« ZurückWeiter »
Pity! to build, without a son or wife :
Shades, that to BACON could retreat afford, 175
PRIMA dicte mihi, summa dicende camena, Spectatum satis, et donatum jam rude, quæris, Mæcenas, iterum antiquo me includere ludo. Non eadem est ætas, non mens. Veianius, armis
Herculis ad postem fixis, latet abditus agro; Ne populum extrema toties exoret arena.
Ver. 1. whose love] Equal to the affection which Horace in the original professes for Mæcenas. It has been suspected that his affection to his friend was so strong, as to make him resolve not to outlive him; and that he actually put into execution his promise of ibimus, ibimus. Od. xvii. lib. 3. Both died in the end of the year 746; Horace only three weeks after Mæcenas, November 27. Nothing can be so different as the plain and manly style of the former, in comparison to what Quintilian calls the calamistros of the latter, for which Sanctorius and Macrobius, cap. 86, say Augustus frequently ridiculed him, though Augustus himself was guilty of the same fault: as when he said, vapide se habere for male. The learned C. G. Heyne, in his excellent edition of Virgil, after observing that the well-known verses usually ascribed to Augustus, on Virgil's ordering his Æneid to be burnt, are the work of some bungling grammarian, and not of that emperor, adds, “Videas tamen Voltairium, horridos hos et ineptos versus non modo Augusto tribuere, verum etiam magnopere probare; ils sont beaux et semblent partir du cœur. Essai sur le Poesie Epique, cap. 3. Ita vides, ad verum pulcrarum sententiarum sensum et judicium, sermonis intelligentiam aliquam esse necessariam.” P. V. Maronis Opera, tom. i. p. 131. Lipsiæ, 1767.
Ver. 3. Sabbath of my days ?] i. e. The 49th year, the age of the Author.
TO LORD BOLINGBROKE.
St. John, whose love indulg’d my labours past, Matures my present, and shall bound my last ! Why will you break the Sabbath of my days? Now sick alike of Envy and of Praise. Public too long, ah let me hide my Age! See modest Cibber now has left the Stage : Our Gen’rals now, dretir’d to their Estates, Hang their old Trophies o'er the Garden gates, In Life's cool Ev’ning satiate of Applause, Nor. fond of bleeding, e'en in BRUNSWICK's cause.
NOTES. Ver. 8. Hang their old Trophies o’er the Garden gates,] An occasional stroke of Satire on ill-placed ornaments. He has more openly ridiculed them in his Epistle on Taste:
“Load some vain Church with old theatric state,
“ Turn Arcs of Triumph to a garden gate. He is said to have alluded to the entrance of Lord Peterborough's Lawn at Bevismount, near Southampton.
There is more pleasantry and humour in Horace's comparing himself to an old gladiator, worn out in the service of the public, from which he had often begged his life, and has now at last been dismissed with the usual ceremonies, than for Pope to compare himself to an old actor or retired general. Pope was in his forty-ninth year, and Horace probably in his forty-seventh year, when he wrote this Epistle. Bentley has arranged the writings of Horace in the following order. He composed the first book of his Satires between the twenty-sixth and twenty-eighth year of his age; the second book, from the year thirty-one to thirty