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And in large Baskets rang'd along the Floor,
founds ' Cf baying Mastiffs, ar:d loud-bellowing Hounds : 18 Then thus the Rustic in the Courrier's Ear!
Adieu, kind Sir! I thank you for your Cheer: « Safe in
envy not ;
N O T E S. The Merit of this Satire may be partly collected by the various Translations and Imitations of it by different Hands.
There is a Translation of it by Sir John Beaumont (the elder Brother of Francis Beaumont, and an eminent Lawyer in the Reign of Queen Elizabeth) which perhaps has not been excelled by any modern Performance.
Cowley's Country Mouse will still please those who can relish Good-sense and Wit, though the Numbers may sometimes hobble.
The Initation of this Satire by Dr. Swift and Mr. Pope is lively and humorous; but there are some adven
titious Circumstances in the latter Part of it, which might have been spared.
This Satire was written at the Beginning of Autumn in the Year 723, as appears by the fortieth and forty-fifth Verses.
modus agri non ita magnus.] An excellent Example of Moderation in a Courtier, who, possessing the Favour of the Emperor and his Prime Minister, was, in some fort, the Arbiter of his own Fortune. Others are always asking, and never think they have enough. He asks but little, and that little contents him. So true 'it is that Happiness consists in the Moderation, and not in the Indulgence, of our Desires. A small Fortune is sufficient to support and amuse us. Nothing but Avarice can make us wish for more. Perhaps there never was any Courtier who could have said so sincerely as Horace, Nibil amplius oro. SANADON.
2 Maia nate.] Mercury was the Distributor of Wealth and Fortune, as well as the Patron of Poets in general. He was also a rural Deity, and the same as Sylvanus.
3 - ut propria hæc mihi munera faxis.] The Com. mentators have in general supposed that Horace here pe. titioned Mercury to make his Possessions perpetual. But it seems absurd to imagine that the Farm which had been given him (by Macenas) was not his own, that is, was not settled upon him, at least for Life. The Senfe therefore, which is given it in the Translation, and which the Word propria will very well bear, seems much more natural : Since we know that Horace's Time was not his own; he having a Place in the Register's or Secretary's Office, which necessarily required close Attendance. And a little farther, ver. 36. he himself takes Notice of this very Circumstance;
De re communi Scribæ magnâ atque nove te Orabant hodie meminises, Quinte, reverti. 4
'amico Hercule.) They believed that Hercules presided over accidental Gains, as Mercury did over thofe that were the Fruit of Labour and Industry. 5
Libitina quaftus.] Libitina, or Proserpine, was the Goddess of Funerals.
6 Matutine pater, &c.] The nineteen first Lines, in the Original, are to be considered as the Introduction, or Preface; and the Satire begins with this Invocation, addressed to Matutinus, or Janus.
Ventum est Efquilias.] For an Account of the Esquilian Hill, and Mecenas's Gardens there, see the Notes on Sat. VIII. Book I.
8 Threx eft Gallina Syro par?] There were then at Rome two new Gladiators, one from Thrace, and the other from Syria, whose Strength and Skill were nearly equal, and about whom the Multitude were divided.
9 Nafter ludos Spectaverit una.] This Passage is thus tranflated by Dr. Dunkin, Mr. Francis's Co-adjutor
Our Son of Fortune (with a Pox) Sat with Mecenas in the Box, Just by the Stage: You must remark They play'd together in the Park. Should any Rumour, uithout Head Or Tail, about the Streets be spread, Whoever meets me gravely nods, And says, “As you approach the Gods,' &c. But, as an excellent Critic observes, though Horace * be easy, he is not familiar; or if he be, it is the Familiarity of Courts, which is never without its Dignity. 10 Orus, quando ego te afpiciam, quandoque licebit
Nunc veterum libris, nunc fomno & inertibus boris.
Ducere follicitæ jucunda oblivia vita?] These Lines have been thus parodied by a Gentleman in. a Fit of the Gout:
O Gout, when Mall I thee repell? when try.
And have it in my Choice to fleep or read? The lait Line seems to have something in it of the Lazincs of the Original.
folutus Legibus infanis.] Nothing could be more extravagant than those Laws which Drunkards at first established, and which passed by Degrees from the Tavern to the best Tables in Rome. Some of our Neighbours have still Laws of Drinking no less ridiculous. Happy is it for France that they have not yet reached us. Gratulor buic genti, quod abeft a moribus illis.
SANADON. non de villis domibusve alienis.] The Idle have scarce any Fund of Discourse but at the Expence of their Neighbours. The most innocent is at least useless; and we must think ourselves obliged to them when they only talk on Trifles. But those who are desirous to cultivate their Mind know how to unbend it usefully, by Discourses always agreeable, because they are never barren. SANADON.
13 Lepos.] Lepos was a Dancer much celebrated at that Time.
14 quæ fit natura boni fummumque quid ejus. I The Disputes among the Philosophers, concerning the chief Good, were infinite. But Socrates, and some of his Sçholars, were the only Persons who argued rationally on this Subject. For they were sensible that the Supreme Good must necessarily comprehend all others. They therefore made it consist in resembling God, and never dishonouring his Image by any Injustice or Impiety.
olim Rufticus urbanum murem, &c.] This Apologue is not at present in Æsop, but it was among those Fables which Babrias collected from him, and put into Greek Verse. It began thus :
* One Day two Mice contracted a Friendship together. They led a very different kind of Life; one of them
up in a Forest; the other was fond of the City, and battened in the Houses of the Rich.' :6
terreftria quando, &c.] The latter Part of this Speech seems to be a Parody on the latter: Part of the Speech of Sarpedon to Glaụcus, in Iliad XII. .
• Since we cannot live for ever (says Sarpedon,) but feeble Age and inexorable Death will overtake us at • last, let us chearfully facrifice our Lives, to purchase immortal Glory.'
• Since our Life is but a Span, (says the Mouse,} ' and our Souls thall perish with our Bodies, let us • make the most of the present Time, and indulge our + Genius.'
Perhaps it would not be difficult to prove, that the Reasoning of the Epicuréan Mouse is, on this Hypothefis, more rational than that of the Stoical Hero.
The Reader, probably, will be pleafed to see Sir John Beauinont's Translation of this Speech, where the Original is closely traced with Spirit and Harmony:
To him at last the Citizen thus fpake;
I will thee guide; thou shalt my Fellow be.
The Moon-beam trembling falls, And tips with Silver all the Walls. POPE. If we believe Horace, the two Friends chose to travel in the Dark. They might have been discovered by the Light of the Moon; and they could see without it. The Moon was up, and Men a-bed.
Ib. That the Moon was up,' is a plain Case; fince the Poet had told us just before, it tipped the Walls • with Silver ;' but it is not quite fo clear, that. Men • were a-bed ;' fince we find, a few Lines afterwards,