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Human Nature, but the Mother of a thoufand Errors, and a thoufand Crimes, and the Cause of most of the Misfortunes which are incident to Humanity. '; I ;. i! - Ay.'.S ''/.: ,
The last Desect that I shall take notice of, is, That the Machines in this Poem are not taken from one Syjiemj but are double, nay treble or quadruple. In the first Canto we hear of nothing but Sylphs, and Gnomes, and Salamanders, which are Rojicrucian Visions. In the second we ntfeet with Fairies, Gmii, and Damons, Beings which are unknown to those Fanatick Sophisters. In the fourth, Spleen and the Phantoms about, are deriv'd from the Powers of Nature, and are of a separate System. And Fate and Jove, which we find in the fifth Canto, belong to the Heathen Religion.
But now, Sir, in treating of these Matters, I have, before I perceiv'd it, tranfgress'd the Bounds which I prescribed to my self, which I desire that you would excuse.'
/ am, SI R, , .i' Yours, £sV.
In his next Letter he finds general Fault with all the Poems, and will not allow that there is any Thing good either in Diction, Sentiments, Versification, Contrivance, or Execution; and mentioning the two Lines Belinda speaks, lamenting the Loss of tbc Lock, he adds eight more, which I can't fay I think any great Ornament to the Poem.
Unnumber'd Throngs on ev'ry Side are seen Of Bodies chang'd to various Forms by Spleen; Here living Tea-Pots stand, one Arm held out,, . t One bent} the Handle this, and that the Spout. \
A Pipkin there like Homer's Tripod- walks,
Then adds to his friend":
Now, Sir, I appeal to you and your Friends, if ever there was such execrable Stuff, such lamentable, such deplorable Pleasantry! What says Horace?
Scribendi re£le fapere ejl &f principium & sons.
However this Criticism is dead, funk in Oblivion, snAthe Rape of the Lock living, beautiful, and prais'd; and if not entirely without Faults, they are such as are not obvious to every Reader, and easily pardon'd by the Diseerner, who finds so many Things to admire, he forgets or else forgives those little Offences to Decency; (for there indeed lies all the Offence) and Mr. Dennis having often taken the like Liberty himself, might have done less than set his Hand to keep down rising Merit. His other Attempts (for he made more on TVindsor-Forefl, Temple of Fame, and the Translation of Homer) were as vain as this. He concludes this Criticism by calling Mr. Pope an Ass; and indeed seems very angry, to find that there was a Poet coming or rather come forward, that would wear a greener Lawrel than himself.- Idon'fc find that Mr. Pope ever made any Reply to this, but treafur'd it up, to help to furnish fresh Matter for the Dunciad, a Work, of which hereafter we shall speak more at large.
The abovemention'd Poem has been translated into French and Italian, and though it appears without all its original Beauty in both, it has been very well received; yet the Italian Ladies can but wonder that so young and fine a Creatcre, as Belinda, should be
so so long unguarded by her Mother, Aunt, or some •one, whose Business it should have been to have taken .Care of .her Lock and her Reputation too: Whilst the French Ladies fee nothing to grieve at, and say. What hinder'd her from wearing a Tett with Curls as long again- We don't find Mr. Dennis's Criticism was ever translated;.•.
Another Poem that created him no little Envy, and much more Praise, was the Temple of Fame 5 the .Hint of it was taken from Chaucer's House of Fame; the Design is in a Manner entirely alter'd, the Descriptions, and most of the particular Thoughts his own, yet he would not suffer it to be printed without this Acknowledgment; not thinking a Concealment of this -Nature the less unsair for being common. Whoever has a Mind to compare this Poem with Chaucer, may begin with the Third Book of Fame, there being nothing in the two first that answers to their Title.
Aftfcr describing the Temple, he speaks of his first Sight of Fame: ,1 .1 .,: ; ... .
Scarce to the Top I stretch'd my ak'ing Sigh?, So large it spread, and swell'd to such a Height. Full in the midst, proud Fame's Imperial Seat, With Jewels blaz'd, magnificently great; The vivid Em'ralds there revive the Eye; The'flaming Rubies (hew their sanguine Dye; Bright azure Rays from lively Saphires stream, And lucid Amber casts a golden Gleam. With various-colour'd Lights the Pavement (hone; And all on Fire appear'd the glowing Throne: The Dome's high Arch reflects the mingled Blaze, And forms a Rainbow of alternate Rays. When on the Goddess first I cast my Sight, scarce feeni'd her Stature of a Cubit's Height,
But swell'd to larger Size the more I gaz'd,
First at the Shrine the learned World appear,
The Goddess heard, and bad the Muses raise The Golden Trumpet of eternal Praise: From Pole to Pole the Winds diffuse the Sound, That fills the Circuit of the World around; Not all at once, as Thunder breaks the Cloud-; The Notes at first were rather sweet than loud: By just Degrees they every Moment rise, Fill the wide Earth, and gain upon the Skies. At every Breath were balmy Odours shed, Which still grew sweeter as they wider spread: ., Less fragrant Scents th' unfolding Rose exhales, Or Spices breathing in Arabian Gales.
Next these the Good and Just, an awful Train, Thus on their Knees address'd the sacred' Fane. Since living Virtue is. with Envy curst, And the best Men are treated, like the worjst, Do thou, just"Goddess, call our Merits forth", And give each Deed th' exact intrinsic Worth. Not with bare Justice stiatf your Act be crown "d, (Said Fame) but high above Desert renown'd: Let fuller Notes th' applauding World amaze, And the loud Clarion labour in your Praise.
And now a Rabble-Rout of Scribblers appear'd in Arms, Mr. Dennis at their Head; and as they strove to destroy Mr. Pope's Temple of Fam&, destijoy'd their own, and firmly establish'J his; Sir Richard Steele lending a- Hand, having approved of it before its Appearance in Publick in the following Letter:
Mr. Steexe. tQ Mr. Pope. .
: .'. '.. ...;, -Nm, izs, 1-7,12.
I HAVE read over your Temple of Fame tyrica> and cannot find any thing amiss of Weight er nough to call a Fault, but fee in it a Thousand Beaur ties. Mr. Addison shall see it to Morrow: After his Perusal of it, I will let yiou know his Thoughts. I desire you will let me know whether you are at Leisure or not? I have a Design which I shall open a Month or two hence, with the Assistance of the Few like yourself. If your Thoughts are unengaged, I shall explain myself further.
/ am, Your, &c.
And accordingly it had as good Treatment from Mr. Addison, whose Friendship Mr. Pope had, as he