صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

['I retire another Alcaeus according to his vote. to mine? Why, a second Callimachus !']

Who is he according

And in a similar fashion sundry critics belonging to our own age discover once a month some youthful versifier who surpasses Shelley in passion or Herrick in grace, and the youthful versifier in turn informs his microcosm of readers that for real insight his appreciative critic ranks higher than Matthew Arnold or Sainte Beuve. But log-rolling amenities of this sort, though they give pleasure to the participants, deceive nobody. Securus judicat orbis terrarum.

Pope certainly applied his amiable maxims in a curious fashion when he wrote the Dunciad.

such...who see note to 1. 15.

514. Parnassus, see note to 1. 94.


Pope must have overlooked the occurrence of the words " and "crown" in two consecutive lines.

516. jealous is a doublet of zealous.

It meant (1) 'full of zeal' for

a person, and so (2) 'anxiously watchful,' 'suspicious.'

518-9. Praise all authors,' says Pope, 'if they have done their best, poor though their best may be; but praise bad authors with reluctance, for bad authors are bad friends and will feel malignity at your own success rather than gratitude for your good word.'

519. ill author. The adjective ill is used attributively with only a few nouns, and of these 'author' is not one. We can speak of 'an ill wind,' 'ill blood,' 'ill nature,' 'ill manners,' 'ill health,' but not of an 'ill author.' With 'author' we employ the adjective predicatively and say 'The author is ill,' but the meaning is changed.

521. sacred is used here, in imitation of the Latin meaning, to signify accursed.'

"In the margin of the manuscript," says Mr Elwin, "Pope has written the passages of Virgil from which he took his expressions:

'Quid non mortalia pectora cogis,

Auri sacra fames?""

(Aeneid, III. 56.)

['Accursed lust of gold, to what dost thou not force the heart of man?'] "Nec tibi regnandi veniat tam dira cupido.”

['Nor let so dire a lust of sway be thine.']

(Georg. I. 37.)

If Pope had practised throughout his literary career the doctrines which he preaches with so much power in these lines, his literary assets

would have been of smaller bulk, and posterity would have been deprived of a good deal of amusement.

527. spleen, the pancreas'; then 'ill-humour,' 'low-spirits,' 'malice.'

528. provoking crimes, ‘crimes challenging punishment.' Provoke comes from Lat. pro, 'forth,' vocare, 'to call.'

529. flagitious times, ' times marked by scandalous vices.' Flagitious comes from Lat. flagitium, ‘a disgraceful act.'

530. To the same effect Roscommon (Essay on Translated Verse, 1. 113):

"Immodest words admit of no defence,

For want of decency is want of sense."

But Roscommon acted on the wholesome principle: Pope on the contrary would have had to admit

"video meliora proboque,

Deteriora sequor."

(Ovid, Metam. VII. 21. 'I see and approve the better course, but I follow the worse.')

533. sure: the adjectival form is used here for the adverb surely.

534. the fat age of pleasure, i.e. Charles II.'s reign. Macaulay, in his Essay on Milton, (written in the flamboyant style which came naturally to him at twenty-five, and which one sometimes wishes that his austere critics of to-day could successfully imitate in their maturer years), says: "Then came those days, never to be recalled without a blush, the days of servitude without loyalty and sensuality without love, of dwarfish talents and gigantic vices, the paradise of cold hearts and narrow minds, the golden age of the coward, the bigot, and the slave. The caresses of harlots, and the jests of buffoons, regulated the policy of the state. The government had just ability enough to deceive, and just religion enough to persecute. The principles of liberty were the scoff of every grinning courtier, and the Anathema Maranatha of every fawning dean. . . . Crime succeeded to crime, and disgrace to disgrace, till the race accursed of God and man was a second time driven forth, to wander on the face of the earth, and to be a by-word and a shaking of the head to the nations." (Vol. I. p. 22.) 535. thrived, a weak form: the strong preterite throve is more



538. Filts ruled the state. "Mistress followed mistress, and the guilt of a troop of profligate women was blazoned to the world by the gift of titles and estates. The Royal bastards were set amongst English


The ducal house of Grafton springs from the King's adultery with Barbara Palmer, whom he created Duchess of Cleveland. The Dukes of St Albans owe their origin to his intrigue with Nell Gwynne, a player and a courtezan. Louise de Querouaille, a mistress sent by France to win him to its interests, became Duchess of Portsmouth, and ancestress of the house of Richmond." (Green, Short History of the English People, p. 617.)

statesmen farces writ. Among the courtier group of dramatists belonging to Charles II.'s reign were George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham, whose farce, The Rehearsal, in ridicule of Dryden, was produced in 1671; John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, who tried his hand, not indeed on a farce but on an adaptation of Fletcher's tragedy Valentinian; Sir Charles Sedley, whose comedy The Mulberry Garden (1668) contains the pretty verses beginning “Ah! Chloris, that I now could sit"; and Sir George Etherege, whose Man of Mode, or Sir Fopling Flutter, pioneered the way to the sparkling dialogue of Congreve and Farquhar. "I allow it to be nature," said Steele of Sir Fopling Flutter, "but it is nature in its utmost corruption and degeneracy." Sir George, who had held appointments abroad in the diplomatic service, died at Paris in 1691. His works have been edited by Mr A. W. Verity.

539. wits had pensions. At any rate some of them went without. Samuel Butler's life of drudgery and poverty ended in 1680. The King read and quoted Hudibras, but left the author to starve. Years afterwards subscriptions were raised for a monument to his memory. "He asked for bread and he has received a stone," said Wesley. Otway, again, whose tragedies The Orphan (1681) and Venice Preserved (1682) contain scenes of pathos which, according to Sir Walter Scott's somewhat exaggerated estimate, "rival, at least, and sometimes excel those of Shakespeare," died in 1685 while hiding from his creditors. Tradition says that he was choked by a piece of bread which he attempted to swallow too ravenously in his hunger. And Wycherley, who had mixed with the great and ministered to their gaiety with his comedies, was left to lie seven years in the Fleet prison for debt.

young lords had wit. In the Imitations of Horace (Bk. II. Epist. i. 108), Pope speaks with good-natured contempt of

"the Wits of either Charles's days,

The Mob of Gentlemen who wrote with Ease."

Dennis says that "the young lords who had wit in the court of Charles II. were Villiers Duke of Buckingham, the Earl of Mulgrave afterwards

Sheffield Duke of Buckingham[shire], Lord Buckhurst afterwards Earl of Dorset, the Earl of Rochester and several others."

Some account of the Duke of Buckingham and the Earl of Rochester will be found in the notes to l. 459, p.127, and of the Duke of Buckinghamshire in the note to 1. 723, p. 151.

Charles Sackville, Earl of Dorset (1637—1706) is remembered only as the author of the song-" one of the prettiest that ever was made," says Prior,-"To all you ladies now on land." He was a liberal patron of letters and a good friend to Dryden and Samuel Butler.


54I. Pepys, under the date of June 12, 1663, notices that wearing masks at the theatre had 'of late become a great fashion among the ladies.' Cibber states that the immorality of the plays was the cause of the usage. When he wrote in 1739 the custom had been abolished for many years in consequence of the ill effects which attended it." (Elwin's note in loco.)

mask means (1) 'a cover for the face'; (2) a person wearing such a cover'; (3) ‘a masquerade,' i.e. a gathering at which the company were disguised in masks. The word is used here in its second sense.

542. the modest fan was lifted up no more, i.e. in the intercourse of daily life. At the theatre "the modest fan" would be useless when ladies wore masks.

543. The grammar is defective: a second at is required after "blushed."

544. a foreign reign, viz. that of William III. Pope says that he suppressed the following couplet at this point "as containing a national reflection, which in his stricter judgment he could not but disapprove, on any people whatever."

"Then first the Belgian morals were extoll'd,

We their religion had, and they our gold."

As a Catholic, Pope hated William III. and the Dutch for turning James II. out of the kingdom.

Jortin remarks that Pope "seems to have had two particular antipathies-one to grammatical and verbal criticism" (see note to 1. 112, p. 95), “the other to false doctrine and heresy. To the first we may ascribe his treating Bentley, Burmann, Küster, and Wasse, with a contempt which recoiled upon himself. To the second we will impute his pious zeal against those divines of King William, whom he supposed to be infected with the infidel, or the Socinian, or the latitudinarian spirit, and not so orthodox as himself and his friends Swift, Bolingbroke, etc. Thus he laid about him, and censured men of

whose literary, or of whose theological merits or defects, he was no more a judge than his footman."

545. Laelius Socinus was born at Sienna in 1525, but left Italy to join the reformation party in Switzerland, where he died in 1563.

His nephew Faustus Socinus was born at Sienna in 1539. After spending some years in France, Italy, Switzerland, and Transylvania, he settled in Poland and died near Cracow in 1604. He was the opponent of evangelical theology, denying the divinity of Christ, the doctrines of the atonement, of original sin, and of eternal punishment, the personality of the Holy Spirit, and the existence of Satan.

546. unbelieving priests. Latitudinarianism was prevalent during William III.'s reign, and in 1698 the House of Commons presented an address to the Crown, praying for the suppression of "all pernicious books and pamphlets which contained impious doctrines against the Holy Trinity, and other fundamental articles of the protestant faith." Pope is supposed to have had bishop Burnet in view when he made this reference to "unbelieving priests." If so, the application of the satire was unjust. But Pope had no liking for Burnet, and burlesqued his History of his own Time in the Memoirs of P.P.

547. Jortin says that this line contains an allusion to bishop Kennet (1660—1728), a prominent political figure in the time of Atterbury and Sacheverel. Kennet was reported to have stated “in a funeral sermon on some nobleman that converted sinners, if they were men of parts, repented more speedily and effectually than dull rascals."

Where, i.e. ‘according to which methods.' Pope means that these "unbelieving priests" taught that the government of God, like that of the king, was a limited, not an absolute monarchy, and that men were free to yield or to withhold their allegiance.

551. admired, 'marvelled,' 'wondered' (see l. 391). In this literal sense the word is now obsolete. Milton has as a similar use of it in Paradise Lost, I. 690:

"Let none admire

That riches grow in hell."

The writer in the Century Dictionary says that 'admire,' followed by an infinitive, is still used as a colloquial expression in America with the meaning ‘to feel pleasure': eg. ‘I should admire to go' signifies ‘I should be glad to go.'

552. The Titans were children of Heaven and Earth. They contended with Cronus, or Saturn, for the sovereignty of heaven, and were hurled down into Tartarus by the thunderbolts of his son Jupiter.

« السابقةمتابعة »