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And, as by old record appears,
True to my country-women's charms,
* Quere, Did Pope think of this passage in his famous account of Belinda's bodkin ? + Henry VIII,
EPISTLE THE NINTH.
To you, who live in chill degree,
* The map does not convey any such information. Ratisbon lies in latitude 48° 58' N. Dryden alludes to the commencement of Etherege's epistte to Middleton, in which he mentions having gone three degrees northward, London being 41° 15' N. Dryden transfers Ratisbon into a high latitude, merely to suit the rhyme, and produce the antithesis of 53 degrees latitude, to 52 years of age.
And all to preach to German dame,
* The three ecclesiastical Electors were, the Electors of Treves, Cologne, and Mentz. At this time the Diet of the empire was sitting at Ratisbon.
No health of potentate is sunk,
+ Etherege has been pleased to confirm our author's opinion of the German jollity, and his own inclination to softer pleasures, by the following passage of a letter to the Duke of Buckingham.
“ I find that to this day, they (i. e. the Germans) make good the observation that Tacitus made of their ancestors; I mean, that their affairs (let them be never so serious and pressing) never put a stop to good eating and drinking, and that they debate their weightiest negociations over their cups.
“ 'Tis true, they carry this humour by much too far for one of my complexion ; for which reason I decline appearing among them, but when my master's concerns make it necessary for me to come to their assemblies : They are, indeed, a free-hearted open sort of gentlemen that compose the Diet, without reserve, affectation, and artifice; but they are such unmerciful plyers of the bottle, so wholly given up to what our sots call good-fellowship, that 'tis as great a constraint upon my nature to sit out a night's entertainment with them, as it would be to hear half a score long-winded Presbyterian divines cant successively one after another.
“ To unbosom myself frankly and freely to your grace, I al. ways looked upon drunkenness to be an unpardonable crime in a young fellow, who, without any of these foreign helps, has fire enough in his vejns to enable him to do justice to Cælia whenever she demands a tribute from him. In a middle-aged man, I consider the bottle only as subservient to the nobler pleasures of love ; and he that would suffer himself to be so far infatuated by it, as to neglect the pursuit of a more agreeable game, I think deserves no quarter from the ladies : In old age, indeed, when it is convenient very often to forget and even steal from ourselves, I am of opinion, that a little drunkenness, discreetly used, may as well contribute to our health of body as tranquillity of soul.
as Thus I have given your grace a short system of my morals and belief in these affairs. But the gentlemen of this country go upon a quite different scheme of pleasure; the best furniture of their parlours, instead of innocent china, are tall overgrown rum
for here you writing, sp but sleeping.
Nor need this title give offence,
mers; and they take more care to enlarge their cellars, than their patrimonial estates. In short, drinking is the hereditary sin of this country; and that hero of a deputy here, that can demolish, at one sitting, the rest of his brother envoys, is mentioned with as much applause as the Duke of Lorain for his noble exploits against the Turks, and may claim a statue, erected at the public expence, in any town in Germany.
“ Judge, then, my lord, whether a person of my sober principles, and one that only uses wine (as the wiser sort of Roman Catholics do images,) to raise up my imagination to something more exalted, and not to terminate my worship upon it, must not be reduced to very mortifying circumstances in this place; where I cannot pretend to enjoy conversation, without practising that vice that directly ruins it.”