« 上一頁繼續 »
So, spirits ending their terrestrial race,
Here to her chosen all her works she shows;
After ver. 268. in the former edit. followed these two lines,
And in sweet numbers celebrates the seat.
Var. And in sweet numbers celebrates the seat.] Tibbald writ a poem called the Cave of Poverty, which concludes with a very extraordinary wish, "That some great genius, or man of distinguished merit, may be starved, in order to celebrate her power, and describe her cave." It was printed in octavo, 1715.
VER. 286. Tibbald,] Lewis Tibbald (as pronounced), or Theobald (as written), was bred an attorney, and son to an attorney
The goddess then, o'er his anointed head, With mystic words, the sacred opium shed. And lo! her bird (a monster of a fowl, Something betwixt a heideggre and owl)
(says Mr. Jacob) of Sittenburn in Kent. He was author of some forgotten plays, translations, and other pieces. He was concerned in a paper called the Censor, and a translation of Ovid. "There is a notorious ideot, one hight Whachum, who, from an under spurleather to the law, is become an under-strapper to the playhouse, who hath lately burlesqued the Metamorphoses of Ovid by a vile translation, &c. This fellow is concerned in an impertinent paper ealled the Censor." DENNIS, Rem. on Pope's Hom. p. 9, 10. WARBURTON.
Ibid. Ozell.]" Mr. John Ozell (if we credit Mr. Jacob) did go to school in Leicestershire, where somebody left him something to live on, when he shall retire from business. He was designed to be sent to Cambridge, in order for priesthood; but he chose rather to be placed in an office of accounts, in the city, being qualified for the same by his skill in arithmetic, and writing the necessary bands. He has obliged the world with many translations of French plays." JACOB, Lives of Dram. Poets, p. 198.
Mr. Jacob's character of Mr. Ozell seems vastly short of his merits, and he ought to have further justice done him, having since fully confuted all sarcasms on his learning and genius, by an advertisement of Sept. 20, 1729, in a paper called The Weekly Medley, &c. "As to my learning, this envious wretch knew, and every body knows, that the whole bench of Bishops, not long ago, were pleased to give me a purse of guineas, for discovering the erroneous translations of the Common-prayer in Portuguese, Spanish, French, Italian, &c. As for my genius, let Mr. Cleland shew better verses in all Pope's works, than Ozell's version of Boileau's Lutrin, which the late Lord Halifax was so pleased with, that he complimented him with leave to dedicate it to him, &c. Let him shew better and truer poetry in the Rape of the Lock, than in Ozell's Rape of the Bucket (la Secchia rapita). And Mr. Toland and Mr. Gildon publicly declared Ozell's translation of Homer to be, as it was prior, so likewise superior to Pope's. Surely, surely, every man is free to deserve well of his country !" JOHN OZELL.
We cannot but subscribe to such reverend testimonies, as those of the bench of Bishops, Mr. Toland, and Mr. Gildon.
"All hail! and hail again,
Perch'd on his crown.
With Fool of Quality completes the quire.
VER. 293. Know, Eusden, Sc.] In the former edit.
VER. 290. a beideggre] A strange bird from Switzerland, and not (as some have supposed) the name of an eminent person who was a man of parts, and, as was said of Petronius, Arbiter EleganWARBURTON.
VER. 296. Withers,] See on ver. 146.
Ibid. Gildon] Charles Gildon, a writer of criticisms and libels of the last age, bred at St. Omer's with the Jesuits; but renouncing popery, he published Blount's books against the Divinity of Christ, the Oracles of Reason, &c. He signalized himself as a critic, having written some very bad plays; abused Mr. P. very scandalously in an anonymous pamphlet of the life of Mr. Wycherley, printed by Curl; in another, called the New Rehearsal, printed in 1714; in a third, entitled the Complete Art of English Poetry, in two volumes; and others. WARBURTON.
VER. 297. Howard,] Hon. Edward Howard, author of the British Princes, and a great number of wonderful pieces, celebrated by the late Earls of Dorset and Rochester, Duke of Buckingham, Mr. Waller, &c. WARBURTON.
Thou, Cibber! thou, his laurel shalt support,
VER. 309, 310. under Archer's wing,—Gaming, &c.] When the statute against gaming was drawn up, it was represented, that the King, by ancient custom, plays at hazard one night in the year; and therefore a clause was inserted, with an exception as to that particular. Under this pretence, the groom-porter had a room appropriated to gaming all the summer the court was at Kensington, which His Majesty accidentally being acquainted of, with a just indignation prohibited. It is reported the same practice is yet continued wherever the court resides, and the hazard table there open to all the professed gamesters in town.
"Greatest and justest Sov'REIGN, know you, this?
Alas! no more, than Thames' calm bead can know
Till senates nod to lullabies divine,
And all be sleep, as at an ode of thine."
VER. 319. chapel-royal] The voices and instruments used in the service of the chapel-royal being also employed in the performance of the Birth-day and New-year odes.
VER. 324. But pious Needham] A matron of great fame, and very religious in her way; whose constant prayer it was, that she might "get enough by her profession to leave it off in time, and make her peace with God." But her fate was not so happy; for being convicted, and set in the pillory, she was (to the lasting shame of all her great friends and votaries) so ill used by the populace, WARBURTON. that it put an end to her days.
VER, 325. Back to the Devil] The Devil tavern in Fleet-street, where these odes are usually rehearsed before they are performed at court. Upon which a wit of those times made this epigram: "When laureates make odes, do you ask of what sort? ask if they're good, or are evil?
Do you You may judge-From the Devil they come to the court, And WARBURTON. from the court to the Devil." go
VER. 328. Ogilby-God save King Log!] See Ogilby's Esop's Fables, where, in the story of the frogs and their king, this excellent hemistic is to be found.