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Still better, Ministers; or if the thing
May pinch ev❜n there-why lay it on a King.
F. Stop! stop!
P. Muft Satire, then, not rise nor fall? Speak out, and bid me blame no Rogues at all.
F. Yes, strike that Wild, I'll justify the blow. P. Strike? why the man was hang'd ten years ago: Who now that obfolete Example fears? Ev'n Peter trembles only for his Ears.
F. What always Peter? Peter thinks you mad, You make men defp'rate if they once are bad: Elfe might he take to virtue fome years henceP. As S-k, if he lives, will love the PRINCE. 61 F. Strange spleen to S-k!
P. Do I wrong the Man?
God knows, I praise a Courtier where I can.
VER 5. why lay it on a King] Warburton fays, "He is ferious in the forgoing fubjects of Satire, but ironical here; and only alludes to the common practice of Minifters, in laying the own miscarriages on their Masters." I fear Pope meant more.
VER. 57. Ev'n Peter trembles only for his Ears.] Peter had, the year before this, narrowly escaped the Pillory for forgery; and got off with a fevere rebuke only from the bench. POFF.
"No rich or noble knave,
Shall go in quiet to his grave."
VER. 58. What always Peter?] His friend might well, I think, afk this question.
VER. 61. As S-k] Pope refts the juftice of his Satire, in drawing his Pen in virtue's caufe," and boasts that
Were fuch characters as Sherlock, Hoadly, &c. to be thus claffed?
When I confefs, there is who feels for Fame,
VER. 62. Do I wrong the Man?] In publicly and wantonly holding up to ridicule, an amiable man, an exemplary and learned dignitary of the Church, can Pope seriously ask, whether or not, "be wrongs the Max"
VER. 65. SCARB'ROW] Earl of, and Knight of the Garter, whose personal attachments to the King appeared from his steady adherence to the royal intereft, after his refignation of his great employment of Mafter of the Horfe, and whofe known honour and virtue made him efteemed by all parties. POPE.
His Character is ably and elegantly drawn by Lord Chesterfield, and the manner of his lamented death, minutely and pathetically related by Dr. Maty, in the Memoirs of Lord Chefterfield's Life. WARTON.
VER. 65. SCARB'ROW name?] Nothing has a more beautiful effect in pointed Satire, than an artful and happy introduction of appropriate praife. The inftance here is very beautiful, as it interpofes a fort of pleafing landscape, naturally and unaffectedly; on which, and on the amiable characters of Craggs and Scarborough, the mind has a pleasure in dwelling
VER. 66. Efher's peaceful Grove,] The house and gardens of Efher in Surry, belonging to the Honourable Mr. Pelham, brother of the Duke of Newcastle. The Author could not have given a more amiable idea of his Character, than in comparing him to Mr. Craggs. POPE.
VER. 67. Kent and Nature] Means no more than art and nature. And in this confifts the compliment to the Artist..
Ev'n in a Bishop I can spy Defert; Secker is decent, Rundel has a Heart :
VER. 71. Secker is decent,] To fay of a prelate, whofe life was exemplary, and his learning excellent, that he was only decent, is furely to damn with faint praife. His lectures and his fermous are written with a rare mixture of fimplicity and energy, and contain (what fermons too seldom poffefs) a great knowledge of life and human nature. Dr. Lowth, Dr. Kennicott, and Mr. Merrick, frequently acknowledged his uncommon skill in Oriental learning; but the Author of Warburton's Life has lately thought proper to deny him this praise. The characters of Benfon and Rundel are justly drawn. It was Gibfon, hop of London, who prevented the latter, though ftrongly patronized by Lord Chancellor Talbot, from being an English Bishop, on account of fome unguarded expreffions he had ufed relating to Abraham's offering of his fon Ifaac. WARTON.
VER. 71. Secker is decent, &c.] Notwithstanding the candid and acute remarks of Warburton, this praise of Secker is undoubtedly parfimonious, and the poet almoft incurs the cenfure, which he paffed on Addifon,
Virtue fhe finds too painful an endeavour,
Damns with faint praise.
His notion of decent is proved with tolerable precision from his Moral Effays, ii. 163. where, after saying that Chloe, the subject of his fatire, wanted, what Rundel had, a heart, he subjoins:
He means, therefore, to allow Secker moderate, but not leading, excellencies of character; to exhibit him as free from informal improprieties, rather than a great proficient in fublimer virtue. Nor were the political principles of Secker likely to permit a very warm encomium from the prejudiced feelings of our poet.
Concerning Rundel the reader may find more in Pope's and Swift's Letters, and in Whifton's Memoirs of himfelf. Swift's poem on the Bishop is excellent.
Rundel's letters were publifhed by Dallaway.
Manners with Candour are to Benfon`giv'n,
But does the Court a worthy man remove?
VER. 73. Berkley, c.] Dr. Berkley was, I believe, a good Man, a good Chriftian, a good Citizen, and all, in an eminent degree. He was befides very learned; and of a fine and lively imagination; which he unhappily abused by advancing, and, as far as I can learn, throughout his whole life perfifting in, the most outrageous whimfey that ever entered into the head of any ancient or modern madman; namely, the impoffibility of the real or actual existence of matter; which he fupported on principles that take away the boundaries of truth and falfehood; expose reason to all the outrage of unbounded Scepticism; and even, in his own opinion, make mathematical demonftration doubtful. To this man may be eminently applied that oracle of the Stagirite, which says, To follow Reafon against the SENSES, is a fure fign of a bad underflanding.
But if (though at the expence of his moral character) we should fuppofe, that all this was only a wanton exercise of wit; how his metaphyfics came to get him the character of a great genius, unlefs from the daring nature of his attempt, I am at a loss to conceive. His pretended demonftration, on this capital question, being the pooreft, lowest, and most miserable of all fophifms; that is, a fophifm which begs the queftion, as the late Mr. Baxter has clearly fhewn a few pages of whofe reafoning have not only more sense and substance than all the elegant difcourses of Dr. Berkley, but infinitely better entitle him to the character of a great Genius. He was truly fuch: and a time will come, if learning ever revive amongst us, when the prefent inattention to his admirable Metaphyfics, eftablished on the Phyfics of Newton, will be deemed as great a difhonour to the Wisdom of this age as the neglect of Milton's Poetry was to the Wit of the past.
VER. 74. But does the Court, &c.] Surely fuch a contumacious and incidental benevolence is not very honourable to any man. His expreffions are unguarded and incorrect. WAKEFIELD.
I fhun his Zenith, court his mild Decline;
Compar'd, and knew their gen'rous End the fame :
VER. 77. SOMMERS] John Lord Sommers died in 1716. He had been Lord Keeper in the reign of William III. who took from him the feals in 1700. The Author had the honour of knowing him in 1706. A faithful, able, and incorrupt Minisler ; who, to qualities of a confummate statesman, added those of a man of Learning and Politeness. POPE.
"One of those divine men," fays Lord Orford finely, “who, like a chapel in a palace, remains unprofaned, while all the rest is tyranny, corruption, and folly. All the traditional accounts of him, the hiftorians of the last age, and its best authors, represent him, as the most incorrupt lawyer, and the honefteft statesman; as a master orator, a genius of the finest taste, and as a patriot of the nobleft and most extenfive views; as a man, who difpenfed bleffings by his life, and planned them for pofterity. He was at once the model of Addison, and the touchstone of Swift: The one wrote from him, the other for him." WARTON.
VER. 77. HALLIFAX,] A Peer, no lefs diftinguished by his love of Letters than his abilities in Parliament. He was dif graced in 1710, on the change of Q. Anne's ministry POPE.
VER. 79. SHREWSBURY,] Charles Talbot, Duke of Shrewfbury, had been Secretary of State, Embaffador in France, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Lord Chamberlain, and Lord Treasurer. He feveral times quitted his employments, and was often recalled. He died in 1718. POPE.
VER. 80. CARLETON] Hen. Boyle, Lord Carleton, (nephew of the famous Robert Boyle,) who was Secretary of State under William III. and Prefident of the Council under Q. Anne. POPE,
VER. 80. STANHOPE] James Earl Stanhope. A Nobleman of equal courage, fpirit, and learning. General in Spain, and Secretary of State.