Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

65

How! what can "O -- w, what can D---
The wisdom of the one and other chair, 60
"N --- laugh, or 'D--s sager,
Or thy dread truncheon 'M.'s mighty peer?
What help from J ---s opiates canst thou draw,
Or ·H --K's quibbles voted into law ?

C. that Roman in his nose alone,
Who hears all causes, ‘B-, but thy own,
Or those proud fools whom nature, rank, and

fate Made fit companions for the sword of state.

Can the light packhorse, or the heavy steer, The sowzing prelate, or the sweating peer, 70 Drag out with all its dirt and all its weight, The lumbering carriage of thy broken state? Alas! the people curse, the carman swears, The drivers quarrel, and the master stares.

The plague is on thee, Britain, and who tries 75 To save thee, in the infectious office dies. The first firm P --y soon resign'd his breath, Brave 'S --w loved thee, and was lied to death.

u

2

3

Onslow, Speaker of the House of Commons, and the Earl of Delawar, Chairman of the Committees of the House of Lords.

w Newcastle. * Dorset ; perhaps the last word should be sneer. , Duke of Marlborough. * Jekyll. Hardwick.

• Probably Sir John Cummins, Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas.

Britain. * Earl of Scarborough. In another place Pope spells his name with a w. Ep. to the Sat. Dial. 2. 1. 65.

[ocr errors]

Good •M-m-t's fate tore 'P--th from thy side, And thy last sigh was heard when W-- m died. 80

NOTES. Ver. 80. W-m died.] Sir William Wyndham died this year; his death was a severe blow to the party, and none felt it perhaps more than Bolingbroke, whose friendship for him appears to have been ardent and sincere. The following extract of a letter from Bolingbroke, to Sir Charles Wyndham on this occasion will be read with interest, as it particularly shews the sentiments of the party at this time :

LORD BOLINGBROKE TO Sir Charles WYNDHAM. « Dear Sir,

Argeville, August 8th, 1740. “I feel as I ought to do, the kindness you shew me in sending a servant on purpose, with a letter that gives me as much comfort as I am capable of receiving, since the loss we have sustained by the death of your father and my friend. You are in the right, and I love you the better for the sentiment: it is reputation to be descended from so great and so good a man; and surely it is some to have lived thirty years with him in the warmest and most active friendship. Far from any need of making excuses, that you did not write the cruel news to me when you sent to my Lady Denbigh, I have thanks to return you for sparing me, as you spared yourself. The news came to me with less surprize, but not with less effect. My unhappiness, for such it will be as long as I am able to feel pleasure and pain, began however a little later. It is a plain truth, free from all affectation or compliment, that as your father was dearer to me than all the rest of the world, so must every thing be that remains of him: you, Sir, especially, who are as dear to my heart as you could be, if, being the same worthy man you are, you was my own son.

The resolutions

you

have taken both as to public and private life, are such as become the son and successor of Sir William Wyndham. To be a friend to your country, is to be what he was eminently; it is to be what he would have recommended you to be, even with his dying breath,

if

e Marchmont.

'Polwarth, son to Lord Marchmont. & Wyndham.

.

Thy nobles "sl-s, thy 'se--s bought with gold,
Thy clergy perjured, thy whole people sold.
An atheist ya "'s kad...
Blotch thee all o'er, and sink
Alas! on one alone our all relies,

85
Let him be honest, and he must be wise,
Let him no trifler from his

school,
Nor like his ..

still a ...
Be but a man! unminister'd, alone,
And free at once the senate and the throne; 90
Esteem the public love his best supply,
A 'O's true glory his integrity;
Rich with his .... in his ... strong,
Affect no conquest, but endure no wrong.
Whatever his religion or his blood,

95 His public virtue makes his title good.

[ocr errors]

NOTES.

if the nature of his distemper had permitted such an effort. He
thought this country on the brink of ruin, and that monarchical
but free constitution of government, wherein the glory and the
happiness of our nation consisted, at the point of being dissolved,
and sacrificed to the support of a weak and wicked administration;
but he thought that the greater the distress was, the more incum-
bent and the more pressing the duty of struggling to prevent, or to
alleviate it, became. One of the last things he said to me the day
before he left this place was, that he did not expect to live to see
Britain restored to a flourishing and secure state, but that he would
die in labouring to procure that happiness to those he should
leave behind him.” MS. from the Egremont Papers; com-
municated by Mr. Coxe.
Ver. 95. Whatever his religion] He probably means Frederick

Prince

[blocks in formation]

Europe's just balance and our own may stand,
And one man's honesty redeem the land.

NOTES.

Prince of Wales, who took a decided part with the malecontents against Sir R. Walpole's administration. This was written the year before the general election, which decided the fate of Walpole. It is singular that Pope, in this Satire turns his weapons against his own party, and attacks many of those whom he had lately panegyrised with the most extravagant praise, particularly Pulteney and Chesterfield, of whom he said in 1738 :

“ How can I, Pulteney, Chesterfield forget,
While Roman spirit charms and Attic wit.”

Bowles.

The respectable authority under which the foregoing fragment has been given to the public, has induced the Editor to reprint it here; not however without feeling a strong conviction that the external evidence of its being the work of Pope is greatly overbalanced by the nature of its contents, which are entirely contrary to any idea that we could reasonably form of the sentiments of Pope at this period. That the celebrity of Pope occasioned many pieces to be unjustly attributed to him by Curll and others is certain ; and it was not without reason that he complained of

“ The imputed trash and dulness not his own. That this is the piece to which Warburton alludes in his Note on the poem to Lady Frances Shirley (vide ante p. 430,) where he says that Pope began a third Dialogue more severe and sublime than the first and second, can scarcely be admitted; because this is not a dialogue , nor is there a single passage in it that can be called sublime, or even that exceeds mediocrity.

Additional Notes. Ver. 5. C his own proud dupe,] These lines seem to be imitated from the Dunciad, book iv. line 601.

“ And nobly conscious princes are but things
Born for first ministers, as slaves for kings.”

It is impossible that they could have any application to Lord Cobham, with whom Pope lived at this time in the most friendly intimacy.

Ver. 9. Through clouds of passion] Pulteney was not created Earl of Bath till 1742. These lines are therefore either prophetic, or were not written till after that period, when the fourth book of the Dunciad had also been published.

Ver. 16. Stern S- It is impossible that Pope could have written these lines on Shippen, whose political sentiments nearly corresponded with his own, and whose integrity he has alluded to in the well known lines :

“I love to pour out all myself as plain,

As downright Shippen, or as old Montaigne." Ver. 23. G --1, C-m, B - t, &c.] Can we conceive that Pope would have applied this contemptuous language to Lord Cobham and Lord Bathurst? of the former of whom he had said

“O save my country, heaven ! shall be your last !" and to the latter of whom he intended (as appears from one of his letters) to pay a visit, in the very year when this piece is said to have been written.

Ver. 25. And C--d, &c.] Was the "attic wit,” of Chesterfield for which Pope had celebrated him in 1738, so degenerated in 1740 ? or was the decided part he took against the minister, reconcileable in common sense with the idea that his country was only " a butt to crack his joke on?”

It is remarkable that this nobleman is alluded to by Pope in the fourth book of the Dunciad, written in 1741, as lamenting the degraded state of the literature of his country:

"Nor could'st thou, Chesterfield, a tear refuse,

Thou wept'st, and with thee wept each gentle muse." No instances of such inconsistency in his treatment of his friends can be found in the works of Pope.

Ver. 43. Rise, rise, great W--,] Sir Robert Walpole, to whom Pope always considered himself as under obligations, and with whom at this period he occasionally visited. In a letter to Mr. Fortescue, he says: “You see I have made Sir Robert Walpole a second compliment in print, in my second Dialogue, and he ought to take it for no small one, since in it I couple him with Lord Bolingbroke. As he shews a right sense of this, I may make him

a third,

« ПредишнаНапред »