« EelmineJätka »
Differtum tranfire forum populumque jubebat,
Unus ut e multis populo fpectante referret. Emtumn mulus aprum. 'crudi, tumidique lavemur, Quid deceat, quid non, obliti; Caerite cera
Digni; remigium vitiofum Ithacenfis Ulyffei;
Cui potior' patria fuit interdicta voluptas. "Si, Mimnermus uti cenfet, fine amore jocifque Nil eft jucundum; vivas in amore jocifque.
VFR. 118. And envy'd Thirst and Hunger to the Poor.] The Poet has here, with admirable fenfe, and with a fublime of fatire never to be equalled, expofed what he elsewhere calls,
THE IMPUDENCE OF WEALTH:
which, in its rage to engrofs all the bleffings of life, without studying to deferve any of them, not only dares fuffer an honeft man to conti ue poor, but is fo horribly mean and abject as to envy him the advantages arifing from his very Poverty: A degree of corruption not fo rare as deteftable; though it has its root in our common nature, if the Poet has not done it injuftice in the defcription he gives of its pride and meanness:
"What would this Man? Now upward will he foar,
VER. 127. Wilmst] Earl of Rochester.
Ibid. 129. And SWIFT cry wifely, "Vive la Bagatelle!"] Our Poct, fpeaking in one place of the purpofe of his fatire, Lays,
"In this impartial glafs, my Muse intends
Fair to expofe myfelf, my foes, my friends."
Call'd happy Dog! the Beggar at his door,
Or fhall we' ev'ry Decency confound, Thro' Taverns, Stews, and Bagnios take our round,
Go dine with Chartres, in each Vice out-do
and, in another, he makes his Court-Adviser say,
On this principle, Swift falls under his correction. He could not bear to fee a Friend he fo much valued, live in the miserable abuse of one of Nature's best gifts, unadmonished of his folly. Swift, as we may fee by fome pofthumous volumes, lately published, fo difhonourable and injurious to his memory, trifled away his old age in a diffipation that women and boys might be afham'd of. For when men have given into a long habit of employing their wit only to fhew their parts, to edge their fpleen, to pander to a faction; or, in
because their impatience under reproof would fhew, they had a great deal which wanted to be fet right.
Vive, vale. fi quid novifti rectius iftis,
Candidus imperti: fi non, his utere mecum.
fhort, to any thing but that for which Nature bestowed it, namely, to recommend Virtue, and fet off Truth; old age, which abates the paffions, will never rectify the abuses they occafioned. But the remains of wit, instead of seeking and recovering their proper channel, will run into that miserable depravity of tafte here condemned: and in which Dr. Swift feems to have placed no inconfiderable part of his wifdom. "I chufe" (fays he, in a letter to Mr. Pope) "my Companions amongst thofe of the leaft confequence, and most
Adieu---if this Advice appear the worst, 131 E'en take the Counsel which I gave you firft: Or better Precepts if you can impart, Why do, I'll follow them with all my heart.
"compliance: I read the most trifling Books I can find: "and whenever I write, it is upon the most trifling fub"jects." And again, "I love La Bagatelle better than I am always writing bad Profe or worse Verses. " either of RAGE or RAILLERY," &c. And again, in a Letter to Mr. Gay, "My rule is, Vive la Bagatelle."