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Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 1.djvu/456

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414
HINTS FROM HORACE.

And smile at folly, if we can't at wit;
Yes, Friend! for thee I'll quit my cynic cell,
And bear Swift's motto, "Vive la bagatelle!"
Which charmed our days in each Ægean clime,
As oft at home, with revelry and rhyme.
Then may Euphrosyne, who sped the past,
Soothe thy Life's scenes, nor leave thee in the last;
But find in thine—like pagan Plato's bed,[1][2]
Some merry Manuscript of Mimes, when dead.350


Now to the Drama let us bend our eyes,
Where fettered by whig Walpole low she lies;[3]
Corruption foiled her, for she feared her glance;

Decorum left her for an Opera dance!
  1. My wayward Spirit weakly yields to gloom,
    But thine will waft thee lightly to the Tomb,
    So that in thine, like Pagan Plato's, bed
    They'll find some Manuscript of Mimes, when dead.—[MS. M.]

  2. Under Plato's pillow a volume of the Mimes of Sophron was found the day he died.—Vide Barthélémi, De Pauw, or Diogenes Laërtius, [Lib. iii. p. 168—Chouet 1595] if agreeable. De Pauw calls it a jest-book. Cumberland, in his Observer, terms it moral, like the sayings of Publius Syrus.
  3. [In 1737 the manager of Goodman's Fields Theatre having brought Sir Robert Walpole a farce called The Golden Rump, the minister detained the copy. He then made extracts of the most offensive passages, read them to the house, and brought in a bill to limit the number of playhouses and to subject all dramatic writings to the inspection of the Lord Chamberlain. Horace Walpole ascribed The Golden Rump to Fielding, and said that he had found an imperfect copy of the play among his father's papers. But this has been questioned. (See A Book of the Play, by Dutton Cook (1881), p. 27.)]