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FR. COT twice a twelve-month you appear
in Print, And when it comes, the Court see nothing in't.
You don't, I hope, pretend to quit the trade,
NOTES. Ver. 1. Not twice a twelve-month etc.] These two lines are from Horace; and the only lines that are so 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, etc. P. Ver. 2. the Court see nothing in't.] He chose this expression for the sake of its elegant and satiric ambiguity. His writings abound in them,
You grow correct, that once with Rapture writ,
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
NOT E S. VER.9. And taught his Romans, in much better metre, “Ta laugh at Fools who put their truft 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 pleasant. And the àmbiguity of putting their trust in Peter, insinuates that Horace and he had frequently laughed at that fpecific 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. Bubo observes,] Some guilty person very fond of making such an observation.
301 In Sappho touch the Failings of the Sex, In rev'rend Bishops note some small Neglects, And own, the Spaniard did a waggifh thing, Who
cropt our Ears, and sent them to the King. His fly, polite, insinuating style Could please at Court, and make Augustus smile: An artful Manager, that crept between His Friend and Shame, and was a kind of Screen. But 'faith your very
Friends will soon be sore; Patriots there are, who wish you'd jest no more--And where's the Glory? 'twill be only thought 25 The Great man never offer'd you a groat. Go see Sir ROBERT--
NOTES. Ver. 14. H-ggins] Formerly Jaylor of the Fleet prison, enriched himself by many exactions, for which he was tried and expelled.
P. VER. 18. Who cropt our Ears,] Said to be executed by the Captain of a Spanish fhip on one Jenkins a Captain of an Énglifh one.
He cut off his ears, and bid him carry them to the King his master.
P. VER. 22. Sereen.]
Omne vafer vitium ridenti Flaccus amico
Tangit, et admiffus circum præcordia ludit Perf. P. Ibid. Screen.] A metaphor peculiarly appropriated to a certàin perfon in power.
P. VER.24. Patriots there are, &c.] This appellation was geherally given to those in opposition to the Court. Though some of them (which our author hints at) had views too mean and interested to deserve that name.
P. Ver. 26. The Great man] A phrase, by common use, appropriated to the first minifter.
P. See Sir ROBERT!--- hum And never laugh--- for all my life to come?
! Seen him 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 him I have, etc.) This and other strokes of commendation in the following poem, as well as his regard to him on all occafions, 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 laft 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.
Popes 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 cominon 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 very obnoxious. 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 acquainted 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 Minifter received the application favourably, and with much good-nature wrote to his brother, then in France, to remove this obftruction. In consequence of which Southcot got the abbey. Mr. Pope ever after retained a grateful sense of his civility. VER. 31. Seen him, uncumberd] 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 instance 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 chara&ter of his Species. It is certain, that a Keeper of Newgate, who should make the same conclufion, 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 sooner defeat his own aim. The fage Boileau used to say on this occafion, « Une ouvrage fevere peut bien plaire
aux libertins; mais un ouvrage trop libre ne plaira jamais aux personnes feveres.”.
Ibid. Why yes : with Scripture still you may be free;] Thus the Man commonly called Mother Osborn, 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 Yoke on Jekyl,] Sir Joseph Jekyl, Master of the Rols, a true Whig in his principles, and a man of the utmost