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161 textual evidence at least isolates the likeliest motive for such murder:self-defense in the face of a provocative challenge to ‘‘male sexual hegemony’’ and existing ‘‘boundaries of sexual difference.’’Plainly , hell had no fury likeaGrubStreetwriter intent on stigmatizing effeminacy and ‘‘re-asserting . . . the gender system.’’ Peter Merchant Canterbury Christ Church University College RICHARD BLACKMORE AND EUSTACE BUDGELL IN ALEXANDER POPE’S ‘‘THE FIRST SATIRE OF THE SECOND BOOK OF HORACE IMITATED’’ William Kupersmith In the first of the Imitations of Horace, Pope uses Horace’s device of recusatio to imply what sort of poetry the reigning monarch, George II, would inspire and deserve. When Pope’s interlocutor Fortescue advises Pope to write ‘‘CAESAR’s Praise,’’ the poet replies: What? like Sir Richard, rumbling, rough and fierce, With ARMS, and GEORGE, and BRUNSWICK crowd the Verse? Rend with tremendous Sound your ears asunder, With Gun, Drum, Trumpet, Blunderbuss & Thunder? Or nobly wild, with Budgell’s Fire and Force, Paint Angels trembling round his falling Horse? (23–28)1 The reference to the poetaster Eustace Budgell has long been known to allude to ‘‘Budgell ’s ludicrous Poem upon His Majesty’s Late Journey to Cambridge and Newmarket, 1728, in which the fate of George II’s illustrious steed, shot under him at the battle of Oudenarde, is sung’’ (TE 4:6–7, n. 27).2 The Royal presence at the Newmarket races inspired Budgell to inform His Majesty what pride the racehorses would have felt were they aware that one of their own perished to save him: And yet, O PRINCE, with far superior Grace, Might the proud Species boast their generous Race, Did they but know on Oudenarda’s Plain How greatly one Illustrious Steed was slain; Well pleas’d his Life in Battle to resign, Pierc’d with the fatal Ball, which threaten’d Thine. (26–27)3 ‘‘The young Electoral Prince [of Hanover], the future George II, and a group of daring notables’’ had indeed led a cavalry charge at the battle of Oudenarde in 1708. ‘‘There was a wild confusion. Prince George’s horse was shot. The squadron commander with whom he rode, Colonel Loseke, gave him his own, and was himself killed as he helped the Prince to remount.’’4 Budgell praised the gallant Loseke and Prince George’s horse as well, reminding the King: 162 Close-fighting by thy Side, in Arms renown’d, The Valiant LUSCKY falls, and stains the Ground; There hadst Thou too resign’d thy Sacred Breath, Had not thy Horse receiv’d the Leaden Death. (28–29) We know that Pope had personal reasons for satirizing Blackmore.5 But why would Pope have paired Sir Richard with Budgell as an epic poet fit to sing the victories of George II? The traditional answer would be that Pope had celebrated this staunch Whig in Peri Bathous as the ne plus ultra of the bathetic. Yet none of Pope’s commentators has noted another reason why Pope associated Blackmore and Budgell. Blackmore too had praised the future King’s feats at the battle of Oudenarde in ‘‘an effusive panegyric of John Churchill, Duke of Marlborough.’’6 As a Whig, Blackmore enthusiastically celebrated Marlborough’s victories. The battle of Blenheim inspired him to compose Advice to the Poets: A Poem Occasioned by the Wonderful Success of Her Majesty’s Arms in Flanders (1706). As the title indicates, Blackmore was attempting a variant of a Restoration genre, the advice-to-a-painter poem, which students of satire best know from Andrew Marvell’s parody The Last Instructions to a Painter (1667). In typical fashion, Blackmore continued to work in a thoroughly antiquated form. But Marlborough’striumphatOudenardeinspiredBlackmore ’s muse to a more ingenious exercise—addressed not to a painter but to a tapestry maker—Instructions to Vander Bank, a Sequel to the Advice to the Poets: A Poem, Occasion’d by the Glorious Success of Her Majesty’s Arms under the Command of the Duke of Marlborough, the Last Year in Flanders (1709).7 As The Tatler remarked: ‘‘Here you are to understand, that the Author, finding the Poets would not take his Advice, he troubles himself no more about ‘em; but has met...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2165-0624
Print ISSN
0190-731X
Pages
pp. 161-166
Launched on MUSE
2017-04-05
Open Access
N

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