Abbildungen der Seite


Quin ubi se a vu!59 et scena in fecreti remorant
l'irius Scipiada et mitis fapientia Lali,
Nugari cum illo, et difcinci ludere, donec
Decoqueretur olus, foliti.

Quidquid fum ego, quamvis
Infra Lucili cenfum, ingeniunque ; tamen me



fame time, he never {pose one word of a perfico. For this offer, he was iu!ciy indebted to the Whis Vinliters. In the beginning of George I. Lerd Hattar, of his ow: mction, sent for Jr. Pope, ardıcd him, i: had often given hin concern that fo great a Post had never been distinguihed; that he was glad it was now in his power to ferve him; and, if he cared to accept of it, he should have a perfion not clegged with any engagements. Ir. Pope thanked him, and defired time to confider of it. After three months (havirg heard nothing further from that Lord; he wrote him a Letter to repeat his Thanks; in which he took occasion to mention the affair of the genfica with much Indifference. So the tting drupt, till Mr. Cragzs came into the Miniitry. The affair of the clima was then resumed. And this Miniter, in a very frank and friendly manner, told Mr. Pope, that three hundred pounds a-year were then at his service: he had the management of the secret service money, and could pay him such a pension without its birz kaown, or ever coming to account. But now Mr. Pope declined the offer without tcfitation: only, in return for lo friends a propofal, he told the Secretary, that if at any time be wanted Money, he would craw upon him for ice or coc). Which Eberty, however, he did not take. Mr. Crag is more than orce pred him on this head, ard urged to him the conveniener ci a Chariot; which Mr. Pope was fenfble enough of: But the Precaricufiefs of that fupply made him very prudently decline the thoughts of an Equipage; which it was much better nerer to set up, than not preper.y to fupport. Fren: Spence. WARBURTON,

VER. 125. 7:12, ny retrt] I krew Lut whether these lines, fpiritedard splendid as they are, give us more plea:ure than the natural pare of the great Scipio and Lælius, unbencing them

[ocr errors]

I will, or perish in the gen’rous cause:
Hear this, and tremble! you, who 'scape the Laws.
Yes, while I live, no rich or noble knave
Shall walk the world, in credit, to his grave. 120
The World beside may murmur, or commend.
Know, all the distant din that world can keep,
Rolls o'er my Grotto, and but fooths my sleep.
* There, my retreat the best Companions grace, 125
Chiefs out of war, and Statesmen out of place.

There NOTES. selves from their high occupations, and descending to common and even trifling sports: for the old commentator fays, that they lived in such intimacy with Lucilius, “ ut quodam tempore Lælio circuin lectos triclinii fugienti Lucilius fuperveniens, eum obtortâ mappâ quasi percussurus fequeretur.” For this is the fact to which Horace seems to allude, rather than to what Tully mentions in the second book De Oratore, of their amusing themselves in picking up shells and pebbles on the sea-shore.

Bolingbroke is here represented as pouring out himself to his friend in the most free and unreserved conversations on topics the most interesting and important But Pope was deceived: for it is asserted that the philofopher never discovered his real principles to our Poet; who is said, strange as it appears, not even to have been acquainted with the tenets and contents of those very efsays which were addressed to himself, at the beginning of Bolingbroke's Philosophical Works. And it is added, that Pope was surprised, in his last illness, when a common acquaintance informed him that his Lordship, in a late conversation, had denied the moral attributes of God. There is a remarkable passage in a letter from Bo. lingbroke to Swift, dated June 1734: “ I am glad you approve of his Moral Efsays. They will do more good than the fermons and writings of fome, who had a mind to find great fault with them. And if the doctrines taught, hinted at, and implied in them, and the trains of consequences deducible from these doctrines, were to be disputed in prose, I think he would have no


Cum magnis vixisse invita fatcbitur usque Invidia; et fragili quærens illidere dentem,

. . Offendet

NOTES. reason to apprehend either the free-thinkers on one hand, or the narrow dogmatists on the other. Some feiv things may be ex: pressed a little hardly; but none are, I believe, unintelligible." With respect to the doctrines in the Essay on Man, I shall here infert an anecdote copied exactly from the papers of Mr. Spence in the words of Pope himself: " In the moral poem, I had writ. ten an address to our Saviour, imitated from Lucretius's compliments to Epicurus, but omitted it by the advice of Dean Berkley. One of our priests, who are more narrow than your's, made a less sensible objection to the Epistle on Happiness. He was very angry that there was nothing said in it of our eternal happiness hereafter; though my subject was expressly to treat only of the state of man bere.

If Bolingbroke concealed his real opinions from Pope, yet surely he speaks out plainly and loudly to Swist in one of his let. ters, and openly tells him he dismisses from his creed the belief of a future state, as superfluous, and unnecefsary to be called in to vindicate the general plan of Providence.

“ Does Pope talk to you of the noble work which, at my in. ftigation, he has begun in such a manner that he must be convinced by this time I judged better of his talents than he did. The first Epistle, which confiders Man relatively to the whole fystem of universal Being : The second, which confiders him in his own habitation, in himself: And the third, which shews how an universal cause works to one end, but works by various laws : how man, and beast, and vegetable, are linked in a mutual dependency; parts necessary to each other, and necessary to the whole : how human societies were formed : from what spring true religion and true policy are derived : how God has made our greatest interests and our plaineft duty indivisibly the fame: These three Epistles, I say, are finished. The fourth he is now intent upɔn. It is a noble subject : he pleads the cause of God. I use Seneca's expression against that famous charge which atheists in all ages have brought-the supposed unequal dispensations of Providence ; a charge which I cannot heartily forgive your divines for admitting. You admit it, indeed, for an extreme good purpose, and


There St. John mingles with my friendly bowl
The Feast of Reason and the Flow of soul :
And He, whose lightning pierc'd th' Iberian Lines,
Now forms my Quincunx, and now ranks my Vines,
Or tames the Genius of the stubborn plain, 131
Almost as quickly as he conquer'd Spain.

· Envy must own, I live among the Great,
No l'imp of pleasure, and no Spy of state,
With eyes that pry not, tongue that ne'er repeats,
Fond to spread friendships, but to cover heats;

To NOTES. you build on this admision the necessity of a future flate of rewards and punishmen:s; but if you should find that this future llate will not account for God's justice in the present state, which you give up, in opposition to the atheist, would it not have been better to defend God’s justice in this world, against these darinig nen, by irrefragable reasons, and to have retted the other point on revelation? I do not like concessions made againil demonstration, repair or supply them how you will. The Epiltles I have mentioned will compose a firit book : the plan of the second is settled. You will not understand by what I have said, that Pope will go so deep into the argument, or carry it so far as I have hinted.",

WARTON: Ver. 129. And He, whose lightning, &c.] Charles Mordaunt Earl of Peterborow, who in the year 1705 took Barcelona, and in the winter following, with only 280 horse and go fcot, entera priled and accomplished the Conquest of Valentia. Pope.

Ver. 133. Envy must own,] Pope has omitted an elegant al. lufion. Horace seems to have been particularly fond of those exquisite morsels of wit and genius, the old Æfopic fables. He frequently alludes to them, but always with a brevity very different "from our modern writers of fable. Even the natural La Fontaine has added a quaint and witty thought to this very fable. The File says to the Viper, Fab. 99.

“ Tu le romprois toutes les dents,

Je ne crains que telles du temps." WARTON.

Opprobriis dignum laceraverit, integer ipse ?
T. • Solventur risu tabulæ : tu missus abibis.

NOTES. But the Imitator's grave Epistles shew the fatire to be a serious re. proof, and therefore juflifiable; which the integer ipse of the ori. ginal does not.

WAS BURTON. Ver. 543. F. Indeed?] Hor.

“ Solventur risu tabulæ." Some Critics tell us, it is want of Talie to put this line in the mouth of Trebatius. But our Poet confutes this censure, by fhewing how well the sense of it agrees to his Friend's. Character. The Lawyer is cautious and fearful; but as soon as Sir ROBERT; the Patron both of Law and Gospel, is named as approving them, he changes his note, and, in the language of old Plouden, owns, the Case is alter's Now was it nocas naiural, 'when Horace had given him a hint that Auguflus himself supported him, for Tre. batius, a Court Advocate, who had been long a Client to him and his uncle, to confess the Cafe was alter'd? WARBURTON.

'To laugh at the folemnity of Trebatius, which throughout the Dialogue is exactly kept up, Horace puts him off with a mere play upon words. But our important Lawyer takes no notice of the jeit, and finishes with a gravity suited to his chara&ter:

“ Solventur risu tabulæ : tu missus abibis.” . Warton. Four lines in this Imitation “ gave great offence,” says Ruffhead, and well they might,)“ to two court Ladies.” 'l he per. fons he means were M. W. Montagu, delignated by Sappho, and Lady Deloraine, supposed to be intended by Delia. Lady M. W. Montagu requested Lord Peterborough to expoftulate with Pope.

Pupe's defence, as usual, was half subterfuge, and half falsehood. Lord Peterborouglı, in his answer to Lady M., says, .

He (Pope ) named to me four remarkable poetesses and scribblers, Mrs. Behn, Mrs Centlivre, Mrs. Haywood, and Mrs. Manly, famous in their generation, &c assuring me that such only were the objects of his satire. I hope this affurance will prevent further mistake, and any consequences upon so odd a subject.

Your Ladyship’s, &c.



« ZurückWeiter »