« EelmineJätka »
A TIRE S.
Written in MDCCXXXVIII.
OT twice a twelve-month you appear in Print,
After v. 2. in the MS.
You don't I hope, pretend to quit the trade,
VER. I. Not twice a twelve-month c.) These two lines are from Horace; and the only lines that are fo in the whole Poem; being meant to give a handle to that which follows in the character of an impertinent Censurer,
'Tis all from Horace; &c. VER. 2. the Court fee nothing in't.) He chofe this expreffion for the fake of its elegant and fatiric ambiguity. writings abound in them.
VER. 9. And taught his Romans, in much better metre: laugh at Fools who put their trust in Peter.,,) The general turn of the thought is from Boileau,
Avant lui, Juvénal avoit dit
Qu'on eft, affis à l'aife faux fermons de Cotin.
You grow correct, that once with Rapture writ,
Why now, this moment, don't I fee your steal?
But Horace, Sir, was delicate, was nice; Bubo obferves, he lafh no fort of Vice; Horace would fay, Sir Billy ferv'd the Crown, Blunt could do Bus'nefs, H-ggins knew the Town; In Sappho touch the Failings of the Sex, In rev'rend Bifhops note fome Small Neglects, And own, the Spaniard did a waggish thing,
P. Sir, what I write, fhould be correctly writ.
F. Correa! 'tis what no genius can admit.
But the irony in the first line, and the fatirical equivoque in the fecond, mark them for his own. His making the objector fay, that orace excelled him in writing verfe, is pleasant. And the ambiguity of putting their trust in Peter, infinuates that Horace and he had frequently laughed at that (pecific folly arifing from indolence, which ftill difpofes men to intruft their fpiritual and témporal concerns to the abfolute difpofal of any fanctified or unfanctified cheat, bearing the name of PETER.
VER. 12. Bubo obferves,) Some guilty perfon very fond of making fuch an obfervation.
VER. 14. H-ggins) Formerly Jaylor of the Fleet prifon, enriched himself by many exactions, for which he was tried and expelled.
Who cropt our Ears, and sent them to the King.
Could please at Court, and make AUGUSTUS fmile: 20
His Friend and Shame, and was a kind of Screen.
Go fee Sir ROBERT
And never laugh
VER. 18. Who cropt our Ears,) Said to be executed by the
VER. 22. Sereen,)
Omne vafer vitium ridenti Flaccus amico
Tangit, & admiffus circum præcordia ludit. Perf. P. Ibid. Screen.) A metaphor peculiarly appropriated to cerain perfor in power.
VER. 24. Patriots there are, &c.) This appellation was generally given to thofe in oppofition to the Court. Though fome of them (which our author hints at) had views too mean and interested to deferve that name. P.
VER. 36. The Great man) A phrafe, by common propriated to the first minifter.
VER. 29. Seen him I have, &c.) This and other ftrokes of commendation in the following poem, as well as his regard to him on all occafions, were in acknowledgment of a certain fervice the Minifter had done a Prieft at Mr. Pope's folicitation. Our Poet, when he was about feventeen, had a very ill fever in the country, which, it was feared, would end fatally. In this condition, he wrote to Southcot; a Priest of his acquaintance
Seen him I have, but in his happier hour
then in town, to take his laft leave of him. Southcot with great
VER. 31. Seen him, uncumber'd) These two verfes were originally in the poem, though omitted in all the firft edi
VER. 34. what he thinks mankind.) This requeft feems fomewhat abfurd: but not more fo than the principle it refers to. That great Minifter, it feems, thought all mankind' Rogues; and that every one had his penetration, and extenfive knowledge of the world. Others perhaps would think it an instance of a narrow understanding, that, from a few of Rochefaucault's maxims, and the corrupt practice of those he commonly converfed with, would
Come, come, at all I laugh he laughs, no doubt; 35
F. Why yes with Scripture ftill you may be free;
Whom all Lord Chamberlains allow the Stage:
thus boldly pronounce upon the character of his Species. It is certain, that a Keeper of Newgate, who fhould make the fame conclusion, would be heartily laughed at.
VER. 37. Why yes: with Scripture &c.) A fcribler, whose only chance for repuration is the falling in with the fashion, is apt to employ this infamous expedient for the prefervation of his fleeting existence. But a true Genius could not do a foolisher thing, or fooner defeat his own aim. The fage Boileau ufed to fay on this occafion, Une ouvrage fevere peut bien plaire aux ,,libertins; mais un ouvrage trop libre ne plaira jamais aux per,,fonnes feveres.,,
Ibid. why yes with Scripture ftill you may be free;) Thus the Man commonly called Mother Ofborn, who was in the Minifter's pay, and wrote Journals; for one Paper in behalf of Sir Robert, had frequently two against J. C.
VER. 39. A Joke on Jekyl) Sir Jofeph Jekyl, Master of the Rolls, a true Whig in his principles, and a man of the utmost probity. He fometimes voted against the Court, which drew upon him the laugh here defcribed of ONE who bestowed it equally upon Religion and Honesty. He died a few months after the publication of this poem.
VER. 43. Thefe nothing hurts;) i. e. offends.