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Seen him, uncumber'd with the venal tribe,
Smile without art, and win without a bribe.
Would he oblige me ? let me only find,
He does not think me what he thinks mankind.

NOTES,

Ver. 29. Seen him I hade, &c.] This, and other strokes of commendation in the following poem, as well as his regard to Sir Robert Walpole on all occasions, were in acknowledgment of a certain service he had done a friend of Mr. Pope's at his solicitation. Our Poet, when he was about seventeen, had a very ill fever in the country; which, it was feared, would end fatally. In this condition he wrote to Southcote, a priest of his acquaintance, then in town, to take his last leave of him. Southcote, with great affection and solicitude, applied to Dr. Radcliffe for his advice. And not content with that, he rode down post to Mr. Pope, who was then an hundred miles from London, with the Doctor's directions; which had the desired effect. A long time after this, Southcote, who had an interest in the Court of France, writing to a common acquaintance in England, informed him that there was a good abbey void near Avignon, which he had credit enough to get, were it not from an apprehension that his promotion would give umbrage to the English Court; to which he (Southcote) by his intrigues in the Pretender's service, was become very obnoxious. The person to whom this was written happening to acquaint Mr. Pope with the case, he immediately wrote a pleasant letter to Sir R. Walpole in the priest's behalf: he acquainted the Minister with the grounds of his solicitation, and begged that this embargo, for his, Mr. P.'s sake, might be taken off; for that he was indebted to Southcote for his life; which debt must needs be discharged either here or in purgatory. The Minister received the application favourably, and with much good-nature wrote to his brother, then in France, to remove the obstruction. In consequence of which Southcote got the abbey. Mr. Pope ever after retained a grateful sense of his civility,

Warburton. To the account given in this note may be added, that in gratitude for this favour conferred on his friend, Pope presented to Mr. Horatio Walpole, afterwards Lord Walpole, a set of his Works in quarto, richly bound; which are now in the library at Wolterton.

Wurton.

Come, come, at all I laugh, he laughs no doubt; 35 The only difference is, I dare laugh out.

NOTES.

3

Ver. 31. Seen him, uncumber'd] These two verses were originally in the poem, though omitted in all the first editions.

Pope. Ver. 34. He does not think me] In former editions :

He thinks me poet of no venal kind. Warton. Ver. 34. what he thinks mankind.] This request appears some, what absurd: but not more so than the principle it refers to.. That great Minister, it seems, thought all mankind rogues; and that every one had his price. It was usually given as a proof of his penetration, and extensive knowledge of the world. Others perhaps would think it the mark of a bounded capacity; which; from a few of Rochefoucault's maxims, and the corrupt practice of those he commonly conversed with, would thus boldly pronounce upon the character of his species. It is certain, that a Keeper of Newgate, who should make the same conclusion, would be heartily laughed at.

Warburton. Just before Atterbury went into exile, a large fine dropped to him as Dean of Westminster, but he could have no right to receive it, without the seal being set to the lease in a full chapter, Sir Robert Walpole earnestly inquired, if a chapter could not be held in the Tower, that the Bishop might receive the benefit of this fine. A chapter was accordingly there held, and the Bishop received a thousand pounds for his share of the fine. This anecdote, which is well authenticated, does great credit to the liberality and good temper of Sir Robert Walpole.

Warton. The circumstance, concerning which so much has been said, that Sir Robert considered every one as equally venal, and that all had their price, is satisfactorily explained by Mr. Coxe:

“ Although it is not possible to justify him entirely, yet this part of his conduct has been greatly exaggerated. The political axiom attributed to him, that all men have their price, and which has been so often repeated in verse and prose, was perverted by leaving out the word those. Flowery oratory he despised; he ascribed to the interested views of themselves or their relatives, the declaration of the pretended Patriots, of whom he said : “ All

those

40

F. Why, yes; with Scripture still you may be

free; A horse-laugh, if you please, at honesty; A joke on JEKYL, or some odd Old Whig Who never changed his principle, or wig: A patriot is a fool in every age, Whom all Lord Chamberlains allow the stage: These nothing hurts; they keep their fashion still, And wear their strange old virtue as they will.

If any ask you,“ Who's the man so near 45 His prince, that writes in verse, and has his ear?"

NOTES.

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those men have their price;" and in the event many of them justified his observations." Memoirs of Sir R. W., 250.

Bowles. Ver. 37. Why, yes; with Scripture, &c.] A scribbler, whose only chance for reputation is the falling in with the fashion, is apt to employ this infamous expedient for the preservation of a transitory name. But a true genius could not do a foolisher thing, or sooner defeat his own aim. The sage Boileau used to say on this occasion : “Une ouvrage sévère peut bien plaire aux libertins ; mais une ouvrage trop libre ne plaira jamais aux personnes sévères.”

Warburton. Ver. 37. Why, yes; with Scripture still you may be free;] Thus the Man, commonly called Mother Osborne, (who was in the Minister's pay, and wrote Coffee-house Journals,) for one Paper in behalf of Sir Robert, had frequently two against J.C.

Warburton. Ver. 39. A joke on Jekyl,] Sir Joseph Jekyl, Master of the Rolls, a true Whig in his principles, and a man of the utmost probity. He sometimes voted against the Court, which drew upon him the laugh here described of one who bestowed it equally upon religion and honesty. He died a few months after the publication of this Poem.

Pope.

From Lord Orford, and the late Lord John Cavendish.

Bowles.

Why, answer, LYTTELTON, and I'll engage
The worthy youth shall ne'er be in a rage:
But were his versés vile, his whisper base,
You'd quickly find him in Lord Fanny's case.
Sejanus, Wolsey, hurt not honest Fleury,
But well may put some statesmen in a fury.

50

NOTES.

Ver. 47. Why, answer, LYTTELTON,] George Lyttelton, Secretary to the Prince of Wales, distinguished both for his writings and speeches in the spirit of liberty.

Pope. Ver. 51. In the first edition :

Ægysthus, Verres, hurt not honest Fleury. Ver. 51. Sejanus,] This profligate Minister prevailed on the Senate to order a book of Crematius Cordus, in praise of Brutus and Cassius, to be burnt. This prohibition naturally increased the circulation of the work. “ Libros cremandos,” says Tacitus,

censuere patres ; sed manserunt occultati, etenim punitis ingeniis, gliscit auctoritas.” “ The punishing of wits enhances their authority," says Lord Bacon; " and a forbidden writing is thought to be a certain spark of truth, that flies up in the faces of them who seek to tread it out."

Warlon. Ver. 51. Sejanus, Wolsey,] The one the wicked minister of Tiberius ; the other, of Henry VIII. The writers against the Court usually bestowed these and other odious names on the Minister, without distinction, and in the most injurious manner. See Dial. II. ver. 137.

Pope. Ver. 51. FLEURY,] Cardinal; and Minister to Louis XV. It was a patriot-fashion, at that time, to cry up his wisdom and honesty.

Pope. Ver. 51. honest FLEURY,] Fontenelle, who had been acquainted with the Cardinal before his ministry, visiting him and finding him in his usual serenity and gaiety of temper, said to him: “Is it possible that your Eminence still continues to be happy?" The short billets which the Cardinal wrote to Fontenelle, and which are preserved in the 11th volume of his works, are full of wit, elegance, and pleasantry.

A curious VOL. VI.

2 A

Laugh then at any, but at fools or foes ; These

you but anger, and you mend not those. Laugh at your friends, and if your friends are sore,

55 So much the better, you may laugh the more. To vice and folly to confine the jest, Sets half the world, God kņows, against the rest; Did not the sneer of more impartial men At sense and virtue, balance all again.

60 Judicious wits spread wide the ridicule, And charitably comfort knave and fool.

P. Dear Sir, forgive the prejudice of youth : Adieu distinction, satire, warmth, and truth! Come, harmless characters that no one hit ; 65 Come, Henley's oratory, Osborn's wit ! The honey dropping from Favonio's tongue, The flowers of Bubo, and the flow of Yếng ! The gracious dew of pulpit eloquence, And all the well-whipp'd cream of courtly sense, 70

NOTES.

A curious account is given of the rise and fortunes of Cardinal Fleury, in the first volume of St. Simon's Memoirs. Warton.

Ver. 66. Henley--Osborn,] See them in their places in the Dunciad.

Pope. Ver 68. The flowers of Bubo, and the flow of Yếng!] Sir William Young. We cannot, now, conceive the reason of Pope's coupling so constantly, as he does, the names of Bubo and Sir William Youny. We have

“ The first lampoon, Sir Will or Bubo makes." I have thought it possible he might here mean Dr. Young, to whom Dodington (Bubo) was a kind and constant friend.

Bowles. Ver. 69. The gracious dew] Alludes to some Court sermons,

and

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