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surgeon, who was present, related to Dr. Hoadly, he exerted all his strength to throw himself out of his bed, that he might receive the last facraments kneeling on the floor. A few hours after the priest retired, Bolingbroke came over from Battersea, and expressed great indignation at this transaction. It was in the evening of the thirtieth day of May 1744, that he had the happiness of dying with the greatest tranquillity, aged fifty-six years.

He was interred at Twickenham, near his father and mother; and the Bishop of Gloucester erected a monument to his memory, with the following infcription:

ALEXANDRO POPE, A. R. M.
Gul. Epifcopus Glocestriensis,

Amicitia Causa,
Fac. cur. 1761.

Poeta loquitur. “For one, who would not be buried in Westminster

Abbey :
“ Heroes and Kings, your distance keep,
peace

poor

Poet sleep;
Who never flattered folks like you,

Let Virgil blush, and Horace too !"
His death, though it might have been expected, was
not lamented by any of his contemporary Poets, till
Mr. Mason made amends by his Mufæus.

Considering the debility, deformity, and distortion of his bodily frame, it is rather wonderful he lived fo long. He was protuberant both before and behind;

and

In

let

one

and he compared himself, in his humorous account of the club of little men, to a spider. He was so very feeble and weak, as not to be able to dress or undress himself without affistance; and so fusceptible of cold, that he was not only wrapt up in fur and flannel, but was also obliged to wear boddice made of stiff canvass, closely laced about him. We must not wonder, or be disgusted, that he had much of the irritability, peevishness and fretfulness of a constant valetudinarian.

In the intervals of sickness and head-ach, with which he was so frequently afflicted, he too much indulged his appetite, and was too fond of a variety of dishes highly seasoned, and of the most poignant flavour; with which, when his stomach was oppressed, he had recourse to strong liquors and drams. His conversation was not remarkably brilliant or pleasant, and no sallies of his wit or humour are recorded. It is observable, that he never was seen to laugh heartily. It is unpleasant to hear it said, that, in the common intercourse of life, he delighted in petty stratagems and idle artifices, in procuring what he wanted, without plainly and directly mentioning the thing. So that “ he played the politician,” said Lady Bolingbroke, “ about cabbages and turnips.

But whatever might be the imperfections of our great Poet's person or temper, yet the vigour, force, and activity of his mind were almost unparalleled. His whole life, and every hour of it, in sickness and in health, . was devoted solely, and with unremitting diligence, to cultivate that one art in which he had determined to excel. Many other Poets have been unavoidably immersed in business, in wars, in politics, and diverted from their favourite bias and pursuits. Of Pope it might truly and folely be faid, Versus amat, hoc ftudet unum. His whole thoughts, time, and talents were spent on his Works alone : which Works, if we dispassionately and carefully review, we shall find, that the largest portion of them, for he attempted nothing of the epic or dramatic, is of the didactic, moral, and satiric kind; and, consequently, not of the most poetic species of Poetry. There is nothing in so sublime a style as the Bard of Gray. This is a matter of fact, not of reasoning ; and means to point out, what Pope has actually done, not what, if he had put out his full strength, he was capable of doing. No man can possibly think, or can hint, that the Author of the Rape of the Lock, and the Eloisa, wanted imagination, or sensibility, or pathetic ; but he certainly did not so often indulge and exert those talents, nor give so many proofs of them, as he did of strong fense and judgment. This turn of mind led him to admire French models; he studied Boileau attentively; formed himself upon him, as Milton formed himself upon the Grecian and Italian Sons of Fancy. He ftuck to describing modern manners ; but these manners, becaufe they are familiar, uniform, artificial, and polished, are, for these four reasons, 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 ; but yet with force and

determined

fpirit,

{pirit, finishing his pieces with a patience, a căre, and assiduity, that no business nor avocation eyer interrupted; so that if he does not frequently ravish and transport his reader, like his Master Dryden, yet he does not so often disgust him, like Dryden, with unexpected inequalities and abfurd improprieties. He is never above or below his subject. Whatever poetical enthusiasm he actually possessed, he with-held and suppressed. The perusal of him, in most of his pieces, affects not our minds with such strong emotions as we feel from Homer and Milton; so that no man, of a true poetical spirit, is master of himself while he reads them. Hence he is a writer fit for universal perusal, and of general utility; adapted to all ages and all stations; for the old and for the young; the man of business and the scholar. He who would think, and there are many such, the Fairy Quecn, Palamon and Arcite, the Tempest, or Comus, childish and romantic, may relish Pope. Surely it is no narrow, nor invidious, nor niggardly encomium to say, he is the great Poet of Reason; the First of Ethical Authors in Verfe; which he was by choice, not necessityAnd this species of writing is, after all, the furest road to an extensive and immediate repu. tation. It lies more level to the general capacities of men, than the higher flights of more exalted and genuine poetry. Waller was more applauded than the Paradise Lost; and we all remember when Churchill was more in vogue than Gray.

We live in a reafoning and prosaic age.

The forests of Fairy-land have been rooted up and de ftroyed; the castles and the palaces of Fancy are in tuins; the magic wand of Prospero is broken and buried many fathoms in the earth. Telemachus was so universally read and admired in France, not so much on account of the poetical images and the fine imitations of Homer which it contained, but for the

many

artful and satirical allusions to the profligate court of Louis XIV. scattered up and down. He that treats of fafhionable follies, and the topics of the day, that defcribes present persons and recent events, as Dryden did in his Absalom and Achitophel, finds many readers, whose understandings and whose passions he gratifies, and who love politics far more than poetry.

The name of Chesterfield on one hand, and of Walpole on the other, failed not to make a Poem bought up, and talked of. And it cannot be doubted, that the Odes of Horace which celebrated, and the Satires which ridiculed, well-known and real characters at Rome, were more eagerly read, and more frequently cited, than the Æneid and the Georgic of Virgil. Malignant and insensible must be the critic, who should impotently dare to assert, that Pope wanted genius and imagination-; but perhaps it may safely be affirmed, that his peculiar and characteristical excellencies were good sense and judgment. And this was the opinion of Atterbury and Bolingbroke;' and it was also his own opinion. See in Volume Ninth,

the

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