« 이전계속 »
tion. His name is likewise prefixed to the English Life of Francis Xavier'; but I know not that he ever owned himself the translator. Perhaps the use of his name was a pious fraud, which however seems not to have had much effect; for neither of the books, I believe, was ever popular. 1,5 The version of Xavier's Life is commended by Brown) in a pamphlet not written to flatter; and the occasion of it is said to have been, that the Queen, when she solicited a son, made vows to him as her tutelary saint. : 1,
1,2 3. He was supposed to have undertaken to translate Várillas's History of Heresies; and, when Burnet published remarks upon it, to have written an Answer * ; upon which Burnet makes the following observation",
06 Have been informed from England, that a “gentleman, who is famous both for poetry and $* several other things, had spent three months in “translating M. Varillas's History; but that, as soon S. as my Reflections appeared, he discontinued his “ labour, finding the credit of his author was gone. « Now, if he thinks it is recovered by his Answer, “ he will perhaps go on with his translation; and " this may be, for aught I know, as good an enter
tainment for him as the conversation that he had “ set on between the Hinds and Panthers, and all “the rest of animals, for, whom M. Varillas may « sérve well enough as an author and this history * and that poem are such extraordinary things of “ their kind, that it will be but suitable to see " the author of the worst poem become likewise * This is a mistake. See Malone, p. 194, &c. Ç.
“ the translator of the worst history that the age
has " produced. If his grace and his wit improve both " proportionably, he will hardly find that he has
gained much by the change he has made, from
having no religion, to chuse one of the worst. " It is true, he had somewhat to sink from in “ matter of wit ; but, as for his morals, it is “ scarcely possible for him to grow a worse man “ than he was. He has lately wreaked his malice “on me for spoiling his three months labour; but “ in it he has done me all the honour that any man
can receive from him, which is to be railed at by s him. If I had ill-nature enough to prompt me “ to wish a very bad wish for him, it should be, “ that he would go on and finish his translation. “ By that it will appear, whether the English-na« tion, which is the most competent judge in this “matter, has, upon the seeing our debate, pro66 nounced in M. Varillas's favour, or in mine. It is
true, Mr. D. will suffer a little by it; but at « least it will serve to keep him in from other “ extravagances ; and if he gains little honour by “ this work, yet he cannot lose só much by it as “ he has done by his last employment.”
Having probably felt his own inferiority in theo logical controversy, he was desirous of trying whether, by bringing poetry to aid his arguments, he might become a more efficacious defender of his new profession. To reason in verse was, indeed, one of his powers; but subtilty and harmony, united, are still feeble, wheri opposed to truth.
Actuated therefore by zeal for Rome, or hope of fame, he published the Hind and Panther, a poem
in which the Church of Rome, figured by the milkwhite Hind, defends her tenets against the Church of England, represented by the Panther, a beast beautiful, but spotted.
A fable, which exhibits two beasts talking Theology, appears at once full of absurdity; and it was accordingly ridiculed in the City Mouse and Country Mouse, a parody, written by Montague, afterwards Earl of Halifax, and Prior, who then gave
the first specimen of his abilities.
The conversion of such a man, at such a time, was not likely to pass uncensured. Three dialogues were published by the facetious Thomas Brown, of which the two first were called Reasons of Mr. Bayes's changing his Religion : and the third, the Reasons of Mr. Hains the Player's Conversion and Re-conversion. The first was printed in 1688, the second not till 16go, the third in 1691. The clamour seems to have been long continued, and the subject to have strongly fixed the publick attention.
In the two first dialogues Bayes is brought into the company of Crites and Eugenius, with whom he had formerly debated on dramatick poetry. The two talkers in the third are. Mr. Bayes and Mr. Hains.
Brown was a man not deficient in literature, nor destitute of fancy ; but he seems to have thought it the pinnacle of excellence to be a merry fellow; and therefore laid out his powers upon small jests or gross buffoonery; so that his performances have little intrinsick value, and were read only while they were recommended by the novelty of the event that sioned them.
These dialogues' are like his other works: what sense or knowledge they contain is disgraced by the garb in which it is exhibited. One great source of pleasure is to call Dryden little Bayes. Ajax, who happens to be mentioned, is “he that wore as many “ cow-hides upon his shield as would have furnished “ half the King's army with shoe-leather.".
Being asked whether he had seen the Hind and Panther, Crites answers ::“ Seen it? Mr. Bayes,
why I can stir no where but it pursues me ; it “ haunts me worse than a pewter-buttoned serjeant “ does a decayed cit. Sometimes I meet it in a « band-box, when my laundress brings home my ulinen; sometimes, whether I will or no, it lights
my pipe at a coffee-house; sometimes it surprises me in a trunk-maker's shop; and sometimes it re
freshes my memory for me on the backside of a Chancery-lane parcel. For
For your comfort too, 4. Mr. Bayes, I have not only seen it, as you may “ perceive, but have read it too, and can quote it “ as freely upon occasion as a frugal tradesman can « quote that noble treatise the Worth of a Penny "to his extravagant ’prentice, that revels in stewed
apples and penny custards." : The whole animation of these compositions arises from a profusion of ludicrous and affected compari
“To secure one's chastity,” says Bayes, “ lit“tle more is necessary than to leave off a correspon“ dence with the other sex, which, to a wise man, " is no greater a punishment than it would be to a “ fanatick person to forbid seeing The Cheats and “ The Committee; or for my Lord Mayor and Alder“ men to be interdicted the sight of The London
« Cuckolds.". This is the general strain, and therefore I shall be easily excused the labour of more transcription.
tis Brown does not wholly forget past transactions : “ You began,” says Crites to Bayes, “ a very dif“ ferent religion, and have not mended the matter “ in your last choice. It was but-reason that your « Muse, which appeared first in a tyrant's quartel, “ should employ her last.efforts to justify the usuf«pation of the Hind." Next year
the nation was summoned to celebrate the birth of the Prince. Now was the time for Dryden to rouse his imagination, and strain his voice. Happy days were at hand, and he was willing to enjoy and diffuse the anticipated blessings. He published a poem, filled with predictions of greatness and prosperity ; predictions, of which it is not necessary to tell how they have been verified.
A few months passed after these joyful notes, and every blossom of Popish Hope was blasted for ever by the Revolution.. A Papist now could be no longer laureat. The revenue, which he had enjoyed with so much pride and praise, was transferred to Shadwell, an old enemy, whom he had formerly stigmatised by the name of Og. Dryden could not decently complain that he was deposed; but seemed very angry that Shadwell succeeded him, and has therefore celebrated the intruder's inauguration in a poem exquisitely satirical, called Mac Flecknoe *; of which the Dunciad, as Pope himself declares, is
* All Dryden's biographers have misdated this poem, which Mr. Malone's more accurate researches prove to have been published on the 4th of October 1682. C.