Page images

Now Whig, now Tory, what we lov'd we hate;
Now all for Pleasure, now for Church and State ;
Now for Prerogative, and now for Laws;
Effects unhappy! from a Noble Cause. 160

*Time was, a sober Englishman would knock His servants


and rise by five o'clock,
Instruct his Family in ev'ry rule,
And send his Wife to church, his Son to school.
Tof worship like his Fathers, was his care; 165
To teach their frugal Virtues to his Heir;

that Luxury could never hold;
And place, on good & Security, his Gold.
Now times are chang’d, and one b Poetic Itch
Has seiz'd the Court and City, poor and rich:170
Sons, Sires, and Grandfires, all will wear the bays,
Our Wives read Milton, and our Daughters Plays,


[ocr errors]

NOTES. “ freely to -- and I will always do so, having no reason to lay

myself under any restraint. I fear, I hope nothing from your “ Country: all that I wish for, is to see you one day here. I “ am entertaining myself with this pleasant hope. If it is but $6 a dream, let me enjoy it: don't undeceive me: let me believe " I shall have the pleafure to see you in London, drawing up the “ strong spirit of this unaccountable Nation. You will translate 56 their thoughts better when you live amongst them. You will

fee a Nation fond of their Liberty, learned, witty, despising “Life and Death, a nation of Philosophers. Not but that $6 there are some fools in England. Every Country has its " madmen. It may be, French folly is pleasanter than English


Ipfe ego, qui nullos me affirmo scribere versus,

Invenior · Parthis mendacior ; et prius orto


Sole vigil, calamum et chartas et scrinia pofco.

kNavem agere ignarus navistimet: abrotonum aegro

Non audet, nisi qui didicit,dare: quod medicorum est, ,

Promittunt' medici : tractant fabrilia fabri:

m Scribimus indocti doctique poemata passim.

NOTES “ madness, but by - English wisdom and English honesty is “ above yours.MS, Eng. Let. Oa. 15, 1726.

VER. 180. to shew aur Wit.] The force of this consists in the ambiguity. To fhew how conftant we are to our resolutions - or, to shew what fine verses we can make.

VER. 181. He feru'd etc,] To the simple elegance of the original, the Poet has here added great spirit and vivacity, without departing from the fidelity of a translation.

Ver. 182. Ward] A famous Empiric, whose Pill and Drop had several surprizing effects, and were one of the principal

fubjects of writing and conversation at this time.

P. Ibid. Ward try'd on Puppies, and the Poor, bis Drop ;] It was the Poet's purpose to do Mr. Ward honour in assigning to him


To Theatres, and to Rehearsals throng,
And all our Grace at table is a Song.
I, who fo oft renounce the Muses, 'lye,
Not---'s self e'er tells more Fibs than I;
When fick of Muse, our follies we deplore,
And promise our best Friends to rhyme no more;
We wake next morning in a raging fit,
And call for pen and ink to show our Wit. 180

* He serv'd a 'Prenticeship, who sets up shop;
Ward try'd on Puppies, and the Poor, his Drop;
Ev'n' Radcliff's Doctors travel first to France,
Nor dare to practise till they've learn’d to dance.
Who builds a Bridge that never drove a pile ? 18 5
(Should Ripley venture, all the world would smile)
But those who cannot write, and those who can,
All rhyme, and fcrawl, and scribble, to a man.

[ocr errors]

Notes. that medical Aphorism of regular practice, periculum faciamus in corpore vili. .

SCRIBL. VER. 183. Ev’n Radcliff's Doctors travel first to France, Nor dare to praktise till they've learn'd to dance. By no means an infinuation as if these travelling Doctors had mifpent their time. Radcliff had sent them on a medicinal mission, to examine the produce of each Country, and fee in what it might be made fubfervient to the art of healing. The native commodity of France is DANCING. Mercurialis gives the Gymnastics, of which this is part, a necessary place amongst the non-naturals (by which term the Physicians mean air, exercise, diet, etc. as if the natural way of living in health was by phyfic) and the

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

Non temere eft animus : P versus amat, hoc ftudet

unum ;

Detrimenta, o fugas servorum, incendia ridet;


Non" fraudem focio, puerove incogitat ullam

Pupillo; vivit filiquis, et pane secundo ;


* Militiae quanquam piger et malus, utilis urbi ;

Si das hoc, parvis quoque


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 Dissertation on dancing, in the 13th chap. of the 24 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 thi' no Soldier)] Horace had not acquitted himself much to his credit in this capacity (non bene reli&ta parmula) in the battle of Philippi, It is manifest 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 loffes 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 ?

[ocr errors]




NOTES. himself, in this whole account of a Poet's character; but with an intermixture of irony: Vivit filiquis et pane secundo has a relation to his Epicurism; Os tenerum pueri, is ridicule: The nobler office of a Poet follows: Torquet ab obfcoenis Mox etiam peetus --- Recte fatta 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 Verses.


« EelmineJätka »