« ForrigeFortsett »
EPIST L E II.
EAR Colnel, COBHAM's and your country's
Friend! You love a Verse, take such as I can send. * A Frenchman comes, presents you with his Boy, Bows and begins" This Lad, Sir, is of Blois : “ Observe his shape how clean! his locks how curld! “ My only son, I'd have him see the world : 6 “ His French is puré; 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 Opera-song
II “ To say too much, might do my honour wrong. " Take him with all his virtues, on my word; “ His whole ambition was to serve 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 lye, “ And then, unwhipp'd, he had the grace to cry: “ The fault he has I fairly shall reveal, (Cou'd you o'erlook but that) it is, to steal.
Notes. The number: well express the unwillingness of parting with what one can ill spare.
Quivis ferret idem : femel hic ceffavit, et (ut fit) « In scalis latuit metuens pendentis habenae : “ Des nummos, excepta nihil te fi fuga laedit.
· Ille ferat pretium, poenae securus, opinor. Prudens emifti vitiofum : dicta tibi eft lex. Insequeris tamen hunc, et lite moraris iniqua.
• Dixi me pigrum proficisenti tibi, dixi Talibus officiis prope mancum: ne mea faevus Jurgares ad te quod epistola nulla veniret. Quid tum profeci, mecum facientia jura Si tamen attentas? quereris super hoc etiam, quodExspectata tibi non mittam carmina mendax.
e Luculli miles collecta viatica multis Aerumnis, lassus dum noctu ftertit, ad assem Perdiderat: poft, hoc vehemens lupus, et fibi et hosti Iratus pariter, jejunis dentibus acer, Praesidium regale loco dejecit, ut aiunt,
Notes. Ver. 24. I think Sir Godfrey] An eminent Justice of Peace, who decided much in the manner of Sancho Pan- . cha. P. Sir Godfrey Kneller.
VER. 33. In Anna's Wars, etc.) Many parts of this story are well told ; but, on the whole, it is much infe. rior to the original.
c If, after this, you took the graceless lad, Cou'd you complain, my Friend, he prov'd so bad ? Faith, in such case, if you should prosecute, I think Sir Godfrey should decide the suit; Who sent the Thief that stole the Calh, away, 25 And punish'd him that put it in his way.
. Consider then, and judge me in this light; I told you when I went, I could not write ; You said the same; and are you discontent With Laws, to which you gave your own afsent? 30 Nay worse, to ask for Verse at such a time! D'ye think me good for nothing but to rhime?
e In Anna's Wars, a Soldier poor and old Had dearly earn'd a little purse of golda: Tird with a tedious march, one luckless night, 35 He slept, poor dog! and lost it, to a doit. This put the man in such a desp'rate mind, Between revenge, and grief, and hunger join'd Against the foe, himself, and all mankind, He leap'd the trenches, fcal'd a Castle-wall, 40 Tore down a Standard, took the Fort and all.
VER. 37. This put the man, etc.) Greatly below the Ori . ginal,
Poft hoc vehemens lupus, et sibi et bofti
Iratus pariter, jejunis dentibus acer. The last words are particularly elegant and humourous.
Summe munito, et multarum divite rerum.
* Romae nutriri mihi contigit, atque doceri,
VER. 43. Gave him much praise, and some reward be. fade.] For the sake of a stroke of satire, he has here weakened that circumitance, on which the turn of the story depends. Horace avoided it, tho' the avaricious character of Lucullus was a tempting occafion to indulge his raillery.
VER. 51. Let him take castles who has ne'er a groat.] This has neither the force nor the juftness of the original. Horace makes his Soldier say,
Ibit, Ibit. eo, quo vis, qui zonam perdidit. for it was not his poverty, but his loss, that pulhed him upon danger ; many being cqual to the first, who cannot
« Prodigious well;" his great Commander cry'd,
50 « Let him take castles who has ne'er a groat.”
Bred up at home, full early I begun
Notes. bear the other. What betray'd our poet into this inac. curacy of expression was it's suiting better with the application. But in a great writer we pardon nothing. And such an one should never forget, that the expreflion is not perfect, but when the ideas it conveys fit both the tale and the application : for so, they reflect a mucual light upon one another.
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 68tb verse.