Page images










IL admirari, prope 'res est una, Numici,

Solaque quae poffit facere et fervare beatum.

Hunc folem, et ftellas, et decedentia certis

Tempora momentis, sunt qui formidine nulla

Imbuti fpectent.


quid censes, munera terrae ?

Quid, maris extremos Arabas • ditantis et Indos ?

Nores. Ver. 3. Dear MURRAY] This piece is the most finished of all his imitations, and executed in that high manner the Italian Painters call con amore. By which they mean, the exertion of that principle, which puts the faculties on the stretch, and produces the supreme degree of excellence. For the Poet had all the warmth of affection for the great Lawyer to whom it is addressed, and indeed no man ever more deserved to have a Poet for his friend. In the obtaining of which as neither vanity, party, or fear had any share, so he supported his title to it by all the offices of true friendship,

Ver. 4. Creech)] From whose translation of Horace the two first lines are taken. P.

Ver. 8. trust the Ruler with the skies, To bim commit the hour,] Our Author, in these imitations, has been all along careful to correct the loose morals, and absurd divi. nity of his Original,



OT to admire, is all the Art I know, N To make men happy, and to keep them so.”. (Plain Truth, dear MURRAY, needs no flow'ts of

speech, So take it in the very words of Creech.)

• This Vault of Air, this congregated Ball, 5
Self-center'd Sun, and Stars that rise and fall,
There are, my Friend! whose philofophic eyes
Look thro', and trust the Ruler with his skies,
To him commit the hour, the day, the year,
And view this dreadful All without a fear. io

Admire we then what Earth's low entrails hold,
Arabian fhores, or Indian feas infold;
All the mad trade of Fools and Slaves for Gold?

Notes. Ver. 10. And view this dreadful All without a fear.) He has added this idea to his text ; and ic greatly heightens the dignity of the whole thought. He gives it the appellation of a dreadful All, because the immensity of God's creation, which modern philosophy has fo infinitely enlarged, is apt to affect narrow minds, who measure the divine comprehension by their own, with dreadful fufpi. cions of man's being overlooked in this dark and narrower corner of existence, by a Governor occupied and busied with the sum of things.

Ludicra, quid, plausus, et amici dona Quiritis ?
Quo fpectanda modo, & quo fenfu credis et ore?



Qui timet his adversa, fere miratur eodem

Quo cupiens pacto: pavor est utrobique moleftus:

Improvisa fimul species exterret utrumque :

Gaudeat, an doleat; cupiat, metuatne; quid ad rem,

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

Ultra quam fatis est, virtutem fi petat ipfam.

1 I nunc, argentum et marmor

vetus, aeraque

et artes

Suspice: cum gemmis n Tyrios mirare colores :

Notes. VER.:21. In either case, believe me, we admire ;] i.e. These objects, in either case, affect us, as objects unknown affect the mind, and consequently betray us into false judgments.

VER. 22. Whether we joy or grieve, the same the curse, Surpriz'd at better, or surpriz'd at worse.] The elegance of this is superior to the Original. The curse is the same

Or f Popularity or Stars and Strings ?
The Mob's applauses, or the gifts of Kings? 15
Say with what 8 eyes we ought at Courts to gaze,
And pay the Great our homage of Amaze?

If weak the pleasure that from these can spring, The fear to want them is as weak a thing : Whether we dread, or whether we defire,

20 In either case, believe me, we admire; Whether we i joy or grieve, the fame the curse, Surpriz'd at better, or surpriz'd at worse. Thus good or bad, to one extreme betray Th' unbalanc'd Mind, and snatch the Man away; For * Virtue's self may too much zeal be had; 25 The worst of Madmen is a Saint run mad.

Go then, and if you can, admire the state Of beaming diamonds, and reflected plate; Procure a Taste to double the surprize, -30 And gaze on ® Parian Charms with learned eyes: Be struck with bright Brocade, or Tyrian Dye, Our Birth-day Nobles' splendid Livery.

Notes. (says he) whether we joy or grieve. Why so ? Because, in either case, the man is furprized, hurried off, and led away captive.

(The good or bad to one extreme betray

Th' unbalanc'd Mind, and snatch the Man away.) This happy advantage, in the imitation, arises from the ambiguity of the word surprize.

« EelmineJätka »