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You grow correct, that once with Rapture writ,
5 Why now, this moment, don't I see you steal ? 'Tis all from Horace; Horace long before ye Said, “Tories call’d him Whig, and Whigs a Tory;" And taught his Romans, in much better metre, « To laugh at Fools who put their trust in Peter.”
But Horace, Sir, was delicate, was nice; II
NOTES. Ver. 9. And taught his Romans, in much better metre, “To laugh at Fools who put their trust in Peter.”] The general turn of the thought is from Boileau,
Avant lui, Juvénal avoit dit en Latin,
Qu'on est affis à l'aise aux sermons de Cotin. But the irony in the first line, and the fatirical equivoque in the second, mark them for his own. His making the objector say, that Horace excelled him in writing verse, is pleafant. And the ambiguity of putting their trust in Peter, infinuates that Horace and he had frequently laughed at that specific folly, arising from indolence, which still disposes men to intrust their spiritual and temporal concerns to the absolute disposal of any fanctified or unfanctified cheat, bearing the name of PETER.
VER. 12. Bube observes,] Some guilty person very fond of making such an observation.
In Sacco zi iz na
NOTES. VER. 14. Huggins) Formerly Jaylor of the Fleet prison, enriched himself by many exactions, for which he was tried and expelled.
P. Ver. 18. W bo cropt our Ears,] Said to be executed by the Captain of a Spanish Thip on one Jenkins a Captain of an Englifh one. He cut off his ears, and bid him carry them to the King his master.
P. VER. 22. Screen.)
Omne vafer vitium ridenti Flaccus amico
Tangit, et admissus circum præcordia ludit Perf. P. Ibid. Screen.] A metaphor peculiarly appropriated to a certain person in power.
VER. 24. Patriots there are, &c.] This appellation was ge. nerally given to those in opposition to the Court. Though fome of them (which our author hints at) had views too mean and interested to deserve that name.
P. Ver. 26. The Great man) A phrafe, by common use, ape propriated to the first minister,
P. See Sir Robert!--- hum --And never laugh --- for all my life to come? Seen himn I have, but in his happier hour Of Social Pleasure, ill-exchang'd for Pow'r; 30 Seen him, uncumber'd with the Venal tribe, Smile without Art, and win without a Bribe.
Notes. Ver. 29. Seen bim I have, etc.) This and other strokes of commendation in the following poem, as well as his regard to him on all occasions, were in acknowledgment of a certain fervice the Minister had done a Priest at Mr. Pope's solicitation. Our Poet, when he was about seventeen, 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, then in town, to take his last leave of him. Southcot with great affection and solicitude applied to Dr. Radcliffe for his advice. And not content with that, he rode down post, to Mr. Pope, who was then an hundred miles from London, with the Doctor's directions; which had the desired effect. A long time after this, Southcot, who had an interest in the Court of France, writing to a common acquaintance in England, informed him that there was a good abbey near Avignon, which he had credit enough to get, were it not from an apprehension that his promotion would give umbrage to the English Court, to which he (Southcot) by his intrigues in the Pretender's service, was become
The person to whom this was written happening to acquaint Mr. Pope with the case, he immediately wrote to Sir Robert Walpole about it ; begged that this embargo might be taken off; and acquainced him with the grounds of folicitation: That he was indebted to Southcot for his life, and he must discharge his obligation, either here or in purgatory. The Minister received the application favourably, and with much good-nature wrote to his brother, then in France, to remove ihis obstruction. In consequence of which Southcot got the abbey. Mr. Pope ever after retained a grateful sense of his civility..
Ver. 31. Seen him, uncumber'd] These two verses were
Would he oblige me? let me only find,
NOTES. originally in the poem, though omitted in all the first editions.
P. Ver. 34. what he thinks mankind.] This request seems fomewhat absurd: but not more so than the principle it refers to. That great Minister, it seems, thought all mankind Rogues ; and that every one had his price. It was usually given as a proof of his penetration, and extensive knowledge of the world, Others perhaps would think it an initance of a narrow understanding, that, from a few of Rochefaucault's maxims, and the corrupt practice of those he commonly conversed with, would thus boldly pronounce upon the character of his Species. It is certain, that a Keeper of Newgate, who should make the same conclusion, would be heartily laughed at.
VER. 37. Why yes : with Scripture &c.] A fcribler, whose only chance for reputation is the falling in with the fashion, is apt to employ this infamous expedient for the preservation of his fleeting existence. But a true Genius could not do a foolisher thing, or fooner defeat his own aim. The fage Boileau used to say on this occafion, “Une ouvrage severe peut bien plaire “ aux libertins ; mais un ouvrage trop libre ne plaira jamais “ aux personnes sevi res."
Ibid. Why yes: with Scripture still you may be free;) Thus the Man commonly called Mother Osborn, who was in the Minister'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 Joseph Jekyl, Mafter of the Rolls, a true Whig in his principles, and a man of the utmost
A Patriot is a Fool in ev'ry age,
" Who's the Man, fo near 45
Laugh then at any, but at Fools or Foes; These you but anger, and you mend not those.
NOTES. probity. He sometimes voted against the Court, which drew upon him the laugh here described of ONE who bestowed it equally upon Religion and Honefty. He died a few months after the publication of this poem.
P. Ver. 43. These nothing hurts ;] i. e. offends.
Ver. 47. Why, answer, Lyttelton,) George Lyttelton, Secretary to the Prince of Wales, distinguished both for his writings and speeches in the spirit of Liberty.
P. Ver. 51. Sejanus, Wolfg,] The one the wicked minister of Tiberius; the other, of Henry vin. The writers against the Court usually bestowed these and other odious names on the Minister, without distinction, and in the most injurious manner. See Dial. II. 137.
• P. Ibid. Fleury, J Cardinal: and Minister to Louis XV. It was a Patriot-fashion, at that time, to cry up his wisdom and honesty.