Obrazy na stronie

But Annius, crafty Seer, with ebon wand,' And well-dissembled emerald on his hand, False as his Gems, and cankered as his Coins, Came, crammed with capon, from where Pollio dines.

350 Soft, as the wily Fox is seen to creep, Where bask on sunny banks the simple sheep, Walk round and round, now prying here, now

there, So he; but pious, whispered first his prayer. “Grant, gracious Goddess ! grant me still to

cheat, 3 O may thy cloud still cover the deceit ! 4 Thy choicer mists on this assembly shed, But pour them thickest on the noble head. So shall each youth, assisted by our eyes, See other Cæsars, other Homers rise; 360 Through twilight ages hunt the Athenian


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

? The name taken from Annius, the Monk of Viterbo, famous for many impositions and forgeries of ancient manuscripts and inscriptions, which he was prompted to by mere vanity ; but our Annius had a more substantial motive.-P. W. Sir Andrew Fountaine. — Warton.

2 Sir Andrew Fountaine had a famous collection of coins and antiquities. He was a friend of Swift, and succeeded Sir Isaac Newton as Warden of the Mint in 1727.

Pollio, in the next line, was said by Walpole to mean Lord Burlington.

3 Some read skill, but that is frivolous, for Annius hath that skill already; or if he had not, skill were not wanting to cheat such persons.-Bentley. -P. W.

-_Da, pulchra, Laverna,
Da mihi fallere—
Noctem peccatis et fraudibus objice nubem."


Which Chalcis Gods, and mortals call an Owl,
Now see an Attys, now a Cecrops ? clear,
Nay, Mahomet ! the Pigeon at thine ear;
Be rich in ancient brass, though not in gold, 365
And keep his Lares, though his house be sold;
To headless Phoebe his fair bride postpone,
Honour a Syrian Prince above his own;
Lord of an Otho, if I vouch it true;
Blest in one Niger, till he knows of two." 3 370
Mummius o'erheard him ;4 Mummius, Fool-

renowned, Who like his Cheops stinks above the ground,

1 The Owl stamped on the reverse on the ancient money of Athens.

“Which Chalcis Gods, and mortals call an Owl,is the verse by which Hobbes renders that of Homer,

Xalciða kulýorovoi Okoi, ävdpes Kúpvdiv.-P. W.

2 The first King of Athens, of whom it is hard to suppose any Coins are extant; but not so improbable as what follows, that there should be any of Mahomet, who forbade all Images; and the story of whose pigeon was a monkish fable. Nevertheless, one of these Annius's made a counterfeit medal of that Impostor, now in the collection of a learned Nobleman.-P. W.

3 Compare the Epistle to Addison.

4 This name is not merely an allusion to the Mummies he was so fond of, but probably referred to the Roman General of that name, who burned Corinth, and committed the curious Statues to the Captain of a Ship, assuring him, “that if any were lost or broken, he should procure others to be made in their stead :" by which it would seem (whatever may be pretended) that Mummius was no Virtuoso.-P. W.

Warton says that Dr. Mead was meant, but he is certainly mistaken. Courthope thinks Woodward was referred to. See Satires of Dr. Donne, iv. 30, and Epistle to Addison, v. 41.

5 A compound epithet in the Greek manner, renowned by Fools, or renowned for making Fools.-P.

6 A King of Egypt, whose body was certainly to


Fierce as a startled Adder, swelled, and said, Rattling an ancient Sistrum at his head : “ Speak’st thou of Syrian Princes ? Traitor

base! Mine, Goddess ! mine is all the horned race. True, he had wit, to make their value rise; From foolish Greeks to steal them, was as wise; More glorious yet, from barbarous hands to keep, When Sallee Rovers chased him on the deep. 380 Then taught by Hermes, and divinely bold, Down his own throat he risked the Grecian gold,

be known, as being buried alone in his Pyramid, and is therefore more genuine than any of the Cleopatras. This Royal Mummy, being stolen by a wild Arab, was purchased by the Consul of Alexandria, and transmitted to the Museum of Mummius ; for proof of which he brings a passage in Sandys's Travels, where that accurate and learned Voyager assures us that he saw the Sepulchre empty, which agrees exactly (saith he) with the time of the theft above mentioned. But he omits to observe that Herodotus tells the same thing of it in his time.-P. W.

1 The strange story following, which may be taken for a fiction of the poet, is justified by a true relation in Spon's Voyages. Vaillant (who wrote the History of the Syrian Kings as it is to be found on medals) coming from the Levant, where he had been collecting various coins, and being pursued by a Corsair of Sallee, swallowed down twenty gold medals. A sudden Bourasque freed him from the Rover, and he got to land with them in his belly. On his road to Avignon he met two Physicians, of whom he demanded assistance. One advised purgations, the other vomits. In this uncertainty he took neither, but pursued his way to Lyons, where he found his ancient friend, the famous Physician and Antiquary, Dufour, to whom he related his adventure. Dufour first asked him whether the medals were of the higher Empire ? He assured him they were. Dufour was ravished with the hope of possessing such a treasure: he bargained with him on the spot for the most curious of them, and was to recover them at his own expense.-P. W.

Received each Demi-God,' with pious care,
Deep in his entrails—I revered them there,
I bought them, shrouded in that living shrine,
And at their second birth, they issue mine.” 386
“Witness, great Ammon! by whose horns I

(Replied soft Annius) “this our paunch before
Still bears them, faithful; and that thus I eat,
Is to refund the Medals with the meat. 390
To prove me, Goddess! clear of all design,
Bid me with Pollio sup as well as dine:
There all the Learn'd shall at the labour stand,
And Douglas lend his soft, obstetric hand." 3

The Goddess smiling seemed to give consent; So back to Pollio, hand in hand, they went. 396 Then thick as Locusts blackening all the

ground, A tribe, with weeds and shells fantastic crowned, Each with some wondrous gift approached the

Power, A Nest, a Toad, a Fungus, or a Flower. 400 But far the foremost, two, with earnest zeal, And aspect ardent to the Throne appeal. The first thus opened : “Hear thy suppliant's

call, Great Queen, and common Mother of us all! Fair from its humble bed I reared this Flower,

1 They are called Oxoi on their coins.-P. W.

2 Jupiter Ammon is called to witness, as the father of Alexander, to whom those Kings succeeded in the division of the Macedonian Empire, and whose Horns they wore on their Medals.-P. W.

3o A Physician of great learning and no less taste; above all, curious in what related to Horace, of whom he collected every Edition, Translation, and Comment, to the number of several hundred volumes.-P. W.

Dr. James Douglas, a famous anatomist. He died in 1742.


[ocr errors]

Sackled, and cheered, with air, and sun, and

shower, Soft on the paper ruff its leaves I spread, Bright with the gilded button tipped its head; Then throned in glass, and named it CAROLINE:' Each maid cried, Charming! and each youth, Divine!

410 Did Nature's pencil ever blend such rays, Such varied light in one promiscuous blaze? Now prostrate! dead ! behold that Caroline: No maid cries, Charming! and no youth, Divine! And lo the wretch! whose vile, whose insect

lust Laid this gay daughter of the Spring in dust. Oh punish him, or to the Elysian shades Dismiss my soul, where no Carnation fades !” He ceased and wept. With innocence of mien, The Accused stood forth, and thus addressed the Queen.

420 “Of all the enamelled race, whose silvery

wing 1 These verses are translated from Catullus, Epith.: “Ut flos in septis secretus nascitur hortis, Quam mulcent auræ, firmat Sol, educat imber, Multi illum pueri, multæ optavere puellæ : Idem quum tenui carptus defloruit ungui, Nulli illum pueri, nullæ optavere puellæ,” &c.

It is a compliment which the Florists usually pay to Princes and great persons, to give their names to the most curious flowers of their raising : Some have been very jealous of vindicating this honour, but none more than that ambitious Gardener at Hammersmith, who caused his Favourite to be painted on his Sign, with this inscription, This is My Queen Caroline.-P. W.

? The Poet seems to have an eye to Spenser, Muiopotmos:

“Of all the race of silver-winged Flies
Which do possess the Empire of the Air,”—P.

« PoprzedniaDalej »