Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

235

240

245

250

A Property, that's yours on which you live.
Delightful Abs-courtį, if its fields afford
Their fruits to you, confesses you its lord :
All Worldly's hens, nay partridge”, sold to town:
His Ven’son too, a guinea makes your own :
He bought at thousands, what with better wit
You purchase as you want, and bit by bit;
Now, or long since, what diff'rence will be found?
You pay a penny, and he paid a pound.

• Heathcote 3 himself, and such large-acred men,
Lords of fat E’sham, or of Lincoln fen,
Buy every stick of wood that lends them heat,
Buy every Pullet they afford to eat.
Yet these are Wights, who fondly call their own
Half that the Dev'l o'erlooks from Lincoln town.
The Laws of God, as well as of the land,
Abhor, a Perpetuity should stand:
Estates have wings, and hang in Fortune's pow'r
Loose on the point of ev'ry wav'ring hour,
Ready, by force, or of your own accord,
By sale, at least by death, to change their lord.
Man? and for ever? wretch! what wouldst thou have ?
Heir urges heir, like wave impelling wave.
All vast possessions (just the same the case
Whether you call them Villa, Park, or Chase)
Alas, my BATHURST! what will they avail?
Join Cotswood hills to Saperton's fair dale“,
Let rising Granaries and Temples here,
There mingled farms and pyramids appear,
Link towns to towns with avenues of oak,
Enclose whole downs in walls, 'tis all a joke!
Inexorable Death shall level all,
And trees, and stones, and farms, and farmer fall.

Gold, Silver, Iv'ry, Vases sculptur'd high,
Paint, Marble, Gems, and robes of Persian dye,
There are who have not—and thank heav'n there are,
Who, if they have not, think not worth their care.

Talk what you will of Taste, my friend, you'll find,
Two of a face, as soon as of a mind.
Why, of two brothers, rich and restless one
Ploughs, burns, manures, and toils from sun to sun;
The other slights, for women, sports, and wines,
All Townshend's Turnips 5, and all Grosvenor's 6 mines :

255

260

265

270

1 delightful Abs-court,] A farm over-against Second, resigned office in 1730, and patriotically Hampton-Court. Warburton.

refrained from returning to public life, where he ? (A plural; as grouse, teal &c.]

might ha

helped his political opponents the 3 [Sir Gilbert Heathcote; cf. Moral Essays, Tories to annoy his former rival Walpole. It Ep. 111. V. 101.]

was owing to him, says Lord Stanhope, that 4 [Alluding to the improvements made by Lord England, and more especially Norfolk, owes the Bathurst on one of his Gloucestershire estates, introduction of the turnip from Germany) at Daylingworth near Saperton in the Cotswold 6 [Sir Thomas Grosvenor succeeded to his country. ]

brother Richard in 1733. They were the ances5. Ali Townshend's Turnips] [Lord Towns. tors of the present Marquess of Westminster.] hend, Secretary of State to George the First and

275

280

285

290

Why one like Bu— with pay and scorn content,
Bows and votes on, in Court and Parliament;
One, driv'n by strong Benevolence of soul,
Shall fly, like Oglethorpe, from pole to pole :
Is known alone to that Directing Pow'r,
Who forms the Genius in the natal hour;
That God of Nature, who, within us still,
Inclines our action, not constrains our will;
Various of temper, as of face or frame,
Each individual: His great End the same.

Yes, Sir, how small soever be my heap,
A part I will enjoy, as well as keep.
My heir may sigh, and think it want of grace
A man so poor would live without a place;
But sure no statute in his favour says 3,
How free, or frugal, I shall pass my days:
I, who at some times spend, at others spare,
Divided between carelessness and care.
'Tis one thing madly to disperse my store ;
Another, not to heed to treasure more ;
Glad, like a Boy, to snatch the first good day,
And pleas’d, if sordid want be far away,

What is't' to me (a passenger God wot)
Whether my vessel be first-rate or not?
The Ship itself may make a better figure,
But I that sail, am neither less nor bigger.
I neither strut with ev'ry fav’ring breath,
Nor strive with all the tempest in my teeth.
In pow'r, wit, figure, virtue, fortune, plac'd
Behind the foremost, and before the last.

“But why all this of Av’rice? I have none."
I wish you joy, Sir, of a Tyrant gone ;
But does no other lord it at this hour,
As wild and mad: the Avarice of pow'r ?
Does neither Rage inflame, nor Fear appal ?
Not the black fear of death, that saddens all?
With terrors round, can Reason hold her throne,
Despise the known, nor tremble at th' unknown?
Survey both worlds, intrepid and entire,
In spite of witches, devils, dreams, and fire ?
Pleas'd to look forward, pleas'd to look behind,
And count each birth-day with a grateful mind ?

295

300

305

310

315

1 (Bubb Doddington, the Bubo of the ivth Ep. Mr Croker observes that to his supposed Jacobite of the Moral Essays. ]

leanings may be attributed much of the animosity fy, like Oglethorpe,] Employed in settling displayed by the Whigs towards him, as well as of the Colony of Georgia. P.

the friendliness subsisting between him and Pope [James Edward Oglethorpe, born in 1698, serv- and Johnson.] ed under Prince Eugene against the Turks, settled 3 But sure no statute] Alluding to the statutes the colony of Georgia, held a command during the made in England and Ireland, to regulate the year 1745, and in consequence of a difficulty which Succession of Papists, etc.

Warburton. [A then occurred with the Duke of Cumberland statute of William II1. which was happily so in(though Oglethorpe was acquitted by a court- terpreted by the Judges, as to produce much less martial) remained unemployed ever afterwards. effect than its authors had intended. ]

320

Has life no sourness, drawn so near its end?
Can’st thou endure a foe, forgive a friend ?
Has age but melted the rough parts away,
As winter-fruits grow mild ere they decay?
Or will you think, my friend, your business done,
When, of a hundred thorns, you pull out one ?

Learn to live well, or fairly make your will;
You've play'd, and lov'd, and eat, and drank your fill:
Walk sober off; before a sprightlier age
Comes titt'ring on, and shoves you from the stage :
Leave such to trifle with more grace and ease,
Whom Folly pleases, and whose Follies please.

323

THE SATIRES

OF

DR JOHN DONNE,

DEAN OF ST PAUL'S,

VERSIFIED,

Quid vetat et nosmet Lucili scripta legentes
Quærere, num illius, num rerum dura negarit
Versiculos natura magis factos, et euntes
Mollius?'

Hor. [Sat, LX. 56-9].

1

[THESE Satires, as Pope informs us in the Advertisement prefixed to the Satires and Epistles of Horace Imitated (ante, p. 282), were 'versified' by him at the request of Lords Oxford and Shrewsbury, and therefore in the main belong to an earlier period of his career than the Satires among which they were afterwards inserted. He called his labour versifying,' says Warburton, because indeed Donne's lines 'have nothing more of numbers than their being composed of a certain quantity of syllables'-a description exaggerated, but not untrue.

John Donne was born in 1578, and died in 1631; but though he wrote most of his poetry before the end of the 16th century, none of it was published till late in the reign of James I. The story of his life may be summed up as that of a popular preacher under pecuniary difficulties, which only towards its close terminated in the assurance of a competency (he died as Dean of St Paul's). Donne has been, in deference to Pope's classification of poets, regarded as the father of the metaphy. sical, or fantastic school of English poets, which reached its height in the reign of Charles I. His poetry divides itself into two distinctly marked divisions—profane and religious. The former must be in the main regarded as consisting of purely intellectual exercitations; nor should the man be rashly confounded with the writer, or the Ovidian looseness of morals which he affects be supposed to have characterised his life. His Songs are full of the conceits criticised by Dr Johnson; some of his Epigrams are very good; his Elegies are most offensively indecent; and the Progress of the Soul is a disgusting burlesque on the Pythagorean doctrine of

[ocr errors]

metempsychosis. The Funeral Elegies already show the transition to sacred poetry; and it is on these and the Holy Sonnets that rests Donne's claim to be called a metaphysical poet.

Yet he states that he affected the metaphysics in his Satires and amorous verses as well. The former were first published, with the rest of his works, in 1633. In Dryden's opinion, quoted by Chalmers, the Satires of Donne, even if translated into numbers, would yet be found wanting in dignity of expression. It has however been doubted whether the irregularity of Donne's versification in the Satires was wholly undesigned. His lyrical poetry is fluent and easy; and the Satires of Hall, which preceded those of Donne by several years, show a comparative mastery over the heroic couplet which could surely have been compassed by the later Satirist. Pope has treated Donne's text with absolute freedom. Donne's Third Satire, in Warburton's opinion the noblest work not only of this but perhaps of any satiric poet,' was 'versified' by Parnell.]

SATIRE II.

Y

5

10

TES; thank my stars! as early as I knew

This Town, I had the sense to hate it too;
Yet here; as ev’n in Hell, there must be still
One Giant-Vice, so excellently ill,
That all beside, one pities, not abhors ;
As who knows Sappho, smiles at other whores.

I grant that Poetry's a crying sin;
It brought (no doubt) th’ Excise and Armyl in:
Catch'd like the Plague, or Love, the Lord knows how,
But that the cure is starving, all allow.
Yet like the Papist's, is the Poet's state,
Poor and disarm’d, and hardly worth your hate!

Here a lean Bard, whose wit could never give
Himself a dinner, makes an Actor live:
The Thief condemn’d, in law already dead,
So prompts, and saves a rogue who cannot read.
Thus, as the pipes of some carv'd Organ move,
The gilded puppets dance and mount above.
Heav'd by the breath th' inspiring bellows blow:
Th’ inspiring bellows lie and pant below.

One sings the Fair; but songs no longer move;
No rat is rhym'd to death, nor maid to love :
In love's, in nature's spite, the siege they hold,
And scorn the flesh, the dev'l, and all but gold.

These write to Lords, some mean reward to get,
As needy beggars sing at doors for meat.
Those write because all write, and so have still
Excuse for writing, and for writing ill.

Wretched indeed! but far more wretched yet
Is he who makes his meal on others' wit:

15

20

25

30

^ [i.e. the increased excise duties (which it of Hor. Bk. 11. Sat. ii. v. 160. The expressions was apprehended would become a general ex- are substituted for dearth and Spaniards' in cise), and an army which must prove a standing Donne.] one. Cf. Moral Essays, Ep. III. v. 119, and Im. 2 [Cf. Im. of Hor. Bk, 11. Ep. ii. v. 68.]

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

'Tis chang'd, no doubt, from what it was before;
His rank digestion makes it wit no more:
Sense, past thro' him, no longer is the same;
For food digested takes another name.

I pass o'er all those Confessors and Martyrs,
Who live like S-tt-n?, or who die like Chartres,
Out-cant old Esdras, or out-drink his heir,
Out-usure Jews, or Irishmen out-swear;
Wicked as Pages, who in early years
Act sins which Prisca's Confessor3 scarce hears.
Ev'n those I pardon, for whose sinful sake
Schoolmen new tenements in hell must make;
Of whose strange crimes no Canonist can tell
In what Commandment's large contents they dwell.

One, one man only breeds my just offence;
Whom crimes gave wealth, and wealth gave Impudence:
Time, that at last matures a clap to pox,
Whose gentle progress makes a calf an ox,
And brings all natural events to pass,
Hath made him an Attorney of an Ass.
No young divine, new-benefic'd, can be
More pert, more proud, more positive than he.
What further could I wish the fop to do,
But turn a wit, and scribble verses too;
Pierce the soft lab'rinth of a Lady's ear
With rhymes of this per cent. and that per year?
Or court a Wife, spread out his wily parts,
Like nets or lime-twigs, for rich Widows' hearts;
Call himself Barrister to ev'ry wench,
And woo in language of the Pleas and Bench?
Language, which Boreas might to Auster hold
More rough than forty "Germans when they scold.

Curs'd be the wretch, so venal and so vain:
Paltry and proud, as drabs in Drury-lane.
'Tis such a bounty as was never known,
If PETER deigns to help you to your own:
What thanks, what praise, if Peter but supplies,
And what a solemn face if he denies !
Grave, as when pris'ners shake the head and swear
'Twas only Suretyship that brought 'em there.
His Office keeps your Parchment fates entire,
He starves with cold to save them from the fire;
For you he walks the streets thro' rain or dust,
For not in Chariots Peter puts his trust;
For you he sweats and labours at the laws,
Takes God to witness he affects your cause,

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

1

? Sir Robert Sutton, who was expelled the 4 [Donne's fine touch of satire against hisHouse of Commons on account of his share in toric wrongthe frauds of the company called the Charitable *Than when winds in our ruin'd abbeys roar, Corporation. Carruthers.

is exchanged by Pope for a cheap sneer against 2 Out-swear the Letanie. Donne.

a then unpopular nationality.] 3 [Accentuated as in Donne.]

« AnteriorContinuar »