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To Cato, Virgil payed one honest line;
-What are you thinking? F. 'Faith the thought's 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. 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 complySpirit of Arnall!1 aid me while I lie. Cobham's a coward, Polwarth' is a slave, And Lyttleton a dark, designing knave. St. John has ever been a wealthy foolBut let me add, Sir Robert's mighty dull, Has never made a friend in private life, And was, besides, a tyrant to his wife.3
But pray, when others praise him, do I blame?
Why rail they then, if but a wreath of mine,
Of honour bind me, not to maul his tools;
And begged he'd take the pains to kick the rest:
F. Hold, sir! for God's sake where's th' affront to
1 Look for him in his place.-"Dunc." Bk. II. ver. 315.-Pope.
2 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.-Pope.
8 The exact reverse was the case of course.
4 This was done one day when Lords Bolingbroke and Bathurst were dining with him at Twickenham.-Warton.
Against your worship when had Sherlock writ?
P. 'Faith, it imports not much from whom it came;
As hog to hog in huts of Westphaly;
If one, through nature's bounty or his lord's,
F. This filthy simile, this beastly line
P. So does flatt'ry mine;
But pens can forge, my friend, that cannot write;
1 Judge Page, said to be a harsh judge.
2 A verse taken out of a poem to Sir R. W.-Pope. Lord Melcomb was the author of this line in a poem to Sir R. Walpole.-Warton.
3 Spoken not of any particular priest, but of many priests.-Pope. Meaning Dr. Alured Clarke, who wrote a panegyric on Queen Caroline.- Warton.
4 Lord Hervey, alluding to his painting his face.-Bowles.
5 This seems to allude to a complaint made ver. 71 of the preceding Dialogue.-Pope..
See the Epistle to Lord Bathurst.-Pope,
No zealous pastor blame a failing spouse,
And mine as man, who feel for all mankind.
P. So proud I am no slave:
So impudent, I own myself no knave:
When black ambition stains a public cause," A monarch's sword when mad vain-glory draws, Not Waller's wreath can hide the nation's scar,
Weak and slight sophisms against virtue and honour. Thin colours over vice, as unable to hide the light of truth, as cobwebs to shade the sun.-Pope.
2 The cause of Cromwell in the civil war of England; (ver. 229) and of Louis XIV. in his conquest of the Low Countries.-Pope, Waller wrote a "Panegyric to my Lord Protector."
Nor Boileau turn the feather to a star.1
Not so, when diademed with rays divine,
Touched with the flame that breaks from virtue's Her priestess muse forbids the good to die, [shrine, And opes the temple of eternity.
There, other trophies deck the truly brave,
F. Alas! alas! pray end what you began,
And write next winter more essays on man."
See his "Ode on Namur;" where (to use his own words) “il a fait un Astre de la Plume blanche que le Roy porte ordinairement à son Chapeau, et qui est en effet une espèce de Comète, fatale à nos ennemis."-Pope.
2 The chief Herald-at-arms.
It is the custom, at the funeral
of great peers, to cast into the grave the broken staves and ensigns of honour.-Pope.
3 I have some notion Lord Mordington kept a gaming houseBennet.
4 John Dalrymple, Earl of Stair, Knight of the Thistle: served in all the wars under the Duke of Marlborough; and afterwards as ambassador in France.-Pope.
5 Dr. John Hough, Bishop of Worcester, and the Lord Digby. The one an assertor of the Church of England in opposition to the false measures of King James II. The other as firmly attached to the cause of that king. Both acting out of principle, and equally men of honour and virtue.-Pope.
6 Ver. 255 in the MS.
Quit, quit these themes, and write essays on man.
This was the last poem of the kind printed by our author, with a resolution to publish no more; but to enter thus, in the most plain and solemn manner he could, a sort of protest against that insuperable corruption and depravity of manners which he had been so unhappy as to live to see. Could he have hoped to have amended any, he had continued those attacks; but bad men were grown so shameless and so powerful, that ridicule was become as unsafe as it was ineffectual. The poem raised him, as he knew it would, some enemies; but he had reason to be satisfied with the approbation of good men, and the testimony of his own conscience.-Pope,
EPISTLE TO ROBERT, EARL OF OXFORD, AND EARL MORTIMER.'
SUCH were the notes thy once loved poet sung,
For him, thou oft hast bid the world attend,
Absent or dead, still let a friend be dear
And sure, if aught below the seats divine
1 Robert Harley, Earl of Oxford, was born 1661, died 1724. He was the distinguished minister of the last days of Queen Anne. To Lord Oxford we are indebted for forming the splendid collection known as the "Harleian MSS." They contain information on nearly every subject, and were much referred to by Macaulay in his "History of England." Lord Oxford was a great patron of literary men. He was impeached for treason by the Whigs in 1715 and con.mitted to the Tower; but the Commons refused to prosecute, and he was released.
2 This epistle was sent to the Earl of Oxford with Dr. Parnell's poems published by our author, after the said earl's imprisonment in the Tower, and retreat into the country, in the year 1721.-Pope,