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noble Flame,

I shun his Zenith, court his mild Decline;
Thus SOMERS1 once, and HALIFAX, were mine.
Oft, in the clear, still Mirror of Retreat,
I study'd SHREWSBURY 3, the wise and great:
Compar'd, and knew their gen'rous End the same;
How pleasing ATTERBURY's softer hour!
How shin'd the Soul, unconquer'd in the Tow'r!
While Roman Spirit charms, and Attic Wit:
ARGYLL, the State's whole Thunder born to wield,
And shake alike the Senate and the Field":
Or WYNDHAM 10, just to Freedom and the Throne,
The Master of our Passions, and his own?



Names, which I long have lov'd, nor lov'd in vain,


Rank'd with their Friends, not number'd with their Train;

And if yet higher the proud List should end 11,

Still let me say: No Follower, but a Friend.

Yet think not, Friendship only prompts my lays;

I follow Virtue; where she shines, I praise:


Point she to Priest or Elder, Whig or Tory,
Or round a Quaker's Beaver cast a Glory.
I never (to my sorrow I declare)

Din'd with the MAN of Ross 12, or my LORD MAY'R 13.

Somers] John Lord Somers died in 1716. He had been Lord Keeper in the reign of William III. who took from him the seals in 1700. The author had the honour of knowing him in 1706. A faithful, able, and incorrupt minister; who, to the qualities of a consummate statesman, added those of a man of Learning and Politeness. P.

2 Halifax] A peer, no less distinguished by his love of letters than his abilities in Parliament. He was disgraced in 1710, on the Change of Q. Anne's ministry. P.

3 Shrewsbury,] Charles Talbot, Duke of Shrewsbury, had been Secretary of state, Embassador in France, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Lord Chamberlain, and Lord Treasurer. He several times quitted his employments, and was often recalled. He died in 1718. P.

4 Carleton] Hen. Boyle, Lord Carleton (nephew of the famous Robert Boyle), who was Secretary of state under William III. and President of the Council under Q. Anne. P.

5 Stanhope] James Earl Stanhope. A Nobleman of equal courage, spirit, and learning. General in Spain, and Secretary of state. P. [The first Earl Stanhope, and the uncle of Chatham.]

6 [Francis Atterbury, bishop of Rochester, the friend of Pope and Swift and a consistent Jacobite, was arrested in 1722 on a charge of treasonable complicity in a plot for bringing back the Pretender, and sentenced to banishment. He joined the Pretender's Court, and for some time directed his affairs. He died in 1731.]

7 [William Pulteney (Earl of Bath in 1742),

the great opponent of Sir Robert Walpole; eloquent as an orator and witty as a pamphleteer.]

8 Chesterfield] Philip Earl of Chesterfield, commonly given by Writers of all Parties for an EXAMPLE to the Age he lives in, of superior talents, and public Virtue. Warburton. (Philip Dormer, Earl of Chesterfield, lord lieutenant of Ireland in 1744 and Secretary of State in 1747. His Irish administration is the highest point in his political career. As a writer he is famous for the sceptical Letters to his Son; of his wit some instances are given in Hayward's Essay on Lord C.]

9 [This Duke of Argyll, after defending Scotland against the Pretender's invasion of 1715. played a very changeful part in political life; and at his death in 1744 was one of the chiefs of the opposition against the Whigs. The two lines in the text are said to have been added in consequence of a threat of the Duke's that he would run any man through the body who should dare to use his name in an invective.]

10 Wyndham] Sir William Wyndham, Chancellor of the Exchequer under Queen Anne, made early a considerable figure; but since a much greater both by his ability and eloquence, joined with the utmost judgment and temper. P. [Bolingbroke's friend.]

11 And if yet higher, etc.] He was at this time honoured with the esteem and favour of his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales. Warburton.

12 [cf. Moral Essays, Ep. 111.]
13 [Sir John Barnard. Cf. ante, Bk 1. Ep. ii.

v. 85.]

Some, in their choice of Friends (nay, look not grave)
Have still a secret Bias to a Knave:

To find an honest man I beat about,

And love him, court him, praise him, in or out.

F. Then why so few commended?

P. Not so fierce!
Find you the Virtue, and I'll find the Verse.
But random Praise-the task can ne'er be done;
Each Mother asks it for her booby Son,
Each Widow asks it for the Best of Men,
For him she weeps, and him she weds again.
Praise cannot stoop, like Satire, to the ground;
The Number may be hang'd, but not be crown'd.
Enough for half the Greatest of these days,
To 'scape my Censure, not expect my Praise.
And they not rich? what more can they pretend?
Dare they to hope a Poet for their Friend?
What RICH'LIEU wanted, LOUIS scarce could gain1,
And what young AMMON wish'd, but wish'd in vain.
No Pow'r the Muse's Friendship can command;

No Pow'r, when Virtue claims it, can withstand:
To Cato, Virgil pay'd one honest line 2;

O let my Country's Friends illumine mine!

-What are you thinking? F. 'Faith the thought's no sin:

I think your Friends are out, and would be in.
P. If merely to come in, Sir, they go out,

The way they take is strangely round about.

F. They too may be corrupted, you'll allow?
P. I only call those Knaves who are so now.
Is that too little? Come then, I'll comply-
Spirit of Arnall3! aid me while I lie.
COBHAM'S a Coward, POLWARTH is a Slave,
And LYTTELTON a dark, designing Knave,
ST. JOHN has ever been a wealthy Fool-
But let me add, Sir ROBERT's mighty dull,
Has never made a Friend in private life,
And was, besides, a Tyrant to his Wife 5.









But pray, when others praise him, do I blame?

Call Verres, Wolsey, any odious name?
Why rail they then, if but a Wreath of mine,
Oh All-accomplish'd ST. JOHN! deck thy shrine?
What? shall each spur-gall'd Hackney of the day,
When Paxton gives him double Pots and Pay,
Or each new-pension'd Sycophant, pretend

Louis scarce could gain,] By this expression finely insinuating, that the great Boileau always falls below himself in those passages where he flatters his Master. Warburton.

2 To Cato, Virgil pay'd one honest line.] It is in the En. [VIII. 670] His dantem jura CatoWarburton.


3 Spirit of Arnall!] Look for him in his

place. Dunc. B. II. v. 315. P.


4 Polwarth.] The Hon. Hugh Hume, Son of Alexander Earl of Marchmont, Grandson of Patrick Earl of Marchmont, and distinguished, like them, in the cause of Liberty. P. [Afterwards one of Pope's Executors.]

5 Walpole's maxim was 'to go his own way, and let madam go hers.' Carruthers.

To break my Windows, if I treat a Friend?
Then wisely plead, to me they meant no hurt,
But 'twas my Guest at whom they threw the dirt?
Sure, if I spare the Minister, no rules

Of Honour bind me, not to maul his Tools;
Sure, if they cannot cut, it may be said

His Saws are toothless, and his Hatchet's Lead.
It anger'd TURENNE, once upon a day,

To see a Footman kick'd that took his pay:
But when he heard th' Affront the Fellow gave,
Knew one a Man of Honour, one a Knave;
The prudent Gen'ral turn'd it to a jest,



And begg'd, he'd take the pains to kick the rest:
Which not at present having time to do-

F. Hold, Sir! for God's sake where's th' Affront to you?
Against your worship when had S-k writ1?

Or P-ge pour'd forth the Torrent of his Wit 2?
Or grant the Bard whose distich all commend3
[In Pow'r a Servant, out of Pow'r a friend]
To W-le guilty of some venial sin;.
What's that to you who ne'er was out nor in?

The Priest whose Flattery be-dropt the Crown*,
How hurt he you? he only stain'd the Gown.
And how did, pray, the florid Youth offend 6,
Whose Speech you took, and gave it to a Friend?
P. 'Faith, it imports not much from whom it came;
Whoever borrow'd, could not be to blame,

Since the whole House did afterwards the same.

Let Courtly Wits to Wits afford supply,

As Hog to Hog in huts of Westphaly;

If one, thro' Nature's Bounty or his Lord's,
Has what the frugal, dirty soil affords,
From him the next receives it, thick or thin,
As pure a mess almost as it came in;
The blessed benefit, not there confin'd,

Drops to the third, who nuzzles close behind;

From tail to mouth, they feed and they carouse:
The last full fairly gives it to the House.
F. This filthy simile, this beastly line

Quite turns my stomach

P. So does Flatt'ry mine;

And all your courtly Civet-cats can vent,

1 [Dr Wm. Sherlock, Dean of St Paul's, and the bête noire of the Nonjurors in the reign of William III.]

[Judge Page. Warton.] [Sir Francis Page, who seems to have deserved his soubriquet of 'the hanging judge.' He died, according to Carruthers, in 1741.]

3 the Bard] A verse taken out of a poem to Sir R. W. P. By Lord Melcombe [Bubb Doddington]. Warton. Some years afterwards Lord M. addressed the same epistle to Lord

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The Priest, etc.] Spoken not of any par ticular priest, but of many priests. P. [Meaning Dr Alured Clarke, who wrote a panegyric on Queen Caroline.] Warton.

5 Lord Hervey. Alluding to his painting himself. Bowles.

6 And how did, etc.] This seems to allude to a complaint made v. 71 of the preceding Dialogue., P.

Perfume to you, to me is Excrement.

But hear me further-Japhet, 'tis agreed,


Writ not, and Chartres scarce could write or read,
In all the Courts of Pindus guiltless quite;

But Pens can forge, my Friend, that cannot write;
And must no Egg in Japhet's face be thrown,
Because the Deed he forg'd was not my own?
Must never Patriot then declaim at Gin2,
Unless, good man! he has been fairly in?
No zealous Pastor blame a failing Spouse,
Without a staring Reason on his brows?
And each Blasphemer quite escape the rod,
Because the insult's not on Man, but God?
Ask you what Provocation I have had?
The strong Antipathy of Good to Bad.
When Truth or Virtue an Affront endures,



Th' Affront is mine, my friend, and should be yours.
Mine as a Foe profess'd to false Pretence,


Who think a Coxcomb's Honour like his Sense;

Mine, as a Friend to ev'ry worthy mind;
And mine as Man, who feel for all mankind3.
F. You're strangely proud.

P. So proud, I am no Slave:
So impudent, I own myself no Knave:

So odd, my Country's Ruin makes me grave.
Yes, I am proud; I must be proud to see
Men not afraid of God, afraid of me1:

Safe from the Bar, the Pulpit, and the Throne,



Yet touch'd and sham'd by Ridicule alone.

O sacred weapon! left for Truth's defence,
Sole Dread of Folly, Vice, and Insolence!
To all but Heav'n-directed hands deny'd,

The Muse may give thee, but the Gods must guide:
Rev'rent I touch thee! but with honest zeal,
To rouse the Watchmen of the public Weal;
To Virtue's work provoke the tardy Hall,
And goad the Prelate slumb'ring in his Stall.
Ye tinsel Insects! whom a Court maintains,
That counts your Beauties only by your Stains,
Spin all your Cobwebs o'er the Eye of Day!
The Muse's wing shall brush you all away:
All his Grace preaches, all his Lordship sings,

All that makes Saints of Queens, and Gods of Kings.
All, all but Truth, drops dead-born from the Press,

Faphet-Chartres] See the Epistle to Lord Bathurst. P. 2 [The Gin Act, passed in 1731, was repealed in 1743.]

And mine as Man, who feel for all mankind.] From Terence: "Homo sum: humani nihil a me alienum puto." P.

4 [Then let him boast that honourable crime




Of making those who fear not God, fear HIM. Lord Hervey's Difference between Verbal and Practical Virtue, &c.]

5 Cobwebs] Weak and slight sophistry against virtue and honour. Thin colours over vice, as unable to hide the light of Truth, as cobwebs to shade the sun. P.

Like the last Gazette, or the last Address1.
When black Ambition stains a public Cause 2,
A Monarch's sword when mad Vain-glory draws,
Not Waller's Wreath can hide the Nation's Scar,
Nor Boileau turn the Feather to a Star3.
Not So, when diadem'd with rays divine,

Touch'd with the Flame that breaks from Virtue's Shrine,

And opes the Temple of Eternity.

Her Priestless Muse forbids the Good to die,

There, other Trophies deck the truly brave,
Than such as Anstis casts into the Grave;



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And may descend to Mordington from STAIR 5:
(Such as on HOUGH'S unsully'd Mitre shine,
Or beam, good DIGBY, from a heart like thine)


Let Envy howl, while Heav'n's whole Chorus sings,

And bark at Honour not conferr'd by Kings;
Let Flatt'ry sickening see the Incense rise,
Sweet to the World, and grateful to the Skies:
Truth guards the Poet, sanctifies the line,
And makes immortal, Verse as mean as mine.
Yes, the last Pen for Freedom let me draw,
When Truth stands trembling on the edge of Law;
Here, Last of Britons! let your Names be read;
Are none, none living? let me praise the Dead,
And for that Cause which made your Fathers shine,
Fall by the Votes of their degen'rate Line.



FR. Alas! alas! pray end what you began, And write next winter more Essays on Man".

After v. 227 in the MS.

'Where's now the Star that lighted Charles to rise?

-With that which follow'd Julius to the skies.
Angels, that watch'd the Royal Oak so well,
How chanc'd ye nod, when luckless Sorel fell?
Hence, lying miracles! reduc'd so low
As to the regal-touch, and papal-toe;
Hence haughty Edgar's title to the Main,
Britain's to France, and thine to India, Spain "'

2 When black Ambition, etc.] The cause of Cromwell in the civil war of England; (v. 229) of Louis XIV. in his conquest of the Low Countries. P. [Waller's Panegyric to my Lord Protector was written about 1654.]

3 Nor Boileau turn the Feather to a Star.] See his Ode on Namur; where (to use his own words) “il a fait un Astre de la Plume blanche que le Roy porte ordinairement à son Chapeau, et qui est en effet une espèce de Comète, fatale à nos ennemis." P.

4 Anstis] The chief Herald at Arms. It is the custom, at the funeral of great peers, toast into the grave the broken staves and ensigns of honour. P.

5 Stair] John Dalrymple, Earl of Stair, Knight of the Thistle; served in all the wars

under the Duke of Marlborough; and afterwards as Ambassador in France. P. [Bennet, who supplies the blanks in v. 239 by the names of Kent and Grafton has 'some notion that Lord Mordington kept a gaming-house.']

6 Hough and Digby] Dr John Hough, Bishop of Worcester, and the Lord Digby. The one an assertor of the Church of England in opposition to the false measures of King James II. The other as firmly attached to the cause of that King. Both acting out of principle, and equally men of honour and virtue. P.

7 Ver. 255 in the MS. Quit, quit these themes, and write Essays on Man.

This was the last poem of the kind printed by our author, with a resolution to publish no more; but to enter thus, in the most plain and solemn manner he could, a sort of PROTEST against that insuperable corruption and depravity of manners, which he had been so unhappy as to live to see. Could he have hoped to have amended any, he had continued those attacks; but bad men were grown so shameless and so powerful, that Ridicule was become as unsafe as it was ineffectual. The Poem raised him, as he knew it would, some enemies; but he had reason to be satisfied with the approbation of good men, and the testimony of his own conscience. P.

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