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What though we let some better sort of fool
Ver. 272. lac'd governor] Why lac'd? Because gold and silver are necessary trimming to denote the dress of a person of rank, and the governor musf he supposed so in foreign countries, to be admitted into courts and other places of fair reception. But how comes Aristarchus to know at sight that this governor came from France? Know? Why, by the laced coat. SCR1BL.
Ibid. Whore, pupil, and lac'd governor,] Some critics have objected to the order here, being of opinion that the governor should have the precedence before the whore, if not before the pupil. But were he so placed, it might be thought to insinuate, that the governor led the pupil to the whore; and were
\the pupil placed first, he might be supposed to lead the governor te her. But-our impartial poet, as he is drawing their picture, represents them in the order in which they are generally seen; namely, the pupil between the whore aud the governor, but placeth SB
Walker! our hat—nor more he deign'd to say.
But, stern as Ajaaf spectre, strode away.
In flow'd at once a gay embroider' d race, And titt'ring push'd the pedants off* the place: Some would have spoken, but the voice was drowa'i By the French horn, or by the op'ning hound. Tlie first came forwards, with as easy mien, As if he saw St. James's and the queen. 3d When thus th' attendant orator begun, * Receive great empress, thy accomplish'd son: Thine from the birth, and sacred from the rod, A danntless infant! never scar'd with God. The sire saw, one by one, bis virtues wake: The mother begg'd the blessing of a rake.
the whore first, as she usually governs both tie other.
Ver. 280. As if he saw St. James's] Reflecting on the disrespectful and indecent behaviour of several forward young persons in the presence, so offensive to all serious men, and.to none more than the good Scriblerus.
Ver. 281. Th' attendant orator} The governor above-said. The poet gives him no particular nam«; being unwilling, I presume, to offend or to do injustice to any, by celebrating oue only with whom this character agrees, in preference to so many who equally deserve it. SCRIBL.
Ver. 284. A danntless infant! never scar'd with God.] i.e. Brought up in the enlarged principles of modern education; whose great point is, to keep the infant mind free from the prejndices of opinion, and the growing spirit unbroken by terrifying names. Amongst the happy consequences of this reformed discipline, it is not the least, that we have never afterwards any occasion for the priest, whose trade, as a modern wit informs us, is only to finish what the nurse began. SCKIBI*
Thou gav'st that ripeness, which so soon began,
Ver. 286. the blessing of a rake.] Scriblerus is here much at a loss to find out what this blessing should be. He is sometimes tempted to imagine it might be the marrying a great fortune: but this again, for the vulgarity of it, he rejects, as something uncommon seemed to be prayed for: and after many strange conceits, not at all to the honour of the fair sex, he at length rrsts in this, that it was, that her son might pass for a wit; in which opinion he fortifies himself by ver. 316, where the orator, speaking of his pupil, says, that he
Intrign'd with glory, and with spirit whor'd,
which seems to insinuate that her prayer was hoard. Here the good scholiast, as, indeed, every where else, lays open the very soul of modern criticism, while he makes his own ignorance of a poetical expression hold open the door to much erndition and learned conjecture: the blessing of a rake signifying no more than that he might be a rake; the effects of a thing for the thing itself, a common figure. The To isles of fragrance, lily-silver'd vales,
Diffusing langnor in the panting gales:
To lands of singing, or of dancing slaves,
Love-whisp'ring woods, and lute-resounding' wave^
But chief her shrine where naked Venus keeps.
And Cupids ride the lion of the deeps;
Where, eas'd of fleets, the Adriatic main
Wafts the smooth ennuch and enamour' d swain.
Led by my hand, he sannter'd Europe rouud, 311
And gather'd ev'ry vice on Christian ground;
Saw ev'ry court, heard ev'ry king declare
His royal sense, of op'ras or the fair;
The stews and palace equally explor'd,
Iutrign'd with glory, and with spirit whor'd;
Try'd all hors d'oeuvres, all liquenrs defin'd.
Jndicious drank, and greatly-daring din'd;
Dropt the dull lumber of the Latin store,
Spoii'd his own language, and acquir'd no more;
All classic learning lost on classic ground; 321
And last turn'd air, the echo of a sound;
careful mother only wished her son might be a rake, as. well knowing that its attendant blessings would follow of course.
Ver. 307- But chief, &c.] These two lines, in their force of imagery and colouring, emulate and equal the pencil of Rubens.
Ver. 308. And Cupids ride the lion of the deeps;] The winged lion, the arms of Venice. This republic heretofore the most considerable in Europe, for her naval force and the extent of her commerce; now illustrious for her carnivals.
Ver. 318. greatly-daring din'd ;] It being, indeed, no small risque to eat through those extraordinary compositions, whose disguised ingredients are generally unknown to the guests, and highly inflammatory and unwholesome.
See now, half cur'd, and perfectly well-bred,
With nothing but a solo in his head;
-As much estate, and principle, and wit.
As Janseo, Fleetwood, Cibber shall think fit;
Stol'n from a duel, follow'd by a nun,
And if a borough choose him, not undone;
See, to my country happy I restore
This glorious youth, and add one Venus more. 330
Her too receive (for her my soul adores),
So may the sons of sons of sons of whores
Prop thine, O empress! like each neighbour throne,
And make a long posterity thy own.
Pleas'd, she accepts the hero and the dame,
Wraps in her veil, and frees from sense or shame. Then look'd, and saw a lazy, lolling sort,
Unseen at church, at senate, or at court,
Of ever-listless loit'rers, that attend
No cause, no trust, no duty, and no friend, 340
Ver. 324. With nothing but a solo in his head ;] With nothing but a solo? Why, if it be a solo, how should there be any thing else? Palpable tautology! Read boldly an opera, which is enough of conscience for such a head as has lost alt its Latin.
Ver. 326. Jansen, Fleetwood, Gibber] Three very eminent persons, all managers of plays: who, though sot governors by profession, had, each in his way, concerned themselves in the education of youth; and regulated their wits, their morals, or their finances, at that period of their age which is the most important, their enlranee into the polite world. Of the last of these, and his talents for this end, see Book i. ver. I99, &c,
Ver. 331. Her too receive, &c.] This confirms what the learned Scriblerus advanced in his note on ver. 272, that the governor, as well as the pupil, had a particular interest in this lady.