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Alexander Pope (1688–1744). Complete Poetical Works. 1903.

Later Poems

1740: A Poem

  • ‘I shall here,’ says Dr. Warton, ‘present the reader with a valuable literary curiosity, a Fragment of an unpublished Satire of Pope, entitled, One Thousand Seven Hundred and Forty; communicated to me by the kindness of the learned and worthy Dr. Wilson, formerly fellow and librarian of Trinity College, Dublin; who speaks of the Fragment in the following terms:—
  • ‘“This poem I transcribed from a rough draft in Pope’s own hand. He left many blanks for fear of the Argus eye of those who, if they cannot find, can fabricate treason; yet, spite of his precaution, it fell into the hands of his enemies. To the hieroglyphics there are direct allusions, I think, in some of the notes on the Dunciad. It was lent me by a grandson of Lord Chetwynd, an intimate friend of the famous Lord Bolingbroke, who gratified his curiosity by a boxful of the rubbish and sweepings of Pope’s study, whose executor he was, in conjuction with Lord Marchmont.”’

  • O WRETCHED B[ritian], jealous now of all,

    What God, what Mortal shall prevent thy fall?

    Turn, turn thy eyes from wicked men in place,

    And see what succour from the patriot race.

    C[ampbell], his own proud dupe, thinks Monarchs things

    Made just for him, as other fools for Kings;

    Controls, decides, insults thee ev’ry hour,

    And antedates the hatred due to power.

    Thro’ clouds of passion P[ulteney]’s views are clear;

    He foams a Patriot to subside a Peer;

    Impatient sees his country bought and sold,

    And damns the market where he takes no gold.

    Grave, righteous S[andys] jogs on till, past belief,

    He finds himself companion with a thief.

    To purge and let thee blood with fire and sword

    Is all the help stern S[hippen] would afford.

    That those who bind and rob thee would not kill,

    Good C[ornbury] hopes, and candidly sits still.

    Of Ch[arle]s W[illiams] who speaks at all?

    No more than of Sir Har[r]y or Sir P[aul]:

    Whose names once up, they thought it was not wrong

    To lie in bed, but sure they lay too long.

    G[owe]r, C[obha]m, B[athurs]t, pay thee due regards.

    Unless the ladies bid them mind their cards.

    with wit that must

    And C[hesterfiel]d who speaks so well and writes,

    Whom (saving W.) every S[harper bites,]

    must needs

    Whose wit and … equally provoke one,

    Finds thee, at best, the butt to crack his joke on.

    As for the rest, each winter up they run,

    And all are clear, that something must be done.

    Then urged by C[artere]t, or by C[artere]t stopp’d,

    Inflamed by P[ultene]y, and by P[ultene]y dropp’d;

    They follow rev’rently each wondrous wight,

    Amazed that one can read, that one can write

    (So geese to gander prone obedience keep,

    Hiss if he hiss, and if he slumber, sleep);

    Till having done whate’er was fit or fine,

    Utter’d a speech, and ask’d their friends to dine,

    Each hurries back to his paternal ground,

    Content but for five shillings in the pound,

    Yearly defeated, yearly hopes they give,

    And all agree Sir Robert cannot live.

    Rise, rise, great W[alpole], fated to appear,

    Spite of thyself a glorious minister!

    Speak the loud language princes …

    And treat with half the …

    At length to B[ritain] kind, as to thy …

    Espouse the nation, you …

    What can thy H[orace] …

    Dress in Dutch …

    Though still he travels on no bad pretence,

    To show …

    Or those foul copies of thy face and tongue,

    Veracious W[innington] and frontless Yonge;

    Sagacious Bub, so late a friend, and there

    So late a foe, yet more sagacious H[are]?

    Hervey and Hervey’s school, F[ox], H[enle]y, H[into]n,

    Yea, moral Ebor, or religious Winton.

    How! what can O[nslo]w, what can D[elaware],

    The wisdom of the one and other chair,

    N[ewcastle] laugh, or D[orset]’s sager [sneer],

    Or thy dread truncheon M[arlboro]’s mighty Peer?

    What help from J[ekyl]l’s opiates canst thou draw

    Or H[ardwic]k’s quibbles voted into law?

    C[ummins], that Roman in his nose alone,

    Who hears all causes, B[ritain], but thy own,

    Or those proud fools whom nature, rank, and fate

    Made fit companions for the sword of state.

    Can the light Packhorse, or the heavy Steer,

    The sowzing Prelate, or the sweating Peer,

    Drag out with all its dirt and all its weight,

    The lumb’ring carriage of thy broken state?

    Alas! the people curse, the carman swears,

    The drivers quarrel, and the master stares.

    The plague is on thee, Britain, and who tries

    To save thee, in th’ infectious office dies.

    The first firm P[ultene]y soon resign’d his breath,

    Brave S[carboro] loved thee, and was lied to death.

    Good M[arch]m[on]t’s fate tore P[olwar]th from thy side,

    And thy last sigh was heard when W[yndha]m died.

    Thy nobles sl[ave]s, thy se[nate]s bought with gold,

    Thy clergy perjured, thy whole people sold,

    An atheist [symbol], a [symbol]’s ad ………

    Blotch thee all o’er, and sink ……

    Alas! on one alone our all relies,

    Let him be honest, and he must be wise.

    Let him no trifler from his … school,

    Nor like his ……… still a.…

    Be but a man! unminister’d, alone,

    And free at once the Senate and the Throne;

    Esteem the public love his best supply,

    A [symbol]’s true glory his integrity;

    Rich with his …… in his …… strong,

    Affect no conquest, but endure no wrong.

    Whatever his religion or his blood,

    His public Virtue makes his title good.

    Europe’s just balance and our own may stand,

    And one man’s honesty redeem the land.