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Whether the darken'd room to muse invite,
Like Lee or Budgell, I will rhyme and print. 100 F. Alas, young man! your days can ne'er be long;
In flower of age you perish for a song!
Plums and directors, Shylock and his wife,
Brand the bold front of shameless, guilty men,
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 boast it can justly be, to refuse the honors and emoluments offered by government, 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:
And he, whose lightning pierced the Iberian lines,
Or tames the genius of the stubborn plain
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 had 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 foot, accomplished the conquest of Valencia.
Envy must own, I live among the great, No pimp of pleasure, and no spy of state, With eyes that pry not, tongue that ne'er repeats, Fond to spread friendships, but to cover heats; To help who want, to forward who excel; This all who know me, know; who love me, tell; And who unknown defame me, let them be Scribblers or peers, alike are mob to me. This is my plea, on this I rest my cause: What saith my counsel, learned in the laws? F. Your plea is good; but still I say, beware! Laws are explain'd by men: so have a care. It stands on record, that in Richard's times A man was hang'd for very honest rhymes. Consult the statute: quart. I think, it is, Edwardi sext. or prim. et quint. Eliz.
See Libels, Satires:' here you have it read.
But grave Epistles, bringing vice to light,
The case is alter'd: you may then proceed:
THE SECOND SATIRE
SECOND BOOK OF HORACE.
TO MR. BETHEL.
THIS imitation is confined chiefly to a sketch of the poet's personal habits, and for that reason has a value which may not be always affixed to his more ambitious labors. The details are slight, but they are characteristic; and the language is easy, but elegant. Few things in literature are more attractive than those sudden glimpses into the study, or the bosom, of eminent men. If Shakspeare had given us but a few traits of himself, with what delight would they not have been cherished at this hour! Of the misfortunes of the great poets we know too much, of their manners too little in negligence or disdain, they have left the world to conjecture; and have thus deprived it of the most interesting portion of the most interesting of all classes of literature, biography.
WHAT, and how great, the virtue and the art
Not when a gilt buffet's reflected pride
Hear Bethel's sermon, one not versed in schools,
Your wine lock'd up, your butler stroll'd abroad, Or fish denied, the river yet unthaw'd ;
If then plain bread and milk will do the feat, 15
9 Bethel, a frequent and familiar correspondent of Pope : he performs in this Epistle the part of the Horatian Ofellus.
18 Will choose a pheasant. In the original, a peacock, a stronger contrast. The peacock was among the most costly dishes of Roman epicurism: its price was sometimes fifty denarii, about a guinea and a half. The rearing of peacocks for the table was a trade: a flock of a hundred has been rated at £322 of our money. Aufidius Lurco, according to Varro, made an income of nearly £500 a year by peacocks alone. 25 Oldfield. A fool, who ate himself out of his fortune. 26 Hog barbecued, &c. A West Indian term of gluttony; a hog roasted whole, stuffed with spice, and basted with Madeira wine.-Pope.