Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

That not in Fancy's maze he wander'd long, 346
But stoop'd to Truth, and moraliz'd his song:
That not for Fame, but Virtue's better end,
He stood the furious foe, the timid friend,
The damning critic, half approving wit,
The coxcomb hit, or fearing to be hit; , 345
Laugh’d at the loss of friends he never had,
The dull, the proud, the wicked, and the mad; ;
The distant threats of vengeance on his head,
The blow unfelt, the tear he never shed;

The tale reviv'd, the lye so oft o'erthrown, 350 - Th’imputed trash, and dulness not his own;

Notes.

- preaux. L'never saw so amiable an imagination, so " gentle graces, fo great variety, so much wit, and so " refined knowledge of the world, as in this little perform“ ance.” MS. Let. Oet. 15, 1726.

Ver. 341. But stoop'd to Truth] The term is from falconry; and the allusion to one of those untamed birds of spirit, which sometimes wantons at large in airy circles before it regards, or floops to, its prey.

VER. 350. the lye so oft oerthrown] As, that he received subscriptions for Shakespear, that he fet his name to Mr. Broome's verses, &c. which, tho' publicly dis. proved were nevertheless shamelessly repeated in the Libels, and even in that called the Nobleman's Epistle. P.

Ver. 351. Ih' imputed trash] Such as profane Psalms, Court-Poems, and other scandalous things, printed in his Name by Curl and others.

P.

The morals blacken'd when the writings scape,
The libeld person, and the pictur'd shape;
Abuse, on all he lov’d, or lov’d him, spread,
A friend in exile, or a father, dead;

355
The whisper, that to greatness still too near,
Perhaps, yet vibrates on his Sov'REIGN's ear-
Welcome for thee, fair Virtue! all the past:
For thee, fair Virtue! welcome ev'n the last !

A. But why insult the poor, affront the great? 360 P. A knave's a knave, to me, in ev'ry state: Alike my scorn, if he succeed or fail, Sporus at court, or Japhet in a jail, A hireling seribler, or a hireling peer, Knight of the post corrupt, or of the shire; 365 If on a Pillory, or near a Throne, He gain his Prince's ear, or lose his own.

Notes. VER. 354. Abuse, on all he lovd, or lov'd him, Spread.] Namely on the Duke of Buckingham, the Earl of Burlington, Lord Bathurst, Lord Bolingbroke, Bishop Atterbury, Dr. Swift, Dr. Arbuthnot, Mr. Gay, his Friends, his Parents, and his very Nurse, aspersed in printed papers, by James Moore, G. Ducket, L. Welfted, Tho. Bentley, and other obscure persons.

P. Ver. 359. For thee, fair Virtue! welcome evn the last!] This line is remarkable for presenting us with the most amiable image of steady Virtue, mixed with a modest concern for his being forced to undergo the severest proofs of his love for it, which was the being thought hardly of by his SOVEREIGN.

Yet soft by nature, more a dupe than wit, Sappho can tell you how this man was bit:' This dreaded Sat’rift Dennis will confess 370 Foe to his pride, but friend to his distress : So humble, he has knockd at Tibbald's door, Has drunk with Cibber, nay has rhym'd for Moor. Full ten years slander'd, did he once reply? Three thousand suns went down on Welfted's lye.

VARIATIONS. • Ver. 368. in the MS.

Once, and but once, his heedless youth was bit,
And lik'd that dang’rous thing, a female wit:
Safe as he thought, tho' all the prudent chid ;
He writ no Libels, but my Lady did:
Great odds in am'rous or poetic game,
Where Woman's is the fin, and Man's the shame.

Notes Ver. 374. ten years] It was so long after many libels before the Author of the Dunciad published that poem, till when, he never writ a word in answer to the many scurrilities and falsehoods concerning him.

P. Ver. 375. Welfted's Lye.] This man had the impudence to tell in print, that Mr. P. had occafioned a Lady's death, and to name a person he never heard of. He also publifh'd that he libell'd the Duke of Chandos; with whom (it was added) that he had lived in familiarity, and received from him a present 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. P.

376

To please a Mistress one aspers’d his life;
He lash'd him not, but let her be his wife :
Let Budgel charge low Grubstreet on his quill,
And write whate'er he pleas'd, except his Will;
Let the two Curls of Town and Court, abuse
His father, mother, body, soul, and muse.

380

Notes. Ver. 378. Let Budgel] Budgel, in a weekly pamphlet called the Bee, bestowed much abuse on him, in the imagination that he writ some things about the Lali Will of Dr. Tindal, in the Grubstreet Journal; a Paper wherein he never had the least hand, direction, or supervisal, nor the least knowledge of its Author.

P. Ver. 379. except bis Will] Alluding to Tindal's Will : by which, and other indirect practices, Budgell, to the exclusion of the next heir, a nephew, got to himself almost the whole fortane of a man entirely unrelated to him.

VER. 381. His father, mother, &c.] In some of Curl's and other pamphlets, Mr. Pope's father was said to be a Mechanic, 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 allufion to that pitiful untruth, in a paper called an Epiftle to a Doctor of Divinity : And the following line,

Hard as thy Heart, and as thy Birth obscure, had fallen from a like Courtly pen, in certain Verses to the Imitation 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 Lindsey-His mother was the daughter of William Turnor, 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

Yet why? that Father held it for a rule,
It was a sin to call our neighbour fool :
That harmless Mother thought no wife a whore:
Hear this, and spare his family, James Moore !
Unspotted names, and memorable long ! 386
If there be force in Virtue, or in Song.

Of gentle blood (part shed in Honour's cause,
While yet in Britain Honour had applause)
Each parent sprung-A. What fortune, pray? -P.
Their own,

390 And better got, than Beftia'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 thro' his age. 395

Notes. - a general officer in Spain, left her what estate remained

after the sequestrations and forfeitures of her family-
Mr. Pope died in 1717, aged 75 ; She in 1733, aged 93,
a very few weeks after this poem was finished. The fol.
lowing inscription was placed by their fon on their Monu.
ment in the parish of Twickenham, in Middle sex, .

D. O. M.
ALEXANDRO. Pope. VIRO, INNOCVO. PROBO. PIO.

QUI. VIXIT. ANNOS. LXXV. OB. MDCCXVII.
ET. EDITHAE, CONIVGI. INCULPABILI.
PIENTISSIMAE. QVAE. VIXIT. ANNOS.

XCIII. OB. MDCCXXXIII.
PARENTIBVS. BENEMERENTIBVS. FILIVS, FECIT.

ET. SIBI.

[ocr errors]
« ZurückWeiter »