« ForrigeFortsett »
Walk sober off; before a sprightlier age
Ver. 326. Leuve such to trifle] It, perhaps, might have been better to have omitted these two last lines, the second of which has a quaint and modern turn; and the humour consists in being driven off the stage, potum largiuis æquo. The word lusisti in the original, is used in a loose and naughty sense, says Upton. As also line 4, 13 Od. and in Propertius: populus lusit Ericthonius."
DR. JOHN DONNE,
DEAN OF ST. PAUL'S,
Quid vetat et nosmet Lucili scripta legentes
| The wit, the vigour, and the honesty of Mr. Pope's satiric writings had raised a great clamour against him, as if the Supplement, as he calls it, to the Public Laws, was a violation of morality and society. In answer to this charge he had it in his purpose to shew, that two of the most respectable characters in the modest and virtuous age of Elizabeth, Dr. Donne and Bishop Hall, had arraigned vice publicly, and shewn it in stronger colours, than he had done, whether they found it
“ On the pillory, or near the throne.” In pursuance of this purpose, our Poet hath admirably dersified, as he expresses it, two or three Satires of Dr. Donne. He intended to have given two or three of Bishop Hall's likewise, whose force and classical elegance he much admired; but as Hall was a better versifier, and, as a mere academic, had not his vein vitiated like Donne's, by the fantastic language of Courts, Mr. Pope's purpose was only to correct a little, and smooth the versification. In the first edition of Hall's Satires, which was in Mr. Pope's library, we find that long Satire, called the First of the Sixth Book, corrected throughout, and the versification mended for his
He entitles it, in the beginning of his corrections, by the name of Sut. Opt. This writer, Hall, fell under a severe examiner of his wit and reasoning, in the famous Milton. For Hall, a little before the unhappy breach between Charles I. and the long Parliament, having written in defence of Episcopacy, Milton, who first set out an advocate for Presbytery, thought fit to take Hall's defence to task. And as he rarely gave quarter to his adversaries, from the Bishop's theologic writings, he fell upon his poetry. But a stronger proof of the excellency of these Satires can hardly be given, than that all he could find to cavil at, was the title to the three first Books, which Hall, ridiculously enough, calls ToothLESS SATIRE: on this, for want of better hold, Milton fastens, and sufficiently mumbles.