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*Our father's praised rank venison. You suppose Perhaps, young men ! our fathers had no nose. Not so: a buck was then a week's repast, And 'twas their point, I ween, to make it last; More pleased to keep it till their friends could come, Than eat the sweetest by themselves at home. Why had not I in those good times my birth, Ere coxcomb-pies or coxcombs were on earth?
Unworthy he, the voice of fame to hear, m That sweetest music to an honest ear, 100 (For 'faith, Lord Fanny! you are in the wrong, The world's good word is better than a song,) Who has not learn'd, "fresh sturgeon and ham-pie Are no rewards for want, and infamy! When luxury has lick'd up all thy pelf, 105 Cursed by thy 'neighbours, thy trustees, thyself, To friends, to fortune, to mankind a shame, Think how posterity will treat thy name ; And Pbuy a rope, that future times may tell Thou hast at least bestow'd one penny well. 110 q« Right,” cries his Lordship, “ for a rogue in
need To have a taste, is insolence indeed : In me 'tis noble, suits my birth and state, My wealth unwieldy, and my heap too great.” Then, like the sun, let 'bounty spread her ray, 115 And shine that superfluity away. Oh impudence of wealth! with all thy store, How darest thou let one worthy man be poor? Shall half the 'new-built churches round thee fall ? Make keys, build bridges, or repair Whitehall: 120
O magous posthac inimicis risus ! Uterne
Ver. 122. As M***o's was, &c.] I think this light stroke of satire ill placed ; and that it hurts the dignity of the preceding morality. Horace was very serious, and properly so, when he said :
cur, improbe! caræ Non aliquid patriæ tanto emetiris acervo ?” He remembered, and hints with just indignation at, those luxurious Patricians of his old party; who, when they had agreed to establish a fund in the cause of freedom, under the conduct of Brutus, could never be persuaded to withdraw from their expensive pleasures what was sufficient for the support of so great a cause. He had prepared his apology for this liberty, in the preceding line, where he pays a fine compliment to Augustus !
quare Templa ruunt antiqua Deum ?" which oblique panegyric the imitator has very properly turned into a direct stroke of satire.
Warburton. Ver. 122. not at five per cent.] He could not forbear this stroke against a nobleman, whom he had been for many years accustomed to hear abused by his most intimate friends. A certain parasite, who thought to please Lord Bolingbroke by ridiculing the avarice of the Duke of M., was stopped short by that Lord, who said: “ He was so very great a man, that I forgot he had that vice.”
Warton. Ver. 122. five per cent.] Among the papers of the Orford collection, is a curious note to Sir Robert Walpole, when Secretary
Or to thy country let that heap be lent, As M***o's was, but not at five per cent. *Who thinks that fortune cannot change her
mind, Prepares a dreadful jest for all mankind. And "who stands safest? tell me, is it he . 125 That spreads and swells in puff'd prosperity, Or blest with little, whose preventing care In
peace provides fit arms against a war ? Thus BETHEL spoke, who always speaks his
thought, And always thinks the very thing he ought: 130 His equal mind I copy what I can, And as I love, would imitate the man. In South-Sea days not happier, when surmised The lord of thousands, than if now "excised; In forest planted by a father's hand,
135 Than in five acres now of rented land.
at War, from the Duke of Marlborough, in which he says, he has a hundred thousand pounds he does not know how to dispose of, and desires Walpole to put it out for him. From Mr. Coxe.
Bowles. Ver. 129. Thus BETHEL spoke,] This speech of Ofellus continues in the original to the end of this Satire. Pope has taken all that follows out of the mouth of Bethel, and speaks entirely in his own person. It is impossible not to be pleased with the picture of his way of life, and the account he gives of his own table, in lines that express common and familiar objects with dignity and elegance.
Warton. Ver. 133. In South-Seu days not happier, &c.] Mr. Pope had South-Sea stock, which he did not sell out. It was valued at be-, tween twenty and thirty thousand pounds when it fell.
Cum pecore et gnatis, fortem mercede colonum,
O pueri, nituistis, ut huc novus incola venit ?
Ver. 134. than if now excised ;] Pope naturally joined the violent cry against the Ercise, with the party in opposition to Sir R. Walpole. Pulteney exclaimed upon another occasion :
“ There is another thing impending ! monstrous project! such a project as has struck terror into the minds of most gentlemen of this House, and into the minds of all men without doors, who have any regard to the happiness, or to the constitution, of their country. I mean that MONSTER, THE Excise! that PLAN OF ARBITRARY POWER, which is expected to be laid before the House in the present Parliament.” Coxe's Memoirs, chap. 41. Bowles.
Ver. 136. Than in five acres] He had a lease of his house and gardens at Twickenham for his life. The lease was purchased of a Mrs. Vernon; hence the expressions :
-can it concern one, Whether the name belong to Pope, or Vernon ? Bowles. Ver. 152. double tur'd,] An additional tax was laid on the estates of Papists and nonjurors.
Ver. 154. standing armies came.) A constant topic of declamation against the Court, at this time.
Content with little, I can piddle here
own; a From
yon old walnut-tree a shower shall fall; 145 And grapes, long lingering on my only wall, And figs from standard and espalier join ; The devil is in you
you cannot dine; Then cheerful healths, (your mistress shall have
place, And, what's more rare, a poet shall say gracë. 150
Fortune not much of humbling me can boast; Though double tax’d, how little have I lost? My life's amusements have been just the same, Before and after standing armies came. My lands are sold, my father's house is gone; 155 I'll hire another's; is not that my own, And yours, my friends ? through whose free open
ing gate None comes too early, none departs too late ; For I, who hold sage Homer's rule the best, Welcome the coming, speed the going guest. 160
Ver. 160. Welcome the coming,] From Homer, Od. b. 15, v. 74.
κρη ξεινον παρεούλα φιλειν, εθελούλα δε πεμπιον. Theocritus has finely touched this subject in the sixteenth Idyllium.