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THE SECOND EPISTLE
SECOND BOOK OF HORACE.
DEAR Colnel, Cobham's and your country's You love a verse, take such as I can send. [Friend! A Frenchman comes, presents you with his boy, Bows and begins—« This lad, Sir, is of Blois : “ Observe his shape how clean ! his locks how curld!. “ My only son, I'd have him see the world : 6 “... His French is pure ; his voice too-you shall hear. “ Sir, he's your slave, for twenty pound a year. “ Mere wax as yet, you fashion him with ease, “ Your barber, cook, upholst'rer, what you please : “ A perfect genius at an op?ra-song
IL “ To say too much, might do my honour wrong. “ Take him with all his virtues, on my word ; “ His whole ambition was to serve a lord ; “ But, Sir, to you, with what would I not part? 15 “ Tho' faith, I fear, 'twill break his mother's heart.
Ver. 1. Dear Colnel,] Addressed to Colonel Cotterell of Rousham near Oxford, the descendant of Sir Charles Cotterell, who, at the desire of Charles the First, translated Davila into English.
Ver. 4. “ This lad, Sir, is of Blois :) A town in Beauce, where the French tongue is spoken in great purity,
“ Once (and but once) I caught him in a lie, “ And then, unwhipp'd, he had the grace to cry: “ The fault he has I fairly shall reveal, “ (Could you o'erlook but that), it is, to steal.” 20
If, after this, you took the graceless lad, Could you complain, my friend, he prov'd so bad? Faith, in such case, if you should prosecute, I think Sir Godfrey should decide the suit ; Who sent the thief that stole the cash away, And punish'd him that put it in his way.
Consider then, and judge me in this light; I told you when I went, I could not write ; You said the same ; and are you discontent With laws, to which you gave your own assent? 30 Nay worse, to ask for verse at such a time ! D'ye think me good for nothing but to rhyme ?
In Anna's wars, a soldier poor and old Had dearly earn'd a little purse of gold : Tir’d with a tedious march, one luckless night, 35 He slept, poor dog! and lost it, to a doit. This put the man in such a desp'rate mind, Between revenge, and grief, and hunger join'd . Against the foe, himself, and all mankind, i He leap'd the trenches, scal'd a castle wall, 40 Tore down a standard, took the fort and all. “ Prodigious well :” his great commander cry'd, Gave him much praise, and some reward beside.
Next VER. 24. I think Sir Godfrey] Sir Godfrey Kneller.
Next pleas'd his excellence a town to batter ;-
Bred up at home, full early I begun,
Ver. 57. in Maudlin's learned grove. He had a partiality for this college in Oxford, in which he had spent many agreeable days with his friend Mr. Digby, who provided rooms for liim at that college.
Ver. 60. by suff'rers thought unjust,] By orders from govern. ment for the removal of Papists to a certain distance from the metropolis.
And me, the muses help'd to undergo it;
Years following years, steal something evry day,
But after all, what would you have me do?. 80
The vulgar boil, the learned roast an egg; 85
But grant I may relapse, for want of grace,
My VER. 70. Monroes,] Dr. Monroe, physician to Bedlam hospital VER. 87. Oldfield-Dartineuf] Two celebrated gluttons.
My counsel sends to execute a deed :
105 Aud peers give way, exalted as they are, Ev'n to their own s-r-v-nce in a car?
Go, lofty Poet! and in such a crowd, Sing thy sonorous verse—but not aloud. Alas! to grottoes and to groves we run, To ease and silence, ev'ry muse's son: Blackmore himself, for any grand effort, Would drink and doze at Tooting or Earl's-Court. How shall I rhyme in this eternal roar? 114, How match the bards whom none e'er match'd before?
The man, who stretch'd in Isis' calm retreat, To books and study gives sev'n years complete.
See ! :
Ver. 113. Tosting-Earl's-Court] Two villages within a few miles of London.