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How can I Pulteney,15 Chesterfield,16 forget,
While Roman spirit charms, and Attic wit?
Argyll,17 the state's whole thunder born to wield,
And shake alike the senate and the field?
Or Wyndham,18 just to freedom and the throne,
The master of our passions, and his own?


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.]

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Names, which I long have loved, nor loved in vain, 90
Rank'd with their friends, not number'd with their train;
And, if yet higher the proud list should end,
Still let me say,-No follower, but a friend.19

Yet think not, Friendship only prompts my lays;-
I follow Virtue; where she shines, I praise :
Point she to priest or elder, Whig or Tory,
Or round a Quaker's beaver cast a glory.

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.
Some, in their choice of friends, (nay, look not grave,) 100
Have still a secret bias to a knave:


P. Not so fierce;
Find you the virtue, and I'll find the verse.
But random praise the task can ne'er be done:
Each mother asks it for her booby son,
Each widow asks it for "the best of men,"
For him she weeps, for him she weds again.
Praise cannot stoop, like satire, to the ground:
The number may be hang'd, but not be crown'd.

19 [An allusion by Pope to his intimacy with the Prince of Wales.]



Enough for half the greatest of these days,
To 'scape my censure, not expect my praise.
Are they not rich? what more can they pretend?
Dare they to hope a poet for their friend?
What Richelieu wanted, Louis scarce could gain,
And what young Ammon wish'd, but wish'd in vain.
No power the Muse's friendship can command;
No power, when Virtue claims it, can withstand:
To Cato, Virgil paid one honest line;

O let my country's friends illumine mine!

F. They, too, may be corrupted, you'll allow ?
P. I only call those knaves who are so now.
Is that too little ? Come then, I'll comply-
Spirit of Arnall! 20 aid me while I lie.
Cobham's a coward, Polwarth is a slave,21
And Lyttelton a dark designing knave;
St. John has ever been a wealthy fool-
But, let me add, Sir Robert's mighty dull;
Has never made a friend in private life,
And was, besides, a tyrant to his wife.22

But pray, when others praise him, do I blame ?
Call Verres, Wolsey, any odious name?
Why rail they then, if but a wreath of mine,
Oh all accomplished St. John! deck thy shrine?

What! shall each spur-galled hackney of the day,
When Paxton gives him double pots and pay,



-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
To break my windows if I treat a friend;
Then wisely plead, to me they meant no hurt,
But 'twas my guest at whom they threw the dirt?
Sure, if I spare the minister, no rules
Of honour bind me, not to maul his tools;
Sure, if they cannot cut, it may be said
His saws are toothless, and his hatchets lead.
It anger'd Turenne, once upon a day,
To see a footman kick'd that took his pay;
But when he heard the affront the fellow gave,
Knew one a man of honour, one a knave;
The prudent general turn'd it to a jest,

And begg'd, he'd take the pains to kick the rest:
Which not at present having time to do-

F. Hold, Sir! for God's sake, where's the affront to you?
Against your worship when had S――k writ ?
Or P-ge pour'd forth the torrent of his wit ? 24
Or grant the bard whose distich all commend
["In power a servant, out of power a friend,"] 25
To W- -le guilty of some venial sin;
What's that to you who ne'er was out nor in ?

The priest whose flattery bedropp'd the Crown,26
How hurt he you? he only stain'd the gown.
And how did, pray, the florid youth offend,
Whose speech you took, and gave it to a friend?
P. Faith, it imports not much from whom it came;
Whoever borrow'd, could not be to blame,
Since the whole House did afterwards the same.
Let courtly wits to wits afford supply,

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,
Has what the frugal, dirty soil affords,

From him the next receives it, thick or thin,
As pure a mess almost as it came in ;
The blessed benefit, not there confined,
Drops to the third, who nuzzles close behind :
From tail to mouth, they feed and they carouse :
The last full fairly gives it to the House.

F. This filthy simile, this beastly line,
Quite turns my stomach--P. So does flattery mine:
And all your courtly civet-cats can vent,
Perfume to you, to me is excrement.
But hear me further :-Japhet, 'tis agreed
Writ not, and Chartres scarce could write or read,27
In all the courts of Pindus guiltless quite;
But pens can forge, my friend, that cannot write :
And must no egg in Japhet's face be thrown,
Because the deed he forged was not my own?
Must never patriot then declaim at gin,
Unless, good man! he has been fairly in?
No zealous pastor blame a failing spouse,
Without a staring reason on his brows?
And each blasphemer quite escape the rod,
Because the insult 's not on man, but God?
Ask you what provocation I have had ?
The strong antipathy of good to bad.
When truth or virtue an affront endures,

The affront is mine, my friend, and should be yours.
Mine, as a foe profess'd to false pretence,
Who think a coxcomb's honour like his sense;

Mine, as a friend to every worthy mind;
And mine as man, who feel for all mankind.28

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.
Yes, I am proud; I must be proud to see
Men not afraid of God, afraid of me:


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