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F. This filthy simile, this beastly line Quite turns my stomach
P. So does Flatt’ry mine; And all your courtly Civet-cats can vent, Perfume to you, to me is Excrement. But hear me further--Japhet, 'tis agreed, 185 Writ not, and Chartres scarce could write or read;
Ver. 185 in the MS.
it, Sir; and further, 'tis agreed,
Ver. 182. So does Flatt'ry mine ;} Fontenelle has written a pleasant Dialogue between Auguttus and Peter Aretine, the Ita. lian Satiriit, who laughs immoderately at the Emperor, for the gross flattery he fo cordially received from his poets, particularly Virgil, at the beginning of the Third Georgic. And Aretine, among other delicate strokes of ridicule, tells him, “On louoit une partie de votre vie, aux depens de l'autre.” But Fontenelle ends like a true Frenchman, and assures Auguftus," he will no longer be quoted as a model for Kings, fince Louis XIV. has appeared.” Such is the language held of a man,
who could banish Fenelon, burn the Palatinate, and drive away or destroy so many of his protestant subjects ; who kept in pay 4 0,000 men. It is grievous to reflect, that for incurring the displeasure of such a man, Racine had the weakness to be so much affected, as to bring on, by vexation and grief, a disease that was fatal to him. Racine and Buileau relinquished, after a small progress, the History of Louis XIV. which they were appointed to write. Boileau honestly owned to his friends, that he did not well know what reasons to allege in justification of the war against Holland in 1672. The pride, profufion, ambition, and despotism of Louis XIV. laid the foundation of the ruin of France, and all the miseries we have lived to see.
WARTON, VER. 185. Japhet-Chartres] See the Epistle to Lord. Ba. thurst.
POPE. Dr. Warton says very justly, we are wearied with the perpetual repetition of these names, and those of Ward, Waters, Dene nis, &c.
In all the Courts of Pindus guiltless quite ;
Ask you u hat Provocation I have had ?
P. So proud, I am no Slave: So impudent, I own myself no Knave: 206 So odd, my Country's Ruin makes me grave. Yes, I am proud; I must be proud to fee Men not afraid of God, afraid of me:
VER. 204. And mine as Man, who feel for all Mankind.] From Terence: “Homo sum: humani nihil a me alienum puto.”
Pope. Ver. 208. Yes, I am proud, &c.] In this ironical exultation the Poet infinuates a subject of the deepest humiliation. 3
Safe from the Bar, the Pulpit, and the Throne, 210 Yet touch'd and sham'd by Ridicule alone.
O sacred weapon! left for Truth's defence, Sole Dread of Folly, Vice, and Infolence! To all but Heav'n-directed hands deny'd, The Muse may give thee, but the Gods must guide: Rev'rent I touch thee! but with honest zeal; 216 To rouse the Watchmen of the public Weal, To Virtue's work provoke the tardy Hall, And goad the Prelate slumb’ring in his Stall. Ye tinsel Insects! whom a Court maintains, That counts your Beauties only by your Stains,
Ver. 208. Yes, I am proud, c.] This seems fabricated from the materials of Boileau, Discours au Roi, ver. 99.
En vain d'un lâche orgueil leur esprit revétu
S'il se moque de Dieu, craint Tartuffe ct Molière. WAKEFIELD. VER. 211. Yet touch'd and foam'd by Ridicule alone. ] The passions are given us to awake and support Virtue. But they fre. quently betray their trust, and go over to the interests of Vice. Ridicule, when employed in the cause of Virtue, shames and brings them back to their duty. Hence the use and importance of Satire.
WARBURTON. Ver. 219. And goad the Prelate Numb'ring in his Stull.] The good Eufebius, in his Evangelical Preparation, draws a long parallel between the Ox and the Christian Prie: hood.
Hence the dig. nified Clergy, out of mere humility, have ever since called their thrones by the name of falls. To which a great Prelate of Win. chester, one W. Edinton, modeitly alluding, has rendered his name immortal by this ecclesiastical aphorism, who would otherwise have been forgotten; Canterbury is the higher rack, but Winchester is the better manger. By which, however, it appears that he was not one of those here condemned, who slumber in their falls
Spin all your Cobwebs o'er the Eye of Day!
away: All his Grace preaches, all his Lordship sings, 224 All that makes Saints of Queens, and Gods of Kings.
Ver.220 Ye Infe&s!—The Muse's wing shall brush you all away :) This it did very effe ctually; and the memory of them had been now forgotten, had not the Poet's charity, for a while, protracted their miserable Being. There is now in his Library at Mr. Allen's, a complete collection of all the horrid Libels written and published against him ;
“ The tale reviv'd, the lie so oft o'erthrown,
Th’imputed trash, and dulness not his own;
The libell's Person, and the pictur'd shape." These he had bound up in several volumes, according to their various sizes, from folios down to duodecimos ; and to each of them hath affixed this motto out of the book of Job :
Behold, my desire is, that mine adversary should write a book. Şurely I should take it upon my shoulder, and bind it as a crown to me. Ch. xxxi. ver. 35, 36.
WARBURTON. · Ver. 220. Ye tinsel Infeas'] Poets have frequently been partymen, ancient as well as modern. Euripides was of Alcibiades's faction, for war ; Arifophanes, for peace. Hence arose their inutual animosity. The Inferno of Dante is as much a political poem as the Abfalon and Achitophel of Dryden. The Æneid is also of this kind; and fo is the Pharfalia of Lucan, and the Henriade of Voltaire.
WARTON. VER. 222. Cobwebs] Weak and flight fophiftry against virtue and honour. Thin colours over vice, as unable to hide the light of Truth, as cobwebs to shade the Sun.
Pope. VER. 223. The Muse's wing fhall brufo you all away:] An exquisite verse, of which Mr. Gray has made excellent use in his Ode on Spring :
Brufb'd by the hand of rough mischance,
WAKEFIELD. VER. 225. Gods of Kings.] When James the Firf had once bespeeched his Parliament, Bishop Williams, Keeper of the Great
All, all but Truth, drops dead-born from the Press,
When black Ambition stains a public Cause,
After VER. 227. in the MS.
Where's now the Star that lighted Charles to rise?
-With that which follow'd Julius to the Skies,
Seal, added-that, after his Maje/ly's DIVINUM ET IMMORTALE. DICTUM, he would not dure mortale aliquid aldere. On which, Wilson the Historian obferves-- This is not inferted to fbew the PREGNANCY and GENIUS of the man, but the temper of the times.
WARBURTON. VER. 228. When black Ambition, &c.] The case of Cromwell in the civil war of England; and (Ver. 229.) of Louis XIV. in his conquest of the Low Countries.
Pope. VER. 230. Not Waller's Wredth] “Such a series of verses," says Dr. Johnson, “ as the Panegyric on Cromwell, had hardly appeared before in the English language." I cannot forbear adding, that I am surprized Waller should never name Milton, who was of the same party, and which he had so many opportunities of doing in his works. But Waller was not of Milton's school.
WARTON. Ver. 231. Nor Boileau turn the Feather to a Star.] See his Ode on Namur ; where (to use his own words) “ Il a fait un Altre de la Plume blanche que le Roy porte ordinairement à son Chapeau, et qui est en effet une espece de Comete, fatale à nos ennemis."