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Hic error tamen et levis haec insania, quantas
Virtutes habeat, fic collige: vatis ° avarus
Non temere eft animus : P versus amat, hoc ftudet
Detrimenta, o fugas servorum, incendia ridet;
Non " fraudem focio, puerove incogitat ullam
Pupillo ; vivit filiquis, et pane secundos;
Militiae quanquam piger et malus, utilis. urbi ;
Si das hoc, parvis quoque rebus magna juvari;
Os tenerum pueri balbumque poeta figurat :
dignity and eminence of this part of the Gymnastics is learnedly and elaborately explained in that curious Disertation on dancing, in the 13th chap. of the 2" Vol. of the Life of King David.
SCRIBL. VER. 201. Of little use, etc.] There is a poignancy in the following verses, which the original did not aim at, nor affect.
VER. 204. And (thoʻno Soldier)] Horace had not acquitted himself much to his credit in this capacity (non bene reliela parmula) in the battle of Philippi. It is manifeft he alludes to
Yet, Sir," reflect, the mischief is not great ; These Madmen never hurt the Church or State: Sometimes the Folly benefits mankind; 191 And rarely ° Av'rice taints the tuneful mind. Allow him but his P plaything of a Pen, He ne'er rebels, or plots, like other men: ? Flight of Cashiers, or Mobs, he'll never mind; And knows no losses while the Muse is kind. To'cheat a Friend, or Ward, he leaves to Peter ; The good man heaps up nothing but mere metre, Enjoys his Garden and his book in quiet; And then --- a perfect Hermit in his diet.
Of little use the Man you may suppose, Who says in verse what others say in prose; Yet let me show, a Poet's of some weight, And ( tho' no Soldier) useful to the State.
What will a Child learn sooner than a song?205 What better teach a Foreigner the tongue ?
NOTES. himself, in this whole account of a Poet's character ; but with an intermixture of irony: Vivit siliquis et pare secundo has a relation to his Epicurisin; Os tenerum pueri, is ridicule: The nobler office of a Poet follows: Torquet ab obfcoenis -Mox etiam peatus - Recte faeta refert, etc. which the Imitator has apply'd where he thinks it more due than to himself. He hopes to be pardoned, if, as he is sincerely inclined to praise what deserves to be praised, he arraigns what deserves to be arraigned, in the 210, 211, and 212th Verscs.
Torquet w ab obfcoenis jam nunc fermonibus aurem;
Mox etiam pectus praeceptis format amicis,
Afperitatis, et invidiae corrector, et irae ;
NOTES. VER. 213. Unhappy Dryden — In all Charles's days, Rofcommon only boasts unspotted bays ;] The sudden stop after mentioning the name of Dryden has a great beauty. The Poet's tenderness for his Master is expressed in the second line by making his case general; and his honour for him, in the first line, by making his case particular, as the only one that deserved pity.
VER. 215. excuse fome Courtly strains] We are not to underItand this as a disapprobation of Mr. Addison for celebrating the virtues of the present Royal Family. It relates to a certain circumstance, in which he thought that amiable Poet did not act with the ingenuity that became his character.
When Mr. Addison, in the year 1713, had finished his Catı, he brought it to Mr. Pope for his judgment. Our Poet, who thought the sentiments excellent, but the action not enough theatrical, gave him his opinion fairly, and told him that he had better not bring it upon the Stage, but print it like a clasfical performance, which would perfectly answer his design. Mr. Addison approved of this advice; and seemed disposed to follow it. But soon after he came to Mr. Pope, and told him, that some friends, whom he could not disoblige, insisted on his
What's long or short, each accent where to place,
" Britons, ARISE, be worth like this approv'd,
" And shew you have the virtue to be mov’d. he was much troubled, said it would be called, stirring the people to rebellion; and earnestly begg’d he would soften it into some thing less obnoxious. On this account it was altered, as it now stands, to-Britons, attend, - though at the expence both of the sense and spirit. Notwithstanding this, the very next year, when the present illustrious Family came to the Succeffion, Mr. Addison thought fit to make a inerit Vol. IV.
Recte facta refert ; * orientia tempora notis
Instruit exemplis ; inopem folatur et aegrum.
Caftis cum pueris ignara puella mariti
of CATO, as purposely and directly written to oppose to the schemes of a faction. His poem, to her Royal Highness the Princess of Wales, beginning in this manner,
“ The Mufe, that oft with facred raptures fir'd
grcat Cato in her country's cause; « On you submissive waits. Ver. 216. No whiter page than Addison remains,] Mr. Addison's literary character is much mistaken, as characters gene rally are when taken (as his has been) in the grofs. He was but an ordinary poet, and a worse critic. His verses are heavy, and his judgment of Men and Books fuperficial. But in the pleasantry of comic adventures, and in the dignity of moral allegories, he is inimitable. Nature having joined in him, as The had done once before in Lucian (who wanted the other's wisdom to make a right use of it) the sublime of Plato to the humour of Menander.