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Content with little, I can piddle here
On broccoli and mutton round the year;
But ancient friends, though poor, or out of play,
That touch my bell, I cannot turn away.
'Tis true, no turbots dignify my boards,
But gudgeons, flounders, what my Thames affords :
To Hounslow-heath I point, and Bansted-down;
Thence comes your mutton, and these chicks my

own :

From yon old walnut-tree a shower shall fall; 145
And grapes, long lingering on my only wall;
And figs from standard and espalier join ;
The devil is in



you cannot dine : Then cheerful healths, (your mistress shall have

place) And, what's more rare, a poet shall say grace. 150

Fortune not much of humbling me can boast; Though double tax'd, how little have I lost! My life's amusements have been just the same Before and after standing armies came. My lands are sold, my father's house is gone; 155 I'll hire another's; is not that my own, And yours, my friends ? through whose free open

ing gate None comes too early, none departs too late; For I, who hold sage Homer's rule the best, Welcome the coming, speed the going guest. 160 • Pray Heaven it last ! cries Swift, as you go on; I wish to God this house had been your own :

continuing mine. But most of those I love are travelling out of the world, not into it; and unless I have such a view given me, I have no vanity or pleasure that does not stop short of the grave.'

Pity, to build, without a son or wife :
Why, you'll enjoy it only all your life.'
Well, if the use be mine, can it concern one, 165
Whether the name belong to Pope or Vernon ?
What’s property ? dear Swift! you see it alter
From you to me, from me to Peter Walter ;
Or, in a mortgage, prove a lawyer's share ;
Or, in a jointure, vanish from the heir; 170
Or, in pure equity, the case not clear,
The chancery takes your rents for twenty year :
At best, it falls to some ungracious son,
Who cries, “My father's damn'd, and all's my

Shades, that to Bacon could retreat afford, 175
Become the portion of a booby lord ;
And Hemsley, once proud Buckingham's delight,
Slides to a scrivener or a city knight.
Let lands and houses have what lords they will,
Let us be fix'd, and our own masters still.


172 The chancery takes your rents. Warburton says, roughly but keenly,– A protestant miser's money in chancery, and a catholic miser's money in purgatory, are never to be got out, till the law and the church have been well paid for their redemption.'

175 Shades, that to Bacon. Gorhambury, near St. Albans.

177 Proud Buckingham's delight. Villiers, duke of Buckingham.





Pope had reached his forty-ninth year at the time of this epistle. Horace is supposed to have been in his fortyseventh when he wrote the original : yet the Roman's age might seem more advanced, from the 'non eadem est ætas, non mens,'—the air of resignation of the world which commences and characterises the poem. Bentley's authority thus gives the eras of Horace :—the first book of the Satires was written between his twenty-sixth and twenty-eighth years; the second, between his thirty-first and thirty-third ; the Epodes, in his thirty-fourth and thirty-fifth; the first book of the Odes, from his thirty-sixth to his thirty-eighth ; the second, in his thirty-ninth and fortieth ; the first book of the Epistles, in his forty-sixth and forty-seventh; the fourth book of the Odes in his forty-ninth ; lastly, the Art of Poetry, and the second book of the Epistles, whose exact date is not assignable.

Sr. John, whose love indulged my labors past,
my present, and shall bound




Why will you break the sabbath of my days?
Now sick alike of envy and of praise.
Public too long, ah, let me hide my age !
See, modest Cibber now has left the stage :
Our generals now, retired to their estates,
Hang their old trophies o'er the garden gates,
In life's cool evening satiate of applause,
Nor fond of bleeding, ev'n in Brunswick's cause.

A voice there is, that whispers in my ear, 11 ('Tis reason's voice, which sometimes one can

hear) • Friend Pope! be prudent; let your Muse take

breath, And never gallop Pegasus to death; Lest, stiff and stately, void of fire or force, 15 You limp, like Blackmore on a lord mayor's

Farewell then, verse, and love, and every toy,
The rhymes and rattles of the man or boy:
What right, what true, what fit we justly call,
Let this be all my care-for this is all :
To lay this harvest up, and hoard with haste
What every day will want, and most, the last.

But ask not, to what doctors I apply :
Sworn to no master, of no sect am I:
As drives the storm, at any door I knock;

25 And house with Montaigne now, or now with


Locke :

26 And now with Montaigne. Warburton tells us, that Pope regarded Montaigne and Locke as the best schools to form a man of the world, or to give him a knowlege of himself; the former as excelling in his observations on social and civil life, and the latter as developing the faculties of the mind.

Sometimes a patriot, active in debate,
Mix with the world, and battle for the state ;
Free as young Littleton, her cause pursue,
Still true to virtue, and as warm as true: 30
Sometimes, with Aristippus or St. Paul,
Indulge my candor, and grow all to all;
Back to my native moderation slide,
And win my way by yielding to the tide.
Long as to him who works for debt, the
day ;

Long as the night to her whose love's away;
Long as the year's dull circle seems to run,
When the brisk minor pants for twenty-one;
So slow the unprofitable moments roll,
That lock up all the functions of my

soul; 40 That keep me from myself, and still delay Life's instant business to a future day : That task, which as we follow or despise, The eldest is a fool, the youngest wise ;

44 Which done, the poorest can no wants endure; And which not done, the richest must be poor.

Late as it is, I put myself to school, And feel some comfort not to be a fool.

29 Free as young Littleton. The name of Littleton seems condemned to an ineffectual labor for fame in English literature. Yet if this writer's poems were feeble, and bis · Dia. logues of the Dead' common-place, he deserved more honor for his little work on the Conversion of St. Paul ;-a manly retractation of the absurdities of unbelief, with manly reasons for the retractation.

31 Aristippus or St. Paul. Warton justly observes on the indecoruin of joining the name of the profligate parasite of Dionysius with the venerated name of the great apostle: but the name belonged to the original,— Nunc in Aristippi furtim præcepta.'

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