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That not in Fancy's maze he wander'd long,
340 But stoop'd to Truth, and moraliz'd his song: That not for Fame, but Virtue's better end, He stood the furious foe, the timid friend, The damning critic, half approving wit, The coxcomb hit, or fearing to be hit;
345 Laugh'd at the loss of friends he never had, The dull, the proud, the wicked, and the mad; The distant threats of vengeance on his head, The blow unfelt, the tear he never shed; The tale reviv'd, the lye so oft o'erthrown, 350 Th'imputed trash, and dulness not his own;
preaux. I never saw so amiable an imagination, so
gentle graces, fo great variety, so much wit, and so “ refined knowledge of the world, as in this little perform“ ance.” MS. Let. Oet. 15, 1726.
VER. 341. But stoop'd to Truth] The term is from falconry ; and the allusion to one of those untamed birds of spirit, which sometimes wantons at large in airy circles before it regards, or ftoops to, its prey.
VER. 350. the lye so oft oe'rthrown] As, that he received subscriptions for Shakespear, that he fet his name to Mr. Broome's verses, &c. which, tho' publicly dis. proved were nevertheless shamelessly repeated in the Libels, and even in that called the Nobleman's Epistle. P.
Ver. 351. Tb' imputed trash) Such as profane Psalms, Court-Poems, and other fcandalous things, printed in his Name by Curland others.
The morals blacken’d when the writings scape,
A. But why insult the poor, affront the great? 360 P. A knave's a knave, to me, in ev'ry state: Alike my scorn, if he succeed or fail, Sporus at court, or Japhet in a jail, A hireling scribler, or a hireling peer, Knight of the poft corrupt, or of the shire; 365 If on a Pillory, or near a Throne, He gain his Prince's ear, or lose his own.
Notes. VER. 354. Abuse, on all he lov’d, or lov'd him, Spread.] Namely on the Duke of Buckingham, the Earl of Burlington, Lord Bathurst, Lord Bolingbroke, Bishop Atterbury, Dr. Swift, Dr. Arbuthnot, Mr. Gay, his Friends, his Parents, and his very Nurse, aspersed in printed_papers, by James Moore, G. Ducket, L. Welfted, Tho. Bentley, and other obscure persons.
Ver. 359. For thee, fair Virtue! welcome ev’n the last!] This line is remarkable for presenting us with the most amiable image of steady Virtue, mixed with a modest concern for his being forced to undergo the severest proofs of his love for it, which was the being thought hardly of by his SOVERBIGN.
Yet soft by nature, more a dupe than wit, Sappho can tell you how this man was bit: This dreaded Sat'rift Dennis will confefs
370 Foe to his pride, but friend to his distress: So humble, he has knock'd at Tibbald's door, Has drunk with Cibber, nay has rhym’d for Moor. Full ten years flander'd, did he once reply? Three thousand suns went down on Welfted's lye.
Once, and but once, his heedless youth was bit,
Notes. Ver. 374. ten years] It was so long after many libels before the Author of the Dunciad published that poem, till when, he never writ a word in answer to the many fcurrilities and falsehoods concerning him.
P. VER. 375. Welsted's Lye.] This man had the impudence to tell in print, that Mr. P. had occasioned a Lady's death, and to name a person he never heard of. He also publith'd that he libell'd the Duke of Chandos; with whom (it was added) that he had lived in familiarity, and received from him a present of five hundred pounds: the falsehood of both which is known to his Grace. Mr. P. never received any present, farther than the subscription for Homer, from him, or from Any great Man whatso376
To please a Mistress one aspers’d his life;
Ver. 378. Let Budgel] Budgel, in a weekly pamphlet called the Bee, bestowed much abuse on him, in the imagination that he writ some things about the Lasi Will of Dr. Tindal, in the Grubftreet Journal; a Paper wherein he never had the least hand, direction, or supervisal, nor the least knowledge of its Author.
P. VER. 379. except bis Will] Alluding to Tindal's Will: by which, and other indirect practices, Budgell, to the exclusion of the next heir, a nephew, got to himself almost the whole fortane of a man entirely unrelated to him.
VER. 381. His father, mother, &c.] In some of Curl's and other pamphlets, Mr. Pope's father was said to be a Mechanic, a Hatter, a Farmer, nay a Bankrupt. But, what is stranger, a Nobleman (if such a Reflection could be thought to come from a Nobleman) had dropt an allufion to that pitiful untruth, in a paper called an Epistle to a Doctor of Divinity : And the following line,
Hard as thy Heart, and as thy Birth obscure, had fallen from a like Courtly pen, in certain Verses to the Imitation of Horace. Mr. Pope's Father was of a Gentleman's Family in Oxfordshire, the head of which was. the Earl of Downe, whose sole Heiress married the Earl of Lindsey_His mother was the daughter of William Turnor, Esq. of York: She had three brothers, one of whom was killed, another died in the service of King Charles; the eldest following his fortunes, and becoming
Yet why ? that Father held it for a rule,
Of gentle blood (part shed in Honour's cause,
390 And better got, than Beftia's from the throne. Born to no Pride, inheriting no Strife, Nor marrying Discord in a noble wife, Stranger to civil and religious rage, The good man walk'd innoxious thro' his age. 395
Notes. a general officer in Spain, left her what eftate remained after the sequestrations and forfeitures of her family-Mr. Pope died in 1717, aged 75 ; She in 1733, aged 93, a very few weeks after this poem was finished. The fol. lowing inscription was placed by their son on their Monu. ment in the parish of Twickenham, in Middlesex,
D. O. M.
QUI. VIXIT. ANNOS. LXXV. OB. MDCCXVII.
XCIII. OB. MDCCXXXIII.