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WRITTEN IN MDCCXXXVIII.
OT twice a twelvemonth you appear in Print,
After Ver. 2. in the MS.
You don't, I hope, pretend to quit the trade,
VER. 1. Not twice a twelvemonth, &c.] These two lines are from Horace; and the only lines that are fo in the whole Poem; being meant to give a handle to that which follows in the character of an impertinent Cenfurer,
""Tis all from Horace," &c.
By long habit of writing, and almost constantly in one fort of measure, he had now arrived at a happy and elegant familiarity of
You grow correct that once with Rapture writ,
ftyle, without flatnefs. The fatire in these pieces is of the strongest kind; fometimes, direct and declamatory, at others, ironical and oblique. It must be owned to be carried to excefs. Our country is reprefented as totally ruined, and overwhelmed with diffipation, depravity, and corruption. Yet this very country, so emafculated and debased by every species of folly and wickedness, in about twenty years afterwards, carried its triumphs over all its enemies, through all the quarters of the world, and astonished the most diftant nations with a difplay of uncommon efforts, abilities, and virtue. So vain and groundlefs are the prognoftications of poets, as well as politicians. It is to be wifhed, that a genius could be found to write an One Thousand Seven Hundred and Sixty-one, as a counter-part to these two Dialogues, which were more diligently laboured, and more frequently corrected than any of our Author's compofitions. I have often heard Mr. Dodfley fay, that he was employed by the Author to copy them fairly. Every line was then written twice over; a clean tranfcript was then delivered to Mr. Pope, and when he afterwards fent it to Mr. Dodfley to be printed, he found every line had been written twice over a fecond time. Swift tells our Author, thefe Dialogues are equal, if not fuperior, to any part of his works. They are, in truth, more Horatian than the profeffed Imitations of Horace. They at first were intitled, from the year in which they were published, One Thousand Seven Hundred and Thirty-eight. They were afterwards called, fantaftically enough, Epilogue to the Satires, as the Epistle to Arbuthnot was intitled Prologue to the Satires. It is remarkable that the first was published the very fame morning with Johnfon's admirable London; which Pope much approved, and fearched diligently for the Author, who lived then in obfcurity. London had a fecond edition in a week. Pope has himself given more notes and illuftrations on thefe Dialogues than on any other of his poems.
VER. 2. See nothing in't.] He used this colloquial (I will not fay barbarifm, but) abbreviation, to imitate familiar converfation.
'Tis all from Horace; Horace long before ye
Said, "Tories call'd him Whig, and Whigs a
And taught his Romans, in much better metre,
Blunt could do bus'nefs, H-ggins knew the Town;
In rev'rend Bishops note fome fmall Neglects,
VER. 9, 10. And taught his Romans in much better metre, "To laugh at Fools who put their truft in Peter."]
The general turn of the thought is from Boileau, "Avant lui, Juvénal avoit dit en Latin, Qu'on eft affis à l'aife aux fermons de Cotin."
VER. 12. Bubo obferves,] Some guilty perfon, very fond of making fuch an observation.
Bubo is faid to mean Mr. Doddington, afterward Lord Mel
VER. 13. Horace would fay,] The business of the friend here. introduced is to diffuade our Poet from perfonal invectives. But he dexterously turns the very advice he is giving into the bitterest fatire. Sir Billy was Sir William Young, who, from a great fluency, was often employed to make long speeches till the minifter's friends were collected in the House.
VER. 14. H-ggins] Formerly Gaoler of the Fleet prison, enriched himself by many exactions, for which he was tried and expelled.
He was the father of the Author of the abfurd and profaïc Tranflation of Ariofto; an account of him is given in the Anecdotes of Hogarth.
VER. 15. In Sappho touch] In former Editions,
Sir George of fome flight gallantries fufpect.
And own, the Spaniard did a waggish thing,
Who cropt our Ears, and sent them to the King.
Could please at Court, and make AUGUSTUS fmile:
His Friend and Shame, and was a kind of Screen. But 'faith your very Friends will foon be fore; Patriots there are, who wish you'd jeft no moreAnd where's the Glory? 'twill be only thought 25 That great men never offer'd you a groat.
Go fee Sir ROBERT
P. See Sir ROBERT!-hum
And never laugh-for all my life to come?
After Ver. 26. in the MS.
There's honeft Tacitus once talk'd as big,
But is he now an independant Whig?
* Mr. Thomas Gordon, who was bought off by a place at Court.
VER. 18. Who cropt our Ears,] Said to be executed by the Captain of a Spanish ship on one Jenkins, a Captain of an EngHe cut off his ears, and bid him carry them to the
King his mafter.
VER. 22. Screen.]
"Omne vaser vitium ridenti Flaccus amico
Tangit, et admiffus circum præcordia ludit." PERS.
A metaphor peculiarly appropriated to a certain perfon in
VER. 24. Patriots there are, &c.] This appellation was generally given to those in oppofition to the Court. Though fome of them (which our Author hints at) had views too mean and interested to deferve that name. VRR. 26. The Great man] A phrafe, by common use, appropriated to the firft Minifter.