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Still better, Minifters; or if the thing
P. Muft Satire, then, not rife nor fall? Speak out, and bid me blame no Rogues at all. F. Yes, ftrike that Wild, I'll juftify the blow. P. Strike? why the man was hang'd ten years
Who now that obfolete Example fears?
F. What always Peter? Peter thinks you mad,
P. As S-k, if he lives, will love the PRINCE.
VER. 51. why lay it on a King] He is ferious in the foregoing fubjects of Satire, but ironical here; and only alludes to the common practice of Minifters, in laying their own mifcarriages on their Masters.
VER. 55. Strike? why the man as hang'd ten years ago:] The line is exquifite. The high humour of it, in the unexpected turn, is but it's fecond praife. It finely carries on the argument, and expofes the falfe rules and meafures of Satire, which his Court Friend would inculcate for his practice; that he is to avoid the proper object of Satire, great offenders, who have efcaped public juftice; and, in their ftead, to feize the little rogues, who have fubmitted to it.
VER. 57. 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 fevere rebuke only from the bench.
F. Strange spleen to S-k!
P. Do I wrong the Man? God knows, I praise a Courtier where I can. When I confefs, there is who feels for Fame, 64 And melts to Goodnefs, need I SCARB'ROW name?
Pleas'd let me own, in Eber's peaceful Grove
Ev'n in a Bishop I can fpy Defert; Secker is decent, Rundel has a Heart;
VER. 64. feels for Fame,— And melts to Goodness,] This is a fine compliment; the expreffion fhewing, that fame was but his fecond paffion.
VER. 65. Scarb'row] Earl of. and Knight of the Garter, whose personal attachments to the King appeared from his fteady adherence to the royal intereft, 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.
VER. 66. Efher's peaceful Grove,] The house and gardens of Esher in Surry, 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.
VER. 67. Kent and Nature] Means no more than art and And in this confifts the compliment to the Artist. VER. 71. Secker is decent] These words (like those Ver. 135. of the firft Dialogue) are another inftance of the malignity of the public judgment. The Poet thought, and not without reafon, that they conveyed a very high idea of the worthy perfon to whom they are applied: To be DECENT (or to become every ftation of life in which a man is placed) being the nobleft encomium on his wifdom and virtue. It is
Manners with Candour are to Benson giv'n,
the very topic he employs in fpeaking of a favourite Friend, whofe fuperior virtues he most efteemed and admired.
"Noble and young, who strikes the heart
Indeed, the word in both places implies every endowment of the heart: As in that celebrated verfe of Horace, from whence the expreffion was taken; and which no one has a better right to apply to himself than this excellent prelate :
Quid verum a que DECENS curo et rogo, et omnis in hoc fum.
So that to be decent is to excell in the moral character.
VER. 73. Berkley, &c.] Dr. Berkley was, I believe, a good man, a good Chriftian, a good Citizen, and all, in an eminent degree. He was befides very learned; and of a fine and lively imagination; which he unhappily abused by advancing, and, as far as I can learn, throughout his whole life perfilling in, the most outrageous whimfy that ever entered into the head of any ancient or modern madman; namely, the impoffibility of the real or actual existence of matter, which he fupported on principles that take away the boundaries of truth and falfhood; expofe reafon to all the outrage of unbounded Scepticism; and even, in his own opinion, make mathematical demonftration, doubtful.
But if (though at the expence of his moral character) we fhould fuppofe, that all this was only a wanton exercise of wit; how his metaphyfics came to get him the character of a great genius, unlefs from the daring nature of his attempt, I am at a lofs to conceive. His pretended demonftration, on this capital queftion, being the pooreft, lowest, and most miferable of all fophifms, that is, a fophifm which begs the queftion, as the late Mr. Baxter has clearly fhewn: a few pages of whofe reafoning have not only more fenfe and fubitance than all the elegant difcourfes of Dr. Berkley, but infinitely better entitle him to the Character of a great Genius. He was truly fuch: and a time will come, if learning ever revive
But does the Court a worthy Man remove?
Oft, in the clear, ftill Mirrour of Retreat,
amongst us, when the present inattention to his admirable Metaphyfics, established on the Phyfics of Newton, will be deemed as great a dishonour to the Wisdom of this age as the neglect of Milton's Poetry is to the Wit of the past.
VER. 74. But does the Court a worthy man remove?] The Poet means, remove him for his worth: for he never esteemed the being in or out as any proof of corruption, or virtue. "I "had a glympfe of a letter of yours lately (fays he to Dr. Swift) "by which I find you are, like the vulgar, apter to think well "of people out of power, than of people in power. Perhaps "'tis a mistake; but, however, there is fomething in it ge"nerous." Lett. xvii. Sept. 3, 1726.
VER. 77. Sommers] John Lord Sommers died in 1716. He had been Lord Keeper in the reign of William III. who took from him the feals in 1700. The Author had the honour of knowing him in 1706. A faithful, able, and incorrupt Minifter; who, to the qualities of a confummate statefman, added those of a man of Learning, and Politenefs. P.
Ibid. Hallifax] A Peer, no lefs diftinguished by his love of Letters than his abilities in Parliament. He was difgraced in 1710, on the change of Q. Anne's ministry. P.
VER. 79. Shreufbury, Charles Talbot, Duke of Shrewfbury, had been Secretary of State, Embaffador in France, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Lord Chamberlain, and Lord Treasurer. He feveral times quitted his employments, and was often recalled. He died in 1718.
CARLETON'S calm Senfe, and STANHOPE'S noble Flame,
80 Compar'd, and knew their gen'rous End the fame: How pleafing ATTERBURY's fofter hour! How shin'd the Soul, unconquer'd in the Tow'r! How can I PULT'NEY, CHESTERFIELD forget, While Roman Spirit charms, and Attic Wit: 85 ARGYLL,the State's whole Thunder born to wield, And shake alike the Senate and the Field: Or WYNDHAM, juft to Freedom and the Throne, The Master of our Paffions, 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;
VER. 80. Carleton] Hen. Boyle, Lord Carleton, (nephew of the famous Robert Boyle) who was Secretary of State under William III. and Prefident of the Council under Q. Anne.
Ibid. Stanhope] James Earl Stanhope. A Nobleman of equal courage, fpirit, and learning. General in Spain, and Secretary of State.
VER. 84. 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.
VER. 88. Wyndham] Sir William Wyndham, Chancellor of the Exchequer under Queen Anne, made early a confiderable figure; but fince a much greater, both by his ability and eloquence, joined with the utmoft judgment and temper. P.