Page images
PDF
EPUB

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; 365
If on a Pillory, or near a Throne,
He gain his Prince's ear, or lofe his own.

Yet foft by nature, more a dupe than wit, Sappho can tell you how this man was bit: This dreaded Satʼrift Dennis will confefs Foe to his pride, but friend to his distress: So humble, he has knock'd at Tibbald's door, Has drunk with Cibber, nay has rhym'd for Moor. Full ten years flander'd, did he once reply? Three thousand funs went down on Welfted's lye.

VARIATIONS.

VER. 368. in the MS.

Once, and but once, his heedlefs youth was bit,
And lik'd that dang'rous thing, a female wit:
Safe as he thought, tho' all the prudent chid;
He writ no Libels, but my Lady did;

Great odds in am'rous or poetic game,

Where Woman's is the fin, and Man's the fhame,

379

NOTES,

being forced to undergo the fevereft proofs of his love for it, which was the being thought hardly of by his SOVEREIGN.

VER. 374. ten years] It was fo long after many libels before the Author of the Dunciad publifhed that poem, till when, he never writ a word in anfwer to the many fcurrilities and falfehoods concerning him, P.

To please a Mistress one afpers'd his life;
He lafh'd him not, but let her be his wife:
Let Budgel charge low Grubstreet on his quill,
And write whate'er he pleas'd, except his Will;
Let the two Curls of Town and Court, abufe 380
His father, mother, body, foul, and muse.

376

NOTES.

VER. 375. Welfed's lye.] This man had the impudence to tell in print, that Mr. P. had occafioned a Lady's death, and to name a perfon he never heard of. He alfo publifh'd that he libell'd the Duke of Chandos; with whom (it was added) that he had lived in familiarity, and received from him a prefent of five hundred pounds: the falfehood of both which is known to his Grace. Mr. P. never received any prefent, farther than the fubfcription for Homer, from him, or from Any great Man whatsoever. P.

VER. 378. Let Budgel] Budgel, in a weekly pamphlet called the Bee, beftowed much abufe on him, in the imagination that he writ fome things about the Laft Will of Dr. Tindal, in the GrubStreet Journal; a Paper wherein he never had the least hand, direction, or fupervifal, nor the least knowledge of its Author. P.

VER. 379. except his Will;] Alluding to Tyndall's Will: by which, and other indirect practices, Budgell, to the exclufion of the next heir, a nephew, got to himself almost the whole fortune of a man entirely unrelated to him.

VER. 381. His father, mother, &c.] In fome of Curl's and other pamphlets, Mr. Pope's father was faid to be a Mechanic, a Hatter, a Farmer, nay a Bankrupt. But, what is ftranger, a Nobleman (if fuch a reflection could be thought to come from a Nobleman) had dropt an allufion to that pitiful untruth, in a paper called an Epistle to a Doctor of Divinity: And the following line,

Hard as thy Heart, and as thy Birth obfcure,

had fallen from a like Courtly pen, in certain Verfes to the Imitator of Horace. Mr. Pope's Father was of a Gentleman's Family in Oxfordshire, the head of which was the Earl of Downe, whofe fole Heirefs married the Earl of Lindfey-His mother

[ocr errors]

Yet why? that Father held it for a rule,
It was a fin to call our neighbour fool:
That harmless Mother thought no wife a whore:
Hear this, and spare his family, James Moore !385
Unfpotted names, and memorable long!
If there be force in Virtue, or in Song.

Of gentle blood (part shed in Honour's cause,
While yet in Britain Honour had applause)
Each parent fprung ---A. What fortune, pray?-
P. Their own,
390

And better got, than Beftia's from the throne.

[ocr errors]

NOTES.

was the daughter of William Turnor, Efq. of York: She had three brothers, one of whom was killed, another died in the fervice of King Charles; the eldest following his fortunes, and becoming a general officer in Spain, left her what estate remained after the sequestrations and forfeitures of her familyMr. Pope died in 1717, aged 75; She in 1733, aged 93, a very few weeks after this poem was finifhed. The following infcription was placed by their fon on their Monument in the parifh of Twickenham, in Middlesex.

D. O. M.

ALEXANDRO. POPE. VIRO. INNOCVO. PROBO. PIO.
QVI. VIXIT. ANNOS. LXXV. OB. MDCCXVII.
ET. EDITHAE. CONIVGI. INCVLPABILI.
PIENTISSIMAE. QUAE. VIXIT. ANNOS.
XCIII. OB. MDCCXXXIII.

PARENTIBVS. BENEMERENTIBVS. FILIVS. FECIT.
ET. SIBI.

P.

VER. 390. A. What fortune, pray?] His friend's perfonating the Town in this place, and affuming its impertinent curiofity, gives great fpirit to the ridicule of the queftion.---Julian has a parallel ftroke, in his farcaftic difcourfe to the people of An

Born to no Pride, inheriting no, Strife,
Nor marrying Discord in a noble wife,
Stranger to civil and religious rage,
The good man walk'd innoxious thro' his age.395
No Courts he faw, no fuits would ever try,
Nor dar'd an Oath, nor hazarded a Lye.
Unlearn'd, he knew no fchoolman's fubtile art,
No language, but the language of the heart.
By Nature honeft, by Experience wife,
Healthy by temp'rance, and by exercise;
His life, tho' long, to sickness past unknown,
His death was instant, and without a groan.
O
grant me, thus to live, and thus to die!
Who fprung from Kings fhall know less joy than I.

404

VARIATIONS.

After 405. in the MS.

And of myself, too, fomething muft I say?
Take then this verse, the trifle of a day.
And if it live, it lives but to commend
The man whofe heart has ne'er forgot a Friend,
Or head, an Author: Critic, yet polite

And friend to Learning, yet too wife to write.

400

NOTES.

tioch, where he tells them a story out of Plutarch, concerning Cato; who, when he came near their City, found their youth under arms, and the magistrates in their robes of office. On which alighting, in an ill humour with his friends, who he imagined had informed them of his approach, the master of the ceremonies came up, and, advancing before the company, accofted him in this manner; "Stranger, how far off is Deme

O Friend! may each domestic blifs be thine!
Be no unpleafing Melancholy mine:
Me, let the tender office long engage,
To rock the cradle of repofing Age,

With lenient arts extend a Mother's breath, 410
Make Languor fmile, and smooth the bed of Death,
Explore the thought, explain the asking eye,
And keep a while one parent from the sky!
On cares like these if length of days attend,
May Heav'n, to blefs thofe days, preferve my friend,
Preferve him focial, chearful, and ferene,
And just as rich as when he serv'd a QUEEN.
A. Whether that bleffing be deny'd or giv'n,
Thus far was right, the reft belongs to Heav'n.

416

NOTES.

"trius?" Now this Demetrius (fays Julian) was one of Pompey's freedmen, and immenfely rich. You will ask me what he was worth; for I know nothing fo likely to excite your curiofity. Why, truly, for this, you must confult Demophilas the Bythinian, whoje anecdotes turn chiefly upon fubjects of this high importance.

VER. 417. And just as rich as when he ferv'd a Queen.] An honeft compliment to his Friend's real and unaffected difintereftednefs, when he was the favourite Phyfician of Queen Anne.

VER. 418. A. Whether that bling, &c.] He makes his friend clofe the Dialogue with a lentiment very expreffive of that religious refignation, which was the Character both of his temper, and his piety.

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »