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To find an honest man I beat about,
P. Not so fierce :
vain. No power the Muse's friendship can com
mmand; No power,
when virtue claims it, can withstand : To Cato, Virgil paid one honest line;
120 o, let my country's friends illumine mine! - What are you thinking ? F. Faith, the thought's
no sin : I think your friends are out, and would be in.
116. What Richelieu. The arrogant, but the able minister of France. As he had raised the monarchy to its height by violence, he labored to keep it there by corruption : his first object had been accomplished in the ruin of protestantism ; his next, in the purchase of the whole literary body of France. He is said also to have expended eighty thousand crowns a year in public pensions to writers of all countries ;-an immense sum in his day: but his private bribes were probably much more lavish, and much more effectual.
P. If merely to come in, sir, they go out, The way they take is strangely roundabout. 125
F. They too may be corrupted, you 'll allow?
P. I only call those knaves who are so now,
But, pray, when others praise him, do I blame?
day, When Paxton gives him double
pay, Or each new-pension'd sycophant, pretend To break my windows if I treat a friend ; Then wisely plead, ta me they meant no hurt, But 'twas my guest at whom they threw the dirt ? Sure, if I spare the minister, no rules Of honor bind me, not to maul his tools ; Sure, if they cannot cut, it may be said His saws are toothless, and his hatchet's lead.
129 Arnall, aid me while I lie. One of the writers for the Walpole ministry : a shrewd and sensible man; but latterly wasteful; and, after undergoing great distress, closing his career by the still more unhappy fate of suicide.-Bowles.
143 To break my windows. Pope had become obnoxious to the street politicians; and they broke his windows, one day, when lords Bolingbroke and Bathurst were at dinner with him.
It anger'd Turenne, once upon a day, 150 To see a footman kick'd that took his
pay; But when he heard the affront the fellow
gave, Knew one a man of honor, one a knave;The prudent general turn'd it to a jest, And begg’d he'd take the pains to kick the rest:
155 Which not at present having time to doF: Hold, sir! for God's sake, where's the
affront to you?
In power a servant, out of power a friend,
The priest, whose flattery bedropp'd the crown, How hurt he you? he only stain’d the gown. 165 And how did, pray, the florid youth offend, Whose speech you took, and gave it to a friend?
P. Faith, it imports not much from whom it
Whoever borrow'd, could not be to blame,
-k.-P-ge. Sherlock and Page. 161 In power. A line in an epistle to sir R. Walpole, by lord Melcombe.
165 He only stain'd. The priest alluded to in the preceding line, notwithstanding Pope's denying note, was Dr. Alured Clarke, who wrote a panegyric on queen Caroline.
166 Florid youth. Lord Hervey, alluding to his painting himself.
If one, through nature's bounty or his lord's,
F. This filthy simile, this beastly line,
P. So does flattery mine; And all your courtly civet-cats can vent, Perfume to you, to me is excrement. But hear me farther: Japhet, 'tis agreed, Writ not, and Chartres scarce could write or
read ; In all the courts of Pindus guiltless quite; But pens can forge, my friend, that cannot write: And must no egg in Japhet's face be thrown, Because the deed he forged was not my own? Must never patriot then declaim at gin, 191 Unless, good man! he has been fairly in? No zealous pastor blame a failing spouse, Without a staring reason on his brows? And each blasphemer quite escape the rod, 195 Because the insult's not on man, but God?
Ask you what.provocation I have had ? The strong antipathy of good to bad. When truth or virtue an affront endures, The affront is mine, my friend, and should be yours;
200 Mine, as a foe profess'd to false pretence, Who think a coxcomb's honor like his sense;
Mine, as a friend to every worthy mind;
P. So proud, I am no slave: So impudent, I own myself no knave:
206 So odd, my country's ruin makes me grave. Yes, I am proud, I must be proud, to see Men, not afraid of God, afraid of me: Safe from the bar, the pulpit, and the throne, 210 Yet touch'd and shamed by ridicule alone.
O sacred weapon, left for truth's defence !
Where's now the star that lighted Charles to rise ?