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a Dimple, have Charms to 'distract me. I no longer look upon Lord Plausible as ridiculous, for admiring a Lady's fine Tip of an Ear, and pretty Elbow, (as the Plain Dealer has it ;) but I am in fome Danger, even from the Ugly and Disagreeable, since they may have their retired Beauties in one Part or other about them. You may guess in how uneasy a State I am, when every Day the Performances of others apppear more beautiful and excellent, and my own more despicable. I have thrown away three Dr. Swift's each of which was once my Vanity; two Lady Bridgewaters, a Dutchess of Montagu, half a Dozen Earls, and one Knight of the Garter. I have crucified Christ over-again in Effigy, and made a Modena as old as her Mother St. Anne. Nay, what is yet more miraculous, I have rivall'd St. Luke himself in Painting; and, as it is said an Angel came and finished his piece, so you would swear a Devil put the laft Hand to mine, it is so begrim'd and smutted. However, I comfort myself with a Christian Reflection, that I have not broken the Commandment; for my Pictures are not the Likeness of any thing in Heaven above, or in the Earth below, or in the Waters under the Earth. Neither will any Body a. dore or worship them, except the Indians should have a Sight of them, who they tell us worship certain Pagods, or Idols, purely for their Ugliness.
&c With this ingenious Artist there remained an uninterrupted Friendship till Death, and while our Author was translating Homer, though Mr. Jervas was then in Ireland, he was in his House in London, improving himself in Painting, when at Reft from the jaborious Talk of changing Greek Phrases into English ones; for, as he himself fays on this very Occafion,
A Translator is no more a Poet than a Taylor is a Man, Mr. Jervas was entertain'd mean Time in the House of Dr. Swift, and this Opportunity of many Friends being absent, Mr. Pope took to go to Oxford, where finding Dr. Clark, there grew immediately between them a Desire of each others Company. Dr. Clark was a great Scholar, a Man of grear Penetration, much Speculation, a Philosopher, and a Lover of free Debate and Enquiry, having a Propensity to Argument, and never declining (in an amicable cool Manner) to enter into Controversy, he propos’d to himself vast Pleasure in discourfing with Mr. Pope concerning the Proofs of his Religion, and why he assented to the unreasonable Injunctions and Traditions of the Romis Church, in Opposition to the Scrip, tures, to his own Interest, and the more valuable Decision of Reason; But in this Dr. Clark was al together mistaken, for once when he hinted, tho' but at Distance, expressing such a Defire, Mr. Pope understood it and told him; said he, my Reverend Friend, Dr. Clark, it is but a little while I can enjoy your improving Company, here in Oxford, which we will not so mi spend, as it would be doing, should we let it pass in talking of Divinity, neither would there be Time for either of us half to explain ourselves, and at last you would be Protestant Clark and 1 Papift Pope ; so that other Discourses, doubtless both more pleafant and profitable, filled up their Hours of Conversation, which were very frequent, of theie last men, tioned Passages Mr. Pope writes to Mr, Jervas aç Ireland, November 29, 1716.
Correspondent, but to a Ramble to Oxford, 'where your
Name is mentioned with Honour, even in a Land flowing with Tories. I had the good Fortune there to be often in the Conversation of Dr. Clark: He entertain'd me with several Drawings, and particularly with the original Design of Inigo Jones's Whiteball. I there law and reverenc'd some of your firft Pieces; which future Paintes are to look upon' as we Poets do on the Gulex of Virgil, and Batrachom of Homer.
Having named this latter Piece, give me Leave to ask what is become of Dr. Parnelle and his Frogs ? Oblitusque meorum, obliviscendus & illis, might be Horace's Wish, but will never be mine while I have fuch meorums as Dr. Parnelle and Dr. Swift. I hope the Spring will restore you to us, and with you all the Beauties and Colours of Nature. Not but I congratulate you on the Pleasure you must take in being admir’d in your own Country, which so feldom happens to Prophets and Poets : But in this you have the Advantage of Poets; you are Master of an Art that must prosper and grow rich, as long as People love or are proud of themselves, or their own Perfons. However, you have stayd long enough methinks, to have painted all the numberlefs Hiftories of old Ogygia. If you have begun to be historical, I recommend to your Hand the Story which every pious Irishman ought to begin with, that of St. Patrick; to the End you may be oblig'd (as Dr. Par. nelle was, when he translated the Batrachommachia) to come into England to copy the Frogs, and such other Vermine as were never seen in that Land since the Time of that Confeffor.
I long to see you a History Painter. You have already done enough for the Private, do something for the Publick; and be not confined, like the Reft, to draw only such filly Stories as our own Faces tell of
The Ancients too expect you should do them Right; those Statues from which you learn'd your beautiful and noble Ideas, demand it as a Piece of Gratitude from you, to make them truly known to all Nations, in the Account you intend to write of their Characters. I hope you think more warmly than ever of that Design.
As to your Enquiry about your House, when I come within the Walls they put me in mind of those of Carthage, where your friend, like the wandring Trojan,
animum Pistura pascit inani; For the spacious Mansion, like a Turkish Caravanserah, entertains the Vagabonds with only bare Lodg. ing. I rule the Family very ill, keep bad Hours, and let out your Pictures about the Town. See what it is to have a Poet in your House! Frank indeed does all he can in such a Circumstance; for considering he has a wild Beast in it, he constantly keeps the Door chain’d: Every Time it is open'd, the Links rattle, the rusty Hinges roar. The House seems so sensible that you are its Support, that it is ready to drop in your Absence; but I still trust myself under its Roof, as depending that Providence will preserve so many Raphaels, Titians, and Guidos as are lodg'd in your Cabinet. Surely the Sins of one Poet can hardly be so heavy, as to bring an old House over the Heads of so many Painters. In a Word your House is falling, but what of that? I am only a Lodger, and
Dear Sir, &c.
To this Friend Mr. Pope sent an Epistle in Verse, with Mr. Dryden's Translation of Frejnoy's Art of Painting. This Epistle is wrote in a Stile tệuly
friendly, yet truly poetical: He closes it with the following beautiful moral Reflection :
Yet should the Graces all thy Figures place,
Which was more pleasing to Mr. Jervas than all the Rest of the Poem, and without Doubt our Poet on Purpose inserted it, knowing him to be a thinking Man, and one who spent many Hours in Reading, chiefly Books of Moral Philosophy, to which Study he inclin'd, and few were better able to express in Words as well as in Colours, the Difference of the Passions ; so that he would have gain’d the Reputation (though not so much Money) as a History Painter, Whoever observes any of bis Pourtraits, will see a certain Expression, with a Liveliness in the Cast of the Face, or Countenance, that convinces in a Manner, without feeing the Originals, that they are Resemblances of real Life, not the meer Picture of the Painter's Hand, but of the Idea the Object fix'd upon his Mind.
He once drew the Picture of a Lady of Quality, who return'd it on his Hands, as not thinking it so handsome as the herself was, and he painted another Pourtrait for her, with which she was exceedingly pleas’d, for it was very beautiful; Mr. Jervas confess'd, that except the Colour of the Hair, and a few Reiterations, (that there inight be, though ever so distant, fome Resemblance) he had taken it from