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A Clerk, foredoom'd his father's foul to cross,
Who
pens a Stanza, when he fhould engrofs?
Is there, who, lock'd from ink and paper, fcrawls
With defp'rate charcoal round his darken'd walls?
All fly to TWIT'NAM, and in humble strain
Apply to me, to keep them mad or vain.

Arthur, whofe giddy fon neglects the Laws,
Imputes to me and my damn'd works the cause :
Poor Cornus fees his frantic wife elope,
And curfes Wit, and Poetry, and Pope.

25

Friend to my life! (which did not you prolong, The world had wanted many an idle fong)

VARIATIONS.

After Ver. 20 in the MS.

Is there a Bard in durance? turn them free,
With all their brandifh'd reams they run to me:
Is there a 'Prentice, having feen two plays,
Who would do fomething in his Sempftrefs' praise-

VER. 29. in the first Ed.

Dear Doctor, tell me, is not this a curfe?

Say, is their anger, or their friendship worse?

NOTES.

21

What

VER. 15. Is there a Parfon] Some lines in this Epistle to Arbuthnot had been used in a letter to Thomson when he was in Italy, and transferred from him to Arbuthnot, which naturally displeased the former, though they lived always on terms of civility and friendship: and Pope earnestly exerted himself, and used all his interest to promote the fuccefs of Thomson's Agamemnon, and attended the firft night of its being performed. WARTON.

VER. 20. defp'rate charcoal] The idea is from Boileau's art of Poetry" Charbonner les murailes."

VER. 23. Arthur,] Arthur Moore, Efq.

WARTON.

What Drop or Noftrum can this plague remove?

Or which must end me, a Fool's wrath or love? 30
A dire dilemma! either way I'm fped,

If foes, they write, if friends, they read me dead.
Seiz'd and ty'd down to judge, how wretched I!
Who can't be filent, and who will not lie :
To laugh, were want of goodness and of grace,
And to be grave, exceeds all Pow'r of face.
I fit with fad civility, I read

With honest anguish, and an aching head;
And drop at last, but in unwilling ears,
This faving counsel, “ Keep your piece nine years."
Nine years! cries he, who high in Drury-lane, 41
Lull'd by foft Zephyrs through the broken pane,
Rhymes ere he wakes, and prints before Term ends,
Oblig'd by hunger, and requeft of friends:
"The piece, you think, is incorrect? why take it,
"I'm all fubmiffion, what you'd have it, make it.”
Three

44

NOTES.

VER. 33. Seiz'd and ty'd down to judge,] Alluding to the scene in the Plain-Dealer, where Oldfox gags, and ties down the Widow, to hear his well-penn'd flanzas. Warburton. Rather from Horace; vide his Drufo. WARTON.

VER. 38. an aching head;] Alluding to the diforder he was then fo conftantly afflicted with. WARBURTON.

35

VER. 40. "Keep your piece nine years."] Boileau employed eleven years in his fhort fatire of L'Equivoque. Patru was four years altering and correcting the first paragraph of his translation of the oration for Archias. WARTON.

VER. 43. Rhymes ere he wakes,]

"Dictates to me flumb'ring, or infpires

Eafy my unpremeditated Verfe.”

MILTON.

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Three things another's modest wishes bound, My Friendship, and a Prologue, and ten pound. Pitholeon fends to me: "You know his Grace, "I want a Patron; afk him for a Place." Pitholeon libell'd me-" but here's a letter

VER. 53. in the MS.

"Informs you, Sir, 'twas when he knew no better. "Dare you refufe him? Curl invites to dine, "He'll write a Journal, or he'll turn Divine." Bless me! a packet.-" "Tis a stranger fues, "A Virgin Tragedy, an Orphan Muse." If I dislike it," Furies, death and rage!” If I approve," Commend it to the Stage." There (thank my stars) my whole commiffion ends, The Play'rs and I are, luckily, no friends.

VARIATIONS.

If you refufe, he goes, as fates incline,
To plague Sir Robert, or to turn Divine.

VER. 60. in the former Ed.

Cibber and I are, luckily, no friends.

50

55

60

Fir'd

NOTES.

VER. 49. Pitholeon] The name taken from a foolish Poet of Rhodes, who pretended much to Greek. Schol. in Horat, l. 1. Dr. Bentley pretends, that this Pitholeon libelled Cæfar alfo. See notes on Hor. Sat. 10. 1. i.

POPE.

VER. 54. He'll write a Journal,] Meaning the London Journal; a paper in favour of Sir R. Walpole's miniftry. Bishop Hoadley wrote in it, as did Dr. Bland. WARTON.

VER. 55 A packet.] Alludes to a tragedy called the Virgin Queen, by Mr. R. Barford, published 1729, who displeased Pope by daring to adopt the fine machinery of his Sylphs in an heroicomical poem called the Affembly. 1726. WARTON.

Fir'd that the house reject him, " 'Sdeath, I'll print it, "And fhame the Fools-Your int'reft, Sir, with "Lintot."

Lintot, dull rogue! will think your price too much:
Not, Sir, if you revife it, and retouch."

All

NOTES

VER. 60. The Play'rs and I, &c.] On this paffage, Cibber, in his curious letter, printed in 1742, addressed to Pope, has the following obfervation :

"I am glad to find in your fmaller Edition, that your confcience has fince given this line fome correction; for there you have taken off a little of its edge: it there runs only thus:

The Players and I are luckily no friends.

This is fo uncommon an inftance of your checking your temper, and taking a little fhame to yourself, that I cannot in juftice omit my notice of it."

The caufe of Pope's continued invective against Cibber, is thus given in the letter before mentioned:

"The play of the Rehearsal, which had laid fome few years dormant, being by his prefent Majefty (George II.), then Prince of Wales commanded to be revived, the part of Bays fell to my fhare. To this character there had always been allowed fuch ludicrous liberties of obfervation upon any thing new, or remarkable in the ftate of the stage, as Mr. Bays might think proper to make."

He then defcribes a fuccefsful fally in ridiculing the introduction of the Mummy and Crocodile, in an entertainment acted about that time without fuccefs, called "Three Hours after Marriage," and fuppofed to have been written by Pope

"This was the offence," he says: "In this play (Three Hours after Marriage), two Coxcombs, being in love with a learned virtuofo's wife, to get unfufpected access to her, ingeniously fend themfelves, as two prefented rarities, to the husband; the one curiously fwathed up like an Egyptian Mummy, and the other flily covered in the paste board skin of a Crocodile; upon which poetical expedient 1, Mr. Bays, when the two Kings of Brentford came from the clouds again into the throne, instead of what the part directed me to fay, made me use these words,

viz.

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All my demurs but double his attacks;
At last he whispers, "Do; and we go fnacks."
Glad of a quarrel, straight I clap the door,
Sir, let me fee your works and you no more.
'Tis fung, when Midas' Ears began to spring,
(Midas, a facred perfon and a King,)

65

70

His

NOTES.

"Now, Sir, this revolution, I had fome thoughts of introducing ** by a quite different contrivance; but my defign taking air, fome "of your sharp wits, I found, had made use of it before me; "otherwife I intended to have folen one of them in the Shape of a MUMMY, and the other, in that of a Crocodile."

66

This fally of Cibber, it appears, was received with great applaufe; and Pope, very much irritated, came to Cibber after the play, to call him to account for the infult. This is the fum of Cibber's ftatement, refpecting the firft caufe of Pope's anger, in his letter, the publication of which, it is well known, gave Pope great uneafinefs; and on account of which, he afterwards dethroned Theobald from his eminence as King of the Dunces, and placed Cibber, who cared very little about the matter, in his place.

VER. 69. 'Tis fung, when Midas'] The abruptnefs with which this ftory from Perfius is introduced, occafions an obscurity in the paffage; for there is no connection with the foregoing paragraph. Boileau fays, Sat. ix. v. 221. I have nothing to do with Chapelain's honour, or candour, or civility, or complaifance; but, if you hold him up as a model of good writing, and as the king of authors,

"Ma bile alors s'echauffe, et je brûle d'ecrire ;

Et s'il ne m'eft permis de le dire au papier;
J'irai creufer la terre, et comme ce barbier,
Faire dire aux roseaux
par un nouvel
organe,
Midas, le Roi Midas, a des oreilles d'Afne."

There is much humour in making the prying and watchful eyes
of the minifter, instead of the barber, first discover the ass's ears;
and the word perks has particular force and emphafis.
Walpole and Queen Caroline were here pointed at.

Sir Robert
WARTON.

VOL. IV.

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