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applicable to the poet's own case. Struck by the idea, Pope translated the poem in a couple of mornings, and sent it to the press in less than a week. He told Swift that he had never taken more pains with anything than with the "Epistle to Lord Bathurst," or less with anything than with this "Imitation of Horace." It has been aptly said that Pope was never so truly original as in his Imitations, and it is evident that the satire was as easy to write as it is to read.

In a letter to Fortescue, Pope asks:

"Have you seen my 'Imitation of Horace'? I fancy it will make you smile; but though, when I first began it, I thought of you, before I came to end it I considered it might be too ludicrous, to a man in your situation, to make you Trebatius, who was yet one of the most considerable lawyers of his own time, and a particular friend of the poet."

The dialogue opens with a complaint by the poet of the resentment which his former satires have aroused in the popular mind. He applies to his friend for advice of course, without a fee. The learned counsel briefly suggests that he should write no more. "Not write!" cries the poet.

But then I think,

And, for my soul, I cannot sleep a wink;
I nod in company, I wake at night,

Fools rush into my head, and so I write.

The worst thing he could do, according to Fortescue; but if he must write, he should compose something in praise of Cæsar, as then he might

gain a knighthood or or the bays. The satirist replies:

What! like Sir Richard,1 rumbling, rough, and fierce,

With ARMS and GEORGE and BRUNSWICK crowd

the verse;

Rend with tremendous sound your ears asunder,

With guns, drums, trumpets, blunderbuss, and thunder?

Besides, it was useless to write in praise of the royal family, since

Few verses touch their finer ear,

They scarce can bear their Laureate twice a year.2

The poet, who professes to love nothing so well as plain speaking, proposes to publish the present age in an impartial glass, and to expose himself, his foes, and his friends. 3

3

My head and heart thus flowing through my quill,
Verse-man or prose-man, term me what you will,
Papist or Protestant, or both between,

Like good Erasmus, in an honest mean,
In moderation placing all my glory,

While Tories call me Whig, and Whigs a Tory.

Though satire is his weapon, he is too discreet to run a-muck and tilt at all he meets.

Peace is my dear delight-not Fleury's more :
But touch me, and no minister so sore.

1 Blackmore.

• Colley Cibber was now Poet Laureate.

* Mrs. Pendarves, writing to her sister in February 1733, says: "Mr. Pope, I find, has undertaken to lash the age; I believe he will be tired before they are reformed. He says he will spare neither friend nor foe, so that declaring oneself for him will not secure us from a stroke."

• Lord Bathurst used to call Prior his verse-man and Lewis his prose-man.

Whoe'er offends, at some unlucky time
Slides into verse, and hitches in a rhyme ;
Sacred to ridicule his whole life long,

And the sad burden of some merry song.

Whatever the consequences of his temerity, the slander or poison of Delia,' the hard words or hanging of Judge Page, the hate of "Sappho," or the neglect of the Court:

In durance, exile, Bedlam or the Mint,

Like Lee or Budgell, I will rhyme or print.

F. Alas, young man, your days can ne'er be long! In flower of age you perish for a song!

The satirist retorts with a passage of splendid rhetoric, in which he fairly outshines his model :

What! armed for Virtue when I point the pen,
Brand the bold front of shameless, guilty men ;
Dash the proud gamester in his gilded car;
Bare the mean heart that lurks beneath a star;
Can there be wanting, to defend her cause,
Lights of the Church, or guardians of the laws?
Could pensioned Boileau lash, in honest strain,
Flatterers and bigots, even in Louis' reign?

Could laureate Dryden pimp and friar engage,
Yet neither Charles nor James be in a rage?

1 Delia was supposed to be the widow of the first Lord Deloraine. She afterwards married became the mistress of George II. she had administered poison to one Miss Mackenzie.

William Wyndham, and There was a rumour that of the maids-of-honour, a

• Sir Francis Page. In 1728 he had presided at the trial of Pope's protégé, Richard Savage, for the murder of Mr. Sinclair, and had sentenced the culprit to death. He was known by the name of "The hanging Judge."

Nathaniel Lee, the dramatist (c. 1653-92). He went out of his mind in 1684, and was confined in Bedlam till 1689. His best-known play was The Rival Queens. Budgell, though never actually under restraint, was accused of “disordered intellects."

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