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independence, and an abhorrence of political profligacy and of low and degrading pursuits, no one will be found to deny.
The first part of these Satires was published under the title of One Thousand Seven Hundred and Thirty-eight, a Dialogue, something like Horace. London : printed for T. Cooper, at the Globe, in Pater-noster Row: (price one shilling.) The second part, printed for R. Dodsley, at Tully’s Head, in Pall Mall, 1738 : (price one shilling.) Considerable alterations occur in the subsequent editions.
WRITTEN IN MDCCXXXVIII.
Fr. Not twice a twelvemonth you appear in print,
Ver. 1. Not twice a twelvemonth, &c.] These two lines are from Horace ; and the only lines that are so in the whole poem ; being meant to give a handle to that which follows in the character of an impertinent
“ 'Tis all from Horace,” &c.—Pope. By long habit of writing, and almost constantly in one sort of measure, he had now arrived at a happy and elegant familiarity of style, without fatness. The satire in these pieces is of the strongest kind ; sometimes, direct and declamatory, at others, ironical and oblique. It must be owned to be carried to excess. Our country is represented as totally ruined, and overwhelmed with dissipation, depravity, and corruption. Yet this very country, so emasculated and debased by every species of folly and wickedness, in about twenty years afterwards, carried its triumphs over all its enemies, through all the quarters of the world, and astonished the most distant nations with a display of uncommon efforts, abilities, and virtue. So vain and groundless are the prognostications of poets, as well as politicians. It is to be wished, that a genius could be found to write an One Thousand Seven Hundred and Sixty-one, as a counter-part to these two Dialogues, which were more diligently laboured, and more frequently corrected than any of our author's compositions. I have often heard
You don't, I hope, pretend to quit the trade,
your reputation made :
You grow correct that once with rapture writ,
5 Why now, this moment, don't I see you steal ? "Tis all from Horace; Horace long before ye Said, “Tories calld him Whig, and. Whigs a Tory;" And taught his Romans, in much better metre, “ To laugh at fools who put their trust in Peter.” 10
But Horace, Sir, was delicate, was nice;
Mr. Dodsley say, that he was employed by the author to copy them fairly. Every line was then written twice over ; a clean transcript was then delivered to Mr. Pope, and when he afterwards sent it to Mr. Dodsley to be printed, he found every line had been written twice over a second time. Swift tells our author, these Dialogues are equal, if not superior, to any part of his works. They are, in truth, more Horatian, than the professed Imitations of Horace. They at first were entitled, from the year in which they were published, One Thousand Seven Hundred and Thirty-eight. They were afterwards called fantastically enough, Epilogue to the Satires, as the Epistle to Arbuthnot was entitled, Prologue to the Satires. It is remarkable that the first was published the very same morning with Johnson's admirable London ; which Pope much approved, and searched diligently for the author, who lived then in obscurity. London had a second edition in a week. Pope has himself given more notes and illustrations on these Dialogues than on any other of his poems.—Warton.
Ver. 2. see nothing in't.] He used this colloquial (I will not say barbarism, but) abbreviation, to imitate familiar conversation.- Warton, Ver. 9, 10. And taught his Romans, in much better metre,
“ To laugh at fools who put their trust in Peter." The general turn of the thought is from Boileau :
“ Avant lui, Juvénal avoit dit en Latin,
Qu'on est assis à l'aise aux sermons de Cotin.”—Warton. Ver. 12. Bubo observes,] Some guilty person, very fond of making such an observation.—Pope.
Bubo is said to mean Mr. Doddington, afterward Lord Melcombe. -Warton.
Ver. 13. Horace would say,] The business of the friend here introduced is to dissuade our Poet from personal invectives. But he dexterously turns the very advice he is giving into the bitterest satire. Sir Billy was Sir William Young, who from a great fluency, was often employed to make long speeches till the minister's friends were collected in the House.--Warton.
Ver. 14. H-ggins] Formerly gaoler of the Fleet prison, enriched himself by many exactions, for which he was tried and expelled.- Pope.
He was the father of the author of the absurd and prosaic Translation
In Sappho touch the failings of the sex,
15 In reverend bishops note some small neglects, And own, the Spaniard did a waggish thing, Who cropped our ears, and sent them to the king. His sly, polite, insinuating style Could please at court, and make AUGUSTUS smile: 20 An artful manager that crept between His friend and shame, and was a kind of screen. But, 'faith, your very friends will soon be sore; Patriots there are, who wish you'd jest no moreAnd where's the glory ? 'twill be only thought 25 The great man never offer'd you a groat. Go see Sir ROBERTP. See Sir ROBERT !
-humAnd never laugh-for all my life to come ?
of Ariosto ; an account of him is given in the Anecdotes of Hogarth. -Warton.
Ver. 18. Who cropped our ears]] Said to be executed by the Captain of a Spanish ship on one Jenkins, a Captain of an English one. He cut off his ears, and bid him carry them to the king his master.--Pope.
Ver. 18. Who cropped our ears,] This circumstance has been ludicrously called by Burke, “The Fable of Captain Jenkins's ears!” See Coxe's Memoirs.--Bowles. Ver. 22. screen.)
“ Omne vafer vitium ridenti Flaccus amico
Tangit, et admissus circum præcordia ludit.” Pers. A metaphor peculiarly appropriated to a certain person in power.Pope.
Ver. 24. Patriots there are, &c.] This appellation was generally given to those in opposition to the Court. Though some of them (which our author hints at) had views too mean and interested to deserve that name.—Pope.
Ver. 26. The great man] A phrase, by common use, appropriated to the first Minister.
Ver. 27. Go see Sir ROBERT- -] We must not judge of this minister's
VARIATIONS. Ver. 15. In former editions :
Sir George of some slight gallantries suspect.-Warton.
In Reverend S. -n note a small neglect.
There's honest Tacitus ' once talk'd as big,
Mr. Thomas Gordon, who was bought off by a place at Court.
Seen him I have, but in his happier hour
character from the Dissertation on Parties, nor from the eloquent Philippics, for eloquent they were, uttered against him in both Houses of Parliament. Hume has drawn his portrait with candour and impartiality. And some of his most vehement antagonists, particularly the great Lord Chatham, lived to allow the merits of that long and pacific ministry, which so much extended the commerce, and consequently enlarged the riches of this country.-Warton.
The noblest monument that has been raised to the memory of Sir Robert Walpole, has been by Mr. Coxe, who, from sources of authentic information, has most ably illustrated the eventful period of our history, during the administration of Sir Robert. There is not a circumstance or character connected with the history of the time, but what has received new light from that accurate and elegant historian.-Bowles.
Ver. 29. Seen him I have, &c.] The pleasant amiable character of Sir Robert in private life, is here most admirably touched. Lady M. W. Montagu's portrait of this eminent statesman, in his character as a private man, gives also a most pleasing idea of him :
On seeing a Portrait of Sir Robert Walpole.
Added new graces to the truths he spoke.- Bowles.
To the account given in this note may be added, that in gratitude for this favour conferred on his friend, Pope presented to Mr. Horatio Walpole,