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Seen him, uncumber'd with the Venal tribe,
Come, NOTES. 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 occasions, were in acknowledgment of a certain service he had done a friend of Mr. Pope's at his solicitation. Our Poet, when he was about seventeen, had a very ill fever in the country; which, it was feared, would end fatally. In this condition he wrote to Southcot, a Priest of his acquaintance, then in town, to take his last leave of him. Southcot, with great affection and solicitude, applied to Dr. Radcliffe for his advice. And not content with that, he rode down post to Mr. Pope, who was then an hundred miles from London, with the Doctor's directions; which had the delired effect. A long time after this, Southcot, who had an interest 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 apprehension 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 person to whom this was written happening to acquaint Mr. Pope with the case, he inimediately wrote a pleasant letter to Sir R. Walpole in the Priest's behalf : He acquainted the Minister with the grounds of his solicitation, 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 must needs be dis. charged either here or in purgatory. The Minister received the application favourably, and with much good-nature wrote to his brother, then in France, to remove the obstruction. In conse. quence of which Southcot got the abbey. Mr. Pope ever after retained a grateful sense of his civility. WARBURTON.
To the account given in this note may be added, that in gratitude for this favour conferred on his friend, Pope presented to Mr. Horatio Walpole, afterwards Lord Walpole, a set of his Works in quarto, richly bound; which are now in the library at Wolterton.
buit seems, thougas, usually giveronid. Others per
knowledgebally given Rogues, and that
Come, come, at all I laugh he laughs, no doubt The only diff'rence is, I dare laugh out. 36
F. Why, NOTES. Ver. 31. Seen him, uncumber'd] These two verses were origihally 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. Warton. Ver. 3.4. what he thinks mankind.] This request appears fomewhat absurd: 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, usually given as a proof of his penetration, and extensive knowledge of the world. Others per. hap3 would think it the mark of a bounded capacity ; which, from a few of Rochefoucault's maxims, and the corrupt practice of those he commonly conversed with, would thus boldly pronounce upon the character of his Species. It is certain, that a Keeper of Newgate, who should make the same conclusion, would be heartily laughed at.
WARBURTON. Just before Atterbury went into exile, a large fine dropt to him 23 Dean of Westminster, but he could have no right to receive it, without the feal being set to the lease 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 share of the fine. This anecdote, which is well authenticated, does great credit to the libe. rality and good temper of Sir Robert Walpole. WARTON.
The circumftance, concerning which so much has been said, that Sir Robert considered every one as equally venal, and that all had their price, is satisfactorily explained by Mr. Coxe :
“ Although it is not possible 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 verse and prose, was perverted by leaving out the word those. Flowery oratory he despised; he ascribed to the interested views of themselves or their relatives, the declaration of the pretended Patriots, of whom he said,
iiiii. . “AU
F. Why, yes: with Scripture still you may be free;
A Patriot is a Fool in ev'ry age,
These nothing hurts; they keep their Fashion still,
If any ask you, “ Who's the Man fo near 45 “ His Prince, that writes in Verse, and has his ear?”
Why, NOTES. “ All those men have their price,” and in the event many of them justified his observation *.” Memoirs of Sir R. W. page 250.
VER. 37. Why, yes: with Scripture, &c.] A seribler, whose only chance for reputation is the falling in with the fashion, is apt to employ this infamous expedient for the preservation of a transitory 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 occasion, “ Une ouvrage severe peut bien plaire aux libertins ; mais une ouvrage trop libre ne plaira jamais aux per-, sonnes severęs "
WARBURTON. Ver. 37 Why, yes : with Scripture still you may be free';] Thus the Man, commonly called Mother Osborne (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.
WARBURTON. VER. 39. A Joke on JEKYL,] Sir Joseph Jekyl, Master of the Rolls, a true Whig in his principles, and a man of the utmost probity. He sometimes 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, answer, LYTTELTON, and I'll engage
Laugh NOTES. · Ver. 47. Why, answer, LYTTELTON] George Lyttelton, Secretary to the Prince of Wales, distinguished both for his writings and speeches in the spirit of liberty.
Pope. Ver. 51. Sejanus, ] This profligate minister 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,” says Tacitus, so censuere patres ; fed manserunt occultati, etenim punitis ingeniis, gliscit auctoritas.” “ The punishing of wits enhances their authority," says 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, Wolsey,] The one the wicked minister of Tiberius; the other of Henry VIII. The writers against the Court usually bestowed these and other odious names on the Minister, without distinction, and in the most injurious manner. See Dial. II. ver. 137.
Pope. Ver. 51. Fleury,] Cardinal ; and Minister to Louis XV. It was a Patriot-fashion, at that time, to cry up his wisdom and honesty.
Pope. Ver. 51. honest Fleury,] Fontenelle who had been acquainted with the Cardinal before his ministry, visiting him and finding him in his usual serenity and gaiety of temper, said to him, “ Is it possible that your Eminence still continues to be happy?” The short Billets which the Cardinal wrote to Fontenelle, and which are preserved in the 11th Vol. of his Works, are full of wit, ele. gance, and pleasantry.
A curious account is given of the rise and fortunes of Cardinal Fleury, in the first volume of St. Simon's Memoirs. WARTON. 60
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,
55 So much the better, you may laugh the more, To Vice and Folly to confine the jest, Sets half the world, God knows, against the rest ; Did not the Sneer of more impartial men At Senfe and Virtue, balance all agen. Judicious Wits spread wide the Ridicule, And charitably comfort Knave and Fool.
P. Dear Sir, forgive the Prejudice of Youth: Adieu Distinction, Satire, Warmth, and Truth! Come, harmless Characters that no one hit ; 65 Come Henley's Oratory, Osborn'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 Sense, 70
That NOTES. VER. 66 Henley-Ofoorn,] See them in their places in the Dunciad.
Pope. Ver. 68. The Flow'rs of Bubo, and the Flow of roung!] 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 possible he might here mean Dr. Young, ta whom Dodington (Bubo) was a kind and constant Friend.
VER 69. I be gracious Dew] Alludes to some Court sermons, and forid panegyrical speeches; particularly one very full of puerilities and flatteries ; which afterwards got into an address in the same pretty style ; and was lastly served up in an Epitaph, betweeni Latin and English, published by its author.