Imágenes de páginas





Be furious, envious, slothful, mad, or drunk,
Slave to a Wife, or Vassal to a Punk,
A Switz, a High-dutch, or a Low-dutch Bear;
All that we ask is but a patient Ear.

'Tis the first Virtue, Vices to abhor;
And the first Wisdom, to be Fool no more.
But to the world no bugbear is so great,
As want of figure, and a small Estate.
To either India see the Merchant fly,
Scar'd, at the spectre of pale Poverty!
See him, with pains of body, pangs of soul,
Burn through the Tropic, freeze beneath the Pole!
Wilt thou do nothing for a nobler end,
Nothing, to make Philosophy thy friend?
To stop thy foolish views, thy long desires,
And ease thy heart of all that it admires ?

Here, Wisdom calls : “Seek Virtue first, be bold !
“As Gold to Silver, Virtue is to Gold 1."
There, London's voice: “Get Money, Money still !
“And then let Virtue follow, if she will.”
This, this the saving doctrine, preach'd to all,
From low St. James's up to high St. Paula;
From him whose quills stand quiver'd at his ears,
To him who notches sticks at Westminster 4.

Barnard in spirit, sense, and truth abounds 5;
Pray then, what wants he?” Fourscore thousand pounds;
A Pension, or such Harness for a slave
As Bug now has, and Dorimant would have 6.
Barnard, thou art a Cit, with all thy worth;
But Bug and D *l, Their Honours, and so forth.

Yet ev'ry child another song will sing :
Virtue, brave boys! 'tis Virtue makes a King."
True, conscious Honour is to feel no sin,
He's arm'd without that's innocent within ;
Be this thy Screen, and this thy wall of Brass?;
Compar'd to this, a Minister's an Ass.

And say, to which shall our applause belong,
This new Court jargon, or the good old song?
The modern language of corrupted Peers,
Or what was spoke at Cressy and POITIERS?
Who counsels best? who whispers, “Be but great,
With Praise or Infamy leave that to fate;
“Get Place and Wealth, if possible, with_grace;.
“If not, by any means get Wealth and Place-

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

? [Warburton points that this line gives the 5 (Sir John Barnard, a quaker who joined the meaning neither of Pope nor of the Horatian: Church of England, member for the City and a Vilius est auro argentum, virtutibus aurum.'] great financial authority in Walpole's era. He

? [Referring to the opposite schools of theology was Lord Mayor in 1738. Cf. Epil. to Sat. Dial. in favour at court and in the metropolitan II. v. 99.] Chapter.]

(These allusions here and in v. 112 remain 3 [i.e. a scrivener with his pen in his ear.] unexplained.] 4 [i.e. Exchequer tallies. Warburton.]

7 Hic murus aheneus esto. Hor.







For what? to have a Box where Eunuchs sing?,
And foremost in the Circle eye a King.
Or he, who bids thee face with steady view
Proud Fortune, and look shallow Greatness thro':
And, while he bids thee, sets th' Example too?
If such a Doctrine, in St. James's air,
Should chance to make the well-drest Rabble stare;
If honest S * za take scandal at a Spark,
That less admires the Palace than the Park:
Faith I shall give the answer Reynard gave:
“I cannot like, dread Sir, your Royal Cave:
“Because I see, by all the tracks about,
“Full many a Beast goes in, but none come out 3.”
Adieu to Virtue, if you're once a Slave:
Send her to Court, you send her to her grave.

Well, if a King's a Lion, at the least
The People are a many-headed Beast:
Can they direct what measures to pursue,
Who know themselves so little what to do?
Alike in nothing but one Lust of Gold,
Just half the land would buy, and half be sold:
Their Country's wealth our mightier Misers drain“,
Or cross, to plunder Provinces, the Main;
The rest, some farm the Poor-box“, some the Pews;
Some keep Assemblies, and would keep the Stews;
Some with fat Bucks on childless dotards fawn;
Some win rich Widows by their Chine and Brawn;
While with the silent growth of ten per cent,
In dirt and darkness, hundreds stink content.

Of all these ways, if each pursues his own,
Satire be kind, and let the wretch alone:
But shew me one who has it in his pow'r
To act consistent with himself an hour.
Sir Job sail'd forth, the ev'ning bright and still,
No place on earth (he cry'd) like Greenwich hill!"
Up starts a Palace; lo, th' obedient base
Slopes at its foot, the woods its sides embrace,
The silver Thames reflects its marble face.
Now let some whimsy, or that Devil within
Which guides all those who know not what they mean,
But give the Knight (or give his Lady) spleen;
* Away, away! take all your scaffolds down,
“For Snug's the word: My dear! we'll live in Town.”

At am'rous Flavio is the stocking thrown?







· [The Italian Opera, with singers like Sene- Hor. [from Aesop's well-known fable.) sino and Farinelli, and Cuzzoni and Faustina, 4 Their Country's wealth our mightier Miwas at the zenith of its reputation in London in sers drain,] The undertakers for advancing the reign of George II.]

Loans to the Public on the funds. Warburton. 2 [Augustus Schutz, who held court offices 5 Alluding most probably to a Society calling near the person of George II. both before and itself the Charitable Corporation;' by which after his accession to the throne. Carruthers. ] thousands were cheated and ruined. Bowles. Quia me vestigia terrent

[V. Pope's note to Moral Essays, Ep. II. v. i Omnia te adversum spectantia, nulla retrorsum. 100.)






That very night he longs to lie alone.
The Fool, whose Wife elopes some thrice a quarter,
For matrimonial solace dies a martyr.
Did ever Proteus, Merlin, any witch,
Transform themselves so strangely as the Rich?
Well, but the Poor—The Poor have the same itch;
They change their weekly Barber, weekly News,
Prefer a new Japanner to their shoes,
Discharge their Garrets, move their beds, and run
(They know not whither) in a Chaise and one;
They hire their sculler, and when once aboard,
Grow sick, and damn the climate--like a Lord.

You laugh, half Beau, half Sloven if I stand,
My wig all powder, and all snuff my band;
You laugh, if coat and breeches strangely vary,
White gloves, and linen worthy Lady Mary!
But when no Prelate's Lawn with hair-shirt lin’d,
Is half so incoherent as my Mind,
When (each opinion with the next at strife,
One ebb and flow of follies all my life)
I plant, root up; I build, and then confound;
Turn round to square, and square again to round;
You never change one muscle of your face,
You think this Madness but a common case,
Nor once to Chanc'ry, nor to Halel apply;
Yet hang your lip, to see a Seam awry!
Careless how ill I with myself agree,
Kind to my dress, my figure, not to Me.
Is this my Guide, Philosopher, and Friend??
This, he who loves me, and who ought to mend?
Who ought to make me (what he can, or none,)
That Man divine whom Wisdom calls her own;
Great without Title, without Fortune bless'd;
Rich ev'n when plunder'd, honour'd while oppress'd;
Lov'd without youth, and follow'd without pow'r;
At home, tho' exild; free, tho' in the Tower;
In short, that reas’ning, high, immortal Thing,
Just less than Jove, and much above a King,
Nay, half in heav'n--except (what's mighty odd)
A Fit of Vapours clouds this Demi-God.




[ocr errors]



1 Dr Hale, of Lincoln's Inn Fields, a physician employed in cases of insanity. Carruthers.

2 [The titles by which Pope addresses Bolingbroke in the Essay on Man, Ep. IV. v. 390.]






[HORACE's Epistle, addressed to an otherwise unknown Minucius, is designed to prove that Virtue is the sole means of true happiness. The celebrated Nil Admirari which it preaches is the expression of the doctrine that the wonder or admiration which leads to desire destroys the peace of mind essential to a happy condition.]






TOT to admire, is all the Art I know,

“To make men happy, and to keep them so."
(Plain truth, dear MURRAY, needs no flow'rs of speech,
So take it in the very words of Creech 3.)

This Vault of Air, this congregated Ball,
Self-center'd Sun, and Stars that rise and fall,
There are, my Friend! whose philosophic eyes
Look thro', and trust the Ruler with his skies,
To him commit the hour, the day, the year,
And view this dreadful All without a fear.
Admire we then what Earth's low entrails hold,
Arabian shores, or Indian seas infold;
All the mad trade of Fools and Slaves for Gold?
Or Popularity? or Stars and Strings?
The Mob's applauses, or the gifts of Kings?
Say with what eyes we ought at Courts to gaze,
And pay the Great our homage of Amaze?

If weak the pleasure that from these can spring,
The fear to want them is as weak a thing:
Whether we dread, or whether we desire,
In either case, believe me, we admire;



1 [William Murray (a younger son of Lord He died in 1793, leaving behind him a lofty Stormont) began his public career by appearing reputation, tempered by the memory of the at the Bar of the House of Commons as one of humour for which he is praised by Pope. Murray the Counsel for the British American merchants had originally won the gratitude of the latter by aggrieved by the Spaniards in 1738, just after his of the Essay on Man from the attacks the date of Pope's Epistle. He became Solicitor- of Crousaz.) General in Lord Wilmington's Cabinet 1742; and 2 Nil admirari prope res est una, Numici, ultimately, rose to the Chief Justiceship and a Solaque, quae possit facere et servare beatum. barony, which was afterwards raised to an Earl

Hor. dom. It was he who gave judgınent in the case 3 Creech.) From whose Translation of Horace of Wilkes, who presided at the trial of Horne the two first lines are taken. P. (Richard Creech, Tooke, and who lived to have his house burnt whose celebrated translation of Lucretius first over his head by the ‘Protestant' rioters of 1780. appeared in 1682.]





Whether we joy or grieve, the same the curse,
Surpris'd at better, or surpris'd at worse.
Thus good or bad, to one extreme betray
Th' unbalanc'd Mind, and snatch the Man away;
For Virtue's self may too much zeal be had;
The worst of Madmen is a Saint run mad'.

Go then, and if you can, admire the state
Of beaming diamonds, and reflected plate;
Procure a Taste to double the surprise,
And gaze on Parian Charms with learned eyes :
Be struck with bright Brocade, or Tyrian Dye,
Our Birth-day Nobles' splendid Livery.
If not so pleas'd, at Council-board rejoice,
To see their Judgments hang upon thy Voice;
From morn to night, at Senate, Rolls, and Hall,
Plead much, read more, dine late, or not at all.
But wherefore all this labour, all this strife?
For Fame, for Riches, for a noble Wife?
Shall One whom Nature, Learning, Birth, conspir'd
To form, not to admire but be admir'd,
Sigh, while his Chloe blind to Wit and Worth
Weds the rich Dulness of some Son of earth?
Yet Time ennobles, or degrades each Line;
It brighten'd Craggs's", and may darken thine :
And what is Fame? the Meanest have their Day,
The Greatest can but blaze, and pass away.
Grac'd as thou art, with all the Pow'r of Words,
So known, so honour'd, at the House of Lords 3 :
Conspicuous Scene! another yet is nigh,
(More silent far) where Kings and Poets lie;
Where MURRAY (long enough his Country's pride)
Shall be no more than Tully, or than Hyde4!

Rack'd with Sciatics, martyr'd with the Stone,
Will any mortal let himself alone?
See Ward by batter'd Beaux invited_over,
And desp'rate Misery lays hold on Dover 5,
The case is easier in the Mind's disease;
There all Men may be cur’d, whene'er they please.
Would ye be blest? despise low Joys, low Gains;
Disdain whatever CORNBURY6 disdains;
Be virtuous, and be happy for your pains.

[ocr errors]





1 [Horace merely preaches the Mndèv ágav in · [The great Lord Clarendon.] his lines:

5.[Ward and Dover: celebrated for their Insani sapiens nomen ferat, aequus iniqui,

quack medicines. Roscoe.] Ultra quam satis est virtutem si petat ipsam.) 6 [Lord Cornbury, afterwards Lord Hyde,

2 Craggs's,). (See note to Epitaph iv.). His great-grandson of the first Lord Clarendon, a father had been in a low situation; but, by indus- young Tory nobleman of literary tastes, to whom try and ability, got to be Postmaster-General and Bolingbroke addressed his Letters on History. agent to the Duke of Marlborough. Warton. Of Lord C., says Mr Macknight, 'even Horace

3 [A piece of bathos, says Mr Hayward, thus Walpole spoke with enthusiasm.' He died in parodied by Cibber:

1753. Carruthers points out that he refused a Persuasion tips his tongue whene'er he talks, pension obtained for him by his brother-in-law, And he has chambers in the King's Bench Lord Essex.]


« AnteriorContinuar »