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P. See Sir ROBERT !--- hum And never laugh --- for all my life to come? Seen himn I have, but in his happier hour Of Social Pleasure, ill-exchang'd for Pow'r; 30 Seen him, uncumber'd with the Venal tribe, Smile without Art, and win without a Bribe.
Notes. Ver. 29. Seen him I have, etc.) This and other strokes of commendation in the following poem, as well as his regard to him on all occasions, were in acknowledgment of a certain fervice the Minister had done a Priest at Ms. Pope's 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 Southcot, a Prielt of his acquaintance, then in town, to take his last leave of him. Southcot with great affection and folicitude 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 direétions; which had the desired effect. A long time after this, Southcot, who had an interest in the Court of France, writing to a common acquaintance in England, informed him that there was a good abbey 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 (Southcot) 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 to Sir Robert Walpole about it ; begged that this embargo might be taken off; and acquainted him with the grounds of solicitation: That he was indebted to Southcot for his life, and he must discharge his obligation, 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 ihis obstruction. In consequence of which Soutbcot got the abbey. Mr. Pope ever after retained a grateful sense of his. civility..
Ver. 31. Seen him, uncumber'd] These two verses were
Would he oblige me? let me only find,
F.Why yes: with Scripture still you may be free;
NOTES. originally in the poem, though omitted in all the first editions.
34. what he thinks mankind.) This request seems fomewhat absurd: but not more fo 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 an instance of a narrow understanding, that, from a few of Rochefaucault'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 conclufion, would be heartily laughed at.
VER. 37. Why yes : with Scripture &c.] A scribler, whose only chance for reputation is the falling in with the fashion, is apt to employ this infamous expedient for the preservation of his fleeting existence. But a true Genius could not do a foolisher thing, or fooner defeat his own aim. The fage Boileau used to say on this occafion, “Une ouvrage severe peut bien plaire “ aux libertins ; mais un ouvrage trop libre ne plaira jamais « aux personnes sevures."
Ibid. Why yes: with Scripture still you may be free;]. Thus the Man commonly called Mother Osborn, who was in the Mic nister's
pay, and wrote Journals; for one Paper in behalf of Sir Robert, had frequently two against J. C.
Ver. 39. A Joke on Jekyl,] Sir Joseph Jekyl, Mafter of the Rolls, a true Whig in his principles, and a man of the utmost
A Patriot is a Fool in ev'ry age,
If any ask you, " Who's the Man, fo near 45
Laugh then at any, but at Fools or Foes ; These you but anger, and you mend not those.
NOTES. probity. He sometimes voted against the Court, which dreuupon him the laugh here described of ONE who bestowed it equally upon Religion and Honefty. He died a few months after the publication of this poem.
P. VER. 43. These nothing hurts ;] i. e. offends.
Ver. 47. Why, answer, Lyttelton,) George Lyttelton, Secretary to the Prince of Wales, distinguished both for his write ings and speeches in the spirit of Liberty.
P. Ver. 51. Sejanus, Wolfy,] The one the wicked minifter of Tiberius ; the other, of Henry VII. The writers against the Court usually bestowed these and other odious names on the Minister, without distinction, and in the most injurious mana ner. See Dial.II. + I 37.
Ibid. Fleury,] Cardinal : and Minister to Louis XV. It was a Patriot-talbion, at that time, to cry up his wisdom and ho
Laugh at your friends, and, if your Friends are sore,
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 Flow'rs of Bubo, and the Flow of Y--ng! The gracious Dew of Pulpit Eloquence, And all the well-whipt Cream of Courtly Sense; 70 That First was H--vy's, F---'s next, and then The S---te's, and then H---vy's once agen.
NOTES. Ver. 56. So much the better, you may laugh the more.] Their foreness being a clear indication of their wanting the frequent repetition of this discipline.
VER. 66. Henley--Ofoorn,] See them in their places in the Dunciad.
P. Ver. 69. The gracious Dew} Alludes to some court sermons, and florid panegyrical speeches; particularly onc: very full of puerilities and flatteries; which afterwards got into an address in VOL. IV.
O come, that easy Ciceronian style,
the same pretty style, and was lastly served up in an Epitaphi, between Latin and English, published by its author. P.
Ver. 69. The gracious Dew of Pulpit Eloquence,] Our moral Bard was no great Adept in Theology, nor did he enter into the depths of Pulpit Eloquence. Which (and it is much to be lamented) rendered his judgment of things, on certain occafions, but light and fuperficial. It is plain he here gibeth at this master-Atroke of Pulpit Eloquence. But Master Doctor Thomas Playfere might have taught him better. This eminent court-divine in his Spittal-fermon preached in the year 1595, layeth open the whole fecret of this matter. " The voice of " a preacher (faith he, himselfe a powerfull preacher) ought
to be the voice of a Crier, which should not pipe to make “ the people dance, but mourne to make them
Hence " it is, that in the oulde law none that was blinde, or had anie " blemishe in his eye, might serve at the Aulter ; because for " that impedimente in his eye he could not well shew his in“ warde forrowing by his outwarde weeping. And when they “ offered up their firit borne, who was ordinarily in every fa
mily their Prieste, or their Preacher, they offered also with “ him a paire of turtle-doves, or two younge pigeons. That "s paire of turtle-doves did fignify a paire of mournfull eyes ; “ those two younge pigeons did signifie likewise two weeping
eyes: And at that offering they prayed for their first-borne,