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F. This filthy fimile, this beastly line Quite turns my ftomach
P. So does Flatt'ry mine;
And all your courtly Civet-cats can vent,
Perfume to you, to me is Excrement.
But hear me further-Japhet, 'tis agreed,
Writ not, and Chartres fcarce could write or read
VER. 185 in the MS.
I grant it, Sir; and further, 'tis agreed,
Japhet writ not, and Chartres fcarce could read.
VER. 182. So does Flatt'ry mine ;] Fontenelle has written a pleasant Dialogue between Auguftus and Peter Aretine, the Italian Satirift, who laughs immoderately at the Emperor, for the grofs flattery he fo cordially received from his poets, particularly Virgil, at the beginning of the Third Georgic. And Aretine, among other delicate ftrokes of ridicule, tells him, "On loucit une partie de votre vie, aux depens de l'autre." But Fontenelle ends like a true Frenchman, and affures Auguftus, "he will no longer be quoted as a model for Kings, fince Louis XIV. has appeared." Such is the language held of a man, who could banish Fenelon, burn the Palatinate, and drive away or deftroy fo many of his proteftant fubjects; who kept in pay 40,000 men. It is grievous to reflect, that for incurring the displeasure of such a man, Racine had the weakness to be fo much affected, as to bring on, by vexation and grief, a disease that was fatal to him. Racine and Boileau relinquished, after a small progrefs, the Hiftory of Louis XIV. which they were appointed to write. Boileau honeftly owned to his friends, that he did not well know what reafons to allege in juftification of the war against Holland in 1672. The pride, profufion, ambition, and defpotifm of Louis XIV. laid the foundation of the ruin of France, and all the miferies we have lived to fee. WARTON,
VER. 185. Japhet-Chartres] See the Epistle to Lord Bathurst.
Dr. Warton fays very juftly, we are wearied with the perpetual repetition of these names, and thofe of Ward, Waters, Dennis, &c.
In all the Courts of Pindus guiltless quite;
But Pens can forge, my Friend, that cannot write;
Unless, good Man! he has been fairly in?
Th' Affront is mine, my Friend, and should be yours. Mine, as a Foe profefs'd to falfe Pretence,
Who think a Coxcomb's Honour like his Sense;
Mine, as a Friend to ev'ry worthy Mind;
And mine as Man, who feel for all Mankind.
F. You're ftrangely proud.
So impudent, I own myfelf no Knave:
P. So proud, I am no Slave:
So odd, my Country's Ruin makes me grave.
Yes, I am proud; I must be proud to fee
Men not afraid of God, afraid of me:
VER. 204. And mine as Man, who feel for all Mankind.] From Terence: Homo fum: humani nihil a me alienum puto."
VER. 208. Yes, I am proud, &c.] In this ironical exultation the Poet infinuates a fubject of the deepeft humiliation.
Safe from the Bar, the Pulpit, and the Throne, 210
O facred weapon! left for Truth's defence,
The Muse may give thee, but the Gods must guide:
VER. 208. Yes, I am proud, &c.] This seems fabricated from the materials of Boileau, Difcours au Roi, ver. 99.
En vain d'un lâche orgueil leur efprit revétu
Se couvre du manteau d'une auftère vertu :
S'il fe moque de Dieu, craint Tartuffe ct Molière. WAKEFIELD. VER. 211. Yet touch'd and fham'd by Ridicale alone.] The paffions are given us to awake and fupport Virtue. But they fre quently betray their truft, and go over to the interefts of Vice. Ridicule, when employed in the cause of Virtue, fhames and brings them back to their duty. Hence the ufe and importance of Satire. WARBURTON.
VER. 219. And goad the Prelate flumb'ring in his Stull.] The good Eufebius, in his Evangelical Preparation, draws a long parallel between the Ox and the Chriftian Pric? hood. Hence the dig nified Clergy, out of mere humility, have ever fince called their thrones by the name of falls. To which a great Prelate of Winchester, one W. Edinton, modestly alluding, has rendered his name immortal by this ecclefiaftical aphorifm, who would otherwife have been forgotten; Canterbury is the higher rack, but Winchefter is the better manger. By which, however, it appears that he was not one of those here condemned, who flumber in their falls SCRIBLERUS.
All his Grace preaches, all his Lordfhip fings, 224
VER. 220 Te Infecs! The Muse's wing shall brush you all away :] This it did very effectually; and the memory of them had been now forgotten, had not the Poet's charity, for a while, protracted their miferable Being. There is now in his Library at Mr. Allen's, a complete collection of all the horrid Libels written and published against him ;
"The tale reviv'd, the lie fo oft o'erthrown,
Th' imputed trash, and dulness not his own;
These he had bound up in feveral volumes, according to their various fizes, from folios down to duodecimos; and to each of them hath affixed this motto out of the book of Job:
Behold, my defire is, that mine adverfary fhould write a book. Surely I fhould take it upon my shoulder, and bind it as a crown to me. Ch. xxxi. ver. 35, 36. WARBURTON.
VER. 220. Ye tinfel Infels !] Poets have frequently been partymen, ancient as well as modern. Euripides was of Alcibiades's faction, for war; Ariftophanes, for peace. Hence arofe their mu tual animofity. The Inferno of Dante is as much a political poem as the Abfalom and Achitophel of Dryden. The Eneid is also of this kind; and fo is the Pharfalia of Lucan, and the Henriade of Voltaire. WARTON.
VER. 222. Cobwebs] Weak and flight sophistry against virtue and honour. Thin colours over vice, as unable to hide the light of Truth, as cobwebs to fhade the Sun. POPE.
VER. 223. The MUSE's wing fhall brush you all away:] An exquifite verfe, of which Mr. Gray has made excellent use in his Ode on Spring:
Brufh'd by the hand of rough mifchance,
VER. 225. Gods of Kings.] When James the First had once befpeeched his Parliament, Bifhop Williams, Keeper of the Great
All, all but Truth, drops dead-born from the Prefs,
When black Ambition stains a public Cause,
After VER. 227. in the MS.
Where's now the Star that lighted Charles to rife?
Seal, added-that, after his Majesty's DIVINUM ET IMMORTALE. DICTUM, he would not dare mortale aliquid addere. On which, Wilfon the Hiftorian obferves-This is not inferted to fhew the PREGNANCY and GENIUS of the man, but the temper of the times.
VER. 228. When black Ambition, &c.] The cafe of Cromwell in the civil war of England; and (Ver. 229.) of Louis XIV. in his conquest of the Low Countries.
VER. 230. Not Waller's Wreath] "Such a feries of verfes," says Dr. Johnson, " as the Panegyric on Cromwell, had hardly appeared before in the English language." I cannot forbear adding, that I am furprized Waller should never name Milton, who was of the same party, and which he had fo many opportunities But Waller was not of Milton's school. of doing in his works. WARTON.
VER. 231. Nor Boileau turn the Feather to a Star.] See his Ode on Namur; where (to use his own words) "Il a fait un Aftre de la Plume blanche que le Roy porte ordinairement à fon Chapeau, et qui eft en effet une efpece de Comete, fatale à nos ennemis."