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Seen him, uncumber'd with the Venal tribe,
He does not think me what he thinks mankind.
VER. 29. Seen him I have, &c.] This, and other strokes of commendation in the following poem, as well as his regard to Sir Robert Walpole on all occafions, were in acknowledgment of a certain service he had done a friend of Mr. Pope's at his folicitation. Our Poet, when he was about feventeen, had a very ill fever in the country; which, it was feared, would end fatally. In this condition he wrote to Southcot, a Prieft of his acquaintance, then in town, to take his laft leave of him. Southcot, with great affection and folicitude, applied to Dr. Radcliffe for his advice. And not content with that. he rode down poft to Mr. Pope, who was then an hundred miles from London, with the Doctor's directions; which had the defired effect. A long time after this, Southcot, who had an intereft 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 apprehenfion 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 perfon to whom this was written happening to acquaint Mr. Pope with the cafe, he immediately wrote a pleasant letter to Sir R. Walpole in the Prieft's behalf: He acquainted the Minifter with the grounds of his folicitation, and begged that this embargo, for his, Mr. P.'s fake, might be taken off; for that he was indebted to Southcot for his life; which debt muft needs be difcharged either here or in purgatory. The Minifter received the application favourably, and with much good-nature wrote to his brother, then in France, to remove the obftruction. In confequence of which Southcot got the abbey. Mr. Pope ever after retained a grateful fenfe of his civility. WARBURTON.
To the account given in this note may be added, that in grati tude for this favour conferred on his friend, Pope presented to Mr. Horatio Walpole, afterwards Lord Walpole, a fet of his Works in quarto, richly bound; which are now in the library at Wolterton.
Come, come, at all I laugh he laughs, no doubt
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.
VER. 34. what he thinks mankind.] This request appears fomewhat abfurd: 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, ufually given as a proof of his penetration, and extenfive 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 thofe he commonly converfed with, would thus boldly pronounce upon the character of his Species. It is certain, that a Keeper of Newgate, who should make the fame conclufion, would be heartily laughed at. WARBURTON.
Juft before Atterbury went into exile, a large fine dropt to him a3 Dean of Westminster, but he could have no right to receive it, without the feal being fet to the leafe 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 fhare of the fine. This anecdote, which is well authenticated, does great credit to the liberality and good temper of Sir Robert Walpole. WARTON.
The circumftance, concerning which fo much has been faid, that Sir Robert confidered every one as equally venal, and that all had their price, is fatisfactorily explained by Mr. Coxe :
Although it is not poffible 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 verfe and profe, was perverted by leaving out the word thofe. Flowery oratory he defpifed; he afcribed to the interested views of themselves or their relatives, the declaration of the pretended Patriots, of whom he faid,
F. Why, yes: with Scripture still you may be free; A Horfe-laugh, if you please, at Honesty; A Joke on JEKYL, or fome odd Old Whig Who never chang'd his Principle, or Wig: A Patriot is a Fool in ev'ry age,
Whom all Lord Chamberlains allow the Stage: Thefe nothing hurts; they keep their Fashion still, And wear their strange old Virtue, as they will. If any afk you, "Who's the Man fo near 45 "His Prince, that writes in Verfe, and has his ear?"
"All those men have their price," and in the event many them juftified his obfervation *." Memoirs of Sir R. W. page 250.
VER. 37. Why, yes: with Scripture, &c.] A feribler, whose only chance for reputation is the falling in with the fashion, is apt to employ this infamous expedient for the preservation of a tranfitory name. But a true Genius could not do a foolisher thing, or sooner defeat his own aim. The fage Boileau used to fay on this occafion, "Une ouvrage severe peut bien plaire aux libertins; mais une ouvrage trop libre ne plaira jamais aux per-, fonnes feveres " WARBURTON.
VER. 37 Why, yes: with Scripture fiill you may be free';] Thus the Man, commonly called Mother Ofborne (who was in the Minifter's pay, and wrote Coffee-house Journals) for one Paper in behalf of Sir Robert, had frequently two against J. C.
VER. 39. A Joke on JEKYL,] Sir Jofeph Jekyl, Master of the Rolls, a true Whig in his principles, and a man of the utmost probity. He fometimes 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.
* From Lord Orford, and the late Lord John Cavendish.
Why, anfwer, LYTTELTON, and I'll engage
VER. 47. Why, answer, LYTTELTON,] George Lyttelton, Secretary to the Prince of Wales, distinguished both for his writings and fpeeches in the spirit of liberty. POPE.
VER. 51. Sejanus,] This profligate minifter prevailed on the Senate to order a book of Crematius Cordus, in praise of Brutus and Caffius, to be burnt. This prohibition naturally increased the circulation of the work. "Libros cremandos," fays Tacitus, "cenfuere patres; fed manferunt occultati, etenim punitis ingeniis, gliscit au&toritas." "The punishing of wits enhances their authority," fays Lord Bacon; " and a forbidden writing is thought to be a certain fpark of truth, that flies up in the faces of them who seek to tread it out." WARTON.
VER. 51. Sejanus, Wolfey,] The one the wicked minister of Tiberius; the other of Henry VIII. The writers against the Court ufually bestowed these and other odious names on the Minister, without distinction, and in the moft injurious manner. See Dial. II. ver. 137. POPE.
VER. 51. FLEURY,] Cardinal; and Minifter to Louis XV. It was a Patriot-fashion, at that time, to cry up his wisdom and honesty. POPE.
VER. 51. honeft FLEURY,] Fontenelle who had been acquainted with the Cardinal before his ministry, vifiting him and finding him in his usual serenity and gaiety of temper, said to him, “Is it poffible that your Eminence ftill continues to be happy?" The fhort Billets which the Cardinal wrote to Fontenelle, and which are preserved in the 11th Vol. of his Works, are full of wit, elegance, and pleasantry.
A curious account is given of the rife and fortunes of Cardinal Fleury, in the first volume of St. Simon's Memoirs. WARTON.
Laugh then at any, but at Fools or Foes; Thefe you but anger, and you mend not those. Laugh at your Friends, and, if your Friends are fore,
So much the better, you may laugh the more.
Sets half the world, God knows, against the rest;
P. Dear Sir, forgive the Prejudice of Youth: Adieu Diftinction, Satire, Warmth, and Truth! Come, harmless Characters that no one hit; Come Henley's Oratory, Ofborn'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 Senfe, 70
VER. 66 Henley-Ofborn,] See them in their places in the Dunciad.
POPE. VER. 68. The Flow'rs of Bubo, and the Flow of Young!] 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 Young.-We have
"The first lampoon, Sir Will or Bubo makes."
I have thought it poffible he might here mean Dr. Young, to whom Dodington (Bubo) was a kind and conftant Friend.
VER 69. The gracious Dew] Alludes to fome Court fermons, and florid panegyrical fpeeches; particularly one very full of puerilities and flatteries; which afterwards got into an address in the fame pretty ftyle; and was lastly served up in an Epitaph, bePOPE. tween Latin and English, published by its author.