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Lord Bathurst is still my constant friend and yours, but his country seat is now always in Gloucestershire, not in this neighbourhood. Mr. Pulteney has no country seat, and in town I see him seldom; but he always asks after you. In the summer I generally ramble for a month to Lord Cob
the Bath, or elsewhere. In all of these rambles my mind is full of you and poor Gay with whom I travelled so delightfully two summers. Why cannot I cross the sea ? The unhappiest malady I have to complain of, the unhappiest accident of my whole life, is that weakness of the breast, which makes the physicians of opinion that a strong vomit would kill me. I went some years ago with Lord Peterborough, about ten leagues at sea, purely to try if I could sail without sea-sickness, and with no other view than to make yourself and Lord Bolingbroke a visit before I died. But the experiment, though almost all the way near the coast, had almost ended all my views at once. Well, then, I must submit to live at the distance which Fortune has set us at; but my memory, my affections, my esteem, are inseparable from you, and will, my dear friend, be for ever yours.
Pope's intimacy with the Prince of Wales must have been formed some years previous to the date of this letter, though it would naturally be increased by his Royal Highness's removal to Kew, after the violent rupture with the Court of St. James's, in 1737. Two years before this, as appears from Lyttelton's correspondence, Frederick had been a visitor at Twickenham, and Glover, the poet, men
8 Lyttelton writes to the Prince:-“Give me leave to remind your Royal Highness of what you said at Mr. Pope's, where you was heard with such emotions of joy and gratitude by all who were present. You said you would gladly reduce yourself to live upon no more than £300 a year, if you could but hope to lessen the national debt, the state of which you bad set forth to us with so much knowledge, and so deep a sense of the mischiefs attending upon it.” This self-denying declaration was made by Frederick, on occasion of the proposed augmentation of his income from £50,000 to £100,000 per annum. He affected at first to discountenance the project of his friends, but “Fritz” had in reality no sincerity, and he keenly agitated for the augmentation. The scheme was defeated in Parliament, to the infinite delight of the King and Queen. Lord Hervey, who describes the royal differences con amore, says, that when Frederick consulted the heads of the opposition, his Majesty remarked that they would all soon be tired of the puppy, “ for besides his being a scoundrel, he is such a fool that he will talk more fiddle-faddle nonsense to them in a day than any old woman talks in a week."
ACQUAINTANCE WITH WARBURTON.
tioned to Warton the particulars of another visit, in which the poet appears somewhat in the light of a courtier. Lyttelton asked Pope to join him in dissuading the Prince from riding a vicious horse. “I hope, Sir," said Pope earnestly to his Royal Highness, “the people of England will not be made miserable by a second horse,' alluding to the accident which proved fatal to William III. “I think," added Pope, whispering to Glover, “this speech was pretty well for me." It was certainly more than could have been expected from him, either as regards the dead king or the living prince; but the latter had one recommendation-he was in opposition to the court. “Mr. Pope, you don't love princes,” said Frederick to him one day. “Sir, I beg your pardon.” “Well, you don't love kings, then.”
“Sir, I own I love the lion best before his claws are grown.
"9 Having despatched his letter to Swift, Pope seems to have set off on one of those summer rambles to which he so often alludes. In July he was at Rousham, near Oxford, the seat of Colonel Cotterell, which he describes as the prettiest place ever seen for waterfalls, jets, ponds, and beautiful scenes of green and hanging wood. Twenty years afterwards Horace Walpole echoed this praise. “ Rousham," he says, “reinstated Kent (the landscape gardener) with ine: he has nowhere shown so much taste; all the scenes are perfectly classic.”
In the list of his new friends communicated to Swift, Pope omits the name of Warburton-a learned, turbulent, ambitious adventurer, who deserved and narrowly escaped a place in the Dunciad, but who was indirectly indebted to Pope for fame and fortune, a wife, an estate, and a bishopric. Warburton was ten years younger than Pope. He had rusted in obscurity for some years, as an attorney, in Newark, educating himself for future warfare and distinction, when he solicited and obtained deacon's orders in the church, being, as Churchill says,
9 Walpole to Sir H. Mand, 1741.
By some faint omens of the lawn. He adopted the old and approved expedient of selecting a patron, and dedicating to him, in a strain of lofty panegyric, a volume of translations. Sir George Sutton, on whom the experiment was tried, was susceptible. He gave a small vicarage to Warburton, and afterwards added to it a good Lincolnshire rectory. In the interval between these presentations, Warburton consorted with Theobald, Concanen, and others, whom he afterwards joined in abusing; and with equal inconsistency, he wrote to Concanen, that while Milton borrowed from pride, and Dryden from idleness, Pope borrowed from want of genius. Fortunately for his future prospects, this letter did not come to light till some years after Pope's death. In the meantime, the indefatigable and unscrupulous divine had established a considerable reputation by some theological works, including the first volume of his greatest performance, the Divine Legation of Moses, a treatise so learned, so novel, so paradoxical, so arrogant, and absurd, that it took the world as it were by storm, and challenged universal attention. His next effort was to defend Pope’s Essay on Man from an attack made upon it by M. de Crousaz, the philosophic professor of Lausanne, who accused the English poet of following the system of Spinoza, and inculcating doctrines favourable to fatalism. Crousaz in his remarks displayed great logical acuteness, and his work was calculated to injure the character and popularity of Pope. Warburton's defence was voluntary. He sent a series of strictures to a periodical entitled the Republic of Letters, and when three of these communications had appeared, Pope wrote to his friendly commentator, acknowledging the value and generosity of his services. “You have,” he said, “made my system as clear I ought to have done, and could not. It is indeed the same system as mine, but illustrated with a ray of your own, as they say our natural body is the same still when it is glorified. I am sure I like it better than I did before, and so will every
POPE AND WARBURTON MEET AT TWICKENHAM.
one else. I know I meant just what you explain, but I did not explain my own meaning so well as you. You understand me as well as I do myself, but you express me better than I could express myself.”10 Such excessive praise could only have been prompted by Pope's thankfulness at being rescued from the charge of infidelity. He was no materialist, but he had got entangled in Bolingbroke's metaphysics, or the “Characteristics" of Shaftesbury,and did not see clearly where his speculations led to. Hence his joy that Warburton had constructed an ingenious means of
The commentary of the divine was afterwards published in a collected form, and attached to the Essay, where, though unread and effete, it is still occasionally found chained to the living poetry. The poet and his commentator met in the spring of 1740 at Twickenham. Their first interview was in Lord Radnor's garden, close to the poet's residence, and Dodsley, who was present, was astonished at the high compliments paid by Pope to Warburton, as he approached him. He looked
upon him as his greatest benefactor! Warburton remained a fortnight at Twickenham. One evening, as he and Pope were in the garden, the poet opened himself unreservedly to his new friend. He declared with great sincerity, that he really thought he had been excelled in every part of writing, and on the side of invention, more peculiarly. Mr. Warburton told him that he would not offend his modesty by entering into a particular disquisition of his merit, yet he would take the liberty to mention one thing in which he thought Mr. Pope was unrivalled and alone ; and it was, that he is the only poet who has found out the art of uniting wit to sublimity. “Your wit," says he, “ gives a splendour and delicacy to your sublimity,
10 Pope to Warburton, April 11, 1739. Dugald Stewart has shown that the poet misunderstood the system of Crousaz as well as his own. In his treatise on logic, and in his academical teaching, Crousaz supported the views of Locke, whereas Pope, in the fourth book of the Dunciad, ranks Crousaz among Locke's opponents.
and your sublimity gives a grace and dignity to your wit."'ll How the poet acknowledged this amalgam of honours is not stated, but we need not be surprised to find him remarking to Spence, that Warburton was the greatest general critic he ever knew; the most capable of seeing through all the possibilities of things! To transplant his friend from the fens of Lincolnshire to the banks of the Thames was Pope's next effort. A nobleman in his neighbourhood told him one day that he had a large benefice to bestow. “ Give it to me," said Pope, "and I will promise to bestow it on one who will do honour to your patronage." The nobleman consented, but when reminded of the conversation some time afterwards, he said, in some confusion, that his steward had disposed of the benefice unknown to him or his lady. The poet's plan was thus frustrated, but indirectly he served Warburton in the most effectual manner. He introduced hím to the good Ralph Allen, of Prior Park, and to Mr. Murray, afterwards Lord Mansfield. Warburton knew well how to improve such opportunities. He could crouch and fawn, as well as browbeat and dogmatize; and he flattered Mr. Allen by dedicating to him his commentary on Pope's Essay. At length he obtained the hand of Allen's niece, the heiress of Prior Park. Through the influence of Murray he was appointed Preacher of Lincoln's Inn, and through Mr. Allen's interest with Pitt, he was advanced to the bishopric of Gloucester. Nor should we omit Pope's bequest to him of the sole property of his printed works, which is said to have been worth about £4000.
The Hot Wells, near Bristol, were at this time in high repute, and Pope, after one of his visits to Mr. Allen, at Bath, extended his journey along the valley of the Avon, to the great shipping and mercantile city. Bristol had no attractions for him. The city itself, he said, was very unpleasant, and no civilized company in it: only the Collector
11 Letter from Hon. C. Yorke to Earl of Hardwicke, June 1, 1740, in Warton's Pope.