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SA TI RE S.
WRITTEN IN MDCCXXXVIII.
Fr. Nor twice a twelvemonth you appear in Print, And when it comes, the Court fee nothing in't.
After Ver. 2. in the MS.
You don't, I hope, pretend to quit the trade,
Or, like St. Paul, you'll lie a-bed too long.
Befides, you grow too moral for a Wit.
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 charace ter of an impertinent Censurer, « 'Tis all from Horace," &c.
POPE. By long habit of writing, and almost constantly in one fort of measure, he had now arrived at a happy and elegant familiarity of
You grow correct that once with Rapture writ,
. Decay of Parts, alas! we all must feel
5 Why now, this moment, don't I see
style, without fatness. The satire in these pieces is of the strongeft kind; sometimes, 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, fo emalculated and debased by every species 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 most diftant nations with a display of uncommon efforts, abilities, and virtue. So vain and groundless are the prognostications of poets, , as well as politicians. It is to be wished, that a genius could be found to write an One Thousand Seven Hundred and Sixty-one, as a counter-part to these two Dialogues, which were more diligently .laboured, and more frequently corrected than
of our Author's compositions. I have often heard Mr. Dodsley say, 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. Dodfey to be printed, he found every line had been written twice over a second time. Swift tells our Author, these Dialogues are equal, if not superior, to any part of his works. They are, in truth, more Horatian, than the profeffed Imitations of Horace. They at first were intitled, from the gear in which they were published, One Thousand Seven Hundred and Thirty-eight. They were afterwards called, fantastically enough, Epilogue to the Satires, as the Epistle '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 second edition in a week. Pope has himself given more notes and illustrations on these Dialogues than on any other of his poems.
WARTON. Ver. 2. fee nothing in't.] He used this colloquial (I will not say barbarism, but) abbreviation, to imitate familiar conversation.
'Tis all from Horace; Horace long before yé 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.”
But Horace, Sir, was delicate, was nice; Bubo observes, he lash'd no fort of Vice : Horace would say, Sir Billy feru'd the Crown, Blunt could do bus' nefs, H-ggins knew the Town, In Sappho touch the Failings of the Sex,
15 In rev’rend Bishops note some small Neglects,
VER. 9, 10. And taught his Romans, in much better metre,
“ To laugh at Fools who put their truf in Peter.”] The general turn of the thought is from Boileau,
“ A vant lui, Juvénal avoit dit en Latin,
Qu'on eft affis à l'aise aux sermons de Cotin.” Ver. 12. Bubo observes,] Some guilty person, very fond of making such an observation.
POPE. Bubo is said to mean Mr. Doddington, afterward Lord Mel. combe.
WARTON. Pope has before classed together “ Sir Will, and Bubo.” See note on that line, Prologue to the Satires.
Ver. 13 Horace would say, ] The business 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 bittereft satire. Sir Billy was Sir William Young, who, from a great Aluency, was often employed to make long speeches till the minister's friends were collected in the House.
WARTON. Ver. 14. H-ggins] Formerly Gaoler of the Fleet prison, en riched himself by many exactions, for which he was tried and expelled.
POPR. He was the father of the Author of the absurd and prosaic Translation of Ariosto ; an account of him is given in the Anco
dotes of Hogarth
And own, the Spaniard did a waggish thing,
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 Courta
VER. 15. In Sagpho touch] In former Editions,
WARTON. Ver. 18. Who cropt our Ears,] Said to be executed by the Captain of a Spanish Ship on one Jenkins, a Captain of an Eng.
He cut off his cars, and bid him carry them to the King his Master.
Pope. VER. 18. Who cropt our Ears,] This circumstance 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
Tangit, et admissus circum præcordia ludit.” Pers. A metaphor peculiarly appropriated to a certain perfon in power.
Pope. Ver. 24. Patriots there are, &c.] This appellation was gene. rally given to thofe in opposition to the Court. Though some of them (which our Author hints at) had views too mean and interested to deserve that name,
And where's the Glory ? 'twill be only thought 25
P. See Sir ROBERT !hum-
Ver 26. That Great men] A phrase, by common use, appro. priated to the first Minister.
Pope. VER. 27. Go fee Sir Robert] We must not judge of this minister's character from the Dissertation on Parties, nor from the eloquent Philippics, for eloquent they were, uttered against him in both Houses of Parliament. Hume has drawn his portrait with candour and impartiality. And some of his most vehement antagonists, particularly the great Lord Chatham, lived to allow the merits of that long and pacific ministry, which so much extended the commerce, and consequently enlarged the riches of this country.
WARTON. The noblest monument that has been raised to the
of Sir Robert Walpole, has been by Mr. Coxe, who, from sources of authentic information, has moft ably illustrated the eventful period of our History, during the administration of Sir Robert. There is not a circumstance or character connected with the History of the time, but what has received new light from that accurate and elegant historian.
Ver. 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 seeing a Portrait of Sir Robert Walpole.