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Poor guiltless I ! and can I choose but smile,
Cursed be the verse, how well soe'er it flow,
say, And, if he lie not, must at least betray: Who to the dean' and silver bell’ can swear, And sees at Canons what was never there; 300 Who reads, but with a lust to misapply; Makes satire a lampoon, and fiction lie; A lash like mine no honest man shall dread, But all such babbling blockheads in his stead. Let Sporus tremble-A. What? that thing of silk,
305 Sporus, that mere white curd of ass's milk?
305 Let Sporus tremble. Lord Hervey, whom Pope conceived to have joined lady M. Montague in lampooning him. Middleton (Life of Cicero) describes lord Hervey as an intelligent and polished nobleman, steadily patriotic in his views, and remarkable for his literary ardor. Yet we may fairly make
Satire or sense, alas ! can Sporus feel?
P. Yet let me flap this bug with gilded wings,
315 As shallow streams run dimpling all the way; Whether in florid impotence he speaks, And, as the prompter breathes, the puppet
squeaks; Or at the ear of Eve, familiar toad, Half froth, half venom, spits himself abroad, 320 In puns, or politics, or tales, or lies, Or spite, or smut, or rhymes, or blasphemies. His wit all seesaw, between that' and 'this,' Now high, now low, now master up, now miss, And he himself one vile antithesis.
325 Amphibious thing! that acting either part, The trifling head, or the corrupted heart, Fop at the toilet, flatterer at the board, Now trips a lady, and now struts a lord. Eve's tempter thus the rabbins have express'd, A cherub's face, a reptile all the rest; 331 Beauty that shocks you, parts that none will
trust, Wit that can creep, and pride that licks the dust.
some deduction for the language of a preface, and still more for the language of a man like Middleton. In his first edition, Pope had used the more becoming name of Paris : no reason but its bitterness has been assigned for the change.
And thonery, ev'n to 1. pleased by it's praise,
Not fortune's worshipper, nor fashion's fool, Not lucre's madman, nor ambition's tool, 335 Not proud nor servile; be one poet's praise, That, if he pleased, he pleased by manly ways; That flattery, ev'n to kings, he held a shame, And thought a lie in verse or prose the same; That not in fancy's maze he wander'd long, - 340 But stoop'd to truth, and moralised 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 revived, the lie so oft o’erthrown, 350 The imputed trash, and dulness not his own; The morals blacken'd when the writings 'scape, The libelld person, and the pictured shape;
340 That not in fancy's mare he wander'd long. Warburton gives him credit for this, as a sacrifice to virtue: perhaps it was also a sacrifice to fashion. Didactic writing was the taste of the day: yet, who but must lament that the poetry of Pope should have been so often wasted on attempting to teach that which never was to be taught by poetry? Who can learn religion, morals, or public duties, by verse? The rigid realities of life are beyond the sphere of poetry : its region is fancy, its impulses are the feelings, and its purposes the pleasures of the mind : but the French taste, always the reverse of nature, was the taste of the time ; and where Boileau was the model, the exquisite beauties of Shakspeare and Spenser were naturally forgotten.
353 The pictured shape. All the praises of his poetry could not reconcile Pope to the sense of his deformed figure. Warton, on the authority of Hay, (Essay on Deformity) says that 355 A friend in exile. The bishop of Rochester, Dr. Atterbury.
Abuse, on all he loved, or loved him, spread,
A. But why insult the poor, affront the great?
P. A knave's a knave to me, in every state ; Alike my scorn, if he succeed or fail; Sporus at court, or Japhet in a jail, A hireling scribbler, 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.
Yet soft by nature, more a dupe than wit, Sappho can tell you how this man was bit : This dreaded satirist 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 rhymed for
Moore. Full ten years slander'd, did he once reply? Three thousand suns went down on Welsted's lie. To please his mistress, one aspersed his life; 376 He lash'd him not, but let her be his wife; Let Budgell charge low Grub-street on his quill, And write whate'er he pleased, except his will;
Pope reckoned the caricatures of his person among his most atrocious injuries.'
303 Sporus at court. In former editions, 'Glaucus at court.”
378 Let Budgell. Budgell, in a weekly pamphlet, called “The Bee,' bestowed much abuse on him, in the imagination that he wrote some things about the last will of Dr. Tindal, in the “Grub-street Journal ;' a paper wherein he never had the least hand, direction, or supervisal, nor the least knowlege of its author.--Pope.
Let the two Curlls of town and court abuse 380
Of gentle blood (part shed in honor's cause,
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 saw, no suits would ever try, 396 Nor dared an oath, nor hazarded a lie. . Unlearn’d, he knew no schoolman's subtle art; No language, but the language of the heart. By nature honest, by experience wise, 400 Healthy by temperance and by exercise ;
379 Except his will. Eustace Budgell was charged with forging Tindal the infidel's will. Bowles gives the passage thus :•I, Matthew Tindal, &c. give and bequeathe to Eustace Budgell the sum of £2100, that bis great talents may serve his country, &c., my strong box, my diamond ring,' &c. Tindal's nephew, a clergyman, and author of the · Continuation of Rapin,' impeached the will. The charge was generally credited, and Budgell soon after threw himself into the Thames.