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F. Yet none but you by name the guilty lash;
P. How, Sir! not damn the sharper, but the dice? Come on, then, Satire! general, unconfined, Spread thy broad wing, and souse on all the kind. Ye statesmen, priests, of one religion all! Ye tradesmen vile, in army, court, or hall! Ye reverend atheists. F. Scandal! name them, who? P. Why that's the thing you bid me not to do. Who starved a sister, who forswore a debt, I never named; the town's inquiring yet. The poisoning dame-F. You mean-P. I don't-F. You do. P. See, now I keep the secret, and not you! The bribing statesman-F. Hold, too high you go.
P. The bribed elector-F. There you stoop too low. 25 P. I fain would please you, if I knew with what; Tell me, which knave is lawful game, which not? Must great offenders, once escaped the crown, Like royal harts, be never more run down?
1 [Michael Paxton, Solicitor to the Treasury, who died in 1744. Two years before this, Paxton was examined by the Secret Committee appointed to inquire into the conduct of Walpole, then Lord Orford. In eleven years, according to the Committee's Report, Mr. Paxton received £94,000 unaccounted for. He refused to answer inquiries respecting a sum of £500 given at Lord Limerick's election, and was committed to Newgate, where he remained from April to July.]
2 The ordinary of Newgate, who publishes the Memoirs of the Malefactors, and is often prevailed upon to be so tender of their reputation, as to set dow no more than the initials of their name.
Admit your law to spare the knight requires?
F. A dean, sir? no; his fortune is not made,
P. If not the tradesman who set up to-day,
But, sir, I beg you (for the love of vice!)
F. What, always Peter? Peter thinks you mad,
P. Do I wrong the man? God knows, I praise a courtier where I can.
Scarce hurts the lawyer, but undoes the scribe.
To tax directors, who (thank God) have plums;
P. Must Satire, then, nor rise nor fall?
3 Jonathan Wild, a famous thief, and thief-impeacher, who was at last caught
in his own train, and hanged. [In the year 1725.]
4 [How often did the poet forget this himself!]
5 Peter had, the year before this, narrowly escaped the pillory, for forgery; and got off with only a severe rebuke from the bench.
When I confess there is who feels for fame,
An Arian to usurp the name!
A bishop in the Isle of Saints,
How will his brethren make complaints!'
6 Earl of, and Knight of the Garter, whose personal attachments to the king appeared from his steady adherence to the royal interest, after his resignation of his great employment of Master of the Horse; and whose known honour and virtue made him esteemed by all parties. [Richard Lumley, second Earl of Scarborough, resigned his post Master of the Horse in 1733-4. On the 4th of February, 1740, he committed suicide by shooting himself with a pistol. There was no apparent cause for the rash act.]
7 The house and gardens of Esher, in Surrey, belonging to the Honourable Mr. Pelham, brother to the Duke of Newcastle. The author could not have given a more amiable idea of his character than in comparing him to Mr. Craggs. [After the downfall of Walpole, Pelham became First Lord of the Treasury, and Chancellor of the Exchequer. He was an honest and popular minister, but possessed of no very shining talents. His death took place March 6th, 1754, when he was barely sixty-one years of age. Pelham's place of Esher was embellished under the direction of Kent, whom Pope had instructed in landscape gardening. Horace Walpole admired Esher above all the villas he had seen, and said Kent was Kentissime there.]
8 [The clerical group here "dwelling in decencies," may be briefly noticed. Dr. Thomas Secker (born in 1693, died in 1768) rose to be Archbishop of Canterbury, and, as Primate, placed the crown upon the head of George III., at the coronation of that sovereign. He wrote numerous theological works and sermons, and was a wise and moderate head of the Anglican Church. Dr. Thomas Rundle (born in 1686, died in 1743,) was conceived to be less orthodox, but finally was made Bishop of Derry, in Ireland. Swift, who liked the man, ridiculed the objections to Rundle's orthodoxy.
"Make Rundle bishop! fie for shame!
The Benson alluded to is, we suppose, Dr. George Benson, a learned Nonconformist divine, who officiated many years in London, and wrote some valuable theological treatises. He was on terms of friendship with most of the English prelates. He died in 1762, aged sixty-three. Dr. George Berkeley, bishop of Cloyne (born in 1684, died in 1753), is too well known
But does the Court a worthy man remove? That instant, I declare, he has my love: I shun his zenith, court his mild decline; Thus Somers once, and Halifax,10 were mine. Oft, in the clear, still mirror of retreat, I studied Shrewsbury,11 the wise and great: 12 Carleton's calm sense, and 13 Stanhope's noble flame, 80 Compared, and knew their generous end the same: How pleasing Atterbury's softer hour! 14 How shined the soul, unconquer'd in the Tower!
as a philosopher and friend of Pepe, Swift, Chesterfield and other eminent persons of that period, to require mention here. In his mind and character so many excellences were combined, that Pope's memorable line is scarcely an exaggeration.]
9 John, Lord Somers, died in 1716. He had been Lord Keeper in the reign of William III., who took from him the seals in 1700. The author had the honour of knowing him in 1706. A faithful, able, and incorrupt minister; who, to the qualities of a consummate statesman, added those of a man of learning and politeness.
10 A peer, no less distinguished by his love of letters than his abilities in Parliament. He was disgraced in 1710, on the change of Queen Anne's ministry.
11 Charles Talbot, Duke of Shrewsbury, had been Secretary of State, Ambassador in France, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Lord Chamberlain, and Lord Treasurer. He several times quitted his employments, and was often recalled. He died in 1718.
12 Hen. Boyle, Lord Carleton (nephew of the famous Robert Boyle), who was Secretary of State under William III., and President of the Council under Queen Anne. [Boyle was created Baron Carleton in 1714, and died in 1725. Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, in announcing Lord Carleton's death to her sister, says, "he disposed of his estate as he did of his time, between Lady Clarendon and the Duchess of Queensberry. Jewels to a great value he has given, as he did his affections, first to the mother and then to the daughter. He was taken ill in my company, at a concert at the Duchess of Marlborough's, and died two days after, holding the fair duchess by the hand, and being fed at the same time with a fine fat chicken; thus dying, as he had lived, indulging his pleasures."]
18 James, Earl Stanhope. A nobleman of equal courage, spirit, and learning. General in Spain, and Secretary of State. [Lord Stanhope died in 1721. He replied to a speech of the Duke of Wharton's, on the South Sea scheme, with so much warmth, that he burst a blood vessel, and died soon afterwards.]
14 [Of all the parties here named, Atterbury only was the friend of Pope. The remarkable history of this prelate, will be found noticed in the sketch of