Page images
PDF
EPUB

Suppose I cenfure--you know what I mean --To fave a Bishop, may I name a Dean?

F. A Dean, Sir? no: his Fortune is not made, You hurt a man that's rifing in the Trade. 35 P. If not the Tradefman who fet up to day, Much lefs the 'Prentice who to morrow may. Down, down, proud Satire! tho' a Realm be spoil'd, Arraign no mightier Thief than wretched Wild; Or, if a Court or Country's made a job, Go drench a Pick-pocket, and join the Mob. But, Sir, I beg you (for the Love of Vice!) The matter's weighty, pray confider twice ; Have you lefs pity for the needy Cheat,

The poor and friendless Villain, than the Great ? 45 Alas! the fmall Difcredit of a Bribe

Scarce hurts the Lawyer, but undoes the Scribe.

40

NOTES.

as the Critics fay, being from the Hebrew, Pere, Afinus filveftris. SCRIBL.

VER. 35. You hurt a man that's rifing in the Trade.] For, as the reasonable De la Bruyere obferves, "Qui ne fait être un "ERASME, doit penfer à être Evêque." SCRIBL.

VER. 39. wretched Wild,] Jonathan Wild, a famous Thief, and Thief-Impeacher, who was at last caught in his own train and hanged. P.

VER. 42. for the love of Vice] We muft confider the Poet as here directing his difcourfe to a follower of the new system of Politics, That private vices are public benefits. SCRIBL. VOL. IV.

Y

Then better fure it Charity becomes

To tax Directors, who (thank God) have Plums;
Still better, Minifters; or, if the thing
May pinch ev'n there---why lay it on a King.
F. Stop! ftop!

50

P. Muft Satire, then, nor rife nor fall? Speak out, and bid me blame no Rogues at all. F. Yes, ftrike that Wild, I'll justify the blow. P. Strike? why the man was hang'd ten years ago: Who now that obfolete Example fears?

56

Ev'n Peter trembles only for his Ears.

F. What always Peter? Peter thinks you mad, You make men defp'rate, if they once are bad:

NOTES.

VER. 51. why lay it on a King.] He is ferious in the foregoing fubjects of fatire; but ironical here, and only alludes to the common practice of Minifters, in laying their own miscarriages on their masters.

VER. 55. Strike? why the man was hang'd ten years ago:] The line is exquifite. The high humour of it, in the unexpected turn, is but it's fecond praife. It finely carries on the argument, and expofes the falfe rules and meafures of fatire, his Court Friend would inculcate for his practice: which infinuate, that he is to avoid the proper object of fatire, great offenders, who have escaped public juftice; and, in their ftead, to seize the little rogues, who have fubmitted to it.

VER. 57. Ev'n Peter trembles only for his ears,] Peter had, the year before this, narrowly escaped the Pillory for forgery: and got off with a fevere rebuke only from the bench.

P.

Elfe might he take to Virtue some years hence --P. As S---k, if he lives, will love the PRINCE. F. Strange spleen to S---k!

P. Do I wrong the Man? God knows, I praise a Courtier where I can. When I confefs, there is who feels for Fame, 64 And melts to Goodness, need I SCARB'ROW name? Pleas'd let me own, in Efher's peaceful Grove (Where Kent and Nature vye for PELHAM'S LOVE) Love) The Scene, the Mafter, opening to my view, I fit and dream I fee my CRAGGS anew!

Ev'n in a Bishop I can fpy Defert; Secker is decent, Rundel has a Heart,

70

NOTES.

VER. 64. feels for Fame, And melts to goodness] This is a fine compliment; the expreffion fhewing, that fame was but his fecond paffion.

VER. 65. Scarb'row] Earl of, and Knight of the Garter, whose personal attachments to the king appeared from his steddy adherence to the royal intereft, after his refignation of his great employment of Master of the Horfe; and whofe known honour and virtue made him esteemed by all parties. P.

VER. 66. Efher's peaceful grove,] The houfe and gardens of Efher in Surry, 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.

P.

VER. 67. Kent and Nature] Means no more than art and nature. And in this confifts the compliment to the Artist.

VER. 71. Secker is decent] Thefe words (like thofe 135. of the first Dialogue) are another inftance of the malignity of

Manners with Candour are to Benson giv'n,
To Berkley, ev'ry Virtue under Heav'n.

But does the Court a worthy Man remove?
That inftant, I declare, he has my Love:
I fhun his Zenith, court his mild Decline;
Thus SOMMERS once, and HALIFAX, were mine.

Noble and young, who ftrikes the heart,
With ev'ry sprightly, ev'ry DECENT part.

75

NOTES.

the public judgment. The Poet thought, and not without reafon, that they conveyed a very high idea of the worthy perfon to whom they are applied; to be DECENT (or to become every station of life in which a man is placed) being the nobleft encomium on his wifdom and virtue. It is the very topic he employs in speaking of a favourite friend, one he most esteemed and loved,

The word in both places implying every endowment of the heart. As in that celebrated verfe of Horace, from whence the expreffion was taken, and which no one has a better right to apply to himfelf than this excellent prelate :

Quid verum atque DECENS curo et rogo, et omnis in hoc fum. So that to be decent is to excell in the moral character.

VER. 74. But does the court a worthy Man remove?] The poet means, remove him for his worth: not that he esteemed the being in or out a proof either of corruption, or virtue. “I "had a glympfe of a letter of yours lately (fays he to Dr. Swift) "by which I find you are, like the vulgar, apter to think well of "people out of power, than of people in power. Perhaps 'tis 46 a miftake; but, however, there is fomething in it generous." Lett. xvii. Sept. 3, 1726.

VER. 77. Sommers] John Lord Sommers died in 1716. He had been Lord Keeper in the reign of William III. who took from him the feals in 1700. The author had the honour of knowing him in 1706. A faithful, able, and incorrupt minifter; who, to the qualities of a confummate statesman, added thofe of a man of Learning and Politeness.

P.

Oft, in the clear, ftill Mirrour of Retreat,
I ftudy'd SHREWSBURY, the wife and great:
CARLETON's calm Senfe, and STANHOPE's noble
Flame,

80

Compar'd, and knew their gen'rous End the fame:
How pleafing ATTERBURY'S fofter hour!
How shin'd the Soul, unconquer'd in the Tow'r!
How can I PUL'TNEY, CHESTERFIELD forget,
While Roman Spirit charms, and Attic Wit: 85
ARGYLL, the State's whole Thunder born to wield,
And shake alike the Senate and the Field:

Or WYNDHAM, juft to Freedom and the Throne,
The Master of our Paffions, and his own. 89

NOTES.

VER. 77. Halifax] A peer, no lefs diftinguished by his love of letters than his abilities in Parliament. He was difgraced in 1710, on the change of Q. Anne's ministry. P.

VER. 79. Shrewsbury,] Charles Talbot, Duke of Shrewfbury, had been Secretary of state, Embaffador in France, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Lord Chamberlain, and Lord Treafurer. He feveral times quitted his employments, and was often recalled. He died in 1718. P.

VER. 80. Carleton] Hen. Boyle, Lord Carleton (nephew of the famous Robert Boyle) who was Secretary of state under William III. and Prefident of the council under Q. Anne. P.

Ibid. Stanhope] James Earl Stanhope. A Nobleman of equal courage, fpirit, and learning. General in Spain, and Secretary

of state.

P.

VER. 84. Chesterfield] Philip Earl of Chefterfield, commonly given by Writers of all Parties for an example to the Age he lives in, of fuperior talents, and public Virtue.

VER. 88. Wyndham] Sir William Wyndham, Chancellor of

« PreviousContinue »