'O magnus posthac inimicis risus! Uterne "Ad casus dubios fidet sibi certiùs ? hic, qui Pluribus assuerit mentem corpusque superbum ? An qui, contentus parvo metuensque futuri, In pace, ut sapiens, aptarit idonea bello? 'Quò magis his credas: puer hunc ego parvus

Integris opibus novi non latiùs usum,
Quàm nunc "accisis. Videas, metato in agello,


Ver. 122. As M***o's was, &c.] I think this light stroke of satire ill placed ; and that it hurts the dignity of the preceding morality. Horace was very serious, and properly so, when he said :

cur, improbe! caræ Non aliquid patriæ tanto emetiris acervo ?” He remembered, and hints with just indignation at, those luxu-' rious Patricians of his old party; who, when they had agreed to establish a fund in the cause of freedom, under the conduct of Brutus, could never be persuaded to withdraw from their expensive pleasures what was sufficient for the support of so great a cause. He had prepared his apology for this liberty, in the preceding line, where he pays a fine compliment to Augustus !

quare Templa ruunt antiqua Deúm ?” which oblique panegyric the imitator has very properly turned into a direct stroke of satire.

Warburton. Ver. 122. not at five per cent.] He could not forbear this stroke against a nobleman, whom he had been for many years accustomed to hear abused by his most intimate friends. A certain parasite, who thought to please Lord Bolingbroke by ridiculing the avarice of the Duke of M., was stopped short by that Lord, who said : “ He was so very great a man, that I forgot he had that vice."

Warton. Ver. 122. five per cent.) Among the papers of the Orford collection, is a curious note to Sir Robert Walpole, when Secretary


Or to thy country let that heap be lent,
As M***o's was, but not at five per cent.

'Who thinks that fortune cannot change her


Prepares a dreadful jest for all mankind.
And "who stands safest ? tell me, is it he 125
That spreads and swells in puffd prosperity,
Or blest with little, whose preventing care
In peace provides fit arms against a war?
Thus BETHEL spoke, who always speaks his

And always thinks the very thing he ought: 130
His equal mind I copy what I can,
And as I love, would imitate the man.
In South-Sea days not happier, when surmised
The lord of thousands, than if now "excised;
In forest planted by a father's hand,

135 Than in five acres now of rented land.


at War, from the Duke of Marlborough, in which he says, he has a hundred thousand pounds he does not know how to dispose of, and desires Walpole to put it out for him. From Mr. Coxe.

Bowles. Ver. 129. Thus BETHEL spoke,] This speech of Ofellus continues in the original to the end of this Satire. Pope has taken all that follows out of the mouth of Bethel, and speaks entirely in his own person. It is impossible not to be pleased with the picture of his way of life, and the account he gives of his own table, in lines that express common and familiar objects with dignity and elegance.

Warton. Ver. 133. In South-Sea days not happier, &c.] Mr. Pope had South-Sea stock, which he did not sell out. It was valued at between twenty and thirty thousand pounds when it fell.



pecore et gnatis, fortem mercede colonum, Non ego, narrantem, temerè edi luce profestâ Quidquam, præter *olus fumosæ cum pede pernæ. Ac mihi seu 'longum post tempus venerat hospes, Sive operum vacuo gratus conviva


imbrem Vicinus; bene erat, non ' piscibus urbe petitis, Sed pullo atque hædo: tum pensilis uva secundas • Et nux ornabat mensas, cum duplice ficu. Post hoc ludus erat culpâ potare magistra : Ac venerata Ceres, ita culmo surgeret alto, Explicuit vino contractæ seria frontis. Sæviat atque novos moveat Fortuna tumultus! Quantum hinc imminuet? quanto aut ego parciùs,

aut vos,

O pueri, nituistis, ut huc novus incola venit ?


Ver. 134. than if now excised ;] Pope naturally joined the violent cry against the Excise, with the party in opposition to Sir R. Walpole. Pulteney exclaimed upon another occasion :

“ There is another thing impending! a monstrous project! such a project as has struck terror into the minds of most gentlemen of this House, and into the minds of all men without doors, who have any regard to the happiness, or to the constitution, of their country. I mean that MONSTER, THE Excise! that PLAN OF ARBITRARY POWER, which is expected to be laid before the House in the present Parliament.” Coxe's Memoirs, chap. 41. Bowles.

Ver. 136. Than in five acres] He had a lease of his house and gardens at Twickenham for his life. The lease was purchased of a Mrs. Vernon ; hence the expressions :

can it concern one, Whether the name belong to Pope, or Vernon ? Bowles. Ver. 152. double tax’d,] An additional tax was laid on the estates of Papists and nonjurors.

Ver. 154. standing armies came.) A constant topic of declamation against the Court, at this time.


Content with little, I can piddle here
On "brocoli and mutton round the year;
But 'ancient friends (though poor, or out of play)
That touch my bell, I cannot turn away. 140
'Tis true, no 'turbots dignify my boards,
But gudgeons, flounders, what my Thames affords;
To Hounslow-heath I point, and Bansted-down,
Thence comes your mutton, and these chicks my

own; •From yon old walnut-tree a shower shall fall; 145 And grapes, long lingering on my only wall, And figs from standard and espalier join ; The devil is in you if you cannot dine ; Then cheerful healths, (your mistress shall have

place, And, what's more rare, a poet shall say grace. 150

Fortune not much of humbling me can boast; Though double tax’d, how little have I lost? My life's amusements have been just the same, Before and after “standing armies came. My lands are sold, my father's house is gone; 155 I'll hire another's; is not that my own,

yours, my friends ? through whose free open

ing gate None comes too early, none departs too late ; For I, who hold sage Homer's rule the best, Welcome the coming, speed the going guest. 160



Ver. 160. Welcome the coming,] From Homer, Od. b. 15, v. 74.

χρη ξεινον παρεούλα φιλειν, εθελούλα δε πιμπεν. Theocritus has finely touched this subject in the sixteenth Idyllium.


Nam propriæ telluris herum natura, neque illum,
Nec me, nec quemquam statuit. Nos expulit ille ;
Illum aut ‘nequities aut 'vafri inscitia juris,
Postremò expellet certè kvivacior hæres.
Nunc ager Umbreni sub nomine, nuper Ofelli
Dictus erat : nulli proprius; sed cedit in usum
Nunc mihi, nunc alii. 'Quocirca vivite fortes,
Fortiaque adversis opponite pectora rebus.


Ver. 165. Well, if the use be mine, &c.] In a letter to this Mr. Bethel, of March 20, 1743, he says: “ My Landlady, Mrs. Vernon, being dead, this garden and house are offered me in sale ; and, I believe, (together with the cottages on each side my grass plot next the Thames,) will come at about a thousand pounds. If I thought any very particular friend would be pleased to live in it after my death, (for, as it is, it serves all my purposes as well, during life,) I would purchase it; and more particularly could I hope two things; that the friend who should like it, was so much younger and healthier than myself, as to have a prospect of its continuing his, some years longer than I can of its continuing mine. But most of those I love are travelling out of the world, not into it; and unless I have such a view given me, I have no vanity nor pleasure that does not stop short of the grave.”—So that we see (what some who call themselves his friends would not believe) his thoughts in prose and verse were the same.

Warburton. Ver. 171-2. Or in pure equity, (the case not clear,)

The Chancery takes your rents for twenty year:] A Protestant miser's money in Chancery, and a Catholic miser’s person in Purgatory, are never to be got out, till the law and the church have been well paid for their redemption. Warburton.

Ver. 175. Shades, that to Bacon could retreat afford,] Gorhambury, near St. Alban's, a fine and venerable old mansion. Warton.

« ForrigeFortsett »