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Come, I say, thou powerful god,
And thy leaden charming rod,
Dipt in the Lethèan lake,
O'er his wakeful temples shake,
Lest he should sleep, and never wake.
Nature (alas!) why art thou so
Obliged to thy greatest foe?
Sleep that is thy best repast,
Yet of death it bears a taste,
And both are the same thing at last.
on JMR. JOHN FLETCHER'S WORKS.
So shall we joy, when all whom beasts and worms Have turn'd to their own substances and forms: Whom earth to earth, or fire hath chang'd to fire, We shall behold more than at first entire; As now we do, to see all thine thy own In this my Muse's resurrection, whose scatter'd parts from thy own race, more wounds Hath suffer'd, than Acteon from his hounds; Which first their brains, and then their belly
And from their excrements new poets bred.
But now thy Muse enraged, from her urn,
Like ghosts of murder'd bodies, does return
To accuse the murderers, to right the stage,
And undeceive the long-abused age,
Which casts thy praise on them, to whom thy
Gives not more gold than they give dross to it:
Who, not content, like felons, to purloin,
Add treason to it, and debase the coin.
But whither am Istray'd? I need not raise
Trophies to thee from other men's dispraise;
Nor is thy fame on lesser ruins built,
Norneed thy juster title the foul guilt
Of eastern kings, who, to secure their reign,
Must have their brothers, sons, and kindred slain.
Then was Wit's empire at the fatal height,
When labouring and sinking with its weight,
From thence a thousandlesser poets sprung,
Like petty princes from the fall of Rome;
When Jonson, Shakespeare, and thyself did sit,
And sway’d in the triumvirate of wit—
Yet what from Jonson's oil and sweat did flow,
Or what more easy Nature did bestow
On Shakespeare's gentler Muse, in thee full
grown Their graces both appear, yet so that none Can say, here Nature ends, and Art begins, But mixt like th' elements, and born like twins, So interwove, so like, so much the same, None, this mere Nature, that mere Art can name: 'Twas this the ancients meant; Nature and Skill Are the two tops of their Parnassus' hill.
To SIR RICHARD FANSHAH', upon his translation or
Sucu is our pride, our folly, or our fate, That few but such as cannot write, translate.
But what in them is want of art or voice,
In thee is either modesty or choice.
While this great piece, restor'd by thee, doth
Free from the blemish of an artless hand,
Secure of fame, thoujustly dostesteem
Less honour to create, than to redeem.
Nor ought a genius less than his that writ,
Attempt translation; for transplanted wit,
All the defects of air and soil doth share,
And colder brains like colder climates are ;
| In vain they toil, since nothing can beget
A vital spirit but a vital heat.
} That servile path thou nobly dost decline | Of tracing word by word, and line by line.
Those are the labour'd births of slavish brains,
Not the effect of poetry, but pains;
Cheap vulgar arts, whose narrowness affords
No flight for thoughts, but poorly sticks at
A new and nobler way thou dost pursue
To make translations and translators too.
They but preserve the ashes, thou the flame,
True to his sense, but truer to his fame.
Fording his current, where thou find'st it low,
Let'st in thine own to make it rise and flow ;
Wisely restoring whatsoever grace
It lost by change of times, or tongues, or place.
Norfetter'd to his numbers and his times,
Betray'st his music to unhappy rhymes.
Nor are the nerves of his compacted strength
Stretch'd and dissolv’d into unsinew'd length:
Yet after all, (lest we should think it thine)
Thy spirit to his circle dost confine.
New mames, new dressings, and the modern cast,
Some scenes, some persons alter'd, and out-
The world, it were thy work: for we have
Some thank’d and prais'd for what was less their
That master's hand which to the life can trace
The airs, the lines, and features of the face,
May with a free and bolder stroke express
A vary'd posture or a flattering dress;
He could have made those like, who made the
But that he knew his own design was best.
Two kings like Saul, much taller than the rest,
Their equal armies draw into the field:
Till one take th' other prisoner they contest;
Courage and fortune must to conduct yield.
This game the Persian Magi did invent,
The force of Eastern wisdom to express;
From theace to busy Europeans sent,
And styl'd by modern Lombards pensive Chess.
Yet some that fled from Troy to Rome report,
Penthesilea Priam did oblige;
Her Amazons, his Trojans taught this sport, ”
To pass the tedious hours often years' siege.
There she presents herself, whilst kings and
peers Look gravely on whilst fierce Bellona fights; Yet maiden modesty her motion steers, Nor rudely skips o'er bishops' heads like knights.
PASSION OF DIDO FOR ENEAS.
Having at large declar'd Jove's embassy,
Cyllenius from HEneas straight doth fly:
He loth to disobey the god's command,
Nor willing to forsake this pleasant land,
Asham'd the kind Eliza to deceive,
But more afraid to take a solemn leave;
He many ways his labouring thoughts revolves,
But fear o'ercoming shame at last resolves
(Instructed by the god of thieves ") to steal
Himself away, and his escape conceal.
He calls his captains, bids them rig the fleet,
That at the port they privately should meet;
And some disembled colour to project,
That Dido should not their design suspect:
But all in vain he did his plot disguise;
No art a watchful lover can surprise.
She the first motion finds; love though most
Yet always to itself seems unsecure. [sure,
That wicked fame which their first love pro-
Foretells the end; the queen with rage inflam'd
Thus greets him: “Thou dissembler, would'stthou
Out of my arms by stealth perfidiously [fly
Could not the hand I plighted, nor the love,
Northee the fate of dying Dido move 2
And in the depth of winter, in the night,
Dark as thy black designs to take thy flight,
To plow the raging seas to coasts unknown,
The kingdom thou pretend'st to, not thy own!
Were Troy restor'd thou should'st mistrust a
False as thy vows, and as thy heart unkind.
Fly'st thou from me? By these dear drops of
I thee adjure, by that right hand of thine,
By our espousals, by our marr-ge-bed,
If all my kindness aught have merited;
If ever I stood fair in thy esteem,
From ruin me and my lost house redeem.
Cannot my prayers a free acceptance find,
Nor my tears soften an obdurate mind?
My fame of chastity, by which the skies
I reach'd before, by thee extinguish'd dies.
Into my horders now Iarbus falls,
And my revengeful brother scales my walls;
The wild Numidians will advantage take,
For theeboth Tyre and Carthage me forsake.
Hadst thoubefore thy flight but left with me
A young AEneas, who, resembling thee,
Might in my sight have sported, I had then
Not wholly lost, nor quite deserted been ;
By thee, no more my husband, but my guest,
Betray'd to mischiefs, of which death's the
With fixed looks he stands, and in his breast
By Jove's command, his struggling care sup-
“Great queen, your favours and desert so great,
Though numberless, I never shall forget;
Notime, until myself I have forgot,
Out of my heart Eliza's name shall blot:
But my unwilling flight the gods inforce,
And that must justify our sad divorce.
Since I must you forsake, would Fate permit,
To my desires I might my fortunefit;
Troy to her ancient splendour I would raise,
And where I first began, would end my days.
But since the Lycian lots, and Delphic god
Have destin’d Italy for our abode;
Since you proud Carthage (fled from Tyre)
- enjoy, Why should not Latium us receive from Troy As for my son, my father's angry ghost Tells me his hopes by my delays are crost, And mighty Jove's ambassador appear'd With the same message, whom I saw and heard; We both are griev'd when you or I complain, But much the more when all complaints are
vain: I call to witness all the gods, and thy Beloved head, the coast of Italy Against my will I seek.” [eyes,
Whilst thus he speaks, she rolls her sparkling
Surveys him round, and thus incens'd replies;
“Thy mother was no goddess, northy stock
From Dardanus, but in some horrid rock,
Perfidious wretch, rough Caucasus thee bred,
And with their milk Hyrcanian tigers fed.
Dissimulation I shall now forget,
And my reserves of rage in orderset,
Could all my prayers and soft entreaties force
Sighs from his breast, or from his look remorse.
Where shall I first complain? can mighty Jove
Or Juno such impieties approve 2
The just Astraea sure is fled to Hell;
Nor more in Earth, nor Heaven itself will dwell.
Oh Faith" him on my coasts by tempest cast,
Receiving madly, on my throne I plac'd;
His men from famine, and his fleet from fire
I rescued: Now the Lycian lots conspire
With Phoebus; now Jove's envoy though the
air Brings dismal tidings; as if such low care Could reach their thoughts, or their repose dis
turb Thou art a false impostor, and a fourbe; Go, go, pursue thy kingdom through the main, I hope, if Heaven her justice still retain, Thou shalt be wreck'd, or cast upon some rock, Where thou the name of Dido shalt invoke:
I'll follow thee in funeral flames, when dead
My ghost shall thee attend at board and bed,
And when the gods on thee their vengeance
That welcome news shall comfort me below.”
This saying, from his hated sight she fled,
Conducted by her damsels to her bed;
Yet restless she arose, and, looking out,
Beholds the fleet and hears the seamen shout,
When great Æneas pass'd before the guard,
To make a view how all things were prepard.
Ah, cruel Love, to what dost thou inforce
Poor mortal breasts | Again she hath recourse
To tears and prayers, again she feels the smart
Of a fresh wound from his tyrannic dart.
That she no ways nor means may leave untry'd,
Thus to her sister she herself apply'd;
“Dear sister, my resentinent had not been
So moving, if this fate I had foreseen;
Therefore to me this last kind office do,
Thou hast some interest in our scornful foe,
He trusts to thee the counsels of his mind,
Thou his soft hours, and free access camst find ;
Tell him I sent not to the Ilian coast
My fleet to aid the Greeks; his father's ghost
I never did disturb; ask him to lend
To this, the last request that I shall send,
A gentle ear; I wish that he may find
A happy passage, and a prosperous wind.
The contract I don't plead, which he betray'd,
Nor that his promis'd conquest be delay'd;
All that I ask is but a short reprieve,
Till I forget to love, and learn to grieve;
Some pause and respite only I require,
Till with my tears I shall have quench'd my fire.
If thy address can but obtain one day
Or two, my death that service shall repay.”
Thus she entreats; such messages with tears
Condoling Anne to him, and from him, bears,
But him no prayers, nor arguments can move;
The Fates resist, his ears are stopt by Jove.
As when fierce northern blasts from th' Alps
From his firm roots with struggling gusts to
An aged sturdy oak, the rattling sound [rend
Grows loud, with leaves and scatter'd arms the
Is over-laid; yet he stands fixt, as high [ground
As his proud head is rais'd towards the sky,
So low towards Hell his roots descend. With
And tears the hero thus assail'd, great cares
He smothers in his breast, yet keeps his post,
All their addresses and their labour lost.
Then she deceives her sister with a smile :
“Anne, in the inner court erect a pile;
Thereon his arms and once-lov'd portrait lay,
Thither our fatal marriage-bed convey;
All cursed monuments of him with fire
We must abolish (so the gods require.");
She gives her credit for no worse effect
Than from Sichaeus' death she did suspect,
And her commands obeys.
Aurora now had left Tithonus’ bed,
And o'er the world her blushing rays did spread;
The queen beheld, as soon as day appear'd,
The navy under sail, the haven cleard;
Thrice with her hand her naked breast she
And from her forehead tears her golden locks.
“O Jove,” she cry'd, “and shall he thus delude
Me and my realms why is he not pursued 2
Arm, arm,” she cry’d," and let our Tyrians board
With ours his fleet, and carry fire and sword;
Leave nothing unattempted to destroy
That perjur'd race, then let us die with joy.
What if th' event of war uncertain were 2
Nor death, nor danger, can the desperate fear.
But, oh, too late this thing I should have done,
When first I plac'd the traitor on my throne,
Behold the faith of him who sav'd from fire
His honour'd household gods, his aged sire
His pious shoulders from Troy's flames did bear;
Why did I not his carcase piece-meal tear,
And cast it in the sea? why not destroy
All his companions, and beloved boy
Ascanius; and his tender limbs have drest,
And made the father on the son to feast?
Thou Sun, whose lustre all things here below
Surveys; and Juno, conscious of my woe;
- Revengeful Furies, and queen Hecate,
Receive and grant my prayer 2 if he the sea
Must needs escape, and reach th’Ausonian land,
If Jove decree it, Jove's decree must stand;
When landed, may he be with arms opprest
By his rebelling people, be distrest
By exile from his country, be divorc’d
From young Ascanius' sight, and be enforc'd
To implore foreign aids, and lose his friends
By violent and undeserved ends!
When to conditions of unequal peace
He shall submit, then may he not possess
Kingdom nor life, and find his funeral
I' th' sands, when he before his day shall fall !
And ye, oh Tyrians, with immortal hate
Pursue this race, this service dedicate
To my deplored ashes, let there be
*Twixtus and them no league moramity.
May from my bones a new Achilles rise,
That shall infest the Trojan colonies
With fire, and sword, and famine, when at length
Time to our great attempts contributes strength;
Our seas, our shores, our armies theirsoppose,
And may our children beforever foes?"
Aghastly paleness death's approach portends,
Then trembling she the fatal pile ascends;
Viewing the Trojan reliques, she unsheath'd
Æneas' sword, not for that use bequeath'd;
Then on the guilty bed she gently lays
Herself, and softly thus lamenting prays:
“Dear reliques, whilst that Gods and Fates give
Free me from care, and my glad soul receive.
That date which Fortune gave, I now must end;
And to the shades a noble ghost descend.
Sichaeus' blood, by his false brother spilt,
I have reveng'd, and a proud city built.
Happy, alas; too happy I had liv'd,
Had not the Trojan on my coast arriv'd.
But shall I die without revenge? yet die
Thus, thus with joy to thy Sichaeus fly.
My conscious foe my funeral fire shall view
From sea, and may that omen him pursue !”
Her fainting hand let fall the swor'd besmear'd
With blood, and then the mortal wound ap-
Through all the court the fright and clamours
rise, Which the whole city fills with fears and cries
Going this last summer to visit the Wells, I took an occasion (by the way) to wait upon an ancient and honourable friend of mine, whom I found diverting his (then solitary) retirement with the Latin original of this translation, which (being out of print) I had never seen before: when I looked upon it, I saw that it had formerly passed through two learned hands not without approbation; which were Ben Johnson and Sir Kenelm Digby; but I found it (where I shall never find myself) in the service of a better master, the earl of Bristol, of whom 1 shall say no more; for I love not to improve the honour of the living by impairing that of the dead; and my own profession hath taught me not to erect new superstructures upon an old ruin. He was pleased to recommend it to me for my companion at the Wells, where I liked the entertainment it gave me so well, that I undertook to redeem it from an obsolete English disguise, wherein an old monk had clothed it, and to make as becoming a new vest for it as I could.
The author was a person of quality in Italy, his name Mancini, which family matched since with the sister of cardinal Mazarine; he was contemporary to Petrarch and Mantuan, and not long before Torquato Tasso; which shows that the age they lived in was not so unlearned as that which preceded, or that which followed.
The author wrote upon the four cardinal vir
tues; but I have translated only the two first, not to turn the kindness I intended to him into an injury; for the two last are little more than repetitions and recitals of the first; and (to make a just excuse for him) they could not well be otherwise, since the two last virtues are but descendants from the first; Pru
dence being the true mother of Temperance,
and true Furtitude the child of Justice.
Wisdom's first progress is to take a view What's decentor indecent, false or true. He's truly prudent, who can separate Honest from vile, and still adhere to that; Their difference to measure, and to reach, Reason well rectify’d must Nature teach. And these high scrutinies are subjects fit For man's all-searching and inquiring wit; Trat search of knowledge did from Adam flow ; Who wants it, yet abhors his wants to show. Wisdom of what herself approves, makes choice, Nor is led captive by the common voice. Clear-sighted Reason, Wisdom's judgment leads, And Sense, her vassal, in her footsteps treads. That thou to Truth the perfect way may'st know, To thee all herspecific forms I'll show; He that the way to honesty will learn, First what's to be avoided must discern. Thyself from flattering self-conceit defend, Nor what thou dost not know, to know pretend. Some secrets deep in abstruse darkness lie; To search them thou wilt need a piercing eye. Nor rashly therefore to such things assent, Which undeceiv'd, thouafter may’st repent; Study and time in these must thee instruct, And others old experience may conduct. Wisdom herself her eardoth often lend To counsel offer'd by a faithful friend. In equal scales two doubtful matterslay, Thou may'st choose safely that which most doth weigh; Tis not secure this place or that to guard, If any other entrance stand unbarr'd;" He that escapes the serpent's teeth may fail, If he himself secures not from his tail. Who saith, Who could such ill events expect? With shame on his own counsels doth reflect. Most in the world doth self-conceit deceive, who just and good, whate'er they act believe; To their wills wedded, to their errours slaves, No man (like them) they think himself behaves. This stiff-neck'd pride nor art nor force can bend, Nor high-flown hopes to Reason's lure descend. Fathers sometimes their children's faults re
gard With pleasure, and their crimes with gift re
ward. Ill painters, when they draw, and poets write, Virgil and Titian (self-admiring) slight; Then all they do, like gold and pearl appears, And other actions are but dirt to theirs. They that so highly think themselves above All other men, themselves can only love; Reason and virtue, all that man can boast O'er other creatures, in those brutes are lost, Observe (if thee this fatal error touch, Thou to thyself contributing too much)
Those who are generous, humble, just, and wise, Who not their gold, nor themselves idolize; To form thyself by their example learn (For many eyes can more than one discern); But yet böware of counsels when too full, Number makes long disputes and graveness dull; Though their advice be good, their counsel wise, Yet length still loses opportunities: Debate destroys dispatch; as fruits we see Rot, when they hang too long upon the tree; In vain that husbandman his seed doth sow, If he his crop not in due seasonmow. A general sets his army in array In vain, unless he fight, and win the day. 'Tis virtuous action that must praise bring forth, Without which slow advice is little worth. Yet they who give good counsel, praise deserve, Though in the active part they cannot serve: In action, learned counsellors their age, Profession, or disease, forbids to engage. Norto philosophers is praise deny'd, Whose wise instructions after-ages guide; Yet vainly most their age in study spend; No end of writing books, and to no end: Beating their brains for strange and hidden things, Whose knowledge, nor delight nor profit brings: Themselves with doubt both day and night perplex, Nor gentle reader please, or teach, but vex. Books should to one of these four ends conduce, For wisdom, piety, delight, or use. What need we gaze upon the spangled sky for Or into matter's hidden causes pry, To describe every city, stream, or hill I' th' world, our fancy with vain arts to fill? What is 't to hear a sophister, that pleads, Who by the ears the deceiv'd audience leads? If we were wise, these things we should not mind, But more delight in easy matters find. Learn to live well, that thou may'st die so too; To live and die is all we have to do: The way (if no digression's made) is even, And free access, if we but ask, is given. Then seek to know those things which make us blest, And having found them, lock them in thy breast; Inquiring then the way, go on, nor slack, But mend thy pace, nor think of going back. Some their whole age in these inquiries waste, And die like fools before one step they’ve past. 'Tis strange to know the way, and not to advance, That knowledge is far worse than ignorance. The learned teach, but what they teach, not do, And standing still themselves, make others go. In vain on study time away we throw, When we forbear to act the things we know. The soldier that philosopher well blam’d, Who long and loudly in the schools declaim'd; “Tell” (said the soldier) “venerable sir, Why all these words, this clamour, and this stir? Why do disputes in wrangling spend the day ? Whilst one says only yea, and t'other may.” “Oh,” said the doctor, “we for wisdom toil'd, For which none toils too much” : the soldier smil'd,