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p Tutus erat rhombus, tutoque ciconia nido, Donec vos auctor docuit prætorius. Ergo, ' Si quis nunc mergos suaves edixerit assos, Parebit pravi docilis Romana juventus.
Sordidus à tenui victu distabit, Ofello Judice : nam frustrà vitium vitaveris illud, Si te aliò pravum detorseris. s Avidienus, *Cui Canis ex vero ductum cognomen adhæret, Quinquennes oleas est et sylvestria corna; "Ac, nisi mutatum, parcit defundere vinum ; et Cujus odorem olei nequeas perferre (licebit Ille repotia, natales, aliosve dierum "Festos albatus celebret) cornu ipse bilibri Caulibus instillat, * veteris non parcus aceti.
Quali igitur victu sapiens utetur, et horum Utrum imitabitur? hâc urget lupus, hâc canis, aiunt. y Mundus erit, qui non offendat sordidus, atque In neutram partem cultûs miser. * Hic neque servis Albutî senis exemplo, dum munia didit, Sævus erit; nec sit ut simplex Nævius, unctam Convivis præbebit aquam: vitium hoc quoque mag
num. Accipe nunc, victus tenuis quæ quantaque secum Afferat. In primis valeas bene; nam variæ res
Ver. 41. Let me extol] To dine upon a cat fattened with oysters, and to crack live crawfish, is infinitely more pleasant and ridiculous than to eat mergos assos. But then the words extol and recommend, fall far below edixerit, give out a decree. So Virgil, Geor. iii. line 295, does not advise but raises his subject, by saying :
Incipiens statutis edico”In the lines above, 37 and 38, he has dexterously substituted for the stork two birds that among us are vulgarly held to be sacred. Semp. Rufus first taught the Romans to eat storks, for which he lost the prætorship.--Warton.
Ver. 42. Bedford-head ;] A famous eating-house--Pope.
“that Pope had the art of giving wit and dignity to Billingsgate!"-Bowles.
Ver. 55. But on some lucky] Much heightened and improved on the original, by two such supposed occasions of the unnatural festivity and joy of a true miser. The 68th line is useless and redundant.-Warton.
p The robin-red-breast till of late had rest,
* Tis yet in vain, I own, to keep a pother 45 About one vice, and fall into the other: Between excess and famine lies a mean; Plain, but not sordid; though not splendid, clean.
Avidien, or his wife, (no matter which, For him you'll call a 'dog, and her a bitch,)
He knows to live, who keeps the middle state,
65 The musty wine, foul cloth, or greasy glass.
Now hear what blessings temperance can bring : (Thus said our friend, and what he said I sing :) "First, health : the stomach (cramm'd from every dish, A tomb of boild and roast, and flesh and fish, 70 Where bile, and wind, and phlegm, and acid jar, And all the man is one intestine war)
Ut noceant homini, credas, memor illius escæ,
& Alter ubi dicto citius curata sopori
* Rancidum aprum antiqui laudabant: non quia
Illis nullus erat; sed, credo, hâc mente, quòd hospes
Ver. 76. Rise from] A strange instance of false grammar and false English, in using rise for rises. Such a mistake in an inferior writer would not have been worth notice. I cannot forbear adding a note of much humour with which the History of English Poetry is enlivened ; vol. iii. p. 204. In an old dieterie for the clergy, by Cranmer, an archbishop is allowed to have two swans, or two capons in a dish ; a bishop, two; an archbishop, six blackbirds at once ; a bishop, five; a dean, four ; an archdeacon, two. If a dean has four dishes in the first course, he is not afterwards to have custards or fritters. An archbishop may have six snipes ; an archdeacon, only two. A canon residentiary is to have a swan only on Sunday. A rector of sixteen marks, only three blackbirds in a week.”—Warton. Ver. 79, 80. The soul subsides, and wickedly inclines
To seem but mortal, even in sound divines.] Horace was an Epicurean, and laughed at the immortality of the soul. And therefore, to render the doctrine more ridiculous, describes that
Remembers oft the school-boy's simple fare,
How pale each worshipful and reverend guest 75
80 8 On morning wings how active springs the mind That leaves the load of yesterday behind ? How easy every labour it pursues ? How coming to the poet every Muse? Not but we may exceed, some holy time,
85 Or tired in search of truth, or search of rhyme; Ill health some just indulgence may engage, And more the sickness of long life, old age: For fainting age what cordial drop remains, If our intemperate youth the vessel drains ?
90 Our fathers praised rank venison. You Perhaps, young men ! our fathers had no nose. Not so: a buck was then a week's repast, And 'twas their point, I ween, to make it last; More pleased to keep it till their friends could come, Than eat the sweetest by themselves at home. 96 Why had not I in those good times my birth, Ere coxcomb-pies or coxcombs were on earth?
languor of the mind proceeding from intemperance, on the idea, and in the terms of Plato :
"affigit humo divinæ particulam auræ.” To this his ridicule is pointed. Our poet, with more sobriety and judgment, has turned the ridicule, from the doctrine, which he believed, upon those preachers of it, whose feasts and compotations in taverns did not edify him : and so has added surprising humour and spirit to the easy elegance of the original.-Warburton. Ver. 80. To seem but mortal, 8c.] Affigit humo is heightened by the
even in sound divines.” — Warton. Ver. 81. On morning wings, fc.] Much happier and nobler than the original.- Warburton.
Das aliquid famæ, quæ carmine gratior aurem
9 Jure, inquit, Trausius istis
* O magnus posthac inimicis risus! Uterne
Ver. 118. How darest thou] Very spirited, and superior to the original ; for darest is far beyond the mere eget., Two lines on this subject in Armstrong are exquisitely tender, especially the second :
« E'en modest want may bless your hand unseen,
Though hush'd in patient wretchedness at home."—Warton. Ver. 122. As M*** o's was, &c.] I think this light stroke of satire ill placed ; and that it hurts the dignity of the preceding morality. Horace was very serious, and properly so, when he said :
“ cur, improbel cara
Non aliquid patriæ tanto emetiris acervo ?” He remembered, and hints with just indignation at, those luxurious Patricians of his old party ; who, when they had agreed to establish a fund in the cause of freedom, under the conduct of Brutus, could never be persuaded to withdraw from their expensive pleasures what was sufficient for the support of so great a cause. He had prepared his apology for this liberty, in the preceding line, where he pays a fine compliment to Augustus !
Templa ruunt antiqua Deûm ?” which oblique panegyric the imitator has very properly turned into a direct stroke of satire.-Warburton.
Ver. 122. Not at five per cent.] He could not forbear this stroke against a nobleman, whom he had been for many years accustomed to hear abused by his most intimate friends. A certain parasite, who thought to please Lord Bolingbroke by ridiculing the avarice of the Duke of M.,