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It brightened Craggs's,' and may darken thine :
Racked with sciatics, martyred with the stone,
But art thou one, whom new opinions sway, One who believes as Tindal' leads the way, Who virtue and a church alike disowns, Thinks that but words, and this but brick and stones? Fly then, on all the wings of wild desire, Admire whate'er the maddest can admire. Is wealth thy passion? Hence! from pole to pole, Where winds can carry, or where waves can roll, For Indian spices, for Peruvian gold, Prevent the greedy, and outbid the bold: Advance thy golden mountain to the skies;
1 His father had been in a low situation ;* but, by industry and ability, got to be postmaster-general and agent to the Duke of Marlborough.-- Warton, quoted by Bowles.
2 It is said that Pope was Murray's instructor in the art of elocu. tion.
3 Murray was successful as counsel in appeals before the House of Lords in eleven causes in 1738.
4 The great Lord Chancellor Clarendon.
6 Both celebrated quacks. Dover professed to cure all diseasos by means of quicksilver -Roscoe.
6 Lord Cornbury was the great Lord Clarendon's great grandson. He tried to persuade Mallet not to publish the work which has so deeply injured Bolingbroke's memory. On his return from his travels, Lord Essex, his brother-in-law, said to him, “I have got you a handsome pension.” The young man answered with com. posed dignity, “How could you tell, my lord, that I was to be sold?" To this anecdote Pope alludes.
7 Tindal. See previous note at page 148.
* It is said a footman,
On the broad base of fifty thousand rise, Add one round hundred, and (if that's not fair) Add fifty more, and bring it to a square. For, mark th' advantage; just so many score Will gain a wife with half as many more, Procure her beauty, make that beauty chaste, · And then such friends—as cannot fail to last. A man of wealth is dubbed a man of worth, Venus shall give him form, and Anstis' birth. (Believe me, many a German Prince is worse, Who proud of pedigree, is poor of purse.) His wealth brave Timon gloriously confounds; Asked for a groat, he gives a hundred pounds; Or if three ladies like a luckless play, Takes the whole house upon the poet's day. Now, in such exigencies not to need, Upon my word, you must be rich indeed; A noble superfluity it craves, Not for yourself, but for your fools and knaves; Something, which for your honour they may cheat, And which it much becomes you to forget, If wealth alone then make and keep us blest, Still, still be getting, never, never rest.
But if to pow'r and place your passion lie,
Or if your life be one continued treat,
1 Anstis, whom Pope often mendons, was Garter King at Arms.Bowles.
Called happy dog! the beggar at his door,
Or shall we every decency confound,
If, after all, we must with Wilmot own, The cordial drop of life is love alone, And Swift cry wisely, “Vive la bagatelle!” The man that loves and laughs, must sure do well. Adieu—if this advice appear the worst, E’en take the counsel which I gave you first: Or better precepts if you can impart, Why do, I'll follow them with all my heart.
THE FIRST EPISTLE OF THE
SECOND BOOK OF HORACE.
Ne rubeam pingui donatus munere. Horace.
ADVERTISEMENT. The reflections of Horace, and the judgments passed in his epistle to Augustus, seemed so seasonable to the present times, that I could not help applying them to the use of my own country. The author thought them considerable enough to address them to his prince; whom he paints with all the great and good qualities of a monarch, upon whom the Romans depended for the increase of an absolute empire. But to make the poem entirely English, I was willing to add one or two of those which contribute to the happiness of a free people, and are more consistent with the welfare of our neighbors.
i See note to “ Essay on the Use of Riches,” p. 240. 2 Lords Kinnoul and Tyrawley, noted for immorality,- Carruthers. 3 Lord Rochester.
This epistle will show the learned world to have fallen into two mistakes : one, that Augustus was a patron of poets in general; whereas he not only prohibited all but the best writers to name him, but recommended that care even to the civil magistrate : Admonebat Prætores, ne paterentur nomen suum obsolefieri, &c. The other, that this piece was only a general discourse of poetry; whereas it was an apology for the poets, in order to render Augustus more their patron. Horace here pleads the cause of his contemporaries, first against the taste of the town, whose humour it was to magnify the authors of the preceding age: secondly against the court and nobility, who encouraged only the writers for the theatre; and lastly against the emperor himself, who had conceived them of little use to the government. He shows (by a view of the progress of learning, and the change of taste among the Romans) that the introduction of the polite arts of Greece had given the writers of his time great advantages over their predecessors; that their morals were much improved, and the license of those ancient poets restrained: that satire and comedy were become more just and useful; that whatever extravagancies were left on the stage were owing to the ill taste of the nobility; that poets, under due regulations, were in many respects useful to the state, and concludes, that it was upon them the emperor himself must depend for his fame with posterity.
We may further learn from this epistle, that Horace made his court to this great prince by writing with a decent freedom towards him, with a just contempt of his low flatterers, and with a manly regard to his own character. -- Pope.
WHILE you, great patron of mankind ! sustain
i Pope, by bitter and pointed sarcasms, turned the flattery of Horace to Augustus Cæsar into a satire on George II.
2 This epistle was written in 1737, when the Spanish depredations at sea were such, that there was a universal cry that the British flag had been insulted, and the contemptible and degraded English braved on their own element. “Opening all the Main" therefore, means that the king was so liberal as to leave it open to the Spaniards, who considered themselves its almost exclusive masters. It was not till two years afterwards that the long-demanded war was declared; hence the bitter irony of “your country, chief, in arms abroad defend."
How shall the muse, from such a monarch, steal, An hour, and not defraud the public weal?
Edward and Henry, now the boast of fame.
To thee, the world its present homage pays,
Just in one instance, be it yet confest
1 Skelton, poet laureate to Henry VIII., a volume of whose verses has been lately reprinted, consisting almost wholly of ribaldry, obscenity, and scurrilous language.-Pope.
? A ballad made by the King of Scotland. Written by James I.Pope.
3 The Devil Tavern, where Ben Jonson held his Poetical Club. Pope,