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Rey’rent I touch thee! but with honest zeal; 216
NOTES. Ver. 219. And goad the prelate pumb'ring in his hall.] The good Eufebius, in his Evangelitai Preparation, draws a long parallel between the Ox and the Christian Priesthood. Hence the dignified clergy, out of mere humility, have ever since called their thrones by the name of stalls. To which a great prelate of Winchester, one W. Edinton, modestly al. luding, (who otherwise had been long since forgotten), has rendered his name immortal by this ecclefiafticai apharilin, Canterbury is the higher rack, but Winchester is the better manger. By which, however, it appears, that he was not one of those here condemned, who frumber in their stalls.
Ver. 222. Cobwebs] Weak and Night sophistry against virtue and honour. Thin colours over vice, as unable to hide the light of truth, as cobwebs to shade the fun.
Ver. 228. When black ambition, &c.] The case of Cromwell in the civil war of England; and, (ver. 229.) of Louis XIV. in his conquest of the Low Countries.
---With that which followed Julius to the skies.
Not Waller's wreath can hide the nation's scar,
231 Not fo when diadem'd with rays divine, Touch'd with the flame that breaks from Virtue's
fhrine, Her priestess Muse forbids the good to die, And opes the Temple of Eternity.
235 There, other tropies deck the truly brave, Than such as Anstis cafts into the
grave; Far other stars than * and wear, And may defcend to Mordington from STAIR: (Such as an Hough's unfully'd mitre shine, Or beam, good DIGBY, from a heart like thine.) Let Envy howl, while Heav'n's whole chorus fings, And bark at honour not conferr'd by kings;
Notes. Ver. 231. Nor Boileau turn the feather to a far.] See his ode on Namur: where (to use his own words)“ Il a fait un Attre de la Plume blanche que le Roy porte ordinaireinent a son chapeau, et qui est en effet une espece de Comere, fattale a nos ennemis."
Ver. 237. Anstis] The chief herald at arms. It is the custom, at the funeral of great peers, to cast into the grave the broken staves and ensigns of honour.
Ver 2 39. Stair :] John Dalrymple, Earl of Stair, knight of the thistle ; served in all the wars under the Duke of Marlborough; and afterwards as ambassador in France.
Ver. 240, 241. Hough and. Digby] Dr John Hough, Bishop of Worcester, and the Lord Digby. The one an asserter of the church of England, in opposition to the falfe measures of King James II. The other as firmly attached to the cause of that King. Both acting out of principle, and equally men of honour and virtue.
Let Flatt'ry fick’ning see the incense rise,
Yes, the last pen for freedom let me draw,
fathers shine, Fall by the votes of their degen’rate line.
Fr. Alas! alas! pray end what you begårig
Notes: Ver. ult.] This was the lat poem of the kind printed by our author, with a resolution to publish no more; but to enter thus in the most plain and folemn manner he could, a fort of Protest against that insuperable corruption and depravity of manners, which he had been so unhappy as to live to see. Could he have hoped to have amended any, he had continued those attacks; but bad men were grown to Thameless, and to powerful, that Ridicule was become as unsafe as it was ineffectual. The poem raised him, as he knew it would, some enemies; but he had reaton to be iai tisfied with the approbation of good men, and the testimony of his own conscience.
Quit, quit, these themes, and write Essays on Man:
Receiving from the Right Hon. the Lady
FRANCES SHIRLEY *
A STANDISH and Two Pens.
ES, I beheld th? Athenian Queen
“And take (she said, and smil'd ferene),
Take at this hand celestial arms:
Secure the radiant weapons wield;
This golden lance shall guard Desert, And if a Vice dares keep the field,
This steel shall ftab it to the heart."
Aw'd, on my bended knees I fell,
Receiv'd the weapons of the sky; And dipt them in the fable Well,
The fount of Fame or Infamy.
" What Well? what Weapon? (Flavia cries),
A standish, steel and golden pen!
you to write again.
* A lady whose great merit Mr Pope took a real pleasure in celebrating. † A famous toy-shop at Bath.
But, friend, take heed whom you attack;
You'll bring a House (I mean of Peers) Red, blue, and green, nay white and black,
L----- and all about your ears.
You'd write as smooth again on glass,
And run, on ivory, so glib, As not to stick at fool or ass *
Nor stop at Flattery or Fibt.
Athenian Queen! and sober charms!
I tell ye, fool, there's nothing in't: 'Tis Venus, Venus gives these arms t';
In Dryden's Virgil see the print.
Come, if you'll be a quiet soul,
That dares tell neither truth nor lies , I'll list you in the harmless roll
Of those that sing of these poor eyes."
Notes. * The Dunciad. * The Epistle to Dr Arbuthnot.
Such toys being the usual presents from lovers to their miftreffes.
li When the delivers Æneas a suit of heavenly armour.
Ti.e. If you have neither the courage to write fatire, nor he application to attempt an epic poem.---He was then mee ditating on such a work.