Page images


Ye gods! shall * Cibber's son, without rebuke,
Swear like a lord, or Rich out-whore a duke?
A fav’rite's porter with his master vie,
'Be brib'd as often, and as often lie?
Shall Ward draw contracts with a statesman's skill?
Or Japhet pocket, like his Grace, a will ?
Is it for Bond, or Peter, (paltry things!)
To pay their debts, or keep their faith like kings?
This, this, my friend, I cannot, must not bear;
Vice thus abus'd, demands a nation's care.t


The noble description of the triumph of VICE, one of the most picturesque in all his works, must not be here omitted.

Lo! at the wheels of her triumphal car,
Old England's Genius, rough with many a scar,
Dragg'd in the dust; his arms hang idly round;
His flag inverted, trails along the ground!
Our youth, all liv'ry'd o'er with foreign gold,
Before her dance; behind her, crawl the old !
See thronging millions to the pagod run,
And offer country, parent, wife, or son !
Hear her black trumpet through the land proclaim,
That Not To Be Corrupted is the shame. I

Aa 2


* The names of Cibber, Chartres, Ward, Walters, Japhet, and some others, are so very often repeated, that they disgust the reader.

f Ver. 115.

Ver. 151.

SWIFT tells him, in a letter dated August 8, 1738, that he takes his second dialogue to equal any thing he had ever writ. The same Friend is here again introduced making such remonstrances as before. And several parts of the dialogue are more rapid, and approach nearer to conversation, than any lines he had ever before written :

P. The pois’ning dame.-F. You mean-P. I don't.

F. You do.
P. See now I keep the secret, and not you.
The bribing statesman.-F. Hold—too high you go.
P. The brib'd elector.-F. There you stoop too low.
P. I fain would please, if I but knew with what;
Tell me what knave is lawful game, or not.
Suppose I censure-you know what I mean;

bishop, may
I name a dean?

F. A dean,

To save a


Some of the reverend bench, and particularly one of a truly exalted character, are injuriously treated in line 70.

Ev'n in a bishop I can spy desert;
Secker is decent-

The exemplary life, and extensive learning, of this great pre. Jate, are sufficient and ample confutations of the invidious epithet here used; which those, who are acquainted with his Lectures and Sermons, in which is found a rare mixture of simplicity and energy, read with indignation.

F. A dean, Sir?-No-his fortune is not made:
You hurt a man that's rising in the trade. *

Wearied with the severity and poignancy of most of the preceding passages, we look with delight on the pleasing enumeration of his illustrious and valuable friends :

Oft, in the clear, still mirror of retreat,
I study'd Shrewsbury, the wise and great :
Carleton's calı sense, and Stanhope's noble flame;
Compar'd, and knew their gen'rous end the same.
How pleasing Atterbury's softer hour!
How shin'd the soul, unconquer'd in the Tow'r!
How can I + Pult'ney, Chesterfield, forget,
While Roman spirit charms, and Attic wit;

Ą a 3


* Ver. 22.

+ That Pulteney had a more manly understanding than Ches. terfield, will not be doubted: but I verily believe he had also more true wit. The two lines on Argyle are said to have been added, on 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. Bolingbroke's Letter to Wyndham is one of the most curious of his works, and gave a deadly and incurable blow to the folly and madness of Jacobitism,

Argyle, 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 passions, and his own :*

Among these, Atterbury was his chief intimate. The turbulent and imperious temper of this haughty prelate, was long felt and remembered in the college over which he presided. It was with difficulty Queen Anne was persuaded to make him a bishop; which she did at last, on the repeated importunities of Lord Harcourt, who pressed the Queen to do it, because, truly, she had before disappointed him, in not placing Sacheverell on the bench. After her decease, Atterbury vehemently urged his friends to proclaim the Pretender; and, on their refusal, upbraided them for their timidity with many oaths; for he was accustomed to swear on any strong provocation. In a collection of Letters lately published by Mr. Duncombe, it is affirmed, on the authority of Elijah Fenton, that Atterbury, speaking of POPE, said, there was


* Ver. 78.

Mens curva in Corpore curvo.

This sentiment seems utterly inconsistent with the warm friendship supposed to subsist between these two celebrated men. But Dr. Herring, in the 2d vol. of this collection, p. 104, says, “' If Atterbury was not worse used than any honest man in the world ever was, there were strong contradictions between his public and private character.” There is an anecdote, so uncommon and remarkable, lately mentioned in Dr. Maty's Memoirs of the Earl of Chesterfield, and which he gives in the very words of that celebrated nobleman, that I cannot forbear repeating it in this place :-"I went (said Lord Chesterfield) to Mr. Pope one morning at Twickenham, and found a large folio bible, with gilt clasps, lying before him upon his table ; and, as I knew his way of thinking upon that book, I asked him, jocosely, if he was going to write an answer to it? It is a present, (said he,) or rather a legacy, from my old friend, the Bishop of Rochester. I went to take my leave of him yesterday in the Tower, where I saw this bible upon his table. After the A a 4


« PreviousContinue »