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How can I Pulteney,15 Chesterfield,16 forget,
Pope's life. His turbulence and ambition were strangely contrasted with the gentle, affectionate tone of his letters; and in his correspondence with Pope he is seen to great advantage as a Christian divine and man of letters.]
15 [William Pulteney, Earl of Bath, the successful antagonist of Walpole, whom he finally drove from power in 1741. The defeated minister, however, had the address to procure Pulteney's elevation to the peerage, upon which both of them became (as Walpole expressed it) two of the most insignificant fellows in England! As Earl of Bath, Pulteney's popularity immediately declined. He died in 1764.]
16 [The witty Lord Chesterfield, Philip Dormer Stanhope. He was then his forty-fourth year, and had been several years in opposition. He lost his office of Steward of the Household in consequence of his votes and speeches against Walpole's Excise Bill. He afterwards was Ambassador at the Hague, and Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, and he held the seals of Secretary of State for two years. Chesterfield's reputation as a senator is inferior to that which he attained as a wit and an author. His celebrated Letters to his Son lowered his character, but evinced his taste and acuteness of observation: and his recently published correspondence is honourable to him both as a wit and a politician. He was an able diplomatist, and a sound and sagacious statesman. After a long series of ill-health and infirmities, he died in 1773, aged seventy-nine.]
17 [John, the second and great Duke of Argyll, born in 1678; served, when only seventeen, under William III., and afterwards under Marlborough; was Ambassador in Spain, and, after the peace of Utrecht, Commander-in-Chief of the forces in Scotland. He was engaged in suppressing the rebellion of 1715. As a politician, he was grasping, versatile, and ambitious. He opposed Walpole's Administration at the date of this Satire, and, on the defeat of the Whig minister, was again employed. His death took place soon afterwards, in September, 1743.]
18 Sir William Wyndham, Chancellor of the Exchequer under Queen Anne, made early a considerable figure; but since a much greater both by his ability and eloquence, joined with the utmost judgment and temper.
[In first edition,—
Wyndham arm'd for freedom."
Wyndham was a man of fine taste and accomplishments, as well as an effective orator. He died in 1740.]
Names, which I long have loved, nor loved in vain, 90
Yet think not, Friendship only prompts my lays;-
To find an honest man I beat about,
And love him, court him, praise him, in or out.
F. Then why so few commended?
I never (to my sorrow I declare)
Dined with the Man of Ross, or my Lord Mayor.
P. Not so fierce;
19 [An allusion by Pope to his intimacy with the Prince of Wales.]
Enough for half the greatest of these days,
O let my country's friends illumine mine!
F. They, too, may be corrupted, you'll allow ?
But pray, when others praise him, do I blame ?
What! shall each spur-galled hackney of the day,
-What are you thinking? F. Faith the thought's no sin: I think your friends are out, and would be in. P. If merely to come in, sir, they go out, The way they take is strangely round about.
20 Look for him in his place. Dunc. B. ii. ver. 315.
21 The Hon. Hugh Hume, son of Alexander, Earl of Marchmont, grandson of Patrick, Earl of Marchmont, and distinguished, like them, in the cause of liberty.
[He became Earl of Marchmont in 1740, and died in January, 1794, aged eighty-six.]
22 [An ironical allusion to Walpole's carelessness and unconcern as a husband. His maxim was "to go his own way, and let madam go hers." Horace Walpole was commonly believed to be the son, not of his putative father, but of Carr, Lord Hervey, an elder brother of Lord Funny.]
Or each new-pension'd sycophant, pretend
And begg'd, he'd take the pains to kick the rest:
F. Hold, Sir! for God's sake, where's the affront to you?
The priest whose flattery bedropp'd the Crown,26
As hog to hog in huts of Westphaly :
23 [The poet's windows were actually broken one day when he had Boling. broke and Bathurst at dinner with him. This shows that the Opposition could not have been very popular.]
24 [Lord Selkirk and Judge Page. The latter was an orator in the style of Judge Jeffreys. See Notes to Dunciad.]
25 A verse taken out of a poem to Sir R. W.
[The poem was written by Bubb Dodington, Lord Melcombe; and having done duty to one premier, was afterwards addressed to another, Lord Bute.]
26 Spoken not of any particular priest, but of many priests.
[But glancing at Dr. Alured Clarke's panegyric on Queen Caroline as the "florid youth" means Lord Hervey.]
If one, through Nature's bounty or his Lord's,
From him the next receives it, thick or thin,
F. This filthy simile, this beastly line,
The affront is mine, my friend, and should be yours.
Mine, as a friend to every worthy mind;
27 In the MS.
"I grant it, Sir; and further, 'tis agreed,
Japhet writ not, and Chartres scarce could read."
28 From Terence: "Homo sum: humani nihil a me alienum puto."
F. You're strangely proud. P. So proud, I am no slave : 205 So impudent, I own myself no knave:
So odd, my country's ruin makes me grave.