Графични страници
PDF файл

in undisturbed peace, yet not in sleep: let exercise a vigorous health maintain, without which all the composition's vain. In the same weight prudence and innocence take; ana of each does the just mixture make: but a few friendships wear, and let them be by Nature and by Fortune fit for thee: instead of art and luxury in food, let mirth and freedom make thy table good : if any cares into thy day-time creep, at night, without wine's opium, let them sleep: Jet rest, which Nature does to Darkness wed, and not lust, recommend to thee thy bed. Be satisfy'd and pleas'd with what thou art; act cheerfully and well th' allotted part: enjoy the present hour, be thankful for the past, and neither fear nor wish th' approaches of the last.


Beatus ille qui procul, &c. Happy the man whom bounteous gods allow with his own hands paternal grounds to plough! like the first golden mortals, happy he, from bus'ness and the cares of money free! no human storms beak off at land his sleep, no loud alarms of Nature on the deep; from all the cheats of law he lives secure, nor does th' affronts of palaces endure. Sometimes the beauteous marriageable Vine he to the lusty bridegroom Elm does join; ,, sometimes he lops the barren trees around, and grafts new life into the fruitful wound; sometimes he shears his flock, and sometimes he

stores up the golden treasures of the bee: he sees his lowing herds walk o'er the plain, whilst neighb’ring hills low back to them again; and when the season rich, as well as gay, all her autumnal bounty does display, how is he pleas’d th' increasing use to see of his well trusted labours bend the tree? of which large shares, on the glad sacred days, to gives to friends, and to the gods repays: with how much joy does he beneath some shade, by aged trees' rev’rend embraces made, his careless head on the fresh

green recline, his head, uncharg'd with fear or with design? by him a river constantly complains, the birds above rejoice with various strains, and in the solemn scene their orgies keep, like dreams mix'd with the gravity of sleep; Sleep, which does always there for entrance wait and nought within against it shuts the gate. This is the life from all misfortunes free, from thee the great one, tyrant Love! from thee; and if a chaste and clean, through homely wife, be added to the blessings of this life, such as the ancient sunburnt Sabines were, such as Apulia, frugal still, does bear, who makes her children and the house her care, and joyfully the work of life does share, nor thinks herself too noble, or too fine, to pin the sheepfold, or to milk the kine, who waits at door against her husband come, from rural duties, late, and weary'd home, where she receives him with a kind embrace, a cheerful fire, and a more cheerful face, and fills the bowl up to her homely lord,

and with domestic plenty loads the board;
not all the lustful shellfish of the sea,
dress'd by the wanton hand of Luxury,
nor ortolans, nor godwits, nor the rest
of costly names that glorify a feast,
are at the princely tables better cheer
the larnb and kid, lettuce and olives, bere.

THE COUNTRY LIFE. Bless'd be the man (and bless'd be is) whom e'er (plac'd far out of the roads of hope or fear) a little field and little garden feeds; the field gives all that frugal Nature needs; the wealthy garden lib’rally bestows all she can ask, when she luxurious grows. The specious inconveniencies that wait upon a life of bus'ness and of state, he sees (nor does the sight disturb his resi) by fools desir'd, by wicked men possess'd; thus, thus (and this deserv'd great Virgil's praise) the old Corycian yeomen pass'd his days: thus his wise life Abdolonymus spent : th' ambassadors, which the great emp'ror sent to offer him a crown, with wonder found the rev'rend gard'ner boeing of his ground: unwillingly, and slow, and discontent, from his lov'd cottage to a throne he went; and oft he stopp'd in his triumphant way, and ofl'look'd back, and oft' was heard to say, not without sighs, Alas! I there forsake a happier kingdom than I go to take. Thus Aglaüs (a man unknown to men, but the gods knew, and therefore lov'd him then)

thus liv'd obscurely then without a name, Aglaüs, now consign'd t' eternal fame: for Gyges, the rich king, wicked and great, presum'd at wise Apollo's Delphic seat, presum'd to ask, oh! thou, the whole world's eye, seest thou a man that happier is than I?. The god, who scorn'd to flatter man, reply'd, Aglaüs happier is. But Gyges cry'd, in a proud rage, Who can that Aglaüs be? we've heard as yet of no such king as he. And true it was, through the whole earth around no king of such a name was to be found. Is some old hero of that name alive, who his high race does from the gods derive? is it sone mighty gen’ral, that has done wonders in sight, and godlike honours won? is it some man of endless wealth? said he. None, none of these. Who can this Aglaüs be after long search and vain inquiries past, in an obscure Arcadian vale at last, (th’ Arcadian life has always shady been) near Sopho's town (which he but once had seen) this Aglaüs, who monarchs' envy drew, whose happiness the gods stood witness to, this mighty Aglaüs was lab'ring found, with his own hands, in his own little ground,

So, gracious God! (if it may lawful be among those foolish gods to mention thee,) so let me act, on such a private stage, the last dull scenes of my declining age: after long toils and voyages in vain, this quiet port let my toss'd vessel gain: of heav’nly rest this earnest to me lend; let my life sleep, and learn to love her end.

If ever I more riches did desire
than cleanliness and quiet do require;
if e'er ambition did my fancy cheat,
with any wish so mean as to be great;
continue, Heav'n! still from me to remove
the humble blessings of that life I love.

OF AVARICE. And, oh! what man's condition can be worse than his whom plenty starves and blessings curse? the beggars but a common fate deplore ; the rich poor man's emphatically poor. I admire, Macænas! how it comes to pass that no man ever yet contented was, por is, nor perhaps will be, with that state in which bis own choice plants him, or his Fate. Happy the merchant, the old soldier cries, the Merchant, beaten with tempestuous skies; happy the soldier, one half hour to thee gives speedy death or glorious victory. The lawyer, knock'd up early from his rest by restless clients, calls the peasant bless'd; the peasant, when his labuurs ill succeed, envies the mouth which only talk does feed. 'Tis not (I think you'll say) that I want store of instances, if here I add no more; they are enough to reach at least a mile beyond long Orator Fabius his style. But, hold, you whom no fortune e'er endears, gentlemen, male-contents, and mutineers, who bounteous Jove so often cruel call,

No. 77.

« ПредишнаНапред »