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Pray take them, Sir.—Enough's a feast:
Eat some, and pocket up the rest."-
What, rob your boys ? those pretty rogues !
“No, Sir, you'll leave them to the hogs."
Thus fools with compliments besiege ye,
Contriving never to oblige ye.
Scatter your favours on a fop,
Ingratitude's the certain crop;
And 'tis but just, I'll tell ye
You give the things you never care for.
A wise man always is or should
Be mighty ready to do good;
But makes a difference in his thought
Betwixt a guinea and a groat.
Now this I'll say, you'll find in me,
A safe companion, and a free;
But if you'd have me always near-
A word, pray, in your honour's ear.
I hope it is your resolution
To give me back my constitution !
The sprightly wit, the lively eye,
The engaging smile, the gaiety,
That laugh'd down many a summer sun,
And kept you up so oft till one;
And all that voluntary vein,
As when Belinda raised my strain.
A weasel once made shift to slink
In at a corn-loft through a chink;
Ver. 51. A weasel once] Horace shines particularly in these short fables which he was so fond of introducing ; as he does in2 D2
Repserat in cumeram frumenti; pastaque, rursus
Ire foras pleno tendebat corpore frustrà.
Cui mustela procul, Si vis, ait, effugere istinc,
Macra cavum repetes arctum, quem macra subîsti.
Hâc ego si compellor imagine, cuncta resigno ;
Nec somnum plebis laudo satur altilium, nec
Otia divitiis Arabum liberrima muto.
Sæpe verecundum laudásti; Rexque, Paterque
Audisti coràm, nec verbo parciùs absens :
Inspice, si possum donata reponere lætus.
Parvum parva decent. Mihi jam non regia Roma, Sed vacuum Tibur placet, aut imbelle Tarentum.
Strenuus et fortis, causisque Philippus agendis Clarus, &c.
NOTES. deed in that difficult art of telling a story well, of which the story of Philippus, "Strenuus et fortis," &c. is a master-piece. We are in no one respect so very inferior to the French as in our fables; we have no La Fontaine. The fables of Gay, esteemed our best, are written in a pure and neat style, but have not much nature or humour. Horace's mice are inimitable. The long introductions to the fables of Gay's second volume of fables read like political pamphlets.
Warton. Ver. 67. Craggs und Child,] Mr. Craggs gave him some SouthSea subscriptions. He was so indifferent about them as to neglect making any benefit of them. He used to say, it was a satisfaction to him that he did not grow rich, as he might have done, by the public calamity.
But having amply stuff'd his skin,
Could not get out as he got in:
Which one belonging to the house
('Twas not a man, it was a mouse)
Observing, cried, “ You 'scape not so;
Lean as you came, Sir, you must go.”
Sir, you may spare your application,
I'm no such beast, nor his relation;
Nor one that temperance advance,
Cramm'd to the throat with Ortolans :
Extremely ready to resign
All that may make me none of mine.
South-sea subscriptions take who please,
Leave me but liberty and ease.
'Twas what. I said to Craggs and Child,
Who praised my modesty, and smiled.
Give me, I cried, (enough for me)
My bread and independency !
So bought an annual rent or two,
And lived-just as you see I do;
Near fifty, and without a wife,
I trust that sinking fund, my life.
Can I retrench? Yes, mighty well,
Shrink back to my paternal cell,
A little house, with trees a-row,
And, like its master, very low;
There died my father, no man's debtor,
And there I'll die, nor worse nor better.
To set this matter full before ye,
Our old friend Swift will tell his story.
“ Harley, the nation's great support,”— But you may read it ; I stop short.
Hoc erat in votis: modus agri non ita magnus,
Hortus ubi, et tecto vicinus jugis aquæ fons,
Et paulum silvæ super his foret. Auctiùs, atque
Dî meliùs fecere. Bene est: nil ampliùs oro,
Maiâ nate, nisi ut propria hæc mihi munera faxis.
Si neque majorem feci ratione malâ rem,
Nec sum facturus vitio culpâve minorem:
Si veneror stultus nihil horum ; O si angulus ille
Proximus accedat, qui nunc denormat agellum !
O si urnam argenti fors qud mihi monstret! ut illi,
Thesauro invento qui mercenarius, agrum
Illum ipsum mercatus, aravit, dives amico
Ver. 22. And to be kept in my right wits;] An apprehension of the loss of intellect gave the Dean great uneasiness through life. Some hereditary expectation, or some peculiarity of feeling, I presume, occasioned a perpetual anticipation of that sad event, which at length befel him. Pope's part of the imitation begins at verse 125, but I cannot accede to Warburton's opinion, that his portion of the performance is executed with more dexterity than that of Swift, who is unexceptionably excellent, and preserves with most happy accommodation the playful urbanity of his author. There are indeed several strokes in the more humorous passages of Pope's division, after Swift's best manner ; but the following seems to me the most successful:
Tells all their names, lays down the law:
“ Que ça est bon! Ah goutez ça !
That jelly's rich, this malmsey healing :
Pray dip your whiskers and your tail in!"
THE FIRST PART IMITATED IN THE YEAR 1714, BY DR. SWIFT;
THE LATTER PART ADDED AFTERWARDS.
I've often wish'd that I had clear
For life, six hundred pounds a-year,
A handsome house to lodge a friend,
A river at my garden's end,
A terrace-walk, and half a rood
Of land, set out to plant a wood.
Well, now I have all this and more,
I ask not to increase my store;
But here a grievance seems to lie,
All this is mine but till I die;
I can't but think 'twould sound more clever,
To me and to my heirs for ever.
If I ne'er got or lost a groat,
By any trick, or any fault;
And if I pray by reason's rules,
And not like forty other fools :
As thus, “ Vouchsafe, oh gracious Maker !
To grant me this and t'other acre:
Or, if it be thy will and pleasure,
Direct my plough to find a treasure :"
But only what my
station fits, And to be kept in my right wits ;