« ZurückWeiter »
But if to Pow'r and Place your passion lie, If in the Pomp of Life consist the joy; Then k hire a Slave, or (if you will) a Lord To do the Honours, and to give the Word; Tell at your Levee, as the Crowds approach, To whom 'to nod, whom take into your Coach, Whom honour with your hand : to make remarks, Who " rules in Cornwall, or who rules in Berks :
be troublesome, is near the Chair: 105 “ That makes three Members, this can choose a
Or if your life be one continu’d Treat,
Or shall we ev'ry Decency confound, Through Taverns, Stews, and Bagnios take our round, Go dine with Chartres, in each Vice outdo •K-I's lewd Cargo, or Ty—y's Crew, From Latian Syrens, French Circæan Feasts, Return well travell’d, and transform’d to Beasts, Or for a Titled Punk, or foreign Flame, 124 Renounce our Country, and degrade our Name?
Si, Mimnermus uti cenfet, sine anore jocisque Nil est jucundum ; vivas in amore jocisque.
"Vive, vale. fi quid novisti rectius istis, Candidus imperti : fi non, his utere mecum.
Ver. 126. Wilmot] Earl of Rochester. WAR BURTON.
VER. 128. And Swift cry wisely, “Vive la Bagatelle .!”] Our Poet, speaking in one place of the purpose of his Satire, says,
“ In this impartial glass, my Muse intends
Fair to expose myself, my focs, my friends ;" and, in another, he makes his Court-Adviser say,
at your Friends, and if your Friends be fore, So much the better you may laugh the more :
:' because their impatience under reproof would shew, they had a great deal amiss, which wanted to be set right.
On this principle, Swift falls under his correction. He could not bear to sce a Friend he so much valued, live in the miserable abuse of one of Nature's best gifts, unadmonished of his folly. Swift, as we may fee by some pofthumous volumes, lately published, fo dishonourable and injurious to his memory, trifled away his old
age in a dissipation that women and boys might be alham'd of. For when men have given into a long habit of employing their wit only to flew their parts, to edge their fpleen, to pander to a faction; or, in short, to any thing but that for which Nature bestowed it, namely to recommend Virtue, and set off Truth; old age, which abates the passions, will never rectify the abuses they occasioned. But the remains of wit, instead of seeking and recovering their proper channel, will run into that miserable de. pravity of taste here condemned: and in which Dr. Swift seems to have placed no inconsiderable part of his wisdom. “ I chuse,” says he, in a letter to Mr. Pope, “my Companions amongst those of the least confequence, and most compliance: I read the most trifling books I can find : and whenever I write, it is upon the most trifling subjects.” And again, “ I love La Bagatelle better than
I am always writing bad Profe or worse Verses, either of RAGE or RAILLERY,” &c. And again in a Letter to Mr. Gay, " My rule is, Vive la Bagatelle !"
If, after all, we must with " Wilmot own, The cordial Drop of Life is Love alone; And Swift cry wisely, “ Vive la Bagatelle!” The Man that loves and laughs, must fure do well. "Adieu—if this Advice appear the worst; 130 E'en take the Counsel which I gave you first: Or better Precepts if you can impart, Why do, I'll follow them with all ту
In this note, Dr. Warburton makes some severe strictures on the manner in which Swift employed his wit, in his latter days. And indeed, in many of his remarks, it appears that Warburton was not partial to the character of Swift ; whom he had attacked in one of his earliest productions, on portents and prodigies; in which he says, page 32 : “ The religious Author
“ The religious Author of the Tale of a Tub will tell you, religion is but a reservoir of fools and mad. men; and the virtuous Lemuel Gulliver will answer for the state, that it is a den of favages and cut-throats.” Edition 12mo. 1727. “ Misanthropy,” says a true philosopher, “is fo dangerous a thing, and goes so far in fapping the very foundation of morality and religion, that I esteem the last part of Swift’s Gulliver (that I mean relative to his Houyhnhnms and Yahoos) to be a worse book to peruse, than those which we forbid as the most flagitious and obscene. One absurdity in this author (a wretched philofopher, though a great wit) is well worth remarking ; in order to render the nature of men odious, and the nature of beasts amiable, he is compelled to give human characters to his beasts, and beastly characters to his men ; so that we are to admire the beasts, no for being beasts, but amiable men ; and to deteft the men, not for being men, but detestable beasts.
“ Whoever has been reading this unnatural filth, let him turn for a moment to a Spectator of Addison, and observe the philan. thropy of that classical Writer; I may add, the superior purity of his diction, and his wit." Harris's Philological Enquiries, page 538.
With the exception of a few unequal liries, this is the most pleasing and finished of all his Imitations. Murray, to whom it was addressed, and who afterwards became so much more eminent, having highly distinguished himself by his elegant claffical attainments at Christ-church, Oxford, was admitted a student at Lincoln's Inn, April 1724,-his subsequent history is well known.
Lord Cornbury, to whom Pope pays so elegant a compliment, was in all respects a most amiable man. He refided for some time at Spa, on account of his health. In a letter from Pope to Mrs. Price, (which I have been favoured with, by her grandson, Uve. dale Price,) he is thus mentioned :
“ Pray, Madam, tell my Lord Cornbury I am not worse than “ he left me, though I have endured some uneasiness fince, bcfide “ what his indifpofition, when I parted, gave me.
I earnestly wish his return, but not till he can bring himself “ whole to us, who want honest and able men too much to part " with him, &c."
Henry Viscount Cornbury was great grandson of the celebrated Lord Chancellor Clarendon, and only fon of Henry Earl o Clarendon and Rochester.
Lord Cornbury acted with the greatest moderation and uprightness in political affairs ; though a Tory, and violent in opposition to Sir Robert Walpole, he yet opposed the unconstitutional motion of Sandys, for the removal of that minifter, in a manly and fenfible speech. See Coxe's Memoirs of Sir Robert Walpole, ch. 55. This amiable nobleman died before his father THE FIRST EPISTLE
without issue, and the title afterwards became extinct.