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Approach: But awful! Lo! the Aegerian Grot, 9 Where, nobly-pensive, ST. JOHN fate and thought; Where
VER. 11. Where British fighs from dying Wyndham ftole,] In his MS. it was thus:
To Wyndham's breast the patriot paffions stole,
which made the whole allude to a certain Anecdote of not much WARBURTON.
confequence to any but the parties concerned.
VER. 8. eye the Mine]
"Aurum irrepertum, et fic melius fitum
Cum terra celet."
HORAT. 1. 3. od. 3.
VER. 9. Aegerian Grot,] Thefe are two charming lines; but are blemished by two bad rhymes, Grot to Thought; scarce excufable in fo fhort a poem, in which every fyllable ought to be correct.
It is remarkable that Juvenal having mentioned this celebrated cave, takes occafion to inveigh against artificial grotto-work, and adulterating the fimple beauties of nature, in lines uncommonly poetical:
"In vallem Ægeriæ defcendimus, et Speluncas
Numen aquæ, viridi fi margine clauderit undas
Sat. iii. v. 17.
Milton, in an exquifite Latin poem, addreffed to Salfillus, vol. ii. p. 532. has beautifully feigned that Numa is ftill living in this dark grove and grotto, in the perpetual enjoyment of his Ægeria.
VER. io. Where, nobly penfive, ST. JOHN] Lord Bolingbroke's account of the converfations, and manner of Pope's friends paffing their time, in his Garden, is not uninterefting:
"All I dare promise you is, that my thoughts, in what order foever they flow, fhall be communicated to you, just as they pafs through my mind, juft as they used to be when we converfed together on thefe or any other fubject, when we fauntered alone, or, as we have often done, with good Arbuthnot, and the jocose Dean of St. Patrick, among the multiplied fcenes of your little Garden."
Letter to Sir William Wyndham.
Where British fighs from dying WYNDHAM stole, And the bright flame was fhot through MARCHMONT's Soul.
Let fuch, fuch only, tread this facred Floor,
VER. 11. dying Wyndham] I have, by favour of Mr. Coxe, an eloquent and affecting letter on the Death of Sir William Wyndham by Lord Bolingbroke, but it is too long to be inferted. The reader will find it in another place.
Sir William Wyndham was a moft upright and amiable man, and confcientioufly attached to the exiled House of James. Born of a Tory family; "embued," fays Mr. Coxe, "from his earlier years with notions of Divine right, he uniformly oppofed the fucceffion of the Houfe of Brunswick."
By marriage, in the reign of Edward the Sixth, with the daughter of Sir John Sydenham of Orchard, the elder line of the ancient family of this name, from Wymondham in Norfolk, was fettled at Orchard, fince called Orchard Wyndham in Somerfetfhire., Sir William was lineally defcended from this branch. He was born in the year 1686, and, upon the death of his Father, fucceeded to the title of Baronet. He married, in 1708, Lady Catherine Seymour, daughter of Charles Duke of Somerset,
Pope's connection with him was probably owing to Lord Bolingbroke, through life his intimate friend, and with whom. he kept up a conftant correfpondence, which was continued with his fon, afterwards Earl of Egremont, till the death of Lord Bolingbroke. Under Lord Oxford's adminiftration he was made Mafter of the Buck-Hounds, was afterwards Secretary at War, and Chancellor of the Exchequer. For obvious reafons, he experienced agreat reverfe of fortune on the acceffion of George I. and was committed to the Tower in 1716. He was released under bail, and continued to be highly refpected for his probity and abilities. He died in 1740.
TO MR. GAY,
CONGRATULATING HIM ON FINISHING HIS HOUSE
AH, friend! 'tis true this truth you lovers
In vain my structures rife, my gardens grow,
What are the gay parterre, the chequer'd fhade,
To figh unheard in, to the paffing winds?
THESE very beautiful lines I have introduced in this place, as the most proper, after Pope's Infcription on his Grotto. In Pope's works the eight laft lines only have been published as a fragment, the others were fuppreffed in confequence of his fubfequent quarrel with the Lady whofe name appears in them. They appear evidently written from the heart.
Lady Mary's account of them puts their authenticity out of doubt:
"I fee fometimes Mr. Congreve, and very feldom Mr. Pope, who continues to embellish his houfe at Twickenham. He has made a fubterranean grotto, which he has furnished with lookingglaffes, and they tell me it has a good effect I send you fome verfes, addred to Mr. Gay, who wrote him a congratulatory Letter on bis finifting his boufe. I ftifled thefe here, and I beg they may die the same death at Paris, and never go farther than your closet."
Dallaway's edition of Lady M. W. Montagu's Works, vol. iii. p. 108.
TO MRS. M. B.*
ON HER BIRTH-DAY.
H be thou bleft with all that Heav'n can fend, Long Health, long Youth, long Pleasure, and a Friend:
Not with those Toys the female world admire,
Let Joy or Eafe, let Affluence or Content, And the gay Conscience of a life well spent,
VER. 10. 'Tis but the Fun'ral] were these four following, in the original :
Immediately after this line
"If there's no hope, with kind, tho' fainter ray,
If every page of life's long volume tell
The fame dull ftory, Mordaunt, thou didst well!” Colonel Mordaunt, who destroyed himself, though not under the preffure of any ill or misfortune.