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Scilicet UNI ÆQUUS VIRTUTI ATQUE EJUS AMICIS.
Quin ubi fe a vulgo et fcena in fecreta remôrant Virtus Scipiada et mitis fapientia Lali,
Nugari cum illo, et difcincti ludere, donec
Decoqueretur olus, foliti.
Quidquid fum ego, quamvis
Infra Lucili cenfum, ingeniumque; tamen me
fame time, he never spoke one word of a penfion. For this offer, he was folely indebted to the Whig Minifters. In the beginning of George I. Lord Halifax, of his own motion, fent for Mr. Pope, and told him, it had often given him concern that so great a Poet had never been diftinguifhed; that he was glad it was now in his power to serve him; and, if he cared to accept of it, he should have a penfion not clogged with any engagements. Mr. Pope thanked him, and defired time to confider of it. months (having heard nothing further from that Lord) he wrote him a Letter to repeat his Thanks; in which he took occafion to mention the affair of the penfion with much Indifference. So the thing dropt, till Mr. Craggs came into the Ministry. The affair of the penfion was then refumed. And this Minister, in a very frank and friendly manner, told Mr. Pope, that three hundred pounds a-year were then at his service: he had the management of the fecret fervice money, and could pay him fuch a pension without its being known, or ever coming to account. But now Mr. Pope declined the offer without hesitation: only, in return for so friendly a proposal, he told the Secretary, that if at any time he wanted Money, he would draw upon him for 100 or 2ocl. Which liberty, however, he did not take. Mr. Craggs more than once preffed him on this head, and urged to him the conveniency of a Chariot; which Mr. Pope was fenfible enough of: But the Precarioufnefs of that supply made him very prudently decline the thoughts of an Equipage; which it was much better never to fet up, than not properly to fupport. From Spence. WARBURTON,
VER. 125. There, my retreat] I know not whether thefe lines, fpirited and fplendid as they are, give us more pleasure than the natural picture of the great Scipio and Lælius, unbending them
I will, or perish in the gen'rous cause:
Hear this, and tremble! you, who 'fcape the Laws.
Yes, while I live, no rich or noble knave
Shall walk the world, in credit, to his grave.
To VIRTUE ONLY and HER FRIENDS A FRIEND,
The World befide may murmur, or commend.
Rolls o'er my Grotto, and but fooths my fleep.
There, my retreat the best Companions grace, 125 Chiefs out of war, and Statesmen out of place.
felves from their high occupations, and defcending to common and even trifling sports: for the old commentator fays, that they lived in fuch intimacy with Lucilius, ut quodam tempore Lælio circum lectos triclinii fugienti Lucilius fuperveniens, eum obtortâ mappâ quafi percuffurus fequeretur." For this is the fact to which Horace feems to allude, rather than to what Tully mentions in the second book De Oratore, of their amufing themselves in picking up fhells and pebbles on the fea-fhore.
Bolingbroke is here represented as pouring out himself to his friend in the most free and unreferved converfations on topics the most interesting and important But Pope was deceived: for it is afferted that the philofopher never difcovered his real principles to our Poet; who is faid, ftrange as it appears, not even to have been acquainted with the tenets and contents of those very effays which were addreffed to himself, at the beginning of Bolingbroke's Philofophical Works. And it is added, that Pope was surprised, in his laft illness, when a common acquaintance informed him that his Lordship, in a late converfation, had denied the moral attributes of God. There is a remarkable paffage in a letter from Bolingbroke to Swift, dated June 1734: "I am glad you approve of his Moral Effays. They will do more good than the fermons and writings of fome, who had a mind to find great fault with them. And if the doctrines taught, hinted at, and implied in them, and the trains of confequences deducible from these doctrines, were to be disputed in profe, I think he would have no
Cum magnis vixiffe invita fatebitur ufque Invidia; et fragili quærens illidere dentem,
reafon to apprehend either the free-thinkers on one hand, or the narrow dogmatists on the other. Some few things may be expreffed a little hardly; but none are, I believe, unintelligible.” With respect to the doctrines in the Effay on Man, 1 fhall here infert an anecdote copied exactly from the papers of Mr. Spence in the words of Pope himself: " In the moral poem, I had written an address to our Saviour, imitated from Lucretius's compliments to Epicurus, but omitted it by the advice of Dean Berkley. One of our priests, who are more narrow than your's, made a lefs fenfible objection to the Epiftle on Happiness. He was very angry that there was nothing faid in it of our eternal happiness hereafter; though my fubject was exprefsly to treat only of the ftate of man here."
If Bolingbroke concealed his real opinions from Pope, yet furely he speaks out plainly and loudly to Swift in one of his let ters, and openly tells him he difmiffes from his creed the belief of a future ftate, as fuperfluous, and unneceffary to be called in to vindicate the general plan of Providence.
"Does Pope talk to you of the noble work which, at my inftigation, he has begun in fuch a manner that he must be convinced by this time I judged better of his talents than he did. The firft Epiftle, which confiders Man relatively to the whole fyftem of univerfal Being: The fecond, which confiders him in his own habitation, in himself: And the third, which fhews how an univerfal cause works to one end, but works by various laws: how man, and beast, and vegetable, are linked in a mutual dependency; parts neceffary to each other, and neceffary to the whole : how human focieties were formed: from what fpring true religion and true policy are derived: how God has made our greatest interefts and our plaineft duty indivifibly the fame: These three Epiftles, I fay, are finished. The fourth he is now intent upon. It is a noble fubject: he pleads the caufe of God. I ufe Seneca's expreffion against that famous charge which atheifts in all ages have brought-the supposed unequal dispensations of Providence ; a charge which I cannot heartily forgive your divines for admitting. You admit it, indeed, for an extreme good purpose, and
There ST. JOHN mingles with my friendly bowl
And HE, whofe lightning pierc'd th' Iberian Lines,
Envy must own, I live among the Great,
No Fimp of pleafure, and no Spy of state,
With eyes that pry not, tongue that ne'er repeats,
you build on this admiffion the neceffity of a future flate of rewards and punishments; but if you fhould find that this future ftate will not account for God's justice in the present state, which you give up, in oppofition to the atheift, would it not have been better to defend God's justice in this world, against these daring men, by irrefragable reafons, and to have refted the other point on revelation? I do not like conceffions made against demonstration, repair or fupply them how you will. The Epiftles I have mentioned will compofe a first book: the plan of the fecond is fettled. You will not understand by what I have faid, that Pope go fo deep into the argument, or carry it fo far as I have hinted." WARTON:
VER. 129. And HE, whofe lightning, &c.] Charles Mordaunt Earl of Peterborow, who in the year 1705 took Barcelona, and in the winter following, with only 280 horfe and 90 foot, enterprifed and accomplished the Conqueft of Valentia.
VER. 133. Envy must own,] Pope has omitted an elegant allufion. Horace feems to have been particularly fond of those exquifite morfels of wit and genius, the old Æfopic fables. He frequently alludes to them, but always with a brevity very different from our modern writers of fable. Even the natural La Fontaine has added a quaint and witty thought to this very fable. The File fays to the Viper, Fab. 98.
"Tu le romprois toutes les dents,
nifi quid tu, docte Trebati,
T. Equidem nihil hinc diffingere poffum. Sed tamen ut monitus caveas, ne forte negotî Incutiat tibi quid fanctarum infcitia legum :
mc Si mala condiderit in quem quis carmina, jus eft "Judiciumque."
H. Efto, fiquis mala. fed bona fi quis Judice condiderit laudatus CAESARE? fi quis
VER. 13. With cyes that pry not,] Pope triumphs and felicitates himself upon having lived with the Great, without defcending into one of those characters which he thinks it unavoidable to efcape in fuch a fituation. From the generofity and openness of Horace's character, I think he might be pronounced equally free (at least trom the laft) of thefe imputations. There must have been fomething uncommonly captivating in the temper and manners of Horace, that could have made Augustus so fond of him, though he had been so avowed an enemy, and served under Brutus. I have feen fome manuscript letters of Shaftesbury, in which he has ranged, in three different claffes, the Ethical writings of Horace, according to the different periods of his life in which he fuppofes them to have been written. The firft, during the time he profeffed the Stoic philofophy, and was a friend of Brutus. The fecond, after he became diffolute and debauched at the court of Auguftus. The third, when he repented of this abandoned Epicurean life, wifhed to retire from the city and court, and become a private man and a philofopher. I have read a poem, which may one day fee the light, in which Horace is reprefented as mecting Brutus in Elyfium, who will not deign to hold any conversation with our Court-poet, but turns away from him with the fullen filence and haughty disdain with which Ajax treats Ulyffes in the Odyssey. WARTON.