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That not for Fame, but Virtue's better end,
VER. 341. But loop'd to Truth,] The term is from falconry; and the allufion to one of those untam'd birds of spirit, which fometimes wantons at large in airy circles before it regards, or floops to, its prey. WARBURTON. VER. 343. He flood the furious foe,] Stood, ufed for withflood.
VER. 345. The coxcomb hit, &c.] Pope here enumerates the provocations he suffered from his enemies, and points to particular accufations, and perfons-By the furious foe, perhaps, he means Phillips. The daring Critic, and half-approving Wit, I have no doubt were meant for Dennis and Addifon, &c. "The distant threats of vengeance," that he was threatened with a whip; "the blow unfelt," that he had been beat; "the tear he never fhed," that he cried, &c. : thefe were ftories at the time published against him.
VER. 350. The tale reviv'd,] Probably the ftory of his hav ing been whipped in Ham walks. A paper was published with the following title: "A true and faithful account of the horrid whipping committed on the body of Sawney Pope, a Poet; as he was walking in Ham walks, near the river Thames, meditating verses for the good of the publick."
VER. 350. the lie fo oft o'erthrown,] As, that he received fubfcriptions for Shakespear, that he fet his name to Mr. Broome's verfes, &c. which, though publicly difproved, were nevertheless fhamelessly repeated in the Libels, and even in that called the Nobleman's Epifle.
The morals blacken'd when the writings 'scape,
The whisper, that to Greatness still too near,
VER. 351. Th' imputed trafb,] Such as profane Pfalms, Court Poems, and other fcandalous things, printed in his name by Curl and others. WARBURTON.
VER. 353. The libell'd perfon,] Caricatures published of him. VER. 353. the pictur'd shape ;] Hay, in his effay on De formity, has remarked, that Pope was fo hurt by the caricatura of his figure, as to rank it among the most atrocious injuries he received from his enemies. WARTON.
VER. 354. Abufe, on all he lov'd, or lov'd him, fpread,] Namely, on the Duke of Buckingham, the Earl of Burlington, Lord Bathurft, Lord Bolingbroke, Bishop Atterbury, Dr Swift, Dr. Arbuthot, Mr. Gay, his Friends, his Parents, and his very Nurse, aspersed in printed papers, by James Moore, G. Ducket, L. Welfted, Tho. Bentley, and other obscure persons. POPE. VER. 355. A friend in exile,] The Bishop of Rochester. VER. 356. The whisper, that to Greatness fill too near,] By the whisper is meant calumniating honeft characters. Shakespear has finely expreffed this office of the fycophant of Greatness in the folling line:
"Rain facrificial whifp'rings in his ear."
By which is meant the immolating men's reputations to the vice or vanity of his Patron. WARBURTON. Warton naturally afks, "Did Shakespear mean this?" VER. 357. Perhaps, yet vibrates, &c.] To crown the whole of these provocations, he mentions the circumftance which he appears to have felt moft, of Lord Hervey having infinuated fomething against him to George II. Pope was never a favourite at court; how could he have been, when he continually direct
Welcome for thee, fair Virtue! all the past:
Sporus at court, or Japhet in a jail,
VER. 36. in the MS.
Once, and but once, his heedlefs Youth was bit,
He writ no Libels, but my Lady did:
Great odds in am'rous or poetic game,
Where Woman's is the fin, and Man's the shame.
ed his farcasms against the reigning family? He fays, "That flattery even to kings he held a fhame;" and therefore with the moft contemptuous irony he directs his fatire agaiuft George II., libelled queen Caroline, and in one of his letters calls Windfor the "fink of meannefs."
VER. 358. for thee, fair Virtue! welcome ev'n the laft !] Warburton with fimplicity, not always usual to him, observes, “That this line is remarkable for presenting us with the most amiable image of fteady Virtue, mixed with a modeft concern for his being forced to undergo the feverett proofs of his love for it; which was the being thought hardly of by his Sovereign."
VER. 363. Sporus at court,] In former editions, Glencus at
This dreaded Sat'rift Dennis will confefs
Foe to his pride, but Friend to his distress:
So humble, he has knock'd at Tibbald's door,
Has drunk with Cibber, nay has rhym'd for Moor.
He lafh'd him not, but let her be his wife:
VER. 370. This dreaded Sat'rift] He wrote the Prologue for his benefit, in Dennis's old age.
VER. 372. So humble, &c.] By all this, Pope would feem to us a perfect pattern of meeknefs and patience; at the fame time, one cannot avoid a moment confidering what should have been the caufe of his having fo many angry enemies. Could he place his hand on his heart, and fay he had not been often the aggreffor? How different is the language of real and dignified fuperiority?
Hear Milton, who had as many enemies and more forrows:
To hoarfe and mute, tho' fall'n on evil days,
In darkness, and with dangers compass'd round,
VER. 374. ten years] It was fo long after many libels, before the Author of the Dunciad publifhed that poem, till when, he never writ a word in answer to the many fcurrilities and falfehoods concerning him.
VER 375 Welfted's lie.] This man had the impudence to tell in print, that Mr. P. had occafioned a Lady's death, and to name a perfon 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 prefent of five hundred pounds the falsehood of both which is known to his Grace. Mr. P. never received any prefent, farther than the subscription for Homer, from him, or from any great Man whatsoever. Pop.
Let Budgel charge low Grubstreet on his quill,
VER. 378. Let Budgel] Budgel, in a weekly pamphlet called the Bee, bestowed much abuse on him, in the imagination that he writ fome things about the Last Will of Dr. Tindal, in the GrubStreet Journal; a Paper wherein he never had the leaft hand, direction, or supervisal, nor the least knowledge of its Author.
VER. 379. except his Will;] Alluding to Tindal's Will: by which, and other indirect practices, Budgel, to the exclufion of the next heir, a nephew, got to himself almoft the whole fortune of a man entirely unrelated to him.
Refpecting the circumftance hinted at, of Euftace Budgel having forged Dr. Tindal's will, the reader might perhaps wish to have fome further account. Dr. Tindal, of All Souls College, Oxford, of notorious character, the author of Chriftianity as old as the Creation, left the following will:
"I Mathew Tindal, &c. (after a legacy to his maid-servant) give and bequeath to Euftace Budgel, the fum of two thoufand one hundred pounds, that his great talents may ferve his country, &c. my ftrong box, my diamond ring, MS. Books, &c.
The reverend Nicholas Tindal, his nephew, author of the Continuation of Rapin, declared his fufpicion that this will was forged.
Budgel, in 1737, threw himself
This was generally credited, and
VER. 381. His father, mother, &c.] In fome of Curl's and other pamphlets, Mr. Pope's Father was faid to be a Mechanic,