« ZurückWeiter »
Content with little, I can piddle here
place) And, what's more rare, a poet shall say grace. 150
Fortune not much of humbling me can boast; Though double tax’d, how little have I lost ! My life's amusements have been just the same Before and after standing armies came. My lands are sold, my father's house is gone; 155 I'll hire another's; is not that my own, And yours, my friends ? through whose free open
ing gate None comes too early, none departs too late; For I, who hold sage Homer's rule the best, Welcome the coming, speed the going guest. 160 • Pray Heaven it last! cries Swift, . as you go on; I wish to God this house had been your own :
continuing mine. But most of those I love are travelling out of the world, not into it; and unless I have such a view given me, I have no vanity or pleasure that does not stop short of the grave.'
Pity, to build, without a son or wife :
172 The chancery takes your rents. Warburton says, roughly but keenly,-'A protestant miser's money in chancery, and a catholic miser's money in purgatory, are never to be got out, till the law and the church have been well paid for their redemption,',
175 Shades, that to Bacon. Gorhambury, near St. Albans.
177 Proud Buckingham's delight. Villiers, duke of Buckingham.
THE FIRST EPISTLE
TO LORD BOLINGBROKE.
Pope had reached his forty-ninth year at the time of this epistle. Horace is supposed to have been in his fortyseventh when he wrote the original : yet the Roman's age might seem more advanced, from the "non eadem est ætas, non mens,'—the air of resignation of the world which commences and characterises the poem. Bentley's authority thus gives the eras of Horace :—the first book of the Satires was written between his twenty-sixth and twenty-eighth years; the second, between his thirty-first and thirty-third ; the Epodes, in his thirty-fourth and thirty-fifth; the first book of the Odes, from his thirty-sixth to his thirty-eighth ; the second, in his thirty-ninth and fortieth ; the first book of the Epistles, in his forty-sixth and forty-seventh; the fourth book of the Odes in his forty-ninth ; lastly, the Art of Poetry, and the second book of the Epistles, whose exact date is not assignable.
St. John, whose love indulged my labors past,
Why will you break the sabbath of my days?
A voice there is, that whispers in my ear, 11 ('Tis reason's voice, which sometimes one can
hear) · Friend Pope! be prudent; let your Muse take
breath, And never gallop Pegasus to death; Lest, stiff and stately, void of fire or force, 15 You limp, like Blackmore on a lord mayor's
horse.' Farewell then, verse, and love, and every toy, The rhymes and rattles of the man or boy : What right, what true, what fit we justly call, Let this be all my care--for this is all : 20 To lay this harvest up, and hoard with haste What every day will want, and most, the last.
But ask not, to what doctors I apply: Sworn to no master, of no sect am I: As drives the storm, at any door I knock; 25 And house with Montaigne now, or now with
26 And now with Montaigne. Warburton tells us, that Pope regarded Montaigne and Locke as the best schools to form a man of the world, or to give him a knowlege of himself; the former as ex.celling in his observations on social and civil life, and the latter as developing the faculties of the mind.
Sometimes a patriot, active in debate,
44 Which done, the poorest can no wants endure; And which not done, the richest must be poor.
Late as it is, I put myself to school, And feel some comfort not to be a fool.
29 Free as young Littleton. The name of Littleton seems condemned to an ineffectual labor for fame in English literature. Yet if this writer's poems were feeble, and his · Dialogues of the Dead' common-place, he deserved more honor for his little work on the Conversion of St. Paul ;-a manly retractation of the absurdities of unbelief, with manly reasons for the retractation.
31 Aristippus or St. Paul. Warton justly observes on the indecorum of joining the name of the profligate parasite of Dionysius with the venerated name of the great apostle : but the name belonged to the original,- Nunc in Aristippi furtim præcepta.'