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Abuse the city's best good men in metre, 39
P. What should ail them?
P. Each mortal has his pleasure: none deny 45 Scarsdale his bottle, Darty his ham-pie: Ridotta sips and dances, till she see The doubling lustres dance as fast as she; F- loves the senate, Hockley-hole his brother, Like in all else as one egg to another.
50 I love to pour out all myself, as plain As downright Shippen, or as old Montaigne: In them, as certain to be loved as seen, The soul stood forth, nor kept a thought within ; In me what spots (for spots I have) appear 55 Will prove at least the medium must be clear. In this impartial glass, my Muse intends Fair to expose myself, my foes, my friends;
46 Darty his ham-pie. Darteneuf, a contemptible fellow, who made a ridiculous reputation by his gluttony. On reading this passage, he acknowleged the application ; but said, that if Pope had given him 'sweet-pie instead of ham-pie, he could never have forgiven him.'
46 Darty. Littleton, in his 'Dialogues of the Dead, has introduced Darteneuf, in a pleasant discourse between him and Apicius, bitterly lamenting his ill-fortune in having lived before turtle-feasts were known in England. The story of the ham-pie was confirmed by Dodsley, who knew Darteneuf, and, as he candidly owned, had waited on him at dinner.
52 Downright Shippen. A member of parliament in opposition to sir Robert Walpole ; a frequent speaker, and supposed to be conspicuous for sense, integrity, and love of liberty; yet, in contradiction to the whole three, a rank jacobite.
Publish the present age; but where my text
Satire 's my weapon, but I'm too discreet To run a muck, and tilt at all I meet :
70 I only wear it in a land of hectors, Thieves, supercargoes, sharpers, and directors. Save but our army! and let Jove encrust Swords, pikes, and guns with everlasting rust!
66 Like good Erasmus. The illegitimate son of a Dutch physician, who afterwards turned priest. Eminent as a scholar, and distinguished in the first vigor of European criticism, he disgraced his literary fame by his religious timidity. Evidently attached to the truths of protestantism, he idly tried to reconcile them with the honors of popery; and alternating between respect for Luther, and expectations from Rome, descended to his grave in decent hypocrisy.
70 To run a muck. Alludes to a practice among the Malayans, who are great gamesters; which is, that when a man has lost all his property, he intoxicates himself with opium, works himself up to a fit of frenzy, rushes into the streets, and attacks and murders all he meets.- Warton.
73 Save but our army. It is a curious instance of the blindness of politicians, that the standing army of England, from which the overthrow of our liberties had been so violently predicted, has been uniformly the protector of those liberties. It is equally an instance of the blindness of philosophers, to find Montesquieu asserting,' that the first standing army was only the commencement of turning the whole population of Europe into soldiers.' We see that its actual operation was the
Peace is my dear delight—not Fleury's more : 75
Then, learned sir, (to cut the matter short) Whate'er
fate, or well or ill at court; Whether old age, with faint but cheerful ray, Attends to gild the evening of my day; Or death's black wing already be display'd, 95 To
wrap me in the universal shade; direct reverse; that, by keeping a certain and small portion of the people under arms, it at once exempted the rest from being perpetually called on, and prevented hostilities by the readiness for defence ; that it softened the temper even of despotism, by giving the despot a permanent security against popular insurrection; and that it lessened the general calamities of war by establishing a code of military law through all nations.
81 Delia's rage. A Miss Mackenzie was, at this time, presumed to have died of poison administered by a rival. The suspected Delia's name is given in the old edition, ‘lady D-ne.'
82 Page. A brutal judge, whose conduct on Savage's trial is given down to ignominy by Johnson.
Whether the darken'd room to muse invite,
long; In flower of age you perish for a song ! Plums and directors, Shylock and his wife, Will club their testers now to take your life ! P. What ? arm'd for virtue when I point the pen,
105 Brand the bold front of shameless, guilty men, Dash the proud gamester in his gilded car, Bare the mean heart that lurks beneath a star; Can there be wanting to defend her cause, Lights of the church, or guardians of the laws ? 110 Could pension'd Boileau lash in honest strain Flatterers and bigots ev'n in Louis' reign? Could laureat Dryden pimp and friar engage, Yet neither Charles nor James be in a rage ? And I not strip the gilding off a knave, 115 Unplaced, unpension'd, no man's heir or slave?
116 Unplaced, unpension'd. Pope too frequently published his independence : yet, if Warburton be sufficient authority, he was more than once near losing his boast, if hoast it can justly be, to refuse the honors and emoluments offered by govern: ment, in the name of the nation, to learning and ability. His tale is curious. Pope was a known tory; yet the tories, preferring the purchase of their enemies to the reward of their friends, neglected this great ornament of their cause. To do him justice was left to the whigs : they were wiser in their generation ;' and, at the commencement of their ministry under George I. lord Halifax immediately sent for Pope ; told him that the neglect of so powerful a writer was a public scandal ; and offered him a pension unclogged with any conditions. But Pope, as it seems, unnecessarily
I will, or perish in the generous cause :
130 Or tames the genius of the stubborn plain Almost as quickly as he conquer'd Spain.
and unwisely desiring time to consider of it,' when, in three months after, he touched on the pension in a letter, found that he had considered’ too long ; in other words, that he bad offended the minister. He heard nothing more from lord Halifax.
However, on Craggs, his personal friend, coming into office, he proposed to give him a pension of £300 a year : but this was to be out of the secret service money, and could be paid without its being known, or ever coming to account.' This evidently altered the whole complexion of the case : a secret pension must imply secret employment; and a man of Pope's character was insulted by the offer of clandestine bounty. It was properly declined. The narrative is amusing, as an instance of the early propensity of tories to admire, and of whigs to remunerate : of course, this state of things has never occurred again.
129 And he, whose lightning, &c. Charles Mordaunt, earl of Peterborough, who in 1705 took Barcelona ; and in the winter following, with only 280 horse and 900 ot, accomplished the conquest of Valencia.