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So Latin, yet so English all the while,
And let, a' God's name, ev'ry Fool and Knave
F. Why so? if Satire knows its Time and Place,
You still may lash the greatest-in Disgrace :
Would you know when? exactly when they fall.
Silent and soft, as Saints remove to Heav'n,
There, where no Passion, Pride, or Shame transport,
There, where no Father's, Brother's, Friend's disgrace
All Tears are wip'd for ever from all eyes7;
P. Good Heav'n forbid, that I should blast their glory,
Secretary of State's office, to write the government's newspaper, published by authority. Sir Richard Steele had once this post. Warburton.
6 Immortal S-k, and grave De-re!] A title given that Lord by King James II. He was of the Bedchamber to King William; he was so to King George I.; he was so to King George II. This Lord was very skilful in all the forms of the House, in which he discharged himself with great gravity. P. Pope alludes to Charles Hamilton, third son of the Duke of Hamilton, who was created Earl of Selkirk in 1667 Bowles. [Is Lord Delaware the other?] [Cf. Messiah, v. 46—a line altered at Steele's request.]
Who starves a Sister, or forswears a Debt1?
Ye Gods! shall Cibber's Son, without rebuke,
Swear like a Lord, or Rich3 out-whore a Duke?
A Fav'rite's Porter with his Master vie,
Be brib'd as often, and as often lie?
Shall Ward 5 draw Contracts with a Statesman's skill?
Or Japhet pocket, like his Grace, a Will?
Is it for Bond 7, or Peter, (paltry things)
To pay their Debts, or keep their Faith, like Kings?
If Blount despatch'd himself, he play'd the man,
Learn, from their Books, to hang himself and Wife 10?
This, this, my friend, I cannot, must not bear;
And hurls the Thunder of the Laws on Gin 12.
Ten Metropolitans in preaching well 13;
1 In some editions,
Who starves a Mother, Warburton.
I have been informed that these verses related to Lady M. W. Montagu and her sister the Countess of Mar. Bowles. [This charge against Lady M. W. M. rests on the scandal of Horace Walpole, in one of his letters to Sir H. Mann. She is there accused of having treated her sister hardly, while the latter was out of her senses, and of having frightened a Frenchman of the name of Ruzemonde (who had entrusted her with a large sum of money to buy stock for him) out of England by threats of betraying her intrigue with him, first to her husband, then to her brother-in-law. Lord Wharncliffe, in the Appendix to Vol. III. of his Letters and Works of Lady M. W M., states that the former accusation is utterly unfounded, and shews that the latter rests on a perversion of facts.]
2 Virtue, I grant you, is an empty boast;] A satirical ambiguity-either that those starve who have it, or that those who boast of it, have it not: and both together (he insinuates) make up the present state of modern virtue. War
6 [Cf. 16. v. 86.]
7 [Cf. Dunciad, III. v. 126.]
8 If Blount] Author of an impious and foolish book called the Oracles of Reason, who being in love with a near kinswoman of his, and rejected, gave himself a stab in the arm, as pretending to kill himself, of the consequence of which he really died. P.
9 Passeran!] Author of another book of the same stamp, called A philosophical discourse on death, being a defence of suicide He was a nobleman of Piedmont, banished from his country for his impieties, and lived in the utmost misery, yet feared to practise his own precepts; and at last died a penitent. Warburton.
10 But shall a Printer, &c.] A Fact that happened in London a few years past. The unhappy man left behind him a paper justifying his action by the reasonings of some of these authors. P.
11 This calls the Church to deprecate our Sin,] Alluding to the forms of prayer, composed in the times of public calamity; where the fault is generally laid upon the People. Warburton.
12 Gin.] A spirituous liquor, the exorbitant use of which had almost destroyed the lowest rank of the People till it was restrained by an act of Parliament in 1736. P.
13 An eloquent and persuasive preacher, who wrote an excellent Defence of Christianity against Tindal. Warton.
14 Mrs Drummond, celebrated in her time. Warton.
15 Llandaff] A poor Bishoprick in Wales, as poorly supplied. P. By Dr John Harris. Car ruthers.
Let humble ALLEN', with an awkward Shame,
Virtue may choose the high or low Degree,
And stoops from Angels to the Dregs of Earth:
Old England's Genius, rough with many a Scar,
Hear her black Trumpet thro' the Land proclaim,
The Wit of Cheats, the Courage of a Whore,
At Crimes that 'scape, or triumph o'er the Law;
Yet may this Verse (if such a Verse remain)
P. Not yet, my Friend! to-morrow 'faith it may;
[Ralph Allen, of Prior Park, an intimate friend and constant correspondent of Pope's, to whom he performed many kind services. He was afterwards a munificent patron to Fielding. Of his charitable habits there is evidence in Pope's Will.]
2 [Said by Warburton to refer to the Empress
Theodora, the wife of Justinian, though Gibbon is sceptical as to the intended allusion]
3 Paxton] Late solicitor to the Treasury. Warburton. [Cf. infra, v. 141. He was, according to Carruthers, deeply involved in the charges against Sir R. Walpole; and temporarily imprisoned.]
How should I fret to mangle ev'ry line,
Feign what I will, and paint it e'er so strong,
F. Yet none but you by Name the guilty lash;
Spare then the Person, and expose the Vice.
P. How, Sir? not damn the Sharper, but the Dice?
Come on then, Satire! gen'ral, unconfin'd,
Spread thy broad wing, and souse on all the kind.
Ye Tradesmen vile, in Army, Court, or Hall,
Ye Rev'rend Atheists- F. Scandal! name them! Who?
Who starv'd a Sister, who forswore a Debt 4,
I never nam'd; the Town's enquiring yet.
P. See, now I keep the Secret, and not you!
F. You do!
P. The brib'd Elector- F. There you stoop too low.
F. A Dean, Sir? no: his Fortune is not made;
P. If not the Tradesman who set up to-day,
1 [i. e. of next year.]
2 Feign what I will, etc.] The Poet has here introduced an oblique apology for himself with great art. You attack personal characters, say his enemies. No, replies he, so far from that, I paint from my invention; and to prevent a likeness I exaggerate every feature. But alas! the growth of vice is so monstrous quick, that it rises up to a resemblance before I can get from the press.
3 Ev'n Guthry] The Ordinary of Newgate, who publishes the memoirs of the Malefactors, and is often prevailed upon to be so tender of their reputation, as to set down no more than
the initials of their name. P.
4 Cf. ante, Dial. I. v. 112.] 5 Must great Offenders, etc.] The case is Those who escape public justice archly put, being the particular property of the Satirist. 6 Like royal Harts, etc.] Alluding to the Warburton. old Game Laws.
7 wretched Wild,] Jonathan Wild, a famous Thief, and Thief-Impeacher, who was at last caught in his own train and hanged. P. [Fielding's Jonathan Wild appeared in 1743, nearly a quarter of a century after the death of its hero. But highwaymen flourished till a considerably later date.]
Have you less pity for the needy Cheat,
Scarce hurts the Lawyer, but undoes the Scribe.
To tax Directors, who (thank God) have Plums;
May pinch ev'n there why lay it on a King.
P. Must Satire, then, nor rise nor fall?
F. What? always Peter? Peter thinks you mad;
P. Do I wrong the Man?
I sit and dream I see my CRAGGS anew!
Ev'n Peter trembles only for his ears,] Peter had, the year before this, narrowly escaped the Pillory for forgery: and got off with a severe rebuke only from the bench. P.
2 [V. ante, Dial. 1. v. 92.]
3 Scarb'row] Earl of, and Knight of the Garter, whose personal attachments to the king appeared from his steady adherence to the royal interest, after his resignation of his great employment of Master of the Horse; and whose known honour and virtue made him esteemed by all parties. P. [He committed suicide in a fit of melancholy in 1740; and was mourned by Lord Chesterfield as 'the best man he ever knew, and the dearest friend he ever had.']
4 Esher's peaceful Grove,] The house and gardens of Esher in Surrey, belonging to the Honourable Mr Pelham, Brother of the Duke of Newcastle. The author could not have given a more amiable idea of his Character than in comparing him to Mr Craggs. P.
5 [The architect and friend of Lord Burling
[Henry Pelham became First Lord of the treasury in 1743, through Walpole's influence; and died in 1754, the King exclaiming on his death: 'Now I shall have no more peace.']
7 [Thos. Secker (1693-1768), successively bishop of Bristol and of Oxford, and archbishop of Canterbury. His career is accounted for by his personal reputation for liberality and moderation.]
9 [Dr Rundel, bishop of Derry, esteemed equally by Pope and Swift. See their letters of Sept. 3, 1735 and foll.]
9 [Bishop of Gloucester. field.]
He ordained Whit
10 [Dr Berkeley, bishop of Cloyne (born 1684, died 1707), the illustrious author of Alciphron. A very different bishop (Atterbury) said of him that 'so much understanding, so much knowledge, so much innocence, and such humility, I did not think had been the portion of any but angels, till I saw this gentleman.']