If there be truth in law, and use can give 230 A property, that's yours on which you live. Delightful Abbs Court, if its fields afford Their fruits to you, confesses you its lord: All Worldly's hens, nay, partridge, sold to town, His ven'son, too, a guinea makes your own: He bought at thousands, what with better wit You purchase as you want, and bit by bit; Now, or long since, what difference will be found? You pay a penny, and he paid a pound.
Heathcote himself, and such large-acred men, 240 Lords of fat Ev'sham, or of Lincoln fen, Buy every stick of wood that lends them heat, Buy every pullet they afford to eat. Yet these are wights who fondly call their own Half that the devil o'erlooks from Lincoln town. The laws of God, as well as of the land, Abhor a perpetuity should stand: Estates have wings, and hang in fortune's power Loose on the point of every wavering hour, Ready, by force, or of your own accord, 250 By sale, at least by death, to change their lord. Man? and for ever? wretch! what wouldst thou have? Heir urges heir, like wave impelling wave. All vast possessions (just the same the case Whether you call them villa, park, or chase) Alas, my Bathurst! what will they avail! Join Cotswood hills to Saperton's fair dale, Let rising granaries and temples here, There mingled farms and pyramids appear, Link towns to towns with avenues of oak, 260 Enclose whole downs in walls,—'tis all a joke! Inexorable death shall level all, And trees, and stones, and farms, and farmer fall.
Gold, silver, ivory, vases sculptured high, Paint, marble, gems, and robes of Persian dye, There are who have not—and, thank Heaven, there are, Who, if they have not, think not worth their care.
Talk what you will of taste, my friend, you'll find, Two of a face, as soon as of a mind. Why, of two brothers, rich and restless one 270 Ploughs, burns, manures, and toils from sun to sun; The other slights, for women, sports, and wines, All Townshend's turnips, and all Grosvenor's mines: Why one like Bu——, with pay and scorn content, Bows and votes on, in court and parliament; One, driven by strong benevolence of soul, Shall fly, like Oglethorpe, from pole to pole: Is known alone to that Directing Power, Who forms the genius in the natal hour; That God of Nature, who, within us still, 280 Inclines our action, not constrains our will; Various of temper, as of face or frame, Each individual: His great end the same.
Yes, sir, how small soever be my heap, A part I will enjoy, as well as keep. My heir may sigh, and think it want of grace A man so poor would live without a place: But sure no statute in his favour says, How free, or frugal, I shall pass my days: I, who at some times spend, at others spare, 290 Divided between carelessness and care. 'Tis one thing madly to disperse my store: Another, not to heed to treasure more; Glad, like a boy, to snatch the first good day, And pleased, if sordid want be far away.
What is't to me (a passenger, God wot!) Whether my vessel be first-rate or not? The ship itself may make a better figure, But I that sail am neither less nor bigger. I neither strut with every favouring breath, 300 Nor strive with all the tempest in my teeth. In power, wit, figure, virtue, fortune, placed Behind the foremost, and before the last.
'But why all this of avarice? I have none.' I wish you joy, sir, of a tyrant gone; But does no other lord it at this hour, As wild and mad—the avarice of power? Does neither rage inflame, nor fear appal? Not the black fear of death, that saddens all? With terrors round, can reason hold her throne, 310 Despise the known, nor tremble at the unknown? Survey both worlds, intrepid and entire, In spite of witches, devils, dreams, and fire? Pleased to look forward, pleased to look behind, And count each birthday with a grateful mind? Has life no sourness, drawn so near its end? Canst thou endure a foe, forgive a friend? Has age but melted the rough parts away, As winter-fruits grow mild ere they decay? Or will you think, my friend, your business done, 320 When, of a hundred thorns, you pull out one?
Learn to live well, or fairly make your will; You've play'd, and loved, and eat, and drank your fill: Walk sober off, before a sprightlier age Comes tittering on, and shoves you from the stage: Leave such to trifle with more grace and ease, Whom folly pleases, and whose follies please.
* * * * *
BOOK I. EPISTLE VII.
IMITATED IN THE MANNER OF DR SWIFT.
'Tis true, my lord, I gave my word, I would be with you, June the third; Changed it to August, and (in short) Have kept it—as you do at court. You humour me when I am sick, Why not when I am splenetic? In town, what objects could I meet? The shops shut up in every street, And funerals blackening all the doors, And yet more melancholy whores: 10 And what a dust in every place! And a thin court that wants your face, And fevers raging up and down, And W—— and H—— both in town!
'The dog-days are no more the case.' 'Tis true, but winter comes apace: Then southward let your bard retire, Hold out some months 'twixt sun and fire, And you shall see, the first warm weather, Me and the butterflies together. 20
My lord, your favours well I know; 'Tis with distinction you bestow; And not to every one that comes, Just as a Scotchman does his plums. 'Pray, take them, sir,—enough's a feast: Eat some, and pocket up the rest.' What! rob your boys? those pretty rogues 'No, sir, you'll leave them to the hogs.' Thus fools with compliments besiege ye, Contriving never to oblige ye. 30 Scatter your favours on a fop, Ingratitude's the certain crop; And 'tis but just, I'll tell ye wherefore, You give the things you never care for. A wise man always is, or should, Be mighty ready to do good; But makes a difference in his thought Betwixt a guinea and a groat.
Now this I'll say, you'll find in me A safe companion, and a free; 40 But if you'd have me always near— A word, pray, in your honour's ear. I hope it is your resolution To give me back my constitution! The sprightly wit, the lively eye, Th' engaging smile, the gaiety, That laugh'd down many a summer sun, And kept you up so oft till one: And all that voluntary vein, As when Belinda raised my strain. 50
A weasel once made shift to slink In at a corn-loft through a chink; But having amply stuff'd his skin, Could not get out as he got in: Which one belonging to the house ('Twas not a man, it was a mouse) Observing, cried, 'You 'scape not so; Lean as you came, sir, you must go.'
Sir, you may spare your application, I'm no such beast, nor his relation; 60 Nor one that temperance advance, Cramm'd to the throat with ortolans: Extremely ready to resign All that may make me none of mine. South-Sea subscriptions take who please, Leave me but liberty and ease. 'Twas what I said to Craggs and Child, Who praised my modesty, and smiled. Give me, I cried, (enough for me) My bread, and independency! 70 So bought an annual rent or two, And lived—just as you see I do; Near fifty, and without a wife, I trust that sinking fund, my life. Can I retrench? Yes, mighty well, Shrink back to my paternal cell, A little house, with trees a-row, And, like its master, very low. There died my father, no man's debtor, And there I'll die, nor worse, nor better. 80
To set this matter full before ye, Our old friend Swift will tell his story.
'Harley, the nation's great support'— But you may read it,—I stop short.
* * * * *
BOOK II. SATIRE VI. THE FIRST PART IMITATED IN THE YEAR 1714, BY DR SWIFT; THE LATTER PART ADDED AFTERWARDS.
I've often wish'd that I had clear, For life, six hundred pounds a-year, A handsome house to lodge a friend, A river at my garden's end, A terrace-walk, and half a rood Of land, set out to plant a wood.
Well, now I have all this and more, I ask not to increase my store; But here a grievance seems to lie, All this is mine but till I die; 10 I can't but think 'twould sound more clever, To me and to my heirs for ever.
If I ne'er got or lost a groat, By any trick, or any fault; And if I pray by reason's rules, And not like forty other fools: As thus, 'Vouchsafe, O gracious Maker! To grant me this and t' other acre: Or, if it be thy will and pleasure, Direct my plough to find a treasure:' 20 But only what my station fits, And to be kept in my right wits. Preserve, Almighty Providence! Just what you gave me, competence: And let me in these shades compose Something in verse as true as prose; Removed from all the ambitious scene, Nor puff'd by pride, nor sunk by spleen.
In short, I'm perfectly content, Let me but live on this side Trent; 30 Nor cross the Channel twice a-year, To spend six months with statesmen here.
I must by all means come to town, 'Tis for the service of the crown. 'Lewis, the Dean will be of use, Send for him up, take no excuse.' The toil, the danger of the seas; Great ministers ne'er think of these; Or let it cost five hundred pound, No matter where the money's found, 40 It is but so much more in debt, And that they ne'er consider'd yet.
'Good Mr Dean, go change your gown, Let my lord know you're come to town.' I hurry me in haste away, Not thinking it is levee-day; And find his honour in a pound, Hemm'd by a triple circle round, Checquer'd with ribbons blue and green: How should I thrust myself between? 50 Same wag observes me thus perplex'd, And smiling, whispers to the next, 'I thought the Dean had been too proud, To jostle here among a crowd.' Another in a surly fit, Tells me I have more zeal than wit, 'So eager to express your love, You ne'er consider whom you shove, But rudely press before a duke.' I own, I'm pleased with this rebuke, 60 And take it kindly meant to show What I desire the world should know.
I get a whisper, and withdraw; When twenty fools I never saw Come with petitions fairly penn'd, Desiring I would stand their friend.
This, humbly offers me his case— That, begs my interest for a place— A hundred other men's affairs, Like bees, are humming in my ears. 70 'To-morrow my appeal comes on, Without your help the cause is gone'— The duke expects my lord and you, About some great affair, at two— 'Put my Lord Bolingbroke in mind, To get my warrant quickly sign'd: Consider, 'tis my first request.'— Be satisfied, I'll do my best: Then presently he falls to tease, 'You may for certain, if you please; 80 I doubt not, if his lordship knew— And, Mr Dean, one word from you'—
'Tis (let me see) three years and more, (October next it will be four) Since Harley bid me first attend, And chose me for an humble friend; Would take me in his coach to chat, And question me of this and that; As, 'What's o'clock?' and, 'How's the wind?' 'Who's chariot's that we left behind?' 90 Or gravely try to read the lines Writ underneath the country signs; Or, 'Have you nothing new to-day From Pope, from Parnell, or from Gay?' Such tattle often entertains My lord and me as far as Staines, As once a week we travel down To Windsor, and again to town, Where all that passes, inter nos, Might be proclaim'd at Charing Cross. 100
Yet some I know with envy swell, Because they see me used so well: 'How think you of our friend the dean? I wonder what some people mean; My lord and he are grown so great, Always together, tete-a-tete: What, they admire him for his jokes— See but the fortune of some folks!' There flies about a strange report Of some express arrived at court; 110 I'm stopp'd by all the fools I meet, And catechised in every street. 'You, Mr Dean, frequent the great; Inform us, will the Emperor treat? Or do the prints and papers lie?' Faith, sir, you know as much as I. 'Ah, Doctor, how you love to jest! Tis now no secret'—I protest 'Tis one to me—'Then tell us, pray, When are the troops to have their pay?' 120 And, though I solemnly declare I know no more than my Lord Mayor, They stand amazed, and think me grown The closest mortal ever known.
Thus in a sea of folly toss'd, My choicest hours of life are lost; Yet always wishing to retreat, Oh, could I see my country-seat! There, leaning near a gentle brook, Sleep, or peruse some ancient book, 130 And there in sweet oblivion drown Those cares that haunt the court and town. O charming noons! and nights divine! Or when I sup, or when I dine, My friends above, my folks below, Chatting and laughing all a-row; The beans and bacon set before 'em, The grace-cup served with all decorum: Each willing to be pleased, and please, And even the very dogs at ease! 140 Here no man prates of idle things, How this or that Italian sings, A neighbour's madness, or his spouse's, Or what's in either of the Houses: But something much more our concern, And quite a scandal not to learn: Which is the happier or the wiser, A man of merit, or a miser? Whether we ought to choose our friends, For their own worth, or our own ends? 150 What good, or better, we may call, And what, the very best of all?
Our friend Dan Prior told (you know) A tale extremely a propos: Name a town life, and in a trice, He had a story of two mice. Once on a time (so runs the fable) A country mouse, right hospitable, Received a town mouse at his board, Just as a farmer might a lord. 160 A frugal mouse upon the whole. Yet loved his friend, and had a soul, Knew what was handsome, and would do 't, On just occasion, coute qui coute, He brought him bacon (nothing lean); Pudding, that might have pleased a dean; Cheese, such as men in Suffolk make, But wish'd it Stilton, for his sake; Yet, to his guest though no way sparing, He eat himself the rind and paring, 170 Our courtier scarce could touch a bit, But show'd his breeding and his wit; He did his best to seem to eat, And cried, 'I vow you're mighty neat. But, lord! my friend, this savage scene! For God's sake, come, and live with men: Consider, mice, like men, must die, Both small and great, both you and I: Then spend your life in joy and sport, (This doctrine, friend, I learn'd at court).' 180
The veriest hermit in the nation May yield, God knows, to strong temptation. Away they come, through thick and thin, To a tall house near Lincoln's Inn; ('Twas on the night of a debate, When all their lordships had sat late.)
Behold the place where, if a poet Shined in description, he might show it; Tell how the moonbeam trembling falls, And tips with silver all the walls; 190 Palladian walls, Venetian doors, Grotesco roofs, and stucco floors: But let it (in a word) be said, The moon was up, and men a-bed, The napkins white, the carpet red: The guests withdrawn had left the treat, And down the mice sat, tete-a-tete.
Our courtier walks from dish to dish, Tastes for his friend of fowl and fish; Tells all their names, lays down the law, 200 'Que ca est bon! Ah goutez ca! That jelly's rich, this malmsey healing, Pray, dip your whiskers and your tail in.' Was ever such a happy swain? He stuffs and swills, and stuffs again. 'I'm quite ashamed—'tis mighty rude To eat so much—but all's so good. I have a thousand thanks to give— My lord alone knows how to live.' No sooner said, but from the hall 210 Rush chaplain, butler, dogs, and all: 'A rat! a rat! clap to the door'— The cat comes bouncing on the floor. O for the heart of Homer's mice, Or gods to save them in a trice! (It was by Providence they think, For your damn'd stucco has no chink.) 'An't please your honour, quoth the peasant, This same dessert is not so pleasant: Give me again my hollow tree, 220 A crust of bread, and liberty!'
* * * * *
BOOK IV. ODE I. TO VENUS.
Again? new tumults in my breast? Ah, spare me, Venus! let me, let me rest! I am not now, alas! the man As in the gentle reign of my Queen Anne. Ah, sound no more thy soft alarms, Nor circle sober fifty with thy charms. Mother too fierce of dear desires! Turn, turn to willing hearts your wanton fires, To Number Five direct your doves, There spread round Murray all your blooming loves 10 Noble and young, who strikes the heart With every sprightly, every decent part; Equal, the injured to defend, To charm the mistress, or to fix the friend. He, with a hundred arts refined, Shall stretch thy conquests over half the kind; To him each rival shall submit, Make but his riches equal to his wit. Then shall thy form the marble grace, (Thy Grecian form) and Chloe lend the face: 20 His house, embosom'd in the grove, Sacred to social life and social love, Shall glitter o'er the pendant green, Where Thames reflects the visionary scene: Thither, the silver-sounding lyres Shall call the smiling Loves, and young Desires; There, every Grace and Muse shall throng, Exalt the dance, or animate the song; There, youths and nymphs, in consort gay, Shall hail the rising, close the parting day. 30 With me, alas! those joys are o'er; For me, the vernal garlands bloom no more. Adieu! fond hope of mutual fire, The still believing, still-renew'd desire; Adieu! the heart-expanding bowl, And all the kind deceivers of the soul! But why? ah, tell me, ah, too dear! Steals down my cheek th' involuntary tear? Why words so flowing, thoughts so free, Stop, or turn nonsense, at one glance of thee? 40 Thee, dress'd in fancy's airy beam, Absent I follow through th' extended dream; Now, now I seize, I clasp thy charms, And now you burst (ah, cruel!) from my arms; And swiftly shoot along the Mall, Or softly glide by the canal, Now shown by Cynthia's silver ray, And now on rolling waters snatch'd away.
* * * * *
PART OF THE NINTH ODE OF THE FOURTH BOOK.
1 Lest you should think that verse shall die, Which sounds the silver Thames along, Taught, on the wings of truth to fly Above the reach of vulgar song;
2 Though daring Milton sits sublime, In Spenser, native Muses play; Nor yet shall Waller yield to time, Nor pensive Cowley's moral lay.
3 Sages and chiefs long since had birth Ere Caesar was, or Newton named; These raised new empires o'er the earth, And those, new heavens and systems framed.
4 Vain was the chief's, the sage's pride! They had no poet, and they died. In vain they schemed, in vain they bled! They had no poet, and are dead.
THE SATIRES OF DR JOHN DONNE, DEAN OF ST PAUL'S, VERSIFIED.
'Quid vetat et nosmet Lucili scripta legentes Quaerere, num illius, num rerum dura negarit Versiculos natura magis factos, et euntes Mollius?'
Yes; thank my stars! as early as I knew This town, I had the sense to hate it too: Yet here, as ev'n in Hell, there must be still One giant-vice, so excellently ill, That all beside, one pities, not abhors; As who knows Sappho, smiles at other whores.
I grant that poetry's a crying sin; It brought (no doubt) the Excise and Army in: Catch'd like the plague, or love, the Lord knows how, But that the cure is starving, all allow. 10 Yet like the papist's is the poet's state, Poor and disarm'd, and hardly worth your hate!
Here a lean bard, whose wit could never give Himself a dinner, makes an actor live; The thief condemn'd, in law already dead, So prompts, and saves a rogue who cannot read. Thus as the pipes of some carved organ move, The gilded puppets dance and mount above. Heaved by the breath the inspiring bellows blow: The inspiring bellows lie and pant below. 20
One sings the fair; but songs no longer move; No rat is rhymed to death, nor maid to love: In love's, in nature's spite, the siege they hold, And scorn the flesh, the devil, and all—but gold. These write to lords, some mean reward to get, As needy beggars sing at doors for meat. Those write because all write, and so have still Excuse for writing, and for writing ill.
Wretched indeed! but far more wretched yet Is he who makes his meal on others' wit: 30 'Tis changed, no doubt, from what it was before, His rank digestion makes it wit no more: Sense, pass'd through him, no longer is the same; For food digested takes another name.
I pass o'er all those confessors and martyrs, Who live like Sutton, or who die like Chartres, Out-cant old Esdras, or out-drink his heir, Out-usure Jews, or Irishmen out-swear; Wicked as pages, who in early years Act sins which Prisca's confessor scarce hears. 40 Ev'n those I pardon, for whose sinful sake Schoolmen new tenements in hell must make; Of whose strange crimes no canonist can tell In what commandment's large contents they dwell.
One, one man only breeds my just offence; Whom crimes gave wealth, and wealth gave impudence: Time, that at last matures a clap to pox, Whose gentle progress makes a calf an ox, And brings all natural events to pass, Hath made him an attorney of an ass. 50 No young divine, new-beneficed, can be More pert, more proud, more positive than he. What further could I wish the fop to do, But turn a wit, and scribble verses too; Pierce the soft labyrinth of a lady's ear With rhymes of this per cent, and that per year? Or court a wife, spread out his wily parts, Like nets or lime-twigs, for rich widows' hearts: Call himself barrister to every wench, And woo in language of the Pleas and Bench? 60 Language, which Boreas might to Auster hold More rough than forty Germans when they scold.
Cursed be the wretch, so venal and so vain: Paltry and proud, as drabs in Drury-lane. 'Tis such a bounty as was never known, If Peter deigns to help you to your own: What thanks, what praise, if Peter but supplies, And what a solemn face, if he denies! Grave, as when prisoners shake the head and swear 'Twas only suretiship that brought 'em there. 70 His office keeps your parchment fates entire, He starves with cold to save them from the fire; For you he walks the streets through rain or dust, For not in chariots Peter puts his trust; For you he sweats and labours at the laws, Takes God to witness he affects your cause, And lies to every lord in every thing, Like a king's favourite, or like a king. These are the talents that adorn them all, From wicked Waters ev'n to godly Paul. Not more of simony beneath black gowns, 80 Not more of bastardy in heirs to crowns. In shillings and in pence at first they deal; And steal so little, few perceive they steal; Till, like the sea, they compass all the land, From Scots to Wight, from Mount to Dover strand: And when rank widows purchase luscious nights, Or when a duke to Jansen punts at White's, Or city-heir in mortgage melts away; Satan himself feels far less joy than they. Piecemeal they win this acre first, then that, 90 Glean on, and gather up the whole estate. Then strongly fencing ill-got wealth by law, Indentures, covenants, articles they draw, Large as the fields themselves, and larger far Than civil codes, with all their glosses, are; So vast, our new divines, we must confess, Are fathers of the Church for writing less. But let them write for you, each rogue impairs The deeds, and dext'rously omits, ses heires: No commentator can more slily pass 100 O'er a learn'd, unintelligible place; Or, in quotation, shrewd divines leave out Those words, that would against them clear the doubt.
So Luther thought the Pater-noster long, When doom'd to say his beads and even-song; But having cast his cowl, and left those laws, Adds to Christ's prayer, the Power and Glory clause.
The lands are bought; but where are to be found Those ancient woods, that shaded all the ground? We see no new-built palaces aspire, 110 No kitchens emulate the vestal fire. Where are those troops of poor, that throng'd of yore The good old landlord's hospitable door? Well, I could wish, that still in lordly domes Some beasts were kill'd, though not whole hecatombs; That both extremes were banish'd from their walls, Carthusian fasts, and fulsome Bacchanals; And all mankind might that just mean observe, In which none e'er could surfeit, none could starve. These as good works, 'tis true, we all allow; 120 But oh! these works are not in fashion now: Like rich old wardrobes, things extremely rare, Extremely fine, but what no man will wear.
Thus much I've said, I trust, without offence; Let no court sycophant pervert my sense, Nor sly informer watch these words to draw Within the reach of treason, or the law.
* * * * *
Well, if it be my time to quit the stage, Adieu to all the follies of the age! I die in charity with fool and knave, Secure of peace at least beyond the grave. I've had my purgatory here betimes, And paid for all my satires, all my rhymes. The poet's hell, its tortures, fiends, and flames. To this were trifles, toys, and empty names.
With foolish pride my heart was never fired, Nor the vain itch t' admire, or be admired; 10 I hoped for no commission from his Grace; I bought no benefice, I begg'd no place; Had no new verses, nor new suit to show; Yet went to court!—the devil would have it so. But, as the fool that, in reforming days, Would go to mass in jest (as story says) Could not but think, to pay his fine was odd, Since 'twas no form'd design of serving God; So was I punish'd, as if full as proud, As prone to ill, as negligent of good. 20 As deep in debt, without a thought to pay, As vain, as idle, and as false as they Who live at court, for going once that way! Scarce was I enter'd, when, behold! there came A thing which Adam had been posed to name; Noah had refused it lodging in his ark, Where all the race of reptiles might embark: A verier monster than on Afric's shore The sun e'er got, or slimy Nilus bore, Or Sloane or Woodward's wondrous shelves contain, 30 Nay, all that lying travellers can feign. The watch would hardly let him pass at noon, At night, would swear him dropp'd out of the moon. One whom the mob, when next we find or make A Popish plot, shall for a Jesuit take, And the wise justice, starting from his chair, Cry, By your priesthood, tell me what you are?
Such was the wight; the apparel on his back, Though coarse, was reverend, and though bare, was black: The suit, if by the fashion one might guess, 40 Was velvet in the youth of good Queen Bess, But mere tuff-taffety what now remain'd; So time, that changes all things, had ordain'd! Our sons shall see it leisurely decay, First turn plain rash, then vanish quite away.
This thing has travell'd, speaks each language too, And knows what's fit for every State to do; Of whose best phrase and courtly accent join'd, He forms one tongue, exotic and refined Talkers I've learn'd to bear; Motteux I knew, 50 Henley himself I've heard, and Budgell too. The Doctor's wormwood style, the hash of tongues A pedant makes, the storm of Gonson's lungs, The whole artillery of the terms of war, And (all those plagues in one) the bawling Bar: These I could bear; but not a rogue so civil, Whose tongue will compliment you to the devil; A tongue, that can cheat widows, cancel scores, Make Scots speak treason, cozen subtlest whores, With royal favourites in flattery vie, 60 And Oldmixon and Burnet both outlie.
He spies me out; I whisper, Gracious God! What sin of mine could merit such a rod? That all the shot of dulness now must be From this thy blunderbuss discharged on me! Permit (he cries) no stranger to your fame To crave your sentiment, if ——'s your name. What speech esteem you most? 'The King's,' said I. But the best words?—'Oh, sir, the Dictionary.' You miss my aim; I mean the most acute 70 And perfect speaker?—'Onslow, past dispute.' But, sir, of writers? 'Swift, for closer style; But Hoadley, for a period of a mile.' Why, yes, 'tis granted, these indeed may pass: Good common linguists, and so Panurge was; Nay, troth, the Apostles (though perhaps too rough) Had once a pretty gift of tongues enough: Yet these were all poor gentlemen! I dare Affirm, 'twas travel made them what they were.
Thus others' talents having nicely shown, 80 He came by sure transition to his own: Till I cried out, You prove yourself so able, Pity you was not druggerman at Babel; For had they found a linguist half so good, I make no question but the tower had stood. 'Obliging sir! for courts you sure were made: Why then for ever buried in the shade? Spirits like you should see, and should be seen, The king would smile on you—at least the queen.' Ah, gentle sir! you courtiers so cajole us— 90 But Tully has it, Nunquam minus solus: And as for courts, forgive me, if I say No lessons now are taught the Spartan way: Though in his pictures lust be full display'd, Few are the converts Aretine has made; And though the court show vice exceeding clear, None should, by my advice, learn virtue there.
At this, entranced, he lifts his hands and eyes, Squeaks like a high-stretch'd lutestring, and replies: 'Oh, 'tis the sweetest of all earthly things 100 To gaze on princes, and to talk of kings!' Then, happy man who shows the tombs! said I, He dwells amidst the royal family; He every day, from king to king can walk, Of all our Harries, all our Edwards talk, And get by speaking truth of monarchs dead, What few can of the living-ease and bread. 'Lord, sir, a mere mechanic! strangely low, And coarse of phrase,—your English all are so. How elegant your Frenchmen!' Mine, d'ye mean? 110 I have but one, I hope the fellow's clean. 'Oh! sir, politely so! nay, let me die: Your only wearing is your paduasoy.' Not, sir, my only, I have better still, And this, you see, is but my dishabille. Wild to get loose, his patience I provoke, Mistake, confound, object at all he spoke. But as coarse iron, sharpen'd, mangles more, And itch most hurts when anger'd to a sore; So when you plague a fool, 'tis still the curse, 120 You only make the matter worse and worse.
He pass'd it o'er; affects an easy smile At all my peevishness, and turns his style. He asks, 'What news?' I tell him of new plays, New eunuchs, harlequins, and operas. He hears, and as a still with simples in it Between each drop it gives, stays half a minute, Loth to enrich me with too quick replies, By little, and by little, drops his lies. Mere household trash! of birthnights, balls, and shows, 130 More than ten Hollinsheds, or Halls, or Stowes. When the queen frown'd, or smiled, he knows; and what A subtle minister may make of that: Who sins with whom: who got his pension rug, Or quicken'd a reversion by a drug: Whose place is quarter'd out, three parts in four, And whether to a bishop, or a whore: Who, having lost his credit, pawn'd his rent, Is therefore fit to have a government: Who, in the secret, deals in stocks secure, 140 And cheats the unknowing widow and the poor: Who makes a trust or charity a job, And gets an act of parliament to rob: Why turnpikes rise, and now no cit nor clown Can gratis see the country, or the town: Shortly no lad shall chuck, or lady vole, But some excising courtier will have toll. He tells what strumpet places sells for life, What 'squire his lands, what citizen his wife: And last (which proves him wiser still than all) 150 What lady's face is not a whited wall.
As one of Woodward's patients, sick, and sore, I puke, I nauseate,—yet he thrusts in more: Trim's Europe's balance, tops the statesman's part. And talks Gazettes and Postboys o'er by heart. Like a big wife at sight of loathsome meat Ready to cast, I yawn, I sigh, and sweat. Then as a licensed spy, whom nothing can Silence or hurt, he libels the great man; Swears every place entail'd for years to come, 160 In sure succession to the day of doom: He names the price for every office paid, And says our wars thrive ill, because delay'd: Nay, hints 'tis by connivance of the court That Spain robs on, and Dunkirk's still a port. Not more amazement seized on Circe's guests, To see themselves fall endlong into beasts, Than mine, to find a subject, staid and wise, Already half turn'd traitor by surprise. I felt the infection slide from him to me, 170 As in the pox, some give it to get free; And quick to swallow me, methought I saw One of our giant statues ope its jaw.
In that nice moment, as another lie Stood just a-tilt, the minister came by. To him he flies, and bows, and bows again, Then, close as Umbra, joins the dirty train. Not Fannius' self more impudently near, When half his nose is in his prince's ear. I quaked at heart; and still afraid, to see 180 All the court fill'd with stranger things than he, Ran out as fast, as one that pays his bail, And dreads more actions, hurries from a jail.
Bear me, some god! oh quickly bear me hence To wholesome solitude, the nurse of sense, Where Contemplation prunes her ruffled wings, And the free soul looks down to pity kings! There sober thought pursued the amusing theme, Till fancy colour'd it, and form'd a dream. A vision hermits can to Hell transport, 190 And forced ev'n me to see the damn'd at court. Not Dante, dreaming all the infernal state, Beheld such scenes of envy, sin, and hate. Base fear becomes the guilty, not the free; Suits tyrants, plunderers, but suits not me: Shall I, the terror of this sinful town, Care if a liveried lord or smile or frown? Who cannot flatter, and detest who can, Tremble before a noble serving-man? O my fair mistress, Truth! shall I quit thee 200 For huffing, braggart, puff'd nobility? Thou, who since yesterday hast roll'd o'er all The busy, idle blockheads of the ball, Hast thou, O Sun! beheld an emptier sort, Than such as swell this bladder of a court? Now pox on those who show a court in wax! It ought to bring all courtiers on their backs: Such painted puppets! such a varnish'd race Of hollow gewgaws, only dress and face! Such waxen noses, stately staring things— 210 No wonder some folks bow, and think them kings.
See! where the British youth, engaged no more At Fig's, at White's, with felons, or a whore, Pay their last duty to the court, and come All fresh and fragrant, to the drawing-room; In hues as gay, and odours as divine, As the fair fields they sold to look so fine. 'That's velvet for a king!' the flatterer swears; 'Tis true, for ten days hence 'twill be King Lear's. Our court may justly to our stage give rules, 220 That helps it both to fools' coats and to fools. And why not players strut in courtiers' clothes? For these are actors too, as well as those: Wants reach all states; they beg, but better dress'd, And all is splendid poverty at best.
Painted for sight, and essenced for the smell, Like frigates fraught with spice and cochineal, Sail in the ladies: how each pirate eyes So weak a vessel, and so rich a prize! Top-gallant he, and she in all her trim, 230 He boarding her, she striking sail to him: 'Dear Countess! you have charms all hearts to hit!' And, 'Sweet Sir Fopling! you have so much wit!' Such wits and beauties are not praised for nought, For both the beauty and the wit are bought. 'Twould burst ev'n Heraclitus with the spleen, To see those antics, Fopling and Courtin: The Presence seems, with things so richly odd, The mosque of Mahound, or some queer pagod. See them survey their limbs by Durer's rules, 240 Of all beau-kind the best proportion'd fools! Adjust their clothes, and to confession draw Those venial sins, an atom, or a straw; But oh! what terrors must distract the soul Convicted of that mortal crime, a hole; Or should one pound of powder less bespread Those monkey tails that wag behind their head. Thus finish'd, and corrected to a hair, They march, to prate their hour before the fair. So first to preach a white-gloved chaplain goes, 250 With band of lily, and with cheek of rose, Sweeter than Sharon, in immaculate trim, Neatness itself impertinent in him, Let but the ladies smile, and they are blest: Prodigious! how the things protest, protest: Peace, fools! or Gonson will for Papists seize you, If once he catch you at your Jesu! Jesu!
Nature made every fop to plague his brother, Just as one beauty mortifies another. But here's the captain that will plague them both, 260 Whose air cries, Arm! whose very look's an oath: The captain's honest, sirs, and that's enough, Though his soul's bullet, and his body buff. He spits fore-right; his haughty chest before, Like battering rams, beats open every door: And with a face as red, and as awry, As Herod's hangdogs in old tapestry, Scarecrow to boys, the breeding woman's curse, Has yet a strange ambition to look worse; Confounds the civil, keeps the rude in awe, Jests like a licensed fool, commands like law. 270
Frighted, I quit the room, but leave it so As men from jails to execution go; For hung with deadly sins I see the wall, And lined with giants deadlier than 'em all: Each man an Ascapart, of strength to toss For quoits, both Temple-bar and Charing-cross. Scared at the grisly forms, I sweat, I fly, And shake all o'er, like a discover'd spy.
Courts are too much for wits so weak as mine: Charge them with Heaven's artillery, bold divine! 280 From such alone the great rebukes endure, Whose satire's sacred, and whose rage secure: 'Tis mine to wash a few light stains, but theirs To deluge sin, and drown a court in tears. Howe'er, what's now Apocrypha, my wit, In time to come, may pass for holy writ.
* * * * *
EPILOGUE TO THE SATIRES.
IN TWO DIALOGUES.
(WRITTEN IN MDCCXXXVIII.)
Fr. Not twice a twelvemonth you appear in print, And when it comes, the court see nothing in 't. You grow correct, that once with rapture writ, And are, besides, too moral for a wit. Decay of parts, alas! we all must feel— Why now, this moment, don't I see you steal? '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 trust in Peter.' 10
But, Horace, sir, was delicate, was nice; Bubo observes, he lash'd no sort of vice: Horace would say, Sir Billy served the crown, Blunt could do business, Huggins knew the town; In Sappho touch the failings of the sex, In reverend bishops note some small neglects, And own, the Spaniard did a waggish thing, Who cropp'd our ears, and sent them to the king. His sly, polite, insinuating style Could please at court, and make Augustus smile: 20 An artful manager, that crept between His friend and shame, and was a kind of screen. But, faith, your very friends will soon be sore; Patriots there are, who wish you'd jest no more— And where's the glory? 'twill be only thought The great man never offer'd you a groat. Go see Sir Robert—
P. See Sir Robert!—hum— And never laugh—for all my life to come? Seen him I have, but in his happier hour Of social pleasure, ill-exchanged for power; 30 Seen him, uncumber'd with the venal tribe, Smile without art, and win without a bribe. Would he oblige me? let me only find, He does not think me what he thinks mankind. Come, come, at all I laugh he laughs, no doubt; The only difference is, I dare laugh out.
F. Why, yes: with Scripture still you may be free; A horse-laugh, if you please, at honesty; A joke on Jekyl, or some odd old Whig Who never changed his principle, or wig: 40 A patriot is a fool in every age, Whom all Lord Chamberlains allow the stage: These nothing hurts; they keep their fashion still, And wear their strange old virtue, as they will.
If any ask you, 'Who's the man, so near His prince, that writes in verse, and has his ear?' Why, answer, Lyttleton, and I'll engage The worthy youth shall ne'er be in a rage: But were his verses vile, his whisper base, You'd quickly find him in Lord Fanny's case. 50 Sejanus, Wolsey, hurt not honest Fleury, But well may put some statesmen in a fury.
Laugh then at any, but at fools or foes; These you but anger, and you mend not those. Laugh at your friends, and, if your friends are sore, So much the better, you may laugh the more. To vice and folly to confine the jest, Sets half the world, God knows, against the rest; Did not the sneer of more impartial men At sense and virtue, balance all again. 60 Judicious wits spread wide the ridicule, And charitably comfort knave and fool.
P. Dear sir, forgive the prejudice of youth: Adieu distinction, satire, warmth, and truth! Come, harmless characters that no one hit; Come, Henley's oratory, Osborn's wit! The honey dropping from Favonio's tongue, The flowers of Bubo, and the flow of Yonge! The gracious dew of pulpit eloquence, And all the well-whipt cream of courtly sense, 70 That first was Hervy's, Fox's next, and then The senate's, and then Hervy's once again. Oh come, that easy, Ciceronian style, So Latin, yet so English all the while, As, though the pride of Middleton and Bland, All boys may read, and girls may understand! Then might I sing, without the least offence, And all I sung should be the nation's sense; Or teach the melancholy Muse to mourn, Hang the sad verse on Carolina's urn, 80 And hail her passage to the realms of rest, All parts perform'd, and all her children bless'd! So—satire is no more—I feel it die— No gazetteer more innocent than I— And let, a-God's-name! every fool and knave Be graced through life, and flatter'd in his grave.
F. Why so? if satire knows its time and place, You still may lash the greatest—in disgrace: For merit will by turns forsake them all; Would you know when exactly when they fall. 90 But let all satire in all changes spare Immortal Selkirk, and grave Delaware. Silent and soft, as saints remove 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, 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. Have I, in silent wonder, seen such things As pride in slaves, and avarice in kings; 110 And at a peer, or peeress, shall I fret, Who starves a sister, or forswears a debt? Virtue, I grant you, is an empty boast; But shall the dignity of vice be lost? Ye gods! shall Cibber's son, without rebuke, Swear like a lord, or Rich out-whore 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? 120 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, And so may'st thou, illustrious Passeran! But shall a printer, weary of his life, 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, 130 Let modest Foster, if he will, excel Ten metropolitans in preaching well; A simple Quaker, or a Quaker's wife, Outdo Landaff in doctrine,—yea, in life: Let humble Allen, 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; Dwell in a monk, or light upon a king, She's still the same beloved, contented thing. 140 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. 150 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, That NOT TO BE CORRUPTED IS THE SHAME! 160 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.' 170
Yet may this verse (if such a verse remain) Show, there was one who held it in disdain.
* * * * *
After VER. 2 in the MS.—
You don't, I hope, pretend to quit the trade, Because you think your reputation made: Like good Sir Paul, of whom so much was said, That when his name was up, he lay a-bed. Come, come, refresh us with a livelier song, Or, like Sir Paul, you'll lie a-bed too long.
P. Sir, what I write, should be correctly writ.
F. Correct! 'tis what no genius can admit. Besides, you grow too moral for a wit.
VER. 112 in some editions—'Who starves a mother.'
Fr. 'Tis all a libel—Paxton (sir) will say.
P. Not yet, my friend! to-morrow, faith, it may; And for that very cause I print to-day. How should I fret to mangle every line, In reverence to the sins of thirty-nine! Vice with such giant strides comes on amain, Invention strives to be before in vain; Feign what I will, and paint it e'er so strong, Some rising genius sins up to my song.
F. Yet none but you by name the guilty lash; 10 Ev'n Guthrie saves half Newgate by a dash. Spare then the person, and expose the vice.
P. How, sir! not damn the sharper, but the dice? Come on then, Satire! general, unconfined, Spread thy broad wing, and souse on all the kind. Ye statesmen, priests, of one religion all! Ye tradesmen, vile, in army, court, or hall! Ye reverend atheists——
F. Scandal! name them, who?
P. Why that's the thing you bid me not to do. Who starved a sister, who forswore a debt, 20 I never named; the town's inquiring yet. The poisoning dame——
F. You mean——
P. I don't.
F. You do.
P. See, now I keep the secret, and not you! The bribing statesman——
F. Hold, too high you go.
P. The bribed elector——
F. There you stoop too low.
P. I fain would please you, if I knew with what; Tell me, which knave is lawful game, which not? Must great offenders, once escaped the crown, Like royal harts, be never more run down? Admit, your law to spare the knight requires, 30 As beasts of nature may we hunt the 'squires? Suppose I censure—you know what I mean— To save a bishop, may I name a dean?
F. A dean, sir? no: his fortune is not made, You hurt a man that's rising in the trade.
P. If not the tradesman who set up to-day, Much less the 'prentice who to-morrow may. Down, down, proud Satire! though a realm be spoil'd, Arraign no mightier thief than wretched Wild; Or, if a court or country's made a job, 40 Go drench a pickpocket, and join the mob.
But, sir, I beg you (for the love of vice!) The matter's weighty, pray consider twice; Have you less pity for the needy cheat, The poor and friendless villain, than the great? Alas! the small discredit of a bribe Scarce hurts the lawyer, but undoes the scribe. Then better, sure, it charity becomes To tax directors, who (thank God) have plums; Still better, ministers; or, if the thing 50 May pinch ev'n there—why lay it on a king.
F. Stop! stop!
P. Must Satire, then, nor rise nor fall? Speak out, and bid me blame no rogues at all.
F. Yes, strike that Wild, I'll justify the blow.
P. Strike! why the man was hanged ten years ago: Who now that obsolete example fears? Ev'n Peter trembles only for his ears.
F. What, always Peter! Peter thinks you mad, You make men desperate if they once are bad: Else might he take to virtue some years hence 60
P. As Selkirk, if he lives, will love the Prince.
F. Strange spleen to Selkirk!
P. Do I wrong the man? God knows, I praise a courtier where I can. When I confess, there is who feels for fame, And melts to goodness, need I Scarb'rough name? Pleased, let me own, in Esher's peaceful grove (Where Kent and nature vie for Pelham's love) The scene, the master, opening to my view, I sit and dream I see my Craggs anew! Ev'n in a bishop I can spy desert; 70 Secker is decent—Rundel has a heart— Manners with candour are to Benson given— To Berkeley, every virtue under heaven.
But does the court a worthy man remove? That instant, I declare, he has my love: I shun his zenith, court his mild decline; Thus Somers once, and Halifax, were mine. Oft, in the clear, still mirror of retreat, I studied Shrewsbury, the wise and great: Carleton's calm sense, and Stanhope's noble flame, 80 Compared, and knew their generous end the same: How pleasing Atterbury's softer hour! How shined the soul, unconquer'd in the Tower! How can I Pulteney, Chesterfield, forget, While Roman spirit charms, and Attic wit: Argyll, the state's whole thunder born to wield, And shake alike the senate and the field: Or Wyndham, just to freedom and the throne, The master of our passions, and his own. Names, which I long have loved, nor loved in vain, 90 Rank'd with their friends, not number'd with their train: And if yet higher the proud list should end, Still let me say,—No follower, but a friend.
Yet think not Friendship only prompts my lays; I follow Virtue; where she shines, I praise: Point she to priest or elder, Whig or Tory, Or round a Quaker's beaver cast a glory. I never (to my sorrow I declare) Dined with the Man of Ross, or my Lord Mayor. Some, in their choice of friends, (nay, look not grave) 100 Have still a secret bias to a knave: To find an honest man I beat about. And love him, court him, praise him, in or out.
F. Then why so few commended?
P. Not so fierce; Find you the virtue, and I'll find the verse. But random praise—the task can ne'er be done; Each mother asks it for her booby son, Each widow asks it for 'the best of men,' For him she weeps, and him she weds again. Praise cannot stoop, like satire, to the ground; 110 The number may be hang'd, but not be crown'd. Enough for half the greatest of these days, To 'scape my censure, not expect my praise. Are they not rich? what more can they pretend? Dare they to hope a poet for their friend? What Richelieu wanted, Louis scarce could gain, And what young Ammon wish'd, but wish'd in vain. No power the Muse's friendship can command; No power, when Virtue claims it, can withstand: To Cato, Virgil paid one honest line; 120 Oh let my country's friends illumine mine! —What are you thinking?
F. Faith, the thought's no sin— 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 comply— Spirit of Arnall! aid me while I lie. Cobham's a coward, Polwarth is a slave, 130 And Lyttleton a dark, designing knave, St John has ever been a wealthy fool— But let me add, Sir Robert's mighty dull, Has never made a friend in private life, And was, besides, a tyrant to his wife.
But pray, when others praise him, do I blame? Call Verres, Wolsey, any odious name? Why rail they then, if but a wreath of mine, O all-accomplish'd St John! deck thy shrine?
What! shall each spur-gall'd hackney of the day, 140 When Paxton gives him double pots and pay, Or each new-pension'd sycophant, pretend To break my windows if I treat a friend? Then wisely plead, to me they meant no hurt, But 'twas my guest at whom they threw the dirt? Sure, if I spare the minister, no rules Of honour bind me, not to maul his tools; Sure, if they cannot cut, it may be said His saws are toothless, and his hatchet's lead.
It anger'd Turenne, once upon a day, 150 To see a footman kick'd that took his pay: But when he heard the affront the fellow gave, Knew one a man of honour, one a knave, The prudent general turn'd it to a jest, And begg'd he'd take the pains to kick the rest: Which not at present having time to do——
F. Hold sir! for God's-sake where 'a the affront to you? Against your worship when had Selkirk writ? Or Page pour'd forth the torrent of his wit? Or grant the bard whose distich all commend 160 'In power a servant, out of power a friend,' To Walpole guilty of some venial sin; What's that to you who ne'er was out nor in?
The priest whose flattery bedropp'd the crown, How hurt he you? he only stain'd the gown. And how did, pray, the florid youth offend, Whose speech you took, and gave it to a friend?
P. Faith, it imports not much from whom it came; Whoever borrow'd, could not be to blame, Since the whole house did afterwards the same. 170 Let courtly wits to wits afford supply, As hog to hog in huts of Westphaly; If one, through Nature's bounty, or his lord's, Has what the frugal, dirty soil affords, From him the next receives it, thick or thin, As pure a mess almost as it came in; The blessed benefit, not there confined, Drops to the third, who nuzzles close behind; From tail to mouth, they feed and they carouse: The last full fairly gives it to the House. 180
F. This filthy simile, this beastly line Quite turns my stomach——
P. So does flattery mine; And all your courtly civet-cats can vent, Perfume to you, to me is excrement. But hear me further—Japhet, 'tis agreed, Writ not, and Chartres scarce could write or read, In all the courts of Pindus guiltless quite; But pens can forge, my friend, that cannot write; And must no egg in Japhet's face be thrown, Because the deed he forged was not my own? 190 Must never patriot then declaim at gin, Unless, good man! he has been fairly in? No zealous pastor blame a failing spouse, Without a staring reason on his brows? And each blasphemer quite escape the rod, Because the insult's not on man, but God?
Ask you what provocation I have had? The strong antipathy of good to bad. When truth or virtue an affront endures, The affront is mine, my friend, and should be yours. 200 Mine, as a foe profess'd to false pretence, Who think a coxcomb's honour like his sense; Mine, as a friend to every worthy mind; And mine, as man, who feel for all mankind.
F. You're strangely proud.
P. So proud, I am no slave: So impudent, I own myself no knave: So odd, my country's ruin makes me grave. Yes, I am proud; I must be proud to see Men not afraid of God, afraid of me: Safe from the bar, the pulpit, and the throne, 210 Yet touch'd and shamed by ridicule alone.
O sacred weapon! left for truth's defence, Sole dread of folly, vice, and insolence! To all but heaven-directed hands denied, The Muse may give thee, but the gods must guide: Rev'rent I touch thee! but with honest zeal; To rouse the watchmen of the public weal, To virtue's work provoke the tardy Hall, And goad the prelate slumbering in his stall. Ye tinsel insects! whom a court maintains, 220 That counts your beauties only by your stains, Spin all your cobwebs o'er the eye of day! The Muse's wing shall brush you all away: All his grace preaches, all his lordship sings, All that makes saints of queens, and gods of kings,— All, all but truth, drops dead-born from the press, Like the last gazette, or the last address.
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, 230 Nor Boileau turn the feather to a star.
Not so, when, diadem'd with rays divine, Touch'd with the flame that breaks from Virtue's shrine, Her priestess Muse forbids the good to die, And opes the temple of Eternity. There, other trophies deck the truly brave, Than such as Anstis casts into the grave; Far other stars than —— and —— wear, And may descend to Mordington from Stair: (Such as on Hough's unsullied mitre shine, 240 Or beam, good Digby, from a heart like thine) Let Envy howl, while Heaven's whole chorus sings, And bark at honour not conferr'd by kings; Let Flattery sickening see the incense rise, Sweet to the world, and grateful to the skies: Truth guards the poet, sanctifies the line, And makes immortal verse as mean as mine.
Yes, the last pen for freedom let me draw, When truth stands trembling on the edge of law; Here, last of Britons! let your names be read; 250 Are none, none living? let me praise the dead, And for that cause which made your fathers shine, Fall by the votes of their degenerate line.
F. Alas! alas! pray end what you began, And write next winter more 'Essays on Man.'
* * * * *
VER. 185 in the MS.—
I grant it, sir; and further, 'tis agreed, Japhet writ not, and Chartres scarce could read.
After VER. 227 in the MS.—
Where's now the star that lighted Charles to rise? —With that which follow'd Julius to the skies Angels that watch'd the Royal Oak so well, How chanced ye nod, when luckless Sorel fell? Hence, lying miracles! reduced so low As to the regal-touch, and papal-toe; Hence haughty Edgar's title to the main, Britain's to France, and thine to India, Spain!
VER. 255 in the MS.—
Quit, quit these themes, and write 'Essays on Man.'
 We may mention that Roscoe and Dr Croly (in his admirable Life of Pope, prefixed to an excellent edition of his works) take a different view, and defend the poet.
 'Preface:' to the miscellaneous works of Pope, 1716.
 Written at sixteen years of age.
 'Trumbull:' see Life. He was born in Windsor Forest.
 'Phosphor:' the planet Venus.
 'Wondrous tree:' an allusion to the royal oak.
 'Thistle:' of Scotland.
 'Lily:' of France.
 'Garth:' Dr Samuel Garth, author of the 'Dispensary.'
 'The woods,' &c., from Spenser.
 'Wycherley:' the dramatist. See Life.
 This pastoral, Pope's own favourite, was produced on occasion of the death of a Mrs Tempest, a favourite of Mr Walsh, the poet's friend, who died on the night of the great storm in 1703, to which there are allusions. The scene lies in a grove—time, midnight.
 'Stagyrite: Aristotle.
 'La Mancha's knight:' taken from the spurious second part of 'Don Quixote.'
 'Unlucky as Fungoso:' see Ben Johnson's 'Every Man in his Humour.'
 'Timotheus:' see 'Alexander's Feast.'
 'Scotists and Thomists:' two parties amongst the schoolmen, headed by Duns Scotus and Thomas Aquinas.
 'Duck-lane:' a place near Smithfield, where old books were sold.
 'Milbourns:' the Rev. Mr Luke Milbourn, an opponent of Dryden.
 Hall has imitated and excelled this passage. See his pamphlet, 'Christianity consistent with a Love of Freedom.'
 In this passage he alludes to Cromwell, Charles II., and the Revolution of 1688, and to their various effects on manners, opinions, &c.
 'Appius:' Dennis.
 'Garth did not write:' a common slander at that time in prejudice of that author.
 'Maeonian star:' Homer.
 'Dionysius:' of Halicarnassus.
 'Mantua:' Virgil's birth-place.
 'Such was the Muse:' Essay on poetry by the Duke of Buckingham.
 'Caryll:' Mr Caryll (a gentleman who was secretary to Queen Mary, wife of James II., whose fortunes he followed into France, author of the comedy of 'Sir Solomon Single,' and of several translations in Dryden's Miscellanies) originally proposed the subject to Pope, with the view of putting an end, by this piece of ridicule, to a quarrel that had arisen between two noble families, those of Lord Petre and of Mrs Fermor, on the trifling occasion of his having cut off a lock of her hair. The author sent it to the lady, with whom he was acquainted; and she took it so well as to give about copies of it. That first sketch (we learn from one of his letters) was written in less than a fortnight, in 1711, in two cantos only, and it was so printed; first, in a miscellany of Ben. Lintot's, without the name of the author. But it was received so well that he enlarged it the next year by the addition of the machinery of the Sylphs, and extended it to five cantos.
 'Sylph:' the Rosicrucian philosophy was a strange offshoot from Alchemy, and made up in equal proportions of Pagan Platonism, Christian Quietism, and Jewish Mysticism. See Bulwer's 'Zanoni.' Pope has blended some of its elements with old legendary stories about guardian angels, fairies, &c.
 'Baron:' Lord Petre.
 Burns had this evidently in his eye when he wrote the lines 'Some hint the lover's harmless wile,' &c., in his 'Vision.'
 'Atalantis:' a famous book written about that time by a woman: full of court and party-scandal, and in a loose effeminacy of style and sentiment which well suited the debauched taste of the better vulgar.
 'Winds:' see Odyssey.
 'Thalestris:' Mrs Morley.
 'Sir Plume:' Sir George Brown.
 'Maeander:' see Ovid.
 'Partridge:' see Pope's and Swift's Miscellanies.
 This poem was written at two different times: the first part of it, which relates to the country, in the year 1704, at the same time with the Pastorals; the latter part was not added till the year 1713, in which it was published.
 'Stuart:' Queen Anne.
 'Savage laws:' the forest-laws.
 'The fields are ravish'd:' alluding to the destruction made in the New Forest, and the tyrannies exercised there by William I.
 'Himself denied a grave:' the place of his interment at Caen in Normandy was claimed by a gentleman as his inheritance, the moment his servants were going to put him in his tomb: so that they were obliged to compound with the owner before they could perform the king's obsequies.
 'Second hope:' Richard, second son of William the Conqueror.
 'Queen:' Anne.
 'Still bears the name:' the river Loddon.
 'Trumbull:' see Pastorals.
 'Cooper's Hill:' celebrated by Denham.
 'Flowed from Cowley's tongue:' Mr Cowley died at Chertsey, on the borders of the forest, and was from thence conveyed to Westminster.
 'Noble Surrey:' Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, one of the first refiners of English poetry; who flourished in the time of Henry VIII.
 'Edward's acts:' Edward III., born here.
 'Henry mourn:' Henry VI.
 'Once-fear'd Edward sleeps:' Edward IV.
 'Augusta:' old name for London.
 'And temples rise:' the fifty new churches.
 The author of 'Successio,' Elkanah Settle, appears to have been as much hated by Pope as he had been by Dryden. He figures prominently in 'The Dunciad.'
 This was written at twelve years old.
 This ode was written in imitation of the famous sonnet of Adrian to his departing soul. Flaxman also supplied hints for it. See 'The Adventurer.'
 See Memoir.
 'But what with pleasure:' this alludes to a famous passage of Seneca, which Mr Addison afterwards used as a motto to his play, when it was printed.
 Done by the author in his youth.
 Dr Johnson in the Literary Review highly commends this piece.
 This, it is said, was intended for Queen Caroline.
 'Zamolxia:' a disciple of Pythagoras.
 'The youth:' Alexander the Great: the tiara was the crown peculiar to the Asian princes: his desire to be thought the son of Jupiter Ammon, caused him to wear the horns of that god, and to represent the same upon his coins; which was continued by several of his successors.
 'Timoleon:' had saved the life of his brother Timophanes in the battle between the Argives and Corinthians; but afterwards killed him when he affected the tyranny.
 'He whom ungrateful Athens:' Aristides.
 'May one kind grave:' Abelard and Eloisa were interred in the same grave, or in monuments adjoining, in the monastery of the Paraclete: he died in the year 1142; she in 1163.
 'Robert, Earl of Oxford:' 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.
 'Secretary of State:' in the year 1720.
 'Work of years:' Fresnoy employed above twenty years in finishing his poem.
 'Worsley:' Lady Frances, wife of Sir Robert Worsley.
 'Voitnre:' a French wit, born in Amiens 1598, died in 1648; a favourite of the Duke of Orleans, and member of the French Academy.
 'Monthansier:' Mademoiselle Paulet.
 'Coronation:' of King George the First, 1715.
 'M.B.:' Martha Blount.
 'Southern:' author of 'Oronooko,' &c. He lived to the age of eighty-six.
 'A table:' he was invited to dine on his birthday with this nobleman, who had prepared for him the entertainment of which the bill of fare is here set down.
 'Harp:' the Irish harp was woven on table-cloths, &c.
 'Prologues:' Dryden used to sell his prologues at four guineas each, till, when Southern applied for one, he demanded six, saying, 'Young man, the players have got my goods too cheap.'
 'Mr C.:' Mr Cleland, whose residence was in St James's Place, where he died in 1741. See preface to 'The Dunciad.'
 'Trumbull:' one of the principal Secretaries of State to King William III., who, having resigned his place, died in his retirement at Easthamstead, in Berkshire, 1746.
 'Heaven's eternal year is thine:' borrowed from Dryden's poem on Mrs Killigrew.
 'Fenton:' Pope's joint-translator of Homer's Odyssey. See Johnson's 'Lives of the Poets.'
 His only daughter expired in his arms, immediately after she arrived in France to see him.
 Lady Mary Montague wrote a rejoinder to this poem, in a caustic, sneering vein.
 'Vindicate the ways,' &c.: borrowed from Milton.
 'Egypt's God:' Apis.
 'Thin partitions' from Dryden.
 'Glory, jest, and riddle of the world:' Pascal in his 'Pensees' has a thought almost identical with this.
 'Good bishop:' De Belsance, who distinguished himself by attention to the sick of the plague, in his diocese of Marseilles in 1720.
 'Bethel:' a benevolent gentleman in Yorkshire, a great friend of Pope's.
 'Chartres:' Colonel, infamous for every vice—a fraudulent gambler, &c. &c.
 'Cromwell:' it is not necessary now to answer this insult to the greatest of Britain's kings. It is a clever ape chattering at a dead lion.
 'Good John:' John Serle, his old and faithful servant.
 'Mint:' a place to which insolvent debtors retired, to enjoy an illegal protection, which they were there suffered to afford one another, from the persecution of their creditors.—P.
 'Pitholeon:' The name taken from a foolish poet of Rhodes, who pretended much to Greek.—P.
 'Butchers, Henley:' Orator Henley used to declaim to the butchers in Newport market.
 'Freemasons, Moore:' he was of this society, and frequently headed their processions.
 'Bishop Boulter:' friend of Ambrose Philips.
 'Burnets, &c.:' authors of secret and scandalous history.
 'Gildon:' a forgotten critic and dramatist—a bitter libeller of Pope.
 'A Persian tale:' Ambrose Philips translated a book called the 'Persian Tales.'
 'Bufo:' most commentators refer this to Lord Halifax.
 'Sir Will:' Sir William Young.
 'Bubo:' Babb Dodington.
 'Who to the dean, and silver bell:' meaning the man who would have persuaded the Duke of Chandos that Mr P. meant him in those circumstances ridiculed in the 'Epistle on Taste.'—P.
 'Sporus:' Lord Hervey.
 'The lie so oft o'erthrown:' as, that he received subscriptions for Shakspeare; that he set his name to Mr Broome's verses, &c., which, though publicly disproved, were nevertheless shamelessly repeated.—P.
 'The imputed trash:' such as profane psalms, court-poems, and other scandalous things, printed in his name by Curll and others.—P.
 'Abuse:' namely, on the Duke of Buckingham, the Earl of Burlington, Lord Bathurst, Lord Bolingbroke, Bishop Atterbury, Dr Swift, Dr Arbuthnot, Mr Gay, his friends, his parents, and his very nurse, aspersed in printed papers, by James Moore, G. Ducket, L. Wolsted, Tho. Bentley, and other obscure persons.—P.
 'Sappho:' Lady M.W. Montague.
 'Welsted:' accused Pope of killing a lady by a satire.
 'Budgell:' Budgell, in a weekly pamphlet called The Bee, bestowed much abuse on him.
 'Except his will:' alluding to Tindal's will, by which, and other indirect practices, Budgell, to the exclusion of the next heir, a nephew, got to himself almost the whole fortune of a man entirely unrelated to him.—P.
 'Curlls of town and court:' Lord Hervey.
 'Noble wife:' alluding to the fate of Dryden and Addison.
 'An oath:' Pope's father was a nonjuror.
 Curll set up his head for a sign.
 His father was crooked.
 His mother was much afflicted with headaches.
 'Fortescue:' Baron of Exchequer, and afterwards Master of the Mint.
 'Fanny:' Hervey.
 'Falling horse:' the horse on which George II. charged at the battle of Oudenarde.
 'Shippen:' the only member of parliament Sir R. Walpole found incorruptible.
 'Lee:' Nathaniel, a wild, mad, but true poet of Dryden's day.
 'Budgell:' Addison's relation, who drowned himself in the Thames.
 'And he whose lightning:' Charles Mordaunt, Earl of Peterborough, a man distinguished by the rapidity of his military movements—a petty Napoleon.
 'Oldfield:' this eminent glutton ran through a fortune of fifteen hundred pounds a-year in the simple luxury of good eating.—P.
 'Bedford-head:' a famous eating-house.
 'Proud Buckingham:' Villiers, Duke of Buckingham.
 'Aristippus:' the licentious parasite of Dionysius.
 'Sticks:' Exchequer tallies—an old mode of reckoning.
 'Barnard:' Sir John Barnard, an eminent citizen of the day.
 'Lady Mary:' Montague, who was as great a sloven as a beauty.
 'Murray:' afterwards Lord Mansfield.
 'Creech:' the translator of Horace.
 'Craggs:' his father was originally a humble man.
 'Cornbury:' an excellent and high-minded nobleman, great-grandson of Lord Clarendon, the historian.
 'Tindal:' the infidel, author of 'Christianity as Old as the Creation.'
 'Anstis:' Garter King-at-Arms.
 'Luckless play:' Young's 'Buseris;' the name of the spendthrift is not known.
 'Augustus:' referring ironically to George II., then excessively unpopular for refusing to enter into a war with Spain, which was supposed to have insulted our commerce.
 'Skelton:' poet laureate to Henry VIII.
 'Christ's Kirk o' the Green:' a ballad made by James I. of Scotland.
 'The Devil:' the Devil Tavern, where Ben Johnson held his poetical club.
 'Horse-tail bare:' referring to Sertorius, who told one of his soldiers to pluck off a horse's tail at one effort. He failed, of course. Sertorius then told another to pluck it away, hair by hair. He succeeded; and thus Sertorius taught the lesson of hard-working, patient perseverance.
 'Gammer Gurton:' one of the first printed plays in English, and therefore much valued by some antiquaries.
 'All, by the king's example:' a line from Lord Lansdown.
 'Lely:' Sir Peter, who painted Cromwell and all the celebrities of his day.
 'Ripley:' the government architect who built the Admiralty; no favourite except with his employers.
 'Van:' Vanbrugh.
 'Astraea:' Miss Bolin, author of obscene, but once popular novels.
 'Old Edward's armour beams on Cibber's breast:' the coronation of Henry VIII. and Queen Anne Boleyn, in which the play-houses vied with each other to represent all the pomp of a coronation. In this noble contention, the armour of one of the kings of England was borrowed from the Tower, to dress the champion.—P.
 'Bernini:' a great sculptor. He is said to have predicted Charles the First's melancholy fate from a sight of his bust.
 'Colonel:' Cotterel of Rousham, near Oxford.
 'Blois:' a town where French is spoken with great purity.
 'Sir Godfrey:' Sir Godfrey Kneller.
 'Monroes:' Dr Monroe, physician to Bedlam Hospital.
 'Oldfield, Daitineuf:' two celebrated gluttons mentioned formerly.
 'Tooting, Earl's Court:' two villages within a few miles of London.
 'Composing songs:' Burns imitates this in the 'Vision'—
'Stringin' blethers up in rhyme, For fules to sing.'
 'Stephen:' Mr Stephen Duck.
 'Servile chaplains:' Dr Kenett, who wrote a servile dedication to the Duke of Devonshire, to whom he was chaplain.
 'Abbs Court:' a farm over against Hampton Court.
 'Townshend's turnips:' Lord Townshend, Secretary of State to Georges the First and Second. When this great statesman retired from business, he amused himself in husbandry, and was particularly fond of the cultivation of turnips; it was the favourite subject of his conversation.
 'Bu——:' Bubb Doddington.
 'Oglethorpe:' employed in settling the colony of Georgia. See Boswell's 'Johnson.'
 'Belinda:' in 'The Rape of the Lock.'
 'Tips with silver:' occurs also in the famous moonlight scene in the 'Iliad'—
'Tips with silver every mountain's head.'
 'Adieu!' how like Burns's lines, beginning—
"But when life's day draws near the gloaming, Farewell to vacant, careless roaming!" &c.
 'Donne:' Pope, it is said, imitated Donne's 'Satires' to show that celebrated men before him had been as severe as he. Donne was an extraordinary man—first a Roman Catholic, then a barrister, then a clergyman in the Church of England, and Dean of St Paul's,—a vigorous although rude satirist, a fine Latin versifier, the author of many powerful sermons, and of a strange book defending suicide; altogether a strong, eccentric, extravagant genius.
 'Paul:' supposed to be Paul Benfield, Esq., M.P., who was engaged in the jobbing transactions of that period; others fill up the blank in the original copy with Hall—as, for instance, Croly in his excellent edition.
 'Hoadley:' Bishop, whose sentences were wire-drawn.
 'Figs:' a prize-fighting academy; 'White's:' a gaming-house, both much frequented by the young nobility.
 'Deadly sins:' the room hung with old tapestry, representing the seven deadly sins.
 'Ascapart:' a giant of romance.
 'Epilogue:' the first part of which was originally published as 'One thousand seven hundred and thirty-eight.' It appeared the same day with Johnson's 'London.'
 'Bubo:' Bubb Duddington.
 'Sir Billy:' Tonge.
 'Huggins:' formerly jailor of the Fleet prison, enriched himself by many exactions, for which he was tried and expelled.—P.
 'Cropp'd our ears:' said to be executed by the captain of a Spanish ship on one Jenkins, the captain of an English one. He cut off his ears, and bid him carry them to the king his master.—P.
 'The great man:' the first minister.
 'Seen him I have:' alluding to Pope's service to Abbe Southcot, see 'Life.'
 'Jekyl:' Sir Joseph Jekyl, master of the rolls, a true Whig in his principles, and a man of the utmost probity.—P.
 'Lyttleton:' George Lyttleton, secretary to the Prince of Wales, distinguished both for his writings and speeches in the spirit of liberty.—P.
 'Sejanus, Wolsey:' the one the wicked minister of Tiberius; the other, of Henry VIII. The writers against the court usually bestowed these and other odious names on the minister, without distinction, and in the most injurious manner.—P.
 'Fleury:' Cardinal; and minister to Louis XV. It was a patriot-fashion, at that time, to cry up his wisdom and honesty.—P.
 'Henley, Osborn:' see them in their places in 'The Dunciad.'
 'Nation's sense:' the cant of politics at that time.
 'Carolina:' Queen-consort to King George II. She died in 1737. See, for her character, 'Heart of Midlothian.'
 'Gazetteer:' then Government newspaper.
 'Immortal Selkirk:' Charles, third son of Duke of Hamilton, created Earl of Selkirk in 1887.
 'Grave Delaware:' a title given that lord by King James II. He was of the bed-chamber to King William; he was so to King George I.; he was so to King George II. This Lord was very skilful in all the forms of the House, in which he discharged himself with great gravity.— P.
 'Sister:' alluding to Lady M.W. Montague, who is said to have neglected her sister, the Countess of Mar, who died destitute in Paris.
 'Cibber's son, Rich:' two players; look for them in 'The Dunciad.'—P.
 'Blount:' author of an impious and 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.—P.
 'Passerau:' 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.
 'A printer:' a fact that happened in London a few years past. The unhappy man left behind him a paper justifying his action by the reasonings of some of these authors.—P.
 'Gin:' a spirituous liquor, the exhorbitant use of which had almost destroyed the lowest rank of the people, till it was restrained by an Act of Parliament in 1736.—P.
 'Quaker's wife:' Mrs Drummond, a preacher.
 'Landaff:' Harris by name, a worthy man, who had somehow offended the poet.
 'Allen:' of Bath, Warburton's father-in-law, the prototype of All-worthy in 'Tom Jones.'
 'Paxton:' late solicitor to the Treasury.
 'Guthrie:' the ordinary of Newgate, who publishes the memoirs of the malefactors, and is often prevailed upon to be so tender of their reputation, as to set down no more than the initials of their name.—P.
 'Wild:' Jonathan, a famous thief, and thief-impeacher, who was at last caught in his own train and hanged.—P. See Fielding, and 'Jack Shepherd.'
 'Feels for fame, and melts to goodness:' this is a fine compliment; the expression showing, that fame was but his second passion.
 'Scarb'rough:' Earl of, and Knight of the Garter, whose personal attachments to the king appeared from his steady adherence to the royal interest, after his resignation of his great employment of Master of the Horse; and whose known honour and virtue made him esteemed by all parties.—P.
 'Esher's peaceful grove:' the house and gardens of Esher, in Surrey, belonging to the Hon. Mr Pelham, brother of the Duke of Newcastle.
 'Carleton:' Lord, nephew of Robert Boyle.
 'Argyll:' see 'Heart of Midlothian.'
 'Wyndham:' Chancellor of Exchequer; for the rest, see history.
 'Yet higher:' he was at this time honoured with the esteem and favour of his Royal Highness the Prince.
 'A friend:' unrelated to their parties, and attached only to their persons.
 'Lord Mayor:' Sir John Barnard, Lord Mayor in the year of the poem, 1738.
 'Spirit of Arnall:' look for him in his place, Dunciad, b. ii., ver. 315.
 'Polwarth:' 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.—P.
 'The bard:' a verse taken out of a poem to Sir R.W.—P.
 'Japhet, Chartres:' see the epistle to Lord Bathurst.
 'Black ambition:' the case of Cromwell in the civil war of England; and of Louis XIV. in his conquest of the Low Countries.—P.
 'Boileau:' see his 'Ode on Namur.'
 'Opes the temple:' from Milton—'Opes the palace of Eternity.'
 'Anstis:' 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.—P.
 'Ver. 238:' some fill up the blanks with George II., and Frederick, Prince of Wales—others, with Kent and Grafton.
 'Stair:' John Dalrymple, Earl of Stair, Knight of the Thistle.—P.
 'Hough and Digby:' Dr John Hough, Bishop of Worcester, and the Lord Digby.
END OF VOL. I.