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Silent and soft, as saints removed to heaven,
All ties dissolved, and every sin forgiven,
These may some gentle ministerial wing
Receive, and place for ever near a king!

There, where no passion, pride, or shame transport,
Lull'd with the sweet Nepenthe of a Court,

There, where no father's, brother's, friend's disgrace


Once break their rest, or stir them from their place: 100 But past the sense of human miseries,

All tears are wiped for ever from all eyes;

No cheek is known to blush, no heart to throb,

Save when they lose a question, or a job.

P. Good Heaven forbid, that I should blast their glory, 105

Who know how like Whig ministers to Tory,

And when three sovereigns died, could scarce be vex'd,
Considering what a gracious prince was next.

This lord was very skilful in all the forms of the House, in which he discharged himself with great gravity.

[Charles, Earl of Selkirk, died in March, 1739. Lord Hervey, in a poetical Epistle to the Queen, 1736, speaks very unceremoniously of the old courtier :

"Let nauseous Selkirk shake his empty head

Through six Courts more, when six have wish'd him dead."

In a sort of Court interlude or drama, drawn up for the amusement of the queen, the scene being laid in her Majesty's drawing-room, Lord Hervey introduces old Selkirk as one of the dramatis persona. The dialogue confirms Pope's remarks as to the earl's knowledge of Court forms :

"Queen (to the Duke of Argyll). Where have you been, my lord? One has not had the pleasure to see you a great while, and one always misses you. "Duke of Argyll. I have been in Oxfordshire, madam; and so long, that I was asking my father here, Lord Selkirk, how to behave: I know nobody that knows the ways of a Court so well, nor that has known them so long.

"Lord Selkirk. By G――, my lord, I know nobody knows them better than the Duke of Argyll.

Duke of Argyll. All I know, father, is as your pupil; but I told you I was grown a country gentleman.

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Lord Selkirk. You often tell me things I do not believe.

'Queen (laughing). Ha, ha, ha! You are always so good together, and my Lord Selkirk is so lively."*

The second courtier in Pope's verse was Lord Delaware.]

* Lord Hervey's Memoirs, vol. ii.

Have I, in silent wonder, seen such things
As pride in slaves, and avarice in kings;
And at a peer, or peeress, shall I fret,
Who starves a sister, or forswears a debt ?20
Virtue, I grant you, is an empty boast;
But shall the dignity of Vice be lost?


Ye gods! shall Cibber's son, without rebuke,21


Swear like a lord, or rich outwhore a duke?
A favourite's porter with his master vie,
Be bribed as often, and as often lie?

Shall Ward draw contracts with a statesman's skill?

Or Japhet pocket, like his grace, a will ? 22


Is it for Bond, or Peter, (paltry things,)

To pay their debts, or keep their faith, like kings?
If Blount dispatch'd himself, he play'd the man, 23
And so may'st thou, illustrious Passeran! 24

20 [In the first edition, "Who starves a mother." Lady Mary Wortley Montagu had £500 a year for supporting her sister, the Countess of Mar, when suffering from mental alienation, and is said to have treated the countess harshly. The "debt" is an allusion to the affair of M. Ruremonde. See Dunciad and Life of Pope.]

21 Two players: look for them in the Dunciad.

22 [The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Wake, was said to have secreted the will of King George I.]

28 Author of an impious foolish book called The Oracles of Reason, who, being in love with a near kinswoman of his, and rejected, gave himself a stab in the arm, as pretending to kill himself; of the consequence of which he really died.

[This is not correct. Blount shot himself with a pistol. After the death of his wife, he had proposed marriage to her sister; she declined on religious grounds, and continuing inflexible, the unhappy man committed suicide. He was the younger son of Sir Henry Blount, of Hertfordshire; the lady who was the cause of the catastrophe was a daughter of Sir T. Tyrrel, of Shotover, Oxfordshire. Mr. Charles Blount was a man of learning and amiable character, but of infidel opinions. His miscellaneous works were published in 1695, by Charles Gildon, so often mentioned in the Dunciad. We have the volumes now before us, and it appears that Gildon vindicated the death of Mr. Blount, and shared in his unbelief.]

24 Author of another book of the same stamp, called, A Philosophical Discourse on Death, being a defence of suicide. He was a nobleman of Piedmont, banished from his country for his impieties, and lived in the utmost misery, yet feared to practise his own precepts. This unhappy man at last died a penitent.

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Learn, from their books, to hang himself and wife?


This, this, my friend, I cannot, must not bear;

Vice thus abused, demands a nation's care;
This calls the church to deprecate our sin,

And hurls the thunder of the laws on gin.26


Let modest Foster, if he will, excel
Ten Metropolitans in preaching well; 27
A simple Quaker, or a Quaker's wife,28
Outdo Landaff in doctrine,—yea, in life: 29
Let humble Allen,30 with an awkward shame,
Do good by stealth, and blush to find it fame,
Virtue may choose the high or low degree,
'Tis just alike to virtue, and to me;


25 A fact that happened in London a few years past. The unhappy man left behind him a paper justifying his actions by the reasonings of some of these authors.

[This case is reported in the Gentleman's Magazine, for April, 1732. The man, Richard Smith, and his wife, were in the King's Bench. They were found hanging in their room, and their infant child shot through the head in its cradle. In one of the letters which Smith left to be delivered after his death, there is a curious touch of feeling, "If you can find," he says, "any chap (buyer) for my dog and ancient cat, it would be kind."]

26 A spirituous liquor, the exorbitant use of which had almost destroyed the lowest rank of the people, till it was restrained by an Act of Parliament, in 1736.

27 [Dr. James Foster, a minister of the sect called Independents, and afterwards a Baptist. He was long a popular preacher in London, and author of sermons and theological treatises which fill four volumes. He died in 1753. According to Bolingbroke, Dr. Foster was author of the pointed remark that where mystery begins religion ends, a saying exactly suited to that peer, and not unwelcome to the poet.]

28 [The Quaker's wife was a Mrs. Drummond, one of the notabilities of her day. Spence describes his going to the meeting with her: "No whining when she spoke, and scarce any action; very good language, particularly full of metaphors, but pretty and well-managed ones."]

29 A poor bishopric in Wales, as poorly supplied.

[It was then supplied by Dr. John Harris, whose son, Dr. George Harris, became a distinguished lawyer, and writer on civil law.]


30 [In the first edition it was, "low-born Allen and "humble Foster." Pope wrote to Mr. Allen, that he had found him possessed of humility, and, in justice to his own conscience, he would change the epithet in the poem from low-born to humble. As Mr. Allen was a man of fortune, and Mayor of Bath, he was probably not much flattered by either epithet.]

Dwell in a monk, or light upon a king,
She's still the same beloved, contented thing.
Vice is undone, if she forgets her birth,
And stoops from angels to the dregs of earth :
But 'tis the fall degrades her to a whore;
Let greatness own her, and she's mean no more,
Her birth, her beauty, crowds and courts confess,
Chaste matrons praise her, and grave bishops bless;
In golden chains the willing world she draws,
And hers the gospel is, and hers the laws,
Mounts the tribunal, lifts her scarlet head,
And sees pale Virtue carted in her stead.
Lo! at the wheels of her triumphal car,
Old England's genius, rough with many a scar,
Dragg'd in the dust! his arms hang idly round,
His flag inverted trails along the ground!
Our youth, all liveried o'er with foreign gold,
Before her dance: behind her, crawl the old !
See thronging millions to the pagod run,
And offer country, parent, wife, or son!





Hear her black trumpet through the land proclaim,


In soldier, churchman, patriot, man in power,

'Tis avarice all, ambition is no more!

See, all our nobles begging to be slaves!

See, all our fools aspiring to be knaves!

The wit of cheats, the courage of a whore,
Are what ten thousand envy and adore:


All, all look up, with reverential awe,

At crimes that 'scape, or triumph o'er the law:

While truth, worth, wisdom, daily they decry"Nothing is sacred now but villany.”


Yet may this verse (if such a verse remain) Show there was one who held it in disdain.

31 [Warton thought this passage the noblest in all Pope's works, without any exception whatever-"A group of allegorical personages, worthy the pencil of Rubens, and described in expressions worthy of Virgil." The personification of England's Genius is certainly grand, and picturesque. Cowper has remembered it in two or three passages of the Task, and Burns echoes it in his description of Edinburgh Castle :

"Like some old veteran, grey in arms,

And mark'd with many a seamy scar."]



"Old England's genius, rough with many a scar."

EPILOGUE TO THE SATIRES, Dial. i. line 152.

[Page 210.

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