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boundless contempt, on the other hand, being poured on the country Jacobites and semi-Jacobites, who obeyed mechanically and without enthusiasm the direction of their more ambitious leaders. The best commentary on the Satire is the letter of Bolingbroke to Marchmont of 29 July, 1739. In this Bolingbroke draws his correspondent's attention to the similar situation of 1716, at which time he says the Constitution was in danger from the violence of party spirit, both on the side of the Whigs, who intended to engross all the power and profit of the State to themselves, and of the Jacobites who refused to recognize the new establishment. He then proceeds :
“Quorsum hæc ?—to show you the effects of an ill-concerted Opposition, and that such an Opposition was formerly in a bad cause what you see it actually in a good one, worse for those who made it, and better for those against whom it was made, than no Opposition at all could have been; to show you how easily the foundations were laid of the tyranny of faction, under which you suffer at this hour, by Whigs factiously for the Government, by Tories factiously against it. To confirm your Lordship, if you wanted to be confirmed in that principle, that as long as the spirit of Whiggism and Toryism is kept alive by knaves and fools, the pretence of supporting the present establishment by methods destructive of our Constitution will remain, and that nothing can preserve this Constitution but an union and coalition of men of different parties on a national bottom, which few of those in the Opposition do really intend. This is the worst symptom I discover in our State's illness. Want of concert, activity and steadiness, may proceed from genius, temper, and habit; but this must proceed from a vicious principle at heart. If a man tells you that the measures you propose are absolutely necessary to save his country and yours from further ill consequences of maladministration and from the loss of liberty, but that he cannot take them or appear to take them, because they would turn to the ruin of the Whigs, must you not conclude that such and such a man considers the interest of his country in subordination to that of a party, which is the character of the rankest faction, and prefers his credit in that party to all the duties of a good citizen ? All I have been saying has a desponding air, and I do not absolutely despond; the truth is I entertain very little hopes. Our patriots, for such they desire to be thought, and such I wish they were, made a declaration to the people of Britain when they made the secession, that they could do no real service to their country till the independency of Parliament was restored. This formal appeal to the people included the engagement of every man who concurred in it, to use his utmost endeavours, that this independency might be effectually restored and secured. What room will there now be to entertain the least gleam of hope, if neither a sense of public good nor of private honour can render these men true to an engagement so solemn and so important ? It had been better for both not to take the step, than not to carry it forward.
"To declare the independency of Parliament lost, and to sit still, is to acquiesce under the loss, to admit this real, not imaginary subversion of the British Constitution. On the event therefore of the present measure I fix my eyes. If the people will not stand by those who stand by them, or if they, who have undertaken the defence of the national cause, shrink from it, you are a subdued nation. Walpole is your tyrant to-day; and any man his Majesty pleases to name, Horace or Le Heup, may be to-morrow. In this case what can I do, my Lord, who can do so little in any other! I would contribute at any risk to save the Constitution, and to establish an administration upon
national principles. But if the spirit at home rises as little, and turns as ill as I apprehend, neither I, nor you, nor any small number of men can avert the evil.”
In the same letter Bolingbroke announces that he is about to send Pope certain papers which he desires Marchmont, in concert with the poet, to read and arrange. This doubtless refers to the MS. of the Patriot King, and the concluding lines of this Satire suggest that it must have been written after Pope had received the Essay, and no doubt after Marchmont had shown him the letter of Bolingbroke.
O WRETCHED B- !' jealous now of all,
- his own proud dupe, thinks monarchs things
Through clouds of passion P—'s' views are clear,
Grave, righteous Sjogs on till, past belief,
Britain.--BOWLES. from the Marchmont and other papers
Cobham. BOWLES. that a section of the Opposition to Quære; Carteret.-CROKER.
which Pope belonged were dissatisfied Much more probable. Cobham is with the patriotism of Pulteney and indicated in ver. 23 ; and he was not Carteret.-CROKER. a man of such political importance as 4 Sandys.-BOWLES. these lines suggest.
Samuel Sandys (pronounced Sands). 3 This looks at first sight decisive Horace Walpole, who hated him as the against the authenticity of this piece, anthor of the motion for the removal of as Pulteney was not raised to the his father in 1741, describes him as peerage till July, 1742, but Pulteney “a republican, raised on the fall of Sir had already declared, and even pub. R. W. to be Chancellor of the Exlished a pamphlet to that effect, chequer, then degraded to be a peer that a peerage and not a place would and cofferer, and soon after laid aside.” be his object when his party should His dulness and respectability are become victorious, and we now know sufficiently indicated in this line, and
To purge and let thee blood, with fire and sword, Is all the help stern S-wou'd afford.
That those who bind and rob thee, would not kill, Good Chopes, and candidly sits still.
Of Ch—s W—who speaks at all, No more than of Sir Har—y or Sir P-? Whose names once up, they thought it was not wrong To lie in bed, but sure they lay too long. G-r, Cm, B
-m, B-—t,' pay thee due regards, Unless the ladies bid them mind their cards.
as to his gravity, H. Walpole says in a letter to Mann, Christmas Eve, 1741: “ Did you hear what Earle said of Sandys ?—that he never laughed but once, and that was when his best friend broke his thigh.” He was raised to the peerage in 1743, and died in 1770.
Shippen. ---BOWLES. This is not quite consistent with the fact that the emissaries of the Pretender, who visited England about this period, found Shippen “timid.” See Mahon's History of England, vol. 3, p. 43 (larger edition).
? Perhaps the Earl of Carlisle. Bowles.
More probably Lord Cornbury, who proved his “candour" in the following year by refusing to vote with the Opposition for Walpole's removal.
3 Sir Charles Hanbury Williams.BOWLES.
“ Charles Williams ” would not suit the metre, nor indeed the sense, for Sir C. H. Williams was an adherent of Walpole ; but the initials suit no other single politician whose name would fit better. The line was perhaps left unfinished, or more probably, as Mr. Carruthers suggests, two surnames were intended.
4 Sir Henry Oxenden and Sir Paul Methuen.-BOWLES. Oxenden was Sir George.-CROKER. There is a passage in Lord Hervey's Memoirs
which may explain the allusion to Sir Paul Methuen. He says : “The end of this session (1729) was re. markable only for one change, which was Sir Paul Methuen's quitting the employment of Treasurer of the Household. His pretence for quitting was disliking the conduct of the Court in general, but his true reason was his disapprobation, not of any actual sin, but of their sin of omission in not making him Secretary of State, an appointment which he had once unaccountably in the late reign obtained, and quitted when Lord Townsend and Sir Robert Walpole were disgraced. The character of this man was a very singular one. As to the affair of party he called himself always a Whig : after he had quitted he went too often to Court to be well with the Opposition, and too seldom to Parliament to be well with either side-a conduct which procured him the agreeable mixed character of courtier without profit, and country gentleman without popularity.”– Vol. i., 125.
Compare note to ver. 2 of Dialogue 1 of the Epilogue to the Satires, in which Pope dwells more fully on those features in Sir Paul's character which he here glances at.
5 Lord Gower, Cobham, and Bathurst. --BOWLES,