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Well! I may now receive, and die. My sin
Indeed is great, but yet I have been in
A Purgatory, such as feard Hell is
A recreation, and scant map of this.
My mind, neither with pride's itch, nor hath
Poysond with love to see or to be seen,
I had no suit there, nor new suit to show,
Yet went to court; but as Glare which did go
To Mass in jest, catched, was fain to disburse
Two hundred markes, which is the statute's curse,
Before he 'scaped; so it pleased my destiny
(Guilty of my sin of going) to think me
As prone to all ill, and of good as forget-
full, as proud, lustfull, and as much in debt,
As vain, as witless, and as false, as they
Which dwell in court, for once going that way.
Therefore I suffer'd this; towards me did run A thing more strange than on Nile's slime the sun
VER. 1. Well! I may now receide, &c.] More short, severe, and pointed than Pope's paraphrastical lines.
Warton. Ver. 7. The poet's hell,] He has here with great prudence corrected the licentious expression of his original.
Warburton. Ver. 10. Not the vain itch] Courtiers have the same pride in admiring, which Poets have in being admired. For vanity is often as much gratified in paying our court to our superiors, as in receiving it from our inferiors.
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' to 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
15 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;
Ver. 13. Had no new verses, nor new suit to shew;] Insinuating " that Court-poetry, like Court-clothes, only comes thither in honour of the Sovereign; and serves but to supply a day's conversation !!"
Warburton. Ver. 14. the devil would] This addition is mean. And line below, 26, is perhaps the greatest violation of harmony Pope has ever been guilty of, by beginning the verse with the word Noah. And line 17, his fine was odd, seems to be very exceptionable.
E'er bred, or all which into Noah's ark came:
A thing which would have posed Adam to name:
Stranger than seven antiquaries' studies,
That Africk monsters, Guinea's rarities, .
Stranger than strangers: one who, for a Dane,
In the Danes' massacre had sure been slain,
If he had lived then; and without help dies,
When next the 'prentices 'gainst strangers rise;
One whom the watch at noon lets scarce go by;
One, to whom the examining justice sure would
cry, Sir, By your priesthood, tell me what you are ? His cloathes were strange, though coarse, and
black, though bare; Sleeveless his jerkin was, and it had been Velvet, but 'twas now (so much ground was seen) Become Tufftaffaty; and our children shall See it plain rash awhile, then nought at all.
Ver. 19. So was I punish'd,] Thus in former editions:
Such was my fate, whom heaven adjudged,Pope made many alterations in this Satire, and seems to have taken pains in correcting it. Line 65, and succeeding ones, stood thus :
Well met, he cries, and happy sure for each,
For I am pleased to learn, and you to teach.
Line 86 stood as follows:
Obliging Sir, Į love you I profess,
liked retreat a little less,
should be seen,
And like Ulysses visit Courts and men;
So much alone, to speak plain truth between us,
You'll die of spleen-excuse me, nunquam minus.
So was I punish'd, as if full as proud
As prone to ill, as negligent of good,
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; 25
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,
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
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!
Line 154 ran thus :
Shows Poland's interest, takes the Primate's part. Dr. Johnson speaks, methinks, too slightingly of these Imitations of Donne, when he says, that “ Pope seems to have known their imbecility.”
The thing hath travail'd, and faith, speaks all
tongues, And onl.
Made of the accents, and best phrase of all these,
He speaks one language. Ifstrange meats displease,
Art can deceive, or hunger force my taste;
But pedants' motley tongue, souldiers' bumbast,
Mountebanks' drug-tongue, nor the terms of law,
Are strong enough preparatives to draw
Me to hear this, yet I must be content
With his tongue, in his tongue callid Compliment:
In which he can win widows, and pay scores,
Make men speak treason, couzen subtlest whores,
Outflatter favourites, or outlie either
Jovius, or Surius, or both together.
He names me, and comes to me; I whisper, God,
How have I sinn'd, that thy wrath's furious rod,
This fellow, chuseth me! He saith, Sir,
I love your judgment; whom do you prefer
For the best linguist? and I seelily
Said that I thought Calepine's Dictionary.
Nay, but of men, most sweet Sir? Beza then,
Some Jesuits, and two reverend men
Of our two academies I named. Here
He stopt me, and said, Nay, your Apostles were
Ver. 68. “ The King's," suid 1.] “This sneer,” said the ingenigus Mr. Wilkes, “is really indecent. The good Bishop who published an edition of his works, ought, in the mild limbo of his Commentary, to have softened the severity of this passage."