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While you to measure merits, look in Stowe,
And estimating authors by the year,
Bestow a Garland only on a Bier.

Shakespear? (whom you and ev'ry Play-house bill
Style the divine, the matchless, what you will)
For gain, not glory, wing'd his roving flight,
And grew Immortal in his own despite.
Ben, old and poor, as little seem'd to heed
The Life to come, in ev'ry Poet's Creed.
Who now reads Cowley? if he pleases yet,
His Moral pleases, not his pointed wit ;
Forget his Epic, nay Pindaric Art 3;
But still I love the language of his heart".

“Yet surely, surely, these were famous men!
“What boy but hears the sayings of old Ben?
“In all debates where Critics bear a part,
“Not one but nods, and talks of Jonson's Art,
Of Shakespear's Nature, and of Cowley's Wit 8 ;
“How Beaumont's judgment check'd what Fletcher writ;
“How Shadwell? hasty, Wycherley8 was slowo;
“But for the Passions, Southern 10 sure and Rowe 11.
These, only these, support the crowded stage,
From eldest Heywood 19 down to Cibber's age.”

All this may be ; the People's Voice is odd,
It is, and it is not, the voice of God.
To Gammer Gurton 13 if it give the bays,
And yet deny the Careless Husband? praise,




? (Stowe's Annals of England appear to have tenders to Criticism ; in some things right, in been first published in 1580.]

others, wrong; as he tells us in his answer, Shakespear] Shakespear and Ben Jonson Interdum vulgus rectum videt: est ubi peccat. P. may truly be said not much to have thought of -hasty Shadwell and slow Wycherley, is a this Immortality, the one in many pieces composed line of Wilmot, Earl of Rochester: the sense of in haste for the Stage; the other in his latter which seems to have been generally mistaken. works in general

, which Dryden call'd his digives to each his epithet, not to design the P.

difference of , 3 Pindaric Art;] which has much more merit their productions. Warburton. than his Epic, but very unlike the Character, as 10 [Thomas Southern (1660-1746), the author well as Numbers of Pindar. P.

of the tragedy of Oroonoko.] 4 [Compare p. 180.]

11 [Rowe. See Epitaph v.] 5 In all debates, etc.) The Poet has here put 12 [Of John Heywood's 'Interludes,' which the bald cant of women and boys into extreme form à transition from the moral-plays to the fine verse. This is in strict imitation of his regular drama, the earliest was probably written Original, where the same impertinent and gra- in the first quarter of the 16th century.] tuitous criticism is admirably ridiculed.

13 Gammer Gurton] A piece of very low 6 [This common assumption should in its turn humour, one of the first printed Plays in English, be checked by the consideration that out of 52 and therefore much valued by some Antiquaries. plays known as Beaumont and Fletcher's the P. (Believed, on insufficient evidence, to have former can only be proved to have had part in been written by Bishop Still. The oldest extant 17 Beaumont, though ten years younger than edition of this play is dated 1575; Udall's Ralph Fletcher, published plays before the latter.] Roister Doister (of which a copy was first dis

? [Thomas Shadwell, poet-laureate, the origi- covered in 1818) was certainly printed nine years nal of Dryden's Mac Flecknoe.]

previously; and, being founded on Plautus, is 8 (Wycherley, see note to p. 20.]

infinitely superior to Gammer Gurton's Needle, 9 Shadwell hasty, Wycherley was slow.] although the latter has a few touches of considerNothing was less true than this particular: But able humour and contains an excellent drinkingthe whole paragraph has a mixture of Irony, and song.) must not altogether be taken for Horace's own (Cibber's Careless Husband, in which the Judgment, only the common Chat of the pre- character of Lord Foppington is taken from 13 [This famous actor was an early friend of 6 An indirect satire on Lord Hervey, in allu. Pope's, a copy by whose hand of the actor's sion to certain lines in his Epistle to a D.D. portrait by Kneller still exists at Lord Mansfield's from a nobleman at Hampton Court, Carru- seat at Caen Wood, Hampstead. An account of thers.

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Or say our Fathers never broke a rule ;
Why then, I say, the Public is fool.
But let them own, that greater Faults than we
They had, and greater Virtues, I'll agree.
Spenser himself affects the Obsolete”,
And Sidney's verse halts ill on Roman feet 3 :
Milton's strong pinion now not Heav'n can bound,
Now Serpent-like, in prose he sweeps the ground,
In Quibbles Angel and Archangel join,
And God the Father turns a School-divine 4.
Not that I'd lop the Beauties from his book,
Like slashing Bentley with his desp'rate hook",
Or damn all Shakespear, like th' affected Fool
At court, who hates whate'er he read at school.

But for the Wits of either Charles's days?,
The Mob of Gentlemen who wrote with Ease ;
Sprats, Carewo, Sedley 10, and a hundred more,
(Like twinkling stars the Miscellanies o'er)
One Simile, that solitary shines
In the dry desert of a thousand lines,
Or lengthen'd Thought that gleams through many a page,
Has sanctify'd whole poems for an age.
I lose my patience, and I own it too,
When works are censur'd, not as bad but new;
While if our Elders break all reason's laws,
These fools demand not pardon, but Applause 11,

On Avon's bank, where Aow'rs eternal blow,
If I but ask, if any weed can grow ;
One Tragic sentence if I dare deride
Which Betterton's 18 grave action dignify'd,
Or well-mouth'd Booth 13 with emphasis proclaims,



I 20

in 1725.


Vanbrugh, was first acted in 1704; and kept the companion of the Earl of Rochester.] stage throughout the century. Lady Betty Mo- [Pope's edition of Shakspere was published dish is a character in this comedy.]

It was a failure as a speculation; and ? [Compare p. 176.]

though it is not without merits, both in the 3 [In Bk. 1. of Sir Philip. Sidney's Arcadia preface (of which the general spirit is upon the are specimens of his English hexameters and whole creditable to Pope's appreciation of Shakpentameters as well as sapphics; in Bk. 11. there spere's genius) and in the emendations (frequently is also an experiment in the metre of Anacreon, very clever), yet it deservedly exposed Pope to by no means unpleasant in its effect.]

the cavils of Theobald. See Introduction to 4 (Paradise Lost, Bk, III.)

Dunciad.] 5 [Cf. Epistle to Arbuthnot, v. 168.]

his famous Benefit in April 7th, 5709, will be found 7 [Cf. Essay on Criticism, vv. 715 f.)

in the Tatler. His 'grave action was probably $(Thomas Sprat, Bishop of Rochester; who due in part to his largę habit of body; yet he read James II.'s Declaration in Westminster played an unusually wide range of characters, Abbey and was arrested on a false charge of and according to Cibber was particularly great treason under William III. He was one of the in Othello, Hamlet, Hotspur, Macbeth and earliest members of the Royal Society; and a Brutus. See Leigh Hunt's The Town.) popular writer of both prose and verse.)

13 (Barton Booth (who died in 1733) was an 9 [Thomas Carew, a courtier of Charles II. actor particularly celebrated for the excellence and a charming lyrical poet, died in 1639. ]

of his articulation. He was the original Cato in 10 (Sir Charles Sedley, the favourite poet of Addison's tragedy. Cf. v. 337.) King Charles II., died in 1701, He was a boon





(Tho' but, perhaps, à muster-roll of Names ?)
How will our Fathers rise up in a rage,
And swear, all shame is lost in George's Age!
You'd think no Fools disgrac'd the former reign,
Did not some grave Examples yet remain,
Who scorn a Lad should teach his father skill,
And, having once been wrong, will be so still.
He," who to seem more deep than you I,
Extols old Bards, or Merlin's Prophecy,
Mistake him not; he envies, not admires,
And to debase the Sons, exalts the Sires.
Had ancient times conspir'd to disallow
What then was new, what had been ancient now?
Or what remain'd, so worthy to be read
By learned Critics, of the mighty Dead?

In Days of Ease, when now the weary Sword
Was sheath'd, and Luxury with Charles restor'd;
In ev'ry taste of foreign Courts improv'd,
All, by the King's Example, liv'd and lov'd 2.”
Then Peers grew proud in Horsemanship, t excel3,
Newmarket's Glory rose, as Britain's felĩ4 ;
The Soldier breath'd the Gallantries of France,
And ev'ry flow'ry Courtier writ Romance.
Then Marble, soften'd into life, grew warm5:
And yielding Metal flow'd to human form:
Lely on animated Canvas stole
The sleepy Eye, that spoke the melting soul6.
No wonder then, when all was Love and sport,
The willing Muses were debauch'd at Court:
On each enervate string they taught the note7
To pant, or tremble thro' an Eunuch's throat.

But Britain, changeful as a Child at play,
Now calls in Princes, and now turns away.
Now Whig, now Tory, what we lov'd we hate;
Now all for Pleasure, now for Church and State;
Now for Prerogative, and now for Laws;
Effects unhappy from a Noble Cause.

Time was, a sober Englishman would knock
His servants up, and rise by five o'clock,






\ A muster-roll of Names] An absurd cus- favourite resort of Charles II., whose palace tom of several Actors, to pronounce with emphasis there still stands.] the mere Proper Names of Greeks or Romans, 5 [The two most eminent sculptors of the Rewhich (as they call it) fill the mouth of the storation period were Cibber, a Dane, and GibPlayer. P. [Like the Bombomachides Cluto- bons, a Dutchman.) mestoridysarchides' of Plautus.]

[Sir Peter Lely, by birth a Westphalian, 2 A verse of the Lord Lansdown. P.

died in 1680, after accumulating a large fortune. 3 in Horsemanship t'excel, And evry

flow'ry Warton compares for the delightful expression, Courtier writ Romance.] The Duke of New the sleepy eye,' an epigram of Antipater, 'which castle's book of Horsemanship: the Romance of it is not probable Pope could have seen.') Parthenissa, by the Earl of Orrery, and most of 7 On each enervate string, etc.] The Siege the French Romances translated by Persons of of Rhodes by Sir William Davenant, the first Quality. P.

Opera sung in England. P. [It was brought 4 [Newmarket, which became popular with out in 1656.] the rise of horse-racing under James I., was a

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Instruct his family in ev'ry rule,
And send his Wife to church, his Son to school.
To 'worship, like his Fathers, was his care;
To teach their frugal Virtues to his Heir;
To prove, that Luxury could never hold;
And place, on good Security, his Gold.
Now times are chang'd, and one Poetic Itch
Has seiz'd the Court and City, poor and rich:
Sons, Sires, and Grandsires, all will wear the bays,
Our Wives read Milton, and our Daughters Plays,
To Theatres, and to Rehearsals throng,
And all our Grace at table is a Song.
I, who só oft renounce the Muses, lie,
Not —'s self e'er tells more Fibs than I;
When sick of Muse, our follies we deplore,
And promise our best Friends to rhyme no more;
We wake next morning in a raging fit,
And call for pen and ink to show our Wit.

He serv'd a 'Prenticeship, who sets up shop;
Ward try'd on Puppies, and the Poor, his Drop ?;
Ev'n Radcliff's Doctors travel first to France,
Nor dare to practise till they've learn'd to dance?
Who builds a Bridge that never drove a pile ?
(Should Ripley: venture, all the world would smile)
But those who cannot write, and those who can,
All rhyme, and scrawl, and scribble, to a man.

Yet, Sir, reflect, the mischief is not great;
These Madmen never hurt the Church or State:
Sometimes the Folly benefits Mankind;
And rarely Av'rice taints the tuneful mind,
Allow him but his plaything of a Pen,
He ne'er rebels, or plots, like other men:
Flight of Cashiers“, or Mobs, he'll never mind;
And knows no losses while the Muse is kind.
To cheat a Friend, or Ward, he leaves to Peters;
The good man heaps up nothing but mere metre,
Enjoys his Garden and his book in quiet;
And then—a perfect Hermit in his diet.

Of little use the Man you may suppose,
Who says in verse what others say in prose;
Yet let me show, a Poet's of some weight,
And (tho' no Soldier) useful to the State 6.





? Ward.] A famous Empiric, whose Pill and of healing. The native commodity of France is Drop had several surprizing effects, and were DANCING. SCRIBL. one of the principal subjects of writing and con- 3 [Cf. Pope's note to Moral Essays, Ep. 1v. versation at this time. P.

V. 18.] 3 Evn Radcliff's Doctors travel first to 4 (Bowles cites Coxe's Memoirs of Sir R. France, Nor dare to practise till they've learn'd Walpole for an account of the flight of Knight, to dance.) By no means an insinuation as if the cashier of the South Sea Company] these travelling Doctors had misspent their time. 5 [Conjectured by Bowles to refer to the Radcliff had sent them on a medicinal mission, cheating of Mr George Pitt, in the management to examine the produce of each Country, and see of his estates, by Peter Walter.) in what it might be made subservient to the art 6 And (tho' no Soldier)] Horace had not




What will a Child learn sooner than a Song?
What better teach a Foreigner the tongue?
What's long or short, each accent where to place,
And speak in public with some sort of grace?
I scarce can think him such a worthless thing,
Unless he praise 'some Monster of a King;
Or Virtue, or Religion turn to sport,
To please a lewd or unbelieving Court.
Unhappy Dryden !- In all Charles's days,
Roscommon only boasts unspotted bays;
And in our own (excuse some Courtly stainsa)
No whiter page than Addison remains.
He, from the taste obscene reclaims our youth,
And sets the Passions on the side of Truth,
Forms the soft bosom with the gentlest art,
And pours each human Virtue in the heart.
Let Ireland tell, how Wit upheld her cause,
Her Trade supported, and supplied her Laws;
And leave on Swift this grateful verse engrav'd :
'The Rights a Court attack'd, a Poet say'd 3.7
Behold the hand that wrought a Nation's cure,
Stretch'd to relieve the Idiot and the Poor 4,
Proud Vice to brand, or injur'd Worth adorn,
And stretch the Ray to Ages yet unborn.
Not but there are, who merit other palms;
Hopkins and Sternhold glad the heart with Psalms5:
The Boys and Girls whom charity maintains,
Implore your help in these pathetic strains :
How could Devotion touch the country pews,
Unless the Gods bestow'd a proper Muse?
Verse cheers their leisure, Verse assists their work,





acquitted himself much to his credit in this capa- 1720; the Drapier's Letters (written to oppose city (non bene relicta parmula) in the battle of the patent of coining copper halfpence to be curPhilippi. It is manifest he alludes to himself, in rent in Ireland, granted to William Wood through this whole account of a Poet's character; but the influence of the Duchess of Kendal, favourite with an intermixture of irony: Vivit siliquis et of George I.) appeared in 1723. Swift thus writes pane secundo has a relation to his Epicurism; to Pope (May 31st, 1737), after reading the above Os tenerum pueri, is ridicule: The nobler office tribute : Your admirers here, I mean every man of a Poet follows, Torquet ab obscenisMox of taste, affect to be certain that the profession etiam pectus Recte facta refert, etc. which the of friendship to me will not suffer you to be Imitator has apply'd where he thinks it more thought a flatterer, My happiness is that you due than to himself, He hopes to be pardon'd, are too far engaged, and in spite of you


ages if, as he is sincerely inclined to praise what de- to come will celebrate me, and know you were a serves to be praised, he arraigns what deserves friend who loved and esteemed me, although I to be arraigned, in the 210, 211, and 212th died the object of Court and Party hatred.'] Verses. P.

4 the Idiot and the Poor.) A foundation for ? [V. Essay on Criticism, v. 726.]

the maintenance of Idiots, and a Fund for assist? (Warburton explains this as specially refer- ing the Poor, by lending small sums of money on ring to the opening lines of Addison's poem To demand. P. H. R. H. the Princess of Wales, in which A. 5 [The time-honoured version of the Psalms claims merie for his tragedy of Cato, as purposely by Thomas Sternhold, a courtier of King Edward written to oppose the schemes of a faction, after VI., and John Hopkins, a Suffolk schoolmaster, he had previously assured Pope that the play in which they were assisted by others, was first was composed with no party views.].

published as a complete collection in 1562. The 3 [The first of Swift's pamphlets in defence of germ of this amusing passage will be found in the independence of Irish trade was published in Pope's letter to Swift of Oct. 15, 1725.]


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