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And what is fame? the meanest have their day; The greatest can but blaze, and pass away. Graced as thou art with all the power of words, So known, so honor'd at the house of lords; Conspicuous scene ! another yet is nigh, 50 More silent far, where kings and poets lie; Where Murray, long enough his country's pride, Shall be no more than Tully or than Hyde!
Rack'd with sciatics, martyr'd with the stone, Will any mortal let himself alone? See Ward by batter'd beaux invited over, And desperate misery lays hold on Dover. The case is easier in the mind's disease; There all men may be cured whene'er they please. Would ye be bless'd? despise low joys, low gains; Disdain whatever Cornbury disdains; 61 Be virtuous, and be happy for your pains.
racter rose to be postmaster-general. Pope had an unaccountable taste for reminding men of humble birth of their origin; a matter which no man can help, and none but a fool will deny; but which neither fool nor philosopher can relish. Thus he offended humble Allen: he praised his virtues, and told him that his father had been a footman. Allen spurned the praise, for the sake of the recollection.
53 Than Hyde. Warton gives a striking anecdote of this celebrated man's temper. When he was going from court, just after his resignation of the seals to his trifling and ungrateful master, the duchess of Cleveland insulted him from a window of the palace. He looked up at her, and only said, with calm and contemptuous dignity,–Madam, if you live, you too will grow old. A fine sarcasm on the fickleness of the king, and probably a finer still on the profligate woman, whose sole merit was her beauty.
66 See Ward by batter'd beaur. Ward and Dover, well. known quacks.
61 Disdain whatever Cornbury disdains. Lord Cornbury, a man of talents and virtue. On Mallet's intending to publish
But art thou one, whom new opinions sway; One who believes as Tindal leads the way; Who virtue and a church alike disowns; 65 Thinks that but words, and this but brick and
stones? Fly then, on all the wings of wild desire; Admire whate'er the maddest can admire. Is wealth thy passion ? Hence! from pole to pole, Where winds can carry, or where waves can roll, For Indian spices, for Peruvian gold, 71 Prevent the greedy, and outbid the bold : Advance thy golden mountain to the skies; On the broad base of fifty thousand rise ;
some of Bolingbroke's sneers at Scripture, lord Cornbury, in a letter from Paris in 1752, given by Warton, thus manfully and wisely remonstrates with this low mercenary of posthumous profaneness :--'I must say to you, sir, for the world's sake, and for his sake, that part of the work ought by no means to be communicated farther. If this digression (a particular attack on the Old Testament) be made public, it will be censured, it must be censured, it ought to be censured : it will be criticised too by able pens, whose erudition, as well as their reasonings, will not be easily answered.' He concludes by saying, I therefore recommend to you to suppress that part of the work, as a good citizen of the world, for the world's peace; as one entrusted and obliged by lord Bolingbroke not to raise storms to his memory.'
Henry, viscount Cornbury, had an hereditary claim to virtue; he was great-grandson of the celebrated lord Clarendon. Ruffhead tells us, that when this young nobleman returned from his travels, the earl of Essex, his brother-in-law, told him, that he had got a handsome pension for him :' he replied, with dignity,– How could you tell, my lord, that I was to be sold ? or, at least, how came you to know my price so exactly?' He died in 1753.
65 Who virtue and a church alike disowns. The one be renounces in his party-pamphlets, the other in his · Rights of the Christian Church.'-Warburton.
Add one round hundred; and, if that's not fair, 75
But if to power and place your passion lie, i
82 Anstis birth. Garter king-at-arms.
87 A luckless play. A frolic of some spendthrift which has escaped particular knowlege: the play was said to be Young's • Busiris.'
Who rules in Cornwall, or who rules in Berks :
Or if your life be one continued treat;
Or shall we every decency confound;
round; Go dine with Chartres, in each vice outdo 120 K—l's lewd cargo, or Ty—y's crew; From Latian sirens, French Circean feasts, Return well travell’d, and transform’d to beasts; Or for a titled punk, or foreign flame, Renounce our country, and degrade our name.
If, after all, we must with Wilmot own, The cordial drop of life is love alone; And Swift cry wisely, Vive la bagatelle ! The man that loves and laughs, must sure do
104 Bowles conceives this to allude to lord Falmouth, once a powerful arbiter of Cornish representation.
126 Wilmot. The earl of Rochester. · 128 Swift cry wisely. Swift, in the whim of believing that
Adieu ! If this advice appear the worst, 130
virtue and wisdom depend on location, and that he was thrown away in Ireland, in his latter years affected to study waste of time. I read,' says one of his letters to Pope, the most triling books I can find; and, whenever I write, it is on the most trifling subjects. *** I love la bagatelle. I am always writing bad prose or bad verses, either of rage or raillery.' He was idly fond of repeating the sentiment. He writes to Gay—“My rule is, Vive la bagatelle!
Harris (Philological Inquiries) is solemnly angry with Swift for this carelessness; and, in his anger, even enrages himself into the absurdity of saying, that the story of the Houyhnhnms and Yaboos ‘is a worse book to peruse than those which we forbid as the most profligate.' But this overstrained indignation defeats itself. The grossness of the story is palpable : but to assert, as Harris does, that it saps the very foundations of morality and religion,' is only to prove that the critic mistook both, and that he equally mistook bombast for fine writing.