Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

2575

The Buzzard, not content with equal place, Invites the feather'd Nimrods of his race; To hide the thinness of their flock from fight, And all together make a seeming goodly flight: But each have feparate interests of their own; Two Czars are one too many for a throne. 2572 Nor can the ufurper long abstain from food ; Already he has tasted Pigeons' blood : And may be tempted to his former fare, When this indulgent lord shall late to heaven

repair. Bare benting times, and moulting months may

come, When, lagging late, they cannot reach their

home; Or rent in fchifm (for fo their fate decrees) Like the tumultuous college of the bees, They fight their quarrel, by themselves opprest; The tyrant smiles below, and waits the falling

feast. Thus did the gentle Hind her fable end, Nor would the Panther blame it, nor commend;

2580

Ver. 2583. Thus did the gentle Hind] It is observable that is this poem, full of fine versification and weak argument, our author keeps to fome leading doctrines of popery, and makes no defence of several of its absurd tenets, purgatory, monkery, celibacy, confession, reliques, nor of two which Swift has inimitably ridiculed, holy water and the Pope's bulls.

“ Another discovery, for which Peter was much renowned, was his famous univerfal pickle. For having remarked how your common pickle in use among housewives, was of no further benefit than to preserve dead felh, and certain kinds of vegeta

But, with affected yawnings at the close, 2585 Seem'd to require her natural repose: bles ; Peter, with great cost as well as art, had contrived a pickle proper for houses, gardens, towns, men, women, children, and cattle; wherein he could preserve them as found as infects in amber. Now this pickle to the taste, the smell, and the fight, appeared exactly the same, with what is in common service for beef, and butter, and herrings, (and has been often that way applied with great fuccess) but for its many sovereign virtues was quite a different thing. For Peter would put in a certain quantity of his powder pimperlimpimp, after which it ncver failed of success. The operation was performed by Spargefaction, in a proper time of the moon. The patient who was to be pickled, if it were a house, would infallibly be preserved from all spiders, rats, and weazels. If the party affected were a dog, he should be exempt from mange, madness, and hunger. It allo infallibly took away all scabs and lice, and scald heads from children, never hindering the patient from any duty, either at bed or board.

But of all Peter's rarities, he most valued a certain set of bulls, whose race was by great fortune preserved in a lineal defcent from those that guarded the golden fleece, though some who pretended to observe thein curivully, doubted the breed had not been kept entirely chatte; because they had degenerated from their ancestors in fome qualities, and had acquired others, very extraordinary, but a foreign mixture.

The bulls of Colchos are recorded to have brazen feet; but whether it happened by ill patture, and running, by an allay from intervention of other parents, from stolen intrigues: whether a weakness in their progenitors had impaired the feminal virtue, or by a decline necellary through a long course of time, the originals of nature being depraved in these latter finful ages of the world; whatever was the cause, 'tis certain that Lord Peter's bulls were extremely vitiated, by the ruft of time in the metal of their lead. However, the terrible roaring peculiar to their lineage was preserved ; as likewise that faculty of breathe ing out fire froin their nostrils, which, notwithstanding, many of their detractors took to be a feat of art, and to be nothing so terrible as it appeared, proceeding only from their usual course of diet, which was that of Iquibs and crackers."

Pope, it is said, used to mention this poem as the most correct Specimen of Dryden's versification. I muft own I cannot aflent to this opinion. He tells us himself that he intended to give the majestic turn of heroic poefy to the first part. In this design he has woefully miscarried. 'l'he perfpicuity and playlibility of YOL. II.

L

For now the streaky light began to peep ;
And setting stars admonish'd both to sleep.
The dame withdrew, and, withing to her guest
The
peace

of heaven, betook herself to reft. 2590 Ten thousand angels on her slumbers wait, With glorious visions of her future state.

bis reasonings, however false and futile, shew a great command of language. This poem our author intended as a defence for his sudden conversion to popery, especially after his having written the Religio Laici, where such opposite opinions were maintained and enforced. Whether this conversion was the effect of pure truth and convi&ion, inust be left to the great searcher of our hearts to determine; but such a change in fo abject a Aatterer, would naturally be imputed to mercenary motives. It is remarkable that Congreve, in his laboured and elegant defence of his friend's character, speaks not a syllable on the subject. The conversions of two grcater men to popery, that of Henry IV. and MarMall Turenne, were reckoned interested and insincere. The following very severe lines are preserved in the State Poems, on this occasion:

At all religions to the last from first,
Thou still hast rail'd, and then espous'd the worst
In this thy wisdom such as 'twas before,
T abuse all woman kind-then wed a whore.

Dr. J. Varron. Ver. 2588. And setting Aars admonish'd both to feep.] Suadentque cadentia sidera somnos. Virgil.

JOHN WARTON.

BRITANNIA REDIVIVA;

A

P O E M

ON TIE

BIRTH OF THE PRINCE.

Dii Patrii Indigetes, et Romule, Veftaque Mater,
Quæ Tuscum Tiberim, et Romana Palatia fervas,
Hunc faltein everso Puerum fuccurrere fæclo
Ne prohibete: fatis jampridem sanguine noftro
Laomedontææ luimus Perjuria Troja.

Virg. Georg. !.

[ocr errors]
« ПредишнаНапред »