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LORE, bono claroque fidelis amice Neroni,
Si quis forte velit puerum tibi venere 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 "Litterulis 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,] Addressed to Colonel Cotterell of Roufham near Oxford, the defcendant of Sir Charles Cotterell, who at the defire of Charles the First, tranflated Davila into English. The fecond line of this Imitation, "You love," &c. is feeble and ufelefs. 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.
VER. 4. This Lad, Sir, is of Blois :] A Town in Beauce, where the French tongue is fpoken in great purity. W.
VER. 20. It is, to fleal.] 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 Verfe, 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 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 fhall reveal, "(Could you o'erlook but that,) it is, to steal." 20 If,
guilty of stealing; this makes his behaviour more unpardonable, and lefs likely to be overlooked by the purchaser: a circumftance that alters the nature of the allufion, and the probability of the bargain.
*Ille ferat pretium, pœnæ fecurus, opinor, Prudens emifti vitiofum: dicta tibi eft lex. Infequeris tamen hunc, et lite moraris iniqua. Dixi me pigrum proficifcenti tibi, dixi Talibus officiis prope mancum: ne mea fævus Jurgares ad te quod epiftola nulla veniret.
Quid tum profeci, mecum facientia jura
* Luculli miles collecta viatica multis
Ærumnis, laffus dum noctu ftertit, ad affem
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 epistle to his friend Florus; that he told him he was naturally indolent; that no man in his senses would write verses, 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 alfo impoffible to write amidst the noise and bustle 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 ftudies and pursuits, and fix his whole attention on morals and the duties of life.
Marlborough is placed here to anfwer Lucullus in the Original. The character of the latter is fo well and elegantly drawn by Mid. dleton in the first volume of the Life of Tully, as to make it one of the moft pleafing parts of that celebrated work.
VER. 3. 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.
If, after this, you took the graceless lad,
Could you complain, my Friend, he prov'd fo bad?
And punish'd him that put it in his way.
Confider then, and judge me in this light;
D'ye think me good for nothing but to rhyme?
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 last words are particularly elegant and humorous.
VER. 43. Gave him much praife, and some 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