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Vice is undone, if she forgets her birth,
Yet may this verse (if such a verse remain)
1738. F. 'Tis all a libel-Paxton? (sir) will say. P. Not yet, my friend! to-morrow 'faith it may; And for that very cause I print to-day.
1 Late Solicitor to the Treasury.- Warburton,
How should I fret to mangle ev'ry line,
F. Yet none but you by name the guilty lash;
P. How, sir? not damn the sharper, but the dice ? Come on then, Satire ! general, unconfined, Spread thy broad wing, and souse on all the kind. Ye statesmen, priests, of one religion all! Ye tradesmen vile, in army, court, or hall, Who? Ye reverend Atheists— F. Scandal! name them!
P. Why that's the thing you bid me not to do, Who starved a sister, who forswore a debt, I never named; the town's inquiring yet. [You do! The pois'ning dame- F You mean— P. I don't. F.
P. See, now I keep the secret, and not you! The bribing statesman- F. Hold, too high you go. P. The bribed elector— F. There you stoop too
low. P. I fain would please you, if I knew with what; Tell me, which knave is lawful game, which not? Must great offenders, once escaped the crown, Like royal harts, be never more run down ? 3 Admit your law to spare the knight requires, As beasts of nature may we hunt the squires ? Suppose I censure—you know what I meanTo save a bishop, may I name a dean?
F. A dean, sir ? no: his fortune is not made; You hurt a man that's rising in the trade.
P. If not a tradesman who set up-to-day, Much less the 'prentice who to-morrow may. Down, down, proud Satire! though a realm be spoiled, Arraign no mightier thief than wretched Wild; *
1 This poem being written in 1738.
2 The Ordinary of Newgate, who publishes the memoirs of the malefactors, and is often prevailed upon to be so tender of their reputation, as to set down no more than the initials of their name. Pope. 3 Alluding to the old game laws.
4 Jonathan Wild, a famous thief, and thief impeacher, who was at last caught in his own train and hanged.-Pope.
Or, if a court or country's made a job,
But, sir, I beg you (for the love of vice!)
P. Must Satire, then, nor rise nor fall ? Speak out, and bid me blame no rogues at all.
F. Yes, strike that Wild, I'll justify the blow.
P. Strike? why the man was hanged ten years ago: Who now that obsolete example fears? Even Peter trembles only for his ears.?
F. What? always Peter ? Peter thinks you mad; You make men desp’rate if they once are bad: Else might he take to virtue some years hence
P. As Selkirk, if he lives, will love the Prince.
P. Do I wrong the man ?
1 Peter (Walter] had, the year before this narrowly escaped the pillory for forgery: and got off with a severe rebuke from the bench.-Pope.
2 Earl of, and Knight of the Garter, whose personal attachments to the King appeared from his steady adherence to the royal interest, after his resignation of his greatemployment of Master of the Horse, and whose known honour and virtue made him esteemed by all parties.-Pope.
3 The house and gardens of Esher in Surrey, 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.-Pope.
4 Kent has been called the creator of English landscape gardening. He was originally a coach painter, but through Lord Burlington obtained employment as an architect and painter. It is however to his landscape gardening Pope alludes, and compliments him by sayıng "Kent and Nature,” as if they were synonymous terms
The scene, the master, opening to my view,
Even in a bishop I can spy desert;
But does the court a worthy man remove ?
1 See notes at pp. 262, 294.
2 Secker was Archbishop of Canterbury, Rundel bishop of Derry.See Swift's poem on him. Benson was bishop of Gloucester.
3 Dr. Berkeley was good, gentle, and every way excellent; but had a craze that matter had no existence except in idea. It is of him the story is told that Swift seeing him standing at his hall door in a heavy shower, did not open it, but requested the bishop to como through it, as it did not really exist!
4 John Lord Somers died in 1716. He had been Lord Keeper in the reign of William III, who took from him the seals in 1700. The author had the honour of knowing him in 1706. A faithful, able, and incorrupt minister; who, to the qualities of a consummate statesman, added those of a man of learning and politeness.--Pope. “Ono of those divine men,” says Lord Orford, “who, like a chapel in a palace, remains unprofaned while all the rest is tyranny, corruption and folly."
5 A peer, no less distinguished by his love of letters than his abili. ties in parliament. He was disgraced in 1710, on the change of Queen Anne's ministry.--Pope.
6 Charles Talbot, Duke of Shrewsbury, had been Secretary of State, Ambassador in France, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Lord Chamberlain, and Lord Treasurer. He several times quitted his employments, and was often recalled. He died in 1718.- Pope.
7 Henry Boyle, Lord Carleton (nephew of the famous Robert Boyle), who was Secretary of State under William III, and President of the Council under Queen Anne.- Pope.
8 James Earl Stanhope. A nobleman of equal courage, spirit, and learning. General in Spain, and Secretary of State.- Pope.
9 Francis Atterbury, Bishop of Rochester. He had few equals as a preacher, and was a man of great virtue and brilliant talents. In 1722 he was committed to the Tower on a charge of being engaged in a plot to restore the family of James II. to the throne. He was Pope's great friend, and in private life was charming, being a tender father and warm friend. He was banished for life, and died at Paris, 1732, but his remains have a place in Westminster Abbey.
10 William Pulteney afterwards Earl of Bath.
11 Philip Earl of Chesterfield, a great statesman and wit. His · "Letters to his Son,” are well known,
While Roman spirit charms, and Attic wit:
Yet think not, friendship only prompts my lays;
P. Not so fierce; Find you the virtue, and I'll find the verse. But random praise—the task can ne'er be done; Each mother asks it for her booby son, Each widow asks it for the “best of men,” For him she weeps, and him she weds agen. Praise cannot stoop, like satire, to the ground; The number may be hanged, but not be crowned. Enough for half the greatest of these days, To ’scape my censure, not expect my praise. Are they not rich? what more can they pretend ? Dare they to hope a poet for their friend ? What Richelieu wanted, Louis scarce could gain, And what young Ammon wished, but wished in vain. No pow'r the muse's friendship can command; No pow'r, when virtue claims it, can withstand:
1 Sir William Wyndham, Chancellor of the Exchequer under Queen Anne, made early a considerable figure; but since a much
ter both by his ability and eloquence, joined with the utmost judgment and temper.-- Pope.
2 He was at this time honoured with the esteem and favour of his Royal Highness Frederick Prince of Wales.- Warburton.
3 Sir John Barnard. Lord Mayor in 1738, eminent for his virtues and public spirit. In 1747, the City of London erected a statue of him, in memory of the benefits conferred by him on London. Cf. ante, Bk, I, Ep, ii, ver, 85,