Page images

The Scene, the Master, opening to my view,
I sit and dream I see my CRAGGs anew!
Ev'n in a Bishop I can spy Defert;

Secker is decent; Rundel has a Heart,
Manners with Candour are to Benson giv’n,
To Berkley, ev'ry Virtue under Heav'n.

But does the Court a worthy Man remove?
That instant, I declare, he has my Love: 75

dens of Ether in Surry, belonging to the Honourable Mr.
Pelham, Brother of the Dake of Newcastle. The author
could not have given a more amiable idea of his Character
than in comparing him to Mr. Craggs. P.

VER. 67. Kent and Nature] Means no more than art and nature. And in this consists the compliment to the Artist.

VER. 71. Secker is decent] These words (like those 135. of the first Dialogue) are another instance of the malignity of the public judgment. The Poet thought, and not without reason, that they conveyed a very high idea of the worthy person to whom they are applied; to be DECENT (or to become every station of life in which a man is placed) being the nobleł encomium on his wisdom and virtue. It is the very topic he employs in speaking of a 'favourite friend, one he most esteemed and loved,

Noble and young, who frikes the heart,

With ev'ry Sprightly, ev'ry DECENT part. The word in both places implying every endowment of the heart. As in that celebrated verse of Horace, from whence the expression was taken, aud which no one has a better right to apply to himself than this excellent prelate :

Quid verum atque DEÇENS curo et rogo, et omnis in hoc fum. So that to be decent is to excell in the moral character.

[ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

I fhun his Zenith, court his mild Decline;
Thus SOMMERS Once, and HALIFAX, were mine.
Oft, in the clear, ftill Mirrour of Retreat,

I study'd SHR EWSBURY, the wife and great :
CARLETON's calm Sense, and STANHOPE's noble

80 Compar!d, and knew their gen'rous End the fame : How pleasing ATTERBURY's softer hour! How shin'd the Soul, unconquer'd in the Tow'r!


VER. 77. Sommers] John Lord Sommers 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 honour of knowing him in 1706. A faithful, able, and incorrupt minister; who, to the qualities of a confummate statesman, added those of a man of Learning and Politeness. P.

Ibid Halifax]' A peer, no less distinguished by his love of letters than his abilities in Parliament.' He was disgraced in 1710, on the Change of Q. Anne's ministry. P.

VER. 79. Shrewsbury,] Charles Talbot, Duke of Shrewsbury, had been Secretary of Aate, Embassador in France, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, 'Lord Chamberlain, and Lord Treasurer. He several times quicted his employments, and was often recalled. He died in 1718. P.

Ver. 80. Carleton] Hen. Boyle, Lord Carleton (nephew of the famous Robert Boyle, who was Secretary of state under William III. and President of the Council under Q. Anne, P.

Ibid. Stanhope] James Earl Stanhope. A Nobleman of equal courage, Ipirit, and learning. General in Spain, and Secretary of state. P.

[ocr errors]


While Roman Spirit charms, and Attic Wit:
ARGYLL, the State's whole Thunder born to wield,
And shake alike the Senate and the Field :
Or WYNDHAM, just to Freedom and the Throne,
The Master of our Paffions, and his own.

89 Names, which I long have lov'd, nor lov'd in vain, Rank'd with their Friends, not number'd with their

And if yet higher the proud Lift should end,
Still let me fay! No Follower, but a Friend.

Yet think not, Friendship only prompts my lays ;
I follow Virtue; where the shines, I praise : 95
Point she to Priest or Elder, Whig or Tory,
Or round a Quaker's Beaver cast a Glory.

[ocr errors]

Ver. 84. Chesterfield] Philip Earl of Chefterfield, commonly given by Writers of all Parties for an Example to the Age he lives in, of fuperior talents, and public Virtue.

VER. 88. Wyndham) Sir William Wyndham, Chancellor of the Exchequer under Queen Anne, made early a confiderable figure; but since a much greater both by his ability and eloquence, joined with the utmost judgment and temper.

P. Ver. 92. And if yet higher, etc.] He was at this time honoured with the esteem and favour of his Royal Highness the Prince.

Ver. 93. Still let me fay! No Follower, but a Friend.] i, e. Unrelated to their parties, and attached only to their perfons.


[ocr errors]

I never to my sorrow I declare)
Din'd with the Man of Ross, or my LORD MAY'R.
Some, in their choice of Friends (nay look not grave)
Have still a secret Byafs to a Knave :
To find an honeft man I beat about,
And love him, court him, praise him, in or out.
F. Then why so few commended ?

P. Not fo fierce ;
Find you the Virtue, and I'll find the Verse.

105 But random Praise--the task can ne'er be done ; Each Mother asks it for her booby Son, Each Widow alks it for the Best of Men, For him she weeps, and him the weds agen. Praise cannot stoop, like Satire, to the ground; 110 The Number may be hang'd, but not be crown'd. Enough for half the Greatest of these days, To 'scape my Cenfure, not expect my Praise. Are they not rich? what more can they pretend ? Dare they to hope a Poet for their Friend?


Notes. Ver. 99. my Lord Mayr] Sir John Barnard, Lord Mayor in the year of the Poem, 1738. A Citizen eminent for his virtue, public Spirit, and great talents in Parliament. An excellent Man, Magistrate, and Senator. In the year 1747, the City of London, in memory of his many and signal services to his Country, erected a Statue to him. But his image had been placed long before in the heart of every good Man.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

What RICHLIEU wanted, Louis scarce could gain,
And what young AMMON Wilh’d, but wilh'd in vain.
No Pow'r the Muse's Friendship can command ;
No Pow'r, when Virtue claims it, can withftand:
To Cato, Virgil pay'd one honest line;

O let my Country's Friends illumin mine!
What are you thinking? F. Faith the thought's no

I think your Friends are out and would be in.

P. If merely to come in, Sir, they go out,
The way they take is strangely round about.

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 lye.

VER. 115. Louis scarce could gain) By this expression
finely insinuating, that the great Boileau always falls below
himself in those paffages where he flatters his Master.
which flattery he gives an instance in $ 231, where the
topic of adulation is exceeding childish and extravagant.

Ver. 127. I only call those Knaves who are so now.] He left it to Time to tell them,

Cato is as great a Rogue as you. not the Cath of Virgil, but the Cato of Mr. Pope. See the

VER. 129. Spirit of Arnall!] Look for him in his place. Dunc. B. ii. x 315.


Ep. on Riches.

« PreviousContinue »