Abbildungen der Seite

Lento Samnites ad lumina prima duello.
Discedo Alcaeus puncto illius ; ille meo quis ?
Quis, nifi Callimachus ? fi plus adposcere visus;
Fit Mimnermus, et optivo cognomine crescit.
Multa fero, ut placem genus irritabile vatum,
Cum fcribo, et supplex populi fuffragia capto :
Idem, finitis ftudiis, et mente recepta,
Obturem patulas impune legentibus aures.

• Ridentur mala qui componunt carmina : ve


Gaudent scribentes, et se venerantur, et ultro,
Si taceas, laudant ; quidquid fcripfere, beati.
At qui legitimum cupiet feciffe poema,
Cum tabulis animum cenforis fumet honefti:
Audebit quaecunque parem splendoris habebunt,
Et fine pondere erunt, et honore indigna ferentur,
Verba movere loco; quamvis invita recedant,
Et versentur adhuc intra penetralia Vestae:
p Obscurata diu populo bonus eruet, atque
Proferet in lucem fpeciosa vocabula rerum,
Quae priscis memorata Catonibus atque Cethegis,
Nunc situs informis prçmit et deserta vetuftas :

NOTES. Ver. 167. Command old words, that long have fept, 10 wake] The imagery is here very sublime. It curns the Poet to a Magician evoking the dead from their lepulchres,

« Or, I'm content, allow me Dryden's strains, 145
“ And you shall rise up Otway for your pains."
Much do I suffer, much, to keep in peace
This jealous, waspish, wrong-head, rhiming race;
And much must flatter, if the whim should bite
To court applause by printing what I write: 150
But let the Fit pass o'er, I'm wise enough,
To stop my ears to their confounded stuff.

• In vain, bad Rhimers all mankind reject,
They treat themselves with most profound respect;
'Tis to small purpose that you hold your tongue, 155
Each prais’d within, is happy all day long,
But how severely with themselves proceed
The men, who write such Verse as we can read ?
Their own strict Judges, not a word they spare
That wants or force, or light, or weight, or care, 160
Howe'er unwillingly it quits its place,
Nay tho’ at Court (perhaps) it may find grace :
Such they'll degrade; and sometimes, in its stead,
P In downright charity revive the dead;
Mark where a bold expreffive phrase appears, 165
Bright thro' the rubbish of some hundred years;
Command old words that long have slept, to wake,
Words, that wife Bacon, or brave Rawleigh spake;

Notes. . It mugire folum, manifque exire fepulchris, Horace has not the same force,

Proferet in lucem Speciofa vocabula rerum.

Adsciscet nova, quae genitor produxerit ufus :
Vehemens et liquidus, puroque fimillimus amni,
Fundet opes, Latiumque beabit divite lingua :
Luxuriantia compescet: nimis aspera sano
Levabit cultu, virtute carentia tollet :
Ludentis fpeciem dabit, et torquebitur, ut qui
Nunc Satyrum, nunc agrèstem Cyclopa movetur.

Praetulerim scriptor delirus inersque videri,
Dum mea delečtent mala me, vel denique fallant,
Quam sapere, et ringi. Fuit haud ignobilis Argus,
Qui se credebat miros audire tragoedos,


VER. 170. For Use will father what's begot by Sense) A very fine and happy improvement on the expresion, it not on the thought, of his original.

VER. 175. But show no mercy to an empty line ;] To such, our Poet was always inexorable. Unless it was once, when in the full blaze of his glory, he chose to sacrifice to envy, in that devoted and execrable line, in one of the best translated books of the Odyssey,

“ Close to the Cliff with both his hands he clung,

And fuck adherent, and suspended hung. The small critics could never have supported themselves without the consolation of such a verse; to which indeed ever since the whole tribe of Scriblers

with both their hands have clung, And fuck adherent, and suspended hung.


Or bid the new be English, ages hence,
(For Use will father what's begot by Sense) 170
Pour the full tide of eloquence along,
Serenely pure, and yet divinely strong,
Rich with the treasures of each foreign tongue;
Prune the luxuriant, the uncouth refine,
But show no mercy to an empty line:

Then polish all, with so much life and ease,
You think ’tis Nature, and á knack to please :
6 But ease in writing flows from Art; not chance
66 As those move easiest who have learn'd to dance.

? If such the plague and pains to write by rule, 180
Better (fay I) be pleas'd, and play the fool;
Call, if you will, bad rhiming a disease,
It gives men happiness, or leaves them ease.

[ocr errors]

Notes. But there is a set of still lower Creatures than these, at the tail of which is one EDWARDS, who can make shift to subfift even on a Printer's blunder. The late Editor of Shakespear gave order to the corrector of the press, that all Mr. Pope's notes should be printed in their places. In one of these 'there was mention made, as they say, of some Italian novels (I forget whose) in which Dec. and Nov. were printed thus contractedly. But the printers of the late edition lengthen'd them into December and No'vember, and, in this condition, they are charged upon the Editor by this Edwards. Now, was the man such a Dunce to make his criticism with good faith, he is much to be pitied; was he such a Knave to make it without, he is much more to be pitied.

* N

In vacuo laetus feffor plausorque theatro:

Caetera qui vitae fervaret munia recto

More; bonus sane vicinus, amabilis hofpes,

Comis in uxorem ; pollet qui ignoscere servis,

Et signo laeso non infanire lagenae :

Poset qui rupem, et puteum vitare patentem.

Hic ubi cognatorum opibus curisque refe&us,

Expulit elleboro morbum bilemque meraco,

Et redit ad sese : Pol me occidiftis, amici,

Non servastis, ait; cui fic extorta voluptas,

Et demtus per vim mentis gratiffiinus error.

Nimirum fapere eft abjectis utile nugis,

Et tempestivum pueris concedere ludum;

Not-es. Ver. 184. There liv'd in primo Georgii, etc.] The imitation of this story of the Madman is as much iuperior te his original, in the fine and easy manner of telling, as that of Lucullus's Soldier comes fhort of it. It is true the turn

« ZurückWeiter »