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No Pow'r the Mufe's Friendship can command; No Pow'r when Virtue claims it, can withstand: To Cato, Virgil pay'd one honeft line;
O let my Country's Friends illumine mine!
I think your Friends are out, and would be in.
fanity, during which no perfon was permitted to approach him but a few confidents, and especially Bois-Robert. He gave, fays Segrais, p. 170. one hundred and twenty thousand crowns a year in penfions to men of learning and science. The history of his founding the French Academy is well known; which is frequently faid to have polifhed and fixed the French language. But Malherbe, their first correct writer, died before the inftitution of this Academy. WARTON.
VER. 116. LOUIS fcarce could gain,] By this expreffion finely infinuating, that the great Boileau always falls below himself in those paffages where he flatters his Mafter. Of which he gives us an instance in Ver. 231. where the topic of adulation is exceeding childish and extravagant. WARBURTON.
"The relentless defpotifm of Louis," fays a certain eloquent writer, was proudly arrayed in manners, gallantry, fplendor, magnificence, and even covered over with the impofing robes of science and literature."-But the defpotism was notwithstanding relentless. WARTON.
VER. 121. O let my Country's Friends illumine mine! Warburton calls this a pretty expreffion, alluding to the old practice of illuminating MSS. with gold and vermilion !!!
VER. 128. Come then, I'll comply] Here is a most happy imitation of Perfius, and of Boileau;
COBHAM'S a Coward, POLWARTH is a Slave,
-Per me equidem funt omnia protinus alba,
Nil moror; euge omnes, omnes, bene miræ eritis res:
And thus Boileau, Sat. ix. v. 287.
Perfius, Sat. 1. v. 110.
Puifque vous le voulez, je vais changer de stile,
Fend les flots d'auditeurs pour aller à fa chaire.
But Pope has plainly the fuperiority by the artful and ironical compliments paid to his friends.
VER. 129 Spirit of Arnall!] Look for him in his place, Dunc. B. ii. Ver. 315.
VER. 129. Spirit of Arnall!] Arnall was one of the writers for Sir Robert Walpole, and got by his writing, &c a very large fum, an account of which may be feen in the notes to the Dunciad. Some of his letters now before me, for the fight of which I am indebted to Mr. Coxe, fhew him to have been a fhrewd and fenfible man. What is curious in one, he talks very highly of his honour and veracity. He was vain-glorious and important in his own ideas; as Pope, with much lefs reafon: what he got, he spent as fast as it came, and many of his letters to Sir Robert fhew great poverty and diftrefs. They are full of earneft petitions for preferment, money, &c. He had a filver Ink-stand, which he was proud of difplaying, and boasted it was a prefent from his FRIEND WALPOLE! His diftrefs at last, brought on by his own imprudence, induced him, it is fuppofed, to commit fuicide.
Communicated by Mr. Coxe.
VER. 130. POLWARTH] The Hon. Hugh Hume, Son of Alex ander Earl of Marchmont, Grandfon of Patric Earl of Marchmout, and diftinguished, like them, in the caufe of Liberty.
Has never made a Friend in private life,
And was, befides, a Tyrant to his Wife.
But pray, when others praise him, do I blame? Call Verres, Wolfey, any odious name? Why rail they then, if but a Wreath of mine, Oh All-accomplish'd ST. JOHN! deck thy fhrine? What? fhall each fpurgall'd Hackney of the day, When Paxton gives him double Pots and Pay, 141 Or each new-penfion'd Sycophant, pretend
To break Windows if I treat a Friend;
Then wifely plead, to me they meant no hurt,
But 'twas my Guest at whom they threw the dirt?
Of Honour bind me, not to maul his Tools;
His Saws are toothless, and his Hatchet's Lead.
The prudent Genʼral tur:'d it to a jest,
And begg'd, he'd take the pains to kick the reft: 155 Which
VER. 143. To break my Windows] Which was done when Lord Bolingbroke and Lord Bathurft were one day dining with him at Twickenham. All the great persons celebrated in these Satires were in violent oppofition to government. It is rather fingular that he has not mentioned Mr. Pitt, one of the most able and most formidable; especially with his friends Lyttelton, Cobham, and Pulteney. WARTON
Which not at present having time to do
F. Hold Sir! for God's fake, where's th' Affront to you?
Against your worship when had S—k * writ ?
Or P-get pour'd forth the Torrent of his Wit? the Bard whofe diftich all commend
VER. 159. Or P-ge] Judge Page, who is faid to have treated delinquents too roughly. WARTON.
VER. 160, the Bard] A verfe taken out of a poem to Sir R. W.
VER. 161. In Pow'r] Lord Melcombe was the Author of this line, in an Epistle to Sir Robert Walpole. WARTON.
Mr. Wyndham, to whom I am fo much indebted, informs me, that Lord Melcombe took the very fame Epistle he had written to Sir Robert, and fome years afterwards, when circumstances were changed, addreffed it to Lord Bute.
VER. 164. The Prie?, &c.] Spoken not of any particular prieft, but of many priests. POPE..
Meaning Dr. Alured Clarke, who wrote a Panegyric on Queen Caroline. The two following unpublished lines of our Author, have been communicated to me by a learned friend, on a picture of this Queen, drawn by Lady Burlington:
Peace! flattering Bishop, lying Dean!
This Portrait only faints the Queen!
A comet happening to appear when Cardinal Mazarine lay on his death-bed, fome of his many abject flatterers infinuated, that it
* Sherlock. VOL. IV.
And how did, pray, the florid Youth offend,
If one through Nature's Bounty or his Lord's,
From him the next receives it, thick or thin,
As pure a mess almost as it came in ;
The bleffed benefit, not there confin'd,
Drops to the third, who nuzzles close behind;
had reference to him, and his deftiny. The Cardinal pleasantly anfwered, "Gentlemen, the comet does me too much honour.” Tenifon preached a very fulfome funeral Eulogium of Nell Gwyn. WARTON.
VER. 166. And how did, &c.] This seems to allude to a complaint made Ver. 71. of the preceding Dialogue. VER. 166. florid Youth] Lord Her vey, alluding to his painting himfelf.
VER. 172. As Hog to Hog] Our modern Authors write plays as they feed hogs in Weftphaly, where but one eats peafe or acorns, and all the reft feed upon his, and one another's excrements." Thoughts on Various Subjects, vol.'ii. p. 497. Though thofe remarks were not published in the life-time of Pope, yet the Author of them, Mr. Thyer, informs us, that Mr. Longueville, in whofe cuftody they were, communicated them to Atterbury, from whom Pope might hear of them. It is impoffible any two writers could cafually hit upon an image fo very peculiar and uncommon.