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Satire or sense, alas! can Sporus feel,
Who breaks a butterfly upon a wheel?

P. Yet let me flap this bug with gilded wings,
This painted child of dirt, that stinks and stings;
Whose buzz the witty and the fair annoys,
Yet wit ne'er tastes, and beauty ne'er enjoys:


So well-bred spaniels civilly delight

In mumbling of the gaine they dare not bite.

Eternal smiles his emptiness betray,


As shallow streams run dimpling all the way.

Whether in florid impotence he speaks,

And, as the prompter breathes, the puppet squeaks ;
Or at the ear of Eve, familiar toad! 38

Half froth, half venom, spits himself abroad,
In puns, or politics, or tales, or lies,


Or spite, or smut, or rhymes, or blasphemies. 39
His wit all see-saw, between that and this,
Now high, now low, now master up, now miss,
And he himself one vile antithesis.
Amphibious thing! that acting either part,
The trifling head, or the corrupted heart;
Fop at the toilet, flatterer at the board,
Now trips a lady, and now struts a lord.
Eve's tempter thus the Rabbins have express'd,
A cherub's face, a reptile all the rest.



Beauty that shocks you, parts that none will trust,
Wit that can creep, and pride that licks the dust.
Not Fortune's worshipper, nor Fashion's fool,
Not Lucre's madman, nor Ambition's tool,
Not proud, nor servile; be one poet's praise,
That, if he pleased, he pleased by manly ways:
That flattery, even to kings, he held a shame,
And thought a lie in verse or prose the same;

38 See Milton, Book iv.


39 [It is interesting to note the care with which Pope elaborated his highcoloured and vehement satires. In the first edition were the following lines:

"Did ever smock-face act so vile a part

A trifling head, and a corrupted heart.

Eve's tempter thus the Rabbins have express'd,

A cherub's face, a reptile all the rest.

Beauty that shocks," &c.]

That not in Fancy's maze he wander'd long, 40
But stoop'd to Truth, and moralized his song:
That not for Fame, but Virtue's better end,
He stood the furious foe, the timid friend,
The damning critic, half-approving wit,
The coxcomb hit, or fearing to be hit;
Laughed at the loss of friends he never had,
The dull, the proud, the wicked, and the mad ;
The distant threats of vengeance on his head,
The blow unfelt, the tear he never shed; 41
The tale revived, the lie so oft o'erthrown, 42
The imputed trash, and dulness not his own;
The morals blacken'd when the writings 'scape,
The libell'd person, and the pictured shape;
Abuse, on all he loved, or loved him, spread,*
A friend in exile, or a father dead;
The whisper, that to greatness still too near,
Perhaps yet vibrates on his sovereign's ear-
Welcome for thee, fair Virtue! all the past:
For thee, fair Virtue! welcome even the last!



A. But why insult the poor, affront the great? P. A knave's a knave, to me, in every state;






40 [In first edit.,—

"In Fancy's maze that wandering not too long."]

41 [In first edit.,

"The tales of vengeance, lies so oft o'erthrown,
The imputed trash, the dulness not his own."

The "blow unfelt" most probably alludes to the pretended whipping of Pope in Ham Walks, a piece of malicious mirth, which was ascribed to Lady Mary Wortley Montagu. See Life of Pope.]

42 As, that he received subscriptions for Shakspeare, that he set his name to Mr. Broome's verses, &c., which, though publicly disproved, were, nevertheless, shamelessly repeated in the libels, and even in that called the Nobleman's Epistle.

43 Such as profane psalms, Court-poems, and other scandalous things, printed in his name by Curll and others.

44 Namely, on the Duke of Buckingham, the Earl of Burlington, Lord Bathurst, Lord Bolingbroke, Bishop Atterbury, Dr. Swift, Dr. Arbuthnot, Mr. Gay, his friends, his parents, and his very nurse, aspersed in printed papers, by James Moore, G. Duckett, L. Welsted, Tho. Bentley, and other obscure persons.

Alike my scorn, if he succeed or fail,
Sporus at court, or Japhet in a jail,45
A hireling scribbler, or a hireling peer,
Knight of the post corrupt, or of the shire;
If on a pillory, or near a throne,

He gain his prince's ear, or lose his own.46

Yet soft by nature, more a dupe than wit,
Sappho can tell you how this man was bit:
This dreaded satirist Dennis will confess
Foe to his pride, but friend to his distress:
So humble, he has knocked at Tibbald's door,



Has drunk with Cibber, nay has rhymed for Moore.47
Full ten years slander'd, did he once reply? 48

Three thousand suns went down on Welsted's lie ;49


To please a mistress one aspersed his life;

He lash'd him not, but let her be his wife:

45 [Japhet Crook. See Moral Essays, Ep. III. The comparison must have been "odorous" to Lord Fanny.]

46 In the MS.,

"Once, and but once, his heedless youth was bit,

And liked that dangerous thing, a female wit:
Safe as he thought, though all the prudent chid;

He writ no libels, but my Lady did :

Great odds in amorous or poetic game,

Where woman's is the sin, and man's the shame."

["My Lady," of course, was Lady Mary.]

47 [See "Testimonies of Authors" prefixed to the Dunciad. Pope had given James Moore Smythe some lines, with leave to insert them in his comedy, the Rival Modes. At the same time, he told him they would be known for his (Mr. Pope's), some copies being got abroad. The verses now form part of the Moral Essays, Ep. II., ver. 243 to 249, the first line being originally,"See how the world its pretty slaves rewards!"]

48 It was so long after many libels before the author of the Dunciad published that poem, till when he never writ a word in answer to the many scurrilities and falsehoods concerning him.

[This must not be taken literally. The Miscellanies of Pope and Swift had been published before the Dunciad.]

49 This man had the impudence to tell, in print, that Mr. P. had occasioned a lady's death, and to name a person he never heard of. He also published that he libelled the Duke of Chandos; with whom, it was added, that he had lived in familiarity, and received from him a present of five hundred pounds-the falsehood of both which is known to his Grace. Mr. P. never received any present, further than the subscriptions for Homer, from him, or from any great man whatsoever.

Let Budgell charge low Grub-street on his quill,50
And write whate'er he pleased, except his will; 51
Let the two Curlls of town and court, abuse
His father, mother, body, soul, and muse.52
Yet why? that father held it for a rule,
It was a sin to call our neighbour fool:

That harmless mother thought no wife a whore :
Hear this, and spare his family, James Moore !
Unspotted names, and memorable long!

If there be force in virtue, or in song.



50 Budgell, in a weekly pamphlet called the Bee, bestowed much abuse on him, in the imagination that he writ some things about the Last Will of Dr. Tindal, in the Grub-street Journal; a paper wherein he never had the least hand, direction, or supervisal, nor the least knowledge of its author.

51 Alluding to Tindal's will, by which, and other indirect practices, Budgell, to the exclusion of the next heir, a nephew, got to himself almost the whole fortune of a man entirely unrelated to him.

[There seems little doubt that Budgell forged the will, but he did not get the money, as the will was set aside.]

52 In some of Curll's and other pamphlets, Mr. Pope's father was said to be a mechanic, a hatter, a farmer, nay a bankrupt. But, what is stranger, a nobleman [Lord Hervey] (if such a reflection could be thought to come from a nobleman), had dropped an allusion 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 obscure,"

had fallen from a like courtly pen, in certain verses 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, whose sole heiress married the Earl of Lindsey. His mother was the daughter of William Turner, Esq., of York. She had three brothers, one of whom was killed, another died in the service 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 family.—Mr. Pope died in 1717, aged 75: she in 1733, aged 93, a very few weeks after this poem was finished. The following inscription was placed by their son on their monument in the parish of Twickenham, in Middlesex.

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Of gentle blood (part shed in honour's cause,

While yet in Britain honour had applause)

Each parent sprung-A. What fortune, pray ?-P. Their own,

And better got, than Bestia's from the throne.
Born to no pride, inheriting no strife,


Nor marrying discord in a noble wife,53

Stranger to civil and religious rage,

The good man walk'd innoxious through his age.
No courts he saw, no suits would ever try,
Nor dared an oath, nor hazarded a lie.


Unlearn'd, he knew no schoolman's subtle art,

No language, but the language of the heart.
By nature honest, by experience wise,
Healthy by temperance, and by exercise,

His life, though long, to sickness pass'd unknown,
His death was instant, and without a groan.

O grant me thus to live, and thus to die!


sprung from kings shall know less joy than I.54 O friend! may each domestic bliss be thine!

Be no unpleasing melancholy mine:

Me, let the tender office long engage,
To rock the cradle of reposing age,

With lenient arts extend a mother's breath,




Make languor smile, and smooth the bed of death.
Explore the thought, explain the asking eye,

And keep awhile one parent from the sky!
On cares like these if length of days attend,

May Heaven, to bless those days, preserve my friend, 415
Preserve him social, cheerful, and serene,

And just as rich as when he served a queen.55

58 [Alluding to Addison's marriage with the Countess of Warwick, and Dryden's with Lady Elizabeth Howard. Neither of these connexions is said to have been happy, but in the case of Addison there is no distinct authentic information.]

54 After ver. 405, in the MS.,

"And of myself, too, something must I say?

Take then this verse, the trifle of a day,

And if it live, it lives but to commend

The man whose heart has ne'er forgot a friend;
Or head, an author; critic, yet polite,

And friend to learning, yet too wise to write."

56 [On the death of Queen Anne, Arbuthnot, like the attendants at the Court, was displaced, and had to leave his apartments at St. James's. He

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