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the obtaining of which, as neither vanity, party, nor fear, had any share, so he supported his title to it by all the offices of true friendship.
Not to admire, is all the art I know,
To make men happy, and to keep them so.'
(Plain truth, dear Murray, needs no flowers of speech,
So take it in the very words of Creech.)
This vault of air, this congregated ball,
Self-centred sun, and stars that rise and fall,
There are, my friend! whose philosophic eyes
Look through, and trust the Ruler with his skies ;
To him commit the hour, the day, the year,
And view this dreadful all without a fear.
Admire we then what earth's low entrails hold,
Arabian shores, or Indian seas infold ;
All the mad trade of fools and slaves for gold ?
Or popularity ? or stars and strings ?
The mob's applauses, or the gifts of kings ?
Say with what eyes we ought at courts to gaze,
And pay the great our homage of amaze ?
If weak the pleasure that from these can spring
The fear to want them is as weak a thing :
Whether we dread, or whether we desire,
In either case, believe me, we admire ;
Whether we joy or grieve, the same the curse,
Surprised at better, or surprised at worse.
Thus good or bad, to one extreme betray
The unbalanced mind, and snatch the man away
For virtue's self may too much zeal be had;
The worst of madmen is a saint run mad.
Go then, and if you can, admire the state
Of beaming diamonds, and reflected plate;
procure a taste to double the surprise,
And gaze on Parian charms with learned eyes .
3e struck with bright brocade, or Tyrian dye,
Or birth-day nobles' splendid livery.
If not so pleased, at council-board rejoice
To see their judgments hang upon thy voice;
From morn to night, at senate, rolls, and hall,
Plead much, read more, dine late, or not at all.
But wherefore all this labour, all this strife?
For fame, for riches, for a noble wife?
Shall one whom nature, learning, birth conspired
To form, not to admire, but be admired,
Sigh while his Chloe, blind to wit and worth,
Weds the rich dulness of some son of earth?
Yet time ennobles, or degrades each line :
It brighten'd Craggs's, and may darken thine.
And what is fame ? the meanest have their day:
The greatest can but blaze, and pass away.
Graced as thou art, with all the power of words,
So known, so honour'd, at the house of lords :
Conspicuous scene ! another yet is nigh
More silent far,) where kings and poets lie:
Where Murray (long enough his country's pride)
Shall be no more than Tully or than Hyde !
Rack'd with sciatics, martyr'd with the stone,
Will any mortal let himself alone ?
See Ward by batter'd beaux invited over,
And desperate misery lays hold on Dover.
The case is easier in the mind's disease ;
There all men may be cured whene'er they please.
Would ye be bless'd ? despise low joys, low gains ;
Disdain whatever Cornbury disdains ;
Be virtuous, and be happy for your pains.
But art thou one, whom new opinions sway? One who believes as Tindal leads the way, Who virtue and a church alike disowns, Thinks that but words, and this but brick and
stones? Fly then on all the wings of wild desire, Admire whate'er the maddest can admire. Is wealth thy passion ? Hence! from pole to pole, Where winds can carry, or where waves can roll;
For Indian spices, for Peruvian gold,
Prevent the greedy, or outbid the bold :
Advance thy golden mountain to the skies;
On the broad base of fifty thousand rise,
Add one round hundred, and (if that's not fair)
Add fifty more, and bring it to a square:
For, mark the advantage ; just so many score
Will gain a wife with half as many more ;
Procure her beauty, make that beauty chaste,
And then such friendsas cannot fail to last.
A man of wealth is dubb'd a man of worth,
Venus shall give him form, and Anstis birth.
(Believe me, many a German prince is worse,
Who proud of pedigree is poor of purse.)
His wealth brave Timon gloriously confounds,
Ask'd for a groat, he gives a hundred pounds;
Or if three ladies like a luckless play,
Take the whole house upon the poet's day
Now, in such exigences not to need,
Upon my word, you must be rich indeed;
A noble superfluity it craves,
Not for yourself, but for your fools and knaves ;
Something, which for your honour they may cheat,
And which it much becomes you to forget.
If wealth alone then make and keep us bless'd,
Still, still be getting, never, never rest.
But if to power and place your passion lie,
If in the pomp of life consist the joy;
Then hire a slave, or (if you will) a lord,
To do the honours, and to give the word;
Tell at your levee, as the crowds approach,
To whom to nod, whom take into your coach,
Whom honour with your hand : to make remarks,
Who rules in Cornwall, or who rules in Berks :
This may be troublesome, is near the chair ;
That makes three members, this can choose a mayor
Instructed thus, you bow, embrace, protest,
Adopt him son, or cousin at the least,
Then turn about, and laugh at your own jest
Or if your life be one continued treat,
If to live well means nothing but to eat;
Up, up! cries gluttony, 'tis break of day,
Go drive the deer, and drag the finny prey;
With hounds and horns go hunt an appetite
So Russel did, but could not eat at night,
Call’d happy dog ! the beggar at his door,
And envied thirst and hunger to the poor.
Or shall we every decency confound;
Through taverns, stews, and bagnios take our round,
Go dine with Chartres, in each vice outdo
K-l's lewd cargo, or Ty—y's crew;
From Latian sirens, French Circæan feasts,
Return well travell’d, and transform’d to beasts ;
Or for a titled punk, or foreign flame,
Renounce our country, and degrade our name?
If, after all, we must with Wilmot own,
The cordial drop of life is love alone,
And Swift cry wisely, Vive la bagatelle !
The man that loves and laughs, must sure do well.
Adieu—if this advice appear the worst,
E'en take the counsel which I gave you first :
Or better precepts if you can impart,
Why do ; I'll follow them with all my heart.
ADVERTISEMENT. The reflections of Horace, and the judgments passed in
his Epistle to Augustus, seemed so seasonable to the present times, that I could not help applying them to the use of my own country. The author thought them considerable enough to address them to his prince, whom he paints with all the great and good qualities of a monarch, upon whom the Romans depended for
the increase of an absolute empire. But to make the poem entirely English, I was willing to add one or two of those which contribute to the happiness of a free people, and are more consistent with the welfare of our neighbours.
This Epistle will show the learned world to have fallen into two mistakes : one, that Augustus was the patron of poets in general; whereas he not only prohibited all but the best writers to name him, but recommended that care even to the civil magistrate : Admonebat prætores, ne paterentur nomen suum obsolefieri, &c. The other, that this piece was only a general discourse of poetry; whereas it was an apology for the poets, in order to render Augustus more their patron. Horace here pleads the cause of his contemporaries, first against the taste of the town, whose humour it was to magnify the authors of the preceding age; secondly, against the court and nobility, who encourage only the writers for the theatre; and lastly, against the emperor himself, who had conceived them of little use to the government. He shows (by a view of the progress of learning, and the change of taste among the Romans) that the introduction of the polite arts of Greece had given the writers of his time great advantages over their predecessors; that their morals were much improved, and the licence of those ancient poets restrained; that satire and comedy were become more just and useful; that whatever extravagances were left on the stage, were owing to the ill taste of the nobility; that poets, under due regulations, were in many respects useful to the state; and concludes, that it was upon them the emperor himself must depend for his fame with posterity.
We may further learn from this Epistle, that Horace made his court to this great prince, by writing with a decent freedom towards him, with a just contempt of his low flatterers, and with a manly regard to his own character