By the success of his subscription, Pope was relieved from those pecuniary distresses with which, notwithstanding his popularity, he had hitherto struggled. Lord Oxford had often lamented his disqualification for public employment, but never proposed a pension. While the translation of Homrer was in its progress, Mr. Craggs, then secretary of state, offered to procure him a pension, which, at least during his ministry, might be enjoyed with secrecy. This was not accepted by Pope, who told himn, however, that, if he should be pressed with want of money, he would send to him for occasional supplies.
With the product of this subscription, which he had too much discretion to squander, he secured his future life firom want, by considerable annuities. The estate of the duke of Buckingham was found to have been charged with five hundred poundes a year, paya. It cannot be unwelcome to literary curiosity, that I deduce ltius minutely the history of thie English Iliad. It is certainly the noblest version of poetry which the world has ever seen; and. The original copy-of the Iliad was obtained by Bolingbroke as a curiosity; it descended from him to Mallet, and is now, by the solicitation of the late Dr.
Miaty, reposited in the Museum. The Iliad was published volume by volume, as the translation proceeded: the first four books appeared in The expectation of this work was undoubtedly high, and every man who had connected his name with criticism, or poetry, was desirous of such intelligence as might enable him to talk upon the popular topic. Halifax, who, by having been first a poet, and then a patron of poetry, had acquired the right of being a judge, was willing to hear some books while they were yet unpublished. Of this rehearsal Pope afterwards gave the following account: " The famous Lord Halifax was rather a pretender to taste, than really possessed of it.
In four or five places, Lord Halifax stopt me very civilly, and, with a speech each time of much the same kind,' I beg your pardon Mr. Pope; but there is something in that passage that does not quite please me. Be so good as to mark the place, and consider it a little at your leisure. Garth, in his chariot; and, as we were going along, was saying to the doctor, that my lord had laid me under a great deal of difficulty by such loose and general observations; that I had been thinking over the passages almost ever since, and could not guess at what it was that offended his lordship in either of them.
Garth laughed heartily at my embarrassment; said I had not been long enough acquainted with Lord Halifax to know his way yet; that I need not puzzle myself about looking those places over and over when I got home. Halifax, thinking this a lucky opportunity of securing immortality, made some advances of favouti, alnd some overtures of advantage to Pope, which he seen;s to have received with sullen coldness. All our knowledge of this transaction is derived froyo a single letter, Dec. I distrust neither your will nor your memory,.
Your lordship may cause me to live agreeably in the town, or contentedly in the country, which is really all the difference I set between an easy fortune and a small one. The patron was not accustomned to such frigid gratitude; and the poet fed his own pride with the dignity of independence. They probably were suspicious of each other. Pope would not dictate till he saw at what rate his praise was valued; he would be " troublesome out of gratitude, not expectation. Their coinmerce had its beginning in hope of praise on one side, and of monley on the other, and ended because Pope was less eager of money than Halifax of praise.
It is not likely that Halifax had any personal benevolence to Pope; it is evident that Pope looked on Halifax with scorn and hatred. The reputation of this great work failed of gaining him a patron; but it deprived him of a friend. Addison and he were now at the head of poetry and criticism; and both in such a state of elevation, that, like the -two rivals in the Romnan state, one could no longer bear an equal, nor the other a superior. Of the gradual abatement of kindness between friends, the beginning is often scarcely discernible to themselves, and the process is continued by petty provocations, and incivilities sometimes peevishly returned, and sometimes contemptuously neglected, which would escape all attention but that of pride, and drop from any inemory but that of resentment.
That the quarrel of these two wits should be minutely deduced, is not to be expected firom a writer to whom, as Homer says, "nothling but rumour has reached, and who has no personal knowledge. He paid court with sufficient diligence by his prologue to Cato, by his abuse of Dennis, and with praise yet more direct, by his poeln oil the dialogues or medals, of which the immediate publication was then intended.
In all this there was no hypocrisy; for he confessed that he found in Addison something more pleasing than in any other man. It may be supposed, that, as Pope saw himself favoured by the world, and more frequently compared his own powers with those'of others, his confidenlce increased, and his submission lessened; 8.
Every great man, of whatever kind be his greatness, has among his friends those who officiously or insidiously quicken his attention to offences, heighten his disgust, and stimulate his resentment. Of such adherents Addison doubtless had many; and Pope was now too high to be without them. From the emission and reception of the proposals for the Iliad, the kindness of Addison seems to have abated. Jervas the painter once pleased himself Aug. To this Pope answered, a week after, that his engagements to Swift were such as his services in regard to the subscription demanded, and that the tories never put him under the necessity of asking leave to be grateful.
Addison must be the judge in what regards himself, and seems to have no very just one in regard to me, so I must own to you I expect nothing but civility from him. Of Swift's industry in promoting the subscription there remains the testimony of Kennet, no friend to either him or Pope:" Nov. Swift came into the coffee-house, and had a bow from every body but me, who, I confess, could not but despise him. Whent I came to the'nti-clhsi; er to wait, before prayers, Dr.
Swift was the principal nl;,4 OS teak and business and acted as master of requests. Pope a papist , who had begun a translation of Honier into English verse, for which he mult have them all subscribe; for, says he, the author shall not begin to print till I have a thousand guil:eas for him. On this occasion, if the reports be true, Pope made his complaint with frankness and spirit, as a man undeservedly neglected or opposed; and Addison affected a contemptuous unconcern, and, in a calm even voice, reproached Pope with his vanity; and, telling him of the improvements which his early works had received from his own remarks and those of Steele, said, that he being now engaged in public business, had no longer any care for his poetical reputation, nor had any other desire, with regard to Pope, than that he should not, by too Imuch arrogance, alienate the public.
To this Pope is said to have replied with great keenness and severity, upbraiding Addison with perpetual dependence, arid with the abuse of those qualificathins wblich he had obtained at. The contest rose so high, that they parted at last without any interchange of civility. The first volume of Holrer was in time published; and a rival version of the first Iliad for rivals the time of their appearance inevitably made them was immediately printed, with the name of Tickell.
It was soon perceived that, among the followers of Addison, Tickell had the preference, and the critics and poets divided into factions. When Addison's opinion was asked, he declared the versions to be both good, but Tickell's the best that had ever been written; and sometimes said, that they were both good, but that Tickell had more of iomer. Pope was now sufficiently irritated; his reputation and his interest were at hazard. He once intended to print together the four versions of Dryden, Maynwaring, Pope, and Tickell, that they might be readily compared, and fairly estimated.
This design seems to have been defeated by the refusal of Tonson, who was the proprietor of the other three versions. Pope intended, at another time, a rigorous criticism of Tickell's translation, and had marked a copy, which I have seen, in all places that appeared defective.
But, while he was thus meditating defence or revenge, his adversary sunk before him without a blow; the voice of the public was not long divided, and the preference was universally given to Pope's performance. He was convinced, by adding one circumstance to another, that the other translation was the work of Addison himself; but, if he knew it in Addison's lifetime, it does not appear that he told it.
He left his illustrious antagonist to be punished by what has been considered as the most painful of all reflections, the remembrance of a crime perpetrated in vain. The other circumstances of their quarrel were thus related by Pope:" Philips seemed to have been encouraged to abuse me in coffeehouses, and conversations: and Gildon wrote a thing about Wycherley, in which he had abused both me and my relations veey grossly. Lord Warwick himself told me one day, that it was in vain for me to endeavour to be well with M'. Addison; that his jealous temper would.
The next day, wh ile I was heated with what 1 had h ard, I wrote a letter to Mr. Addison, to let him know that I was rot unacquainted with. Addison used me very civilly ever after. This year being, by the subscription, enabled to live more by choice, havin! Here he planted the vines and the quincunx which his verses mention; and, being under the necessity of making a subterraneous passage to a garden on'the other side of the road, he adorned it with fossile bodies, and dignified it with the title of a grotto, a place of silence and retreat, from which he endeavoured to persuade his friends, and himself, that cares and passions could be excluded.
A grotto is not often the wish or pleasure of an Englishman, who has more frequent neied to solicit than exclude the sun; but Pope's excavation was requtisite, as an entrance to his garden; and, as some men try to le proud of their defects, he extracted an ornament frtom an inconvenience, and vanity produced a grotto, where necessity enfitrced a passage.
It may be frequently remarked, of the studious and speculative, that they are proud of trifles, and that their aDmuseCm1ents seem fiivolous and childish;whether it be that men, conscious of great reputation, think themselves above the reach of censure, and safe in the admission of negligent indulgencies; or, that mankind expect, from elevated genius, a uniformity of greatness, and watch its degradation with malicious wonder; like him who, having followed with his eye an eagle into the clouds, should lament that she ever descended to a perch While the volumes of his Homer were annually published, he collected his former works into one quarto volume, to which he prefixed a preface, written with great sprightliness and elegance, which was afterwards reprinted, with some passages subjoined, that he at first omitted; other marginal additions of the same kind, he made in the later editions of his poems.
M aller remarks, that poets lose half their praise, because the reader knows not what they have blotted. Pope's voracity of fame taught him the art of obtaining the accurmulated honour, both of what he had published, and of what he had suppressed. In this year his father died suddenly, in his seventy-fifth year, having passed twenty-nine years in privacy. He is not known but by the character which his son has given him. If the money.
Tile publication of thle Iliad was at last completed in The splerdour and success of this work raised Pope many enemies, that endeavoured to depreciate his abilities. Burnet, who was afterwards a judge of no mean reputation, censured him in a piece called Homerides, before it was published. Ducket likewise endeavoured to make him ridiculous. Dennis was the perpetual persecutor of all his studies. But, whoever his critics were, their writings are lost; and the names which are preserved are preserved in the Dunciad.
In this disastrous year of national infatuation, when more riches than Peru call boast were expected from the South sea, when the contagion of avarice tainted every mind, and even poets panted after wealth, Pope was seized with the universal passion, and ventured some of his mon. The stock rose in its price; and for a while he thought himself the lord of thousands.
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But this dream of happiness did not last long; and he seems to have waked soon enough to get clear with the loss of what he once thought himself to have won, and perhaps not wholly of that. Next year, he published some select poems of his friend Dr. Parnell, with a very elegant dedication to the earl of Oxford; who, after all his struggles and dangers, then lived in retirement, still under the frown of a victorious faction, who could take no pleasure in hearing his praise.
He gave the same year an edition of Shakspere. From this tilme Pope became an enemy to editors, collaters, comnimentators, and verbal critics; and hoped to persuade the world, that lie miscarried in this undertaking only by having a mind too great for such minute employment. Pope, in his editionl, undoubtedly did many things wrong, and left many things undone; but let him not be defrauded of his due praise. He was the first that knew, at least the first that told, by what helps the text mighllt be imlproved. In his preface, he expanded witli great skill and elegance the character which had been given of Shakspere by Drydenl; and drew the public attention upon his works, which, though often mentioned, had been little read.
Soon after the appearance of the Iliad, resolving not to let the general kindness cool, he published proposals for a translation of the Odyssey, in five volumes, for five guineas. He was willing, however, now to have associates in his labour, being either weary with toiling upon another's thoughts, or having heard, as Ruffhead relates, that Fenton and Broome had already begun the' work, and liking better to have them confederates than rivals.
In the patent, instead of saying that he had " translated " the Odyssey, as he said of the Iliad, he says, that he had " undertaken " a translation; and, in the proposals, the subscription is said to be not solely for his own use, but for that of " two of his fr'iends, who have assisted him in this work. Atterbury had honestly recommended to him the study of the Popish controversy, in hope of his conversion; to which Pope answered in a manner that cannot much recommend his principles, or his judgment.
In questions and projects of learning, they agreed better. He was called at the trial to give an account of Atterbury's domestic life and private employment, that it might appear how little time he had left for plots. Pope had but few words to utter, and in those few lie made several blunders. His letters to Atterbury express the utmost esteem, tenderness, and gratitude: " Perhaps," says he, " it is not only in this world that I may have cause to remember the bishop of Rochester.
Of the Ody;ssey, Pope translated only twelve books; the rest were the work of Broome and Fenton; the notes were written wholly by Broome, who was not over-liberally rewarded. The public was carefully kept ignorant of the several shares; and an account was subjoined at the conclusion, which is now known not to h e true.
The first copy of Pope's books, with those of Fenton, are to be seem in the Museum. The parts of Pope are less interlined than the Iliad; and the latter books of the Iliad less than the formuer. He grew dexterous by practice, and every sheet enabled him to write the next with nmore facility. The books of Fenton have very few alterations by the hand of Pope.
Those of Broome have not beei found; but Pope complained, as it is reported, that he had much trouble in correcting them. Hlis contract with Lintot was the same as for the Iliad, except that only one hundred pounds were to be paid him for each volunme. The number of subscribers were five hundred and seventyfour, and of copies eight hundred and nineteen; so that his profit,.
The work Was finished in ; and from that time he resolved to make no more translations. The sale did not answer Lintot's expectation; and he then pretended to discover something of fraud in Pope, and commenced or threatened a suit in chancery. On the English Odyssey a criticism was published by Spence, at that time prelector of poetry at Oxford; a man whose learning was not very great, and whose mind was not very powerful.
His criticism, however, was commonly just; what he thought, he thought rightly;- and his remarks were recommended by his coolness and candour. In him Pope had the first experience of a c:'itic without malevolence, who thought it as much his duty to display beauties as expose faults; who censured with respect, and praised with alacrity. With this criticism Pope was so little offended, that he sought the acquaintance of the writer, who lived with him from that time in great familiarity, attended him in his last hours, and compiled memorials of his conversation. The regard of Pope recommended him to the great and powerful; and he obtained very valuable preferments in the church.
Not long after, Pope was returning home fiom a visit in a friend's coach which, in passing a bridge, was overturned into the water; the windows were closed, and being unable to force them open, he was in danger of immediate death, when the postillion snatched him out by breaking the glass, of which the fr gments cut two of his fingers in such a manner, that he lost their use. Voltaire, who was then in England, sent him a letter of consolation.
He had been entertained by Pope at his table, where he talked with so much grossness, that Mrs. Pope was drivet from the roo:n. Pope discovered, by a trick, that he was a spy for the court, and never considered him as a man worthy of confidence. I-He soon afterwards joined with Swift, who was then in England, to publish three volumes of miscellanies, in which, amongst other things, he inserted the Memoirs of a Parish Clerk, in ridicule of Burnet's importance in his own history, and a Debate upon Black and White Horses, written in all the formalities of a legal process, by the assistance, as is said, of Mr.
Fortescue, afterwards master of the rolls. Befiore these miscellanies is a preface signed by Swift and Pope, but apparently written by Pope; in which he makes a ridiculous and romantic complaint of the robberies committed upon authors by the clandestine seizure and sale of their papers. He tells, in tragic strains, how " the cabi.
A cat, hunted f'. His complaint, however, received some attestation; for, the same year, the letters written by him to Mr. Cromwell, in his youth, were sold by Mrs. Thomas to Curll, who printed them. In these miscellanies was first published the Art of Sinking in Poetry, which, by such a train of consequences as usually passes in literary quarrels, gave, in a short time, according to Pope's.
In the following year, , lie began to put Atterbury's advice in practice; and shewed his satirical powers by publishing the Dunciad, one of his greatest and most elaborate performances, in which he endeavoured to sink into contempt all the vriters by whom he had been attacked, and some others, whom he thought unable to defend themselves.
At the head of the dunces he placed poor Theobald, whom he accused of ingratitude: but whose real crime was supposed to be that of having revised Shakspere more happily than himself. This satire had the effect which he intended, by blasting the characters which it touched. Ralph, who, unnecessarily interposing in the quarrel, got a place in a subsequent edition, complained that for a time he was in danger of starving, as the booksellers had no longer any confidence in his capacity.
The prevalence of this poem was gradual and slow; the plan, if not wholly new, was little understood by common readers. Many of the illusions required illustn,Lon; the names were often ex. The subject itself had nothing generally interesting; for, whom did it concern to know that one or another scribbler was a dunce? This, however, was not to be expected: every man is of importance to himself, and therefore, in his own opinion, to others; and, supposing the world already acquainted with all his pleasures and his pains, is perhaps the first to publish injuries or misfortunes, which had never been known unless related by himself, and at which those that hear them will only laugh; for no man sympathises with the sorrows of vanity.
The history of the Dunciad is very minutely related by Pope himself, in a dedication which he wrote to lord Middlesex, in the name of Savage:" I will relate the war of the dunces, for so it has been commonly called , which began in the year , and ended in Swift and Mr.
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Pope thought it proper, for reasons specified in the preface to their miscellanies, to publish such little pieces of theirs as had casually got abroad, there was added to them the lTreatise of the Bathos, or the A4rt of Sinking in Poetry. It happened that, in one chapter in this piece, the several species of bad poets were ranged in classes, to which were prefixed almost all the letters of the alphabet, the greatest part of them at random : but such was the number of poets eminent in that art,.
Pope the thought, that he h-d now some opportunity of doing good, by detecting and dragging into light these comnmon enemies of mankind; since, to invalidate this universal slander, it sufficed to shew what contemptible men were the authors of it. He was not without hopes that, by manifesting the dulness of those who had only malice to recommend them, either the booksellers would not find their account in employing them, or the men themselves, when discovered, want courage to proceed in so unlawful an occupation.
This it was that gave birth to the Dunciad; and he thought it a happiness, that, by the late flood of slander on himself, lhe had acquired such a peculiar right over their names as was necessary to this design. James's, that poem was presented to the king and queen, who had before been pleased to read it , by the right honourable Sir Robert Walpole; and, some days after, the whole impression was taken and dispersed by several noblemen and persons of the first distinction.
On the day the book was first vended, a crowd of authors besieged the shop; entreaties, advices, threats of law and battery, nay cries of treason, were all employed to hinder the coming out of the Dunciad: on the other side, the booksellers and hawkers made as great efforts to procure it. What could a few poor authors do against so great a majority as the public?
There was no stopping a torrent with the finger; so out it came. The dunces for by this name they were called held weekly clubs, to consult of hostilities against the author; one wrote a letter to a great minister, assuring him Mr. Pope was the greatest enemy the government had; and another bought his image in clay, to execute him in effigy; with which sad sort of satisfaction the gentlemen were a little comforted.
Then, another surreptitious one being printed with the same ass, the new edition, in octavo, returned, for distinction, to the owl again. Hence arose a great contest of booksellers against booksellers, and advertisements against advertisements; some recommending the edition of the owl, and. It cannot however be concealed, that, by his own confession, he was the aggressor; for nobody believes that the letters in the Bathos were placed at random; and it may be discovered that, witen he thinks himself concealed, he indulges the common vanity of common men, and triumphs in those distinctions which he had affected to despise.
He is proud that his book was presented to the king and queen by the right honourable Sir Robert Walpole; he is proud that they read it before; he is proud that the edition was taken off by the nobility and persons of the first distinction. The edition of which he speaks was, I believe, tLat which, by tellitng in the text the names, and in the notes the characters, of those whom he had satirised, was made intelligible and diverting.
The critics had now declared their approbation of the plan, and the common reader began to like it without fear; those who were strangers to petty literature, and therefore unable to decipher initials and blanks, had now names and persons brought within their view; and delighted in the visible effect of those shafts of malice, which they had hitherto contemplated as shot into the air.
Dennis, upon the fresh provocation now given him, renewed the enmity which had for a time been appeased by mutual civilities; and published remarks, which he had till then suppressed, upon the Rape of the Lock. Many more grumbled in secret, or vented their resentment in the newspapers, by epigrams or in. Ducket, indeed, being mentioned as loving Burnet, with "pious passion," pretended that his moral character was injured, and for some time declared his resolution to take vengeance with a cudgel.
But Pope appeased him, by changing "pious passion " to "co dial firiendship;" and by a note, in which lie vehemently disclaitis the malignity of meaning imputed to the first expression. Aaron Hill, who was represented as diving for the prize, expostulated with Pope in a manner so much superior to all mean solicitation, that Pope was reduced to sneak and shuffle, sometimes to. Tile Dtunciad, in the complete edition, is addressed to Dr. Swift; of the notes, part were written by Dr.
Arbuthnot; and an apologetical letter was prefixed, signed by Cleland, but supposed to have tbeen written by Pope After this general war upon dultess, he seems to have indulged. He published a poem on taste, in which he very particularly and severely criticises the house, the furniture, the gardens, and the entertainments, of Titnon, a man of great wealth and little taste. By Timon he was universally supposed, and by the earl of Burlington, to whom the poem is addressed, was privately said, to mean the duke of Chandos; a man perhaps too much delighted with pomp and show, but of a temper kind and beneficent, and who had consequently the voice of the public in his favour.
A violent outcry was therefore raised against the ingratitude and treachery of Pope, who was said to have been indebted to the patronage of Chandos for a present of a thousand pounds, and who gained the opportunity of insulting him by the kindness of his invitation. The receipt of the thousand pounds Pope publicly denied; but, from the reproach which the attack on a charfacter so amiable brought upon him, he tried all means of escaping.
The nance ot Cleland was again employed in an apology, by which lo tran was satisfied; and he was at last reduced to shelter his temerity behind dissimulation, and endeavour to make that disbelieved which he never had confidence openly to deny. He wrote an exculpatory letter to the duke, which was answered with great magnanlimity, as by a man who accepted his excuse, without believing his professions. He said, that to have ridiculed his taste, or his buildings, had been an indifferent action in another man; but that in Pope, after the reciprocal kindness that had been exchanged between them, it had been less easily excused.
Pope, in one of his letters, complaining of the treatment which his poem had found, " owns that such critics can intimidate him, nay alnmost persuade him to write no more, which is a; compliment this age deserves. I have heard of an idiot, who used to revenge his vexations, by lying all night upon the bridge. When he talked of laying down his pen, those who sat round him entreated and implored; and self-love did not suff'er him to suspect that they went away and laughed. The following year deprived him of Gay, a man whom he had known early, and whom lie seemed to love with more tend!
Pope was now forty-four years old; an age at which the mind begins less easily to admnit new confidence, and the will to grow less flexible; and when, therefore, the departure of an old friend is very acutely felt. In the next year he lost his mother, not by an unexpected death, for she had lasted to the age of ninety-three: but she did not die unlamented.
The filial piety of Pope was in the highest degree amiable and exemplary; his parents had the hauromess of. Whatever was his pride, to them lhe was obedient; and whatever was his irritability, to them he was gentle. Life has, among its soothing and quiet comforts, few things better to give than such a son. One of the passages of Pope's life, which seems to deserve some inquiry, was a publication of letters between him and many of his friends, which fallinr into the hands of Curll, a rapacious bookseller of no good fame, were by him printed and sold.
This volume containing some letters from noblemen, Pope incited a prosecution against him in the house of lords for a breach of privilege, and attended himself to stimulate the resentment of his friends, Curll appeared at the bar, and knowing himself in no great danger, spoke of Pope with very little reverence: " He has," said Curll, "a knack at versifying, but in prose I think myself a match for him. CurlU's account was, that one evening a man in a clergyman's gown, but with a lawver's band, brought and offered to sale a number of printed volumes, which he found to be Pope's epistolary correspondence; that he asked no name, and was told none, but gave the price cdemanded, and thought himself authorised to use his purchase to his own advantage.
That Curll gave a true account of the transaction it is reasonable to believe, because no falsehood was ever detected; and when, some years afterwards, I mentioned it to Lintot, the son of Bernard, he declared his opinion to be, that Pope knew better than any body else how Curll obtained the copies, because another parcel was at the same time sent to himself, for which no price had ever been demanded, as he made known his resolution not to pay a porter, and consequently' not to deal with a namelee3 agent. Such care had been taken to make them public, that they were sent at once to two booksellers; to Curll, who was likely to seize them as a prey; and to Lintot, who might be expected to give Pope information of the seeming injury.
Lintot, I believe, did nothing: and Curll did what was expected. That to make them public was the only purpose may be reasonably supposed. It seems that Pope, being desirous of printing his letters, and not knowing how to do, without imputation of vanity, what has in this country been done very rarely, contrived an appearance of compulsion; that, when he could complain that his letters were surreptitiously published, he might decently and defensively publish them himself.
Pope's private correspondence, thus promulgated, filled the. From the perusal of those letters, Mr. Allen first conceived the desire of knowing him; and with so much zeal did he cultivate the friendship which he had newly formed, that when Pope told his purpose of vindicating lis own property by a genuine edition, lie offered to pay the cost. This however Pope did not accept; but in time solicited a sub. In the preface he tells, thaf his letters were reposited in a fiiend's library, said to be the earl of Oxford's, and that the copy thence stolen was sent to the press.
The story was doubtless received with did'erent degrees of credit. It may be suspected that the preface to the miscellanies was written to prepare the public for such all incident; and, to strengthen this opinion, James Worsdale, a painter, who was employed in clandestine negociations, but whose veracity was very doubtful, decla! When they were thus published and avowed, as they had relation to recent facts, and persons either then living or not yet forgotten, they may be supposed to have found readers; but as the facts were minute, and the characters, being either private, or literary, were little known, or little regarded, they awakened no popular kindness or resentment; the book never became much the subject of conversation; some read it as a contemporary history, and some perhaps as a model of epistolary language; but those who read it did not talk of it.
Not much therefore was added by it to fatme or envy; nor do I remember that it produced either public praise, or public censure. It had, however, in some degree, the recommendation of novelty. Our language had few letters, except those of statesmen. Howel, indeed, about a century ago, published his letters, which are commended by Morhoff, and which alone,,of his hundred volumes, continue his memory.
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Digby and of His Sister Mary. Elijah Fenton. Francis Atterbury. The Design. Of the Knowledge and Characters of Men. Of the Characters of Women. Of the Use of Riches. To Mr. Addison, occasioned by His Dialogue on Medals. Epistle to Dr. John Donne, Dean of St. Martinus Scriblerus of the Poem. Book III. Whose herds with milk, whose fields with bread, Whose flocks supply him with attire, Whose trees in summer yield him shade, In winter fire.
Thus let me live, unseen, unknown, Thus unlamented let me die; Steal from the world, and not a stone Tell where I lie. Rather with Samuel I beseech with tears, Speak, gracious Lord, oh, speak, thy servant hears. Let them be silent then; and thou alone, My God! Begone, ye Critics, and restrain your spite, Codrus writes on, and will forever write.
When you, like Orpheus, strike the warbling lyre, Attentive blocks stand round you and admire. Right then there passen by the way His Aunt, and eke her Daughters tway. Ducke in his trowses hath he hent, Not to be spied of ladies gent. Bette is to pine on coals and chalke, Then trust on Mon whose yerde can talke. Some play, some eat, some cack against the wall, And as they crouchen low, for bread and butter call.
Orpheus could charm the trees; but thus a tree, Taught by your hand, can charm no less than he; A poet made the silent wood pursue; This vocal wood had drawn the poet too. Yet guiltless too this bright destroyer lives, At random wounds, nor knows the wounds she gives; She views the story with attentive eyes, And pities Procris while her lover dies.
These silver drops, like morning dew, Foretell the fervor of the day: So from one cloud soft showers we view, And blasting lightnings burst away. But rebel Wit deserts thee oft in vain; Lost in the maze of words he turns again, And seeks a surer state, and courts thy gentle reign.
But couldst thou seize some tongues that now are free, How Church and State should be obliged to thee! At Senate and at Bar how welcome wouldst thou be! She wears no colours sign of grace On any part except her face; All white and black beside: Dauntless her look, her gesture proud, Her voice theatrically loud, And masculine her stride. So have I seen, in black and white, A prating thing, a magpie hight, Majestically stalk; A stately worthless animal, That plies the tongue, and wags the tail, All flutter, pride, and talk. So have I known those insects fair Which curious Germans hold so rare Still vary shapes and dyes; Still gain new titles with new forms; First grubs obscene, then wriggling worms, Then painted butterflies.
You, that too wise for pride, too good for power, Enjoy the glory to be great no more, And carrying with you all the world can boast, To all the world illustriously are lost! Accept, O Garth! The hills and rocks attend my doleful lay, Why art thou prouder and more hard than they?
Where stray ye, Muses! In those fair fields where sacred Isis glides, Or else where Cam his winding vales divides? Let other swains attend the rural care, Feed fairer flocks, or richer fleeces shear: But nigh yon mountain let me tune my lays, Embrace my love, and bind my brows with bays. For you the swains the fairest flowers design, And in one garland all their beauties join; Accept the wreath which you deserve alone, In whom all beauties are comprised in one. Edition: current; Page: [ 24 ] See what delights in sylvan scenes appear!
Teaching and Learning Guide for: Ecocriticism and Eighteenth‐Century English Studies
This harmless grove no lurking viper hides, But in my breast the serpent Love abides. Here bees from blossoms sip the rosy dew, But your Alexis knows no sweets but you. O deign to visit our forsaken seats, 71 The mossy fountains, and the green retreats! But see, the shepherds shun the noonday heat, The lowing herds to murmuring brooks retreat, To closer shades the panting flocks remove: Ye Gods!
But soon the sun with milder rays descends To the cool ocean, where his journey ends. Go, gentle gales, and bear my sighs away! As some sad turtle his lost love deplores, And with deep murmurs fills the sounding shores; 20 Thus, far from Delia, to the winds I mourn, Alike unheard, unpitied, and forlorn. Go, gentle gales, and bear my sighs along! Ye flowers that droop, forsaken by the spring, Ye birds that, left by Summer, cease to sing, Edition: current; Page: [ 25 ] Ye trees, that fade when Autumn-heats remove, Say, is not absence death to those who love? What have I said?
Come, Delia, come; ah, why this long delay? Do lovers dream, or is my Delia kind? She comes, my Delia comes! Resound, ye hills, resound my mournful strain! Resound, ye hills, resound my mournful lay! And is there magic but what dwells in love? Resound, ye hills, resound my mournful strains! I know thee, Love!
Farewell, ye woods; adieu the light of day! One leap from yonder cliff shall end my pains, No more, ye hills, no more resound my strains! These thoughts he fortified with reasons still For none want reasons to confirm their will. Then let him choose a damsel young and fair, To bless his age, and bring a worthy heir; To soothe his cares, and, free from noise and strife, Conduct him gently to the verge of life.
But what so pure which envious tongues will spare? With matchless impudence they style a wife The dear-bought curse and lawful plague of life, A bosom serpent, a domestic evil, A night-invasion, and a midday-devil. A Wife! Would men but follow what the sex advise, All things would prosper, all the world grow wise. My soul abhors the tasteless dry embrace Of a stale virgin with a winter face: In that cold season Love but treats his guest With bean-straw, and tough forage at the best.
No crafty widows shall approach my bed; Those are too wise for bachelors to wed. Old as I am, my lusty limbs appear Like winter-greens, that flourish all the year. Ah, gentle Sir, take warning of a friend, Who knows too well the state you thus commend; Edition: current; Page: [ 38 ] And spite of all his praises must declare, All he can find is bondage, cost, and care. Do what you list, for me; you must be sage, And cautious sure; for wisdom is in age: But at these years to venture on the Fair! And trust me, sir, the chastest you can choose, Will ask observance, and exact her dues.
If what I speak my noble lord offend, My tedious sermon here is at an end. Who now but January exults with joy? If you, my friends, this virgin can procure, My joys are full, my happiness is sure. Old wives there are, of judgment most acute, Who solve these questions beyond all dispute; Consult with those, and be of better cheer; Marry, do penance, and dismiss your fear.
I pass each previous settlement and deed, Too long for me to write, or you to read; Nor will with quaint impertinence display The pomp, the pageantry, the proud array. Full many an age old Hymen had not spied So kind a bridegroom, or so bright a bride. Ye Bards! High mass was sung; they feasted in the hall; The servants round stood ready at their call. Edition: current; Page: [ 41 ] The female tribe surround him as he lay, And close beside him sat the gentle May: Where, as she tried his pulse, he softly drew A heaving sigh, and cast a mournful view!
Then gave his bill, and bribed the Powers divine, With secret vows to favour his design. Who studies now but discontented May? On her soft couch uneasily she lay: The lumpish husband snored away the night, Till coughs awaked him near the morning light. Large was his train, and gorgeous his array. But ah! How short a space our worldly joys endure! By means of this some wonder shall appear, Which, in due place and season, you may hear. Well sung sweet Ovid, in the days of yore, What sleight is that which love will not explore!
For know, Sir Knight, of gentle blood I came; I loathe a whore, and startle at the name. But jealous men on their own crimes reflect, And learn from thence their ladies to suspect: Else why these needless cautions, Sir, to me? These doubts and fears of female constancy? Try when you list; and you shall find, my lord, It is not in our sex to break our word. O for that tempting fruit, so fresh, so green! Help, dearest lord, and save at once the life Of thy poor infant, and thy longing wife! Now prove your patience, gentle ladies all! What feats the lady in the tree might do, I pass, as gambols never known to you; But sure it was a merrier fit, she swore, Than in her life she ever felt before.
In that nice moment, lo! Why was I taught to make my husband see, By struggling with a man upon a tree? Did I for this the power of magic prove? Unhappy wife, whose crime was too much love! Alas, my love! Come down, and vex your tender heart no more. Thus ends our tale; whose moral next to make, Let all wise husbands hence example take; And pray, to crown the pleasure of their lives, To be so well deluded by their wives.
I envy not their bliss, if he or she Think fit to live in perfect chastity: Pure let them be, and free from taint or vice; I for a few slight spots am not so nice. Know then, of those five husbands I have had, Three were just tolerable, two were bad. Hark, old Sir Paul! Why to her house dost thou so oft repair? If I but see a cousin or a friend, 80 Lord! There swims no goose so gray, but soon or late She finds some honest gander for her mate.
My garments always must be new and gay, And feasts still kept upon my wedding day. On Jenkin, too, you cast a squinting eye: What! Are not thy worldly goods and treasure mine? John, Have goods and body to yourself alone. One you shall quit, in spite of both your eyes— I heed not, I, the bolts, the locks, the spies. I credit not the tales they tell: Take all the freedoms of a married life; I know thee for a virtuous, faithful wife. Lo thus, my friends, I wrought to my desires These three right ancient venerable sires.
Let all mankind this certain maxim hold; Marry who will, our sex is to be sold. Great is the blessing of a prudent wife, Who puts a period to domestic strife. Why, take me, love! But see! What means my dear? But oh, good Gods! This wicked world was once my dear delight; Now all my conquests, all my charms, good night! His soul, I hope, enjoys eternal glory, For here on earth I was his purgatory. Oft, when his shoe the most severely wrung, He put on careless airs, and sat and sung.
I say no more. Full hearty was his love, and I can show The tokens on my ribs in black and blue; Yet with a knack my heart he could have won, While yet the smart was shooting in the bone. How quaint an appetite in women reigns! Free gifts we scorn, and love what costs us pains. In pure good will I took this jovial spark, Of Oxford he, a most egregious clerk. It so befell, in holy time of Lent, That oft a day I to this gossip went; My husband, thank my stars, was out of town From house to house we rambled up and down, This clerk, myself, and my good neighbour Alse, To see, be seen, to tell, and gather tales.
We straight struck hands, the bargain was agreed; I still have shifts against a time of need. The mouse that always trusts to one poor hole Can never be a mouse of any soul. Fair Venus gave me fire and sprightly grace, And Mars assurance and a dauntless face. Stubborn as any lioness was I, And knew full well to raise my voice on high; As true a rambler as I was before, And would be so in spite of all he swore. My spouse who was, you know, to learning bred A certain treatise oft at evening read, Where divers authors whom the devil confound For all their lies were in one volume bound: Valerius whole, and of St.
Love seldom haunts the breast where learning lies, And Venus sets ere Mercury can rise. This by the way, but to my purpose now.
(DOC) Alexander Pope | N. KRISHNAN - oxefemijyzed.ml
For better fruit did never orchard bear: Give me some slip of this most blissful tree, And in my garden planted it shall be. With that my husband in a fury rose, And down he settled me with hearty blows. Here fabled Chiefs in darker ages born, Or Worthies old whom Arms or Arts adorn, 70 Who cities raised or tamed a monstrous race, The walls in venerable order grace: Heroes in animated marble frown, And Legislators seem to think in stone. The eastern front was glorious to behold, With diamond flaming, and barbaric gold. Superior, and alone, Confucius stood, Who taught that useful science,—to be good.
High on the first the mighty Homer shone; Eternal adamant composed his throne; Father of verse! Across the harp a careless hand he flings, And boldly sinks into the sounding strings. Millions of suppliant crowds the shrine attend, And all degrees before the Goddess bend; The poor, the rich, the valiant, and the sage, And boasting youth, and narrative old age. Thus her blind sister, fickle Fortune, reigns, And, undiscerning, scatters crowns and chains. Who then with incense shall adore our name? But, mortals! Muses, rise! At the dread sound pale mortals stood aghast, And startled Nature trembled with the blast.
Fame sits aloft, and points them out their course, Their date determines, and prescribes their force; Some to remain, and some to perish soon, Or wane and wax alternate like the moon. Art thou, fond youth, a candidate for praise? But few, alas! Ease, health, and life for this they must resign, Unsure the tenure, but how vast the fine! But if the purchase costs so dear a price As soothing Folly, or exalting Vice; Oh! Must then her name the wretched writer prove, To thy remembrance lost, as to thy love? Ask not the cause that I new numbers choose, The lute neglected and the lyric Muse; Love taught my tears in sadder notes to flow, And tuned my heart to elegies of woe.
No more my soul a charm in music finds; Music has charms alone for peaceful minds. No more the Lesbian dames my passion move, Once the dear objects of my guilty love; All other loves are lost in only thine, O youth, ungrateful to a flame like mine! If to no charms thou wilt thy heart resign, But such as merit, such as equal thine, By none, alas!
Yet once thy Sappho could thy cares employ, Once in her arms you centred all your joy: No time the dear remembrance can remove, 51 For oh! My music, then, you could for ever hear, And all my words were music to your ear. But ah, beware, Sicilian nymphs! By charms like thine which all my soul have won, Who might not—ah! For those Aurora Cephalus might scorn, And with fresh blushes paint the conscious morn. O scarce a youth, yet scarce a tender boy! O useful time for lovers to employ! Pride of thy age, and glory of thy race, Come to these arms, and melt in this embrace!
The vows you never will return, receive; And take, at least, the love you will not give. See, while I write, my words are lost in tears! The less my sense, the more my love appears. Edition: current; Page: [ 62 ] Not fiercer pangs distract the mournful dame, Whose first-born infant feeds the funeral flame. Then round your neck in wanton wreaths I twine; Then you, methinks, as fondly circle mine: A thousand tender words I hear and speak; A thousand melting kisses give and take: Then fiercer joys—I blush to mention these, Yet, while I blush, confess how much they please.
For thee the fading trees appear to mourn, And birds defer their songs till thy return: Night shades the groves, and all in silence lie, All but the mournful Philomel and I: With mournful Philomel I join my strain, Of Tereus she, of Phaon I complain. Fly hence, and seek the fair Leucadian main. Haste, Sappho, haste, from high Leucadia throw Thy wretched weight, nor dread the deeps below! I go, ye Nymphs! Ye gentle gales, beneath my body blow, And softly lay me on the waves below!
This breast which once, in vain! The winds my prayers, my sighs, my numbers bear, The flying winds have lost them all in air! Oh when, alas! If you return—ah, why these long delays? Poor Sappho dies while careless Phaon stays. If you will fly— yet ah! I saw as near her side I stood The violated blossoms drop with blood; Upon the tree I cast a frightful look; The trembling tree with sudden horror shook.
I saw, unhappy! Edition: current; Page: [ 65 ] My sire, my sister, and my spouse, farewell! If in your breasts or love or pity dwell, Protect your plant, nor let my branches feel 90 The browsing cattle or the piercing steel. I can no more; the creeping rind invades My closing lips, and hides my head in shades: Remove your hands; the bark shall soon suffice Without their aid to seal these dying eyes.
Now the cleft rind inserted grafts receives, And yields an offspring more than Nature gives; Now sliding streams the thirsty plants renew, And feed their fibres with reviving dew. These cares alone her virgin breast employ, Averse from Venus and the nuptial joy. Add, that he varies every shape with ease, And tries all forms that may Pomona please.
But what should most excite a mutual flame, Your rural cares and pleasures are the same. O crown so constant and so pure a fire! Some neither can for Wits nor Critics pass, As heavy mules are neither horse nor ass. First follow Nature, and your judgment frame By her just standard, which is still the same; Unerring Nature, still divinely bright, 70 One clear, unchanged, and universal light, Life, force, and beauty must to all impart, At once the source, and end, and test of Art.
LIFE OF ALEXANDER POPE
Art from that fund each just supply provides, Works without show, and without pomp presides. Still with itself compared, his text peruse; And let your comment be the Mantuan Muse. Thus Pegasus, a nearer way to take, May boldly deviate from the common track. Those oft are stratagems which errors seem, Nor is it Homer nods , but we that dream.
Hail, Bards triumphant! A little learning is a dangerous thing; Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring: There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain, And drinking largely sobers us again. But in such lays as neither ebb nor flow, Correctly cold, and regularly low, 40 That shunning faults one quiet tenor keep, We cannot blame indeed—but we may sleep. All which exact to rule were brought about, Were but a combat in the lists left out.
Others for language all their care express, And value books, as women men, for dress: Their praise is still—the Style is excellent; The Sense they humbly take upon content. Words are like leaves; and where they most abound, Much fruit of sense beneath is rarely found. In words as fashions the same rule will hold, Alike fantastic if too new or old: Be not the first by whom the new are tried, Nor yet the last to lay the old aside.
Soft is the strain when zephyr gently blows, And the smooth stream in smoother numbers flows; But when loud surges lash the sounding shore, The hoarse rough verse should like the torrent roar. The power of music all our hearts allow, And what Timotheus was is Dryden now. Some foreign writers, some our own despise; The ancients only, or the moderns prize.
Regard not then if wit be old or new, But blame the False and value still the True. Edition: current; Page: [ 73 ] But let a lord once own the happy lines, How the Wit brightens! Some praise at morning what they blame at night, But always think the last opinion right. We think our fathers fools, so wise we grow; Our wiser sons no doubt will think us so. Scotists and Thomists now in peace remain Amidst their kindred cobwebs in Ducklane. Some, valuing those of their own side or mind, Still make themselves the measure of mankind: Fondly we think we honour merit then, When we but praise ourselves in other men.
Parties in wit attend on those of state, And public faction doubles private hate. Pride, Malice, Folly, against Dryden rose, In various shapes of parsons, critics, beaux: But sense survived when merry jests were past; For rising merit will buoy up at last. Might he return and bless once more our eyes, New Blackmores and new Milbournes must arise. Nay, should great Homer lift his awful head, Zoilus again would start up from the dead. Be thou the first true merit to befriend; His praise is lost who stays till all commend. Short is the date, alas! What is this Wit, which must our cares employ?
If Wit so much from Ignorance undergo, Ah, let not Learning too commence its foe! Good nature and good sense must ever join; To err is human, to forgive divine. But if in noble minds some dregs remain, Not yet purged off, of spleen and sour disdain, Discharge that rage on more provoking crimes, Nor fear a dearth in these flagitious times. These monsters, Critics! Some positive persisting fops we know, Who if once wrong will needs be always so; 10 But you with pleasure own your errors past, And make each day a critique on the last.
Men must be taught as if you taught them not, And things unknown proposed as things forgot. Be niggards of advice on no pretence, For the worst avarice is that of Sense. Fear not the anger of the wise to raise; Those best can bear reproof who merit praise. Fear most to tax an honourable fool, Whose right it is, uncensured to be dull: 30 Such without Wit, are poets when they please, As without Learning they can take degrees. False steps but help them to renew the race, As, after stumbling, jades will mend their pace.
With him most authors steal their works, or buy; Garth did not write his own Dispensary. Such once were critics; such the happy few Athens and Rome in better ages knew. Horace still charms with graceful negligence, And without method talks us into sense; Will, like a friend, familiarly convey The truest notions in the easiest way. Our critics take a contrary extreme, They judge with fury, but they write with phlegm; Nor suffers Horace more in wrong translations By Wits, than Critics in as wrong quotations.
Thus useful arms in magazines we place, All ranged in order, and disposed with grace; But less to please the eye than arm the hand, Still fit for use, and ready at command. Thee, bold Longinus! This humble praise, lamented Shade! I Descend, ye Nine, descend and sing: The breathing instruments inspire, Wake into voice each silent string, And sweep the sounding lyre. II By Music minds an equal temper know, Nor swell too high, nor sink too low. Dreadful gleams, Dismal screams, Fires that glow, Shrieks of woe, Sullen moans, 60 Hollow groans, And cries of tortured ghosts!
But hark! See, shady forms advance! Oh, take the husband, or return the wife!
VI But soon, too soon, the lover turns his eyes: Again she falls, again she dies, she dies! How wilt thou now the fatal sisters move? Now under hanging mountains, Beside the falls of fountains, Or where Hebrus wanders, Rolling in meanders, All alone, Unheard, unknown, He makes his moan; And calls her ghost, For ever, ever, ever lost! ON MRS. Ah, quit not the free innocence of life, For the dull glory of a virtuous Wife; Nor let false shows, or empty titles please; Aim not at Joy, but rest content with Ease.
Pride, Pomp, and State but reach her outward part; She sighs, and is no Duchess at her heart. Cease, fond Nature, cease thy strife, And let me languish into life! II Hark! What is this absorbs me quite, Steals my senses, shuts my sight, Drowns my spirits, draws my breath? Tell me, my Soul! I mount! I fly! O Grave! O Death! This verse be thine, my friend, nor thou refuse This from no venal or ungrateful Muse.
Smit with the love of Sister-Arts we came, And met congenial, mingling flame with flame; Like friendly colours found them both unite, And each from each contract new strength and light. How oft our slowly growing works impart, While images reflect from art to art! Yet still her charms in breathing paint engage, Her modest cheek shall warm a future age. Edition: current; Page: [ 83 ] O, lasting as those colours may they shine, Free as thy stroke, yet faultless as thy line; New graces yearly like thy works display, Soft without weakness, without glaring gay!
The kindred arts shall in their praise conspire, 69 One dip the pencil, and one string the lyre. Light to stars the sun does thus restore, But shines himself till they are seen no more. Why dimly gleams the visionary sword? Oh ever beauteous, ever friendly! Is there no bright reversion in the sky For those who greatly think, or bravely die? Ambition first sprung from your blest abodes, The glorious fault of Angels and of Gods: Thence to their images on earth it flows, And in the breasts of Kings and Heroes glows. Thus, if eternal justice rules the ball, Thus shall your wives, and thus your children fall; On all the line a sudden vengeance waits, And frequent hearses shall besiege your gates; There passengers shall stand, and pointing say While the long funerals blacken all the way , 40 Lo!
Thus unlamented pass the proud away, The gaze of fools, and pageant of a day! What can atone, O ever injured shade! Thy fate unpitied, and thy rites unpaid? Ye Nymphs of Solyma! Rapt into future times, the bard begun: A virgin shall conceive, a virgin bear a son! The sick 4 and weak the healing plant shall aid, From storms a shelter, and from heat a shade. O spring to light, auspicious babe! A God, a God! Lo, Earth receives him from the bending skies! Hear him, 3 ye deaf, and all ye blind, behold! No sigh, no murmur, the wide world shall hear, From every face he wipes off every tear.
See a long race 7 thy spacious courts adorn; See future sons and daughters, yet unborn, In crowding ranks on every side arise, Demanding life, impatient for the skies! Alexander Pope. Arabella Fermor.
Say what strange motive, Goddess! The fair and innocent shall still believe. Think what an equipage thou hast in air, And view with scorn two pages and a chair. Her joy in gilded chariots, when alive, And love of Ombre, after death survive. For when the Fair in all their pride expire, To their first elements their souls retire. Soft yielding minds to water glide away, And sip, with Nymphs, their elemental tea. The graver prude sinks downward to a Gnome In search of mischief still on earth to roam. The light coquettes in Sylphs aloft repair, And sport and flutter in the fields of air.
When Florio speaks, what virgin could withstand, If gentle Damon did not squeeze her hand? With varying vanities, from every part, They shift the moving toyshop of their heart; Where wigs with wigs, with sword-knots sword-knots strive, Beaux banish beaux, and coaches coaches drive. This erring mortals levity may call; Oh blind to truth!
Late, as I ranged the crystal wilds of air, In the clear mirror of thy ruling star I saw, alas! This to disclose is all thy guardian can: Beware of all, but most beware of Man! Here files of pins extend their shining rows, Puffs, powders, patches, bibles, billet-doux. Now awful beauty puts on all its arms; The Fair each moment rises in her charms, Repairs her smiles, awakens every grace, And calls forth all the wonders of her face; Sees by degrees a purer blush arise, And keener lightnings quicken in her eyes. On her white breast a sparkling cross she wore, Which Jews might kiss, and infidels adore.
Bright as the sun, her eyes the gazers strike, And, like the sun, they shine on all alike. Love in these labyrinths his slaves detains, And mighty hearts are held in slender chains.