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F. This filthy fimile, this beaftly line Quite turns my ftomach
P. So does Flatt'ry mine;
And all your courtly Civet-cats can vent,
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 so cordially 1eceived from his poets, particularly Virgil, at the beginning of the Third Georgic. And Aretine, among other delicate ftrokes of ridicule, tells him, "On louoit 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 protestant subjects; 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 so much affected, as to bring on, by vexation and grief, a disease that was fatal to him. Racine and Boileau relinquifhed, after a fmall 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 despotism 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 Ba
Dr. Warton fays very justly, 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;
Afk you what Provocation I have had?
F. You're ftrangely proud.
P. So proud, I am no Slave: So impudent, I own myfelf no Knave: 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 deepest 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 feems fabricated from the materials of Boileau, Difcours au Roi, ver. 99.
En vain d'un lâche orgueil leur efprit revétu
Leur cœur, qui fe connoit, et qui fuit la lumière,
S'il fe moque de Dieu, craint Tartuffe ct Molière. WAKEFIELD.
VER. 211. Yet touch'd and fham'd by Ridicule alone.] The paffions are given us to awake and support Virtue. But they fre. quently betray their truft, and go over to the interests of Vice. Ridicule, when employed in the cause of Virtue, shames 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 Stall.] The good Eufebius, in his Evangelical Preparation, draws a long parallel between the Ox and the Christian Prie hood. Hence the dig nified Clergy, out of mere humility, have ever since called their thrones by the name of falls. To which a great Prelate of Winchester, one W. Edinton, modely alluding, has rendered his name immortal by this ecclefiaftical aphorifm, who would otherwife have been forgotten; Canterbury is the higher rack, but Winchefer is the better manger. By which, however, it appears that he was not one of those here condemned, who slumber in their stalls
Spin all your Cobwebs o'er the Eye of Day!
VER. 220 Te Infeas!-The Muse's wing fball brufb you all eway:] 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 miserable 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 sizes, 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 adversary should write a book. Surely I Should 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; Ariflophanes, for peace. Hence arofe their mutual animosity. The Inferno of Dante is as much a political poem as the Abfalom and Achitophel of Dryden. The Æneid is alfo of this kind; and so is the Pharfalia of Lucan, and the Henriade of Voltaire. WARTON.
VER. 222. Cobwebs] Weak and flight fophiftry against virtue and honour. Thin colours over vice, as unable to hide the light of Truth, as cobwebs to fhade the Sun.
VER. 223. The MUSE's wing fhall brush you all away:] An exquisite verse, of which Mr. Gray has made excellent use in his Ode on Spring:
Brufo'd by the hand of rough mifchance,
VER. 225. Gods of Kings.] When James the First had once befpeeched his Parliament, Bishop Williams, Keeper of the Great Seal,
All, all but Truth, drops dead-born from the Press,
When black Ambition stains a public Caufe,
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.
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. POPE.
VER. 230. Not Waller's Wreath] "Such a series of verfes," fays 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 fame party, and which he had fo many opportunities of doing in his works. But Waller was not of Milton's fchool. WARTON.
VER. 231. Nor Boileau turn the Feather to a Star.] See his Ode on Namur; where (to ufe 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."