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THE FIRST SATIRE
SECOND BOOK OF HORACE
TO MR. FORTESCUE.
P. There are, (I scarce can think it, but am told)
P. Not write? but then I think,
15 Why, if the nights seem tedious—take a wife:
6 Lord Fanny spins. Those were the lines by which Pope struck the first blow in the battle with lord Hervey. Lord Hervey's appearance was effeminate ; and he was said to improve a peculiarly pale complexion by the unmanly aid of rouge.
Or rather truly, if your point be rest,
and fierce, With arms, and George, and Brunswick crowd
24 Rend with tremendous sound your ears asunder, With gun, drum, trumpet, blunderbuss, and thun
der? Or nobly wild, with Budgell's fire and force, Paint angels trembling round his falling horse?
F. Then all your Muse's softer art display ; Let Carolina smoothe the tuneful lay,
30 Lull with Amelia's liquid name the Nine, And sweetly flow through all the royal line.
P. Alas! few verses touch their nicer ear; They scarce can bear their laureat twice a year; And justly Cæsar scorns the poet's lays : 35 It is to history he trusts for praise.
F. Better be Cibber, I'll maintain it still, Than ridicule all taste, blaspheme quadrille,
23 What? like sir Richard. Johnson describes Blackmore as a man, who destroyed a good reputation as a physician by a bad one as a poet: yet Molyneux writes to Locke, that “all our English poets, except Milton, have been mere balladmakers in comparison of him ;' and Locke replies,-'I find, with pleasure, a strange harmony between your thoughts and mine.'
28 Falling horse. The horse on which his majesty charged at the battle of Oudenard; when the pretender and the princes of the blood of France fled before him.--Warton,
Abuse the city's best good men in metre, 39 And laugh at peers that put their trust in Peter. Ev’n those you touch not, hate you.
P. What should ail them? F.. A hundred smart in Timon and in Balaam : The fewer still you name, you wound the more; Bond is but one, but Harpax is a score.
P. Each mortal has his pleasure: none deny 45 Scarsdale his bottle, Darty his ham-pie: Ridotta sips and dances, till she see The doubling lustres dance as fast as she; F loves the senate, Hockley-hole his brother, Like in all else as one egg to another.
50 I love to pour out all myself, as plain As downright Shippen, or as old Montaigne: In them, as certain to be loved as seen, The soul stood forth, nor kept a thought within ; In me what spots (for spots I have) appear 55 Will
prove at least the medium must be clear. In this impartial glass, my Muse intends Fair to expose myself, my foes, my friends;
46 Darty his ham-pie. Darteneuf, a contemptible fellow, who made a ridiculous reputation by his gluttony. On reading this passage, he acknowleged the application ; but said, that if Pope had given him 'sweet-pie instead of ham-pie, he could never have forgiven him.'
46 Darty. Littleton, in his . Dialogues of the Dead,' has introduced Darteneuf, in a pleasant discourse between him and Apicius, bitterly lamenting his ill-fortune in having lived before turtle-feasts were known in England. The story of the ham-pie was confirmed by Dodsley, who knew Darteneuf, and, as he candidly owned, had waited on him at dinner.
5? Downright Shippen. A member of parliament in opposition to sir Robert Walpole ; a frequent speaker, and supposed to be conspicuous for sense, integrity, and love of liberty ; yet, in contradiction to the whole three, a rank jacobite.
Publish the present age ; but where my text
Satire 's my weapon, but I'm too discreet
66 Like good Erasmus. The illegitimate son of a Dutch physician, who afterwards turned priest. Eminent as a scholar, and distinguished in the first vigor of European criticism, he disgraced his literary fame by his religious timidity. Evidently attached to the truths of protestantism, he idly tried to reconcile them with the honors of popery; and alternating between respect for Luther, and expectations from Rome, descended to his grave in decent hypocrisy.
70 To run a muck. Alludes to a practice among the Malayans, who are great gamesters; which is, that when a man has lost all his property, he intoxicates himself with opium, works himself up to a fit of frenzy, rushes into the streets, and attacks and murders all he meets.- Warton.
73 Save but our army. It is a curious instance of the blindness of politicians, that the standing army of England, from which the overthrow of our liberties had been so violently predicted, has been uniformly the protector of those liberties. It is equally an instance of the blindness of philosophers, to find Montesquieu asserting, ‘that the first standing army was only the commencement of turning the whole population of Europe into soldiers.' We see that its actual operation was the
Peace is my dear delight--not Fleury's more : 75
Then, learned sir, (to cut the matter short) Whate'er my fate, or well or ill at court; Whether old age, with faint but cheerful ray, Attends to gild the evening of my day; Or death's black wing already be display'd, 95 To wrap me in the universal shade; direct reverse; that, by keeping a certain and small portion of the people under arms, it at once exempted the rest from being perpetually called on, and prevented hostilities by the readiness for defence; that it softened the temper even of despotism, by giving the despot a permanent security against popular insurrection; and that it lessened the general calami. ties of war by establishing a code of military law through all nations.
81 Delia's rage. A Miss Mackenzie was, at this time, presumed to have died of poison administered by a rival. The suspected Delia's name is given in the old edition, lady D-ne.'
82 Page. A brutal judge, whose conduct on Savage's trial is given down to ignominy by Johnson.