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WRITTEN IN MDCCXXXVIII,
OT twice a twelvemonth you appear in Print,
After Ver. 2. in the MS.
You don't, I hope, pretend to quit the trade,
VER. 1. Not twice a twelvemonth, &c.] These two lines are from Horace; and the only lines that are so in the whole Poem ; being meant to give a handle to that which follows in the charac ter of an impertinent Cenfurer,
" "Tis all from Horace," &c.
By long habit of writing, and almoft conftantly in one fort of measure, he had now arrived at a happy and elegant familiarity of
grow correct that once with Rapture writ, And are, befides, too moral for a Wit.
Decay of Parts, alas! we all must feel
Why now, this moment, don't I fee
don't I see you steal?
ftyle, without flatnefs. The fatire in these pieces is of the strongest kind; fometimes, direct and declamatory, at others, ironical and oblique. It must be owned to be carried to excess. Our country is represented as totally ruined, and overwhelmed with diffipation, depravity, and corruption. Yet this very country, so emafculated and debased by every fpecies of folly and wickedness, in about twenty years afterwards, carried its triumphs over all its enemies, through all the quarters of the world, and aftonished the moft diftant nations with a display of uncommon efforts, abilities, and virtue. So vain and groundless are the prognoftications of poets, as well as politicians. It is to be wifhed, that a genius could be found to write an One Thoufand Seven Hundred and Sixty-one, as a counter-part to these two Dialogues, which were more diligently laboured, and more frequently corrected than any of our Author's compofitions. I have often heard Mr. Dodfley fay, that he was employed by the Author to copy them fairly. Every line was then written twice over; a clean transcript was then delivered to Mr. Pope, and when he afterwards fent it to Mr. Dodsley to be printed, he found every line had been written twice over a fecond time. Swift tells our Author, these Dialogues are equal, if not fuperior, to any part of his works. They are, in truth, more Horatian, than the professed Imitations of Horace. They at first were intitled, from the year in which they were published, One Thousand Seven Hundred and Thirty-eight. They were afterwards called, fantastically enough, Epilogue to the Satires, as the Epiftle to Arbuthnot was intitled Prologue to the Satires. It is remarkable that the first was published the very fame morning with Johnfon's admirable London; which Pope much approved, and fearched diligently for the Author, who lived then in obfcurity. London had a fecond edition in a week. Pope has himself given more notes and illuftrations on these Dialogues than on any other of his poems.
VER. 2. fee nothing in't.] He ufed this colloquial (I will not fay barbarifm, but) abbreviation, to imitate familiar converfation.
'Tis all from Horace; Horace long before ye Said, "Tories call'd him Whig, and Whigs a Tory;" And taught his Romans, in much better metre, "To laugh at Fools who put their truft in Peter."
But Horace, Sir, was delicate, was nice; Bubo obferves, he lash'd no fort of Vice:
Horace would fay, Sir Billy ferv'd the Crown, Blunt could do bus' nefs, H-ggins knew the Town; In Sappho touch the Failings of the Sex,
In rev'rend Bishops note fome fmall Neglects,
VER. 9, 10. And taught his Romans, in much better metre, "To laugh at Fools who put their trufl in Peter."]
The general turn of the thought is from Boileau,
"Avant lui, Juvénal avoit dit en Latin,
VER. 12. Bubo obferves,] Some guilty perfon, very fond of making fuch an observation.
Bubo is faid to mean Mr. Doddington, afterward Lord Melcombe. WARTON. Pope has before claffed together" Sir Will, and Bubo." See note on that line, Prologue to the Satires.
VER. 13 Horace would fay.] The bufinefs of the friend here introduced is to diffuade our Poet from personal invectives. But he dexterously turns the very advice he is giving into the bitterest fatire. Sir Billy was Sir William Young, who, from a great fluency, was often employed to make long fpeeches till the minister's friends were collected in the House. WARTON.
VER. 14. H-ggins] Formerly Gaoler of the Fleet prison, enriched himself by many exactions, for which he was tried and expelled. POPE.
He was the father of the Author of the abfurd and profaïc Translation of Ariofto; an account of him is given in the Anecdotes of Hogarth.
And own, the Spaniard did a waggish thing,
Who cropt our Ears, and fent them to the King.
Could please at Court, and make AUGUSTUS fmile:
His Friend and Shame, and was a kind of Screen.
After Ver. 26. in the MS.
There's honeft Tacitus once talk'd as big,
*Mr. Thomas Gordon, who was bought off by a place at Court.
VER. 15. In Sappho touch] In former Editions,
Sir George of fome flight gallantries fufpect.
VER. 18. Who cropt our Ears,] Said to be executed by the Captain of a Spanish Ship on one Jenkins, a Captain of an Englifh one. He cut off his ears, and bid him carry them to the
King his Mafter.
VER. 18. Who cropt cur Ears,] This circumftance has been ludicrously called by Burke, "the Fable of Captain Jenkins's Ears!" See Coxe's Memoirs.
VER. 22. Screen.
"Omne vafer vitium ridenti Flaccus amico
A metaphor peculiarly appropriated to a certain perfon in
VER. 24. Patriots there are, &c.] This appellation was generally given to thofe in oppofition to the Court. Though fome of them (which our Author hints at) had views too mean and interested to deferve that name.
And where's the Glory? 'twill be only thought 25 The Great man never offer'd you a groat.
Go fee Sir ROBERT
P. See Sir ROBERT!-hum
And never laugh-for all my life to come?
Of Social Pleasure, ill-exchang'd for Pow'r;
VER 26. That Great men] A phrafe, by common ufe, appropriated to the first Minister.
VER. 27. Go fee Sir ROBERT] We muft not judge of this minister's character from the Differtation on Parties, nor from the eloquent Philippics, for eloquent they were, uttered against him in both Houfes of Parliament. Hume has drawn his portrait with candour and impartiality. And fome of his most vehement anta. gonists, particularly the great Lord Chatham, lived to allow the merits of that long and pacific miniftry, which so much extended the commerce, and confequently enlarged the riches of this country.
The nobleft monument that has been raised to the memory of Sir Robert Walpole, has been by Mr. Coxe, who, from fources of authentic information, has moft ably illuftrated the eventful period of our Hiftory, during the adminiftration of Sir Robert. There is not a circumftance or character connected with the Hiftory of the time, but what has received new light from that accurate and elegant hiftorian.
VBR. 29. Seen him I have, &c.] The pleasant, amiable character of Sir Robert in private life, is here most admirably touched. Lady M. W. Montagu's portrait of this eminent statesman, in his character as a private man, gives also a most pleasing idea of him :
On feeing a Portrait of Sir Robert Walpole.