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is the Epistle to Lord Bathurst (1733) on the Use of Riches,
a piece on which he declared great labour to have been bestowed'. 199
Into this poem some incidents are historically thrown, and some known characters are introduced, with others of which it is difficult to say how far they are real or fictitious ?; but the praise of Kyrl, 'the Man of Ross 3,' deserves particular examination, who, after a long and pompous enumeration of his publick works and private charities, is said to have diffused all those blessings from 'five hundred a year 4.' Wonders are willingly told and willingly heard. The truth is that Kyrl was a man of known integrity and active benevolence, by whose solicitation the wealthy were persuaded to pay contributions to his charitable schemes; this influence he obtained by an example of liberality exerted to the utmost extent of his power, and was thus enabled to give more than he had. This account Mr. Victor received from the
* Post, POPE, 272, 369. “I never 4 Of debts and taxes, wife and took more care in my life of any- children clear, thing,' he wrote to Swift in 1733. This man possess'd-five hundred Pope's Works (Elwin and Court- pounds a year.' hope), vii. 297. 'It was,' he said,
Moral Essays, iii. 279. as much laboured as any one of my According to R. Wheeler's letter works. Spence's Anec. p. 304. 'From to Spence (Anec. p. 425) ‘his income the easiness that appears in it one was no more than £600 a year.' See would be apt to think as much.' also ib. p. 437, and Pope's Works GOLDSMITH, Works, iii. 437. It (Elwin and Courthope), iii. 529. was published in Jan. 1732–3. Gent. Pope thanking Tonson 'for giving Mag: 1733, p. 51. The title was Of me, he writes, so many particulars the Use of Riches. An Epistle to of the Man of Ross,' continues :the Right Honourable Allen, Lord "A small exaggeration you must Bathurst.
allow me as a poet.' Ib. ix. 551.
individual or of human nature in
minister of the place, and I have preserved it, that the praise of a good man, being made more credible, may be more solid. Narrations of romantick and impracticable virtue' will be read with wonder, but that which is unattainable is recommended in vain : that good may be endeavoured it must be shewn to be possible.
This is the only piece in which the author has given a hint of 200 his religion by ridiculing the ceremony of burning the pope”, and by mentioning with some indignation the inscription on the Monument 3.
When this poem was first published the dialogue, having no 201 letters of direction, was perplexed and obscure. Pope seems to have written with no very distinct idea, for he calls that an Epistle to Bathurst in which Bathurst is introduced as speaking -.
He afterwards (1734) inscribed to Lord Cobham his Characters 202 of Men“, written with close attention to the operations of the mind and modifications of life. In this poem he has endeavoured to establish and exemplify his favourite theory of the 'Ruling Passion, by which he means an original direction of desire to
Ib. l. 339.
: For 'romantic virtue' see John. converted into a Dialogue, in which Misc. ii. 306.
he has little to say. He once rea 'To town he comes, completes the marked to me that this line-nation's hope,
*P. But you are tir'd. I'll tell a tale. And heads the bold train-bands, B. Agreed' (1. 338) and burns a Pope.'
was insupportably flat.' Warton, Moral Essays, iii. 213. Preface, p. 32. See also Warton's 3“Where London's column, pointing Essay, ii. 215. In earlier editions at the skies,
the couplet bad run: Like a tall bully lifts the head and * That knotty point, my Lord, shall lies.'
[thus.' Pope adds in a note :-"The Or tell a tale?-A tale-It follows Monument, built in memory of the The alteration in the form of the fire of London, with an inscription poem was due to Warburton. Post, importing that city to have been POPE, 369. burnt by the Papists.'
5 of the Knowledge and Char6" The lie” was erased in the acters of Men. An Epistle to the reign of James II, restored in the Lord Cobham. Gent. Mag. 1734, reign of William III, and finally pur Search then the ruling passion :
III. , erased in the reign of William IV? Pope's Works (E. & C.), iii. 155.
there alone It would be easy to find passages The wild are constant, and the in which Pope shows his contempt cunning known.' of much that Roman Catholics re
Moral Essays, i. 174. spect and even revere.
Ruling passion' Pope borrowed (Pope gave more than a hint of his from Roscommon's Essay on Transreligion in Imit. of Horace, Epist. lated Verse:
[clin'd, ii. 2. 60-66.]
*Examine how your humour is in4 Dr. Warton had heard Bathurst And which the ruling passion of express his disgust at finding in
Eng. Poets, xv. 82. later editions this
Epistle awkwardly • Almost all people are born with
some particular object, an innate affection which gives all action a determinate and invariable tendency, and operates upon the whole system of life either openly or more secretly by the inter
vention of some accidental or subordinate propension. 203
Of any passion thus innate and irresistible the existence may reasonably be doubted. Human characters are by no means constant; men change by change of place, of fortune, of acquaintance; he who is at one time a lover of pleasure is at another a lover of money. Those indeed who attain any excellence commonly spend life in one pursuit, for excellence is not often gained upon easier terms. But to the particular species of excellence, men are directed not by an ascendant planet or predominating humour, but by the first book which they read, some early conversation which they heard, or some accident
which excited ardour and emulation 204 It must be at least allowed that this ruling Passion,' ante
cedent to reason and observation, must have an object independent on human contrivance, for there can be no natural desire of artificial good. No man therefore can be born, in the strict acceptation, a lover of money, for he may be born where money does not exist ; nor can he be born, in a moral sense, a lover of his country, for society, politically regulated, is a state contradistinguished from a state of nature, and any attention to that coalition of interests which makes the happiness of a country is possible only to those whom enquiry and reflection have enabled
to comprehend it. 205 This doctrine is in itself pernicious as well as false; its ten
dency is to produce the belief of a kind of moral predestination or overruling principle which cannot be resisted: he that admits it is prepared to comply with every desire that caprice or opportunity shall excite, and to flatter himself that he submits only to the lawful dominion of Nature in obeying the resistless
authority of his 'ruling Passion.' 206 Pope has formed his theory with so little skill that, in the
all the passions, to a certain degree; 1802, iii. 226, 340, 396. In his Autobut almost every man has a prevail- biography he writes :- I was seized ing one, to which the others are very early with a passion for literasubordinate.' CHESTERFIELD, Let- ture, which has been the ruling ters to his Son, i. 240.
passion of my life.' Letters to Hume often speaks of 'the ruling Strahan, Preface, p. 18. passion' in his History. See ed. Ante, COWLEY, 3.
examples by which he illustrates and confirms it, he has confounded passions, appetites, and habits'.
To the Characters of Men he added soon after, in an Epistle 207 supposed to have been addressed to Martha Blount, but which the last edition has taken from her, the Characters of Women? This poem, which was laboured with great diligence, and, in the author's opinion, with great success, was neglected at its first publication, as the commentator supposes, because the publick was informed by an advertisement that it contained 'no Char. acter drawn from the life’; an assertion which Pope probably did not expect or wish to have been believed, and which he soon gave his readers sufficient reason to distrust, by telling them in a note that the work was imperfect, because part of his subject was Vice too high' to be yet exposed
The time, however, soon came in which it was safe to display 208 the Dutchess of Marlborough under the name of Atossa “, and her character was inserted with no great honour to the writer's gratitude
He published from time to time (between 1730 and 1740) 209 Imitations of different poems of Horace , generally with his
'Ante, BLACKMORE, 46.
Of the Characters of Women. An Épistle to a Lady. Gent. Mag. 1735, p. 111.
Pope wrote to Swift on Feb. 16, 1732-3:-'Your lady-friend is semper eadem, and I have written an epistle to her on that qualification in a female character.'
Pope's Works (Elwin and Courthope), vii. 298. Warburton says that the conclusion is an encomium on an imaginary lady to whom the epistle is addressed.' Warburton, iii. 216 n. See also ib. p. 233 n. For his 'foolish spite in depriving Martha Blount of the honour of this dedication’see Pope's Works (Elwin and Courthope), iii. 10, 95, 113. See also post, POPE, 243. The commentator
was Warburton. He adds:-“They (the public] believed Mr. Pope on his word, and expressed little curiosity about a satire in which there was nothing personal.' Warburton, iii. 214.
'In a note in the 8vo ed. of 1735 to l. 103, Pope says that he explains ‘the want of connection occasioned
by the omission of certain examples
Mr. Courthope adds in a note on Pope's note on Moral Essays, ii. 14:- It does not follow that the first edition contained a character of any particular person drawn from the life. The Advertisement may have been originally written in good faith, and the note to ver. 14, together with the one to which Johnson refers, may have been added to pique the public curiosity, when the poet found that the Epistle was coldly received.' Pope's Works (E. & C.), iii. 96.
"Moral Essays, ii. 115; ante,
Post, POPE, 372. The first (Sat.
name, and once, as was suspected, without it! What he was upon moral principles ashamed to own, he ought to have suppressed. Of these pieces it is useless to settle the dates, as they had seldom much relation to the times, and perhaps had been
long in his hands ?. 210 This mode of imitation, in which the ancients are familiarised
by adapting their sentiments to modern topicks, by making Horace say of Shakespeare what he originally said of Ennius }, and accommodating his satires on Pantolabus and Nomentanus to the flatterers and prodigals of our own time, was first practised in the reign of Charles the Second by Oldham and Rochester, at least I remember no instances more ancient. It is a kind of middle composition between translation and original design, which pleases when the thoughts are unexpectedly applicable and the parallels lucky. It seems to have been Pope's favourite amusement?, for he has carried it further than any
ii. I) was registered on Feb. 14,1732–3, from Horace come out, which I warn
'Ennius, et sapiens, et fortis, et alter
[videtur Young Gentlemen about Town, as Ut critici dicunt, leviter curare delivered in his Second Sermon. Quo promissa cadant, et somnia Imitated in the Manner of Mr. Pope. Pythagorea. Together with the Original Text, as
HORACE, Epis. ii. 1. 50. restored by the Rev. Richard Bentley, 'Shakespeare (whom you and ev'ry D.D. Warton, who includes the play-house bill poem
in his edition, vi. 35, suppresses Style the divine, the matchless, what the nauseous notes.' Warburton excludes it, and so do Messrs. Elwin For gain, not glory, wing'd his and Courthope. For Pope's mean- roving flight, ness towards the younger Bentley as And grew immortal in his own regards the use of Dr. Bentley's name despite.' POPE, Epis. ii. 1. 69. see Pope's Works (E. & C.), vi. 355. * HORACE, Sat. ii. 1. 22.
On June 27, 1734, Bolingbroke s Oldham anticipated Johnson in wrote to Swift of this Imitation of imitating Juvenal's Third Satire, and Horace (Sat. i. 2):—'Pope has chosen applying it to London. Boswell's rather to weaken the images than to Johnson, i. 118.
. hurt chaste ears overmuch. He has Ante, ROCHESTER, 19. sent it me.' Pope's Works (E. & C.), ? He said that one winter, when he vii. 322. On Dec. 31 Pope wrote to was confined by a fever, he began Caryll :-—'There is a piece of poetry these imitations at the suggestion