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To whidi is now added, 


Satyra quidem tota nostra est : in qua primus iosignem laudem adeptus est 
Luciljus ; qui quosdam ita deditos sibi adhuc habet amatores, ut cum, non 
ejusdem modo operis autoribus, sed omnibus poetis, pneferre non dubitent. 



Piinted by Thoout Maiden, Sherbourn>Laae, Lombard-Street, 


HURST, rebs, anuorme; cadell and DAviBs; J. AND A. arch; 


1 806. 

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X HE first dawnings of polite literature in Italy, 

appeared in tale-writing and fables. Boccace 

gave a currency and vogue to this species of 

composition. He collected many of the common 

VOL. II. B tales 


tales of his country, and delivered them in the 
purest stile, enlivened with interesting circum- 
stances. Sacchetti published tales before him, 
in which are many anecdotes of Dante and his 
contemporaries. Boccace was faintly imitated 
by several Italians, Poggio, Bandello, Cinthio, 
Firenzuola, Malespini, and others. * Machiavel 
himself did honour to this species of writing, by 
his Belphegor. 

To produce, and carry on with probability 
and decorum, a series of events, is the most dif- 
ficult work of invention ; and if we were mi- 
nutely to examine the popular stories of every 
nation, we should be amazed to find how few 


^ Michiavel, who possessed the liveliest wit with the pro- 
foundest reflection, wrote also two comedies, Mandgragora 
and Clytia, the former of which was played before Leo X. 
with much magnificence ; the latter is an imitation of the 
Cassina of Plautus : " Indigna vero homine Christiano (says 
Balzac) qui sanctiores Musas colit, et, in ludicris quoque, 
meminisse debet severitatis/' Epist. Select, pag. 202. I 
have been informed that Machiavel, towards the latter part 
of his life, grew religious, and that some pieces of ascetic 
devotion, composed by him, are preserved in the libraries of 
Italy. Lord Bacon says remarkably of MachiaveU that he 
teaches what men usually do, not what they ought to do* 


circumstances have been ever invented. Facts 
and events have been, indeed, varied and mo- 
dified, but totally new facts have not been created. 
The writers of the old romances, from whom 
Ariosto and Spenser have borrowed so largely, 
are supposed to have had copious imaginations : 
but may they not be indebted, for their invulne- 
rable heroes, their monsters, their enchantments, 
their gardens of pleasure, their winged steeds, 
and the like, to the Echidna, to the Circe, to 
the Medea, to the Achilles, to the Syrens, to the 
Harpies, to the Phryxus, and the Bellerophon, 
of the ancients ? The Cave of Polypheme might 
furnish out the ideas of their giants : and An- 
dromeda might give occasion for stories of dis- 
tressed damsels on the point of being devoured 
by dragons, and delivered at such a critical sea- 
son by their favourite knights. Some faint tra- 
ditions of the ancients might have been kept 
glimmering and alive during the whole barbarous v^ 
ages, as they are called ; and it is not impossible, 
but these have been the parents of the Genii in 
the eastern, and the Fairies in the western world. 
To say that Amadis and Sir Tristan have a clas- 

B 2 sical 


sical foundation, may at first sight appear para-* 
doxical ; but if the subject were examined to 
the bottom, I am inclined to think, that the 
wildest chimeras in those books of chivalry with 
which Don Quixote's library was furnished^ 
would be found to have a close connection with 
ancient mythology. 

We of this nation have been remarkably barren 
in our inventions of facts ; we have been chiefly 
borrowers in this species of composition ; as the 
plots of our most applauded plays, both in tra- 
gedy and comedy, may witness, which have ge- 
nerally been taken from the novels of the Italians 
and Spaniards. 

The story of January and May, now before 
us, is of the comic kind ; and the character of a 
fond old dotard betrayed into disgrace by an un- 
suitable match, is supported in a lively manner. 
Pope has endeavoured ' suitably to familiarize the 
stateliness of our heroic measure in this ludicrous 
narrative ; but, after all his pains, this measure 
is not adapted to such subjects^ so well as the 



lines of four feet, or the French numbers of 
Fontaine.* Fontaine is, in truth, the capital 
and unrivalled writer of comic tales. He gene- 
rally took his subjects from Boccace, Poggius,f 
and Ariosto ; but adorned them with so many 
natural strokes, with such quaintness in his re- 
flections, and such a dryness and archness of 
humour, as cannot fail to excite laughter. 

Our Prior has happily caught his manner, in 
many of his lighter tales ; particularly in Hans 
Carvel, the invention of which, if its genealogy 
be worth tracing, is first due to Poggius. It is 
found in the hundred and thirty-third of his 
Facetice, where it is entitled Visio Francisci Phi- 

B 3 lelphi : 

^ It is to be lamented that Fontaine has so frequently trans- 
gressed the bounds of modesty. Boileau did not look upon 
Fontaine as an original writer^ and used to say^ he had bor« 
rowed both his stile and matter from Marot and Rabelais. 

-f- '*, Poggius Florentinus in hoc numero eloquentium viro- 
rum singulare nomen obtinet. Scripsit de nobilitate, de ava- 
ritia, de principum infelicitate^ de moribus Indorum, face- 
TiARUM quoque librum unum. Ab adversariis exagitatiis ora- 
tiones plerasque invectivas edidit. In epistolis etiam laudatur. 
Cyropaediam, quam Xenophon ille scripsit^ latinam reddidit, 
atque Alphonso regi dedicavit, pro qua a rege magnam mer* 
cedem accepiu'^ Facius de yiris iliustribus, Florentise, 174^5. 



lelphi: from hence Rabelais inserted it, under 
another title, in his third book and twenty-eighth 
chapter. It was afterwards related in a book 
called the Hundred Novels.* Ariosto finishes 
the fifth of his incomparable satires with it. 
Malespini also made use of it. Fontaine, who 
imagined Rabelais to be the inventor of it, was 
the sixth author who delivered it ; as out Prior 
was the last ; and perhaps not the least spirited. 

Rabelais was not the inventor of many of 
the burlesque tales he introduced into his prin- 
cipal story ; the finest touches of which, it is to 
be feared, have undergone the usual and unavoid- 
able fate of satirical writings ; that is, not to be 
tasted or understood, when the characters, the 
facts, and the follies, they stigmatize, are pe- 
rished and unknown. Gulliver in the next cen- 
tury, will be as obscure asGaragantua : and Hu- 
dibras, and the satire Menippe^, cannot be read 
without voluminous commentaries. 

The Wife of Bath is the other piece of Chau- 
cer which Pope selected to imitate. One cannot 


* See Menagiana, Vol. I. p. 368. 


but wonder at his choice, which, perpaps, no- 
thing but his youth could excuse. Dryden, who 
is known not to be nicely scrupulous, informs 
us, that he would not versify it on account of its 
indecency. Pope, however, has omitted or 
softened the grosser and more offensive passages. 
Chaucer afforded him many subjects of a more 
serious and sublime species ; and it were to be 
wished. Pope had exercised his pencil on the 
pathetic story of the Patience of Grisilda, or 
Troilus and Cressida, or the Complaint of the 
Black Knight ; or, above all, on Cambuscan 
and Canace. From the accidental circumstance 
of Dryden and Pope's having copied the gay 
and ludicrous parts of Chaucer, the common 
notion seems to have arisen, that Chaucer's vein 
of poetry was chiefly turned to the light and the 
ridiculous.* But they who look into Chaucer, 
will soon be convinced of this prevailing preju- 
dice ; and will find his comic vein, like that of 

B 4 Shakespeare, 

* Cowley is said to have despised Chaucer. I am not sur- 
prised at this strange judgment. Cowley was indisputably a 
genius^ but his taste was perverted and narrowed by a love of 


Shakespeare, to be only like one of mercury, im* 
perceptibly mingled with a mine of gol4. 

Chaucer is highly extolled by Dryden, in the 
spirited and pleasing preface to his fables ; for 
his prefaces, after all, are very pleasing, not* 
withstanding the opposite opinions they contain, 
because his prose is the most numerous and sweet, 
the most mellow and generous^ of any our lan- 
guage has yet produced. His digressions and 
ramblings, which he himself says he learned of 
honest Montaigne, are interesting and amusing. 
In this preface is a passage worth particular no* 
tice, not only for the justness of the criticism, 
but because it contains a censure of Cowley. 
•* Chaucer is a perpetual fountain of good sense; 
learned in all sciences ; and therefore speaks pro* 
perly on all subjects. As he knew what to say, 
so he also knows where to leave off; a continence, 
which is practised by few writers, and scarcely 
by any of the ancients, excepting Virgil and 
Horace. One of our late great poets is sunk in 
his reputation, because he could never forgive 
^ny conceit that came in his way ; but swept, like 

^ drag-» 


a drag-net, great and small. There was plenty 
enough, but the dishes were ill-sorted ; whole 
pyramids of sweet-meats for boys and women ; 
but little of solid meat for men. All this pro- 
ceeded not from any want of knowledge, but of 
judgment : neither did he want that, in discern- 
ing the beauties and faults of other poets ; but 
only indulged himself in the luxury of writing; 
and, perhaps, knew it was a fault, but hoped the 
reader would not find it. For this reason, though 
he must always b|5 thought a great poet, he is 
no longer esteemed a good writer ; and for ten 
impressions which his works have had in so many 
successive years, yet at present a hundred books 
are scarcely purchased once a twelvemonth." It 
is a circumstance of literary history worth men- 
tioning, that Chaucer was more than 60 years 
old when he wrote Palamon and Arcite, as we 
know Dryden was 70 when he versified it. The 
lines of Pope, in the piece before us, are spirited 
and easy, ^nd have properly enough, a free col- 
loquial air. One passage I cannot forbear quot- 
ing, as it acquaints us with the writers who were 
popular in the time of Chaucer. The jocose old 
1 woman 


woman says, that her husband frequently read to 
her out of a volume that contained, 

Valerius whole ; and of Saint Jerome part ; 
Chrysippus, and Tertullian^ Ovid's Art, 
Solomon's Proverbs, Eloisa's Loves ; 
With many more than sure the church approyes.**^ 

Pope has omitted a stroke of humour ; for in the 
original, she naturally mistakes the rank and age 
of St. Jerome : the lines must be transcribed : 

Yclepid Valerie and Theophrast, 

At which boke he lough alwey full fast; 

And eke there was a clerk sometime in Rome, 

A cardinal, that hightin St. Jerome, 

That made a boke agenst Jovinian, 

In which boke there was eke TertuUian, 

Chrysippus, Trotula, and Helowis, 

That was an Abbess not ferr fro Paris; 

And eke the Parables of Solomon, 

Ovid' is art, and bokis many a one.f 

In the library which Charles V. founded in 
France about the year thirteen hundred and se- 
venty-six, among many books of devotion, as- 
trology, chemistry, and romance, there was not 


♦ Ver.JM. t Ver. 671. 


one copy of Tully to be found ; and no Latin poet, 
but Ovid, Lucan, and Boethius; some French 
translations of Livy, Valerius Maxim us, and St. 
Austins City of God. He placed these in one 
of the towers of the old Louvre, which was 
called the Tower of the Library. This was the 
foundation of the present magnificent Royal Li- 
brary at Paris. 

The tale to which this is the Prologue, has 
been versified by Dryden; and is supposed to 
have been of Chaucer's own contrivance : as is 
also the elegant Vision of the Flower and the 
Leaf, which has received new graces from the 
spirited and harmonious Dryden. It is to his 
Fables, though wrote in his old age,* that Dry- 
den will owe his immortality ; and among them, 
particularly, to Palamon and Arcite, Sigismunda 
and Guiscardo, Theodore and Honoria ; and, 


* The falling off of his hair^ said a man of wit> had no other 
consequence^ than to make his laulrels to be seen the more. A 
person who translated some pieces after Dryden^ used to say. 

Experto credite^ quantus 

In clypeum assurgat, quo turbine torqueat hastam. 
Creblllon was ninety when he btought his Catiline on the stage. 


above all, to his exquisite music ode. The 
warmth and melody of these pieces has never 
been excelled in our language ; 1 mean in 
rhyme. As general and unexemplified criticism 
is always useless and absurd, I must beg leave 
to select a few passages from these three poems ; 
and the reader must not think any observations 
on the character of Dryden, the constant pat- 
tern of Pope, unconnected with the main sub- 
ject of this work. The picture of Arcite, in the 
absence of Emilia, is highly expressive of the 
deepest distress, and a complete image of an- 
guish : 

He ravM with all the madness of despair ; 
He roar'd» he beat his breast^ he tore his hair. 
Dry sorrow in his stupid eyes appears; 
For wanting nourishment, he wanted tears : 
His eye-balls in their hollow sockets sink; 
Bereft of sleep^ he loaths his meat and drink; 
He withers at his hearty and looks as wan 
As the pale spectre of a murder'd mau.''^ 

The image of the Suicide is equally picturesque 
and pathetic. 


^ Palamoa and Arcite^ Book I. 


The slayer of himself yet saw I there. 
The gore congealM was clotted in his hair : 
With eyes half-clos'd and gaping mouth he lay. 
And grim as when he breath'd his sullen soul away. 

This reminds me of that forcible description in a 
writer whose fancy was eminently strong, " Cati- 
lina vero, longe a suis, inter hostium cadavera 
repertus est, paululum etiam spirans ; ferociam- 
que animi, quam habuerat vivus^ in vultu reti- 
nens." Nor must I omit that affecting hnage in 
Spenser, who ever excels in the pathetic : 

And him besides there lay upon the grass 

A dreary corse, whose life away did pass. 

All wallow'd in his own, yet lukewarm, blood. 

That from his wound yet welled fresh, alas I 

In which a rusty knife fast fixed stood. 

And made an open passage for the gushing flood.* 

When Palamon perceived his rival had escaped^ 

■ He stares, he stamps the ground; 

The hollow tow'r with clamour rings around : 
With briny tears he bath'd his fetter'd feet. 
And dropp'd all o'er with agony of sweat. 


* Fairy Queen> Book I. Canto 9. Stanza 36. 


Nor are the feelings of Palamon less strongly im- 
pressed on the reader, where he says, 

The rage of Jealousy then fir'd his soul. 
And his face kindled like a burning coal : 
!Now cold despair succeeding in her stead. 
To livid paleness turn'd the glowing red.* 

If we pass on from descriptions of persons to 
those of things, we shall find this poem equally 
excellent. The temple of Mars is situated with 
propriety in a country desolate and joyless ; all 
around it, 

The landscape was a forest wide and bare. 
Where neither beast nor human-kind repair ; 
The fowl, that scent afar, the borders fly, 
. And shun the bitter blast, and wheel about the sky. 
A cake of scurf lies baking on the ground. 
And prickly stubs instead of trees are found. 


* These passages are chiefly of the pathetic sort; for which 
Dryden in his tragedies is far from being remarkable^ But it 
is not unusual for the same person to succeed in describing ex- 
ternally a distressful character, who may miserably fail in put- 
ting proper words in the mouth of such a character. In a 
word, so much more difficult is dramatic than descriptive 
poetry ! 


The temple itself is nobly and magnificently 
studied ; and, at the same time, adapted to the 
furious nature of the god to whom it belonged; 
and carries with it a barbarous and tremendous 

The frame of burnishM steel, that cast a glare 
From far, and seem'd to thaw the freezing air. 
A strait long entry to the temple led. 
Blind with high walls and horror over-head : 
Thence issued such a blast and hollow roar. 
As threatened from the hinge to heave the door; 
In through the door a northern light there shone ; 
^was all it had, for windows there were none. 
The gate of adamant, eternal frame. 
Which, hew'd by Mars himself, from Indian quarries 

This scene of terror is judiciously contrasted 
by the pleasing and joyous imagery of the tem- 
ples of Venus and Diana. The figure of the 
last goddess is a design fit for Guido to exe* 
cute : 

The graceful Goddess was array'd in green ; 
About her feet were little beagles seen. 
That watch'd with upward eyes the motions of their 



But, above all, the whole description of the eft* 
tering the lists,* and of the ensuing combat, 
which is told at length, in the middle of the 
third book, is marvellously spirited ; and so 
lively, as to make us spectators of that interest- 
ing and magnificent tournament. Even the ab- 
surdity of feigning ancient heroes, such as 
Theseus and Lycurgus, present at the lists and 
a modern combat, is overwhelmed and oblite- 
rated amidst the blaze, the pomp, and the pro- 
fusion, of such animated poetry. Frigid and 
phlegmatic must be the critic, who could have 
leisure ^ dully and soberly to attend to the ana- 
chronism on so striking an occasion. The mind 
is whirled away by a torrent of rapid imageryi 
and propriety is forgot. 


The tale of Sigismunda and Guiscardo is 
heightened with many new and affecting touches 
by Dryden. I shall select only the following 
picture of Sigismunda, as it has the same atti- 

* The reader is desired all along to remember, that the first 
delineation of all these images is iu Chaucer, or Boccace; and 
it might be worth examining how much DrydeQ has added 
purely from his own stock. 


tude in which she appears in a famous piece of 


Mute, solemn soi^row, free from female noise. 
Such as the majesty of grief destroys : 
For bending o'er the cup, the tears she shed. 
Seemed by the posture to discharge her head, 
O'erfill'd before ; and oft (her mouth apply 'd 
To the cold heart) she kiss'd at once, and cry'd« 

There is an incomparable wildness in the vision 
of Theodore and Honoria,* that represents the 
furious spectre, of " the horseman ghost that 
came thundering for his prey;" and of the gaunt 
mastiffs that tore the sides of the shrieking dam* 
sel he pursued ; which is a subject worthy the 
pencil of Spagnoletti, as it partakes of that sa- 
vageness which is so striking to the imagination* 
I shall confine myself to point out only two pas- 
VOL. II. C ' sages, 

^ This is one of Boccace^s most serious stories. *' It is a 
curious thing to see at the head of an edition of Boccace's tales, 
printed at Florence in 1573, a privilege of Gregory XIII. who 
says, that in this he follows the steps of Pius V. his predecessorj 
of blessed memory, and which threatens with severe punish- 
ments, all those who shall dare to give any disturbance to those 
booksellers to whom this privilege is granted. Thefe is also a 
decree of the inquisition in favour of this edition, in which 
the holy father caused some alterations to be made. Long us* 
xuANA^ Tom« II. p. 62. a Berlin, 1754. 


sagesy which relate the two appearances of this 
formidable figure ; and I place them last, as I 
think them the most lofty of any part of Dry- 
den's works : 

Whilst list'ning to the murrn'ring leares he stood. 
More than a mile immersM within the wood. 
At once the wind was laid-— >the whisp'nng sound 
Was dumb— a rising earthquake rock'd the ground : 
With deeper brown the grove was overspread, 
Atid his ears tingled, and his colour fled. 

The sensations of a man upon the approach c^ 
some strange and supernatural danger, can scarce-^ 
ly be represented more feelingly. All nature is 
thus said to sympathiee at the second appear* 
ante of 

•— — The felon on his sable steed 
Arm'd with his naked sword, that urg'd hifr dogs to speed. 

Th^is it runs- 

The fiend'» alarm began ; the hollow sound 
Sung in the leaves, the forest shook around. 
Air blacken'd, roUM the thunder, groan'd the ground. 


But to conclude this digression oil Drydcn* 
It must be owned^ that his Ode on the Power of 
Musie^ which is the chief ornament of this vo^ 
Iume> is the most unrivalled of his compositions* 
By that strange fatality which seems to disqua- 
lify authors from judging of their own works, he 
does not appear to have Valued this piece, be- 
cause he totally omits it in the enumeration and 
criticism he has given of the rest in his preface to 
the volume, I shall add nothing to what I have 
already said on this subject,^ but only relate the 
occasion and matineir of his writing it Mr. St 
John, afterwards Lord Bolingbroke, happening 
to pay a visit to Dryden, whom be always re- 
spected, f found him in an unusual agitation of 
spirits, even to a trembling. On enquiring the 
cause, ^^ I have, been up all night, (replied the 
old bard.) My musical friends made me promise 
to write them an ode for their feast of St Cto- 

C 2 cilia: 

* Vol. I. pag, 51. 

f See his verses to Dryden, prefixed to the translation of 
Virgil. Lord Bolingbroke assured Pope, that Dryden oftea 
declared to hiiii> that he got mor« frond the Spanish critics 
alone, than from the Iulian> French^ and all other critios piut 
Jtogether ; which appears strange* This from Mu SpenOe. 

fiO essaV on the GENiirs 

cilia : I have been so struck vhh the subject 
which occurred to me, that I could not leave it 
till I had completed it : here it i», finished at one 
sitting.'* And immediately he shewed him this 
ode, which places the British lyric poetry above 
that of any other nation. This anecdote, as 
true as it is curious, was imparted by Lord Bo- 
lingbroke to Pope, by Pope to Mr. Gilbert 
West, by him to the ingenious friend who com- 
municated it to me.* The rapidity, and yet the 
pprspicuity, of the thoughts, the glow and the 
expressiveness of the images, those certain marks 
of the first sketch of a master^ conspire to corro* 
borate the truth of the fact. 

The Translation of the jfirst Book of Statius 
is the next piece that belongs to this Section. It 
was in his childhood only that he could make 
choice of so injudicious a writer. It were to be 
wished, that no youth of genius were suffered 
ever to look into Statius,f Lucan, Claudian, or 


* Richard fierenger, Esq. 

+ Writers of Ihis stamp are always on the stretch. They 
disdain the natural ; they are perpetually grasping at the vast, 



Seneca the tragedian; authors, who, by their 
forced conceits, by their violent metaphors, by 
their swelling epithets, by their want of. a just 
decorum, have a strong tendency to dazzle and 
to mislead inexperienced minds, and tastes un- 
formed, from the true relish of possibility, pro- 
priety, simplicity, and natnre. Statins had un- 
doubtedly invention, ability, and spirit; but his 
images are gigantic and outrageous, and his sen- 
timents tortured and hyperbolical It can 
hardly, I think, be doubted, but that Juvenal 
intended a severe satire on him, in these well 
known lines, which have been commonly inter- 
preted as a panegyric : 

Curritar ad vocem jucundam et carmen arnica 
Thebaidos, Icetam fecit cum Statius urbem, 
Promisitque dierfi ; taiita dulcedinc captos 
Afficit ille animos^ tantaque libidirke vulgi 
Auditur : sed, cum JregU subsellia versu^ 
EsurlU " ■ I 

C 3 In 

the wonderful, and the terrible. ^* Kav ixa^w avrm vf^s avyett 
mpacTKovifif, tx, re ^pt^e hmt oA^yoy vvovorc/ iffos to iwx^Ta^fowjTo*.— 
Kaxoi ^f 07x0/, xai %mi aw^tArm xett Xoyuv, 0/ x^wot mmi avaXiiQtts, xmt 
lAAivort iFtfu^afrts ifAcu tts rmamoit nl^tv yap facrt, ^portpov v^puviH^/* 
Longipus, V9pt v4^9fs r(A. y. Sect, iii. They should read the sen- 
sible discourse of S. Wedrenfels. of Basle, De Mcteoris Ora^ 


111 these verses are many expressions, liere mark"* 
ed with italics, which seem to bint obliquely, 
that Statius was the favourite poet of the vulgar, 
who were easily captivated with a wild and inar-^ 
tificial tale, and Math an empty magnificence of 
numbers ; the noisy roughness of which may be 
particularly alluded to in the ei^pression, fregit 
mbsellia versu. One cannot forbear reflecting oa 
the short duration of a true taste in poetry 
among the Romans. From the time of Lucre** 
tins, to that of Statius, was no more than about 
one hundred and forty-seven years; and if I 
might venture to pronounce so rigorous a sen* 
tence, I Avould say, that the Romans can boast 
of but eight poets who are unexceptionably ex-* 
celtent; namely, Terence, Lucretius, Catux--^ 
Lus, Virgil, Horace, Ti^ullus, Propertius, 
pHJEDRus. These only can be called legitimate 
models of just thinking and writing. Succeed- 
ing authors, as it happens in all countries, re- 

solving to be original and new, and to avoid the 
imputation of copying, became distorted and 
unnatural : by endeavouring to open an unbeaten 
path, they deserted simplicity jand truth ; weary 
pf comnion apd obvious beauties, they must 



needs bunt for remote and s^rtificlal decoratums. 
Thus was it that the age cMf Demetrius Phalerims 
succeeded that of Demosthenes ; and the false 
relish of Tiberius*s court, the chaste one of Au- 
gustuSi Among the various causes, however, 
that have been assigned, why poetry and the arts 
have more eminently flourished in some particular 
ages and nations than in others, few h^ve been 
satisfactory and adequate. What solid reason 
can we give why the Romans, who so happily 
imitated the Greeks in, many respects, and 
breathed a truly tragic spirit, could yet never 
excel in tragedy, though so fond of theatrical 
spectacles? Or why the Greeks, so fruitful in 
every species of poetry, yet never produced but 
one great epic poet? While, on tlie other hand, 
modern Ifely can shew two or three illustrious 
epic writers, yet has no Sophocles, Euripides, or 
Menanderi, And France, without having formed 
a single Epopea, has carried dramatic poetry to 
so high a pitch of perfection in Corneille, Ra- 
cine, and Moliere. 

For a confirmation of the foregoing remark on 

■ 4 

StaUu5, and far a proof of the strength and spi- 

C 4 rit 


rit of Pope's youthful translation, I shall select 
the following passage ; 

He sends a monster horrible and fell. 

Begot by furies in the depth of hell. 

The pest a virgin's face and bosom wears ; 

High on her crown a rising snake appears. 

Guards her black froqt, and hisses in her hairs 

About the realm she walks her dreadful rounds 

When night with sable wings overspreads the ground ; 

Devours young babes before their parents' eyes, 

And feeds apd thrives on public miseries,*^ 

Oedipus, in Statins, behaves with the fury of a 
blustering bully; in Sophocles, f with that pa- 
tient submission, and pathetic remorse, which 
are suited to his lamentable condition. 

Art thou a father, unregarding Jove ! 
And sleeps thy thunder in the realms above ? 
7hou, furyj, thepj, some lasting curse eoitaiU 
Which o'er their childrens' children shall prevail ; 
place on their heads that crown distain'd with gore, 
Wl^icb these dire hs^nds fropi my slain father tore. 


* B. I. ver. 705, 

f See his address to the furies in the CEdipus Coloneus of 
Sophocles, beginning $it the words, O vomsat httuwis, at verse 
85, down to verse II7. And afterwards, when he become^ 
more particularly acquainted with the unnatural cruelty of his 
sons, yet his resentment is iqore teinperate. See verse 433 
down to verse 47^4 of the same most enchautiqg tragedy. 


Ovid is also another writer of a bad taste, on 
vhom Pope employed some of his youthful 
hours, in translating the stories of Dryope and 
Pomona. Were it not for the useful myihologi^ 
cal knowledge they contain, the works pf Ovid 
ought not to be so diligently xead. The puerili-. 
ties and affectations with which they abound, are 
too well known to be here insisted on. I chuse 
rather to account for Ovid's falling into so blame* 
able a species of writing, in the words of a sen- 
sible critic,* who, after he has censured, wliat 


^ Francisci Vavassoris de Epigrammate Liber. Parislis 
1672. Pag. 47, edit. 8vo. 

About this time it became fashionable among the wits at 
Button's, the mob of gentlemen that wrote with ease, to trans- 
late Ovid. Their united performances were published in 
form by Garth, with a preface written in a flowing and lively 
style, but full of strange opinions. He declares, that none of 
the classic poets had the talent of expressing himself with more 
force and perspicuity than Ovid ; that the Fiat of the Hebrew 
lawrgiver is not more sublime than the Jussit et extendi campos 
of the Latin Poet ; that he excels in the propriety of his si- 
miles and epithets, the perspicuity of his allegories, and the 
instructive excellence of his morals. Above all, he commends 
him for his unforced transitions, and for the ease with whick 
he slides into some new circumstance, without any violation of 
the unity of the story. '' The texture (says he) is so artful, that 
it may be compared to the work of his own Arachne, where the 



he calls, the pigmenta^ tlic lasdvias, and aucu^ 
pia sermonum of Paterculus, of Valeriu* 
Maximus, of Pliny the Naturalist, and 
Flint the Consul, of Flo bus, and Taci- 
tus, proceeds as follows : " Apud Ovidium, 
cum in Heroidum epistolis, turn vero prsB- 
cipue in libris Metamorphoseon, deprehendunt 
qui ista curant, tnulta solerter et acute dicta. 
Sed advertit nemo, quod sciam, unde exorta 
hsec ei prster csteros libido, et quae causa festi*^ ' 
vitatis novas, et prioribus inusitats poetis, esse 
potuerit Natus Ovidius eodem, quo Cicero 


ghade dies so gradually, and the light revives so imperceptibly, 
that it is hard to tell where the one ceases and the other begins/' 
3ut it is remarkable that Quintilian thought very differently on 
this subject of the transitions, and the admirers of Ovid would 
do well to consider his opinion. *' Ilia vero Crigida et puerilis 
est in scholis afiectatio, ut ipsiB transitus efficiat aliquam utique 
sententiam, et hujus velut praestigise plausum petat : ut Ovidius 
lascivire in Metamorphosi solet, quern tamen excusare necessi- 
tas potest, res diversissimas in speciem unius corporis coUigen- 
|em/' ' Garth was a roost amiable and benevolent man. It was 
said of hiflb> that *' No Physician knew his Art more, nor his 
Trade less." Pope told Mr. Richardson, ** that there was 
hardly an alteration, of the innumerable, that were made 
throughout every edition of the Dispensary, that was not for 
the better.'' The vivacity of his conversation made Garth ai) 
universal favourite both with Whigs and Tories^ when party<.- 
rage ran high. 


mortuus, anno, in bax: incidit tempora, ut ita 
dicam, declamatoria, hoc est, ea, quibus induo* 
tus primuin est, et valere ccepit, et in bonore 
esse, strictior is habitus et comptcor scriptural; 
ubi color sententiarum, plunmi ac densi sensus, 
et qui cum quodam lutnine terminarentur, non 
tarda nee inerti structura. Sic enim nove loqui 
c<Bptum est de novo genere loquendi. Itaque 
gus adolescentia iis maxime studiis ac disciplinis 
declainitandl traducta, exercitaque tunc, cum 
Portio Latroni et Arellio Fusco rhetoribus daret 
operam, cumque sese non ad forum, a quo labo-^ 
ris fuga abhorrebat, sed ad poeticami in quam 
erat natura propensior, contulisset : detulit una 
secum figuram hanc et formam sermonis, cui as-^ 
sueverat aliquandiu, et institutum. jam oratione 
soluta morem retinuit in vcrsibus," . 

We are now advanced, through many digres-^ 
sions, that I would hope are not wholly imper-^ 
tinent, to Pope's Imitations of Seven English 
Poets J some of which were done at fourteen or 
fifteen years old. His early bent to poetry has 
been already taken notice of in the First Vo-^ 
8 lume 


lume,* to which the following anecdote must be 
added, which I lately received from one of his 
intimate friends ; " I wrote things (said Pope) 
I am ashamed to say how soon ; part of my 
epic poem Alcandeb, when about twelve. The 
scene of it lay at Rhodes, and some of the neigh* 
houring islands ; and tlie poem opened under the 
water, with a description of the court of Nep» 
tune. That couplet on the circulation of the 
blood, which I afterwards inserted in the Dun** 

'' As man's meanders to the vital spring 

** Koll all their tides, then back their circles bring. 

was originally in this poem, word for word. 


The first of these Imitations is of Chaucer ; as 
it paints neither characters nor manners like bis 
original, as it is the only piece of our author's 
works that is loose and indecent, and as therefore 
I wish it had been omitted in the present edition, 
I shall speak no more of it 


* Page 78. 


The Imitation of Spenser is tlie second ; it is a 
description of an alley of fishwomen. He that 
was unacquainted M^ith Spenser, and was to form 
his ideas of the turn and manner of his genius 
from this piece, would undoubtedly suppose. that 
he abounded in filthy images, and excelled in 
describing the lower scenes of life. But the cha- 
racteristics of this sweet and amiable allegorical 
poet, are not only strong and circumstantial 
imagery, but tender and pathetic feeling, a most 
melodious flow of versification, and a certain 
pleasing melancholy in his sentimehts, the con- 
stant companion of an elegant taste, that casts a 
delicacy and grace over all his compositions. To 
imitate Spenser on a subject that does not par- 
take of the pathos, 4s not giving a true represen- 
tation of him ; for he seems to be more awake 
and alive to all the softnesses of nature, than 
almost any writer I can recollect. There is an 
assemblage of disgusting and disagreeable sounds 
in the following stanza of Pope, which one is 
almost tempted to think, if it were possible, had 
been contrived as a contrast, or rather burlesque, 
of a most exquisite stanza in the Faebt Queen. 




The snappish ciir (the passengers annoy) 
Close at my heel with yelping treble flies ; 
The whimpering girl, and hoarstr-screamiag b^^ 
Join to the yelping treble, shrilling cries | 
The scolding quean to louder notes doth rise> 
And her fbll pipes those shrilling erie^ confound f 
To her full pipes the grunting hog replies j 
The grunting hogs alarm the neighbours round. 
And curs, gifls, boys, and scolds, in the deep \nae arv 

The very turn of these uumbers bears the closest 
resemblance with the following, which are of 
themselves a complete concert of the most de* 
licious music* 

The joyous birds, shrouded in chearful shade^ 
Their uotes unto the voice attempred sweet ; 
Th^ angelica], soft trembling voices made 
To th' instruments divine respondence meet j 
The silver-sounding instruments did meet 
With the base murmur of the water*s fall i 
The water's fall with difference discreeti 
Now soft, uow loud unto the wind did call \ 
The gentle warbling wind low answered to all.* 

These images, one would hax^e thought, wefc 
peculiarly calculated to have struck the fancy of 
Our young imitator with so much admiration', as 


^ Book IL Canto 12. Stanza 7 U 


not to have suffered him to make a kind of tra- 
vesty of them. 

The next stanza of Pope represents some alle- 
gorical figures, of which his original was so 

Hard by a sty, beneath a roof of thatch. 

Dwelt Obloquy, who, in her early days. 

Baskets of fish at Billingsgate did watch. 

Cod, whiting, oyster, mackarel, sprat, or plaice : 

There learn'd she speech from tongues that never cease*. 

Slandeb beside her, like a magpie chatters. 

With £nvt (spitting cat) dread foe to peace ; 

Like a cursed cur. Malice before her clatters. 

And vexing every wight, tears cloaths and all to tatters. 

But these personages of Obloquy, Slander, Envy, 
and Malice, are not marked with any distinct 
attributes ; they are not those living figures,* 


* Mr. Hume is of opinion, that the perusal of Spenser be-* 
comes tedious to almost all his readers. *' This effect, (sayn 
he. History of England, page 758.) of which every one is 
conscious, is usually ascribed to the change of manners j but 
manners have more changed since Homer's age, and yet 
that poet remains still the favourite of every reader of taste 
and judgment. Homer copied true natural manners, which, 
however jrough and uocultivstted, will always form an agree* 



whose attitudes and behaviour Spenser has mi- 
nutely drawn with so much clearness and truth^ 
that we behold them with our eyes, as plainly as 
we do on the cieling of the banqueting-house* 
For, in truth, the pencil of Spenser is as powerful 
as that of Rubens, his brother allegorist ; which 
two artists resembled each other in mapy re- 
spects ; but Spenser had more grace, and was as 
warm a colourist. Among a multitude of ob- 
jects delineated with the utmost force,* which 


able and pleasiing picture ; but the pencil of the English poet 
was employed in drawing the affectations^ and coilcetts> and 
fopperies^ of chivalry, which appear ridiculous as soon as they 
lose the recommendation of the mode/^ But they had not 
ceased to be the mode in Spenser's time* 

* Whence it came to pass that Spenser did not give his 
poem the due simplicity, coherence, and unity, of a legiti- 
mate Epopea, the reader may find in Mr. Hurd^s entertaining 
letter to Mr. Mason, on the Marks of imitation, pag. 19, and 
in Observations on the Faery Queen, pag. 2, 3, 4. *' How 
happened it (says Mr. Hurd) that Sir Philip Sydney, in hi« 
Arcadia, and aderwards Spenser, in his Faery Queen, observe 
ed so unnatural a conduct in those works ; in which the story 
proceeds, as it were, by snatches, and with continual inter- 
iruptions ? How was the good sense of those writers, so con« 
Tersant besides in the best models of antiquity, seduced into 
this preposterous method ? The answer, no doubt, is, that 
they were copying the design, of disorder rather, of Ariosto, 



we might select on this occasion^ let us stop a 
tnomenty and take one attentive look at the alle-* 
gorical iSgures that rise to our view in the follow- 
ing lines : 

By that way's side there sat idfernal PaiUi 
And fast beside him sat tumultuous Strife ; 
The one in hand an iron whip did strain. 
The other brandished a bloody knife ; 
And both did gnash their teeth, and both did threaten life."^ 


But gnawing Jealousie> out of theit sight 
Sitting alone, his bitter lips did bite ; 
VOL. II. D And 

the favourite poet of that time.** We must not try the charm- 
ing sallies of Ariosto by the rigid rules of Aristotle. 

There is a remarkable letter of Bernardo Tasso, the father 
of Torquato> in which is this passage : " Ne 86 io s'Aristo- 
tele nascesse a questa eta, et vedesse il raghissimo poema dell' 
Ariosto, conoscendo la forza de 1' uso, et vedendo che tanto 
diletta, come 1' esperlenza ci dimonstr^, mutasse opinion^, et 
consentisse che si potesse far poema heroico di piu attione : 
Con la sua mirabil dottrina, et giudicio, dandogli nova norma, 
et prescriyuendogli noyi leggi.' 


Lettere di XIII. Huomini Illustri da Tomaso Porcacchi« 
In Venetia, 1584. Libro XVIL pag. 422. 

* Book II. c. 7. 21. 


And trembling^ Feare still to and fro did flie, 
. And found no place where safe he shroud him might. 
Lamenting Sorrow did in darknesse lie^ 
And Shame his ugly face did hide from lining eye. 

To shew the richness of his fancy, he has given 
US another picture of Jealousy, conceived with 
equal strength, in a succeeding book.* 

Into that cave he creepes, and thenceforth there 
Resolv'd to build his baleful mansion 
In dreary darknesse, and continual feare 
Of that rock's fall ; which ever and anon 
Threats with huge ruin him to fall upon> 
That he dare never sleep, but that one eye 
Still ope he keeps for that occasion ; 
Ne ever rests he in tranquillity. 
The roaring billows beat his bowre so boisterously .f 

Here all is in life and motion ; here we behold 
the true Poet or Maker ; this is creation ; it is 
here, "might we cry out to Spenser,*' it is here 
that you display to us, that you make us feel the 


* Lord Somers was passionately fond of the Faery Queen ; 
it was his fovourite work ; in the last picture which he sat 
for to Sir Godfrey KnelleF, he desired to be painted with a 
Spenser in his hand. 

f Book iiir c. n. 

And WKitiNGs OF ^op^* S5 

sure efifects of genuine poet ry^^ ^r^y d xty^g, wt 

aKHis^i»» Longinus. 


It has been fashionable of late to imitate Spen- 
ser ; but the likeness of most of these copies 
hath consisted rather in using a few of his an* 
cient expressions^ than in catching his real man- 
ner. Some^ however, have been executed with 
happiness, and with attention to that simplicity, 
that tenderness of sentiment, and those littte 
touches of nature, that constitute Spenser*s cha- 
racter. I have a peculiar pleasure in mentioning 
two of them,t The School-mistress, by Mr. 
Shenstone; and the Education of Achilles, 
by Mr. Bedingfield.:|; To these must be added 
that exquisite piece of wild and romantic imagery, 
Thomson's Castle of Indolence ; the first canto 
of which, in particular, is marvellously pleasing, 

D 2 and 

* ni^ivt. Sect. 15. 

t Dodftley's Miscellanies, Vol. I. pag« 24t, and Vol. III. . 

pag. 119. 

X And also Dr. Beattie^s charming MinstrcL 



and the stanzas have a greater flow and freedom 
than his blank-verse. 

Pope* has imitated Waller in the third plac^ 
and has done it with elegance ; especially in the 
verses on a fan of his own design ; for he designed 
with dexterity and taste. Tlie application of the 
story of Cephalus and Procris, is as ingenious as 
Waller's Phoebus and Daphne. Waller abounds, 
perhaps to excess, in allusions to mythology, and 
the ancient classics. The French, as may be 
imagined, complain that he is too learned for the 
ladies. The following twelve lines contain three 
allusions, delicate indeed, but soma may deeni 
them to be too far-fetched, too much crouded^ 
and not obvious to the Lady to whom they were 
addressed, on her singing a song of his compos- 

Chloris^ yourself you so excell> 

When you vouchsafe to breathe my thought. 

That like a spirit with this spell. 

Of my own teaching I am caught. 


* Speaking of his imitations. Pope said to Mr. Spence, #5' I 
had once a design of giving a taste of all the Greek poets ; I 
would have translated a hymn of Homer, an ode of Pindar, 
an idyllium of Theocritus^ &c. so that I would have exhibited 
a general view of their poesie> throughout its different ages* 




That eagle's fate and mine are one» 
Which on the shaft that made him die, 
Espy'd a feather of his own> 
Wherewith he wont to soar so high. 
Had Echo, with so sweet a grace. 
Narcissus' loud complaints returned. 
Not for reflexion of his face. 
But of his voice, the boy had bum'd. 

Here* is matter enough compressed together for 
Voiture to have spun out into fifty lines. If I 
was to name my favourite among Waller's smaller 
pieces, it should be his apology for having loved 
before. He begins by saying, that " they who 
never had been used to the surprising juice of 
the grape, render up their reason to the first 
delicious cup :" this is sufficiently gallant ; but 
what he adds has much of the sublime, and ii^r 
like a thought of Milton's : 

To man that was i' th^ eyening made. 

Stars gave the first delight ; 
Admiring, in the gloomy shade. 

Those little drops of light. 

D 3 Then 

* Spenser and Waller were Pof£*8 great favourites, as he 
told Mr. Spence, in the order they are named, in his early 


Then at Aurora, whose fair hand 

Removed them from the skies. 
He gazing towards the East did standi 

She entertained his eyes. 
But when the bright sun did appear. 

All those he 'gan despise ; 
His wonder was determinM there. 

And could no higher rise. 

Which of the French writers has produced any 
thing at once so gallant and so lofty ? The £hg« 
Ksh versification was much smoothed by Waller, 
who used to own that he derived the harmony of 
his numbers from Fairfax's Tasso, who wdl* 
Yowelled his lines ; though Sandys was a melo* 
dious versifier; and Spenser has, perhaps, more 
variety of music than either of them,* A poet 
who addresses his pieces to living' characters, and 
confines himself to the subjects and anecdotes df 
his own times, like this courtly author^ bids 
fairer to become popular, than he that is em- 


* ^' Even little poems (said Pope) should be written by a 
plan. This method is evident in Tibullus, and Ovid's Elegies^ 
and almost all the pieces of the ancients. A poem on a slight 
subject requires the greater care, to make it considerable 
enough to be read," 


ployed in the higher scenes of poetry and fiction^ 

which are more remote from common manners. It 

may be remarked, lastly, of Waller, that there is 
no passion in his love verses ; and that one elegy 

of TibuUus, so well imitated by Hammon^, excels 

a volume of the most refined panegyric. 

The next imitation is of Cowlet, in two 
pieces, on a garden, and on weeping, in which 
Pope has properly enough, in conformity to his 
original, extorted some moral, or darted forth some 
witticism, on every object he mentions. It is not 
enough to say that the laurels sheltered the foun- 
tain from the heat of the day, but this idea must 
be accompanied with a conceit 

Daphne^ now a tree^ as once a maid. 
Still from Apollo vindicates her shade. 

The flowers that grow on the water-side, could 
not be sufficiently described without saying, 

The pale Narcissus on the bank^ in vain> 
Transformed, gazes on himself again. • 

D4 In 


In the lines on a lady weeping, you might expect a 
touching picture of beauty in distress ; you will 
be disappointed. Wit, on the present occasion, is 
to be preferred to tenderness ; the babe in her 
eye is said to resemble Phaeton so much, 

That heaven, the threatened world to spare* 
Thought fit to drown him in her tears : 
Else might th' ambitious nymph aspire 
To set, like him, the world on fire. 

Let not this strained affectation of striving to be 
witty upon all occasions, be thought exaggerated, 
or a caricatura of Cowley. It is painful to cen- 
Bute a writer of so amiable a mind, such integrity 
of manners, and such a sweetness of temper^ 
His fancy was brilliant, strong, and sprightly; 
but his taste false and unclassical, even though 
he had much learning. In his Latin compo- 
$itions, his six books on plants, where the sub- 
ject might have led him to a contrary practice, 
he imitates Martial rather than Virgil, and has 
given us more Epigrams than Descriptions. I do 
not remember to have seen it enough observed, 
that Cowley had a most happy talent of imitatiiig 
the easy manner of Horace's epistolary writings ; 

I must 


I must therefore insert a specimen of this, his 
excellence : 

Ergo iterum versus ? dices. O Vane ! quid ergo 
Morbum ejurasti toties, tibi qui insidet altl^ 
NoQ evellendus, vi vel ratione^ medullis ? 
Numne poetarum (merito dices) ut amantum 
Derisum ridere deum perjuria censes ? 
Parcius hsdc, sodes, neve inclementibus urge 
Infelicem hominem dictis ; nam fata trahunt me 
Magna reluctantem> et nequicquam in vincla minacem. 
Helleborum sumpsi, fateor^ pulchreque videbar 
Purgatus morbi ; sed Luna potentior herbis 
Insanire iterum jubet, et sibi vendicat sgrnm. 

There is another epistle also, well worthy perusal,, 
to his friend Mat. Clifford,* at the end of the 
same volume. PoPi:,t in one of bis imitations 


^ Settle was assisted in writing the Anti-Achitophel by 
Clifford, and others, the best wits of that time, who combined 
against Dryden. 

f Another line likewise of Pope exactly characterises him : 

The pensive Cowley's moral lay ' V ol. VI. p. 37. 

His general preface ; his discourse concerning Cromwell ; his 
essays on liberty; on obscurity; on agriculture; on greatness; 
and on himself; are full of pleasing and virtuous sen timehts^ 
expressed without any affectation ; so that he appears to bo 
one of the best prose writers of bis time. 


of Horace, has exhibited the real character of 
Cowley, with delicacy and candour : 

Who now reads Cowley ? If he pleases yet. 
His moral pleases^ not his pointed wit ; 
Forgot his epic, nay, Pindaric art. 
But still I love the language, of his heart. 

His prose works give us the most amiable idea 
both of his abilities and his heart. His Pindaric 
odes cannot be perused with common patience by 
a lover of antiquity. He that would see Pindar's 
manner truly imitated, may read Masters's noble 
and pathetic ode on the Crucifixion ; and he that 
urants to be convinced that these reflections on 
Cowley are not too severe, may read also hia 
epigrammatic version of it : 

H nx ofocu Q)iOtnffvf09 
XnhSotru ^Qiyt 

Dost thou not see thy prince in purple clad all o'er. 
Not purple brought from the Sidonian shore ? 
But made at home with richer gore. 




*Ai'0/y , avotyt 

Opeii> oh ! open wide the fouatains of thiae eyeSf 

And let them call 
Their >4tock of-moistuF.e forth wh^re e'er it. lies. 
For this will ask it all, 
^would all^ alas ! too little be, 
Though thy saH teavs came from a f^ea. 


* Compare Cowley^sode on presenting his bc)C>k to.tbye Bpd« 
leian Library, with one of Milton on the same subject. Ad 
Johanttem Rouseium, 164^^ written in tiie true spirit of the 
^^ncieot (tyrics, jand an excellent imitation of Pindar. Qae 
allusion to Euripides, of whom Milton is known to have h^n 
so fond, I. cannot omit : 

^ternorum operum custos Bdelis, 

Qusstorque gazse nobilioris, 

Qaam. cui pi^fuit {on, 

Clarus Erechtheides, 

Opulenta dei per templa parentis, 

Fulvosque tripodas, donaque Delph^ica, 

Jon Actea genitus Creusa. 

Nothing can more strongly characterize the different man- 
ner and turn of these two writers, than the pieces in question. 
)t is remarkable, that Milton ends his ode with a kind of 
prophecy, importing that, however he may be at present tra- 
itnced, yet posterity will applaud his work. 



Co V LET being early disgusted with the per- 
plexities and vanities of a court life, had a strong 
desire to enjoy the milder pleasures of solitude 
and retirement; he therefore escaped from the 
tumults of London, to a little house at Wands- 
worth; but, finding that place too near the metro-r 
polis, he left it for Richmond, and at last settled 
at Chertsey. He seems to have thought that the 
swains of Surrey had the innocence of those of 
Sydney's Arcadia ; but the perverseness and de- 
bauchery of his own workmen soon undeceived 
him ; with whom, it is said, he was sometimes so 
far provoked, as even to be betrayed into an 
oath. His income was about three hundred 
, pounds a year. Towards the latter part of his 
life, he shewed an aversion to the company of 
women, and would often leave the room if any 
happened to enter it whilst he was present; but 
still he retained a sincere affection for Leonora. 


At uLTiMi Nepotes, 
Serique postert^ 
Jadicia rebus jequiora forsitan 
Adhibebant integro sinvLj, 
Turn, livore sepaito, 



His death was occasioned by a singular accident ;*' 
he paid a visit on foot, with his friend Sprat, to a 
gentleman in the neighbourhood of Chertsey, 
which they prolonged and feasted too much, till 
midnight On their return home, they mistook 
their way, and were obliged to pass the whole 
night exposed under a hedge, where Cowley 
caught a severe cold, attended with a fever, that 
terminated in his death. 


* There is something remarkable in the circumstances that 
occasioned the deaths of three others of our poets. 

Otway had an intimate friend who was murdered in the 
street. One may guess at his sorrow, who has so feelingly 
described true affection in his Venice Preserved. He pur- 
sued the murderer on foot^ who fled to France, as far as Dover, 
where he was seized with a fever, occasioned by the fatigue, 
which afterwards carried him to his grave in London. 

Sir John Suckling was robbed by his Valet-de-Chambre : 
the moment he discovered it, he clapped on his boots in a 
passionate hurry, and {Perceived not a large rusty nail that was 
concealed at the bottom, which pierced his heel, and brought 
on a mortification. 

Lee had been sometime confined for lunacy, to a very low 
diet ; but one night he escaped from his physician, and drank 
so immoderately, that he fell down in the Strand, vras run 
over by a hackney-coach, and killed on the spot. These thr^ 
facts are firom Mn Spence, though Otway^s death has bed^^ 
differently related. 

46 ts^AY On ttr£ 6tuiVi 

The vcrscfs^on Sileticc are a sensible imitation of 
the Earl of Rochester's on Nothing; which 
piece, together with his Satire on Manj from the 
fourth of Boileau, and the tenth Satire of Ho- 
race, are the only pieces of this profligate noble* 
man, which modesty or common sense will allow 
any man to read. Rochester had much energy 
in his thoughts and diction ; and though the an- 
cient satirists often use great liberty in their ex- 
pressions, yet, as the ingenious historian * ob- 
serves, " their freedom no more resembles the 
licence of Rochester, than the nakedness of an 
Indian does that of a common prostitute." 

Pope, in this imitation, has discovered a fund 
of solid sense, and just observation upon vice 
and folly, that are very remarkable in a person so 
extremely young as he was at the time he com- 
posed it. I believe, on a fair comparison with 
Rochester's lines, it will be found that, although 
the turn of the satire be copied, yet it is excelled* 
That Rochester should write a satire on Man, 
I am not surprized ; it is the business of the Li- 

* Hume's History of Great Britain, VoU II. pag. 434. 


bertme to degrade his species, and debase the 
dignity of human nature, and thereby destroy 
the most efficacious incitements to lovely and 
laudable actions : but that a writer of Boileau's 
parity of manners should represent his kiud in 
the dark and disagreeable colours he has done, 
with all the malignity of a discontented Hobbi^t, 
18 a lamentable perversion of fine talents, and is 
a real injury to society. It is a fact worthy the 
attention of those who study the history of 
learning, that the gross licentiousness, and ap** 
plauded debauchery, of Charles the Second's 
court, proved almost as pernicious to the pro-* 
gress of polite literature and the fine arts, that 
began to revive after the Grand Rebellion, as the 
gloomy superstition, the absurd cant, and format 
h3^ocri8y, that disgraced this nation during the 
usurpation of Cromwell.* 


*'Lord Bolingbroke used to relate, that his great grand-' 
father Ireton, and Fleetwood^ being one day engaged in a pri^ 
yate drinking party with Cromwell, and wanting to uncork a 
bottle, they could not find their bottle-screw, which was fallea 
under the table. Just at that instant, an officer entered to 
inform the Protector, that a deputation from the Presbyterian 
2 ministers 


Artesmisia and Phryne are two characters 
in the manner of the Earl of Dorset, an elegant 
writer, and amiable man ; equally noted for the 
severity of his satire, and the sweetness of his 
manners, and who gave the fairest proof that 
these two qualities are by no meatis incompatible. 
** The greatest wits (says Addison) I have ever 
conversed with, were persons of the best tem- 
pers. " Dorset possessed the rare secret of unit- 
ing energy with ease in his striking compositions. 
His verses to Mr. Edward Howard, to Sir Thomas 
St. Serfe, his epilogue to the TartufFe, his song 
written at sea in the first Dutch war, his ballad 
on knotting, and on Lewis XIV. may be named 
as examples of this happy talent, and as confu* 
tations of a sentiment of the judicious M. de 
Montesquieu, who, in his noble chapter on the 
English Constitution, Book 1<), speaks thus of 
our writers : *' As society, and the mixing in 
company, gives to men a quicker sense of ridi- 

ministers attended without. " Tell them (says Cromwell^ 
with a countenance instantly composed) that I am retired^ that 
I cannot be disturbed, for I am seeking tJie Lard ;** and turn-' 
ing aflterwards to his companions, he added, *' These scoun- 
drels think we are seeking tJie Lord, and we are only looking 
for our bottle-screw" 


cule, SO retirement more disposes men to re- 
flect on the heinousness of vice ; the satirical 
writings, therefore, of such a nation, are sharp 
and severe; and we shall find among them 
many Juvenals, without discovering one Ho- 

The Description of the Life of a Country 
Parson is a lively imitation of Swift,* and is full 
of humour. The point of the likeness consists 

VOL. n. E in 

* See a Pipe of Tobacco, p. 282, vol. 2. Dodsley^s Mis* 
cell, where Mr. Hawkins Browne has imitated, from a hint of 
Dr. John Hoadly, six later English poets with success, viz» 
Swift, Pope, Thomson, Young, Phillips, Gibber. Some of 
these writers thinking themselves burlesqued, are said to have 
been mortified. But Pope observed On the occasion, " Browne 
is an excellent copyist; and those who take his imit^tion^ 
amiss, are much in the wrong ; they are very strongly 
mannered ; and few, perhaps, could write so well if they 

were not so." In Pope's imitation of the sixth epistle of 

Horace, there were two remarkable lines, the second of which 
was thought tb contain a heavy anticlimax : 

Grac'd, as thou art, with all the power of words. 
Known to the Courts, the Commons, and the Lords. 

The unexpected flatness and familiarity of the last line, wafl 
thus ridiculed by Mr. Browne, with much humour : 

Persuasion tips his tongue whene'er he talks. 
And— Ae has chambers in the King's-Bemh walks. 


racteristical of his old friend ; and I shall give it 
in the very words which Pope used when he told 
it to Mr. Spence. *' Dr. Swift has an odd blunt 
way, that is mistaken by strangers for ill-nature ; 
it is so odd, that there is no describing it but by 
facts.* I'll tell you one, the first that comes 
into my head. One evening Gay and I went to 
see him. On our coming in, ** Hey-day ! gen» 
tlemen, (says the Dean,) what can be the mean- 
ing of this visit ? How came you to leave all 
the great lords you are so fond of, to come hither 
to see a poor scurvy Dean ?" " Because we 
would rather see you than any of them." " Ay^ 
any one that did not know you so well as I do, 
might possibly believe you : but since you are 
come, I must get some supper for you, I suppose.** 
^* No, Doctor ; we have supped already." ** Sup- 
ped already! that is impossible; why it is not 
eight o'clock." '' Indeed we have." "That's 
very strange ; but if you had not supped, 1 must 
have got something for yqu : let me see, a couple 


* The archbishop of Armagh, Dr. Hoadly, happening to 
object one day, in Swift's company, to an expression of Pope, 
as not being the purest English, Swift answered, with his usual 
roughness, '' I could never get the blockhead to study his 


of lobsters would have done very well, two shil- 
lings; tarts, a shilling — But you will drink a 
glass of wine with me, though you supped so 
much before your time, only to spare my pocket.'* 
" No, we had rather talk with you, than drink 
with you.*' " But if you had supped with me, 
as in all reason you ought to have done, you 
must then have drank with me. — A bottle of 
wine, two shillings. — ^Two and two are four, and 
one is five. — ^Just two and sixpence a-piece. 
Thereji Pope, there's half a crown for you ; and 
there's another for you, Sir ; for I won*t save any 
thing by you, I am determined." This was all 
said and done with hi^ usual seriousness on such 
occasions : and, in spite of every thing we could 
say to the contrary, he actually obliged us to 
take the money.* 


* Transcribed from Mr. Spence's anecdotes. 




xF it be a true observation, that for a poet to 
write happily and well) he must have seen and 
felt what he describes, and must draw from living 
models alone ; and if modern times, from their 
luxury and refinement, afford not manners that will 
bear to be described ; it will then follow, that those 
species of poetry bid fairest to succeed at present^ 


which treat of things, not men j which deliver 
doctrines, not display events. Of this sort is 
didactic and descriptive poetry. Accordingly 
the moderns have produced many excellent pieces 
of this kind. We may mention the Syphilis of 
Fracastorius, the Silk-worms and Chess of Vida^ 
the Ambra of Politian, the Agriculture of Ala* 
manni, the Art of Poetry of Boileau, the Gar* 
deus of Rapin, the Cyder of Phillips, the Chase 



t)f Somerville, the Pleasures of Imagination, the 
Art of preserving Health, the Fleece, the Reli- 
gion of Racine the younger, the elegant Latin 
poem of Browne on the Immortality of the Soul, 
the Latin poems of Stat and Boscovick, and 
the philosophical poem before us ; to which, if 
we may judge from some beautiful fragments, 

we might have added Gray's didactic poem on 


Education and Government, had he lived to 
finish it And the English Garden of Mr. Ma* 
son must not be omitted. 

The EssAT ON Man is as close a piece of ar- 
gument, admitting its principles, as, perhaps, can 
be found in verse. Pope informs us, in his first 
preface, " that he chose this epistolary way of 
writing, notwithstanding his subject was high^ 
and of dignity, because of its being mixed with 
argument which of its nature approacheth to 
prose.*' He has not wandered into any useless 
digressions, has employed no fictions, no tale or 
story ; and has relied chiefiy on the poetry of his 
style for the purpose of interesting his readers. 
His style is concise and figurative, forcible and 
elegant. He has many metaphors and images, 

E 4 artfully 


artfully interspersed in the driest passages, which 
stood most in need of such ornaments. Never* 
theless, there are too many lines, in this perform- 
ance, plain and prosaic. The meaner the sub- 
ject is of a preceptive poem, the more striking 
appears the art of the poet : It is even of use, 
perhaps, to chuse a low subject. In this respect 
Virgil had the advantage over Lucretius: the 
latter, with all his vigour and sublimity of genius, 
could hardly satisfy and come up to the grandeur 
of his theme. Pope labours under the same dif* 
ficulty. If any beauty in this Essay be uncom- 
monly transcendent and peculiar, it is, brevity 
OF piCTiON ; which, in a few instances, and 
those pardonable, has occasioned obscurity. It 
is hardly to be imagined, how much sens^ 
how much thinking, how much observation 
on human life, is condensed together in a small 
compass. He was so accustomed to confine his 
thoughts in rhyme, that he tells us, he could 
express them more shortly this way, than in prose 
itself. On its first publication. Pope did not 
own it ; and it was given, by the public, to Lord 
Paget, Dr. Young, Dr. Desaguliers, and others. 
Even Swift seems to have been deceived ; There 

S i5 


is a reinakable passage in one of his letters : " I 
confess, I did never imagine you were so deep in 
morals; or that so many new and excellent rules 
could be produced so advantageously and agree- 
ably in that science, from any one head. I con- 
fess in some places I was forced to read twice ; 
I believe I told you before what the Duke of 

D r- said to me on that occasion ; how a 

judge here, who knows you, told him, that, on 
the first reading those essays, he was much 
pleased, but found some lines a little dark : On 
the second, most of them cleared up, and hij 
pleasure increased : On the third, he had no 
doubt remaining, and then he admired the 

The subject of this Essay is a vindication of 
Providence ; in which thenpoet proposes to prove, 
that of all possible systems, infinite wisdom has 
formed the best : That in such a system, cohe- 
rence, union, subordination, are necessary; and 
if so, that appearances of evil, both moral and 
natural, are also necessary and unavoidable : that 
the seeming defects and blemishes in the uni* 


* J^etters^ vol. IX, pag. 140. 


verse, conspire to its general beauty : that as all 
parts in an animal are not eyes ; and as in a city, 
comedy, or picture, all ranks, characters, and 
colours, are not equal or alike ; even so, excesses 
and contrary qualities, contribute to the propor* 
tion and harmony of the universal system : that 
it is not strange, that we should not be able to 
discover perfection and order in every instance ; 
because, in an infinity of things mutually rela- 
tive, a mind which sees not infinitely, can see 
nothing fully. This doctrine was inculcated by 
jpiato and the Stoics, but more amply and par» 
ticularly by the later Platonists, and by Antoni- 
nus and Simplicius. In illustrating his subject^ 
PoP£ has been much more deeply indebted to 
the Theodice6 of Leibnitz, to Archbishop King's 
Origin of Evil, and to the Moralists of Lord 
Shaftesbury, than to the philosophers above-men- 
tioned. The late Lord Bathurst repeatedly as« 
sured me, that he had read the whole scheme of 
the Essay on Man, in the hand- writing of Boling- 
broke, and drawn up in a series of propositions, 
M'hich Pope was to versify and illustrate: in 
doing which, our poet, it must be confessed, 
left several passages so expressed, as to be fa- 


AHP WRItlKCS or POP£« $9 

vourable to fatalism and necessity, notwithstand* 
ing all the pains that can be taken, and the turns 
that can be given to those passages, to place them 
on the side of religion, and make them coincide 
with the fundamental doctrines of revelation. 

I* Awake^^ my St. John ! leave all meaner things 
To low ambition^ and the pride of kings ; 
Let us (since life can little more supply 
Than just to look about us, and to die) 
Expatiate free o'er all this scene of man ; 
A mighty maze \ but not without a plan. 

£pi8T. LV. 1. 

This opening is awful, and commands the at- 
tention of the reader. The word awake has pe- 
culiar force, and obliquely alludes to his noble 
friend's leaving his political for philosophical pur- 
suits. May I venture to observe, that the me- 
taphors in the succeeding lines, drawn from the 
field sports of setting and shooting, seem below 
the dignity of the subject ; especiallyi 

Eye nature's walks^ shoot folly as it flies. 
And CATCH the manners living as they bise. 

2. But 

^ . Ben Jonson begins a poem thus : 

Wake ! friend j from forth thy lethargy* 



2. But vindicate the ways of God to man. 


This line is taken from Milton : 

And justify the ways of God to man.* 

Pope seems to have hinted, by this allusion to 
the Paradise Lost, that he intended his poem for 
a defence of Providence, as well as Milton : but 
he took a very different method in pursuing that 
end ; and imagined, that the goodness and jus- 
tice of the Deity might be defended, without 
having recourse to the doctrine of a future state, 
and of the depraved state of man. 

3. But of this frame^ the bearings^ and the ties^f 
The strong connections^ nice dependencies. 
Gradations just^ has thy perrading soul 
Looked thro' ? Or can a part contain the whole ? 

** Imagine only some person entirely a stranger 
to navigation, and ignorant of the nature of the 


* Paradise Lost, b. i. ver. 26. 

•f Tet (AtfTi vfos avio ro oAoy ht ^Mwnff f < €rv(Afm» nen 'ctpfAoiroil^ 
iKiiw, Plotinus* 


sea, or waters, how great his astonishment would 
be, when finding himself on board some vessel 
anchoring at sea, remote from all land- prospect, 
whilst it was yet a calm, he viewed the ponder- 
ous machine firm and motionless in the midst of 
the smooth ocean, and considered its foundations 
beneath, together with its cordage, masts, and 
sails above. How easily would he see the Whole 
one regular structure, all things depending on 
one another ; the uses of the rooms below, the 
lodgements, and the conveniences of men and 
stores ! But being ignorant of the intent or de- 
sign of all above, would he pronounce the masts 
and cordage to be useless and cumbersome, and 
for this reason condemn the frame, and despise 
the architect ? O, my friend ! let us not thus be- 
tray our ignorance ; but consider where we are, 
and in what an universe. Think of the many 
parts of the vast machine, in which we have so 
little insight, and of which it is impossible we 
should know the ends and uses : when, instead of 
seeing to the highest pendants, we see only some 
lower deck, and are in this dark case of flesh, 
confined even to the hold and meanest station of 



the vessel/'* I have inserted this passage at 
lengthy because it is a noble and poetical illustra** 
tion of the foregoing lines, as wdl as of many 
other passages in this Essay. 

4* Presumptuous man ! the reason would'st th6a find« 
Why formed so weak« so little^ and so blind ? 
Firsts if thou can'st^ the harder reason guess^ 
Why formed no weaker^ blinder, and no ]ess.f 


* CharacteristiciE^ vol. ii*pag. 188. edit. ]2mo.«<^There is a . 
close resemblance in the following lines with another passage 
of Shaftesbury's Moralists : 

What would this man ? Now upward will he soar. 
And little less than angel, would be more ; 
Now looking downwards, just as griev*d appears. 
To want the strength of bulls, the fur of bears, 

^ Ask not merely, why man is naked, why unhoofed, why 
slower footed than the beasts : Ask, why he has not wings also 
for the air, fins for the water, and so on : that he might take 
possession of each element, and reign in all. Not so, said I, 
neither ; this would be to rate him high indeed ! As if he were 
by nature, lord of all, which is more than I could willingly 
allow. 'Tis enough, replied he, that this is yielded. For if 
we allow once, a subordination in his case ; if Nature herself 
be not for man, but man for Nature; then must man, by his 
good leave, submit to the elements of Nature, and not the ele« 
mentsto him.'' Vol. ii. pag. 196, ut supra. 

t Ver. 35. 


Voltaire, in the late additions to his works, 
has the following remarkable words : " I own it 
flatters me to see that Pope has fallen upon the 
very same sentiment which I had entertained 
many years ago/* ^* Vous vous ^tonnez que 
Dieu ait fait Fhomme si born6, si ignorant, si peu 
heureux. Que ne vous ^tonnez-vous, qu'il ne 
Tait pas fait plus bom6, plus ignorant, & plus 
malheureux ? Quand un Fran9ais & un Anglais 
pensent de meme, il faut bien qu'ils ayent rai* 

5« The lamb thy riot dooms to bleed to-day^ 
Had he thy reason, would he skip and play ? 
Pleas'd to the last, he crops the flowery food. 
And licks the hand just rais'd to shed his blood.f 

The tenderness of this striking image, and parti- 
cularly the circumstance in the last line, has an 
artful effect in alleviating the dryness in the ar- 
gumentative parts of the Essay, and interesting 
the reader, 

6. The 

♦ Oeuvres de Voltaire. Tom. iv. pag. 227. 

t Ver. 81t 


6. The soul uneasy, and confinM from home. 
Rests and expatiates in a life to come.^ 

In former editions it used to be printed at 
home; but this expression seeming to exclude a 
future existence, (as, to speak the plain truth, 
it was intended to do,) it was altered to jTrow* 
home ; not only with great injury to the harmony 
of the line, but also, to the reasoning of the 

7. Lo the poor Indian ! whose untutor'd mind 
Sees God in clouds, or hears him in the wind ; 
His soul proud science never taught to stray. 
Far as the solar walk, or milky way ; 
Yet simple nature to his hope has giv*n. 
Behind the cloud -topp'd hill, an humbler heav*n ; 
Some safer world in depth of woods embraced. 
Some happier island in the wat'ry waste. 
Where slaves once more their native land behold ; 
No fiends torment, no Christians thirst for gold. 
To BE content's his natural desire ; 
H^ asks no angel's wing, no seraph's fire ; 
But thinks, admitted to that equal sky. 
His faithful dog shall bear him company. f 

Pope has indulged himself in but few digres- 
sions in this piece ; this is one of the most poeti- 

* Ver. 97. f Ver 9§. 


cal. Representations of undisguised nature, and 
artless innocence, always amuse and delight. 
The simple notions which uncivilized nations en- 
tertain of a future state, are many of them heau- 
tifuUy romantic, and some of the best subjects 
for poetry. It has been questioned whether the 
circumstance of the dog, although striking at 
the first view, is introduced with propriety, as it 
is known that this animal is not a native of Ame« 
rica. The notion of seeing God in clouds, and 
hearing him in the wind, cannot be enough ap- 

8. From burning suns when livid deaths descend^ 
When earthquakes swallow, or when tempests sweep 
Towns to one grave, whole nations to the deep.^ 

I quote these lines as an example of energy of 
style, and of Pope's manner of compressing to* 
gether many images, without confusion, and 
without superfluous epithets. Substantives and 
verbs are the sinews of language. 

9. If plagues or earthquakes break not heaT'a's desigo. 
Why then a Borgia or a Catiline ?t 

VOL. II. F " All 

♦ Ver. 142. Ven 155. 


" All ills arise from the order of the universe, 
which is absolutely perfect. Would you wish to 
disturb so divine an order, for the sake of your own 
particular interest ? What if the ills I suffer arise 
from malice or oppression ? But the vices and 
imperfections of men are also comprehended in 
the order of the universe. 

If plagues^ ^c» 

Let this be allowed, and my own vices will be 

also a part of the same order.'* Such is the 

commentary of the academist on these famous 

10. Tbe general order^ since the whole began. 
Is kept in nature^ and is kept in man.f 

How this opinion is any way reconcileable with 
the orthodox doctrine of the lapsed condition of 
man, the chief foundation of the Christian reve- 
lation, it is difficult to say. 

1 K Why has not man a microscopic eye I 
For this plain reason, man is not a fly. 

* Hume^'s Essays quarto, pag. 106. 
t Ver. 171, 



Say« what the use, were finer optics giv'n, 
T' inspect a mite, not comprehend the heaven } 
Or touch, if tremblingly alive all o'er, 
To smart and agonize at every pore }* 

" If, hy the help of such microscopical eyes, if 
I may so call them, a mail could penetrate far- 
ther than ordinary into the secret composition 
and radical texture of bodies, he -would not make 
any great advantage by the change ; if such an ^ 
acute sight would not serve to conduct him to 
the market and exchange, if he could not see 
things he was to avoid at a convenient distance, 
nor distinguish things he had to do with by those 
sensible qualities others do/'f 

12. If nature thunder'd in his opening ears. 

And stunnM him with the music of the spheres. 
How would he wish that heaven had left him still 
The whispering zephyr, and the purling rill ? J 

It is justly objected, that the argument re- 
quired an instance drawn from real soundl/ aigla 

F2 not 

* Ver. 19S. 
t Locke's Essay on Human Understanding, vol I. pag. 256. 

$ Ver. 201. 

68 ' ESSAV on the GENlt^S 

not from the. imaginary music of the sphere*. 
Locke's illustration of this doctrine, is not only 
proper, but poetical.* ** If our sense of hear- 
ing were but one thousand times quicker than it 
is, how would a perpetual noise distract us; and 
we should, in the quietest retirement, be less able 
to sleep or meditate, than in the middle of a 

13. From the green myriads iu the peopled ^gr^ss'^ 
The mole's dim curtain, and the lynx's beam ; 
Of smell the headlong lioness between^ 
And hound sagacious on the tainted green : 
The spider's touch how exquisitely fine. 
Feels at each thread, and lives along the line.f 

These lines are selected as admirable patterns 
of forcible diction. The peculiar and discrimi- 
nating expressiveness of the epithets distinguish- 
ed above by italics, will be particularly regarded. 
Perhaps we have no image in the language, more 
lively than that of the last verse. ** To live 
along the line'* is equally bold and beautiful In 
this part of this Epistle the poet seems to have 


» .... 

■••Essay on Human Understanding, vol. I. pag. 255. 

t Ver. 210. 


remarkably laboured his style, which abounds ia 
various figures, and is much elevated. Pops 
has practised the great secret of Virgil's art, 
which was to discover the very single epithet that 
precisely suited each occasion, 

14. Without this just gradation, could they be 
Subjected^ these to those, or all to thee? 
The powers of all subdu'd by thee alone. 
Is not thy reason all these ppw'rs in one ?* 

*^ Such, then, is the admirable distribution of 
Nature; her adapting and adjusting not only 
the stuff or matter to the shape and form, 
and even the shape itself, and form, to the 
circumstance, place, element, or region ; but 
^so the affections, appetites, sensations, mu* 
tually to each other, as well as the matter, form, 
actioiD, and all besides ; all managed for the 
best, with perfect frugality, and just reserve: 
profuse to none, but bountiful to all : never em- 
ploying in one thing more than enough; but 
with exact (economy, retrenching the superfluous, 
and adding force to what is principal in every 
thing. And is not thought and reason principal 

F3 in 

^ Ver, 229* 


in man ? Would we have no reserve for these ? 
No saving for this part of his engine ?"♦ 

15. Above^ how high progresflire life may go I 
Around, how wide ! how deep extend below ! 
Vast chain of being ! which from God began, 
Nature's aethereal, human angel, man ; 
Beast, bird, fish, insect, what no eye can see. 
No glass can reach ; from infinite to thee. 
From thee to nothing.f 

" That there should be more species of intel- 
ligent creatures above us, than there are of sen- 
sible and material below us, is probable to me 
from hence ; that in all the visible corporeal 
world, we see no chasms, or gaps. All quite 
down from us, the descent is by easy steps, and 
a continued series of things, that in each remove 
differ very little from one another. And when 
we consider the infinite power and wisdom of the 
Maker, we have reason to think, that it is suit- 
able to the magnificent harmony of the universe, 
and the great design and infinite goodness of the 
architect, that the species of creatures should 


* The Moralists, toL ii. pag. 199. 
t Vcr. 235. 


also, by gentle degrees^ descend to us down** 
wards ; which, if it be probable, we have reason 
then to be persuaded, that there are far more 
species of creatures above us, than there are be* 
neath ; we being in degrees of perfection, much 
more remote from the infinite being of God, 
than we are from the lowest state of being, and 
that which approaches nearest to nothing/'* 

16. From Nature's chain whateTer link yon strike. 
Tenth, or ten thousandth, breaks the chain alike.f 

This doctrine is precisely the same with that of 
the philosophical emperor. :[; 

17. Just as absurd to mourn the tasks or pains. 
The great directing mind of all ordains. § 

F 4 Here, 

* Locke's Essay on Human Understanding, toL ii. pag. 49. 

t Ver. 245. 

tovf tiri aot or«y W«fffi}f, x«i rfoww rim wmtfnt* M. Anto* 
Hinus, Lib. v. S. 8. 

§ Ver. 265. 


Here^ again, we must insert another noble sen^ 
timent of the same lofty writer: . 

, - « • • 

• ■ 

As when it is said, Ihat iEsculapius hath pre- 
scribed to one a course of riding, or the cold 
bath, or walking bare-footed ; so it may be said, 
that the nature presiding in the whole, hath pre- 
scribed to one a disease, a maim, a loss of a 
child, or such like. The word prescribedy in the 
former case, imports, that lie enjoined it as con- 
ducing to health ; and in the latter, too, what- 
ever befals any one, is appointed as conducive to 
the purposes of Fate or Providence, Now there 
is one grand harmonious composition of all things, 
M. Antoninus, B, 5» 

18. All are but parts of one stupendous whole^ 
Whose body nature is, and God the soul ; 
That changed thro' all, and yet in all the same ] 
Great in the earth, as in th' aethereal frame; 
Warms in the sui|, refreshes in the breeze. 
Glows in the stars, and blossoms in the trees ; 
Lives thro' all life, extends thro' all extent. 
Spreads undivided, operates unspent; 
Breathes in our soul, informs our mortal party 
As full, as perfect, in a hair as heart ; 
As full, as perfect, in vile man, that mourns, 
A^ the rapt seraph> that adores and bums ; 


To Him no high^ no low, no great, no small ; 
He fills, he bounds, connects, and equals all.** 

Whilst I am transcribing this exalted descrip- 
tion of the omnipresence of the Deity, I feci 
myself almost tempted to retract an assertion la 
the beginning of this work, that there is nothing ^ 

transcendently sublime in Pope. These lines 
have all the energy and harmony that can be 
given to rhyme. They bear so marvellous a si- 
militude to the old Orphic verses quoted in the 
valuable treatise Hif* Ko<rnAir, that I cannot forbear 
introducing them, as they are curious and sublime: 

Tom lopwlor TtvfTo, Xws l^alof ap^iKtpauws * 

Xtvs KtipotXvi, Ztvf yLttra-ot ' Atos ^ mk Tratrra rilviOati* 

Tstps 9'y3/A)jy yatiis r% Koct epxvtt atfltpoiylos' 

Xtvs »^<m9 ytvilo, Xtvs a(d.(opolos tvXtlo yt;/x^« 

Ztvs ^voivi iFftvluy, Zips axaiMtlti TFvpos npfAn * 

Ztvt vovIh pil^<»f Ztvs iXioSf xSi arXiiini* 

Ztvs pxo'tXtvs, Ztvs oipxps Avavlafv ap^txtpatwoSm 

Tlxvlas yap xpv^as avlts ^aos ts *iro>Myrl^ts 

&{ Itpins Kpst^ms avtvtyKo^ f4.tpf4.epa ptl^uv** 

Nor have we a less example of sublimity in 
the three preceding lines, which describe the 


* Ver. 267. 
^ AptTortXnf Utpt Ko^iAH, pag. 378. edit. Lugduni. foL 1590. 




universal confu3ion that must ensue, upon any 
alteration made in the entire and coherent plan of 
the creation : 

Let earth unbalancM from her orbit fly. 
Planets and sans rush lawless thro* the sky ; 
Let ruling angels from their spheres be hurPd, 
Being on Being wreckM, and world on world ; 
Heav'u's whole foundations to their centre nod. 
And nature tremble to the throne of God.* 

It is very observable that these noble lines 
were added after the first edition. It is a pleas- 
ing amusement to trace out the alterations that a 
great writer gradually makes in his works. Many 
other parts of this epistle have been judiciously 
amended and improved. At first it ran, 

How instinct varies ! what a hog may want 
Compared with thine, half -reasoning elephant* 

And again ; 

What the advantage, if his finer eyes 
Study a mite, not comprehend the ski^ ! 

Which lines at present stand thus : 


* Ver.251. 

AlfO \trRtTINCS CF P0»» 7S^' 

How instinct, varies in the grov'ling swine, 
Coropar'dy half-reas'ning elephant, with thine ! 
Say, what the use, were finer optics giv'n, 
T' inspect a mite, not comprehend ^e heav'n ?• 

Formerly it stood. 

No se1f-confoundin|^ faculties to share ; 
No senses stronger than his brain can bear. 

At present, 

No powers of body or of soul to shate. 
But what his nature and his state can bfear. 

It appeared at first, 

Expatiate free o'er all this scene of man, 
A mighty maze ! of walks without a plan* 

We read at present, 

A mighty maze ! but not without a plan. 

19. Submit.— 'In this, or any other sphere. 
Secure to be as blest as thou canst bear : 
Safe in the hand of one disposing pow'r. 
Or in the natal, or the mortal hour.^ 

I cannot 

* Ver. 285. 


I cannot resist the pleasure of illustrating this 
sentiment in the words of a writer, whose friend- 
ship I esteem . to be no small happiness and ho* 
noun **" Teach us each to regard himself, but 
as a part of this great whole ; a part which, for 
its welfare, we are as patiently to resign, as we 
resign a single limb for the welfare of our whole 
body. Let our life be a continued scene of ac- 
quiescence and of gratitude ; of gratitude, for 
what we enjoy ; of acquiescence, in .what we 
suffer ; as both can only be referable to that con- 
catenated order of events, which cannot but be 
hest, as being by thee approved and chosen."*^ 

20. All nature is but art, unknown to thee ; 

All chance, direction which thou canst not see ; 
All discord, harmony not understood ; 
All partial evil, universal good.f 

This is the doctrine that reigns throughout the 
lofty hymn of Cleanthes the Stoic, particularly 
in these beautiful and masculine verses : 


* Three Treatises by James Harris, Esq. pag. 23 U 

t Ver. 289. 


TlXtiv ovo<r» ft^tiO'i xdHtei ^tltfutrif avoixif^ 
' AAX« av jiiarm mfio'a'st vtnAitaut afita Ottvat, 
Kms' ii9^list9 *ra entficfM* tmt h ptXet 0^ ^X« t^tu 

Ho^* ifxytyno'^cu va^tin \0y09 ottif Mm^*^ 

.'* ■ 

Thus translated by Mr. West : 

For nor in earth, nor earth*eucirc1ing floods. 
Nor you sethereal po1e> the seat of gods. 
Is aught performM without thy aid divine; 
Strength^ wisdom^ virtue, n^ighty Jove, are thine ! 
Vice is the act of man, by passion tost. 
And in the shoreless sea of Folly lost ; 
But thou what vice disorders canst compose. 
And profit by the malice of thy foes ; 
So blending good with evil, fair with foul. 
As thence to model one harmonious whole^ 

i21. Chaos of thought and passion, all confus'd ; 

Still by himself abus'd, or disabused ; 

Created half to rise, and half to fall : 

Great lord of all things, yet a prey to all ; 
,*• Sole judge of truth, in endless error hurPd : 

The glory, jestj and riddle, of the world !f 

* Hymn, apud Hen. Steph. pag. 49. 


See to this purpose, a fine passage in Plutarch de Animi Tran- 
quillit. in vol. ii. pag. 473, 404. fol. Francfurti, 1620. Par- 
ticularly the passage of Euripides there quoted. 

t Epist, ii. T, IS. 

78 £€SAT OK TB£ G$,KIVS 

It was remarked long ago in the Adventurer,* 
that these reflections were minutely copied from 
Pascal, who says, " What a chimera then is 
man ! what a confused chaos ! what a subject of 
contradiction I a professed judge of all things, 
and yet a feeble worm of the earth ! The great 
depositary and guardian of truth, and yet a mere 
huddle of uncertainty ! the glory and the scan- 
dal of the universe/' 

22. Superior beings, when of late they saw 
A mortal man unfold all Nature's law. 
Admired such wisdom in an earthly shape. 
And shewed a Newton as we shew an ape.f 

The author of the letter on the Marks of imi- 
tation, is induced to think, from the sigularity 
of this sentiment, that the great poet had his eye 

on Plato ; in ftpS^anrwir aoftHoHoi rrfQ^ 0<oy yiOnxo; 

fotvillai. But iN^m more inclined to think that 
Pope borrowed it from a passage in the zo- 
diac of Palingenius, which the above-mentioned 
Adventurer has also quoted, and which Pope, 
who was a reader of the poets of Palingenius's 


♦ No. 63. t Ver. 31. 


age, some of whom he published, was more 
likely to fall upon, than on this thought of 
PlatQ : 

Simia coelicoldm risusque jocusque deorum est; 
TuDC homo, quum temere ingenio confidit, et dudet 
Abdita naturae scrutari^ arcanaque diviim. 


23. Trace science, then, with Modesty thy guide; 
First strip off all her equipage of pride ; 
Deduct what is but vanity, or dress. 
Or learning's luxury, or idleness; 
Or tricks to shew the stretch of human brain. 
Mere curious pleasure, or ingenious pain ; 
Expunge the whole, or lop th* excrescent parts 
Of all our vices have created arts.**^ 



The abuses of learning are enumerated with 
brevity and elegance, in these few lines. It was 
a favourite subject with our author; and it is 
said, he intended to have written four epistles on 
it, wherein he would have treated of the extent 
and limits of human reason, of arts and sciences 
useful and attainable, of the different capacities 
pf different men, of the knowledge of the world, 
?ind of wit Such censures, even of the most 


* Ver. 4S. There is some obscurity in the last line^ oc« 
casioned by omitting the relative, 
I . 


unimportant parts of literatare, should not, how- 
ever, be carried too far; and a sensible writer 
observes, that there is not, indeed, any part of 
knowledge which can be called entirely useless. 
" The most abstracted parts of mathematics, and 
the knowledge of mythological history, or an- 
cient allegories, have their own pleasures not in- 
ferior to the more gay entertainments of paint- 
ing, music, or architecture ; and it is for the ad- 
vantage of mankind, that some are found who^ 
have a taste for these studies. The only fault 
lies in letting any of those inferior tastes engross 
the whole man, to the exclusion of the nobler 
pursuits of virtue and humanity."* We may 
here apply an elegant observation of TuUy, who 
says, in his Brutus, ** Credo, sed Atheniensium 
quoque plus interfuit firma tecta in domiciliis ha* 
here, quam Minerva^ signum ex ebore pulcherri- 
mum : tamen ego me Phidiam esse mallem quam 
vel optimum fabrum lignarium ; quare non quan- 
tum quisque prosit, sed quanti quisque sit, pon- 
derandum est: prassertim cum pauci pingere egre- 


* Hutcheson's Nature and Conduct of the Passions, page 


gi^ possint aut fingere, operarii autem aut bajuli 
deesse non possint/' 

24. Passions, tho' selfish, if their means be fair| 
List under Reason, and deserve her care ; 
Those, that imparted, court a nobler aim. 

Exalt their kind, and take some virtue's name.''^ 


^ We find an f obscurity in these lines, arising 
from the use of the participle imparted j a mode 
of speaking of which Pope was fond, studious 
as he was of brevity, and which often betrayed 
him into the same fault : Passions that court an 
aim, is surely a strange expression. 

Vol. ii, G 25. Ib 

♦ Ver. 97. 

f ** When I am writing, (Hkys Fonteuelle,) I often stop, and 
■ask. Do I myself understand this sentence i" And yet Fonte- 
nelle, whom the French accuse of introducing the abrupt, af- 
fected style, is frequently obscure. '' Non minus autem ca» 
Tenda erit> (says Quintilian,) quae nimium cocripientes omnia 
loquitur, obscuritas : satiusque est aliquid narrationi superesse, 
quam deesse. Nam cum supervacua cum teedio dicuntur, ne* 
cessaria cum periculo subtrahuntur.^' 

Institut. Orat. Lib. iv. C. 2. 

Happy is he who can unite brevity with perspicuity. It Ig 
but of one writer that Quintilian says. Idem laetus ac pressuf^ 
turn copiij turn brevitatc^mirabilis. Lib. x« C. 1» 


25. In lazy apathy let Stoics boast 

Their virtue fixM ! His fixM as in a frost ; 

Contracted all, retiring to the breast; 

But strength of mind, is exercise, not rest.* 

Perliaps a stronger example cannot be found, 
of taking notions upon trust without any exa- 
mination, than the universal censure that has 
been passed upon the Stoics^ as if they strenu- 
ously inculcated a total insensibility with respect 
to passion. He that would be convinced that 
this trite accusation is jU^grounded, may consult 
the notes Mr. Harris has added to his third trea- 
tise, t There he will find the genuine doctrines 
of the Stoics examined with accuracy and saga- 
city, in a learned deduction of passages from all 
the best writers of that school ; the sum of which 
quotations, in the nervous language of that cri- 
tic, appears to be this; "That the Stoics, in 
their character of their virtuous man, included 
rational desire, aversion, and exultation ; in- 
cluded love, and parental afifection ; friendship, 

* Ver. 101. 
f From note pag« $25 to pag. S3 1 • 

\ - 


and a general charity or benevolence to all man- 
kind ; that they considered it as a duty, arisiug 
from our very nature, not to neglect the welfare 
of public society, but to be ever ready, accord- 
ing to our rank, to act either the magistrate or 
the private citizen ; that their apathy was no 
more than a freedom from perturbation, froni 
irrational and excessive agitations of the soul ; 
and consequently, that the strange apathy com- 
monly laid to their charge, and in the demolish- 
ing of which there have been so many triumphs, 
was an imaginary apathy, for which they were no 
way accountable. " 

26. Lo¥E> HoPE^ and Joy, fair Pleasure's smiling train; 
Hate, Fear, and Grief, tha family of Pain. 

This beautiful group of allegorical personages, 


so strongly * contrasted, how do they act ? The 
prosopopeia is unfortunately dropped, and the 
metaphor changed immediately in the succeeding 

These mixM with art, and to due bounds confined. 
Make and maintain the balance of the mind.* 

G 2 27. On 

* Ver. in. 


27. On different senses different objects strike.^ 

A didactic poet, who has happily indulged 
himself in bolder flights of enthusiasm, support- 
ed by a more figurative style than our author 
used, has thus nobly illustrated this very doo 
trine : 

Different minds 

Incline to different objects : one pursOes 

The Tast alone> the wonderful^ the wild ; 

Another sighs for harmony, and grace. 

And gentlest beauty. Hence when lightning fires 

The arch of i^eav'n, and thunders rock the ground ; 

When furious whirlwinds rend the howling air. 

And Ocean, groaning from the lowest bed. 

Heaves his tempestuous billows to the sky ; 

Amid the mighty uproar, while below 

The nations tremble, Shakespeare looks abroad 

From some high cliffy superior, and enjoys 

The elemental war. But Waller longs 

All on the margin of some flowery stream 

To spread his careless limbs, amid the cool 

Of plantane shades. 

We have here a striking example of that poetic 
spirit, that harmonious and varied versification, 


^ Ver. 128. 


and that strength of imagery, which conspire to 
excite our admiration of this beautiful poem.^ 

28. Proud of an easy conquest all along^ 

She but removes weak passions for the strong.f 

This is from the Duke de la Rochefoucault : 
" \Vlienever we get the better of our passions, it is 
more owing to their weakness than our own 
strength. And again, there is in the heart of 
man a perpetual succession of passions, insomuch, 
that the ruin of one is always the rise of ano- 


'29, Let pow'r or knowledge^ gold or glory, please. 
Or oft> more strong than all, the love of oase.^ 

An acute observation, plainly taken from La 
Rochefoucault " Tis a mistake to believe that 
none but the violent passions, such as ambition 
and love, are able to triumph over the other 
passions. Laziness, as languid as it is, often gets 

G 3 the 

* The Pleasures of Imagination, Book iii. y. 546. 

t Ver. 157. 
X Max. X. § Ver. 169. 


the mastery of them all, usurps ^ over all the de- 
signs and actions of life, and insensibly con- 
sumes, and destroys, both passions and vir- 

so. Virtuous and vicious ev'ry man must be ; 
Fiew in th' extreme, but all in the degree : 
The rogue and fool by fits is fair and wise ; 
And e'en the best, by fits, what they despise.f 

A fine reflection, and calculated to subdue that 
petulant contempt, and unmerited aversion, which 
men too generally entertain against each other, 
and which diminish and destroy the social affec- 
tions. • " Our emulation, (says one of the best- 
natured philosophers,) our jealousy, or envy, 
should be restrained, in a great measure, by a 
constant resolution of bearing always in our 
minds the lovely side of every character.^ The 


* Max. ccLxvi. f Ver. 23 1 . 

X Hutcheson*s Nature and Conduct of the Passions, p. 190. 

O ow aStXpos te^v ahttn ttrtv^if avro a y^yJSans^ ort et^msr avln 

See £picteti Enchiridion. Also> 



completely evil are as rare as the perfectly virtu- 
ous ; there is something amiable almost in every 
one, as Plato observes in his Phaedon.'' 

This charitable doctrine of putting candid con- 
structions on those actions that appear most 
blameable, nay, most detestable, and most de- 
formed, is illustrated and enforced, with great 
strength of argument and benevolence, by King, 
in his fifth chapter on the Origin of Evil;* where 
he endeavours to evince the prevalence of moral 
good in the world, and teaches us to make due 
allowances for men's follies and vices. 

SI. What crops of wit and honesty appear^ 
From spleen^ from obstinacy^ hate or fear !f 

G 4 Au 

Many lessons on this useful species of humanity^ tending to 
soften the disgust that arises from a prospect of the absurdity 
and wickedness of human nature^ are to be found in Marcus 
Antoninus : and many noble precepts in the New Testament^ 
rightly understood^ have the same tendency, but are delivered 
with more dignity and force, and demand certainly a deeper 
attention, and more implicit regard. 

^ See also to this purpose a sensible passage in Hutcheson's 
Conduct of the Passions, page 1 83. 

t Ver. 185. . 


Au Cid persecute Cinna doit sa naissance^ 
£t peut*estre ta plume anx Censeurs de Pyrrhus 
Doit les plus nobles traits dont tu peignis Burrhus.* 

52. Heav'n forming each on other to depend, 
A master, or a servant, or a friend. 
Bids each on other for assistance calU 
'Till one man's weakness grows the strength of all. 
Wants, frailties, passions, closer still ally 
The common interest, or endear the tie. 
To these we owe true friendship, love sincere. 
Each home-felt joy that life inherits here.f 


* Boileau, Epistre vii. a M. Racine, pag. 57. 

f '^ In rerum systemate vel optime constituto, debent esse 
diversa animantium genera superiora, et inferiora, ut locus sit 
prseclaris animi virtutibus ubi se exerceant: excluderentur 
enim commiseratio, beneficentia, liberalitas, fortitudo, aequa- 
nimitas, patientia, lenitas, et officia omnia gratuita et imme- 
rita, quorum sensus longe est omnium laetissimus, et memoria 
jucundissima; si nulla esset imbecillitas, nulla indigentia, nulla 
hominum vitia et errores/' 

Hutcheson. Metaphysioe Synopsis, cap. ii. page 81. 

This resembles the doctrine of the old Stoic Chrysippus, as he 
is quoted by Auliis Gellius, lib. vi. cap. 1 . " Nullum adeo 
eontrarium sine contrario altcro. Quo enim pacto justitiee sen- 
sus esse posset nisi essent injuris ? Aut quid aliud justitia est 
quam injustitise privatio ? Quid item fortitudo intelligi posset 
Bisi ex ignaviae oppositione ? Quid continentia nisi ex intem« 

• perantia? 


It was an objection constantly urged by the 
ancient Epicureans, that man could not be the 
creature of a benevolent being, as he was formed 
in a state so helpless and infirm. Montaigne took 
it, and urged it also. They never considered, 
or perceived, that this very infirmity and help- 
lessness were the cause and cement of society ; 
that if men had been perfect, and self-sufficient, 
and had stood in no need of each other's assist- 
ance, there would have been no occasion for the 
invention of the arts, and no opportunity for the 
exertion of the affections. The lines, there- 
fore, in which Lucretius proposes this objection, 


perantia ? Quo item modo prudentia esset^ nisi foret ex contra* 
rio imprudentia }' * " To this purpose the elegant lyric 

poet : 

Who founds in discord Beauty^s reign> 
Converts to pleasure ev'ry pain. 
Subdues the hostile forms to rest. 
And bids the universe be blest*'' 

" This is that magic divine, which, by an efficacy past com- 
prehension, can transform every appearance, the most hideouiu 
into beauty, and exhibit all things fair and good to thee ! Es- 
sence Increate ! who art of purer eyes than to behold iniquity/* 
Three Treatises, by J. H. page 234* 


are as unphilosophical, and inconclusive, as they 
are highly pathetic and poetical : 

Turn porr6 puer, ut saevis projectus ab uadis 
Navita, nudus humi jacet^ infans, indigus omni 
Vital! auxilio> cum primum in luminis oras 
Nixibiui ex alvo matris natura profudit ; 
Yagituque locum lugubri complete ut aquum est, 
Cui tantum invito restat transire malorum.''^ 

There is a passage in the moralists which I 
cannot forbear thinking Pope had Jn his eye, 
and which I must not therefore omit, as it serves 
to illustrate and confirm so many parts of the 
Essay on Man ; I ^hall therefore give it at length, 
without apology, 

" The young of most other kinds, are in- 
stantly helpful to themselves, sensible, vigorous, 
know how to shun danger, and seek their good : 
A human infant is of all the most helpless, weak, 
infirm. And wherefore should it not have been 
so ordered ? Where is the loss in such a species ? 
Or what is man the worse for that defect amidst 
such large supplies? Does not this defect en- 

* Lib. T. ver. 22S. 


gage him the more strongly to society,* and 
force him to own that he is purposely ^ and not by 
accident^ made rational and sociable'; and can no 
otherwise increase or subsist, than in that social 
intercourse and community which is his natural 
state ? Is not both conjugal affection, and na- 
tural affection to parents, duty to magistrates, 
love of a common city, community, or countryj 
with the other duties and social parts of life, de- 
duced from hence, and founded in these veiy 
wants ? What can be happier than such a defi- 
ciency, as it is the occasion of so much good ? 
What better than a want so abundantly made up, 
and answered by so many enjoyments ? Now, 
if there are still to be found among mankind, 
such as, even in the midst of these wants, seem 
not ashamed to affect a right of independency, 
and deny themselves to be by nature sociable ; 


* A longer care man's helpless kind demands ; 
That longer care contracts more lasting bands. 

£p. iii. V. 131. 

And again> 

And still new needs^ new helps^ new habits rise^ 
That graft benerolence on charities, £p. iii* y. ]37« 


a resignation is required, a sacrifice and mutual 
yielding of natures one to another. The vege- 
tables by their death sustain the animals; and 
the animal bodies dissolved, enrich the earth, and 
raise again the vegetable world. The numerous 
insects are reduced by the superior kinds of birds 
and beasts ; and these again are checked by man ; 
who, in his turn, submits to other natures, and 
resigns his form a sacrifice in common to the rest 
of things. And if in natures so little exalted or 
pre-eminent above each other, the sacrifice of in- 
terest can appear so just, how much more rea- 
sonably may all inferior natures be subjected to 
the superior nature of the world !"* 

35. Has God, thou fool ! worVd solely for thy good. 
Thy joy, thy pastime, thy attire, thy food ? 
Who for thy table feeds the wanton fawn. 
For him as kindly spread the flowery lawn : 
Is it for thee the lark ascends and sings ? 
Joy tunes his yoice, joy elevates his wings.f 


* The Moralists, page 130. After borrowing so largely 
from this treatise, our author should not, methinks, have ridi- 
culed it, as he does, in the Fourth Book of the Dcinciad, ver. 


Or that bright image to our fancy draw. 

Which Theocles in raptured vision saw. 

t Ver. 27. 


The poetry of these lines is as beautiful as the 
philosophy is solid. " They who imagine that 
all things in this world were made for the imme- 
diate use of man alone, run themselves into inex- 
tricable difficulties. Man, indeed, is the head of 
this lower part of the creation, and perhaps it 
was designed to be absolutely under his com- 
mand. But that all things here tend directly to 
his own use, is, I think, neither easy nor neces-' 
sary to be proved. Some manifestly serve for 
the food and support of others, whose souls may 
be necessary to prepare and preserve their bodies 
for that purpose, and may at the same time be 
happy in a consciousness of their own existence. 
Tis probable they are intended to promote each 
others good reciprocally. Nay, man himself 
contributes to the happiness,* and betters [the 
condition of the brutes in several respects, by 
cultivating and improving the ground, by watch* 
ing the seasons, by protecting and providing for 


* That tery life his learned hunger craves. 
He saves from famine, from the savage savef ; 
Nay, feasts the animal he dooms his feast. 
And till he ends the being makes it blest. 

£p. iii.. T. 65^ 


them, when they are unable to protect and pro- 
vide for themselves." These are the words of 
Dr. Law, in his learned Commentary on King's 
Origin of Evil, first published in Latin, 1701 ; a 
work of penetration and close reasoning ; which, 
it is remarkable, Bayle had never read, but only 
some extracts from it, when he first wrote his fa- 
mous article of the Paulicians, in his Dictionary, 
where he has artfully employed all that force and 
acuteness of argument, which he certainly pos^ 
sessed, in promoting the gloomy and uncomfort« 
^able scheme of Scepticism or Manicheism. 

36. And reason raise o'er instinct as you can, 
y.' { In this 'tis God directs, in that 'tis man.* 

There is a fine observation of Montesquieuf 
concerning the condition of brutes. They are 


♦ Ep. iii, 97. 

f We ought not to be blind to the faults of this fine writer, 
whatever applause he deserves in general. But it must be 
confessed, that his style is too short, abrupt, and epigrammatic ; 
he tells us himself, he was fond of Lucius Florus ; and he be- 
lieved too credulously, and laid too great a stress, upon, the re« 
lationv of voyage-writers and travellers; as, indeed, did Locke,, 
for which he is ridiculed by Shaftesbury, vol. i. p. 344., of the 



deprived of the high advantages we enjoy, but 
they have some which we want. They have not 
our hopes, but then they are without ont fears : 
they are subject, hke us, to death, but it is with- 
out knowing it : most of them are even more 
attentive than we are to self-preservation ; and 
they do not make so bad a use of their passions. 
B. 1. c, L 

37. Who taught the nations of the field and wood^ 
To shun their poison, and to chuse their food ? 
Prescient, the tides or tempests to m^ithstand. 
Build on the wave, or arch beneath the sand ?* 

This passage is highly finished ; stfch objects 
are more suited to the nature of poetry than ab- 
stract ideas. Every verb and epithet has here a 
descriptive force. We find more imagery from 
these lines to the end of the epistle> than in any 
other parts of this Essay. The origin of the 
connexions in social life, the account of the state 

VOL. Il4 H of 

Characteristics. If Shaftesbury (said the great Bishop iut^ 
ler) had lived to see the candor and moderation of the present 
times in discussing religious subjects, he would have been a 
good Christian. 


of nature, the rise and eflFects of superstition: and 
lyranny, and the restoration of true religion and 
just government, all these ought to be mentioned 
as passages that deserve high applause ; »ay, as 
some of the most exalted pieces of English 

3S. Man walked ^ith beast^ joint tenant of the shade*-* 

' LuGRETiUS, agreeably to> his uncomfortable 
system, has presented us with a different and 
more horrid picture of this state of nature. The 
calamitous condition of man is exhibited by 
images of much energy, and wildness of fancy -^ 

-S»cla ferarum> 

fnfestam miseris faciebant ssepe quietem : 
Ejectique domo fugiebant saxea tect» 
Setigeri suis adventu^ validique Leonifi, 
Atque intempest^ c^debant nocte payentes 
Hospitibns ssevis instrata cubilia fronde. 

He represents afterwards, some of these wretch^ 
ed mortals mangled by wild beasts,r and running 
distracted with pain through the woods, witb 
theiv wounds undressed and putrifying : 


* Ver. 152* 

aUd writings of pope. 'dg 

At qtios efibgiom serv&rat^ corpore adeso^ 
Posterius tremdas super ulcera tetra tenentes 
Palmas^ horriferis accibant vocibus Orcum ; 
Donicum eos vita priv&runt vermina saeva^ 
Expertes opis, ignaros quid volnera velleut.* 

Paia is forcibly expressed by the action described 
in the second line, and by the epithet tremulas. 

59. The shrine with gore Uustain^d^ with gold undresti 
Unbrib'd^ unbloody, stood the blameless priest.f 

The eflfect df alliteration is here felt by the 
reader; But at what period of time could this 
be justly said, if we consider the very early in- 
istitutidn of sacrifice, according to the scripture 
account of this venerable rite ? 

40. Ah I how unlike the man of times to come ! 
Of half that live the butcher and the tomb ; 
Who; foe to nature^ hears the gen'ral groaD> 
Murders their species^ and betrays his own4 

Ovid, on the same topic, has nothing so manly 
and emphatical. " Hears the general groan," is 

H 2 uobly 

* Lib. V. ter. 991. 
t Ep. iii. 157. * t Ep- "*• 1«1- 


nobly expressed ; and the circumstance oi betray^ 
ing his own species, is an unexpected and strik-' 
ing addition to the foregoing sentiment. Tliom- 
son has enlarged on^Ais doctrine, with that ten- 
derneas and humanity for which he was so justly 
beloved, in his Spring, at verse three hundred 
and thirty. Our poet ascribes the violence of 
the passions to the use of animal food^ 

But just disease to luxury succeeds. 

And every death its own avenger breeds.* 

41. Thus then to man the voice of nature spake, 
^ Go, from the creatures thy instructions take ; 
*' Learn from the birds what food the thickets yield ; 
'* Learn from the beasts the physic of the field/'f 

The prosopopoeia is magnificent, and the occa* 
sion important, no less than the origin of the 
arts of life. Nature is personified also by Lu- 
cretius, and introduced speaking with suitable 
majesty and elevation ; she is chiding her foolish 
and" ungrateful children for their vain and im- 
pious discontent : 


* Ver. 165. f Ep. iii. ver. 171. 


Qvid tibi tantopere est^ mortalis^ quod.nimis aegris 
Luctibus indulges ? quid mortem congemis^ ac fles ?-* 
Aufer abhiuc lacrymas, barathro et compesce qtierelas. 

Tliere is an authoritative air in the brevity of 
this sentence, as also in the concluding line of 
her speech ; and particularly in the very last 
word : " JEquo animoquei agednm, jam alii§ 
concede :— necesse est"* 

42. Thy arts of building from the bee receive ; 
Learn of the mole to plow, the worm to weave.f 


The Romans have left us scarcely any piece of 
poetry so striking and original, as the beginning 
and progress of arts at the end of the fifth book 
of Lucretius. J I shall at present confine myself 
to transcribe his beautiful account of the rise of 

H3 At 

. * Lib. iii. ver. 975. f Ver. 175. 


% The Persians, it is said, distinguish the different degrees 
pf tl^e strength of fancy in different poets, by calling them, 
pairUers or scidpiors, Lucretius, from the force of his images, 
should be ranked among the latter. He is, in truth, a sculp« 
TOH-POET : His images have a bold relief. 


At liquidas avium voces imitarier ore 
Ante fuit multo^ qaam laevia carmina cantu 
Concelebrare homines possent, aureisque juvare. 
£t zephyri cava per calamorum sibila primuni 
Agrestes docuere cavas inflare cicutas. 
Inde minutatim dulceis didicere querelas, 
Tibia quas fundit digitis pulsata canentumj, 
Avia per nemora^ ac sylvas saltusque reperta. 
Per loca pa^^orum deserta^ atque otia dia.*^ 

43. He from the wondering furrow callM the food. 
Taught to command the fire^ controul the floods 
Draw forth the monsters of th' abyss profoundj^ 
Or fetch the aerial eagle to the groui^d.f 

A finer example can, perhaps, scarce be given 
of a compact and comprehensive stile. :j; The 
manner in which the four elements were subdued, . 
is comprised in these four lines alone. Pope isf 
here, as Quintili^n says of another, densus et 
brevis et instans sibi. There is not an useless 
word in this passage : there are but three epithets, 
wondering, profound, aerial; and they are placed 
precisely with the very substantive that is of most 

consequence ;; 

* Lib.v. ver. 1378, f Ver. 2|9. 

X We have here what Dionysius says of Alcaeus, ih farct 
Jf/^foTuTor, *' Sweetness with strength." Edit, Sylburg, p. 69, 
tom. ii» 


consequence ; if there had been epithets joined 
with the other substantives, it would have weak- 
ened the nervousness of the sentence. This was 
a secret of versification Pope well understood, 
and hath often practised with peculiar success. 

44'« Who first taught souls eDslav'd^ and realms oindoae, 
Th' ENORMOUS faith of many made for one}* 

^^ Quand les sauvages de la Louisiane veulent 
avoir du fruit, ils coupent 1' arbre au pi^ & cueil- 
leat le fruit Voil^ le Gouverncmentdespotique.'' 
A sentiment worthy of the free spirit of Demos- 
thenes^ and an image worthy of the genius of 
Homer, t 

Hi 45. Such 

* Ver. 241. 

f Chapit. 13, De L'Esprit des Loix. These few words are 
the whole chapter. Woe be to the liberty and science of that 
country, wherie this noble and original work is prohibited to 
be read. Can that author be suspected of irreligion, who, in 
the sixth chapter of his twenty-fourth book, has entirely de- 
molished one of the most Subtle objections against Christianity, 
9nd that too urged by one of the ablest adversaries to our holy 
religion^ M. Bayle ; who asserts, in his Thoughts on the 
Comet^ that a society of men practising the rules of Christia- 
nity in their full rigour could not long subsist. 


45. Such is the world's great harmony, that springs 
From order, union, full consent of things.^ 

There is no where to be found so perfect an 
illustration of this doctrine, that the beauty and 
concord of the universe arise from contrarieties, 
as in the short treatise of Aristotle, T«f* xoo-jt*?, 
which, notwithstanding the different form of its 
composition, ought to be ascribed to this philo- 
sopher :t I shall insert it at length in its sublime 
original, it being, as it were, a summary or com- 
pendium of the philosophy of the poem before us. 

^' Kori roi ys rig c3'«U|MftO'£, wug rroli u ex r«v Bvocilwu »f^(U9 


* Ver. 295. 

f The learned have been divided in their opinions concern-; 
ing this piece. Muretus, both the Scaligers, Casaubon, Hein? 
sius. Menage, Vossius, Naude, Alcyonius, and others, will 
iiot ascribe it to Aristotle, and lay great stress on a passage of 
Proclus in his fifth book on the Timseus. On the other hand, 
Demetrius Phalereus, Stobaeus, Apuleius, Justin Martyr, 
Bessarioq, Bradwardin, and pur ow^ truly learned Bishop 
Berkley, unanimously give it to Aristotle. This opinion is 
confirmed by a sensible discourse on the subject, cap. 19. 
Petiti Miscell. Qhseryation. Lib. 2» One of his observations 
I will not omit: ** 3criptus quippe ad Alexandrum Regem, 
ut Titulus iqdicat, iciepque faciliore, ouam alii, stilo, et aperto 
prationis plausibilique filp : ut decet Regibus scribentem, uf 
illi universae qaturalis ^cientise compendium esset. Quo pactQ 
^t objectioqem a still discrepanti^ ductam remoyeq.' 



Tivtq ictvfAoc^oitv^ oTTug iioLfAivifi^ cvvsrnxv^uu fx T«p ivotmut 
thm* TLivfiruu Xzyu^ xost ^Xatnuv' vtup, xai ys^ovrtaVf 
achyuvf kt^^v^uv* vov»if«y, ^nrtfiy* Ayvon^i Jg, in t8t' 
7iv iroXtlixn? ofxoifoixg to iuvfAX^'uSluloy* X$yu fey on sx TroXXuir 

xai vucocv fviriv, xoci rv^mv' i<r<ag it xai rw tvavliwv ti fvirtf 
yXt)(ilxif xost EX r^cotf aTroltXuv . to trvfAfuyoy, sx fx T£^ 
SfAOioov* «o^5f otfAEXsi TO fltppfv o^upifyayE wpo^" TO 8»iXu, xa» 
8p^ Ixotn^ov ir^og to ofAofvXovy xost Tfjy Tr^fit^riii^ SfAovoixv h» rum 


fuviv fAifABfAsyriy raro ^oi£iv* l^uy^xfiu [aiv y^^j Acuxmp T£ xoa 
fAiXacmVi to^m rs xai t^vS'pm ^(afAciluv iyxsfccirafASVfi fvtragp 
rug sixovxg roi9 x^09)ys/A£kot? awtliXsa (rufj^^mH^* /aho'inii 9^9 
o^£i; dfAx xai Sxgsig f^ofyag f/^i^curxy iv iix^o^oig ^yxig f^ixp 
XfrdeXea-Bv d^fJLOvixy* y^aiJLfAsiliHn iiy £x fuvrieylcav xxi otfuvm 
y^xfAfAoilm x^aciv voincxfAiyfi^ mv oXriy rs^vnv air avltop 
cvviiyi<ro6lo' rxvro it rnro tjy xa» to iropf a rw (rxoluv^ XtyofABycp 
, Hf«xA£(Tco* cvux^uai 8A«, xa* 8;^* hX»* yujiAf £fO|^£voi^, xod 
fiUfifiOfAtitov* CMvaSovy xui iixiw' xxi ix irayrm iv xxi i^ lyes 

fF»i\».'' It is to be lamented that the present 
state of literature in this kingdom, has rendered 
it necessary to subjoin a Latin translation of this 
beautiful ?jnd exalted passage, which, to be able 



to read in its original, is no vulgar happiness. Take 
it, therefore, in the words of Buda^us : " Tametsi 
extiterunt, qui sese admirari addubitabundi, dice>- 
renty qui fieri tanden^ posset, si e principiis contfa<- 
riis mundus constitit, siccis dieo et humidis, frigi* 
diset calidisy ut jam dici non dissolutus fuerit atque 
interierit. Perinde quasi mirari quisquam debeat, 
quonam pacto civitas iucolumis perduret, qua) e 
gentibus contrariis composita sit, egenis inquam 
et divitibus, juvenibus et senio confectis, infirmis 
et valentibus, pravis atque innocentibus. Igno- 
rantia est ista utique hominum, hoc esse in con? 
cordia civili iion videntium, longe admirabilis* 
isimum, quod ex multis ipsa unum efficit affectum, 
et e dissjimilibus simileni, omnis ilia quidem na* 
turas susceptrix et fortunas. Atque baud scio an 
etiam cont:r<ariorum appetens sit natura : ex eisque 
consona, non item e similibus conficiat. Sic certe 
ipsa marem cum fcemina conjunxit, non etiam 
cum suo horum utrumque sexu. Qiiin primam 
i^tiam concordiam per contraria, non per similia 
devinxit. Adde quod ars naturae oemulatrix hoc 
idem facit. Siquidem pictura, alborum nigro- 
rumque colorum, luteorumque et rubrorum natu- 
ras inter se attemperans, efiigies rerum efficit cour 
2 sonas 


|iK>nas exemplaribus. Musica acutis et gravibus( 
sonis, longisque et brevibus una permixtis in di- 
yersis yocibus ynum ex illis concentum absolutum 
reddidit. Grammatica, ex elementis vocalibus 
^t matis inventa temperatura artem onmem litera^ 
turas ex illis conipositam reliquit. Hopque nimirum 
illud est, quod apud HeracHtum legitur (Sco- 
$inum ab obscuritate dictum') crispa, inquit, et 
pinime crispa un^ vinxeris, consentiens et dissen- 
tiensy consonans et dissonans, unuin etiam ck 
pmnibu3, omniaque ex uno." 

^6. O Happiness ! our being's end and aim ! 

Goodjf Pleasure^ Ease, Content, whate'^r thy name.* 

He begins his address to Happiness after the 
planner of the ancient hymns,| by enumerating 
the titles and various places of abode of this god* 
dess. He has undoubtedly personified her at the 
beginning ; but he seems to have dropped that 


* Ep. iv. ver. 1. 

•f Tlapx lAiv rvi 'Zatir^at nat rof AXxiACtyt vokKA^tf tvptmio(ji.t9^ Ttjy 
(uv yacp ApTifxiv tx yiMftuv opguv, y^vfun ^c voXsa^y, tri ^s 7fVayi.u9. 
ftfattoiXti* Ttif^i A(ppo^i'niv ex Kvwpo, Kviou, ^vpsaf, koh voXX^^odiP 

?^X^' ayfltxA^/. Menander Rhetor, de Hymnis, 


idea in the seventh line, where the deity is sud- 
denly transformed into a plant ; from thence this 
metaphor of a vegetable is carried on distinctly 
through the eleven succeeding lines, till he sud- 
denly returns to consider Happiness again as a 
person, in the eighteenth line ; 

And fled from monarcbs, St John^ dwells with thee. 

For, to fiy, and, to dwells cannot justly be pre- 
dicated of the same subject, that immediately 
before was described as twining with laurels, and 
being reaped in harvests. 

Of the numberless treatises that have been 
written on happiness, one of the most sensible is 
that of Fontenelle, in the third volume of his 
works. Our author's leading principle is, that 
happiness is attainable by all men : 

For, mourn our various portions as we please. 
Equal is common sense, and common ease. 

So Horace also in Epist. 1 8. B. 1 . 

^uum mi animum ipse parabo, 

'' But 


" But Horace (says a penetrating observer on 
human life) was grossly mistaken : the thing for 
which he thought he stood in no need of Jupiter's 
assistance, was what he could least expect from 
his own ability. It is much more easy to get 
even riches and honours by one's industry, than 
a quiet and contented mind. If it be said, that 
riches and honours depend on a thousand things 
which we cannot dispose of at pleasure, and that 
therefore it is necessary to pray to God that he 
would turn them to our advantage, I answer, 
thaJk the silence of the passions, and the tran- 
quillity and ease of the mind, depend upon a 
thousand things that are not under our jurisdic- 
tion. The stomach, the spleen, the lymphatic 
vessels, the fibres of the brain, and a hundred 
other organs, whose seat and figure are yet un- 
' known to the anatomists, produce in us many 
uneasinesses, jealousies, and vexations. Can we 
alter those organs ? are they in our own power ?** 

47. When nature sicken'd, and each gale was death.' 


* Ver. 108. 


This is a verse of a marvellous comprehensidti 
ftnd expressiveness; The direfulness of this peis- 
tilence is more emphatically set forth iti these 
few words, than in forty such odes as Sprat*s oii 
the Plague at Athens.* 

48. What makes all physical or moral ill ?«^ 

There deyiates Nature, and here wanders Will.f 

Pope here accounts for the introduction of 
moral evil from the abuse of man's free will 
This is the solid and scriptural solution of that 
grand and difficult question, which in vain hath 
puzzled and bewildered the speculatists of so 
many ages, vo^tv ro xakov. Milton, in one of his 
smaller and neglected poems, has left us a sub-^ 
lime passage, founded on the Christian doctrine 
of the Fall, and of the preceding harmony of all 
things 2 


^ i^stvB^ on fditf tTif to-^pa, XI ^iQafoL, kai a^tufiacnKx* Het 
^l^ewhere commends a writer on account of his, WKvomroij 
smt cifn.vomirot. Dionys. Halicarnass. 'srtft vwiBivtus% r/ut. x^. 

f Ver. 111. 

AND MrmttNGS OF ropE. Ill 

That we on earth, with undiscording yoice. 

May rightly answer that melodious noise. 

As once we did, till disproportion^ Sin 

Jarred against Nature's chime, and with harsh din 

Broke the fair music that all creatures made 

To their great Lord, whose love their motion swayed 

In perfect diapason, whilst they stood 

In first obedience, and their state of good.**^ 

49, — _ A better wou'd you fix ? 
Then gire Humility a coach and six.f 

Worth makes the man, and Want of it the fellow ^ 
The rest is all but leather or prunella.} 

Not one looks backward, onward still he goes. 
Yet ne'er looks forward further than bis nose.§ 

To sigh for ribbands, if thou art so silly, 
Mark how they grace Lord Umbra or Sir Billy. |[ 

In a work of so serious and severe a cast, in a 
work of reasoning, in a work of theology, de- 
tigned to explain tbe most interesting subjecl 


* At a Solemn Music, vol. ii. pag. iS. 
t Ver. 169, % Ver. 203. 

§ Ver. 225. U Ver. 27T- 


that Caii employ the mind of man, surely sixck 
strokes of levity, of satire, of ridicule, how- 
ever poignant and witty, are ill placed and dis- 
gusting^ ftfe violations of that propriety which 
Pope in general so strictly observed* Lucretius 
preserves throughout, the dignity he at first as- 
sumed ; even his sarcasms and irony on the su- 
perstitious, have something august, and a noble 
haughtiness in them ; as in particular, where he 
asks how it comes to pass that Jupiter sometimes 
strikes hfs own temples with his thunderbolts ; 
whether he employs himself in casting thein in 
the deserts for the sake of exercising his arm ; 
and why he hurls them in places where he cannot 
strike the guilty : 

■Turn fulmina mittat ; et aedeitf 

Ssepe suas disturbet, et in deserta recedens 
Sse?iat> exercens teium^ quod saepe iioceDtes 
Praeterit^ exanimatque indignos, inqUe merentes.''^ 

He has turned the insult into a magnificent 

50. Heroes are much the saroe^ the point^s agreed^ 
rroQtt Macedonia's madman to the Swede. 


* Lib. ii, rer. 1100. 


• The modern Alexander ha^ been thus charac- 
terized by the British Juvenal, in lines as nervous 
and energetic as are to be found in any part of 
our author ; 

A frame of adamant, a soul of fire, 
No dangers fright him, and no labours tire; 
.0?er Love, o'er Fear, extends his wide domain^ 
Unconquer'd Lord of Pleasure aud of Pain. 

And afterwards of his unexpected death : 

I)id rival monarchs give the fatal wound ? 
Or hostile millions press him to the ground ? 
His fall was destin'd to a barren strand, 
A petty fortress, and a dubious hand ; 
He left a name, at which the world grew pale. 
To point a moral, or adorn a tale.*^ 

Two succeeding passages, in this fourth epis- 
tle, the first, at line 237, on the emptiness of 
Fame, the second, at line 259, on the inconve- 
niencies that attend superior parts and talents, are 
replete with strong sense, and a penetrating 

VOL. II. I knowledge 

* Dodsley's Miscellanies, vol. iv. The Vanity of Hum»n 

Wifihe«, by Mr.^bhnson. 


knowledge of men and things, expressed with 
vigour and conciseness. 

5 1 . Self-love but serves the yirtuous miDd to wake. 
As the small pebble stirs the peaceful lake.**^ 

It is observable that this similitude, which is 
to be found in Silius Italicus, 1. xiii. v. 24, and 
also in Du Bartas, and in Shakespeare's Henry 
VI. hath been used twice more in the writings of 
our Poet ; in the Temple of Fame, in the four 
hundred and thirty-sixth line, and in the Dun- 
ciad, at the four hundred and fifth. This Essiay 
is not decorated with many comparisons ; two, 
however, ought to be mentioned, on account of 
their aptness and propriety. The first is, where 
he compares man to the vine, that gains its 
strength from the embrace it gives : the second 
is conceived with peculiar felicity ; all Nature 
does not, perhaps, afford so fit and close an ap- 
plication. It is, indeed, equally new, philoso- 
phical, and poetical : 

On their own axis as the planets run^ 

Yet make at once their circle round the sun ; 


* Ver. 36$. . . 

\l N 

Ai^b Writings of i*opE* 115 

So two consistent motions * act the soul ; 
And one regards itself, and one the wholeif 


52. Come then, my friend ! my genius ! come along ; 
Oh, master of the poeti and the song !} 

In this concluding address of our author to 
Lord Bolinghrokey§ one is at a loss which to ad* 
mire most, the warmth of his friendship, or the 
warmth of his genius. Pope, indeed, idolized 
him : when in company with him, he appeared 
with all the deference and submission of an af- 
fectionate scholar. He used to speak of him as 
a being of a superior order, that had conde- 

I 3 scended 

^ Should it not be actuate, or act vpon f lie has used thiM 
expression again, Iliad xv. v. 487, 

That fix*d as fate, this acted by a God* 

f Ep. iii. ver. 313* 

X Ver. 373. 

§ Those passages in Bolingbroke's Posthumous Works, that 
bear the closest resemblance to the tenets of this Essay, are the 
following. Vol, iv. octavo edition, p. 223 and p. 324 ; p. 94 
of vol. V. 5 p. 388 of vol. iv. and 389 ; and p. 49 of vol. iv. 
p. 5 and 6 of vol. v. p. 17 of vol. v. p. 316 of vol. iv. p. 36 of 
vol. V. p. 51 of vol. V. p. 328 of vol. iv. and more particularly 
tl^-n all, p. 326 of vol. iv. 


scended to visit this lower world ; in particular, 
when the last comet appeared, and approached 
near the earth, he told some of his acquaintance, 
** it was sent only to convey Lord Bolingbroke 
HOME AGAIN ; just as a stage-coach stops at your 
door to take up a passenger." A graceful person, 
a flow of nervous eloquence, a vivid imagination, 
were the lot of this accomplished nobleman ; but 
his ambitious views being frustrated in the early 
part of his life, his disappointments embittered 
his temper, and he seems to have * been dis- 
gusted with all religions, and all governments. I 
have been informed from an eye-witness of one of 
his last interviews with Pope, who was then given 
over by the physicians, that Bolingbroke, stand- 
ing behind Pope's chair, looked earnestly down 
upon him, and repeated several times, inter- 
rupted with sobs, ** O, Great God, what is man f 
I never knew a person that had so tender a heart 


* His manner of reasoning, and philosophising, has be«n so 
happily caught in a piece entitled A Vindication of Natural^ So^ 
ciety, that many, even acute readers, mistook it for a geniKine 
discourse of the author whom it was intended to expose ; it<i<> 
indeed, a master-piece of irony. No writings that raised jso 
mighty an expectation in the public as those of BolingbroliVe^ 
€ver perished so soon, and sank into obliviou. ( 



for his particular friends, or a warmer benevo- 
lence for all mankind." It is to be hoped that 
Bolingbroke * profited by tbose remarkable words 

I 3 that 

* It is asserted, on good authority, that Bolingbroke was > 
iaccustomed to ridicule Pope, as not understanding the drift of 
his own principles in their full extent. It is plain, from many 
of 4)ur author's letters, vol. ix. p. 324, that he was pleased to 
find such an interpretation could be given to this poem, as was 
consistent with the fundamental principles of religion. This 
also farther appears from some curious letters that passed in the 
year 'one thousand seven hundred and forty-two, between Ramr 
say, Raciae the yjounger, and our author. The former ad- • 
dreased a vindication of the principles of the Essay on Man 
to. Racine, who had chargeyd it with Spinozism and irreligion« 
This produced a letter from Pope to Racine, which concludes 
with these remarkable words; '' I declare, therefore, loudly, 
and with the greatest sincerity, that my sentiments are diame". 
trically opposite to those of Spinoza, and even of Leibnitz. 
They are, in truth, perfectly agreeable to the tenets of Pascal, 
and the Archbishop of Cambray : and I shall think it an ho- 
nour to imitate the moderation and docility of the latter, in al- 
ways submitting all my private opinions to the decision of the 
church." London, Sept. 1, 1742. 

There is a circumstance in the letter of Ramsay above-men- 
tioned, too remarkable to be omitted ; and which, perhaps, 
some may be almost tempted to doubt the truth of. In a case 
of so delicate a nature J chuse to quote the original. " M. le 
Chevalier Newton, grand G^om^tre & nullement Metaphysi- 
cian, ^toit persuade de la v^rit^ de la Religion : maisil voulut 
refiner sur d*anciennes erreurs Orientales, & renouvella I'Aria- 
Dism,e par i'organe de son fameux disciple & interperte M. 

Clarke ; 



that Pope spoke in his last illness to the same 
gentleman who communicated the foregoing 

anecdote : 

Clarke ; qui m'avoua quelque terns avant que de mourir apres 
plusieurs conferences que j'ayois eues avec lui, combien il se 
repentoit d* avoir fait imprimer son Ouvrage : je fus t^moin il 
y a douze ans> a (iOndres, des derniers sentimens de ce mo<p 
deste & vertueu^ Docteur.** 

CEuvres de Racine^ torn. i. p. 235. 

The manner ia which Ramsay endeavours to explain the 
doctrine of the Essay is as follows. *' Pope is far frona assert- 
ing that the present state of man is his primitive state^ (but se^ 
above, page IQ,) and is conformable to order. His design is to 
sh^w that^ since the jpall^ all is proportioned with weighty mea* 
sure> and harmony^ to the condition of a degraded being, who 
suffers, and who deserves to suffer, and who cannot be restored 
but by sufferings; th^t physical evils are designed to cure mo* 
ral evil ; that the passions and the crimes of the most aban- 
doned men, are con^ned, directed and governed by Infinite 
Wisdom in such a manner, as to make order emerge out oC 
confusion, light out of darkness, and to c^U out innumerable 
advantages from the transitory inconveniepcies of this life; that 
this so gracious Providence conducts all things to its own ends> 
without ever hurting the liberty of intelligent beings, and 
without either causing or approving the effects of their delibe- 
rate malice ; that all is ordained in the physical order, as all is 
J)ree in the moral : that these two orders are connected closely 
without fatality^ and are pot subject to th?it necessity which 
renders us virtuous without merit, and vicious without crime ; 
that we see at present bi^t a single wheel of the niagnificent 
inachine of the universe; but a small link of the great chain; 
9nd but an insignificant part of that immense plan which will 
pj^e ^ay be unfolded. Thep will Qod fully justify all the in^ 




anecdote : " I am so certain of the soul's being 
immortal^ that I seem even to feel it within me, 

I 4 as 

comprehensible proceedings of his wisdom and goodness; and 
will vindicate himself, as Milton speaks, from the rash jadg- 
ment of mortalis.'' 

Lettre De M. De Ramsay, 

A Pontoise le 28 April, 1742. 

It will be proper to subjoin Bolingbroke's own account of 
diis Essay, given in a letter to Swift, August 2, 1731. 

'' Does Pora talk to yoxi of the noble work vfrhich, at my 
instigation, he has begun in such a manner, that he must bcr 
convinced, by this time, I judged better of his talents than he 
did. The first epistle, which considers man, and the habita- 
tion* of man, relatively to the whole system of universal be* 
ing. The second, which considers him in his own habitation, 
in himself, and relatively to his own particular system. And 
the third, which shews how an universal cause works to one 
end, but works by various laws ; how man, and beast, and ve* 
getable, are linked in a mutual depentlency : parts necessary 
to each other, and necessary to the whole : how human socie* 
ties were formed ; from what spring true religion and true po- 
licy are derived ; how God has made our greatest interest and 
«ur plainest duty indivisibly the same. These three epistles, 
I say, are finished. The fourth he is now intent upon. It is 
a noble subject : he pleads the cause of God. I use Seneca's 
expression against that famous charge Avhich atheists in all ages 
kave brought, the supposed unequal dispensations of Provi* 
flence ; a charge which I cannot heartily forgive your divines 


/ i 


as it were, by intuition." After such a declara-^ 
tion, and after writing so fervent and elevated a 
piece of devotion as the yniversal Prayer, would 
it not be injustice to accuse our author of liber- 
tinism and irreligion ? Especially, . as I am told 
he had inserted an address to Jesus Christ, ipi 
the Essay on Man, which he omitted at the in- 
stance of Bishop Berkeley, because the Christian 
dispensation did not come within the compass of 
his plan. Not that so pious and worthy a pre- 
late could imagine, that this Platonic scheme of 
OPTIMISM, or the BEST, sufficiently accounts for 
the introduction of moral and physical evil into 
the world j which^, in truth, nothing but revela- 

for admitting. You admit it, indeed, for an extreme good 
purpose, and you build on this admission the necessity of a fu- 
ture state of rewards and punishments ; but if you should find 
that this future state will not account for God*s justice in the 
present "state, which you give up, in opposition to theatheist^ 
would it not have been better to defend God's justice in this 
wx)rld, against these daring men, by irrefragable reasons, and 
to have rested the other point on revelation? I do not like con- 
cessions made against demonstration, repair or supply th^m 
how you will. The epistles I haye mentioned will compose a 
first book ; the plan of the second is settled. You will not 
understand by what I have said, that Pope will go so deep intd 
the argument, or carry it so far, as I have hinted/' 




tion can explain, and nothing but a future state 
can compensate.* 


* The Essay on Man was elegantly, but un faith fully, tran- 
fllated into French verse by M. Du Resnel. It was more fic- 
curately rendered into French prose by M. de Silhouete ; 
which translation has been often printed ; at Paris 1736; at 
London 1741, in Quarto; at the Hague 1742. He has sub* 
joined a defence of the doctrines of the Essay from Warbur- 
ton's Letters; and has added a translation also, with a large- 
commentary, of the four succeeding epistles of Pop^. 


Marmontel, in his Poetique Frangoise, has passed a severe 
sentence on the obscurity and inconclusiveness of Pope's rea- 
soning. Vol. ii. p. 536. 

In the very last edition of Bishop Law's translation of the 
Origin of Evil, p. 17, is the following remarkable passage ;^ 
** I had now the satisfaction of seeing that those very princi- 
ples which had been maintained by Archbishop King, were 
adopted by Mr. Pope, in his Essay on Man ; this I used to re« 
collect, and sometimes relate, with pleasure, conceiving that 
such an account did no less honour to the Poet than to our 
Philosopher; but was soon made to understand, that any 
thing of that kind was taken highly amiss, by one (z. e. Bishop 
Warhurton) who had once held the doctrineof that same Essay 
to be rank atheism, but afterwards turned a warm advocate for 
it, and thought proper to deny the account above-mentioned, 
with heavy menaces against those who presumed to insinuate 
^hat Pope borrowed any thing from any man whatsoever." 




X HE patrons and admirers of French literature, 
usually extol those authors of that nation who 
have treated of life and manners ; and five of 
them particularly are esteemed to be unrivalled ; 
namely, Montaigne, Charron, La Rochefou- 
CAULT, La Bruyere, and Pascal. These are 
supposed to have penetrated deeply into the most 
secret recesses of the human heart, and to have 
discovered the various vices and vanities that lurk 
in it. I know not why the English should in this 
respect yield to their polite neighbours, more 
than in any other. Bacon in his Essays and 
Advancement of Learning, Hobbes and Hume 
in their Treatises, Prior in his elegant and wi^tty 
Alma^ RiciiARDSoN in his Clarissa, and Fi£i.]> 


ING in his Tom Jones, (comic writers are not 
here included,) have shewn a profound know* 
ledge of man; and many portraits of Addisox 
m^y be compared with the most finished touches 
df La Bruyere. But the Epistles wc are now 
entering upon will place the matter beyond a dis- 
pute ; for the French can boast of no author who 
has so much exhausted the science of morals, as 
Pope has in these five Epistles. They, indeed, 
contain all that is solid and valuable in the above* 
mentioned French writers, of whom oiir author 
was remarkably fond. But, whatever observa- 
tions he has borrowed from them, he has made 
his own by the dexterity of his application. 

1 • Men. may be read, as well as books^ too romch.* 

^* Study life," cry the unlettered men of the 
world : but that world cannot be known merely 
by that study alone. The dread of pedantry is 
a characteristic folly of the present age. We 
adopted it from the French, without considering 
the reasons that give rise to it among that people. 
The religious, and particularly the Jesuits, per^ 


* Ep. i. ver. 10. 


ceiving that a taste for learning began widely to 
diffuse itself among the laity, could find no surer 
method of repressing it, than by treating the 
learned character as ridiculous. This ridicule 
was carried so far, that, to mention one instance 
out of ten thousand, the publisher of La Roche- 
foucault's Maxims makes a grave apology in 
fprm^ for quoting Seneca in Latin. 

2. At half mankind, when generous Manly raves. 
All know ^tis virtue, for he thinks them knaves.* 

The character alluded to is the principal one in 
the Plain Dealer of Wycherly, a comedy taken 
from the. Misanthrope of Moliere, but much in-^ 
ferior to the original. Alcestes ha« not that bit- 
terness of spirit, and has much more humanity 
and honour than Manly. Writers transfuse their 
own characters into their works : Wycherly was 
a vain and profligate libertine ; Moliere was be^ 
loved for his candour, sweetness of temper, and 
integrity. It is remarkable th^t the French did 
not relish this incomparable comedy for the three 
fiyst representations. , The strokes of its satirq. 


* yer.57,- 


irere too subtle and delicate to be felt by the ge^ 
nerality of the audience, M'ho expected only the 
gross diversion of laughing ; so that at the fourth 
time of its being acted, the author was forced to 
add to it one of his coarsest farces : but Boileau, 
in the mean time, affirmed, that it was the ca- 
pital work of their stage, and that the people 
would one time be in4uced to think so. 

3. Unthought-of frailties cheat us in the wiss.* 

For who could imagine that Locke was fond 
of romances ; that Newton once studied astro- 
logy; that Roger Ascham, and Dr. WnixBr, 
were devoted lovers of cock-fighting ; that Dr. 
Clarke valued himself for his agility, and fre- 
quently amused himself in a private room of his 
house, in leaping over the tables and chairs ; and 
that our author himself was a great epicure? 
When he spent a summer with a certain noble- 
man, he was accustomed to lie whole days in bed 
on account of his head-achs, but would at any 
time rise with alacrity, when his servant informed 
him there were stewed lampreys for dinner. On 


120 ESSAY ON rnt cenh)^ 

the eve of an important battle, the t)uke of* 
Marlborough was heard chiding his servant for 
having been so extravagant as to light four can- 
dles in his tent when Prince Eugene came to con- 
fer with him ! Elizabeth was a coquette; and 
Bacon received a bribe. Dr. Busby had a vio- 
lent passion for the stage ; it was excited in him 
by the applauses he received in acting the Royal 
Slave before the King at Christ-Church ; and he 
declared, that if the rebellion had not broke out, 
he had certainly engaged himself as an actor. 
Luther was so immoderately passionate, that 
he sometimes boxed Melancthon's ears ; and 
Melancthon himself was a believer in judicial 
astrology, and an interpreter of dreams. Riche- 
lieu and Mazarin were so superstitious as to 
employ and pension Morin, a pretender to astro- 
logj'^, who cast the nativities of these two able 
politicians. Nor was Tacitus himself, who ge- 
nerally appears superior to superstition, untainted 
with this folly, as may appear from the twenty- 
second chapter pf the sixth book of his annals. 
Men of great genius have been somewhere com- 
pared to the pillar of fire that conducted thd 
2 Israelites^ 


Ijsraelit^s, which frequently turned a cloudy side 
towards the spectator. 

4. See the same man> in vigour, in the gout ; 
Alone, in company, in place, or out; 
Early at business, and at hazard late ; 
Mad at a fox-chase, wise at a debate ; 
Drunk at a borough, civil at a ball; 
Friendly at Hackney, faithless at Whitehall.* 

The unexpected inequalities of our minds and 
tempers are here exhibited in a lively manner, 
and with a perfect knowledge of nature. I can- 
not forbear placing before the reader, Tully's 
portrait of Catiline, whose inconsistencies and 
varieties of conduct are thus enumerated : ** Ute- 
batur hominibus improbis multis, et quidem op* 
timis se viris deditum esse simulabat ; erant apud 
ilium illecebrse libidinum multse : erant etiam in« 
dustriae quidam stimuli ac laboris; flagrabant li« 
bidinis vitia apud ilium : vigebant etiam studia 
rei militaris : neque ego unquam fuisse tale mon- 
strum in terris uUum puto, tam ex contrariis di- 
versisque inter se pugnantibus natui-ae studiis, cu- 
piditatibus que conflatum. Quis clarioribus viris 


* Ver. ?!• 


quodam tempore jucundior ? Quis turpioribus 
conjunctior ? Quis civis rneliorum partium ali- 
quando ? Quis tetrior hostis huic civitati ? Quis 
in voluptatibus inquinatior? Quis in laboribus 
patientior? Quis in rapacitate avarior? Quis in 
largitione efFusior ?"* 


5. What made, say Montaigne, or more sage Charron.f 

One of the reasons that makes Montaigne so 
agreeable a writer, is, that he gives so strong a 
picture of the way of life of a country gentle- 
man in the reign of Henry the Third. The de- 
scriptions of his castle, of his library^ of his tra- 
vels, of his entertainments, of his diet and dress, 
are particularly pleasing. Malebranche and 
Pascal have severely and justly censured his 
scepticism. Peter Charron contracted a very 
strict friendship with him, insomuch that Mon- 
taigne permitted him, by his will, to bear his 
arms. In his book of Wisdom, which was pub- 
lished at Bourdeaux in the year one thousand 
six hundred and one, he has inserted a great 


* Orat. pro M. Caelio. Sect. 3. 
t Ver. 87. 


number of Montaigne's sentiments; this treatise 
has been loudly blamed for its freedom by many 
writers of France, and particularly Garasse the 
Jesuit. Our Stanhope, though esteemed an or- 
thodox cfivine, translated it. Bayle has re- 
marked, in opposition to these censurers, that of 
a hundred thousand readers, there are hardly 
three to" be found in any age, who are wfelj qua- 
lified to judge of a book, wherein the ideas of 
an exact and metaphysical reasoning are set in 
opposition to the most common opinions. Pope 
has borrowed many remarks from Charron, of 
which sensible writer Bolingbroke was particu- 
larly fond. 

6. A godless regent tremble at a star.* 

The duke of Orleans, here pointed at, was an 
infidel and libertine, and at the same time, as 
well as BouLANViLLTERs and CardaK, who 
calculated the nativity of Jesus Christ, was a 
bigotted believer in judicial astrology : he was 
said to be the author (which, however, has been 
doubted) of many of those flimsy songs, nugaj 

VOL. 11, K canoras, 

* Ver. 9Q. 


canoraD, to which the language and the manners 
of France seem to be pecuharly adapted. He 
knew mankind : '^ Quiconque est sans honneur 
& sans humeur, (said he frequently,) est un 
courtisan parfaite." Crebillon, the father, a 
writer far superior to his son, during this profli- 
gate and debauched regent^s administration, 
wrote a set of odes against him, of wonderful 
energy and keenness, and almost in the spirit of 
Alceus ; if it be not a kind of profanation to 
speak thus of any production of a poet that 
writes under a despotic government. 

7. Alas! in truth> the man but chang'd his miad % 
Perhaps was sick, in love, or had not dinM.* 

For the destruction of a kingdom, said a man 
of wit, nothing more is sometimes requisite than 
a bad digestion of the prime minister. The 
Grand Seignior offered to assist Henry IV. against 
his rebellious subjects, not for any deep political 
reason, but only because he hated the word 
League. It is a fault in Davila, as well as Ta- 

* Ver. 127. 


citus, never to ascribe great events to whim, 
caprice, private passions, and petty causes. 

8. Judge we by nature ? Habit can efface. 
Interest overcome, or policy take place : 
By actions ? those uncertainty divides : 
By passions ? these dissimulation hides : 
Opinions ? they still take a wider range : 
Find, if you can, in what you cannot change. 
Manners with fortunes, humours turn with climes. 
Tenets with books, and principles with times.* 

We find here, in the compass of eight lines, 
an anatomy of human nature ; mora sense and 
observation cannot well be compressed and conr 
eluded in a narrower space. This passage might 
be drawn out into a voluminous commentary, 
and be worked up into a system concerning the 
knowledge of the world. There seems to be an 
inaccuracy in the use of the last verb ; the n^ 
tural temperament is by no means suddenly 
changed, or turned with a change of climate, 
though undoubtedly the humours are originally 
formed by it: influenced Ay, would be a more 
proper expression than turn with, if the metre 
would admit it. 

K 2 9. His 

* Ver. 165. 


9. His passion still, to covet gen'ral praise ; 
His life, to forfeit it a thousand ways ; 
A constant bounty, which no friend has made ; 
An angel tongue, which no man can persuade; 
A fool with more of wit than half mankind ; 
Too rash for thought, for action too refin'd ; 
A tyrant to the wife his heart approves; 
A rebel to the very king he loves ; 
He dies an out-cast of each church and state ; 
And, harder stilly flagitious, yet not great. '*' 

This character of the Duke of Wharton is 
finished with much force and expressiveness ;t 
the contradictions that were in it are strongly 
contrasted. In an entertaining work lately pub- 
lished, which, it is hoped, will diffuse a relish 
for biography, we have a remarkable anecdote 
relating to this nobleman's speech in favour of 
the Bishop of Rochester. His Grace, then in 
opposition to the Court, went to Chelsea the day 
before the last debate on that prelate's affair, where 
acting contrition, he professed being determined 
to work out his pardon at Court by speaking 


* Ver. 195. 

,f Compare it with that of Zimri^ the Duke of Bucking- 
ham^ in Absalom and Achitophel ; in which Dryden has es« 
celled our author. 


against the bishop, in order to which he begged 
some hints. The minister was deceived; and 
went through the whole cause with him, point- 
ing out where the strength of the argument lay, 
and where its weakness. The Duke was very 
thankful, returned to town, passed the night in 
drinking, and, without going to bed, went to 
the House of Lords, where he spoke for the 
bishop, recapitulating, in the most masterly 
manner, and answering all that had been urged 
against him.* 

10. When Catiline by rapine swell'd his store ; 
When Csesar made a noble dame a whore ; 
In this the lust, in that the avarice^ 
Were means, not ends ; ambition was the vice.f 

The same passion excited Richlieu to throw up 
the dyke at Rochelle, and to dispute the prize of 
poetry with Corneille ; whom to traduce was the 
surest method of gaining the affection of this 
ambitious minister, who aspired equally to excel 

K 3 in 

* Catalogue of the Royal and Noble Authors of England^ 
fol. ii. p. 133. 

, fVer. 211. 


in all things ; nay, who formed a design to be 
canonized as a saint. A perfect contrast to the 
character of Cardinal Fleury, who shewed that 
it was ^possible to govern a great state with mo- 
derate abilities, and a mild temper. His minis- 
try is impartially represented by Voltaire in the 
age of Louis XIV. 

11. Lucullus^ when frugality could charm> 
Had roasted turnips in the Sabine farm.''^ 

Few writers of his country have displayed a 
greater energy of sentiment than Crebillon ;t in 
his Catiline we have a noble one that may illus- 
trate this doctrine of Pope : *' If (says this 
fierce and inflexible conspirator) I had only Len- 
tuluses of my party, and if it was filled only with 
men of virtue, I should easily assume that cha- 

* Ver. 217. See Considerations on Lucullus^ in the second 
vol. of L*Abb^ de St. Real, p. 1. 

f The creditors of Crebillon would have stopped the profits 
of this tragedy; but the spirited old bard appealed to the king 
in council, and procured an honourable decree .in his favour, 
setting forth, that works of genius should not be deemed ef- 
fects that were capable of being seized. This writer's works 
were lately printed in a magnificent manner at the Louvre, in 
two volumes quarto, at the expence of Madame Pompadour. 


facter also, and be more virtuous than any of 

£t s' il q' ^toit rempli que d' hommes rertueux^ 

Je n' aurois pas de peine a T^tre encore plus qu' eux. 

12. In this one passion man can strength enjoy. 
As fits give vigour just when they destroy.* 

The strength and continuance of what our 
author calls the ruling passion, is strongly exem- 
plified in EIGHT characters ; namely, the Poli- 
tician, the Debauchee, the Glutton, the 
Oeconomist, the Coquet, the Courtier, the 
Miser, and the Patriot. Of these characters, 
the most lively, because the most dramatic, are 
the fifth and seventh. There is true humour also 
in the circumstance of the frugal crone Avho 
Wows out one of the consecrated tapers in order 
to prevent its wasting. Shall I venture to insert 
another example or two ? An old usurer, lying 
in his last agonies, was presented by the priest 
"Nnth the crucifix. He opened his eyes a moment 
before he expired, attentively gazed on it, and 

K 4 cried 

* Ver. 221. 


cried out, " These jewels are counterfeit, I can- 
not lend more than ten pistoles upon so wretched 
a pledge." To reform the language of his coun- 
try was the ruling passion of Malherbe. The 
priest who attended him in his last moments, 
asked him if he was not affected with the de- 
scription he gave him of the joys of heaven ? 
'* By no means, (answered the incorrigible bard;) 
I desire to hear no more of them, if you cannot 
describe them in a purer style." Both these sto- 
ries would have shone under the hands of Pope. 

Tliis doctrine of our author may be farther 
illustrated by the following passage of Bacon : 
^' It is no less worthy to observe, how little al- 
teration, in good spirits, the approaches of death 
make ; for they appear to be the same men till 
the last instant. Augustus Csesar died in a com- 
pliment ; Livia, conjugii nostri memor, vive et 
vale. Tiberius in dissimulation; as Tacitus saith 
of him : Jam Tiberium vires et corpus, non dis- 
simulatio deser^bant Vespasian, in a jest ; Ut 
putp Deus fio. Galba with a sentence ; Feri, si 
€}i re sit populi Romani ; holding forth his neck. 
2 Septimius 


Septimius Severus, in dispatch ; Adeste, si quid 
mihi restat agendum^"* 

This epistle concludes with a stroke of art 
worthy admiration. The poet suddenly stops 
the vein of ridicule with which he was flowing, 
and addresses his friend in a most delicate com- 
plimenty concealed under the appearance of sa- 

Aod you ! brave Cobham^ to the latest breath. 
Shall feel your ruling passion strong in death : 
Such in those moments as in all the past; 
'' Oh save my country, heav'n, shall be your last.^ 

IS. Narcissa's nature, tolerably mild. 

To make a wash, would hardly stew a child ; 
Has ev'n been prov*d to grant a lover's pray'r ; 
And paid a tradesman once to make him stare ; 
Gave alms at Easter, in a Christian trim; 
Aod made a widow happy for a whim.f 

The epistle on the characters of women, from 
whence this truly witty character is taken, is 
highly finished, and full of the most delicate 


^ Bacon's Essays. Essay ii. which were much read by Pops. 

t Epist. ii. V. <5S. 


satire. Bolingbroke, a judge of the subject, 
thought it the master-piece of Pope. But the 
bitterness of the satire is not always concealed in 
a laugh. The characters are lively, though un- 
common. I scarcely remember one of them in 
our comic writers of the best order. The ridi- 
cule is heightened by many such strokes of hu- 
mour, carried even to the borders of extrava- 
gance, as that in the second line, here quoted. 
The female foibles have been the subject of, per- 
haps, more wit, in every language, than any 
other topic that can be named. The sixth satire 
of Juvenal, though detestable for its obscenity, 
is undoubtedly the most witty of all his sixteen ; 
and is curious for the picture it exhibits of the 
private lives of the Roman ladies. Pope con- 
fines himself to paint those inconsistencies of 
conduct, to which a volatile fancy is thought to 
incline the sex. And this he exemplifies in the 
contrarieties that may be discovered in the charac- 
ters of the Affected, the Soft-natured, the 
Whimsical, the Lewd and Vicious, the Witty 
and Refined. In this comprehensive view is, 
perhaps, included each species of female folly 
and absurdity, which is the proper object of 

\ ridicule. 


ridicule. If this Epistle yields, in any respect, 
to the tenth satire of Boileau on the same subject, 
it is in the deUcacy and variety of the transitions, 
by which the French writer passes from one cha- 
racter to another, always connecting each with 
the foregoing. It was a common saying of 
Boileau, speaking of La Bruyere, that one of 
the most difficult parts of composition was the 
art of transition. That we may see how happily 
Pope has caught the manner of Boileau, let us 
survey one of his portraits : it shall be that of 
his learned lady. 

Qui s'offrira d*abord ? c'est cette Scavante, 
Qa'estime Roberval, & que Sauveur frequente. , 
D'ou Tieat qu'elle a P cbH trouble, & le leint si terai ?. 
C'efit que sitr le calcal, dit-on, de Cassini, 
Un Astrolabe en main, elle a dans sa goiitiere 
II suivre Jupiter pass^ le nuit entiere : 
Gardons de la troubler. Sa science, se croy. 
Aura par s'occuper ce jour plus d*un employ. 
D'un nouveau microscope ou doit en sa presence 
Tantost chez Dalanc6 faire I'experience ; 
Puis d'une femme morle avec son embryon, 
II faut chez Du Vernay voir la dissection.* 

14. No 

. * Which last line is a little gross and offensive : as it must 
be confessed are some of Pope. There is not a single stroke 



14. No thought advances, but her eddy brain 
Whisks it about, and down it goes again. 
Full sixty years the world has been her trade. 
The wisest fool much time has ever made. 
From loveless youth to unrespected age, 
No passion gratify 'd, except her rage. 
So much the fury still outran the wit. 
The pleasure missM her, and the scandal hit.* 

These spirited lines are part of a character de- 
signed for the famous Duchess of Marlborough, 
whom Swift had also severely satirized in the 
Examiner. Her beauty, her abilities, her poli* 
tical intrigues, are sufficiently known. f The 


of this sort in Young's Satires on Women. I wish the deli- 
cacy and reservedness of four or five Ladies now living, who 
have real learning and taste, would permit me to insert their 
names in this place, as a contrast to this affected character in 

* Ver. 121. Epist. ii. 

f See the account of her own conduct, drawn up under 
her own eye and direction, by Mr. Hooke, author of the 
Roman History, of the Life of Fenelon, and of the transla- 
tion of the Travels of Cyrus. Dr. King, of ^t. Mary Hall, 
in Oxford, informed me, that this elegant translation was 
made at Dr. Cheyne's house at Bath, and that he himself had 
often been Hooke's Amanuensis on this occasion, who dictated 
his translation to him with uncommon facility and rapidity. 
The Duchess rewarded Hooke with 50001. for his trouble ; 



violence of her temper frequently broke out into 
wonderful and ridiculous indecencies. In the 
last illness of the great Duke, her husband, when 
Dr. Mead left his chamber, the Duchess, dislik- 
ing his advice, followed him down stairs, swore 
at him bitterly, and was going to tear off his 
periwig. Her friend. Dr. Hoadly, bishop of 
Winchester, was present at this scene. These 
lines were shewn to her Grace as if they were in- 
tended for the portrait of the Duchess of Buck- 
ingham ; but she soon stopped the person that 
was reading them to her, and called out aloud, 
" I cannot be so imposed upon — I see plainly 
enough for whom they are designed ;*' and abused 
Pope most plentifully on the subject ; though 
she was afterwards reconciled to, and courted 
him. This character, together with those of 
Philomede and Cloe, were first published in 
this edition of Pope. They are all animated 


but quarrelled with him afterwards^ because^ as she affirmed, 
he attempted to convert her to Popery. Hooke was a Mystic, 
and a Quietist, and a warm disciple of Fenelon. It was he 
who brought a Catholic priest to take our author's confession 
on his death- bed. The priest had scarce departed, when 
Bolingbroke, coming over from Eattersea, flew into a great fit 
of passion and indignation on the occasion. 


with the most poignant wit. That of Cloe is par** 
ticularly just and happy, who is represented as 
content merely and only to dwell in decencies^ 
and satisfied to avoid giving offence ; and is one 
of those many insignificant and useless being s. 

Who want^ as thro' blank life they dream along. 
Sense to be rights and passion to be wrong ; 

as says the ingenious author of the Universal 
Passion; a work that abounds in wit, observa?- 
tion on life, pleasantry, delicacy, urbanity, and 
the most well-bred raillery, without a single mark 
of spleen and ill-nature. These were the first 
characteristical satires in our language, and are 
written with an ease and familiarity of style, very 
different from this author's other works. The 
four first were published in folio, in the year 
1725 ;* and the fifth and sixth, incomparably 


* In these, the characters of Clarinda, of Xantippe the vio^ 
lent lady, of Delia the chariot-driver, of Master Betty the 
huntress, of Daphne the critic, of Lemira the sick lady, of the 
female Philosopher, of the Theologist, of the languid lady, of 
Thalestris the swearer, of L^ce the old beauty, of Lavinia, of 
a nymph of spirit, of Julia the manager, of Alicia the sloven, 
of Clio the slanderer, of the affected Asturia, of the female 



the best, on the characters of women, in the 
year 1727; that is, eight years before this epistle 
of Pope. Dr. Young was one of the most ami- 
able and benevolent of men ; most exemplary in 
his life, and sincere in his religion.* Nobody 
ever said more brilliant things in conversation. 
The late Lord Melcombe informed me, that 
when he and Voltaire were on a visit to his Lord- 
ship at Eastbury, the English poet was far supe- 


Atheist, and af the female Gamester, are all of them drawn 
with truth and spirit. And the introductions to these two 
satires^ particularly the address to the incomparable Lady 
Betty Germain, are perhaps as elegant as any thing in our 
language. After reading these pieces, so full of a knowledge 
of the world, one is at a loss . to know what Mr. Pope could 
mean by saying, that though Young was a man of genius, 
yet that he wanted common sense. 

* Mr. Walter Harte assured me, he had seen the pressing 
letter that Dr. Young wrote to Mr. Pope, urging him to write 
something on the side of Revelation, in order to take off the 
impressions of those doctrines which the Essay on Man were 
supposed to convey. He alluded to this in the conclusion of. 
his first Night-Thought. 

O had he press'd his theme, pursu'd the track 
Which opens out of darkness into day ! 
O had he mounted on his wing of fire, 
Soar'd where I sink, and sung immortal man ! 
How had he blest mankind, and rescued me I 


rior to the French, in the variety and the novelty 
of. his bon mots and repartees ; and Lord Mel- 
combe was himself a good judge of wit and hu- 
mour, of which he himself had a great portion. 
' If the friendship with which Dt. Young honour- 
ed me, does not mislead me, I tliink I may ven- 
ture to affirm, that many high strokes of charac- 
ter in his Zanga^ many sentiments and images in 
his Night-Thoughts, and many strong and for- 
cible descriptions in his Paraphrase on Job, mark 
him for a sublime and original genius. Though 
at the same time I am ready to confess, that he 
is not a correct and equal writer,* and was too 
often turgid and hyperbolical. 

15. See how the world its veterans rewards, 
A youth of frolics, an old age of cards ; 


* So little sensible are we of our own imperfections, that 
the very last time I saw Dr. Young, he was severely censur- 
ing and ridiculing the false pomp of fustian writers, and the 
nauseousness 6f bombast. I remember he said, that such tor- 
rents of eloquence were muddy as well as iioisy ; and that these 
violent and tumultuous authors put him in mind of a passage 
in Milton, B. ii. v. 539. 

Others, with vast Typhaean rage more fell. 
Rend up both rocks and hills, and ride the air 
In whirlwind. Hell scarce holds the wild uproar. 


Fair to no purpose, artfal to no endi 
Young without lovers, old without a friend ; 
A fop their passion, but their prize a sot ; 
Alive, ridiculous ; and dead^ forgot.^ 

The antithesis, so remarkably strong in these 
lines, was a very favourite figure with our poet : 
he has, indeed, used it but in too many parts of 
his works ; nay, even in his translation of the 
Iliad, f where it ought not to have been admitted, 
. VOL. II. L aud 

* Ver. 243. 

f Voltaire speaks thus of La Motte : so popular and acute 
a critic may, perhaps, be attended to.-^— Au-lieu d'^chauffer 
8on g^nie en tlicbant de copier les sublimes peintures .d'Ho« 
m^re, il voulut lui donner de Tesprit ; c'est la Manie de la 
pldpart des Francois ; une esp6ce de pointe quails appellent un 
trait, une petite antith^se, un l^ger contraste de mots leur 
•affit.-^The following lines are instances : 

On'OfFense les dieux, mats par des sacrifices 
De ces dieux irrit^s on fait des dieux propices. 

And again. 

t • 

Tout le camp s'^cria dans une joie extreme. 

Que ne vaincra-t-il point, il s'est vaincu lui meme. 

I must only just add, that La Motte, in all the famous dis- 
pute about the ancients, never said a thing so ill-founded, and 
so void of taste, as the following words of the same Voltaire : 

" Homerc 


and which Dryden has but rarely used in his 
VirgiL Our author seldi>m writes many lines to* 
gether without an antithens. It n^ust be allowed 
sometimes to add strength to a sentiment^ by an 
opposition of images; but too frequently re- 
peated^ it becomes tiresome and disgusting. 
Rhyme has almost a natural tendency to betray a 
writer into it But the purest authors have de^ 
spised it, as an ornament pert, and puerile, and 
epigrammatic. Seneca, Pliny, Tacitus, and later 
authors, abound in it. Quintilian has sometimes 
used it with much success ; as when he speaks of 
style ; Magna, non nimia ; sublimis, non abrup- 
ta; severa, npa tristis; lapta, non luxuriosa.;. 
plena, non tumtda. And sometimes Tally; as^ 
Vicit pudorem lijbido, timorem audacia, rationem 
amentia. Bat these writers fall into this mode c^ 
speaking bat seldom, and do not make it their 


*' Homere n* a jamais fait r^kndre de pleura." AjfeduB qqi« 
dem vei illos mites vel hos concitatos, nemo erit tarn indoctui 
i^i non in siii potestate hone auctorem habuisse fateatur. 
^intilianj lib. 10. cap. I. Had Voltaire erer read Quin* 
tiliaii? or rather^ had he ever read Homer— -in the original? 
^ If Qoileau (said the Prince of Conti) does not write against 
Perrault, I will go myself to the Academy, and I will writ# 
lipon his seat, Brutus, ycm art asleep^ 

AHD WRlTtN^aS or POF£^ 147 

cwutanf smd gemral misinner. Thosti moderns 
¥4io have not acquired a true taste for the sim* 
plicity of the hest ancientsr^f liave generally run 
into a frequent use of poinf, opposition, and con- 
trast. They who begin to- study painting, are 
struck at first with the pieces of the most vivid 
colouring ; they are almost ashamed to ow^i that 
they do not relish and « feel the modest and re- 
served beauties of Raphadi^ The exact projpdr- 
tfa>]i of StL Peter's at Rome, occasions it not td 
appear so great as: it really is. Tis the same iti 
writing ; but, by degrees, we find that Lucan, 
Martial, Juven^ Q. Curtius, and Floras, and 
others of that stkmp, who abound in figures that 
contribute to the false florid, in luxuriant meta- 
phors, in pointed conceits^ in lively antitheses, 
unexpectedly darted forth^ are contemptible for 
the very causes which once excited our admira* 
tion. Tis then we relish Terence, Csesar, and 

16. Kept dross for DmfheMes, ike VH>rld AetU knew «>/ 
Tv you gate sense^ good4iuiiiOttr^ and a poet.f 

L2 7%e 

* See what Dionysius says of Isoorates^ p. 99, r; Ql, Edit 
Sylb. There are no antitheses iu Demosthenes. 


The world shall know it — is an unmeaning ex- 
pression, and a poor expletive, into which our 
poet was forced by the rhyme.* 

Maudit soit le premier, dont la Yerve insensde, 
Dans les homes d' un vers renferma sa pens^e, 
Et donnant a ses mots une ^troite prison, 
Voulut arec la rime enchainer la raison.f 

Rhyme also could alone be the occasion of the 
following faulty expressions, taken too from 
some of his most finished pieces : 

, Not Caesar's Empress would I deign toprcfoe"-^ 
If Queensberry to strip there's no compelling'^ 
Kapt into future times the bard fregun— - 
Know all the noise the bujgr^ world can keep-^ 
If true, a woful likeness, and (f lyes-^ 
Nothing so true as what you once let fall-^ 
For Virtue's self may too much zeal he had^^ 
■ can no warUs endure^^ 


* La Rime g^ne plus qu'elle n' orne les vers. Elle les 
charge d'Epith^tes; elle rend souyent la diction forc^e, St 
pleine d' une vaine parure. En allongant les discount, elle 
les afFoiblit. Souvent on a recours d un vers inutile, pour en 
amener un boa. Fenelon to M* De la Motte* Lettres, p. 
62. A C^mbray, 26 Janvier, 1719. 

t Boileau. Sat. 2. v. 53. 


NajTy half in he^Y^n excqft what's mighty (iddr^ 

m • ■ can have no flaw — 

■ oh such a world we fall^^ 

■ take scandal at a spark-^ 

■ do the knack, and do the feat^^ 

And more instances might be added^ if it were 
not disagreeable to observe these straws in am« 
ben But if rhyme occasions such incon* 
veniencies and improprieties in so exact a writer 
as our author, what can be expected from infe- 
rior versifiers ?* It is not my intention to 
enter into a trite and tedious discussion of the 
several, merits of rhyme, and blank verse. Per- 
haps rhyme may be properest for shorter pieces ; 
for lyric, elegiac, and satiric poems; for pieces 
where closeness of expression, and smartness of 

L S ^ style, 

* Our author told Mr. Harte^ that^ in order to disguise his 
being the author of the second epistle of the Essay on Ma a, 
he made, in the first edition^ the following bad rhyme : 

A cheat ! a whore ! who starts not at the namef 
In all the inns of court, or Drury'Lane f* 

And Hartb remembered to have often heard it urged, in 

enquiries about the author, whilst he was unknown, that it 

was impossible it could be Pope's, on account of this very 

passage. Pope inserted many good lines in Harte's Essay on 


* Ver.205. 

150 ESSAY <m THE C£«riUS 

style, are expected : but for subjects of a Irigher 
order, where any enthusiasm or emotion is to be 
expressed, or for poems of a greater length, 
blank verse is undoubtedly preferable. An epic 
poem in rhyme appears to be such a sort of thing, 
as the Mntid would have been if it had been 
written, like Ovid's Fasti, in hexameter and pen- 
tamer verses ; and the reading it would have been 
as tedious as the travelling through that one 
long, strait, avenue of firs, that leads from Mos^ 
caw to Petersburgh. I will give the reader Mr. 
Pop£*s own opinion on this subject, and in his 
own words, as deliveftd to Mr. Spence: *' I 
have nothing to say for Ayme ;♦ but that I doubt 


^ Boileau^ whose practice it was to make the second line of 
a conplet before the first, haying written (in his second satire) 
this line, 

Dans mes vers recousus mettre en piece3 Malherbe, 

it was thought impossible by La Fontaine and Moliere^ and 
other critical friends, for him to find a proper rhyme for the 
word Malherbe : at last he hit upon the following ; 

Et transposant cent fois & le nom & le yerbe* 

Upon shewing which Mne to La Fontaine, he cried out, '* Ah! 
how happy have yon been, my friend! I would giye the yeiy 



if a poem can mpport itself without it in our Un^ 
guage, unless it be stiffened with such strange 
words as are likely to destroy our language itself. 
The high style that is affected so much in blank 
verse, would not have been supported even in 
Milton, had not his subject turned so much on 
such strange and mt of the world things as it 
does."* May we not, however, venture to ob- 
serve, that more of that true harmony which will 
best support a poem, will result from a variety of 
pauses, and from an intermixture of those dif- 
ferent feet (iambic and trochaic particularly) 
into which our language naturally falls, than 
from the uniformity of similar terminations? 

L4 '' Th€re 

1)e8t of all my Tales to have made such a discovery." So im* 
jporiant in the eyes of the French poets is a liicky rhyme i 
Vokaire gives a* the following anecdotic. Questions sur PEh* 
qrdoped. Partie 5» 255 page. . ** Je me souviendrai toiijours 
que je demandai au c^l^bre Pope« poiirquoi Milton n'avait pas 
tim^ son Patadis perdu ; & qu^il me r^pondtt, Bccaun he eoidd 
noi; parce qu'il ne le pouvait pas.''—- But the most harmonious 
of rhymers has said, *' What rhyme adds to sweetness^ it 
takes away from sense/' Dbydem .— The rhymes in L* Allegro 
and n Pemeraso are just and correct. 

* But tiiere are many passages in Milton of the most flow- 
ing softness and smobthni^ss, without any indrks of thiil high 
style, any hard or antiquated words, or btrsh inversions, which 
are by no means essential to blank verse. 


^* There can be no rnmic^' says Cowlet, " mih 
onbf one note.'* 

17. Blest paper-credit ! last and best supply ! 
That lends corruption lighter wings to fly ! 
Gold^ impM by thee, can compass hardest things. 
Can pocket States, can fetch or carry Kings ; 
A single leaf shall waft an army o'er. 
Or ship off Senates to a distant shore ; 
A leaf, like Sybils', scatter to and fro 
Our fates and fortunes, as the winds shall blow ; 
Pregnant with thousands, * flits the scrap unseen. 
And silent sells a King, or buys a Queen. f 

** Not one of my works (said Pope to Mr. 
Spence) was more laboured than my Epistle on 
the Use of Riches." It does, indeed, abound in 
knowledge of life, and in the justest satire. The 
lines above quoted, have also the additional me- 
rit of touching on a subject that never occurred 
to former satirists. And though it was difficult 
to say any thing new about avarice, " a vice 
that has been so pelted (says Cowley) with good 
sentences," yet has our author done it so success- 

* The vrovAjlits heightens the satire, by giving us the strong 
idea of an obscene and ill-omened bird. 

t Of the Use of Riches, v. 39. 


fully, that this epistle, together with Lord Ba* 
con's thirty-third Essay^ contains almost all that 
can be said on the use and abuse of riches, and 
the absurd extremes of avarice and profusion. 
But our poet has enlivened his precepts with so 
many various characters, pictures, and images, 
as may entitle him to claim the preference over 
all that have treated on this tempting subject, 
down from the time of the Plutus of Aristo- 
phanes. That very lively and amiable old noble- 
man, the late Lord Bathurst, told me, *' that 
he was much surprised to see what he had with 
repeated pleasure so often read as an epistle ad- 
dressed to himself, in this edition converted into 
a dialogue; in which," said he, ** I perceive I 
really make but a shabby and indifferent figure, 
and contribute . very little to the spirit of the 
dialogue^ if it must be. a dialogue ; and I hope I 
had generally more to say for myself in the many 
charming conversations I used to hold with Pope 
and Swift, and my old poetical friends." 

18. A Statesman's slumbers how this speech would spoil! 
" Sir, Spain has sent a thousand jars of oil ; 
Huge bales of British cloth blockade the door ; 
A hundred oxen at your levee roar/'* 


* Ver. 55. 


Nothing can exceed this lidicmle of the many 
inconveniencies that would have encumbered vih' 
taiiijfy by bribing and by paying in Mnd. The 
following examples carry the satire still higlu»v 
and can hardly ^e thoaght to be excelled by any 
strokes of irony and humour in the best parts of 
Horace^ Juvenal, or Boileau. 

fits Gmce will gtme ; to White's a bull be led, 
Witii * fpurning heeH suid with a butting head. 
To VIThite's be carry'dj as to ancient f games. 
Fair ccmrsers^ vases^ and alkiring dames. 
Shall then Uxorioi if the stakes he sweep> 
Bear home six whores^ and make his lady weep? 
Or soft Adonis^ so perfumM and fine, 
Drire to St. James's a whole herd of swine ?{ 

We can only lament that our author did not 
)ive long enough to be a witness of the midnight 


* As a consecrated beast to a sacrifice; and alluding t« 
Yirgil, with much pleasantry : 

Jam comu petat, & pedibus qui spargat arenam. 

f Alluding to the prizes that Achilles bestows in the games 
of Homer* Iliad. 23. b. 

t Vcr. 67. 


(or morniBg) angles oif tbe^gsmestOTs at fiftoOKs**. 
What a sii»bject f&t the wvmty of Ihs satire! 
Perhaps we might have seen men 

^Setfe {ram iffafi bar, Jthe pnilftf^ and the tlmme^ 
Yet touched and-sham'd by ridicule alone ! 

For surely that vice deserves the keenest invec- 
tive, which, more than any other, has a natural 
and invincible tendency to narrow and to harden 
the heart, by impressing and keying up habits of 
teifishness. *^ I foresee (said Montesquieu to 
a friend visiting him at La Brtde) that gamng 
will, one day, be the ruin of Europe. During 
play, the body is in a state of indolence, and 
the mind in a state of vicious activity." 

19. BamnM to the mines^ an equal fate betides 

The slave that digs it« and the slave that hides.* 

t This is plainly taken from the causes of th6 
decay of Christian Piety. " It has always been 


* Ver. 109. 

t See the Adventurer, No. 65, published 175 S. The re» 
flection with v^hich Chartres's epitaph, in this epistle, con- 
cludes, is from La Bruyerb. 


He imagines^ absUncUy enotigh^ that the onlj^ 
solid method of acotmntiiig for. the origia. of 
erHy consistently with the other attributes of 
Gody b not to alio w hisc 0i9i»ijDa/fi;ice. * Sa puis* 
sance est tr^ grande; mabiqulnous.acdit qu'dle 
est mfinie, quandi sea ouvrages nous montreni le 
contraire ? Quand la\ aeuJe resaoutce qui noat 
reste pour le disculper est d* avouer que son pou- 
voir n* a pu triompher du nnal physique 8c moral? ^ 
Certes^ j'aime mieux Tadorer born6 que mechant. 
PeutStre dans la va&te maebine de la: nature^, le 
bien 1' a-t-il emport6 necessatrement sur le mal, & 
Tetemel artisan a 6ti forc6 dans se& moyens, en 
faisant encore (malgr^ tant de maux) ce qu'ilavait 
de mieux. f 

Voltaire, after having run the full career of 
infidelity and scepticism, seems to have sunk at 
last into absolute fatalism. The sentiments are, 
indeed, put into the mouth of Msmmius, the 


* See also Hume'B Dialogues concerning Natural Religion^ 
8va 1779. 

'f Questions sur PEncydopedie^ 9 partie> p. S48, So in- 
conclusive and unphilosophical En assertion^ deserves no seri* 
ous confutation. 


friend and patron of Lucr£Tius, and addressed 
to Cicero ; this being the method the French 
philosopher took to acquaint us with his own 

Je suis done ramen6 malgr6 moi k cette an* 
cienne id^e que je vois 6tfe la base de tous les 
syst^mes, dans laquelle tous les philosophes re* 
tombent apr^s mille detours, & qui m'est d^mon* 
tr^ par toutes les actions des hommes, par les 
miennesy par tous les 6v^nemens que j*ai lus^ que 
j'ai vus, & auxquels j*ai eu part ; c'est le fata- 
lisme^ c'est la n^cessit^ dont je vous ai d^j^ 

20. Like some lone Chartreux stands Ihe good old hall. 
Silence without, aod fasts within the wall ; 
NoTil^cr'it roofs with dance and tabor soundj 
No noanti4e bell invites the country round : 
Tenants with sighs the smoakless towers survey, 
jAnd turn th' unwilling steeds another way: 
Bemghted wanderers, the forest o'er. 
Curse the iav*d candle, and unop*ning door;. 


• «« He must have a very good stomach (says Mr. Gray) that 
can digest the Crambe recocta of Voltaire. Atheism is a vile 
dish, though all the cooks of France combine to make new 
$a\ices for it.'' Letters, quarto* page 385. 


- While the gaunt mastiflf^ growling at the gate^ 
Affrights the beggar, whom he longs to eat.* 

In the worst inn's worst room, with mat Aa{f-hung^ 
The floors ofplaister, and the walls of dung. 
On once ajlock-bed, but repaired with straw. 
With tape-tyd curtains, never meant to draw. 
The George and Garter dangling from that bed 
Where tawdry yellow strove with dirty red. 
Great Villiers lies.-j- — 

The use, the force, and the excellence of lan- 
guage, certainly consists in raising clear, com-- 
pletCj and circumstantial images, and in turning 
readers into spectators. I have quoted the two 
preceding passages as eminent examples of this 
excellence, of all others the most essential in 
poetry. Every epithet here used, paints its ob- 
ject, and paints it distinctly. After having passed 
over the moat full of cresses, do you not actually 
find yourself in the middle court of this forlorn 


and solitary mansion, overgrown with docks and 
nettles ? And do you not hear the dog that is 
going to assault you ? Among the other fortu- 
nate circumstances that attended Homer, it was 
not one of the least, that he wrote before general 


» « 

* Yer. 187, f Ver.29P. 


aild abstract terms were invented. Hence his 
Miise (like his own Helen standing on the walls 
of Troy) points out every person, and thing, ac- 
curateli/, and forcibly. All the views and pros- 
pects he lays before us, appear as fully and j&er- 
fectly to the eye, aS that which engaged the at- 
tention of Neptune when he was sitting, (Iliad, 
b. 13- V, 12.) 

*T4/S tv aKforarns Hofofms Zaiyji iKmiVfry^s, 
Opi}/)Ciiir' f yOfy yoLf t^wro 'aata'ac (M¥ l^v. 

Those who are fond of generalities, may think 
the number of natural, little circumstances, in- 
troduced in the beautiful narration of the expe- 
dition of DoLoy and Diomede, (Book the 10th,) 
too particular and trifling, and below the dignity 
of Epic poetry. But every reader of a just 
taste, will always admire the minute description 
of the helmet and crest at verse the 257th ; the 
clapping of the wings of the heron, which they 
could ndt see; the squatting down among the 
dead bodies till Dolon had passed ; Ulysses hiss- 
ing to Diomede as a signal; the striking the 

VOL. II. M horses 


horses with his bow, because he had forgotten to 
bring his whip with him ; and the innumerable 
circumstances which make this narration so lively^ 
so dramatic^ and so interesting. Half the Iliad 
and the Odyssey might be quoted as examples of 
this way of writing : So different from the un- 
finished, half-formed figures, presented to us by 
many modern writers. How much is the pathe- 
tic heightened by Sophocles, when, speaking of 
Deianira determined to destroy herself, and tak- 
ing leave of her palace, he adds a circumstance 
that Voltaire would have disdained ! 

favcMv, ots txpnro htKcua vofos,^ 

Among the Roman poets, Lucretius will furnish 
many instances of this sort of strong painting- 
Witness his portrait of a jealous man. Book the 
4th, V. 1130. 

Aut quod in amlriguo verbumjaculata reliqnit ; 
Aut nimiom joc^^^ oculos, aliumye tueri 
Quod puta^ ia vultd^qoe videt vestigia risds. 


• • 4 • rt 

♦ Trachiniae, v. 922. 

AKD WRitlJ^GS Ot POPt* t63 

Of iph'rgenia going to be sacrificed at the mo- 
ment when 


tiisestilm ante aras astare pareiitem 

Sensit, & huac propter ferrum celare ministros** 

Of Fear, m Book lii. v. 155* 

Sudorem itac^u^ & paltorent eKistefe tdto 
Corpore; &. it^ngi \ingn2im; vocemque aborlr!) 
Caiigare ocu\o8; «onere aures; mccidere SLVtus. 

Without specifying the various strokes of na- 
ture with which Virgil has described the prog- 
nostics of the weather in his first Georgic, let us 
only consider with what energy he has enumerated 
and particularized the gestures and attitudes of 
his dying Dido: No five verses ever contained 
more images, or images more distinctly ex- 
pressed : 

Ilia graves oculos conata aHollere, rurstis 
Deficit I infixum stridet sub pectore vulnust 
Ter sese attollens, cubitoque innixa levavit, 
Ter revoltUa toro est : oculisque errantihus, alto 
Qusesivit caelo lucem> ingemuitqne reperta.f 

Ms The 

* Book i. V. 21. t -^En. Jv. 688. 


The wor<k of Virgil have here painted the dying 
Dido as powerfully as the pencil of Reynolds has 
done when she is just dead. 

But none of the Roman M'riters has displayed 
a greater force and vigour of imagination than 
Tacitus, who was, in truth, a great poet.* With 
what an assemblage of masterly strokes has he 
exhibited the distress of the Roman army under 
Ccecinaj in the first book of the Annals ! No 
per diversa inquies; cum barbari festis epulis, 
l(Bto cantu, aut truci sonore, subjecta vallium ac 
resultantes saltus, complerent. Apud Romanos, 
irvoalidi ignes, interrupted voces, atque ipsi passim 
adjac&i^ent vallo, oberrarent tentoriis, insomnes 
magis quam pervigiles, ducemque terruit dira 
guies. And what a spectre he then immediately 
calls up, in the style of Michael Angelo! 
Nam Quinti Hum Varum, sanguine oblitum, &pa- 
ludibus emersum, cernere & audire visus est, velut 


« €« 

The Cyropadia of Xetiophoti is vague and languid ; the 
Anabasis circumstantial and animated ;'* says the learned and 
ingenious Historian of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Em- 
pire, Vol. ii. p. 467. 


vocanfan, non tamen obsecutus, & manum inten- 
dentis rtpuWsse. 

A celebrated foreigner, the Count Algarotti, 
has passed the following censure on our poetry, 
as deficient in this respect : 

'^ La poesia dei populi settentrionali pare a me, 
che, generalmente parlando^ consrsta pii!i di pen- 
sieri^ che d' immagini^ si compiaccia delle rifles- 
sione equalmente che dei sentimenti : non sia 
cosi particolareggiata^ e pittoresca come e la nos- 
tra. Virgilio a cagione d'esempio rappresentando 
Didone quando esce all^ caccia fa una tal d^scri- 
zione del suo vestimento, che tutti i ritrattisti, 
leggendo quel passo, la vestirebbono a uu modo : 

Tandem progreditur, magna stipante cateira, 
Sidppiam picto chlamydem cireumdata limbo ; 
Cui ph^retra ex auro^ crines nodantur in auruni;; 
Aurea purpuream subi^ectit fibuli yestem. 

Non cosi il Miltono quando descrive la nuda 
bellezza di Eva : 

Ma Grace 


Grace was in all her steps, heay'n in her eyei 
In every gesture, dignity and love. 

Con quella parole generale, e astratte idee di 
grazia, cielo, amore, e maest^ non pare a lei che 
ognu o si formi in mente una Eva a posta sua ? 


It must, indeed, be granted, that this passage 
gives no distinct and particular idea of the per-* 
)5on of Eve ; but in hoV many others has Milton 
drawn \{\sjigures^ and expressed his images^ with 
ftiergy and distinctness ? 

IJnder a coronet his flowing hair 
In curls on either cheek played ; wings he wore 
Of many a coloured plume, sprinkled with gold| 
His habit fit for speed succinct, and held 
Before his Recent steps a silver wand.f 

Pire was the tossing, deep the groans ; despair 
Tended the sick, busiest from couch to couch ; 
^nd over them triumphant Death his dart 
^)iook, but delayM to strike.| 


* See his works. " Livorno. t. 8. 

t Par. Lost, b. iii. v^ 640, 

X p. xi. Y. 489. 


From his slack band the garland^ wreathed for Ev^, 
]>own droptj and all the faded roses shed ; 
Speechless he stood, and pale [* 

And Spenser, the master of Milton, so much 
abounds in portraits peculiarly marked, and 
strongly created, that it is difficult to know 
which to select from this copious magazine of 
the most lively painting. The same may be said 
of Shakespeare, whose little touches of na- 
ture it is no wonder Voltaire could not relish, 
who affords no example of this beauty in his 
HenriadCy and gives no proofs of a picturesque 
fancy^ in a work that abounds more in declama^ 
tion, in moral and political reflections, than in 
poetic images ; in which there is little character^ 
and less nature ; and in which the author himself 
appears throughout the piece^ and is hinistlf the 
hero of his poem, f 

I have dwelt the longer on this subject, be- 
cause I think I can perceive many symptoms, 

M 4 even 

* B. ix. V. 892. 

f As much as the author has ventured to censure the epic 
poem of Voltaire, yet he greatly admires many of liis trage« 


He feeds yon alms-house, neat, but Toid of state. 
Where Age and Want sit smiling at the gate : 
Him portioned maids, apprentic'd orphans blest. 
The young who labour, and the old who rest,**^ 

Tliese lines, which are eminently beautiful^ 
particularly one of the three last, containing a 
fine prosopopoeia, have conferred immortality on 
a plain, worthy, and useful citizen of Hereford- 
shire, Mr* John Kyrle, who spent his long life in 
advancing. and contriving plans of public utility. 
The Howard of his time ; who deserves to be 
celebrated more than all the heroes of Pixpar. 
The particular reason for which I quoted them, 
was to observe the pleasing effect that the use of 
common and familiar words and objects, judi* 
ciously managed, produce in poetry. Such as 
are here the words, causeway^ seats, spire, market- 
place, alms-house, apprentic'd. A fastidious deli- 
cacy, and a false refinement, in order to avoid 
meanness, have deterred our writers from the in- 
troduction of such words ; but Dryden often 
hazarded it, and gave by it a secret charm, and a 
natural air to his verses, well knowing of what 


* Ver.253. 


consequence it wais sometimes to soften and sub* 
due his tints, and not to paint and adorn every 
object he touched, with perpetual pomp, and un- 
remitted splendor. 

22. Sir Balaam now, he liyes like other folks. 

He takes his chirping pint, and cracks his jokes : 
" Live like yourself/' was soon my Lady's word ; 
And lo ! two puddings smokM upon the board.* 

This tale of Sir Balaam, his progress and 
change of manners, from being a plodding, so- 
ber, plain and punctual citizen, to his becoming 
a debauched and dissolute courtier and senator, 
abdupds in much knowledge of life, and many 
strokes of true humour, and will bear to be com* 
pared with the exquisite history of Eugenio and 
Corusodes, in one of Swift's Intelligencers. 

Lord Bathuest, Lord Lytteltojt, Spence, 
Haete, and other of his friends, have assured 
me, that among intimates, Pope had an admira- 
ble talent for telling a story. In great compa«- 
pies he avoided speaking much. And in his ex- 

* Ver, 357 • 


amination before the House of Liords, in Attek- 
burt's trials he faltered so much as to be hardly 

23. You show us, Rome was glorious, not profuse. 
And pompous buildings once were things of use : 
Yet shall (my Lord) your just, your noble rules. 
Fill half the land with imitating- fools.* 

Thus our author addresses the Earl of Bur- 
lington, who was then publishing the designs 
of Inigo Jones, and the Antiquities of Rome by 
Palladio. ^^ Never was protection and. great 
wealtht (says an able judge of the subject) more 
generously and judiciously diffused than by this 
great person, who had every quality of a genius 
and artist, except envy. Though his own de* 
signs were more chaste and classic than Kent% 
he entertained him in his house till his death, 
and was more studious to extend his friend's 
fame than his own. As we have few sainples of 
architecture more antique and imposing than the 
colonnade within the court of tiis house in Picca- 


* Epist. iv. Tcr, 23. 
t Mr. Walpole, p. 108. Anecdotes of Paintings vol. iv. 


ditly, I cannot help mentioning the effect it had 
on myself. I had not only never seen it, bat had 
never heard of it, at least with any attention, 
when, soon after my return from Italy, I was 
invited to a ball at Burlington-House. As I 
passed under the gate by night, it could not 
strike me. At day-break, looking out of the 
mrindow to see the sun rise, I was surprised with 
the vision of the colonnade that fronted me. It 
seemed one of those edifices in Fairy Tales, that 
are raised by genii in a night's time." Pope hav- 
ing appeared an excellent moralist in the fore* 
going epistles, in this appears to be as excellent 
a iatmoisseur^* and has given not only some of 
our ^rstf but our best, rules and observations on 
architecture and gardening, but particularly on 
the latter of these useful and entertaining arts, on 
which he has dwelt more largely, and with rather 
more knowledge of the subject. The following 
is copied verbatim from a little paper which he 


* Though he always thought highly of Addison's Letter 
fittfn Italy, yet he said the poet had spokea in terms too ge- 
neral of the finest buildings and paintings, and without much 
discrimination of taste. 

174 ESSAY ON THit G£M1U$ 

gave to Mr. Spei^ce,* " Arts arc takin from 
nature, and, after a thousand vaiu efforts for 
improvements, are best when they return to thchr 
first simplicity^ A sketch or analysis of the first 
principles of each art, with their first consequeiH 
ces, might be a thing of most excellent service* 
Thus, for instance, all the rules of architecturef 
might be reducible to three or four heads ; the 
justness of the openings, bearings upon beat' 
ings, the regularity of the pillars, &c. That 
which is not just in buildings^ is disagreeable to 
the eye, (as a greater upon a lesser, &c.) and 
this may be called the reasoning'Jl, of the eye. In 
laying out a garden, the first and chief thing to 


* w Who had both taste and zeal for the pfesent style/' 

says Mr. Walpole, p. 134. 

f Oar author was so delighted with Graerius, that he itew 

up a little Latin treatise on the chief buildings of Rome^ col- 
lected from this antiquarian. Mr. Gray had also an exquisite 
taste in architecture, joined to the knowledge of an accurate 
antiquarian. See the introduction to Bentham's History of 
Ely Cathedra], supposed to be drawn up by Gray, or under 
his eye. 

f To see all the beauties that a place was susceptible of» 
was to possess^ as Mr. Pitt expressed it, " T%e prophetic eye qf 


be doBsidered, is the genius of the place. Thus 
at Riskinsy noMr called Piercy Lodge, Lord * * ♦ 
should have raised two or three mounts, because 
liis situation is all a plain, and nothing can please 
without variety . " 

Mr. Walpole, in his elegant and entertaining 
History of Modem Gardenings has clearly proved 
that Kent was the artist to whom the £nglish na- 
tion was chiefly indebted for diffusing a taste in 
laying out grounds, of which the French and 
Italians have no idea. But he adds, much to the 

credit of our author, that Pope undoubtedly 


contributed to form Kent's taste. The design of 
the Prince of Wales's garden at Carleton House, 
was e^-idently borrowed from the Poet's at 
Twickenham. Tliere was a little affected mo- 
desty in the latter, when he said, of all his 
works, he "was most proud of his garden : and 
yet it was a singular effort of art and taste to 
impress so much variety and scenery on a spot of 
five acres. The passing through the gloom from 
the grotto to the opening day, the retiring and 
again assembling shades, the dusky groves, the 
larger lawn, and the solemnity of the termination 

8 at 


at tlie cypresses that lead up to his niother^s 
tomb, are managed with exquisite judgment; 
and though Lord Peterborough* assisted him 

To form his quincanx, and to rauk his vines^ 

those were not the most pleasing ingredients of 
his little perspective. I do not know whether 
the disposition of the garden at Rousham, laid 
out for General Dormer, and in my opinion the 
most engaging of all Kent's works, was not plan* 
ned on the model of Mr. Pope's, at least in the 


opening and retiring " shades of Venus's Vale.** 

It ought to be observed, that many years be- 
fore tliis epistle was written, and before Kent was 
employed as an improver of grounds, even so 
early as the year 1718, Pope seems to have been 
the very first person that censured 3nd ridiculed 


* I cannot forbear adding, in this place, the following 
anecdote from Pope to Mr. Spence, which I give in his own 
words : " Lord Peterborough, after a visit to' Fenelon, Arch* 
bishop of Cambray, said to me*— Fenelon is a man that was 
cast in a particular mould, that was never made use of for any 
body else. He's a delicious creature ! But I was forced to 
get from him as soon as I possibly could, or else he would have 
made me pious" 


the'formal French, Dutch, false and unnatural; 
mode in gardening, by a paper in the Guardian^ 
Number 173, levelled against capricious opera- 
tions of art, and every species of verdant sciilp^ 
ture, and inoerted nature ; which paper abounds 
with wit as well as taste^ and ends with a ridicu* 
lous catalogue of various figures cut in ever- 
greens. Neither do I think that these four lines 
in this epistle. 

Here Amphitrite sails thro' myrtle bow 'rs ; 
There gladiators fight, or die in flow'rs :. 
Un- watered see the drooping sea-horse mourn. 
And swallows roost in Nilus' dusty urn,* 

do at all excel the following passage in his Guar- 

• • • 

^ian : 

•* A citizen is no sooner proprietor of a couple 
of yews, but he entertains thoughts of erecting 
them i^to giants, like those of Guildhall I know 
an eminent Cook, who beautified his country- 
^^eat^ with a coronation dinner iu greens, where 
you see the champion flourishing on horseback at 

VOL. II. N one 

♦ Ver. 12J, 


pn^ end of the tabli;/ a&d Uie queeq in perpetual 
yoii.tli at the other/' 

$ut it was tl)^ vigorous and creative imagina*- 
lion, of MiLTpK, super^pr to the prejudices of 
l)is tfrne^* tha^. ^hibite^ io his £p£N| the first 
hints apd ouUinps of what a beautiful garden 
s)m>u14 be; for even his beloved Ariosto and 
Tasso, in their luxuriant pictures of the gardens 
of Alcina and Armjda, shewed they were not 
free from the unnatural and narrow taste of their 
countrymen ; and even his master, Sp£ns£E, 
has an artificial /ount^ip^ i^ the niidst of his bawre 
of bliss. 

I cannot forbear taking occasion to remark iv 
this place, that, in the sacred d^^ama, intitled, 
HAdamOy wjritten and published ati Milan,, in the 
year l6ir» by GiQ. Battjsta. Anbbeini, a 
Florentine^ which Milton certainly bad reai^ 
(and of which Vloltaire, has given sje> false and: so 
imp^eet an account^ in lus Es^ay. on the Epic 

^ How astonishing, that his spirit could not be diminished 
or crushed by poverty, danger, blindness, disgrace, solitude, 
and old age ! 

Poets^) the prints that Art to reprtserit Patddtse 
are full of dipt hiedg^s; square parterres, strait 
valks; ttcbs unHbmily topt, regular knots and 
carpets^ 4f ffoireni, grdVes Abdding at groves, 
marble fountains, and water-works, Aiid yet 
these prints were designed by Carlo Antonio 
Proccachini, a cdcbrated landscape painter of 
his time, and of the school of the Carr aches : 
many of those works are still admirckl at Milan. 
To every sceiie of this drama is prefixed a print 
of this artist's designing. And, as the book Is 
very curious arid unc^ommdn, I intend to giVe a 
specimen and analysis of it in the Appendix to 
this volume. 

It hence appears, that this enchantiing art of 
modern gardening, in which this kingdom claifhs 
a preference* over every nation itt Europi^v chiefly 
owes its origin and its improvements to two great 
poets, Milton and Poje. May I be sufl^red to 
add, in behalf of a favourite author, and who 

N 2 would 

* In Castell's Villas of the Adcients Illustrated^ foliot 
London, 1728, may be seen how much the celebrated Tuscaa 
villa resembled our gardens, as they were planned a few years 
ago. Pliny's Tilla was like hisj((^ftiui* 


would have been a first-rate poet, if his style had^ 
been equal to his coDceptions, that the Seasons . 
of Thomson have been very instrumei^tal in dif- 
fusiqg a general* taste for the beauties of nature * 
and landscape? 

24. To builds to plants whatever you intend. 

To rear the column^ or the arch to bend, 
• To swell the terrace, or to sink the grot ; 

In all, let Nature never be forgot : 

But treat the Goddess like a modest fair ; 

Nor over-dress, nor leave her wholly bare ; 

Let not each beauty ev'ry where be spy^d. 

When half the skill is decently to hide. 

He gains all points who pleasingly confounds. 

Surprises, varies, and conceals the .bound8.t 

The best comments that have ever been given on 
thesd sensible and striking precepts, are, Pains'- 
hilly Hagley, the LeasoweSy Persefieldy Wobumy 
Stourhead^ and Blenheim; all of them exquisite* 
scenes in different styles, and fine examples of^ 
practical poetry, ^ 

^ • . • r 

25. Consnlt 

* It Is only within a few years that the picturesque scenes 
of our own' country, our lakes; hiountains/ cascades, caverns, 
and castles, have beeb visited and de8cnt)ed. 


t Ver.:47. -:,. 


^5. Consult the Genius'*^ of the place in all. 
That tells the waters, or to rise or fall ; 
Or helps th' ambitious hill the heav'ns to scale^ 
Or ju:oops in circling theatres the Tale ; 
Calls in the country, catches opening glades. 
Joins willing woods, and Taries shades from shades. 
No.w breaks or now directs th' intending lines. 
Paints as you plant, and as you work designs.f 

Would it not give life and vigour to this noble 
prosopopceia^ if we were to venture to alter only 
one word^ and read^ in the second line, 

He tells the waters- 

N 3 instead 

^ Dr. Warburton's discoveries of some latent beauties in 
this passage, seem to be fenciful and groundless, and never 
thought of by the author. '* First, the Genius of the place 
(says this commentator) t^lls the waters, or simply gives direc- 
tions : then, he helps th' ambitious, hill, or is a fellow-labourec: 
then again, he scoops the circling theatre, or works alone, and 
in chirf. Afterwards, rising fast in our idea of dignity, he 
calls in the country, alluding to the orders of princes in their 
progress, when accustomed to display all their state and -mag* 
nificence : his character then grows sacred, he joins willing 
woods, a metaphor taken from one of the offices of the priest- 
hood ; till, at length, he becomes a divinity, and creates and 
presides Dver the whole. 

Now breaks, or now directs &c. 

tt" Ver.57. 


182 JMAr OM TUB 6£lflVS 

instead of 

'Plot tells— ? 

Our author is never happier than in his a11u«> 
jsions to painting, an art he so much admired Stnd 
understood. So below, at verse SI, 

The wood supports the plain^ the parts unite, 

And strength of shade contends wit)^ strength of light* 

Indeed, the two arts in question differ only in 
the materials which they employ. And it is 
neither exaggeration, or affectation, to call Mr. 
3bo WN a great painter ; for he has realized 

Whatever Lokrain light-touch*d with soilening hue> 
Or savage Rosa dash'd, or learned PoussiN drew»^ 

C5. Still follow sense, of ev'ry art the soul ; 

Parts answering parts> shall slide into a whole ( 
Spontaneous beauties all around advapce. 
Start ev'U from difficulty, strike from chance ; 
Nature shall join you ; Time shall make it grow 
A work to wonder afc — ^perhaps a STOw.t 

I must 

* Castle of {ndoleAC^i 8t» 38» t Ver. 65. 


I must confess (says the Earl of Peterborough, 
Letter 34, vol viiL) that, in going to Lord 
Gobham's^ I was not led by curiosity ; I went 
thither to iee what I had seeii, and what I was 
sure to like. I had the idea of thos^e gardens so 
fixed in my imagination by many descriptions, 
that nothing' surprised me ; irimiensity and Van- 
brugh appear in the whole, and in every part 
Your joining in your letter animal and vegetable 
beauty, makes Ine use this expression : *' t con- 
fess the stately Sacharissa at Stow, but am con- 
tent with my little Amoret/' (meaning Bevis 
Mount, near Southampton.) tt is plain, there- 
fore, that Lord P. was not pleased with these 
gardens ; but they have, since his time, received 
many capital alterations and additions ; of which 
the ingenious author of Observations on Modem 
Gafdenmg has given an accurate account, and a 
minute analysis, in page 313 of his entertaining 
work ; and he concludes his description in the 
following words : ^^ Magnificence and splendor are 
Che characteristics of Sto^t^ ; it is like one of tliose 
places celebrated in antiquity, which w^re devrfb- 
cd to the purposes of religion, and filled with 
sacred groves, hallowed fountains, and temples 

N 4 dedicated 


dedicated to several deities ; the resort of distant 
nations, and the object of veneration to half the 
heathen world : this pomp is, at Stow, blended 
with beauty ; and the place is equally distinguish* 
ed by its amenity and grandeur." 

27. And Nero's terraces desert their walls,* 

This line is obscure ; it is difficult to know what 
is meant by the terraces deserting their walls. In 
line 171, below, is another obscurity ;— " his 
Jhard heart denies :'*— it does not immediately oc- 
cur whose heart, the word is so far separated from 
the person intended. 

28. Ev'n in an ornament its place remark^ 
^ Nor in an hermitage set Dr. CLA.BKE.f 


V These lines are as ill-placed, and as injudicious 
as the busto which they were designed to cen- 
sure. Pope caught an aversion to this excellent 
man from Bo LI KGB ROKE, who hated Clarke, 
not only because he had written a book which 
this declamatory philosopher could not confute, 


♦ Ver. 72. . f Ver. 77. . 


but because he was a favourite of Queen Caro* 
UNE. In our author^s manuscripts were two 
other lines upon this writer : 

• ■ - ■ ■ 

Let Clarke live half his days the poor's support. 
But let him pass the other half at Court. 

His Attributes^ and his Sermons^ will be read and 
admiried by all lovers of good reasoning, as long 
as this Epistle by all lovers of good poetry. 

' 29. At Timon's villa let us pass a day. 

Where all cry out, *' What sums are thrown away!*** 

The whole gang of malignant and dirty scrib- 
blers, wlio envied the jsuccess and superior merit 
of Pope, was in arms at this description, which 
they applied to the Duke of Chandos, and his 
house at Canons. Welsted published in folio, a 
most abusive libel, entitled, Of Dulntss and Scanr 
dalj occasioned by the Character of Lord Ttnam^ 
&c. And Lady Wortley Montague joined in the 
accusation, in her Verses addressed to the InUUif^ 


♦ Ver. d^. 

186 2S8AY ON TH£ GEN1U5 

tor of Horace.^ The Duke, though at first 
alarmed^ was, it is said, aftenrards convinced of 
our author's innocence* I have thought it not 
improper to insert at length the foUoAving letter, 
as it contains the most direct and positive denial 
of this fact ; as it was written at the very time 
to a private friend, and expressed all Pop£'8 feel< 
ings pn the subject ; and as it is not to be found 
in this edition of his works. It is addressed to 
Aaron Hill, Esq. an affected and fustian writer^f 


* These are the lines. Page 5, folio. London, for A. Dodd. 

But if Uion see'st a great and generous heart. 
Thy bow is doubly bent to force a dart. 
Nor only justice yainly we demand. 
But eTen benefits can't rein thy hand; 
To this, or that, alike in vain we trust. 
Nor find thee less ungrateful than unjust. 

f See his Athelwood ; and his translation of that finit play 
Merope, which I have frequently reproached Mr. Garrick for 
acting : his Poem on Acting : his Foem in Praise of Blank 
Vene^ which begins thus; and which one would think was 
burlesque : 

Up, firom Rhyme's poppied vale ! and ride the storm 
That thunders in blank verse ! 

I Set 

AND WllITiKG€ Of FOP«« 147 

but who, by some fineaos or other, gained our 
autiior'« confidence and friendship. 

Tiviokeo^am^ Dec. 1I2> ITS I. 

'* Dear Sie, 

" I THANK you for your tragedy Athelwood^ 
which I have read over a shth time, and of 
which I not only preserve, but increase, my es- 
teem. You have been kind to this age, in not 
telling the next, in your preface, the ill taste of 
the town ; of which the reception you describe 


See his works throughout^ in 4 vols, octavo ; from which 
the Treatise on the Bathos might have been much eariched 
mii^ ja^ny truly ridiculous ex^tgples, vi^ 

Borne hl^ck-sonPd fiends some fiiry ris^tt from hell, 
lias darken'^ ^U discernment . Merope. 

M ' j ' >) ' "I " ■ Thro* night's eye 

S^w the pale murderer stalk • Ibid. 

Spv»^ i^int'9 offcious r^a^rh hud toqchM her ear. 

One is surprised that such a writer could be an intimate 
friend of Bolingbrol^e, Pope, and Thomson. He had> how^ 
ever, the merit of being one of the very 6rst persons who tool^ 
notice of Thomson^ on the publication of Winter, on which 
he wmte a complimentary copy of verses. See a letter of 
Th^msoB^s to Hilly dated Goodman's Coffee*house, 1726* 

166 ^<AY ON Ta£ GENIUS -. 

it to have given of your play— worse, iiideed, .' 
than I had heard, or could have imagined — is a 
more flagrant instance than any of those trifles 
mentioned in my Epistle ; which yet, I hear, the 
sore vanity of our pretenders to taste flinches at 
extremely. The title you mention had been 
properer to that Epistle. I have heard no criti- 
cisms about it, nor do I listen after them. Nos 
hsec novimus esse nihil. (I mean, I think the 
verses to be so :) But as you are a man of tender 
isendments of honour, I know it will grieve you 
to hear another undeservedly charged with a 
crime his heart is free from ; for, if there is truth 
in the world, I declare to you, I never imagined 
the least application of what I said of Timon* 
could be made to the D — of Ch s, than whom 
there ii^ scarce a more blameless, worthy, and gene- 
rous, beneficent character, among all our nobi- 
lity : And if I have not lost my senses, the town 
has lost 'em, by what I heard so late as but two 
days ago, of the uproar on this head. I am cer^ 
tain^ if you calmly read every particular of that 
description, you'll find almost all of *em point- 
blank the reverse of that person's villa. It's an 
awkward thing for a man to print, in defence of 



his own work, against a chimsera : you know not 
who, or what, you fight against ; the objections 
start up in a new shape, like the armies and 
phantoms of magicians, and no weapon can cut 
a mfst or a shadow. Yet it would have been a 
pleasure to me, to have found some friend saying 
a word in my justification, against a malicious 
falsehood. I speak of such as have known, by 
their own experience, these twenty years, that L 
always took up tiieir defence, when any stream 
of cahimhy ran upon them. If it gives the Duke 
one moment's uneasiness, I should think myself 
ill paid, if the whole earth admir'd the poetry ; 
and, believe me, would rather never have written 
a v^rse in my life, than any one of 'em should 
trouble a truly good man. It was once my case 
before, but happily reconciled ; and, among ge- 
nerous minds, nothing so endears friends, as the 
having offended one another. I lament the ma* 
lice of the age, that studies to see its own like- 
ness in every thing ; I lament the dulness of it, 
that cannot see an excellence. The first is my 
nnhappiness, the second yours. I look upon 
the fate of your piece, like that of a great trea- 
sure, which is bury'd as soon as brought to 



light ; but it is sure to be dog op the next age, 
auod enrich posterity." 

$0« His study ! with What authors is it stor'd ? 
In books^ not authors, curious is my Lord : 
To all their dated backs he turns you round ; 
These Aldus printed, these Du Soeil has boqtid t 
Lo I some are vellumj and the rest as good. 
For all his Lordship knows ; but they are wood.* 

There is a flatness and insipidity in the last* 
couplet, much below the usual manner of our 
author* Young has been more sprightly and 
poignant on the same subject 

With what, O, Codrus ! is thy fancy smit ? 
The flower of learning, and the bloom of Wit. 
Thy gaudy Selves with crimton bindings g)QW« 
And Epictetus is a perfect beau ; 
How fit for thee ! bound up in eriitoson too. 
Gilt;, and like them devoted to the view. 
Thy books we furniture. Methinks'tis hard 
That Science should be purchasM by the yard ; 
And ToNsoN, tumM upholtiterer, s^nd home 
The gilded leather to fit up thy room.f 

31. Where 

* Ver. 133. 
f Universal Passion, Sat 2. 


51. Where sprawl * the Saints of Verrio and LAGUERRB*f 

One single verb has marked with felicity and 
force/ the distorted attitudes^ the mdecent sub* 
jects, the want of nature and grace, so visible 
in the pieces of these two artists, employed to 
adorn :{: our royal palaces and chapels. ** I can- 
not help thinking, (says Pope to Mr. Allen, in 
l-etter 89, voL ix.) and I know you will join 
with me, who have been making an altar-piec^ 
that . the zeal of the first reformers was ill-placed, 
in removing pictures (that is to say, examplesy 
out of churches ;§ and yet suffering epitaphs 


* He is. not so Jiappy in .the use of another verb below^ at 
▼erse 153. 

The rich buffet .weH-colour*d. serpents grttec, 

f Ver. 14^. 

X Strange as it may seem, yet I believe we may Teatnre ta 
assert, that there is not a painted ceiling, or stair-case, in this 
kingdom, that we should not be ashamed to shew to an intelli- 
gent foreigner. 

§ The chapet of New College, in Oxibrd, will soon receive 
a singular and invaluable ornament; a window; the glass of 
which is stained by Mr. Jervis, from that ex()uisite picture of 
the Nativity by Sir Joshua ^Reynolds. 


(that is to say, flatteries and false history) to be 
a burthen to church-walls, and the shame as well 
as derision of all honest men." Thijs is the sen- 
timent) it may be said, of a papistical poet; and 
yet I cannot forbear thinking it is founded on 
good sense, and religion well understood. Not- 
withstanding the. illiberal and ill-grounded rage 
which has lately been excited against Popery, 
j'et I hope we may still, one day, see our places 
of worship beautified with proper ornaments, and 
the generosity and talents of our living artists 
perpetuated on the naked walls of St Paul's, 

32- To rest the cushion and soft Dean invite. 
Who never mentions hell to ears polite,* 

This, it «eems, was a fact concerning a certain 
smooth, and supple, and inoffensive Divine, one, 
we may imagine, that held the doctrines which 
Dr, Young so agreeably laughs at in his sixth 

" Shall pleasures of a short duration chain 
A Lady's soul in everlasting pain ? 
Wjll the great Author us poor worms destroy. 
For now and then a sip of transient joy ?^ 

* ■ 




Kb, He's for ever in a smiling mood ; 

He's like themselves ; or how could he be good ? 

And they blaspheme, who blacker schemes suppose. 

Devoutly thus^ Jehovah they depose. 

The pure, the just ! and set up^ in hi^ steady 

A deity, that's perfectly well-hred ! 

S3, Yet hence the poor are cloath'd, the hungry fed $ 
Health to himself, and to his infants bread. 
The lab'rer bears,*— 

^ 1 

A fine turned and moral reflection, which illus- 
trates the doctrines of his Essay, in the second 
epistle, when he says, at line 237» 

Each individual seeks a several goal ; 

But Heav'n's great view is One, and that the whole; 

That counterworks each folly and caprice ; 

That disappoints th' effect of ev'ry vice ; 

That Virtue's end from vanity can raise. 

Which seeks no interest ; no reward, but praise ; 

And builds on wants, and on defects of mind, 

The joy, the peace, the glory of mankinds 

That Providence should extract good from 
evil, and alter its natural bias and malignity, is 
a doctrine widely different from the loose and 
flagitious principles of Mandeville, who has 

VOL. II. O endeavoured 

f Ver. l<5ft, ' 


endeavoured to prove, tbat prvoate vices are public 

34. You, too, proceed ! make falling arts your care; 
Erect new wonders, and the old repair : 
Jones and Palladio to themseWes restore. 
And be whatever Yitravios was before.* 

This is not fulsome adulation, but only such 
honest praise as the noble Lord whom he address- 
ed strictly deserved ; who inherited all that love 
of science, and useful knowledge, for which his 
family has been so famous. The name of BotLt 
is, indeed, auspicious to literature. That sub- 
lime genius, and good man, Bishop Beekeley, 
owed his preferment chiefly to this accomplished 
peer ; for it was he that recommended him to the 
Duke of Grafton, in the year 1721» who took 
him over with him to Ireland when he was Lord 
Lieutenant, and promoted him to the deanery of 
Derry in the year 1724.f Berkeley gained the 


♦ Ver. 191. 

t Atteebuey was desirous of seeing Berkeley; to whom hm 
was iatrodnced by the Earl of Berkeley. After he had left the 
rooin> '' yfhnX does yoor Lordship think of my cousin I (said 



patronage and friendship of ]U)rd Burlington, 
not only by his true politeness, and the peculiar 
charms of his conversation, which was exquisite, 
but by his profound and perfect skill in architecf 
ture ; an art which he had v^ry particularly and 
accurately studied in Italy, when he went and 
continued abroad four years* with Mr. Ashe, 
»on of the Bishop of Clogher. With an insati- 

O 2 able 

the Earl ;) does he answer your Lordship's expectations }" The 
Bishops lifting up his hands in astonishment, replied, ^' So 
much understanding, 90 much knowledge, so much innocence, 
and so much humility, I did not think had been the portion of 
any but angels, till I saw this g^ntleman/'-<-<--J)uncombe'9 

* In this journey he paid a visit to Father Malebranche, 
The conversation turned on our author's celebrated system of 
the non-existence of matter. Malebranche, who h^d zn inflam* 
mation in his lungs, and whom he found preparing a medicine 
in his cell, and cooking it in a smaH pipkin, for his disorder, 
exerted hit voice and lungs so viol.Q^t1y in lihe h^t of their di^ 
pute, that he increased his disorder, which carried him off a 
few days after. See Biogr. Britannica, vol. ii. p. 251, as it i§ 
highly improved by the candid and learned Dr. Kippis. Many 
a vulgar critic hath sneered at the Si&is of Berkeley, for begin* 
ning with Tar, and ending with the Trimty; incapable of ob* 
serving the great art with which the transitions in that book 
are finely made, where each paragraph depends on, and arises 
out of, the preceding, and gradually and imperceptibly leads 00 
the reader from conmion objects to more remotej from matter tp 
•pirivfrom earth to heaven* 


able and philosophic attention, Berkeley surveyed 
and examined every object of curiosity. He not 
only made the usual tour, but went over Apulia 
and Calabria, and even travelled on foot through 
Sicily^ and drew up an account of that very clas- 
sical ground, which was lost in a voyage to 
Naples, and cannot be sufficiently regretted. 
His generous project for erecting an University 
at Bermudas, the effort of a mind truly active, 
benevolent, and patriotic, is sufficiently known. 

35. Bid harbours open, public ways extend^ 
Bid temples worthier of the God ascend; 
Bid the broad arch the dangerous flood contain^ 
The mole projected break the roaring main ; 
Back to his bounds their subject sea command. 
And roll obedient rivers through the land.''^ 

No country has been enriched and adorned, 
within a period of thirty or forty years, with so 
many works of public spirit as Great Britain has 
been ; witness our many extensive roads ; our in- 
land navigations, (some of which excel the boast- 
ed canal of Langucdoc ;) the lighting, and the 
paving, and beautifying our cities ; and our va- 

* Ver. 197. 


nam and magnificent edifices. A general good 
taste has been diffused in planting, gardening, 
and building. The ruins of Palmyra, the an- 
tiquities of Athens and Spalatro^ and the Ionian 
antiquities, by Wood, Stuart, Adam, and 
Chandler, are such magnificent monuments of 
learned curiosity as no country in Europe can 
equal. Let it be remembered, that these fine lines 
of Pope were written when we had no Wyatt or 
Brown, Brindlet or Reynolds; i)o Westmin- 
ster Bridge, no Pantheon, no Royal Academy, 
no King that is at once a judge and a patron of 
all those fine arts, which ought to be employed 
in raising and beautifying a palace equal to bis 
dignity and his taste. 

S6. See the wild waste of aU-devouring years. 
How Rome her own sad sepulchre appears^ 

This is the opening of the epistle to Mr. Addi- 
son,* upon his treatise on medals, written in that 

O S pleasing 

* FicoRiNx, the celebrated virtuoso, said to Mr. Speuce, at 
Florence, " Addison did not go any great depth in the study 
of medals ; all the knowledge he had of that kind, I believe 
he received of me ; and I did not give him ^bove twepty les- 
sxfua on that subject/' 


pleasing form of composition so unsu<:ce8sfttUy 
attempted by many modem authors^ Dialogue. 
In no one species of writing have the ancients so 
indisputable a superiority over us. The dialogues 
6f Plato and Cicero, especially the former^ are 
perfect dramas; where the characters are sap^ 
ported with consistency and nature, and the resb^ 
Boning suited to the characters. 

** There are in English three dialogues, and 
but three/* (says a learned and ingenious author,* 
who has himself practised this way of writing 
with success,) that deserve commendation ; name^ 
ly^ the Mtnulista of Lord SHAFtssBURT ; Mn 
Addison's Treatise on Medals ; and the Minute 
Philosopher of Bishop Berkeley.'' Alciphroit 
did, indeed, well deserve to be mentioned on this 
occasion ; notwithstanding it has been treated 
with contempt by writers much inferior to Berke* 
LEY in genius, learning, and taste, f Omitting 


♦ Dr. Hurd, in Moral and Political Dialogues, Preface, 

p. 14. 

t But Sherlock thought highly of Alciphhon, and present^ 
td it to Queen CafoKne with many eucomiums ; who tised to 



those passages m the fourth dialoguei where he 
has mtroduced his fanciful and whimsical opinions 
about vision, an atteotive reader will find that 
there is scarce a single argument that can be 
ttrged in defence of Revelation, but what is here 
placed in the cleanest light, and in the most beau-^ 
tiful diction : in this work there is a happy union 
pf reasoning and imagination. The two different 
characters of the two different sorts of fre^ 
thinkers, the sensual and the refined, are strongly 
contrasted with each other, and with the plain** 
ness and simplicity of E^uphrawr. 

These Dialogues of Addison* 9xt written with 
that meetmss and purity of s^yle, which con-- 

O 4 stitute 

be delighted with th& conversation of Berkeley. Lord Bathurst 
told me, that the members of the Scriblems Club, being met 
at hia bouse at dinaer, they agreed tp rally Berkeley, who was 
Slao his guest, on his scheme at Bermudas. Berkeley having 
listened to the many lively things they had to say, begged to 
l^e heard in his turn ; and displayed his plan with such an asto- 
nishing and animating force of eloquence and enthusiasm, 
that they were struck dumb, and, after some pause, rose u{> 
sdl together with earnestness, exclaimijig» ^' Let us set out 
with him immediately .'' 

''^ It is observable bow anuHi he improved after he wrote his 
Ti-oiKls. In Swift's Piefacc<to Sir W« Temple's Works, a»d 



fiOO 2SSAV OK ttlE CtVflVi 

stitute hijn one of the first of our prose<-writenl. 
The Pleasures of Imagination, the Essay on the 
GeorgicSi and his last papers in the Spectator and 
Guardian, are models of language. And sotse 
late writers, who seem to have mistaken "^^(j^)ies« 
for strengthy and are grown popular by a pom* 
pous rotundity of phrase, make one wish that tie 
rising generation may abandon this unnatural, 
false, inflated, and florid style, and form them- 
selves on the chapter model of Addison. The 
chief imperfection of his Treatise on Medals, is, 
that the persons introduQjsd as speakers, in direct 
contradiction to the practice of the ancients, are 
fictitious^ not real: for Cynthio,* Philanper, 
Pal^mok, Eugenic, and Theocles, cannot 
equally excite and engage the attention of the 
reader with Socrates and Alcibiades, Atti* 
cus and Bhutus, Cowley and Spratt, May- 
NARD and Somers. It is somewhat singular, 


in his translations from the French, &c. in that book^ there 
are many inaccurate^ and almost nngrammatical^ expressions : 
these were the very first publications of Swift. 

* How ill the forms^ and ceremonies, and compliments of 
modern good-breeding, would bear to^be exactly represented, 
«e€ Characteriitics, vol. i. p. 209. 


that 80 many modern dialogue-writers should 
have failed in this particular, when so many of 
the most celebrated wits of modern Italy had 
given them eminent examples of the contrary 
proceeding, and, closely following the steps of 
the ancients, constantly introduced living and 
real persons in their numerous compositions of 
this sort, in which they were so fond of deliver- 
ing their sentiments both on moral and critical 
subjects ; witness the // Cortegiano of B. Ca«- 
TiGLioKE, the Asolani of P. Bembo, Dialoghi 
del S. Sperone, the JVtfe/^mw of Fracasto* 
Rius, and Lil. Gyraldus de PoetiSj and many 
others : in all which pieces, the famous and liv- 
ing geniuses of Italy are introduced discussing 
the several different topics before them. 

37. Huge theatres, that now unpeopled wood^* 

is not so poetical as what Addison saysof an am- 

That on its public shews unpeopled Rome, 
And held, uncrawHed, nations in its womb.f 


* Ver. t. f Letter from Italy* 


Bat the b^inning of the nineteenth line is 
eminently beautiful ; 

Ambition sighM 

^8. And scarce are seen the prostraU Nilb or RawE ^ 
A small EuPHEATBs thro' the piece is rolled. 
And little eagles ware their wings in gold.f 

The two first-mentioned rioen having been pcr^, 
tMified^ the Euphrates should not hare been 
^ken of as a mere rhoer. The circumstance in 
tile last line is puerile and little> 

39. To gain Pescennios one employs his schemes^ 
One graqps a Cecrops in ecstatic dreams.]: 

How his eyes languish ! how his thoughts adore 

That painted coat which Joseph never wore ! 

He shews, on hoUdays, a sacred pin. 

That toucht the ruff that toucht Queen Bess's chin.§ 

A gr^t 

* Such short personifications hare a great effect : Silence wov 
pleas' d, says Milton; which personification is taken, though it 
happens not to be observed by any of his commentators, from 
the Hero and Leander of Musams, v. 280. 


t Ver.'28. } Ver. 39. § Young, Satire iv. 


A great deal of wit has beea wasted on 4mtijmh 
rians, whose studies are not only pleasing to thcf 
imagination^ but attended with many advantages 
to society, especially since they have been im** 
proved, as they lately have been, in elncidating 
the most important part of all history, the Hutmrf 
cf Manners^ 

40. Ok wbeti shall Britaii^ conscipus of faer claiipy 
Stand emulous of Greek and Roman fame ? 
In living m^als see her wai^ enfoll'd^ 
And vaaqnishM reistkaft supply veconiitig fgoXtfi 

Add ISO K| in the ninety^ixth paper of the 
€^ua^diatl9 has given us a proposal, here alluded 
to, which he drew up and deli\'ered to tJie Lord 
Treasurer. Hie paper ends thus: ^^Itispnn 
posed, L That the English farthings and half- 
pence be recoined upon tlie nnioft of the t^^ro 
nations. 2. That they bear devices and inscrip* 
tions alluding to all the most remarkable parts of 
her Majesty^s rdgn. 3. That there be a society 
established for the finding out of proper subjects, 
inscriptions, and devices. 4. That no subject, 
inscription, or device, be stamped without the 


♦ Ver. 55. 


approbation of this society, nor, if it be thought 
proper, without the authority of the privy-coiinciL 
By this means, medab, that are at present only a 
dead treasury or mere curiosities, will be of use 
m the ordinaiy commerce of life, and, at the 
same time, perpetuate the glories of her Majesty's 
reign, reward the labours of her greatest subjects, 
keep alive in the people a gratitude for public 
services, and excite the emulation of posterity. 
To these generous purposes nothing can so much 
contribute as medals of this kind, which are of 
undoubted authority, of necessary use and ob- 
servation; not perishable by time, norcon6ned 
to aoy certain place ; properties not to be found 
in books, statues, pictures, buildings, or any 
other monuments of illustrious actions. ** 

41. Then shall thy Craggs (and let me call him mine) 
On the cast ore another Pollio shine.** 

TicKEiL,t in his preface to the Works of Ad- 
dison, concludes a copy of highly elegant, po- 

' * Ver. 63. 

t In the few things that Tickell wrote, there appear to 
\^ he a peculiar terseness and neatness. 


lished and pathetic verses, addressed to the Earl 
of Warwick, with the following fine lines : 

These works divine^ which^ on his death -bed laid« 
To thee, O, Craggs, th* expiring sage convey'dj, 
Great, but iIl-omenM monuraent of fame. 
Nor he survivM to give, nor thou to claioK 
Swift after him thy social spirk flies. 
And close to his, how soon ! thy coffin lies. 
Blest pair ! whose union future bards shall tell. 
In future tongues ; each other's boast,**^ farewell ! 
Farewell ! whom join'd in fame, in friendship try'cl«, 
No chance could sever, por the grave divide. 

42* Statesman, yet friend to truth ! of soul sincere. 
In action faithful, and in honour clear ; 
Who broke no promise, servM no private end^ 
Who gainM no title, and who lost no friend ; 
Ennobled by himself, by all approvM, 
And praisM, unenvyM, by the muso he lov'd.f 


^ Addison's Works (says Atterbury, Letter z. v. 8.) icame 
' to my hands yesterday, Oct. 15, 1721. I cannot but think it 
a very odd set of incidents, that the book should be dedicated 
by a dead man to a dead man, (Mr. Craggs ;) and even that 
the new patron, (Lord Warwick,) to whom Tickell chose to 
inscribe his verses, should be dead also before they were pub* 
lished. Had I been in the Editor's place, I should have been 
a little apprehensive for myself, under a thought that every 
one who had any hand in that work, was to die before the 
. publication of it« 

t Ver. 67, 


These nervous and finished lines were after* 
wards inscribed as an epitaph on this worthy 
man's monument in Westminster Abbey^ with the 
alteration of two words in the last verse ; which 
there stands thus : 

Prais'd> wept, and honour^dj by the Muse he lov*d. 

It was CaAGGS, who^ in the most friendly and 
alluring manner, offered our author a pension of 
three hundred pounds per annum ; which^ if he 
had accepted, we should have been deprived of 
his best satires. Poets have a high spirit of liberty 
and independence : They neither seek or expect 
rewards. MfiCiENASES do nof create geniuses. Nei^ 
therSp£NS£R or Milton, or Dante or Tasso, 
or CoRNEiLLE,* wcrc patronised by the govern- 
ments under which they lived. And Horace, 
and Virgil, and Boileau, were formed before 
they had an opportunity of flattering Augustus 
and Lem'^is XIV. 


* 11 n' aimoii peuit le Cour, (says Ponten^lle^ speaking of 
his uncle Corneille,) il y apportoit un visage presqu' inconnu^ 
un grand nom qui ne s' attiroit que des louaoges^ & un merite 
qui xk* etoit point le merite de ce pays-l&. Tonu iii. p. 126. 


Though PoP£ enlisted under the banner of 
BoLiXGBROKE, in what was called the country 
party, and in violent opposition to the measures 
of Walpole, yet his clear and good sense enabled 
him to see the follies and virulence of all parties ; 
and it was his favourite maxim, that, however 
factious men thought proper to distinguish them- 
selves by namesj yet, when they got into power, 

they all acted much in the same manner ; saying^^ 


I know how like Whig ministers to Toryi 

And among his manuscripts were four very sen- 
sible, though not very poetical, lines, which con« 
tain the most solid apology that can be made for 
a minister of this country : 

Oar mtnisters like glaHaiern live ; 
^is half their business blows to ward, or give; 
The good their virtue would effect^ or sense. 
Dies between exigenis and seff-dtfence. 

Yet he appears sometimes to have forgotten this 
candid reflection. 






1* Shut, shut the door, good John> (fatigaM> I said ;) 
• Tie up the knocker; say I'm sick^ Pm dead 1 
The dog-star rages ! nay, 'tis past a doubt. 
All Bedlam or Parnassus is let out: 
Fire in each eye, and papers in each hand. 
They rave, recite, and madden round the land.* 

This abrupt exordium is animated and drama- 
tic. Our poet, wearied with the impertinence 
and slander of a multitude of mean scribblers 
that attacked him, suddenly breaks out with 
this spirited complaint of the ill usage he had 
sustained. This piece was published f in the 


* Ver. 1. 

t With this motto, since omitted: Neque sermonibus Vulgi 
dederis te, nee in premiis humanis spem posueris rerum tua- 
rum : suis te oportet illecebris ipsa Virtus trahat ad verum decus. 
Quid de te alii loquantur, ipsi videant sed loquentur tamen» 


aWd ^VHitikgs Of i^op'e. 209 

year 1734, in the form of an epistle to Dr- Au 
buthnot ; it is now given as a Dialogue^ in whicb 
a very small share indeed is allotted to his friendJ' 
ArbtUhnot was a man of consummate probity,.* 
integrity, and sweetness of temper : he had in- 
finitely more learning than Popb* or Swift, and 
as much wit and humour as either of them. - He 
was an excellent mathematician and physician, 
of which his ktter on the usefulness of mathe« 
matical learning, and his treatise on air and ali- 
tnent, are sufficient proofs. His tables of an* 
cient coins, weights, and measures,t are the 
work of a man intimately acquainted with an- 
cieiit history and literature, and are enlivened 
with many curious and interesting particulars of 
the manners and ways of living of the ancients. 
The History of John Bull, the best parts of the 
Memoirs of Scriblerus, the Art of Political Lying, 
VOL. II. P the 


^ Svrih said^ " he was a man that could do every thing but 
-walk.'' His chearfulness was remarkable : " As for your hum* 
ble servant, with a great stone in Ms kidneys, and a family of 
men and women to provide for> he is as chearful as ever in 
public affairs." Letters^ vol. xx. p. 206. 

'\ ^ Oh> (says Swift) if the world had but a dozen of Arbuth- 
nots in it« I would burn my Travels /'' Letters, vol. ix. p. 50. 


the Freeholders* Catechism^ It cannot rain but it 
pours^ &c. abound in strokes of the most ex- 
qnisite humour. It is known that be gave nunw 
berless hints to Swift, and Pope, and Gay, of 
some of the most striking parts of their works. 
He was so neglectful of his writings, that his 
children tore his manuscripts, and made paper- 
kites of them. Few letters in the English lan- 
guage are so interesting, and contain such marks 
of Christian resignation * and calmness of mind^ 
as one thajt he wrote to Swift a little before his 
death, and is inserted in the 3d yoL of Letters, 
page 157* He frequently, and ably, and warmly, 
in many conversations, defended the cause of 
revelation against the attacks of Bolingbrokx 

and CU£ST£RVI£LD. 


* " I make it my last request (says Arbuthnot in his last teC* 
ttr to fovE) that yon will continne that noble disdain and ab* 
honrence of vice^ which yon seem naturally endued with ; but 
still with a due regard to your own safety ; and study more to 
rtfarm than cktutUe; though the one cannot be effected with« 
out the other." Letters^ vol. Tiii. p. 21K). The words are re- 
tnarkable, and cannot fail of raising many reflections in the 
mind of the rfrader. Pope, in his answer, says, ** To rrform, 
and not to i:kagti$e, is impossible ; and the best precepts, as well 
as the best laws, would prove of small use, if there were no 
emunples to enforce them/' This is not a sufficient and solid 
defence oi p0rtonal satire. 


The Strokes of satire in manjr parts of this 
epistle^ have such an extraordinary energy and 
poignancy, that our author's want of temper has 
been miich censured ; and I know not whether it 
will be a sufficient justification to say, that these 
malevolent scribblers, however impotent and in- 
significant, attacked his person^ morals^ and fa- 
mily. If Boiiieau ridicules and rallies vile writers^, 
with more seeming pleasantry and good-humour, 
yet we ought to recollect, that Boileau was the 
aggressor, and had received no previous abuse, 
when he fell upon Cotin de Pure^ QuinauU, Si. 
Amand Colletet, Chapelain, and Theophyle. It was 
on this account that the Duke de Moniausier, 2l 
man of rigid virtue, so much condemned 
Boileau, that it was with great difficulty he was 
brought to read his works, and be reconciled to 
him. The authors that Pope proscribedj were, 
in truth, so mean and contemptible, that Swifit 
said, ** Give me a shilling, and I will insure you 
that posterity shall never know you had a single 
enemy, excepting those whose memory you baj^c 

Laissez mourir un fat dans son ol)scurit<$. 
Un auteur ae peut-il poartr en toret^ i 

P 2 £• 


212^ ES^AY ON THE CEtfXUt • 

Le Jonas iacoanu seche dans la pottsaiere« 

Le David imprim^ n'a point veu la lumiere. 

Le MoTse commence a moisir par les bords. 

Qael mal cela faiUil? Ceux qui sont m6rtt soot morti» 

Le tombeau contre vous ne peut-il les d^fendre^ 

Et qu'on fait tant d'auteurs pour remuer leur cendre ? 

Que Vous oht fait Perrin, Bard in, Pradon^ Hainaut^ 

CoUetet, Pelletier, Titreville, Quioaut.* . . 

pont les noms en cent lieux> placez comme en leurt. 

Vont de tos vers malins remplir les hemistiches* 

BoiLEAU, Satire ix. y. 89,« 

This is exquisitely pleasant ; and expressed with 
that purity and force, both of thought and die* 
tiouy that happy Horatian mixture of jest and 
earnest, that contribute to place Despreaux at the 
head of modern classics.'^ I think it must be 
confessed, that he has caught the manner of 
Horace more successfully than Pope. It is obr 
servabl^ that Boileau^ when he first began to 
. . write, 

• t 

* Quinaut did not deserve to be so severely satirized. See 
faj$ AiySf Amddc, and Alcestc. 

t • • ■ . ... 

' *j- His generosity was equal to liis genius. Patko wais re- 
duced to great extremities^ and compelled to sell liis very Va« 
luable library. He uot only gave Patru a larger sum for his 
books than he could get of any body else^ but added to the 
conditions of the sale, that he should continue to use his li- 
brary as long as he iived. 


ivrite, copied Juvekal, whose i^io/en/, d&ttnright, 
itclarmtoiry species of satire, is far more easy to 
be imitated, than the oblique, indirect, delicate 
touches i. of Horace. The judgment of L. Gy* 
RALDus concerning Jurenal, seems to be judi« 
cious and well-founded. ** If you think my opi- 
nion worth regarding, I would say, that thfe sa- 
tires of Juvenal ought never to be read till, our 
taste is fi^^ed and confirmed, and we are tho- 
roughly tinctured with a knowledge of the Latin 
language; and I mention this my opinion more 
freely, because I perceive many masters . use a 
contrary method/' Dial, iv. 

. t 

2. Is there a Parson much be-mus'd la beer« 
A maudlin Poetess^ a rhyming P«er, 
* "A Clerk pre*doom'd his father's soul to cross, 
Wh» pens a stanza when- he should engroBs f 
Is there> who, locked from ink and paper, scrawls 
With desperate charcoal round htsdarken'd walls? 
ARfly to TMoii^nam, and, in humble strain. 
Apply to me to keep them mad and vain ! * 
Arthur, whose giddy son neglects the laws,* • • 
Imputes to me and my damn'd works the cause.**^ 

' ■ . . . • - 

Before this epistle was published, Dr. Young 
addressed two epistles to our author, in the 

P 3 year 

* Ver. 15. 

214 ttlAY ON THE OBMSUi 

year 1730, concerning the authors of the age; 
ill which are many passages that bear a gteat n^ 
semblance to many of Pope's; though Pops ha* 
heightened, improved, and condensed the hints 
and sentiments of Young* 

Shall we not censure all the motley tiraiis 
Whether with ale irriguous, or champain } 
Whether they tread the vale t>f Proae^ or climb* 
And whet their appetite*^ on cliffs of Rhyme ; 
The college Sloven, or embroider'd SjMirk, 
The purple Prelate, or the Parish-clerkj 
The quiet Quidnunc, or demanding Prig, 
The plaintiff Tory, or defendant Whig; 
&ich> poor, male, female, young, old, gay, or ttd ; 
Whether extremely witty, or quite mad ; 
Profoundly dull, or shal lowly polite ; 
Men that read well, or men that only write : 
Whether peers, porters, taylors, tune their reeds. 
And measuring words to measuring shapes succeeds^ 
For bankrupts write, when ruin*d shops are shut. 
As maggots crawl from out a perish^ nut ; 
His hammer this, and that his trowel quits. 
And, wanting sense for tradesmen, serve for wits. 
Thus his material* paper, takes its birth 
From Uttered rags of all the stuff on earth.* 

3. Seis'd and ty'd down to judge, how wretched I If 


* ^istle on the authors of the age, page 5, 1750. 

t Ver. 33. 


Odbd & fugis, ut Dnisonem debitor aeris ; 
Qui^ nbi com tristes misero yenere Calends, 
Mercedem ant nammo unde unde estricalt amaras 
Porrecto jo^o hittoriaa, captiTuii ut, audit. 

Few passages in Horace are more full of hu- 
inour than this ludicrous punishment of the poor 

4. Nine years ! cries he, who high in Jhnry^tM^ 
LuUM by soft aepbyrs thrs^ the broken pane, 
Khymes ere he wakes.* ■»* 

Qui facit in panrft soblimia carmioa cclli.f 

Lo ! what from ctlUars rise, what rush from high* 
Where Speculation roosted near the sky: 
Letters, essays, sock, buskin, satire, song. 
And all the garret thunders on the throng.^ 

5. Bless me ! a packet-^'tts a stranger sues, 
A virgin tragedy, an orphan muse. 

if I dislike it, furies, death, and rage ! 

If I approve, commend it to the stage. 

Then, thank my stars, my whole commision ends ; 

The play'rs and I are luckily no friends.| 

P 4 This 

♦ Ver. 41. t Jo^' Sat. vii. 

X Young, Epistle i. p. 4. | Ver. 55. 


7. Who shames a scribbler ? break one cobweb thro% 
He spins the slight^ self-pleasing thread anew : 
Destroy his fib or sophistry^ in vain ! 
The creature's at his dirty work again ; 
Thron'd in the center of his thin designs* 
Proud of a Tast extent of flimsy lines^* 

The metaphor f is most happily carried on 
through a variety of corresponding particulars, 
that exactly hit the natures of the two insects in 
question. It is not pursued too Jar ^ nor jaded 
out, so as to become quaint and affected, as is 
the case of many, perhaps, in drngreoe's too 


• Ver. S9. 

f Befkefey^ in his Alciphron^ Dialogue vi. p. 107, hasbieau- 
tifolly employed an image of this sort, on a more serious sub« 
ject, " To tax or strike at this ditine doctrine, on account of 
things foreign and adventitious, the speculations and disputes 
of curious men, is, in my mind, an absurdity of the same 
kind, as it would be to cut down a fine tree, yielding fruit and 
shade, because its leaves afibrded nourishment to caterpillars^ 
or because spiders may now and then weave cobwebs among 
the branches.'' Berkeley bad a brilliant imagination. See his 
charming description of the island Inarimt, in Letters to P. 
voj. vii. p. SSO. I have been told, that Blackwell received 
his just idea of Homer, and of the reasons and causes of Homer^s 
superior excellence, from Berkeley, with whom he bad been 
connected, and had travelled with him. 



witty Camedies, particularly in the Way of the 
Worlds and in Young's Satires. For instance : 

Ci^tics on verse, as sfuih on triumphs, wait. 
Proclaim tke glorjr, and augment the state ; 
Hot, envious, noisy, proud, the scribbling fry* 
Bum, Uat, and bouiice>» waste paper, stink, and die.f 

The epithets emkmsy and proud^ have nothing 
to do with squibs. The last line is brilliant and 
ingenious, but perhaps too much so. 

' a. There are who to my person pay their court : 
I cough like Horace; and tbo' lean, am slion; 
Amnion's great son one shoulder bad too high ; 
Such Ovid'i nose $ and. Sir, you have an eye.]; 


The smallest personal particuUrities are inte- 
resting in eminent men. We listen with pleasure 
to Montaigne, when he familiarly tells us, " My 
face is not puff 'd, but full, and my complexion 
between jovial and melancholy, moderately san* 
jguine and hot In dancing, tennis, or wrest- 

* See also a passage in his two Epistles, where the trans» 
migrations of Proteus are adapted to the various shapes as* 
cumed by modern scribblers. 

t Universal Passion^ Sat. iii. t Ver. llif. 

SQO" XSSAY ON THS.t;sxius . 

ling, I could never arrive at any excellence 7 ia ' 
swimming, fencing, vaulting, and . leaping^ . io^' 
none at alL My hands are so clumsy, that I 
cannot read what I write myself. I cannot hahd-. 
somely fold up a letter ; nor could I ever make a 
pen, nor carve at table, nor carry a hawk.'*. This 
is delivered with such an air, says old Pasquier, 
that it pleases me as much as if it had been spoken 
of some other person. 

What passages in Horace * are more agreeable 

Meptr^uem & niiidum bene curat& cute 
Lusum it Maecenas^ dormittan ego Virgiliusque— 
Namque pila lippis inimicum & ludere crudis"^ 
Me primis urbis belli placuisse domique ; 
Corporis txigui, pnecanum, solibu$ .aptum, 
Irasci celeran, tamea ut placahilis essem. 


Above all, the pleasing detail he gives of his 
way of life, the descriptions of his nlule, his 


My coDTersation (says Dryden, very entertainingly^ 
of himself) is slow and dull^ my humour saturnine. and re- 
fl^^nred. In shorty I am none of those who endeavour to break 
jests in company^ or make repartees.** 

Prefignee tp^his Indiaa Emperor. 


1^* h&rappeTy'rhis funritare, fais amusements, 
hb>alks/.iiis«tifn€ of bathing and sleeping, &c. 
from the 103th line to the end of the 6th satire 
of.the fifst'hook. ' 

■ . • •• • 

•What Addison says in jest, and with his usual 
humour, is true in fact : ^^ I have observed that 
a reader seldom peruses a book with pleasure, 
'tin he knows whether the writer of it be a black 
of; fair man, of a mild or choleric disposition,* 
jnarried or a bachelor.'* I will add, at the hazard 
of its being reckoned a trifling and minute re* 
mark, that many, of our English poets have been 
in their persons remarkably handsome ; such were 
Spenser, Milton, Cowley, Butler, Waller, 
Wtcherley, Rowe, Addison, Congreve, 
Garths-Gay, Virgil and Vi da are said, by 
LiIh Gyraldus, to have had a plain rustic 
look ; and ..Ovid and Cardinal Bembo, to be 
slender and active ; as also was Tibullus. The 
portraits of Dante, Petrarch, and Boccaccio, 
are thus given, in the curious and entertaining 


history of their lives by Jannot. Manettus, 

« • ■ 

a celebrated writer of the fifteenth century, but 
^not published till 1746, at Florence. Dante, 



he says, was of a faeeoming ftnd middle, statnne; 
bad a long face, very large e^eSi an aqutlme 
nose, broad cheeks, an underwlip that projected 
a little, a dark complexion, a beard and hair 
long, black, and curling. In the form of Pe- 
trarch, there was a happy mixture of majesty 
and grace. He had so much agility and dex*^ 
terity, that no one could gain the mastery orer 
him. He enjoyed a firm state of health to his 
*old age. Of Boccaccio he says, he was of a 
full and large habit of body, of a tall statiin^ « 
round ^ face, an aspect chearful and pleasant ; so 
facetious and well-bred, that a certain elegance 
and urbanity appeared in every word be uttered^ 
P. 81. 

9. Why did I write ? What An, to me ttpkiMmnA 
Dipt me in ink ; my parents, or my own ? 
As yet a cbild> nor yet a fool to fkrne, 
I lisp'd in numbers, for the hmnben cSHie. 
I left no calling for this idle trade. 
No duty broke, no father disobeyM.* 

BoiLEAU says, in his fifth epistle, verse II (^ 
that his father left him a decent patrimony, and 
made him study the law : 

* V«r. 125. 


Mais biea-tot amoureux d'uo plus noble m^tier» 
Fils, frere^ oncle, cousin^ beau-frere de 6rc{Her> 
PoQTant charger mon bras d'une utile liasse, 
J'allay lain do Palais errer sur de Parnasse. 
La fapiille en polity & vit en fr^missant, 
Dans la Poodre da Greffe nn poete naissant. 
On Vit avec horreur une muse efiren^ 
Dormir chez un Greffier la grasse matinee.* 

10. But why then publish ? Granville, the polite. 
And iLnowing Walsh, would tell me I could write ; 
Weli-natar'd Gar^f inflam*d with early praise ; 
And Congreve lovM» and Swift endured my lays : 
The courtly Talboi, Somers, Slt^eld read ; 
Eren mitned Rockater woatd nod the head ; 
And St, John*s self (great Dryden's friends before) 
With open arms received one poet more.t 

To the three first names, that encouraged his ear- 
liest writings, he has added otlier friends, whose ac- 

* He was a great sleeper ; got up late, and always was ac- 
castomed to sleep afler dinner : as also was Pope. 

f Every word and epithet here used, is characteriatical, and 
peculiarly appropriated to the temper and manner of each of 
the persons here mentioned ; the elegance of Lansdawn, the 
open free beuevolence of Garth, the warmth of Congreve, the 
difficulty of pleasing S-jsift, the very gesture that Aturhury 
used when he was pleased^ and the animated air and spirit of 

X Ver. 135. 


quaintance with him did not commence till he 
Avas a poet of established reputation. From the 
many commendations which fValsh, and Garth, 
and Granville, bestowed on his Pastorals, it may 
fairly be concluded, how much the public taste 
has been improved, and with how many good 
compositions our language has been enriched 
since that time. When Gray * published his ex- 
quisite Ode on Eton College, his first publication, 
little notice was taken of it ; but I suppose no 
critic can be found, that will not place it far 
above Pope's Pastorals. 

11. From these the world will judge of men and books ; 
Not from the Bumets, Oldmixom, and Cookt»f 


* Sweet Bard ! who shun'st the noise of folly ; 
Most musical^ most melancholy ! 
Thee ofi, the lonely woods among> 
I woo to hear thy even-song ; 
And think thy thrilling strains have power 
To raise Mussus from his bower ; 
Or bid the tender Spenser come 
From his loy*d haont^ sweet Fancy's tomb ! 

t Ver. 145. 


Such authors as the two last, are a kind of 
literary harpies ; whatever subject they touch, 
they debase and defile : 

-Magnis quatiant clangoribus alas. 

BiripiuDtque dapesj, c<mtactuque ooinia fisdant 
Immundo; tarn vox tetrum dira later odorcm,^ 

As to Burnet, his character is thus drawn by the 
very sensible and judicious translator of Polybius, 
Mr. Hampton, in a pamphlet that deserves to be 
more known, entitled, Reflections on Ancient and 
Modern History : printed in quarto, at Oxford, 
174€« *' His personal resentment put him upon 
writing history. He relates the actions of a per* 
Aecutor and benefactor : and it is easy to believe, 
that a man in such circumstances must violate 
the laws of truth. The remembrance of bis in- 
juries is always present, and gives venom to his 
pen. Let us add to this, that intemperate and 
malicious curiosity, which penetrates into the 
most private recesses of vice. The gfreatest of 
his triumphs is to draw the veil of secret infamy, 
and expose to view transactions that were befbre 
VOL. II. Q concealed 



* Virg. Mn. iii. ▼. 226. 


concealed from the world ; though they serve not 
in the least either to embellish the style, or con- 
nect the series, of his history ; and will never 
obtain more credit, than, perhaps, to suspend 
the judgment of the reader, since they are sup- 
ported only by one single, suspected testimony." 
P. 28.* 

12. Yet then did Gildon draw his Yenal quill ; 
I wish'd the man a dinner, and sat still : 
Yet then did Dennis rave in furious fret; 
I never answered, I was not in debt : 
If want provokM, or madness made them print, 
I wag'd no war with Bedlam or the Muu.f 

Tlie X unexpected turn in the second line of 
each of these three couplets^ contains as cutting 
and bitter strokes of satire, as perhaps can be 


* These anhnadrersions obTionsIy relate to the History of 
his own Times, and not to his History of the RelSnnatioiiu 
and his other important works. 

.* + Ver. 151. 

X Ingenii plorimum est in eo, & acerbitas mira, h iirb»» 
nitas, & vis summa ; sed pins stomacho quam consilio dedit. 
Ptseterea ut amari sales, ita frequenter amaritudo ipsa ridicula 
^t. M. F. Quintil. lib. x. c. K 


It is with difficulty we can forgive our author 
for upbraiding these wretched scribblers for their 
poverty and distresses, if we do not keep in our 
minds the grossly abusive pamphlets they pub- 
lished, without previous provocation from him ; 
and even, allowing this circumstance, we ought 
to separate rancour from reproof. 

IS. Yet ne'er one sprig of laurel graced these ribalds. 
From slashing Bently,* ■■■■ ■ 

Swift imbibed from Sir W. Temple, and 
Pope from Swift, an inveterate and unreasona* 
ble aversion and contempt for Bentley ; whose 
admirable Boyle^s Lectures^ Remarks on Collins, 
Emendations of Menander and Callimachus, 
and Tully's TuscuL Disp. whose edition of Ho- 
race, and, above all. Dissertation on the Epis- 
tles of Phalaris, (in which he gained the most 
complete victory over a whole army of wits,) all 
of them exhibit the most striking marks of accu* 
rate and extensive erudition, and a vigorous and 
acute understanding. He degraded himself much 
by his edition of the Paradise Last^ and by his 

Q % Strang* 

♦ Ver. 103. 

828 - ESSAY ON THE GtUlV9 


Strange and absurd hypothesis of the faults whieib 
Milton^s amannensts introduced into that poem» 
But I have been informed, that there was still an 
additional cause for Pope's resentment ; that 
Atterburt, being in company with Bentlet 
and Pope, insisted upon knowing the Doctor's 
opinion of the English Homer ; and that, being 
earnestly pressed to declare his sentiments freely,: 
he said, " The verses are good verses ; but the 
work is not Homer, it is Spondanus.'* It may, 
however, be observed, in favour of Pope,* that 
Dr. Clarke, whose critical exactness is welt 
known, has not been able to point out above 
three or four mistakes in the sense through the 
whole Iliad. The real faults of that translation 
are of a different kind. They are such as remind 
us of Nero's gilding a brazen statue of Alexander 
the Great, cast by Lysippus. 

14.' down to j)iddling Tibalds.f 


^ And yet Pope, in a letter which Dr. RHtherforth shewed 
ifte at Cambridge/ in the year 1771, written to a Mr. Bridges,, 
at Fulham^ mentions, his consulting Chapman and Hobi^es,. 
and talks of ^ their authority, joined to the knowledge o£ my 
own imperfectness- in the language, over- ruled me.'* Theae- 
artt the very words> which I transcribed at that tuae» 

t Vcn 164. 


Yet this very dull and laborious man was the 
first publisher of ShakespeaVy that hit upon the 
true and rational method of correcting and illus« 
trating his author, that is^ by reading such bboks 
(whatever trash Pope* might call them) as 
Shakespear read, and by attending to the ge- 
nius, learning, and notions of his times. f By 
pursuing and perfecting which method, the pub- 
lic has lately been presented with a most valuable 
and complete edition of all his works, by the 
united labours of such excellent critics as John- 
son, Steevens, Tyrwhit, and Malone. 

15. Each wightj who reads not, and bat scans and spell% 
Each word -catcher, that lives on syllables.^ 

It is very easy, but very ungrateful, to laugh 
at collectors of various readings, and adjusters. 

Q3 of 

* Pope was irritated at the many blunders in his Shakte* 
spear, that Theobald pointed out, 

f In this iqanner also has Spenseb beeq illustrated. See 
Observations on the Faery Stueene, by T* Walton, A. IVf . Lon-» 
don, 1762, 8to. 2d. edit, and the Canterbury T^les of Cb^cer, 
vith incomparable remarks by Mr. TjfnpMtt 

i Ver. 165. 


of texts, those poor pioneers of literature, wlio 
drag forward 

A waggon- load of meanings for one word. 
While A*s deposed, and B with pomp restor'd,*^ 

To the indefatigable researches of many a 
Dutch commentator, and German editor, are we 
indebted for that ease and facility with which we 
now are enabled to read. " I am persuaded," 
says Batle, " that the ridiculous obstinacy of 
the first critics, who lavished so much of their 
time upon the question, whether we ought to say 


^ Many are the ridiculous stories told of the violent con* 
tests and quarrels of grammarians and commentators^ Phi* 
LELPHus, who married the daughter of Emanuel Chrysolokas^ 
laid a wager of one hundred crowns with Timotheus, a GreeU 
grammarian, about the termination of a tense ; which sum he 
staked against the long flowing beard of the grammarian ; and 
gaining his wager, absolutely cut off the beard of Timothsus* 

This Chrysoloras ought not to be reckoned, as he commonly 
is, among the Greeks whom the taking of Constantinople 
forced into Italy ; since he died at the Conncil of Constance^ 
in 1415, thirty'-eight years before the Turks took that city ; 
which was on the twenty-ninth of May, in 1453 : and more* 
over, Leonard of Arezzo, in p. 253 of his Hist. Rerum Ital; 
plainly gays, that Chrysoloras was in Italy from the year 


Virgilius or Vergilius, has been ultimately of 
great use; they thereby inspired men. with an ex-, 
treme veneration for antiquity ; they disposed 
them to a sedulous enquiry into the conduct and 
character of the ancient Grecians and Romans, 
and that gave occasion to their improving by 
those great examples." Diet torn. v. p. 795. I 
have always been struck with the following words, 
of a commentator,* who was also a great philo- 
sopher ; I mean Dn Clarke, who thiis finishes 
the preface to his incomparable edition of Ho*, 

" Levia quidem hsec, & parvi forte, si per se 
spectentur momenti. Sed ex dementis constant, 
ex principiis oriuntur, omnia : £t ex judicii con- 

Q 4 suetudine 

* Mallet, to gratify Pope, by abusing Bentley, published, 
about this time, a very feeble and flimsy poem, on Verbal 
Criticism, stufied with illiberal cant about pedantr}'', aud col- 
lators of manuscripts. Real scholars, will always speak with 
due regard of such names as the Scaligers, Salmasittses, Hcin" 
siuses, Burmatis, Qronoviuses, Reiskiuses, Marklands, Gesners, 
and Heynet. 

f Whenever Dr. Clarke, who was of a tranquil and sedate 
temper, spoke of Homer, he did it, as his friend Dr. Sykes 
informed me, with a vehement and enthusiastic admiration, 
very unusual to him on other subjects* 


suetudine in rebus tninutis adlubit&y pendet 
Mcpissimfe in maximis vera atque accurata scien- 

16. Pretty ! in amber to observe the forms 

Of hairs, or straws, or dirt, or grubs, or worms !* 

Very elegant imagery, happily applied ! Addison 
has made a beautiful use of a similar image to a 
contrary purpose, and to illustrate excellence, 
** Shakespear'* (says he, Spectator 398) ** was 
born with all the seeds of poetry, and may be 
compared to the stone in Pyrrhus's ring, which, 
as Pliny tel)s us, had the figure of Apollo and the 
nine Muses in the veins of it, produced by the 
spontaneous hand of nature, without any help of 

17. Did some more sober critic come abroad ; 

If wrong, I smird ; if right, I kissM the rod.f 

Such he esteemed to be Mr. Spence's judicious 
Essay on his translation of the Odyssey ; a work 
of the truest taste, and soundest criticism, and 
which Pope was so far from taking amiss, that it 


* Ver. 169. f Ver. 157. 


was the origin of a lasting friendship betwixt 
them. I have seen, by the kindness of the pre- 
sent Bishop of London, a copy of this work, 
with marginail observations written in Pope's own. 
hand)* and generally acknowledging the just- 
ness of Spence's observations, and in a few in« 
stances pleading, humorously enough, that some 
favourite lines might be spared. I am indebted 
to this learned and amiable man^ on whose friend- 
ship I set the greatest value, for most of the 
ani^dotes relating to Pope, mentioned in this 
work, which he gave me when I was making 
him a visit at Byfleety ^ in the year 1754'. 


18, The bard whom pilfer'd pastorals renown^ 
Who turns a Persian tale for half-a-crown.f 

And in a line before, 

Still to one Bishop Philips seems a wit 


* " Which do you look upon (says Spence one day to Popt) 
as the best age of our Poetry >** " Why the last^ I think ; bat 
00 w the old ones are all gone^ and the young seem to bav^ QO 
/emulation among them." 

t Yen M9. 


Philips, certainly not a very animated or 
first-rate writer, yet appears not to deserve quite 
so much contempt, if we look at his first and 
fifth Pastoral, his epistle from Copenhagen, his 
Ode on the Death of Earl Cowper, his transla- 
tions ♦ of the two first Olympic Odes of Pindar, 
the two Odes of Sappho ; and, above all, his 
pleasing tragedy f of the Distrest Mother. J 

How far Addison, as hath been insinuated, 
was. concerned in altering and improving Philips'a 
works,^ cannot now be ascertained. He was ac-* 
cused of reporting, that Mr* Pope was an enemy 


* The secret gfrouods of Philips's malignity to Pope^ are said 
to be the ridicule and laughter he met with from all the Han- 
over Clubj of which he was secretary^ for mistaking the in* 
comparable ironical paper in the Guardian^ No. 40^ which 
was written by Pope, for a serious criticism on pastoral poetry. 
The learned ITfyne also mistook this irony, as appears by p. 
202. V. 1. of his Virgil. 

f Racine> in his remarks on his father's Andromaque^ has 
censured this play of Philips, p. 207. t. i. 

f I have heard Mr. Garrick say, that Addison wrotie the ce* 
lebrated epilogue to this tragedy, published in the name of 
Bndgell*: that this was a fact he received from some of the 
Tonsons. And Addison is said also to have largely corrected 
and improved BudgelFs translation of Theophrastus. 


to the govemtnent, and that he had a hand in the 
famous party paper called The Examiner. 

39. And own'd that nine such poets made a Tat^,* 

Young says, with equal pleasantry, of the 
same Nahum Tate, 

He's now a scrihUer, who was once a frMn*\ 

20. Peace to all such ! but were there one whose fires 
True genius kindles^ and fair fame inspires ; 
Blest with each talent, and each art to please^ 
And born to write, converse, and live with ease : 
Should such a man, too fond to rule alone, 
!Qear, like the Turk,} no brother near the throng 


* Ver. 190. t Sat !• 

% This is from Bacon de Augmenti» IMent. lib. iii. Jy. ISO*' 
Etsi enim Aristoteles, more Ottomannorum* regnare se baud 
tute posse putaret, nisi fratres suos omnes contrucidasset 

Which thought, and also that of^ Cato's little senate, are 
used in a letter to Mr. Craggs, dated July \5, 1715. Our au« 
thor fVequently has versified passages from his own letters. '^It 
is usual with the smaller party to make up in interest wbtt 
they want in number; and this is the case with the little 8e« 
nate of Ci^to. We have, it seems, a Great Turk in poetry*^ 
who can never bear a brother on the throne; and has his m«ter 
too, a set of nodders, winkers, and whjspeFerSi whose busineit^ 
it is to strangle all other offspring of wit in-thtfir birth^'^ V6L 
vii. p. 300. 


View him with scornful, yet with jealous eyetp 
And bate for arts that caused himself to rise ; 
Damn with faint praise, assent with ci?i! leer. 
And, without sneering, teach the rest to sneer : 
Willing to wound, and yet afraid to strike ; 
Just hint a fault, and hesitate dislike ; 
Alike reservM to blame, or to commend ; 
A timorous foe, and a suspicious friend ; 
Dreading'ev'n fools, by flatterers besiegM; 
And So obliging, that he ne'er oblig'd ; 
Like Cato, give his little senate laws. 
And sit attentive to his own applause. 
While wits and Templars ev'ry sentence raise. 
And wonder with a foolish face of praise— 
Who but must laugh, if such a man there be ? 
Who would not weep, if Auicits were he !* ' 

This is that famous character of Addison ;f 
which has been so much commencfed for its wit 


and poignancy, and so much censured for its 
bitterness and malignity. The provocations that 
induced our author to write it, which he did so 


♦ Ver. 193. 


t Old Jacob Tonson hated Addison. " You will see him 
(fays he) one day a Bishop," He intended to have ^ven a 
translation of all the Psalms, of which design his version of - 
the 2:id is a beautiful specimen* Addison used to speak con- 
temptuously of his own account of the English poets, addressed 
to his old friend SaekeverelL It is remarkable, thut Addison 
declared he had. neyer read Spenser when he gave his character 
lA that account. 


early as 1721, though it was not inserted in this 
epistle till 1733, have been touched upon in the 
first volume of this Essay, at page 152. Since 
that time, a writer of the first eminence, who to 
a consummate knowledge of the laws, history, 
and antiquities of his country, joined the most 
exquisite taste in polite literature, the late much- 
lamented Sir William Blackstone, drew up, with 
his usual precision and penetration, a paper that 
minutely investigated all the facts that have been 
urged against Addison's conduct to Pope. The 
chain of his reasoning would be injured, by en^ 
deavouring to abridge this paper ; I must there- 
fore refer the reader to the second volume of the 
Biographia Britannica, published by Dr. Kippis, 
page 56, and shall only insert the cdbclusion of 
it ; which is as follows : "Upon the whole, how- 
ever, Mr. Pope may be excusable for penning 


such a character of his friend in the first tran- 
sports of poetical indignation, it reflects no great 
honour on his feelings, to have kept it in petto for 
six years, till after the death of Mn Addison, 
and then to permit its pubhcation, (whether by 
recitaj, or copy, makes no material diflference ;) 
and at length, at the distance of 1 8 years, hand 
i it 


it down to posterity ingrafted into one of his ca- 
pital productions. Nothing surely could justify 
so long and so deep a resentment, unless the 
story be true of the commerce between Addison 
and Gildon, which will require to be very fully 
proved, before it can be believed of a gentleman 
who was so amiable in his moral character, ^xxd 
who (in his own case) had two years before ex- 
pressly disapproved of a personal abuse upon 
Mr. Dennis. The person, indeed, from whom 
Mr. Pope is said to have received this anecdote^ 
about the time of his writing the character, (viz. 
about July 1715,) was no other than the Earl of 
Warwick, son-in-law to Mr. Addison himself; 
and the something about Wychferly (in which 
tlie story supposes that Addison hired Gildoa to 
•abuse Pope and his family) is explained by a 
note on the Dunciad, vol. i. p. S96, to mean a 
pamphlet containing Mr. Wycherly's life. Now 
it happens, that in July, 1715, the Earl of War- 
wick (who died at the age of twenty-three^ 
in August 1721) was only a boy of seventeen^ 
and not likely to be entrusted with such a secret^ 
by a statesman between forty and fifty, wilfe 
whom it does not appear he was any-way con- 


nected or acquainted. For Mr. Addison was 
not married to his mother, the Countess of War- 
wick, till the following year, 17 16: nor could 
Gildon have been employed in July, 1715, to 
write Mr. Wycherly's life, who lived till the De- 
cember following. As, therefore, so many in- 
consistencies are evident in the story itself, which 
never found its way into print till near sixty 
years after it is said to have happened, it will be 
no breach of charity to suppose, that the whole 
of it was founded on some misapprehension in 
cither Mr. Pope or the Earl ; and unless better 
proof can be given, we shall readily acquit Mr* 
Addison of this most odious part of the charge/' 

I beg leave to add, that as to the other ac- 
cusation. Dr. Young, Lord Bathurst, Mr. Harte, 
and Lord Lyttelton, each of them assured me, 
that Addison himself certainly translated the 
first book of Homer. Yet I have very lately 
heard, that some proofs to the contrary have 
been just discovered, which every man of can- 
dour will be glad to see published. 

21 • Proud as Apollo on hit forked hill. 

Sate fttll'blown B%fo, paffM by evVy qQiU; 



Fed with soft dedication all day long, 

Horace and he went hand in hand in song. ^ 

His library (where basts of poets dead«^ 

And a true Pindar stood without a head) 

Receiv'd of wits an undistingaishM raee. 

Who first his judgment ask'd^ and then a place ; 

Much they extolPd his pictures^ much his seat. 

And flattered ev*ry day, and some days eat. 

Till, grown more frugal in his riper days. 

He paid some bards with port, and some with praise.f 

Dr. Young's parasites and flatterers are paint- 
ed with equal humour^ and a generous contempt 
of servility : 

Who'd be a crutch to prop a rotten peer ; 
Or living pendant dangling at his ear ; 
For ever whispering secrets, which were blown. 
For months before, by trumpets thro' the town ? 


''^ The poverty of Butler is often mentioned among the dis- 
tresses of poets as a reproach to his age, and particularly to 
Charles H. who was so fond of Hudibras* But Dr. Pearce, 
the late Bishop of Rochester, related, that Mr. Lowndes, then 
belonging to the Treasury, and in the reigns of King William 
and Queen Anne, Secretary to it^ assured him, that, by order of 
King Charles II. he had paid to Butler a yearly pension of 
lOOl. to the time of his decease. After having been in many 
important office?, and an Ambassador at Paris, Prior had, at 
one time of his life, nothing led but the income of his fellow* 
ship of St. John's College, CambTidge* Bufo is said to mean 
Lord Halifax. 

' t Ver. ?31. 


WhoM be a glass, with flattering grimace. 

Still to reflect the temper of his face ; 

Or happy piii> to stick upon his sleeve. 

When my lord's gracious^ and vouchsafes it leave ; 

Or cushion, when his heaviness shall please 

To loll, or thump it for his better ease ; 

Or a vile butt, for noon or night bespoke. 

When the peer rashly swears he'll club his joke ? 

WhoM shake with laughter, tho' he could not find • 

His Lordship's jest ; or, if his nose broke wind. 

For blessings to the Gods profoundly bow-*- 

That cau cry chimney-sweep, or drive a plough ^ 

22. Dryden alone* (what wonder?) came not nigh ; 
Dryden alone escap'd his judging eye ; 
▼ot. II. R But 

• Alluding to the subscription that was made for his funeral. 
Garth spoke an oration over him. His necessities obliged him 
to produce (besides many other poetical pieces) twenty-seven 
plays in twenty-five years. He got 251. for the copy, and 70K 
for his benefits generally. Dramatic poetry was certainly not 
his talent. His plays, a very few passages excepted, are in- 
sufferably unnatural. It is remarkable, that he did not scruple 
to confess, that he could not relish the pathos and simplicity of 
Euripides. When he published his fables, Tonson agreed to 
give him two hundred and sixty-eight pounds for ten thousand 
verses. And, to complete the full ;iumber of lines stipulated 
for, he gave the bookseller the epistle to his cousin, and the 
celebrated music ode. " Old Jacob Tonson used to say, that 
Dryden was a little jealous of rivals. He would compliment 
Crown when a play of his failed, but was very cold to him if he 
met with success. He sometimes used to sav that Crown had 
some genius ; but then he added always, that his father and 
Crown's mother wer^ very well acquainted.*^ Mr. Pope to 
Mr. Spence. 

242 .&HAY :ON THE G&N1U9 

But 9til]^ the great have kindness in reserve ; 
He helpM to bury whom he helpM to starve. * 

Our poet, wilh true gratitude, has seized 
every opportunity of shewing his reverence for 
his great master, t>ryden ; whom Swift as con- 
stantly depreciated and maligned* ^^ I do affirm, 
(says he, severely, but with exquisite irony in- 


deed, in the Dedication of the Tale of a Tub to 
Prince Posterity,) upon the word of a sincere 
man, .that there is now actually in being a certain 
poet, called John Dryden^ whose translation of 
Virgil was lately printed in a large folio, well- 
bound, and, if diligent search were ihade, for 
aught I know, is yet to be seen." And he attacks 
him again in the Battle of Books. Shaftes- 
bury is also very fond of petulantly carping at 
Dry den. *^ To see the incorrigibleness of our 
poets, in their pedantic manner, (says he, vol. iii. 
p. 276,) their vanity, defiance of criticism, their 
rhodomontade, and poetical bravado, we need 
only turn to our famous poet-laureat, the very 
Mr. Bays himself, in one of his latest and most 


•♦ Vcr.i2*5; ■• " • ' ' 



valued pieces, Dmt Sebaitimij^ wnt many years 
after the ingenious author of thie .i2e^/*^/ had 
drawn his picture." Shaftesbury's resentmentf 
was excited by the admirable poem oX Absalom 

» ■ ■ 

and Jchitophel ; and partipularly by . four lines in 
it, that related to Lord Ashley, hijs father ^ 

And all to leave^ what with his toil he won, 
Ttf that unfeather'd> two-legg'd thing, a son ; 
Got while his soul did huddled notions Crv, 
And born a shapeless lump> like anarchy, 

■ • • • . , 

, R 2 Bat 

' ' 

* The dramatic works of Lope de Vega make twenty-six 
Tolomes, besides four hundred scriptural dramatic pieces> hi^ 
Auiot Saeramentales. His biographer affirms,^ that he often 
finished a play in twenty-fpur hours ; nay, some of his come- 
dies, in less than five. He wrote daring his life 21,316,000 

f I remember to have heard ray father say, that Mr. Elijah 
FentoQ, who was his intimate: friend, ^nd had -been hism^ter, 
informed him^ that Dryden,'Upon seeing some of Swift's earliest 
verses, said to him, " Young man, you will never be a poet :" 
And that this was the cause of Swift's rooted aversion to Dry- 
den, mentioned above. Baucis and Philemon was so much 
and so often altered, at the instigation of Addison, who men* 
tioned this circumstance to my father, at Magdalen College, 
that. -not above eight lines Remain as they originally stood. 
The violence of party dispute^ never interrupted . the s^incere 
friendslvip that suji^sisted between Swift and Addison, thougi^ 
of such ppposite tempera as well a? prinoiples. 


But Dryden's works will remain when the Cfu^ 
racteristics will be forgotten. 

23. Blest be the Great for those they take away. 
And those they left me ; for they left me Gay ; 
Left me to see neglected genius bloom. 
Neglected die, and tell it on his tomb. 
Of all thy blameless life, the sole return 
My verse, and Queensb'ry weeping o*er thy urn !* 

The sweetness and simplicity of Gay*s tem- 
per and manners, much endeared him to all his 
acquaintance, and made them always speak of 
him with particular fondness and attachment. 
He wrote with neatness, and terseness, sequali 
qu&dam mediocritate, but certainly without any 
elevation ; frequently without any spirit. Tri» 
VIA t appears to be the best of his poems, in 
which are many strokes of genuine humout and 
pictures of London-life, which are now become 
curious, because our manners, as well as our 
dresses, have been so much altered and changed 


* Vcr. 255. 

f The fable of Cloacina is iiidelicate. I should think thik 
was one of the hints given him by Swift, who himself was in- 
debted, for many stk-okes in his Gulliver, to Bishop GodwmU 
Man in the Moon, or Voyage o£ Domingo Gonzales, 1638. * 


within a few; years. His fables, -the Host pcjpu* 
lar of all his works, have the fault tof; many mo* 
dern fable-writers,* the ascribing to the differ- 
ent animals and objects introduced, speeches 
and actions inconsistent wit^h thek several na- 
tures. An elephant can have nothing* to do in 9. 
hookseller's shop. They are greatly inferior to 
the fables of La Fontaine, which is perhaps the^ 
most unrivalled work in the whol^ Fi'^i^ch lan- 
guage^ The Beggar's Opera has surely been 
extolled beyond its. merits: I qould never pei:'- 
ceive that fine vein of concealed satire supppsed 
to run through it; and. though I should not join 
with a bench of We^tjninster. Justices in forbid- 
ding it to be represented on the stage, yet I 
.think pickpockets, strumpets, and highwaymen, 
may be hardened in their vices by this piece; 

R 3 and 

* The long and languid iutroductions to the &bles in the 
ftecond volume (which is iudeed much inferior to the first) 
read like party pamphl^t^ versified. J^iQue has not rescued us 
from the imputatioa of having no pastoraUcomedy, that can 
be compared^ in the smallest degree^ to the Aminta or Pastor 
Fido. The pastorals were written to ridicule those of Philips, 
and consequently very acceptable to Pope. Folly, the second 
part of the Beggar's Opera, though it brought him a good 
deal of money, a^bove 1200 pounds, being published by sob* 
ficription, is not equal to the first. 

1^149 lisAY OK Tun 6t^ivp'^ 

m^'fS^iktBopeknd Smft talked tw}Ag}ify of its 
iriof al ^ood efFeets. One undesigned and accU 
de^tai mischief attended its success c 'it was the 
parent of that most monstrous of all drMiatic 
absurdities, the Comic Opera. The^ fri«idghip of 
twK) such exeellent personages as the Duke and 
Duchess of Qiieensberry, did, in truth, com*- 
pehsjtte poor <Jay*9 want of pension * and prefer- 
ment They fediariefd**© hiiri constlantly with 
*that dciioafey;^ aJnd wdse of sbeming equalityj as 
never to iufffethim for a irWoinent to feel hid state 
'of dependence/ • Let ihrery man of letters, - who 
wishes far patronage, read' D''Alembert*9 E9smfcn 
Iwhtg with' ike Great^ befbre^hte enters the house 
t)f a. patron. And let him always remember the 
fate of Racine, who, having drawn up, tt Ma- 
dame Maintenon*s f secret request, a memonal 


* I was in!brm«d by Mr. Spence, that Addison, m his last 
illniess, sent ^6 deafrre to speak with Mr. Gay, and toTd'bim he 
had much 1115 tirefd him ^ probably with respect to his-^ining 
sohre appoinfmeilt from the court: but, said he, if I recover, 
I will endeavour to recompense" you.' 

■". • * ■■■ . 1 > .' i' J< ;. , 

t The most oxact acoount of the occasion on which Racine 
wrote his .excellent Esther oud^ jUhalioh, at the request of M»* 
dame Mainl^non, tor the use lof the young ladies .at St. Cyr, 

■ - . J I .* . IS 


tibat strongly pamted the distresses of the FretfcH 
nation, the weight of their . taxes^ and the els'- 
pences of the court, she could not resist the im- 
portunity of Lewis XIV" hut shewed him ^r 
friend's ^apcr; against whom the kihg imraie- 
diately conceived a violeiit indign^tiony becausli^ 
a poet should dare to busy himself with politics. 
Racine had the weakness to take this anger of the 
king so much to heart, that it brought on a low 
fever, which hastened his death. The Duchess 

% - * ■ 

of Queensberry would not have so betrayed her 
poetical friend Gay. 

24. Curs'd be the verse, how well soe'er it flow. 
That tends to make one worthy man my foe. 
Give virtue scandal, innocence a fear. 
Or from the soft-ey'd virgin steal a tear !• 

M, Despreaux s'appljaudissoit fort ^ Tage de 
soixante & onze ans, de n'avoir rien mis dans ses 
vers qui choqudt les bonnes moeurs. C^est une 
consolation, disoit il, pour les vieux poetes, qui 

R 4 doivent 

IS to be found in Les Souvenirs de Mad. De Caylus, p. 183. 
There aho are mme very interesting and antbentic particulars 
of the life of Madame Maintenon, 

■ ♦'Ver.'SeS. 


doivent bient6t rendre compte k Dieu de leur» 
actions. L. 2. Tom. v. 4. P. 18. 

Happy indeed was the poet, of whom his wor* 
thy and amiable * friend could so truly say, that 
in all his works was not to be discovered 

One line^ that dying, he could wish to blot ! 

'* Would to God/' said Averroes, (regret- 
ting the libertinism of 3ome verses which he had 
made in his youth,) " I had been born old !** v 

Fontaine and Chaucer, dying, wisht unwrote 
The sprightiiest effort of their wanton thought: 
Sidney and Waller, brightest sons of fame^ 
Condemn^ the charm of ages to the flamctf 

25. Let Sporus tremble«»What ! that thing of silk« 
Sporus, that mere white curd of a^s's milk ! 
Satire or sense, alas ! can Sporus feel ? 
Who breaks a butterfly upon a wheel? 
Yet let me flap this bug with gilded wings. 
This painted child of dirt, that stinks and stings ] 
Whose buzz the witty and the fair annoys. 
Yet wit ne*er tastes, and beauty ue*er enjoys ; 


* Lord Lyttelton, in the Prologue to Thomsoi^^s CpriiH 


t Young's il^istle to Authors. 


IBo well-bred spaniels civilly delight 

In mumbling of the game they cannot bite. 

Eternal smiles his emptiness betray. 

As shallow streams run dimpling all the way* 

Whether in florid impotmct he speaks. 

And as the prompter breathes the puppet squeaks^ 

Or at the car of Eve, familiar toad,* 

Half froth, half venom, spits himself abroad^ 

In puns, or politics, or tales, or lyes. 

Or spite, or smut, or rhymes, or blasphemies. 

Amphibious thing ! that acting either part. 

The trifling head, or the corrupted heart; 

Fop at the toilet, flatterer at the board. 

Now trips a lady, and now struts a lord. 

Eve's tempter thus, the rabbins have exptfKt, > . 

A cherub's face, a reptile all the rest ; 

Beauty that shocks you, pride that none will trust. 

Wit that can creep, and pride that licks the dust.f 

Language cannot afford more glowing or more 
forcijble terms to express the utmost bitterness of 


^ It is but justice (^id Pope in the first advertisement, 
jsince omitted) to own, that the hint of Eve and the Serpent waif 
taken from tbe verses to the Imitator of Horace : 

When God created thee, one would believe^ 

He said the same as to the snake of Eve; 

To human race antipathy declare, 

'Twixt them and thee be everlasting war. 

But ob ! the sequel of the sentence dread> 

And whilst you bruise their heel, beware your head* 

f Ver. 305. " ^ 


contempt We think we are here reading Mil* 
TON against Salmasius.* The raillery is carried 
to the vjery verge of railings some will say ribal" 
dry. He has armed his muse with a scoping- 
knife. The portrait is certainly overcharged : for 
Lord H, for whom it was designed, whatever 
his morals might bei had yet considerable abi* 
lities^ though marred indeed by affectation* 
iSome of his speeches in parliament were much 
beyond^nW impotence They were, it is true, 
in favour of Sir R. tFulpole^-^ and this was suifir 
ciently offensive to Pope. The fact that parti^ 
cularly incited his indignation, was Lord H/s 
Epistle to a Doctor of Divinity ^ (Dr. Sherwin,) 
from a Nobleman at Hampton Courts 17S3; as 
well as his having been concerned with Lady 

M. W. M. 

* That strong expression in the discourse pro Populo An- 
glicano, of *' Nerane ipso Neram&Ts" applied to Charles I. il 
taken from what Peter, King of Arragon, wrote to Charles, 
Duke of Anjou, who had caused to be beheaded the son of the 
Emperor Coiirad. 

t Lord H. fought a duel with Mr. Pultewey upon a political 
quarrel. See also a pamphlet, entitled. The Court Secret, oc- 
icasioned by Lord Scarborough's death, for a severe character 
of JBarukim^ iptended for this Lord. Printed «vo. 1741. 


M* W. M. in ♦ Ferse^ to the Imitator of Horace^ 
173Sr This lady's beauty, wit, genius, and tra;* 
vels, of which she gave an account in a series of 
elegant and entertaining letters, very characterise* 
tical of the manners of the Turks, and of which 
many are addressed to Pope, are well known, 
and justly celebrated. With both these noble 
personages had Pope lived in a state of intimacy. 
And justice obligeth us to confess, that he him- 
self was the aggressor in the quarrel with them ; 
as he first assaulted and' affronted Lord ti. by 
these two lines in his imitatio;n of the 1st Sdit of 
Horace's second book : 

Thef iiites are tr eak> anotherfai pleas'd to sa;]^ ;. 
Lord Fanny spins a thousand such a day. 


* After ker quarrel with Mr. Bo»b> whiek Lord IVt^i^bo* 
rough in -vzm ende^^oared to reepnctle^ sh^ wrote tiuis from 
Florence, to the Countess of •— -. '< The word malignity, 
and a passage in your letter, call to my mind the wicked wasp 
of Twickenham ; his lyes affect me now no more ; they will 
be all as much despised as the story of the seraglio and the 
handkerchief, of which I am persuaded he W9is the only in« 
ventor. That man has a malignant and ungenerous heart ;^ and. 
he is base enough to assume the mask of a moralist, in ordec 
to decry human nature, and to give a decent rent to his hatred 
of man and womankind." 


And Lady M. W. M. by the eighty-third line of 
the same piece, too gross * to be here repeated. 

It is a singular circumstance, that our author s 
indignation was so vehement and inexhaustible, 
th^t it furnished him with another invective, of 
equal power, in prose, which is to be found at 
the end of the eighth volume, containing his 
letters. The reader that turns to it, page S53, 
(for it is too long to be here inserted, and too 
full of matter to be abridged,) will find, that it 
abounds in so many new modes of irony, in so 
many unexpected strokes of sarcasm, in so many 
sudden and repeated bloM's, that he does not 
allow the poor devoted peer a moment's breathing- 

I^unc clextr& ingeminans ictus^ nunc ille sinistiil ; 
Kec mora, nee requies ; quam multsl grandine nimbi 
CuUninibus crepitant ; sic densis ictibus heros 
Creber utr&que manik pulsate vergatqqe.t . ■» 


* So also are lines 87, 88, 89, 90, of the third epistle con* 
cerning Fulvia and Old Narses. But let us remember, that 

As the soft plume gives swiftness to the dart. 
Good-breeding sends the satire to the heart. Young* 

t JEn. Y. ver. 457* 


It is, indeed, the master-piece of ifwective, and 
perhaps excels the character of Sparus itself, ca- 
pital as that is, above quoted. Who, however, 
would wish to be the author of such a cutting 
invective ? But can this be the nobleman (we 
are apt to ask) whom Afiddleion^ in his dedica- 
tion to the History of the Life of Tully, has so 
seriously and earnestly praised, for his. strong 
good sense, his consummate politeness, his real 
pa^'iotism, his rigid temperance, his thorough 
knowledge and defence of the laws of his coun- 
try, his accurate skill in history, his unexampled 
and unremitted diligence in literary pursuits ; who 
added credit to this very history, as Scipio and 
LbbIius did to that of Polybius, by revising and 
correcting it; and brightening it,* as he expresses 


* The Life of Tully procured Dr. Middleton a great repu- 
tation> aiui a great sum of money. It is a pleasing and useful 
work, especially to younger readers, as it gives a comprehen- 
sive view of a most interesting period in the Roman history, 
and of the characters principally concerned in those impor- 
tant events. It may he worth observing, that he is much in- 
debted, without acknowledging it, to a curious book, little 
known, entitled, G. Bellendini, Scoti, de Tribtis Luminihia 
Romanorum, Libri 16. Parisiis Apud Tassanum du Bra^. 
1634. Folio; dedicated to King Charles. It comprehends a 



ity by the strokes of his pencil ? T^e liiau that 
had written this splendid encomium on Lord H. 
could not, we may imagine, be very well affected 
to the bard who had painted Lord Fanny in so 
ridiculous a light. We find him writing thus to 


history of Rome, from, the foundation of the city to the iime 
of Augustus, drawn up in the very words of Cicero, without 
any alteration of any expression. In this book Middleion 
found every part of Cicero's own history, in his own wgrds, 
and. his works arranged in chronological order, without ferther 
trouble. The impression of this work being shipped for Eng- 
land, was lost in the vessel, which was cast away, and only a 
few copies remained, that had been left in France. I venture 
to say, that the style of Middleton, which is commonly es- 
teemed very ptire, is blemished with many vulgar and cant 
terms. Such as Pompey Juid a month's mind^ &c. He has not 
been successful in the translations of those many epistles of 
Tully which he has inserted ; which, however curious, yet 
break the thread of the narration. Mongault and Melnioth have 
far exceeded him in their excellent translations of these pieces, 
which are, after all, some of the most precious remains of an- 
tiquity. What a treasure would it have been, if the letters of 
Tully to Julius Caesar had remained ! As also his Journal and 
Ephemerides ; and the Commentaries of Sylla, Lucullus, and 
PoUio. It is usual to lament the loss of the Decads of Livy ; 
but surely we might as much wish to recover the los( books of 
Diodorus Siculus, and Polybius, and the account of Annibal 
jnentioned by Cornelius Nepos. I will just add, that great 
])art of Middleton's Letter from Rome, is. taken from a little 
unknown French book, entitled, Les Cor\formites des Ceremonies 
Jjfibdem atec les Anciennes. A Ley da, chez J. Samhix, 1667. 


Dr. Warburtoti, Jan. 7, 1740 : " You have 
pvinced the orthodox}/ of Mr. Pope's principles ;- 
but, like the old Commentators on his Homer, 
will be thought, perhaps, in some places, to have 
found a meaning for him, that he himself never 
dreamt of. However, if you did not find him a 
philosopher^ you will make him one ; for he will 
be wise enough to take the benefit of your read- 
ing, and make his future essays more clear and 
consistent. '* 

26* That not in Fancy's maze he wander'd Iong« 
But stoopM to Tnah, and moralized his song.* 

Here is our author^s own declaration, delivered^ 
in the most precise and positive terms, that he 
early left the more poetical provinces of his art, 
to become a moral, didactic, and satiric poet. 

27. Of gentle blood f (part shed in honour's cause* 
While yet in Britain honour had applause) 
Each parent sprung ; what fortune pray their own. 
And better got than Bestia's from the throne. 



* Ver. 340. 

t When Mr. Pope published the notes on the Epistle to 
Dr. Arbuthnot^ giving an account of his fiunily^ Mr. Pottin- 


356 ESSAY ON TH£ G£N1US . 

Born to no pride* inheriting no strife, 

Kor marrying discord in a noble wife ; 

Stranger to civil and religious rage* 

The good man walk'd innoxious thro* his age. * 

No courts he saw, no suits would ever try* 

Nor dar'd an oath* nor hazarded a ]3''e. 

Vnlearn'd* he knew no schoolman's subtile art; 

No language* but the language of the heart. 

By nature honest, by experience wise* 

Healthy by temp'rance* and by exercise ; 

His life, tho' long* to sickness past unknown ; 

His death was instant, and without a groan.* 

Bo I LEA Uy 

ger, a relation of bis* observed* that his cousin Pope had mad^ 
himself out a fine pedigree* but he wondered where he got it; 
that he never had heard any thing himself of their being de- 
scended from the Earls of Down ; and, what is more* he had 
an old maiden aunt* equally related* a great genealogist, who 
was always talking of her family* but never mentioned this 
circumstance ; on which she certainly would not have been 
silent, had she known any thing of it. Mr. Pope's grand- 
father was a clergyman of the church of England* in Hamp- 
shire. He placed his son, Mr. Pope's father* with a merchant 
at Lisbon, where he became a convert to Popery. (Thus for 
Dr. Bolton, late Dean of Carlisle, a friend of Pope ; from Mr, 
Pottinger.J The burying-place and monuments of the family 
of the Popes*, Earls of Down, is at Wroxton, Oxfordshire. The 
Earl of Guildford says, that he has seen and examined the pe- 
digrees and descents of that family, and is sure that there 
were then none of the name of Pope lefl, who could be de« 
tceuded from that family.— ('Frew* John Loveday, qf Ckivershamp 
Esquire, J 

♦ Ver. 388. 



BoiLEAU,* who has been so frequently quoted, 
because he was the model of our author, speaks 
thus of his father and family, in an epistle that 
was justly one of his favourite works, addressed 
(in imitation of Horace's Vertumnum Janumque) 
to his 'oerses : 

Que si que1qu*un, mes vers, alors vous importune. 
Pour scavoir mes parens^ ma vie & ma fortune, 
Contes-lui, qu' alli^ d'ass^s hauts Magistrats, 
Fils d'un Pere Greffier, n6 d'ayeux Avocats; 
Des le berceau perdant uue fort jeune mere, 
Reduit seize ans apres a pleurer mon vieux Pere, 
J'allai d'un pas hardi, par moi-mesme guid^, 
£t de mon seul Genie en marchant second^, 
Studieux amateur, & de Perse & d'Horace, 
Ass^s pres de Regnier m'asseoir sur le Parnasse ; 
^OL. II. S Qu9 

* He had no asperity in his temper. Mad. de Sevign^ used 
to say. He is cruel only in verse. Being punctual in perform-. 
, ing all acts of religion, he was one day in the country, and 
went to confession to a priest who did not know him. " What 
is your occupation ?** said the good man. " To make verses,'* 
replied Boileau. " So much the worse,** said the Priest. 
" And what sort of verses ?" *' Satires,'* " Still worse and 
worse,** said the confessor. ** And against whom ?** 'rAgainst 
those (said Boileau) who make bad verses ; against such mis- 
chievous works as operas and romances.'* " Ah ! my friend, 
(says the Confessor,) there is no harm iq this ; and I have no* 
thing more to say to you.** 

MejDaoires de J. Racine, p. 106. 


Qae par un coop de sort au grand jour ameni 

Et de bord« du Permesse a la Coor entraisu^^ 

Je s^eiis, prenant I'essor par de routes nouvelles 

Eslever ass^s haut mes poetiqaes ^ites ; 

Que ce Roy**^ dont 1e nom fait trembler tant de Rois 

Youlut bien que ma main crayonnait ses exploits : 

Que plus d'un grand m'aima jujsques d la tendresse ; 

Que ma veue a Colbert inspiroit, I'allegresse ; 

Qu' aujourd'hui mesme encor de deux sens afibibli 

Retire de la cour & non mis en oobli ; 

Plus d'un Heros epris des fruits de mon estude, 

Vient quelquefois ches moi gouter la solitude.f 


* He was appointed historiographer to the King, with Ra- 
cine, in October, 1677. They both, together with Vander- 
Meulen, the painter, accompanied Louis XIV. in his osten- 
tatious expedition to Flanders. After the death of Racine, he 
went once to Versailles, to inform the King of the loss of his 
colleague ; and when he took his leave, Louis obligingly said 
to him, shewing him his watch, which he happened to hold 
in his hand, *' Remember that I have always one hour in the 
week to give you, whenever you will come to me/* 

It is to be regretted that Boileau never finished, what he 
told his friends he had sketched out, the life of Diogenes the 
Cynic, a comic romance, in which much literature, satire, 
and knowledge of life and manners, would have appeared. 
Let me take this occasion 9f adding, that it is also to be re* 
gretted, that Montesquieu never finished a political romance 
he intended to give, called Arsaces. 

+ Epistre x. ver. 93, 


All these particularities of his father, family, 
and fortunes, become interesting. There is in 
this passage the true manner of Horace, his easy 
vigour, and Jirma facilitas. It is on occasion 
of tWs epistle that Boikau wrote his celebrated 
letter to Mons. de Maucroix^ from which I shall, 
without any scruple, give a large extract, as it is 
so replete with good sense and solid criticism, 
and contains so many judicious observations on 
the more remote and interior beauties of style. 
Tom. iii. p. 185. ParM. de Saint Marc. 1747. 

Racan excelle sur tout, k mon avis, k dire 
les petites choses, & c'est en quoi il ressemble 
mieux aux anciennes, que j'admire sur tout par 
cet endroit Plus les choses sont seches & mal 
ais6es i dire en vers, plus elle frapent quand elles 
sont dites noblement, & avec cette elegance qui 
fait proprement la po6sie. Je me souviens que 
M. de la Fontaine m'a dit plus d'une fois, que les 
deux vers de mes ouvrages qu'il estimoit davan- 
tage, c'estoit ceux oA je loue le Roi d'avoir 6tabli 
la manufacture des points de France, k la place 
des points de Venise, Les voici. Cest dans la 
premiere Epistre h, sa Majest6. 

S2 £t 


El nos voisins frustrez de ces tributs serviles* 
Que payoit a leur art le luxe de nos lilies. 

Virgile & Horace sont divins en cela, aussi 
bien qu' Homere. Cest tout le contraire de nos 
Poetes, qui ne disent que des choses vagues, que 
d'autres ont d6ja dites avant eux, & dont les ex- 
pressions sont trouv^es. Quand ils sortent de li| 
ils ne s^auroient plus s'exprimer, & ils tombent 
dans une secheresse qui est encore pire que leurs 
larcins. Pour moy, je ne 5937 pas si j'y ay 
r^ussi :, mais quand je fais des vers, je songe toA- 
jours ^ dire ce qui ne s'est point encore dit en 
nostre langue. Cest ce que j'ay principalement 
afFect6 dans une nouvelle epistre, quej'ayfaite 
^ propos de toutes les Critiques, qu'on a impri- 
ni6es contre ma derniere satire. J'y conte tout 
ce que j'ay fait depuis que je suis au monde, j'y 
rapporte mes defauts, mon iige, mes inclinations, 
mes mocurs. J'y dis de quel Pere & de quelle 
Mere je suis nL J'y marque les degr^s de ma 
fortune; cpmmentj'ay ^st^ ^ la cour, comment 
j'en suis sorti ; les incommodites qui me sont sur- 
venues ; les ouvrages que j'ay faits. Ce sont 
bien de petites choses dites en asses peu de mots, 
1 puisque 


puisque la piece n a pas plus del cent trente vers. 
Elle n'^ pas encore veu le jour, & je ne I'ay pas 
mesme encore ecrite. Mais il me paroist que 
tous ceux k qui je Tay recitee, en sont aussi frap- 
pez que d'aucun autre de mes ouvrages. Croi- 
riez-vous, Monsieur, qu'un des endroits oil ils sc 
reorient le plus, c'est lin endroit qui ne dit autre 
chose, sinon qu' aujourd'huy que j'ai cinquante- 
sept ans, je ne dois plus pretendre k Tapprobation 
piiblique. Cela est dit en quatre vers que je veux 
bien vous ecrire ici, afin que vous me mandiez si 
vous les approuvez. 

Mais aujoard'hui qu' enfin la VieiHesse venue. 
Sous ines faux cheveux blonds d^ja toute chenue, 
A jett^ sur ma teste avec ses doigts pesans^ 
Onze lustres complets surchargez de deux ans. 

II me semble que la Perruque est asses lieu- 
reusement frondee dans ces quatres vers. 

28. O, friend ! may each domestic bliss be thine ! 
Be no unpleasing melancholy mine ! 
M6 let the tender office long engage. 
To rock the cradle of reposing age ;* 

S 3 With 

* See a letter to Mr. Richardson, desiring him to come to 
^ Twickenham^ and take a sketch of his mother, just after she 



With lenient arts extend a mother's breath. 
Make languor smile, and smooth the bed of death ; 
Explore the thought, explain the asking eye. 
And keep awhile one parent from the sky !* 

These exquisite lines give us a very interesting 
picture of the exemplary filial piety of our au- 
thor.f There is a pensive and pathetic sweet- 
ness in the very flow of them. The eye that has 
been wearied and opprest by the harsh and aus- 
tere colouring of some of the preceding pas- 
sages, turns away with pleasure from these aspe- 
rities, and reposes with complacency on the soft 
tints of domestic tenderness. We are naturally 
gratified to see great men descending from their 
heights, into the familiar oflSces of common life ; 
and the sensation is the more pleasing to us, be- 

was dead, June 20, 1733. " It would afford (says he) the 
finest image of a saint expired, that ever painter drew/* 
Vol. viii. p. 233. 

* Ver. 406. 

t For which also another truly great poet was remarkahle. 
See Memoirs of Mr. Gray's Life^ passim. And so also was 



cause admiration is turned into affection. In the 
very entertaining men^pirs of the life of Racine, 
(published by his son,) we find no passage* 
more amusing and interesting, than where that 
great poet sends an excuse to Monsieur, the 
Duke, who had earnestly invited him to dine at 
the Hotel de Conde, because he had promised 
to partake of a great fish that his children had 
got for him, and he could not think of disap- 
pointing them. 

Melancthon appeared in an amiable light, 
when he was seen holding a book in one hand, 
and attentively reading, and with the other rock- 
ing the cradle of his infant child. And we read 
with more satisfaction, 


tf motiooi 

* Memoirs sur la Vie de Jean Racine^ p. 182, printed 
1747 ; by the author of the Didactic Poems on Religion and 
Chrace, of Reflectiom on Poetry, of Two Epistles on Man, and 
some excellent Sacred Odes, particularly one from Isaiah^ 
c. xiv. He endeavours (but I fear in vain) to vindicate his 
father from the report of haying had any connexion with the 
celebrated actress Chammele, whom Racine taught to speak 
and declaim, and for whom it was thought he had a strong 
passion; of which he afterwards repented^ and became a re- 
markably good husband. 


« vxiios oft^a-n faiitfjuof txrpitff 

A4/ y vats vfos KoXmv ft;{iv90io rtBwmf 

than we do, 

Atyasf * 


« Iliad Ti. T. 407. f Iliad xiit. r. 20. 







W HEN I had a fever one >vinter in town, 
(said Pope to Mr. Spence,) that confined me 
to my room for five or six days, Loud Bo ling- 
broke came to see me, happened to take up a 
Horace that lay on the tahle, and, in turning it 
over, dipt on the first satire of the second hook. 
He observed, how well that would suit my case, 
if I were to imitate it in English. After he was 
gone, I read it over, translated it in a morning 
or two, and sent it to press in a week or fortnight* 
after. And this was the occasion of my imitating 
some other of the Satires and Epistles." **To how 
casual a beginning (adds Spence) are we obliged 
for the most delightful things in our language ! 
When I was saying to him, that he had already 



TimVous by nature, of the rich in awe, 

I come to counsel learned in the law : 

YouMl give me, like a friend, both sage and free 

Advice ; and as you use, without a fee. 

F. rd write no more. P. Not write ? but then I tbinki 

And for my soul I cannot sleep a wink. 

I nod in company, I wake at night, 

Fools rush into my. head, and so I write. 

F. You could not do a worse thing for your life : 

Why, if the night seem tedious, take a wife. 

Or rather, truly, if your point be rest. 

Lettuce and cowslip-wine, probatum est. 

But talk with Celsus ; Celsus will advise 

Hartshorn, or something that shall close your eyes.* 

Horace, with much seeming seriousness, ap* 
plies for advice to the celebrated Roman lawyer, 
C Trebatius Testa, an intimate friend of JultM 
Ccesar, and of Tully^ as appears from many of 
his epistles to Atticus; the gravity and self-im- 
portance of whose character is admirably sup- 
ported throughout this little drama. His answer^ 
are short, authoritative, and decisive. Quiescas. 
Aio. And, as he was known to be a great 
drinker and swimmer^ his two absurd pieces of 
advice have infinite pleasantry. All these cir- 
cumstances of humour are dropt in the copy. 




The Lettuce and Cowslip-wine are insipid and 
unmeaning prescriptions^ and have nothing to 
do with Mr. Fortescue's character. The third, 
fourth and ninth lines of this imitation are flat 
and languid. We must also observe, (from the 
old Commentator,*) that the verbs transnanto, 
and habento, are, in the very style of the Roman 
law, " Vide ut directis jurisconsultorum verbis 
utitur ad Trebatium jurisconsultum. 

% Aut si taotus amor scribendi te rapit, aude 
Caesaris invicti res dicere^ multa laborum 
Prsemia laturus.f- 

Or, if you needs must write, write Caesar's praise ; 
You'll gain at least a knighthood, or the bay 8,% 

This is superior to the original, because prcemia 
laturus is general and flat, in comparison of the 
particular rewards here specified. 

3. — neque 

• There are many excellent remarks in Aero and Porphy^ 
rio; from whom, as well as from Cruquius, Dacier has bor- 
rowed much, without owning it. Dacier*^ translation of Ho- 
race is not equal to his Aristotle's Poetics. In the former, he 
is perpetually striving to discover new meanings in his author, 
which Boileau called. The Revelations of Dacier. 

t Vcr. XO. ♦ Ver. 21. 


3. ' neque enim quivis horrentia pilis* 
Agmina, nee fractiL pereuntes cuspide Gallos, 
Aut labentis equo describat vulnera Parthi.f 

What! like Sir Richard, rambling, rough, and fierce^ 
With Arms, and George, and Brunswick, croud the verse; 
Rend with tremendous sound your ears asunder. 
With gun, drum, trumpet, blunderbuss, and thunder* 

Pope has turned the compliment to Augustas 
into a severe sarcasm. All the wits:|; seem to 
have leagued against Sir Richard Blackmore. In 
a letter now lying hefore me, from Elijah Fen- 
ton to my father, dated Jan. 24, 1707, he says, 

" I am 

* * Of these verses, says Porphyrio, Eleganter in h&c ipsl^ 
excusatione, posse se scribere ostendit. 

t Ver. 13. 

X Swift never could forgive Blackmare the following stric- 
tures on a Tale of a Tub, in his Essays, London, 1717. " Had 
this writing been published in a Pagan or Popish nation, who 
are justly impatient of all indignity offered to the established 
religion of their country, no doubt but the author would have 
received the punishment he deserved. But the fate of this 
impious buffoon is very different; for in a Protestant krngdom, 
zealous of their civil and religious immunities, he has not only 
escaped affronts, and the effects of public resentment, but he 
has been caressed and patronized by persons of great figure, 
and of all denominations*" 


•** I am glad to hear Mr. Phillips will publish his 
Pomona. Who prints it ? I should be mightily 
obliged to you, if you could get me a copy of 
his verses against Blackmore." As the letter con- 
tains one or two literary particulars, I will tran- 
scribe the rest. " As to what you write about 
making a collection, I can only advise you to 
buy what poems you can, that Tonson has printed, 
except the Ode to the Sun; unless you will take 
it in because I writ it ; which I am the freer to 
own, that Mat. Prior may not suffer in his re- 
putation, by having it ascribed to him. My 
humble service to Mr. Sacheverell^ and tell him I 
will never imitate Milton more, till the author of 
Blenheim is forgotten." In vain was Blackmore 
extolled by Molyneux and Locke : but Locke, to 
his other superior talents, did not add a good 
taste. He affected to despise poetry, and he de- 
preciated the ancients;* which circumstance, as 

I am 

* Another, and a better philosopher, thought very differ^ 
ently on this subject ; and has given so high an encomium on 
the utility of the ancient classics, that the passage deserves a 
particular notice. Annon ideo fit, ut scriptoruro priscorum 
prastantissimi libri & sermones, (quibus ad virtutem homines 
cfficacissimc invitati sunt, tam augustam ejus majestatem om- 


I am informed, from undoubted authority, was 
the source of perpetual discontent and dispute 
betwixt him and his pupil, Lord Shaftesbury^ 
who, in many parts of the Characteristics, has 
ridiculed Locke's philosophy, and endeavoured 
to represent him as a disciple of Hobbes ;* from 
which writer, however, it is certain, that Locke 
borrowed frequently and largely. 


4, _____ nisi dextro tempore, Flacci 
Verba per attentam non ibunt Cssaris aurem; 
Cui male si palpere recalcitrat undique tatus.f • 


nium oculis representando, quam opiniones popular^s, in vir* 
tUtis ignominiam, tanquam habitd parasitorum indutas, derisai 
propinando) tarn parum prosint, ad vitse honestatem, & mores 
pravos corrigendos, quia perlegi & revolvi non consueverunl^ 
a viris aetate & judicio maturis, sed Pueris tantum & Tyronibut 
relinquantur. Bacon de Augmentis. Scient. Lib. 7. c. 3. 

* " No author in that age (says Hume) was more cele- 
brated, both abroad and at home, than Hobbes. In our timet 
he is much neglected : a lively instance, how precarious are all 
reputations founded on reasoning and philosophy ! A pleasant 
comedy, which paints the manners of the age, and exposes a 
faithful picture of nature, is a durable work, and is transmitted 
to the latest posterity. But a system, whether physical or me- 
taphysical, owes commonly its success to its novelty; and is no 
sooner canvassed with impartiality, than its weakness is disco- 
vered. Hist. vol. vi. p. 127. 

t Ver. IS. 


Alas ! few verses touch their nicer ear ; 
. They scarce can bear their Laureate twice a year : 
And justly Caesar scorns the poet's lays ; 
It is to History he trusts for prgiise.* 


Superior to the original, on account of the 
mention of the Laureate ; and the sudden unex* 
pected turn in the last line, which is uncommonly 
sly and severe. 

5. Quid faciam? saltat Milonius^ &c.f 
Each mortal has his pleasure^ 

These words, indeed, dpeti the sense of Ho- 
race ; but the quid faciam is better, as it leaves it 
to the reader to discover what is one of Horace's 
greatest beauties, his secret and delicate tran-- 
sitions and connexions^ to which they who do not 
carefully attend, lose half the pleasure of reading 

5. ' ' ' none deny 

— -- Darty his ham*pye.^ 

VOL. II. T Lyttelton, 

• Ver. 33. + Ver. 2^. % Ver. 45. 

§ Ver. 45. 


Lyttelton, in his Dialogues of the Dead, 
has introduced Darteneufy in a pleasant discourse 
betwixt him and ApiciuSj bitterly lamenting his 
ill-fortune, in having lived before turtle-feasts* 
were known in England. ** Alas !" says he, 
*' how imperfect is human felicity ! I lived in an 
age when the pleasure of eating was thought to 
be carried to its highest perfection in England 
and France. And yet a turtle-feast is a novelty 
to me ! Would it be impossible, do you think, 
to obtain leave from Pluto, of going back for 
one^day, just to taste of that food ? I would pro- 
mise to kill myself by the quantity I would eat 
before the next morning." 

6. Castor gaudet equis ; oto prognatus eodem> 
Pugnis ' - ■■ " - ^t 

F. loves the senate, Hockley-hole his brother ; 
Like ia all else, as one tgg to another.^ 

This parallel is not happy and exact : to shew 
the variety of human passions and pursuits, 


* He might have said the same of the Chinese Bird's Nest, a 
piece of oriental luxury lately imported. 

t Ver. 2G. % Ver. 49. 


Castor and Pollux were unlike, even though they 
came from one and the same egg. This is far 
more extraordinary and marvellous, than that 
two common brothers should have diflferent in- 

?• Me pedibus delectat claudere verba, 
Luc ill ritu .* 

I love to pour out all myself^ as plain 

As downright Shippen, or as old Moniaigne.f 

** My chief pleasure is to write satires like Lu- 
cilius," says Horace. ** My chief pleasure (says 
Pope) is, — What? to speak my mind freely and 
openly.^' There should have been an instance of 
some employment^ and not a virtuous habit ; there 
follows in the original, a line which Bentley has 
explained very acutely, and in a manner differ* 
ent from the other commentators : 

neque si male gesserat, usquam 

Decurrea^, alio, neque si bene — ,% 

T 2 He 

* Ver. 28. f Ver. 51. } Ver. 31 


He affirms, that the true reading should be 
mal^ cesserat ; and that it does not mean, whe- 
ther his affairs went ill or not, but whether he 
wrote successfully or not* " Nusquam alio prae- 
terquam ad libros decurrens, seu bene ei cesserat 
in scribendOf seu nialfe. Scilicet quovis ille die 
scribere amabat, sive aptus turn ad stadium, seu, 
ut ssBpe usii venit, ineptior : seu musis faventibus 

sive aversis." 

The . passage that immediately follows, in the 
original, at verse the thirty-fifth, Nam Ventisi- 
nus arat, down to verse the thirty-ninth, to 
the words, incuteret violenta, which are fre- 
quently printed in a parenthesis, and have been 
supposed to be an awkward interpolation, were 
undoubtedly intended by Horace to represent the 
loose, incoherent and verbose manner* of Lu- 


— '— — — amat scripinsse ducentos 
Ante cibum versus^ totidem csenatus— 

Hor. sat. x. lib. 1. v. 61. 

Ad, Baillet, in his Jugemens, among his numerous blunders^ 
and false.judgments^ is so absurd as to take literally the ex- 
pression of Luciliu9— Stans pede in uno« 


cilius, (incomposito pede,) who loaded his sa- 
tires with many useless and impertinent thoughts : 

8. O Pater & Rex, 

Jupiter, utpereat positum rubigine telum.* 

Save but our army I and let Jove incrast 
Swords, pikes, and guns» with everlasting rust If 

He could not suffer so favourable an opportu* 
nity to pass, without joining with his friends, 
the patriots of that time, in the cry against a 
standing army. The sentiment in the original is 
taken, as the old schohast observes, from Calli" 
machu6 : 

Ziv Tfartfy us yjxKvQuv Tfotv airoXotvo'Jl, ysvos, 

** T 3 • Numberless 

* Ver. 42. t Ver. 73. 

J He imitates two other epigrams of Callimachus, in verse 8. 
of the 2d Sat. lib. 1. 

Praeclaram ingrata stringat malus ingluvie rem — 
and also, as Heinsius observes, in the :^05tl^ verse of the same 
satir e 

Leporem venator ut altii 

In nive sectatu r ■ i ■ 



Numberless are the passages in Horace, 
which he has skilfully adopted and interwoven 
from the Greek writers, with whom he was mi- 
nutely and intimately acquainted ; perhaps more 
so than any other Roman poet, having studied at 
Athens longer than any of them. 

Quidqaid sub terr^ est in apricum proferet setas 
Defodiet condetque nitentiaF— ,* 

is from the Ajax of Sophocles, verse 659^ 

^et r a^ijAx, xsct ^xvnra Kfvvltrott, 

Pernicies & Tempestas, Barathrumque macelli— — f . 

Grotius, in that vfry entertaining book, his 
Excerpta ex Tragcediis Sf Comcediis Gnecis, has 


In the sixth satire oi' the second book^ he has Sophocles in his 

Luserat in campo fortunae filius* ■' 

(Edip^ Tyrann. 1090.. 
^ Ep. vi. V. 24. t Ver. 31. Ep. 15. 


preserved, page 583, a fragment of Alea^iSf to 
which this passage of Horace alludes : 

Tlfos rut mtfuruiroLS rt, ut^ woXXams 
Avrov xsxkioKUs roie ILaiAoOfa^tv tv^tr^i 
Aiii^at vnojtrx %at yaXmvta'at vor«« 
XH[A,cif¥ o(ji.etpaxiaitos tart rots (piXotf^ 

Per marc pai^periem fugiens, per sai^a^ per igaes,''^ 

is from Theognis : 

Hv ^fi xffi fivyovra non ts (Aiyatxyirtat vovio^ 
Vfrfien^ KKt vtTfwVf Kvfvt kxt i^Xt^a^ruf^ 

Sunt verba & voces quibus hunc lenire dolorem 
Possis^ & magnam morbi deponere partem^f 

is from the Hippolitus of Euripides : 

• * • 

. Etatv y iiru^at Kott \oyot OiXxmtptou 

*■ ■ "I - Si quid novisti recti us istis 

Candidus iinperti^ si noD> his utere mecum4 

T 4 is 

* Ep, i. lib, 1, ver. 46. t Ep, i. lib. 1. ver. 35, 

X Bp. yi. 67- 


is taken^ as Cruquius remarks, from Isocrates to 

Nicocles : 

Spes jubet esse ratas, in praelia trudit inermem^''^ 

from an elegant fragment of Diphilus ; in which 
Bacchus is addressed : 

^iowcrty Koct trocar xr us ffovs rtf «, 
Oro^y rxvetvov fjLiyot ^povem nrotets imws. 
Toy rxs o^fvs xtpovra avf^iretOets yiXav^ 
Toy T* av^nifi roXyiMif rty rov ^«A.oy Opaa-etfm 

The bold and beautiful metaphor in the fourth 
ode of the fourth book, 

Per Siculas equitavH und'as^ 

is from the Phcenissce of Euripides^ verse 222, 
(the Oxford edition in 4to. by Dr. Musgrave, 


Ver. 17. Ep. 5. 


Zs^vpti wotais 

Ivfnvoratvros cy apavu- 

The beginning of the first ode of the first book, 
which points out the different inclinations and 
pursuits of men, alludes to a passage in Pindar^ 
preserved by Sextus Ernpiricus^ in the first Pyrrh. 

AiWoitd^Mv (/.lit Tiv* tv(ppottjns9iv IwJFcjv rifAat xoci (rrt^atfotf 
las y Ev fToXvj^jpvaois GaXatfAOts /S/wra* ^ 

Ttptrtleti ^8 rts tip ot^fAM aXiov vai 9om cruv ^tacreeiQoiVm 

And line the 25th of the second * ode of the 
third book, is taken from a fragment of Sima- 
nides;\ cited by Aristides. 2. Platonica. 

Est & fideli tuta Silentio 
Merces— — *— 

'^imns axjvSwoif yepas. 


* Sec P. Petiti. Misc. Obs. lib. iii. cap. 25. 

f The words. Mors & fugacem persequitur virum, in Ode 2, 
book iii. are even translated from Sitnonides: 


Bentley, with his usual acuteness, conjec- 
tured, that an obscure passage in Horace would 
be illustrated, if ever the Greek epigram of Phi- 
lodemus, to which be alluded, should be disco- 

GalliSf* hanc^ Philodemus ait— — -L. i. sat* 2, 121. 

Reiskius has since printed the very epigram, 
and the last words of it confirm Bentley's conjec- 

9. Nee quisquam noceat cupido mihi pacis ! at ille 
dui me coinin6rit (melius non tangere clamo) 
Flebit^ &. insignis tot^ cantabitur urbe.f 

Peace is my dear delight— no/ Fletery's more: 
But touch me, aud no minister so sore, 
Who'er offends, at some unlucky time. 
Slides into verse, and hitches into rhyme.:|: 


* See Anthol. Graec, Lib. tres Oxonii, 1766, p. 03. Phi- 
lodemus lived at Rome in the time of Tully, and is mentioned 
by him as a friend of Piso. 

t Ver. 44. } Ver. 75, 


Superior to the original, on account of the 
lively and unexpected satire at the end of each of 
the two first lines j a high improvement of Cu^ 
pido mihipaciSf 

10. Cervius iratus leges miuitatur & urQaiQ; 
Canidia Albuti^ quibus est inimica^ venenum ; 
Grande malum Turius^ si quid se judice certas*— « 

Slander or poison dread from Delia's rage ; 
Hard words, or hanging, if yoiir judge be Page.f 

It is difficult to say which passage is the more 
spirited. But what follows in Pope, 

Its proper power to hurt each creature feels, 

is inferior to 


Imperet hoc natura potens, sic collige mecum. 
Dente lupus, corhu taurus petit; unde nisi intus 
Mpnstratum } \ 


♦ Ver. 46. ^ t Ver. 81. 

I Ver. 51. 


But then again these two lines, 

So drink with Walters, or with Chartres eat; 
They'll never poison you; they'll only cheat,* 

IS expressed with an archness, and a dryness, be- 
yond the original, that follows : 

Scaevae vivacem crede nepoti 

Matrem; nil faciei sceleris pia dextera (mirum 

Ut neque calcc lupus quemquam, nee dente petit bos) 

Sed mala toilet anum vitiatomelle cicuta.f 

11. Ne longum faciam: sen mc tranquilla senectus 
Expectat, seu mors atris circumvolat alis ; 
Dives, inops; Romas, seu fors ita jusserit exul ; 
Quisquis erit vitae scribam color.j; 

Then, learned Sir ! (to cut the matter short,) 
Whate'er my fete, or well or ill at court; 
Whether old age, with faint, but chearful, ray. 
Attends to gild the ev'niug of my day ; 
Or death's black wing already be dlsplay'd. 
To wrap me in the universal shade ; 
Whether the darken'd rooms to muse invite. 
Or whiten'd wall provoke the skewer to write; 
In durance, exile. Bedlam, or the Mint, 
Like Lee or Budgell, I will rhyme and print.§ 


* Ver. 89. f Ver. 53. } Ver. 54. § Ver. 91. 


The brevity and force of the original is eva- 
porated in this long and feeble paraphrase. The 
thirds and three succeeding hnes, are languid and 
verbose, and some of the worst he has written. 

12. Quid cum est Lucilius ausus 

Primus in hunc operis componere carmina morem, 
Detrahiere & pellem, nitidus qua quisquc per crra 
Cederet, introrsum turpis.*— - 


What^ arm'd for virtue when I point the pen. 
Brand the bold front of shameless guilty men. 
Dash the proud gamester from his gilded car. 
Bare the mean heart, that lurks beneath a star; 
Can there be wanting, to defend her cause. 
Lights of the Church, or guardians of the laws ?f 

Tliat strain J / heard was of a higfter mood, — 

than the original pretends to assume. Our au- 
thor's Horace differs as much from his original as 
does his Homer; yet both will be always read 
with great pleasure and applause. * 

13, Could pensioned Boileau lash, in honest strain. 
Flatterers and bigots ey'a in Louis' reign r§ 


* Ver. 64. f Ver. 105. 

X Milton's Lycidas, 87. § Ver. 111. 



BoiLEAu acted with much caution and cir- 
cumspection, when he first published his Lutrin, 
here alluded to ; and endeavoured to cover and 
conceal his subject, by a preface intended to 
mislead his reader from the real scene of action; 
which preface is mentioned in the first volume of 
this Essay, page 214; but it ought to be ob- 
served, that he afterwards, in the year 1683, 
threw aside this disguise; openly avowing the 
occasion that gave rise to the poem, the scene of 
which was not Bourges, or Pourges, as before he 
had said, but Paris itself; the quarrel he cele- 
brated being betwixt the Treasurer* and the 
Chanter of the Holy Chapel in that city. The 
canons were so far from being offended, that 
they shewed their good sense and good temper 
by joining in the laugh. Upon which Boileau 
compliments them, and adds, that many of that 
society were persons of so much wit and learning, 
tliat he would as soon consult them upon his 


* His name was Barrin; that of the Treasurer was Claude 
Aiivri, Bishop of Coutance, in Normandy. The quarrel be- 
gan in July, 1667. See Letters of Brossette to Boileau. A 
Lyon. 1770. Page 242, v. 1. 


works, as the members of the French Aca- 
demy. * 

1 4<. Quin ubi se a tulgo & scen^ in secreta remorant 
Virtus Scipiadae & mitis sapientia Laeli, 
Nugari cum illo, & discincti ludere, donee 
Decoqueretur olus, solitif — — 

There my retreat the best companions grace; 
Chiefs out of war^ and statesmen out of place : 
There St. John mingles with my friendly bowl. 
The feast of reason^ and the flow of soul : 
And he^ whose lightning pierced th' Iberian lined. 
Now forms my quincunx, and now ranks my Tines, 
Or tames the genius of the stubborn plain. 
Almost as quickly as he conquer'd Spain.^ 

1 know not whether these lines, spirited and 
splendid as they are, give us more pleasure 
than the natural picture of the great Scipio and 
LdliuSy^ unbending themselves from their high 
occupations, and descending to common, and 


* Oeuvres de M. Boileau Despreaux, par M. de Saint 
Marc. Tom. ii. 177, Paris, 1747. 

t Ver. 71. X Ver. 125. 

^ Whose character is finely touched by that sweet exprsa- 

sion, mitis sapientia. 


even trifling sports : for the old commentator 
says, that they lived in such intimacy with Im" 
cilius, " ut quodam tempore Lcelio circum lectos 
triclinii fugicnti Liicilius superveniens, eum ob- 
tOTt'k niappii quasi percussurus sequeretur." For 
this is the fact to which Horace seems to allud^ 
rather than to what Tuily mentions in the second 
book De Oratore^ of their amusing themselves in 
picking up shells and pebbles on the sea-shore. 
JBolifigbroke is here represented as pouring out 
himself to his friend, in the most free and unre- 
served conversations, on topics the most interest- 
ing and important. But Pope was deceived ; for 
it is asserted, that the philosopher never disco- 
vered his real principles to our poet ; who Is said, 
strange as this appears, not even to have been 
acquainted with the tetiets and contents of those 
very Essays which were addrest to himself, at 
the beginning of Bolingbroke's Philosophical 

■ • 

Works. And it is added, that Pope was sur- 
prised, in his last illness, when a common ac- 
quaintance informed him, that his Lordship, in 
a late conversation, had deny'd the moral attri- 
butes of God. There is a remarkable passage in 

a letter 


a tetter from Boliugbroke to Swift, dated June, 
1734: — ** I am glad you approve of his Moral 
Essays. They will do more good than the ser- 
mons and writings of some who had a mind to 
^nd great fault with them. And if the doctrines 
TAUGHT, HINTED AT, and IMPLIED in them, and 


these doctrines, were to be djsputed in prose, I 
think he would have no reason to apprehend, 
either the free-thinkers on one hand, or the 
narrow dogmatists on the other. Some few things 
may be expressed a little hardly ; but none are, I 
believe, unintelligible." With respect to the 
doctrines of the Essay on Man, I shall here in- 
sert an anecdote copied exactly from the papers 
of Mr, Spence, in the words of Pope himself. 
** In the moral poem, I had written an address 
to our Saviour, imitated from Lucretiuis compli- 
ment to Epicurus; but omitted it, by the advice 
of Dean Berkeley. One of our priests, who are 
more narrow than yours, made a less sensible ob- 
jection to the Epistle on Happiiiess. He was very 
angry that there was nothing said in it of our 
eternal happiness hereafter ; though my subject 
VOL. II. V ' . was 


was expressly to treat only of the state of man 

There are not, perhaps, four more finished 
lines in our author*s works, than those above 
mentioned, relating to Lord Peterborough : par*- 
ticularly the very striking turn of compliment in 
the last line, which so beautifully and vigorously 
figures the rapidity of his conquest of Valencia. 

15. tamen me 

Cum magnis Tixisse invita fatebitur usque 

EuTy must own, I live among the great ; 
No pimp of pleasure, and no spy of state.f 

Pope triumphs and felicitates himself upon 
having lived with the great, without descending 
into one of those characters which he thinks it 
unavoidable to escape in such a situation. From 
the generosity and openness of Horace's character, 
I think he might be pronounced equally free (at 
least from the last) of tliese imputations. Tliere 

• must 

• Ver. 75. ^ Ver. 13J. 


Ititist hsxt be^Q something uncommonly capti^ 
Vating in the temper and manners of Horace, that 
could have made Augustus so fond of him, 
though he had been so avoH^ed an enemy, and 
served under Brutus. I have seen some manu* 
script Letters of Shaftesbury^ in which he has 
ranged in three different classes, the Ethical 
writings of Horace, according to the different 
periods of his life in which he supposes them to 
have been written. The first, during the. time 
he' professed the Stoic philosophy, and was a 
friend of Brutus. Tlie second, after he became 
dissolute and debauched, at the Court of Au- 
gustus. The third, when he repented of this 
abandoned Epicurean life, wished to retire from 
£he city and cdurt, and become a private man 
and a philosopher. 


16. ■ et fragili quaerens illidere dentem^ 

Offeadet solido*-*— * 

: Pope has omitted this elegant allusion. Ho- 
race seems to have been particularly fond of those 
exquisite morsels of wit and genius, the old 

U a JEsbpit 


« Ver. 77. 


JEsopic * fables. He frequently alludes to tihemi 
but always with a breoity^ very difierent from 
our modern writers of fable : even the natural 
La Fontaine has added a quaint and witty thought 
to this very fable. The FUe says to the Viper, 
Fab. y8, 

Ta te romproifl toates les dents. 
Je oe crains que cellcs da Temps. 

17. Si mala condiderit in quem quis carmina, jas est 
Judiciamqile. H. £sto si quis mala, sed bona si qvisT* 
Jadice condiderit laadatus Caesaref- 

To laugh at the solemnity of Trebatius, Ho- 
race puts him off with a play upon words : But 
our important lawyer takes no notice of the jest, 
and finishes with a gravity suited to his cha« 

Solventur risd tabalce> Tu missus abibis. 


* See the learned Dissertatiohi Dk Babrio, lately published 
by Mlfi TyrWhit; in which are sereral of the greatest ele* 

t Ven 82. 



This dialogue I heard lately spoken * with so 
much spirit and propriety, that if our author 
could have been present, hf, perhaps, might have 
been inclined to alter an opinion, of which he 
seems very fond, in the fourth book of the Dun- 
ciad, " that Words only are learnt at our great 

18. Non meus bic sermo; sed quse ppsecepit Qfellus 
RusticuSj ahnprmis sapiens, crass&que Minerv&.f 

Hear Bethel's sermon ; one not versM in schools^ 
But strong in sense^ and wise without the rules^ 

This discourse in praise of TemperaQce, loses 
much of its grace and propriety, by being put 
into the mouth of a person of a much higher 
rank in life than the honest countryman Ofellus ; 
whose patrimony had been seized by Augustus, 
and given to one of hjs soldiers, pamed Umbre* 
fiw; and whom, perhaps, Horace recommended 
to the emperor, by making him the chief speaker 
in this very satire. We may imagine that a dis- 
course on temperance from Horace, raised a laugh 

U 3 atnong 

♦ At Eton School. t Ss^t. ii. lib. ?. V. 2. } Ver. 9, 


amoQg the courtiers of Augustus; atnd we see 
,Jie could not venture to deliver it in hia own pe^ 
son. This imitation of Pope is not «qual to motf 
pf his others. 

19, ■■ ■ (leporem sectatas^ equoTe 

Lassus ab indomito, vel, (si Remana fatigat 
Militia assuetuai grscari) seu pila velox, 
Molliter austerum studio fallei^te laborem ; 
Seu te discus agit, pete cedentem aera disco ; 
Cum labor es^tuderit fastidia, siccus^ inauis, 
Sperne cibum vilem ; nisi *" Hymettia mella Falema 
Ne biberis diluta. Foris est promus & atrum 
Defendens pisces hiemat mare ; cum sale panis 
Latrantem stomachum bene leniet. ynde putas aut 
Qui partum ? non in caro nidore yoluptas 
Summa, sed in teipso est. Tu puhn^ntaria quaere 
Sudando. Pinguem vitiis albumque neque ostra 
Nee scarus, aut poterit peregrina juvate Ia^is.f 

Go huat^ work, exercise! he thus begauj 

Then scorn a homely dinqer, if you can. 

Your wine lockM up, your butler stroll'd abroad. 

Or fish deny*d, (the river yet unthaVd,) 

If then plain bread and milk will do the feat, 

'^'he pleasure lies in you, and not the meat.f 


* We are informed by Mr, Stuart, in hia Athens, that th^ 
honey of Hymettus, even to this time, continues to be in vogue, 
and ths^t the seraglio of the Grand Seignor is se^ed with 9^ 
quantity of it yearly. 

tVer. 9. jVer, 11, 


• This paragraph is much inferior to the origin^l^ 
in which the mention of many particular exerci$e9 
gives it a pleasing variety. The sixth and se>r 
venth. lines in Horace are nervous and strong. 
The third in Pope, languid and wordy, which 
renders foris est promus. Defendens, & latranr 
tem^ & carOj & pinguem^ & alburn^ are all of 
them very expressive epithets. And the allusion 
to Socrates's constant exercise, tu pulmentaria^ 
Ssc ought not to have been omitted. Pope's two 
last lines in this passage are very exceptionable : 

20. Vix lamen eripiani, posito pavone, velis quin 
Hoc potius quam gallind tergere palatum.''^ 

Preach as I please, I doubt our curious men 
Will chuse a pheasant still before a heu.f 

He might have inserted the original word ped" 
cocks, as many of our English epicures are fond 
of them. Q. Hortensius had the honour of 
being the first Roman that introduced this bird 
to the table as a great dainty, in a magnificent 
feast which he made on his being created Augur. 

U 4 The 

•Ver.23- t Ver, n. 


The price of a peacock (says Arbuthnot, page 
1S9) was 50 denarii; that is, 1/. IS^. 3dL A flock 
of a hundred was sold at a much dearer rate, for 
S22/. 18^. 4d of our money. M. Aufidius 
LurcO) according to Varro, used to make eveiy 
year of his peacocks 484/. 79. 6d. 

21. Unde datum sentis Idfus hie TibeiiDiUy an alto 
Captus hiet ? pontesne inter jactatus, an amnis 
Ostia 8ub Tusci ? laudas insane trilibrem 
Mallum; in singula quern minuas polmenta neceste 

tsL* . 

Of carp* and mallets why prefer the great, 
Tho' cut in pieces ere my Lord can eat; 
Yet for small turbots such esteem profess ? 
Because God made these large^ the other Iess.f 

Very inferior to the original ; and principally 
so, because that pleasant stroke is omitted, of 
the eater's knowing in what part of the river the 
lupu^ was taken, and whether or no betwixt 


• Ver. 31. f Ver. 21. 

t Pliny, in his Natural Hjstoiy, b. ix. c. 34. mentions an 
extraordinary circumstance that gave value to their fish. Tot 
piscium saporibus, quibus prctia capientium periculo Hunt, 




the two bridges, which was deemed an essential 
circumstance. The reader will be well entertcuned 
on this subject, if he will look into the seventeenth 
chapter of the third book of Macrobius, particu- 
larly into a curious speech of C THius^* there 
recited. But Horace seems to have had in liis 
eye a passage of Lucilius, quoted by Macrobiusf 
Sed & Lucilius acer & violentus poeta, ostendit 
scire se hunc piscem egregii saporis, qui inter 
duos pontes captus esset Lucilii versus hi sunt ; 

Fingere prseterea afferri quod quisque volebat; 
Ilium sumina ducebant atque Altilium Lanx, 
Hunc pontes Tiberinos duo inter captus catillo. 

With respect to the mullus^ (which is supposed 
to be what the French and we call surmoulkt^) 


The fish were esteemed, and supposed to have a higher flavor* 
in proportion to the daAgers that had been undergone in the 
catching them. We are not yet arrived to the height to virhich 
^oman luxury was carried, however we may flatter ourselves 
on our improvements in eating. 

^ Cujus verba ideo p6no, quia non solum de lupo inter 
duos pontes capto erunt testimonio> sed etiam mores, quibns 
plerique tunc vivebani, facile publicabunt. Describens enim 
homines prodigos in fomm ad judicandum ebrios commeantes i 
quseque soleant inter se sermocinari* sic ait ; '' Ludunt alet, 
f^c/' p. 535. farisiisH58i. 


JjAveual * speaks of one bought for 48L 8s. 9d. 
According to Macrqbius^ there was paid for an- 
ther 561, 10s. Id. For a third, according to 
P/iiiy, 64L lis. 8d. Our age is as yet unac* 
quainted with the niceness of the ancients in 
weighing their fishes at table, and beholding 
them e^cptrt. The death of a mulluSy with the 
variety and change of colours in its last moments, 
was reckoned one of the most entertaining spec** 
tacles in the world by the men of taste at Rome. 

21. Presentes 

^ Arbuthnot of Ancient Colns» p. ISO. The expences of 
Vitellines table for one year amounted to 7 >265^625 pounds 
fterling; In Macrobhis^ lib. ii. c. 9. is a bill of fare^ and an 
account of the company who supped with Lentulus, when he 
was made priest of Mars. And in Suetonius (Life of Vitel* 
lius, cap. 13.) is the description of a costly supper which his 
brother gave him, in which there were two thousand of the 
jphoicest birdis ; one dish> for its amplitude and capacity, was 
called Minerva* s buckler, which consisted chiefly of the liyers 
of Scari, the brains of pheasants and peacocks, the tongues 
4>f pheenicopterae, and lampreys bellies, brought from the most 
distant coasts in Triremes. Claudius ^sopus, the tragedian, 
had one dish that cost him 600 sestertia, (48431. 10s.) in 
l^hich, to enhance the price of it, he had put singing-birds. 
Vestais, the modern "BoihylUis, is not i/et rich enough to give 
Yuch a dish to his admirers. I know not what JEsopus^s salary 
was for acting ; I^oseius had thirty-two pounds five shilfiugs a 

• . k. 

AND writings: OF V^Pt. fe^ 

91. Presentes Austria coqmte horum obsoni a ^ ■■■ * 

Oh ! btast it^ south wik<}s ! till a stexich eicbal^ 
Bank as the ripeness pf a rabbi t^s tail.f 

A very filthy and offensive image, for the 
happy and decent word coquite : it must be owned 
our author, as well as Swift, was but too fond of 
such disgustful images. • i 

^2. Tutus erat Rhombqs^ tutoque Cicoqia nido, 
Ponec vos autor docuit praetorius.— -r-r-J 

The robin-red-breast till of late had rest^ 
And children sacred held a martin's nest ; 
^ill Baccafico^s sold so dey'lish dear. 
To one that was, or would have bqen, a peer.} 

He has happily substituted for the stork^ twoi 
sorts of birds^ that amon^ us are held, as it were,r 
sacred. Asellus Sempronius Rufus was the per-« 
son || who iirst taught the Romans to eat storks^ 


* Ver. 41. t Ver. 27. 

% Ver. 49. § Ver. 37, 

)| See the Horace of Badius Ascensius, printed at Paris ia 

folio, \5l», t 21S. 


for which he was said to have lost the prcetorahip : 
on which subject the following verses were writ- 
ten, and have been preserved by the old commen- 
tator Porphyrio. 

Ciconiaram Rufus iste Conditor, 
Hie est daobus elegantior Plancis ; 
Saffragioruin puncta non tulit septem : 
Ciconiarum populas ultus est mortem. 

23. Porrectum magno magnum spectare catino 
Vellem, ait, Harpyiis Gula digna rapacibos,* 

Oldfield, with more than barpy throat eiiduM, 
Cries, Send me, Gods ! a whole hog barbecq'd !f 

He has happily introduced this large unwieldy 
instance of gluttony, supposed to be peculiar to 
the West Indies. But Athenceus % speaks of a 
cook that could dress a whole hog with various 



* Ver. 40. j Ver. 25. 

X An author that deserves to be more read and regarded, as 
abounding with entertaining anecdotes, and various accounts 
of the manners and ways of living of the ancients, and iq 
quotations of elegant fragments of writers now lost. The 
same may be said of Siobaus, a work full of curious extracts 
upon important and pleasing subjects* 



puddings in his belly. I unfortunately know not 


with what wine it was basted. The slow move- 
ment of the lines in the original, loaded with 
spondees, aptly represent the weight and vast- 
ness of the dish. Gula is used personally ; as it 
is also by Juvenal^ Sat xiv. v. 10. 

24. Si quia nunc mergos suaves cdixerit assos, 
Parebit pravi docilis Romana juventus.'^ 

Let me extol a cat on oysters fed ; 
V\\ have a party at the Bedford-Head ; 
Or ev'n to crack live craw-fish recommend, 
f Pd never doubt at Court to have a friend.^ 

To dine upon a cat fattened with oysters, and 
to crack live craw-fish, is infinitely more pleasant 
and ridiculous than to eat mergos assos. But 
then the words extol^ and recommend^ fall far 
below cdixerit ; give out a decree. So Virgil, 
Georgic the third, line S95, does not advise, but 
raises his subject by saying^ 


* Ver.5l. 
t Tbif fourth line is feeble and unmeaniog. 

jVcr. 41. 


Incipiens stabuhs edico in moliibus herbam 
Carpere oves » 

25. Ille repotia natales aliosqae dierum 
Festos albatus celebret ■ ■ * 

But on some lucky day, as vihen they found 

A lost Bank-bill, or heard their son was drown'd.f 

Much heightened and improved by two such 
supposed occasions of the unnatural festivity and 
joy of a true miser. 

26. Dulcia se in bilem vertent, ^tomzclioque tumidtum 
Lenta feret pituita.— — J 

Where bile, and phlegm, and wind, and acid> jar^ 
And all the man is -one intestine war.§ 

Tx yaf avofAQia ^aviot^et^ says Hippocratcs f thi? 
very metaphor here employed by Horace. Two 
writers of science, in Greek, have used a fttyle 
eminently pure, precise, and elegant ; Hippocra" 
Us and Euclid. 

' 127. ■ -vidcs^ 

* Ver. 60. t Ver. 55 1 % Ver. 15. S Ver. 7U 


127 > vides, ut pallidum omnis 

Gaen& desnrgat dubi&.- « ■ • 

How pale each worshipful and tev^rend gttest^ . . ^ 
Rise from a Clergy or a City feast !f 

Our author has been strangely guilty here of 
false English, and false grammar, by using rise 
for rises. The expression in the original, is from 
Terence^ in the second act of the Phormip^ . 

Ph. Csenaifoka apponitur.: 

Geta. Quid istud yerbi est ? Ph. Ubi tu dubites quid 
sumas potissimum. 

' From which passage it is worth observing, Ihat 
Terence was the first writer that used this express 
sion. • ,.-j 

* ». • / 

2S. ■ ' Hos utinam inter 

Heroas natum tellus me prima tulisset*^ 

Why had I not in these good times my birth. 
Ere coxcomb*pyes, or coxcombs^ were on earth ?§ 

. » 


* Ver. m, t Yer. 76. % Ver. »$. % Ver. 97. 

304 tSSAY ON THE CENluf • 

The last line, and the conceit of coxcomb-j9;ye5 
and coxcombs^ sink it below the original ; which, 
by the way, says Cruquius, seems to allude to 
that of Hesiod, Oper. & Dkb. 

22. Das aliquid Tatms, qn» carmine gratior auren 
Occupet bamaaam— -^* 

Unworthy ne^he voice of Fame to hear. 
That sweetest music to an honest ear.f 

Two very beautiful lines, that excel the origi- 
naji; though, in truth, the word occupat has 
much force. Horace again alludes to his favorite 
Grecians. Antisthenes philosophus, (says the 
old commentator,) cum vidisset adolescentem 
Acroamatibus multum delectari^ O te, ait, Jnfe* 
licem, qui summum Acroama, hoc est, Laudem 
«uam non audivisti. 

30. Cur 

♦ Ver. 94. f Ver. 99< 


30. Car * «get indignus qutsquam tc divite ?f 
How dar'si thou let one worthy man be poor ? J 

Very spirited, and superior to the original; 
for dar'st is far beyond the mere eget 

SU Non aliquid patriae tanto emetiris acervo ?§ 

Or to thy country let that heap be lent> 

As M— — o's was— but not at five per cent.j[ 

He could not forbear this stroke against a no- 
bleman, whom he had been for many years ac- 
customed to hear abused by his most intimate 
friends. A certain parasite, who thought to please 
Lord Bolingbroke, by ridiculing the avarice of 
the Duke of M. was stopt short by Lord Boling- 
broke ; who said, He was so very great a man, 
that I forget he had that vice« 

TOL. II. X S2. Non 

* " Ev'n modest want may blesd your hand unseen^ 
'' Tho' hush'd in patient wretchedness at home.^ 


Which second line (of Dr. Armstrong) is exquisitely tender* 
t Ver. 103. J Ver. X18. § Ver. 105. || Ver. 12K 

S06 £S8AY ON THE G£Nlt[S 

52. Kon ego, narranlem^ temere edi luce profests 
Qoidquam, &c.* ■ 

This speech of Ofellus continues in the original 
to the end of this satire. Pope has taken all that 
follotirs out of the mouth of Bethellj and speaks 
entirely in his own person, Tis impossible not 
to transcribe the pleasing picture of his way of 
life, and the account he gives of his own table, 
in lines that express common ^nd familiar objects 
with dignity and elegance. See, therefore, his 
bill of fare, of which you will long to partake, 
and wish you could have dined at Twickenham. 

^Tis ttue, no turbots dignify my boards ; 

But gudgeons, flounders, what my Thames affords : 

To Hounslow-Heath I point, and Bansted-Down^ 

Thence comes your mutton, and these chicks my own. 

From yon old walnut*tree a show'r shall fall ; 

And grapes, long lingering on my only wall ; 

And figs from standard and espalier join ; 

The dev'l is in you if you cannot dine* 

Then chearful healths, (your mistress shall hate place ;) 

And, what's more rare, a poet shall say f grace. J 

33. Nam 
* Ver. 11(3. 

t Which Swift always did, with remarkable decency and 


t Ver. .141. 


SS. Nam propriae Telluris herum natura neque illutn 
Nee me nee quemquam statuit— — * 

What's property f dear Swift ! you see jt alter^ 
From you to me, from me to Peter Walter. f 

Swift was always reading lectures of oeconomy, 
upon which he valued himself, to his poetical 
friends. A shilling, says he, is a serious thing. 
His favourite maxim was, " Have money in your 

head, but not in your heart." Our author would 


have been pleased, if he could have known that 
his pleasant villa would, after his time, have been 
the property of a person of distmguished learning, 
taste, and virtue. J 

54,. — quocirca vivite fortes, 

Fortiaque adversis opponite pectora rebas.§ 

Let lands and bouses have what lords they will. 
Let us be fix'd, and our own masters still. || 

X2 • The 

* Ver, 130. t Ver. 167. 

% The Right Honourable Welbore Ellis. 

\ Ver. 135. ll Ver. 179. 


The majestic plainness of the original is weakened 
and impaired, by the addition of an antithesis, 
and a turn of wit, in the last line, 

35. Prima dicte mihi, summi diccnde Canfi8en&, 

Spectatum satis, & donatum jam rude quseris, 

Maeceuas ;* iterum antiquo me includere ludo. 

Non eadem est aetas, non mens ; Veianius armis 

Herculis ad postern fixis, latet abditus agro, 

Ne populum extrema toties exoret arena.f 


* It has been suspected that his affection to his iriend was 
so strong, as to make him resolve not to outlive him ; and that 
he actually put into execution his promise of ibirnus, ibimus, 
Od. xvii. 1. 3. Both died in the end of the year 746 U. C. 
Iforace only three weeks after Macenas, November 27. No- 
thing can be so different as the plain and manly style of the 
former, in comparison with what Quintilian calls the ca/amis<ro« 
of the latter, for which Suetoidus, and Macrobius, c. 86, says 
Augustus frequently ridiculed him ; though Augustus himself 
was guilty of the same fault. As when he said, Vapidi se 
habere, for male. The learned C. G. Heyne, in his excellent 
edition of Virgil, after observing, that the well-known verses 
usually ascribed to Augustus, on VirgiPs ordering!) is JEneid 
to be burnt, are the work of some bungling grammarian, and 
not of that Emperor, adds, *' Videas tamen Voltairium, hor- 
ridos hos & ineptos versus non modo Augusto tribuere, verum 
etiam magnopere probare ; ils sont beaux & semblent partir 
du coeur. Essai sur la Poesie Epique, c. 3, Ita vides, ad 
verum pulchrarum sententiarum sensum & judicium, sermonis 
intelligentiam aliquam esse necessariam/' 

P. V. Maronis Opera^ tom. i. p. 131. Lipsiae, 1767. 

• • • 

t Ep. i, lib. i. V, !• 


St. John, whose love indulged my labours past. 
Matures my present, and shall bound my last. 
Why will you break the sabbath of my days i 
Now sick alike of envy and of praise. 
Public too long, ah, let me hide my age ! 
See modest Gibber now has left the stage : 
Our gen'rals now, retired. to their estates. 
Hang their old trophies o'er the garden gates.^ 

There is more pleasantry and humour in Ho- 
race's comparing himself to an old gladiator,, 
worn out in the service of the public, from which 
he had often begged his life, and has now at 
last been dismissed with the usual ceremonies, 
than for Pope to compare himself to an old ac- 
tor, or retired general. Pope was in his forty- 
ninth year, and Horace probably in his fbrty-5e- 
venth, when he wrote this epistle. Bentley has 
arranged the writings f of Horace in the follow- 
ing order. He composed the first book of his 
Satires, between the twenty-sixth and twenty- 
eighth years of his age ; the second book, from 

X 3 the 

* Ver. 1. ep. !• 

f J. Mcisson, author of the Latin Life of Horace, does ^ot 
agree to this arrangement of Horace's works ; but does not seem 
to be able to substitute a more probable chronological order« 
See Hist. Crit* Repub. Lit. torn. y. p. 51. 


the years thirty-one to thirty-three: next, the 
EpodeSy in his thirty-fourth and fifi^h years : next, 
the first book of his Odes, in three years, from 
his thirty-sixth to his thirty-eighth year ; the se- 
cond book in his fortieth and forty-first year ; the 
third book, in the two next years : then, the first 
book of the Epistles, in his forty-siAh and se- 
venth year ; next to that, the fourth book of his 
Odes, in his forty-ninth to his fifty-first yean 
Lastly, the Art of Poetry, and second book of 
the Epistles, to whiqh an exact date cannot be 

36. Est mihi purgatam crebro qui personet aurem* 
Solve senesceutem mature sanus equum, ne 
Peccet ad extremum ridendus & ilia ducat.* 

A voice there is that vvhispers in my ear,t 

(Tis Reason's voice, wliich sometimes one can hear,) 

; ' f Friepd 

• Ver. 7. 


f He has excelled Boileau's imitation of these verses, Ep. x. 
ver. ^i. And Boileau himself is excelled by an old poet, 
whom, indeed, he has frequently imitated, that is, Jjd Fres^ 
naie Vauquelin, who was the father of N. V. des Yvetaux, the 
preceptor of Louis XIII. whose poems were published towards 
the end of his life, 1612. He says that he profited much by 
I the 


Friend Pope^ be prudent ; let your muse take breath. 

And never gallop Pegasus to death. 

Lest, stiff and stately, void of fire and force. 

You limp like Blackmor.e ou a Lord Mayor's horse.* 

Horace plainly alludes to the good genius of 
Socrates, which constantly warned him against 
approaching evils and inconveniencies. Pope 
has happily turned it to Wisdom's voice ; and as 
l)appily has added, " which sometimes one can 
hear." The purged ear is a term of philosophy. 
The idea of the jaded Pegasus, and the Lord 
Mayor's horse, are high improvements on the ori*' 
ginal. A Jloman reader was pleased with the aU 
Jusiop to two well-known verses of Ennius.-j* 

X 4 37. Virtutis 

(he satires of ^riosto* Bpileau has borrowed mucl) from him. 
He alsQ wrote an Art of Poetry. One of his best pieces is aa 
imitation of Horace's Trcbatius, being a dialogue between himi 
self ^nd the Chancejlof of Fran^Cf 

* Ver. 11, 

f Sicut fbrtis equus spatio qui forte supremo 
Vicit Oiympia, nunc senio confectu quiescit, 

Ennius, poeta antiquus (says Jo9. Scaliger^ wjth his usual 
tlvntness) in Scaligeriana, magnifico ingenio« Utinam hunc 



37. VirtutU Terse custos, rigidoaqne satelles.* 

Free as young Lttteltom, ber cause parsne ; 
Still true to virtue, and as warm as true.f 

A just and not over-charged encomium on an 
excellent man, who always served his friends with 
warmth, (witness his kindness to Thomson,) and 
his country with activity and zeal. His Poems, 
and Dialogues of the Dead, are written with 
elegance and ease ; his Observations on the Con- 
version of St. Paul, with clearness and closeness 
of reasoning; and his History of Henry II. with 
accuracy, and knowledge of those early times, 
and of the English constitution ; and which was 


baberemus integrum, & amissemu.s, Lucanum, Statium, Silium 
Italicam> & tous ces garqons-la. The learned M, Monoyc, to 
whom we are indebted for so many additions to the Menagi- 
ana, reads with great acuteness, Gascons-la, by which term he 
thinks Scaliger points out the inflated, bombastic style of Lu- 
can and $tatius. How elegantly, and even poetically, does 
Quintilian give his judgment of Ennius : Hunc sicut sacr6s ve- 
iustate lucos adoremus, in quibus grandia & antiqua robora, 
jam non tantam habent speciem^ quantam religionem. Lib. 
X. c. I . 

• Ver. 17. t Ver. 29. 


fK)tnpiled from a laborious search into authentic 
documents, and the records lodged in the Tower, 
and at the Rolls. A little before he died, he told 
me, that he had determined tq tlvro^ out of th^ 
collection of all his works, which wa3 then sooi^: 
tQ be published, his first juvenile perfprnraacQ^; 
the Persian * Letters^ written, 1735, in imita- 

* Montesquieu himself also says, that in this agreeable work 
there were some juvenilia that he would wish to correct : " for 
though a Turk ought necessarily to see, think, and speaks lik^ 
a Turk, and not like a Christian^ yet many persons do not at- 
tend to this circumstance, in reading my Persian Letters/' Se^ 
an entertaining collection of his Original Letters^ p. ISO. In 
this collection are some curious particulars relating to his great 
work. The Spirit of Laws. He tella his friend, the Count d9 
Guasco> *' Though many kings have not done me that hoDourj» 
yet I know one who has read my work ; and M. de Maupcrtuit 
has informed me^ that this monarch is not always of my opi- 
nion. I have answered Maupertuis, and told him, I would lay 
» wager, I could easily put my finger on those passages which 
the King dislikes.'^ In page 166, he tbtis speaks of Voltaire: 
*' Quant s^ Voltaire, il a trop d'esprit pour m^entendre $ tous let 
livres qu'il lit, il les fait, apres quoi il approuve ou^ critique ce 
qu'il a fait. And afterwards, peaking of Voltaire's dismis* 
sion from Berlin, " Voila done Voltaire qui paroit ne sppavorr 
ou reposer sa t^te ; ut eadem tellus qnss modo victori defuerat> 
deesset ad sepolturam. Le bon esprit vaut beaucoup miens 
que le bel esprit,^' p. ] ^%. It is much to be lamented, that 
the History of Loui$ the Eleventh, which Montesquieu ha() 
written, was burnt b^ a mifiiaks of kis secretary, p. 98^. Mr, 
2 Steanley^ 


tion of those of his friend Montesquieu^ whom he' 
had known and admired in Englaiid ; in which 
he said there were principles and remarks, that 
he wished to retract and alter. I told him, that, 
notwithstanding his caution, the booksellers (as, 
in fact, they have done) would preserve and insert 


Stanley^ for whom Montesquieu had a sincere esteem and re« 
gard^ told me, that Montesquieu assured him, he had received 
more information from the Commentaries of Azo on the Codei( 
and Digest, (a fan^ous civilian of Bologna in the twelfth cen<f 
tury,} than from any other writer on the civil law. He 19 ss^id 
to have had 10,000 scholars. Trithemius mentions him, c. ^87. 
See Arisii Cremonam Litteratam* Tom. i. p. 8Q. 

I beg to add, that Lyttelton was not blind to the faults and 
blemishes of his friend Montesquieu. See notes on the Htstofy 
of the Life of Henry II. p. 291, 4to. where he is censured for 
an- exi^essive desire. of saying something new upon every sub-» 
ject, and differing from the common opinions of mankind. 

. That accomplished lady the Duchess jyAiguUlon constantly 
attended Montesquieu, in his last illness, to the time of his 
death, 1755. One day, during her absence of a few hours 
from his chamber, an Irish Jesuit, Father Roth, (author of some 
severe criticisms against the Paradise Lost,) got introduced to 
the dying philosopher, and insisted on havi^ig the key of his 
bureau, that he might take away his papers. When the Du« 
chess suddenly returned, and reproached the Jesuit for this 
proceeding, he only answered, '^ Madam, I must obey my su- 
periors.'* It was owing to the interposition of the celebrated 
physician, Van Swiei^n, that the Spirit of Law3 w^ permitte4 
to be sold and read at Vienna. 


these letters. Another little piece, written also 
in his early youth, does him much honour; the 
Obstipations on the Life of Tully^ in which, per- 
haps, a more dispassionate and impartial charac- 
ter of Tully is exhibited, than in the panegyrical 
volumes of Middleton, 

38. Nunc ia Aristjppi furtim praecepta relal?or.* 

Sometimes with Aristippus, or St. Paul, 
Indulge my candor, and grow all to all.f 

There is an impropriety, and indecorum, in 
joining the name of the most profligate parasite 
of the court of Dionysius with that of an apostle. 
In a few lines before, the name of Montaigne is 
not sufficiently contrasted by the name o^ Locke ; 
the place required that two philosophers, holding 
very different tenets, should have been intro- 
duced. Hobbes might have been opposed to 
Huchcson. I know not why he omitted a strong 
sentiment that follows immediatelv, 

Et mihi res, non me rebus subjungere conor.J 


* Ver. 19. t Ver. 31. } Ver. 20. 


Which line Corneille took for his motto. 

S9« NoQ tamen idcirco contemnas lippus inungi.* 
V\\ do what Mead and Cheselden ad?ise.t 

Mead, a judge of pure Latinity, having dis- 
puted with Pope on the impropriety of the expres- 
sion, Amor publicuSy on Shakespear's monument, 
ended the controversy by giving up his opinion, 
and saying to him, 

Omnia Tincit amor & nos cedamus amori. 

I mention this circumstance, because it may be 
amusing to the lovers of anecdotes, just to add, 
that, in a public inscription at Rheims, in France, 
Racine, who drew it up, used the words Amor 
publicus, in the very same sense, I believe both 
these great poets were wrong. 

iO. Inyidus, iracundus, iners, vinosus, amator. | 


• Ver. 29. t Ver. 51. 

X Ver. 38. 


Be furious^ envious^ slothful, mad, or drunk. 
Slave to a wife, or vassal to a punk.* 

I cannot forbear thinking that Horace glanced 
at his t own frailties and imperfections, as he 
frequently does, in the four last epithets of this 
verse, in the original. As to etvoy^ he had not a 
grain of it in his nature. 

41. Virtus est vitium fugere.j 

*Tis the first virtue, vices to abhor, 

And the first wisdom, to be fool n« mofv.§ 


• Ver. 61. 

f As he does at his passion for building,- in verse 100, be- 

Diruit, eedificat, mutat quadrata rotundis. 

So S^lso, Sat. iii. lib. ii. v. 308. 

Accipe, primum 

JBdificas ; hoc est longos imitaris, ab imo 
Ad summum totus moduli bipedali s ' 

♦ Ver. 41. § Ver. 65. 


Dr. King informed me, that these were two 
of the rhymes to which Swift, who \fras scrupu- 
lously exact in this respect, used to object, as he 
did to some others in Pope ; particularly to two 
in the Essay on Criticism, v. 237, where delight 
is made to rhyme to w//. 


42. ter marc paupcriem fugiens, per saxa, per ignes.* 
Scar'd at the spectre of pale Poverty !t 

Pope has given life to the image, and added 
terror to the simple expression pauperiemi 

43. At pueri ludentes. Rex eris^ aiunt^ 
Si recte facies.J— — 

Yet ev'ry child another song will sing. 
Virtue^ brave boys ! 'tis virtue knakes a king.§ 

Some commentators think Horace alluded to an 
old Greek play among children, called, Bao-iXivJa. 
But Lambinus observes, that the sport alluded to 


• Ver. 46. f Ver. 70. 

t Ver. 59. § Ver. 91. 


IS mentioned in the Thecetetus of Plato ; where 
Socrates says, he that fails in his pursuit will be 
reckoned, an ass, as the children say of "him who 
cannot catch the ball ; and he that catches it is 
called their king. 

44. Ut propius spectes lacrymosa* poemata Pilpi ! f 

For what? to hare a box when eunuchs sing. 
And foremost in the circle eye a king4 

Our author is so perpetually expressing an af- 
fected contempt for kings^.that it becomes al- 
most a nauseous cant ; 

— *Atf pride of kings^-^ 

'■^some monster of a king — 

^^ity kings-^the gift qfTdngs^'^ 

— Crods of kings — much above a king^-^ 

'^Settle xvrote of kings — &c. 

Hawkiks Browne laughed at him for this af- 
fectation, in the pleasant Imitations of English 
poets, on Tobacco* 


* The epithet lacrymosa is ironical, 
t Ver 67, + Ver. 105. 


Come, let me taste thee, unexcis*d by kinp ! 

45. Olim quod vulpes aegrpto caata leoui 

Respond it, refe ram : Quia me restigia feerrent. 
Omnia te ad?ersum spectantia, nulla retrorsum.^ 

Faith, I shall give the answer Reynard gave : 
• I oannot like, dread Sir! your royal cave ; 
Because I see, by all the tracks about. 
Full many a beast goes in*, but none comes ouUf 


• Ver. 73. 

t Ver. 114. 

Conciseness was the quality, for which Babrius, if we may 
judge from the fragments, seems to have been so excellent. 
See Dissertat. de Babrio, Fab. 97« 50, 242 ; and> above all, the 
exquisite fable of the Swallow and Nightingale, Fable 149, and 
the last in this curious and elegant dissertation. In the Fabii» 
larutn Msopicarum Delectus, a book not sufficiently known, and 
DOW out of print, published at Oxford, 1698, are dxty fables 
exquisitely written, versibus senariis, by Ant, Alaop. The 
best life of Msop is by M. Mezeriac, the learned editor of Dio« 
pkantus : a book so scarce, that Bentley complained he could 
never get a sight of it ; and Bayle had never seen it, when hs 
first published his Dictionary. It was reprinted in the Me- 
moires de Litterature of M. de Sallengre, 1717, torn. i. p. 87* 
This was the author, whom Malherbe asked, when he shewed 
him the edition of Diophautus, " if it would lessen the price 
of bread }'* 


Both poets have told the fable with an elegant 
brevity. Why did Pope omit cegroto? Dread 
6ir, and Royal cave^ are good additions. Plato 
was also fond of ihis fable? He has put it into 
the mouth of Socrates, in the first Alcibiades.* 

iO. Excipiantque senes quos in vivaria mittant.f 
Some with fat bucks on childless dotards fawil« j: 

The legacy-hunters, the Hceredipetos^ were a 
more common character among the ancients than 
with us. The ridicule, therefore, is not now so 
striking. Lucian has five pleasant Dialogues on the 

VOL. II. Y subject, 

* A>X ctrtx^wf, xarat 'rot Aia-eawa /xt/doi^, o¥ n AAoir»»| Vfos rof 
Atovra ttTre, nxt m us Aaixt^aniJiMvx vofMcrytMros ucrtovros (a»9 r» ty(yn 
rx ixf/ot rtrpafji,fji,9f» $«}X«, t^tovros ^t, n^ufA'n at rts /^o<. Tom. ii. p. 
122. Serrani £d. H. Steph. 1578. Pope has connected the 
passage that immediately Follows in a forced and quaint man- 
ner, which Horace never thought of; 

We)l> if^a king's a lion, at the least 

The people are a many -headed beast. V. 120. 

as if the word bellua had any relation to the lion before-men* 

t Ver. 79. J Ver. 130* 


subject, from page 343 to 363, in the 4 to edition 
of Hemsterhusius. Horace himself appears to 
have failed more in exposing this folly, than in 
any other of his satires ; and principally so, by 
mixing ancient with modem manners, and mak- 
ing Tiresias instruct Ulysses in petty frauds, and 
artifices too subtle for the old prophet and hero 
to dictate and to practise. Sat. 5. lib. 2. 

47. Multis occulto crescit res foenore,*- 

is far excelled in force and spirit by, 

While with the silent growth of ten per cent. 
In dirt and darknesSf hundreds stink contenUf 

48. Nullus in orbe sinus Baiis praelucet amoenis. 
Si dixit dives ; lacus & mare sentit amorem * 
Festinantis heri.j; ' ^' 

Sir Job § sailM forth, the evening bright and still ; 
" No place on earth, he cry'd, like Green wich«kill !*' 
Up starts a palace ; lo, th' obedient base 
Slopes at its foot, the woods its sides embrace. 
The silver Thames reflects its marble &ce.|j 


♦ Ver. 80. t Ver. 1S2. t Ver. 83. 

§ More lively than the general wordj^ dices. 

II Ver. 138. ' 


Superior to the original : a pleasing little land- 
scape is added to the satire. But Greenwich-hill 
is not an exact parallel for Baice ; where the Ro« 
mans of the best taste and fashion built their 
villas. PoP£*s is the villa of a citizen. The ab-^ 
surd and awkward magnificence of opulent citi- 
zens has, of late, been frequently exposed ; but 
no where with more humour than in the ConnoiS'^ 
seur^ and in the characters of Sterling and Mrs. 
Heidelberg^ in the Clandestine Marriage. 

4.9. ■ Cui fii vitios^ • libido 

Feceritauspicinoi; eras ferramenta Teaauia 
ToUetis, fabrif 

Now let some whimsey^ or that dev'l within. 
Which guides all those who know Bot what Uiey 

But give the kuight (or give his lady) spleen ; 
Away^ away ! take all your scaffolds down. 
For snug's the word; — my dear, we'll live in town.| 

Horace says, he will carry his buildings from 
so prefer and pleasant a situation as Baice^ to 

Y 8 Teanum; 

• Scaliger observes, that Horace is fond of adjectives that 
end in osus. 

t Ver. S5. % Ver. 145. 


Ttanum; a situation unhealthy and disagreeable. 
Pope says, he will not build at all, he will again 
retire to town. He has, I think, destroyed the 
connexion by this alteration. Mutability of tem- 
per is indeed equally exhibited in both instances, 
but Horace keeps closer to his subject. 

. ^0. Quo teneam vultus mutantem Protea nodo ? 
Quid pauper? ride; mutat coenacula, lectos. 
Balnea, tonsores; conducto uavigio apque, 
Nauseat ac locuples quein ducit priva triremis.* 


Did ever Proteus, MerliDj any witch. 
Transform themselves so strangely as the rich ? 
Well, but the poor — the poor have the same itch : 
They change their weekly barber, weekly news. 
Prefer a new japanner to their shoes; 
Discharge their garrets, move their beds, and run 
(They know not whither) in a chaise and one : 
They hire their sculler, and, when once aboard, 
Grow sick, and damn the climate— like a lord.f 

This imitation is in truth admirable. It is, 
perhaps^ one of his finest passages. All the pa- 
rallels are fortunate, and exactly hit the original : 
and the images drawn from modern life are mi- 
nutely applicable to the purpose. 

51. Si 

• Vcr. 90. t Ver. 152, 


51. Si curtatus insequali tonsore capillos^ 
Occurro ; rides: si forte subucula pexse 
Trita subest tunicse^ veLsi toga dissidet impar | 

You laugb^ half beau, half sloven^ if I stand. 
My wig all powder, and all snuff my band; 
You laugh, if coat and breeches strangely vary. 
White gloves, and linen worthy Lady Mary It 

I am inclined to think that Horace laughs at 
himself (not at Virgil, as has been supposed) for 
the ungraceful appearance he sometimes made, 
and the incongruity of his dress. Perhaps our 
little^ round, fat^ oily man, was somewhat of a 
sloven. Poor Pope was so weak and infirm, and 
his body required so many wrappers and cover- 
ings, that it was hardly possible for hiiA to be 
neat. No poet, except Malherbe, ever wore so 
many :j; pair of stockings. Thomson speaks ele- 
gantly of his person, in that delightful poem, 
The Castle of Indolence, stanza the 33d. 

Y 3 He 

• Ver. 94. t Ver. 161. 

X Tsn in numberj according to his frienj Racan^ in ^he 

ac^punt of \da^ life. 


He came, the bard, a little Drafd-wight, 
Of withered aspect ; but his eye was keen, 
WHh sweetness mix'd. In msset brown bedight. 
As is his sister of the copses green. 
He crept along, unpromising of mien* 
G-ross he who judges so.?— 

52. Nil admirari, prope res est una, Nurotci^ 
Solaque qnafe possit fdLceve & senrare beatmn.* 

** Not to admire, is all the art I know, 

** To make men happy, and to ke^ them so.*' 

Plain truth, dear MuRRAY,t needs no flowers of speech j. 

So take it in the rery words of Crebch.I 


Who, in truth, is a much better 4 translator 
than he is usually supposed and allowed to be. 


* Epifit. ri. 

f He knew the exact taste and learning of the person he adt 
dresses, and has laboured this imitation accordingly. 

t Ver. 1. 

§ Mr. Christopher Pitt has imitated the 7th sat. of Hor. 
b. ii. ; the ]9th epistle^ b. ii. ; the 4th epistle, b. i. ; the 10th 
epistle, b. i. ; the 18th epistle, b. i. (see bis poem9> wo\, xliii. 
of the English Poets) with a freedom and a facility of versifi- 
cation truly Horatian. Perhaps it may deserre consideration, 



He is a nervous and vigorous writer : and many 
parts, not only of his Lucretius, but of his Theo- 
critus and Horace, (though now decried,) have 
not been excelled by other translators. One of 
his pieces may be pronounced excellent; his 
translation of the thirteenth satire of Juvenal ; 
equal to any that Dryden has given us of that 

53. Hunc solem & Stellas & decedentia certis 
Tempora momentis^ sunt qui formidiQe null4 
Imbuti spectent.— — • 

This vault of air^ this congregated ball^ 
Self'Center'd sun aud stars, that rise and fall : 
There are, my friend, M^hose philosophic eyes 
Look through, and trust the Ruler with his skies.f . 

This last line is quaint and obscure ; the two 
first vigorously expressed. Horace thought of 

y 4 a noble 

whether the best manner of imitating these satires and epistles, 
which approach so near to comedy, and to conmion conversa- 
tion, would not be to adopt the familiar blank verse, which 
Mr. Colman has so successfully employed in his Terence; a 
sort of verse no more resembling that of Milton, than tho 
Hexameters of Homer resemble those of Theocritus, 

♦ Ver. 3 t Ver. 5. 


a noble passage * in Lucretius, book v. Ifee 

lo ccsloque^ Deum sedes, & templa loc&runt^ 
Per ccelam voWi quia soU & luna videntur : 
Luna, dies, & nox, & noctis signa serena, 
Noctivagaeque faces cobH, flammaeque volantes, 
Nubila, ros, imbres, npx, venti, fulmina, grando« 
Et rapida fremitus, & murmura magna minarum. 

54. Ludicra quid, plausus, & amicj dona Quiritis.t 

Or popularity ? or stars and strings ? 

The mob's applauses, or the gifts of kings.t 

Considering fhe prespnt state of politics, the 
abilities of politicians in this country, and the 
number of those who think themselves completely 
qualified to guide the state, might I he pardoped 


f To those who know the number of thoughts that breathe^ 
and words that burn, in this animated writer, it is surprising 
that Tuljy could speak of him in so cold and tasteless a man- 
ner : Lucretii poemata non sunt lita multis luminibus Ingenii, 
multae tamen Artis, £p. ad Fratrem,Lib. ii. £p. 11. Lucre- 
tius seems to have thought pf the fine passage in the Sisyphus 
of Euripides^ quoted by Groti^s, Excerpta, p. 402, Sextus 
Empirius ascribes the lines to Critias; but Plutarch, with bet- 
ter reason, to Euripides. 

t Ver. 7. I Ver. 14. 


for the pedantry of recommending to them the 
few following words of Socrates ; who thus ad- 
dresses Alcibiades : rvfAyxcoti v^carovf a fAaxotgit, KM 
fjk»6i d fu fAdiopTot nyM iirh ret mr woXiOi^^ Tgonpoy it /(ai)* 

Alcibiad. 2d. p. 133. Serr. Platon. T. 2. 

55. _ Cum bene notum 

Porticus Agrippse, & via te conspexerit Appi ; 
Ire tamen restate Numa quo devenit 8l Aqcus.* 


Grac'd as thou art with all the pow'r of words. 
So known, so honoured, at the House of Lords ; 
Conspicuous scene !^»another yet is nigh, 
(More silent far !) where kings and poets lie ; 
Where Murhay, long enough his country's pride,f 
Shall be no more than Tully, or than Hyoe.^ 

Much beyond the original; particularly on 
account of the very happy and artful use Pope 
has made of the neighbourhood of the House of 


* Ver. 25. 

f What would our author have said ai>d thought, had he 
li?ed long enough to see the house of this venerable magis- 
trate, like that of Tully, plundered and burnt, by aq infamous 
band of bigots, rebels, ruffians, and enthusiasts? What a sub- 
ject for the severest and deepest tones of his indignant Muse I 

X Ver. 48. 


sion on the Old Testament, in Lord Bolingbroke's 
Letters on History. " I must say to you, Sir, 
for the world*s sake, and for iiis sake, that part of 
the work ought by no means to be communicated 
further. If this digression be made public, it 
will be censured ; it must be censured ; it ought 
to be censured. It will be criticised too by able 
pens, whose erudition, as well as their reasonings, 
will not easily be answered." He concludes by 
saying, " I therefore recommend to you to sup- 
press that part of the work, as a good citizen of 
the world, for the world's peace, as one intrusted 
and obliged by Lord Bolingbroke, not to raise 
new storms to his memory." 

i7. — Virtutem rerba putas, ut 

Lncnm ligna ?^ ^ ■ 


collection is the very entertaining journal which Swift wrote 
daily to Mrs. Johnson^ containing a minute account, and many 
private anecdotes, of the ministry of Queen Anne. Perhaps 
the inside of a court (vitae postscenia) was never so clearly 
displayed. But yet Swift does not seem to have known all the 
intrigues then carried on. 

* Vcr. 31. 


But art thou one whom new opinions sway ; 

One who believes as Tindal leads the way ; 

Who Virtue and a Church alike disowns; 

Thinks Mo/ but words^ and this but brick and stones }* 

Here we have a direct and decisive censure of 
a celebrated infidel writer: at this time, there- 
fore, which was J737, Pope was strongly and 
openly on the side of religion, as he knew the 
great lawyer to be to whom he was writing. , Ho- 
race, it. is said, alludes to the words of a dying 
Hercules in a Greek tragedy ; and Dion Cassius 
relates, in the 27th book of his history, that 
these were the words which Brutus used just be- 
fore he stabbed himself, after his defeat at Phi- 
lippi. But it is observable, that this fact rests 
solely on the credit of this fawning and fulsome 
court historian ; and that Plutarch, who treats 
largely of Brutus, is silent on the subject. If 
Brutus had adopted this passage, I cannot bring 
myself to believe, that Horace would so far have 
forgotten his old repubHcah principles, as to have 
mentioned the words adopted by the dying pa- 
triot, with a mark of reproach and reprobation. 

^8. Scilicet 
* Ver. 63. 


58. Scilicet uxorem cum dote, fidemque & amicos, 
£t genus & formam * regina Pecunia donat, 
Ac bene nummatum decorat Suadela, V£NUsauv*t 

For mark th' advantage ; just so many score 
Will gain a wife with half as many more ; 
Procure her beauty, make that beauty chaste. 
And then such friends as cannot ^1 to hist. 
A man of wealth is dubbM a man of worth ; 
Venus shall give him form, and Anstis birth, j: 

Not imitated with the vigour and energy of 
the original. The first line is M'eak and languid. 
Three Divinities^ for such he makes them, Pecu- 
nia, SuADELA, and Venus, conspire in giving 
their accomplishments to this favourite of for- 
tune. Modern images could not be found to an- 
swer these prosopopoeias. 

59.— — Chlamydcs 

• The Duke of M. dining with Prince £ugene« in a very 
large company, spoke in high terms of his Queen, Anne, The 
Prince whispered to the oldest and most vmerable general 
officer now living, Regina Pecunia ; " that's hif Queen.** And 
the Prince immediately added, *' There is a great difference 
in making war en maitre, or en advocat,'* 

t Ver. 38. J Ver. 77, 



59. — "— Chlamydes Lucullusy ut aiunt. 

Si posset centum scenae praebere rogatus,* 
Qui possum tot ? ait : tamen & quaeram & quot habebo^ 
Mittam"—- post paulo scribit sibi millia quinque 

Esse domi chlamydum ; partem vel tolleret omnes.f 

His wealth brave Timon gloriously confounds ; 
Ask'd for a groat^ he gives a hundred pounds ; 
Or, if three ladies like a luckless play. 
Takes the virhole house upon the poet's day 4 

By no means equal to the original : there is so 
much pleasantry in alluding to the known story 
of the Praetor coming to borrow dresses (paluda- 


* Orationis subtilitas imitabilis ilia quidem videtur esse 
existimanti, sed nihil experienti minus. Cicero. See what 
Demetrius Phalereus says, in a passage full of taste and judg- 
ment, vtpt rs lO'^fH ^apecKvn^f, pag. 113. Oxon. 1676. 

These lines of Horace are a strong example of this species 
of style, 

— parcentis viribus atque 
Extenuantis eas consulto— — 

This treatise of Demetrius Phalereus is not so much read, but, 
perhaps, is more useful, than even Dionysius de Struct. Some 
have imagined that Dionysius v\ras the author of it. There 
are many internal proofs why it could not be written so early 
as D. PJialereus, 

t Ver. 40. . t Ver. 85. 


menta) for a chorus in a public spectacle that he 
intended to exhibit, who asked him to lend him 
a hundred, says Plutarch ; but Lucullus bade him 
take two hundred. Horace humorously has made 
it Jive thousand. We know nothing of Timon, or 
the three ladies here mentioned. There is still 
another beauty in Horace ; he has suddenly, ac- 
cording to his manner, introduced Lucullus 
speaking ; " qui possum^ Sfc.'' He is for ever in- 
troducing these little interlocutions, which give 
his satires and epistles an air so lively and dra- 
matic. This also is very frequently the practice 
of Bayle, and is one of the circumstances that 
has contributed to make his Dictionary go very 
entertaining; and he need not have said, as he 
did to BoiLEAU, that the reading his work was 
like the journey of a caravan over the deserts of 
Arabia, which often went twenty or thirty 
leagues together, without finding a single fruit- 
tree or fountain. 

60. Mercemur servum, qui dictet nomina, laevum 

Qui fodiat latus^ & cogat traus * pondera dextram 

Porrigere : 

* Various are the opinions about the meaning of trans pon' 
dcra : some commentators think it means^ across the carriages 



l*otrigere : hie multutn in Fabid valet, ille Velind; 
Cui libet is fasces dabit ; eripietque curule, 
Cui volet, importunus ebur: Frater, Pater, adde; 
Vt cuique est aetas ita quemque facetus adbpta.^ 

Then hire a slave, or, if you will, a lord. 

To do the honours, or to give the word ; 

Tell at your levee, as the crowds approach. 

To whom to nod, whom take into your coach. 

Whom honour with your hand : to make remarks. 

Who rules in Cornwall, or who rules in Berks : 

" This may be troublesome, is near the chair : 

^ That makes three members ; this can chuse a may'r." 

Instructed thus, you bow, embrace, protest, n 

Adopt him son, or cousin, at the least ; > 

Then turn about, and laugh at your own iesf.f 3 ' 

An admirable picture of septennial folly and 
meanness during an election canvass, in which the 
arts of English solicitation are happily applied to 
Roman. Some strokes of this kind, though 

VOL. II. Z . mixed 

and waggons loaded' with beams and stones, &c. or the weight 
of the gown pulled up. But Gesner's interpretation seems the 
most sensible ; uRra aequilibrium corporis, cum periculo ca* 
dendi : the candidate bows so low that he almost oversets his 
body. Fodit latiis Isevum candidati nomenclator; alacris 
nimium & cupidus candidatus ita protendit dextram, ut sequi« 
librium poene perdat. And Ovid uses pondera in this sense ; 
Ponderibus librata suis. Met. i. 13. 

* Ver. 50. f Ver. 99. 


mixed with unequal trashy in the Pasquin of 
Fielding, may be mentioned as capital, and full 
of the truest humour. It is, indeed, a fine and 
fruitful subject for a satirist. As Pope could 
not use a nomenclator (seroum) he has happily 
added^ — a Lord. And if he has omitted a lively 
circumstance, fodiat latuSj he has made ample 
compensation by, take into your coach. Impor^ 
tunus is skilfully turned by, this may be trouble^ 
some; as is /acetus, by, laugh at your own jest.* 

6l. ■ ' remigium vitiosam Ithacensis Ulyssei 

Cni potior patri4 fuit interdicta Toloptas^f 

is admirably applied to the frequent mischievous 
effects of early foreign travel. 

From Latian Syrens, French CircaBan feasts^ 
Return well travelled, and transformed to beasts ; 
Or for a titled punk, or foreign flame^ 

Renounce our country, and degrade our name }% 


^ 62. Si, Mimnennus uti censet, sine amore jocisque. 
Nil est jucundum, vivas in amore jocisque.f 


* Yet Horace, fib. I. sect. 10. uses facetus in another aense^ 
as interpreted by Quintilian, lib. 6. c. $. 

t Ver. 6S. J Ver. I3f. § Ver. 65. 


1? Swift cry wisely^ '^ Vive la Bagatelle /"* 

The Dean made his old age despicable, by 
i!ni$*spending it in trifling and in railing ; in 
scribbling paltry riddles and rebusses, and vent- 
ing his spleen in peevish invectives. His banish- 
inent to Ireland, (for such he thought it J and 
his disappointed ambition, embittered and exas- 
perated his mind and temper. An excellent man, 
and excellent philosopher, whose loss I shall long 
and sincerely deplore, has lately made the fol- 
lowing strictures upon one of his capital works. 

*' Misanthropy is so dangerous a thing, and 
goes so far in sapping the very foundation of 
morality and religion^ that I esteem the last part 
of Swiff s Gulliver (that I mean relative to his 
Houyhnhnms and Yahoos) to be a worse book 
to peruse, th^n those which we forbid as the 
most flagitious and obscene. One absurdity in 
this author (a wretched philosopher, though a 
great wit) is well worth remarking : in order to 
render the nature of men odious^ and the nature 

Z2 of 


» Ver. 12S. 


of beasts amiable^ he is compelled to give human 
characters to his beasts^ and beastly characters to 
his men; so that we are to admire the beasts, not 
for being beasts, but amiable men ; and to detest 
the men, not for being men, but detestable 

*^ Whoever has been reading this unnatural 
FILTH, let him turn for a moment to a Spectator 
of Addison, and observe the Philanthropy 
of that classical writer ; I may add, the superior 
purity of \i\^ . diction, and his a;//."* 

63. Cum tot SQstineas & tanta negotia solus. 
Res Italas armii toteris, moribus ornes, 
Legibus emendes, in publica commoda, peccem. 
Si Ion go sermone morer taa tempora^ Caesar !f 

While you^ great patron of mankind^ sustain 
The balanc'd worlds and open all the main ; 
Your country^ chief, in arms abroad defend. 
At home with morals, arts, and law& amend ; 


* Philological Inquiries, in thrrett parts> by James Harkis, 
Esq. London, 1781. Part iii. page 537. 

f Ep. Ir Lib. ii. v. 1. If an interrogation point is placed 
after Casar ? in the original, it would remove a difficulty com- 
plained of by the commentators^ 


How shall the Muse from such a monarch steal 
An hour^ and not defraud the public weal?* 


All those nauseous and outrageous f compli- 
ments, which Horace, in a strain of abject adu- 
lation, degraded himself by paying to Augustus^ 
Pope has converted into bitter and pointed sar- 
casms, conveyed under the form of the most art- 
ful irony. Of this irony the following specimens 

Z 3 shall 

• Ver. I, 

f "Horace (says Pope) in the advertisement to this piece, 
made his court to this great prince (or rather this cool and sub- 
tle tyrant) by writing with a decent freedom towards him, with 
a just contempt of his low flatterers, and with a manly regard 
to his own chafacter.'' Surely he forgot, 

Jurandasque tibi per Numen ponimusara5> 
I^il oriturum alias, nil ortum tale, fatentes, &c« 

We sometimes speak incorrectly of what are called the writers 
of the Augustan age. Terence, Lucretius, Catullus, Tully, 
J. Csesar, and Sallust, wrote befcn-e the time of Augustus; and 
Livy, Virgil, Horace, TibuUus, and Propertius, were not made 
good writers by his patronage and encouragement. Virgil 
had the courage to represent his hero assisting the Etruscans 
in punishing their tyrannic^ king. Lib. 8; v. 495. One of 
the most unaccountable prejudices that ever obtained^ seems 
tp b^ that of celebrating Augustus for clemency. 


shall be placed together, in one view, added to 
the preceding lines, which are of the same cast 

Wonder of kings ! like whom, to mortal eyes^ 

None e^r has risen, and none e'er shall rise.* 

How shall we fill a library with wit. 

When Merlin's cave is half nnfinish'd yet ?f 

My liege ! why writers little claim your thought^ 

J guess ; and with their leave will tell the fai)lt4 

Yet think, great Sir ! so many virtues shown. 

Ah, think what poet best may make them known ! 

Or chuse at least some minister of grace. 

Pit to bestow the Laureat's weighty place.§ 

Oh could I mount on the Maeonian wing. 

Your arms, your actions, your repose, to sing ! 

What seas you traversed, and what fields you fought. 

Your country's peace, how oft, how dearly bought ! . 

How barbarous rage subsided at your word. 

And nations wondered while they droppM the sword! 

How when you fiodded, o'er the land and deep. 

Peace stole her wing, and wrapt the worl(| in sleep $ 

Till earth's extremes your mediation own. 

And Asia's tyrants tremble at your throne. 

But verse, alas ! your majesty disdains. 

And I'm not us'd to panegyric strains : 

Besides, a fate attends on all I write. 

That when I aim at praise, they say I bite.g 


* Ver. 29. f Ver. 354. 

X Ver. 35a. \ Ver. 376. U Ver. 394. 


It may be observed, in general, that the imi- 
tations of these two epistles of the second book 
of Horace, are finished with so much accuracy 
and care, and abound in so many applications 
and allusions most nicely and luckily adapted to 
the original passages,* that a minute comparison 
would be useless. In a very few instances, how- 
ever, he may be thought to fall short of his mo- 
del. This appears in the account of the rise of 
poetry among the Romans, v. 1 39— because he 
cou d not possibly find a parallel for the sacri- 
fices paid to Tellus, and Silvanus^ and the Genius ; 
nor to the licentiousness of the Fescennine verses^ 
which were restrained by a law of the Twelve 

' Pope has also failed in ascribing that intro- 
duction of our polite literature to France^ which 
Horace attributes to Greece among the Romans^ 
(v. 156. orig.) It was to Italy, among the mo- 
derns, that we owed our true taste in poetry. 
Spenser and Milton imitated the Italians^ and not 

Z 4 the 

* Particularly in Ep. i. ▼. 65. 80. 92. 181. 215. SIS. S40. 
»90. In Ep. ii. T. 90, 105. 158. 203. 2S0. 270. 


the French. And if he had correctness in his 
view, let us remember, that, in point of regular 
rity and correctness j the French * had no dra- 
matic piece equal to the Silent Woman of Ben 
Jonson^ performed 1 609 ; at which time Cor-^ 
neille was but three years old. The rules of the 
drama are as much violated in the f Cid^ 1637, 
beautiful as it is, as in the Macbeth^ Lear, and 
Othello, all written before Corneille was born; 


* The very first French play in which the rules were ob- 
served, was the Saphonisbaof Mairet, 1633, 

• ' 

f Father Toumemine used to relate, that M. de Chalons^ 
' who had been secretary to Mary de Medicis, and had retire^ 
to Rouen, was the person who advised Corneille to study the 
Spanish language; and read to him some passages of Guillon 
de Castro, which struck Corneille so much, that he determined 
to imitate his Cid, The artifices used by Richlieu, and the 
engines he set to work to crush this fine play, are well known. 
Not one of the Cardinal's tools was so vehement as the Abb^ 
d' Aubignac, who attacked Corneille on account of his family 
his person, his gesture, his voice, and even the conduct of his 
domestic affairs. When the Cid first appeared, (says Fontei> 
ncllc,) the Cardinal was as much alarmed as if he had seen 
the Spaniards at the gates of Paris. In the year ] 635, Rich^ 
lieu, in the midst of the important political concerns that oc- 
cupied his mighty genius, wrote the greatest part of a play, 
called. La Covtcdiedes Ttdlleries, in which Corneille proposed 
sumo alterations to be made in the third act; which honest 
freedom the Cardinal never forgave. 


"whose first comedy, - Melite^ which is now never 
acted, was represented 1 625. The pieces of the 
very fertile Hardy ^ (for he wrote six hundred,) 
the immediate predecessor of Corneille^ are full 
of improbabilities, indecorums, and absurdities, 
and by no means comparable to Melite. As to 
the correctness o^ the French stage, of which we 
hear so much, the rules of the three unities are 
indeed rigorously and scrupulously observed ;* 
but the best of their tragedies, even some of 
those of the sweet and exact Racine, have de- 
fects of another kind, and are what may be justly 
called, descriptive and declamatory dramas ; and 
contain the sentiments and feelings of the author 
or the spectator, rather than of the person intro- 
duced as speaking. ** After the Restoration, 
(says Pope in the margin,) Waller, with the Eart 
of Dorset, Mr. Godolphin, and others, trans* 
lated the Pompey of Corneille; and the more 
correct French poets began to be in reputation.** 
But the model was unfortunately and injudiciously 
chosen ; for the Pompey of Corneille is one of 


^s they are certainly in Samson Agonistes, 


his most declamatory ♦ tragedies ; and the rhyme 
translation they gave of it, is performed pitifully 
enough. Even Voltaire confesses, that Cor- 
neille is always making his heroes say of them* 
selves, that they are great men. It is in this 
passage that Pope says of two great masters of 


* See the Essay on Shakespeare by Mrs. Montague, in 
which she has done honour to her sex and nation ; and which 
was sent to Voltaire with this motto prefixed to it, by a per* 
ion who admired it as a piece^of exquisite criticism : 

■ Pallas T« hoc Vulnere, Pallas 
Immolat-— — Virc. 

The Iphigenie of Racine, it must be owned, is an incora* 
parable piece; it is chiefly so, from Racine's attentive study 
of the pathetic Euripides. Corneille had not read the Greek 
tragedies. He was able to read Aristotle's Poetics only in 
Heinsius's translation. It is remarkable, that there is not a 
single line in Otway or Rowe from the Greek tragedies* And 
Dryden, in his CEdipus, has imitated Seneca and Corneille* 
not Sophocles* 

Tasso, in one of his letters to a friend^ desires him to prao 
cure for him a copy of Sophocles and Euripides ; but adds, 
. that he begs it may be in Latin, and not in Greek. 

Smith, though a scholar, has scarcely imitated Euripides at 
all, in his Phaedra* 

AKB WItltlKCS 6l POPI* ^47 

Waller was smooth ; but Dryden taught to join 
The varying verse, the full-resounding line. 
The long majestic inarch, and energy divine.* 

What ! did Milton contribute nothing to tlie 
harmony and extent of our language ? nothing 
to our national taste, by his noble imitations of 
Homer, Virgil, and the Greek tragedies ? Surely 
his verses vary^ and resound as much, and dis- 
play as much majesty and energy^ as any that 
can be found in Dryden. And we will venture to 
say, that he that studies Milton attentively, will 
gain a truer taste for genuine poetry, than he 
that forms himself on French writers, and their 
followers.f His name surely was not to be 
omitted on this occasion. 

The other passages in which Pope appears not 
to be equal to his original, are, in the three little 


* Ver. 257. 

t It is difficult, methinks, to read the following wordi of 
Voltaire, without feeling a little indignation. " It seems as 
if the same cause th^t deprives the English of a genius for 
Painting and Music, denies them also a genius for Tragedy." 
Letter to IVJjali'ei. T- 8. p. 225. 


stories wliich Horace has introduced into his 
second epistle, with so much nature and humour; 
namely, the story of the slave-seller, at verse 2 ; 
that of the soldier of LucuUus, at verse Q6; and 
the story of the madman at Argos, verse 128. 
The last, particularly, loses much of its grace 
and propriety, by transferring the scene from 
the theatre to the parliament-house ; from poetry 
to politics. 

64. Two noblemen of taste and learning, the 
Duke of Shrewsbury and the Earl of Oxford, 
desired Pope to melt down, and cast anew, the 
weighty bullion of Dr. Donne's Satires; who had 
degraded and deformed a vast fund of sterling 
wit, and strong sense, by the most harsh and 
uncouth diction. Pope succeeded in giving 
harmony to a writer, more rough and rugged 
than even any of his age, and who profited so 
little by the example Spenser had set, of a most 
musical and mellifluous versification; far beyond < 
the versification of Fairfax^ who is so frequently 
mentioned as the greatest improver of the ha^r-r 
mony of our language. The Satires of Hall^ 
written in very smooth and pleasing numbers, 



preceded those of Donne many years ; for his 
Virgidemiarum were published, in six books, in 
the year 1597; in which he calls himself the very 
first English satirist. This, however, was not 
true, in fact; for Sir Thomas Wyatt, of Ailing- 
ton Castle, in Kent, the friend and favourite of 
Henry VIII. and, as was suggested, of Ann 
Boleyn, was our first writer of satire worth no- 
tice. But it was not in his numbers only that 
Donne was reprehensible. He abounds in false 
thoughts; in far-sought sentiments; in forced, 
unnatural conceits. He was the corrupter of 
Cowley. Dryden was the first who called him a 
metaphysical poet. He had a considerable share 
of * learning ; and though he entered late into 


* He was one of our poets who wrote elegantly in Latin ; 
as did Ben Jonson, (who translated into that language great 
part of Bacon de Augmentis Scient.) Cowley, Milton, Addison, 
and Gray, In Donne's introduction to his witty catalogue of 
curious books, written plainly in imitation of Rabelais, (whom 
also Swift imitated, in a catalogue of odd treatises, prefixed to 
the Tale of a Tub,) there is a passage so minutely applicable 
to the present times^ that I am tempted to transcribe it. ^vum 
sortiti sumus, quo plane indoctis nihil turpius, plene doctis 
nihil rarius. Tarn omnes in literis aliquid sciunt, tarn nemo 
omnia. Medili igitur plerumque itur v'lk, & ad eyitandam ig- 
fiorantiae turpitudinem, & legendi fastidium. 


orders, yet was esteemed a good divine* James /* 
was so earnest to prefer him in the church, that 
he even refused the Earl of Somerset, his fa- 
vourite, the request he earnestly made, of giving 
Donne an office in the council In the enter- 
taining account of that conversation which Ben 
Jonson is said to have held with Mr. Drummond 
of Hawthornden, in Scotland, in the year 1619* 
containing his judgments of the English poets, 
he speaks thus of Donne, who was his intimate 
friend, and had frequently addrest him in various 
poems. " Donne was originally a poet : his 
grandfather, on the niother's side, was Hey wood^ 
the epigrammatist; that Donne, for not being 
understood, would perish* He esteemed him 
the first poet in the world for some things : his 
verses of the lost Ochadine he had by heart, and 
that passage of the calm, that dust and feathers 
did not stir, all was so quiet He affirmed, that 
Donne wrote all his best pieces before he was 
twenty-five years of age. The conceit of Donne's 
transformation, or metempsychosis, was, that 
he sought the soul of that apple which Eve 
pulled, and hereafter made it the soul of a bitch, 
then of a she-wolf, and so of a woman : his ge- 
1 neral 


neral purpose was to have brought it into all the 
bodies of the heretics, from the soul of Cain, 
and at last left it in the body of Calvin. He 
only wrote one sheet of this, and since he was 
made doctor repented earnestly, and resolved to 
destroy all his poems. He told Donne, that his 
Anniversary was prophane, and full of blasphe* 
mies ; that if it had been written on the Virgin 
Mary, it had been tolerable : to which Donne 
answered, that he described the idea of a wo- 
man, and not as she was. '** 

65. The two Dialogues, entitled One Thousand 
Seven Hundred and Thirty-Eight, which are the 
last pieces that belong to this section, were more 
frequently transcribed, and received more altera- 
tions and corrections, than almost any of the 
foregoing poems. By long habit of writing, and 
almost constantly in one sort of measure, he had 


• And B. Janson again in his Discoveries :— ^'^ As it is fit 
to read the best authors to youth first, so let theia be of the 
openest and the clearest. As Livy before Scdlust, and Sydney 
before Donne,*' But Milton, tn one of his Latin letters, pre- 
fers Sallust to all the Roman historians. 


now arrived at a happy and elegant familiarity of 
style, without flatness. The satire in these pieces 
is of the strongest kind ; sometimes direct and 
declamatory ; at others, ironical, and oblique. 
It must be owned to be carried to excess. Our 
country is represented as totally ruined, and over- 
whelmed with dissipation, depravity, and corrup- 
tion. Yet this very country, so emasculated and 
debased by every species of folly and wickedness, 
in about twenty years afterwards, carried its 
triumphs over all its enemies, through all the 
quarters * of the world, and astonished the most 
distant nations with a display of uncommon ef- 
forts, abilities, and virtues. So vain and ground- 
less are the prognostications of poets, as well as 
politicians. It is to be lamented, that no genius 
could be found to write an One Thousand Seven 
Hundred and Sixty One, as a counterpart to these 
two satires. Several passages deserve particular 
notice and applause. The design of the Friend, 
introduced in these dialogues, is to dissuade our 


• We cannot ascribe these successes, as M. de Voltaire 
does, to the effects of Brown's Estimati, See Additions a 
THist. Generale, p. 409, 


poet from personal invectives. He desires him to 
copy the sly, insinuating style of Horace ; and 
dexterously turns the -very advice he is giving 
into the bitterest satire. 

Horace would say. Sir Billy serv*d the Crown ; 
Blunt could do business; H— ggins knew the town : 
In Sappho touch the failings of the sex ; 
In reverend bishops note some small neglects; 
And own the Spaniard did a waggish thing, 
• Who cropt our ears, an4 sent them to the king.* 

The character of Sir Robert Walpole was dic- 
tated by candour and gratitude ; distinguishing 
the minister from the man. 


Seen him I have ; but in his happier hour 
Of social pleasure, ill-exchang'd for pow'r ; 
Seen him, uncumber'd with the venal tribe. 
Smile without art, and win without a bribe.f 

This character, together with that drawn of 
the same minister by Hume, in his fourth Essay, 
will, perhaps, contribute to give a dispassionate 
posterity a more amiable idea of him than we 
usually allow him, and counterwork the spirited 

VOL. II. ' Aa and 

* Ver. 13. t Ven29. 


and eloquent Dissertation on Parties. Nothing 
can be more animated and lively, than where 
our author, seeming to follow the cautious ad- 
monitions of his friend, replies, 

Come^ harmless characters, that no one hit ; 

Come, Henley's oratory, Osborne's wit. 

The honey dropping from Favonio's tongue. 

The flow'rs of Bubo, and the flow of Young ! 

The gracious dew of pulpit eloquence. 

And all the well-whipt cream of courtly sense !* 

To which must be added a stroke that cuts to 
the quick ; especially the last line, which alludes 
to a very remarkable and particular anecdote of 
the Queen's behaviour to her son. 

Or teach the melancholy muse to mourn. 
Hang the sad verse on Carolina's urn ; 
And bail her passage to the realms of rest. 
All parts performed, and all her children blest.f 

I recollect no passage in Horace, Juvenal, or 
Boileau, more strongly pointed, or more well- 
turned, than where our poet insists that the dig- 
nity of vice must not be lost. 


* Vcr. Q5. t Ver. 79. 

AND Writings of pope. 355 

Ye gods ! shall * Gibber's son, without rebuke. 
Swear like a lord, or Rich out-whore a duke ? 
A favorite's porter with his master vie, 
* Be bribed as often, and as often lie ? 
Shall Ward draw contracts with a statesman's skill } 
Or Japhet pocket, like his Grace, a will ? 
Is it for Bond, or Peter, (paltry things !) 
To pay their debts, or keep their faith like kings } 
This, this, my friend, I cannot, must not bear ; 
Vice thus abus'd, demands a nation's care.f 

The noble description of the triumph of Vice, 
one of the most picturesque in all his works, must 
not be here omitted. 

Lo ! at the wheels of her triumphal car. 

Old England's Genius, rough with many a scar, 

Dragg'cf in the dust ; his arms hang idly round ; 

His flag inverted, trails along the ground ! 

Our youth, all liv'ry'd o'er with foreign gold. 

Before her dance ; behind her, crawl the old ! 

See thronging millions to the pagod run. 

And offer country, parent, wife, or son ! 

Hear her black trumpet through the land proclaim. 

That Not To Be Corrupted is the shame4 


A a 2 Swift 

* The names of Cibber, Cluirtres, Ward, Walters, Japhet, and 
some others, are so very often repeated, that .they disgust the 

t Ver. 115. X Ver. 151. 


Swift tells him, in a letter dated August 
8, 1738, that he takes his second dialogue to 
equal any thing he had ever writ The same 
Friend is here again introduced making such re- 
monstrances as before^ And several parts of the 
dialogue are more rapid, and approach nearer to 
conversation, than any lines he had ever before 
written : 

P. The poisoning dame. — F. You mean — P. I don't,— 

F. You do. 
P. See now I keep the secret, and not yon. 
The bribing statesman. — F. Hold — too high you go, 
P. The brib'd elector. — F. There you stoop too low. 
P. I fain would please, if I but knew with what j 
Tell toe what knave is lawful game, or not, • 
Suppose I censure — ^you know what I mean ; 
To save a * bishop, may I name a dean ? 

F. A dean. 

♦ Some of the reverend bench, and particularly one of » 
truly exalted character, are injuriously treated in lMie70. 

Et*n in a bishop I can spy desert; 
Seeker is decent * ■■ 

The exemplary life, and extensive learning, of this great pre- 
late, are sufficient and ample confutations of the invidious epi-^ 
thet here used; which those, who are acquainted with his Lec- 
tures and Sermons, in which is found a rare mixture of simpli- 
city' and energy, read with indignation. 


F. A deaD> Sir ?— No— his fortune is not made: 
You hurt a man that's rising in the trade. * 

Wearied with the severity and poignancy of 
most of the preceding passages, we look with 
delight on the pleasing enumeration of his illus- 
trious and valuable friends : 

Oft, in the clear, still mirror of retreat, 
I study'd Shrewsbury, the wise and great : 
Carleion's calm sense, and Stanhope's noble flame ; 
Compared, and knew their generous end the same. 
How pleasing Atterbury's softer hour ! 
How shin'd the soul, unconquer'd in the Tow'r ! 
How can I f Pult'ney, Chesterfield, forget. 
While Roman spirit charms, and Attic wit ; 

A a 3 Argyle, • 

* Ver. i?2. 

f That Pulteney had a more manly understanding than Ches^ 
terfieldf will not be doubted : but I verily believe he had also 
more true wit» The two lines on Argyle are said to have been 
added, on the duke-s declaring in the House of Lords, on occa- 
sion of some of Popp's satires, that if any man dared to use hi^ 
name in an invective, he would run him through the body, 
and throw himself on the mercy of his peers^ who, he trusted, 
wonld weigh the provocation. Bolingbroke's Letter to Wyndham 
IS ope of the most curious of his works, and gave a deadly 
and incursible blow to the folly and madness of Jacpbitism, 



Argyle, the state's whole thunder bom to wield. 
And shake alike the senate and the field ; 
Or Wyndham, just to freedom and the throne. 
The roaster of our passions, and his own ?* 

Among these, Atterbury was his chief inti- 
mate. The turbulent and imperious temper of 
this haughty prelate, was long felt and remem- 
bered in the college over which he presided. It 
was with difficulty Queen Anne was persuaded to 
make him a bishop ; which she did at last, on 
the repeated importunities of Lord Harcourt, 
who pressed the Queen to do it, because, truly, 
she had before disappointed him, in not placing 
Sacheverell on the bench. After her decease, 
Atterbury vehemently urged his friends to pro- 
claim the Pretender ; and, on their refusal, up- 
braided them for their timidity with many oaths; 
for he was accustomed to swear on any strong 
provocation. In a collection of Letters lately 
published by Mr. Duncombe, it is affirmed, on 
the authority of Elijah Fentan, that Atterbury, 
speaking of Pof£^ said, there was 


Ver. 78. 


Mens curva in Corpore curvo. 

This sentiment seems utterly inconsistent with 
the warm friendship supposed to subsist between 
these two celebrated men. But Dr. Herring, in 
the 2d vol. of this collection, p. 104, says, •* If 
Atterbury was not worse used than any honest 
man in the world ever was, there were strong 
contradictions between his public and private 
character," There is an anecdote, so uncommon 
and remarkable, lately mentioned in Dr. Matj/'s 
Memoirs of the Earl of Chesterfield, and which 
he gives in the very words of that celebrated no- 
bleman, that I cannot forbear repeating it in this 
place :— ** I went (said Lord Chesterfield) to Mr. 
Pope one morning at Twickenham, and found a 
large folio bible, with gilt clasps, lying before 
him upon his table ; and, as I knew his way of 
thinking upon that book, I asked him, jocosely, 
if he was going to write an answer to it ? It is a 
present, (said he,) or rather a legacy, from my 
old friend, the Bishop of Rochester. I went to 
take my leave of him yesterday in the Tower, 
where I saw this bible upon his table. After the 

A a 4 first 


first compliments, the Bishop said to me, My 
friend Pope, considering your infirmities, and 
my age and exile, it is not likely that we should 
ever meet again ; and therefore I give you this 
legacy to remember me by it— Does your lord- 
ship abide by it yourself? — I do. — If you do, 
my lord, it is but lately. May I beg to know 
what new light or arguments have prevailed with 
you now, to entertain an opinion so contrary to 
that which you entertained of that book all the 
former part of your life ?*— The Bishop replied, 
We have not time to talk of these things ; but 
take home the book : I will abide by it ; and I 
recommend you to do so too ; and so God bless 
you !" — Charity and justice call on us, not hastily 
to credit so marvellous a tale, without the strong- 
est testimony for its truth. In one of those en- 
tertaining letters which the Bishop wrote about 
the year 1727, to a Mr. Thiriot,* a French gen- 

* la one of these letters he speaks thus of Sir Isaac Newton: 
The very lively and piercing eye that M. Fontenelle, in his 
famous eulogiuni> gives him, did not belong to him, at least 
not for twenty years past, about which time I first became acr 
quainted with him. Indeed, in the whole air of his face and 
make, there was nothing of that penetrating sagacity which 




tleman, we find a striking remark on the Bishop 
of Meaux.* " There is a ferocious warmth in 
all he says, and his manner of saying it is noble 
and moving ; and yet I question, after all, whe- 
ther he sometimes is in good earnest. ^^ Atterbury 
was, on the whole, rather a man of ability than 
a genius. He writes more with elegance and 
correctness, than with any force of thinking or 
reasoning. His letters to Pope are too much 
crowded with very trite quotations from the clas- 
sics. It is said, he either translated, or intended 
to translate, the Georgics of Virgil, and to 
write the life of Cardinal Wolsey, whom he much 
resembled. Dr. Warburton had a mean opinion 
of his critical abilities, and of his discourse on 
the lapis of KirgiL He was thought to be the 


appears in his works. He had something rather languid in his 
look and manner, which did not raise any great expectation in 
those who did not know him. 

* Before he composed a funerdl oration, he used to shut 
himself up for four or five days, and read Homer. Being asked 
fhe reason of this practice, he replied. 

•Magnam mihi me.ntem, auimumque 

pdius inspirat vales- 


Mlhw <Mr the fife ci Waller, prefixed to the first 
\Vttw* <d;»ra of dns poet s vorks. 

TVw ^ ^ ^*>9TSr iBiitation of Persius, and of 
flhiitaM^. «: xTsne 128. 

— Come theD> I'll comply : 

;%»ijnt of Amall I aid me while I lie ! 
^obk^m's a coward, Polwarth is a slare, 
And lAfttelton a dark designing knave : 
2^* John has ever been a wealthy fool ; 
But let me add. Sir Robert's mighty doll. 

X4u» is the passage of Persius, Sat. i. v. 110. 

» Per me eqnidem sint omnia protinus alba^ 

Kil moror ; Enge, omnes, omnes^ bene mine eritis res; 

Hoc juvat ?■ ■■ ■ 

And thus Boileau, Sat. ix. v. 287. 

Puisque vous le voulez, je vais changer de stile, 
Je le declare done, Quinault est un Virgile. 
Pradon comme un soleil en nos ans a paru. 
Pelletier ecrit mieux qu'Ablancourt ni Patru. 
Cotin, a ses sermons trainant toute la terre. 
Fend les flots d'Auditeurs pour aller a sa chaire. 



But Pope has plainly the superiority, by the art- 
ful and ironical compliments to his friends. 

The beastly simile, at line 171, may safdy be 
pronounced, however difficult it may be in many 
cases to trace resemblances, to be taken from a 
passage in the Remains of Butler, the incompa- 
rable author of Hudibras : 

Let courtly wit» to wits afford supply, • 

As hog to hog in huts of WestpJialy ; 

If one, through nation's bounty, or his lord's. 

Has what the frugal diirty soil affords. 

From him the next receives it, thick or thin. 

As pure a mess almost as it came in : 

The blessed benefit, not there confin'd. 

Drops to the third, who nuzzles close behind : 

From tail to mouth they feed, and they carouse,; 

The last full fairly gives it to the House. 

The passage in Butler runs thus : — *^ Our mo* 
dern authors write plays, as they feed hogs in 
Westphalia; where but one eats pease or acorns, 
and all the rest feed upon his and one another's 
eixrements.'' Thoughts on Various Subjects, p. 
497, V. 2. Though those remains were not pub- 
lished in the life-time of Pope, yet Mr. Thjfer 
informs us, that Mr. Zonguevilley in whose cus- 
1 tody 


tody they were, comRiunicated them to AtteV' 
bury J from whom Pope might hear of them. Tis 
impossible any two writers could casually hit 
upon an image so very peculiar and uncommon. 

I conclude this Section by observing, that 
these Dialogues exhibit many marks of our au- 
thor's petulance, party-spirit, and self-impor- 
tance, and of assuming to himself the character 
of a general censor ; who, alas ! if he had pos- 
sessed a thousand times more genius and ability 
than he actually enjoyed, could not alter or 
amend the manners of a rich and commercial, 
and, consequently, of a luxurious and dissipated 
nation. We make ourselves unhappy, by hoping 
to possess incompatible things : we want to have 
wealth without corruption, and liberty without 



I. . 

SECTION xiir. 


W HEN the first complete and correct edition 
of the Dunciad was published in quarto, 1729, 
it consisted of three books ; and had for its hero 
Tibbaldj a cold, plodding, and tasteless writer 
and critic, who, with great propriety, was chosen, 
on the death of Settle, by the Goddess of Dul- 
ness, to be the chief instrument of that great 
work which was the subject of the poem ; name- 
ly, *' the introduction (as our author expresses 
it) of the lowest diversions of the rabble of Smith- 
jieldy to be the entertainment of the court and 
town ; the action of the Dunciad being, the re- 
moval of the imperial seat of Dulness from the 
City to the polite world ; as that of the -SEneid is 
the removal of the empire of Troy to Latium.'' 
This was the primary subject of the piece. Our 
author adds, " as Horner^ singing only the wrath 



of Achilles, yet includes in his poem, the whole 
history of the Trojan war ; in like manner our 
poet hath drawn into this si?igle action, the whole 
history of Dulness and her children. To this 
end, she is represented, at the very opening of 
the poem, taking a view of her forces, which 
are distinguished into these three kinds, party- 
writers, dull poets, and wild critics. A person 
must be fixed upon to support this action, who 
(to agree with the design) must be such an one 
as is capable of being all three. Tliis phantom in 
the poet's mind, must have a name. He seeks for 
one who hath been concerned in the journals, 
written bad plays or poems, and published low 
. criticisms. He finds his name to be Tibbald,* 

/ and 

• Who was a kind of Margites, It is a singular fact in the 
history of literature, that the same mighty genius, who, by his 
Iliad and Odyssey, became the founder of Tragedy, should also, 
by his Margites, as Aristotle observes in the second chapter of 
his Poetics, become the father of Comedy. This piece was 
written in various sorts of metre, and particularly hexameter 
and iambic. Only three verses remain of this piece, which 
was much celebrated by the ancients ; one in the second Alci- 
hiades of Plato : 

*' Cls *fx voXKa fjLiv spyx', xaKUS 5'ijgr/r«To vailat* 



and he becomes of course the hero of the 

This design is carried on, in the first book, by 
a description of the Goddess fixing her eye on 
Tibbald ; who, on the evening of a lord-mayor's 
day, is represented as sitting pensively in his 
study, and apprehending the period of her em- 
pire, from the old age of the present monarch 
Settle ; and also by an account of a sacrifice he 
makes of his unsuccessful works ; of the God- 
dess's revealing herself to him, announcing the 
death of Settle that night, anointing and pro- 
claiming him successor. It is carried on in the 
second book, by a description of the various 
games instituted in honour of the new king, in 
which booksellers^ poeis^ and critics contend. This 
design is, lastly, completed in the third book, 


Another in the sixth book of Aristotle's Ethics : 

A third is cited by the scholiast of Aristopltanes, in the Birds : 

The poem is mentioned by Polybius, Dion Cfirysostom, Plu- 
tarch, Lucian^ Stobaus, and others. 


by the Goddess's transporting the new king to 
her temple, laying him in a deep slumber on her 
lap, and conveying him in a vision to the banks 
of Lethe,' M'here he meets with the ghost of his 
predecessor Settle ; who, in a speech that begins 
at line 35, to almost the end of the book, shews 
him the past triumphs of the empire of Dulness, 
then the present, and lastly the future : enume- 
rating particularly by what aids, and by what 
persons, Great Britain shall be forthwith brought 
to her empire; and prophesying how first the 
nation shall be over-run with farces, operas, 
shows ; and the throne of Dulness advanced over 
both the theatres : then, how her sons shall pre- 
side in the seats of arts and sciences ; till, in 
conclusion, all shall return to their original chaos. 
On hearing which. 

Enough ! enough I the raptur'd Monarch cries ; 
And through the ivory gate the vision flies : 

with which words, the design above recited be- 
ing perfected, the poem concludes. Thus far all 
was clear, consistent, and of a piece ; and was 
delivered in such nervous and spirited versifica- 


tion, that the , delighted reader had only to la- 
ment that so many poetical beauties were thrown 
away on such dirty and despicable subjects as 
were the scribblers here proscribed ; who appear 
like monsters preserved in the most costly spirits. 
But in the year 1742, our poet was persuaded, 
unhappily enough, to add a fourth book to his 
finished piece, of such a very different cast and 
colour, as to render it at last one of the most 
motley compositions, that, perhaps, is any where 
to be found in the works of so exact a writer as 
Pope. For one great purpose of this fourth 
book (where, by the way, the hero does nothing 
at all) was to satirize and proscribe infidels, and- 
free-thinkers ; to leave the ludicrous for the se* 
rious, Grub-street for theology, the mock-heroic 
for metaphysics ; which occasioned a marvellous 
mixture and jumble of images and sentiments, 
Pantomime and Philosophy, Journals and Moral 
evidence, Fleet-ditch and the High Priori road. 
Curl and Clarke. To ridicule our petulant liber- 
tines, and affected minute philosophers, was 
doubtless a most laudable intention ; but speak- 
ing of the Dunciad as a work of art, in a critical 
not a religious light, I must venti^re to affirm, 
VOL. II. B b that 


that the subject of thrs fourth book was foreign 
and heterogeneous ; and the addition of it as in- 
judicious, ill-placed, and incongruous, as any of 
those dissimilar images we meet with in Puici or 
Ariasto. It is like introducing a crucifix into one 
of Teniers's burlesque conversation-pieces. Some 
of his most splendid and strikipg lines are, in- 
deed, here to be found ; but I must beg leave to 
insist that they want propriety and decorum ; and 
must wish ihey had adorned some separate work 
against irreligion, which would have been wor- 
thy the pen of our bitter and immortal satirist. 

But neither was this the only alteration the 
Dunciad was destined to undergo. For in the 
year 1743, our author, enraged with Cibber, 
(whom he had usually treated with contempt 
ever since the affair of Three Hours after Mar- 
riage^y for publishing a ridiculous pamphlet 
against him, dethroned Tibbald, and made thie 
Laureate the hero of his poem. Cibber, with a 
great stock of levity, vanity, and affectation, had 
sense, and wit, and humour ; and the author df 
the Careless Husband was by no means a. propci: 
king of the dunces. ' ' His Treatise on the Stage 

1 (says 


(says Mr. Walpole) is inimitable. Where an au- 
thor writes on his own profession, feels it pro- 
foundly, and is sensible his readers do not, he is 
not only excusable, but meritdrious, for illumina- 
ting the subject by new metaphors, or bolder 
figures than ordinary. He is the coxcomb that 
sneers, not he that instructs by appropriated dic- 
tion." The consequence of this alteration was, 
that many lines, which exactly suited thp heavy 
character of Tibbald^ lost all their grace and pro- 
priety when applied * to Cibber. Such as, 

Sinking from thought to thought^ 4 vast profound ! 

Such also is the description of bis gothic library; 
for Cibber troubled not himself with Caxton^ 
Wynhfn^ and He Lyra. Tibbald^ who was an an- 

3 b 2 tiquarian, 

* ni'is dangerous to disoblige a great poet or painter. Dante 
placed his master Brunetto in his Inferno, Brunetto was a maa 
of sense and learnings and wrote an abridgment of Aristotle's 
Ethics. It is remarkable that he used to say, the French Ian* 
guage will, one day, become the most uni?ersal and common of 
all the languages in Europe. And Michael Angela placed the 
Pope's master of the ceremonies, Biagg^o, in hell^ in his ^asit 


tiquarian, had collected these curious old writers. 
And to slumber in the Goddess's lap, was adapted 
to his stupidity, not to the vivacity of his suc- 

If we now descend from these rertiarks on 
the general design and constitution of the Dun- 
ciad, to particular passages, the following must 
be mentioned as highly finished, and worked 
up with peculiar elegance and force. In book L 
the Chaos of Absurd Writings, v. 55, to v. 78. 
Im book ii. v. 35, the Phantom of a Poet, to 
V. 50. The Description of the Tapestry, v. 143, 
to V. 156. The Adventures of Smedley, and 
what he saw in the shades below, v. 331, to v. 
350. The Effects #of hearing t\TO dull Authors 
read, v. 387, to the end of that book. In book 
iii. the Ghost of Settle, v. 35, to v. 66. View 
of Learning, v. 83, to v. 102. The Description 
of Pantomimes, Farces, and their monstrous Ab- 
surdities, v. 235, to v. 264. In book iv. v. 1, 
to V. 16. The Modern Traveller, v. 2y5, to v. 
330. The Florist, v. 403, to v. 420. The But- 
terfly-hunter, v." 421, to v. 436. The Effects of 
the Yawn, from v. 627, to the end. The fre- 



quent * parodies introduced on Homer, Virgil, 
Milton, and other great poets, than which no- 
thing has a stronger effect in heroi-comic poems, 
are made with singular pleasantry, happiness, 
and judgment. 

But just criticism calls on us also to point out 
some of those passages that appear exceptionable 
in the Dunciad. Such, in book i. v. 163, is the 
hero's first speech ; in which, contrary to all de- 
corum and probabiRty, he addresses the Goddess 
Dulness, without disguising her, as a despicable 
being; and even calls /himself fool and block- 

Bb 3 Me 


* Many of the ancients were fond of parodies. It is well 
known how many Aristopluines has given us on Euripides, and 
other tragedians. Athenctus, in the 9th book of his Deipnos. 
p. 406, informs us, that Chamaeleou of Pontus said, that Hege~ 
mon was the first author very famous for parodies. He was 
called, f«x»?, (Lenticula,) He was also an excellent actor ; 
and the Athenians were so fond of him, that one day, when - 
news was brought of their defeat in Sicily, they would not 
quit the theatre, but i^isisted that Hegempn should finish the 
piece. He was a great favourite of Alcibiades; of whom, and 
Hegemon, Aihenms relates a story worth the reader's perusal, 
p. 407. edit. Casaubon. Lugduni, 1612. There are some ex- 
cellent parodies in the Rehearsal, in Bramston's Art of Politics^ 
\\i the Scrihleriad, and the works of Fielding, 


Me emptiness and dulness could inspire^ 
And were my elasticity and fire. 
Did on the stage my fops appear confin'd ? 
My life ga?e ampler lessons to mankind.- 

What (hen remains ? Ourself stilly still remain i 
Cibberian forehead, and Cibberian brain. ■ 

For a person to be introduced, speaking thus of 
himself, is in truth outrageously unnatural, and 
out of character. 

At V. 300, in this book,, also, is a stroke of 
profaneness that cannot pass unblamed : 

Lift up your gates, ye princes, see him come ! 
Sound sound, ye viols ; be the catcall dumb ! 

So also, book iii^ v. 126, (and book iv. v. 562,) 

Dove-like, she gathers to her wings again. 

And in the arguments he talks of giving a Pwg'aA- 
sight of the future fulness of her glory^ and of 
sending priests and comforters. In book ii. the 
filthiness of the images, v. 93, and v. 160, is 
extremely offensive and disgusting. In book iii. 
the ridicule on the useful and curious publica- 



tions of HearnCy was very undeserved. In book 
iv. the Genius of the schools is made to declare^ 
V. 148, tha^ / 

Words are man's province ; words we teach alone ; 
Confine the thought, to exercise the breath, 
And keep them in the pale of words till death. 

Surely our author, when he passed this censure, 
was ill-informed of what was taught and expected 
in our great schools ; namely, besides reading, 
interpr;etiug, and translating the best poets, ora* 
tors, and historians, of the best ages, to be able 
to compose essays, declamations, and verses, in 
Greek, in Latin^ and in English ; and in some of 
these schools, to write critical remarks on Homer, 
Sophocles, Demosthenes, Aristotle*^ Poetics, or 
Longinus ; an exercise not of the memory, but 
judgment. And as to plying the memory ^ and 
loading the brain, (see verse 157,) it was the opi- 
nion of Milton, and is a practice in our great 
seminaries,* " that if passages from the heroic 

B b 4 poems, 

* What is said on this subject by Quintilian^ b. i. and ii. is 
SIS much superior to Locke's Treatise on Education^ in strength 
€f reasonings as it is in elegance of style. 


poems, orations, and tragedies, of the ancients, 
Avere solemnly pronounced, with right accent 
and grace, as might be taught, (and is^) they 
would endue the scholars even with the spirit and 
vigour of Demosthenes or Cicero^ Euripides or 
Sophocles.'* The illustrious names of JVyndhanij 
Talbot^ Murray^ and Pulteney^ which our author 
himself immediately adds, and which catalogue 
might be much enlarged, with the names of 
many great statesmen, lawyers, and divines, are 
a strong confutation of this opprobrious opinion. 
In book iv. v. 210, is just such another breach of 
truth and decorum as was remarked above, in 
making Aristarchus (Bentley) abuse fiimself^ and 
laugh at his awn labours : 

Thy mighty scholiast^ whose un weary *d pains 
Made Horace dull^ and humbled Maro's strains. 
Turn what they will to verse, their toil is vain ; 
Critics like nie, shall make it prose again. 
For attic phrase in Plato let them seek; 
I poach in Suidas for unlicensed Greek. 
For thee we dim the eyes, and stuff the head, 
^Vith all such reading ^s wa^j never read ; 
For thee explain a thing till all men doubt it. 
And write about it, Godde.^s ! and about it. 



Lastly, in this 4th book, the sudden appear- 
ance of Annius, v. 347, of Mummius, 371, and 
of a gloomy clerk, v. 459, make this part of the 
poem obscure, as we know not who these per- 
sonages are, nor whence they came. After all, 
the chief fault of the Dunciad is the * violence 
and vehemence of its satire, and the excessive 
heighth to which it is carried ; and which, there- 
fore, I have heard compared to that marvellous 


* Which sQur the temper of the reader ; insomuch that I 
know a person^ whose name would be an ornament to these 
papers, if I was suffered to insert it, who, after reading a book 
of the Dunciad, always sooths himself, as he calls it, by turn- 
ing to a canto in the Faery Queen. This is not the case ia 
that very delightful and beautiful poem, Mac Flecnoe, from 
which Pope has borrowed so many hints, and images, and 
ideas. But Dryden's poem was the offspring of contempt, and 
Pope's of indignation : one^ is full of mirth, and the other of 
malignity. A vein of pleasantry is uniformly preserved through 
the whole of Mac Flecnoe, and the piece begins and ends in 
the same key* It is natural and obvious to borrow a metaphor 
from music, when we are speaking of a poem whose versifica« 
tion is particularly and exquisitely sweet and harmonious. 
The numbers of the Dunciad, by being much laboured, and 
encumbered with epithets, have something in them of stiffness 
and harshness. Since the total decay of learnin|; and genius 
was foretold in the Dunciad, how many very excellent pieces 
of Criticism, Poetry, History, Philosophy, and Divinity, have 
appeared in this country ! and to what a degree of perfection 
|ias almost every art, either useful or elegant, been carried ! 


column of boiling water, near mount Hccla^ 
thrown upwards, above ninety feet, by the force 
of a subterraneous fire.* 


*^ It is iu a valley in Iceland, about sixty miles from the 
tea ; it is called the fountain of Geiser. Sir Joseph Banks, our 
great philosophical traveller, had the satisfaction of seeing this 
wonderful phaenomenon. 

AN© WRltlNGS OP PO|l»E. 379 





X HE seventh epistle of the first book of Ho- 
race, and the sixth satire of the second, are here 
imitated in a style and manner diflferent from the 
former imitations, in the burlesque and colloquial 
style and measure of Swift ;* in which our au- 

* The following is written in the first leaf of a copy of Ste- 
vens's Herodotus, now in the library of Winchester College, in 
Swift's own hand-writing, and is a literary curiosity, being a 
specimen of his Latin. — " Judicium de Herodoto post longum 
tempus relecto. Ctesias mendacissimus Herodotum mendaciorum 
arguit, exceptis paucissimis, (ut mea fert sententia,) omni modo 
excusandum. Caeterum diverticulis abundans hie pater histo- 
ricorum, filum narrationis ad taedium abrumpit. Unde oritur 
(ut par est) legentibus confusio, et exinde oblivio. Quin et 
forsan ipsae narrationes, circumstantiis nimium pro re scatent. 
Quod ad cajtera, hunc scriptorem inter apprime laudandos 
€enseo> neque Graecis neque barbaris plus aequo faventem aut 



thor has not succeeded, but falls back, as was 
natural, from the familiar, into his own more 
high and pompous manner ; as in the following 
lines, V. 125, Perditur haec inter, &c. 

Thus in a sea of folly tost. 
My choicest hours of life are lost ; 
Yet always wishing to retreat. 
Oh, could I see my country seat ! 

And again at line 189; in the fable of the 

Tell how the moon-beam trembling falls. 
And tips with silver all the walls; 
Palladian walls, Venetian doors, 
Grotesco roofs, and stucco floors. 

The difference of styles is more perceivable, from 
the circumstance of their being immediately sub- 

iniquum; in orationibus fere breyem, simplicem, nee nimis 
frequentem. Neque absunt dogmata e quibus eruditus lector 
prudentiam tarn moralem quam civilem haurire poterit.* * 
Swift, in his discourse on the Contests, &c. appears to be well 
acquainted with Thucydides, Polyhius, and Dionys. Halicar. and 
to have had a considerable knowledge of ancient history. Of 
all our poets, perhaps, Akenside was the best Greek schols^r 
since Milton. 



joined to the lighter and less ornamental verses of 

The first ode of the fourth book of Horace, is 
an elegant compliment to Mr. Murray^ now Lord' 
Mansfield. And it may be worth observing, that 
the measure Pope has chosen, is precisely the 
same that Ben Jonson used in a translation of this 
very ode, in which are some lines smoother than 
our old bard's usual strains ; p. 268. 

Then twice a day, in sacred lays. 
The youths and tender maids shall sing thy praise ; 

And in the Salian manner meet 
Thrice round thy altar with their ivory feet. 

I cannot forbear adding, that there is much har- 
mony, and ease of versification, in Ben Jonson's 
ten /^ric piece* addressed to CAam, in page J 65 
of his works. 

The second stanza of the imitation of part 
of the ninth ode of Horace, book iv. is well ex- 
pressed J 



Tho' daring Milton sits sublime. 
In Spenser native Muses play ; 

Nor yet shall sValler yield to time ; 
Nor pensive Cowley's moral lay. 

Pope seems to speak of Spenser with particu" 
lar complacency. How much this author was his 
favourite, \vill appear from what he said to Mr, 
Spence; from whose anecdotes this passage is 
transcribed : " There is something in Spenser 
that pleases one as strongly in one's old-age, as 
it did in one's youth : I read the Faery Queen 
when I was about twelve with a vast deal of de- 
light ; and I think it gave me as much when I 
read it over about a year or two ago. 


Out of the fourth and following stanza, misled 
by his love of antithesis, he has formed a trifling 
epigram : 

Vixere fortes ante Agamemnona 
Mnlti ; sed omnes illacrymabiles 
Urgentur ignotique longd 
Nocte, carent quia vate sacro: 



Vain was the ChiePs^ the Sage's pride I 
They had no Poet, and they died. 
In vain they schemed, in vain they bled ! 
They had no Poet, and are dead ! 

But he has made ample amends, by the Epistle 
addressed to the Earl of Oxford, ivhen he pre- 
sented to that nobleman the Poems of his old 
friend Parnell ;* in which epistle there is a weight 
of sentiment, and majesty of diction, which our 
author has no where surpassed. His f genius 
seems to have been invigorated, and exalted, by 
the high opinion he had justly conceived of the 
person to whom he was writing ; who must be 
confessed, now that party- prejudices :j: are worn 


• He was a writer that improved gradually. Very wide i$ 
the difference betwixt his poems on the Peace, and on UnnalU" 
ral Flights in Poetry; and betwixt his Hymn to Contentment, 
his Fairy Tale, his Rise of Woman^ his Night-piece on Death, 
and his Hermit. All five of them delicious morsels. 

f I am well informed that Lord Bolingbroke was greatly 
mortified at Pope's bestowing such praises on his old antago- 
nist, whom he mortally hated. Yet I have seen two original 
letters of Lord Bolingbroke to Lord Oxford, full of the most 
fulsome flattery, and profane applications of scripture. 

X At the time when the Secret Committee was held to exa- 
mine the conduct of Sir Robert Walpole, who was the person 




away, to have had great genius, learning, and 
honesty. Strength of mind appears to have been 
his predominant characteristic ; of which he gave 
the most striking proofs, when he was stabbed^ 
displaced^ imprisoned. These circumstances are 
alluded to in those noble and nervous verses : 

And sure, if aught below the seats divine. 
Can touch immortals, 'tis a soul like thine ! 
A soul supreme in each hard instance try'd. 
Above all pain, all passion, and all pride ; 
The rage of pow*r, the blast of public breath. 
The lust of lucre, and the dread of death. 

s^ And of which fortitude ancl firmness, another 
' striking proof still remains, in a letter which the 
Earl wrote from the Tower to a friend who ad- 
vised him to meditate an escape, and which is 
worthy of the greatest hero of antiquity. This 
extraordinary letter I had the pleasure of reading, 
by the favour of his excellent grand-daughter, 


that impeached the Earl of Oxford, Mr. Harley made an ad- 
mirable speech in the House of Commons, declaring, that he 
would not treat Walpole as he had treated his relation, and 
immediately left the House without giving his vote against him. 
Sir Robert seemed much affected with this generous behaviour 
of Mr. Harley. 


the present Duchess Dowager of Portland, who 
inherits that love of literature and science, so 
peculiar to her ancestors and family. 

Jervas owed much more of his reputation to 
the epistle Pope sent to him, with Dryden's 
translation of Fresnoy^* than to his iskill as a 
painter. He was defective (says Mr. Walpole) 
in drawing, colouring, and composition; and 
even in that most necessary, and perhaps most 
easy, talent of a portrait-painter, likeness. In 
general, his pictures are a light flimsy kind of 
fan-painting, as large as the life. His vanity 
was excessive. The reason why Lady Bridge-- 
water's name is so frequently repeated in this 
epistle, is, because he affected to be violently in 

VOL. II. C c love 

* This didactic poem of Fresnoy, is but a cold^ uninterest- 
ing, unpoetical performance. He was the intimate of Mig» 
jiard, the rival of Le Brun. At the end of the life of Mignard, 
are three dialogues on painting, written by Fenelon, in a most 
exquisite taste, and which are here mentioned, because they 
are little known, and not inserted in the >^ofks of Fenelon, and 
are worthy to be read even after the admirable tenth chapter 
«f the twelfth book of Quintilian. 

38^ £^SAT ON THE C£^IU§ 

love with her. Yet his vanity ♦ was greater than 
his passion. One day, as she was sitting to hinij 
he ran over the beauties of her face with rapture; 
" But (said he) I cannot help telling your Ladyship 
that you have not a handsome ear/' " No ! (said 
Lady Bridgewater.) Pray, Mr. Jervas, what is a 
handsome ear ?" He turned aside his cap, and 
shewed her his own. Anecdotes of Painting, 
vol. iv# p. 18. 

As our author was addressing his -master in 
this his favourite and delightful art, there is a 
warmth and gl6w of expression throughout this 

Together o'er the Alps methioks we f]y> 
FirM with ideas of fair Italy ; 


* He translated Doa Quixote^ without understaDding Spa** 
l&ish, as his friend Pope used to say, Warburton added a sup- 
plement to the prefaice of this translation^ concerning the ori- 
gin and nature of romances of chivalry.; which supplement 
Pope extols^ in his/ Letters^ Tol. ix. p. S52, in the highest 
terms; but the opinions in it are > thoroughly confuted by Mr. 
Tyrwhitt, in vol. xi. of Suppkmniai Observations on Shaken 
speare, p. 373. 1 


With th^c, ou Raphael's * monument I mourn> 
Or wait inspiring dreams at Maro's urn; 
With thee repose where Tuily once was laid. 
Or seek some ruin s formidable shade ! 

Though the last line, by the wiy, is inferior to 
the rest, because it passes from particular images 
to something general. Yet, however elegant and 
finished this epistle must be allowed to be, it 
does not excel that of Dryderij addressed to Sir 
Godfrey Kneller ;| and the following lines, both 

C c 2 in 

* In a curious and unpublished letter of Rafaele to his un« 
cle, he tells him, that his personal estate in Rome amounted to 
3000 ducats of gold; that is, 862K 10s. sterling; that he has 
50 crowns of gold per ann. as architect of St. Peter's ; that is, 
141. 7s. 6d. and a yearly pension for life of 300 ducats of gold; 
that is, 861. 5Sk that he is in Branuntt^s place ; that the church 
of St. Peter's would cost more than a million of gold, 287,500U 
that the Pope had appropriated for it 60,000 ducats a year ; 
that is, 17,2501. I will add to these anecdotes, taken from 
Richardson, that Raffaele with great modesty consulted his 
friend Ariosto, who was an excellent scholar, on the characters, 
lives, and countries, of the persons whom he was to introduce 
in the picture of Theology. All that Raffaele is ever known 
to have written, is fotir letters, and a sonnet -addressed tp 
Ariosto, Michael Angelo also Xvrote verses, and addressed a 
sonnet to Vasari^ 

f To make an experiment what gross flattery Sir Godfrey 
was capable of swallowing. Pope one day said to him, " God, 



ia point of science and taste, may be compared 
to any of Pope's : 

Thence rose the Roman^ and the Lombard line : 
One colon rM best, and one did best design. 
Raphael's, like Homer's, was the nobler part. 
But Titian's painting look'd like VlrgiPs art* 
Thy genius gives thee both ; where true design^ 
Postures unforc'd, and lively colours join. 
Likeness is ever there ; but still the best. 
Like proper thoughts in lofly language drest ; 
Where light, to shades descending, plays, not strives ; 
Dies by degrees, and by degrees revives. 
Of various parts a perfect whole is wrought : 
Thy pictures think, and we divine their thought* 

One cannot forbear reflecting on the great pro- 
gress the art of painting * has made in this coun- 
try since the time that Jervas was thought wor- 
thy of this panegyric ; a progress, that, we trust, 
will daily increase, if due attention be paid to the 


we are told, made man in his own image ; if this figure of 
yours had existed, man would have been made by it/' " Par D. 
je le crois aussi, Mons. Pope," replied Kneller. This artist lit- 
tle deserved to be consulted by Pope concerning the arrange- 
ment of the subjects represented on the shield of Achilles* Set 
Iliad. B. 18. Pope's notes* 

* See Mr. Hayley's fine Epistle to Mr. Romney. 


incomparable discourses that have been deli- 
vered at the Royal Academy ; which discourses 
contain more solid instruction on that subject 
tlian, I verily think, can be found in any lan- 
guage. The precepts are philosophically founded 
on truth and nature, and illustrated with the 
most proper and pertinent examples. The cha- 
racters are drawn wi^h a precision and distinctness, 
that we look for in vain in Felibicn, De Files, 
and even Vasari or Pliny himself. Nothing, for 
example, can be more just and elegant, as well 
as profound and scientific, than the comparison 
betwixt Michael Angelo and Raffaele, page I69 
of these Discourses. Michael Angelo is plainly 
the hero of Sir Joshua Reynolds^ for the same 
reasons that Homer, by every great mind, is pre- 
ferred to Virgil. 

The Epistle to Miss Blount, accompanied with 
the works of Voiture* is full of gaiety and gal- 

C c 3 lantry. 

* Some curious particulars in the life of Voiture are men- 
tioned in vol. ii. p. 409^ of the entertaining Miscellanies of 
Vigneul Marville. An elegant epitaph, to which Pope al- 
ludes, was made on him, copied from Martial, and worth pe- 
rusal : 



lantry. Our author's attachment to this lady 
ended but with his life. Her affectation and ill- 
temper gave him, however, many hours of un- 
easiness and disquiet. When she visited him in 
his very last illness, and her company seemed to 
give him fresh spirits, the antiquated prude 
could not be prevailed on to stay and pass the 
night at Twickenham, because of her reputation. 
She occasioned an unhappy breach betwixt him 
and his old friend Allen. The works of Vaiture^ 
on which much of this epistle turns, after hav- 
ing been idolized in France, are now justly stmk 
into neglect and oblivion. The characteristical 


Etruscse Veneres, CanKerue Iberae ; 
Hemies Ganicus,"& Latina Sirens 
Risus, Delicia, & Dicacitates, 
Lusus, Ingenium, Joci, Lepores, 
£t quicquid fuit elegantiarum. 
Quo Vectturins hoc jacent sepulcro. 

Corneille was invited to read his Polyeucte at the hotel de Ram- 
houillet ; where the principal wits of the time usually assem- 
bled, and where Voiture presided. It was very coldly receiv- 
ed ; and in a few days, Voiture came to Corneille^ and in gen- 
tle terms told him, it was the opinion of his friends, that the 
piece would not succeed. Such ill judges were then the most 
fashionable wits of France. 


difference betwixt Voiture and Balsac* is well ex- 
pressed by BoikaUj in two letters written u^der 
their names, from the Elysian Fields, to the Due 
4e Vivonne^ in p. 155 of vol. iii. of his works. And 
BoileaUf speaking often of absurd readers aiii^' 
critics, loved to relate, that one of his relations, 
to whom he had presented his works, said to him, 
• * Pray, Cousin, how came you to insert any 
Other person s writings among your own ? I find 
in your works two letters, one from Balsac, and 
the other from Voiture." In the other epistle to 
the same person, the calamitous state of an un- 
fortunate lady, banished from town to 

Old-fashion'd halls^ dull aunts^ and croaking rooks, 

and the coarse compliments of a rural squire. 

Who with his hound comes hollowing from the stable, 

are painted with humour. 

C c 4 The 

* Descartes, who, as well as Leibnitz, was an elegant scholar, 
wrote a judicious censure of Balsac, in admirable Latin. 
Balsac was, however, much superior to Voiture. But he was 
affectedly turgid, pompous, and bloated on all subjects and 
on all occasions alike. Yet was he the first that gave fonn and 
harmony to the French prose ; which was still more improved 
by the Provincial Letters of Pascal. 


The Town Eclogue was written in concert with 
Lady Wortley Montague, who published four 
more of this sort. Gay wrote a Quaket^s Eclogue, 
and Swift a Footman's Eclogue; and said to 
Pope, " I think the pastoral ridicule is not ex- 
hausted : what think you of a Newgate pastoral, 
among the whores and thieves there?'* Whcin 
Lady M. W. Montague would sometimes shew a 
copy of her verses to Pope, and he would make 
some little alterations, " No," said she, " Pope ; 
no touching ; for then, whatever is good for any 
thing will pass for yours, and the rest for mine/' 

Next follows a close translation of a fable from 
Boileau ; which fable Boiieau removed from the 
end of his Epistle to the King, by the advice of 
the great Prince of Condfe, as unsuited to the 
subject, and finished with it an Epistle to L'Abbe 
des Roches, torn. i. p. 285. It will be no unuse- 
ful, or, perhaps, unpleasing, amusement to com^ 
pare these two pieces,* And I will not think of 
making any apology for so frequently quoting 

a writer 

* In the fifth, sixth, seventh, ninth aid twelfth verses. Pope 
ii inferior to the original. 


a writer so pure, sensible, and classical, as 

Once (says an author^ where I need not say) 
Two trav'lers found an oyster in their way :• 
Both fierce, both hungry : the dispute grew strong. 
While, scale in hand, dame Justice past along. 
Before her each with clamour pleads the laws, 
ExplainM the matter, and would win the cause. 
Dame Justice, weighing long the doubtful right. 
Takes, opens, swallows it, before their sight. 
The cause of grief remov'd so rarely well ; 
There take (says Jjastice) ta)ce ye each a shell. 
W€ thrive at Westminster on fools like you ! 
'Twas a. fat oyster*— Li?e in peace.-^Adieu. 


^ I cannot forbear mentioning a work, not so well known as 
it deserves to be, the Latin Fables of J. Desbillons, a Jesuit, 
printed first at Paris, and afterwards at Manheim, Svo. 1768, 
in a most chaste and unaffected style. To speak in his own 
words ; 

Me Fabularum suavis indoles capit, 
Capit venusta munditie latinitas 
Simplex, & arti praenitens facilis color 


*' The fables in your Esop, (said Pope to Vanbrugh,) have the 
very spirit of La fontaine.'* '* It may be so, (replied Vanbrugh;) 
but I protest to you I never have read La Fontaine's Fables.'* 
Patru, who was consulted as a capital critic, by all the wits of 
. France, dissuaded La Fontaine from attempting to write Fables: 
fortunately hu disregarded his advice; 


Un jour, dit un Auteur^ n'importe en quel chapitre. 

Deux voyageurs a jeun rencontrerent une huitre, 

Tous deux la contestoient, lorsque dans leur chemin. 

La Justice passa, la balance a la main. 

Savant die a grand bruits ils expliquent la chose. 

Tous deux avec depens veulent gagner leur cause. 

La Justice pesant ce droit litigieux;, 

Demande Thuitre, Touvre, & Tavale a leur yeux, 

£t par ce bel arrest terminant la bataille : 

Tenez voila, dit elle, a chacun une ^caille. 

Des sottises d'autrui, nous vivons au Palais ; 

Messieurs, I'huUre ^toit bonne. Adieu. Vivez en paix. 

We will pass over the next ten little pieces, 
stopping only to commend the verses on the 
Grotto, and the lines addressed to Southerner 
when he was eighty years old. Ill the former 
is a passage of a striking and awakening so- 
lemnity : 

Approach ! great Nature, studiously behold 
And eye the mine, without a wish for gold ! 
Approach, but aweful 1 Lo, th' iEgecian grot^ 
Where nobly pensive iS^. John sate and thought ; 
Where British sighs from dying Wyndham * stole. 
And the bright flame was shot thro' Marchmont^B soul* 


• Who was one of the most able ^ and eloquent of that re- 
spectable body of patriots that leagued toother against. Sir 



In dae latter, tbe venerable father of Isabella amd 
Jmomda is said to have raised, by liis emiaence. 

The price of prologues Bxtd •f plays. 

For Southerne was tbe iirst author that had twQ 
benefit-nights, the third and sixth, at the ex- 


Rol)ert Walpole, Indeed, almost all the men ^et wit and ge- 
nius in the kingdom opposed ftbis minister, wtk« in vzia f^aid 
the enormous sum of above fifty thousand pounds to paltry and 
dull scribblers in his defence. Soon after Mr. Glover had 
published his Leomdas, apoeta that was eagerly read, andtini- 
versally admired, he passed some days wiHi Mr. Pope at 
Twickenham, where they were one evening honoured with 
the company of the Prince of "Wales, attended by Mr. LytteU 
ton: the latter privately desired "Mr. Pqpe and Mr. Glover^ 
(who himself kindly related to me this fact) that ibej 
would join with him in dissuading the Prince from riding 
a vicious horse he was fond of: and, among other things urged 
on the subject. Pope said with earnestness to »the Pcipce, *' I 
hope. Sir, the people of England will not be made miserable 
by a second YiCPcse i" alluding to the accident that befel King 
William. " I think (added Pope, turning, and whispering to 
Mr. Glover) this speech was pretty well for me !" 

In a letter, dated May, 1737, Swift asfks Pope, *' Who is 
that Mr. Glover, who writ the poem called djeonidas, which is 
reprinting here, and hath great vogue ?'' Pope*s answer does 
not appear : it would have been curious to have knowR his opit 
nion concerning a poem that is written in a taste and manner 
so different from his own, in a .style 'formed in the Grecian 
school, and with, the simplicity of an ancient. 


hibition of his comedy, entitled, Sir Anthony 
Love, 1691. By the custom, which had some- 
thing illiberal in it, and was first dropt by Addi* 
son, of distributing tickets, Southerne gained 
7001. for one play. In the year 1722, he re- 
ceived of a bookseller, 120L for copy-money; 
when, the year before, Dr. Young could get no 
more than fifty pounds for his Revenge. But to 
drive a bargain, was not the talent of this gene- 
rous and disinterested man. 

The fifteen Epitaphs, w^hich conclude our au- 
thor's poetical works, do not seem to merit a 
particular discussion. The three best * are that 
on Mrs. Corbett, Fenton, and the Duke of Buck- 
ingham. They are all, in general, over-run with 
point and antithesis, and are a kind of panegy- 
rical epigrams. Tliey are, consequently, very 
different from the simple sepulchral inscriptions of 


* As that on Kneller is the worsts in imitation of two 
wretched lines on Raphael^ which had a much better turn 
given to them by Mr. W. Harrison, of New College, a favour* 
ite of Swift : 

Here Raphael lies, by whose untimely end. 
Nature both lost a Rival and a Friend* 


the ancients, of which that of Meleager on hi3 
wife, in the Greek Anthology, is a model and mas- 
ter-piece ; and in which taste a living author, 
that must be nameless, has written the following 
hendecasyllables : 

O dulcls puer, O vennste Marce, 
O multi puer et meri leporis^ 
Festivi puer ingeni, valeto ! 
Ergo cum^ virideis ylgens per annos, 
JEvi yer ageres noYum tenelli^ 
Vidisti Stygias peremptus undas ? 
Tnuin^ nuBstus a?us> tuum propinqul^ 
Os plenum lepida loquacitate, 
Et risu«) faciles tuos requirunt. 
Te lusus, puer, in suos su^tos 
^quales vocitant tui frequenter. 
At surdus recubaf, trahisque somnos 
Cunctis denique^ Marce, dormiundos. 

As it was the professed intention of these pa- 
pers to consider Pope as apoet, the observations 
on his * Prose f Forks will not be long. 

The rich vein of humour that runs through 
the Memoirs of ScribleruSj is heightened by the 


* The style of which is certainly not so melodious and so- 
luble as that of Dryden's enchanting prose. Voltaire, it must 
be owned, writes prose with remarkable elegance/ precision 
aqd force. 


variety of learning they contain ; and it may be 
worth obsei-ving, that the chief of those who 
have excelled in works of wit and humour, have 
been men of extensive learning. We may in- 
stance in Lucianj Cervantes, Queoedo^ Rabelais^ 
Arbuthnotj Fielding, and Butler ; for no work in 
our language contains more learning than Hudi^ 
bras. This life of the solemn and absurd pe- 
dant, Dr. Scriblerus, is the only imitation we 
have of the serious manner of Cervantes /* for it 
is not easy to say, why Fielding should call his 
Joseph Andrews, excellent as it is, an imitation 
of this manner. Arbuthnot, whose humour was 
exquisite, had a very large share in these 
Memoirs ; and I should guess that the fifth, 
sixth, seventh, eighth, tenth and twelfth chap- 

* Don Quixote is the most original and anrivalled work of 
modern times. The great art of Cervantes consists in having 
painted his mad hero with such a number of amiable qualities^ 
as to make it impossible for us totally to despise him. Thij 
light and shade in drawing characters, shews the master. It 
is thus Addison has represented his Sir Roger, and Shakespeare 
his Falstaff. How great must be the native force of Cervantes's 
humour, when it can be relished by readers even unacquainted 
with Spanish manners, with the institution of chivalry, and 
with the many passages of old romances, and Italian poems, 
to which it perpetually alludes. 


ters are by his hand ; as they contain allusions to 
parts of learning and science, with which Pope 
was little acquainted. 

There are few of the many faults and absur- 
dities, of which modern writers are guilty, but 
what are well exposed in the Bathos ; particu- 
larly in chapters tenth, eleventh, and twelfth; 
and in the Project for Advancement of the Stage, 
in c. 1 6. It is rather singular, that some of the 
most useful criticism in our language, should be 
delivered in two ludicrous pieces ; the Rehearsal 
and the Bathos. For there is scarcely a fault or 
absurdity of which a dramatic poet can be guilty, 
but what is ridiculed in the Rehearsal. 

The familiar gossippihg style of Burnet in his 
history, is ridiculed in the Memoirs of a Parish 
Clerk. The Discourse on the'Office and Creation 
of the Poet Laureate might be much enriched 
by the curious particulars which our author's 
own translator, the ingenious Abb^ T>u Resnel^ 
has given us in the 15th vol. of the Memoirs of 
Literature, in his learned researches on poets 
Laureat. The eight papers in the Guardian are 



elegantly written, particularly number 61, on 
cruelty to animals; and number 91, on a club 
of little men. 

The Preface to his translation of the Iliad, is 
a declamatory piece of criticism, in the way of 
Longinus : it is written with force and spirit, 
but deals too much in generals. The most excep- 
tjonable passage in it, is where he compares the 
different great Epic poets to different sorts of 
^re. The Postscript to the Odyssey is better 
written, and more instructive. So also is the 
Preface to his Shakespeare : though it appears, 
by what later authors and editors have done, that 
he was not sufficiently acquainted with the his- 
tory of our poetry, nor with the works of Shake- 
speare's predecessors and contemporaries. The 
Letters to various friends, occupy three volumes 
in that * collection of his works, which we pro- 

• His translatioQ of Homer is therefore not here included ; 
the discussion of whose beauties and faults (for faults it has) 
well deserve a separate volume ; a work which, if well exe- 
cuted, would be of the greatest utility in forming a just taste. 


fessedly made use of in drawing up these remarks. 
They appear to, have been written with a design 
to have them one day published. They contain^ 
it must be allowed, many interesting particulars ; 
but they are tinctured and blemished with a great 
share of vanity, and self-importance, and y,iih 
too many commendations of his own integrity, 
independency, and virtue. Pope, Swift, and 
Bolingbroke, appear, by the letters, to have 
formed a kind of haughty triumvirate^ in order 
to issue forth proscriptions against all who would 
not adopt their sentiments and opinions. And 
by their own accotmt of themselves, they would 
have the reader believe, that they had engrossed 
and monopolized all tlie genius, and all the ho* 
nesty, of the age, in which, according to their 
opinion, they had the misfortune to live. 

Thus have I endeavoured to give a critical ac- 
count, with freedom, but it is hoped with impar* 
tiality, of each of Pope's works ; by which re- 
view it will appear, that the largest portion' of 

VOL. II. D d them 

by shewing readers^ especially of the younger sort^ how very 
inferior and unlike it is to the original, and how much over* 
loaded with improper, unnecessary, and Ovidian ornaments. 


fhem is of the didactic^ morale and Mtyrk kind ; 
and consequently, not of the most poetic sp^es 
of poetry ; whence it is manifest, ^^X.goodetmt 
and judgment were his charaeteristical excellen- 
cies, rather than fancy and imention : not that 
the author of the Rupe of the Lock^ and Eloisa, 
can be thought to want imagination; but because 
his imagination was not his predominant talent, 
because he indulged it not, and because he gave 
not so many proofs of ^Aw talent as of the other. 
This turn of mind led him to admire French mo- 
dels ; he studied Boileau attentively ; formed him- 
self upon Am, as Milton formed himself upon 
the Grecian and Italian sons of Fancy. He stiiek 
to describing modem manners; but those man* 
ners, because they are fafnitiarj uniform,^ artifi'^ 
cialf tnd polishedy are, in their very nature, unfit 
for any lofty effort of the Muse. He gradually 
became one of the most Correct, even, and exact 
poets that ever wrote ; polishing his pieces with 
a care and assiduity, that no business or avoca- 
tion ever interrupted : so that if he does not fre- 
quently ravish and transport his reader, yet he 
does not disgust him with unexpected inequali- 
ties, and absurd improprieties. Whatever poeti- 


cal eathusiasm be actually posses^d, he withheld . 
and atUled. The perusal pf him a^ects not pux 
miuds with such strong emotions as we fed from 
Homer and Milton ; 30 that no man of a true 
poetical spirit, is master of kimseff while he reads 
them. Hence, he is a. writer fit for universal pe- 
rusal ; adapted to all ages and stations ; for the 
old and for die young ; the man of business and 
the scholar. He who would think the .Hwry 
Queenj Pahmon and ArcitCj the Tempest or dmus^ 
childish and romantic, might relish. Pope. Surely 
it is no narrow and niggardly encomium^ to say 
he is the .great Poet of Reason, the First of 
Ethical authors in verse. And this species of 
writing is^ after all, the surest road to an exten- 
sive reputation. It lies more level to the general 
capacities of men, than the higher flights of 
more genuine poetry. We all remember when 
even a Churchill was more in vogue than a Gray. 
He that, treats of fashionable follies^ and the 
topics of the day, that describes present persons 
and recent events, finds many readers, whose 
understandings and whose passions he gratifies. 
The name of Chesterfield on one hand, and of 
Walpole on the other, failed not to make a poem 

D d 2 bought 


bought up and talked of. And it cannot be 
doubted, that the Odes of Horace which cele- 
brated, and the Satires which ridiculed, well- 
known and real characters at Rome, were more 
eagerly read, and more frequently cited, than the 
i£neid and the Georgic of Virgil. 

Where then^ according to the question pro- 
posed at the beginning of this Essay, shall we 
with justice be authorized to place our admired 
Pope? Not, assuredly, in the same rank with 
Spenser, Shakespeare, and Milton; however 
justly we may applaud the Eloisa and Rape of 
the Lock ; but, considering the correctness, ele- 
gance, and utility of his works, the weight of 
sentiment, and the knowledge of man they con* 
tain, we may venture to assign him a place, next 
to Milton, SLudjust above Dryden. Yet, to bring 
our minds steadily to make this decision, we 
must forget, for a moment, the divine Music 
Ode of Dryden ; and may, perhaps, then be com- 
pelled to confess, that though Dryden be the 
greater genius, yet Pope is the better artist. 



The preference here given to Pope above 
other modern English poets^ it must be remem- 
bered, is founded on the excellencies of his works 
in general, and taken all together ; for there are 
parts and passages in other modern authors, in 
Young and in Thomson, for instance, equal to 
any of Pope ; and he has written nothing in a 
strain so truly sublime, as the Bard of Gray. 

"•• 1 


406 ESkAY dlf THE Gikivs 

•APPENDIX. N-- 1. 


HE Alma of Friok^ page 126. This is not the only com- 
position of Prior^ in which he has displayed a kv^ledge of 
the world, and of human nature. For I have lately been per- 
mitted to read a curious manuscript, now in the hands of her 
Grace the Duchess Dowager of Portland, containing Essays 
and Dialogues of the Dead, on the following subjects, by 

1 . Heads for a Treatise on Learning. 2. Essay oil Opinion. 
S. A Dialogue betwixt Charles the Fifth and Clenard the 
Grammarian. 4. Betwixt Locke and Montaigne. 5. The 
Vicar of Bray and Sir Thomas More. 6. Oliver Cromwell 
and his Porter. If these pieces were published. Prior would 
appear to be as good a prose -writer as poet. It seems to be 
growing a little fashionable^ to decry his great merits as a 
poet. They who do this, seem not sufficiently to have attended 
to his admirable Ode to Mr. Charles Montague, afterwards 
Earl of Halifax ; his Ode to the Queen^ 1706 ; his Epistle 
and Ode to Boileau ; most of his Tales ; the Alma here men- 
tioned ; the Henry and Emma, (in which surely are many 
strokes of true tenderness and pathos ;) and his Solomon : A 
poem, which, however faulty in its plan, has very many noble 
and finished passages ; and which has been so elegantly and 
classically translated by Dobson, as to reflect honour on the 
College of Winchester, where he was educated, and where 
he translated the first book as a school-exercise. I once heard 
him lament, that he had not, at that time, read Lucretius^ 
which would have given a richness, and variety, and force, to 
his verses; the only fault of which seems to be a monotony, 

. and 


and want of different pauses^ occasioned by translating a poem 
in rhyme^ which he avoided in his Milton. It is one mark of 
a poem being intrinsically good, that it is capable of being 
well translated. 

The political conduct of Prior was blamed on account of the 
part he took in the famous Partition Treaty : but in some va- 
luable Memoirs of his life, written by the Hon. Mr. Montague, 
his friend, which are also in the possession of the Duchess 
Dowager of Portland, this conduct is clearly accounted for, 
and amply defended. In those Memoirs are many curious and 
interesting particulars of the history of that time. 


408 essAy on the GE^(IUS 


The following is a Summary of the Arguments of 
each Scene and Act^ in UAdamo of G, B. 
ANDREIKI9 mentioned above, p. 183. 


Sc£N\ 1. Iddio di creta forma Adamo, quale incontanente 
forzarsi di lodarto ma divinamente addormentatosi^ mentre in 
estasi scorge alttssimi raisteri della santissima Trinita^ & In- 
carnatione del yerbo eterno: della costa di lui ne Tiene formata 
Eva: la quale egli, dop6 suegliato, caramente abbraccia^ & 
accetta per compagna onde benedetti da Dio^ e fecondati, 
acci6 riempissero il mondo d'huomlRi, riceuono 11 precetto 
di noa mangtare del albero> che suela il bene^ & il male^ e 
comlDciano a contemplare la bellezza delle creature. 

ScENA 2. Lucifero uscito dall' Abisso contempla il Para* 
diso terrestre, biasmando tutte Topre di Dio. 

ScENA 3. Lucifero essorta Sathan e Belzebu d forzarsi di 
far peccare Adamo, acci6 macchiato di peccato, sia in odio 4 
Dio, e non s'incarni il Verbo Eterno. 

Sc^NA 4. Lucifero mapda Melecano, e Lurcone a tentar 
Eva, quelli di Superbia, & questi d'Invidia, acci6 si dolga di 
Dio, perche npn Phabbi creata prima di Adamo. 



ScENA 5. Si mandatio Ruspicano, & Arfarat, ii tedtarla 
d'Ira, & di Avaritia. 

ScENA 6. Maltha va a tentarla d'Accidia ; Dulciato. di 
Lussuria ; & Guliar, di Gola. 


ScENA 1. Quindeci angeli a gara lodono tutte Popre di* 

ScENA 2. Adamo pone il nome a tutti gli animali> & ia« 
sieme con Eva loda con moiti encomii il sommo Dio« 

ScENA 3. Serpe s'apparecchia per tentar Eva, e dice per 
qual cagione habbi preso quella forma, & non altra. 

ScENA 4. Volano narra a Sathan I'infernal consiglio del 
modo di assaltar Eva. 

ScENA 5, Vana Gloria e Serpe congiunti d'accordo entrano 
nel Paradiso terrestre, e si nascondoao su Palbero delJa scieoza 
del bene, e del male, per tentar Eva a gustare i frutti di 
qiiello. . 

ScENA 6. Eva gloriandosi dei tanti favori, e gratie riceuute 
da Dio, rimira il Serpe sopra I'albero, e con molte ragioni da 
quello persuasa, prende il pomp, lo gusta, e va cercando 
Adamo, per farlo fare Tlstesso. 


ScENA 1. Adamo d(^o I'haver descritto leggiadrameote U 
fonte che irrigava il Paradiso terrestre fu da Eva persuaso a 
gustare il porno, e lo mangi6 per non contristarla; onde am* 
bidue conobbero d*esser nudi, soggetti a morte & a mille altrt 
mali & si nascosero. 



ScBNA 2; Volano rallegrandost d'el peccato d'Adaino# col 
suono di roca tromba chiama tutti gli spiriti Infernali. 

ScENA S. Sathan certificato d'ella caduta d'Adamo^ essorta 
gli altri spiriti a far festa* 

ScENA 4. Serpe con Vana Gloria tornando trionfantt d'Ada- 
mo sono da Sathan> e da gli altri spiriti p6rci6 adorati : e da 
Canoro yengono cantate le lodi loro. 

ScENA 5. Gli Folletti per allegrezza della caduta d'Adamo^ 
danzano insieme : ma sentendo trombe celesti e scorgendo la 
diyina lace tatti fbggono alP abisso. 

ScENA 6. II Padre Eterno chiamando Adamo & Eva e da 
loro confessato Perrore, ad ambidue publica le pene nelle quali 
sono incorsi^ maledice il serpente & si nasconde da loro. 

SesvA 7. L'Angelo porta due vesti di pelle ad Adamo &' 
Eva, e da quelli partendo a volo gli lascia dolenti, a lagnarsi 
de gli errori loro* 

ScsNA 8. L'ArcImngelo Michaele con spada di foco scaccia 
Adamo & Eva dal Paradiso, & essortando gli altri Angioli, 
che soleyano stare con loro, ad andar seco in Cielo, fk che 
resti an Cberubino con la spada di foco a gaardare la porta del 

• ScENA 9. Gli Angeli pria che partirsi, licentiatisi d'Adamo, 
Pessortano a piangere il suo errore,«promettendoli allegrezza, 
e canto. 


ScBNA I. Volano a saono di tromba chiamando tatti gli 
spiriti de gli elementi, che vengano ad incontrare Lucifero^ 
eglino vengono totti. 



ScfiNA 2. Lncifero chiamati tntti gli spiriti a conseglio, di- 
manda a ciascuno il suo parere, at delle attioni d'Adaino, come 
delle Divine ; m^ non fependo quelli bene interpretarle, egU 
loro le dichiara. 

Sgena 3. Lucifero emalo di Dio^ Bella creatione del mondo, 
da una massa di terra confusa fa uscire quatro mostri a danno 
delP huomo, Mondo> Carne, ttorte^ e Demonio, poi con tutti 
gli altri torna air Inferno. 

ScENA 4. Adamo solingo narra come gli atiimali, e tntte 
Taltre cose hanno cangiato forma^ e costami> per il suo pec- 
cato> & amarameate lo piange. 


ScENA 5. Le fere seguendosi, & amazzandosi tra loro, mlet^ 
tono gran terrore ad Adamo & Eva che perci5 si nascondono* 

ScEKA 6. A]^pafis(rono ad Adamo quattro moMri cio^. Fame; 
Sete, Fatica^ e Desperazione, e la Fame gli dice, che mat* 
questi da lui partiranno. 

Sceka7« La Morfe miuaccia di ttoncare la vita ad £va, & 
Adamo^ e subito il Ciel ttirbato con tuoni, saette, grandini, 
pioggie, e venti, gli spanenta. 


ScBNA 1 . La Came tenta Adamo, e trouattdolo ritvoso, gli. 
mostra, come tutt^ le cose sentono amore. 

Sc£na2. Lucifero s'aggiunge, alia Came, e tenta di per« 
suadere Adamo a congiuogersi con essa; fingendosi Adamo 

ScENA 5; Adamo con I'agiuto dell' Angelo suo custode su* 

pera la Carne & Lucifero. 




ScENA 4. II Mondo narra le sae grandezze> e ci6 che far&n* 
no gli huomini per Toro^ e s'apparecchia per tentar Eva. 

ScENA 5. II Mondo propone ad Eva tutte le sue pompe^ e 
gli fa apparire un vago^ e ricco palazzo d'oro. 

ScENA 6. Dal palazzo del Mondo uscito un choro di Don- 

zelle, con molti ornamenti vogliono omarne Eva, ma alia voce 

& precetto d'Adamo restano confuse, & il tutto sparisce : onde 

il Mondo minacciando ad Adamo, chiama contra di lui tutti 

gF Infernali Mostri. 

ScENA 7. Lucifero, Morte, Mondo, e chori di Diavoli, 
I'apparecchiano per far violenza ad Adamo, e combattere con 

ScENA 8. L'Archangelo Micaele, con chori d'Angeli, com- 
h^ite con Lucifero, & i chori di Demonii, & superati gli 
scacciano sino alP Abisso. 

ScENA 9. Adamo & Eva riveriscono I'Archangelo Micaele, 
« da lui sono consolati & assicurati, che per la penitenza loro, 
an dranno a goder in cielo : on de pet allegressza gli angeli 
cantano lodi a Dio, della vittoria, & felicita dell' huomo, per 
I'immensa pieta & Amor divino. 

The lovers of Paradise Lost will, we trust, be entertained 
with having an opportunity of seeing how greatly and ju- 
diciously our sublime and divine poet has heightened and im-. 
proved any the least hints or images, he has been supposed ta 
have taken from this ancie'nt drama, copies of which are ex- 
tremely scarce and uncommon; and therefore a specimen of 
the versification is subjoined. Not that it can be imagined, 
that the copious, comprehensive, and creative mind of Mil- 
ton, so rich in the stores of nature, coi^ld condescend to be a 
mere borrower, as Voltaire would insinuate : nor can we as- 
sent to the opinion of that critic, who says, '* that the poetical 



fire of Milton glows like a furnace, kept up to an uncommon 
ardour by the force of Art." 

ATTO aUARTO, Scena Qointa. 

AoAMO. Doue men fuggo ahi lassa, cue m'ascondo^ 
Corri ne le mie braccia, 
£ chi ha insieme peccato 
Sia da le fere insieme anco sbranato* 

Eva. Ahi ch' ogni scampo e fatto 

Varco di morte, a chi di vita e indegno. 
Pur di quelP antro in seno 
Sommergiamoci Adamo. 

Adamo. Lassi partiro al fin, ma gia non partoro 
Da PHuomo le mine, il doul mortale : 
Strano caso infelice, il riso piange« 
L'allegrezza sta mesti^ 
Hoggi la vita more. 

£vA. Quanto m'affligo Adamo, 

Ahi quanto piango 6 Cielo, 

Quanto sospiro 6 Dio, quanto tti'accoro, 

N^ son viva, n^ moro. 

Adamo. Ma qnai ruggiti horrendi 

L'aer fa rimbombar fremer le valli ? 

MoETE. Tu pur fusti, 6 vil Donna, 
Che prima. mi chiamasti 
Con voce di peccato 
Sin dal Tartareo oscuro. 
T^ tu putrida came, e poca terri, 
Quasto terribil mostro 


X ^ 


D'oflta humane contesto 

A rimira le stelle hoggt chiamarti* 
Hor, cbe vuoi ? di ? favelia> 

Stanca s^ de la vita ? 

£cco la falciatrice, ecco la fake 

Che<la luce i lasciar hoggi t'inTita. 

Gia con occhio linceo 

Scorgo mirando la futura etate 

Ch'al mio noine> a quest' armi a I'empietate 

Trofei s'ergon funesti. 

Ma, che ? nou finiran qui le'ruiue 

Cha t^ minaccia il Cielo ; altre suenture 

T'apprest'anco rinferno, 

Colme d'horror si grande ; 

Ch'io che la Morte souo 

Bramo morir, per non mirarle in Tolto: 

Gia tu s^ reo di morte, 

Gia tua stanza h I'Inferno, 

Fatto rubello al tuo Fattor supemo. «. 

AoAMe. Ahi lagrime, ahi dolore 
Ahi crudo peccatore. 

Eya. Ahi dolente, in Felice 
Eva gran peccatrice. 

Adamo. Ahi, cbe's'annera il Cielo, ahi che ne toglie 
Com' indegni di luce bgni sua luce. 
Ma qual tosto nel Ciel s'auuina, e more, 
Fiamma, ch' abbaglia, e serpeggiando fagge 
Fatta serpe di foco ? 

Eva. Ahi, cbe fin non hauran qui del Ciel Tire 
Ne conuien pria morire. 



AdAlMO. Deh qual rimbombo la-^ in alto ascolto? 
Forse con simil voce 
Ne discaccia dal Mondo> il Cielo irato, 
£ ne condanna de V aibisso al fondo ? 
Quante saette, 6 quante^ 
Atteran selue, e boschi, 5 quanti, 6 quanti 
Venti fremon per I'aria ; 
Quanto scende dal Cielo 
Hamor converso in grosse palle, in glelo. 

£vA. Lassi noi, che da Talto 
Diluviano tant*acque» 
Che trabboccano i riui, 
£'n snperbiti i fiumi 
Van le belue fugando, 
£ di boschi, e di selue 
Gil hamidi pesci habitator si fanno. 

Adamo, Faggiamo, obim^ fuggiamo 
D^ monti a quelle cime 
Ou il Ciel sembra c'hoggi 
Pal lungo fulminar stanco s'appoggi. 

The pamei of the persons represented^ are as follows :. 


Padre IJBi^rno. 

Choro di Sbrafint, Chs^ubini, & Anceij^ 

Arcangelo Micaele. 





Cherubino custode (I'Adamo. 




Gli Sette Peccati Mortali. 




Vanagloria. ' 


VoLANo, messaggiero infernale. 


Chord di Spiriti Igneij Aerei, Acquatici, & Infernal^ 


Mattil tf T. Maldcs, Hierbaura-luie^ Lomtert-ttrw^i. 






(j;:$r The Nunurals denote the Volume, and the Figures the Page» 

Abelarcl, history of, i. 295 
Addison, i. 29, 50, 55^ 97» ^^2, 
i45» ^5^9 214, 243, 256, 
261, 287, 384, 396; ii. 123, 

i73» i97> ^9^5 205, 234, 

236, 243, 246, 340, 349, 396 
iEsop, it. 320 
Akenside, Dr. i. 67, 134, 247, 

386 ; ii. 55 
Alamanni, ii. 54 
Albategni, !• 175 
Alembert, M. d', ii. 246 
Algarotti, ii. 165 
Alsop, Anthony, ii. 320 
** Amyntor and Theodora,'* i. 141 
Andreini, Gio. Battista, ii. 178, 

Antiquaries, defence of, ii. 203 
Apeiles, i. 130 
Apollonius, Rhodius, i. 373 
Arabians, learning and arts of^ i. 

'Arbuthnot, Dr. ii. 209, 398 
Architecture, remarks on, i. 351 ; 

• ii. 174. 
Aretades, i. 88 

Argyle, Duke of, ii. 357 

Ariosto, i. 237, 367 ; ii. 178 

vox.. II. £ 

Aristotle, i. 109, 160, 176; ii» 

Ascham, Roger, ii. 125 
Atterbury, Bishop,' i. 112; ii« 

194, 223, 358 
Avellanada, Fernandez d', i* 137 
Averroes, i. 175; ii. 248 
Avison's " Essay on Musical Ex- 
pression," i. 132 


Babrius, ii. 292, 320 

Bacon, Lord, i. 102, 115} 129; 

ii, 122, 126, 153 
Bail let, Adrian, ii. 276 
Balzac, ii. 391 
Barlbrd, Richard, ii. 216 
Barthelemy, Abbe, i. 335 
Bathurst, Dr. Ralph, i. 255 ' 
Bathurst, Earl, ii. 153 ^ 
Bayle, i. 116; ii. 103, 1 29,836 
Beauie, Dr. ii. 35 
Bedingfield, Robert, i. 47 ; ii. 35 
Bellendenus, '^ de Tribus Lumi- 

nibus,'* ii. 253 
Bentley, Dr. ii. 227, 282 
Berkeley, Bishop, i. 115; iu 

i94> i98>.a*^ 
Blackmore, Sir Richard, ii. 270 

e ' BlackstoDC^ 


BUckstone, Sir Willram, If* 237 

Black well, Professor, i« 1 29, 173 

Blount, Miss, ii. 389 
' Boccace, i. 64, 183, 332 ; H. 
i, 17, 223 

Bocchini, Bartholomeo, i. 202 

Bufibn, i. 148 

Boileau, i. 62, 65, 95, 100, 
148, 150, 154, 160, 189, 
i97> 203, 231, 236, 240, 
263; ii. 54, 139, 150, 211, 
222, 257, 286, 310, 392 

BoHngbroke, Lord, i. 112, 116, 

141, 184, 223, 265, 288, 

305»33»> 357' 3?3> 40o 
Bonnecorscy M. de, i. 209 

Bononcini, i* 77 

Bot Du, i. 100 

Bossu, i. 109, 115 

Bossuet, i. 148 

Bracciolini, Francesco, i. 201 

Bridgewater, Lady, ii. 385 

Browne, Hawkins, ii. 49, 55 

Bruneleschi, i. 183 

Bruni, Antonio, i. 294 

Bruvere, La, i. 109, 1 62 ; ii. 122 

Buckingham, Sheffield, Duke of, 

i. 69, 191,329 

Budgell, Eustace, ii. 234 

Burlington, Earl of, ii* 172, 194 

Burman, i. 169 

Burnet, of the Charterhouse, i. 

115, 266 

Burnet, Bishop, ii. 225 

' Busby, Dr. ii. 126 

B ^er, Samuel, ii. 240, 363, 



Cambridge, R.O. " Scribleriad," 

i. 242 
Carew, i. 85 

*' CarminaQuadragesimalia^"i. 48 
Carrache, Annibal, i. 83 
Caryl| Mr. i» 214 

Catiline, ii. 127 
" C9tQy tragedy of,'* i. 256 
Catullus, i. 308 ; ii. 22 
Cay 1 us, Count de, i. 364 
Cervantes, i. 127, 242; ii. 398 
Chandos, Duke of, ii. 185 
Chapelain, M. i. 88; ii. 216 
Charles IL age of, i* 153; ii« 47 
Charles V. of France's library, 

ii. 10 
Charlemagne, i< 177 
Charron, ii. 122, 128 
Chateaubrun, t. 259 
Chaucer, i. 253, 332, 338, 394, 

395 ; "-7 
Chesterfield, Earl of, it. 357 

Chrysoloras, Emanuel, i. 64; 11. 

Cibber, Colley, ii. 370 

Cicero, i. 115, 116, 385 

Clarendon,. Lord, ii. 330 

Clarke, Dr. Samuel, ii. 125, 

184, 231 
Claudian, ii. 20 
Clergy, ignorance o^ in early 

ages, i. 174 
Clifford, Mat. ii. 41 
Cobb, Mr. i. 69 
Collins, William, i. 67 
Colman, George, ii. 327 
Commentators, remarks on, ii. 230 
Congreve, i. 101, 118; ii. 823 
Combury, Lord, ii. 331 
Corneille, i. 88, 100, 111, 119, 

152* i57» 258; ii. 344, 390 
Correctness, remarks on, i. 196 
Cowley, i. 76, 80 ; ii. 7, 8, 39, 349 
Craggs, Mr. Secretary, ii. 204, 

Crashaw, i. 85, 90 
Crebillon, i. 148, 259; ii. 130, 

Criticism, remarks on, i. 109; 

French critics, 1 25 ; criticism 

injurious to genius, 198; re* 

marks on verbal critics, ii. 230 


1 K D £ X. 

Cromwell, Oliver, ii, 47 
Crowne, John, ii. 241 
Cudwoith, i. 117 
Cumberland, William, Duke of, 
u 24 


Dandilly, M. i. aS 

Dante, i. 77, 182, 250, 333; 
ii. 221, 371 

pavila, the historian, ii. 1 30 

Death, the prevalence of the ruling 
passion at, ii. 135 

Demosthenes, i. 385 

Denham, i, 30, 34 

Desbillons, J. ii. 393 

Dcs Cartes, i. 115; ii. 391 

Dialogues, remarlu on, ii« 1 97 

Dionysius, i. 110, 166 

Domenichino, i. 83 

Donatus, i. 88 

Donne, Dr. ii. 348 

Dorset, Earl of, ii. 48 

Drayton, i. 25, 292 

Dry den, i. 10, 50, 60, 80, 90, 
101, 109, 111, 143, 149, 
i92> 253, 255, 284, 340, 
362; ii. 7, 8, 11, 16, 132, 
220, 241, 377 

Durer, Albeit, i. 130 

Dyer, i, 34; ii. 55 


Elizabeth, Queen, ii. 126 
Ennius, ii. 311 

Epistles, remarks on, i. 282, 292 
Erasmus, i. 178 
Ericeyra, Count d', i. 189 
Euripides, i. 69, 70, 1 1 9, i $4, 363 
Ensuche, first French epic poet, 
i. 277 


Fairfax's Tasso, ii. 38 
F«nelon, ii. 176, 385 . 
Fenton, Elijah, i. 144, S90;ii. 270 
Fcrmor, Mrs. Arabella, i. 214 


Fielding, Henry, ii. 122, 398 
Flatman, Thomas, i. 85, 87 
Fleury, Cardinal, ii. 134 
Fontaine, La, i. 118, 144^ ii« 

5> 150, 245, 393 
Fonienelle, i. 3, 157; ii. 51, 100 
Fracastorius, i. 187; ii. 54 
France, state of its learning in 
early times, i. 176; origin of 
the French drama, ii. 343 
Fresnoy, ii. 385 
Fucntes, Alonzode, i. 187 
Furetiere, M. de, i. 88 

Calileo, i. 115 

Gardening, remarks on, ii. 1 75 

Garrick, i. 119, 267 

Garth, Dr. i. 211, 236; ii. 25, 

Gay, John, 1. 92, 243; ii. 244 

Genius, early, instances of, i. 76 ; 
when at the highest, instanced 
in Virgil, Horace, Racine, 
Corneille, fioileau, Moliere, 
Congreve, Raphael, Shake- 
speai, Milton, Spenser, and 
Dryden, 100; tnie genius 
rare, 108 ; list of geniuses 
who have at once enjoyed in full 
vigour, a sublime and splendid 
imagination, a solid and pro. 
found understanding, and an 
exact and tenacious memory, 
115; list of real poetical ge- 
niuses who succeeded Pope, 
1 34 ; influence of government 
upon genius, 172; five ages of 
the world in which the human 
mind has exerted itself in a won* 
derful manner, 180 ; geniuses 
apparently most original borrow 
fiom each other, li, 51 ; in- 
stances of singularities in men of 
genius, 125; list of men of wit 
who had extensive learning, 398 
e 2 Geiberti 

I N D E X; 

r Geit)ert, u 176 
GildoD^ i* 153 
Giotto, the disciple of Cimabue, 

Glover's " Lconidas," i. 134; 

ii. 395 
Godeau, M. i. 88 

Godstow Nunnery, lines on the 

ruins of, i, 20 

Gravina, J, Vincentius, i. 129, 

*<Grandison, Sir Charles," i. 271 
Gray, i. 30, 134, 355, 371; 

"• 55> i74» 224, 349, 405 
Greek language, introduction of 

into Europe, i. 64 
Grocyn, William, i. 64 
Guido, i. 83 
Guyof Arezzo, i. 183 


Hall, Bishop, ii. 348 
Hammond's " Elegies," ii. 39 
Handel, i. 61 
Harris, James, i. 117, 171 ; ii. 

76, 82, 89, 339 
Harte, Walter, ii. 149 
Hawkesworth, Dr. i« 266 
Heemskirk, i. 118 
Hegemon, the author of Parodies, 

"•3.73 . ^ 
Helvetius, 1. 148 

Henault, President, i. 22 

Herbert, i. 85 

Hercules, (the Farnesian,) i. 343 

•' Hermippus Redivivus," i. 2 1 6 

Herodotus, i. 115 

Hervey, Lord, i. 293; ii. 250 

Hill, Aaron, ii. 186 

Hobbes, i. 153; ii* 122, 272 

Hogarth, i. 118 

Homer, i. 26, 120, 126, 127, 

131, 187, 200, 276, 364; 

ii. 160, 366 
Hookcj Nath» ii. 140 

Horace, i. 26, 98, loOs 1621' 
163, 168, 282, 377; ii. 22, 
108, 266, 290, 305, 335 
Hume, David, ii. 3 1, 66, 1 22, 158 
Hurd, Dr. i. 98, 109 ; ii. 32 

Jervas, the painter, ii. 385 
Johnson, Dr. Samuel, i* 120^ 

146, 192, t95; ii. 11^- 
Jonson, Ben, i. 90, 93 ; li. 349 ^ 
Juvenal, ii. 213 


Rennet's " edition of Vida,"i. 185 

Kent, William, ii. 175 

King, Archbishop, " Origin of 

Evil," ii. 58, 96, 121 
King, Dr. ofSt. Mary Hall, ii. 140 
Kneller, Sir Godfrey, ii. 387 
Knight's " Lifeof Erasmus," i. 1 8a 
Kyrle, John, the Man of Rossj 

ii. 170 


Lamoni, Puccio, i. 203 
Language, impossibility of fixingip. 

i. 148 
Lansdown, Lord, ii. 223 
Lee, Nat. ii. 45 
Legacy -hunters, ii. 321 
Leibnitz; " Theodicce," xi. 58 
Leo X. intimation of T. Warton'4 

History of, i. 182 
Lippi, Lorenzo, i. 202 
Livy, i. 115 

Locke, i. 113, 160; ii. 125, 274 
Longinus, i. 110, 170 
Loris, William dc, i. 337 
Lowth, Bishop, i. 13 
Lucan, ii, 20 
Lucretius, i« 50; ii. 22, 98, loo^ 

112, 162, 328 
Lully, the musician^ i. 62 



Luther, u*.i26 

" Lutrin" of Boileau, i. 203 

Luxury, price of various articles 

of, ii. 295 
Lyttelton, Lord, ii. 248, 312 


Machiavel, ii. 2 
Maffei, Scipio, i. 184 
Maguiron, Louis de, lines on , i. 2 86 
Malebranche, i. 115; ii. 195 
Malherbe, i. 66, 88; ii. 136, 325 
Mallet, David, ii. 231, 331 
Mandeville, ii. 193 
Manetius, Jannot, ii. 221 
Mansfield, Earl of, ii. 329 
Marcello, i. 132 
Marino, i. 32 
Marlborough, Duke of, li. 126, 

3051 334 
Marlborough, Duchess of, ii. 140 

Marmontei, ii. 121 

Mason, William, i. 67, 73; ii. 55 

Mazarine, Cardinal, ii. 126 

Mead, Dr. ii. 316 

Medals, national, proposal for, 

ii. 203 
Melancthon, ii. 126, 263 
Meleager, ii. 397 
Melisoni, the assumed name of 

Tassoni, i. 201 
Menage, i. 87, 89 
Metastasio, i. 65 
Meun, John de, i. 297 
Middleton, Dr. ii. 253, 315 
Milton, i. 6, 25, 26, 35, 90, 

101, 115, i49> i53» ^73' 

1765 *93» 253, 272, 274, 
. 349 > "• 43» *io, 151, 166, 

178, 202, 250, 347, 349 
Mintumusy i. 187 
Moliere,i. 100,145, 209; ii. 124 
Monarchy, its cflects on genius, 

i. 173 
Montague, Lady Mary Wort ley, 

ii. 24O; 292 

Montague, Mrs. ii. 346 
Montaigne, ij 162 ; ii. ifttf 

128, 219 . 
Montesquieu, i. 115, 293; iU 

48, 103, 258, 313 
Motte, La, i. 66; ii. 145 
*' Muscipula," i. 242 
Mussato, Albertino, i. 184 


New Forest, dispute oa the histo* 

ry of, i. 20, 21 
Newton, Sir Isaac, ii. 125, 360 


" Ode to Summer," i. 143 
Odin's Hall, i, 353 
Ogilvy's Homer, i. 78 
Orleans, Duke of, the Rcgept^ 

ii. 129 
Otway, ii. 45 

Ovid, i. 23, 1 39, 282, 339 ; ii. 25 
Oxford, Earl of, ii. 348, 383 

Painters seldom good poets, i. 1-50 
Painting, progress of, in England^ 

ii. 388 
Parnell, Dr. i. 143 ; ii. 383 
Parodies, remarks on, ii. 373 
Pafcal, M. ii. 122 
Patiu, j. 189; ii. 393 
Perizonius, i. 169 
Perrault, i. 125 
Perrier, Du, i. 156 
Peterborough, Lord, ii, 1 76, 290 
Petrarch, i. 64, 183,332; ii.22a 
Petre, Lord, i. 214 
Petronius, i. 168 
Phsdrus, ii. 28 
Phalereus, Demetrius, ii. 335 
Philips, Edward, i. 193 
Philips, Ambrose, ii. 234 



K D £ X. 

PiiiUips, Joh&y li. 54 

Pkkiar, i. 125, 370 

Pitt, Christopher, u 143, 186; 
■ii. 326 

Plagiarism, remarks on» i* 86 

Plato, k 115 

Pliny, !• 110 

Poetry, pastoral, i. 3 ; what dis- 
criminates poetry from hbtory, 
47 ; descriptive, 49 ; the ode, 
62 ; resemblances not thefts, 
86; scarcity of great poets 
108 ; epic poetry, 1 20 ; rhymes, 
142; alexandrine verses, 143; 
an " Art of Poetry" a com- 
inon subject, 187; Boileau's 
diebttt, 189; the £nglish km- 
gua^ the least poetic of any, , 
397 ; origin of heroi-comic 
poetry, 200 ; use of parodies, 
I !23i ; poets ever enemies to su- 
perstition and slavery, 239 ; 
epic poems, 274 ; translations 
in Latin and Greek poets, 285 ; 
epistles, 292; history of poetry, 
33 1 ; list of Roman poets un- 
cxceptionably excellcibt, ii. 28 ; 
didactic and descriptive poetry, 
54; remarks on antithesis, 145; 
rhyme and blank verse, 149 ; 
independent spirit of poets, 206; 
remarks on tne persons of vari- 
oiis poets, 221 ; list of poeu 
viho wrote ^gu^ily in Latin, 

^849 .. 
Poggius, II. 5 

Poutian, ii. 54 

Porjt* Works criticised in this 
Pastorals, i« 2 
Messiah, 10 
Windsor Forest, 19 
Lyric Pieces, 50 
Ode on Solitude, 76 
The Dying Chxistian to 
his Soul, 84 

pops. Essay on Criticism, 97 
Rape of the Lock, 200 
Elegy on an Unfortunate 

Lady, 245 
Prologue to Cato, 253 
Epilogue to Jane Shore, 

Sappho to Phaon, 282 
Eloisa to Abelard, 295 
Temple of Fame, 331 
January and May, ii« 4 
Wife of Bath, 6 
Translation cf the First 

Book of Statins, 20 
Dry ope and Pomona, 25 
Imiutions of Chaucer, 28 
■ Spenser, 29 

Waller, 36 

^ Cowley, 39 
- ■« Rochester, 46 
Dorset, 48 

— ; iSwift, 49 

Essay on Man, 54 
Moral Essays in Five E« 

pistles, 122 
Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot, 

Satires and Epistles of Ho^ 

race, 265 
Donne's Satires, 348 
One Thousand Seven 

Hundred and Thirty* 

E'^«» 35* 
Dunciad, 365 

Imitations of Horace and 

Miscellanies, 379 

Epitaphs, 396 

Prose Works, 397 

Pope. His first poetiad cfiRxtSy 

i. 77; Alcander, 80; profits 

of the Iliad and Odyssey, 105;- 

preface to the Iliad, its; at- 

uchment to pinting, 1 49 ; his 

genius unfit for the epic, 274 ; 

his translation of Hj;iroer, 400 ; 

general a poet, 40 1 



Prior, u 301 ; \u 5, 122, 240, 406 
Propertlus, u 282 ; ii. 28 
Pulteney, Earlof fiath, li* 357 


Queensbuiy, Duke and Duchess 

of, it. 246 
Quinault, i. 61 
Quintilian, u 81, 110, 142, 

169 ; ii. 168 
•* (Quixote, Don," Second Part, 

u 137 ; see Cervantes 


.Rabelais, ii. 6 

Racine, i. 74, 100, 107, 120, 

i5i> 152, i54> 157* ^97j 
259, 260; ii. 55, 246, 263 

Ra&aele, i. 101 ; ii. 387 

Rameau's " DisserUtion," i. 1 1 1 

Ramsay, And. M. ii. 117 

Rapin, i. 116; ii. 54 

Republican government, its effects 

on genius, i* 1 73 

Resnel, M. de, ii. 121 

Reynolds, Sir Joshua, i* 251, 389 

Richardson, Jonathan, i. 252 

— — — — Samuel, ii. 122 

Riches, on the use and abuse of, 

Richlieu, Cardinal, ii. 126, 133 
Rochefoucault, i. 162; ii. 122, 

Rochester, Earl of, i. 153 ; ii. 46 
" Romance of the Rose," i. 297 
Romances, French, i. 278 ; ori- 

gin of, ii. 2 
Rosa, Salvator, i. 150 
Roscommon, i. 85, 192 
Rousseau, J, Baptist, i. 66 

J. Jaqucs, i. 305 

Rowe, Nich. i. 268 
Rubens, i. 1 1 1 


Sachetti, ii. 2 

Sage, LCf M« i. 137, sii 

Sallust, ii. 13, 35 1 

Sanadon, i. 382 

Sandy's Ovid, i. 79 ; ii. 38 

Sappho, i, 286 

Sarassin, i« 144, 206 

Satire, supertbrtty of the modems 

irt, L 200 —""■'' 
Schools^ public, de&nded, ii* 375 
'^ Secchia, La Rapita," i. 201 
Seeker, Archbishop, ii. 356 
Seneca, the tragedian, ii. 20 
Settle, Elkanah, ii. 41 
Sevigne, Madame de, i. 229 * 
Shaftesbury, Lord, i. 110, 123, 

i35> 17*5 "• 58> 97> ^9^ 
242, 291 

Shakespeare, i. 101, 119, 222| 

272, 380 
Shenstone, ii. 35 
Shrewsbury, Duke of, ii. 348 > 
Silhouete, M. de, ii. 121 
Somers, Lord, ii. 34 ' 

Somerville, i. 19, 243; ii. 55 
Sophocles, i. 70, 7-1, 120, 164, 

248; ii. 24, 162 
Southerne, i. 255 ; ii. 394 
Spence, Dr. Joseph, i. 147; ii. 

174, 232 
Spenser, i. 5, 25, 80, 101 ; ii. 

i3» 29, 38, 167, 178,382 
Sperone, i. 188 
^' Splendid Shilling," i. 242 
Spratt, Bishop, i. 154; ii. no 
Stanhope, Dean, ii. 129 
Stanley, Thomas, i. 117 

1 Mr. i. 335 

Statius, ii. 20 
Steele, Sir Richard, i. 84 
Stow Gardens, ii. 182 
Suckling, Sir John, ii. 45 
Swift, i. 236; ii. 49, 199, 223, 

242» 307> 33* J 339> 379» 
392, 400 


Tacitus, i. 1 1 5 ; ii. 1 26, 1 3 1, 1 64 
Tasso^ Bernardo, i. 188 ; ii. 33 



Tasso, Torquato, i. 77, 18S, 

368; ii. 178 
Tassoni, Ales^andro, i. 201 
Tate, Nahum, ii. 235 
Temple, Sir William, i. 108 
Tempo, M. A. di, i. 333 
Tcniers, i. 118 
Terence, i. 118 *, ii. 22 
Theobald, Lewis, ii. 228, 365 
Theocritus, i. 3, 6, 7, 9, 44, 139 
Thctoassin, i. 116 
Thomson, i, 12, 40, 49, 134, 

143» M7' 348, 391; ii. 35, 

too, 180, 187 
TibbaJd, see Theobald 
Tibullus, i. 47 ; it. 22 
Tickle, Thomas, ii. 204 
Tindal, Dr. ii. 333 
Titian, i. 49, ii8 
Trapp, Jos. " Verses on Virgil's 

Tomb," i. 262 
Trissino, i. 187 
Tully, sec Cicero 
Tyrwhit, Thomas, ii. 292, 320^ 


Vanburgh, ii. 393 
Vasari, i. 111 

Vega, Lopez de, 1. 76 ; ii. 243 
Vermander, Charles, i. 150 
Vida, i. 89, 185, £27 ; ii. 54 
•Villars, Abbe, i. 215 
Villon, Francis, i. 338 
Vinci, Leonardo da, i. 1 1 1 
Virgil, 1. 6,9, 11, 26, 33, 49, 

53i 56* 96* 100, 127, 187, 

388; ii. 22, 163 

Voiture, i. 144; ii. 389 
Voltaire, i. 21, 66, 120, 131, 
141, 196, 260, 366; ii. 145, 

*57> ^67. 346, 347> 397 


Ugolino, story of, i. 250 


Waller, I. 10, 144, 147; ii. 36, 

Walpole, Horace, ii. 175 
Sir Robert, ii. 353, 

3«3 . . . 

Walsh, William, i. 195 

Warburton, Bishop, i. 133, 277 ; 

ii. 121, 169, i8i, 386 
Wedrenfel's " De Meteoris Ora- 

tionis," ii. 21 
West, Gilbert, i. 67, 143, 357 
Wharton, Duke of, ii. 13^^ 
Whitby, Dr. ii. 125 
William the Conqueror, i. 21 
Wormius, Olaus, t, 357 . 
Wyat, Sir Ihomas, ii. 349 
Wycherley, i. 154; ii. 124 
Wyndham, Sir William,, ii. 394 


Xenophon, ii. 164 

Young, Dr. i. 134, 14^8 ; ii. 
2i3» a40> 396. 


VOL. I. 

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