Imatges de pÓgina
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darest thou act in opposition to my lenient decrees, and rear thy puny wit against an immortal, whose shrine receives the tributary homage of all the sons and daughters of mortality. Consign to the flames, rash and imprudent bard, these labours of thy daring fancy, my votaries will not heed them, but laugh to scorn such frigid precepts. Come to my rosy bowers, and I will feast thee with excess of love, with brimful goblets of exhilarating wines, with banquettings, music, dancing, and every species of revelry; from thy mind discard these baleful principles, by thee denominated the beacons of wisdom; from thy brow dispel that look of austerity, and let the dimpled smile of mirth assume its playful emporium. Yes: yield thyself to me; and henceforth learn to taste unfading pleasures."

Thus having spoke, Folly approached me with complacency. I was not, however, to be won by her alluring smiles; and, with an outstretched hand, indignantly repulsed her fascinating, but deceitful blandishments. Being thus contemned, her fury knew no bounds; and to her aid she summoned, incontinent, her votaries, from every region of the earth; who, with gesticulations, indicating hate, would fain have approached me; but fruitless proved the attempt. Minerva appeared, arrayed in the garb of Mentor, and, rearing high her orbed and resplendent shield, with shrieks and yells the multifarious band shrunk back, dismayed at the dazzling sight; and I again awoke, to laud still more the wise design which had inspired my muse.

Quidquid agunt homines nostri farrago libelli.

Having thus committed to paper the offspring of my visionary fancy, which related throughout to the Goddess of Fools; it may not be injudicious, in the next place, to say something respecting her kingdom, the situation of which is so characteristically depicted by Voltaire, that I cannot do better than quote his lines, for the reader's information.

Devers la lune, où l'on tient que jadis,
Etait placé des fous le paradis,*

* It was formerly supposed, that the Fool's Paradise

Sur les confins de cet abîme immense,
Où le Cahos, et l’Erebe, et la nuit,
Avant le temps de l'univers produit,
Ont exercé leur aveugle puissance;
Il est un vaste et caverneux sejour;
Peu carressé des doux rayons du jour,
Et qui n'a rien qu'une lumiere affreuse,
Froide, tremblante, incertaine, et trompeuses
Pour tout ctoilc, on a des feux folets;
L'air est peuple de petits fafardets,
De ce pays la reine est la sottise, &c.

Such being the region inhabited by the Goddess of Fools, I shall now proceed in my Preface, by giving a quotation from the prologue of James Locher, which is, in every respect consonant with the causes which induced me to compose the ensuing sections:

was situated near the border of the moon; and that the region was inhabited by the spirits of idiots, silly persons, and infants who died without receiving the baptismal rites, Milton also speaks of the Paradise of Fools, through which he makes Satan pass, in the progress of his aerial journey.

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66 To clense the vanitie and madnes of foolishe people, of whom over great number is in the realme of Englande; therefore let every man beholde and over. rede this booke, and then, I doubt not but he shall see the errours of his life, of what condition soever he be; in likewise as he shall see in a mirrour the fourme of his countenaunce and visage. And if he amende suche faultes as he redeth here, wherein he knoweth him selfe giltie, and passe foorth the residue of his life in order of good maners; then shal he have the fruite and advantage, whereto I have translated (composed). this book."

This having been the laudable incitement of a translator, I trust that a motive no less praiseworthy is attachable to me (the poet), who claim originality throughout my effusions, and who have in some measure, aimed at the accomplishment of the idea of Horace, who gave it as his opinion that,

Non satis est pulchra esse poemata, dulcia sunto.

Whether I have succeeded or not in my attempt, I leave to the decision of those who shall deign to

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peruse my lays; but of this I feel proudly confident, that nothing but the welfare of my countrymen hath prompted my Muse, having no incitement whatsoever, either to personality or malice; for it is certainly permitted me to ask,

Ego sl risi, quod ineptus Pastillos Rufillus olet-lividus et mordex videar?

Having thus wiped away every supposition on the score of vindictive satire, on my part, I shall deliver my thoughts on this head, in the words of Burton, who, in his elaborate and scientific Anatomy of Me. lancholy, has thus given two Latin lines in our mother tongue:

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The best and surest method of advice,
Should spare the person, tho' it brands the vice.

With respect to the multitude that will not think fit to trouble itself with the perusal of my labours; or, more properly speaking, to taste 'lega fixa, I must beg leave to acquaint such votaries of folly, that the vessel, or rather the feet, of their darling goddess is ready for their immediate embarkation; and, in order to bid them adieu, I shall, therefore, have

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