Слике страница
PDF
ePub

The Buzzard, not content with equal place, Invites the feather'd Nimrods of his race; To hide the thinnefs of their flock from fight, And all together make a feeming goodly flight: But each have feparate interefts of their own; Two Czars are one too many for a throne. 2572 Nor can the ufurper long abftain from food; Already he has tafted Pigeons' blood: And may be tempted to his former fare, 2575 When this indulgent lord fhall late to heaven repair.

Bare benting times, and moulting months may

come,

When, lagging late, they cannot reach their home;

2580

Or rent in fchifm (for fo their fate decrees)
Like the tumultuous college of the bees,
They fight their quarrel, by themselves oppreft;
The tyrant smiles below, and waits the falling
feast.

Thus did the gentle Hind her fable end, Nor would the Panther blame it, nor commend;

Ver. 2583. Thus did the gentle Hind] It is obfervable that in this poem, full of fine verfification and weak argument, our author keeps to fome leading doctrines of popery, and makes no defence of feveral of its abfurd tenets, purgatory, monkery, celibacy, confeffion, reliques, nor of two which Swift has inimitably ridiculed, holy water and the Pope's bulls.

"Another difcovery, for which Peter was much renowned, was his famous univerfal pickle. For having remarked how your common pickle in ufe among housewives, was of no further benefit than to preferve dead flesh, and certain kinds of vegeta

But, with affected yawnings at the close, 2585 Seem'd to require her natural repofe:

bles; Peter, with great coft as well as art, had contrived a pickle proper for houses, gardens, towns, men, women, children, and cattle; wherein he could preferve them as found as infects in amber. Now this pickle to the tafte, the fmell, and the fight, appeared exactly the fame, with what is in common fervice for beef, and butter, and herrings, (and has been often that way applied with great fuccefs) but for its many fovereign. virtues was quite a different thing. For Peter would put in a certain quantity of his powder pimperlimpimp, after which it never failed of fuccefs. The operation was performed by Spargefaction, in a proper time of the moon. The patient who was to be pickled, if it were a houfe, would infallibly be preferved from all fpiders, rats, and weazels. If the party affected were a dog, he fhould be exempt from mange, madnefs, and hunger. It alfo infallibly took away all fcabs and lice, and fcald heads from children, never hindering the patient from any duty, either at bed or board.

But of all Peter's rarities, he moft valued a certain fet of bulls, whofe race was by great fortune preferved in a lineal defcent from thofe that guarded the golden fleece, though fome who pretended to obferve them curioufly, doubted the breed had not been kept entirely chatte; because they had degenerated from their ancestors in fome qualities, and had acquired others, very extraordinary, but a foreign mixture.

The bulls of Colchos are recorded to have brazen feet; but whether it happened by ill pafture, and running, by an allay from intervention of other parents, from stolen intrigues: whether a weakness in their progenitors had impaired the feminal virtue; or by a decline neceffary through a long courfe of time, the originals of nature being depraved in thefe latter finful ages of the world; whatever was the caufe, 'tis certain that Lord Peter's bulls were extremely vitiated, by the ruft of time in the metal of their lead. However, the terrible roaring peculiar to their lineage was preferved; as likewife that faculty of breath ing out fire from their noftrils, which, notwithstanding, many of their detractors took to be a feat of art, and to be nothing fo terrible as it appeared, proceeding only from their ufual courfe of diet, which was that of quibs and crackers.”

Pope, it is faid, ufed to mention this poem as the most correct fpecimen of Dryden's verfification. I muft own I cannot affent to this opinion. He tells us himself that he intended to give the majestic turn of heroic poefy to the first part. In this defign he has woefully mifcarried. The perfpicuity and plaufibility of

VOL. II.

L

For now the streaky light began to peep;
And fetting stars admonish'd both to fleep.
The dame withdrew, and, wishing to her guest
The
peace
of heaven, betook herself to reft. 2590
Ten thousand angels on her flumbers wait,
With glorious vifions of her future state.

bis reafonings, however falfe and futile, fhew a great command of language. This poem our author intended as a defence for his fudden converfion to popery, efpecially after his having written the Religio Laici, where fuch oppofite opinions were maintained and enforced. Whether this converfion was the effect of pure truth and conviction, must be left to the great fearcher of our hearts to determine; but fuch a change in fo abject a flatterer, would naturally be imputed to mercenary motives. It is remarkable that Congreve, in his laboured and elegant defence of his friend's character, fpeaks not a fyllable on the fubject. The converfions of two greater men to popery, that of Henry IV. and Marshall Turenne, were reckoned interested and infincere. The following very fevere lines are preserved in the State Poems, on this occafion:

At all religions to the laft from first,

Thou still haft rail'd, and then efpous'd the worst;
In this thy wifdom fuch as 'twas before,
T'abufe all woman kind-then wed a whore.

Dr. J. WARTON.

both to fleep.]
Virgil.
JOHN WARTON.

Ver. 2588. And fetting Stars admonish'd
Suadentque cadentia fidera fomnos.

BRITANNIA REDIVIVA;

A

POEM

ON THE

BIRTH OF THE PRINCE.

Dii Patrii Indigetes, et Romule, Veftaque Mater,
Quæ Tufcum Tiberim, et Romana Palatia fervas,
Hunc faltein everfo Puerum fuccurrere fæclo
Ne prohibete: fatis jampridem fanguine noftro
Laomedontææ luimus Perjuria Troja.

Virg. Georg. 1.

« ПретходнаНастави »