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FLORE, bono claroque fidelis amice Neroni,
Si quis forte velit puerum tibi vendere natum Tibure vel Gabiis, et tecum fic agat: "Hic et "Candidus, et talos a vertice pulcher ad imos, "Fiet eritque tuus nummorum millibus octo; "Verna minifteriis ad nutus aptus heriles; "Literulis Græcis imbutus, idoneus arti "Cuilibet: argilla quidvis imitaberis uda : "Quin etiam canet indoctum, fed dulce bibenti. "Multa fidem promiffa levant, ubi plenius æquo "Laudat venales, qui vult extrudere, merces. "Res urget me nulla: meo fum pauper in ære "Nemo hoc mangonum faceret tibi: non temere a me Quivis ferret idem: femel hic ceffavit, et (ut fit) "In fcalis latuit metuens pendentis habenæ : "Des nummos, excepta nihil te fi fuga lædit."
VER. 1. Dear Col'nel,] Addreffed to Colonel Cotterell of Roufham near Oxford, the defcendant of Sir Charles Cotterell, who, at the defire of Charles the First, translated Davila into Englifh. The second line of this Imitation, "You love," &c. is feeble and useless. Horace, without preface, enters at once in his fecond line on the story, "Si quis forte," &c. And the fifteenth line, "But, Sir, to you," is uncommonly languid and profaic. WARTON.
VER. 4. "This Lad, Sir, is of Blois :] A Town in Beauce, where the French tongue is fpoken in great purity.
VER 20. it is, to feal.] The fault of the Slave-feller's Boy is only his having run away; but the young Frenchman has been
DEAR Col'nel, COBHAM's and your country's
You love a Verse, take such as I can fend.
A Frenchman comes, presents you with his Boy, Bows and begins-" This Lad, Sir, is of Blois : "Obferve his shape how clean! his locks how curl'd! My only fon, I'd have him fee the world: "His French is pure; his Voice too-you fhall hear. "Sir, he's your flave, for twenty pound a year. "Mere wax as yet, you fashion him with ease, "Your Barber, Cook, Upholft'rer, what you please: "A perfect genius at an Op'ra-fong
"To fay too much, might do my honour wrong. "Take him with all his virtues, on my word; "His whole ambition was to ferve a Lord;
"But, Sir, to you, with what would I not part? 15 "Tho' faith, I fear, 'twill break his Mother's heart. "Once (and but once) I caught him in a lie, "And then, unwhipp'd, he had the grace to cry: "The fault he has I fairly shall reveal, "(Could you o'erlook but that,) it is, to fteal." 20 If,
guilty of stealing; this makes his behaviour more unpardonable, and lefs likely to be overlooked by the purchaser: a circumstance that alters the nature of the allufion, and the probability of the bargain. WARTON.
• Ille ferat pretium, pœnæ fecurus, opinor. Prudens emifti vitiofum: dicta tibi eft lex: Infequeris tamen hunc, et lite moraris iniquâ. Dixi me pigrum proficifcenti tibi; dixi Talibus officiis propè mancum : ne mea sævus Jurgares ad te quod epiftola nulla veniret. Quid tum profeci, mecum facientia jura Si tamen attentas? quereris fuper hoc etiam, quod Exfpectata tibi non mittam carmina mendax.
Luculli miles collecta viatica multis
Præfidium regale loco dejecit, ut aiunt,
VER. 24. I think Sir Godfrey] An eminent Juftice of Peace, who decided much in the manner of Sancho Pancha.
Sir Godfrey Kneller.
VER. 27. Confider then,] Horace offers feven reafons by way of apology for not fending an epiftle to his friend Florus; that he told him he was naturally indolent; that no man in his senses would write verfes, if not compelled by neceffity; that he was now too old to be writing verfes; that it was impoffible to gratify the different taftes of readers; that it was also impoffible to write amidst the noife and buftle of Rome; that the profeffion of a poet is fubject to many inconveniences, arifing from envy, jealoufy, and flattery; that it is time to leave off trifling studies and purfuits, and fix his whole attention on morals and the duties of life. WARTON.
VER. 33. In ANNA's Wars, &c.] Many parts of this ftory are well told; but, on the whole, it is much inferior to the Original. WARBURTON.
Marlborough is placed here to answer Lucullus in the Original. The character of the latter is fo well and elegantly drawn by Mid
If, after this, you took the graceless lad, Could you complain, my Friend, he prov'd fo bad? Faith, in fuch case, if you should prosecute, I think Sir Godfrey should decide the fuit; Who fent the Thief that stole the Cafh away, And punish'd him that put it in his way.
Confider then, and judge me in this light; I told you when I went, I could not write; You faid the fame; and are you discontent With Laws, to which you gave your own affent? 30 Nay worse, to ask for Verfe at fuch a time!
D'ye think me good for nothing but to rhyme?
In ANNA'S Wars, a Soldier poor and old
Had dearly earn'd a little purfe of gold:
Tir'd with a tedious march, one lucklefs night, 35
Prodigious well :" his great Commander cry'd, Gave him much praife, and fome reward befide.
dleton in the first volume of the Life of Tully, as to make it one of the most pleasing parts of that celebrated work. WARTON. VER. 37. This put the man, 'c.] Much below the Original, "Poft hoc vehemens lupus, ct fibi et hofti "Iratus pariter, jejunis dentibus acer."
The laft words are particularly elegant and humorous.
Clarus ob id factum, donis ornatur honeftis,
VR. 43. Gave him much praife, and some reward befide.] For the fake of a stroke of Satire, he has here weakened that circumftance, on which the turn of the flory depends. Horace avoided it, though the avaricious character of Lucullus was a tempting occafion to indulge his raillery. WARBURTON.
VER. 45. Its name] An idle, expletive line. As alfo is verfe 49, below, Don't you remember; evidently taken from Dacier; ne favez vous l'hiftoire du foldat de Lucullus? WARTON.
VER. 51. Let him take calles who has ne'er a groat."] This has neither the force nor the juftnefs of the Original. Horace makes his Soldier fay,
for it was not his poverty, but his lofs, that pushed him upon dan. ger; many being fufficient to poverty, who cannot bear the fudden change of condition occafioned by loffes. What betrayed our Poet into this inaccuracy of expreffion was, its fuiting better with the application. But, in a great Writer, we pardon nothing. And fuch should not forget, that the expreffion is not perfect, but when the ideas it conveys fit both the tale and the application: for then they reflect mutual light upon one another. WARBURTON.
VER. 53. To read in Greek the wrath of Peleus' fon.] This circumftance has a happier application in the Imitation than in the Original; and properly introduces the 68th verfe. WARTON.