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But does the court a worthy man remove? That instant, I declare, he has my love; 75 I shun his zenith, court his mild decline : Thus Somers once and Halifax were mine. Oft, in the clear, still mirror of retreat, I studied Shrewsbury, the wise and great. 79 Carleton's calm sense and Stanhope's noble flame Compared, and knew their generous end the same. How pleasing Atterbury's softer hour! How shined the soul, unconquer'd in the Tower! How can I Pulteney, Chesterfield forget, While Roman spirit charms, and Attic wit? 85
to succeed in a science, of which nature has denied us access to the first principles. Until we know what spirit is, metaphysics must be a dream.
77 Somers. John, lord Somers, died in 1716. He had been lord keeper in the reign of William III., who took from him the seals in 1700. The author had the honor of knowing him in 1706. A faithful, able, and incorrupt minister ; who, to the qualities of a consummate statesman, added those of a man of learning and politeness.-Pope.
17 Halifar. A peer, no less distinguished by his love of letters than his abilities in parliament. He was disgraced in 1710, on the change of queen Anne's ministry.-Pope.
79 Shrewsbury. Charles Talbot, duke of Shrewsbury, had been secretary of state, ambassador in France, lord lieutenant of Ireland, lord chamberlain, and lord treasurer. He several times quitted his employments, and was often recalled. He died in 1718.–Pope. ,80 Carleton. Henry Boyle, lord Carleton, nephew of the famous Robert Boyle, wbo was secretary of state under William III. and president of the council under queen Anne.Pope.
80 Stanhope. James, earl Stanhope; a nobleman of equal courage, spirit, and learning; general in Spain, and secretary of state.-Pope.
84 Pulteney, Chesterfield. Warton tells us, that he heard a lady of exquisite wit and judgment say of those two celebrated
Argyll, the state's whole thunder born to wield,
vain; Rank'd with their friends, not number'd with
their train; And if yet higher the proud list should end, Still let me say, “ No follower, but a friend.'
Yet think not, friendship only prompts my lays; I follow virtue; where she shines, I praise ; 95 Point she to priest or elder, whig or tory, Or round a quaker's beaver cast a glory. I never, to my sorrow I declare, Dined with the Man of Ross, or my lord mayor. Some in their choice of friends (nay, look not grave)
100 Have still a secret bias to a knave: men, that the latter was always striving to be witty, the former could not help being so. If this were the case, Pulteney has reason to complain of biography; for wbile Chesterfield has left us many happy jeur d'esprit, Pulteney has left nothing but the dry pages of the · Craftsman,' and even there his possession has been more than disputed. Warton rather maliciously adds, that the lines on Argyll were inserted, after the duke's declaring in the house of lords, on occasion of some of Pope's satires,' that if any man dared to use his name in an invective, he would run him through the body, and throw himself on the mercy of his peers, who, he trusted, would weigh the provocation. Argyll's well-known character might justify the poet's prudence in passing him by, but scarcely justifies his volunteering the panegyric.
99 My lord mayor. Sir John Barnard, mayor in tbis year, 1738 ; a man respected for his integrity, activity, and intelli. gence : he was a member of parliament. In 1747, the city voted him a statue.
To find an honest man I beat about,
P. Not so fierce :
; vain. No power the Muse's friendship can command; No power, when virtue claims it, can withstand : To Cato, Virgil paid one honest line; 120 0, let my country's friends illumine mine! -What are you thinking? F. Faith, the thought's
no sin : I think your friends are out, and would be in.
116 What Richelieu. The arrogant, but the able minister of France. As he had raised the monarchy to its height by violence, he labored to keep it there by corruption : his first object had been accomplished in the ruin of protestantism ; his next, in the purchase of the whole literary body of France. He is said also to have expended eighty thousand crowns a year in public pensions to writers of all countries ;-an immense sum in his day : but his private bribes were probably much more lavish, and much more effectual.
P. If merely to come in, sir, they go out, The way they take is strangely roundabout. 125
F. They too may be corrupted, you ’ll allow ?
P. I only call those knaves who are so now, Is that too little ? Come then, I'll comply : Spirit of Arnall! aid me while I lie. Cobham 's a coward, Polwarth is a slave, 130 And Littleton a dark designing knave; St. John has ever been a wealthy fool ; But let me add, sir Robert 's mighty dull; Has never made a friend in private life; And was, besides, a tyrant to his wife.
But, pray, when others praise him, do I blame? Call Verres, Wolsey, any odious name? Why rail they then, if but a wreath of mine, 0, all-accomplish'd St. John! deck thy shrine ? What? shall each spur-gall’d hackney of the day,
140 When Paxton gives him double pots and pay, Or each new-pension'd sycophant, pretend To break my windows if I treat a friend ; Then wisely plead, to me they meant no hurt, But 'twas my guest at whom they threw the dirt? Sure, if I spare the minister, no rules
146 Of honor bind me, not to maul his tools; Sure, if they cannot cut, it may be said His saws are toothless, and his hatchet's lead.
129 Arnall, aid me while I lie. One of the writers for the Walpole ministry : a shrewd and sensible man; but latterly wasteful ; and, after undergoing great distress, closing bis career by the still more unhappy fate of suicide.-Bowles.
143 To break my windows. Pope had become obnoxious to the street politicians; and they broke his windows, one day, when lords Bolingbroke and Bathurst were at dinner with him,
It anger'd Turenne, once upon a day, 150 To see a footman kick'd that took his pay; But when he heard the affront the fellow gave, Knew one a man of honor, one a knave; The prudent general turn'd it to a jest, And begg’d he'd take the pains to kick the
rest : Which not at present having time to doF. Hold, sir! for God's sake, where 's the
affront to you? Against your worship when had S- k writ? Or P-ge pour’d forth the torrent of his wit? Or grant the bard, whose distich all commend, 160 • In power a servant, out of power a friend,' To W—le guilty of some venial sin ;What's that to you, who ne'er was out nor in ?
The priest, whose flattery bedropp'd the crown, How hurt he you? he only stain’d the gown. 165 And how did, pray, the florid youth offend, Whose speech you took, and gave it to a friend? P. Faith, it imports not much from whom it
came : : Whoever borrow'd, could not be to blame, Since the whole house did afterwards the same. Let courtly wits to wits afford supply, As hog to hog in huts of Westphaly:
158 S- k.-P-ge. Sherlock and Page.
161 In power. A line in an epistle to sir R. Walpole, by lord Melcombe.
165 He only stain'd. The priest alluded to in the preceding line, notwithstanding Pope's denying note, was Dr. Alured Clarke, who wrote a panegyric on queen Caroline.
166 Florid youth. Lord Hervey, alluding to his painting himself.