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Of all mad creatures, if the learn'd are right, 105
It is the flaver kills, and not the bite.

A fool quite angry is quite innocent:
Alas! 'tis ten times worse when they repent.
One dedicates in high heroic profe,
And ridicules beyond a hundred foes:
One from all Grubstreet will my fame defend,
And more abufive, calls himself my friend.
This prints my Letters, that expects a bribe,
And others roar aloud, " Subfcribe,
Subscribe, fubfcribe."
There are, who to my perfon pay
their court:
I cough like Horace, and, tho' lean, am short; 116
Ammon's great fon one shoulder had too high,
Such Ovid's nofe, and "Sir! have an Eye".
Go on, obliging creatures, make me see,
All that difgrac'd my Betters, met in me.

you

VARIATIONS.

Ver. 111. in the MS.

66

For fong, for filence fome expect a bribe;
And others roar aloud, Subscribe, fubfcribe."
Time, praise, or money, is the least they crave;
Yet each declares the other fool or knave.

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120

NOTES.

VER. 118. Sir, you have an Eye.] It is remarkable, that amongst the compliments on his infirmities and deformities, he mentions his eye, which was fine, fharp, and piercing. It was done to intimate, that flattery was as odious to him when there was fome ground for commendation, as when there was none.

Say for

my comfort, languishing in bed, "Just so immortal Maro held his head :" And when I die, be fure you let me know Great Homer dy'd three thousand years ago. Why did I write? what fin to me unknown Dipt me in ink, my parents', or my own? 126

As yet a child, nor yet a fool to fame,

I lifp'd in numbers, for the numbers came.

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VARIATIONS.

After Ver. 124. in the MS.

But, Friend, this shape, which You and Curl admire,
Came not from Ammon's fon, but from my Sire f:
And for my head, if you'll the truth excufe,

I had it from my Mother |, not the Muse.
Happy, if he, in whom these frailties join'd,
Had heir'd as well the virtues of the mind.

* Curl fet up his head for a fign.
His Mother was much afflicted with head-achs.

His Father was crooked.

NOTES.

VER. 127. As yet a child, &c.] He used to fay, that he began to write verfes further back than he could remember. When he was eight years old, Ogilby's Homer fell in his way, and delighted him extremely; it was followed by Sandys' Ovid; and the raptures these then gave him were so strong, that he spoke of them with pleasure ever after. About ten, being at school at Hide-park-corner, where he was much neglected, and fuffered to go to the Comedy with the greater boys, he turned the tranfactions of the Iliad into a play, made up of a number of fpeeches from Ogilby's tranflation, tacked together with verses of his own. He had the address to perfuade the upper boys to act it; he even prevailed on

VOL. IV.

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I left no calling for this idle trade,
No duty broke, no father difobey'd.

130

The Mufe but ferv'd to ease fome friend, not Wife,
To help me thro' this long disease, my Life,
To fecond, ARBUTHNOT! thy Art and Care,
And teach, the Being you preferv'd, to bear.

But why then publish? Granville the polite, 135
And knowing Walsh, would tell me I could write;
Well-natur'd Garth inflam'd with early praise,
And Congreve lov'd, and Swift endur'd my lays;

NOTES.

the Mafter's Gardener to represent Ajax, and contrived to have all the actors dreffed after the pictures in his favourite Ogilby. At twelve he went with his father into the Forest: and then got firft acquainted with the Writings of Waller, Spencer, and Dryden; in the order I have named them. On the first fight of Dryden, he found he had what he wanted. His Poems were never out of his hands; they became his model; and from them alone he learnt the whole magic of his verfification. This year he began an epic poem; the fame which Bp. Atterbury, long afterwards, perfuaded him to burn. Befides this, he wrote, in thofe early days, a Comedy and Tragedy, the latter taken from a story in the legend of St. Genevieve. They both defervedly underwent the fame fate. As he began his Paftorals foon after, he used to say pleafantly, that he had literally followed the example of Virgil who tells us. Cum canerem reges et prælia, &c.

VER. 130. no father dif bey'd.] When Mr. Pope was yet a child, his Father, though no Poet, would fet him to make English verfes. He was pretty difficult to please, and would often, fend the boy back to new turn them. When they were to his mind, he took great pleasure in them, and would Lay, Theje are good 1 hyme:.

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The courtly Talbot, Somers, Sheffield read,
Ev'n mitred Rochefter would nod the head, 140
And St. John's felf (great Dryden's friends before)
With open arms receiv'd one Poet more.
Happy my ftudies, when by these approv'd!
Happier their author, when by these belov'd!
From these the world will judge of men and books,
Not from the Burnets, Oldmixons, and Cooks. 146
Soft were my numbers; who could take offence
While pure Description held the place of Sense?

NOTES.

VER. 139. Talbot, &c.] All these were Patrons or Admirers of Mr. Dryden; though a scandalous libel against him, entitled, Dryden's Satyr to his Mufe, has been printed in the name of the Lord Somers, of which he was wholly ignorant.

These are the perfons to whofe account the Author charges the publication of his firft pices: perfons, with whom he was converfant (and he adds beloved) at 16 or 17 years of age; an early period for fuch acquaintance. The catalogue might be made yet more illuftrious had he not confined it to that time when he writ the Paftorals and Windfor Foreft, on which he passes a fort of Cenfure in the lines following,

"While pure Description held the place of Sense," &c. P. VER. 146. Burnets, &c.] Authors of fecret and fcandalous History. P.

Ibid. Burnets, Oldmixons, and Cooks.] By no means Authors of the fame clafs; though the violence of party might hurry them into the fame mistakes. But if the first offended this way, it was only through an honeft warmth of temper, that allowed too little to an excellent understanding. The other two, with very bad heads, had hearts ftill worse.

VER. 148. While pure Defcription held the place of Sense?] He uses pure equivocally, to fignify either chafe or empty;

Like gentle Fanny's was my flow'ry theme,
A painted mistress, or a purling ftream.
Yet then did Gildon draw his venal quill;
I wish'd the man a Dinner, and fate ftill.
Yet then did Dennis rave in furious fret;
I never anfwer'd, I was not in debt.

If want provok'd, or madness made them print,
I wag'd no war with Bedlam or the Mint. 156
Did fome more fober Critic come abroad;
If wrong, I fmil'd; if right, I kifs'd the rod.
Pains, reading, study, are their just pretence,
And all they want is fpirit, taste, and fenfe. 160
Comma's and points they fet exactly right,
And 'twere a in to rob them of their mite.
Yet ne'er one fprig of laurel grac'd these ribalds,
From flashing Bentley down to pidling Tibalds :

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150

NOTES.

and has given in this line what he esteemed the true Character of descriptive pretry, as it is called. A compofition, in his opinion, as abfurd as a feaft made up of fauces. The office of a pictorefque imagination is to brighten and adorn good fenfe; fo that to employ it only in defeription, is like childrens delighting in a prifm for the fake of its gaudy colours; which when frugally managed, and artfully difpofed, might be made to reprefent and illuftrate the nobleft objects in nature.

VER. 150. A painted meadow, or a purling ftream,] is a

verfe of Mr. Addison.

P.

Ibid. A painted Mistress, or a purling Stream.] The Rape of the Lock, and Windfor-Fereft.

VER. 163. thefe ribalds.] How defervedly this title is given

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