Page images
PDF
EPUB

Or fhall we every Decency confound ;

I

Through Taverns, Stews, and Bagnios take our round;
Go dine with Chartres, in each Vice outdo
K-l's lewd Cargo, or Ty-y's Crew;
From Latian Syrens, French Circæan Feasts,
Return well travell'd, and transform'd to Beasts
Or for a titled Pank, or foreign Flame,
Renounce our Country, and degrade our Name?

;

t

If, after all, we must with " Wilmot own, The Cordial Drop of Life is Love alone, And Swift cry wifely, "Vive la Bagatelle!" The Man that loves and laughs, must sure do well. 130 w Adieu-if this advice appear the worst, E'en take the Counfel which I gave you first: Or better Precepts if you can impart,

Why do, I'll follow them with all my heart.

Unus ut e multis populo fpectante referret
Emtum mulus aprum. crudi, tumidique lavemur,
Quid deceat, quid non, obliti; Caerite cera

S

S

Digni; remigium vitiofum Ithacenfis Ulyssei;

Cui potior patria fuit interdicta voluptas.

u Si, Mimnermus uti cenfet, fine amore jocifque
Nil eft jucundum; vivas in amore jocifque.
Vive, vale. fi quid novifti rectius iftis,
Candidus imperti: fi non, his utere mecum.

r

125

EPISTLE

EPISTLE I

To AUGUSTUS.

ADVERTISEMENT.

THE

HE Reflections of Horace, and the Judgments paft in his Epiftle to Auguftus, feemed fo feafonable to the present Times, that I could not help applying them to the use of my own Country. The Author thought them confiderable enough to address them to his Prince; whom he paints with all the great and good qualities of a Monarch, upon whom the Romans depended for the Increase of an abfolute Empire. But to make the Poem entirely English, I was willing to add one or two of those which contribute to the Happinefs of a Free people, and are more confiftent with the Welfare of our Neighbours.

This Epiftle will show the learned World to have fallen into Two mistakes: one, that Auguftus was a Patron of Poets in general; whereas he not only prohibited all but the Beft Writers to name him, but recommended that Care even to the Civil Magiftrate: "Admonebat Praetores, ne paterentur Nomen fuum ob"folefieri," &c. The other, that this Piece was only a general Discourse of Poetry; whereas it was an Apo logy for the Poets, in order to render Auguftus more P 2

their

their Patron. Horace here pleads the Cause of his Contemporaries, first against the Taffe of the Town, whofe humour it was to magnify the Authors of the preceding Age; fecondly against the Court and Nobility, who encouraged only the Writers for the Theatre; and laftly against the Emperor himself, who had conceived them. of little Use to the Government. He shows (by a View of the Progress of Learning, and the Change of Tafte among the Romans) that the Introduction of the Polite Arts of Greece had given the Writers of his Time great advantages over their Predeceffors; that their Morals were much improved, and the licence of those ancient Poets reftrained; that Satire and Comedy were become more juft and useful; that whatever extravagances were left on the Stage, were owing to the Ill Tafte of the Nobility; that Poets, under due Regulations, were in many refpects useful to the State; and concludes, that it was upon them the Emperor himself muft depend, for his fame with Pofterity.

We may farther learn from this Epistle, that Horace made his court to this Great Prince, by writing with a decent Freedom towards him, with a juft Contempt of his low Flatterers, and with a manly Regard to his own Character.

EPISTLE

EPISTLE I

TO AUGUSTU S.

WHILE

HILE you, great Patron of Mankind! 2 sustain The balanc'd World, and open all the Main; Your Country, chief, in Arms abroad defend; At Home, with Morals, Arts, and Laws amend; How fhall the Muse, from fuch a Monarch, steal An hour, and not defraud the Public Weal?

5

Edward and Henry, now the Boast of Fame,
And virtuous Alfred, a more d facred Name,
After a Life of generous toils endur'd,
The Gaul fubdued, or Property fecur'd,
Ambition humbled, mighty cities ftorm'd,
Or Laws establish'd, and the world reform'd;

EPISTOLA

AD AUGUSTUM.

I.

[ocr errors][merged small]

CUM

UM tota fuftineas et tanta negotia folus,
Res Italas armis tuteris, moribus ornes,
Legibus emendes; in publica commoda peccem,
Si longo fermone morer tua tempora, Caefar.

d

* Romulus, et Liber pater, et cum Caftore Pollux, Poft ingentia facta, & Deorum in templa recepti, Dum terras hominumque colunt genus, afpera bella Componunt, agros adfignant, oppida condunt;

e Clos'd their long Glories with a figh, to find
Th' unwilling Gratitude of bafe mankind!
All human Virtue, to its latest breath,
f Finds Envy never conquer'd, but by Death.
The great Alcides, every Labour past,
Had fill this Monster to fubdue at last.
g Sure fate of all, beneath whofe rifing ray
Each star of meaner merit fades away!
Opprefs'd we feel the beam directly beat,
Thofe Suns of Glory please not till they fet.

To thee, the World its prefent homage pays,
The Harvest early, h but mature the praise:
Great Friend of Liberty! in Kings a Name
Above all Greek, above all Roman Fame* :
Whofe Word is Truth, as facred and rever'd,

As Heaven's own Oracles from Altars heard. Wonder of Kings! like whom, to mortal eyes None e'er has rifen, and none e'er fhall rise.

* Ploravere fuis non refpondere favorem
Speratum meritis. diram qui contudit Hydram,
Notaque fatali portenta labore fubegit,
Comperit invidiam fupremo fine domari,
* Urit enim fulgore fuo, qui praegravat artes
Infra fe pofitas: extinctus amabitur idem.

h Praefenti tibi maturos largimur honores,
Jurandafque tuum per numen ponimus aras,
Nil oriturum alias, nil ortum tale fatentes.
Sed tuus hoc populus fapiens et juftus in uno,
Te noftris ducibus, te Graiis anteferendo,

15

20

25

30

Juft

« PreviousContinue »