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Bowles, with greater probability, conceives Macer to have been intended for Philips, to whom Pope had taken an early and an inveterate dislike: he is elsewhere called “lean Philips.
His first literary acquaintance was with Steele: he borrowed the Distressed Mother from Voltaire, and translated the “ Persian Tales."
P. 449, line 4. A reasonable woman. The lady was Mrs. Howard, of Marble-hill, bed-chan:ber woman to Queen Caroline, and afterwards Countess of Suffolk. Pope's panegyric might have been more meritoriously applied.
P. 449, line 6 from bottom. Egerian grot. The retreat where Numa sought counsel of his genius, the nymph Egeria; a fiction almost too fine for his rude age, and ruder country. Juvenal, in some of those lines which signally show the picturesque eloquence of the great poet, exclaims against the artificial taste, which had' attempted to decorate the haunt of the king and his living oracle :
“ Quanto præstantius esset
P. 449, line 4 from bottom. British sighs from dying Wyndham, Pope's early Jacobitism reconciled even his acute, and rather con. temptuous mind, to all the absurdities of party. Sir William Wyndham was a Jacobite; wrong-headed enough to think that a Stuart reign was compatible with liberty; obstinate enough to persevere in his folly to the end of his days; and, with the usual morality of faction, flexible enough to take office under a government, which existed solely on the principle of excluding the Stuarts from the throne. In the reign of Anne, and on the accession of the Oxford cabinet, he thus became successively master of the buck-hounds, secretary at war, and chancellor of the exchequer. But the accession of the Brunswick line brought in a more decided policy; and the prosperous Jacobite was dismissed from all his places, and committed to the Tower. From this confinement, however, he was released on bail; and, exhausting the rest of his days in retirement, died in 1740.