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piter placed him in heaven, where he forms the sign of Sagittarius, or the Archer. V. 137-8. As once in Persia 'tis said,
Kings were proclaim'd by a horse that neigh’d.] ACcording to Herodotus and other historians, Darius was proclaimed King of Persia in the following manner. Seven princes (of whom Darius was one) having slain the usurpers of the throne of Persia, entered into a consultation among themselves about settling of the government, and agreed, that the monarchy should be continued in the same manner as it had been established by Cyrus: and that, for the determining which of them should be monarch, they should meet on horseback the next morning against the rising of the sun, at a place appointed for that purpose; and that he whose horse should first neigh should be king. The groom of Darius being informed of what was agreed on, made use of a devise which secured the crown to his master; for, the night before, having tied a mare to the place where they were the next morning to meet, he brought Darius' horse thither, and put him to cover the mare, and, therefore, as soon as the princes came thither at the time appointed, Darius' horse, at the sight of the place, remembering the mare, ran thither and neighed, whereon he was forthwith saluted king by the rest, and accordingly placed on the throne, V. 141-2. his leg then broke,
Had got a deputy of oak.] Crowdero having lost a leg in the wars, had got its place supplied by a wooden one. Howell, in his Familiar Letters, tells a story of a captain, who had got a wooden leg, which was booted over, so as to look like an ordinary limb. Being in an engagement, he had it shattered to pieces by a cannon ball, upon which his soldiers cried out, a surgeon, a surgeon, for the captain: to which he replied, no, no, a carpenter, a carpenter will serve the turn. - Another story somewhat of a similar kind is to be found in Pinkethman's Jests. “I have heard,” says he, “ of a brave sea officer, who having lost a leg and an arm in the service, once ordered the hostler, upon his travels, to unbuckle his leg, which he did; then he bid him unscrew his arm, which was made of steel, which he did, but seemingly surprised, which the officer perceiving, he bid him unscrew his neck, at which the hostler scoured off, taking him for the devil.”
V, 146. And takes place tho' the younger brother.] Alluding to the aukward steps a man with a wooden leg makes in walking, who always sets it first.
V. 147. Next march'd brave Orsin, &c.] The person alluded to by the name of Orsin is said, by Sir Roger L'Estrange, to have been one Joshua Gosling, who kept bears at Paris Gardens in Southwark; but who, however, had more consistency than most of the fanatics of his times, for he stood hard and fast for the Rump Parliament V. 155-6. Grave as the Emperor of Pegu,
Or Spanish potentate, Don Diego.] The Travels of Ferdinand Mendez Pinto, who had resided a long time at the court of the Emperor of Pegu, was a popular book in the time of Butler, and notwithstanding its author has been stigmatized by Congreve as a liar of the first magnitude, the relations of subsequent travellers have abundantly confirmed his accounts of the remote countries which he visited. He relates of the Emperor of Pegu, that whenever he goes abroad he keeps himself fixed immoveably in one posture on his throne, which is carried on men's shoulders, and never deigns to turn to the right or to the left, or to take notice of any thing that is passing under his eyes. The gravity of the Spanish nation is so well known, that it would be superfluous here to say any thing on the subject.
V. 167. As Romulus a wolf did rear.] According to the fabulous history of the foundation of Rome, Romulus was nursed by a wolf. The Spectator, remarking upon the subject of ancient beroes supposed to have been nursed by different animals, observes, that “ Romulus and Remus were said to have been nursed by a wolf; Telephus, the son of Hercules, by a hind; Peleus, the son of Neptune, by a mare; and Ægisthus by a goat: not that they had actually sucked such creatures, as some simpletons have imagined, but their nurses had been of such a nature and temper, and infused such into them." This is as feasible an explanation as any that can be given, of what, though not absolutely impossible, is certainly very far out of the ordinary course of nature.
V. 168. So he was dry-nurs'd by a bear.] That is, he was maintained by the diversion which his bear afforded the rabble. Our poet might likewise have the story of Valentine and Orson in his mind, who, as the legend goes, were suckled by a she-bear.
V. 172. In military garden, Paris.] This was a place of vulgar resort in Southwark, where bears were formerly baited, and which was called after the name of the proprietor, as Ranelagh had its name from the earls of Ranelagh, to whom the gardens and buildings originally belonged. V. 173-4. As soldiers heretofore did grow
In gardens, just as weeds do now.] The bear-gardens being places where the dissolute associated, they furnished a large proportion of the soldiers who served in the parliamentary army in the civil war.
V. 175. — splay-foot politicians.] Gardeners, from exercising their feet a great deal in digging, may be supposed to have in proportion larger feet than ordinary men, and Butler therefore calls them “splay-foot politicians.”
V. 177. For licensing a new invention.] This and the following lines are fully explained in Boccalini's Advertisement from Parnassus, Cent. 1. Ad. XVI. p. 27. ed. 1656, which begins thus; “Ambassadors from all the gardeners in the world are come to the court, who have acquainted his Majesty, that were it either from the bad condition of their seed, the naughtiness of the soil, or from evil celestial influences, so great abundance of weeds grew up in their gardens, as, not being able to undergo the charges they were at in weeding them out, and of cleansing their gardens, they should be enforced either to give them over, or else to enhance the price of their pompions, cabbages, and other herbs, unless his Majesty would help them to some new instrument, by means whereof they might not be at such excessive charge in keeping their gardens. His Majesty did much wonder at the gardeners' foolish request, and being full of indignation, answered their ambassadors, that they should tell those that sent them, that they should use their accustomed manual instruments, their spades and mattocks, for no better could be found or wished for, and cease from demanding such impertinent things. The ambassadors did then courageously reply, that they made this request, being moved thereunto by the great benefits which they saw his Majesty had been pleased to grant to princes, who, to purge their states from evil weeds and seditious plants, which, to the great misfortune of good men, do grow there in such abundance, had obtained the miraculous instruments of drum and trumpet, at the sound whereof mallow, henbane, dog-caul, and other pernicious plants of unuseful persons, do of themselves willingly forsake the ground, to make room for lettuce, burnet, sorrel, and other useful herbs of artificers and citizens, and 'wither of themselves and die, amongst the brakes and brambles, out of the garden (their country), the which they did much prejudice; and that the gardeners would esteem it a great happiness, if they could obtain such an instrument from his Majesty. To this Apollo answered, That if princes could as easily discern seditious men, and such as were unworthy to live in this world's garden, as gardeners might know henbane and nettles from spinach and lettuce, he would have only given them halters and axes for their instruments, which are the true pick-axes by which the seditious herbs (vagabonds which, being but the useless luxuries of human fecundity, deserve not to eat bread) may be rooted up. But since all men were made after the same manner, so as the good could not be known from the bad by the leaves of the face, or stalks of stature, the instruments of drum and trumpet were granted for public peace sake to princes, the sound whereof was cheerfully followed by such plants as took delight in dying, to the end that by the frequent use of gibbets, wholesome herbs should not be extirpated, instead of such as were venomous. The ambassadors would have replied again, but Apollo, with much indignation, bid them hold their peace, and charged them to be gone from Parnassus with all speed; for it was altogether impertinent and ridiculous to compare the purging of the world from seditious spirits with the weeding of noisome herbs out of a garden."
V. 194. He'll sign it with Cler. Parl. Dom. Com.] The abbreviation of the Clerk of the Lords and Commons in Parliament. The House of Commons, even before the Rump had murdered the king, and expelled the House of Lords, usurped many branches of the royal prerogative, and particularly this for granting licenses for new inventions; which licenses, as well as their orders, were signed by the clerk of the House ; having borrowed the method of drums from Boccalini, who makes Apollo send the inventor of this engine to the devil, by whom he supposes the House of Commons to be governed.
V. 212. Who, that their base births might be hid.] Bayle, in his Philosophical and Historical Dictionary, art. Salmacis, argues very curiously the question of the ancient heroes giving themselves out to be the descendants of immortal deities. This opinion probably had its rise in the following circumstances. In the ancient temples the most obscene rites were often perpetrated between the priests and the female votaries of the different deities; and whenever a woman became pregnant, as it would -have been a high scandal to have charged any of the priests with the offence, the fault was laid to the deity in whose temple the amour had been carried on. In India, at the present day, there are maintained in the Hindoo temples vast numbers of singing and dancing girls, as well for purposes of public worship, as for the private recreation of the priests, and whenever any of them happen to become pregnant, their offspring are said to be the children of the particular image in whose temple they may happen to be born.
V. 218. Of which old Homer first made lampoons.] Several of the Grecian and Trojan heroes are represented by Homer as vainly boasting of their births, when they should have been in the heat of action; and amongst these Diomedes, in Iliad xiv. I. 124.
“ A youth, who from the mighty Tydeus springs,
Brave in his life, and glorious in his fall."
His first-born I, the third from Jupiter.” And Æneas does the same when he is going to engage Achilles, who had insulted himn. Iliad xx. 245.
“ To this Anchises' son: Such words employ
To one that fears thee, some unwarlike boy;