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A Property, that's yours on which you live.
Yet these are Wights, who fondly call their own
Estates have wings, and hang in Fortune's pow'r
Loose on the point of ev'ry wav'ring hour,
Ready, by force, or of your own accord,
By sale, at least by death, to change their lord.
Man? and for ever? wretch! what wouldst thou have?
Heir urges heir, like wave impelling wave.
All vast possessions (just the same the case
Whether you call them Villa, Park, or Chase)
Enclose whole downs in walls, 'tis all a joke!
And trees, and stones, and farms, and farmer fall.
Second, resigned office in 1730, and patriotically refrained from returning to public life, where he might have helped his political opponents the Tories to annoy his former rival Walpole. It was owing to him, says Lord Stanhope, that England, and more especially Norfolk, owes the introduction of the turnip from Germany.]
6 [Sir Thomas Grosvenor succeeded to his brother Richard in 1733. They were the ancestors of the present Marquess of Westminster.]
Why one like Bu-1 with pay and scorn content,
My heir may sigh, and think it want of grace
I, who at some times spend, at others spare,
Glad, like a Boy, to snatch the first good day,
And pleas'd, if sordid want be far away.
"But why all this of Av'rice? I have none."
1 [Bubb Doddington, the Bubo of the Ivth Ep. of the Moral Essays.]
2fly, like Oglethorpe,] Employed in settling the Colony of Georgia. P.
[James Edward Oglethorpe, born in 1698, served under Prince Eugene against the Turks, settled the colony of Georgia, held a command during the year 1745, and in consequence of a difficulty which then occurred with the Duke of Cumberland (though Oglethorpe was acquitted by a courtmartial) remained unemployed ever afterwards.
Mr Croker observes that to his supposed Jacobite leanings may be attributed much of the animosity displayed by the Whigs towards him, as well as of the friendliness subsisting between him and Pope and Johnson.]
3 But sure no statute] Alluding to the statutes made in England and Ireland, to regulate the Succession of Papists, etc. Warburton. [A statute of William III. which was happily so interpreted by the Judges, as to produce much less effect than its authors had intended.]
Has life no sourness, drawn so near its end?
Or will you think, my friend, your business done,
You've play'd, and lov'd, and eat, and drank your fill:
Walk sober off; before a sprightlier age
Comes titt'ring on, and shoves you from the stage:
[THESE Satires, as Pope informs us in the Advertisement prefixed to the Satires and Epistles of Horace Imitated (ante, p. 282), were 'versified' by him at the request of Lords Oxford and Shrewsbury, and therefore in the main belong to an earlier period of his career than the Satires among which they were afterwards inserted. He called his labour 'versifying,' says Warburton, because indeed Donne's lines 'have nothing more of numbers than their being composed of a certain quantity of syllables'-a description exaggerated, but not untrue.
John Donne was born in 1578, and died in 1631; but though he wrote most of his poetry before the end of the 16th century, none of it was published till late in the reign of James I. The story of his life may be summed up as that of a popular preacher under pecuniary difficulties, which only towards its close terminated in the assurance of a competency (he died as Dean of St Paul's). Donne has been, in deference to Pope's classification of poets, regarded as the father of the metaphysical, or fantastic school of English poets, which reached its height in the reign of Charles I. His poetry divides itself into two distinctly marked divisions-profane and religious. The former must be in the main regarded as consisting of purely intellectual exercitations; nor should the man be rashly confounded with the writer, or the Ovidian looseness of morals which he affects be supposed to have characterised his life. His Songs are full of the conceits criticised by Dr Johnson; some of his Epigrams are very good; his Elegies are most offensively indecent; and the Progress of the Soul is a disgusting burlesque on the Pythagorean doctrine of
metempsychosis. The Funeral Elegies already show the transition to sacred poetry; and it is on these and the Holy Sonnets that rests Donne's claim to be called a metaphysical poet.
Yet he states that he affected the metaphysics in his Satires and amorous verses as well. The former were first published, with the rest of his works, in 1633. In Dryden's opinion, quoted by Chalmers, the Satires of Donne, even if translated into numbers, would yet be found wanting in dignity of expression. It has however been doubted whether the irregularity of Donne's versification in the Satires was wholly undesigned. His lyrical poetry is fluent and easy; and the Satires of Hall, which preceded those of Donne by several years, show a comparative mastery over the heroic couplet which could surely have been compassed by the later Satirist. Pope has treated Donne's text with absolute freedom. Donne's Third Satire, in Warburton's opinion the noblest work not only of this but perhaps of any satiric poet,' was 'versified' by Parnell.]
ES; thank my stars! as early as I knew
Yet here; as ev'n in Hell, there must be still
That all beside, one pities, not abhors;
I grant that Poetry's a crying sin;
Catch'd like the Plague, or Love, the Lord knows how,
As who knows Sappho, smiles at other whores.
It brought (no doubt) th' Excise and Army1 in:
But that the cure is starving, all allow.
Yet like the Papist's, is the Poet's state,
Poor and disarm'd, and hardly worth your hate!
Here a lean Bard, whose wit could never give
One sings the Fair; but songs no longer move;
These write to Lords, some mean reward to get,
Wretched indeed! but far more wretched yet
[i.e. the increased excise duties (which it was apprehended would become a general excise), and an army which must prove a standing one. Cf. Moral Essays, Ep. III. v. 119, and Im.
of Hor. Bk. 11. Sat. ii. v. 160. The expressions are substituted for 'dearth and Spaniards' in Donne.]
2 [Cf. Im. of Hor. Bk. 11. Ep. ii. v. 68.]
'Tis chang'd, no doubt, from what it was before;
I pass o'er all those Confessors and Martyrs,
Act sins which Prisca's Confessor3 scarce hears.
Ev'n those I pardon, for whose sinful sake
In what Commandment's large contents they dwell.
Time, that at last matures a clap to pox,
Whom crimes gave wealth, and wealth gave Impudence:
And brings all natural events to pass,
Whose gentle progress makes a calf an ox,
Hath made him an Attorney of an Ass.
More pert, more proud, more positive than he.
More rough than forty 'Germans when they scold*.
Paltry and proud, as drabs in Drury-lane.
If PETER deigns to help you to your own:
Grave, as when pris'ners shake the head and swear
4 [Donne's fine touch of satire against a historic wrong
'Than when winds in our ruin'd abbeys roar,' is exchanged by Pope for a cheap sneer against a then unpopular nationality.]