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Once on a time (so runs the fable)
Yet loved his friend, and had a soul,
Knew what was handsome, and would do't,
He brought him bacon, nothing lean,
Pudding, that might have pleased a Dean;
Both small and great, both you and I:
Then spend your life in joy and sport:
This doctrine, friend, I learn'd at court."
The veriest hermit in the nation
May yield, God knows, to strong temptation.
To a tall house near Lincoln's Inn;
recalled to-morrow, I shall savour so strong of a French court, that I must make my quarantine in some Kentish village, before I dare come near the Cockpit. In every place and estate, I am,
My Lord, &c. &c.
Ver. 177. like men, must die,] The parody on Dryden's poem on the Hind and Panther, alluding to the City and Country Mouse, was the first of Prior's performances, in conjunction with his friend Montague.Warton.
Nox medium cœli spatium, cùm ponit uterque
'Twas on the night of a debate,
The napkins white, the carpet red;
The guests withdrawn had left the treat,
Our courtier walks from dish to dish,
Tastes for his friend of fowl and fish;
Tells all their names, lays down the law,
That jelly's rich, this Malmsey healing,
Pray, dip your whiskers and your tail in."
He stuffs and swills, and stuffs again.
"I'm quite ashamed-'tis mighty rude
Or Gods to save them in a trice!
(It was by Providence, they think,
For your damn'd stucco has no chink.)
"An't please your honour," quoth the peasant, "This same dessert is not so pleasant:
Give me again my hollow tree,
A crust of bread, and liberty!"
INTERMISSA, Venus, diu,
Rursus bella moves? parce, precor, precor.
Non sum qualis eram bonæ
Sub regno Cynara. Desine, dulcium
Mater sæva Cupidinum,
Circa lustra decem flectere mollibus
Jam durum imperiis. Abi
Quò blandæ juvenum te revocant preces.
Pauli, purpureis ales oloribus,
Si torrere jecur quæris idoneum.
Et pro solicitis non tacitus reis,
Et centum puer artium,
Latè signa feret militiæ tuæ.
Et quandoque potentior
Largis muneribus riserit æmuli,
Albanos prope te lacus
Ponet marmoream sub trabe citreâ.
*This, and the unfinished imitation of the ninth Ode of the Fourth Book which follows, show as happy a vein for managing the Odes of Horace as the Epistles.--Warburton.
It may be worth observing, that the measure Pope has here chosen, is precisely the same that Ben Jonson used in a translation of this very Ode; folio, p. 268.-Warton.
Ver. 9. Number five] The number of Murray's lodgings in King's Bench Walks.-Bowles.
AGAIN? new tumults in my breast?
Ah spare me, Venus! let me, let me rest!
I am not now, alas! the man
As in the gentle reign of my Queen Anne.
Ah sound no more thy soft alarms,
Nor circle sober fifty with thy charms.
Mother too fierce of dear desires!
Turn, turn to willing hearts your wanton fires; To Number five direct your doves,
There spread round MURRAY all your blooming
Noble and young, who strikes the heart
With every sprightly, every decent part;
Equal, the injured to defend,
To charm the mistress, or to fix the friend.
He, with a hundred arts refined,
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:
Ver. 18. Make but his riches, &c.] Seward has an anecdote of Lord Mansfield, respecting the difficulties of his early life; I know not what foundation there is for it. He says that Murray, acquainting Lord Foley,