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Oh! could I mount on the Mæonian wing,
And Afia's Tyrants tremble at your Throne-
Cloath spice, line trunks, or flutt'ring in a row,
POPE, in his celebrated letter to Lord Hervey, has the hardibood to boat himself " a man who never wrote a line in which "the religion or government of his country, the RoYAL FAMILY, 66 or their ministry, were disrespectfully mentioned." The cafe was very much altered, when he wrote this Imitation, the drift of which cannot be mistaken. I have before taken notice of the circumftances of the times when it was published, which the reader should keep in mind, as they are the best comment on fome paffages of particular severity.
No one, however, can be infenfible of the great powers of language, and confummate dexterity of fatire, which this Epistle evinces.
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 ministeriis 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 descendant of Sir Charles Cotterell, who, at the defire of Charles the First, translated Davila into Englifh. The fecond line of this Imitation, "You love," &c. is feeble and useless. Horace, without preface, enters at once in his fecond line on the ftory," 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 spoken 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 fuch as I can fend. A Frenchman comes, prefents 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 see the world: "His French is pure; his Voice too-you shall hear. "Sir, he's your flave, for twenty pound a year. "Mere wax as yet, you fashion him with ease, "Your Barber, Cook, Upholst'rer, what you please: "A perfect genius at an Op'ra-song— "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 fhall reveal,
(Could you o'erlook but that,) it is, to steal." 20 If,
guilty of stealing; this makes his behaviour more unpardonable, and less likely to be overlooked by the purchaser: a circumstance that alters the nature of the allufion, and the probability of the bargain. WARTON.