between the numbers of articles, nouns, verbs, and other parts of speech.

I made my humblest acknowledgments to this illustrious person for his great communicativeness, and promised, if ever. I had the good fortune to return to my native country, that I would do him justice, as the sole inventor of this wonderful machine, the form and contrivance of which I desired leave to delineate on paper. I told him although it was the custom of our learned men in Europe to steal inventions from each other, who had thereby at least this advantage, that it became a controversy which was the right owner; yet I would take such a caution that he should have the honour entire without a rival.

We next went to the school of languages, where three professors sat in consultation upon improving that of their own country.

The first project was to shorten discourse by cutting polysyllables into one, and leaving out verbs and participles ; because, in reality, all things imaginable are but nouns.

The other was a scheme for entirely abolishing all words whatsoever; and this was urged as a great advantage in point of health as well as brevity ; for, it is plain, that every word we speak is in some degree a diminution of our lungs by corrosion, and consequently contributes to the shortening of our lives. An expedient was thereby offered, that since words are only names for things it would be more convenient for all men to carry about them such things as were necessary to express the particular business they are to discourse on. And this invention would certainly have taken place, to th great ease as well as health of the subject, if the women, as well as the vulgar and illiterate, had not threatened to raise a rebellion, unless they might be allowed the liberty to speak with their tongues after the manner of their forefathers; such constant irreconcilable enemies to science are the common people.

Gulliver's Travels in Laputa. Undeserved praise is the severest censure. Therefore, sit down and consider, when you are praised, whether you deserve it or not; if not, depend upon it you are only laughed at and abused.




A song in honour of St. Cecilia's day, 1697.


'Twas at the royal feast for Persia won

By Philip's warlike son:
Aloft in awful state
The god-like hero sate

On his imperial throne;
His valiant peers were placed around;
Their brows with roses and with myrtles bound;

(So should desert in arms be crowned.)
The lovely Thais by his side,
Sate like a blooming eastern bride,
In flower of youth and beauty's pride.
Happy, happy, happy pair!

None but the brave,

None but the brave,
None but the brave deserve the fair.



Timotheus placed on high

Amid the tuneful quire,

With flying fingers touched the lyre : The trembling notes ascend the sky,

And heavenly joys inspire.
The song began from Jove,
Who left his blissful seats above
(Such is the power of mighty love).
À dragon's fiery form belied the god :
Sublime on radiant spheres he rode,
When he to fair Olympia pressed;
And while he sought her snowy breast,
Then round her slender waist he curled,
And stamped an image of himself—a sovereign of the

The listening crowd admire the lofty sound;

A present deity, they shout around;
A present deity, the vaulted roofs rebound :

With ravished ears
The monarch hears,
Assumes the god,

Affects to nod,
And seems to shake the spheres.


The praise of Bacchus then the sweet musician sung,
Of Bacchus ever fair, and ever young.

The jolly god in triumph comes;
Sound the trumpets, beat the drums ;
Flushed with a purple grace

He shows his honest face :
Now give the hautboys breath : he comes, he comes,
Bacchus ever fair and

Drinking joys did first ordain;
Bacchus' blessings are a treasure,
Drinking is the soldier's pleasure ;
Rich the treasure,
Sweet the pleasure,
Sweet is pleasure after pain.


Soothed with the sound the king grew vain;
Fought all his battles o'er again;
And thrice he routed all his foes, and thrice he slew

the slain.
The master saw the madness rise,
His glowing cheeks, his ardent eyes ;
And while he heaven and earth defied,
Changed his hand, and checked his pride.

He chose a mournful Muse,
Soft pity to infuse;
He sung Darius great and good,

By too severe a fate,
Fallen, fallen, fallen, fallen,

Fallen from his high estate, And weltering in his blocd;


Deserted at his utmost need
By those his former bounty fed ;
On the bare earth exposed he lies

With not a friend to close his eyes.
With downcast looks the joyless victor sate,
Revolving in his altered soul

The various turns of chance below;
And now and then a sigh he stole,

And tears began to flow.


The mighty master smiled to see
That Love was in the next degree ;
For pity melts the mind to love.

Softly sweet in Lydian measures,

Soon he soothed his soul to pleasures. War, he sung, is toil and trouble ; Honour, but an empty bubble ;

Never ending, still beginning, Fighting still, and still destroying :

If the world be worth thy winuing, Think, O think it worth enjoying :

Lovely Thais sits beside thee,

Take the good the gods provide thee. The many rend the skies with loud applause; So Love was crowned, but Music won the cause. The prince, unable to conceal his pain,

Gazed on the fair

Who caused his care,
And sighed and looked, sighed and looked,

Sighed and looked, and sighed again ;
At length, with love and wine at once oppressed,
The vanquished victor sunk upon her breast.


Now strike the golden lyre again ;
A louder yet, and yet a louder strain,
Break his bands of sleep asunder,
And rouse him, like a rattling peal of thunder.

Hark, hark, the horrid sound


Has raiséd up his head ;
As awakéd from the dead,

And amazed he stares around.
Revenge, revenge, Timotheus cries,

See the furies arise ;
See the snakes that they rear,

How they hiss in their hair,
And the sparkles that flash from their eyes!

Behold a ghastly band,

Each a torch in his hand !
Those are Grecian ghosts, that in battle were slain,

And unburied remain
Inglorious on the plain ;
Give the vengeance due

To the valiant crew.
Behold how they toss their torches on high,
How they point to the Persian abodes,
And glittering temples of their hostile gods.
The princes applaud with a furious joy ;
And the king seized a flambeau with zeal to destroy;

Thais led the way,

To light him to his prey,
And like another Helen, fired another Troy.

Thus long ago,
Ere heaving bellows learned to blow,

While organs yet were mute,
Timotheus, to his breathing flute

And sounding lyre,
Could swell the soul to rage, or kindle soft desire.
At last divine Cecilia came,

Inventress of the vocal frame;
The sweet enthusiast, from her sacred store,

Enlarged the former narrow bounds,

And added length to solemn sounds,
With Nature's mother-wit, and arts unknown before.
Let old Timotheus yield the prize,

Or both divide the crown:
He raised a mortal to the skies-
She drew an angel down.

John Dryden.


« 上一页继续 »