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Like old rich wardrobes. But my words none
draws Within the vast reach of the huge statutes' jaws.
Ver. 121. These as good works, &c.] Dr. Donne says:
" But (oh) we allow Good works as good, but out of fashion now.” The popish doctrine of good works was one of those abuses in religion which the Church of England condemns in its articles. To this the Poet's words satirically allude. And having throughout this satire given several malignant strokes at the Reformation, which it was penal, and then very dangerous, to abuse, he had reason to bespeak the reader's candor, in the concluding lines :
words none draws
Like rich old wardrobes, things extremely rare, Extremely fine, but what no man will wear.
Thus much I've said, I trust, without offence; Let no court sycophant pervert my sense,
126 Nor sly informer watch these words to draw Within the reach of treason, or the law.
Ver. 125. Thus much I've said,] These three additional lines are redundant. And two strong epithets in the last line of Donne, vast and huge, were too emphatical to be omitted. Warton.
Well! I may now receive, and die. My sin
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,
With foolish pride my heart was never fired,
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 Courl-clothes, only comes thither in honour of the Sovereign; and serves but to supply a day's condersation !!"
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:
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
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.
Obliging Sir, I love you I profess,
should be seen,