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He has little knowledge of Horace who imagines
that the factor, or the Spanish merchant, are men-
tioned by chance: there was undoubtedly some popu-
lar story of an intrigue, which those names recalled
to the memory of his reader.
The flame of his genius in other parts, though
somewhat dimmed by time, is not totally eclipsed;
his address and judgment yet appear, though much
of the spirit and vigour of his sentiment is lost: this
has happened in the twentieth Ode of the first book:

Vila potabis modicis Sabinum
Cantharis, Graeca quod ego ipse testá
Conditwm levi, datus in theatro
Cum tibi plausus,
Care Macenas eques: ut paterni
Fluminis ripao, simul et jocosa
Redderet laudes tibi Vaticani
Montis imago.
A poet's beverage humbly cheap,
(Should great Maecenas be my guest,)
The vintage of the Sabine grape,
But yet in sober cups shall crown the feast:
"Twas rack’d into a Grecian cask,
Its rougher juice to melt away;
I seal’d it too—a pleasing task!
With annual joy to mark the glorious day,
When in applausive shouts thy name
Spread from the theatre around,
Floating on thy own Tiber's stream,
And Echo, playful nymph, return'd the sound. FRANCIS.

We here easily remark the intertexture of a happy compliment with an humble invitation; but certainly are less delighted than those, to whom the mention of the applause bestowed upon Maecenas, gave occasion to recount the actions or words that produced it.


Two lines which have exercised the ingenuity of modern criticks, may, I think, be reconciled to the judgment, by an easy supposition: Horace thus addresses Agrippa: Scriberis Vario fortis, et hostium Victor, Maeonii carminis alite. HoR. Lib. i. Ode vi. l.

Varius, a swan of Homer's wing,
Shall brave Agrippa's conquests sing.

That Varius should be called “A bird of Homeric song,’’ appears so harsh to modern ears, that an emendation of the text has been proposed: but surely the learning of the ancients had been long ago obliterated, had every man thought himself at liberty to corrupt the lines which he did not understand. If we imagine that Varius had been by any of his contemporaries celebrated under the appellation of Musarum ales, “the swan of the Muses,” the language of Horace becomes graceful and familiar; and that such a compliment was at least possible, we know from the transformation feigned by Horace of himself. The most elegant compliment that was paid to Addison, is of this obscure and perishable kind;

When panting Virtue her last efforts made, You brought your Clio to the virgin's aid. These lines must please as long as they are understood; but can be understood only by those that have observed Addison’s signatures in the Spectator. The nicety of these minute allusions I shall exemplify by another instance, which I take this occasion to mention, because, as I am told, the

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ised to add the histories of those, whose virtue has made them unhappy or whose misfortunes are at least without a crime. That this catalogue should be very numerous, neither you nor your readers ought to expect: rari quippe boni; “the good are few.” Virtue is uncommon in all the classes of humanity; and I suppose it will scarcely be imagined more frequent in a prison than in other places. Yet in these gloomy regions is to be found the tenderness, the generosity, the philanthropy of Serenus, who might have lived in competence and ease, if he could have looked without emotion on the miseries of another. Serenus was one of those exalted minds, whom knowledge and sagacity could not make suspicious; who poured out his soul in boundless intimacy, and thought community of possessions the law of friendship. The friend of Serenus was arrested for debt, and after many endeavours to soften his creditor, sent his wife to solicit that assistance which never was refused. The tears and importunity of female distress were more than was necessary to move the heart of Serenus; he hasted immediately away, and conferring a long time with his friend, found him confident that if the present pressure was taken off, he should soon be able to re-establish his affairs. Serenus, accustomed to believe, and afraid to aggravate distress, did not attempt to detect the fallacies of hope, nor reflect that every man overwhelmed with calamity believes, that if that was removed he shall imme

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diately be happy: he, therefore, with little hesitation
offered himself as surety.
In the first raptures of escape all was joy, grati-
tude, and confidence: the friend of Serenus dis-
played his prospects, and counted over the sums of
which he should infallibly be master before the day
of payment. Serenus in a short time began to find
his danger, but could not prevail with himself to
repent of beneficence; and therefore suffered him-
self still to be amused with projects which he durst
not consider, for fear of finding them impracticable.
The debtor, after he had tried every method of rais-
ing money which art or indigence could prompt,
wanted either fidelity or resolution to surrender
himself to prison, and left Serenus to take his place.
Serenus has often proposed to the creditor, to pay
him whatever he shall appear to have lost by the
flight of his friend: but however reasonable this pro-
posal may be thought, avarice and brutality have
been hitherto inexorable, and Serenus still continues
to languish in prison.
In this place, however, where want makes almost
every man selfish, or desperation gloomy, it is the
good fortune of Serenus not to live without a friend:
he passes most of his hours in the conversation of
Candidus, a man whom the same virtuous ductility
has, with some difference of circumstances, made
equally unhappy. Candidus, when he was young,
helpless, and ignorant, found a patron that educa-
ted, protected, and supported him; his patron being
more vigilant for others than himself, left at his

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