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ELL, if it be
if it be my time to quit the stage,
Adieu to all the follies of the age!
I die in charity with fool and knave,
Secure of peace at least beyond the
I've had my Purgatory here betimes,
And paid for all
my fatires, all
The Poet's hell, its tortures, fiends, and flames,
To this were trifles, toys, and empty names.
With foolish pride my heart was never fir'd,
Nor the vain itch t'admire, or be admir'd;
I hop❜d for no commiffion from his Grace;
I bought no benefice, I begg'd no place;
Had no new verses, nor new fuit to show;
Yet went to Court!-the Dev'l would have it fo.
But, as the Fool that in reforming days
Would go to Mafs in jeft (as story says)
Could not but think, to pay his fine was odd,
Since 'twas no form'd defign of ferving God;
VER. 13. Had no new verses, nor new fuit to show ;] Warburton fays, this is an "infinuation, that Court-Poetry, like Courtclothes, only comes thither in honour of the Sovereign; and serves but to fupply a day's converfation !!"
VER. 14. the Dev'l would] This addition is mean. And line below, 26. is perhaps the greatest violation of harmony Pope has ever been guilty of, by beginning the Verfe with the word Noah. And line 17, bis fine was odd, feems to be very exceptionable.
As prone to all ill, and of good as forget-
full, as proud, luftfull, and as much in debt,
As vain, as witless, and as false, as they
Which dwell in Court, for once going that way.
Therefore I fuffer'd this; towards me did run A thing more ftrange, than on Nile's flime the Sun. E'er bred, or all which into Noah's Ark came: A thing which would have pos'd Adam to name: Stranger than feven Antiquaries ftudies, Than Africk Monsters, Guianaes rarities, Stranger than strangers: one who, for a Dane, In the Danes Maffacre had fure been flain, If he had liv'd then; and without help dies, When next the 'Prentices 'gainst strangers rise; One whom the wach at noon lets fcarce go by; One, to whom the examining Justice sure would cry, Sir, by your Priesthood, tell me what you are? His cloathes were ftrange, tho' coarfe, and black, tho' bare.
VER. 19. So was I punish'd,] Thus in former editions:
Such was my Fate, whom Heav'n adjudg'd,
Pope made many alterations in this Satire, and feems to have taken pains in correcting it. Line 65, and fucceeding ones, ftood thus:
Well met, he cries, and happy fure for each,
For I am pleas'd to learn, and you to teach.
Obliging Sir, I love you I profefs,
you lik'd Retreat a little lefs,
So was I punish'd, as if full as proud
As prone to ill, as negligent of good,
As deep in debt, without a thought to pay,
As vain, as idle, and as false, as they
Who live at Court, for going once that way!
Scarce was I enter'd, when, behold! there came
A thing which Adam had been pos'd to name;
Noah had refus'd it lodging in his Ark,
Where all the Race of Reptiles might embark:
A verier monster, than on Africk's fhore,
Spirits like you, belive me, should be seen,
And like Ulyffes vifit Courts and men;
So much alone, to speak plain truth between us,
You'll die of spleen-excufe me, nunquam minus.
Line 154, ran thus:
Shows Poland's Intereft, takes the Primate's Part.
The fun e'er got, or flimy Nilus bore,
Or Sloan or Woodward's wondrous fhelves contain, Nay, all that lying Travellers can feign.
The watch would hardly let him pass at noon,
At night would fwear him dropt out of the Moon. One, whom the mob, when next we find or make A popish plot, fhall for a Jefuit take,
And the wife Juftice, ftarting from his chair,
Cry, By your Priesthood tell me what you are?
Such was the wight: Th' apparel on his back,
Tho' coarfe, was rev'rend, and tho' bare, was black:
Dr. Johnson speaks, methinks, too flightingly of these Imitations of Donne, when he fays, "That Pope feems to have known their imbecillity."
Sleeveless his jerkin was, and had it been
Velvet, but 'twas now (fo much ground was feen)
Become Tufftaffaty; and our children shall
See it plain rash a while, then nought at all.
The thing hath travail'd, and, faith, speaks all
And only knoweth what to all States belongs,
Made of th' accents, and best phrase of all these,
He fpeaks one language. If ftrange meats difplease,
Art can deceive, or hunger force my tast ;
But pedants motly tongue, fouldiers bumbast,
Mountebanks drug-tongue, nor the terms of law,
Are ftrong enough preparatives to draw
Me to hear this, yet I must be content
With his tongue, in his tongue call'd Complement:
In which he can win widows, and pay scores,
Make men speak treason, couzen subtlest whores,
Outflatter favourites, or outlie either
Jovius, or Surius, or both together.
He names me, and comes to me; I whisper, God, How have I finn'd, that thy wrath's furious Rod, This fellow, chuseth me! He faith, Sir,
I love your judgment, whom do you prefer
For the best Linguift? and I feelily
Said that I thought Calepine's Dictionary.
VER. 68. “ 7 he King's,” said I.] “ This fneer," faid the ingenious Mr. Wilkes, "is really indecent. The good Bishop who published an edition of his works, ought, in the mild limbo of his Commentary, to have foftened the feverity of this paffage."
The fuit, if by the fashion one might guess,
Was velvet in the youth of good Queen Befs,
But mere tuff-taffety what now remain'd;
So Time, that changes all things, had ordain'd!
Our fons fhall fee it leisurely decay,
First turn plain rafh, then vanish quite away.
This thing has travell'd, fpeaks each language too,
And knows what's fit for ev'ry state to do;
Of whose best phrafe and courtly accent join'd,
He forms one tongue, exotic and refin'd.
Talkers I've learn'd to bear; Motteux I knew,
Henley himself I've heard, and Budgel too.
The Doctor's Wormwood ftyle, the Hash of tongues
A Pedant makes, the form of Gonfon's lungs,
The whole Artill'ry of the terms of War,
And (all thofe plagues in one) the bawling Bar: 55
Thefe I could bear; but not a rogue fo civil,
Whose tongue will compliment you to the devil.
A tongue, that can cheat widows, cancel fcores,
Make Scots speak treason, cozen subtleft whores,
With royal Favourites in flatt'ry vie,
And Oldmixon and Burnet both outlie.
He spies me out; I whifper, Gracious God!
What fin of mine could merit fuch a rod?
That all the shot of dulnefs now must be
From this thy blunderbufs difcharg'd on me!
Permit (he cries) no ftranger to your fame
To crave your fentiment, if's your name.
What Speech efteem you moft?" The King's," faid I.
But the best words?" O, Sir, the Dictionary."