I T A L Y .
Rome, November 30th, 1792.
'M lost in amaze on this classical ground,
'Midst the tombs of Antiquity scatter'd around ;
Association's dear charms with new beauties arise,
Enrapturing the heart, and delighting the eyes :
* Where sweet Tully harangu'd with most lofty decorum,
To the people assembled, and squeez'd in the forum ;
Here the Ox loudly bellows, re-echoes the Swine,
Yet he tickles our ears with his Speeches divine ;
And in the minds' eye, we still see him stand,
Declaiming, and joking, and waving his hand ;
As drunken Antonius, he sharply rebuk'd,
And told on the bench, how he hickup'd and puk'd :
Till Fulvia enrag'd by such cynical sneers,
Thrust her awl thro' his tongue, and cut off head and ears.
The next scenic spot did enchantingly suit us,
Where we saw Cæsar fall by his son Marcus-Brutus !
And You too my bastard he scornfully cry'd,
Tuck'd his robe round his rump, and most decently dy'd.
Now, thro' this delusion, we're led by a charm,
To pry, and to peep into Horace's farm ;
We see his snug house, and his endive plants nigh,
Where now, smokes a dung-hill next door to a stye.
With a Girl of the Town, there he waddled along,
And got drunk after dinner, and con'd a new song ;
In Winter, his Chloe heaped logs on the fire,
And sung wanton songs, while he thrum'd on the lyre ;
Here his Odes he indited, or penn'd his grave letters,
And still sup'd at home, if not ask'd by his betters ;
** But a card from Mecnas then frolic and gay.
He top'd like a Satyr, and laugh'd the whole day.
To Letter 4
N O T E S.
* The Forum, which is now the Smithfield of Rome.
** Si nusquam es forte Vocatus
Jusserit ad se
Mæcenas serum sub lumina prima venire
Lib. 2 Sat. 7. [29 ff.]
The World's just wonder, and even thine O Rome !
POPE. [Essay on Criticism, Part 2; not necessarily of the Pantheon]
*** The reader will excuse a few anachronisms, as some additions have been made to the original letters.
Mourir n'est rienAir in the Deserter, which Houchard constantly sung to the fiddle, during his confinement.
§ The Venus of Medicis.
§§ For UpliftedMilton.
§§§ "William Shakespear's father was a butcher ; while he was a boy, he exercised his father's trade, but when he killed a calf, he would do it in high style."
m The Madonna della Scodella, Correggio's most celebrated picture. The Holy Family are represented in their flight to Egypt, resting under some palm-trees. Joseph is employed in twisting the branches together to form a shade for the mother and child. A group of Angels are painted in a circle of glory, with looks full of admiration and respect. The child appears to be four or five years old, and one of the Angels is represented holding the Ass.
n Rafaelle's famous celebrated picture of Mount Parnassus. Homer, Pindar, &c. are placed near the summit, listening to the Muses and Apollo. Tasso, &c. are seated at the bottom of the MountApollo plays the fiddle, instead of the lyre. This breach of Costume was designed as a compliment to one of the Pope's favourite Musicians, who is painted as Apollo.
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