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Detrimenta, "fugas servorum, incendia ridet;
Non 'fraudem socio, puerove incogitat ullam
Pupillo; vivit siliquis, et pane secundo';

NOTES.

the Poet. For nature, it seems, had taught the Pagan world, what the Hebrew Prophets themselves did not disdain to practise, that to lift the imagination, and, with it, the sluggish affections of human nature, to Heaven, it was expedient to lay hold on every assistance of art. They therefore presented their supplications to the Divinity in the richest and brightest dress of eloquence, which is poetry. Not to insist, that devotion, when sincere and ardent, from its very nature, enkindles a glow of thought which communicates strongly with the transports of poetry. Hence the language of the Gods (for so was poetry accounted, as well from its being the divinest species of communication our rude conceptions can well frame, even for superior intelligences, as for that it was the fittest vehicle of our applications to them) became not the ornament only, but an essential in the ceremonial of Paganism. And this, together with an allusion to a form of public prayer (for such was his secular ode), composed by himself, gives, at once, a grace and sublimity to this part of the apology, which are perfectly inimitable.

“ Thus hath the great Poet, in the compass of a few lines, drawn together a complete defence of his art; for what more could the warmest admirer of poetry, or, because zeal is quickened by opposition, what more could the vehement declaimer against Plato (who proscribed it) urge in its behalf, than that it furnishes, to the Poet himself, the surest means of solitary and social enjoyment; and further serves to the most important civil, moral, and religious purposes."

Warton. Ver. 195. Flight of Cashiers,] Alluding to Mr. Knight's (one of the Cashiers of the South Sea Company) flying into France on the failure of that bubble, by which Pope was a considerable sufferer.

Warton. Ver. 195. Flight of Cashiers,] See in Coxe's interesting Memoirs of Sir Robert Walpole, an account of the panic of the nation, the extreme violence of the people against the Directors of the South Sea Company, and the flight of Knight, the Cashier :

6 A committee

Flight of cashiers, or mobs, he'll never mind; 195
And knows no losses while the Muse is kind.
To 'cheat a friend, or Ward, he leaves to Peter ;
The good man heaps up nothing but mere metre,
Enjoys his garden and his book in quiet;
And then-a perfect hermit in his diet. 200

NOTES.

of this vague

A committee of secrecy being appointed by the Commons to examine all the books, papers, and proceedings relating to the execution of the South Sea act, the members were chosen from the most violent of those who were advocates for indiscriminate and unrelenting severity. Alarmed at these proceedings, Knight, cashier of the company, who alone was privy to all the secret transactions, escaped from England, soon after his first examination, carrying with him the register called the green book, and it was generally suspected, that he took this step with the connivance of government. The committee having reported this event to the House, the Commons ordered the doors to be locked, and the keys laid on the table. General Ross then stated, that the committee had discovered, “a train of the deepest villany and fraud hell ever contrived to ruin a nation, which, in due time, should be laid before the House." In consequence assertion, four of the direetors, who were members, were expelled the house, and taken into custody. The other directors shared the same fate; all their books, papers, and effects were seized, and the royal assent was given to a bill, for restraining them from leaving the kingdom, discovering their estates, and disqualifying them for holding offices in any of the companies." Bowles.

Ver. 197. To cheat a Friend,] The Friend, perhaps, was George Pitt, Esq., of Shroton, in the county of Dorset, ancestor of the present Lord Rivers. He lived abroad, and, during his absence, intrusted the management of his estates to Walter. Though it appears that Peter went down but once in a year from London to Shroton, merely to receive the annual rents, at the same time that he visited his own estate in Dorsetshire, yet he had 400l. per annum for his trouble. Besides this, he brought in a claim of 8001. for extra services. This was contested in Chancery, and the

is

'Militiæ quanquam piger et malus, utilis urbi; Si das hoc, parvis quoque rebus magna juvari;

; "Os tenerum pueri balbumque poëta figurat :

NOTES.

is now before me, from which it appears how justly Pope described him.

Bowles. Ver. 201. Of little use] Except these two lines, “vivit siliquis," and “militiæ quanquam piger et malus,” all that follows is serious in the original. And I do not think “os tenerum” is ridicule.

Warton. Ver. 204. And (though no soldier)] Horace had not acquitted himself much to his credit in this capacity (non bene relicta parmula) in the battle of Philippi. It is manifest he alludes to himself, in this whole account of the Poet's character ; but with an intermixture of irony: Vivit siliquis et pune secundo, has a relation to his Epicurism : Os tenerum pueri, is ridicule: The nobler office of a poet follows; Torquet ab obscænis Mor etiam pectusRecte facta refert, &c., which the Imitator has applied where he thinks it more due than to himself. He hopes to be pardoned, if, as he is sincerely inclined to praise what deserves to be praised, he arraigns what deserves to be arraigned, in the 210, 211, and 212th

Pope. Ver. 215. excuse some courtly stains] We are not to understand this as a disapprobation of Mr. Addison for celebrating the virtues of the present Royal Family. It relates to a certain circumstance, in which he thought that amiable Poet did not act with the ingenuity that became his character.

When Mr. Addison, in the year 1713, had finished his Cato, he brought it to Mr. Pope for his judgment. Our Poet, who thought the sentiments excellent, but the action not enough theatrical, gave him his opinion fairly; and told him that he had better not bring it upon the stage, but print it like a classical performance, which would perfectly answer his design. Mr. Addison approved of this advice; and seemed disposed to follow it. But soon after, he came to Mr. Pope, and told him, that some friends, whom he could not disoblige, insisted on his having it acted. However, he assured Mr. Pope, that it was with no party views ; and desired him to satisfy the Treasurer and the Secretary in that particular ;

and

verses.

Of little use the man, you may suppose, Who says in verse what others say in prose ; Yet let me shew, a poet's of some weight, And, 'though no soldier, useful to the state. - What will. a child learn sooner than a song ? 205 What better teach a foreigner the tongue ? What's long or short, each accent where to place, And speak in public with some sort of grace. I scarce can think him such a worthless thing, Unless he praise some monster of a king; 210 Or virtue, or religion turn to sport, To please a lewd, or unbelieving court. Unhappy Dryden !—In all Charles's days, Roscommon only boasts unspotted bays; And in our own' (excuse some courtly stains) 215 No whiter page than Addison remains. ,

NOTES.

and at the same time gave him the Poem to carry to them for their perusal. Our' Poet executed his commission in the most friendly manner; and the Play, and the project for bringing it upon the stage, had their approbation and encouragement. Throughout the carriage of this whole affair, Mr. Addison was so exceedingly afraid of party imputations, that when Mr. Pope, at his request, wrote the famous Prologue to it, and had said :

Britons, ARISE, be worth like this approved,

And shew you have the virtue to be moved;" he was much troubled ; said it would be called, stirring the people to rebellion; and earnestly begged he would soften it into something less obnoxious. On this account it was altered, as it now stands, to Britons, attend,—though at the expense both of the sense and spirit. Notwithstanding this, the very

next year,

when the present illustrious family came to the succession, Mr. Addison thought fit to make a merit of Cato, as purposely and directly written to oppose to the schemes of a faction. His poem,

VOL. VI.

to

Torquet "ab obscenis jam nunc sermonibus aurem; Mox etiam pectus præceptis format amicis,

NOTES.

to her Royal Highness the Princess of Wales, beginning in this

manner:

up

“ The Muse, that oft with sacred raptures fired,
Has generous thoughts of liberty inspired;
And, boldly rising for Britannia's laws,
Engaged great Cato in her country's cause ;
On
you
submissive waits."

Warburton. In Spence's Collections, I read these anecdotes of Addison, at his house at Byfleet in Surrey, 1754. These anecdotes, which were very curious, and contained many unknown particular circumstances of his contemporaries, were sold to Mr: Dodsley the bookseller, and prepared to be published; when Dr. Lowth, the late excellent bishop of London, and Dr. Ridley, on a close inspection of them, imagined, that from some personalities in them, they were improper for the public eye. They therefore prevailed on Mr. Dodsley to relinquish his bargain, which he readily and generously agreed to do; and the Anecdotes were sealed and delivered into the hands of the late Duke of Newcastle, the patron and friend of Spence. When Dr. Johnson was writing the Lives of the Poets, application was made to the Duke for an inspection of what related to Pope. It is to be hoped no farther use was ever made of them in any other publication.

Warton. Ver. 216. No whiter puge than Addison remains.] Mr. Addison's literary character is much mistaken, as characters generally are, when taken (as his has been) in the gross. He was but an ordinary poet, and a worse critic. His verses are heavy, and his judgment of men and books superficial. But, in the pleasantry of comic adventures, and, in the dignity of moral allegories, he is inimitable; Nature having joined in him, as she had done once before in Lucian (who wanted the other's wisdom to make a right use of it) the sublime of Plato to the humour of Menander.

Warburton. If Addison's verses are heavy, as is asserted in this note, yet has he displayed (for I must repeat the assertion) a great power of true poetic imagination, in his Vision of Mirza, the Story of Bal

sora,

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