Abbildungen der Seite

And yet, believe me, good as well as ill, Woman's at best a Contradiction still.

270 Heav'n, when it strives to polish all it can Its last best work, but forms a fofter Man; Picks from each sex, to make the Fav'rite blest, Your love of Pleasure, our desire of Rest: Blends, in exception to all gen’ral rules, 275 Your Taste of Follies, with our Scorn of Fools: Reserve with Frankness, Art with Truth ally'd, Courage with Softness, Modesty with Pride; Fix'd Principles, with Fancy ever new; Shakes all together, and produces You. 280

Be this a Woman's Fame: with this unblest, Toasts live a fcorn, and Queens may die a jest. This Phoebus promis'd (I forget the year) When those blue eyes first open’d on the sphere; Ascendant Phæbus watch'd that hour with care, 285 Averted half your Parents' simple Pray'r ;



Ver. 269. The picture of an estimable woman, with the best kind of contrarieties, created out of the Poet's imagination ; who therefore feigned those circumstances of a husband, a daughter, and love for a lifter, to prevent her being mistaken for any of his acquaintance. And having thus made his Woman, he did, as the ancient Poets were wont, 'when they had made their Muse, invoke, and address his poem to her.

WARBURTON. VER. 270. a Contradiction still.] So also has he shewn Man to be in the Effay.

WARTON, Ver. 280. and produces You.] The turn of these lines is exactly the same with those of Mrs. Biddy Floyd ; Swift's Miscel. lanies, vol. iv. p. 142.

« Jove

And gave you Beauty, but deny'd the Pelf
That buys your Sex a Tyrant o'er itself.
The gen'rous God, who Wit and Gold refines,
And ripens Spirits as he ripens Mines,

290 Kept Dross for Duchesses, the world shall know it, To you gave Sense, Good-humour, and a Poet.


" Jove mix'd up all, and his best clay employ'd,

Then call'd the happy composition-Floyd.” Mrs. Patty Blount was always supposed to be the lady here addressed" produces You.”

WARTON. Ver. 291. the world fall know it,] This is an unmeaning expression, and a poor expletive, into which our Poet was unfortunately forced by the rhyme.

WARTON. Rhyme, as Warton properly remarks, has been the occasion of some other faulty expressions in our Author's Works, which he points out, though they scarcely need enumeration. On this occafion, he enters into the general comparative merits of Rhyme and Blank Verse: but there can be surely no doubt on the subject. Rhyme is absolutely necessary for pieces like these, of point, wit, and satire ; if not for lyric and elegiac poetry. A fatire in blank verse, would be as ridiculous as an “ Æneid in hexameter and pentameter verses.” For more dignified and extensive subjects, there can be no doubt of the propriety of a more varied, harmonious, and lofty measure, as blank verse for the serious drama, and epic poetry, notwithstanding Burnet's opinion, that “ The Paradise Lost was a fine poem, though the Author affected to write it in. blank verse!

It should be remembered, that when this Epistle was first pub. lished, Pope in an advertisement declared, “ UPON HIS HONOUR," no Character was taken from real life. Walpole relates a story of his conduct in this respect, highly to his discredit, to which Warton alludes; but I do not think it should be admitted without the clearest evidence, as we should read, cum grano salis, whatever comes from Walpole's party against Pope, and vice versa.





The following original Letter of Lord Bathurst to Pope, will shew the great respect and kindness he had for him. It is taken from the Autographs of the Odyssey and Iliad, preserved in the British Museum, which are written chiefly on the backs of various letters :

“ I will not fail to attend Mrs. Howard upon Marble Hill next Tuesday; but Lady Bathurst is not able to come at this time, which is no small mortification to her. I hope I shall persuade John Gay to come hither to me, for I really think such a wintry fummer as this should be passed altogether in society by a chimneycorner ; but I believe I should not lie, if I assured you that I would quit the finest walk on the finest day in the finest garden, to have your company at any time. This is saying a great deal more than is commonly understood by one.

I am
Your most faithful humble servant,



Of the Use of RICHES. THAT it is known to few, most falling into one of the ex

tremes, Avarice or Profusion, Ver. 1, &c. The Point difcussed, whether the invention of Money has been more commodious, or pernicious to Mankind, Ver. 21 to 77. That Riches either to the Avaricious or the Prodigal, cannot afford Happiness, scarcely Necessaries, Ver. 89 to 160. That Avarice is an absolute Frenzy, without an End or Purpose, Ver. 113, &c. 152. Conjectures about the Motives of Avaricious Men, Ver. 121 to 153. That the conduct of Men, with respect to Riches, can only be accounted for by the ORDER of PROVIDENCE, which works the general Good out of Extremes, and brings all to its great End by perpetual Revolutions, Ver. 161 to 178. How a Mifer acts upon Principles zuhich appear to him reasonable, Ver. 179. How a Prodigal does the same, Ver. 199. The due Medium, and true Use of Riches, Ver. 219. The Man of Ross, Ver. 250. The fate of the Profuse and the Covetous, in two examples; both miserable in Life and in Death, Ver. 300, &c. The Story of Sir Balaam, Ver. 339, to the End.


P. Who shall decide, when Do&ors disagree,

And foundest Casuists doubt, like you and me? You hold the word, from Jove to Momus giv’n, That Man was made the standing jest of Heav'n;



EPISTLE III.] This Epistle was written after a violent outcry against our Author, on fufpicion that he had ridiculed a worthy nobleman merely for his wrong taste. He justified himself upon that article in a letter to the Earl of Burlington ; at the end of which are these words : « I have learnt that there are some who would rather be wicked than ridiculous; and therefore it may

be safer to attack vices than follies. I will therefore leave my betters in the quiet poffeffion of their idols, their groves, and their high places, and change my subject from their pride to their meanness, from their vanities to their miseries ; and as the only certain way to avoid misconstructions, to lessen offence, and not to multiply illnatured applications, I'may probably, in my next, make use of real names initead of fietitious ones.”

Pope. Ver. 1. Who shall decide, &c.] The address of the introdu&ior (from ver. 1 to 21.) is remarkable : The Poet represents himself, and the noble Lord, his friend, as in a free conversation, philosophizing on the final caufe of Riches; and it proceeds by way of dialogue, which most writers have employed to hide the want of method ; our Author uses it only to foften and enliven the dryness and severity of it. You says the Poet)

hold the word from Jove to Momus giv'n, But I, who think more highly of our kind, Opine, that Nature," &c.



Ver. 2. like you and me?'] A most unaccountable piece of false English--me for I. It is not for the sake of making petty


« ZurückWeiter »