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rage. Addison praised a rival translation by Tickell, giving it his preference. The public condemned Tickell. Pope relates that he threatened Addison by letter, and sent him a sketch of his Satire on Addison. Atterbury saw these verses and advised Pope to exercise his talent in satire.
vii. Pope's homes : Born in London ; brought up at Binfield (Berkshire), whither his father had retired at the Revolution. In 1715 the Binfield estate was sold, and Pope bought a house at Twickenham. Vines, quincunx, and grotto were his delight. His father died in 1717, his mother in 1733.
viii. Minor Works, 1720-1727: An edition of Shakespeare (1721), published by Tonson, criticised by Theobald; translation of the Odyssey, published by Lintot (1725). (Pope gave evidence at Atterbury's trial in 1723.) Friendship with Spence arose out of cool and candid criticism of the Odyssey. The upsetting of a coach nearly proved fatal to Pope, and led to a consolatory letter from Voltaire. Art of Sinking in Poetry, published in the Miscellanies of Pope and Swift.
ix. The Dunciad: A satire on all writers who had attacked Pope. Theobald was chief Dunce. Success secured by the replies of those who thought themselves attacked. Pope relates the “war of the Dunces.” Walpole presented the Dunciad to the King. A later edition gave names of those attacked. Dennis replied by attacking the Rape of the Lock. To some objectors Pope apologised.
x. Later life (1731-1744): The poem on Taste caused an accusation of ingratitude to the Duke of Chandos, and Pope apologised under the name of Cleland.
Curll published some of Pope's letters, and Pope prosecuted, but he is suspected of encouraging this publication as a pretext for publishing all his letters. The letters contain few matters of interest, but are excellent specimens.
Essay on Man, published at intervals in 1733-4. The author's name was suppressed till all had appeared. Bolingbroke ridiculed the system of morality in this essay, declaring that Pope did not understand the doctrines he was propagating. Crousaz read the French translations, criticised the Essay, and declared it opposed to revealed religion. Warburton defended Pope against Crousaz, and was rewarded by Pope's interest, and a legacy of his works.
Epistles—to Lord Bathurst, on The Use of Riches, in praise of Kyrl, the Man of Ross; to Lord Cobham, on the Characters of Men, enunciating Pope's theory of the Ruling Passion; to a Lady on the Characters of Women, said to contain no character from life, but describing the Duchess of Marlborough as Atossa; to Arbuthnot, an epistle containing the Satire on Addison, but not Addison's name. The last-named epistle formed a Prologue to Imitations of Horace.
Memoirs of the Scriblerus Club were commenced by Pope, Swift, and Arbuthnot in concert, but the writers separated and the work was not completed.
A new Dunciad was published in 1742, attacking Cibber, the Poet Laureate, who had ridiculed Pope's drama, Three Hours after Marriage, laughed off the stage in 1717. Pope and Cibber attacked each other in successive pamphlets, the former losing more credit than the latter.
xi. Death and subsequent events : Worn out by disease, ceased work in 1743; attended by Dr. Thomson, Lord Bolingbroke, Lord Marchmont, and Dodsley; neglected by Martha Blount. Died in May, 1744. Left his papers to Bolingbroke, whom he asked to print a few copies of The Patriot King for friends. Dodsley produced a complete earlier edition which Bolingbroke burnt. Warburton apologised for Pope's deception. A contemptuous legacy was left to Allen of Bath.
2. Personal appearance and habits.-Small, deformed; face pleasing, eyes animated; a victim to headache, sensitive to cold, and in need of constant attendance. A valetudinarian, and a very troublesome guest, monopolising all the servants.
3. Character.-Indulgent to his appetite, but pretended the reverse. Fond of secrecy and slyness. Not brilliant in company, has left no witty sayings. Fretful, resentful, rarely jocular, never merry. Eminently frugal, niggardly to his guests, but fond of ridiculing poverty. Proud of his acquaintance with men of rank, but not servile; never flattered for gain. His letters show liberality, gratitude, constancy, tenderness; but they seem premeditated and artificial, hence too favourable to himself. He professed (a) contempt for his own poetry, but this was not sincere; (b) insensibility to criticism, but every pamphlet disturbed his quiet; (c) contempt for Kings, but was flattered by a Prince's attentions; (d) contempt for the world, but strove to please mankind; (e) scorn of the great, but boasted of living among them. His own importance is often in his mind, his letters show him insensible to excellence in others. As a friend he was liberal and faithful; zealous and constant. He professed the Roman Catholic religion but was not scrupulously pious.
4. Intellectual character.-Characterised by good sense ; possessed genius, activity, and ambition of mind, a strong and exact memory, unwearied diligence. He laboured for pleasure, was never negligent, never impatient. His work was voluntary, his subjects chosen by himself. His publications were never hasty.
5. Dryden and Pope compared.—Dryden wrote to please the people, with little consideration, when occasion called; never attempted to improve what was good. Pope desired to excel, considered and reconsidered his pieces, corrected and improved even after publication.
Dryden had more education, larger range of mind, more general notions. Dryden's knowledge was more dignified. Pope's was more certain.
Dryden's style is capricious and varied. Pope's cautious and uniform.
Dryden's genius was superior, but his performances hasty. Pope's genius was very high, and his performances careful.
Dryden's flights are higher, and often surpass expectation. Pope's are more uniform, but never below expectation.
6. Works of Pope criticised
i. Pastorals: Composed with close thought, show literature rather than wit, powerful in language, skilful in metre.
ii. Temple of Fame : Splendid, luxuriant in ornaments; skilful in allegory, correct in imagery; but has little relation to real life.
iii. Messiah: Excels the Pollio, because taken from the Bible,
iv. Unfortunate Lady: Treats suicide with respect, in parts animated, in others tender; the tale is not skilfully told, and is inconsistent.
v. Ode for St. Cecilia's Day: Above all others except Dryden's. The third stanza is the best. Pope was ignorant of music.
vi. Essay on criticism : Pope's greatest work. The simile of the Alps is its greatest beauty; another celebrated paragraph deals with sound as an echo of the
Johnson gives examples of Pope's success in observing the principle he lays down.
vii. Rape of the Lock: Most attractive of all ludicrous compositions; supernatural agents happily introduced ; new things are made familiar; familiar things are made new; the purpose is to laugh at the little unguarded follies of the female sex; Dennis says it lacks a moral, and that the machinery is superfluous.
viii. Eloise to Abelard : Happy production, judiciously chosen subject; excites interest because the characters deserve notice.
ix. The Iliad : The Greeks had no translations; the Italians were very diligent translators; Cicero and Germanicus left behind some Latin specimens; Terence translated Menander; the French translated industriously ; Virgil borrowed from Homer, Pope from Dryden; Pope's version “tuned the English tongue.” Critics objected that Pope's Homer was not Homerical; this is the necessary result of change of time, custom, and language. Many beauties in Pope's version are not found in the original. The purpose of a writer is to be read; criticism which objects to this may be ignored. The notes add to the pleasure given by the translation,