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Certain it is, that dividing our writers into two classes, of such who were acquaintance, and of such who were strangers to our authur; the former are those who speak well, and the other those who speak evil of him. Of the first class, the most noble

John Duke of Buckingham sums up his character in these lines:

* And yet so wondrous, so sublime a thing,
As the great Iliad, scarce could make me sing,
Unless I justly could at once commend
A good companion, and as firm a friend;
One moral, or a mere well-natured, deed,

Can all desert in sciences exceed.'*
So also is he deciphered by

The Hon. Simon Harcourt.
Say, wondrous youth, what column wilt thou choose,
What laureli'd arch, for thy triumphant muse!
Though each great ancient conrt thee to his shrine,
Though every laurel through the dome be thine,
Go to the good and just, an awful train!

Thy soul's delight! Recorded in like manner for his virtuous disposition, and gentle bearing, by the ingenious

Mr. Walter Hart, in this apostrophe :

. Oh ever worthy, ever crown'd with praise !
Bless'd in thy life, and bless'd in all thy lays,
Add, that the Sisters every thought refine,
And e'en thy life be faultless as thy line,
Yet envy still with fiercer rage pursues,
Obscures the virtue, and defames the muse.
A soul like thine, in pain, in grief, resign’d,

Views with just scorn the malice of mankind.'!
The witty and moral satirist,

Dr. Edward Young, wishing some check to the corruption and evil manners of the times, calleth out upon our poet to under. take a task so worthy of his virtue :

"Why slumbers Pope, who leads the Muses' train,
Nor hears that virtue, which he loves, complain?"

* Verses to Mr. P, on his translation of Homer. + Poem prefixed to his Works. In his Poems, printed for B. Lintot. Universal Passions, Sat. 1.

Mr. Mallet, in his Epistle on Verbal Criticism:

• Whose life, severely scann'd, transcends his lays;
For wit supreme is but his second praise.'

Mr. Hammond, that delicate and correct imitator of Tibullus, in his Love Elegies, Elegy xiv.

. Now, fired by Pope and virtue, leave the age,

In low pursuit of self-undoing wrong,
And trace the author through his moral page,
Whose blameless life still answers to his song.'

Mr. Thomson, in his elegant and philosophical poem of the Seasons:

Although not sweeter his own Homer sings,

Yet is his life the more endearing song.'
To the same tune also singeth that learned clerk, of

Mr. William Broome :
• Thus, nobly rising in fair virtue's cause,

From thy own life transcribe th' unerring laws."* And, to close all, hear the reverend dean of St. Pa. trick's:

A soul with every virtue fraught,
By patriots, priests, and poets taught:
Whose filial piety excels
Whatever Grecian story tells.
A genius for each business fit;

Whose meanest talent is his wit,' &c. Let us now recreate thee by turning to the other side, and shewing his character drawn by those with whom he never conversed, and whose countenances he could not know, though turned against him : First again commencing with the high-voiced and neverenough quoted

Mr. John Dennis, who, in his Reflections on the Essay on Criticism, thus describeth him: 'A little affected hypocrite, who has nothing in his mouth but candour, truth, friendship, good-nature, humanity, and magnanimity. He is so great a lover of falsehood, that whenever he has a * In his Poems at the end of the Odyssey.

mind to calumniate his contemporaries, he brands them with some defect which was just contrary to some good quality for which all their friends and acquaintance commend them. He seems to have a particular pique, to people of quality, and authors of that rank.--He must derive his religion from St. Omer's. But in the character of Mr. P. and his writings (printed by S. Popping, 1716) he saith, ' Though he is a professor of the worst religion, yet he laughs at it;' but that, ' nevertheless, he is a virulent papist; and yet a pillar of the church of England.' Of both which opinions

Mr. Lewis Theobald seems also to be ; declaring in Mist's Journal of June 22, 1718,' That, if he is not shrewdly abused, he made it his practice to cackle to both parties in their own sentiments.' But as to his pique against people of quality, the same journalist doth not agree, but saith (May 8, 1728), ' He had, by some means or other, the acquaintance and friendship of the whole body of our nobility,

However contradictory this may appear, Mr. Den nis and Gildon, in the character last cited, make it all plain, by assuring us, ' That he is a creature that reconciles all contradictions : he is a beast, and a man; a Whig, and a Tory ; a writer (at one and the same time) of Guardians and Examiners:* an assertor of liberty, and of the dispensing power of kings; a Jesuitical professor of truth; a base and a foul pretender to candour.' So that, upon the whole account, we must conclude him either to have been a great hy. pocrite, or a very honest man; a terrible impostor upon both parties, or very moderate to either.

Be it as to the judicious reader shall seem good. Sure it is, he is little favoured of certain authors, whose wrath is perilous: For one declares he ought to have a price set on his head, and to be hunted down as a wild beast. Another protests that he does not know what may happen; advises him to ensure his person:

# The names of two weekly papers. Theobald, Letter in Mist's Journal, June 22, 1728.

says he has bitter enemies, and expressly declares it will be well if he escapes with his life, One desires he would cut his own throat, or hang himself. But Pasquin seemed rather inclined it should be done by the government, representing him engaged in grievous designs with a lord of parliament then under prosecution.t Mr. Dennis himself hath written to a minister, that he is one of the most dangerous persons in this kingdom ; and assureth the public, that he is an open and mortal enemy to his country; a monster, that will, one day, shew as daring a soul as a mad Indian, who runs a muck to kill the first Christian he meets. Another gives information of treason discovered in his poem. I Mr. Curll boldly supplies an imperfect verse with kings and princesses:** and one Matthew Concanen, yetmore impudent, publishes at length the two most sacred names in this nation, af members of the Dunciad !

This is prodigious! yet it is almost as strange, that in the midst of these invectives his greatest enemies have (I know not how) bome testimony to some merit in him.

Mr. Theobald, in censuring his Shakspeare, declares,' He has so great an esteem for Mr. Pope, and so high an opinion of his genius and excellencies: that, notwithstanding he professes a veneration almost rising to idolatry for the writings of this inimitable poet, he would be very loath even to do him justice, at the expense of that other gentleman's character.'II

Mr. Charles Gildon, after having violently attacked him in many pieces,

* Smedley, Pref. to Gulliveriana, p. 14. 16. + Gulliveriana, p. 332. 1 Anno 1723. Anno 1729.

Preface to Rem, on the Rape of the Lock, p. 12; and in the last page of that treatise.

1 Page 6, 7, of the Preface, by Concanen, to a book called, A Collection of all the Letters, Essays,

Verses, and Advertisements, occasioned by Pope and Swift's Miscellanies. Printed for A. Moore, 8vo. 1712.

** Key the Dunciad, 3d edit. p. 18. tt A list of Persons, &c. at the end of the forementioned Collection of all the Letters, Essays, &c.

#1 Introduction to his Shakspeare Restored, in 4to. p. 3.

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at last came to wish from his heart, “ That Mr. Pope would be prevailed upon to give us Ovid's Epistles by his hand, for it is certain we see the original of Sappho to Phaon with much more life and likeness in his version, than in that of Sir Car Scrope. And this (he adds) is the more to be wished, because in the English tongue we have scarcely any thing truly and naturally written upon love.'* He also, in taxing Sir Richard Blackmore for his heterodox opinions of Homer, challengeth him to answer what Mr. Pope hath said in his preface to that poet.

Mr. Oldmixon calls him a great master of our tongue ; declares the purity and perfection of the English language to be found in his Homer; and, saying there are more good verses in Dryden's Virgil than in any other work, except this of our author only.'t

The author of a Letter to Mr. Cibber says : 'Pope was so good a versifier [once) that, his predecessor Mr. Dryden, and his contemporary Mr. Prior, excepted, the harmony of his numbers is equal to any body's. And, that he had all the merit that a man can have that way.'! And

Mr. Thomas Cooke,
after much blemishing our author's Homer, crieth out:

But in his other works what beauties shine,
While sweetest music dwells in every line!
These he admired, on these he stamp'd his praise,

Aud bade them live to brighten future days.'
So also one who takes the name of

H. Stanhope, the maker of certain verses to Duncan Campbell,l in

which is wholly a satire upon Mr. Pope, confesseth,

that poem,

* Commentary on the Duke of Buckingham's Essay, 8vo. 1921, p. 97, 98.

+ In his prose Essay on Criticism.
i Printed by J. Roberts, 1742, p. 11,
& Battle of the Poets, folio, p. 15.

Printed under the title of the Progress of Dulness, 12mo. 1728.

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