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For hung with deadly sins I see the wall,
Courts are too much for wits so weak as mine:
The first part of this poem was named from the year in which it was published—One thousand seven hundred and thirty-eight: a dialogue something like Horace: printed for Cooper.' The second part was printed in the same year, for Dodsley, Pall Mall.
The Epilogue is one of the most powerful productions which Pope ever gave to the world: it is, throughout, a vivid and rapid declamation on the degeneracy of England, which he pronounces to be rushing to her ruin. The picture is overcharged; but some grounds were discoverable for the fear, in the violent factions, the court intrigues, the popular tumults, and the growing irreligion of the time. The jacobite principles still fermented through the country; and, though Pope's religious and political feelings were alike enlisted for the Stuarts; yet, even in the poet himself, strong natural alarm must have been excited by the direct prospect of a collision between the restored despotism and the newlyasserted liberty, the religion of Rome and the Reformation.
Warton speaks of this poem as exercising more than Pope's habitual care :- I have often heard Dodsley say, that he was employed by the author to copy both the Dia
logues fairly: every line was then written twice over; a clear transcript was delivered to Pope; and when he afterwards sent it to Dodsley to be printed, he found that every line had been written twice over a second time! The name of Epilogue to the Satires was given probably in contrast to the Epistle to Arbuthnot, named the Prologue. The first part was published on the same morning with Johnson's celebrated London :'Pope gave high praise to the anonymous work, and predicted that its author would soon be déterré ;-a prediction, which, however, was not accomplished for thirty unhappy years.
F. Not twice a twelvemonth you appear in print; And when it comes, the court see nothing in 't. You grow correct that once with rapture writ; And
are, besides, too moral for a wit. Decay of parts, alas ! we all must feel : Why now, this moment, don't I see you steal ? "Tis all from Horace; Horace, long before ye, Said, Tories call'd him whig, and whigs a tory;'
After ver. 2 in the Ms.
You don't, I hope, pretend to quit the trade,
refresh us with a livelier song ;
And taught his Romans, in much better metre, • To laugh at fools who put their trust in Peter.'
But Horace, sir, was delicate, was nice; 11 Bubo observes, he lash'd no sort of vice: Horace would say, sir Billy served the crown,' Blunt could do business,' H-ggins knew the
town;' In Sappho touch the .failings of the sex;' In reverend bishops note some small neglects ;' And own the Spaniard did a waggish thing,' Who cropp'd our ears, and sent them to the king. His sly, polite, insinuating style Could please at court, and make Augustus smile: An artful manager that crept between
21 His friend and shame, and was a kind of screen. But, faith, your very friends will soon be sore: Patriots there
you 'd jest no more: And where's the glory? 'twill be only thought 25 The great man never offer'd you a groat. 9 In much better metre. From Boileau :
Avant lui, Juvénal avoit dit en Latin,
Qu'on est assis à l'aise aux sermons de Cotin. 12 Bubo. Bubb Doddington.
13 Sir Billy. Sir William Young, of use to the minister, as a talker against time.
14 H-ggins. Formerly jailer of the Fleet prison, who enriched himself by many exactions, for which he was tried and expelled.-Pope.
18 Who cropp'd 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. The whole story was afterwards said to be a fiction. After ver. 26 in the Ms.
There's honest Tacitus* once talk'd as big;
But is he now an independent whig ? * Mr. Thomas Gordon, who was bought off by a place at court.
Go, see sir Robert
P. See sir Robert !-humAnd never laugh-for all my life to come ? Seen him I have, but in his happier hour Of social pleasure, ill-exchanged for power; 30 Seen him, uncumber'd with the venal tribe, Smile without art, and win without a bribe. Would he oblige me? let me only find, He does not think me what he thinks mankind. Come, come, at all I laugh, he laughs, no doubt ; The only difference is, I dare laugh out. 36
29 But in his happier hour.: Pope here forgets his party to compliment the minister: but this slight tergiversation may be forgiven, when we are told that it was in return for a favor conferred, not on himself, but on bis friend, the abbé Southcote.
Walpole's private life was gross, his personal manners were rough, and his ministerial principles were avowedly and undeniably formed on the corruptibility of the human character: but his management of England, during the doubtful period of the Hanover succession, was masterly. Even Burke gives him all the praise that can be awarded to a successful statesman. Bowles quotes the sufficiently characteristic description from the pen of lady M. W. Montague :
On seeing a portrait of Sir Robert Walpole.
35 He laughs, no doubt. Walpole's general remark that every man has his price,' has been diluted by his biographer, archdeacon Coxe, into a particular sneer at the patriots of his day, * All those have their price.' But the phrase was only too characteristic of Walpole's rough dealing with mankind, his habitual contempt for all professions of public virtue, and his