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EPISTOLA VII.

Quinque dies tibi pollicitus me rure futurum,
Sextilem totum mendax desideror. Atqui,
Si me vivere vis sanum, rectèque valentem;
Quam mihi das ægro, dabis ægrotare timenti,
Mæcenas, veniam: dum ficus prima, calorque
Designatorem decorat lictoribus atris:
Dum pueris omnis pater, et matercula pallet;
Officiosaque sedulitas, et opella forensis
Adducit febres, et testamenta resignat.
Quod si bruma nives Albanis illinet agris,
Ad mare descendet vates tuus, et sibi parcet,
Contractusque leget; te, dulcis amice, reviset
Cum Zephyris, si concedes, et hirundine primâ.

Non, quo more pyris vesci Calaber jubet hospes, Tu me fecisti locupletem. Vescere sodes.

EPISTLE VII. .

IMITATED IN THE MANNER OF DR. SWIFT.

5

10

'Tis true, my Lord, I gave my word,
I would be with you, June the third ;
Changed it to August and (in short)
Have kept it—as you do at Court.
You humour me when I am sick;
Why not when I am splenetic?
In town, what objects could I meet?
The shops shut up

in

every street,
And funerals blackening all the doors,
And yet more melancholy whores :
And what a dust in every place!
And a thin court that wants your face,
And fevers raging up and down,
And W** and H ** both in town!

“ The Dog-days are no more the case.”
'Tis true, but winter comes apace:
Then southward let your bard retire,
Hold out some months 'twixt sun and fire;
And you shall see, the first warm weather,
Me and the butterflies together.

My Lord, your favours, well I know,
'Tis with distinction you bestow;
And not to every one that comes,
Just as a Scotsman does his plums.

15

20

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Jam satis est. At tu quantumvis tolle. Benignè.
Non invisa feres pueris munuscula parvis.
Tam teneor dono, quàm si dimittar onustus.
Ut libet : hæc porcis hodie comedenda relinques.
Prodigus et stultus donat quæ spernit et odit :
Hæc seges ingratos tulit, et feret omnibus annis.
Vir bonus et sapiens, dignis ait esse paratum,
Nec tamen ignorat, quid distent æra lupinis.
Dignum præstabo me, etiam pro laude merentis.
Quòd si me noles usquam discedere; reddes
Forte latus, nigros angustâ fronte capillos :
Reddes dulce loqui: reddes ridere decorum, et
Inter vina fugam Cynaræ mærere protervæ.

Fortè per angustam tenuis vulpecula rimam

NOTES.

Ver. 45. the lively eye,] It is said, that Pope's eyes were remarkably expressive. He seems often in his writings to keep this in mind; but the passage is very unequal to the closeness and pleasing painting of the original. Perhaps four lines never were so well expressed, as forming a delineation or accurate portrait of the Roman bard. We see-the" forte latus," " nigros angustå fronte capillos ;" the " dulce loqui," and "ridere decorum.The words of the first line set the person of Horace immediately before us, and nothing can be so characteristic of his style in his Epistles, as the words DULCE LOQUI; RIDERE DECORUM.

Bowles. The lines of Pope are perhaps in no respect inferior to those of Horace; and the

laugh'd down many a summer sun,

And kept you up so oft till one,” is more sprightly, as well as more decent than the

Inter vina fugam Cynaræ, &c. Ver. 50. As when Belinda] A compliment he pays himself and the public on his Rape of the Lock.

Warburton.

25

30

35

Pray take them, Sir.—Enough's a feast:
Eat some, and pocket up the rest."-
What, rob your boys ? those pretty rogues !
“No, Sir, you'll leave them to the hogs.”
Thus fools with compliments besiege ye,
Contriving never to oblige ye.
Scatter your favours on a fop,
Ingratitude's the certain crop;
And 'tis but just, I'll tell ye

wherefore,
You give the things you never care for.
A wise man always is or should
Be mighty ready to do good;
But makes a difference in his thought
Betwixt a guinea and a groat.

Now this I'll say, you'll find in me,
A safe companion, and a free;
But if you'd have me always near-
A word, pray,

in

your honour's ear.
I hope it is your resolution
To give me back my constitution!
The sprightly wit, the lively eye,
The engaging smile, the gaiety,
That laugh'd down many a summer sun,
And kept you up so oft till one;
And all that voluntary vein,
As when Belinda raised my strain.

A weasel once made shift to slink
In at a corn-loft through a chink;

40

45

50

NOTES.

Ver. 51. A weasel once] Horace shines particularly in these short fables which he was so fond of introducing ; as he does in2 d 2

deed

Repserat in cumeram frumenti; pastaque, rursus
Ire foras pleno tendebat corpore frustrà.
Cui mustela procul, Si vis, ait, effugere istinc,
Macra cavum repetes arctum, quem macra subisti.
Hac ego si compellor imagine, cuncta resigno;
Nec somnum plebis laudo satur altilium, nec
Otia divitiis Arabum liberrima muto.
Sæpe verecundum laudàsti; Rexque, Paterque
Audîsti coràm, nec verbo parcius absens :
Inspice, si

possum
donata

reponere lætus.

Parvum parva decent. Mihi jam non regia Roma, Sed vacuum Tibur placet, aut imbelle Tarentum.

Strenuus et fortis, causisque Philippus agendis Clarus, &c.

NOTES.

deed in that difficult art of telling a story well, of which the story of Philippus, “ Strenuus et fortis,” &c. is a master-piece. We are in no one respect so very inferior to the French as in our fables; we have no La Fontaine. The fables of Gay, esteemed our best, are written in a pure and neat style, but have not much nature or humour. Horace's mice are inimitable. The long introductions to the fables of Gay's second volume of fables read like political pamphlets.

Warton. Ver. 67. Craggs and Child,] Mr. Craggs gave him some SouthSea subscriptions. He was so indifferent about them as to neglect making any benefit of them. He used to say, it was a satisfaction to him that he did not grow rich, as he might have done, by the public calamity.

Warburton.

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