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NOTES TO GAY'S POEM.
23 Matthew Prior, the poet, who died at Wimpole, the seat of the Earl of Oxford, in 1721. Congreve (mentioned in the following line) died in 1729. For “Oxford” (Earl of Oxford) see Pope's Epistles in this edition. His friend Cunningham was an active Scotch member of Parliament, Alexander Cunningham, who sat for Renfrewshire: he died in 1742
24 Perhaps Mr. Watkins, mentioned in Swift's correspondence, as Secretary to the Dutch embassy. He was superseded by Harrison, Swift's protégé, in 1712. Watkins appears to have been a favourite with Bolingbroke.
25 Erasmus Lewis, Secretary to Lord Dartmouth and afterwards to Lord Oxford
“That Lewis is a cunning shaver,
And very much in Harley's favour." Thus said Swift, who was fond of the old Secretary, and corresponded with him so long as his faculties remained. In 1737 Lewis speaks of his age, and of being reduced almost to blindness by his early writing by candlelight. “I see nothing less than the pips of the cards,” he says, “from which I have some relief in a long winter evening." He lived several years after this, and was remembered by Pope in his will.
26 This name is probably the same as "Lawton.” John Lawton, the representative of an old Cheshire family, distantly related to the Temples of Stowe, was married to a sister of Pope's friend, the Earl of Halifax. His son John, M.P. for Newcastle-underLyne, died in 1740. Another John Lawton, Deputy-Teller of the Exchequer, died in 1741.
27 Addison's step-son, to whom Tickell inscribed his edition of Addison's works 1721. Earl Warwick did not live to read Tickell's beautiful lines. “I cannot but think it a very odd set of incidents, that the book should be dedicated by a dead man (Addison) to a dead man (Craggs), and even that the new patron to whom Tickell chose to inscribe his verses should be dead also before they were published. Had I been in the editor's place I should have been a little apprehensive for myself."-Atterbury to Pope, Oct. 15, 1721.
28 Secretary Craggs. See Pope's Epitaphs. 29 Lord Bolingbroke, who was then in France. In 1723 he obtained a full pardon and returned to England. 30 Swift's aversion to Ireland is well known. See Notes to the Dunciad. 31 Lord Chancellor Harcourt. His son, the Hon. Simon Harcourt, mentioned in the same stanza, died in 1720. See Pope's Epitaphs.
32 George Granville, Viscount Lansdowne. On his friend Atterbury being accused of treason, in 1722, Lansdowne deemed it prudent to retire to the Continent. He continued abroad for ten years, but returned and died in England, in 1735.
33 Dr. Atterbury, Bishop of Rochester, would seem to have had a habit of nodding his head to express his approbation; for Pope also alludes to the peculiarity. See Prologue to the Satires.
34 Lord Carlton and the Duke of Chandos. See Epilogue to the Satires and Moral Essays. 35 Sir Thomas Hanmer, Speaker of the House of Commons. See Notes to Dunciad. 36 Lord Harley, son of the Lord High Treasurer, and second Earl of Oxford. 37 Edward Blount, Esq., of Blagdon, Devonshire. 38 The head of this family was Mr. Caryll, of West Grinstead, in Sussex. See Notes to Rape of the Lock. 39 A brief notice of Dr. Arbuthnot will be found in a note on the Prol. to Satires 40 Sir Godfrey Kneller. Sir Godfrey was then about seventy, but his vanity and eccentricities seem to have afforded great amusement to the Pope circle. They "fooled him to the top of his bent," and as he could bear any amount of flattery,
“Who pepper'd the highest was surest to please.” Sir Godfrey was a Justice of the Peace, and administered the laws at Twickenham, if we may credit Pope, somewhat in the style of Sancho Panza. Upon one occasion
however, he is said to have turned the laugh against the poet. Pope, in banter, said if Sir Godfrey had been consulted in the creation of the world, it would have been made more perfect than it is; upon which the painter, looking at the diminutive person of his friend, said, “There are some little things in it I think I could have mended.” Pope said to Spence-"I paid Sir Godfrey a visit but two days before he died, and I think I never saw a scene of so much vanity in my life. He was lying in his bed and contemplating the plan he had made for his own monument. He said many gross things in relation to himself, and the memory he should leave behind him, He said he should not like to lie among the rascals at Westminster; a memorial there would be sufficient; and desired me to write an epitaph for it. I did so afterwards; and I think it is the worst thing I ever wrote in my life." Kneller was buried at Twickenham, and the "memorial," a showy monument by Rysbrack, was erected in Westminster Abbey.
41 Charles Jervas, the portrait painter. See Pope's Epistles.
42 A celebrated epicure. See account of him in Note to Pope's Imitations of Horace.
43 Charles Ford, whom Swift got appointed Gazetteer in 1712. He was one of the Dean's humble friends and faithful correspondents, and so much in favour that Swift used to celebrate his birthday, which was on the 1st of January. Ford was an Irishman, a bachelor, and a man of easy convivial habits. He lodged, in his latter days, in Little Cleveland Court, St. James's Place, which, he says, consisted of but six houses in all. His house was a small one of two storeys, and his whole family were a man and a maid, both at board wages. There the old bachelor lived a regular town life-from his house to the Mall, then to the Cocoa-tree (the Tory coffee-house in St. James's Street), thence to the tavern, and from the tavern pretty late to bed.
44 Several names in this list belong to that class whom Gay in a previous stanza characterizes as “much loved in private, not in public famed." Maine and Cheney are of the number ; but the latter, we have no doubt, was of the family of Cheney, of Pinhoe, in Devonshire, connected with that of Blount, of Blagdon, by marriage. Gay, like a true son of Devon, introduces as many of his countrymen as he can into the poem. Tooker, mentioned in stanza xx., is also a Devonshire name,- the Tookers of Exeter. One John Tooker, of Norton Hall, Somersetshire (of che same family as the Exeter Tookers), was so zealous a Jacobite that he had inscribed on his tomb, “Inconcussæ fidei Jacobita," which remained in Chilcompton Church from 1737 to 1835. With Dennis and Gildon, and Henry Cromwell, mentioned after Maine and Cheney, the reader is already acquainted.
45 Humphrey Wanley (born 1672, died 1726] was librarian to the Earl of Oxford. He was zealous antiquary, and made considerable collections relative to archæology and bibliography. The following is an amusing letter addressed to Wanley by Pope:"To my worthy and special Friend, Maistre Wanley, dwelling at my singular goude
Lord's, my Lord of Oxford, kindly present. “ WORTHY SIR,-I shall take it as a singular mark of your friendly disposition and kindnesse to me, if you will recommend to my palate from the experienced taste of yours, a dousaine quartes of goode and wholesome wine, su Genoa Arms, for the which I will in honourable sort be indebted, and well and truly pay the owner thereof, your said merchant of wines at the said Genoa Arms. As witness this myne hand, which also witnesseth its master to be, in sooth and sincerity of heart,
Goode sir, yours ever bounden,
"A. POPE." "From Twickenham, this firste of Julie, 1725." 46 Dr. Abel Evans, Oxford, usually called the epigrammatist. He was of St. Jolin's College, and much in the confidence and esteem of Pope. Bowles quotes the epigram made on Evans when, as bursar, he cut down some trees before his College
“The rogue the gallows as his fate foresees,
And bears the like antipathy to trees." This was made by Dr. Tadlow, a person remarkable for corpulency, upon whom Evans, in retaliation, wrote,
“When Tadlow treads the streets, the paviors cry,
'God bless you, sir,' and lay their rammers by." "Tragic Young," mentioned after Evans, was.of course, Edward Young, the poet.
NOTES TO GAY'S POEM.
47 Barton Booth, the tragedian (born 1681, died 1733). Booth eloped from Westminster School, at the age of 17, to commence actor. He was highly celebrated in the personation of tragic characters, and was the original Cato in Addison's tragedy. He was buried in Westminster Abbey, where his widow erected a monumental bust to his memory.
48 Philip Frowde, the dramatist. See Pope's "Farewell to London.” 49 Colonel John Titcomb, or Tidcombe, a Devonshire man, of humble origin, who. from his eminent services, rose to the rank of a colonel, and in 1700 was appointed to command a regiment of foot. He attended King William to Oxford, and was honoured with the degree of LL.D. Titcomb was a member of the Kit-cat Club. He is said to have been celebrated as a wit; the scattered notices of him in Pope's correspondence convey the idea of his being a careless man about town, very free in his sentiments on religious subjects. Pope's acquaintance with him began early, as he is mentioned in a letter to Cromwell in 1708. Titcomb's death is said to have taken place in 1718, which helps to fix the date of this poem by Gay. It is probable that Gay wrote the poem when Pope and he were in the country, at Lord Harcourt's, though the last volume of the Iliad was not published till 1720.
50 Hon. B. Digby, and Southerne the dramatist. See Pope's Epitaphs and Epistles. Of Steele and Tickell, mentioned in the next line, it is unnecessary to say anything.
51 Some of the names in this stanza have been previously introduced as the Doncastles of Binfield (whose family held the manor of Binfield for two centuries). Counsellor Bickford (James Bickford, Esq., of Dunsland), and Mr., afterwards Judge. Fortescue, of Fallopit. The Devonshire Fortescues were famous for lawyers-having given a Chief Justice to Ireland, and a Chief Justice to England, besides Pope's friend. the Master of the Rolls. Eckershall was Clerk of the Kitchen to Queen Anne"honest Jemmy Eckershall," with whom Switt occasionally dined, and who seems to have lived at Drayton, in Middlesex. The name of Sykes is of Yorkshire renown. Rawlinson was not, we suspect, Thomas Rawlinson, the famous book-collector, but William Rollinson, mentioned in Pope's will, and who was also a friend of Swift and Bolingbroke. This gentleman had been a merchant in London, but retired from business, and lived in Oxfordshire. "Hearty Morley” was, we suppose, George Morley, afterwards appointed a commissioner of the lottery. Many of Pope's friends were connected with the Government. Mr. Morley was husband of Mrs. Morley, the Thalestris of the Rape of the Lock, and sister of Sir George Brown, Berkshire, the Sir Plume of the same poem. Brown took high offence at the manner in which he is drawn in the Rape of the Lock, and Gay does not include him among the poet's friends. Ayre may be " Squire Ayre," the poet's biographer, who certainly claimed to be acquainted with Pope after the publication of the Essay on Man. Squire Ayre, however, was so very small a man that we think Gay must have meant one of Pope's neighbours, the Eyres of Welford, in Berkshire. Graham is a common name, and identification here is impossible. There were at this time a Thomas. Graham, apothecary to the king, and Dr. Graham, warder of the Freemasons: old Colonel Graham, of Bagshot Heath, &c. Buckeridge may have been Mr. Baynting Buckridge, an officer who had been in the East India Company's Service, and who died in 1783.
52 Thomas Stonor, Esq., of Stonor Park, the head of a Catholic family, now represented by Lord Camoys. Mr. Stonor died in 1722, and Pope said he had lost by his death“ a very easy, humane, and gentlemanly neighbour.”
53 Elijah Fenton, the poet. See Pope's epitaphs. 54 Perhaps John Ward, the philologist and antiquary, who was appointed Professor of Rhetoric in Gresham College in 1720.
55 The Rev. William Broome, of St. John's College, Cambridge, afterwards associated with Pope in the translation of the Odyssey.
FROM THE YEAR 1720 TO THE CLOSE OF 1734. SHAKSPEARE. THE
ODYSSEY. BANISHMENT OF ATTERBURY AND RETURN OF BOLING-
THE great popularity of Pope's name, and the reliance placed on his taste and judgment, as well as his genius, led to various suggestions from friends and publishers, with respect to future literary works. Pope loved money, but it was to spend, not to hoard it. His garden and grounds called occasionally for a new poem, as Abbotsford called for a new historical romance, and booksellers and readers were alike willing in both cases to gratify the demand. Tonson was ready to contract for an annotated edition of Shakspeare, and Lintot was eager for a translation of the Odyssey, to complete the English Homer. Both proposals were ultimately accepted; but Pope first discharged a pious duty to the memory of a friend, by editing a selection of the works of Parnell, who died in 1717. He inscribed the volume to the Earl of Oxford, in a poetical epistle remarkable for lofty panegyric and elevation of sentiment, and for the harmony and sweetness of its numbers. The death of Parnell was in the following year succeeded by that of Garth and Rowe—both early and sincere friends, and thus the social circle of poets was already narrowed, and Time was teaching the prosperous bard of Twickenham one of its sternest and saddest lessons. In another year Addison was POPE'S EDITION OF SHAKSPEARE. 169 gone, and his death must have struck a monitory knell of a deeper and more solemn tone. Pope first applied himself to his edition of Shakspeare. He proposed to collate the early copies, to insert the various readings in the margin, and to place the suspected or interpolated passages at the bottom of the page. To gratify the lazy or obtuse readers of Shakspeare, he was to distinguish the “shining passages” by marking them with stars or inverted commas—an expedient not unlike Lady Mary's plan of writing on the margin of her husband, Mr. Wortley's, parliamentary speeches, the places where he was to pause, look round, and challenge a cheer from the assembled Commons ! Neither attempt was very successful. Pope, if he did not absolutely fail as an editor, was deficient in some important requisites. The irksome but necessary duty of collation was indifferently performed; he wanted patience, and he could not command all the early copies. He was not sufficiently read in the literature of Shakspeare's contemporaries, and thus missed many points of illustration confirming or elucidating the text. Some of his emendations, where his taste and penetration were brought into play, are original and happy. The exquisite allusion to music in the opening scene of the Twelfth Night
sufficie, hot come perf
0! it came o'er me like the sweet south
owes to Pope one of its principal charms, by the substitution of south for sound, as it previously stood, and which was evidently a corrupt reading. In Macbeth is also a felicitous alteration, Tarquin's ravishing strides for sides, Pope's preface to the work must be pronounced inferior to Johnson's, but it is what no other author of the day after Addison's death) could have written. Considering the state of criticism at that time, notwithstanding Dryden's Essays and Addison's Spectators, and remembering the generally low appreciation of Shakspeare, Pope will not be found deficient in reverence and admiration of his great