Obrazy na stronie

Aati in your towns, that prospect gives delight, The specious inconveniences, that wait
Which opens round the country to our sight. Upon a life of business, and of state,
Men to the good, from which they rashiy ily, He sees (nor does the sight disturb his rest
Return at last; and their wild luxury

By fools desir'], by wicked men possest.
Does but in vain with those true joys contend, Thus, thus (and this deserv'd great Virgils
Which Nature did to mankind recommend.

praise) The man who changes gold for burnish'd brass, The old Corycian yeoman pass'd his days; Or small right gems for larger ones of glass, Thus his wise life Abdolonymus spent : Is not, at length, more certain to be made Th' ambassadors, which the great emperor sent Ridicalous, and wretched by the trade,

To offer him a crown, with wonder found Than he, who sells a solid good, to buy

The reverend gardener hoeing of his ground; The painted goods of pride and vanity.

Unwillingly, and slow, and discontent, If thou be wise, no glorious fortune choose, From his lov'd cottage to a throne he went; Which "tis but pain to keep, yet grief to lose! And oft he stopt, in bis triumphant way: For, when we place ev'n trifles in the heart, And oft look'd back, and oft was heard to say. With trifles too, unwillingly we part.

Not without sighs, Alas! I there forsake An humble roof, plain bed, and homely board, A happier kingdom than I go to take ! More clear, untainted pleasures do afford, Thus Aglaüs (a man unknown to men, Than all the tumolt of vain greatness brings But the gods knew, and therefore lor'd him then) To kings, or to the farourites of kings.

Thus lir'd obscurely then without a name, The horned deer, by nature arm'd so well, Aglaüs, now consign'd t' eternal fame. Did with the horse in common pasture dwell, For Gyges, the rich king, wicked and great, And, when they fought, the field it always wan, Presum'd, at wise Apollo's Delphic seat [eye, Till the ambitious horse begg'd help of man, Presum'd, to ask, " Oh thou, the whole world's And took the bridle, and thenceforth did reign See'st thou a man that happier is than 1?* Bravely alone, as lord of all the plain;

The god, who scorn'd to fatter man, reply'd, But never after could the rider get

“Aglaüs happier is.” But Gyges cry'd, From off his back, or from his month the bit. In a proud rage, “Who can that Aglaüs be! So they, who poverty too much do fear,

We have heard, as yet, of no such king as he.” Tavoid that weight, a greater burthen bear; And true it was, through the whole Earth around That they might power above their equals have, No king of such a name was to be found. To cruel masters they themselves enslave. “ Is some old hero of that name alive, For gold, their liberty exchang'd we see,

Who bis high race docs from the gods derive! That fairest flower which crowns humanity 3. Is it some mighty general, that has done And all this mischief does upon them light, Wonders in fight, and god-like honours won? Only, because they know not how, aright, Is it some man of endless wealth ?” said he. That great, but secret, happiness to prize, “ None, none of these.” “ Who can this Aglaüs That is laid up in a little, for the wise :

After long search, and vain inquiries past, [be? That is the best and easiest estate,

In an obscure Arcadian vale at last Which to a man sits close, but not too strait; (Th’ Arcadian life has always shady been) 'Tis like a shoe ; it pinches and it burns, Near Sopho's town (which he but once had seen) Too narrow; and too large, it overturns. This Aglaüs, who monarch's envy drew, My dearest friend ! stop thy desires at last, Whose happiness the gods stood witness to, And chearfully enjoy the wealth thou hast : This mighty Aglaüs, was labouring found, And, if me still seeking for more you see, With his own hands, in his own little ground. Chide and reproach, despise and laugh at me. So, gracious God! (if it may lawful be, Money was made, not to command our will, Among those foolish gods to mention thee) But all our lawful pleasures to fulfil :

So let me act, on such a private stage,
Shame and woe to us, if we our wealth obey ; The last dull scenes of my declining age;
The horse duth with the horsemau run away. After long toils and voyages in vain,

This quiet port let my tost vessel gain ;
Of heavenly rest, this earnest to me lend,

Let my life sleep, and learn to love her end,

Lib. iy. Plantarum.

Blest be the man (and blest he is) whom e'er

(Plac'd far out of the roads of hope or fear)
A little field, and little garden, feeds :
The field gives all that frugal Nature needs;

To J. Evelyn, Esquire.
The wealthy garden liberally bestows
All she can ask, when she luxurious grows,

I never had any other desire so strong and sa

like to covetousness, as that one which I bave * The poet, as usual, expresses his own feeling : had always, that I might be master at last of a but he does more, he expresses it very classically. small house and large garden, with very modeThe allusion is to the ancient custom of wearing rate conveniences joined to them, and there dewreaths or garlands of flowers, on any occasion of dicate the remainder of my life only to the cute joy and festivity, HURD.

ture of them, and study of nature;

And there (with no design beyond my wall) whole recommend to mankind the search of that fes and entire to lie,

licity, which you instruct them how to find and In no unactive case, and no unglorious poverty. to enjoy. Or as Virgil has said, shorter and better for me Happy art thou, whom God does bless that I might there

With the full choice of thine own happiness;

And happier yet, because thon't blest Studiis florere ignobilis oti 4:

With prudence, how to choose the best:

In books and gardens thou hast plac'd aright (though I could wish that he had rather said, (Things, which thou well dost understand; nobilis oti, when he spoke of his own.) But And both dost make with thy laborious hand) several accidents of my ill-fortune have disap Thy noble, innocent delight; pointed me hitherto, and do still, of that feli-And in thy virtuous wife, where thou again dost city; for though I have made the first and

meet hardest step to it, by abandoning all ambitions Both pleasures more refind and sweet ; and hopes in this world, and by retiring from the The fairest garden in her looks, noise of all business and almost company, yet I And in her mind the wisest books. stick still in the inn of a hired house and garden, Oh, who would change these soft, yet solid joys, among weeds and rubbish; and without that For empty shows and senseless noise; pleasantest work of human industry, the im And all which rank ambition breeds, provement of something which we call (not very Which seem such beauteous flowers, and are properly, but yet we call) our own. I am gone

such poisonous weeds ? out from Sodom, but I am not yet arrived at my little Zoar. “O let me escape thither (is it not When God did man to his own likeness make, a little one ?) and my soul shall live." I do not As much as clay, though of the purest kind, look back yet; but I have been forced to stop, By the great potter's art refin'd, and make too many balts. You may wonder, Could the divine impression take, sir, (for this seems a little too extravagant and He thought it fit to place him, where pindarical for prose) what I mean by all this A kind of Heaven too did appear, preface; it is to let you know, that though I As far as Earth could such a likeness bear:' have missed, like a chymist, my great end, yet That man no happiness might want, I account my affections and endeavours well re Which Earth to her first master could afford, warded by something that I have met with by He did a garden for him plant the by; which is, that they have procured to By the quick hand of his omnipotent word. me some part in your kindness and esteem; and As the chief help and joy of human life, thereby the honour of having my name so ad- He gave him the first gift; first, ev'n before a vantageously recommended to posterity, by the

wife. epistle you are pleased to prefix to the most useful book that has been written in that kinds, For God, the universal architect, and which is to last as long as months and "T had been as easy to erect years.

A Louvre or Fscurial, or a tower Among many other arts and excellencies, That might with Heaven communication hold, which you enjoy, I am glad to find this favour- As Babel vainly thought to do of old: ite of mine the most predominant; that you He wanted not the skill or power; choose this for your wife, though you have In the world's fabric those were shown, hundreds of other arts for your concubines; And the materials were all his own. though you know them, and beget sons upon But well he knew, what place would best agree thern all (to which you are rich enough to allow With innocence and with felicity; great legacies), yet the issue of this seems to be And we elsewhere still seek for them in vain; designed by you to the main of the estate; you If any part of either yet remain, have taken most pleasure in it, and bestowed If any part of either we expect, most charges upon its education : and I doubt This may our judgment in the search direct; not to see that book, which you are pleased to God the first garden made, and the first city promise to the world, and of which you have

Cain. given us a large earnest in your calendar, as accomplished, as any thing can be expected 0 blessed shades! O gentle, cool retreat from an extraordinary wit, and no ordinary ex From all th' immoderate heat, penses, and a long experience. I know nobody In which the frantic world does burn and sweat! that possesses more private happiness than you This does the Lion-star, ambition's rage; do in your garden; and yet no man, who makes This avarice; the Dog-star's thirst, assuage; his happiness more public, by a free communi- Every' where else their fatal power we see, cation of the art and knowledge of it to others. They make and rule man's wretched destiny: All that I myself am able yet to do, is only to They neither set, nor disappear,

But tyrannize o'er all the year; 4 Virg. Georg. iv. 564.

Whilst we ne'er feel their flame or influence s Mr. Evelyn's Kalendarium hortense; de

here. dicated to Mr Cowley-The title explains the The birds that dance from bough to bougli, propriety of the compliment, that this book was And sing above in every tree, to last as long as months and years. Rurd. Are not from fears and cares more free

Than we, who lie, or sit, or walk, below, When the great Hebrew king did almost strain

And should by right be singers too. The wondrous treasures of his wealth and brain, What prince's

choir of music can excel His royal southern guest to entertain; That, which within this shade does dwell? Thongh she on silver floors did tread, To which we nothing pay or give;

With bright Assyrian carpets on them spread, They, like all other poets, live

To hide the metal s poverty; Without reward, or thanks for their obliging Though she look'd up to roofs of gold, pains:

And nought around her could behold 'Tis well if they become not prey :

But silk and rich embroidery,
The whistling winds add their less artful strains. And Babylonish tapestry,
And a grave bass the murmuring fountains play; And wealthy Hiram's princely dye;
Nature does all this harmony bestow,

Though Ophir's starry stones met every where Bat to our plants, art's music too,

her eye; The pipe, theorbo, and guittar, we owe; Though she herself and her gay host were drest The lute itself, which once was green and mute, With all the shining glories of the East;

When Orpheus strook th' inspired lute, When lavish Art her costly work had done, The trees danc'd round, and understood

The honour and the prize of bravery By sympathy the voice of wood.

Was by the garden from the palace won;

And every rose and lily there did stand These are the spells, that to kind sleep invite, Better attir'd by Nature's hand 7. And nothing does within resistance make, The case thus judg'd against the king we see, Which yet we moderately take;

By one, that would not be so rich, though wiser Who would not choose to be awake,

far than he. While he's encompast round with such delight, To th' ear, the nose, the touch, the taste, and Nor does this happy place only dispense sight!

Such various pleasures to the sense ; When Venus would her dear Ascanius keep 6

Here health itself does live, A prisoner in the downy bands of sleep, That salt of life, which does to all a relish give, She odorous herbs and flowers beneath him Its standing pleasure, and intrinsic wealth, spread,

The body's virtue, and the soul's good fortune, As the most soft and sweetest bed; [head.

health. Not her own lap would more have charm’d his The tree of life, when it in Eden stood, Who, that has reason, and his smell,

Did its immortal head to Heaven rear; Would not among roses and jasmine dwell, It lasted a tall cedar, till the flood; Rather than all his spirits choak

Now a small thorny shrub it does appear; With exhalations of dirt and smoke,

Nor will it thrive too every where : And all th' uncleanness which does drown, It always here is freshest seen; lo pestilential clouds, a populous town?

'Tis only here an ever-green. The earth itself breathes better perfumes here, If, through the strong and beauteous fence Than all the female men, or women, there,

Of temperance and innocence, Not without cause, about them bear.

And wholesome labours, and a quiet mind,

Any diseases passage find, When Epicurus to the world had taught,

They must not think here to assail That pleasure was the chiefest good, A land unarmed or without a guard; (And was, perbaps, i' th' right, if rightly under- They must fight for it, and dispute it hard,

His life he to his doctrine brought, [stood) Before they can prevail: And in a garden 's shade that sovereign pleasure Scarce any plant is growing here, sought :

Which against death some weapon does not Whoever a true epicure would be,

bear. May there find cheap and virtuous luxury.

Let cities boast, that they provide Vitellius's table, which did hold

For life the oruaments of pride; As many creatures as the ark of old;

But 'tis tbe country and the field,
That fiscal table, to which every day

That furnish it with staff and shield.
All countries did a constant tribute pay,
Could nothing more delicious afford

Where does the wisdom and the power divine Than Nature's liberality,

In a more bright and sweet reflection shine Help'd with a little art and industry,

Where do we finer strokes and colours see Allows the meanest gardener's board.

Of the Creator's real poetry,
The wanton taste no fish or fowl can choose,

Than when we with attention look
For which the grape or melon she would lose; Upon the third day's volume of the book ?
Though all th' inhabitants of sea and air If we could open and intend our eye,
Be listed in the glntton's bill of fare,

We all, like Moses, should espy
Yet still the fruits of earth we see

Ev'n in a bush the radiant Deity. Plac'd the third story high in all her luxury. But we despise these his inferior ways

(Though no less full of miracle and praise): Bat with no sense the garden does comply,

Upon the flowers of Heaven we gaze; None courts, or flatters, as it does, the eye. The stars of Earth no wonder in us raise,

[blocks in formation]

Though these perhaps do, more than they, purged from the incommodities. If I were but The life of mankind sway.

in his condition, I should think it hard measure, Although no part of mighty Nature be

without being convinced of any crime, to be seMore stor'd with beanty, power and mystery; questered from it, and made one af the principal Yet, to encourage human industry,

officers of state. But the reader may think that God has so order'd, that no other part

what I now say is of small authority, because I Such space and such dominion leaves fur Art. never was, nor ever shall be, put to the trial: 1

can therefore only make my protestation, We no-where Art do só triumphant see, As when it grafts or buds the tree:

If ever I more riches did desire In other things we count it to excel,

Than cleanliness and quiet do reqnire : If it a docile scholar can appear

If e'er ambition did my fancy cheat, To Nature, and but imitate her well;

With any wish, su mean as to be great ; It over-rules, and is her master, here:

Continue, Heaven, still from me to remove It imitates her Maker's power divine,

The humble blessings of that life I love. And changes her sometimes, and soinetimes does refine :

I know very many men will despise, and some It does, like grace, the fallen tree restore

pity me, for this humour, as a poor-spirited fel. To its blest state of Paradise before:

low; bat I am content, and, like Horace, thank Who would not joy to see his conquering hand God for being so. D'er all the vegetable world command ? And the wild giants of the wood receive

Di bene fecerunt, inopis me quódque pusilli What law he's pleas'd to give ?

Finxerunt animi 8.
He bids th' ill-natur'd crab produce
The gentler apple's winy juice, .

I confess, I love littlenėss almost in all things, The golden fruit, that worthy is

A little convenient estate, a little cheerful house, Of Galatea's purple kiss :

a little company, and a rery little feast; and, if I He does the savage bawthorn teach

were ever to fall in love again (which is a great To bear the medlar and the pear :

passion, and therefore, I hope, I have done with He bids the rustic plum to rear

lit) it would be, I think, with prettiness, rather A noble trunk, and be a peach.

than with majestical beauty. I would neither Ev'n Daphne's coyness he does mock,

wish that my mistress, nor my fortunė, should be And weds the cherry to her stock, ,

a bona roba, nor, as Homer uses to describe his Though she refus'd Apollo's suit;

beauties, like a daughter of great Jupiter for the Ev'n she, that chaste and virgin tree,

stateliness and largeness of her person ; but, as Now wonders at herself, to see

Lucretius says, That she's a mother made, and blushes in her Parvola, pumilio, xapita mia, tota merum sal fruit.

Where there is one man of this, I believe there Methinks, I see great Dioclesian walk

are a thousand of Senecio's mind, whose ridiIn the Salonian garden's noble shade,

culous affectation of grandeur Seneca the elder ! Which by his own imperial hands was made: describes to this effect : “Senecio was a man of a I see him smile, methinks, as he does talk turbid and confused wit, who could not endure te With the ambassadors, who come in vain

speak any but mighty words and sentences, till T'entice him to a throne again.

this humour grew at last into so notorious a babit, “ If I, my friends” (said he) “ should to you show or rather disease, as became the sport of the whole All the delights which in these gardens grow, town: he would have no servants, but huge, masé 'Tis likelier much, that you should with me stay, sy fellows; no plate or household-stuff, but thrice Than 'tis, that you should carry me away: as big as the fashion: you may believe me, for 1 And trust me not, my friends, if erery day, speak it without raillery, his extravagancy came I walk not here with more delight,

at last into such a madness, that he would not put Than ever, after the most happy sight,

on a pair of shoes, each of which was not big In triumph to the Capitol I rode,

enough for both his feet: he would eat nothing To thank the gods, and to be thought myself, but what was great, nor touch any fruit but horsealmost a god.”

plums and pound-pears: he kept a concubine, that was a very giantess, and made her walk too always in chiopins, till at last he got the surname

of Senecio Grandio, which Messala said, was not . VI.

his cognomen, but bis cognomentum: when he des

claimed for the three hundred Lacedæmonians, OF GREATNESS.

who alone opposed Xerxes's army of above three

hundred thousand, he stretched out his arms, and « Since we cannot attain to greatness "(says the

stood on tiptoes, that he might appear the taller, sieur de Montagne)” let us have our revenge by

and cried out, in a very loud voice; rejoice, i

rejoice.'-_We wondered, I remember, what new railing at it:" this he spoke but in jest. I believe he desired it no more than I do, and had less rea

great fortune had befallen his eminence, “Xerxes son; for he enjoyed so plentisul and honourable a fortune in a most excellent country, as aliuued 81 Sat. iv. 17. Lucr, iv, 1155. him all the real conveniences of it, separated and i Suasoriarum Liber. Suas, ide

[ocr errors]

(says he) is all mine own. He, who took away playing at dice; and that was the main fruit of the sight of the sea, with the canvas veils of so his sovereignty. I omit the madnesses of Camany ships' »_and then he goes on so, as I know ligula's delights, and the execrable sordidness of not what to make of the rest, whether it be the those of Tiberius. Would one think that Augustus fault of the edition, or the orator's own burley way himself, the highest and most fortunate of manof nonseuse.

kind, a person endowed too with many excellent This is the character that Seneca gives of this parts of nature, should be so hard put to it somehyperbolical fop, whom we stand amazed at, and times for want of recretations, as to be found yet there are very few men who are not in some playing at nuts and bounding-stones, with little things, and to some degrees, Grandios. Is any Syrian and Moorish boys, whose company he thing more common, than to see our ladies of qua- took delight in, for their prating and their wanlity wear such high shoes as they cannot walk in, tonness? without one to lead them; and a gown as long

Was it for this that Rome's best blood he spilt again as their body, so that they cannot stir to

With so much falsehood, so much guilt? the next room without a page or to two hold it up?

Was it for this that his ambition strove I may safely say, that all the ostentation of car grandees is, just like a train, of no use in

To equal Cæsar, first ; and after, Juve?

Greatness is barren, sure, of solid joys; the world, but horribly cumbersome and incom

Her merchandize (I fear) is all in toys; modious. What is all this, but a spicc of Grandio?

She could not else, sure, so uncivil be, how tedious would this be, if we were always bound

To treat his universal majesty, to it! I do believe there is no king, who would

His new-created Deity, not rather be deposed, than endure every day of

With nuts, and bounding-stones, and boys, bis reign all the ceremonies of his coronation. The mightiest princes are glad to fly often from

But we must excuse her for this meagre enterthese majestic pleasures (which is, methinks, no tainment; she has not really wherewithal to make small disparagement to them) as it were for refuge such feasts as we imagine. Her guests must be to the most contemptible divertisements and mean- contented sometimes with but slender cates, and est recreations of the vulgar, nay, even of child with the same cold meats served over and over dren. One of the most powerful and fortunate again, even till they become nauseous. When prinees of the world, of late, could find out no you have pared away all the vanity, what solid delight so satisfactory, as the keeping of little and natural contentment does there remain, which singing birds, and hearing of them, and whistling may not be had with five hundred pounds a year? to them. What did the emperors of the whole Not so many servants or horses ; but a few good world ? If ever any men had the free and full ones, which will do all the business as well : not enjoyment of all human greatness (nay that so many choice dishes at every meal; but at sewould not suffice, for they would be gods too), veral meals all of them, which makes them both they certainly possessed it : and yet one of them, the more healthy, and the more pleasant; not so who styled himself lord and god of the earth, rich garments, nor so frequent changes; but as could not tell how to pass his whole day pleasantly, warm and as comely, and so frequent change too, without spending constantly two or three hours as is every jot as good for the master, though not in catching of flies, and killing them with a bod for the taylor or valet de chambre : not such a kin, as if his godship had been Beelzebub 3. One stately palace, nor gilt rooms, or the costliest sorts of his predecessors, Nero, (who never put any of tapestry ; but a convenient brick house, with bounds, nor met with any stop to his appetite) decent wainscot, and pretty forest-work hangings. could divert himself with no pastime more agree- Lastly (fur-I omit all other particulars, and will able, than to run about the streets all night in adis- end with that which I love most in both conditions) guise, and abuse the women, and affront the men not whole woods cut in walks, nor vast parks, nor whom he met, and sometimes to beat them, and fountain or cascade-gardens; but herb, and flowsometimes to be beaten by them: this was one of er, and fruit gardens, which are more useful, and his imperial nocturnal pleasures. His chiefest in the water every whit as clear and wholesome, as the day was, to sing and play upon a fiddle, in the if it darted from the breasts of a marble nymph, habit of a minstrel, upon the public stage: he was or the urn of a river-god. prouder of the garlands that were given to his di If, for all this, you like better the substance of vine voice (as they called it then) in those kind of that former estate of life, do but consider the prizes, than all his forefathers were, of their inseparable accidents of both: servitude, disquiet, triumphs over nations: he did not at his death danger, and most commonly guilt, inherent in the complain, that so mighty an emperor, and the last one; in the other liberty, tranquillity, security, of all the Cæsarian race of deities, should be and innocence. And when you have thought upon brought to so shameful and miserable an end; but this, you will confess that to be a truth which only cried out, " Alas, what pity it is, that so appeared to you, before, but å ridiculous paraexcellent a musician should perish in this man- dox, that a low fortune is better guarded and Der 4!" His uncle Claudius spent half his time at attended than an high one. If, indeed, we look

only upon the flourishing head of the tree, it ap21

Louis XIIL—The Duke de Luynes, the Con-pears a most beautiful object, stable of France, is said to have gained the favour of this powerful and fortunate prince by training

-sed quantum vertice ad auras up singing birds for him. Anon.

Ætherias, tantum radice in Tartara tendit , 3 Beelzebub signifies the lord of flies. Cowley.

-Qualis artifex pereo! Sueton. Nero. $ Virg. Georg. ii. 291.

« PoprzedniaDalej »