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and the Word forc'd (which was my own, and I perfwade myself for that Reafon only submitted to by you) feems to carry too doubtful a Construction for an Epitaph, which, as I apprehend, ought as eafily to be understood as read. I shall acknowledge it as a very particular Favour, if at your best Leisure you will peruse the inclos’d, and vary it, if you think it capable of being mended, and let me see you any Morning next Week.
I am, &C. Mr. Harcourt was the Lord Chancellor's only Song and it is prov'd by his Letter, that Mr. Pope was in fome Meafure directed by him: The Line pointed at was alter'd, and the Inscription on the Monument in the Church of Stanton-Harcourt, in Oxfordshirez ftands thus:
O this fad Shrine, whoe'er thou art! draw near,
dear, Who ne'er knew Joy, but Friendship might divide, Orgave his Father Grief, but when he dy’d.
How vain is Reason, Eloquence how weak! If Pope must tell what HARCOURT cannot speak. Oh let thy once-lov'd Friend inscribe thy Stone, And, with a Father's Sorrows, mix his own!
Besides these, and other Epitaphs mention'd before, Mr. Pope wrote several more; on Sir William Trumball; on the Earl of Dorset; on General Withers; on Mr. Corbet; on the Hon. Robert, and on his Sifter Mary Digby; on Sir Godfrey Kneller, and on Sir Ifaac Newton, and Mr. Fenton.
Mr. Fenton was a Gentleman, for whom Mr. Pope had a very bigh Regard, and who was in much Esteem for his excellent Poems. He was educated
at Jesus-College in Cambridge, and was preferr'd to be Secretary to the Right Hon. Charles Earl of Orrery. . He was interr'd
at Easthamstead in Berks, in the Year 1730. His Epitaph:
HIS modest Stone, what but few Marbles cang
May truly A Poet, bleft beyond the Poet's Fate, Whom Heav'n kept sacred from the proud and Great Foe to loud Praife, and Friend to learned Eafe, Content with Science in the Vale of Peace. Calmly he look'd on either Life, and here Saw nothing to regret, or there to fear; From Nature's temp'rate Feast rofe satisfy'd, Thank'd Heav'n that he had liy'd, and that he dy'd
Never was Character more true; and it was Men of this quiet and contented State, (notwithstanding Mr. Pope was not without Pride and some Ill-nature, being almost always indispos’dy that pleas’d him beft ; to these he was continually making his Court, and showing himself in his best Humours, and tho he entertain'd them but sparingly, he entertain’d thein chearfully: When we fay sparingly, we only mean temperately, for he was not a Niggard, but always avoided. Luxury; less than which he could not welt
: do, having openly exclaim'd against it, and endeavoured to prove Temperance the more happy State, therefore he show'd an Example of it; and it is seen at all Times, where the Occasion permits, as it does in the Invitation he gives Mr. Fenton, to come and remain with him, 'till Mr. Craggs should be ready to receive him at the House he had taken near Mr. Pope. The Letter we have copied :
some certain and fatisfactory Account, which Way, and at what Time you might take your Journey. I am now commission's to tell you, that Mr. Craggs will expect you on the Rising of the Parliament, which will be as soon as he can receive you in the Manner he would receive a Man de belles Lettres, that is, in Tranquility and full Leisure. I dare say your Way of Life (which, in my Taste will be the best in the World, and with one of the best Men in the World) must prove highly to your Contentment. And I must add, it will be still the more a Joy to me, as I shall reap a peculiar Advantage from the Good Í shall have done in bringing you together, by seeing it in my own Neighbourhood. Mr. Craggs has taken a House clofe by mine, whither he proposes to come in three Weeks: In the mean Time I heartily invite, you to live with me; where a frugal and philosophical Diet for a Time, may give you a higher Relish of that elegant Way of Life you will enter into after. I desire to know by the first Post how soon I'may hope for you?
I am a little scandaliz'd at your Complaint that your Time lies heavy on your Hands, when the Mufes have put so many good Materials into your Head to employ them. As to your Question, what I have been doing? I answer, just what I have been doing some Years, my Duty ; secondly, relieving myfelf with necessary Amusements, or Exercises which ferve me instead of Physick, as long as they can ; thirdly, reading till I am tir'd ; and lally, Writing when I have no other Thing in the World
to do, or no Friend to entertain in Company. Believe me very affectionately,
Dear Sir, &c.
When Mr. Pope receiv'd the News of the Death of this Gentleman, he was writing to a Friend, and was so much mov'd with it, that he broke off abruptly, giving the melancholy Reafon ; for Mr. Fentan's Death lessen'd the Circle of those who were in Mr. Pope's real Esteem, and was never mention’d by him without regretting the great Loss of him.
Mr. Fenton had some valuable Letters from Mr. Pope, which, at his Request, were again return'd to him, by that Means preventing their falling into Hands which might (perhaps not too faithfully) make them publick, which was done by many of his, by Curl, and Mr. Pope was so exasperated at it, that be was very near making an Oath never to write a Leto ter, but such as might be immediately about Business, for in Reality he did not correspond with a Friend upon the Terms of any free Subject of this Kingdom, so that he was at last reduc'd do beg of all his Acquaintance to secure him from the like Vfåge for the future, by returning him any Letters of his they might have preserv’d, left they hhould be publish! after his Death, perhaps being improper to be seen, or altered by the mercenary Purchaser, to serve their base Ends : For of such Things they make no Scruple, how many Inftances might we give? And how many Things have been made publick, and Mr. Pope infinuated to have been the Author? Curl was como tinually accusing him with what came out in the Gruba Atreet Journal, which Mr. Pope positively denies to have had any the least Correspondence with ; but the Town, though mistaken, were never more ar
fur'd than of his writing the Dialogue in the Paper call'd the Champion, Thursday Feb. 19, 1740-1, juft: before the Election of the present Parliament:
Fulvius. When well directed, take Mankind in gross, They form their Judgment best. How should they
know? Are they in Council? Do they see what moves? Can they perceive the Balance of our Court? And where we should incline ? Could they see this,