Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

Quid • Sophocles et Thespis et Acschylus utile fer

rent:

resa

Tentavit quoque rem, fi digne vertere poffet :
Et placuit fibi, natura sublimis et acer:
Nam P {pirat tragicum fatis, et feliciter audet :
Sed 9 turpem putat inscite metuitque lituram.

Creditur, ex ? medio quia res arcesfit, habere
Sudoris minimum ; fed habet Comoedia tanto
Plus oneris, quanto veniae minus. : aspice, Plautus
Quo pacto e partes tutetur amantis ephebi,
Ut patris attenti, lenonis ut insidiosi :
Quantus fit Doflennus v ędacibus in parasitis ; .
Quam non aftri&to percurrat pulpita focco.

Gestit enim * nummum in loculos demittere; post hoc

Securus, cadat an recto ftet fabula talo.

Quem tulit ad scenam Y ventoso gloria curru,

Notes. Ver. 290. Aftræa,) A Name taken by Mrs. Behn, Auchoress of several obícene Plays, etc. P.

Ibid. The stage how loosely does Ajiraa tread.] The fins

[ocr errors]

Exact · Racine, and Corneille's noble fire, .
Show'd us that France had something to admire. 275
Not but the P Tragic spirit was our own,
And full in Shakespear, fair in Otway shone :
But Otway faild to polish or refine,
And Auent Shakespear scarce effac'd a line.
Ev'n copious Dryden wanted, or forgot,
The last and greatest Art, the Art to blot.
Some doubt, if equal pains, or equal fire
The ' humbler Muse of Comedy require.
But in known Images of life, I guess
The labour greater, as th’ indulgence less : 285
Observe how feldom ev’n the best succeed:
Tell me if Congreve's Fools are Fools indeed ? In
What pert, low. Dialogue has Farqu'ar writ!
How Van wants grace, who never wanted wit!

The stage how " loosely does Aftræa tread, 290
Who fairly puts all Characters to bed!
And idle Cibber, how he breaks the laws,
To make poor Pinky W eat with vast applause !
But fill their * purse, our Poet's work is done,
Alike to them, by Pathos or by Pun.

295
O you! whom » Vanity's light bark conveys
On Fame's mad voyage by the wind of praise,

- Nores. metaphor of non aftri£to. greatly improved by the happy ambiguity of the word loosely VER. 296. O you ! whom Vanity's ligbe bark conveys,

* L

Exanimat lentus spectator, sedulus inflat:
Sic leve, fic parvum est, animum quod laudis avarum
Subruit, ac reficit: ? valeat res ludicra, fi me
Palma negata macrum, donata reducit opimum. '

• Saepe etiam audacem fugat hoc terretque poetam;

Quod numero plures, virtute et honore minores, .
Indocti, ftolidique, et o depugnare parati
Si discordet eques, media inter carmina poscunt

Auto ursum aut pugiles : his nam plebecula gaudet. Verum d equitis quoque jam migravit ab aure voluptas

Omnis, ad incertos oculos, et gaudia vana.
Quatuor aut plures aulaea premuntur in horas;
Dum fugiunt e equitum turmae, peditumque catervae:
Mox trahitur manibus regum fortuna retortis ;

Notes. The metaphor is fine, but inferior to the Original, in many respects.

ventojo gloria curru, has a happy air of ridicule heightened by its allusion to the Roman Triumph. It has a great beauty too, taken in a more serious light, as reprelenting the Poet a Slave to Fame or Glory, '

Quem tulit ad scenam---Gloria.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

With what a shifting gale your course you plý,
For ever funk too low, or born too high!
Who pants for glory finds but short repose, 300
A breath revives him, or a breath o'erthrows.
a Farewell the stage ! if just as thrives the play, i
The filly bard grows fat, or falls away.

. There still remains, to mortify a Wit,
The many-headed Monster of the Pit:

305
A senseless, worthless, and unhonour'd croud;
Who, o to disturb their betters mighty proud,
Clatt'ring their sticks before ten lines are spoke,
Call for the Farce, the Bear, or the Black-joke.
What dear delight to Britons Farce affords ! 310
Ever the taste of Mobs, but now d of Lords ;
(Taste, that eternal wanderer, which flies
From heads to ears, and now from ears to eyes.)
The Play stands ftill; damn action and discourse,
Back fly the scenes, and enter foot and horse; 315
Pageants on pageants, in long order drawn,
Peers, Heralds, Bishops, Ermin, Gold and Lawn;

Notes.
as was the custom in their triumphs. In other respects it
has the preference. It is more juft. For a Poet makes
his firt entrance on the stage not, immediately, to Triamph,
but to try his Fortune. However,

Who pants for Glory, etc. is much superior to the Original,

Ver. 313. From heads to ears, and now from ears to eyes. ] From Plays to Operas, and from Operas to Pantomines.

.. * L 2

Effeda festinant, pilenta, petorrita, naves ;
Captivum portatur ebur, captiva Corinthus.

Si foret in terris, rideret Democritus ; seu
Diversum confusa genus panthera camelo,
Sive 8 elephas albus vulgi converteret ora..
Spectaret populum ludis attentius ipfis,
Ut fibi praebentem mimo spectacula plura:
Scriptores autem narrare putaret a fello
Fabellam surdo. nam quae i pervincere voces
Evaluere sonum, referunt quem noftra theatra?
* Garganum mugire putes nemus, aut mare Tufcum.
Tanto cum ftrepitu ludi spectantur, et artes,
| Divitiaeque peregrinae : quibus m oblitus actor
Cum ftetit in scena, concurrit dextera laevae.
Dixit adhuc aliquid ? nil fane. Quid placet ergo?
n Lana Tarentino violas imitata veneno. :
Ac ne forte putes me, quae facere ipse recusem,
Cum recte tractent alii, laudare maligne ;

[ocr errors]

a Notes. : Ver. 319. Old Edrward's Armour beams on Cibber's breast.] i he Coronation of Henry volt. and Queen Anne Boleyn, in which the Playhouses vied with each other to represent all the pomp of a Coronation. In this noble

« ZurückWeiter »