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Each day his Beads; but having left those laws,
Hard words, or sense; or, in Divinity
As controverters in vouch'd Texts, leave out
Shrewd words, which might against them clear the doubt.
Where are these spread woods which cloath'd
Those bought lands? not built, not burnt within door.
Where the old landlords troops, and almes? In halls Carthusian Fasts, and fulsome Bacchanals
when he set up for a Governor in the Church, and his business was to direct others how to pray for the success of his new Model; he then lengthened the Pater-noster by a new clause. This representation of the first part of his conduct was to ridicule his want of devotion; as the other, where he tells us, that the addition was the power and glory clause, was to satirize his ambition; and both together, to insinuate that from a Monk, he was become totally secularized.-About this time of his life Dr. Donne had a strong propensity to the Roman Catholic Religion, which appears from several strokes in these Satires. We find amongst his works, a short satirical thing called a Catalogue of rare Books, one article of which is entitled, M. Lutherus de abbreviatione Orationis Dominica, alluding to Luther's omission of the concluding Doxology in his two Catechisms; which shews the Poet was fond of his joke. In this catalogue (to intimate his sentiments of Reformation) he puts Erasmus and Reuchlin in the rank of Lully and Agrippa. I will only observe, that it was written in imitation of Rabelais' famous Catalogue of the Library of St. Victor, one of the finest passages in that extravagant Satire, which was
But having cast his cowl, and left those laws,
No kitchens emulate the vestal fire.
Where are those troops of Poor, that throng'd of
The good old landlord's hospitable door?
Well, I could wish, that still in lordly domes
Some beasts were kill'd, tho' not whole hecatombs ; That both extremes were banish'd from their walls, Carthusian fasts, and fulsome Bacchanals;
the Manual of the Wits of this time. It was natural therefore to think, that the Catalogue of the Library of St. Victor would become, as it did, the subject of many imitations. The best of which are this of Dr. Donne's, and one of Sir Thomas Brown's.Dr. Donne afterward took orders in the church of England. We have a large volume of his sermons in the false taste of that time. But the book which made his fortune was his Pseudo martyr, to prove that Papists ought to take the oath of allegiance. In this book, though Hooker had then written his Ecclesiastical Policy, he has approved himself entirely ignorant both of the Origin and End of Civil Government. In the 168th page, and elsewhere, he holds, that when men congregate to form the body of Civil Society, then it is, that the soul of Society, SOVEREIGN POWER, is sent into it immediately from God, just as he sends the soul into the human embryo, when the two sexes propagate their kind. In the 191st page, and elsewhere, he maintains that the office of the civil Sovereign extends to the care of Souls. For this absurd and blasphemous trash, James I. made him Dean of St. Paul's; all the wit and sublimity of his genius having never enabled him to get bread throughout the better part of his life. W.
Equally I hate. Means blest. In rich men's homes
I did kill some beasts, but no
But (oh) we allow Good works as good, but out of fashion now, Like old rich wardrobes. But my words none draws Within the vast reach of th' huge statutes jaws.
Ver. 121. These as good works, &c.] Dr. Donne says, -"But (oh) we allow
Good works as good, but out of fashion now."
The popish doctrine of good works was one of those abuses in Religion which the Church of England condemns in its Articles. To this the Poet's words satirically allude. And having throughout this satire given several malignant strokes at the Reformation, which it was penal, and then very dangerous to abuse, he had reason to bespeak the Reader's candour, in the concluding lines,
"But my words none draws
Within the vast reach of th' huge statutes jaws." W.
And all mankind, might that just Mean observe,
Ver. 125. Thus much I've said,] These three additional lines are redundant. And two strong epithets in the last line of Donne, vast and huge, were too emphatical to be omitted.
WELL; I may now receive*, and die. My sin Indeed is great, but yet I have been in
A purgatory, such as fear'd Hell is
A Recreation, and scant map of this.
My mind, neither with pride's itch, nor hath been Poyson'd with love to see or to be seen,
I had no suit there, nor new suit to show,
* More short, severe, and pointed, than Pope's paraphrastical lines.
Ver. 7. The Poet's hell,] He has here with great prudence corrected the licentious expression of his Original. W.
Ver. 10. Nor the rain itch t'admire, or be admir'd;] Courtiers have the same pride in admiring, which Poets have in being admired. For VANITY is often as much gratified in paying our Court to our superiors, as in receiving it from our inferiors. W.
Ver. 13. Had no new verses, nor new suit to shew ;] Insinuating that Court-poetry, like Court-clothes, only comes thither in honour of the Sovereign; and serves but to supply a day's conversation. W.
Ver. 14. the Dev'l would] This addition is mean. And line below, 26, is perhaps the greatest violation of harmony Pope has