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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: Safe from the Bar, the Pulpit, and the Throne, 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,
VER. 208. Yes, I am proud; etc.] In this ironical exultation the Poet insinuates a subject of the deepest humiliation.
Ver. 211. Yet touch'd and sham'd by Ridicule alone.] The Passions are given us to awaken and support Virtue. But they frequently betray their trust, and go over to the interests of Vice. Ridicule, when employed in the cause of Virtue, Thames and brings them back to their duty. Hence the use and importance of Satire.
Ver. 14. To all but Heav'n-directed bands] “ The Citizen (says Plato, in his fifth book of Laws) who does no injury to any one, without question, merits our esteem. He, who,
not content with being barely just himself, opposes the “ course of injustice, by prosecuting it before the Magistrate, " merits our esteem vally more. The first discharges the “ duty of a single Citizen: but the other does the office of a “ Body. But he whose zeal stops not here, but proceeds to
MAGISTRATE IN PUNISHING is the most “ valuable blessing of Society. This is the PERFECT
CITIZEN, to whom we Mculd adjudge the prize of Virtue,"
To Virtue's work provoke the tardy Hall,
When black Ambition stains a public Cause,
231 VARIATIONS: After ver. 227. in the MS.
Where's now the Star that lighted Charles to rise ?
Britain's to France, and thine to India, Spain ? Ver. 222. Cobwebs] Weak and fight fophiftry against virtue and honour. Thin colours over vice, as unable to hide the light of Truth, as cobwebs to made the fun.
VER. 228. When black Ambition, etc.] The case of Cromwell in the civil war of England; and (ver. 229.) of Louis XIV,' in his conquest of the Low Countries.
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
Not so, when diadem'd with rays divine,
may defcend to Mordington from STAIR: (Such as on Hough's unfully'd Mitre shine, 240 Or beam, good DIGBY, from a heart like thine) Let Envy bowl, while Heav'n's whole Chorus fings, And bark at Honour not confer'd by Kings; Let Flatt'ry fick’ning fee the Incense rise, Sweet to the World, and grateful to the Skies : 245 Truth guards the Poet, fanctifies the line, And makes immortal, Verse as mean as mine.
“ à son Chapeau, et qui est en effet une espece de Comete, 66 farale a nos ennemis.”
Ver. 237. Anftis] The chief Herald at arms. It is the custom, at the funeral of great peers, to caft into the grave the broken staves and ensigns of honour.
VER, 239. Stair ;] John Dalrymple Earl of Stair, Knight of the Thiftle; served in all the wars under the Duke of Marlborough ; and afterwards as Embassador in France,
VER. 240, 241. Hough and Digby] Dr. John Hough Bishop of Worcester, and the Lord Digby. The one an afserior of the Church of England in opposition to the false measures of King James II. The other as firmly attached to the cause of that King. Both acting out of principle, and equally men of honour and virtue.
Yes, the last Pen for Freedom let me draw, When Truth ftands trembling on the edge of Law; Here, Last of Britons ? let your Names be read ; 250 Are none, none living ? let me praise the Dead, And for that Cause which made
Fathers shine, Fall by the Votes of their degen’rate Line.
Fr. Alas ! alas! pray end what you began, And write next winter more Esays on Man. 255
VARIATIONS, VER. 255. in the MS.
Quit, quit these themes, and write Essays on Man.
Ver. ult.] This was the last poem of the kind printed by our author, with a resolution to publish no more ; but to enter thus, in the most plain and folemn manner he could, a sort of PROTEST against that insuperable corruption and depravity manners, which he had been
unhappy as to live to see. Could he have hoped to have amended any, he had continued those attacks; but bad men were grown fo Nameless and so powerful, that Ridicule was become as unsafe as it was ineffectual. The Poem raised him, as he knew it would, fome enemies; but he had reason to be satisfied with the approbation of good men, and the testimony of his own conscience,
Receiving from the Right Hon. the Lady
A STANDISH and Two PENS.
ES, I beheld th' Athenian Queen
Defcend in all her fober charms; “ And take the said, and smil'd ferene)
« Take at this hand celestial arms :
“ Secure the radiant weapons wield;
“ This golden lance shall guard Desert, “ And if a Vice dares keep the field,
“ This steel shall ftab it to the heart."
Aw'd on my bended knees I fell,
Receiv'd the weapons of the ky; And dipt them in the fable Well,
The fount of Fame or Infamy.
The Lady Frances Shirley] A Lady whose great Merit Mr, Pope took a real pleasure to celebrate.