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I was not born for Courts or great affairs ;
I pay my debts, believe, and say my pray’rs;
Can sleep without a Poem in my head,
Nor know, if Dennis be alive or dead.

270 Why am I ask'd what next shall see the light? Heav'ns ! was 1 born for nothing but to write ? Has Life no joys for me? or (to be grave) Have I no friend to serve, no soul to save ? 274 “ I found him close with Swift - Indeed ? no doubt " (Cries prating Balbus) fomething will come out. 'Tis all in vain, deny it as I will. ch a Genius never can lie ftill ;

VARIATIONS.
After x 270. in the MS.

Friendships from youth I fought, and seek them ftill:
Fame, like the wind, may breathe where'er it will.
The World I knew, but made it not my School,

And in a course of fatt'ry liv'd no fool, * By riot making the World bis School he means, he did not form his system of morality, on the principles or practice of men in business.

Notes. conduct in life was governed only on principles of policy: for of what minifters he speaks, may be seen by the character he gives, in the next line, of the

Courts they belong to. Ver. 271. Why am I ask'd &c.] This is intended as a reproof of those impertinent complaints, which were perpetually made to him by those who called themselves his friends, for not entertaining the Town as often as it wanted amusement.--A French writer says well on this occasion Dès qu'on est auteur, il semble qu'on soit aux gages d'un tas de fainéans, pour leur fournir de quoi amuser leur oisiveté.

280

And then for mine obligingly mistakes
The first Lampoon Sir Will. or Bubo makes.
Poor guiltless I! and can I chuse but smile,
When ev'ry Coxcomb knows me by my Style?

Curst be the verse, how well foe'er it flow,
That tends to make one worthy man my foe,
Give Virtue scandal, Innocence a fear,
Or from the soft-ey'd Virgin steal a tear !
But he who hurts a harmless neighbour's peace,
Insults fall’n worth, or Beauty in distress,
Who loves a Lye, lame slander helps about,
Who writes a Libel, or who copies out:
That Fop, whose pride affects a patron's name,
Yet absent, wounds an author's honest fame:

285

290

VARIATIONS.
After Ý 282. in the MS.
P. What if I fing Auguttus, great and good ?
A. You did fo lately, was it understood ?
P. Be nice no more, but, with a mouth profound,

As rumbling D-s or a Norfolk hound;
With GEORGB and Fred'ric roughen ev'ry verse,

Then smooth up all, and CAROLINE rehearse.
A. No- the high task to lift up Kings to Gods

Leave to Court-sermons, and to birth-day Odes.
On themes like these, superior far to thine,

Let laurellid Cibber, and great Arnal shine.
P. Why write at all? - A. Yes, filence if you keep,

The Town, the Court, the Wits, the Dunces weep.

Who can your merit selfishly approve,
And show the sense of it without the love;
Who has the vanity to call you friend,

295
Yet wants the honour, injur’d, to defend ;
Who tells whate'er you think, whate'er you say,
And, if he lye not, must at leaft betray:
Who to the Dean, and silver bell can swear,
And fees at Cannons what was never there; 300

Notes. Ver. 293.-—-selfishly approve,] Because to deny, or pretend not to see, a well established merit, would impeach his own heart or understanding.

VER. 294. And how the sense of it without the love ;} i. e. will never suffer the admiration of an excellence to produce any efteem for him, to whom it belongs.

Ver. 295. Who has the vanity to call you friend, Yet wants the honour, injur'd, to defend;] When a great Genius, whose writings have afforded the world much pleasure and instruction, happens to be enviously attacked, or falsely accused, it is natural to think, that a sense of gratitude for so agreeable an obligation, or a sense of that honour resulting to our Country from such a Writer, should raise amongst those who call themselves his friends, a pretty general indignation. But every day's experience shews us the very contrary. Some take a malignant satisfaction in the attack; others a foolish pleasure in a literary conflict; and the far greater part look on with a selfish indifference. VER. 299. Who to the Dean, and filver bell

, &c.] Meaning the man who would have persuaded the Duke of Chandos that Mr. P. meant him in those circumitances ridiculed in the Epistle on Taste. See Mr. Pope's Letter to the Earl of Burlington concerning this matter.

306

Who reads, but with a lust to misapply,
Make Satire a Lampoon, and Fiction Lye.
A lash like mine no honest man shall dread,
But all such babling blockheads in his stead.

Let Sporus tremble--A. What? that thing of filk,
Sporus, that mere white curd of Ass's milk?
Satire or sense, alas! can Sporus feel?
Who breaks a butterfly upon a wheel?
P. Yet let me flap this bug with gilded wings,
This painted child of dirt, that stinks and stings; 310
Whose buzz the witty and the fair annoys,
Yet wit ne'er tastes, and beauty ne'er enjoys :
So well-bred spaniels civilly delight
In mumbling of the game they dare not bite.
Eternal smiles his emptiness betray,

315 As shallow streams run dimpling all the way. Whether in florid impotence he speaks, And, as the prompter breathes, the puppet squeaks ; Or at the ear of Eve, familiar Toad, Half froth, half venom, spits himself abroad, 320 In puns, or politics, or tales, or lies, Or ipite, ur smut, or rhymes, or blasphemies.

NOTES.

See Milton, Book iv. P. Ver. 320. Half froth,} Alluding to those frothy exuctions, called by the people, Toad spits, seen in summertine hanging upon planis, and emitted by young infects wl.ich he hid in the midit of them, for their preservation,

ole in this helpless itace.

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326

His wit all fee-faw, between that and this,
Now high, now low, now master up, now miss,
And he himself one vile Antithesis.
Amphibious thing ! that acting either part,
The triAing head, or the corrupted heart,
Fop at the toilet, flatt'rer at the board,
Now trips a Lady, and now struts a Lord.
Eve's tempter thus the Rabbins have expreft, 330
A Cherub's face, a reptile all the rest,
Beauty that shocks you, parts that none will trust,
Wit that can creep, and pride that licks the duft.

Not Fortune's worshipper, nor Fashion's fool,
Not Lucre's madman, nor Ambition's tool, 335
Not proud, nor servile; Be one Poet's praise,
That, if he pleas'd, he pleas'd by manly ways:
That Flatt'ry, ev'n to Kings, he held a shame,
And thought a Lye in verse or prose the fame.

Notes. VER. 340. That not in Fancy's maze he wander'd long,] His merit in this will appear very great, if we consider, that in this walk he had all the advantages which the most poetic Imagination could give to a great Genius. M. Voltaire in a MS. letter now before me, writes thus from England to a friend in Paris. “ I intend to send you two or three poems of Mr. Pope, the best poet

of England, • and at present of all the world. I hope you are ac“ quainted enough with the English tongue, to be fenfi" ble of all the charms of his works. For my part, I is look upon

his poem called the Esay on Criticism as superior to the Art of poetry of Horace; and his Rape of the Lock is, in my opinion, above the Lutrin of Dél

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