileau.
VER. 99. In durance, exile, Bedlam, or the Mint,] The Poet, in our equal government, might talk at his case, and with all this levity of style, of the disasters incident to wit. But it was a serious matter with Horace; and is so still with our witty Neighbours; one of whom has well expressed their condition, in the following lines :
“ Eh! Que fait on ? Un simple badinage,
Mal entendu d'un Prude, ou d'un Sot,
Then, learned Sir! (to cut the matter short) Whate'er my fate, or well or ill at Court, Whether Old age, with faint but cheerful ray, Attends to gild the Ev'ning of my day, Or Death’s black wing already be display'd, 95 To wrap me in the universal shade; Whether the darken'd room to muse invite, Or whiten'd wall provoke the skew'r to write; In durance, exile, Bedlam, or the Mint, * Like Lee or Budgel, I will rhyme and print.
F. “ Alas, young man! your days can ne'er be
In flow'r of age you perish for a long !
life! P. What? arm’d for Virtue when I point the pen,
1c5 Brand the bold front of shameless guilty men;
VER. 100. Like Lee or Budgel,] One is sorry to see Lee, a true genius, coupled with Budgel, and his insanity ridiculed.
WARTON. VER. 101. your days can ne'er be long;] The original says, “ Lest any one of your powerful friends should strike you with a cold and contemptuous look."-" Racine meurt,” says Voltaire, “ par une foiblesse grand; parcequ'un autre homme en passant dans une galerie ne l'a pas regardé. J'en suis faché ; mais le role de Phædre n'en est pas moins admirable.”
WARTON, Ver. 104. Will club their Testers, &c.] The image is exceed. ing humorous; and, at the same time, betrays the injustice of their resentment, in the very circumstance of their indulging it, as it
Detrahere et pellem, nitidus qua quisque per ora Cederet, introrfum turpi ; num Lælius, et qui Duxit ab oppreffa meritum Carthagine nomen, Ingenio offensi? aut læso doluere Metello, Famosisque Lupo cooperto versibus ? atqui Primores populi arripuit populumque tributim ;
-thews the Poet had said no more of their avarice than was true. His abundance of wit has made his readers backward in acknowledging his talent for humour. But the veins are equally rich; and the one flows with ease, and the other is always placed with propriety.
WARBUR TON Ver. 125. What? arm'd for Virtue] From this line to Ver. 140. is a passage of as much force and energy as any
that can be pro: duced in the English language, in rhyme.
WARTON. VER 10. Lights of the Church, or Guardians of the Laws?] Because juft Satire is an useful supplement to the fanctions of Law and Religion ; and has, therefore, a claim to the protection of thole who prefide in the administration either of Church or State.
WARBURTON. VER. III. Could Boileau-Could Dryden] I believe neither of. them would have been suffered to do this, had they not been egre. gious flatterers of the several Courts to which they belonged.
WAR BURTON. Ibid. Could penhond Boileau - Could Laureale Dryden] It was Horace's purpose to compliment the former times; and therefore he gives the virtuo!is examples of Scipio and Lælius : it was Mr. Pope's design to satirize the present; and therefore he gives the vicious examples of Louis, Charles, and James. Either way the instances are fully pertinent; but in the latter they have rather greater force. Only the line,
“ Uni æquus virtuti atque ejus amicis," lofes something of its spirit in the imitation ; for the amici, referred to, were Scipio and Lælius.
WARBURTON. El.1!1. Could pension’d Boileau] Boileau acted with much caution and circumspection when he first published his Lutrin here alluded to, and endeavoured to cover and conceal his subject by a
Dash the proud Gamester in his gilded Car;
preface intended to mislead his reader from the real scene of action ; but it ought to be observed, that he afterwards, in the year 1683, threw aside this disguise, openly avowing the occasion 'that gave rise to the poem, the scene of which was not Bourges or Pourges, as before hi had said, but Paris itself; the quarrel he celebrated being betwixt the treasurer and the chanter of the Holy Chapel in that city. The canons were so far from being offended, that they shewed their good sense and good temper by joining in the laugh. Upon which Boileau compliments them, and adds, that
many of that fociety were persons of so much wit and learning, that he would as foon consult them upon his works as the members of the French Academy. The name of the chanter was Barrin ; that of the treasurer, Claude Avri, bishop of Constance in Normandy. The quarrel began in July 1667. See Letters of Brossette to Boileau : à Lyon, ':70; p. 242. V. !.; et Euvres de M. Boileau, Despreaux, par M. de Saint Marc, tom ii. 177. Paris, 174. He justly says, “ e’en in Louis' reign;" for his bigotry was equally contemptible and cruel; and, if we may credit St. Simon, he actually died a jefuit. WARTON.
Ver. 116. Unplac’d, unpenfion'd, no man's heir, or save?] Mr. Pope, it is well known, made his fortune by his Homers. Lord Treasurer Oxford affected to discourage that design ; for so great a genius (he faid) ought not to be confined to Translation. He always used Mr. Pope civilly; and would often express his concern that his religion rendered him incapable of a place. At the