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Qui fodicet latus, et1 cogat trans pondera dextram

m

Porrigere: Hic multum in Fabia valet, ille Velina:

Cui libet, is fafces dabit; eripietque curule,

Cui volet, importunus ebur: "Frater, Pater, adde: Ut cuique eft aetas, ita quemque facetus adopta. Si è bene qui coenat, bene vivit; lucet: eamus Quo ducit gula: pifcemur, venemur, ut a olim Gargilius: qui mane plagas, venabula, fervos, Differtum tranfire forum populumque jubebat,

Unus ut e multis populo fpectante referret.

NOTES.

VER. 110. Then turn about, and laugh at your own Fest.] Which is fo natural for all Minifters of State to do, that we need not fuppofe he meant any particular Minifter.

VER. 118. And envy'd Thirst and Hunger to the Poor.] The Poet has here, with admirable sense, exposed what he elsewhere calls,

THE IMPUDENCE OF WEALTH!

which, in its rage to ingrofs all the bleffings of life to itself, without ftudying to deferve any, not only dares fuffer an honest

Tell at your Levee, as the Crouds approach,

To whom to nod, whom take into

your Coach, Whom honour with your hand: to make remarks, Whom rules in Cornwall, or who rules in Berks: "This may be troublesome, is near the Chair: 106 "That makes three Members, this can chufe a May'r."

Inftructed thus, you bow, embrace, proteft,

n

Adopt him " Son, or Coufin at the least,
Then turn about, and laugh at your own Jest.

III

Or if your life be one continu'd Treat, If to live well means nothing but to eat; Up, up! cries Gluttony, 'tis break of day, Go drive the Deer, and drag the finny-prey; With hounds and horns go hunt an Appetite---115 So Ruffel did, but could not eat at night, Call'd happy Dog! the Beggar at his door, And envy'd Thirst and Hunger to the Poor.

NOTES.

man to continue 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; tho' it has its root in our common nature, if the Poet has not outraged it, in the description he gives of its pride and meanness :

What would this man? Now upward will he foar,
And little less than Angel, would be more;
Now looking downwards, just as griev'd appears
To want the ftrength of Bulls, the fur of Bears.

Emtum mulus aprum. ' crudi, tumidique lavemur,

Quid deceat, quid non, obliti; Caerite cera

Digni; remigium vitiofum Ithacenfis Ulyffei;

t

Cui potior patria fuit interdicta voluptas.

Si, Mimnermus uti cenfet, fine amore jocifque

Nil eft jucundum; vivas in amore jocifque.

W

Vive, vale. fi quid novifti rectius istis,

Candidus imperti: fi non, his utere mecum.

NOTES.

VER. 127. Wilmot] Earl of Rochester.

Ibid. 129. And SwIFT fay wifely, "Vive la Bagatelle !"] Our Poet, speaking in one place of the purpose of his satire, fays,

In this impartial glass, my Muse intends

Fair to expofe myself, my foes, my friends.

and, in another, he makes his Court-Adviser fay,

Laugh at your Friends, and if your Friends before, So much the better, you may laugh the more. because their impatience under reproof would fhew, they had a great deal which wanted to be fet right.

On this principle, Swift falls under his correction. He could not bear to see a Friend he fo much valued, live in the miferable abuse of one of Nature's best gifts, unadmonished of his folly. Swift (as we may fee by fome pofthumous Volumes, lately publifhed, fo difhonourable and injurious to his memory) trifled away his old age in a diffipation that women and boys might be ashamed 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 short, to any thing but that for which Nature bestowed it, namely, to recommend, and fet off Truth; old age, which abates the paffions, will never rectify

Or fhall we' ev'ry Decency confound,

Thro' Taverns, Stews, and Bagnio's take our round, Go dine with Chartres, in each Vice out-do 121 'K---I's lewd Cargo, or Ty---y's Crew,

From Latian Syrens, French Circæan Feafts, Return well travell'd, and transform'd to Beafts, Or for a titled Punk, or foreign Flame, 125 Renounce our Country, and degrade our Name?

V

If, after all, we must with Wilmot own,

The Cordial Drop of Life is Love alone,
And SWIFT cry wifely, " Vive la Bagatelle !"
The Man that loves and laughs, must sure do well.
w Adieu--- if this advice appear the worst,

E'en take the Counsel which I

gave you

Or better Precepts if you can impart,

Why do, I'll follow them with all

NOTES.

firft:

my heart.

131

the abuses they occafioned. But the remains of wit, instead of seeking and recovering their proper channel, will run into that miferable depravity of tafte here condemned: and in which Dr. Swift feems to have placed no inconfiderable part of his wisdom. "I chufe (fays he, in a Letter to Mr. Pope) my Com"panions amongst thofe of the leaft confequence, and most "compliance: I read the moft trifling Books I can find: and "whenever I write, it is upon the most trifling subjects." And again, "I love La Bagatelle better than ever. I am always writ"ing bad profe or worse verses, either of rage or raillery," etc. And again, in a letter to Mr. Gay, "My rule is, Vive la Bagatelle.

66

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