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His primary and principal purpose was to be a poet, with which his father accidentally concurred, by proposing fubje&s, and obliging him to correct his performance, by many revisals, after whicha, when he was fatisfied, he would say, " These are good rhymes."

In perusing the English poets he soon diftinguished the versification of Dryden, which he confidered as the model to be sudied, and was impressed with such veneration for his infructor, that he persuaded a friend to conduct him to a coffee-house which Dryden frequented, and pleased himself with having seen him. .“ Who does not wish that Dryden could have known the value of the homage that was paid him, and foreseen the greatness of his young admirer ?"

The earliest of his productions is the Ode on Solitude, written when he was twelve, in which there is nothing remarkable.

His time was now wholly spent in reading and writing. He soon learned to read Homer in the original, as he himself records in one of his imitations of Horace.

Bred up at home, full early 1 begun

To read in Greek the wrath of Peleus' con. Ashe read the claflics, he amused himself with translating them; and at fourteen made a verfion of the first book of the Thebaid of Statius, which, with some revision, he afterwards published. He tranflated likewise the Epijile of Sappho to Phuon, and Dryope and Pomona, from Ovid, which he afterwards printed.

He was also tempted, by “ Dryden's Fables,” to try his skill in reviving and imitating Chaucer's January and May, and the Prologue of the Wife of Batb, which he put into modern Eaglifh.

He sometimes imitated the English poets, and professed to have written about this time, the poem upen Silence, in imitation of Rochester's “ Nuthing." He had now formed his versification, afiided by the rich melody of Dryden ; and the finoothness of his numbers furpaffed his original.

When he was fifteen, having made a considerable progress in the learned languages, he went to London to learn the French and Italian, which, by diligent application, he soon acquired. - He then returned to Binfield, and delighted himself with his own poetry. He wrote a comedy, a tragedy, Alcander an epic poem in four books, with panegyrics on all the princes of Europe; and, as he confesses, " thought himself the greatest genius that ever was.”

The subject of the comedy is not known, but the tragedy was founded on the legend of 51. Ge. nevieve. Most of his puerile productions were afterwards destroyed. The epic poem was burnt by the persuasion of Atterbury. Some of its extravagancies are produced in the Art of Sinking in poetry, ligoed Anonymous.

About this time, it is related, that he translated Tully on Old Age ; and that, besides his books of poetry and criticism, he read “ Teniple's Effays," and " Lucke on Human Underftanding."

Books were not the only means through which he acquired information. He earlý procured the acquaintance of men of talents and literature, and improved himself by conversation. & Ac fixteen, he acquired the friendship of Sir William Trumball, a statesman of fixty, who had been in the highest offices at home and abroad.

From that age, the life of Pope, as an author, may be properly computed. He now wrote his Pafiogals, i: hich were for some time handed about asiong pocis, and critics, and a lart priated in lonson's “ Miscellany," 1709, ia the same volume with the “ Pastorals” of Philips.

He had by this time become acquainted with Garth, Steele, Gay, Addison, Congreve, Gran. yille, Halifax, Somers, Walth, Wycherly, Cromwell, and other wits. He lost the friendship of Wyckesly, by correcting his bad poetry, and of Oromwell, by correding his bad tafte.

Their correspondence afforded the public its first knowledge of Pope's epistolary powers; for his letters were given by Cromwell to Mrs. 'Thomas, and thé, many years afterwards, fold them to Curll, who inserted them in a volume of his miscellanier.

Wallh was one of his first encouragers. He receiveừ an advice from him, which frems to have regulated his studies. Walsh advised him to correcineár, hitherto negteated by the Englifta puets, and therefore an untrodden path to fame.

He had now declared himself a poet, and thinking himself entitled to poetical conversation, began at seventeen to frequene Will's Cuffec-house, where the wits of that time used to assemble. Soon after the Puforals, appeared the Fufus on Critici

, m, which procured him, as it dcfcrved, a



fery high chara&er. It was praised by Addison, attacked by Dennis, and commented by War, burton, who has discovered in it such order and connection as was not perceived by Addison, nor, as is said, intended by the author. It has been trandated into French by Hamilton, by Robotham, and by Resnel. It has also been translated into Latin verle by several writers; particularly by Smart, and Dr. Kirkpatrick, the author of a poem called “ The Sca-Piece," which, though it is little known, has many very fine passages.

About the same time, he wrote the Ode for St. Cecilia's Day, which he undertook at the defire of Steele.

In the ® Spe&ator” was publithed the Meffiah, which he first submitted to the perusal of Steele, and correded in compliance with his criticismı.

The Elegy to ibe Memory of an Unfortunat: Lady, was probably written about the time when luis F.lay on Criticism was published. Who the lady was, has not been ascerrained. According to Ruffhead, she was a woman of high rank and large fortune, the ward of an uncle; me was in love with a young gentleman of an inferior condition. The uncle disapproved of her attachment, and proposed another person as a match. Finding the was determined to abide by her own choice, he funt Jier abroad. Deprived of every opportuniey of converling or corresponding with her lover, fhe became desperate, and procured a sword, which the directed to her heart.

In the" Gentleman's Magazine," vol. li. p. 314, it is alerted, that the lady's name was Within bury: that she was in love with Pope, and would have married him; that her guardian, though She was deformed in her person, looked upon such a match as bencath her, and sent her to a con. cent, where she put an end to her life. How far this account is true, cannot be known. 'Pope Certainly, from the Elegy, and the concluding lines of the Eloisa, appears to have been very deeply Teced by her fate.' Dr. Johnson has censured her conduct with unreasonable severity. Hafty and culpable she was undoubtedly; but it ought to be conlidered, that no person ever has, or can le happy against violent inclinations, with constancy to a forced partner for life. To those on whom love has hade a deep impression, nothing but its object can give happiness or peace of mind; confiderations, indeed, that weigh little with the family pride of parents. It is evident that an indulgence of pallion may be attended with happiness, but that the disappointment of it cannot,

In 1912, he produced Tbe Dying Cbrifian to bis Soul, in imitation of the verses of Adrian, and the fragment of Sappło, by the advice of Steele. It strongly resembles an ode of Flatman, of whom he was probably a reader, as he certainly was of Crashaw, Carew, Quarles, and Herbert.

He contributed to the Speelator, Nos. 424, 408, and 409, and fome other papers.

10 1712, he publihed The Rape of the Lock, in its present form. It was occafioned by a frolic of gallankry, in which Lord Petre cut off a lock of Mrs. Arabella Fermor's hair. This trifling cause produced a serious quarrel between the two families

. Mr. Caryll, Secretary to King James's Queen, and author of the comedy of “Sir Solomon Single,” and of several translations in “Dryden's Milcellanies," solicited Pope to endeavour a reconciliation, hy a ludicrous poem. The first sketch was written in less than a fortnight, and published in 1711, in two cantos, without liis name. It was received so well, that he colarged it by the addition of the machinery of the Sylpbs, and extended it into five cantos. At its first appearance, Addison declared it was “meram fal," a delicious little thing, and gave him no encouragement to retouch it. This was imputed to jealousy in Addison, but contains no proof that he was actuated by any bad pasion. Pope fortunately did not follow Addison's advice; his attempt was justified by success.

When the Guardian was begun, he contributed the paper concerning the little club, under the name of Dick Diffich, a letter ligned Gnatho, a description of the Gardens of Alcinous, and a very fevere ironical criticism on " Philips's Pastorals,” in which he pretends to praise Philips, but with great art takes the superiority to himself.

Abou: this time, he published The Temple of Fame, written two years before ; which, as Steele ob. serves, has a thousand beautics.

In 1713, he published Windsor Forest, of which part was written at fixteen, and the latter was added afterwards It is dedicated to Lansdowne, who was then high in reputation and influence insong

the Tories When the tragedy of “ Caro" made its appearance, he introduced it by a folemn and fublime prologi's; and wea Deania published his " Roa arks," undertook, not indeed to vindicate, bu: to revenge Addison by A Narrative of the Madnes of Fobn Dennis. Addison expresfed no approbation of the ridicule of Pope against Dennis, and perhaps did not think he deserved much by his officiousness,

· Two other pamphlets, published about this time against Edmund Curll, à bookseller, who lived by the publication and sale of productions on which refpe&able men of the profesion would have no interes, are ascribed to Pope, and printed in “ Pope and Swife's Miscellanies.” Curll was concerned in many libellous pieces, both against individuals and the state; but it cannot be denied that English literature owes him considerable obligations.

About this time, he wrote the Epifle from Eloisa to Abelard; in consequence, as Savage told Dr. Johnson, of his perusal of Prior's “ Nutbrown Maid,” which it not only exceHs, but-cvery composition of the same kind. . He had a' ftrong inclination to unite the Art of Painting with that of Poetry, and put himself under the tuition of Jervas, to whom, about this time, he addressed an encomialtic Epiftle, with " Dryden's translation of Fresnoy."

A picture of Betterton, copied by Pope from Kneller, was in the poffeffion of the late Earl of Mansfield, and is said to be still at Caenwood.

After Betterton's death, he published, under his name, a version into modern English, of Chaucer's prologues, and one of his tales, which were believed by Fenton to have been the performance of Pope himfelf.

In 1713, when he was in his twenty-fifth year, he circulated proposals for publising his tranda. tion of the Ilied, with notes, by subscription, in 6 vols. 4to, for six guineas.

The proposals were very favourably received; and the leading men, political and literary, of both parties, were busy to recommend his undertaking, and to promote his interest; but the Torics, ir general, encouraged the subscription much more than the Whigs.

To him the hands of jarring faction join,

To heap their tribute on his Homer's shrine. HAYLEY. His contract with Lintot the bookseller was very advantageous. It was agreed that he should re. ceive 200 l. for the copy-right of each volume, and that Lintot should supply the copies to be delivered to subscribers, or presented to friends, at his own expence.

The subscribers were five hundred and seventy-five. The copies for which fubscriptions were given, were fix hundred and fifty-four; but only fix hundred and fixty were printed. For those copies Pope had nothing to pay; he therefore received, including the two hundred pounds a volume, five thousand three hundred and twenty pounds four shillings, without deduction.

At first he found himself embarrassed with difficulties, which retarded his progress; but practice increased his facility of versification, and in a short time he represents himself as dispatching regu. farly fifty lines a-day.

It is not very likely, as Dr. Johnson obferves, that he overflowed with Greek; but Latin transsations were always at hand, and from them he could obtain his author's sense with sufficient certainty. He had the poctical translation of Eobanus Heffus, the French Homers of La Valterie, and Dacier, and the English of Chapman, Hobbes, and Ogilby. With Chapman he had very frequent confultations; and perhaps never translated ang passage till he had read his verfion, which, indeed, he has been sometimes suspected of using instead of the original.

Broome, in the preface to his “ Poems,” declares himself the commentator, “ in part upon the Iliad;" and it appears from Fenton's letter, preserved in the Museum, that Broome was at first en. gaged in consulting Euftatbius, of whose work there was then no Latin verfion; but that after a time, he defifted. Another Cambridge man was then employed, who fuon grew weary of the work; and a third, that was recommended by Thirlby, is now discovered to have been sortin, a man since well known to the learned world, who complained that Pope having accepted and approved his performance, never testified any curiosity to see him. Broome then offered his service a second time, and was probably accepted, as they had afterwards a closer correspondence. • Parnell contributed the Life of Homer, which Pope found so harsh, that he took great pains in correcting 'it; and by his own diligence, with such help as kindness or money could procure him; in somewhat more than five years, he completed the English Iliad, with notes, which is allowed to be the best version of poetry that ever was written; and its publication must, therefore, be conLidered as one of the great events in the annals of learning. Halifax expected the dedication of his


perica; but he palled over peers and statesmen to infcribe it to Congreve. While the translation was in its progress, Mr. Craggs, Secretary of State, nobly offered to procure bim a pendon, which be thought propet to decline.

Proud of the frank reward his talents find,
And nobly conscious of no venal mind;
With the just world his fair account ke clears,
And owns no debe to princes or to peers.

HAILEY, The original manuscript of the Iliad, written upon envelopes of letters, and accidental fragments of paper, being obtained by Bolingbroke as a curiolicy, descended from him to Mallet, and is now, by the folicitation of the late Dr. Mary, reposited in the Museum.

The first volume of the Iliad was published in 1715, and a version of the first book by Tickell, was published the same year, which Pope suspected was really written by Addison, with an intention to injure his character and interet. In an advertisement prefixed by. Tickell

, he professes to have no “other view in publishing this {mall specimen of Homer's Iliad, than to bespeak, if possible, the favour of the public to a trandation of the Odyley, wherein he had already made fome progress.”

Whether that was, or was not his motive, there is no evidence that Addison caused it to be published from envy and malice, as has been afferted, to injure Pope. Addison's opposition to Pope, at that time, could do him no particular injury; for his subscription was full, and his contract with his bookseller completed; and if he had been actuated by jealousy, it is not probable he would have spoken so highly of Pope's lliad in the “ Freeholder" of May 2, 1716.

Pope, vigore disposition is acknowledged to have been irritable, was hurt beyond measure at this tranflation ; and it is probable that the character of Atlicus was written in the heat of his rcsentment on this occasion, as he expressed the very fame sentiments to Mr. Craggs, in his letter of July 15, 1715. But it does not appear, as Ruffhead alleres, that there was any open breach between Addison and Pope upon this occasion, and Pope expressly cells Craggs there was none.

Addison, therefore, unless better proof can be given, must be acquitted of this odious charge, which seems to have been founded on some misapprehension in Pope'; who, however excuseable he may be thought in writing the character of Atticus in the first transports of poetical indignations mannot be judified in suppressing it till after the death of Addison, and then permitting its publication; and at length, at the distance of eighteen years, transmitting it to posterity ingrafted in his Epifle te Dr. Arbutbnet.

The inferior tribe of writers endeavoured to depreciate the Iliad. Dennis attacked it with his usual bitterness and fcurrility; and among others, Ducket and Burnet, who was afterwards a judge of no tacan reputation, censured it in a piece called “ Homerides;”

In 1715, he prevailed on his father, it is said, to sell the estate at Binfield, and purchased the lease of the house at Twickenham, so much celebrated for his residence in it. How his father could have faleable property in land, being a Papist, does not appear.

Here he planted the vines, and the quincunz, which he has celebrated in his poems; and being under the necessity of making a subterraneous passage to a garden on the other fide of the road, he dignified it with the title of a grotto; the decoration of which was the favourite ámusement of his


declining years.

lo 1717, be collected his former works into one quarto volunie, to which he prebixed a preface, written with great spriteliness and clegance.

In this year his father died suddenly, in his 75th year, baving passed twenty-nine years in retirement. He is not known but by the character which his fon has given him in the Epifle to

Dr. Arbutbrot.

In 1720, he was infected with the general contagion; but on the first fall of the South Sea Stock; tras cured. He sold out just in time to save himself from loss.

The next year, he published the select poems of his friend Parnell, with an elegant poetical dedication to the Earl of Oxford.

In 1721, he gave to the world bis edition of Slak, peare, in 6 vols. 4t0.; for which Tonson de manded a subscription of six guineas, and was successful in disposing of most of the copies. This

to which he was induced by a reward of two hundred and lcventeen pounds twelve


faillings, is not reckoned to have contributed much to his reputation. Dr. Johnson obferves, he did many things wrong, and left many things undone,

Theobald, first in his “ Shakspeare Restored," and then in a formal edition, detceted his de. ficiencies with all the infolence of victory; from which time he became an enemy to editors, conmentators, and verbal critics.

About this time, he published proposals for a tranflation of the Odyssey, in s vols. 4to. for five guineas, and was aflisted by Fenton, and Broome; who, as Ruffhead relates, had already begun the work. He translated only twelve books himself, his associates the rest. The account of the feveral Thares, subjoined at the conclusion, is now known not to be true. The firft, fourth, nineteenth, and ewentieth books were translated by Fenton ; the second, sixth, eighth, cleventh, twelfth, fixteenth, eighteenthi

, and eweney-third books, by Brooñe ; but he revised their versions. Broome wrote the notes, for which he was not over liberally rewarded. The agreement with Lintot was the same as for the Tiiad, except that he was to receive but one hundred pounds for each volume.

The subscribers were five hundred and seventy-four, and the copies eight hundred and nine. teen; so that his profit, when he had paid Fenton 300 l. and Broome 600 l. was ftill very considerable. ,

Speace wrote a criticism on the English Odyscy, which was esteemed impartial, judicious, and candid. Pope was pleased with it, and fought the acquaintance of the writer, who lived with him from that time in great familiarity, compiled memorials of his conversation, and obtained, by his influence, very valuable preferments in the church.

In 1723, he appeared before the Lords at the trial of Bishop Atterbury, to give an account of his domchic life, and private employment, that it might appear how little time he had left for plots. He had but sew words to utter, and in those few he made several blunders.

His letters to Atterbury, both before and after his misfortune, are full of esteem, gratitude, and tenderness. He often visited him in the Tower. At their lart interview, Atterbury presented hint 'with a Bible. Whatever might be Atterbury's political principles and views, he certainly poffeffed a highly cultivated understanding, an elegant taste, and a feeling heart.

In 1726, Voltaire having visited England, was introduced to Pope, and wrote him a letter of confolation, on his being overturned in passing a river, in the night, in Bolingbroke's coach, with | the windows closed, from which the poftillion snatched him, when he was in danger of being drowned, by breaking the glass ; the fragments of which cut two of his fingers, in such a manner that he loft their use.

In 1727, Swise visited England, and joined with Pope in publishing three volumes of Miscellanies. Pope contributed the Memoirs of a Parisio Clerk, Stradling verfus Styles, Virgilius Refauratus, the Baffet Table, and the Art of Sinking in Poetry, designed as a part of the Memoirs of Martinus Scriblerus, a satire projected in conjunction with Arbuthuot and Swift, On the Abuses of Humor Learning, in the manner of Cervantes.

The year following, he published the Dunciał, one of his greatest and most elaborate performances ; the history of which is very minutely related by himself, in a dedication which he wrote to Lord Middlesex, in the name of Savage.

Pope appears by this narrative to have been the aggressor; for nobody can believe that the letters in the Art of Sinking in Poetry were placed at random. If his intention had been to expose to ridi. čule and contempt, calumniators either of himself or of others, he ought to have confined himself to such libellers. If his design was to discourage bad writers from giving their productions to the world, he should have satirized persons of that description only. Theobald, Ensden, Blackmore, Philips, De Foe, Bentley, Hill, Wellted, and Cibber, were not such writers as deserved to be ridi. culed; they were not generally flanderous, and had not calumniated him in particular. There is much reason to believe that he composed the D'unciad, partly to be revenged on those who had abused him, and partly to display his own superiority. He degraded himself by bestowing on fcribbling calumniators, even the notice of resentment; to display superiority was totally uonecessary, where there could be no competition.

In the subsequent editions, he thought fic to omit the name of Hill, who expoftulated with him in à manner Superior to all mean solicitation, and obliged him to sneak and shufle, fome:imes to deny, and sometimes to apologise. He also omitted the nanie of Burnct, and Substituted cordial fiien ifhije

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