« PreviousContinue »
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 fævus
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
Ærumnis, laffus dum noctu ftertit, ad assem
Perdiderat poft hoc vehemens lupus, et fibi et hofti Iratus pariter, jejunis dentibus acer,
Præfidium regale loco dejecit, ut aiunt,
Summe munito, et multarum divite rerum.
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 fenfes 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 taites of readers; that it was alfo 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 story are well told; but, on the whole, it is much inferior to the Original. WARBURTON.
Marlborough is placed here to anfwer Lucullus in the Original. The character of the latter is fo well and elegantly drawn by Middleton
If, after this, you took the graceless lad,
Could you complain, my Friend, he prov'd fo bad?
I think Sir Godfrey fhould decide the fuit;
Confider then, and judge me in this light;
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,
dleton in the first volume of the Life of Tully, as to make it one of the most pleafing parts of that celebrated work. WARTON. VER. 37. This put the man, c.] Much below the Original, "Poft hoc vehemens lupus, et fibi et hofti
"Iratus pariter, jejunis dentibus acer.”
The laft words are particularly elegant and humorous.
Clarus ob id factum, donis ornatur honeftis,
Verbis, quæ timido quoque poffent addere mentem :
VIR. 43. Gave him much preife, and fome reward befide.] For the fake of a ftroke of Satire, he has here weakened that circumftance, on which the turn of the ftory 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?
VER. 51 "Let him take caftles who has ne'er a groat"] This has neither the force nor the juftness of the Original. Horace makes his Soldier say,
"Ibit eo, quo vis, qui zonam perdidit ;”
for it was not his poverty, but his lofs, that pushed him upon danger; 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.
Next pleas'd his Excellence a town to batter;
(Its name I know not, and 'tis no great matter,) 45 "Go on, my Friend, (he cry'd,) feeyonder walls! "Advance and conquer! go where glory calls! "More honours, more rewards, attend the brave.” Don't you remember what reply he gave?
D'ye think me, noble Gen'ral, fuch a fot?
To hunt for Truth in Maudlin's learned grove.)
VER. 55. The better art] Dacier interprets the words, curvo dignofcere rectum, the ftudy of geometry. This Warton thinks abfurd. See note below.
VER. 55. The better art to know the good from bad ] Our Poet miftook, as many have done before and fince his time, the true meaning of his author:
Scilicèt ut poffem curvo dignofcere rectum,
Atque inter filvas Academi quærere verum:
that is, to distinguish a right line from a curve: for geometry was the indifpenfable introduction to the philofophy of the Academic school. Creech was our Poet's guide:
And taught me how to fep'rate bad from good. And the reader, who will make the comparifon, will discover various obligations throughout these imitations to that translator. WAKEFIELD.
VER. 57. in Maudlin's learned grove.] He had a partiality for this college in Oxford, in which he had spent many agreeable days with his friend Mr. Digby, who provided rooms for him at that College. WARTON.
Atque inter filvas Academi quærere verum.
Ut versus facerem : fed, quod non defit, habentem,
* Singula de nobis anni prædantur euntes;
Eripuere jocos, venerem, convivia, ludum;
VER. 60. by fuff'rers thought unjul,] By orders from government for the removal of Papifts to a certain diftance from the metropolis. WAKEFIELD.
VER. 63. mighty WILLIAM'S] Horace ufes fome very artful and apologetical terms, in the Original, in fpeaking of the part he had taken against Auguftus. Dura tempora-belli æftus civilis-Augufti lacertis-dimifere- decifis pennis-for being totally plundered. WARTON.
VER. 64. For Right Hereditary] Admirable as these lines are, yet, from the nature of the fubject, they cannot be so interesting as the events in Horace's life; the inconveniency Pope laboured under from being a papift, and fubject to penal laws, are not fo ftriking as Horace's being taken from Athens by Brutus; and having the command of a Roman legion given to him; being prefent at the battle of Philippi; and lofing all his property for his attachment to Brutus and his republican friends. Dacier, like a true Frenchman, imagines, that a want of proper officers induced Brutus to give Horace this command in the army. Did he not recollect or know, that great numbers of young Romans, of fpirit and ability, flocked to the standard of Brutus, and appeared forward in fupporting the great cause of liberty? WARTON.