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Who can your merit selfishly approve,
And show the sense of it without the love
Who has the vanity to call you friend,



Yet wants the honour, injur'd, to defend;
Who tells whate'er you think, whate'er you say,
And, if he lye not, muft at least betray:
Who to the Dean, and filver bell can swear,
And fees at Cannons what was never there;



VER. 293.felfifhly approve,] Because to deny, or pretend not to fee, a well established merit, would impeach his own heart or understanding.

VER. 294. And show the sense of it without the love ;]

i. e. will never fuffer the admiration of an excellence to produce any esteem for him, to whom it belongs.

VER. 295. Who has the vanity to call you friend, Yes wants the honour, injur'd, to defend;] When a great Genius, whose writings have afforded the world much pleasure and inftruction, happens to be enviously attacked, or falfely accused, it is natural to think, that a sense of gratitude for so agreeable an obligation, or a fense of that honour resulting to our Country from fuch a Writer, should raise amongst those who call themselves his friends, a pretty general indignation. But every day's experience fhews us the very contrary. Some take a malignant fatisfaction in the attack; others a foolish pleasure in a literary conflict; and the far greater part look on with a selfish indifference.

VER. 299. Who to the Dean, and filver bell, &c.] Meaning the man who would have perfuaded the Duke of Chandos that Mr. P. meant him in thofe circumstances ridiculed in the Epiftle on Tafte. See Mr. Pope's Letter to the Earl of Burlington concerning this matter.

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Who reads, but with a luft to mifapply,
Make Satire a Lampoon, and Fiction Lye.
A lafh like mine no honeft man fhall dread,
But all fuch babling blockheads in his stead.


Let Sporus tremble-A. What? that thing of filk, Sporus, that mere white curd of Ass's milk? Satire or fenfe, alas! can Sporus feel? Who breaks a butterfly upon a wheel?

P. Yet let me flap this bug with gilded wings,

This painted child of dirt, that stinks and ftings; 310
Whose buzz the witty and the fair annoys,

Yet wit ne'er taftes, and beauty ne'er enjoys:
So well-bred fpaniels civilly delight

In mumbling of the game they dare not bite.
Eternal fmiles his emptiness betray,


As fhallow ftreams run dimpling all the way.
Whether in florid impotence he speaks,

And, as the prompter breathes, the puppet fqueaks ; Or at the ear of Eve, familiar Toad,

Half froth, half venom, fpits himself abroad,

In puns, or politics, or tales, or lies,

Or fpite, or fmut, or rhymes, or blafphemies.


VER. 319. See Milton, Book iv. P.


VER. 320. Half froth,] Alluding to thofe frothy excretions, called by the people, Toad-fpits, feen in fummertime hanging upon plants, and emitted by young infects which lie hid in the midst of them, for their preservation, whule in their helpless state.

His wit all fee-faw, between that and this,
Now high, now low, now mafter up, now mifs,
And he himself one vile Antithefis.

Amphibious thing! that acting either part,
The trifling head, or the corrupted heart,
Fop at the toilet, flatt'rer at the board,
Now trips a Lady, and now ftruts a Lord.
Eve's tempter thus the Rabbins have expreft,
A Cherub's face, a reptile all the reft,

Beauty that shocks you, parts that none will truft,
Wit that can creep, and pride that licks the dust.
Not Fortune's worshipper, nor Fashion's fool,
Not Lucre's madman, nor Ambition's tool,
Not proud, nor fervile; Be one Poet's praife,
That, if he pleas'd, he pleas'd by manly ways:
That Flatt'ry, ev'n to Kings, he held a fhame,
And thought a Lye in verfe or profe the fame.






VER. 340. That not in Fancy's maze he wander'd long,] His merit in this will appear very great, if we confider, that in this walk he had all the advantages which the mot poetic Imagination could give to a great Genius. M. Voltaire in a MS. letter now before me, writes thus from England to a friend in Paris. "I intend to fend you two or three poems of Mr. Pope, the best poet of England, "and at prefent of all the world. I hope you are ac

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quainted enough with the English tongue, to be fenfi"ble of all the charms of his works. For my part, I "look upon his poem called the Effay on Criticism as fu"perior to the Art of poetry of Horace; and his Rape of the Lock is, in my opinion, above the Lutrin of Def

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That not in Fancy's maze he wander'd long,
But ftoop'd to Truth, and moraliz'd his fong:
That not for Fame, but Virtue's better end,
He stood the furious foe, the timid friend,
The damning critic, half approving wit,
The coxcomb hit, or fearing to be hit;
Laugh'd at the lofs of friends he never had,
The dull, the proud, the wicked, and the mad ;
The diftant threats of vengeance on his head,

The blow unfelt, the tear he never shed;
The tale reviv'd, the lye fo oft o'erthrown,
Th' imputed trafh, and dulnefs not his own;





preaux. I never faw fo amiable an imagination, fo gentle graces, fo great variety, fo much wit, and fo "refined knowledge of the world, as in this little perform"ance." MS. Let. O&. 15, 1726.

VER. 341. But ftoop'd to Truth] The term is from falconry; and the allufion to one of thofe untamed birds of fpirit, which fometimes wantons at large in airy circles before it regards, or ftoops to, its prey.

VER. 350. the lye so oft oe'rthrown] As, that he received fubfcriptions for Shakespear, that he fet his name to Mr. Broome's verfes, &c. which, tho' publicly dis. proved were nevertheless fhamelessly repeated in the Libels, and even in that called the Nobleman's Epistle.


VER. 351. Th' imputed trash] Such as profane Pfalms, Court-Poems, and other fcandalous things, printed in his Name by Curl and others.


The morals blacken'd when the writings fcape,
The libel'd perfon, and the pictur'd shape;
Abuse, on all he lov'd, or lov'd him, spread,
A friend in exile, or a father, dead;


The whisper, that to greatness still too near,
Perhaps, yet vibrates on his Sov'REIGN's ear-
Welcome for thee, fair Virtue! all the past:
For thee, fair Virtue! welcome ev'n the laft!
A. But why infult the poor, affront the great? 360
P. A knave's a knave, to me, in ev'ry ftate:

Alike my scorn, if he fucceed or fail,
Sporus at court, or Japhet in a jail,

A hireling fcribler, or a hireling peer,
Knight of the poft corrupt, or of the fhire;
If on a Pillory, or near a Throne,

He gain his Prince's ear, or lose his own.



VER. 354. Abuse, on all he lov'd, or lov'd him, Spread.] Namely on the Duke of Buckingham, the Earl of Burlington, Lord Bathurst, Lord Bolingbroke, Bishop Atterbury, Dr. Swift, Dr. Arbuthnot, Mr. Gay, his Friends, his Parents, and his very Nurse, afperfed in printed papers, by James Moore, G. Ducket, L. Welfted, Tho. Bentley, and other obfcure perfons.


VER. 359. For thee, fair Virtue! welcome ev'n the laft!] This line is remarkable for presenting us with the most amiable image of fteady Virtue, mixed with a modest concern for his being forced to undergo the fevereft proofs of his love for it, which was the being thought hardly of by his SOVEREIGN,

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