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Shakespeare, in opposition to Pope, the best notes were supplied by Warburton'.
But the time was now come when Warburton was to change 187 his opinion, and Pope was to find a defender in him who had contributed so much to the exaltation of his rival.
The arrogance of Warburton excited against him every artifice 188 of offence2, and therefore it may be supposed that his union with Pope was censured as hypocritical inconstancy; but surely to think differently at different times of poetical merit may be easily allowed3. Such opinions are often admitted and dismissed without nice examination. Who is there that has not found reason for changing his mind about questions of greater importance*?
Warburton, whatever was his motive, undertook without 189 solicitation to rescue Pope from the talons of Crousaz by freeing him from the imputation of favouring fatality or rejecting revela
Theobald, in his Preface, 1733, p. 66, says :-'I owe no small part of my best criticisms to him.'
* 'Warburton,' said Johnson, 'by extending his abuse rendered it ineffectual. Boswell's Johnson, v. 93.
Hume, in 1771, described Warburton and all his gang' as 'the most scurrilous, arrogant and impudent fellows in the world.' Letters to Strahan, p. 200.
'The real merit of Warburton,' wrote Gibbon, 'was degraded by the pride and presumption with which he pronounced his infallible decrees.' Gibbon's Autos, p. 281.
Voltaire called him 'un pédant bavard et insolent.' Euvres, xl. 331. Bolingbroke wrote to him in A Familiar Epistle, &c. (post, POPE, 253):- Contempt will be your security, and you will have no reply to apprehend from any man who would not dispute with a common scold, nor wrestle with a chimney-sweeper.' p. 15.
Churchill (Poems, ed. 1766, ii. 79) says of him:
'And was so proud, that should he
The twelve Apostles in the street,
3 Dodsley was present when Pope
and Warburton first met in Lord Rad-
mentions as an assertion.
For the little suspicion Johnson appeared to have of hypocrisy in religion' see Boswell's Johnson, i. 418 n.
For Hurd's defence of Warburton see Warburton's Works, 1811, i. 23.
'JOHNSON. He was first an antagonist to Pope...; but seeing him the rising man, when Crousaz attacked his Essay on Man, for some faults which it has and some which it has not, he defended it in the Review of that time.' Boswell's Johnson, v. 80.
tion, and from month to month continued a vindication of the Essay on Man in the literary journal of that time, called The Republick of Letters1.
190 Pope, who probably began to doubt the tendency of his own
work, was glad that the positions of which he perceived himself not to know the full meaning could by any mode of interpretation be made to mean well. How much he was pleased with his gratuitous defender the following Letter evidently shews:
'March 24, 17432.
'I have just received from Mr. R.3 two more of your Letters. It is in the greatest hurry imaginable that I write this, but I cannot help thanking you in particular for your third Letter, which is so extremely clear, short, and full, that I think Mr. Crousaz ought never to have another answer, and deserved not so good an one. I can only say you do him too much honour and me too much right, so odd as the expression seems; for you have made my system as clear as I ought to have done, and could not. It is indeed the same system as mine, but illustrated with a ray of your own, as they say our natural body is the same still when it is glorified. I am sure I like it better than I did before, and so will every man else. I know I meant just what you explain, but I did not explain my own meaning so well as you. You understand me as well as I do myself, but you express me better than I could express myself. Pray accept the sincerest acknowledgements. I cannot but wish these Letters were put together in one Book 5, and intend (with your leave) to procure a translation of part at least of all of them into French, but I shall not proceed a step without your consent and opinion, &c.'
By this fond and eager acceptance of an exculpatory comment
The vindication is in The Works of the Learned, iv. 425, v. 56, 89, 159, 330; N. & Q. 2 S. iv. 407. 'Warburton's first letter appeared in Dec. 1738. The Present State of the Republick of Letters had come to an end in 1736.' Pope's Works (Elwin and Courthope), ii. 266.
2 In Johnson's Works, ed. 1825, viii. 289, the date is given as 1732. In the original MS. the year is not given. It should be 1739. Pope's Works (Elwin and Courthope), ix. 203.
3 Jacob Robinson, a bookseller near the Inner Temple Gate in Fleet Street, and publisher of The Works of the Learned. Nichols's Lit. Anec. v. 552. It was at his shop, writes Hawkins
(Life of Johnson, p. 69), that the friendship of Pope and Warburton commenced. See ante, POPE, 188 n. 3. 4 Warton (ix. 302) quotes Cowley's Lines to Sir W. Davenant (Eng. Poets, vii. 141):—
'So will our God re-build man's perish'd frame,
And raise him up much better, yet the same.'
5 This was done in 1740, when the five letters were expanded into six. A seventh letter was added in a subsequent edition, and the whole was re-arranged in four letters in the edition of 1742.' Pope's Works (Elwin and Courthope), ii. 266. See Warburton's Works, 1811, xi.
Pope testified that, whatever might be the seeming or real import of the principles which he had received from Bolingbroke, he had not intentionally attacked religion; and Bolingbroke, if he meant to make him without his own consent an instrument of mischief, found him now engaged with his eyes open on the side of truth.
It is known that Bolingbroke concealed from Pope his real 192 opinions. He once discovered them to Mr. Hooke, who related them again to Pope, and was told by him that he must have mistaken the meaning of what he heard; and Bolingbroke, when Pope's uneasiness incited him to desire an explanation, declared that Hooke had misunderstood him 1.
Bolingbroke hated Warburton, who had drawn his pupil from 193 him2; and a little before Pope's death they had a dispute, from which they parted with mutual aversion 3.
From this time Pope lived in the closest intimacy with his 194 commentator*, and amply rewarded his kindness and his zeal; for he introduced him to Mr. Murray, by whose interest he became preacher at Lincoln's Inn, and to Mr. Allen, who gave him his niece and his estate, and by consequence a bishoprick.
' Warburton in his Works, 1811, xii. 91, tells the same story, but does not mention Hooke by name. See also Ruffhead's Pope, p.219; Spence's Anec. p. 369; Pope's Works (Elwin and Courthope), ii. 276.
He saw his pupil reasoned out of his hands.' WARBURTON, Works, xii. 336.
3Whenever there is exaggerated praise,' said Johnson, 'everybody is set against a character. They are provoked to attack it.' Boswell's Johnson, iv. 82. If this be true Pope certainly provoked Warburton to attack Bolingbroke. On April 23, 1742, he wrote to him of his Lordship: You never saw a man before, if I know what a man is.' This passage Warburton suppressed when he published the letter. Warburton, ix. 252; Pope's Works (Elwin and Courthope), ix. 224. On March 6, 1744, writing to Allen about Warburton, Pope continued, whom I have promised to make known to the only great man in Europe who knows as much as he.' Ib. ix. 198. Bolingbroke was the man.
Warburton, in a note on Pope's
'JOHNSON. Pope introduced Warburton to Allen, Allen married him to his niece; so, by Allen's interest and his own, he was made a bishop. But then his learning was the sine qua non; he knew how to make the most of it; but I do not find by any dishonest means.' Boswell's Johnson, v. 80.
Fielding, in Tom Jones, Bk. xiii. ch. 1, invoking Learning says:-'Give me a while that key to all thy treasures which to thy Warburton thou
When he died he left him the property of his works, a legacy which may be reasonably estimated at four thousand pounds'. 195 Pope's fondness for the Essay on Man appeared by his desire of its propagation. Dobson, who had gained reputation by his version of Prior's Solomon, was employed by him to translate it into Latin verse, and was for that purpose some time at Twickenham; but he left his work, whatever was the reason, unfinished, and, by Benson's invitation, undertook the longer task of Paradise Lost3. Pope then desired his friend to find
Men like L. B. may be said to live in a superior sphere, where the buzz and din of such insects can never reach.' A Familiar Epistle, &c., p. 22.
Pope in his will, printed in Warburton, ix. 268, and Warton, ix. 415, bequeathed to him the property of all such of my Works already printed, as he hath written, or shall write commentaries or notes upon, and which I have not otherwise disposed of or alienated; and all the profits which shall arise after my death from such editions as he shall publish without future alterations.’ According to Warburton, the last of these conditions was added 'to prevent any share of the offence' his revised writings 'might occasion from falling on the friend whom he had engaged to give them to the public.' Warburton, Preface, p. 1. What Pope did was, in effect, to bind him under a penalty of £4,000 to print his poems as the author left them.' Moreover Warburton was compelled to comment, whether he had anything to say or not, in order to preserve his rights.' PATTISON, Essays, ii. 363, 365. Warburton, as Mr. Courthope points out, used the notes both to gratify his own private resentments,' and to win Court
favour. On Feb. 10, 1750, writing to Hurd about a new edition of The Dunciad, he said: In this there is a new Dunce or two that came in my way.' That is to say, where the object of Pope's satire was doubtful he fixed it on some enemy of his, while he explained away an attack on Queen Caroline. Pope's Works (Elwin and Courthope), iii. 8–14. See also ib. i. Introd. p. 19, and Letters from a Late Eminent Prelate, p. 41. For the Queen see Pope's Works (Elwin and Courthope), iii. 9, and Epil. Sat. i. 80 n.
2 Ante, PRIOR, 65; post, POPE, 291. 'Dobson translated the first book as a school-exercise when at Winchester College.' WARTON, Essay on Pope, ii. 483. See also Warton, vii. 112.
According to Spence Lord Oxford was to pay Dobson £105 for the version of the Essay, when Benson (ante, MILTON, 155; post, THOMSON, 6 n.) offered to give him 1,000 if he would translate Paradise Lost. Lord Oxford and Mr. Pope released him from his engagement.' Spence's Anec. p. 179. For a specimen of his version of the Essay see ib. p. 475. His Paradisus Amissus, 2 vols. 4to, is advertised in Gent. Mag. 1753, p. 298. A specimen of it is given, ib. 1750, p. 565. See also ante, MILTON, 273 n.4. Beattie asked Johnson about him. He owned he had known him, but did not seem inclined to speak on the subject. All that I could ever hear of his private life was that in his old age he was given to drinking.' Forbes's Beattie, 1824, ii. 302.
a scholar who should turn his Essay into Latin prose1; but no such performance has ever appeared.
Pope lived at this time 'among the Great 2,' with that reception 196 and respect to which his works entitled him, and which he had not impaired by any private misconduct or factious partiality. Though Bolingbroke was his friend, Walpole was not his enemy3, but treated him with so much consideration as, at his request, to solicit and obtain from the French Minister an abbey for Mr. Southcot, whom he considered himself as obliged to reward, by this exertion of his interest, for the benefit which he had received from his attendance in a long illness *.
It was said that, when the Court was at Richmond, Queen 197 Caroline had declared her intention to visit him. This may have been only a careless effusion, thought on no more: the report of such notice, however, was soon in many mouths; and, if I do not forget or misapprehend Savage's account, Pope, pretending to decline what was not yet offered, left his house for a time, not, suppose, for any other reason than lest he should be thought to stay at home in expectation of an honour which would not be conferred. He was, therefore, angry at Swift, who represents him as 'refusing the visits of a Queen 5,' because he knew that what had never been offered had never been refused.
Beside the general system of morality supposed to be con- 198 tained in the Essay on Man, it was his intention to write distinct poems upon the different duties or conditions of life; one of which
in your name, which I am angry at.
Ante, POPE, 173. See Spence's Anec. p. 315, where Pope says:'I had once thought of completing my ethic work in four books-the first would have been on the Nature of Man; the second, you know, is on Knowledge and its limits; the third on Government, both ecclesiastical and civil; and the fourth on Morality.' See also Warburton's expansion of this. Warburton, iii. 181; Pope's Works (Elwin and Courthope), iii. 45. On p. 46 it is pointed out that this design was probably formed after the several epistles, subsequently included under Moral Essays, had been written.