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Once on a time (so runs the fable)
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.
“ M. PRIOR." 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. VOL. V.
Nox medium cæli spatium, cùm ponit uterque
'Twas on the night of a debate,
185 When all their Lordships had sate late.
Behold the place, where, if a poet Shined in description, he might show it; Tell how the moonbeam trembling falls, And tips with silver all the walls;
190 Palladian walls, Venetian doors, Grotesco roofs, and stucco floors : But let it, in a word, be said, The moon was up, and men a-bed, The napkins white, the carpet red;
195 The guests withdrawn had left the treat, And down the mice sat, téte à tête.
Our courtier walks from dish to dish,
Que ça est bon ! Ah, goutez ça!
205 “I'm quite ashamed—'tis mighty rude To eat so much—but all's so good. I have a thousand thanks to giveMy Lord alone knows how to live.” No sooner said, but from the hall
210 Rush chaplain, butler, dogs, and all : “A rat! a rat! clap to the door”. The cat comes bouncing on the floor. O for the heart of Homer's mice, Or Gods to save them in a trice!
215 (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,
220 A crust of bread, and liberty!"
LIBER IV. .
INTERMISSA, Venus, diu,
Rursus bella moves? parce, precor, precor.
Sub regno Cynara. Desine, dulcium
Circa lustra decem flectere mollibus
Quò blandæ juvenum te revocant preces.
Pauli, purpureis ales oloribus,
Si torrere jecur quæris idoneum.
solicitis non tacitus reis,
Latè signa feret militiæ tuæ.
Largis muneribus riserit æmuli,
* 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,
5 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 loves;
10 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,
15. 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: 20
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,