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Verse prays for Peace, or sings down Pope and Turk.
Our rural Ancestors, with little blest,
We conquer'd France, but felt our Captive's charms;
[There is no direct historical allusion in this; the English dramatists of the Restoration than the law of libel was still very indefinite even in Corneille; although Hallam is doubtless right in Pope's times.)
agreeing with Sir Walter Scott that the unnatural Waller was smooth;] Mr. Waller, about dialogue which prevailed in the English tragedies this time with the Earl of Dorset, Mr. Godolphin, of that age was derived from baser models than and others, translated the Pompey of Corneille; these, viz. the French romances referred to ante, and the more correct French Poets began to be v. 145. The pathetic Otway (1651-1685) was in reputation. P.
indeed among the translators and adapters of 3 [Cf. Essay on Criticism, vv. 358—384.] Racine; but his Venice Preserved and Orpkas,
4 [Racine, the younger of the two great French on which his fame rests, were, as dramatic pieces tragedians, was more frequently translated by original.]
But Otway fail'd to polish or refine,
O you! whom Vanity's light bark conveys
There still remains, to mortify a Wit,
' [I remember the players often mentioned it dies, though offensive on the ground mentioned as an honour to S., that in his writings, what- by Pope, are perhaps healthier in feeling than soever he penned, he never blotted out a line. those of any of his contemporaries.] My answer hath been, "Would he had blotted 6 Astræa] A Name taken by Mrs. Behn, out a thousand.' Ben Jonson's Discoveries.) Authoress of several obscene Plays, etc. P.
? Eun copious Dryden] copious aggravated [Mrs Aphra Behn owed her popularity not only the fault. For when a writer has great stores, to her sins, but to a wonderful knack of contrivhe is inexcusable not to discharge the easy task ing ingenious stage-situations which must arouse of choosing from the best. Warburton.
the envy of modern sensational playwrights. 3 [Another fault which often may befal,
Astræa is the title of a French romance by Is, when the wit of some great poet shall Honoré d'Urfé, published in 1610.1 So overflow, that is, be none at all
7 [Poor Pinky is the popular low comedian, That ev'n his fools speak sense, as if possessed, William Pinkethman, of whose face some writers, And each by inspiration breaks his jest.' according to Cibber, made a livelihood; and con
a Sheffield, Duke of Buckinghamshire, Essay on cerning whom the Tatler informs posterity, Poetry.)
among other things, that 'he devours a cold * (George Farquhar (1678–1707), the author chicken with great applause', (in the character of of Sir Harry Wildair and the Beaux' Stra- Harlequin). See Geneste's History of the Stage, tagem.)
III. pp. 136—9.] 5 (John Vanbrugh (1672–1726), author of the 8 [i.e. the black-pudding.) Relapse, and architect of Blenheim. His come
From heads to ears, and now from ears to eyes .)
Yet lest you think I rally more than teach,
But not this part of the Poetic state
· From heads to ears, and now from ears to rowed from the Tower, to dress the Champion. eyes.] From Plays to Operas, and from Operas P. [This spectacle was brought out in 1727, in to Pantomimes. Warburton. (Pantomimes were consequence of the coronation of George II., and brought into the full blaze of public favour by ran for 40 nights.] Rich, manager of Covent Garden, in 1723; and 3 Orcas' stormy steep.) The farthest Northern Çibber, at Drury Lane, was obliged to produce Promontory of Scotland, opposite to the Orcades. the same kind of entertainment in self-defence.) P.
2 Old Edward's Armour beams on Cibber's 4 [The famous tragic actor whose popularity breast.] The Coronation of Henry VIII. and was at its height at the time of Garrick's first Queen Anne Boleyn, in which the Playhouses appearance. See the celebrated character of him vied with each other to represent all the pomp in Churchill's Rosciad. He died in 1766.) of a Coronation. In this noble contention, the 5 [Mrs Oldfield, who died in 1730; the most Armour of one of the Kings of England was bor- popular comic actress of her age.]
How shall we fill a Library with Wit,
My Liege! why Writers little claim your thought,
Yet think, great Sir! (so many Virtues shown)
Charles, to late times to be transmitted fair,
Not with such majesty, such bold relief,
La Library) Munus Apolline dignum. The Great George's acts let tuneful Cibber sing; Palatine Library then building by Augustus. P. For nature formed the poet for the king.'
3 Merlin's Cave] A Building in the Royal 5 [The Italian sculptor, Bernini, whose roccoco Gardens of Richmond, where is a small, but works fill St Peter's at Rome.] choice Collection of Books. P.
6 [King William III.] 3 [The office of Historiographer Royal was ? (Francis Quarles, the author of the Emblems, frequently united to that of Poet Laureate.] died in 1644. Pope has done this ingenious
4 Warton quotes Johnson's epigram on the member of the religious section of the Fantastic laureateship of Colley Cibber:
school great injustice in ranking him on a level * Augustus still survives in Maro's strain, with Blackmore.] And Spenser's verse prolongs Eliza's reign;
Your Country's Peace, how oft, how dearly bought?!
THE SECOND EPISTLE
THE SECOND BOOK OF HORACE.
Ludentis speciem dabit, et torquebitur. HOR. [v. 124.] [Horace's Epistle is addressed to Julius Florus, an officer attached to the person of Tiberius in a military expedition abroad. Pope's Epistle, which like the Horatian treats the subject chiefly from a personal point of view, has much biographical value.]
You love a Verse, take such as I can send.
1 [Ironical allusions to the Pacific policy of [Elkanah Şettle, the city-poet and the Doeg George II.'s minister Walpole.]
of Absalom and Achitophel.] From an anonymous poem,
*The Celebrated 6 Colonel Cotterell, of Rousham near Oxford, Beauties,' published in Tonson's Miscellany in the descendant of Sir Charles Cotterell, who, at 170g Carruthers.
the desire of Charles I., translated Davila into (Laurence Eusden,, poet laureate under English.. Warton. Charles II. Cf, Dunciad, 1. v. 104.)
1 This Lad, Sir, is of Blois:] A Town in 4 (Ambrose Philips, among other offences, Beauce, where the French tongue is spoken in perpetrated an Ode in honour of Walpole.] great purity. Warburton.