Obrazy na stronie

'Sordidus à tenui victu distabit, Ofello Judice: nam frustrà vitium vitaveris illud, Si te aliò pravum detorseris. '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.


'Mundus erit, qui non offendat sordidus, atque In neutram partem cultûs miser. Hic neque servis Albutî senis exemplo, dum munia didit,

Savus erit; nec sit ut simplex Nævius, unctam Convivis præbebit aquam: vitium hoc quoque mag

[ocr errors]


* Accipe nunc, victus tenuis quæ quantaque secum Afferat. In primis valeas bene; nam variæ res Ut noceant homini, credas, memor illius escæ,


Ver. 50. For him you'll call a dog,] Warburton observes, "that Pope had the art of giving wit and dignity to Billingsgate!"


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.


'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,) 50
Sell their presented partridges, and fruits,

And humbly live on rabbits and on roots:
"One half-pint bottle serves them both to dine,
And is at once their vinegar and wine.


But on some "lucky day (as when they found
A lost bank-bill, or heard their son was drown'd)
At such a feast, old vinegar to spare,
Is what two souls so generous cannot bear :
Oil, though it stink, they drop by drop impart,
But sowse the cabbage with a bounteous heart. 60
'He knows to live, who keeps the middle state,
And neither leans on this side, nor on that;
Nor stops, for one bad cork, his butler's pay,
Swears, like Albutius, a good cook away;



Nor lets, like Nævius, every error pass,
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


A tomb of boil'd and roast, and flesh and fish, 70 Where bile, and wind, and phlegm, and acid jar, And all the man is one intestine war)


Quæ simplex olim tibi sederit. At simul assis
Miscueris elixa, simul conchylia turdis;

Dulcia se in bilem vertent, stomachoque tumultum
Lenta feret pituita. Vides, ut pallidus omnis
Cœnâ desurgat dubiâ? quin corpus onustum
Hesternis vitiis animum quoque prægravat una,
Atque affigit humo divinæ particulam auræ.
"Alter ubi dicto citius curata sopori

Membra dedit, vegetus præscripta ad munia surgit.
Hic tamen ad melius poterit transcurrere quon-


Sive diem festum rediens advexerit annus,
Seu recreare volet tenuatum corpus: ubique
Accedent anni, et tractari molliùs ætas

Imbecilla volet. Tibi quidnam accedet ad istam,


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, de


Remembers oft the school-boy's simple fare,
The temperate sleeps, and spirits light as air.
'How pale each worshipful and reverend guest
Rise from a clergy, or a city feast!
What life in all that ample body, say?
What heavenly particle inspires the clay?
The soul subsides, and wickedly inclines
To seem but mortal, even in sound divines.


"On morning wings how active springs the mind That leaves the load of yesterday behind?

How easy every labour it


How coming to the poet every Muse?

"Not but we may exceed, some holy time,

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?




scribes that 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 surprizing humour and spirit to the easy elegance of the original.


Ver. 80. To seem but mortal, &c.] Affigit humo is heightened by the 66 even in sound divines." Warton.

Ver. 81. On morning wings, &c.] Much happier and nobler than the original.


Quam puer et validus præsumis, mollitiem; seu Dura valetudo inciderit, seu tarda senectus ?

*Rancidum aprum antiqui laudabant: non quia


Illis nullus erat; sed, credo, hâc mente, quòd hospes Tardiùs adveniens vitiatum commodiùs, quàm Integrum edax dominus, consumeret. 'hos utinam inter

Heroas natum tellus me prima tulisset.


"Das aliquid famæ, quæ carmine gratior aurem Occupat humanam? grandes rhombi, patinæque Grande ferunt unà cum damno dedecus, adde "Iratum patruum, vicinos, te tibi iniquum, Et frustrà mortis cupidum, cum deerit egenti PAs, laquei pretium.

Jure, inquit, Trausius istis Jurgatur verbis: ego vectigalia magna,

Divitiasque habeo tribus amplas regibus. 'Ergo, Quod superat, non est meliùs quò insumere possis? Cur eget indignus quisquam, te divite? quare

[ocr errors]

Templa ruunt antiqua Deûm? cur, improbe, caræ Non aliquid patriæ tanto emetiris acervo ?

Uni nimirum tibi rectè semper erunt res?


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.”


« PoprzedniaDalej »