« 이전계속 »
THE SECOND PART OF ABSALOM AND ACHITOPHEL.
“Si quis tamen hæc quoque, si quis Captus amore leget."
Virg. Ed. vi. 10.
[By NAHUM TATE, with assistance from DRYDEN. )
The following explanation of the production of the Second Part of "Absalom and Achitophel” was given by Jacob Tonson, in reprinting the poem in the edition of “Miscellany Poems” of 1716; and it has always been regarded as authentic :
“ In the year 1680 Mr. Dryden undertook the poem of 'Absalom and Achitophel upon the desire of King Charles the Second. The performance was applauded by every one ; and several persons pressing him to write a second part, he, upon declining it himself, spoke to Mr. Tate to write one, and gave him his advice in the direction of it; and that part beginning,
Next these, a troop of busy spirits press,' and ending,
“To talk like Doeg and to write like thee,' containing near two hundred verses, were entirely Mr. Dryden's composition, besides some touches in other places."
This Second Part was published in November 1682, in the month following that of the publication of “ Mac Flecknoe." Dryden's part of the poem (lines 310-509) contains a second bitter elaborate attack on Shadwell under the name of Og.
Nahum Tate, the author of the greater part of this poem, is nou most known as the author, with Brady, of a Translation of the Psalms in verse. He was an Irishman; he was a strong Tory: he had addressed a complimentary poem to Dryden on his “ Absalom and Achitophel,” which Dryden printed together with two others by Duke and Lee, at the beginning of the second cdition. He became Port Laureat on the death of Shadwell, who succeeded Dryden, deposed after the Revolution. á ate died in 1715.
Broughton, in his edition of Dryden's Poems, 1743, printed only that portion of this poem which Jacob Tonson had stated to be Dryden's. Tati's larger portion is not recommended by intrinsic merits. But it may be presumed, indeed there can be no doubt, that here and there are lines and phrases of Dryden's. Scott thinks that much of the descriptions of Corah and Arod, and of the lines preceding the account of Arod, is Dryden's. Under all the circumstances, it has been thought best to print the whole of the poem; printing it, however, for dis'inction's sake, in italics, with the exception of the part which is known to be entirely Dryden's.
The poem was reprinted in the edition of the “Miscellany Poems" of 1716, when both Dryden and Tate were dead. There were several changes in this, which is called the third, edition ; some evidently authorized improvements, others misprints and deteriorations of the text. There was annexed to the reprint in the “Miscellany Poems” of 1716 (vol. 2) a Kry to both parts, which is here printed after the poem.
Since men, like beasts, each other's prey were made,
Since trade began and priesthood grow a trade,
Since realms were formed, none sure so cursed as those
That madly their own happiness oppose;
There Heaven itself and godlike kings in vain
Shower down the manna of a gentle reign;
While pampered crowds to mad sedition run
And monarchs by indulgence are undone.
Thus David's* clemency was fatal grown, +
While wealthy faction awed the wanting throne. I
For now their sovereign's orders to contemn
Was held the charter of Jerusalem ; &
His rights to invade, his tributes to refuse,
A privilege peculiar to the Jeros ; ||
As if from heavenly call this licence fell
And Jacob's seed were chosen to rebel !
Achitophels with triumph sees his crimes
Thus suited to the madness of the times,
And Absalom, ** to make his hopes succeed,
Of flattery'stt charms no longer stands in need,
While fond of change, though ne'er so dearly bought,
Our tribes outstrip the youth's ambitious thought.
His swiftest hopes with swifter homage meet,
And crowd their servile necks beneath his feet.
Thus to his aid while pressing tides repair,
He mounts and spreads his streamers in the air.
The charms of empire might his youth misload,
But what can our besotted Israel It plead ?
Swayed by a monarch, whose serene command
Seems half the blessing of our promised land;
Whose only grievance is excess of ease,
Freedom our pain, and plenty our disease!
* David, Charles II.
+ In the first edition this line stood:
“ Thus David's goodness was e'en fatal grown." Wanting here means simply, necdy. The same phrase, “wanting throne," occurs in “ Absalom and Achitophel," line 892, where the context makes the meaning clear. & Yerusalem, London.
The Fenus, the English. ¢ Achitophel, Earl of Shaftesbury.
* Absalom, Duke of Monmouth. ++ Flatteries in first edition, old spelling for flattery's; flattering in edition of 1716. 11 Israel, England.
Yet, as all folly would lay claim to sense
And wickedness ne'er wanted a pretence,
With arguments they'd make their treason good
And righteous David's self with slanders load :
That arts of foreign sway he did affect
And guilty Žebusites* from law protect,
Whose very chiefs, convict, were never freed,
Nay we have seen their sacrificers bleed! +
Accusers' infamy is urged in vain,
While in the bounds of sense they did contain, #
But soon they launched into the unfathomed tide
And in the depths they knew disdained to ride ;
For probable discoveries to dispense
IVas thought below a pensioned evidence. S
Mere truth was dull, nor suited with the port
Of pampered Corah, ll when advanced to court.
No less than wonders now they will impose
And projects void of grace or sense disclose.
Such was the charge on pious Michal I brought,
Michal, that ne'er was crucl even in thought;
The best of queens and most obedient wife
Impeachet of curst designs on David's life!
His life, the theme of her eter nal prayer;
'Tis scarce so much his guardian angel's care.
Not summer morns such mildness can disclose,
The Hermon lily nor the Sharon rose.
Neglecting each vain pomp of majesty,
Transported Michal feeds her thoughts on high,
She lives with angels and, as angels do,
Qruits heaven sometimes to bless the world belov,
Where, cherished by her bounty's plenteous spring,
Reviving widows smile and orphans sing:
Oh! when rebellious Israel's crimes at height
Are threatened with her lord's approaching fati,
The piety of Michal then remain
In Ileaven's remembrance and prolong his reign.
Less desolation did the pest pursule
That from Dan's limits to Beersheba slew,
Less fatal the repeated wars of Tyre, **
And less Jerusalem's avenging fire;
With gentler terror these our State o'erran,
Than since our evidencing days began!
On every check a pale confusion sat,
Continued fear beyond the worst of fate!
* Jebusites, Roman Catholics.
+ These two lines are meant as a reply by the author to the accusation against the King that he protected the Roman Catholics." Their very chiefs," it is said in reply," have been never parduned after conviction, and some of those employed for sham-plots whereby to'sacrifice opponents have been executed.”
Trust was no more, art, science, useless made,
All occupations lost but Corah's trade.
Meanwhile, a guard on modest Corah wait,
If not for safety, needful yet for state.
Well might he deem each peer and prince his slave,
And lord it o'er the tribes which he could save :
Even vice in him was virtue; what sad fate,
But for his honesty, had seized our State?
And with what tyranny had u'e been curst,
Had Corah never provat a villain first?
To have told his knowledge of the intrigue in gross
Had been, alas! to our deponent's loss :
The travelled Levite had the experience got
To husband well and make the best of his plot,
And therefore, like an evidence of skill,
With wise reserves secured his pension still,
Nor quite of future power himself bereft,
But limbos large for unbelievers left.
For* now his writ such reverence had got,
'Twas worse than plotting to suspect his plot.
Some were so well convinced, they made no doubt
Themselves to help the foundered swearers out;
Some had their sense imposed on by their fear,
But more for interest sake believe and sear;
E'en to that height with some the frenzy grew,
They raged to find their danger not prove true,
Yet than all these a viler crew remain,
Who with Achitophel the cry maintain;
Not urged by fear, nor through misguided sense,
(Blind zeal and starving need had some pretence ;)
But for the good old cause, that did excite
The original rebels' wiles, revenge, and spite,
These raise the plot, to have the scandal thrown
Upon the bright successor of the crown,
Whose virtue with such wrongs they had pursuat
As seemed all hope of pardon to exclude.
Thus, while on private ends their real is built,
The cheated crowd applaud and share their guilt.
Such practices as these, too gross to lie
Long unobserved by each discerning eye,
The more judicious Israelites unspelled,
Though still the charm the giddy rabble held.
Even Absalom amid the dascling beams
of empire and ambition's flattering dreams,
Perceives the plot too foul to be excused,
| 10 aid designs no less pernicious used;
| And, filial sense yet striving in his breast,
Thus to Achitophel his doubts exprest :
• For in first edition ; replaced by and in edition of 1716