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"'Tis yet in vain, I own, to keep a pother 45 About one vice, and fall into the other : Between excess and famine lies a mean; Plain, but not sordid ; though not splendid, clean.
* Avidien, or his wife, (no matter which, For him you'll call a 'dog, and her a bitch,) 50 Sell their presented partridges, and fruits, And humbly live on rabbits and on roots : "One half-pint bottle serves them both to dine, And is at once their vinegar and wine. But on some "lucky day (as when they found 55 A lost bank-bill, or heard their son was drown'd) At such a feast, "old vinegar to spare, Is what two souls so generous cannot bear : Oil, though it stink, they drop by drop impart, But sowse the cabbage with a bounteous heart. 60
He knows to live, who keeps the middle state, And neither leans on this side, nor on that ; Nor stops, for one bad cork, his butler's pay, Swears, like Albutius, a good cook away; Nor lets, like Nævius, every error pass,
65 The musty wine, foul cloth, or greasy glass.
Now hear what blessings temperance can bring: (Thus said our friend, and what he said I sing :) * First, health : the stomach (cramm'd from every
dish, A tomb of boil'd and roast, and flesh and fish, 70 Where bile, and wind, and phlegm, and acid jar, And all the man is one intestine war)
Quæ simplex olim tibi sederit. At simul assis
3 Alter ubi dicto citius curata sopori Membra dedit, vegetus præscripta ad munia surgit. "Hic tamen ad melius poterit transcurrere quon
Sive diem festum rediens advexerit annus,
Ver. 76. Rise from] A strange instance of false grammar and false English, in using rise for rises. Such a mistake in an inferior writer would not have been worth notice. I cannot forbear adding a note of much humour with which the History of English Poetry is enlivened; vol. iii. p. 204. “ In an old dieterie for the clergy, by Cranmer, an archbishop is allowed to have two swans, or two capons in a dish ; a bishop, two; an archbishop, six blackbirds at once; a bishop, five; a dean, four; an archdeacon, two. If a dean has four dishes in the first course, he is not afterwards to have custards or fritters. An archbishop may have six snipes; an archdeacon, only two. A canon residentiary is to have a swan only on Sunday. A rector of sixteen marks, only three blackbirds in a week."
Warton. Ver. 79, 80. The soul subsides, and wickedly inclines
To seem but mortal even in sound divines.] Horace was an Epicurean, and laughed at the immortality of the soul. And therefore, to render the doctrine more ridiculous, de
Remembers oft the school-boy's simple fare,
'How pale each worshipful and reverend guest
"On morning wings how active springs the mind That leaves the load of yesterday behind ? How easy every labour it pursues ? How coming to the poet every Muse ? "Not but we may exceed, some holy time,
85 Or tired in search of truth, or search of rhyme; III health some just indulgence may engage, And more the sickness of long life, old
age: For fainting age what cordial drop remains, If our intemperate youth the vessel drains ? 90
scribes that languor of the mind proceeding from intemperance, on the idea, and in the terms of Plato :
"affigit humo divinæ particulam aura." To this, his ridicule is pointed. Our poet, with more sobriety and judgment, has turned the ridicule, from the doctrine, which he believed, upon those preachers of it, whose feasts and compotations in taverns did not edify him: and so has added surprizing humour and spirit to the easy elegance of the original.
Warburton. Ver. 80. To seem but mortal, 8c.] Affigit humo is heightened by the “even in sound divines."
Warton. Ver. 81. On morning wings, &c.] Much happier and nobler than the original.
Quam puer et validus præsumis, mollitiem; seu Dura valetudo inciderit, seu tarda senectus ?
"Rancidum aprum antiqui laudabant: non quia
Illis nullus erat; sed, credo, hâc mente, qudd hospes Tardiùs adveniens vitiatum commodiùs, quàm Integrum edax dominus, consumeret. 'hos utinam
inter Heroas natum tellus me prima tulisset.
"Das aliquid famæ, quæ carmine gratior aurem Occupat humanam ? grandes rhombi, patinæque Grande ferunt und "cum damno dedecus, adde •Iratum patruum, vicinos, te tibi iniquum, Et frustrà mortis cupidum, cum deerit egenti PAs, laquei pretium.
9 Jure, inquit, Trausius istis Jurgatur verbis : ego vectigalia magna, Divitiasque habeo tribus amplas regibus. 'Ergo, Quod superat, non est meliùs quò insumere possis? Cur eget indignus quisquam, te divite? quare * Templa ruunt antiqua Deûm ? cur, improbe, caræ Non aliquid patriæ tanto emetiris acervo ? Uni nimirum tibi rectè semper erunt res ?
Ver. 118. How darest thou] Very spirited, and superior to the original; for darest is far beyond the mere eget. Two lines on this subject in Armstrong are exquisitely tender, especially the second :
“E'en modest want may bless your hand unseen,
*Our father's praised rank venison. You suppose Perhaps, young men ! our fathers had no nose. Not so: a buck was then a week's repast, And 'twas their point, I ween, to make it last; More pleased to keep it till their friends could come, Than eat the sweetest by themselves at home. Why had not I in those good times my birth, Ere coxcomb-pies or coxcombs were on earth ?
Unworthy he, the voice of fame to hear, m That sweetest music to an honest ear, 100 (For 'faith, Lord Fanny! you are in the wrong, The world's good word is better than a song,) Who has not learn’d, "fresh sturgeon and ham-pie Are no rewards for want, and infamy! When luxury has lick'd up all thy pelf, Cursed by thy oneighbours, thy trustees, thyself, To friends, to fortune, to mankind a shame, Think how posterity will treat thy name; And Pbuy a rope, that future times may tell Thou hast at least bestow'd one penny well. 110
Right,” cries his Lordship, “ for a rogue in
need To have a taste, is insolence indeed : In me 'tis noble, suits my birth and state, , My wealth unwieldy, and my heap too great.” Then, like the sun, let 'bounty spread her ray, 115 And shine that superfluity away. Oh impudence of wealth! with all thy store, How darest thou let one worthy man be poor? Shall half the 'new-built churches round thee fall ? Make keys, build bridges, or repair Whitehall: 120