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Let such, such only, tread this sacred Floor,
Ver. 11. dying Wyndham.] Sir William Wyndham was a most upright and amiable man, and conscientiously attached to the exiled House of James. Born of a Tory family; "imbued," says Mr. Coxe, "from his earlier years with notions of Divine right, he uniformly opposed the succession of the House of Brunswick."
By marriage, in the reign of Edward the Sixth, with the daughter of Sir John Sydenham, of Orchard, the elder line of the ancient family of this name, from Wymondham in Norfolk, was settled at Orchard, since called Orchard Wyndham in Somersetshire. Sir William was lineally descended from this branch. He was born in the year 1686, and upon the death of his father, succeeded to the title of Baronet. He married in 1708, Lady Catherine Seymour, daughter of Charles, Duke of Somerset.
Pope's connection with him was probably owing to Lord Bolingbroke, through life his intimate friend, and with whom he kept up a constant correspondence, which was continued with his son, afterwards Earl of Egremont, till the death of Lord Bolingbroke. Under Lord Oxford's administration he was made Master of the Buck-Hounds, and was afterwards Secretary at War, and Chancellor of the Exchequer. For obvious reasons, he experienced a great reverse of fortune on the accession of George I. and was committed to the Tower in 1716. He was released under bail, and continued to be highly respected for his probity and abilities. He died in 1740. Bowles.
TO MR. GAY,
WHO HAD CONGRATULATED MR. POPE ON FINISHING HIS HOUSE AND GARDENS.
Ан, friend! 'tis true-this truth you lovers
In vain my structures rise, my gardens grow,
What are the gay parterre, the chequer'd shade,
To sigh unheard in, to the passing winds?
VERBATIM FROM BOILEAU.
UN JOUR, DIT UN AUTEUR, &c.
ONCE (says an Author, where, I need not say)
It will be no unuseful or unpleasing amusement to compare this translation with the original:
"Un jour, dit un Auteur, n'importe en quel chapitre,
Deux voyageurs à jeun rencontrerent une huître ;
Devant elle à grand bruit ils expliquent la chose;
Demande l'huître, l'ouvre, et l'avale à leurs yeux,
Tenez voilà, dit elle, à chacun une écaille.
Des sottises d'autrui, nous vivons au palais;
Messieurs, l'huître étoit bonne. Adieu, Vivez en paix."
In the fifth, sixth, seventh, ninth, and twelfth verses, Pope is inferior to the original.
FOLLOWING QUESTION OF MRS. HOW.
WHAT IS PRUDERY ?
"Tis a Beldam,
Seen with Wit and Beauty seldom,
Ver. 11. That rails at dear Lepell] Miss Lepell was one of the maids of honour to Queen Caroline, and she afterwards was married to Lord Hervey. She and Miss Mary Bellenden, mentioned in Gay's ballad, and in Pope's letters, were the ornaments of the court, for beauty, engaging manners, and amiable character. I have a MS. letter from her, written at Paris, to Lord Melcomb, which sufficiently evinces her superior understanding, and might be classed with the letters of Lady M. W. Montagu.
In Gay's ballad she is designated as,
"Youth's youngest daughter, sweet Lepell."
In Gay's poem it is Miss Mary Lepell who is designated as "youth's youngest daughter." Lady Hervey is alluded to in the preceding line.
"Now, Hervey, fair of face, I mark full well.
With her Youth's youngest daughter, sweet Lepell."
TO MR. THOMAS SOUTHERN,
ON HIS BIRTH-DAY, 1742.
RESIGN'd to live, prepar'd to die,
And Ireland, mother of sweet singers,
Ver. 3. This day Tom's] This amiable writer lived the longest, and died one of the richest, of all our poets. In 1737, Mr. Gray, writing to a friend, says very agreeably, "We have here old Mr. Southern, who often comes to see us; he is now seventy-seven years old, and has almost wholly lost his memory; but is as agreeable an old man as can be, at least I persuade myself so, when I look at him, and think of Isabella and Oroonoko." He was cer
tainly a great master of the pathetic; and in the latter part of his life became sensible of the impropriety he had been guilty of in mixing Tragedy with Comedy. He was the first play-writer that had the benefit of a third night. He told Dryden that he once had cleared seven hundred pounds by one of his plays. Warton.
Ver. 6. A table,] Mr. Southern was invited to dine on his birthday with this nobleman (Lord Orrery), who had prepared for him the entertainment of which the bill of fare is here set down. Warton.
Ver. 8. Presents her Harp] The Harp is generally wove on the Irish linen; such as table-cloths, &c. Warburton.