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ways to remember, that you once permitted me that
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Pretender and his party. His friends had in their custody a letter that irrefragably would have proved this fact, which they shewed to the Dutchess. Lord Oxford was released soon after this letter had been shewn to her.
Bolingbroke had a very different, and indeed unjust, opinion of Lord Oxford, whom he calls, “a man of whom Nature meant to make a spy, or, at most, à captain of miners; and whom Fortune, in one of her whimsical moods, made a General.” This
After all, if your Lordship will tell my Lord Harley that I must not do this, you may depend upon a suppression of these verses (the only copy whereof I send you); but you never shall suppress that great, sincere, and entire respect, with which I am always,
THE EARL OF OXFORD TO MR. POPE.
Brampton-Castle, Nov. 6, 1721. I RECEIVED your packet, which could not but give me great pleasure, to see you preserve an old friend in your memory; for it must needs be very agreeable to be remembered by those we highly value. But then how much shame did it cause me, when I read your very fine verses enclosed ? My mind reproached me how far short I came of what your great friendship and delicate pen would partially describe me. You ask my consent to publish it: to what straits doth this reduce me? I look back indeed to those evenings I have usefully and pleasantly spent, with Mr. Pope, Mr. Parnelle, Dean Swift, the Doctor, etc. I should be glad the world knew You admitted me to your friendship, and since your affection is too
was written in a letter to Swift, 1719. And the words must have been mortifying to Swift, who thought highly of Lord Oxford's abilities.
hard for your Judgment, I am contented to let the world know how well Mr. Pope can write upon a barren subject. I return you an exact copy of the verses, that I may keep the Original, as a testimony of the only error you have been guilty of. I hope very speedily to embrace you in London, and to assure you of the particular esteem and friendship wherewith I am
TO MR. HOLDSWORTH'. Sir,
Twitenham, Dec. 1737. As I am not so happy (though I have long desired it) to be known to you otherwise than in my poetical capacity, so you will see, it is in the merit of that only that I take the liberty of applying to you, in what I think the cause of poetry. I understand that the Poetry-Professorship in Oxford will be vacant, and that Mr. Harte, of St. Mary Hill, is willing to succeed in it. I think it a condescension in one who practises the art of poetry so well, to stoop to be a critick, and hope the University will do itself the credit to accept of him. Your interest is what I would beg for him as a favour to myself. You, who have used the Muses so ill as to cast them off when they
* Author of Muscipule.
were so kind to you, ought some way to atone, by promoting such good and faithful servants to them in your stead. But if Mr. Harte were not as virtuous and as blameless, as he is capable and learned, I should recommend him with an ill grace to one whose morals only have hindered his fortune, and whose modesty only prevented his fame. If ever you visit these seats of corruption in and about London, I hope you would favour me with a day or two's retirement hither, where I might try to show you, with what regard I truly am, Sir,
MR. POPE TO MR. HUGHES.
April, 19, 1714. I MAKE use of the freedom you so obligingly allowed me, of sending you a paper of proposals for “Homer,” and of intreating your assistance in promoting the subscriptions. I have added another for Mr. Pate, if he thinks fit to oblige me so far, as you seemed inclined to believe he might.
I have left receipts signed with Mr. Jervas, who will give them for any subscriptions you may procure, and be (I am sure) very glad to be better acquainted with you, or entertain you with what paintings or drawings he has. He charges me to give you his
most humble service; and I beg you to think no man is, with a truer esteem than I, dear Sir,
Pray make my most humble service acceptable to Sir Richard Blackmore'.
TO THE SAME. Dear Sir,
Binfield, Oct. 7, 1715. Ever since I had the pleasure to know you, I have believed you one of that uncommon rank of authors, who are undesigning men and sincere friends; and who, when they commend another, have not any view of being praised themselves. I should be therefore ashamed to offer at saying any of those civilthings in return to your obliging compliments in regard to my translations of “Homer,” only I have too great a value for you, not to be pleased with them; and
It appears from the above, that Mr. Pope and this poetical Knight were then upon terms of friendship, which were first broken by Sir Richard's accusing Mr. Pope of profaneness and immorality, (see his “ Essays," vol. ii. p. 27.) on a report from Curl that he was author of a “ Travestie on the first Psalm." Had it not been for this, all the Knight's bad poetry would scarcely have procured him a place in the “ Dunciad,” as in that poem the author “professed to attack no man living who had not before printed or published against him;" and, on this principle, having ridiculed “Dr. Watts’s Psalıns,” in the first edition of that satire, those lines were, at the instance of Mr. Richardson, the painter, a friend to both, in all the subsequent editions, omitted.
have procured for this all the Ka Travestie on it