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Welcome for thee, fair Virtue ! all the past :
A. But why insult the poor, affront the great?
Yet fost by nature, more a dupe than wit, Sappho can tell you how this man was bit :
Once, and but once, his heedless Youth was bit,
ed liis farcasms against the reigning family? He says, “That flattery even to king; he held a same;' and therefore with the most contemptuous irony he directs his satire against George II., libeller queen Caroline, and in one of his letters calls Windsor the “ fink of meanness."
VER. 358. for tlce, fair Virtue! we'come ev’n the last !] Warhurton with simplicity, not always usual to him, observes, " That this line is remarkable for presenting us with the moit amiable image of fleady Virtue, mixed with a modest concern for his being forced to undergo the severelt proofs of his love for it; which was the being thought bardly of ly his Sovereign."
VER. 313. Sporus at court,] In former editions, Glencus at court.
This dreaded Sat'rift Dennis will confess
370 Foe to his pride, but Friend to his distress: So humble, he has knock'd at Tibbald's door, Has drunk with Cibber, nay has rhym'd for Mcor. Full ten years slander’d, did he once reply? Three thousand suns went down on Welfted's lie. 375 To please his Mistress, one aspers’d his life; He lash'd him not, but let her be his wife:
VER. 372. T!is dreaded fat'rif] He wrote the Prologue for liis benefit, in Dennis's old age.
Ver. 372. So humble, &c.] By all this, Pope would seemi to us a perfect pattern of meekness and patience; at the same time, one cannot avoid a moment considering what should have been the cause of his having fo many angry enemies. Could he place his hand on his heart, and say he had not been often the aggreffor? How different is the language of real and dignified superiority ? Hear Milton, who had as many enemies and more forrows: “ More safe I fing with mortal voice, unchang'd
To hoarse and mute, tho' fall'n on evil days,
And solitude." V£r. 374. ten zears] It was so long after many libels, before the Author of the Dunciad published that poem, till when, he never writ a word in anfwer to the many fcurrilities and falfehoods concerning him.
Pope. Ver. 375 Welsted's lie.] This man had the impudence to tell in prēni, that Mr. P. had occafioned a Lady's death, and to name a person he never heard of. He also published that he libelled the Duke of Chandos; with whom (it was added) that he had lived in familiarity, and received from him a prefent of five hundred pounds : the falsehood of both which is known to his Grace. Mr. P. never received any present, farther than the subscription for Homer, from him, or from any great Man whatsoever. Pope,
Let Budgel charge low Grubstreet on his quill,
VER. 378. Let Budgel] Budgel, in a weekly pamphlet called the Bee, bestowed much abuse on him, in the imagivation that he writ some things about the Last Will of Dr. Tinda', in the Grubstreet Journal; a Paper wherein he never had the least hand, direction, or supervisal, nor the least knowledge of its Author.
Pope. Vir. 379. except his Will;] Alluding to Tindal's Will: by which, and other indirect practices, Budgel, to the exclufion of the next heir, a nephew, got to himself almost the whole fortune of a man entirely unrelated to him.
Pope. Respecting the circumstance hinted at, of Euftace Budgel having forged Dr. Tindal's will, the reader might perhaps wish to have some further account. Dr. Tindal, of All Souls College, Oxford, of notorious character, the author of Christianity as old as the Creation, left the following will:
“ 1 Mathew Tindal, &c. (after a legacy to his maid-servant) give and bequeath to Eustace Budgel, the sum of two thousand one hundred pounds, that his great talents may serve his country, &c. my strong box, my diamond ring, MS. Books, &c.
(Signed) MAT. TINDAL." The reverend Nicholas Tindal, his nephew, author of the Continuation of Rapin, declared his suspicion that this will was forged. This was generally credited, and Budgel, in 1737, threw himself out of a boat and was drowned. He wrote several of the Spectators; the History of the Boyles, Earls of Shannon, &c. and a weekly pamphlet called the Bee. The cause of his death was supposed to have been in relation to this will.
VER. 381. His father, mother, &c.] In some of Curl's and other pamphlets, Mr. Pope's Father was said to be a Mechanic,
That harmless Mother thought no wife a whore :
Of gentle blood (part shed in Honour's cause,
a Hatter, a Farmer, nay a Bankrupt. But, what is stranger, a Nobleman (if such a reflection could be thought to come from a Nobleman) had dropt an allusion to that pitiful untruth, in a pa. per called an Epifle to a Do&or of Divinity: and the following line,
“ Hard as thy Heart, and as thy Birth obscure," had fallen from a like Courtly pen, in certain Verfes to the Imitator of Horace. Mr. Pope's Father was of a Gentleman's Family in Oxfordshire, the head of which was the Earl of Downe, whose sole Heiress married the Earl of Lindsay.—His Mother was the daughter of William Turner, Esq. of York : She had three brothers, one of whom was killed, another died in the service of King Charles ; the eldest following his fortunes, and becoming a general officer in Spain, left her what estate remained after the fequestrations and forfeitures of her family.-Mr. Pope died in 1717, aged 75; lhe in 1733, aged 93, a very few weeks after this Poem was finished. The following infcription was placed by their fon on their Monument in the parish of Twickenham, in Middlesex :
D. O. M.
ET EDITHÆ. CONIVGI. INCULPABILI.
PIENTISSIMÆ. QUÆ. VIXIT. ANNOS.
XCIII. OB. MDCCXXXIII.
PARENTIBVS. BENEMERENTIBV3. FILIVS. FECIT.
Ver. 388. Of gentle blood] When Mr. Pope published the notes on the Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot, giving an account of his family, Mr. Pottinger, a relation of his, observed, that his coulin
Each parent sprung—A. What fortune, pray ?P. Their own,
390 And better got, than Bestia's from the throne. Born to no Pride, inheriting no Strife, Nor marrying Discord in a noble wife, Stranger to civil and religious rage, The good man walk'd innoxious through his age. No Courts he faw, no fuits would ever try, Nor dar'd an Oath, nor hazarded a Lie.
After Ver. 40;. in the MS.
And of myself, too, something must I say?
Pape had made himself out a fine pedigree, but he wondered where he got it ; that he had never heard any thing himself of their being descended from the Earls of Downe; and, what is more, he had an old maiden aúnt, cqually related, a great genealogist, who was always talking of her family, but never mentioned this circumstance; on which the certainly would not have been filent, had she known any thing of it. Mr. Pope's grandfather was a clergyman of the church' of England in Hampshire. He placed his son, Mr. Pope's father, with a merchant at Lilbon, where he became a convert to Popery. (Thus far Dr. Bolton, late Dean of Carlisle, a friend of Pope; from Mr. Pottinger.) The buryingplace and monuments of the family of the Popes, Earls of Downe, is at Wraxton, Oxfordshire. The Earl of Guildford says, that he has seen and examined the pedigrees and descents of that family, and is sure that there were then none of the name of Pope left, who could be defcended from that family.--(From John Loveday, of Caversham, Esquire.)
WARTOK. This account is also confirmed to me by my friend Mr. Dallaway, of the Heralds' College.