Page images
[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

F. Alas young man! your days can ne'er be long,
In flow'r of age you perish for a song!
Plums and Directors, Shylock and his wife,
Will club their Testers, now, to take your life!

P. What? arm'd for Virtue when I point the pen,
Brand the bold front of shameless guilty men;
Dash the proud Gamester in his gilded Car;
Bare the mean Heart that lurks beneath a Star;
Can there be wanting, to defend Her cause,
Lights of the Church, or Guardians of the Laws?
Could pension'd Boileau lash in honest strain
Flatt'rers and Bigots ev'n in Louis' reign??

Could Laureate Dryden Pimp and Friar engage', . Yet neither Charles nor James be in a rage?

And I not strip the gilding off a knave,
Unplac'd, unpension'd}, no man's heir, or slave?
I will, or perish in the gen'rous cause:
Hear this, and tremble! you, who 'scape the Laws.
Yes, while I live, no rich or noble knave
Shall walk the World, in credit, to his grave.
The World beside may murmur, or commend.
Know, all the distant din that world can keep,
Rolls o'er my Grotto, and but soothes my sleep.
There, my retreat the best Companions grace,
Chiefs out of war, and Statesmen out of place.
There ST JOHN mingles with my friendly bowl
The Feast of Reason and the Flow of Soul :
And He, whose lightning pierc'd th' Iberian Lines 4,
Now forms my Quincunx, and now ranks my Vines,
Or tames the Genius of the stubborn plain,
Almost as quickly as he conquer'd Spain.'

Envy must own, I live among the Great 5,
No Pimp of Pleasure, and no Spy of State.
With eyes that pry not, tongue that ne'er repeats,
Fond to spread friendships, but to cover heats;

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

madness, there's method in it.' There is real 1705 took Barcelona, and in the winter following fire in Lee, besides a great deal of smoke.] with only 280 horse and goo foot enterprized and

1 Boileau acted with much caution when he accomplished the Conquest of Valentia. P. first published his Lutrin here alluded to, and (See Macaulay's captivating account of Peterendeavoured to cover and conceal his subject by borough in his Essay on the War of Succession a preface laying the scene at Bourges, not at in Spain.] Paris, for which it was intended. When in 1683 5 Envy must own, &c.] Horace makes the he threw off the mask, no offence was taken by point of honour to consist simply in his living the Canons whom he had ridiculed. From familiarly with the Great, Warton's note. [Moreover, the ascendancy of Cum magnis vixisse invita fatebitur usque bigotry and Mad. de Maintenon had not begun Invidia. when Boileau wrote his famous satire ; when they Our poet, more nobly, in his living with them on fully prevailed he retired from Court.)

the footing of an honest man. He prided himself 2 [In his Spanish Friar. But he soon atoned in this superiority, as appears from the following for that piece by Absalom and Achitophel.] words, in a letter to Dr Swift: “To have pleased

3 [Pope declined the pension offered him by great men, according to Horace, is a praise; but Lord Halifax early in George I.'s reign.)

not to have flattered them, and yet not have 4 And HE, whose lightning, etc.] Charles displeased them, is a greater." Let. vii. Fan. Mordaunt Earl of Peterborough, who in the year 12, 1723.



To help who want, to forward who excel;
This, all who know me, know; who love me, tell;
And who unknown defame me, let them be
Scribblers or Peers, alike are Mob to me.
This is my plea, on this I rest my cause-
What saith my Counsel, learned in the laws ?

F. Your Plea is good; but still I say, beware!
Laws are explain'd by Men—so have a care.
It stands on record, that in Richard's times
A man was hang'd for very honest rhymes?.
Consult the Statute: quart. I think, it is,
Edwardi sext. or prim. et quint. Eliz.
See Libels, Satires-here you have it-read.

P. Libels and Satires! lawless things indeed!
But grave Epistles, bringing Vice to light,
Such as a King might read, a Bishop write;
Such as Sir ROBERT 2 would approve-

F. Indeed?
The Case is alter'd—you may then proceed;
In such a cause the Plaintiff will be hiss'd;
My Lords the Judges laugh, and you're dismiss'd3.



[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

[IN Horace's Satire the praise of temperance is laid in the mouth of Ofellus, a simple farmer with whom the poet had been acquainted from his boyhood.]

W H AT, and how great, the Virtue and the Art

V To live on little with a cheerful heart,
(A doctrine sage, but truly none of mine,)
Let's talk, my friends, but talk before we dine.
Not when a gilt Buffet's reflected pride
Turns you from sound Philosophy aside;
Not when from plate to plate your eyeballs roll,
And the brain dances to the mantling bowl.

1 [Bowles reminds the reader of the mob in 4 [Hugh Bethel, the 'blameless Bethel' of Julius Caesar (Act 11. Sc. 3), demanding that Moral Essays, Ep. v., a Yorkshire gentleman Cinna the poet should be torn for his bad verses.') with whom Pope was intimate, and frequently ? [Walpole.)

corresponded. He was a close friend of Pope's 3 Solventur risu tabulae: tu missus abibis. dearest friends, the Blounts of Mapledurham. Hor.

He died in 1748.]

Hear BETHEL'S Sermon, one not vers’d in schools, But strong in sense, and wise without the rules.

Go work, hunt, exercise! (he thus began)
Then scorn a homely dinner, if you can.
Your wine lock'd up, your Butler stroll'd abroad,
Or fish deny'd (the river yet unthaw'd),
If then plain bread and milk will do the feat,
The pleasure lies in you, and not the meat.

Preach as I please, I doubt our curious men
Will choose a pheasant still before a hen;
Yet hens of Guinea full as good I hold,
Except you eat the feathers green and gold.
Of carps and mullets why prefer the great,
(Tho' cut in pieces 'ere my Lord can eat)
Yet for small® Turbots such esteem profess?
Because God made these large, the other less.

Oldfieldl with more than Harpy throat endued,
Cries “Send me, Gods! a whole Hog barbecued 2!
Oh blast it, South-winds! till a stench exhale
Rank as the ripeness of a rabbit's tail.
By what Criterion do ye eat, d'ye think,
If this is priz'd for sweetness, that for stink?
When the tir'd glutton labours thro' a treat,
He finds no relish in the sweetest meat,
He calls for something bitter, something sour,
And the rich feast concludes extremely poor:
Cheap eggs, and herbs, and olives still we see;
Thus much is left of old Simplicity!
The Robin-red-breast till of late had rest,
And children sacred held a Martin's nest,
Till Becca-ficos sold so dev'lish dear
To one that was, or would have been a Peer.
Let me extol a Cat, on oysters fed,
I'll have a party at the Bedford-head 4;
Or ev'n to crack live Crawfish recommend;
I'd never doubt at Court to make a friend.

'Tis yet in vain, I own, to keep a pother About one vice, and fall into the other : Between Excess and Famine lies a mean; ·Plain, but not sordid; tho' not splendid, clean.

Avidien, or his Wife (no matter which, For him you'll call a dog, and her a bitch) Sell their presented partridges, and fruits,

And humbly live on rabbits and on roots : 1 Oldfield] This eminent Glutton ran thro' in Mr Hayward's Essay on the Art of Dining:] a fortune of fifteen hundred pounds a year in the 4 Bedford-head;) A famous Eating-House. simple luxury of good eating. Warburton. P. [In Covent-Garden.)

2 Hog barbecued, etc.] A West Indian term 5 Edward Wortley Montagu, the husband of of gluttony, a hog roasted whole, stuffed with Lady Mary. Carruthers. [Their son Edward, spice, and basted with Madeira wine. P. [How alluded to in v. 56, was a source of constant gross an antithesis to Charles Lamb's favourite annoyance to both his parents; and Lady M. delicate sucking-pig!!

speaks of the impossibility of his behaving as a 3 [‘Cet aimable oiseau se mange à la broche rational creature.') et en salmi.' Almanach des Gourmands, quoted

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]

Be a sore the > Ka isai
A ist Betso baise Soe was droend)
At sach a icas, cid ega to spare
Is it tro soc's so eros et bear:

tho i stark, they crop ty crop part,
B souse he cabbage a bocceos Ecart.

He kom to rebo keeps the skice state,
And seitse leans on this side nor ca that;
Xoc ses for coe bed cock, bee's pey,
Swears, Ee A s a good cook away;
Nor lets, ke Sacris erry error pess,
The mosty wine, focl cioch or greasy glass.

Nos hear what blessing Temperance can bring:
(Thas said our friend, and he he said I sing.)
First Health: The stomach icrannc'd from exiry äsh,
A toch of bocid and roast, and flesh and fish,
Wbere bide, and wind, and peegm, and acid jar,
And all the man is one intestine vari
Remembers of the School-bor's simpie fare,
The temp rate sleeps, and spirits light as air.

How pale, each Worship and Rev'rend guest
Rise from a Clergs, or a City feast!
What life in all that ample body, say?
What hearinly particle inspires the clay?
The Soal subsides, and wickedly inclines
To seem but mortal, evin in sound Divinesi.

Os moming wings how active springs the Mind
That leaves the load of yesterday behind !
How easy ev'ry labour it pursues!
How coming to the Poet ev'ry Mase!
Not bat we may exceed, some Loly time,
Or tird in search of Truth, or search of Rhyme;
Ill health some just indulgence may engage,
And more the sickness of long life, old age;
For fainting Age what cordial drop remains
If our intemp'rate Youth the vessel drains?

Our fathers prais'd rank Ven'son. You suppose
Perhaps, young men ! our fathers had no nose.
Not so: a Buck was then a week's repast,
And 'twas their point, I ween, to make it last;
More pleas'd to keep it till their friends could come,
Than eat the sweetest by themselves at home.
Why had not I in those good times my birth,
Ere concomb-pies or coxcombs were on earth?

Unworthy he, the voice of Fame to hear,
That sweetest music to an honest ear;
(For 'faith, Lord Fannys! you are in the wrong,
The world's good word is better than a song)


* Warburton remarks on the orthodox tur given by Pope to the Epicureanism of Horace.]

? (A feasts]

delicacy still in vogue at academical

3 (Lord Hervey.)

Who has not learned, fresh sturgeon and ham-pie
Are no rewards for want, and infamy!
When Luxury has lick'd up all thy pelf,
Curs'd by thy neighbours, thy trustees, thyself,
To friends, to fortune, to mankind a shame,
Think how posterity will treat thy name;
And buy a rope, that future times may tell
Thou hast at least bestow'd one penny well.

“Right,” cries his Lordship, “for a rogue in need To have a Taste is insolence indeed : “In me 'tis noble, suits my birth and state, “My wealth unwieldy, and my heap too great." Then, like the Sun, let Bounty spread her ray, And shine that superfluity away. Oh Impudence of wealth! with all thy store, How dar'st thou let one worthy man be poor? Shall half the new-built churches round thee fall ? Make Quays, build Bridges, or repair White-hall: Or to thy country let that heap be lent, As M**o's? was, but not at five per cent.

Who thinks that Fortune cannot change her mind, Prepares a dreadful jest for all mankind. And who stands safest ? tell me, is it he That spreads and swells in puff'd prosperity, Or blest with little, whose preventing care In peace provides fit arms against a war?

Thus BETHEL spoke, who always speaks his thought, And always thinks the very thing he ought: His equal mind I copy what I can, And, as I love, would imitate the Man. In South-sea days not happier, when surmis'd The Lord of Thousands, than if now Excis'da; In forest planted by a Father's hand3, Than in five acres now of rented land. Content with little, I can piddle here On brocoli and mutton, round the year; But ancient friends (tho' poor, or out of play) That touch my bell, I cannot turn away. 'Tis true, no Turbots dignify my boards, But gudgeons, founders, what my Thames affords: To Hounslow-heath I point and Bansted-down“, Thence comes your mutton, and these chicks my own: From yon old walnut-tree a show'r shall fall; And grapes, long ling'ring on my only wall, And figs from standard and espalier join; The dev'l is in you if you cannot dine: Then cheerful healths5 (your Mistress shall have place), And, what's more rare, a Poet shall say Grace.

150 1 [The Duke of Marlboroug

which he sold in 1716. The sum which he left 2 (See notes to Moral Essays, Ep. II. vv. to his son was something under £4000. The five 115 and 118.)

acres of rented land' are the Twickenham estate.] 3 [Pope's father originally purchased twenty 4 [Between Caterham and Epsom.] acres of land in the outskirts of Windsor Forest, 5 [Pope's economy in the matter of wine of

« PreviousContinue »