Page images
PDF
EPUB

“ Noble and young, who strikes the heart

" With ev'ry sprightly, every decent part; “ Equal, the injur'd to defend," “ To charm the mistress, or to fix the

"s friend. “ He, with a hundred arts refin'd, “ Shall stretch thy conquests over half the

“kind:
“ To him each rival shall submit,

“ Make but his riches equal to his wit...
Then shall thy form the marble grace
“ (Thy Grecian form) and Chloe lend the

"face:
“ His house, embosom'd in the grove t, .

“ Sacred to social life and social love, “ Shall glitter o'er the p “ Where Thames reflects the visionary

“ scene : “ Thither, the silver-founding lyres · "Shall call the smiling loves, and young

“desires; “There, ev'ry grace and mule ihall

" Exalt the dance, or animate the song; “ There youths and nymphs, in confort gay, “ Shall hail the rising, close the parting

“ day.”

+ He had at that nime an intention of leaving his house at Twitenham to Mr. Murray, on very easy terms; and with this view he entertained the projects of several improvements and purchases. But when he found, by the growing fame and rising station of his friend, that it was never likely to be of any use to him, he laid aside that purpose. "

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

The conclusion is very poetical, and much beyond the Latin. The poet laments that he is no longer susceptible of those joys, though he still follows the goddess in his dreams : And he thus describes the delusion of fancy.

.“ Nocturnis te ego fomniis

Jam captum teneo, jam volucrem fequor Te per gramina Martii

Campi, te per aquas, dure, volubiles.

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

“ Now, now I seize, I clasp thy charms, “And now you burst (ah cruel !) from my

“arms; « And swiftly shoot along the Mall,

“Or softly glide by the canal, “ Now shown by Cynthia's silver ray, " And now, on rolling waters snatch'd

66 away.”

Among the little pieces in this volume, is an Epistle to the Earl of Oxford, which was sent with Dr. Parnelle's poems, published by our author, after the said Earl's imprisonment in the Tower, and retreat into the country, in the year 1721; and which is, indeed, a master-piece.

The following lines in this epistle feem to claim particular notice.

“ Such were the notes thyonce-lov'd poet fung; « Till death untimely' stopp'd his tu neful " torgue.

s For

* For him, thou oft haft bid the world attend, « Fond to forget the statesman in the friend t: “ For Swift, and him, despis’d the farce of state; " The sober follies of the wise and great ; - Dext'rous,the craving,fawning crowd to quit, “ And pleas'd to 'scape from flattery to wit.”

There is great beauty likewise in the lines, whereby our author describes the amiable sincerity, and all-powerful influence of his favourite

muse.

“In vain to deserts thy retreat is made; “ The muse attends thee to thy silent shade! “ 'Tis hers, the brave man's latest steps to

.66 trace,

"Rejudge his a&ts, and dignify disgrace.

+ There is perhaps too much truth in these lines; but whatever our author might intend, it was certainly no compliment to a fallen ininister, to remind him, that he used to make the world attend, while he was entertaining himself with a man of wit. But the fact is, that Lord Oxford, as a minister, was negligent, if we may believe what Lord Bolingbroke used to say to his friends. He added likewise, that Oxford was, in conversation, puzzled and embarrassed; and, upon the whole, unequal to his station. It was his wont, every day almost, to send idle verses from court to the Scriblurus. Club, which consisted of Swift, Arbuthnot, Parnelle, Pope, and sometimes Gay. He was likewise used to frequent the Club every night almost, and would talk idly, even on the crisis of the most important concerns.

Envy itself, however, must allow that this nobleman dif. played a most manly fortitude during the course of his ad. versity DI 3

66 When

“When Int'rest calls off all her sneaking trairi, * And all th' oblig'd defert, and all the vain; « She waits, or to the scaffold, or the cell, “ When the last ling'ring friend has bid fare

“ well.”

The two epistles likewise to Mrs. Blount *, have distinguished merit. That which is 'addressed to her on her leaving the town after the Coronation, opens with inimitable ease and pleafantry.

[ocr errors]

“As some fond virgin, whom her mother's care “ Drags from the town to wholesome country

" air, 1 “ Just when she learns to roll a melting eye, “ And hear a spark, yet think no danger nigh; “ From the dear man unwilling she must fever, “Yet takes one kiss before she parts for ever: " Thus from the world fair Zephalinda flew, “ Saw others happy, and with sighs withdrew; “ Not that their pleasures caus'd her discontent, “ She sigh'd not that they stay'd, but that she “ went t."

The

* Mr. Pope appears to have had a very sincere and tender friendship for this Lady, which malice was forward to milconstrue. In a letter to Mr. Bethel, he thus bewails the censoriousness of the world, which prevents his good offices towards her.-" Half the effects of my friendship for “ her, God knows, are rendered impracticable or disagree« able to her, by malicious insinuations; and I cannot be cs of the use I wish to be to her.”

+ The writer of these theers has now in his hand the orlo ginal copy of these verses, from whence it appears that ou

author

The rest of this poem abounds with turns of agreeable humour and sprightly gallantry. But our extracts have already, in the opinion of lome, perhaps, been too copious.

There are several other miscellaneous little pieces in this volume which have great merit, more especially the collection of Epitaphs,, of which it is sufficient to say, that they are equal, if not superior to any compositions of the fame kind.

. The contents of the remaining volumes of the octavo edition of his works, consist of the Memoirs of Scriblerus, select Essays which he wrote in the Guardian, as likewise his Preface to the Translation of Homer's Iliad, and the Works of Shakespear, together with some lesser pieces, and his several epistolary correspondences.

author made fome alterations, perhaps not for the better. The seventh line in the original stood thus .

“ So fair Teresa gave the town a view."

The alteration, though it has undoubtedly improved the harmony of the verse, may probably be thought not to have mended the sense: For the reluctance with which the went into the country is better defcribed by her taking a wishful retrospective view of the town, than' by her flying from it. It must be added, that in the original there are sixteen additional lines, which immediately follow the last line of the printed copy. In these the poet humorously describes the manner in which the beau Esprits spent their time in town, But on refection he thought proper to suppress these lines,

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]
« PreviousContinue »